Why people love S&W revolvers


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TarDevil
February 18, 2012, 05:28 PM
It isn't necessarily the guns (though sometimes it IS)... it's that some people can keep the millions of model numbers straight in their head and can discern the difference between the gazillion different .38 models they make.

I need a Smith & Wesson for Dummies book!

Ooops.... just saw the sticky!

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gjamison
February 18, 2012, 06:09 PM
Standard Catalog of Smith&Wesson is a wealth of knowledge. Once you start learning about these revolver's it's very hard to stop. Also the S&W forum is a great place for info as well.

gotboostvr
February 18, 2012, 06:41 PM
I only really know the K-frames by heart, the N-frames I know a few.

I love my 19-3 and my 64-2.

edwin41
February 18, 2012, 06:43 PM
close youre eyes and grab a smith ...
feel it in your hands...
put youre thumb on the hammer , and slowly pull it back...
slowly pull the trigger till you hear the click....

that my friend is WHY PEOPLE LOVE THE SMITH &WESSON !

the_hustleman
February 18, 2012, 06:50 PM
I'll pass, I hate revolvers

*swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*

buck460XVR
February 18, 2012, 07:05 PM
I'll pass, I hate revolvers

*swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*


I've know folks that hate S&W revolvers, I know folks that hate Taurus revolvers, I know folks that hate Ruger revolvers. 'ell, I even know folks that don't love colt revolvers. But I didn't know it was possible to hate ALL revolvers. That just ain't right.

rikman
February 18, 2012, 07:39 PM
close youre eyes and grab a smith ...
feel it in your hands...
put youre thumb on the hammer , and slowly pull it back...
slowly pull the trigger till you hear the click....

that my friend is WHY PEOPLE LOVE THE SMITH &WESSON !
What he said

PabloJ
February 18, 2012, 07:54 PM
Some S&W revolvers are KOOL. I especially luv the one chambered for .22CF (40gr @ 1700-1800fps oh yeh) that can also accept .22WRM with special steel chamber liners and flick of switch located in back of hammer. Super umber-kool piece built like a tank on the ubiquitous K-frame.

The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Supica and Nahas is must have reference.

TarDevil
February 18, 2012, 08:04 PM
close youre eyes and grab a smith ...
feel it in your hands...
put youre thumb on the hammer , and slowly pull it back...
slowly pull the trigger till you hear the click....

that my friend is WHY PEOPLE LOVE THE SMITH &WESSON !
Sounds like my Colt Police Positive!! :)

Tinman357
February 18, 2012, 10:35 PM
Why? Cuz they never shot a colt.

rcmodel
February 18, 2012, 10:40 PM
.22CF (40gr @ 1700-1800fps oh yeh) that can also accept .22WRMNo, actually it can't.

The S&W Model 53 .22 Remington Jet shot .22 RF short, long, and long rifle with the supplied chamber inserts.
Not the .22 Winchester Rimfire Magnum.

rc

Twiki357
February 18, 2012, 11:18 PM
Maybe things like this have something to do with it.
First 15 rounds out of a new Model 637-2. :)

CraigC
February 18, 2012, 11:38 PM
I thought some of the 53's came with an extra cylinder in .22Mag? Or could be just another one of those things I'm remembering wrong. They seem to be multiplying.

rcmodel
February 18, 2012, 11:50 PM
No, they came with six .22 RF chamber adapters standard.

They could be ordered with an extra .22 RF cylinder fitted.

SCoS&W says there were reports of prototype .22 WMR inserts made by S&W, but not confirmed.
They further say 24 .22 WMR inserts were made by the authors (Supica & Nahas), and they were a dismal failure, with cases sticking in the inserts, or splitting.

All of them I ever saw had .22RF inserts, or an extra .22 RF cylinder.

I think what lead to the confusion is, all the Model 53 barrels were stamped with ".22 Magnum", but it was the .22 centerfire ".22 S&W Jet Magnum", not the .22 WMR Magnum they were talking about.

PS: Not to say there never was a Model 53 with an extra .22 WMR cylinder.
But I think if there was, it is a .22 RF cylinder that has been re-chambered.

rc

pendennis
February 18, 2012, 11:52 PM
CraigC wrote:
I thought some of the 53's came with an extra cylinder in .22Mag? Or could be just another one of those things I'm remembering wrong. They seem to be multiplying.
According to the SCSW, the extra cylinders were for .22LR.

The SCSW also reports that there were .22 WRM inserts made, but not confirmed. The "Magnum" roll mark denotes .22Centerfire Magnum (.22 Jet).

One of the fellows at our club just sold his Model 53 to fund a Model 48. His had the extra .22LR cylinder.

Driftwood Johnson
February 19, 2012, 12:20 AM
Why? Cuz they never shot a colt.

Howdy

Well, I have a few Colts; two 2nd Gen Single Action Armies, a couple of Police Positive Specials, a Detective Special, and an Official Police.

But I have lost count of how many Smiths I own. Probably getting close to four dozen at this point.

The appeal of the modern S&W double action revolver to me has always been that I feel it is simply a better design than a Colt DA. Except for the Model 1899, all S&W double action revolvers with swing out cylinders latch the cylinder in two places, at the front of the ejector rod and at the rear of the cylinder. Of course there was the Triple Lock too, but that is a separate story. Colts only latch the cylinder at the rear, there is nothing latching the cylinder at the front of the ejector rod, to me that makes the S&W lock up a little bit more rigid.

The other thing I have always preferred about Smiths is that they are more ergonomically designed, long before the word ergonomic was coined. To open a S&W, you push the thumb latch forward. To open a Colt you pull it backwards. Pushing the thumb forward is a much more natural motion. I can easily open a Smith with one hand if I care too. Opening a Colt requires hooking the thumb around the latch and pulling backwards. Just not as natural a motion.

I also have always liked the way a Smith is designed so that when the cylinder is open you cannot pull the trigger or pull the hammer back. Easy to defeat by pulling the latch back, but it always seemed to me this was a good design from a basic safety standpoint.

I have never much liked the 'v' shaped mainsprings that Colts use, I much prefer the simple, straight forward shape of a S&W mainspring. Easier to grind down the Smith spring shape if you want to lighten it.

I have also always liked the fact that there is a strain screw for the S&W mainspring. If you want to lighten the hammer pull just a tad, back out the strain screw a half turn. No strain screw to adjust on a Colt.

And for some unknown reason, I have always preferred the appearance of the S&W frame, with its egg shaped trigger guard. Just always looked more elegant to me than the 'lumpy' shapes of the various Colt trigger guards. Yeah, I know it is just style, but I have just always thought the S&W design was more elegant.

