Top 7 Smith and Wesson 43C Problems And How To Fix Them

Last Update:

I had the opportunity to put the Smith and Wesson 43C through its paces. I have to say, it’s an intriguing little revolver, but during my time with it, I ran into a handful of iSmith and Wesson 43C Problems.

From light primer strikes and heavy trigger to issues like cylinder locking and firing failure, there are some points we need to address. Let’s not forget problems with ejection, dirt on the forcing cone, and grip issues.

Don’t worry, though, because I’ll be breaking down each of these issues, telling you what to watch out for, and giving you some solid fixes.

Overview of Smith and Wesson 43C Problems & their Solutions

Light Primer StrikesClean regularly; replace worn springs.
Heavy TriggerLubricate striker channel; consider professional help for disassembly.
Cylinder Locking IssueTighten extractor rod; replace bent crane if necessary.
Firing FailureClean ejector rod; replace leaf spring or tighten its screw.
Problem with EjectionMatch recoil spring to ammo; possibly replace recoil spring.
Dirt on Forcing ConeUse aLead Remover regularly.
Grip IssueInstall an aftermarket grip for better control and comfort.

Problems & Solutions of Smith and Wesson 43C

1. Light Primer Strikes

Alright, so here’s something you might have bumped into light primer strikes. During my time with the S&W 43C, I experienced this more than once, and trust me, it’s super frustrating. You’re out there, taking shots, and then bam! Or rather, no, bam. 

You get a misfire or a hang fire. You examine the ammunition and notice the primer isn’t struck hard enough. Yeah, that’s a light primer strike for you. 

It’s not happening with every bullet or time you’re out in the field, but it’s frequent enough to be a genuine annoyance.


So, how do we fix it? First off, cleaning your firearm regularly can make a world of difference. During my tests, I found that removing gunk improved performance significantly. 

But sometimes, it’s not just dirt; worn-out springs or parts need replacing. When I switched out the old springs for new ones, the issue pretty much went away. 

If you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, I recommend taking it to a professional to ensure proper fit and function. It’s a bit of a hassle, but keeping your revolver running smoothly is worth it.

2. Heavy Trigger 

Okay, let’s talk about another issue that gave me some trouble: the heavy trigger on the 43C. I’m telling you, it’s like lifting weights with your finger. 

You’re trying to take a clean shot, and the trigger just won’t cooperate. Instead of dropping the hammer like it should, you end up just rotating the cylinder. 

That’s not just frustrating; it can also mess up your aim and accuracy.


So, how did I tackle this? Well, first up, I examined the striker channel. It’s surprising how often this is the root of the problem. 

A complete disassembly and thorough lubrication made a significant difference for me. I can’t stress this enough: if you’re not a gunsmith or at least pretty handy, you should consider professional help for the disassembly and lube job. 

But after doing this, I noticed the trigger action was way smoother and more manageable. It’s definitely worth the effort to get your 43C back in top shape.

3. Cylinder Locking Issue

Now, this issue threw me for a loop. You’re out there, doing your thing, and you try to close the cylinder. Only it doesn’t close all the way, and you’re left wondering what went wrong. 

Well, it can be a bunch of things. Maybe the gas ring has moved forward, getting stuck and messing up the cylinder’s movement. 

Or perhaps the extractor rod has come loose, or even worse, the crane is bent. When this happens, your gun isn’t going to lock up, and that’s a big deal, trust me.


Alright, so how did I solve this headache? First, I tightened the loose extractor rod. It’s a small action, but it made a difference. Now, if your problem runs deeper, like a bent crane, you’re going to need to replace that part. 

I had to do just that, and it wasn’t too complex, but if you’re not confident in your skills, get professional help. It may even come to changing the entire cylinder, which I’ve also done. 

Once these changes were made, the cylinder closed like a charm, and the gun locked up perfectly.

4. Firing Failure

So, let’s dive into another issue I had: failure to fire. This isn’t just a small inconvenience; it’s a downright bummer. You pull the trigger, and what do you get? A misfire. 

Or worse, absolutely nothing happens. Sometimes, it seems like the hammer hit, but no bang followed. It’s not even about faulty ammo; the gun itself was acting up. 

Even the hammer had issues, sometimes hitting the shroud instead of the firing pin. It’s frustrating and concerning, to say the least.


