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Q and A with the Guru

QUESTION #1:  HOWDY, MR. GURU! I RECENTLY INHERITED A NICE, S&W MODEL 19 IN .357 MAGNUM. I WANT TO HAVE IT PROFESSIONAL CLEANED & CORRECT FUNCTION EVALUATED, BEFORE I BEGIN SHOOTING IT. APPROXIMATELY WHAT WOULD BE A FAIR PRICE FOR MY LOCAL GUNSMITH TO CHARGE ME? ANYTHING ELSE YOU COULD RECOMMEND I HAVE DONE @ THE SAME TIME?  THANKS & KEEP WRITING YOU COLUMN. I ENJOY READING & THE WAY YOU TEACH OTHERS!

 HOLY TOLEDO! THANKS FOR THE NICE “ATTA-BOY” AND YOUR KIND COMMENTS!  THE REVOLVER NOW IN YOUR POSSESSION, IS KNOWN AS A “K-FRAME” & THAT IS THE REFERENCE OF THE FRAME SIZE, WHEN YOU NEED PARTS OR OTHER ACCESSORIES TO IMPROVE BOTH ITS SHOOTING COMFORT & FUNCTIONALITY. OK, HERE WE GO …….. 

 THE DETAIL STRIP, CLEAN, INSPECT, LUBE, & FUNCTION TEST (LABOR: $50-$100) I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO HAVE YOUR GUNSMITH PERFORM A VISUAL INSPECTION OF THE PHYSICAL CONDITION OF THE MUZZLE CROWN. IF THERE IS CLEAR EVIDENCE OF NEGLECT / PHYSICAL DAMAGED, THE CROWN WILL HAVE TO BE RE-CUT, LAPPED, & POLISHED. DAMAGED MUZZLE CROWNS WILL SERIOUSLY AFFECT THE REVOLVER’S “ACCURACY POTENTIAL” TO SHOOT SMALL GROUPS, NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOUR SHOOTING SKILLS ARE.! (LABOR: $40-$65). 

 LASTLY, I ALWAYS INSTALLING A FRESH SET OF SPRINGS, AS YOU HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE REVOLVER’S “SHOOTING HISTORY” OR MAINTENANCE RECORDS. HERE’S THE KIT I HAVE INSTALLED MANY TIMES, IN DECADES PAST…………………..

“WOLFF SPRINGS”:   S&W KIT #SWK-201″—PART #080-665-201AS @ “BROWNELL’S” / “MIDWAY-USA”, #222267

QUESTION #2: I PURCHASED A WELL MAINTAINED, LATE-1970’S PRODUCTION, 4″ S&W, “HIGHWAY PATROLMAN”. I REALLY LOVE THIS “N-FRAME” .357 MAGNUM, EXCEPT FOR 2 THINGS: (1) THE OEM CHECKERED GRIPS QUICKLY BECOME PAINFUL IN MY HAND WHEN FIRING (2) WHEN THE EJECTOR ROD IS PRESSED, TO EJECT EMPTY CASES FROM THE CYLINDER, THIS FUNCTION FEELS STIFF & GRITTY. WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND I SHOULD DO, CONCERNING BOTH THE FACTORY WOOD GRIPS & THE EJECTOR ROD? MUCHAS GRACIAS, “SENOR GURU”

 “DENADA, MIA AMIGO!” I OWNED A “HIGHWAY PATROLMAN” IN THE MID-1970’S AND THEN TRADED IT FOR A 4″ BLUED COLT PYTHON—I STILL OWN THAT “BLUE SNAKE”! YOUR REVOLVER WAS ESSENTIALLY A .357 MAGNUM, BUILT ON A .44 SIZE FRAME. SHOOT ALL THE FULL-POWER AMMO YOUR HEART, HAND, & WALLET CAN HANDLE! YOU WILL NOT CAUSE ANY HARM TO THAT BEAST. I GOT THE SOLUTION TO YOUR COMPLAINTS, IN THE NEXT 2 PARAGRAPHS…………………………….. 

 (1) REMOVE THE WOOD GRIP AND INSTALL A SET OF “HOGUE MONO-GRIPS”. PUT THE WOOD GRIPS IN A SAFE PLACE & RESALE. 