When S&W came up with the K frame in 1899, I think they came up with the perfect size for a 38 caliber revolver. Whether it is an old M&P or the most modern version of the Model 10, the size is just right. The frame of the Colt Official Police is a bit bigger and heavier than is really needed for a six shot 38 Special revolver. The frame size of the Police Positive Special is smaller, but I really prefer a K frame Smith for a 38 Special. There were sure a lot of police departments that felt the same way for the majority of the 20th Century. Sales of S&W revolvers to police departments far outweighed Colt sales.

The one thing I will say that was superior about Colts is the shape of the hammer. With the old long throw S&W hammers it was easy for the thumb to slip off the hammer spur when cocking the hammer if the shooter was not careful. Colts always had a hammer spur with a deep recess in front of the spur, where the tip of the thumb nestles when pulling back on the hammer. This allows a rolling action that tends to keep the thumb on the hammer spur. When S&W adopted the short throw hammer, they completely redesigned the hammer spur, putting a deep recess in front of the spur and cutting deep knurling. My thumb never slips off the hammer spur of a short throw S&W.

All in all, I feel the S&W hand ejector design is simply better than the Colt DA design.

I may be prejudiced.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20colt%20comparison/smith_colt_compare01.jpg

edwin41
February 19, 2012, 05:18 AM
i for one have to agree with driftwood here.

ive shot several colts at the range , incl. the famous phyton.
i never understood the phyton hype though , wouldn t trade it for my smith.

but hey , there are also people who like ruger revolvers , but i believe they are coming around now ! :D

Jim NE
February 19, 2012, 09:52 AM
I like the classic Smith and Wesson revolvers in large part because I like (and have always liked) mid or early 20th Century Americana. Cars, musical intruments, etc. Pretty much all of it. In guns, nothing represents that era better than S&W double actions (IMO).

The modern S&W revolvers are great, too, and they're appealing to me, but the appeal is somewhat different. Also, I don't run into many old Smith and Wessons (hand ejector type) that don't work properly. I'm sure they're out there, because EVERYTHING breaks. Some are better than others, but it seems most work properly.

I bought one online that was so horribly dirty that the cylinder would barely turn. I took the whole thing completely apart and cleaned it, gave one part a couple of swipes with a file, and now it's one of my best shooters.

19-3Ben
February 19, 2012, 10:00 AM
I'll pass, I hate revolvers

A WITCH!!!! A WITCH!!!! WE FOUND A WITCH!!!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g)

Guillermo
February 19, 2012, 10:28 AM
close youre eyes and grab a smith ...
feel it in your hands...
put youre thumb on the hammer , and slowly pull it back...
slowly pull the trigger till you hear the click....

that my friend is WHY PEOPLE LOVE THE SMITH &WESSON !

To say "Smith and Wesson Revolvers are Great!!!" is way too broad of a statement. Too many years and models.

Once upon a time they were, perhaps, the finest large production revolver ever made. Their whole line was outstanding. Their "flagships" such as the Model 27 were hand made pieces of functional art.

Now they are making glorified Tauruses (Tauri?) with the quality control of Yugo. MIM parts, idiotic locks, CDC guns that barely get touched by human hands. Even their "custom shop" puts out trash. And then there is the Governor...

My old K-22 from 1953 is a truly amazing gun. Excellent action. Laser like accuracy. Trigger pull on my hand ejector (1928) is truly wonderful.

THOSE are Smith's worthy of love. And they built the reputation that lasts to this day.

InkEd
February 19, 2012, 11:30 AM
The old S&W guns were great. The new ones are no better (if even as good) as the new Rugers. That said, the old ones were the nicest DA revolvers made. I would take a Combat Masterpiece even over a Colt Python.

S&W-Keeper
February 19, 2012, 11:58 AM
I hope that you can sleep tonight.

the_hustleman
February 19, 2012, 12:03 PM
I've know folks that hate S&W revolvers, I know folks that hate Taurus revolvers, I know folks that hate Ruger revolvers. 'ell, I even know folks that don't love colt revolvers. But I didn't know it was possible to hate ALL revolvers. That just ain't right.


Can't stand them!

Capacity limited ugly guns

*swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*

Guillermo
February 19, 2012, 12:12 PM
Can't stand them!

Capacity limited ugly guns

To each his own.

I don't get it any more than the fans of BBW but hey...this is (or recently was) America.

Where is my Diamondback?

CraigC
February 20, 2012, 10:15 AM
Can't stand them!

Capacity limited ugly guns
Then why are you here on the revolver forum? If you hate revolvers then you have nothing to add to the discussion. You have my sympathies.

hardluk1
February 20, 2012, 11:26 AM
I love wessons just not the smiths.

tahoe2
February 20, 2012, 10:51 PM
I have an S&W Mtn Gun model 57-5 in .41 magnum(4"), I also have a Ruger SA Blackhawk in .41 magnum(4-5/8"). The ruger has a really good trigger, but the smith has a great trigger. I did shoot a Colt Anaconda once(nice), but without a side by side comparison, I can't say it's the same, or better, or worse. for what it's worth.

just for fun
February 21, 2012, 05:34 PM
In the event that you must ask. It becomes obvious you do not own one! It also would be a rare situation when anyone, who clams to be "into" handguns would only own one Smith&Wesson revolver.

Fishslayer
February 21, 2012, 11:46 PM
In the event that you must ask. It becomes obvious you do not own one! It also would be a rare situation when anyone, who clams to be "into" handguns would only own one Smith&Wesson revolver.

Two things every person should own. A 1911 in .45ACP and a .357 Magnum wheelgun.

Keizer
February 21, 2012, 11:55 PM
Two things every person should own. A 1911 in .45ACP and a .357 Magnum wheelgun.

Or two or three of each...:D

I have only owned S&W revolvers for the last 25 years. Recently I bought a Ruger GP 100 in stainless steel. Although the Ruger is a great gun, the details (fit and finish) that you find on a S&W just aren't there with the Ruger. Matter of fact, the bottom of the hammer on the Ruger is ridiculously home made looking. I worked as a journey level machinist for years, so these differences stand out for me. But, I do have to say that I like the look of the Ruger overall, and it's one of my fav revolvers.

Serenity
February 21, 2012, 11:57 PM
Hey now, some of us only own a couple of guns. But one of them does happen to be a m67 :) My son loves it so much he spent hours today after school perusing the S&W website looking at hundreds of models and daydreaming. :cool: It is amazing what kids can come up with to avoid homework.

Dnaltrop
February 22, 2012, 12:53 AM
Because the Second pistol I was allowed to shoot after the High Standard .22...

My very first revolver... was a late 30's, early 40's Victory Model 10 .38.

Every trigger I've pulled since has had a very high bar to clear.

