Sunday, January 08, 2023

Under the Influencer

So, because of the way the publishing industry works, that column of mine that's up over at Shooting Illustrated was written months ago. Checking my email folders, it was sent in for editing in the first week of last October.

In that column, about using revolvers for CCW today, I wrote:
"After a good range session with a revolver, cleaning it and checking it over to make sure nothing’s loosened in the screw department is much more critical than with a modern semi-auto."
Note that bit about screws. That's important. 

Anybody who's done a lot of revolver shooting has seen them loosen screws. The very worst I've ever seen was a Charter Arms Bulldog Pug in .44 Special I owned back in the early Nineties. I don't think I ever made it through a single range session without winding up on my hands and knees, looking for the screw that retained the cylinder release.

Another one that's needed more than the usual amount of attention from me has been my three inch Model 629-1. Nowhere near as bad as the Bulldog, the N-frame still requires the cylinder latch screw to be re-tightened every hundred rounds or so. 

It's also one of a couple Smith revolvers I've had that were especially prone to loosening the forward-most screw on the sideplate.

This screw is important because it not only helps secure the sideplate to the frame, but also retains the yoke in the revolver. It does this because it protrudes inside the frame and the tip rides inside a slot machined in the yoke stud, as seen in this illustration from Kuhnhausen's shop manual for the S&W revolver.

Because of this function, it needs to come out of the gun more often than the other sideplate screws.

See, there are certain maintenance or minor repair chores that do not require the sideplate to be removed (in fact, there's really no reason for the end user to need to remove the sideplate) but which are made easier by removing the cylinder & yoke assembly from the gun, which is why I'm not a fan of thread locker on this screw. Just keep an eye on it and ensure it's snug; it probably won't ever require much tightening, but it's worth being aware of.

Incidentally, the revolver will fire and function just fine even if this screw falls out.


All this is a roundabout way to mention that some YouTube influencer...complete with a huge beard and hundreds of thousands of followers and discount codes and everything...had the screw back out on a Taurus he was "testing" and homie absolutely lost his mind about it. He's got people in his comments calling it a "catastrophic failure"* and stuff. Wild.

I'm with Darryl Bolke on this subject: If you don't know what gunsmithing screwdrivers even look like, you might want to slow your roll on being an authority on matters revolveresque.

*When it comes to firearms, "catastrophic failure" has a specific technical meaning, and it doesn't mean "a screw fell out". It means "my blaster went all 'splodey".


No comments: