Your Smith & Wesson’s innards

Disclaimer: These videos were posted for the sole purpose of showing the disassembly/assembly of your Smith & Wesson revolver. If you’re anything like me, you’re curious about the inner workings of machinery and this is the reason these videos were posted.
I would strongly advise against anybody making any modifications that involve stoning, filing or polishing any moving parts of any firearm unless you are a qualified gunsmith. All of these parts are within specifications and are inspected at the factory both before and after installation. Any alterations can possibly result in malfunctions such as unintentional discharge when the hammer is at full cock or the firearm not firing when the trigger is pulled.
If you’re looking for a smoother lighter trigger pull, this can be obtained simply by replacing and adjusting the hammer spring without modification of any kind to any other part(s). These springs and installation instructions are available from reputable dealers. Even the simple replacement of that spring should be followed by the discharge of several hundred rounds in a safe environment to insure complete reliability of your firearm.
Please realize and abide by your own limitations and qualifications when working on your own firearms. Failure to do so can result in death or injury to yourself or others, not to mention damage to your firearm.

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15 Responses to Your Smith & Wesson’s innards

  1. Joe says:

    Don’t have all that bs with a Glock.

  2. paulb says:

    Maybe you would not do that with a glock because you can’t put lipstick on a pig. Get a good shooting Smith and you will never look at a glock again.

  3. Tsquared says:

    Being able to work on a revolvers is becoming a lost art. I know better than to take mine past removing the grips and the cylinder. Give me a 1911, HP, M9, or a Glock and I can strip it down to the frame, I know what I can tweak/polish on some of the internals and what to leave alone, and lube as I put it back together without any problems.

  4. =TW= says:

    My take on DA revolvers:
    Pre-sidelock Smiths are my favorites- best cylinder release and generally excellent SA triggers.
    I’ve had a dozen or so, only one required any work, a .003″ hammer shim to smooth the DA pull.
    By the mid 80s some cast parts crept in to the lockwork. These did little harm, but subsequent design changes are not well regarded.
    Fit and finish on the older blued steel revolvers is remarkable.

    Colts are more expensive, especially early Pythons and Diamondbacks, and seem more delicate than S&Ws and Rugers. Colt snubbies carry 6 rds which is a plus, negated by the cyl. release.

    Rugers are built to last and the price is reasonable. Modular frame is a worthwhile innovation, and coil mainsprings (also present in the Ruger SAs) may be superior to leaf springs. Cranes lock up tight, early ejectors were rattley. Factory triggers, even on the newer GP100 Target is not up to S&W standards. And again, the cyl release…

    The recently released Kimber snubbie looks interesting. But at nearly the price of a 640 I doubt that extra round in the cylinder is worth the cost.

    I tend to shy away from Charter Arms, Rossi and Taurus, and other imports. Quality and factory support are reportedly variable. Some have had excellent results from these relatively inexpensive revolvers. I do have a little tilt-barrel PT 22 which actually works pretty well.

    Early Dan Wessons looked good but I see no need for a switch-barrel revolver
    No experience with Korth or Chiappa Rhino.

  5. Roger says:

    And what will that precious glock be worth or working 75 years from now?
    Right next to me, less than 4 feet away are two Smith & Wesson revolvers, fully functional, both over 130 years old. (And a couple of even older Colt revolvers.) Plastic fantastic firearms are fine and functional but are certainly part of our throw away society. Hardly something to be prized and lovingly cared for into the future.
    Fanboys will now erupt!

  6. Aggie says:

    Good thing this one isn’t blued – although this guy is reasonably talented, he sure is quick to pry with a screwdriver.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Yeah, I use the tap trick to pop my side plate and my revolver IS stainless.

      • Joe says:

        No “tap tricks” needed with my Glock.
        Just point and shoot.
        Clean it every 20k rounds…. if I feel like it.
        But, I’ll admit, my Glock can’t compete with “stainless.”

  7. Steve says:

    Bought a used S&W 640 a few months ago, pre-lock model, opened it up and and did a thorough cleaning and lube. Love it, smooth and accurate. Not a difficult or complicated job, didn’t have any parts left over so I guess I did it right.

  8. RHT447 says:

    “Can you take yours apart as quickly and easily?”

    Yes I can, but I’ve been doing this for awhile. I do NOT recommend prying the side plate off. Tapping is the only way to guarantee it will not be damaged. I also don’t recommend buffing small parts with a dremel. It’s too easy to buff a critical surface out of spec. They do work well for polishing out chambers and forcing cones.

    For the inside, I prefer to let the parts polish themselves only where they need it. Take the gun apart, apply a liberal coating of whitening tooth paste, and re-assemble. Give it about 200 trigger pulls—single and double action. Use the original springs–the more pressure, the better. Take it apart again and flush out. Final assemble and lube with Slip 2000.

    I also don’t recommend adjusting any springs other than the hammer and trigger re-bound. Keep the original springs as spares and buy a second set to make your adjustments. Also get the book ‘The S&W Revolvers – A Shop Manual’ by Jerry Kuhnhausen.

  9. Thomas B Doan says:

    It is very easy to screw something up by being too smart. I recommend the Jerry Kuhnhausen book if you want to open one up.

  10. Okie says:

    Show a clip of a “how to” about S&W
    revolvers, get reply’s about how superior a fucking glock is !?! WTF !
    I regret the day I sold a SS Anaconda.
    It has only increased in value since…..
    My dumb luck…

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