PabloJ
February 22, 2012, 01:30 AM
I put that revolver on layaway. Not sure if inserts are .22lr or .22wrm but I like four screw frame and 4" heavy barrel. If the barrel was long I would pass on the gun.

ArchAngelCD
February 22, 2012, 01:31 AM
I like S&W revolvers because they are so damn sexy!

evan price
February 22, 2012, 03:42 AM
Like both Colt & S&W. Both have advantages. Both have appeal. It's just the hand craftsmanship and the old-school look. Plus they tend to always go bang and hit what I point at. Tactical Tupperware has no appeal to me. They are a toaster.

Retcop
February 22, 2012, 03:51 AM
I Own 6 S&W revolvers so I guess I am hooked on them. :eek:

sloman
February 22, 2012, 02:03 PM
the trigger says it all

TarDevil
February 22, 2012, 02:38 PM
Me thinks most missed the light-hearted intent of the initial post.. but whatever stimulates a good conversation, right? :)

Nope... don't own a S&W revolver yet. The one I want = one mortgage payment, and I've got too many doctors wanting a heap more money than I've got!

Dnaltrop
February 22, 2012, 03:01 PM
Love spawns a deeper interest Tar :D

The Model 10 has been made since 1899, I've got a Chief's special in the "library", the first Cowboy revolver I bought was a Replica... of a S&W Schofield. The first Polymers were S&W...

I keep having the wrong amount of money in my account when I find a lower-priced "Registered Magnum" (sigh)

Never even managed to lay eyes on a live Volcanic, much less consider owning one.

All of this UTTERLY unintentional, and purely on how they felt in hand, or fit a purpose, or tickled my fancy. NOT by brand name alone.

People don't usually memorize all of the back story on a gun that makes them go "meh" :D

S&W (and other venerable manufacturers) are living history. I can't recite serial numbers, but I'm sure glad that guys who can are on THR!

That a little more "in spirit" for ya neighbor? ^^

BTW I can't afford my dream Smith at the moment either, but those $280 Model 10's from Bud's might slake some of your thirst in the interim.

TarDevil
February 22, 2012, 03:13 PM
BTW I can't afford my dream Smith at the moment either, but those $280 Model 10's from Bud's might slake some of your thirst in the interim.

That might keep me pacified 'till I can afford my Classic... Model 22 (Thunder Ranch, preferably), 24 or 25. I'm not ENTIRELY picky! :)

Bubba613
February 22, 2012, 04:08 PM
The S&W revolver is a classic. The basic gun is over 100 years old and it was all over the place when police issued them.
Colt? Well, the Smith is still in production, the Colt isn't. That pretty much says it. The Colts were terribly expensive, due to the extensive hand fitting required. The metal was soft. They went out of time frequently. And the triggers weren't anywhere near as good as a Smith that had been tuned.

Once upon a time they were, perhaps, the finest large production revolver ever made. Their whole line was outstanding. Their "flagships" such as the Model 27 were hand made pieces of functional art.

Now they are making glorified Tauruses (Tauri?) with the quality control of Yugo. MIM parts, idiotic locks, CDC guns that barely get touched by human hands. Even their "custom shop" puts out trash. And then there is the Governor...

My old K-22 from 1953 is a truly amazing gun. Excellent action. Laser like accuracy. Trigger pull on my hand ejector (1928) is truly wonderful.

THOSE are Smith's worthy of love. And they built the reputation that lasts to this day.
A person who says this doesn't know what he's talking about. Today's Smiths are better made than the old ones. The metal is better and the production is better. I have a new 649 in my shop with a trigger, both DA and SA, that would have taken a gunsmith quite a bit of work to achieve. Many of the older guns, especially the Js, had terrible rough triggers.

jimmyraythomason
February 22, 2012, 04:19 PM
the trigger says it all Well,in my own PERSONAL experience (having owned many revolvers over the last 4 decades)I would rate the S&W triggers as good but not that far superior to many others. I did a closed eye test of triggers between a Smith Model 29-2 and a Taurus M44. They both had identical rubber grips. It was virtually impossible to tell them apart by feel.

Jim NE
February 22, 2012, 05:21 PM
Why people love S&W revolvers

To me it's the history, in part. I like things made in America from the 1930's to the 1970's.

Also, it seems like there are more old Smiths that work than don't work. Good indication of quality.

cfullgraf
February 22, 2012, 05:26 PM
Can't stand them!

Capacity limited ugly guns

*swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*

But, with revolvers you do not leave any more evidence than necessary behind.

I like my S&Ws.

Wish I had some Colts to like but all of my Colts go back and forth not roundy round.

Bush Pilot
February 22, 2012, 09:30 PM
Can't stand them!

Capacity limited ugly guns

*swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*
Posts like this prove that friends shouldn't let friends post while they're drunk.

il_10
February 22, 2012, 10:38 PM
the Smith is still in production, the Colt isn't. That pretty much says it.
Likely because Colt makes way more money off of the big, easy to fill government contracts.
The Colts were terribly expensive, due to the extensive hand fitting required
Truer more in recent years than in Colt's heyday. The cost of hand fitting went up, and colt tried to adapt by switching to coil springs and parts that drop in easier. The following guns admittedly weren't very popular, which certainly contributed to Colt's decision to pull out of the DA revolver market.
The metal was soft. They went out of time frequently.
The timing issue has been debated to death on this forum and others, and I don't want to jump into that here. I'm curious, though, where you got the idea that the metal is soft compared to a Smith? I've always been under the impression that Colt's metallurgy was superior to Smith's. When Smith built the .38-44 outdoorsman because the .38-44HV was beating their M&Ps apart, colt claimed the ammo was fine in their D frame guns. I'm sure plenty of this was just corporate competition, but the D frame is only slightly larger than a Smith J frame so...
I'd just like to see that backed up with a rockwell test or something other than hearsay one way or the other before being claimed. You may very well be right, I've just never heard that before (but rather the contrary)

And the triggers weren't anywhere near as good as a Smith that had been tuned.
A Smith trigger isn't anywhere near as good as a trigger that has been tuned...

I prefer a Colt trigger to a Smith. And I love my Smith long-action triggers too but in SA a Colt's hard to compete with, and the DA is at least on par with the others.

