Guns, Firearms, Projectile Weapon Sports/Cylinder release problem


I have an older S&W .32long snub nose revolver.  The cylinder release push lever is extremely difficult to push forward.  It takes repeated attempts (5or6) to get the cylinder open.  Is this a common problem?  Can you suggest steps for troubleshooting and repair?  
Thanks for your help.

I am assuming you mean a solid frame 5 shot side opening cylinder small frame Smith, an I or J frame...but it might be a short barrel .32 Hand Ejector which is a 6 shot revolver...

Open it and check the end of the ejector rod...they sometimes work loose and jam. They are a REVERSE thread, so tighten it by hand till it is snug and put a drop of loctite or clear nail polish on it to hold it in place. It might also be that the ejector rod is bent, which is usually visible when the cylinder is open if you  rotate it slowly and look carefully. That is a bit harder fix and might require a gunsmith to re-bend or replace a part, but it is really not major. This often happens when people "snap" the gun closed one handed like on TV...looks cool, damages the gun.

If neither of these things is happening, check the curved area of the frame window where the ejector rod fits when closed for burrs or some obstruction. If THAT is the case, it needs a good gunsmith to see if the frame is bent. Again, if none of this is obvious, take it to a good gunsmith .

When you have the gun open, look inside the front of the frame for the model number...It will be something like Mod. 32 or 32-1...If it was made before the mid 1950's, there won't be a number...  Earlier S&W revolvers did not have model numbers, but had names. The small frame round butt .32 Long revolver was called the Terrier and is a good collectable gun, a little over $400 in excellent condition.

Nice carry revolvers and they had a long history or police and personal defense use.

Enjoy it and I hope this helps.

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Mark Schmidt


General questions relating to various handguns - shooting, recommendations and general information on older/antique Smith & Wesson, Colt and other US made and European made pistols and revolvers. I am NOT an expert collector, but I have had several hundred handguns over the last 45 years+. I have repaired and refurbished several and shot hundreds of various handguns, and I am pretty knowledgeable on them.


Started shooting in Cub Scouts at age 10. US Army veteran in the late 1960's. Owned several hundred handguns including revolvers and autoloading pistols made by Colt, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Merwin Hulbert, H&R, Iver Johnson, Hopkins and Allen, Charter Arms and European pistols made by Mauser, Beretta, Star, Llama, Tanfoglio Guseppe, Dreyse 1907 and FN. I am mostly interested in and experienced with late 19th and all 20th century pistols, not current guns using plastic.

Have a degree in Social Work, with minors in Sociology and Fine Art (Painting)

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