How much better were P&R S&W revolvers, if at all?


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JellyJar
July 9, 2010, 08:52 PM
I know that the newer S&W revolvers are not looked upon favorably by the cognoscenti. However, as MIM parts were not introduced until about 1994 or so, how much better, if at all, were the prior P&R versions that S&W made up to about 1981 versus the ones made from 1981 until the introduction of MIM parts?

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unspellable
July 9, 2010, 09:06 PM
A pinned barrel has a theoretical edge for accuracy over a crush fit barrel as the crush fit distorts the back end of the barrel. Colt used to overcome this effect by tapering the bore so that the bore became just slightly smaller as you moved towards the muzzle. The Dan Wesson avoids the effect by fastening the barrel with a nut at the muzzle end. How much difference this actually makes in practice is open to conjecture but the Dan Wesson does have an unbeatable reputation for long range accuracy. But it also has a couple of other features that aid accuracy.

The recessed chamber traps crap if the case leaks at the rear. This is significant with rim fires, but not center fires. However, for my money the bull barreled S&Ws look better with the recessed chambers.

None of this says anything about how quality control has varied over the years.

Oyeboten
July 9, 2010, 09:55 PM
Forgings, intelligent castings for the best Engineering reasons only, Pinned Barrels, Counter-set Revolver Cylinders for High Pressure Cartridge kinds, carefully Machined parts and sub-assemblies, all are in keeping with a mystique and ethos of careing about the quality of the Work.


Shorcuts, 'value engineering', cheap materials or cheap methods to save costs, eliminating skill or intelligence and ability from those people employed to make and assemble the Parts and finished products, all contribute to a mood of cheapness, indifference, gratuity, lack of craftsmanship, lack of really caring...lack of respect...loss of vision, waffled or conflicted committment.

High quality was never hard for people to notice and appreciate and value...and never a problem for people desiring it, to pay for it, and for it to mean something to own and use, even if it mean saving up.

Forsaking high quality for a few more sales to appease stockholders and fiscal quarter profits, is not seen as being very admirable by anyone who knows better.


I think any business should strive for the highest quality product or service possible, and to do without self serving luxuries and wastes and overpaying CEOs and new corporate headquarters and all the other focus killing jive and waste and paper games of not caring about anything but money grubbing and self aggrandizement, and, if offering tiers of hierarchy in the product or service, to be very careful about what is being compromised or reduced or eliminated for the lower tiers, if wishing to offer tiered stratas of what one is to get for one's Money.

Knowing how to Manufacture things well, with high quality and good design and Engineering standards, seems to be becoming a lost or abdicated legacy of our Culture.

Bill B.
July 9, 2010, 10:32 PM
How much better were P&R S&W revolvers, if at all?

I love the old S&W's as much as anyone but 2 of the finer shooting revolvers I have ever held in my hand have been made in the last 5 years .......a S&W 625 45 ACP & a S&W 627 357 mag.

Jim Watson
July 9, 2010, 10:48 PM
The Bangor Punta years were a low point in S&W history. Quality was erratic, some were fine, some were not. I had a crooked M19 from that period, had the rear sight cranked all the way over to zero.

chieftain
July 9, 2010, 11:02 PM
The Bangor Punta years were a low point in S&W history. Quality was erratic, some were fine, some were not. I had a crooked M19 from that period, had the rear sight cranked all the way over to zero.

BINGO!

And not a MIM part in any of them.

Poor quality parts are poor quality parts. Poorly manufactored parts have always existed. Doesn't mater the process used to manufacture them.

MIM isn't the problem, poor quality is the problem to many folks A) don't know the difference, and B) to many worry about the difference. You risk your life every day, if you drive a vehicle, to MIM parts. Nothing new here.

It is an urban myth.

As to S&W today, it's not about the parts, just like during the dark Bangor Punta days. It's about how those parts are put together.

Go figure.

