6 Smith and Wesson 351PD Problems that Most Users Experience

The Smith and Wesson 351PD has been a common favorite revolver since 1950. It has a J-frame and a lightweight aluminum-built cylinder. You can shoot this gun in both double and single-action mode.

However, there are a few typical problems with this revolver.

Misfiring suddenly, skipping rounds in the cylinder, bad accuracy, sluggish or stale trigger, scratch and rust, and ammo damaging the cylinder and the barrel are the most frequent Smith & Wesson 351PD problems.

In this article, I will explain some usual Smith & Wesson 351PD problems. So first, let’s look at some of the features and specifications of this gun.

Features & Specifications of Smith and Wesson 351PD Gun:

Smith and Wesson 351PD Specs
Cartridge22 Magnum
Capacity7 Rounds
Barrel Length1.875 Inches
Weight (Unloaded)11.20 Ounces or 317.51 Grams
Length6.20 Inches
Width1.30 Inches
Height4.75 Inches
SafetyHammer Block Safety
SightsFront – Hi-Viz Fiber-Optic Orange Tube, Pinned Rear – Fixed U-Notch, Top-strap Groove
Common Smith and Wesson 351PD Problems and Solutions
Smith and Wesson 351PD

Common Smith and Wesson 351PD Problems and Solutions

Problems with Smith and Wesson 351PDSolutions
Sudden MisfiringClean the extractor and the area around it.
Skipping Rounds in the CylinderFix or replace the ejector star.
Bad AccuracyAdjust the sights properly.
Sluggish TriggerInstall the Wolff Spring Kit, polish the bearing surface, and adjust the springs.
Scratch and RustDo not leave the gun unclean and polish it.
Ammo Damages Cylinder and BarrelSend the gun to the company to fix the cylinder or the barrel.

1. Sudden Misfiring:

Misfires happen with the Smith and Wesson 351PD when there is a light primer strike. This can occur in every cylinder reload.

Usually, buildup under the extractor star causes this problem. If the chambers are dirty and if there is the presence of any unburned powder, the misfires occur the most.

The Fix:

The solution is to clean under the extractor star before going for a session in the range. You can follow the instructions given in this video to clean the cylinder of the revolver properly.

While cleaning under the extractor star, be sure to check the whole area for an extra buildup of flakes if the gun hasn’t been cleaned recently.

2. Skipping Rounds in the Cylinder:

The rounds inside the cylinder of the Smith and Wesson 351PD may not shoot. Moreover, the ejector star skips the round and goes to the next one.

This happens when the ejector star has malfunctioned.

The Fix:

You have to replace or fix your ejector star. If you want to replace it, you can do it yourself by ordering a new ejector star.

But if you wish to fix the ejector star and do not want to replace it yourself, you can send the revolver to Smith and Wesson and they will fix the problem.

3. Bad Accuracy:

The accuracy of the Smith and Wesson 351PD is sometimes questioned by some customers. Sometimes, the fired bullet tilts a bit to the left or the right from the aimed point.

Mainly, this issue occurs when the sights are not adjusted properly. They can get misaligned due to shipping damage, manufacturing issue, or use for a long time.

The Fix:

You have to fix the sights by yourself to fix this problem. The sights provided with the Smith and Wesson 351PD are a Hi-Viz fiber-optic pinned orange tube and fixed top strap groove U notch.

After adjusting your sight, shoot the gun for a couple of cylinders. Then, adjust accordingly if the accuracy is still not on point.

4. Sluggish Trigger:

The double action mode on the Smith and Wesson 351PD may not feel comfortable to many. Also, the trigger pull is very low.

Although this is very common with this revolver, people suggest getting a trigger job.

The Fix:

You have to upgrade your triggers of the Smith and Wesson 351PD. The Wolff Spring Kits can help you have a smooth trigger. You can watch this video for a visual demonstration of installing these.

You should also polish the bearing surfaces. Replacing or readjusting the springs is also a great upgrade.

5. Scratch and Rust:

Although the Smith and Wesson 351PD costs a lot compared to other revolvers, it has a problem with scratching very easily.

The gun can also get rusty. Specifically, the hammer and the trigger can get a buildup of rust if you do not clean them regularly. It also gets rusty when not used for many months.

The Fix:

You should always keep the gun clean no matter whether you use it or not. Leaving the gun out or inside the box for months will eventually build up rust inside the trigger and the hammer.

Cleaning and polishing should also be another concern to get rid of the scratches.

6. Ammo Damages Cylinder and Barrel:

The 22 magnum ammo that can be shot with the Smith and Wesson 351PD will damage the barrel and the cylinder of the gun.

Mainly, the 22 magnums are used for longer barrel rifles. But if you use the 22 magnum ammo in the 351PD, you will get an unpleasant muzzle blast.

Also, the rounds will damage the cylinder. As a result, you might face misfiring and light primer strikes.

The Fix:

There are not many fixes for this issue. But if you are looking to shoot 22 magnum ammo, you will be better off with longer barrel revolvers.

If you damage the cylinder or the barrel in the process of shooting these rounds, you should send the gun to the company for a barrel or cylinder replacement.

Used Feedback on Smith and Wesson 351PD

The Smith and Wesson 351PD is a lightweight and compact concealed carry. It has received many positive reviews for its size and shooting capability. But the revolver has also gathered some negative reviews due to trigger issues.

In this post on the Smith and Wesson Forums, people have discussed the 351PD in detail. Some of them owned a 351D where they had no issues. People tend to like shooting the 22 magnum rounds through the gun.

On The High Road forum, people have commented saying that the stock trigger of the Smith and Wesson 351PD feels stale. Many people suggest doing a proper trigger job on the gun for a better feeling.

Top 3 Alternative Guns of Smith and Wesson 351PD

Here are some best alternatives for the Smith and Wesson 351PD:

  1. Taurus Tracker 992
    – Includes multi-cylinder, scope mount, and Taurus security system.
    – Has a transfer bar safety with 9 rounds capacity.
    – Supports both 22 long range and 22 Winchester magnum rimfire ammo.
  2. Rock Island AL22M
    – Has a fast loading cylinder system.
    – Features low recoil by transferring the force to the frame of the gun.
  3. Excel Accelerator MP-22 / MP-5.7
    – The materials are resistant to corrosion and wear.
    – Has an 8.5 inches stainless steel bull barrel.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does the Smith and Wesson 351PD cost?


What type of grip does the Smith and Wesson 351PD have?

1.2 inches thick, smooth laminated wood with comfortable finger grooves.

How much trigger pull does the Smith and Wesson 351PD have?

12+ lbs. for double-action and 4.2 lbs. for single-action.

What is the barrel twist rate of the Smith and Wesson 351PD?

1:9 RH.

What is the build material of the Smith and Wesson 351PD?

Aluminum alloy cylinder, stainless steel barrel, and aluminum alloy frame with a black matte finish.

How much is the cylinder gap in the Smith and Wesson 351PD?

0.008 inches.

What is the sight radius on the Smith and Wesson 351PD?

3.0 inches.


I have discussed the most common Smith and Wesson 351PD problems in this article. If you want to fix your revolver quickly, strictly follow the suggestions I have provided.

If you buy the gun, be sure to do the trigger job and maintain the gun by cleaning it regularly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts