S&W 60 ignition issues

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gunman42782

Hunter
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Jan 4, 2004
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So, as the title says, my model 60-7 Smith has ignition problems. It will shoot Federal primed ammo all day with no problems at all. But CCI primed ammo is literally hit and miss. Usually at least one or two rounds each cylinder full will not go off shooting DA. If shooting SA they go off at least 95% of the time. I know CCI primers are harder than most. Yes, they are my reloads (been reloading for 30 years). But these rounds go off in all my other .357/.38 chambered guns. So, first thing that came to my mind is that someone put a lighter mainspring in it. So, a call to S&W and they sent me a new standard power mainspring. Didn't help. So, next thing I thought of was that the hammer nose (firing pin) might not be long enough, or has been peened by a lot of dry fire from previous owners. So, I installed a Power Custom hammer nose. No help. I just ordered a new stirrup, mainspring, and cup for it. I thought maybe the "cup" (not sure if that is the correct technical word) at the bottom that holds it in the frame might be wore enough to cause these problems. I doubt that is going to fix it, but figured it was worth a try. I am stumped. Any ideas?
 

flyingtiger

Bearcat
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Nov 23, 2016
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65
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Ohio
I have same problems with a colt diamondback. Also with cci primers. It will shoot factory ammo of all manufacturers all day long just fine, but with reloads, multiple misfires. Seating my primers, they are a fraction deeper than the factory ammo.

Result is, when shooting double action, I have to use factory ammo
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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Sep 18, 2002
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Lake Lure NC USA
Ahh the bane of the S&W DA revolvers & often handloads.

I have a S&W 646 in 40 S&W that I use(d) in competition. That very issue cost me greatly at a big Area 6 USPSA match several years ago. Misfires do NOT make a fun day when competing.

I too added a longer firing pin. I knew it had the factory mainspring in it,, (bought new.) I also tinkered with it a lot. What finally cured my problem was the addition of a spent primer cup, minus the anvil, added to the base of the tension screw of the mainspring. I was able to tighten it a bit more,, and fixed my issues.
I use mostly Winchester primers,, but I also,,ONLY shoot big matches with Federal primers. ALL the top level revolver competitors use Federal primers,, and this is one of the main reasons.
 

gunman42782

Hunter
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Great advice, Contender, but J frames don't have the tension screw! They have the coil mainspring.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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My mistake. (I don't know enough about the Smiffs to have known that.)

Maybe a Wolff spring,, that's a bit heavier than the factory one?
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
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People's Republik of California
The best cure I've used is adding a thin washer or .001" shims on the bottom of the coil main spring above the retainer at the bottom. Start with a couple and add one at a time until you get 100% ignition, or take out one at a time until you get a misfire and put one back in.
 

gunman42782

Hunter
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Jan 4, 2004
Messages
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Location
KY
Hondo44 said:
The best cure I've used is adding a thin washer or .001" shims on the bottom of the coil main spring above the retainer at the bottom. Start with a couple and add one at a time until you get 100% ignition, or take out one at a time until you get a misfire and put one back in.

Thank you sir. Best advice I have gotten so far. I will definetly try that!
 

Johnnu2

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
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NYS
Been waiting for Hondo44 to chime in.... He's got the fix every time

Merry Christmas Hondo44...

J.
 

loaded round

Hunter
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Messages
2,170
Location
Valley Forge, Pa
Just a quick suggestion. Brownell's sells a heavier main spring for the S&W Model 60 that may solve your proble. I too have a model 60 and some years ago I changed out the main spring to a lighter one and ended up with problems similar to yours, and changed back to mu original springs. BTW, I stopped using CCI SP Primers in all my reloading years ago, and haven't had any problems now using Winchester SP Primers.
 

gunman42782

Hunter
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Jan 4, 2004
Messages
3,144
Location
KY
So I ended up buying a whole new mainspring/strut assembly, and for reasons I am not sure of, it will now shoot CCI primed ammo!
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
821
The Symptom is( was) light primer strikes . The OP quickly went thru the usual suspects ( that usually solve the issues ).

The two remaining are excess headspace . or cumulative friction losses from the various internal surfaces , or both .

Since he cured it with new strut assembly , it likely either was friction between inside of coil spring and rough finished strut , or strut being seriously out of spec .

Just for grins and curiosity , take the original strut , stone off any sharp edges , give a mirror polish with evil dremel , and try again .
 

Luckyducker

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 18, 2007
Messages
199
Location
Ft. Morgan, CO
Not a Smith, but I installed lighter hammer spring in a M66 Taurus to lighten the action up and it misfires during DA shooting. That's okay as I always shoot single action anyway.
 

needsmostuff

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Messages
388
Location
Tucson,AZ
Luckyducker said:
Not a Smith, but I installed lighter hammer spring in a M66 Taurus to lighten the action up and it misfires during DA shooting. That's okay as I always shoot single action anyway.

Maybe just my perception but I do not see why a lighter hammer spring would be a good thing if a better double action pull was not the goal.
The benefits for the single action pull would be quite marginal compared to the loss of DA ability.
Then again, maybe just me.
 

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