Fred

clang
July 10, 2010, 01:31 AM
P&R were nice details on the old S&Ws. They probably did not make the gun shoot any better, but there is a saying about the difference being in the details.

People like guns that were assembled and fit by trained craftsmen who made the high quality products. Cost savings steps tend to be a turn off because they are a sign that the product is being compromised in some way. That's why 5 screw and P&R guns are the most desirable - they come from a time when a lot more hands on labor was involved in putting together a gun.

I agree with the person above - I've got two 625s and they are a joy to shoot. But I also have a Model of 1950 .45ACP Target (pre-26) that shoots at least as well as the 625s. It's somewhat comforting to know that the cost savings steps taken have not signifincantly loweered the accuracy or dependability of the guns S&W makes.

That being said, I still prefer a 5 screw > 4 screw > P&R (on applicable models) > no-P&R.

9mmepiphany
July 10, 2010, 03:27 AM
the quality of S&Ws have gradually been going downhill as the amount of hand-fitting has gone down, this continued until...wait for it...wait for it...the age of MIM :eek:

one of the country's foremost S&W pistolsmiths recently told me that the quality control of S&W actions is held to a much higher standard since the introduction of MIM parts. once a part is correctly engineered and the specs correctly imputed into the computer, every part is identical and tolerances can be held to a very high standard. there is much less for the Performance Center to do to the current actions to optimze them.

Oyeboten
July 10, 2010, 06:00 AM
One can try 'The Blindfold Test' also.

Blindfolded, have a trusted person hand you a Model 1899 K Frame which is in fairly good condition...hold it, open and close the Cylinder, satisfy yourself it is not loaded, dry fire, get the 'feel' of it.


Then, a same length barrel K Frame of any time recently.

Remove blindfold, and repeat with seeing also.


Quality was once 'superb'.

Then, it was very very good.

Then, very good.

Then, good.

Quality is somewhat ineffible...but, one can know it when seeing and feeling it.

Good is 'good'.

Superb...was, well...'Superb'.

evan price
July 10, 2010, 07:02 AM
I have a 1905 hand ejector 4th change, a 5-screw .38 spl made in late 1930's. Even in the used condition it was in when I got it, a little cleaning and oiling made it slick as glass.

I also have a couple of newer K-frames from the 70's and 80's. Quality didn't really seem to slip at first because the same people were doing the same jobs. Very nice pistols.

Bangor-Punta took over in 65 and was sold in 84 to Lear-Siegler. Then in 86 they got sold again to Forstman-Little who then sold them to Tompkins.

IMHO the worst years for S&W (pre-Saf-T-Hammmer ownership, of course) was the 1982-1987 era when they were changing hands every few years, eliminated P&R, and got generally sloppy. I suppose a year or two before that was when things started sliding down.

So let's say 1980 through 1989? Then the Saf-T-Hammer years with the Clinton lock...2001-present?

Was there anything in 1990-2001 that was good? The 586/686 perhaps...

madcratebuilder
July 10, 2010, 08:11 AM
MIM isn't the problem, poor quality is the problem to many folks A) don't know the difference, and B) to many worry about the difference. You risk your life every day, if you drive a vehicle, to MIM parts. Nothing new here.

It is an urban myth.

As to S&W today, it's not about the parts, just like during the dark Bangor Punta days. It's about how those parts are put together.


+1000

While most of my S&W collection are early model revolvers a few are newer with MIM parts. They are as reliable and shoot just as well as the older ones. The MIM guns respond to the same tune-up techniques as the early models. It's all in your head.

DrLaw
July 10, 2010, 10:22 AM
I guess I have been lucky. I have not purchased a new Smith & Wesson since 1985 but of those that I did purchase new prior to that, I never have had a problem other than a broken firing pin on a model 36, which Smith fixed pronto.


The Doc is out now. :cool:

22-rimfire
July 10, 2010, 11:16 AM
My opinion is that that current crop of Smith & Wesson revolvers are just as good as the old ones from an operational perspective. You can debate some things on construction, but in the end, the current ones shoot and will operate safely and reliably for several lifetimes if they are taken care of.

