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Thread: Smith enigma

  1. #31
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    Can you post a picture of the "Ring" on the plastic case? I'd be interested to see that.

  2. #32
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    i've seen

    Over my time as an inspector I have seen more than one Smith with the boss located on the receiver (not hinge) with indents / peening. Both surfaces, on the top edges and the back face that touches the interior of the spring slot. Peening on only the rear face of the boss may be the answer and have just the right amount of added friction, maybe. More at the top than the bottom to cause a slight lip?
    N-SSA Member since 1974

  3. #33
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    Bruce's suggestion is what many of us did back in the day
    Never squat with yer spurs on!!!

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  4. #34
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    Recall, this happens on THREE guns that the poster has....
    Mike 'Bootsie' Bodner
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  5. #35
    jonk is offline
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    I may have an answer for you (having not read all the replies).

    I had a Smith do this very thing with a stiff charge of Swiss 3f. It wasn't the pressure.

    Check your toggle (or whatever it is called) that you press to open the action.

    Mine had the pin that limited the travel of the toggle sheared off. Ergo, under heavy recoil, the recoil itself caused that pin to ride up and open the action.

    Had it drilled out and a new pin inserted, all was well, even with stiff loads.

  6. #36
    Kevin Tinny is offline
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    Fascinating, Jonk:

    The thread is detailed.

    I first wondered if his finger was jarring that lever, but he later posted that other test shooters had the opening problem with careful attention to avoiding finger contact.

    Still, your EXPERIENCE is worth exploring. The lever could be removed for a few test shots.

    I am a new Smith shooter, using an original, so am very interested.

    Regards,
    Kevin Tinny

  7. #37
    PoorJack is offline
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    Problem Solved!!.........maybe.....perhaps

    So after running a test with two different seating depths, and no change, I decided that a tear down of one of the Smiths was in order. I gave it the usual cleaning and then started to disassemble pretty much the entire gun. Cursory inspection revealed nothing much out of order. Visual inspection of the locking lugs and top strap also looked ok. So I put both the lugs and top strap under pretty high magnification (think a loupe). What appeared to be just part of the color case hardening on the lugs was actually a very hard, shiny deposit of fouling with more on the barrel lug than the receiver lug. Bear in mind, this looks just like the case hardening, feels smooth and was not removed by any solvent used in normal cleaning and is only obvious under magnification. No solvent I had would touch it so a dental pick was used to scrape every bit of it off the two lugs (and it wasn't thick). Inspection of the lug engagement recess of the top strap also appeared normal to visual inspection. The shiny part where the metal contacts the lugs looked normal for a Smith engagement surface wear pattern. Under high magnification, the darker part of the engagement recess that looked like blueing and also was impervious to solvents, was also a thin coat of fouling. Again, it took a dental pick to remove it and it isn't very thick and no normal cleaning method removed it (I tried before resorting to more mideaval methods). Also, the fouling film I found on the barrel lug could only be seen under magnification by removing the top strap, was very thin, and looked just like case color and was also very hard. Note that this fouling wasn't sufficient to cause the top strap to not appear fully seated when closing the gun. This fouling also was very thin and was in an area where the metal surfaces don't quite engage due to machining tolerances and manufacturing techniques.

    So now to test, I loaded up 7 50/70 bullets of about 420gr each with 25gr 3f OE in black cases seated to my normal depth (hey, seating depth didn't affect the problem so back to the accuracy depth). Shot them and no jump. Well, now let's continue, got out another 10 rounds of the normal Smith bullet rounds, also in black cases, and no jump at all from any shot in the entire 17 shot string. So I disassembled the other two Smiths and they both showed the same fouling issue in similar places on the top strap interior and on both locking lugs. Both also were impervious to solvent, looked like the case hardening and were quite hard. I didn't shoot the other two but I have no reason to believe this may well be the issue.

    So my hypothesis, in the locking lug engagement areas of the Smith, I noticed the machining wasn't very consistent in that no two of the guns engaged in the same place to the same degree. Luigi and Gusippe weren't too particular with regards to precision in that area. Shooting the gun allows some fouling to filter into these areas and shooting stress causes this fouling to accumulate and be compacted to an extremely hard film in the low spots that solvent won't remove and looks like completely normal part of the material of the lugs and top strap. Couple that with normal lubrication protection from rust and the lubricant (NOT bullet) is somewhat absorbed by the deposit more so than the metal causing a "slick" spot on the lugs and the lug receiver on the top strap. Net result is built up spots on the lugs and the top strap that look normal but are quite slick and this build up is only a couple thou higher than the surrounding metal so the actual engagement is not on the normal lug and recess, but on this slick fouling deposit. It's taken quite some time for this stuff to build up, but all three Smiths showed the same issue to some degree and the removal and subsequent successful test on one leads me to think it's the issue on the other two. I'll test one of the others this weekend to confirm, but at the moment, I think this is solved.

    So the upshot for Smith shooters- if your gun is jumping open and you can't find any logical reason for the issue, take off the top strap, seperate the receiver halves, get a loupe and examine the lug areas and the lug recess in the top strap. This fouling film looks just like case hardening or bluing and because it's compacted through firing stresses, it doesn't remove easily. You can't feel it but it is apparent that it's a build up when looked at through a loupe.
    Last edited by PoorJack; 11-02-2017 at 09:59 AM.
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  8. #38
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    Good stuff. I have seen hard fouling like that before on some of my guns - had to use a dental pick to get it to come loose. And like yours - it looked like case hardening to the casual eye.

    Glad you got it sorted!

    Steve

  9. #39
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    Thanks, Poor Jack:

    Will watch for this even though it may be applicable to the PIETTA'S.

    Regards

  10. #40
    jonk is offline
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    Glad you may have found the issue. but for owners of Smiths in general and Piettas in particular, I would still point out the toggle bar pin as a possible culprit. Why?

    Well, when you think about it, most of the force of combustion is forward/backward. The pressure on these is pretty low, even with a stiff charge. But recoil can still cause things to jump around. If your smith is opening, that thin little pin in the toggle bar that you press can still shear, and cause issue.

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