Smith and Wesson Governor Problems and Solutions

The Smith & Wesson Governor is a snub-nosed single-action/double-action revolver that has a lightweight scandium alloy or stainless-steel frame. It is built using a Z-frame.

Some of the common problems that users face during the use of this revolver are misfiring, shells not going off, locked up, light primer strikes, and moon clip problems.

In this article, several problems of the Governor revolver have been discussed while using it, along with the solutions to those problems. Hang in there to find out everything you need to know about Smith & Wesson Governor problems and solutions.

Features and Specification of Smith and Wesson Governor:

  • Action                          : Single/Double Action
  • Caliber                           : 410 2.5″, 45 Colt
  • Capacity                        : 6
  • Length                           : 8.5
  • Grip                              : Synthetic
  • Cylinder Material          : Stainless PVD
  • Barrel Material             : Stainless Steel
  • Frame Material              : Scandium Alloy
  • Barrel Length                : 2.75″
  • Weight                          : 29.6 oz.
Common Smith and Wesson Governor Problems and Solutions
Smith and Wesson Governor

Common Smith and Wesson Governor Problems and Solutions

Misfiring problemClean the revolver before using.
Locked up gunTurn the internal lock key.
Shells not going offChange the manufacturer.
Light primer strikesChange the ammo brand.
Extraction IssuesUse the ammo specially designed for revolvers.
Moon clip problemTrim or use the polymer moon clips.

1. Misfiring Problem:

Users often face misfiring problems when they are using this revolver. They are not being able to shoot properly due to this problem and it goes out of range.

Adding to that, because of the hardness of shotshell primers, the firing pin fails to strike hard enough on the ammo and that might also be the reason for this problem.

The Fix:

The revolver should be cleaned properly before shooting. Some dried lube could be there during the action. So, the mainspring strain crew in it should be fully hardened.

Flush out the action through the hammer and trigger ports with some brake/parts/carb aerosol spray. 5 drops of gun oil must then be added to the action.

2. Locked Up Problems:

There are various reasons that users may face the locked-up gun problem. Because of this problem, users face problems in pulling the hammer back. The cylinder stops rotating.

Along with that, users are facing issues in releasing the cylinder that works in ejecting the shells.

The Fix:

If a bullet is lodged there, check with a light shining between the cylinder and barrel. If so, you can use a brass rod or a dowel to tap it back into the cylinder.

Besides, try to have the internal lock key out and give it a turn. It occurs usually when you are using 410. Pushing the cylinder toward the edge of the carpeted shooting station at the range while holding the cylinder latch open.

3. Shells not Going Off:

Most of the users who had been using Remington for a couple of years had faced this problem.

There was a slight firing pin depression on the primer of about one-third of the shells, which did not explode.

The Fix:

Remington has several issues that can’t be fixed. So, change the manufacturer as early as possible to fix this issue. This problem is solely on the manufacturers.

45 colt and 45 ACP cartridges are being used by users who faced problems using the Remington and it solved their issues and they are shooting flawlessly ever since.

Another thing that might work is to make sure the strain screw was tight- from the front perspective of the grip frame, it should be tight, i.e., all the way CW.

4. Light Primer Strikes:

When testing the new Governor with 410 shotgun ammunition, there were sporadic light priming strikes.

Besides, the strain screw is backed off somewhere to lighten the trigger pull, light primer strikes happen in revolvers.

The problem could be related to the ammo brand as well because some manufacturers have dysfunctional ammo that could play a bigger part of this problem.

The Fix:

This issue occurs when the ammo that is used in this revolver is not brand specific. The ammo has to be brand specific to run the gun flawlessly.

Remington is the least reliable ammo brand. So, instead of using it, federal ammo should be used. That will help in stopping the light primer strikes when using this gun.

5. Extraction Issues:

Extraction issues occur due to the brass jamming after it expanded rearward into the cylinder. The brass will always jam within the cylinder because it is too short.

Besides, when the cylinder is not clean properly, this problem might come, and the hull and shell may become extended and stuck in the chamber.

The Fix:

The ammo should be used that is specifically designed for the revolver platforms. Replace the ammo with a brand new one that suits this model. It will start working.

6. Moon Clip Problem:

Sometimes shells are stuck in a bad way in the moon clips that are hard to extract. The shells are just jammed in the moon clip. It can create a problem while shooting.

The Fix:

The Moon clip is slightly trimmed, probably the barest of margins to enhance the shells enter into the moon clip very easily and it can be pulled out with ease.

Moon clip can cause when the steel is cheaper. So, try to have a good moon clip to avoid this issue. Polymer moon clips also work great.

User Feedback on Smith and Wesson Governor

This Smith & Wesson revolver is a great revolver for target shooting. It is easy to carry, user friendly. However, it never should be used without training.

The user review of the Smith & Wesson governor has been brilliant so far. Though both positive and negative reviews are there, the positive reviews are more than the negative reviews.

There have been some complaints about the issues with the ammunition. The use of American manufacturers over others is preferred because there were differences in specifications demonstrated by a YouTuber.

Another YouTuber has stated that in the governor, 45 ACP a user should use because it takes the moon clip and it is more reasonable than 45 colts and 410. It is plentiful and makes it easy with the loading system.

Top 3 Alternative Revolvers of Smith and Wesson Governor

Tarsus Judge

Both the 410 shotshells and the storied 45 Colt bullet can be fired from the Taurus Judge revolver. It is an enormous, five-shot cannon that weighs a ton.

Double action, a fixed rear sight, and a 45-colt caliber are what made this revolver the best alternative for the Smith & Wesson governor.

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 38

Smith & Wesson’s M&P bodyguard 38 is a small-frame self-defense revolver. The 6.6-inch, 14.2-ounce five-shot revolver has a 1.875-inch barrel and a 6.6-inch overall length.

The barrel and cylinder materials of both the governor and bodyguard 38 are made of stainless steel and stainless PVD respectively. Both constitute double actions.

Smith & Wesson Model 442

These small revolvers, which can fire a full-power round, are as user-friendly and dependable as they are simple to operate.

In this model, like the governor, the barrel and cylinder materials are also made of stainless steel and both have double action specifications.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the S&W Governor a good revolver? 

Some will say different things but for many of the users it is a very good revolver to use. People say, it is one of Smith & Wesson’s greatest.

What Specific rounds are loaded into the firearms?

Federal, Winchester, CCI etc.

Is the trigger too heavy?

The trigger is very light.

Do you feel it is a viable home defense weapon? Why?

The governor strives to be both a revolver and a shotgun and accomplishes nearly as good as a genuine shotgun or revolver at each task. It is still a good option for home defense.


This article will help you to learn about the Smith & Wesson Governor problems and solutions. Also, the best alternatives available in the market for this particular revolver.

In conclusion, the Smith & Wesson Governor revolver with six rounds is perfect for self-defense and target shooting. For concealed carry, this revolver is not recommended due to its 8.5″ length and 1.75” cylinder diameter. However, it is excellent for shooting targets at the range or for home or predatory protection.

1 comment
  1. Mike Smith and Wesson Governor has given me so many problems with ammunition locking up all of the problems and it only takes one misfire to get you killed that’s what I think about it. Hopefully my dealer will work with me on that and compensate with me on all this ammo that keeps failing

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