Guillermo
July 10, 2010, 11:42 AM
The question is not the pinned and recessed cylinders, it is the overall quality.

Smith and Wesson, in the 40's through the 60's made some spectacular guns.

The 70's they got iffy and have had their ups and downs ever since. Mostly downs.

MIM parts are the main problem. They are basically chunks of metal in a binder. Think of gravel held together by cement. Parts manufactured in this method do not polish well. Many gunsmiths refuse to do trigger jobs on them as the customer is often not pleased with the results.

The bottom line is that Smith and Wesson used to make some of the finest revolvers ever made. Now they are on the same quality rung as Taurus.

Pinned and recessed is just a symbol of what once was.

420Stainless
July 10, 2010, 11:45 AM
They look better to me (P&R that is). Whether they are functionally better, I cannot say. I haven't shot either style to death in order to find out which lasts longer.

Shear_stress
July 10, 2010, 12:35 PM
MIM parts are the main problem. They are basically chunks of metal in a binder. Think of gravel held together by cement. Parts manufactured in this method do not polish well. Many gunsmiths refuse to do trigger jobs on them as the customer is often not pleased with the results.

I hate to disagree with Guillermo, but this is only half-true. When the parts are first molded they do contain a binder. At this stage they are called "green parts". However, the binder is then boiled away during the sintering process, which also fuses the metal particles together. The result is very similar to the sintered parts Colt used in the lockwork of their Mark III guns starting in the 70s, parts that people rarely complain about. If the binder wasn't removed those hammers and triggers would have the structural integrity of Tollhouse cookies.

My objection to MIM is not the functionality of the parts, but the fact that guns with such parts retail for the same prices, adjusting for inflation, as the older guns.

I agree that S&W quality has had its ups and downs--especially since the 70s--but MIM has little to do with it.

Guillermo
July 10, 2010, 01:09 PM
Shear

thank you for the lesson. (I LOVE the High Road...lot's of smart people here)

The fact remains that MIM parts do not polish well

Old Fuff
July 10, 2010, 02:03 PM
MIM Parts:

We are sort of dancing around the bush here. Smith & Wesson hammers and triggers were formally made from steel bar stock. MIM parts are made from metal particles mixed with a binder into a sort of paste. The paste is introduced into a mold and heated – to a point where the binder fuses the particles together, but not to a level where the particles become melted. If only the metal particles were put in the mold without the binder and heated, you would end up with… metal particles.

This is why the density of an MIM part is always slightly less then 100% of an identical part made from bar stock or a forging.

In my experience, MIM parts do not polish very well, but they do burnish – which in some cases may be a better way to go about it then polishing. It is true that some ‘smiths decline action jobs on the newer revolvers, because such jobs when done right (and “right” involves a lot more then polishing parts and installing reduced tension springs); don’t show the improvement that’s possible with older guns, and customers end up being disappointed. As one politically correct ‘smith put it, “they can usually be improved, but they feel different then the older guns.”

MIM parts can be made to closer tolerances, which permit a tolerance stack (or difference) to allow putting parts together without any attempt to get a perfect (rather then “working” fit). Previously experienced and skilled assemblers would address tolerances issues by using “selective fitting,” where parts were selected in a manner where the tolerance stack was all but eliminated. When done right (and sometimes it wasn’t) this system worked exceeding well, but obviously it wasn’t consistent with reducing manufacturing costs.

Which brings use to a core point. The switch to MIM parts came about to reduce not only the cost difference between machined parts vs. molded ones, but also to reduce assembly costs – because assembling the MIM parts to make a workable revolver didn’t require the skill and experience that was formally required, and labor costs had become much more burdensome them material costs.

Which does the Old Fuff prefer? The answer should be obvious. Others I’m sure will see things differently.

