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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A very old S&W Mod 36. A Flat Latch. I still have the original numbers matching walnut grips, long ago sanded smooth and varnished for snag free concealment by the original LE owner.
A fine shooter with most of its original finish....just a touch of endshake in the cylinder. An easy remedy and this handgun will be as tight as new in 15 minutes.

The 10 thousands gauge is a very tight interference fit. The 9 thousands gauge just barely slips between cylinder and barrel with the cylinder held fully rearward. There is visible fore and aft shake in the cylinder along the yoke axle with the gauge removed. Too nice a gun to allow it to continute be battered with each shot.

Stainless steel shims, 2 thousands thick. They come in packs of 10 and I should only need one. So, since they are long lasting and I only need one....guess I'll have to find several more S&W revolvers to tighten up.....

Remove the yoke and cylinder from the frame.

Disassemble the extractor mechanism from the cylinder. On the J frame Smith, the threads are reversed....Righty Loosie, Lefty Tighty gets it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
A single endshake bearing is inserted. It fits in the bottom of the cylinder, under the large spring, surrounding the extractor shaft and bearing against the face of the yoke axle.

Install the extractor only into the stripped cylinder. Drop on a single endshake bearing.

Press the endshake bearing fully home with the yoke axle.

Reassamble the springs and extractor rods to the cylinder and test fit in the revolver. At this time, a 2 thousands shim makes it impossible to insert the 9 thousands gauge. The revolver function appears perfect with no drag and no endshake...so it appears only one shim is needed and no trimming of the axle is needed to allow for insertion of a full 2 thousands thick bearing.

A final check, 7 thousands is now a slightly snug fit. I won't add any more shims. Endshake is gone and the gun functions without snagging or hitching. If in 30 years it loosens up again, 2 stacked shims can be added but I doubt I'll ever have to get in there again! That's it. Done, this one is ready to go back to full duty service.
 

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Looks good. I do believe in keeping these fine old guns working good. Keep up the good work, and letting us in on the fixes. Thanks for passing on great info. You got me checking mine now.
 
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Great post. Thanks for sharing this information.
 

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The ideal barrel to cylinder gap for a S&W is .006. If it has end shake more than .002 that is considered loose. Most fall into the range of .004 to .010 on Cylinder to barrel gap. Dan wesson revolvers with the removable barrels are supposed to be set to .004 when installing the barrels. I prefer using the shims instead of peening and reaming the yoke. I know 1 gunsmith who used to do the peen\ream method to tighten up the cylinder gap.
 
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...generally, only in magnum loaded magnum revolvers. they say that after 5000rds it will stop...(I wish myself that it be true)
No ---it won't stop but as the cylinder gap gets larger the cutting effect is slowed down because it is less concentrated (wider gap equals a wider gas disc hitting the top strap). S&W N revolvers had this issue because the frame is a tight fit around the cylinder. If you notice on a Ruger Super Black Hawk there is more clearance between the cylinder and frame (looking from the side profile) so top strap cutting is not as bad. Also, S&W revolvers also were famous for having too tight forcing cones which caused lead spitting. We had to open up our forcing cones just a tad to eliminate spitting.
 

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I have the same gun. Mine has a lot of carry evidence, but it hasn't been shot much. It shoots better than any short barrelled revolver I've had my hands on. It might not be pretty, but the shooting makes up for it. They made them to last back then.
 
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