Smith & Wesson Model 36 - Pistolsmith
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Old 01-04-2016, 01:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: NY
Posts: 4
Smith & Wesson Model 36

My wife has a Smith & Wesson Model 36 Model J Round Frame 5 shot revolver and it has developed a problem. The thing is in almost mint shape. So I am hoping we can fix it easily. Let me introduce myself. I am a retired Class AA ToolMaker of 40 years. I certainly know my way around machinery, precision manufacturing, materials, heat treat, plating, mechanical devices, measurement such as Geometric Tolerancing, Inspection, etc..
Am I a gunsmith, no I am not. Could I be a good one? Probably, with some training under a good mastersmith. Not to show any disrespect for a real good gunsmith, not at all. If anything, I have a lot of respect for anyone who can perform good work with these types of precision tolerance mechanical devices. People like Master Gunsmith Frank Glenn come to mind here. Boy, would I love to work for him for a while.

Why did I mention this? So I don't immediately get told to take the gun to a Gunsmith. We want to give this a try ourselves.
For crying out loud, I could MAKE this entire gun in the shop back in the day. Including the barrel twist. I have built a lot of similar devices. Never a gun, but some extremely complicated tools, tooling and machinery that uses a lot of a guns features. You get the idea.
Ok, here is the problem. She can't open the cylinder. The slab side cylinder ejector will not move forward. It seems frozen.
Any ideas where to start looking to repair this issue?
Thanks in advance for your input.

Last edited by JackD; 01-05-2016 at 12:28 PM. Reason: corrections
 
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Old 01-04-2016, 04:48 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,679
This is often caused by the ejector rod unscrewing and jamming the cylinder.

Rock the hammer back far enough that you can slip in half a business card under the cylinder between the cylinder and bottom of the frame window.
This will hold the cylinder stop down so the cylinder can be rotated.

Pad some small pliers with brass or copper sheet, or a piece of leather.
Grip the ejector rod and hold it firmly while you rotate the cylinder CLOCKWISE.
This will tighten the ejector rod enough you can get the cylinder open.

With the cylinder open grip the rod tightly and further turn the cylinder to tighten the rod fully.
How tight to tighten is a matter of judgment.
You want the rod tight enough it won't come loose again, but not so tight you risk stripping the fine threads on the ejector or ejector rod.

If you're unsure about this, you can unscrew the rod and remove it, then put a small drop of fingernail polish on the threads of the rod before tightening it.
I don't recommend using any Loctite. That's over-kill and can seep into areas you don't want it to.

If the action is to tightly locked up, you may have to remove the side plate and pull the cylinder stop down with a small screwdriver.

To remove the side plate, remove the grips then remove the three screws.
MAKE SURE you keep the front screw separate from the other two.
In the older S&W the front side plate screw is also the cylinder retention screw and is a fitted screw.
IT MUST GO BACK IN THE SAME HOLE.
Note that the lower side plate screw look exactly like the front screw but is not fitted.
Get them switched and you can do severe damage to the cylinder yoke (crane).

With the screws out use a plastic screwdriver handle to give the frame where the grips fit sharp raps.
This will vibrate the side plate loose.
DO NOT EVER PRY the side plate.

When re-installing the side plate, make sure the hammer block safety lever is in place , fit the top of the side plate in first, then tip the bottom down and press in place.

If this fails to work, re-post and we'll try something else.
JackD likes this.
 
Old 01-04-2016, 07:07 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Had the same thing happen to my 36.
 
 
Old 01-05-2016, 12:38 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: NY
Posts: 4
Great information... thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
This is often caused by the ejector rod unscrewing and jamming the cylinder.
If this fails to work, re-post and we'll try something else.
This is great information. The wife is sleeping right now but when she wakes and after her coffee I'll have her give it a whirl herself.
Thanks and I'll let you know how it turns out.
 
Old 01-05-2016, 03:41 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: NY
Posts: 4
All set now and thanks a lot

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
This is often caused by the ejector rod unscrewing and jamming the cylinder.

If this fails to work, re-post and we'll try something else.
All set and you were right. I showed her your response, she did the business card thing and she fixed it. The rod had unscrewed a tad. My wife told me to thank you too, it's her favorite pistol.

Last edited by JackD; 01-06-2016 at 06:39 AM.
 
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