Guillermo
July 10, 2010, 02:10 PM
Thank you for the lesson Sir Fuffster



Others I’m sure will see things differently.

I guess that they are wrong then


unless speaking of DAO full sized revolvers

Shear_stress
July 10, 2010, 02:44 PM
MIM parts are made from metal particles mixed with a binder into a sort of paste. The paste is introduced into a mold and heated – to a point where the binder fuses the particles together, but not to a level where the particles become melted. If only the metal particles were put in the mold without the binder and heated, you would end up with… metal particles.

Not to pick nits with OF (who's forgotten more about guns than I will ever know), but I'd argue that the binder is there mainly to turn a metallic powder into a fluid, injection-moldable, medium. It probably also acts as a flux.

Anyway, MIM is a perfectly fine manufacturing technique that can yield perfectly functional parts. My problem with it, though, is the same as my beef with plastic pistol frames: I don't want just "functionality". Part of my enjoyment of firearms comes from an appreciation of craftsmanship, the knowledge that my guns are the result of skilled labor.

To me, novelty is not a selling point and new S&Ws compete with the legions of used ones made "the way they used to." I'm not going to pay as much or more for guns made more cheaply, even if they are just as functional.

bdb benzino
July 10, 2010, 02:46 PM
Great info guys!

Old Fuff
July 10, 2010, 02:48 PM
I guess that they are wrong then


Not necessarily - it all depends on how you define, "wrong."

At Colt (and probably all the other firearms manufacturers as well) prior to World War Two, but in particular during the Great Depression; the cost of raw materials exceeded that of the highly skilled labor force they had. Today in the overall picture the cost of materials is meaningless.

So during the last half of the 20th century to present, gun making, engineering, design, and manufacturing procedures have been mostly aimed at maintaining “reasonable” quality while sharply decreasing human labor. Modern manufacturing materials and techniques have unquestionably been able to reduce labor and overhead costs. The current debate is really over the question, “How much did this affect quality, and was the affect (if any) meaningful?”

If you look at this from a perspective of function, the answer usually is that the current guns are as functional as they ever were – which is to say, when you pull the trigger they go BANG! If you are looking for more then that, then in my opinion the older guns have more to offer.

If Guillermo should take his older Colt Detective Special and recently acquired Diamondback completely apart and also do the same with a new S&W J-frame revolver, I suspect he would notice some differences other then the material/manufacturing technology used to make the parts, especially the hammer and trigger. Only he can tell us if, in his opinion the differences matter.

Old Fuff
July 10, 2010, 03:09 PM
…but I'd argue that the binder is there mainly to turn a metallic powder into a fluid, injection-moldable, medium. It probably also acts as a flux.

I would agree up to a point, but if the MIM part was identical to the machined one both would have equal density. The MIM part doesn’t.

Anyway, MIM is a perfectly fine manufacturing technique that can yield perfectly functional parts.

Again I agree, they are indeed functional, and allow the manufacturer to use relatively unskilled (and lower paid) final assemblers. This is unquestionably the modern way to make guns, but the Old Fuff is a long way from being modern.

Recently I examined a Smith & Wesson .38 D.A. revolver. This top-break pocket gun was a far cry from modern, but the cylinder had no end-shake and zero rotational movement when it was locked. The sideplate was so closely fitted that from anything more then close up you couldn’t see a line between the frame and sideplate. Current guns don’t come close in either respect, but this one was made during 1884 or ’85 by machinists using, by current standards, primitive tooling. This example illustrates the kind of difference I’m trying to explain.

Shear_stress
July 10, 2010, 03:18 PM
I would agree up to a point, but if the MIM part was identical to the machined one both would have equal density. The MIM part doesn’t.

Fuff, old buddy, I never said that MIM parts are identical to machined parts. They are as functional, for sure, and that's fine for some folks. Again, my point is that, given the same price, I go with used guns built by craftsmen. I'll pay less for a more cheaply-made gun, but I will not pay the same amount.

