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Discussion Starter #1
I have a circa 1894 38wcf that I recently sent in to Turnbull to have them fix some restoration work that they performed a few years ago. The cylinder on this gun had a slight rattle (rotational, not front to back) and I asked them to take a look at it while it was there. They prescribed a new bolt, which they fitted. When I got the gun back I noticed that the rattle was gone and everything was nice and tight. 4 really nice tight clicks, everything locked up tight. So far so good, until I tried rotating the cylinder on half cock. What I immediately noticed was that there was barely any sound when I turned the cylinder, that is, there weren't the clicks I was expecting just a very light sound...and the rotation was very sloppy and loose. Moreover, I could even turn the cylinder backwards (counter-clockwise) with very little force. So, I took the cylinder out and noticed that on the 2nd click the hand wasn't sticking out into the frame as far as it should (pic below). I cycled the hammer a few times with the cylinder out and I wasn't able to reproduce the problem. I put the cylinder back in and so far it seems to be back to normal. Any idea what happened and how I can fix this if it happens again? Is the sear spring maybe too weak?

IMG_2567.jpg
 

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Sounds like the hand is either sticking or the hand spring is weak.
 

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Yes, it's hand related.

If by all indications the hand still has a good spring, the hand must have momentarily got binded, depressed, in the hand slot window. Maybe there's a piece of debris/dirt in the slot, maybe the hand has a proud edge on it... Such that it might be a proud edge, this is the kind of thing a meticulous action job takes care of.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ah, I hadn't thought of the hand spring, good call. Perhaps the hand spring channel needs some extra lube since they re-case colored the frame. Is a replacement 1st gen hand a drop in or does that require special fitting (contouring edges, etc.)? It's just strange that this never happened before I sent the gun back to Turnbull for the new bolt and frame work.
 

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Is that the Smith Enterprises hand (...great part, invaluable...)?

I have had them drop in and work great, never having had to attend to it again. But I recall the wisdom on that part is it is robust to allow for fitting down.

Right, a little contouring here and there goes a long way.
 

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Like the others started: it’s the hand spring.
The spring puts forward tension on the hand, even while its retracted, as the hand rises to turn the cylinder the spring must keeps tension for the “teeth” of the hand to engage the ratchet pad. A replacement hand is not necessary, only the spring. If the hand is to be replaced it should be altered to put the cylinder in the perfect position as the trigger engages the full clock sear and bolt has fully dropped (risen).
If you aren’t familiar BB, send it back or to another Tune up ‘Smith like Jim Martin or myself.
 

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A 1st-2nd gen hand is a "must fit" part for it to work properly not a drop in like the 3rd's.Sometimes they work but by not adjusting the primary finger it can change "bolt pickup" time & also the secondary finger can change the timing of when the bolts drops.It sounds like something interfered w/the hand spring to not allow it not come forward & engage the ratchets properly or the hand spring may be getting ready to break.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the tips everyone. If it starts happening again I'll take the gun apart and take a look at what the hand and spring look like. I have a spare hand here and I do see a slot where the spring fits into the hand, never noticed that before. As Gazelle has inferred I wonder if the new CCH caused the issue. If it turns out to be the spring I'll probably send the hand to one of the fine folks here (Jim or LeverActionBill) to get it replaced. Thanks again!
 

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Without reading your entire story, you have a broken or weak hand spring. These are very easy to replace, and I wouldn't send it back to Turnbull for this -- since he didn't get it right the first time.
 

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May also have a gob of thick grease in there binding things up and not allowing free movement of the hand.
 
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