Broken off S&W barrels


Lone Star
September 17, 2007, 03:53 PM
A poster on another forum says that his range staff told him that they have had three S&W M-686 revolvers break off the barrels just ahead of the frames. Presumably, they were dropped, maybe on a concrete floor (?). They were rental guns; no telling how badly people treated them.

Separately, I saw an account somewhere (newspaper) that police in Hong Kong and in a SE US state have rejected S&W revolvers because the barrels broke off.

All this sounds a little fishy to me.

Has anyone here ever seen any S&W revolver with the barrel just broken off?

Lone Star

If you enjoyed reading about "Broken off S&W barrels" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Ala Dan
September 17, 2007, 04:03 PM
No Sir, I have not seen any S&W barrels that were broken. I own a Smith
& Wesson model 686-5 that serves as my primary long range target revolver.
Bought her NIB in '01, and haven't experienced any problems. That report
also seems fishy too me Sir~! :uhoh::eek:

Vern Humphrey
September 17, 2007, 04:05 PM
If you do a search on thse forums, you can find pictures of S&Ws with broken-off barrels.

September 17, 2007, 04:08 PM
OH, NO, it could NEVER happen to a SMITH, don't care if there is proof!!! Now, had you said Taurus, no proof would be necessary......:scrutiny: </sarcasm>

Brian Williams
September 17, 2007, 04:10 PM
North Carolina Correctional system rejected a bunch of S&Ws for bad barrels, but most of the others have been scandium/liteweights that have the 2 piece barrel shroud systems.

Lone Star
September 17, 2007, 04:20 PM

I watch your NBC newscast, but hadn't realized that you liked guns...:D

I suspect that the guns had the two-piece barrels, but the M686 hasn't been made that way yet, has it? Those range guns were probably at least several years old.

I haven't been able to Search productively here. I must be doing something wrong. If someone KNOWS of valid posts about this, can you post a link?

If this happened, I guess that either those guns had bad heat treatment or were snugged up too tightly during the crush fit barrel installation. Wish they'd been able to stay with the old pinned barrel.


Lone Star

Thaddeus Jones
September 17, 2007, 04:33 PM
The North Carolina Department of Corrections revolvers were model 64's and 65's, late production, equipped with the lock.

The barrels were blowing off at the juncture of the barrel and frame. S&W denied there was a problem (sound familiar?), then blamed maintenance, and ammo (imagine that :rolleyes:).

Some reporter at the Winston Salem Journal newspaper got wind of the story and ran with it. After it recieved national attention, S&W sent some fat cats down to Raleigh, where they saw a few barrels blow off in person. I wasn't there, but one of the officers I know said the S&W guys were very unhappy.

The end result was that S&W traded out the revolvers for M&P 40 pistols, and issued a press release proclaiming the NC DOC's "order", for M&P pistols carried on a long tradition of purchasing S&W handguns.

IMO, S&W's new handguns, and QC are not worth a damn, but their public relations dept is flawless.

September 17, 2007, 04:59 PM
"snugged up too tightly during the crush fit barrel installation"

That's my initial take. Nickels

September 17, 2007, 07:02 PM
Grant Cunningham has a good perspective on this, I think:

I remember the same thing happening with Redhawks years ago.

Lone Star
September 17, 2007, 09:02 PM

Your link is precisely what I wanted to see. Thanks.

Lone Star

September 17, 2007, 09:12 PM
Late 70s-early 80s we were at the range during qualification when the officer next to me lost the barrel off his 66 4inch. It blew off right at the frame. No sign of squib load or other bbl obstruction. Had some photos but may not be able to find them.

September 17, 2007, 09:46 PM
Haven't kept up with the new smiths. Please tell me that their bbls. are still screwed to the frame & not crush fit.

September 17, 2007, 09:55 PM
Haven't kept up with the new smiths. Please tell me that their bbls. are still screwed to the frame & not crush fit.

Yes they are screwed in, and yes they are crush fit. Crush fit means that the barrel is screwed in tightly enough so that a small amount of metal on the shoulder is displaced. Or in other words...TIGHT!
The old pinned barrels didn't have to be so tight because the pin kept them from unscrewing.

September 20, 2007, 01:34 AM
This is the first I have heard of S&W's losing their barrels. I guess I must live in a lead mine. I had heard of failure to fire problems off and on going back about 15 years

The barrels on the new current production S&W Models 619 and 620 have two piece barrels similar to S&W's Titanium and Scandium J-frames. These two new models take the place of S&W's K-frame Models 13 and 19 as well as their stainless Models 65 and 66.

Their barrels consist of a shroud tightened over a screwed in barrel liner. A special nut or fitting is screwed on to the muzzle end of the barrel tensioning the barrel and securing the shroud in place. This set up is similar to a Dan Wesson, but the owner can not undo or remove the barrel.

All the other S&W Models in as J, K, L, N and X frames have standard installed screw in barrels.


September 20, 2007, 05:41 AM
I have been hearing for years that the X frames have the 2 piece barrel. :confused:

September 20, 2007, 01:50 PM
Action Can Do wrote;
I have been hearing for years that the X frames have the 2 piece barrel.

You are absolutely correct, X-frames do have the 2 piece barrels. I apologize for my misspeak. I wish I had an excuse other then a senior moment. I don't suppose anyone would believe that this is my first ever mistake made in 55 years of living?? No, well maybe then I'll blame it on the the lead mine effect! :banghead:

An embarrassed,

September 21, 2007, 06:24 AM
It happens to the best of us.;)

September 21, 2007, 08:16 AM
Back in the 70's I had a neighbor who sold me me a 1950 M&P .45 acp S&W revolver that had a loose barrel problem...but it never broke off.

It was one of those pin barrels too, supposed to keep things from coming loose. Put some lock-tite on it and sold it off.

Hey! It was sold to me that way. :D


Don't be bashful about S&W...let it all hang out. :cuss:

September 21, 2007, 09:26 AM
I know of several cases where gunsmith unfamiliar with the new shrouded barrels broke the frames trying to remove these new barrels.

One needs special tools and a fixturing device to remove the barrels.

I have heard the tales of the Police guns spitting the barrels, no pictures or actual documentation.

I have also heard of an Asian Contract being rejected but this is supposed to have something to do with the shrouded barrels and no support package for repair being included with the order.

Charter Arms with the shrouded barrels have a habit and reputation of spitting the shrouds with heavy use.
Dan Wessons are known to spit the shrouds and sometimes the barrels if they are improperly installed aqnd these incidents may have something to do with the reports of 'Smith and Wessons' spitting barrels.

I have seen more than a few S&W revolvers blown up over the years.
I have yet to see an actual Smith that has spit the barrel.

If you enjoyed reading about "Broken off S&W barrels" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!