Guillermo
July 10, 2010, 04:22 PM
actually my DS and DB are from the same era but I get your point

I do not care that much about the difference between an 1950 and a 1968 colt lockwork

I DO care for the difference between the 1950 Smith lockwork and the MIM of today. Unless you are lucky the trigger is not as good and is unlikely to be improved.

rcmodel
July 10, 2010, 05:33 PM
From a fit & finish standpoint, the older S&W's were far & away beyond the new guns.

However, the new guns are far more accurate then all but a select few of the old ones because of the new tooling and CNC machining used today.

The older guns were made on worn out equipment by craftsmen who knew how many thousands slop the slide & quill on his mill had developed over the years.
He "allowed" for it when making the cuts!

The new guns are made on new CNC machines by young computer operators, and the new & tight CNC machines don't have any slop in them.

The result is cylinders with all the chambers perfectly in line with the bore, and perhaps better rifling then ever.

rc

Old Fuff
July 10, 2010, 05:35 PM
Fuff, old buddy, I never said that MIM parts are identical to machined parts. They are as functional, for sure, and that's fine for some folks.

I could have made better use of language to explain my point... :o

The two kinds of hammers (older vs. MIM) are not identical in various respects, but one of them is that the newer ones are lighter in weight. To compare the density of the material one way would be to make two identical ones and weight them. For reasons that be should be obvious, the one made of particles + binder would weigh less then one made from 100% steel barstock or a forging. That is if all other things were equal.

Does this make any practical difference? Only in two respects, neither which may (or may not) be important. The heavier hammer will impact the primer harder (acting through the hammer nose or firing pin), and it's easier to improve the double-action trigger pull when tuning the action - or at least many, if not most 'smiths see it that way.

Again, my point is that, given the same price, I go with used guns built by craftsmen. I'll pay less for a more cheaply-made gun, but I will not pay the same amount.

I feel the same way, but as a practical matter if S&W was making them the old way, probably neither of us, as well as everyone else, couldn't afford to buy them. This is why Colt for example, quit the hand-ejector revolver business. Smith & Wesson is still in business because they incorporated current manufacturing technology to keep their costs down. No way, no how are you going to buy a new S&W made the old way.

What Jelly Jar really wants to know is, what kind of quality do those revolvers made between the time S&W stopped pinning barrels and recessing chambers in some models, and when MIM lockwork was introduced, represent?

I'll go into that in another post.

MrBorland
July 10, 2010, 05:41 PM
However, the new guns are far more accurate then all but a select few of the old ones because of the new tooling and CNC machining used today.

Agreed. I appreciate the fit and finish of the older guns, and have a few, but "better" is subjective: To me, "better" is the better shooter, no matter the age. Just so happens, my shooters are all newer.

Oyeboten
July 10, 2010, 05:55 PM
Quality is certainly an attribute with many possible dimensions respecting how something functions on many levels.

Any given individual will have personal values or emphasis which will make their evaluatory 'Graph' unique.

Function/reliability, is one level, among possibly many others.

When I was growing up, I used to argue with my dad all the time about this stuff.

To him, 'quality' meant only that something functioned...a car was a 'only' way to get from point A, to point B.

To me, if the Car was not a car I genuinely liked the design and engineering and details of, I would not want it, even if it meant I had to take a Bus or walk.


So, he drove his '64 Chevy II, and I drooled over side-of-the-gas-station Barn Find '31 Hudson Roadsters with the 'Big' Eight.

My S&W Model 10-6, when I removed the side plate, there was some raised metal around one of the screw holes, which had been left there, causing the side plate to be elevated somewhat. It was ground flush then, that way, and no one cared.

It is a very good Revolver, I am fond of it, but I see also, that it was made in a period when the people asssembling, and the people next-in-phase of the assembly progression, no longer cared.

The Mechanism also had burrs and machinging 'ears' of metal here and there, and, I carefully corrected those.