Bubba613
February 23, 2012, 07:47 AM
Gov't contracts typically do not make much money. Every arms contractor has experienced the low margins that come from gov't work. I believe Remington went broke supplying the army, maybe after the Spanish AMerican war.
No, Colt's revolvers were not competitive. The Python sold for about $900 in the last years of production and the Smith 686 for about 550.
As to the metal, this info is from my 'smith, a Colt's registered gunsmith. Re-timing involves beating on the cylinder to bend the metal.
Smith's pre-war long double action pretty much was an afterthought, as single action shooting was preferred. The post war short action made for a beautiful DA, which has only gotten better with better materials and techniques.

il_10
February 23, 2012, 01:58 PM
You're partially correct. Re-timing a colt that has a sprung crane can often involve beating on the crane (not the cylinder), but most often re-timing involves only refitting a hand, as that was the part designed to wear first. Shooting a colt that's out of time for a lengthy period of time will wear other parts, and slapping the cylinder into battery can spring the frame, but both of these problems are present in a S&W as well. Neither of these issues speaks to the softness of the metal, which to my knowledge is generally considered to have been consistently better than S&W. For the record, I own several of both. I'll check around and see if anyone has the tools available near me to test the hardness for comparison on some hidden-away spot.

sgtstryker
February 23, 2012, 07:28 PM
If I may, is $495 a fair price on a Model 10-4 heavy barrel 4 in. ? It's in very good condition. I've been wanting this gun for about two months, I have bought my wife a 10-6 standard 4 in. for $335 out the door. Two different shops.

JeffDilla
February 23, 2012, 07:58 PM
A WITCH!!!! A WITCH!!!! WE FOUND A WITCH!!!!

Haha! Perfect!

Litlman
February 23, 2012, 08:44 PM
If you have to ask, YOU just don't get it.

robctwo
February 24, 2012, 12:26 AM
I was shooting some S&Ws this afternoon. 4" 617 10 shot, 620, 14-3, 25-2 and 25 Classic. About 750 trouble free accurate rounds down range. :D

lathedog
February 24, 2012, 10:54 AM
Like it or not, S&W is the gold standard for revolvers in terms of: number out there for you to buy; availability of parts (for repair or upgrade/enhancement) and accessories; current factory support; current production of new guns; and availability of different models/features/calibers. They are mostly robust, and easily repairable when they aren't. Lots of gunsmiths work on them, and many of those do their work very well. The factory usually does a great job of repair, and usually takes care of you in a timely manner. The factory makes parts available, and many parts are drop-in replacements even for older guns. Several big parts companies sell lots of parts for s&w revolvers.

The other brands all share some portion of the above comments, but not all. Or they do many of these things, but not as well. Colt used to give S&W some hard competition, but were a bit more delicate and very hard to fix. Ruger builds a pretty good DA revolver, but they feel clunky and the overall line-up is spartan. Taurus has a lot of variety of models (and variability in quality) and makes some unique offerings. Charter Arms are serviceable up to the point where they wear or break, then you can go buy another.

There is no clever way to cut a corner on the issue of overall owner satisfaction.

Frank V
February 24, 2012, 01:47 PM
SGTStryker
In my area that would be a lot of money to pay for a mod. 10, but they are getting almost a cult following & they are a GREAT revolver. I'd check prices in your area & see what they are going for there.
Good luck, the mod. 10 is a very nice gun.
Frank

Guillermo
February 25, 2012, 12:01 AM
(Colts)went out of time frequently

Today's Smiths are better made than the old ones.

When I read quotes like this I tend to laugh them off because most people are smart enough to ignore them.

Then again, there are folks out there that watched Algore's film and think that land in Colorado is future beachfront property.

Baghdad Bob is alive and he has a computer.

http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/jokes/bljoke-iraqinfominister.htm

Guillermo
February 25, 2012, 12:08 AM
One of my former basketball players sent me a quote

I think it is funny


‎"arguing with stupid people is like playing chess with a pigeon: no matter how good you are at chess, the pigeon is still going to knock the pieces all over, crap on the board, and strut around as if it is victorious."

Guillermo
February 25, 2012, 12:12 AM
SGTStryker

great gun but unless PERFECT that seems a bit high

but again...GREAT gun

Driftwood Johnson
February 25, 2012, 08:42 AM
The timing issue has been debated to death on this forum and others, and I don't want to jump into that here. I'm curious, though, where you got the idea that the metal is soft compared to a Smith? I've always been under the impression that Colt's metallurgy was superior to Smith's. When Smith built the .38-44 outdoorsman because the .38-44HV was beating their M&Ps apart, colt claimed the ammo was fine in their D frame guns. I'm sure plenty of this was just corporate competition, but the D frame is only slightly larger than a Smith J frame so...
I'd just like to see that backed up with a rockwell test or something other than hearsay one way or the other before being claimed. You may very well be right, I've just never heard that before (but rather the contrary)

Howdy Again

I really doubt that at this time either Colt or S&W had steel that was significantly stronger than the other. Both had been heat treating cylinders by the time the 38-44 guns came out.

The 38-44 HV ammo was not beating the M&Ps apart. The 38-44 HV ammos was designed specifically for the 38-44 Outdoorsman and the 38-44 Heavy Duty because these revolvers were built on the N frame and had larger diameter cylinders, with more metal surrounding the chambers than could be achieved with a K frame gun like an M&P. Nobody in their right mind put 38-44 HV ammo into a K frame gun, and S&W advised against it.

I am not an expert on Colt frame sizes, but I do know that my Official Police is built on a frame that is larger than a Smith K frame and it also has a larger diameter cylinder. Not as large as a Smith N frame, but the cylinder is larger than a Smith K frame and the result is it has more steel surrounding each chamber. Perhaps it is not so much a matter of metallurgy as there was simply more steel surrounding the chambers in the Colt guns.

Guillermo
February 25, 2012, 09:10 AM
As Driftwood said, both revolvers where plenty hardy.

Of course "back in the day" when the two were competing in the dbl action revolver market, they used to come up with all kinds of things to say to prove that one was superior to the other.

Smith had a large sales force calling on law enforcement. Much larger than Colt's. It was a smart move but also the larger sales contingency was able to spread more misinformation about Colt than the inverse. Some of the rumors, lies and mischaracterizations live on to to this day.

The bottom line is that once upon a time Smith made some of the finest revolvers ever made. That reputation still lives on no matter how they try to squander it.

il_10
February 25, 2012, 12:34 PM
Driftwood Johnson,

It is my understanding that the .38-44 HD and outdoorsman revolvers came out after the round was in production.

In any case, I'm not talking about the larger than a K frame official police, I'm talking D frame revolvers, like police positive specials and detective specials, that are considerably smaller than K frames.

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i263/bryanmcgilvray/Album%20II/standard.jpg

Mike1957
February 25, 2012, 09:10 PM
S&Ws are addictive.

http://i1033.photobucket.com/albums/a413/Shep1957/guns/100_1734-1.jpg

skidder
February 26, 2012, 12:19 PM
Holy Shmoleys Mike! I got a brain teaser for ya. Which one has the best group at 20 yds?:D

Those are some fine weapons.

sidheshooter
February 26, 2012, 12:30 PM
Mike's real name is Eastwood. Clint Eastwood.

