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S&W Schofield Opening Upon Drawing? Is this a thing?


Cholla
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I am reading the book, Smoking Gun. The author states that the S&W Schofield (top break) had a tendency to unlatch while holstered and when drawn, the barrel would flop forward, ejecting the shells.

I am curious; with all of the replica Schofield shooters here, has this ever happened?

I asked this on the Colt forum and some stated that the early versions of the No. 3 could do this, but the Schofield should not.

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If the catch spring is weak, yes, this would be totally possible. i think the other key is a worn barrel to frame pin which would allow for the barrel to easily flop forward. I wouldn’t expect this in the replicas as in my experience (limited to 3 different Schofields) the barrel catch spring has been fairly stout and the barrel pin has been almost stiff making barrel flip an intentional act rather than accidental. In short, in an original shooting stout loads I would guess this to become a problem over time. 

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Posted (edited)

Yes it can happen if you have a deep tight holster.  I.e., the top of the holster pushes the latch back.  The Colt forum has it backwards.  The early versions have a latch that lifts upwards from the rear.  The Shofield pulls back from the front.

 

 

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Edited by Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933
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that would be a bit off putting , i never had that oissue with mine but then i only shot them a couple times before i sold them off - mine had way too many issues to enjoy them , 

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4 hours ago, Injun Ryder, SASS #36201L said:

I know it can upon attempting to pull the hammer back! :rolleyes:

 

Happened a couple of times when I started using mine. It is not happened for over 15 years!

Same here..happened a couple times to me also-very laughable moments. But thats not why I got rid of my Uberti-it was because of the major erosion around the firing pin hole-the dreaded doughnut-ridiculous that a $900 + gun would be eroded after maybe 900 or so cowboy loads. 

 

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I have a pair of Uberti Schofields in 38 spl and they show no sign of deterioration. The spring operated latch can't be pulled back to open the cylinder while the hammer is down. It would be nearly impossible to cock the hammer and pull back the latch at the same time. The latch can only be pulled back with the hammer at the safety notch or at full cock. I checked my original model 3 Schofield made in 1875 and it operates in the same manner.

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9 minutes ago, Snake-eye, SASS#45097 said:

I have a pair of Uberti Schofields in 38 spl and they show no sign of deterioration. The spring operated latch can't be pulled back to open the cylinder while the hammer is down. It would be nearly impossible to cock the hammer and pull back the latch at the same time. The latch can only be pulled back with the hammer at the safety notch or at full cock. I checked my original model 3 Schofield made in 1875 and it operates in the same manner.

Nearly impossible is correct. Let my brother try one of my Schofields one day. Shooting two handed, he pulls it out rips his thumb across the latch and hammer and plop, it opened up. LOL. First and last time he ever tried to shoot one. Never had it happen to me me in the almost 10 years that I used them, including a huge amount of dry firing. 
 

YMMV,

 

Dutch

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40 minutes ago, Snake-eye, SASS#45097 said:

I have a pair of Uberti Schofields in 38 spl and they show no sign of deterioration. The spring operated latch can't be pulled back to open the cylinder while the hammer is down. It would be nearly impossible to cock the hammer and pull back the latch at the same time. The latch can only be pulled back with the hammer at the safety notch or at full cock. I checked my original model 3 Schofield made in 1875 and it operates in the same manner.

This brings me to another question. With the hammer down, is the firing pin riding on the primer? I assume so, otherwise they wouldn't have made a safety notch.

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2 hours ago, Cholla said:

This brings me to another question. With the hammer down, is the firing pin riding on the primer? I assume so, otherwise they wouldn't have made a safety notch.

 

Yes.

If the hammer is lowered on a live round after closing.
The latch only locks if the hammer is in the safety notch,

(verified this with 3 Uberti Schofields).
 

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The latch only opens with the hammer in the safety notch. With the hammer down the latch is blocked by the hammer.

 

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On my S&W Schofields, the latch will open as soon as the hammer is pulled back to open up enough space to do so. The hammer does not have to get to or be in the safety notch.

 

There is no "lock" mechanism associated with the latch.

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13 hours ago, Cholla said:

I am reading the book, Smoking Gun. The author states that the S&W Schofield (top break) had a tendency to unlatch while holstered and when drawn, the barrel would flop forward, ejecting the shells.

 

Another thing, the Schofield normally would not eject loaded cartridges unless the cylinder was inverted. The extractor rises enough to lift empty brass from the cylinder but not far enough to fully extract a loaded cartridge. 

 

When mine opened upon cocking the hammer, all of the rounds remained in the Schofield so I just closed it and continued.

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The official US Army practice was to load six in the Colt. I assume it would be the same for the S&W and they would carry the gun on the safety notch, which could allow the latch to come undone. Correct? I am at work so I can’t check my period manual to verify that for the Schofield, but that was the official stance for the Colt SAA. 

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1 hour ago, Injun Ryder, SASS #36201L said:

...

There is no "lock" mechanism associated with the latch.

 

By "lock" I meant latch completely.
I was verifying that it would not close and latch with the hammer fully down.

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Yes, I have had it happen on my Schofields. The holster edge will push the latch far enough so that when you cock the hammer, it releases the tension and the barrel drops. So I found some holsters that have a deep cut that clears the latch.

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