It is probably totally reliable...I have made it mine, and I am fond of it.

But the most it can ever be, is a 'pretty darned good' Revolver.

The 'early' S&Ws I have, when dismantled and inspected, are 'superb'...and they are superb in every other way also.

One could argue that the Steels are not as strong on the M1899, M1902 or early M1905 K Frames.

But, it is easy to respect that, and, to just accept they were made for what at the time, were the Standard Loadings.

I do not see this as a deficit in any way.

Far as I have seen, S&W remained 'Superb' well into or through the 1930s.

After that, they made 'very good Revolvers'...or sometimes maybe not so good ones on a case by case basis during the 'punta' period.

Not the same.


CEOs and Stock-holders care about profit, not 'quality'.

Thus, to my mind, both are inimical and detrimental to the Health and well being of the Society which tolerates them.

A systemic illness...

Guillermo
July 10, 2010, 06:22 PM
The result is cylinders with all the chambers perfectly in line with the bore

the lock up is more of an issue than machining alignment in my experience

Guillermo
July 10, 2010, 06:26 PM
Oyeboten

Point well made

just look at the nasty tool marks in Smith in the sticky about dismantling a Model 10

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=397027

it may work fine but so does a corrugated metal wall, but it is not as "nice" as stone

Hawk
July 10, 2010, 06:28 PM
I would be hesitant to use P&R as an indicator of quality if for no other reason than it, in and of itself, doesn't distinguish the firearms that everyone waxes poetic over from those produced during darkest Bangor Punta.

This is not to say that BP era firearms blew chunks - most, perhaps nearly all, were products that would make S&W proud. Anecdotally, one of my favorites is a 5" nickel model 27 which exhibits all the qualities associated with expert craftsmanship. Best as I can tell it may well have been made at nearly the same time and possibly in a workstation adjacent to the one which produced my 28-2 which is a dog's dinner of Bangor Punta horror stories that would make Charter Arms blush on their worst day. Then there's the 57 no dash that split the difference.

MIM would seem to be an issue which is treated differently in the world of firearms than in the world at large. I'm not saying the view of the process in the firearms field is wrong. It is perhaps, on rare occasion, dated.

Nothing wrong with that. No sir, nothing.


The MIM process is relatively new and advances come at too fast a pace for me to keep pace with (my ASM membership lapsed before MIM was commercially viable). However, I do know that available relative densities exceeded 99% some years back. As of two years ago 3.5 pound flow control assemblies for passenger jets became reality in MIM and, if density vs. SAE 4140 is an issue it's easy enough to use a specialty alloy (http://www.eurotungstene.com/mim_high-density_alloys.asp). MIM can also be polished, plated, heat treated and machined. A MIM tungsten hammer will make a primer think it's been hit with the hammer of Thor.

This is not to challenge any observations previously made here as I will make the obvious observation that what is available with MIM may have little or nothing to do with what S&W has seen fit to implement with the process. Or, most especially, <shudder> Kimber's early forays into the process.

Anecdotally again, and admittedly lacking the Fuff's numerous examples (my oldest unmolested example being from 1948), the finest fit and finished examples of S&W are P&R - several from the BP years.

The one I shoot best, out of the box, is a 2008 627. Arguably, putting the maximum number of rounds downrange, quickly, where one intends for them to go, repeatedly, is what Smith & Wesson intended back in the 19th century. At the job of actually doing what a revolver was, I believe, intended to do, the 2008 PC version comports itself well.

In the interest of full disclosure, the late model 627 has a forged (blanked / conventional) hammer and trigger. Whereas some of my earlier non-locked examples have MIM. I'll not re-open that can. :D

Lastly, though the OP already mentioned it, P&R only applies to S&W's slide into perdition. The Colt Python, introduced around 1955 if memory serves, is without recessed chambers, a pinned barrel and even has a frame mounted firing pin. And everyone knows how those Pythons represented a general decline in Colt's quality. ;)

Hondo 60
July 10, 2010, 07:05 PM
I have a 10-5 4" from 1967. That there is the best gun I've ever fired. Fine quality & very accurate for fixed sights. It's brother is a 2" from 1977 that runs along side as far as quality & not bad accuracy (it's a snubby so it's not gonna be as accurate).

