S&W Model 28-2, Single Action won't hold - Pistolsmith
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:26 AM   #1
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S&W Model 28-2, Single Action won't hold

I have a Model 28-2 (N-frame, .357) purchased at a SO surplus sale some 30 years ago. Shot it a LOT in the 80s when unemployed and shooting IPSC. [Yeah, I shot revolver in the early days of IPSC. All the race gun folks laughed until they saw my scores!]. Never a problem. Several thousand rounds of full-bore .357 all double action. Then put it away for a double decade to take care of kids, health, moves, etc. Got it out to re-clock some old handloads.

Set up on the bench, cocked to single action. Hammer let back down immediately. IF I can get single action to hold at all, it takes about 2 pounds on the hammer to push it off. Double action still works fine. Timing seems dead-on. Accuracy is still flawless on 25 yard bullseye targets (3" groups from bench). I consider the pistol to be unsafe in this event.

I have never done more than clean and oil over the years. About twice a year when competing I would fully diassemble, clean with a soft rag, oil and reassemble. Action is glass smooth after that many rounds.

What am I likely up against? Do I need to send this off to a qualified smith/armorer to re-set the SA sear, or is it more likely I've got a spring somewhere failing?

Opinions, please.

Dave
 
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:32 AM   #2
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Sounds like it was modified for double action only. have it checked by a reliable gunsmith local to you.
 
Old 05-14-2011, 07:06 PM   #3
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This is one of those things that's impossible to diagnose without seeing the gun.
If it was working when put away, it's unlikely it just broke while sitting there.

Possibilities are an action gummed up by dried out old lube, a mainspring that's failed (not likely, but possible) or impacted gunk in the hammer single action notch.

My first move would be to remove the grips and check the strain screw on the lower front of the grip frame. The screw MUST be TIGHT.

Then use something like gun scrubber to blast the action out by spraying into the frame in front of the cocked hammer, up into the frame in front of the cocked trigger, and up into the action from below where the grips fit.

After blasting out the old lube and gunk, allow to dry thoroughly then spray in a good lubricant.

If this doesn't do it, I'd send the gun in to S&W for a full check up.
 
 
Old 05-15-2011, 01:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gldome View Post
Sounds like it was modified for double action only. have it checked by a reliable gunsmith local to you.
That's a very likely case.

All of the wheelguns I used to carry on the job were modified to DAO in the early 80's. I am thinking of putting a new hammer on one of them that I will only use for target work in order to restore SA function.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 02:34 PM   #5
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if it will cock at all, the modification spoken about was never done, or it was done by an incompetent "smith'. to do it, you grind off the full cock notch completely, so it would be impossible to cock. So the gunked up guess is probably accurate. The first M66 stainless 357 k frames to come out would "push off" like that, from full cock. .stainless can't hold a sear notch. Smith uses hard chromed hammers and SEARS in their stainless 357's. did you "old salts" know THAT? :-) -
 
Old 06-06-2011, 03:41 PM   #6
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Speed...I get the distinct feelin' that you think you've stumbled onto a buncha idiots that fell off the turnip truck just last night.

There are experienced pistol and revolver smiths here, along with some historians who know...many things. Many, many things. Your "Old Salt" questions sound a little like a guy I know who managed to get a 1911 pistol back together after a detail strip...and all of a sudden he knows all there is to know about'em.

So far, we've been woofin' ya just a little...'cause that's what we do for shits and giggles...and we'd really like for ya to join the party...but you've gonna hafta ramp it down just a notch. Thicker skin wouldn't hurt.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 03:46 PM   #7
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if my skin got any thicker, I could'nt MOVE, old salt. I am gunkid.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 05:24 PM   #8
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One thing you may want to consider with a firearm that old is that, maybe, just maybe, the springs need to be replaced.

A spring kit is cheaper than a new hammer assembly.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 06:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by speeddeumon View Post
if my skin got any thicker, I could'nt MOVE, old salt. I am gunkid.
GOTCHA ! ! ! D'wheel and JohnnyT to the head of the class....
 
Old 06-06-2011, 06:37 PM   #10
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Thanks all, escpecially dfarriswheel and danf_fl. I'll try a detail strip and clean. Not impossible that a spring has gone soft or oil hardened up and filled in the SA notch. I don't think it was modified to DA only, because it does almost (ALMOST) hold on SA -- just pushes off too easily.

I'll report back after I get 'er apart and deep clean it and all that.

Dave
 
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