Here is one you might enjoy


April 22, 2009, 06:48 PM
At the shop today I heard a customer tell another customer that recessed and pinned Smiths are less desirable and worth less than modern ones because it it so hard to clean out the cylinder recesses... :scrutiny:

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April 22, 2009, 07:32 PM
I'll take all he has. I'll clean 'em too.

Pistol Toter
April 22, 2009, 07:42 PM
I'll take all he has. I'll clean 'em too.

Yeah me too. Tooth brushes and dental picks. No problem.

April 22, 2009, 11:17 PM
im still shakin my head on this one

April 22, 2009, 11:28 PM
Sorry to glom onto this and run it off course, but from your post you would seem to know about these things.

I hear all the time that the older Smiths are more desirable, and the "pinned" feature is generally mentioned.

Can you tell me 1) what is "pinned", 2) why this makes for a better made gun, or 3) whether the older guns were simply better-made in general, and the "pinning" is just indicative of the vintage.

Around what time did the transition away from these more desirable guns occur?

Duke of Doubt
April 22, 2009, 11:31 PM
The barrel pinning is not too important by itself, but as you suspect is indicative of better-quality years. The recessed chambers look really, really cool, but add nothing to functionality and yes, they do get fouled. Still, I'd not turn one away at the door.

April 22, 2009, 11:41 PM
i do believe that colt, smith, and some others had higher quality products before the 80s. when you dig into the pistols and revolvers it is quite obvious that the parts were machined to better tolerances and surfaces. today it is common to find milling cuts and burrs in the internal works.
back in the day guns were put together by gunsmiths. today they are put together by parts assemblers.
material quality has changed for the worse but substituting cast parts for forged ones and "mim" for the cast...
your typical plinker wont notice most of the differences but die hards and high volume shooters know

pinning is indicative of higher quality s&w guns. as far as the significance of pinning, a pinned barrel can be removed from the frame and put back on or be interchanged. modern smith revolvers use a very fine thread, meshing I think they call it but it is near impossible to put a barrel back in once removed.
again, for your random plinker the barrel will not wear out, but high volume shooters do wear out barrels and like to replace them if the frame is still good.

April 22, 2009, 11:52 PM
oh, the pin you are asking about can be found where the barrel meets the frame. i think this change to the mesh happened in the mid 80s?

April 23, 2009, 12:33 AM
Thank you for all the information! I don't see the telltale pin on my late 80's Smith 686-3. I think it's still a well-made gun, but no doubt one of these "new fangled" ones.

As an aside, I was telling a friend of mine about an old, customized 1911 I have a chance to purchase. I described it as looking "like what I've been told and seen the term 'custom colt' used to mean". It has some extra touches, but the overall theme looks generally like this:

That was the closes likeness readily found on GB, anyway.

His response was "Ah, the good old days before MIM and casting when the internal parts were like tool steel." He was of the opinion I should jump on it.

Is this also a case of the older ways generally being better, at least from a durability standpoint?

April 23, 2009, 12:45 AM
yup, but if you go too far back you lose ground to lesser metallurgy. its my opinion that the best balance between metallurgy and craftsmanship came from the 50s 60s and 70s. but the pre-war gunsmithing was the work of gods

April 23, 2009, 12:50 AM
Well...the recessed Chambers were nice if you blew out an old 'Baloon Head' Cartridge by emulating ( or surpassing, ) Elmer Keith's loadings...

Though I'm surprised S & W offered recessed Chambers in the '70s, by which time, Baloon Head Cartridges were long gone from pretty well anyone's scene.

It was a polite feature...none the was the 'pinned' Barrel.

I showed they cared...and that they had true Class.

April 23, 2009, 01:22 AM
It showed they cared...and that they had true Class.

Oyeboten +1

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