S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

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S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by mikemyers on 9/4/2018, 6:38 pm

One of the people I have been shooting with at my range for a year or two has an M-52 that he has been having problems with.  He recently got the gun back from the last people working on it, and as I was watching him shoot it, it was misfiring as much as it was firing.  

I brought back one of the shell casings to photograph and post here.  It looks to several of us like the firing pin is not striking the primer with enough force, but none of us know how to correct this, if it actually is the problem.  Here's my photo.  Any advice to pass on to him?

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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by weber1b on 9/4/2018, 6:56 pm

I'm not thinking the primer strike looks to be an issue. It looks like it ought to be deep enough to gain ignition.

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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by Wobbley on 9/4/2018, 7:00 pm

Is the gun clean?
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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by jglenn21 on 9/4/2018, 7:16 pm

reloads or factory ammo?
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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by bruce martindale on 9/4/2018, 7:59 pm

Bad reloads that don't fully seat in the chamber?

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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by Multiracer on 9/4/2018, 8:12 pm

Or the primer is not fully seated in the pocket. The pocket looks well used in that photo.

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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by jglenn21 on 9/4/2018, 8:35 pm

high primer is the first thing to check..
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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by mikemyers on 9/4/2018, 8:48 pm

jglenn21, I asked him, and he said he has been using both reloads and factory ammo.  A month or two ago, I thought it was reloads, but today he said he was (also????) using factory ammo (but the two shells I picked off the ground behind him at random look like they've seen a lot of use.

Wobbley, he's been having this problem before and after the gun was returned to him for work, so at least at some point it should have been clean.

Bruce, I assume you mean he should remove the barrel, and see how well the round drops into the barrel?

Multiracer, he tells me this happens with new and reloaded ammo.  But, the two cases I picked up are different brands, and when I put them back to back, they "rock" back and forth meaning what you said is correct - at least one primer is not fully seated in the pocket.

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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by Multiracer on 9/4/2018, 8:59 pm

The firing pin strike will only "seat" the primer but not cause ignition.
Just ask how I know of this issue...lol.

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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by mikemyers on 9/4/2018, 9:23 pm

Multiracer wrote:The firing pin strike will only "seat" the primer but not cause ignition.
Just ask how I know of this issue...lol.
No, I'm not going to ask you, but that sounds so logical after I think about it.  
So the energy gets used up moving the primer forwards, and maybe there's not enough left to fire the round....

So, I need to look at some of his un-fired ammo.

......more likely, I'll print out this discussion and give it to him next Tuesday.  Thanks!
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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by bruce martindale on 9/5/2018, 7:33 am

Lousy reloaders are the bane of good gunsmiths. Yes shells should plunk into the chamber, or use a shell gauge. Raw cast and liquid lubed bullets can be all over the place on size some chamber, others not. 52s bulge the shell from unsupported chambers so the sizer die may not reach low enough if the entrance radius is too generous. Shells should be clean. All I can think of right now.

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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by mikemyers on 9/5/2018, 8:19 am

When asked, he told me the same thing happens with factory ammo.

Maybe the reloads just make it worse, but from what he says, the gun still has a problem.  There was a group of people trying to sort this out yesterday.  

Question - when shops doing repairs finish the work on a gun, do most of them do test fires?  Curious....
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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by Chris Miceli on 9/5/2018, 8:31 am

call up last shop and tell them they didn't fix it.  Maybe it needs some new springs?
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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by JIMPGOV on 9/5/2018, 11:37 am

POSSIBLE CAUSES;
DIRTY CHAMBER
DIRTY FIRNG PIN CHANNEL
BROKEN FIRING PIN SPRING
BROKEN FIRING PIN
WEAK RECOIL SPRING (SAME EFFECT AS PRIMER NOT BEING SEATED FULLY, THE HAMMER FINISHES CLOSING THE SLIDE CAUSING A LIGHT HIT ON THE PRIMER)
FOR A MODEL 52 THE PRIMER SHOULD BE .004" BELOW FLUSH
HARD PRIMERS, SUCH AS CCI,TRY USING ONLY FEDERAL PRIMERS

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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by Bubba Blaster on 9/5/2018, 2:51 pm

I'm going with #4 Broken firing Pin

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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by mikemyers on 9/5/2018, 3:09 pm

Thanks to all of you.  I'll print this out, and give it to him on Tuesday at the range.
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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by Fotomaniac on 9/7/2018, 9:18 pm

Looks like high primers...

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Re: S&W Model 52 not firing reliably

Post by bruce martindale on 9/7/2018, 9:34 pm

Oh yeah, May not apply here but +P brass is bad news for cast dewc because the extra thick brass gets bulged by the bullet base. You can see those by the way. 

Thanks

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