Bubba613
February 26, 2012, 02:03 PM
When I read quotes like this I tend to laugh them off because most people are smart enough to ignore them.
People laugh at what they don't understand.
The truth for those not blinded by gun prejudice is what I wrote. Smith revolvers today are better built and will last longer than ones produced at any time in the past.

CraigC
February 26, 2012, 02:08 PM
That's interesting. How exactly do we know that 10yr old S&W's will last as long as 100yr old S&W's??? If so, it will be the first time in history that anything "injection molded" lasted longer than forged steel. :rolleyes:

Bubba613
February 26, 2012, 02:13 PM
There is no "injection molding". Maybe the plastic boxes they come in, or the rubber type grips.

Guillermo
February 26, 2012, 02:50 PM
hard to imagine anyone believing that MIM is superior to forged.

even S&W uses forged parts in their "special" guns.

Take a look at the "model 10 assembly" sticky on the top of the revolver section and look at the tool marks on the inside of that gun. While you say that is "better made than the old ones" I just sold a model 10 from the early 60s to a buddy. The inside looked nothing like that.

Perhaps you think that looks good. Looks like a blind monkey on crack did their machining as far as I am concerned.

LTR shooter
February 26, 2012, 02:58 PM
Most all Smith revolvers I have owned have one attribute in common which is they shoot so darn good! That is what has sold me on Smith revolvers since I started shooting them - about 25 years now.

And that is true regardless of MIM or forged internals.
My 629 Classic is one I'd put against any Smith made in the "good old days." The MIM does not seem to have a detrimental effect on accuracy.

Guillermo
February 26, 2012, 03:18 PM
The MIM does not seem to have a detrimental effect on accuracy

Nor should it. The crush fit barrel on the other hand...

I am glad you got a good one. Many folks are not that lucky.


But back to the OP...S&W had a reputation for making great revolvers for many years.

Now they are living off of that reputation and judging from the cost cutting measures, making a darned good living doing it.

CraigC
February 26, 2012, 03:19 PM
There is no "injection molding". Maybe the plastic boxes they come in, or the rubber type grips.
Really??? What is it exactly that you think "MIM" stands for???

Guillermo
February 26, 2012, 03:29 PM
Craig,

It might be instructive for us to consider that all teenagers are not stupid.

Post 56 is an example.

BTW, I would change "stupid" to something else.

Guillermo
February 26, 2012, 03:34 PM
I will help Bubba

"truth for those not blinded by gun prejudice...you just don't understand...there is no "injection molding" in Metal Injection Molding"


(Good Lord this is funny!!!)

Mike1957
February 26, 2012, 08:01 PM
Holy Shmoleys Mike! I got a brain teaser for ya. Which one has the best group at 20 yds?:D

Those are some fine weapons.
No question about it. The model 41 will outshoot anything I own except for the High Standard Victor.

http://i1033.photobucket.com/albums/a413/Shep1957/guns/100_1452-1.jpg

http://i1033.photobucket.com/albums/a413/Shep1957/guns/100_0775-1.jpg

Guillermo
February 26, 2012, 08:23 PM
I too have a Model 41.

Mine is from the 50's

Dear Lord that gun is amazingly accurate.

sgtstryker
February 26, 2012, 08:39 PM
Thanks for the replies. Yep, this gun shop is notoriously high, but has quality firearms. But, I'll make a reasonable offer and let it go. I'm still looking, too. In keeping with the thread, I have several Smith's, the newest is a 640, the oldest a 29-2. My first was a Model 19 I bought back in the 70's. I think once you own one, you are hooked. I had a Colt Trooper, but prefer the autos over their revolvers.

Jaymo
February 26, 2012, 08:58 PM
I'm not quite sure why. I like them, but factory K and J frame trigger pulls suck badly.
They almost turned me off Smiths for good.
A rough, gritty trigger pull is not indicative of high quality. Certainly not when the guns cost as much as they do.

billybob44
February 26, 2012, 10:00 PM
close youre eyes and grab a smith ...
feel it in your hands...
put youre thumb on the hammer , and slowly pull it back...
slowly pull the trigger till you hear the click....

that my friend is WHY PEOPLE LOVE THE SMITH &WESSON !
PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE--Check the weapon for being loaded--BEFORE--any of this Eye Closed business....

Yes, I have/love S&W's...Please check first...Bill.

JohnBT
February 26, 2012, 10:15 PM
Relax, he checked it first.

When I was a little kid a long time ago I was convinced that one of the Smith Brothers was reasonsible for Smith & Wesson. The one with the long beard. And that's why I like S&W.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_YcsRkF6yBLI/TKcUXbyuvfI/AAAAAAAAMzw/QMtdnAHCbN8/s320/smith+brothers+wild+cherry+cough+drops.jpg

Hapworth
February 27, 2012, 10:23 AM
Nor should it. The crush fit barrel on the other hand...

I am glad you got a good one. Many folks are not that lucky.


But back to the OP...S&W had a reputation for making great revolvers for many years.

Now they are living off of that reputation and judging from the cost cutting measures, making a darned good living doing it.Could you expand on these thoughts, and on the differences as you see them between current and older S&Ws, and why you think the older ones are superior (or link to where you've already done so)?

Not challenging you -- this is for edification as I'm relatively new to the revolver scene and on instinct have been purchasing the older models.

Guillermo
February 27, 2012, 11:15 AM
Hey Hapworth

Welcome to the High Road

The deal is simple. Once upon a time labor, skilled labor, was cheap.

Talented folks used forged parts and put together incredible revolvers.

The forged parts have the advantage of being as hard or soft as you want, and just the surface can be hardened, leaving a softer more flexible interior. Everyone acknowledges the superiority of forged parts, including S&W as they use them on their upper end "custom" guns.

Back then they screwed the barrels on which allowed a perfect fit. And they could be changed wo a trip to the factory.

They fit the parts so that they worked in concert.

Over the years things faded. After all, losing a feature here or there didn't hurt sales.

Then came the MIM phase.

Metal injected molding. Same hardness all the way through. Smaller parts are brittle. MIM can't be polished. Doesn't take plating well. Doesn't interact with other metals smoothly.

Why did they do it? Profit.
The MIM part (which is more expensive than forged, but requires no expensive labor to finish it) comes out of the mold ready for use. A monkey can assemble a Smith revolver these days. No specialized (expensive) labor.

Barrels, why thread them when you can use a press and cram them in a hole? Sometimes they are straight!!!

So in a nutshell, cost cutting has cheapened the modern S&W revolver.

This is not to say that they don't work. But S&W revolvers are manufactured just like Tauruses.

In my opinion, you should not pay big bucks for a cheaply made gun.