I've got a 36 from 1969-70 that I bought 2nd hand. It had to go back due to less than stellar workmanship on the cylinder (chambers are different sizes).
I'm waiting to get it back.

I guess what I'm getting at, is that each gun is different.

918v
July 10, 2010, 07:58 PM
I think pre-war Colts are better fitted than post-war Colts. I'll take a Shooting Master or Officer's Model Target over a Python any day.

Hawk
July 10, 2010, 09:08 PM
Time for an old Dfariswheel quote that I bookmarked:


One more time:
You cannot judge a gun based on just the year it was made. Guns aren't wine.

Each individual gun must be judged on it's own merits.
I've seen recent Colt and S&W guns that are made in "bad times" that are some of the finest quality guns I've ever seen.

I've seen a Colt Officer's Model from the 1930's when quality was supposed to be the absolute top of the mountain, that was a mess. Bad blue job, bad action, misfit sideplate, badly out of time, it should never have left the plant, especially then.

I've seen a pre-war REGISTERED S&W .357 Magnum, supposedly the finest quality gun S&W ever made, BRAND NEW IN THE BOX,
that looked like something a shade tree mechanic put together.
Barrel not indexed properly so the sight was off to the right, there was NO barrel-cylinder gap, cylinder crane didn't lock up properly and you could actually hear the cylinder clunking if you shook the gun sideways, the hammer would "push off", and a blue job with scratches, ripples, and dished-out areas.
The original owner kept it as a, then rare, factory curiosity.

The point is, people who say "Oh, I've never buy a 1990's Colt or Smith, their not any good", is passing by some good quality guns.

The current crop of guns is not up to the old standards because the OLD PEOPLE are gone. With all the strikes, layoffs, corporate downsizing, and more layoffs, the old workers are all gone.
The people who knew exactlly how to make high quality guns, and took pride in their workmanship have been replaced by off-the-street employees who know little about guns, and haven't the experience and skills.

A lot of this I blame on the Harvard-Yale-Wharton MBA grads that are running, and ruining companies today. They are taught to watch the money. Ignore the product, ignore the producton floor, ignore the workers, and ignore quality. Manage the money and everything will be fine.
These people have the same attitude toward workers. The therory is: workers are as interchangeable as screws and bolts. It doesn't matter if you're making paper, jet aircraft, cars, plastic, or guns, the same people will do fine.

There is a difference in "gun people". They have the natural talent base that allows them to develope high order skills, and the pride in workmanship. people like this make good guns, in spite of the company. "Interchangeable" people will make bad guns in spite of the company.

Bottom line: Judge a gun on it's own merits, not when it was made. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Admittedly, from 2002 but probably as valid as in 1952.

Oyeboten
July 10, 2010, 10:33 PM
Hi Guillermo,



Lol...

My Model 10-6 similarly...seemed a little crude for Mill Marks internally where the Lockwork is.

I made some little flat hard 'pads' on which I glued 320 Grit Silicon Carbide Abrasive Paper, and, I addressed some of those areas where I felt it would do some good, and it did.

I also glued a half sheet of the same Abrasive Paper to a small sheet of 1/4 Inch Plate Glass, and wetting well with WD-40 used that true up and or improve the flat surfaces of several of the internal parts themselves...removing Machining burrs and so on also.

All of this was quite easy and common-sense sort of straight forward.

There were milling 'burrs' in the end area of a recess in the Frame, where some of the Crane/Cylinder Release related parts ride, and the Milling 'burrs' were interfering with function, and I got those cleaned out.