YOU WILL NEED TO ORDER THE GRIPS WHICH HAVE THE “N-FRAME SQUARE” SHAPE, TO FIT YOUR FRAME. 

“BROWNELL’S,” #408-502-004AS / “MIDWAY-USA”, #

 (2) THIS ISSUE IS CAUSED BY THE EJECTOR ROD SPRING COILS DRAGGING, AGAINST THE INSIDE WALL, OF THE CRANE / YOKE PART. THE HOLLOW TUBE ON THE CRANE / YOKE, IS WHAT SUPPORTS THE CYLINDER, AS IT ROTATES INSIDE THE FRAME. THIS PART IS SUPER EASY TO ACCESS, REMOVE,& REPLACE. THE TOOL NEEDED IS THE “BROWNELL’S CYLINDER CRANE / YOKE REAMER”, #080-627-000AS @ CURRENT PRICE OF $35.00 & ONLY HAS TO BE DONE 1 TIME!!  INITIALLY, THE COST OF THE TOOL APPEARS SOMEWHAT $$$$, BUT THERE IS NO OTHER TOOL OR METHOD AVAILABLE TO THE “HOBBY GUNSMITH”. 

 

HOW TO USE THE TOOL: SIMPLY REMOVE THE CRANE FROM THE CYLINDER ASSEMBLY, CLAMP IT SECURELY IN PADDED VISE-JAWS, & USE PLENTY OF CLEAN MOTOR OIL TO LUBE THE CUTTING FLUTES. USE MODERATE PRESSURE AND SLOWLY TURN THE TOOL  “CLOCK-WISE” (GOING IN & REMOVING). EVERY FEW TURNS, KEEP IT TURNING & GENTLY BACK IT OUT. 

 USE TOOTHBRUSH TO REMOVE THE CHIPS BETWEEN THE CUTTING FLUES, RE-OIL, AND BEGIN AGAIN. KEEP REPEATING THE PROCESS UNTIL THE CUTTING SHAFT BOTTOMS OUT. KEEP TURNING CLOCK-WISE & GENTLY REMOVE THE CUTTING TOOL. GIVE THE CRANE A GOOD CLEANING (INSIDE & OUTSIDE). COTTON SWABS, SOLVENT, & A BRISTLE BORE-BRUSH CHUCKED INTO AN  ELECTRIC DRILL AND SPUN @ MODERATE RPM WORKS WONDERS FOR THIS STEP. (SHOP TIP: NEVER EVER REASSEMBLE FIREARMS WITH DIRTY, RUSTY, CRUDDY, OR CORRODED PARTS. REMEMBER, YOU ARE PERFORMING “MECHANICAL SURGERY” ON THAT FIREARM!) 

 ONCE YOUR “S&W REVOLVER BUDS” HAVE A CHANCE TO FEEL THE IMPROVED “EJECTOR EXTRACTION”, THEY WILL BE BEGGING YOU TO DO THE SAME TO THEIR REVOLVERS CRANE!  CHARGE THEM EACH $15.00 & YOUR TOOL HAS PAID FOR ITSELF! 

 (3) I ASSUME YOU WILL ALSO NEED A “SMITH & WESSON SHOP MANUAL” & THERE IS NONE BETTER THAN THIS ONE…..”JERRY KHUNHAUSEN”S, SHOP MANUAL FOR S&W DOUBLE-ACTION REVOLVERS”. READ, READ, & READ AGAIN, THE SECTION IN HIS BOOK, AS IT PROVIDES ILLUSTRATIONS / PHOTOS HOW TO DO THIS & OTHER IMPROVEMENTS TO DO ON YOUR REVOLVER. I PROMISE YOU WILL HAVE FUN, EXPERIENCE A GREAT DEAL OF PERSONAL SATISFACTION, & SAVE A LOT OF $$$$$ BY DOING THE WORK YOURSELF——GOOD LUCK! 

 QUESTION #3: I HAVE SEEN SHOOTERS USING THEIR RT. / LT. THUMB, TO “SINGLE-ACTION COCK” THEIR REVOLVER. DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS TO MAKE, CONCERNING THIS PRACTICE / TECHNIQUE? LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR RESPONSE…….THANKS!