Ruger uses a casting process (investment casting) which is a cheaper method. In addition to making sure that the method does not compromise the strength of the gun (no side plate and extra material) they offer much more value as they are less expensive.
With a Ruger you get a good gun at a good price.
S&W you get a decent gun at a high price.

So why buy a new and "improved" S&W when you can buy an old one that was made before the cost cutting?

If you are into the super light guns, like titanium frames, that is only available of late.

But otherwise, I can't think of a reason.

BTW, the fall happened over years, so there is a definite time line of desirability.

Hope this helps.

G

CraigC
February 27, 2012, 11:31 AM
With a Ruger you get a good gun at a good price.
S&W you get a decent gun at a high price.
I think that sums it up nicely.

hariph creek
February 27, 2012, 11:41 AM
I love the old K-frames. They have a wonderful balance and feel. Their double action triggers are great.
My first duty gun was a model 10. Pencil barrel, fixed sights and beat to heck. That thing shot like a target gun.
N and J-frames are lovely, too. I never cared for the L-frame but, that's because I don't like full underlugs.

If I could only have one center fire handgun. For carry, home defense and a ''woods'' gun. I think a model 65 with a 3" barrel, might just be it.

I think the debate over new/old, forged/MIM, hand fit/CAM could be argued either way.
However, I will not, spend my money on a gun with a intergral lock, ever! It's not a question of reliability, it's the principal.

It's seems ironic that S&W is copying Taurus, who in turn has copied S&W for so long (the Governer).

Ruger's are less expensive and very easy to ''tune up.'' I think they are the best revolver design to date. Taking into account that the day of hand fitting is gone.
If you really want to use a magnum double action handgun to it's full potential, the Ruger is the way to go. They will never be graceful and really don't ''speak'' to me, though.

All this said I love my 1950 Detective Special, my dad left me. Yes, the cylinder turns the wrong way. And yes, the cylinder latch works backwards. But, it's a wonderfully handy and compact 6-rounds of .38 special. Carries like a J-frame, shoots like a K-frame. The double action trigger is incredible.

Ruger is the only current production revolver I'll buy. I'd rather have an older S&W, though. But, I don't know, the whole Colt thing is growing on me?

hariph creek
February 27, 2012, 11:50 AM
Guillermo, I think I have to agree with you, on your take of the relative price to value of Ruger vs. S&W.

BlackSky
February 27, 2012, 11:52 AM
Why people love S&W revolvers


1) Because of the high level of quality in design and manufacture
2) Because of the rich history of the company and their firearms
3) Because of the ruggedness, inherant accuracy and incredible reliabilityof the firearms
4) Because S&W takes asthetics into account during the design process
5) Because their firearms typically hold value well
6) Because the wide array of gun types & calibers offered
7) Because they're Smith & Wessons!

Excuse the Glock, not sure how that one snuck in there... :)

http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/2014/fam2v.jpg

Guillermo
February 27, 2012, 11:58 AM
the whole Colt thing is growing on me

I am a Colt fan, have one on my hip right now.

But they are totally different animals. The two stage trigger "stacks". Personally I like that but I will not call it better.

Of course there is a lot of silliness that comes with owning Colts. First off you have to endure the "they are sooooo weak" which is bullsqueeze. Diminishing pool of parts. Few competent people to work on them beyond simple stuff except the factory. High prices.

I do not recommend them, but own a small pile (A Python, Cobra, 5 Diamondbacks and an Officer's Target) so I can attest to their addictive nature.

Driftwood Johnson
February 27, 2012, 07:25 PM
Driftwood Johnson,

It is my understanding that the .38-44 HD and outdoorsman revolvers came out after the round was in production.

In any case, I'm not talking about the larger than a K frame official police, I'm talking D frame revolvers, like police positive specials and detective specials, that are considerably smaller than K frames.



Howdy

That is very interesting. Are you sure they are not talking about the old 19th Century target round that S&W made which was also called the 38-44? There is sometimes confusion between the old target round and the later high velocity, high pressure round.

Do you have a date for that catalog page?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/catalogillustration44singleaction02cropped.jpg

I have both a S&W K frame M&P and an old Police Positive Special in my hand right now. I am actually surprised that the Police Positive is not as much smaller than the K frame as I thought. Diameter of the Smith cylinder is about 1.445, diameter of the Colt cylinder is about 1.400. However there is not a whole lot of difference for the amount of steel between chambers. About .075 for the Smith, about .065 for the Colt. Both guns have 6" barrels, and yes, the Colt is noticeably lighter than the Smith. However the cylinders are a lot closer to the same size than I would have thought. Never measured both of them before. Most of the weight difference is in the frames.

I really seriously doubt that Colt had access to any better steel than S&W did. They had both been heat treating their cylinders for some time at this point.

I can tell you that I would not be comfortable putting a round that generated the same basic pressure as a 357 Mag in either an old K frame Smith or a Police Positive.

However I will make inquiries about when the 38-44 High Velocity round first appeared. The S&W 38-44 Heavy Duty revolver first appeared in April of 1930. I have a pretty early one that shipped September of 1930.

il_10
February 27, 2012, 07:57 PM
That ad is claimed to be from 1940; I don't have a way of confirming that, but the owner of the image represented it as such.

And it seems you're right on the timeline of the .38-44HV ammo. According to a site describing the history of the round8, the .38-44 outdoorsman and heavy duty were developed because S&W noticed during testing that the M&P k frame wasn't up to the job, so the round was never released to the public to be used in the M&Ps.

(http://www.38-44heavyduty.com/38-44_HEAVY_DUTY_HISTORY.php) *

I've heard horror stories of people drilling out their model 10s, detective specials and PPS's for .357. I haven't, on the other hand, ever heard of one blowing up. According to "person of interest" on TFL, the .38-44HV of the period was loaded to around 21,000 psi. Current SAAMI spec is 18,500 psi, and Buffalo Bore has been able to replicate the old .38-44HV in standard +P pressures. Original .38-44 at 21,000 psi? I wouldn't want to shoot a bunch of that out of my k frames or D frame colts, but these guns are wayy tougher than most give them credit for.

BTW, Thanks for giving the comparison measurements of the colt vs smith cylinder. I expected more of a difference; I'd guess you're correct that the majority of the difference in feel comes from the frame.

armoredman
February 27, 2012, 08:07 PM
What's not to love?

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/PICT0252.jpg

6 rounds, IIRC

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/PICT0003.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/Antiqueddrawing.jpg

Hapworth
February 27, 2012, 09:20 PM
Hey Hapworth

Welcome to the High Road

The deal is simple. Once upon a time....Thank you for the warm welcome, Guillermo, and especially for the in-depth, insightful reply. Outstanding explanation.