Now, on to fixing it. First, I looked at the ejector rod and gave it a good clean. Sounds basic, but cleanliness is often half the battle. 

Then, I switched the ammo I used to rule that out. Still, facing issues? It might be time to look at the leaf spring. I had to replace mine, and guess what? The hammer started hitting with way more force. 

Also, don’t forget to check the leaf spring strain screw. If it’s not tight enough, that could be your culprit. After all these steps, my 43C started behaving like it should, ending those misfires and failures to fire.

5. Problem with the Ejection

Alright, a problem that got on my nerves: the faulty ejector. You’re out there, fire a shot, and can’t get the shell to eject. 

Talk about a downer! In extreme cases, the gun jams up completely. It happened to me, and you don’t want to be tapping the ejector with a mallet in the field. 

So what could be causing this? It might be low-pressure rounds, a manufacturing defect, or a shoddy handload. 

The recoil spring can also throw a wrench into the works, causing the slide to cycle too early.


Fixing this issue took a bit of trial and error. First off, I ensured my recoil spring was a good match for my ammo. If you’re using lighter loads, go for a lighter spring; heavier loads, a stiffer spring. Simple as that. 

But if that doesn’t work, it might be time to replace the recoil spring altogether, especially if it looks worn. Also, take a good look at the extractor. 

If it seems slack or worn out, it might need tightening or even replacing. After making these adjustments, the ejector got back in line, and I was back to shooting without any hang-ups.

6. Dirt on the Forcing Cone

So, you’re out on the field, enjoying some good shooting, and then you notice something off. The top strap, particularly near the forcing cone, is getting dirty way too fast. 

Yep, it happened to me too. Even more, the gun started spitting a lot, and let me tell you, the lead buildup got pretty severe after just 70 mini magazines. 

It’s not just a cosmetic issue; it can actually mess with the gun’s performance over time.


Alright, how did I tackle this? I used a lead remover. You twist the rubber stopper while the mesh starts to work its magic on the steel. 

Just let it soak and sit for a while before cleaning it off. This does wonders for reducing that pesky lead buildup and the spitting issue. It’s like giving your gun a deep clean. 

And guess what? After that, the gun functioned like it was fresh out of the box. Do this regularly, and you won’t have to stress about dirt affecting your performance.

7. Grip Issue

You know that feeling when you’re out there shooting, and something just doesn’t feel right in your hand? Yeah, that’s what I felt with the grip on this one. It’s like holding a block of wood that doesn’t quite mold to your hand properly. 

There was no texture, no contour, and after a while, my hand started to cramp up. Let’s be real: When you’re shooting, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your hand is comfortable or not.


So what did I do? I got myself an aftermarket grip. Changed the whole experience, honestly. The new grip had better texture better shape, and felt like it was custom made for my hand. 

It gave me better control and more comfort, which made my shooting experience a whole lot better. And the installation wasn’t complicated either. 

If you’re facing the same issue, definitely consider upgrading the grip. Trust me; it’s a game-changer.

Final Verdict

The Smith and Wesson 43C is undoubtedly an attractive revolver, particularly for those who value compactness and the perks of a .22 caliber. Having said that, during my field tests, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. 

I ran into several issues, like light primer strikes, heavy triggers, and cylinder locking, just to name a few. However, most of these issues aren’t insurmountable; they’re more like growing pains. 

By spending a bit of time and effort—and, in some cases, money on replacement parts—you can transform this revolver into a reliable piece of hardware. 

In short, if you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty, this could still be a solid option for both recreation and concealed carry.


Is the Smith and Wesson 43c reliable?

It is generally reliable, but can become sluggish after firing more than 24 rounds quickly.

Can you dry fire a Smith and Wesson 43c?

No, dry firing is not recommended for this model.

Is the Smith and Wesson 43c concealed carry?

Yes, it’s compact and lightweight, making it suitable for concealed carry.

What is the difference between 43c and Taurus 942?

The 43C operates in double action only, while the Taurus 942 allows both double and single action.

One Request?

I worked hard on this post to help the shooters community. it would help me a lot if you consider sharing it on social media network

BecauseSharing Is Caring..

Because Sharing Is Caring..

Photo of author


I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

Leave a Comment