 THAT IS A REALLY EASY QUESTION TO ANSWER: “USE THE THUMB ON THE HAND, WHICH EVER IS OPPOSITE OF THE HAND GRASPING THE HANDGUN”. IF YOU USE THE RIGHT HAND, THEN COCK THE HAMMER BACK WITH THE LT. THUMB. USE THE RIGHT THUMB TO COCK THE HAMMER, IF YOU HOLD THE REVOLVER IN YOUR LEFT HAND!

 REASON: EVERY TIME YOU USE THE THUMB, ON THE HAND HOLDING THE REVOLVER, THE GRIP POSITION IS SLIGHTLY MODIFIED FOR EVERY SHOT FIRED. THIS HABITUAL BEHAVIOR RESULTS IN AN “INCONSISTENT GRIPPING PRESSURE” & THE SHOTS GET WIDELY SCATTERED OVER THE PAPER TARGET. WHEN THE GRASPING HAND GRABS HOLD OF THE FRAME, DON’T MOVE IT ANY MORE ! WRAP YOUR FINGERS AROUND THE FRONT-STRAP & THE BACK-STRAP SHOULD BE DIRECTLY IN-LINE WITH YOUR FOREARM. WHATEVER AMOUNT OF PRESSURE YOU ARE USING, THAT SAME AMOUNT OF GRIPPING FORCE MUST BE THE SAME FOR EVERY SHOT!

 BY COCKING THE HAMMER WITH THE OPPOSITE THUMB, PERMITS THE GRIP POSITION & PRESSURE TO REMAIN THE SAME. BESIDES THAT, MOST EVERYONE SHOOTS WITH 2-HANDS, FROM EITHER THE “WEAVER, MODIFIED-WEAVER, OR THE TRIANGLE.” ANOTHER BENEFIT OF 2-HANDS HOLDING & COCKING WITH THE OPPOSITE THUMB, THE “SHOT-TO-SHOT” TIME FACTOR IS DRAMATICALLY REDUCED & ACCURATE SHOT PLACEMENT IS NOT HINDERED!      

 QUESTION #4:  WHEN UNSCREWING THE EJECTOR ROD FROM S&W REVOLVERS, HOW DOES ONE DETERMINE, IF THE ROD IS THREADED LEFT-HAND OR RIGHT-HAND?

 YES, YOU ARE CORRECT REGARDING THE DIRECTION OF THE THREADED SECTION OF THE EJECTOR ROD. LOOK CLOSELY @ THE KNURLED-END. IF YOU SEE A SHALLOW GROOVE ENCIRCLING THE ROD, JUST BELOW THE BOTTOM EDGE OF THE KNURLED AREA, THEN THOSE RODS UNSCREW, BY TURNING THE ROD TOWARDS THE RIGHT. (“RIGHTY LOOSY & LEFTY TIGHTY”). IF THE GROOVE CANNOT BE SEEN / IS NOT PRESENT, THEN THE ROD IS TURNED TOWARDS THE LEFT, TO REMOVE. (“LEFTY LOOSY, RIGHTY TIGHTY”) 

 YOU WILL NEED AN “EXTRACTOR ROD WRENCH”,TO SAFELY UNSCREW THE ROD FROM THE CYLINDER. “POWER CUSTOM ROD WRENCH”, #713-000-083AS @ BROWNELL’S. BEFORE REMOVING / INSTALLING THE EXTRACTOR ROD, PUT 6 EMPTY CASES INSIDE THE CYLINDER. THIS WILL PROVIDE BOTH SUPPORT & STABILITY TO THE “EXTRACTOR STAR” INSIDE THE CYLINDER. I ALSO ADVISE YOU, TO SECURELY CLAMP THE CYLINDER INSIDE PADDED VISE JAWS, INSTEAD OF TRYING TO HOLD IT IN YOUR HAND!

 I’M DONE FOR THE EVENING. GOT TO TAKE A SHOWER, BRUSH & FLOSS, SAY MY PRAYERS, & SNUGGLE-UP TO MY “SWEETIE-PIE” FOR THE PAST 38 YEARS—“GOOD NIGHT, MRS. GURU !!!!!”

 “GURU” 

Mike Whitlock brings 40 years of firearms experience to the Guru’s Classroom.