If you were to play devil's advocate, is there anything about the current S&W revolvers you'd argue is better now than in previous generations?

Guillermo
February 27, 2012, 09:30 PM
Thank you for the warm welcome

The High Road is a great site. Lots of nice folks here. I was just the first one to get to you. Someone else would have welcomed you.

is there anything about the current S&W revolvers you'd argue is better now than in previous generations

uh...wow!

Put me on the spot.

Hmmmmm

Some sights are higher visibility than they used to be.

If you are interested in really light guns, titanium is now available.

That is all I got.

LTR shooter
February 27, 2012, 10:20 PM
Nor should it. The crush fit barrel on the other hand...

I am glad you got a good one. Many folks are not that lucky.

Really :confused:, enlighten me with some facts on why most folks are not so "lucky" with their 629 Classics. I must have also lucked out with my 66-5 , it is consistently more accurate than my pinned/recessed 66-1. I've also owned 686s that shot better than any other out of the box centerfire handgun I've ever fired and they were never equipped with pinned barrels.

Barrels, why thread them when you can use a press and cram them in a hole? Sometimes they are straight!!!


Which models or what time frame did Smith start to press fit barrels into the frame?

Guillermo
February 28, 2012, 12:11 AM
what time frame did Smith start to press fit barrels into the frame

2 piece barrels started in the late 90's

crush started (I think) in the 80s.

Sorry, I am not into newer guns. But THR has many experts, several are into "all things revolving". Hopefully one will come along and give the exact date.

USSR
February 28, 2012, 09:05 AM
I believe S&W began crush fitting their barrels with the advent of the L frame model in 1980.

Don

Checkman
February 28, 2012, 09:14 AM
Everything I've read is that when Colt and S&W were making revolvers during the heyday of revolvers Colt was perceived to have better steel. Colt's metallurgy was considered to be of a higher grade - stronger. Which was one of the factors contributing to Colt's higher prices.

Driftwood Johnson
February 28, 2012, 11:07 AM
Howdy Again

A quick scan through the SCSW of engineering and production changes shows that the pinned barrel was eliminated in most models in 1982. The only exception I found to that is the Model 24-3 which had the pinned barrel eliminated in 1983.

I assume that the elimination of the pinned barrel was the beginning of crush fit barrel threads.

Guillermo
February 28, 2012, 11:41 AM
Driftwood

I always look forward to your posts.

you are an asset to THR


Thanks for the info.

CraigC
February 28, 2012, 12:13 PM
The only exception I found to that is the Model 24-3 which had the pinned barrel eliminated in 1983.
True but that may be a bit misleading. Because the 24 had been discontinued in 1967 and was not in production in 1982. So when the 24-3 came out in 1983, the barrels were not pinned. Not to nitpick, or anything. ;)


I always look forward to your posts.

you are an asset to THR
Agreed! :)

buck460XVR
February 28, 2012, 08:43 PM
Hey Hapworth


Ruger uses a casting process (investment casting) which is a cheaper method. In addition to making sure that the method does not compromise the strength of the gun (no side plate and extra material) they offer much more value as they are less expensive.
With a Ruger you get a good gun at a good price.
S&W you get a decent gun at a high price.




If you compare Apples to Apples you'll see there is little difference in price nowadays between Ruger and Smiths. If you look at their comparable stainless DA .44 mags (629 vs Redhawk) you'll see the MSRP is virtually the same, (The Ruger is actually $40 more)with the Super Redhawk being $100 more expensive. Compare flagship .357 mags (686 vs Stainless GP100) and the Smith is just $90 more. These are the MSRP prices quoted to me today from my LGS. Now when you factor that cheaper investment casting process used on the frame, the inclusion of MIM parts(yep Ruger uses them too), the well know fact that Ruger is not known for the finish on their stainless guns and the fact that a new Ruger comes with NO written warranty whatsoever as compared to the Smith Lifetime warranty, I can's see the point of extra value for less money you are trying to make. I own Rugers and belong to both Ruger sites. There is as much grumbling there about bad fit, crooked barrels and shoddy workmanship as there is on the two S&W boards I am on. Now older used Rugers may be much less expensive than older Smiths, but I believe that just speaks about Ruger's resale values and the quality of the older Smiths. Rugers and Smiths are both well made guns that are mass produced for the monies the majority of the public wants to pay. They are both trying to stay in business and keep their reputation going. Both are doing a fine job of it in spite of the rants of a few.

Guillermo
February 29, 2012, 12:57 AM
Where the rubber hits the road the Smith is 100 bucks more. (source: Bud's)

But more to the point.

You say There is as much grumbling there about bad fit, crooked barrels and shoddy workmanship as there is on the two S&W boards I am on

then Both are doing a fine job

These seem like incongruent statements

Driftwood Johnson
February 29, 2012, 07:44 AM
These seem like incongruent statements

Howdy Again

Not at all. In fact I agree with everything he said, although I was not aware of MIM parts in Rugers.

I agree completely that both of these companies are making fine guns that fit the needs of modern buyers. I am a fan of the old Smiths, and love the workmanship inside them, but in today's market a company cannot compete if they do not stay up with modern technology.

As to the point of grumbling, I frequent several gun boards and I see it too. The point is, a lot of grumbling comes from people who do not really understand the realities of modern manufacturing.

Guillermo
February 29, 2012, 09:26 AM
So Driftwood,

a lot of grumbling comes from people who do not really understand the realities of modern manufacturing.

Basically you are saying that people grumble because they don't understand that modern manufacturers have to use MIM parts, 2 pc, crush fit barrels and virtually no QC.

I disagree.

People grumble because some people accept chicken crap at chicken salad price. Unfortunately, there are not enough customers to get some quality competition.

CraigC
February 29, 2012, 09:46 AM
I have to side with Guillermo on this. Bear in mind that I love S&W DA's and don't care too much for Ruger's, as a matter of preference. All eight of my S&W revolvers are older guns, my lone Ruger DA is an SRH and only because of the .480 cartridge. Ruger is mostly unchanged over the years. They have always been about a good gun at a good price for the average working man. If anything, they have improved much of their product line over the last several years. The new mid-frame single actions as a shining example. Meanwhile, S&W has continually cheapened their guns but raised their prices. Rugers have only closed the gap in the last couple years, due in no small part to the expense of raw materials and the declining American dollar. Still, $100 is 18% and not what I'd call "little difference". Even at the current rates, which is stunning for the big Redhawk/Super Redhawk, Ruger still offers what they always did. A good gun for a fair price. S&W has very little value to offer and there are few of their new revolvers I'd take for free. Certainly won't pay their asking price. Though I am very happy with my M&P15 and Bodyguard .380. I also believe their M&P pistols are very good. Luckily, I can still buy older S&W DA's for less than the price of the new junk.

