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Why does my revolver impact so far left?

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CrankyThunder
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Why does my revolver impact so far left?  Empty Why does my revolver impact so far left?

Post by Tim:H11 4/15/2022, 8:26 pm

I have a S&W Model 17-3 and for some reason it impacts terribly to the left. I have the rear sight cranked over so far I’m about out of room, and I’m still impacting left of center. Like, wide 9’s. Can’t figure out why. Any suggestions? I don’t have this issue with any of my other revolvers, and I have a fair bit of experience with revolvers.. I thought at first it was me but I only have this issue with this particular gun, and my .38 mirrors this .22LR in setup while I have no issues with the 38. So I’m a bit stuck.. any ideas?
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Post by LenV 4/15/2022, 8:38 pm

Front sight might be knocked to the right. It doesn't take much.
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Post by Tim:H11 4/15/2022, 9:13 pm

LenV wrote:Front sight might be knocked to the right. It doesn't take much.

To my naked eye it looks like there aren’t any marks indicating any hit or push to the front sight but that doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t happen either.. it looks straight but maybe it’s off and you can’t tell unless you measure something or I don’t know... I’ll need to take it to someone I guess.
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Post by Sc0 4/15/2022, 9:20 pm

Crown is good? Clean, undamaged without buildup?
Crane closes completely, doesn't have a weird gap?

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Post by Dcforman 4/15/2022, 9:32 pm

Does it group, even if in the 8/9 ring?

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Post by Tim:H11 4/15/2022, 9:38 pm

Dcforman wrote:Does it group, even if in the 8/9 ring?

Dave

Oh she groups great. Just won’t put em in the middle. Rear sight is cranked hard right and still hits left. I’ll take a better look at the muzzle tomorrow but I don’t believe it’s damaged. But I’m not against having it recrowned to rule that out.
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Post by Tripscape 4/15/2022, 9:43 pm

So from what I understand if crown is bad, then the grouping will always be inconsistent. I had same problem with 1911 I used to have, always went far right. Solved the issue wit red dot sight )). The skewing is not as noticeable with red dot.

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Post by DA/SA 4/15/2022, 9:45 pm

Sounds like the barrel is not aligned with the frame.

Place a straight edge along the frame and loot at the distance between the straight edge and the muzzle end of the barrel. Then do the same to the other side.

See if the barrel isn't closer on the left side.

..or, the barrel could be rotated slightly in the frame.
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Post by Tim:H11 4/15/2022, 9:51 pm

DA/SA wrote:Sounds like the barrel is not aligned with the frame.

Place a straight edge along the frame and loot at the distance between the straight edge and the muzzle end of the barrel. Then do the same to the other side.

See if the barrel isn't closer on the left side.

..or, the barrel could be rotated slightly in the frame.

Will this be a problem to correct since the barrel is pinned? Removing the pin and rotating the barrel is one thing, but if done, then replacing the pin will be problematic wont it?
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Post by Jon Eulette 4/15/2022, 9:59 pm

Sounds like you’ve developed a nasty flinch Jason 😂😂😂
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Post by Tim:H11 4/15/2022, 10:02 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Sounds like you’ve developed a nasty flinch Jason 😂😂😂
Jon

Don’t you put that evil on me now! 😂
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Post by CrankyThunder 4/16/2022, 8:07 am

Hey Tim:

Take a rifle cleaning rod and insert it in the barrel.  

That will give you a good sight reference to where the barrel is pointing at and examine the pointing direction of the rod against where the sights are pointed.  

Put the pistol in a vice on the floor and look from above standing over it.  

This should get you started in diagnosing the problem. 

Regards, 
crankster
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Post by Allgoodhits 4/16/2022, 8:35 am

If you are confident you have ruled out sighting and shooting error, and the gun groups as it used to, then:

Check rear sight assembly for looseness or damage. Just for double check, turn windage adjustment the other direction to make certain that the blade is responding to the adjustment screw. The tiny screw has to be staked on that tiny collar on the left side, otherwise, turning the screw doesn't input any change on the blade.

If in doubt as to above, do you have another compatible S&W rear sight assembly you could swap out. Check it.

The 17-3 should have a patridge front sight. Make sure it isn't bent.

A 17-3 should have a pinned barrel. They still can rotate. Visibly check to see if the barrel has clocked. A 'smith can drift our the pin, and rotate the barrel and re-pin it. Based on it shooting to the left, if barrel has turned, then front sight will be offset to right. The need to rotate the barrel will alter the barrel/cylinder gap, but it should not be a problem. Make sure the 'smith has a frame tool. If not the frame can get bent when torquing on the barrel to turn it.

Hope this helps.

Martin
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Post by mikemyers 4/16/2022, 7:59 pm

Suggestion - call or write Mike Heffron at Heffron Precision.

https://www.heffronprecision.com

We just had a long discussion about this problem on my Model 17-5.

Regardless of the "locking nut" at the left, the rear sight blade should move back and forth as you turn the adjusting screw.  

After a long discussion, I'm pretty sure we determined that my frame might be bent, and that the rear sight needs some serious work.

I took a series of photos of my gun from the rear, and from above.  Something is not right, but with the rear sight blade moved to the right, the gun now shoots fine.  You've got a 17-3 ....much better than the 17-5.

Paul, at S&W Tech Support, suggested I remove my rear sight assembly, and bend the rear sight "leaf".  That's what the assemblers had to do while assembling the guns, and sometimes they over or under did it.  Following that advice greatly improved my gun.  I had to lock it in a vice, and "twist" it slightly, as Paul instructed me to do.  It took several tries.

Also, if the rear sight blade "rocks" back and forth as you adjust the windage screw, the screw I probably bent.  If you watch the video on replacing the rear sight blade on Brownell's or Midway, you'll see the blade rocking like this, which would mess up your windage adjustment.




Why does my revolver impact so far left?  SmithandWesson_JKLNFrameRevolvers_schem
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Post by Tim:H11 4/16/2022, 8:28 pm

Thanks Mike! I have a 14-3 that I’m going to rob the rear sight off of to test. If it’s not any better, maybe I’ll have to look into this bending of the part idea.. I don’t know. I appreciate the info and I’ll keep trying things till I figure it out.
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Post by mikemyers 4/16/2022, 8:40 pm

If I remember right, the 14-3 "leaf" is a different length than the one on the Model 17.

If you call Paul at S&W Tech Support, he can give you all the details on what the guns bent back in the old days.  

I had the opposite problem - my holes were off to the right, and my sight blade had to be moved most of the way to the right.  Looking at the gun from the rear made it seem like the sight was "bent" to one side.....
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Post by Froneck 4/17/2022, 12:30 am

What kind of bullets are you shooting? If lead do you notice any lead spitting of of the gap between the cylinder and barrel?

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Post by Tim:H11 4/17/2022, 12:21 pm

Froneck wrote:What kind of bullets are you shooting? If lead do you notice any lead spitting of of the gap between the cylinder and barrel?

I’m not seeing any evidence of Bullets shaving. I shoot just lead. I did run a rod down the barrel and into the chambers, they line up okay. I’ll have to do it again to see it the rod points in an off direction. Thanks
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Post by chopper 4/17/2022, 12:33 pm

Jason a test I learned to see if spitting lead was to fire the revolver inside a box and see if any shrapnel is on the inside of the box.
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