Smith And Wesson Governor Problems And Their Solutions

Are you looking for information about Smith & Wesson Governor Problems? Chances are, if you’re reading this, then the answer is yes.

This article will provide an overview of some of the most common issues with these revolvers and what to do if they arise. We’ll also discuss how proper maintenance can help prevent many problems in the first place.

The most common issues shooters reported include Ammo Problems, Misfiring, Failure To Extract, Cylinder Stops Rotating, Ejecting Shells Issues, Light Primer Strikes, Locked up Wile Firing, and Moon Clip Issues.

Smith And Wesson Governor Problems

Quick Overview of S&W Governor Specs

Specification Details
Caliber .410 Bore, .45 ACP, .45 Colt
Capacity 6 rounds
Barrel Length 2.75 inches
Weight 29.6 ounces
Frame Material Scandium Alloy
Grip Synthetic
Trigger Pull 10-12 lbs (Double Action)
4-6 lbs (Single Action)
Sights Tritium Night Sights

Common Smith And Wesson Governor Problems And Their Solutions

1. Ammo Problems

Many shooters have been facing problems with ammo malfunctioning when using Smith & Wesson Governor revolvers.

This is due to the primers and powder not being of sufficient quality or not being distributed correctly in the cartridges before firing. This can result in misfires, squibs, light strikes, weak shots and jammed cylinders.

To help prevent these issues, it’s important to check the quality of your ammo and ensure that you are using the correct type for the S&W. Look out for any signs of wear and tear such as dents or bulges in the cartridges. Make sure to clean your revolver regularly with a bore snake, ensuring no dirt is left behind that could affect the performance of your ammo.

2. Misfiring 

Misfiring is an issue that affects Smith & Wesson revolvers. When this occurs, the shotshell primers are too hard for the firing pin to strike properly. As a result, the primer does not ignite and no shot is fired. This can be dangerous when you rely on your firearm to defend yourself or others.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help mitigate this problem. First, ensure the shotshell primer is of the correct type and hardness for your firearm.

The manufacturer should be able to provide more information on this if needed. Second, inspect the firing pin for any signs of wear or damage that may prevent it from striking the primer properly.

If there is visible damage, replace the firing pin immediately. Finally, clean and lubricate your firearm regularly to ensure all parts are working correctly.

Get your hands on some brake cleaner, parts cleaner, or carb aerosol spray and give that action a thorough flush! Start by targeting the hammer and trigger openings.

3. Failure To Extract

One common cause of a “Failure To Extract” issue is if the extractor or cylinder gap are not adjusted properly.

 The extractor, which is located on the side of the hammer, needs to be adjusted so that it can properly grab onto the rim of the cartridge case when it’s ejected from the chamber.

If this isn’t done correctly, the expended cases won’t be removed from the chambers.

The gap between the cylinder and the barrel must also be adjusted; it should be wide enough so that when the hammer is cocked, it can push back on the cartridge case just enough to ensure proper extraction.

Another cause of a “Failure To Extract” issue is if there’s too much fouling in the chamber. This can be caused by not cleaning the gun regularly or using ammunition of lower quality.

To fix this, cleaning the action thoroughly and using only good-quality ammunition is important.

Finally, if your revolver has an issue with its extractor spring, it may also cause “Failure To Extract” issues. The springs need to be replaced if they are worn out or damaged.

It is important to note that there may be other causes of a “Failure To Extract” issue, and these should be investigated individually before attempting any repairs. It’s also advisable to have the gun inspected by a qualified gunsmith.

4. Cylinder Stops Rotating

Another common problem reported by gun owners is when the cylinder stops rotating. This issue can be caused by several factors, including improper lubrication, too tight grips, or a faulty pin.

The first step in addressing this problem is to ensure that your Governor is properly lubricated. Smith And Wesson recommend using a light lubricant, such as Gun Grease or Break Free CLP, on the gun’s moving parts. This will help to reduce friction and allow the cylinder to rotate freely when fired.

If this does not resolve the issue, then it may be necessary to adjust the grips of your gun. Grips that are too tight can prevent the cylinder from rotating as it should, so adjusting them to a looser fit may help to alleviate this problem.

It is also important to check that the pin used to secure the grips is straight and not bent in any way, as this could also be causing your cylinder to stop rotating.

5. Ejecting Shells Issue

Another common issue reported by users is ejecting shells. It typically occurs when the gun fails to release a spent shell casing after firing properly; as a result, multiple shells may become jammed in the chamber and cause misfiring or jamming altogether.

This problem can be caused by improper loading of shells, using low-quality shells, or simply a worn-out extractor on the firearm.

It is important to ensure you only use quality cartridges and shells for your Smith & Wesson Governor. Additionally, proper care should be taken when loading and unloading shells into the chamber.

In some cases, simply replacing worn-out springs or other parts may be all that is needed to restore proper functionality. Additionally, it may be necessary to clean and lubricate the gun’s moving parts to ensure reliable operation.

6. Light Primer Strikes

Light primer strikes are one of the common issues that S&W Governor owners encounter.

