SBH Cylinder Binding Up

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mikes

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
2
Location
Kansas
I have had my SBH since the early 90's. It has been shot very little. I was out shooting recently and after shooting a couple cylinder's of factory ammo, the cylinder began to bind up. No amount of pressure on the hammer was enough to cock the gun without using my other hand to help turn the cylinder. It seems to be able to fire a few rounds after each time I reload it before it binds up for the last 3 or 4 rounds of the cylinder. The cylinder seems to operate normally when empty.

Does anyone have any ideas of what might be wrong?

This is my only revolver and I just don't know where to start.

Thanks for your help!

Mike
 

The Preacher

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
497
Location
South-Central PA
Poke in the dark but check your rear sight screw to make certain it isn't screwed down through the top strap and touching the cylinder. Otherwise check your rounds and make certain they're seated in the cylinder fully, plus, check your crimp and make certain the bullets aren't seated out too long or moving forward on recoil. Might want to check for build up of lead around the face of the bbl too. (where it is closest to the cylinder). Shouldn't be doing that but who knows. Just guess'n here.

The Preacher
 

pisgah

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
1,646
Location
Upstate SC
Be sure the cylinder pin is fully seated, not shifted forward by recoil. It may be time for a new cylinder pin latch spring.
 

SAJohn

Hunter
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
2,300
Location
Terrebonne, Oregon, USA
When they jam do not force it, things like the hammer plunger crosspin are easily damaged. If it functions normally when empty then it just about must be you ammo. As mentioned above you should suspect the primer seating and/or cartridges too long or bullets moving forward due to a weak crimp.
 

mikes

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
2
Location
Kansas
Only use factory ammo, no reloads. In fact, two different types of factory ammo with the same results.

Wouldn't the sight screw protruding leave drag marks on the cylinder after forcing it to turn?

There doesn't seem to be any buildup around the forcing cone.

The rounds were not protruding from the front of the cylinder and the crimp was fine on the rounds left in the cylinder.

The cylinder pin seems to stay engaged, but the spring could be weak. It can take a couple of tries to get it to stick tight when I reassemble the gun. I should probably do that even if it's not the cause of the problem.

I always clean the cylinder out with a brass brush after shooting. Should I use some Flitz or something else to make sure the inside of the cylinder is smooth and clean?

I never shoot 44 special, so there shouldn't be any excessive carbon buildup causing the rounds not to seat fully.

It looks like the rounds might be binding at the rear of the cylinder. Is there anything else I should look at or clean?

Thanks for all the suggestions. It gives me some things to focus on to see if I can get everything running smooth. I wish I could recreate the problem when the gun was cold, but it runs smooth as silk cold.
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
4,015
Location
Dixie
Assuming that the ammo is not suspect AND that your gun is clean.....

Sounds like your problem is due to the cylinder binding due to heat expansion.....not uncommon in a 6-shooter that was built "tight" and uses high-pressure ammo. The early Stainless S&W's were recalled for having that same problem.

Might be that your headspace is a bit to tight also but that usualy shows up right from the get-go...cold or hot.

Take a look at the face of recoil sheild and see if there are ratchet-tooth impressions on it. One of my guns had impressions like that and after tighting-up it's end shake, it would begin binding on them as it heated up. A carefull "buffing" with some 320 paper of that area fixed it right up.

Some brands of ammo (or some lots of the same brand) might have slightly thicker rims than another. So it could be that switching ammo will help....although that is more of a crutch than a fix.

That's all the ideas I got. Hope it helps.

DGW
 

SAJohn

Hunter
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
2,300
Location
Terrebonne, Oregon, USA
Although unlikely to cause a problem after firing only two cylinder loads of ammo, I would also check the cylinder to barrel gap. Just cock the unloaded revolver and slide an automotive feeler gauge between the barrel and cylinder while exerting forward force on the cylinder. A snug gauge thickness should be .004" or greater.

John
 
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