S&W quality control


May 2, 2008, 03:26 AM
I purchased my first revolver (S&W 442-2) about two weeks ago and took it to the range last Thursday. Being new to the revolver scene, and especially because the gun is double action only, I did not expect to do well at all. However, I was surprised at how horrible I was; every single shot that actually managed to make it onto paper was off to the right by quite at bit at about 7 yards. At first, I thought it was an issue with my trigger control/technique, but as I was taking a closer look at my gun today, I noticed that the barrel is visibly pointed to the right (from the shooter's perspective).

To confirm that it was actually crooked and not my eyes playing tricks on me, I took a plastic pen that happened to be the correct diameter and inserted it in the barrel. As it turns out, it actually is pointed quite a bit to the right. :mad:

I called S&W today and the gentleman on the phone said that he'd send me a prepaid shipping label so I could send the gun back.

That having been said, has anybody else experienced this same issue? If so, how was it handled by S&W (barrel replacement, frame replacement, etc.)?

If you enjoyed reading about "S&W quality control" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
May 2, 2008, 03:45 AM
SarcoBlaster, welcome to THR.

As a 642 owner (and another SW, a 65), I can confidently say that SW will take care of any quality control issues.

I'll note also that several of us have been discussing the appearance of distorted barrels on 442/642s for quite awhile,
and we have concluded (mostly) that in most cases it's an optical illusion.

Many of us shoot that little gun in a way that doesn't produce tight groups,
but it has less to do with barrel issues and more to do w/ the way we shoot it.

Still, don't take my word for it. Others will be along soon to offer opinions and advice.

But since you are now an owner of a 442, consider coming over to our club house, the x42 club (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=314422).
All your x42 questions will be answered there, and you will be welcomed with courtesy and friendship.

Please keep us informed. Hope your issue is resolved quickly.


May 2, 2008, 04:12 AM
Well the fact is that S&W can put out a bad gun once in awhile just like all other manufactures.

They will fix it , and you will have a good gun.

It seems one of the more common problems S&W has in their later production revolvers is having to do with the crush fit barrel seating. When they went away from the pinned barrel and set up their system to install barrels in this manner, the tolerances became more critical.
If the barrel does not come up to index with the proper amount of crush it can result in over torquing. This can lead to bent frames with barrels ascew to the side, and can also lead to stress cracks in the barrel where it meets the frame ( the barrel breaks off right at the frame in this case).

The number of guns with such problems are not high, but they do show up and sometimes several within a run.

May 2, 2008, 05:32 AM
If your barrel really is bent then you should be able to see it when looking down your sights. Your front sight will look wider than it really is because you will be looking at it from an angle.

May 2, 2008, 01:25 PM
SarcoBlaster - Yes, these type of issues occur from time to time, and S&W will make it right. If your barrel/frame is bent, you might just get a replacement gun, barrel replacement on the aluminum frame is problematic and they generally try to avoid doing so. Come on over to the 642 Club and visit awhile.


May 2, 2008, 02:14 PM
Not only will they fix it but they will do it fairly fast. I had a different problem with my 642. They had the gun back to me in less then 2 weeks and it's now perfect and shoots quite well. It will shoot into a paper plate all day at 15 yards if I do my part.

May 2, 2008, 06:00 PM
Nematocyst: Thanks for the welcome.

I appreciate everybody's input on the matter and I have no doubt that Smith and Wesson will take care of it. Please don't take my first post here as a bash on Smith and Wesson; I understand that lemons can sneak their way out from time to time, but I was just bummed that it happened to my first revolver.

In any case, I'll post an update when appropriate. In the mean time, I'll head over to the 642 club and hang out for a while. :)

If you enjoyed reading about "S&W quality control" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!