In a light primer strike, the firing pin does not hit the primer with enough force to ignite the powder charge. A weak or broken firing pin spring, insufficient headspace, or improper protrusion can cause this.

The first step in troubleshooting light primer strikes is to inspect the firing pin spring. If it is weak or broken, then this may be the cause of light primer strikes. Replace the spring with a new one and test for improved performance.

Next, inspect the firing pin protrusion. This should be set to the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure proper operation. If it is too long or short, adjust and retest for improved performance.

Finally, if all other solutions fail, adjusting the headspace between the barrel and cylinder may be necessary. A qualified gunsmith can adjust this and should only be done as a last resort.

7. Locked up Wile Firing

Generally speaking, this issue occurs when a revolver fails to cycle properly after firing one round; this causes the gun to become stuck in the open position, and must be manually reset by the shooter.

The most likely cause of this issue is a buildup of debris in the gun’s action, such as gun powder residue or lubrication that has become sticky. Another possibility is an issue with the springs in the cylinder assembly; if they are too weak, they can’t generate enough energy to cycle the cylinder properly.

The best way to address this issue is to thoroughly clean the gun, paying particular attention to the action and any areas where debris can accumulate.

It’s also important to ensure that all components are in good condition and lubricated appropriately; if the springs start showing signs of wear, it may be necessary to replace them. Finally, regularly testing the gun with snap caps or dummy rounds to ensure proper cycling can prevent future problems.

8. Moon Clip Issue

This issue occurs when a moon clip, which holds multiple rounds of ammunition together, fails to feed into the gun’s chamber properly.

This can cause misfires, jams, or other malfunctions, making it difficult to fire the weapon accurately. The cause of this issue usually lies in the moon clip itself; it can be made too thin or have a bent edge that prevents it from properly seating into the chamber.

Inspect the moon clips for any signs of wear or damage to fix this issue. If they are damaged or worn, replace them with new ones.

Make sure to find ones that fit your specific gun, as moon clips can vary in size and shape depending on the model. Pay close attention to the material of your moon clip; aluminum clips are often more durable than plastic ones.

Additionally, make sure that you properly seat each pistol cartridge into the moon clip before loading it into your gun’s chamber.

To do this, place a round onto the center of the clip, and then firmly tap it into the clip using a small hammer or punch. To ensure proper seating, check each round to make sure it is at least flush with the top of the clip.

Finally, pay attention to how much force you use when loading the moon clips into your gun. Pressing too hard can cause them to stick in place due to their tight fit. To alleviate this issue, use a small amount of lubricant or gun oil to help the clips slide into place.

3 Best Alternatives To S&W Governor

In this context, we present three best alternatives to the Smith & Wesson Governor, which offer unique features and advantages that cater to different shooting styles and situations.

Smith & Wesson Model 442

First on the list is the Smith & Wesson Model 442. This revolver is a lightweight and compact option that can comfortably fit in your pocket or holster. It features a five-round capacity and a double-action-only system, making it easy to operate and shoot accurately.

The Model 442 also has a stainless-steel frame and a black matte finish, which adds durability and a sleek appearance. This revolver can handle .38 special rounds, ideal for self-defense and target practice.

Taurus Judge

The Taurus Judge is another impressive alternative to the Smith & Wesson. This firearm is a hybrid between a revolver and a shotgun, as it can fire .410 shotshells or 45 Colt and 45 ACP cartridges. The Taurus Judge has a capacity of five rounds and a five-inch barrel, giving it substantial stopping power and range.

S&W M&P Bodyguard 38

It is a compact and reliable option for concealed carry. This revolver is lightweight, weighing only 14.4 ounces, and has a five-round capacity. It also features a Crimson Trace laser sight to help you aim accurately and quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my Smith And Wesson revolver is experiencing problems?

A: If you are experiencing issues with the cylinder not turning smoothly, difficulty in ejecting spent casings, or if the revolver consistently fails to fire, your revolver is likely experiencing problems.

What should I do if my Smith And Wesson Governor revolver is misfiring?

Ensure it suits the revolver, especially if it uses 410 shotshells, .45 Colt, or .45 ACP cartridges. Using reliable and well-known brands is recommended.

Is the S&W Governor a good choice for home defense?

Yes it can be a great option for home defense. With the ability to chamber .410 shotshells as well as .45 Colt and .45 ACP cartridges, it offers versatility and stopping power.

Q: What is the advantage of using .410 shotshells in the S&W Governor?

A: The use of .410 shotshells provides the benefit of a wider pattern, which can be useful in close-quarter self-defense situations.

Should I consider the S&W Governor as my first revolver?

While it can be a great choice for many firearm enthusiasts, it may not be ideal for a first-time revolver owner.


In conclusion, the Smith And Wesson Governor is a reliable and powerful revolver used by law enforcement agencies for decades.

However, it has its fair share of issues customers should be aware of. From frequent jams to weak recoil springs and potential frame damage, these problems can cause serious difficulty when firing or reloading the weapon.

It is important to make sure that any problems are addressed promptly by a qualified gunsmith so as to ensure the firearm remains safe and reliable.

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