Smith And Wesson 43C Problems: The Truth Behind The Trouble

The Smith and Wesson 43C presents a blend of reliability and occasional challenges. Let me disclose that owners always face Smith and Wesson 43C problems.

Certainly, they have encountered issues such as light primer strikes, heavy triggers, cylinder locking, firing failure, and ejection issues. Dirt on the forcing cone and grip issues can also affect its performance.

They can lead to frustrating interruptions during a shooting session, affecting confidence and enjoyment.

It’s important to address these maintenance concerns and understand the functionality to ensure optimal use of this compact revolver.

Let’s delve into some of these concerns to provide a comprehensive overview.

Issues and Fixes at a Glance

7 ProblemsTheir Quick Fix
Light Primer StrikesCleaning is crucial.
Heavy TriggerProper cleaning and lubrication. Seek help from professional.
Cylinder Locking IssueEnsure the extractor rod and bent crane. Seek help from a professional.
Firing FailureCleaning and maintenance.
Problems with Ejection Match your ammo to your recoil spring or replace worn extractor.
Dirt on the Forcing ConeProper cleaning.
Grip IssueFind aftermarket grips.
Smith and Wesson 43C Problems

Smith and Wesson 43C Problems and Their Practical Solution

1. Light Primer Strikes:

First, dealing with light primer strikes on your Smith and Wesson 43C can be a real headache. Owners have often experienced this frustrating issue where the ammunition doesn’t fire as expected.

It’s not just a minor inconvenience; it can lead to misfires and hang fires where the primer isn’t struck hard enough to ignite the round.

During the owners’ tests, they found that dirt accumulation can significantly impact reliability.

This frequent annoyance can stem from various factors, including the quality of the ammunition used or potential issues with the firing pin or hammer mechanism.

Read More: Smith and Wesson 340PD Problems with Their Practical Solutions


Fear not; there are practical solutions. From personal research, cleaning is crucial.

Seeking professional advice ensures everything fits and functions smoothly.

Ensuring proper maintenance in the real world can prevent uncomfortable situations like taking an unreliable firearm to the range.

2. Heavy Trigger:

Next, one of the most frustrating issues can be a trigger stuck mid-action. A heavy or unresponsive trigger can throw off your shooting rhythm.

It’s like your finger is lifting weights just to get a clean shot off. Sometimes, the hammer doesn’t quite cooperate, or the cylinder has trouble rotating. This exacerbates the problem.

This issue isn’t just annoying; it can impact the reliability and safety of the firearm.

So, the problem might require a deeper inspection.


Here are effective solutions: Ensuring proper lubrication of the striker channel during disassembly can make a significant difference.

Sometimes, a gunsmith may be needed for professional help if the issue persists.

It’s essential to keep the trigger action smoother and more manageable with regular maintenance.

By keeping your revolver in top shape, you can reduce the effort required to operate the trigger. The result? It ensures a more reliable shooting experience.

3. Cylinder Locking Issue:

Ahh! One of the common issues reported is the cylinder locking up unexpectedly. This problem can be frustrating, especially when you’re out at the range or relying on your firearm for personal defense.

The gas ring and cylinder movement are critical here. Any misalignment can cause the extractor rod or crane to not lock up properly, as in Smith and Wesson 329PD problems.

When this issue occurs, it can disrupt your shooting session or even render the gun temporarily unusable.


Let’s talk about a solution. One effective approach is to first ensure the extractor rod and bent crane are thoroughly inspected.

Sometimes, a misalignment in these components can cause the cylinder to not lock properly.

If adjustments or alignments don’t resolve the issue, a cylinder replacement might be necessary.

Amm, it’s advisable to seek professional help for this step to ensure it’s done correctly and safely.

Addressing these gun issues promptly can restore the functionality and reliability of your firearm.

4. Firing Failure:

Is your Smith and Wesson 43C not firing? Sorry to say, it can throw you off. It’s frustrating when the hammer doesn’t strike or there’s a misfire.

So, the culprit often lies in overlooked areas like the ejector rod or the hammer. If these parts aren’t clean or are obstructed, ammo may not fire as intended.

Usually, it’s tied to the firing pin or maybe something with the shroud around it.

It’s something to take seriously because you want your firearm to be reliable when you need it.


Here, cleanliness is key.

  • One effective fix involves ensuring the ejector rod is free from debris and the hammer hits with sufficient force.
  • Also, checking the leaf spring and its strain screw to ensure they’re not overly tight can resolve many issues.

