Top 7 Smith and Wesson 648 Problems And How To Fix Them

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I had the chance to test the Smith and Wesson 648 out in the field and let me tell you, it’s been quite a ride. This firearm has shown what it’s made of from the first shot to the last. But, just like anything else, it’s not without its challenges.

Now, I want to be upfront about the Smith and Wesson 648 Problems I’ve run into while using this gun. Some of these are minor, but they can quickly turn into major problems if you’re not careful. 

First off, there’s the issue of cylinder binding, which can be super frustrating. Then there’s the often overlooked but significant matter of sight alignment. And let’s not forget about the occasional double-action trigger issues. 

I aim to give you a rundown of these common problems and arm you with the know-how to fix them. By the end of this read, you’ll feel much more confident about handling your Smith and Wesson 648, challenges, and all.

Overview of the Problems & their Solutions

Problem with the EjectionCheck recoil spring weight; keep area clean
Timing ProblemConsult a skilled technician for adjustments
Firing IssueReplace firing pin; adjust strain screw
Issue with the MuzzleTry “thumb-over-bore” grip; focus on contact points
Accuracy ProblemUse CCI and Federal ammunition
Trigger IssueContact Smith & Wesson for a fix
Problem with the GripUse silicone grip sleeves for improved comfort

Top 7 Problems & Solutions of the Smith and Wesson 648

1. Problem with the Ejection

So, let’s get right into it, shall we? One issue I’ve encountered with the Smith & Wesson 648 is the dirt buildup under the extractor. 

You wouldn’t think it’d be a big deal, but it can mess with your day. I noticed this problem creeping in, especially when I was out at the range, practicing with various types of ammunition. 

Despite using what you’d consider top-notch short-barrel ammo, that “crud under the extractor” just kept showing up. 

The incomplete powder burn is a real culprit here. Sure enough, the revolver started to misbehave—ejecting rounds became a headache, to say the least.


Okay, so how did I tackle this? First off, I double-checked the recoil spring weight to ensure it matched the ammo I was using. 

For lighter loads, you’re going to want a softer spring; for heavier ones, a stronger spring is your friend. I replaced the worn-out recoil spring in my revolver and immediately saw improvements. 

The other thing, folks, is to keep that area clean. Take the time to scrub away any carbon or dirt buildup under the extractor. 

It sounds simple, but you’ve got to stay on top of it. Trust me, a clean gun is a happy gun, and you’ll notice the difference.

2. Timing Problem

Ah, timing issues. They’re like that awkward pause in a conversation that nobody wants. When I was testing the Smith & Wesson 648, I noticed that the cylinder wasn’t aligning perfectly with the barrel. 

Yep, that’s a timing problem for you. This isn’t just an annoyance; it’s a safety concern and can really mess with your accuracy. 

And let’s talk about the .22 WMR cartridges. They’re thin, sure, but they have this habit of expanding in the cylinder, making extraction feel like you’re pulling teeth. 

Believe me, these timing and expansion issues could lead to some pretty significant problems down the road.


So what to do? First things first, unload that firearm and test the timing. Slowly squeeze that dual-action trigger and watch the cylinder. 

Does it lock into place? If not, it’s technician time. If you notice timing issues, don’t try to be a hero and fix it yourself. Take the revolver to a skilled technician who can sort it out. I had to do the same, and it was totally worth it. 

The gun came back running like a well-oiled machine, and the timing issues were history. No more cringe-worthy cylinder misalignments for me!

3. Firing Issue

So, here’s a biggie—failure to fire. You know, that moment when you pull the trigger and hear nothing but your own disappointment? Yeah, I’ve been there with the Smith & Wesson 648. 

In the heat of the moment, the last thing you want is a revolver that won’t cooperate. The firing pin doesn’t seem to strike the primer hard enough, leading to misfires. And don’t get me started on the wrong choice of ammo. 

Believe me, when you’re out there and this happens, it’s not just frustrating; it’s downright alarming.


Alright, let’s get this sorted. First, I took a close look at the firing pin. Turned out it was showing signs of wear. So, I swapped it for a new one, and suddenly, the primer was getting struck just fine. 

Another thing—there’s a strain screw at the base of the grip frame. Make sure it’s completely inserted; it plays a crucial role in all this. 

Finally, consider changing your ammo if you’re still in the weeds. I did, and boy, did it make a difference. Firing pin, strain screw, and the right ammo—check, check, and check. Problem solved.

4. Issue with the Muzzle

Now, this one’s a bit odd. Typically, we talk about reducing muzzle rise for better control, right? But with the S&W 648, I actually found the muzzle doesn’t rise enough. 

