March 29, 2007, 10:20 PM
I own a S&W(Eastfield) 12ga. bearing serial no. B851xx. It is kind of a "clunker" but the darn thing is "spot on". I always carry it to any trap competition to use as a back-up to my o/u. I realize it is a Noble design that Smith purchased the tooling for in the 60s or 70s. I would like to know a short history and the date this gun was born. Thank you.
March 30, 2007, 01:40 AM
As you know, the gun was actually the old Noble gun.
Exactly who actually made the S&W version is unknown, but best info is, S&W contracted the actual build out, which accounts for the later problems.
S&W began selling the gun in 1972. I'm not sure when production stopped, but it was by the time S&W began selling the Howa-made Models 1000 and 3000 guns.
To be blunt, the 916 was a major failure for S&W and the gun did damage to S&W's good reputation.
The gun simply had quality and design defects that caused it to break and fail.
These problems were systemic to the design which made it impossible for S&W to fix it, and they soon dropped it.
The gun developed such a bad reputation, S&W actually considered recalling the entire production and buying them back simply to restore their good name.
Gunsmiths soon developed a hatred of the 916, caused by guns coming in for a problem developing other problems during repair or soon after being picked up.
Since the gun had just been repaired, customers considered the new problems to be something the gunsmith should repair for free.
When the 916 works, it works well, and many people were satisfied owners.
However, when the gun does break repairs can be iffy.
Gun Parts Corporation bought all the 916 parts from S&W and still carry them.
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