These steps, while simple, can make a significant difference in the reliability of your Smith and Wesson 43C.

5. Problems with Ejection:

Let’s talk about a great annoyance. Yes, it relates to ejection. Issues like faulty ejectors or weak ejection force after each shot can put a damper on your shooting session.

Sometimes, the spent shell just refuses to eject, especially with low-pressure rounds.

In more extreme cases, it jams up the slide. And? It requires some gentle tapping with a mallet to clear.

This could stem from a manufacturing defect or even a shoddy handload causing the recoil spring to not work effectively.


Solution? First, match your ammo to your recoil spring. Lighter loads may benefit from a lighter spring, while heavier loads might need a stiffer spring.

Sometimes, simply replacing a worn extractor can do the trick. It eliminates slack and ensures consistent ejection.

It’s also worth checking adjustments on the ejector to ensure it’s functioning optimally.

Trust me, you can often resolve ejection problems and get back to enjoying smooth shooting experiences with your 43C.

6. Dirt on the Forcing Cone:

Oh, Man! One issue that occasionally pops up is dirt on the forcing cone. A dirty forcing cone can lead to fast lead buildup. This, in turn, may cause the revolver to start spitting lead during firing.

While often more of a cosmetic issue, it can affect the gun’s performance if left unchecked.


Okay, so what’s the fix? One effective method is using a lead remover and a rubber stopper.

  • Start by soaking the mesh with the cleaning solution to reduce any lead buildup.
  • A deep clean around the forcing cone ensures smooth gun function and prevents potential issues down the line.

This approach not only maintains gun performance but also extends its lifespan with regular upkeep.

7. Grip Issue:

Finally, yet importantly, one of the standout issues that occasionally crop up is related to the grip. Sometimes, the wood texture might not suit everyone’s hand. It leads to potential cramping during extended sessions.

The contour of the grip could also be a factor, impacting how comfortably it fits in your hand.


Finding the right aftermarket solution can transform your shooting experience. Owners have explored various grip options to enhance comfort and control.

Ultimately, they settle on a custom option that perfectly matches their needs. The texture and shape are crucial for a secure hold, especially during extended-range sessions.

Installation was straightforward, and it significantly improved my overall grip and handling of the 43C.

Smith and Wesson 43C Problems

My Final Conclusion:

So, after extensive research, here’s where I stand. It’s like a mix of sunshine and rainbows with some real headscratchers.

This little revolver is compact and packs a punch for its size, but it’s had its share of quirks. Owners have had issues with primer strikes, and the trigger hasn’t always been buttery smooth.

Plus, the cylinder sometimes gives me grief with its locking mechanism. Sorting these out has meant tinkering and some replacement parts, which can be a bit of a hassle.

For recreational shooting or keeping it concealed, it’s got its charm but be prepared for a few bumps in the road.

My Friends Feedback:

My friend recently bought a Smith and Wesson 43C and shared some issues they’ve encountered. The 8-shot 22LR revolver seemed perfect for a new shooter, but right out of the box, problems began.

Within a year of purchase, they noticed a malfunction with the trigger guard. It wouldn’t return to its forward position after firing.

The cylinder also needed extra force to release and pop into place. There were occasional light strikes where rounds didn’t ignite, which is a major concern for self-defense.

Despite the lifetime warranty, trips to the LGS for repairs haven’t fully resolved these issues. It left them perplexed about the revolver’s reliability.

They hoped the issues would be fixed, especially given the reputation of Smith and Wesson.

Common Questions Asked About:

Is the S&W 43c a good gun?

My friend’s S&W 43c has been completely reliable right after a thorough cleaning and up to 24 rounds of ammo. However, after firing more than three cylinders, it starts to get sluggish, and the cylinder can’t keep up when firing quickly.

Can you dry fire Smith and Wesson 43c?

22 caliber revolvers like models 17, 43, 63, 317, and 617 should not be dry-fired.

What is the most powerful Smith & Wesson gun?

The 500 S&W Magnum is often regarded as the most powerful standardized, mass-produced handgun cartridge due to its significant muzzle energy. Interestingly, the 500 Bushwhacker, a lengthened version of this cartridge, holds the title for the most powerful custom handgun chambering.

How much does a model 43c weigh?

An officer can get ample training time with 22 LR ammo without developing any training scars. The Model 43C weighs 11.5 ounces.

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