Central Rod of the Ejector was too short...and that was making some problems, so I added a teeny bit of hard Brazing Alloy to the end, filed that down to where all was about perfect then for that.

It is more like buying a 'kit' I guess...in it's way.

All of those detials are things which ought to have been noticed and addressed in the assembly phase, rather than being ignored by the S&W operatives doing the assembly and fitting phases.

Anyway, I took care of those little things as I saw fit, and, the Revolver then functioned very nicely and was smooth feeling when pulling it through double action, or, cocking for single action.

But all of those things should have been done as it was being fitted and assembled originally at the Factory.

How demoralizing it must be to have a 'job' where you are not permitted to care about the quality of what you do...or where the boss gets mad if you try to.


Sad...

Joe Demko
July 10, 2010, 11:06 PM
You can castigate S&W et. al. for being profit-oriented , if it pleasures you, but businesses must stay profitable or die. Hobbyists have the luxury to make the finest geegaw they possibly can because they are doing it for pleasure and satisfaction. Businesses have bills to pay. Even when, IYO, S&W was doing things right, they were still doing it for profit as part of a business plan. They have always been in the business of making money. Processes, markets, and wages changed. They changed to stay in business.

Guillermo
July 10, 2010, 11:07 PM
Oyeboten

It is sad that many people are in the situation where pride in their job is not expected.

And since Smith and Wesson is profitable they will continue to produce mediocre (at best) revolvers with crap QC and moronic locks (that work on the same axis as the recoil of the gun).

JellyJar
July 10, 2010, 11:43 PM
I find it funny that in my original post I never mentioned the word MIM and yet this thread has become mostly another dogfight about the merits or lack thereof of MIM parts!!!

Old Fluff is right. I have read all I want to about MIM parts for now. Just ignore all S&W revolvers made before 1994 and tell me what, if any thing, is better about the P&R revolvers made prior to 1981 compared to the non-P&R revolvers made up to the introduction of MIM parts in about 1994.

Oyeboten
July 11, 2010, 01:28 AM
I am a small Manufacturer.

I understand a good deal about what challenges and kinds of solutions prevail now a days.

I believe high quality and effecient methods are still possible, but, they would require a different mentality and values than one will find in those people who are managing or running things.

CEO's are about the worst thing that ever happened to our Country...they are merely serial rapists...and worse.

Joe Demko
July 11, 2010, 04:34 PM
I believe high quality and effecient methods are still possible, but, they would require a different mentality and values than one will find in those people who are managing or running things.

As Old Fuff indicated above, S&W could still be making their revolvers the old way and to the old standards. Of course, they'd be priced in the stratosphere and it is doubtful that S&W would still be able to stay in business due to poor sales.
Luckily for those who like the old Smiths, there are lots of them out there for you to buy.

Oyeboten
July 11, 2010, 04:43 PM
No...they would not have to be unreasonably priced.

How things are done would have to change, and, waste and inefficiency reduced or eliminated.

Piece work, getting paid for what one actually does, continuous inspection pass/no-pass, defective parts or returned guns are redone on workers own time, etc.

The Old Methods.

No wages, no benifits, no BS, no affirmative action, no politics. Eveyone is an outside Contractor doing Piece Work in an assembly/manufacturing context.

Good pay for good Work...means everyone gets faster, better, and gets rewarded for it, while costs go 'down'.


Instead of making 85 dollars a day for slogging through dispirited clock watching routines, and costing the employer a fortune in ancillary add ons, a person soon is making three or four hundred a day, turning out eight times the output with better quality...they stay ten or twelve hours a day, making good dough, instead of leaving after eight hours having done poorly...costing the employer no additional anything.

Otherwise there is no motive, unless driven by personal ethos, and, few are.

Joe Demko
July 11, 2010, 04:58 PM
If it is that simple, then I look forward to purchasing one of the revolvers your new company should be turning out at a reasonable price. Certainly, in today's economy you should have people stepping on eachother's necks for the opportunity to do "piece work" for you.

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