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THis happened to me - know you 'smith or pay dearly.


February 19, 2015
This happened to me this past fall. I'll try to get right to the point, but it is important that you need to know who you are dealing with. Know the qualifications of your gunsmith, before you trust his rep.

I screwed up. Plain and simple. Things went downhill from there. No need to chastise me for it any further; I've beaten this 'dead horse' enough about it. So it's time to share this story, so you all, won't make the same mistake.

I put four 'squibs' into the barrel and cylinder of my S&W Model 37, 3" Airweight, as a consequence of failing to realize that 'plated' double-end wadcutters I chose to use, required more 'juice' to push them down the bore. I should have used lead wadcutters for that prescribe load.

The fourth round locked up the cylinder.

I used a starting load of powder that was 'book' recommended; I didn't realize, through lack of experience/knowledge, that plated bullets are harder; hindsight, being '20/20', I learned a valuable lesson - know what you are doing and ask someone if you don't know, what you don't know!

My second error, was trusting a gunsmith who I had dealt with in the past, and I trusted his word that he could remove the stuck rounds in my S&W.

What I got back, was a worthless hunk of metal, a paperweight, in the shape of a revolver. It never occurred to me, he would use a drill, and drill into the side of the leading edge of the cylinder in an attempt to remove the cylinder to access the stuck rounds from the forcing cone, which he also destroyed.

He then proceeded to drill the stuck rounds from the barrel, effectively removing the first 1 1/2" of the lands and grooves in the back end of the bore. To add insult to injury, he charged me over $100 and then had the nerve to ask me if I wanted to sell it.

I should have asked better questions as to how, exactly, he was going to remove them, but again, ignorance is a dangerous thing, when you don't know what you don't know.

I didn't go back, since I really didn't have a leg to stand on, if I wanted to take it to a courtroom and file a complaint, so I sent it to Smith & Wesson, in MA to see if they could help.

No joy. They said that parts were no longer available, so I had them send it back to me. I considered tossing it into the deepest part of Alum Creek, but then I talked to a friend who referred me to Steve at the new Powder Room just west of Hilliard, and after consulting him, he agreed to fix the mess I created.

Three or four weeks later, Steve restored my Mod 37 to working order, with a brand new barrel and he also repaired the blemishes caused when the other guy butchered the cylinder and forcing cone.

Cudos to Steve and I will be sending more business his way. Word of mouth, like a saw - works both ways. Because of the quality of service he gave me, I recently purchased a brand new rifle from him.

The 'school of hard knocks' teaches hard lessons, but once learned are not easily forgotten.

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