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Watch the Galloway Springs 856 install video. He shows you how to insert in front side first and where on the frame to tap to get it to slip in...good video.
 

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Yep, most revolverh are a PIA to replace the side plate. Look at the top/front of the side plate and you will see a smalltit/ptojection. This has to be slid into the frame first then the plate will seat tightly in the frame. May need some fiddlin' to get it down but even after about 40 years playing with revolvers I still need a bit of patience (and no hammer!)...
 

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Some problems are solved with a bigger hammer........this isn't one of them! Like the others said: There is a side of the plate that slides in first, after that it just takes a little tapping with a rubber mallet. I would definitely clean up the inside before putting the plate back on.
 

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If you pried the sideplate off, it may have distorted it, making it dang near impossible to get it back on.

I really wish someone had told me that before I learned it the old-fashioned way...
 
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