That’s right, it stays a bit too flat for my taste. While it might sound like a dream come true for recoil-sensitive folks, not having enough muzzle rise can make it hard to gauge your firing rhythm. 

You almost feel too comfortable, which is not something you want in a situation where every shot counts.


So, what’s the workaround here? First up, I tried a “thumb-over-bore” grip. It increased the anti-recoil force just enough to get a more natural muzzle rise. 

Then, I focused on my barrel-to-contact-point distance, tweaking my hold to lower it a bit. This also helped with the muzzle rise. 

And, while this revolver isn’t fully automatic, if you ever find yourself dealing with high recoil in other situations, remember that switching to burst fire can help. 

In my case, a change in grip and focusing on my contact points really brought the 648 back in line with what I expect from a handgun.

5. Accuracy Problem

Accuracy is the name of the game when it comes to firearms, and let’s just say the S&W 648 and I had some disagreements there. 

During testing, it was like the thing had its own mind. I tried different types of ammo, hoping to zero in on the issue, but no luck. 

Ammo contamination also became a concern really quickly. Dirty ammo can drastically affect your shot, and believe me, that’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to prove a point—or hit a target.


Alright, so how did I tackle this? Step one: I swapped the ammo. Both CCI and Federal ammunition have a reputation for quality, so I thought they’d be the best for evaluating the 648’s true potential. 

I shot a few rounds, and guess what? The accuracy noticeably improved. Just like that, the gun felt more trustworthy. 

So, if you’re scratching your head over the accuracy of your 648, try out CCI and Federal ammunition. Sometimes, the fix is as simple as choosing the right ammo.

6. Trigger Issue

So, let’s talk about that trigger, shall we? On the S&W 648, the trigger pull isn’t what I’d call light. I measured it and got a pull of around 13 pounds. 

That’s a workout for your finger, folks. Heavy triggers are common for rimfires, but this one felt like it took it to the next level. 

Also, the weight didn’t seem to do much in terms of preventing ignition failures, which kind of defeats the purpose, right?


After messing around a bit, I decided it was time for professional help. So, I got in touch with Smith & Wesson directly. Who better to fix the trigger issue than the makers themselves? They took care of it, and the pull felt way more manageable. 

Don’t try to DIY this one if you’re struggling with the same problem. Just contact Smith & Wesson. They know what they’re doing and will get your trigger sorted.

7. Problem with the Grip

While using the Smith & Wesson 648, the grip really grabbed my attention. To put it plainly, it felt a bit off. Something didn’t sit right in my hand whether it was the texture or the form factor. 

Even during short sessions at the range, the discomfort became more noticeable. Trust me, in situations where you need stability, this can be quite the drawback.

Now, the grip is an essential part of any firearm; it’s where you have the most physical contact. So, when the grip doesn’t feel right, well, it kind of ruins the whole experience.


There’s no beating around the bush here—I had to do something about it. Instead of going for a complete grip replacement, I decided to try grip sleeves first. 

Simple silicone ones that slide right on. Guess what? It worked like a charm. The additional layer provided a better grip, and the silicone countered the discomfort I was experiencing.

 Best part? These sleeves are pretty affordable, so they won’t break the bank. If you’re facing similar grip issues, consider giving grip sleeves a shot before taking any drastic measures.

Final Verdict

Alright, let’s wrap this up. The Smith & Wesson 648 has a lot to offer. It’s robust, it’s versatile, and it’s got the kind of firepower that makes a difference. But it’s not perfect. 

From timing issues to ejection problems, I’ve had my fair share of challenges with this firearm. Yet, the good news is that most of these issues can be fixed. Whether it’s switching out a worn recoil spring or taking a deeper dive into ammo selection, there are solutions. 

What counts is knowing what to look for and how to address it. So, while the S&W 648 isn’t without its challenges, armed with a bit of know-how and a willingness to put in the work, you can turn it into a reliable piece of equipment. 

It’s not about the problems you face but how you tackle them that makes all the difference.


What is the difference between S&W 648 and 48? 

The 648 comes with a 6.0-inch full-lug barrel and smooth Goncalo Alves grips; the 48 features varying barrel lengths and checkered walnut grips.

Is Smith and Wesson reliable? 

Yes, Smith & Wesson has provided quality revolvers for over 150 years and remains a trusted choice for defense.

How much does a Smith and Wesson 648 weigh? 

The Smith & Wesson 648 weighs 46 ounces when unloaded.

How long is the barrel on a Smith and Wesson 648? 

The Smith & Wesson 648 features a 6-inch full underlug barrel.

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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.

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