Guillermo
February 29, 2012, 09:57 AM
S&W has continually cheapened their guns but raised their prices

This is the case and I think that Driftwood and Buck have both said as much, BUT attributed it to "modern manufacturing".

It is that acceptance of lower quality that gives us lower quality.

With current technology we should be able to buy better revolvers, not worse.

If we demand it, the market will react.

CraigC
February 29, 2012, 10:47 AM
Well, it's a form of "modern manufacturing". USFA builds their sixguns in a thoroughly modern manner. They're so well machined, they actually require very little handwork. Yet they are just about as finely made as a sixgun can be, yet not exhorbitantly priced. If the modern S&W represents "modern manufacturing", I don't want any part of it. At any price.

CraigC
February 29, 2012, 01:48 PM
PS, the warranty issue is a non-issue. There is no warranty due to varying state law issues. It matters not, Ruger is infamous for taking care of its customers, regardless of what one may infer by the lack of a written warranty. There's plenty of garbage out there marketed with a lifetime warranty. It no longer implies anything about the product.

buck460XVR
February 29, 2012, 01:50 PM
Where the rubber hits the road the Smith is 100 bucks more. (source: Bud's)

MSRP is where the manufacturer feels the product should sell for. The actual price is what a product will sell for. Apparently Ruger feels that it's guns are equal to Smiths, that's why they suggest getting virtually the same price, and in some cases more. Apparently the public and what they are willing to pay....say not. Simple economics

But more to the point.

You say
There is as much grumbling there about bad fit, crooked barrels and shoddy workmanship as there is on the two S&W boards I am on

then
Both are doing a fine job
These seem like incongruent statements


.......only when YOU edit my post and take my statement outta context. When you add the rest of the sentencein spite of the rants of a few. it makes perfect sense. A few people make the majority of the grumbling noises on any forum. On every forum there is at least one person that feels the need to trash a certain manufacturer or product. These folks feel that sheer numbers of negative posts will influence others to get on board. Even when there is misinformation given and posts are edited for context. Generally they end up calling folks names like "stupid" or "idiot" when facts go against them. This thread here is a prime example. One person alone making the majority of posts in the negative, having to use edited posts and suggesting folks are "stupid" when they don't agree. Sound familiar?

easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca
February 29, 2012, 02:24 PM
Many guys prefer the "old" Smiths to the "new" ones.

So what year of production entitles a Smith to "old"?

I got a late 80's 686-3 that shoots, looks and feels good to me. Is my 686 considered old?

45_auto
February 29, 2012, 02:30 PM
I got a late 80's 686-3 that shoots, looks and feels good to me.

You need to smarten up and realize that your gun is "chicken crap" but you paid a "chicken salad" price for it. :rolleyes:

Guillermo
February 29, 2012, 03:47 PM
Buck,

I am not attacking or calling names.

If you disagree with the way that I edited (I did so so as not to repost your whole statement), please clarify.

Attacking the messenger is a sign of weakness or frustration. You are a smart guy so I will assume that you are frustrated because you are not being understood.

What I took that line to say is that of the four boards you are on (2 Ruger, 2 Smith) many people are grumbling about poor workmanship. You then say that both companies do a fine job.

Perhaps you are just lucky and your new guns are always perfect but it is silly to ignore the experiences of others.

Just here we had a fellow with a gun from Smith's Custom shop with 6 holes in a 7 flute cylinder.

You can pray that your luck continues, but it is foolish to attribute it to anything other than either luck or tolerance of shoddy workmanship.

As to which it is, I have no way of knowing.

Guillermo
February 29, 2012, 04:10 PM
many consider the Smith revolvers of the 80's to be inferior to the pinned and recessed models before, but certainly superior to the injection molded guns that came later.

I have a couple from the 80s and pre-MIM 90s that have been good guns. That said, one, my current wife's 3 inch 686 had to go back to the factory to have the barrel put on straight. Smith did it quickly and at no charge. Since then it has been a solid citizen.

And BTW, it was not expensive at the time.

LTR shooter
February 29, 2012, 04:39 PM
This thread should be changed to "why people hate S&W revolvers".

I know many feel that any Smith manufactured after the pinned barrel era is inferior. "They don't shoot" I've been told. Evidently Smith is the only revolver company in the world that requires a pinned barrel in order to have an accurate revolver. The Python I owned didn't have one and it did not seem to be hampered by it.

"Anything made with MIM internals is junk". I have a couple made in this time frame - a 629 and 66. In regards to accuracy I would put them up against any of the old time Smith revolvers.

You need to smarten up and realize that your gun is "chicken crap" but you paid a "chicken salad" price for it.

Garbage reply to the guy asking about his 686-3. All of the 686s I have owned have shot exceptionally well.

CraigC
February 29, 2012, 04:52 PM
I know that people who feel the way I do are generally looked upon as crotchety old farts who are stuck in the past. I'm sure it's true for some but not for me. I'm sorry but I just get an overwhelming impression from late model S&W revolvers that they are not "cheap" but certainly cheapened. I can't help it and I can't get past it. Most my guns are from the much-maligned Bangor-Punta era and they have been excellent. As is my 629MG from the `90's. As were they all right up to the MIM revolution and the Hillary Hole.

I don't hate the new guns, they just have too much that offends my delicate sensibilities. I could live with the MIM parts if the price was lower. I could live with the price if the parts were forged and their overall quality was higher. I cannot live with the internal lock at all. If it was like Ruger's, it would be a non-issue for me and I suspect a lot of people feel the same way. I just can't live with the overall lack of quality AND the internal lock AND the injection molded parts AND the high price. Which is sad because they've produced some great models in the last few years that I would've loved to buy, were it not for that intolerable combination of downfalls.

easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca
February 29, 2012, 04:54 PM
/\ Actually the reply is a joke...see the "sarcastic" smiley. :D

When guys refer to a Smith Wesson revolver that is "Pinned and recessed" they probably mean that it was built during the era when firearms quality really meant something. It was not that the revolvers came with pinned barrels and recessed cylinders that makes them better. When the P&R was deleted, overall quality came down as well.

IMO, the older guns really looked better due to the nicer polishing job outside, and perhaps techs took more time to fit and polish the internals as well, resulting in triggers that were smoother as well.

At this time, all I have is a 686-3 and a 27-3, both non-P&R. The 686 is box-stock but after 4K rounds mostly +P 38 spls, I am happy with the trigger.
The 27-3 has minimal rounds through it and the trigger is better than my 686.
Maybe the N-frames got better triggers to begin with, who knows?

I love both my Smiths and my GP100 and Security Six. Different tools for different jobs. In terms of finish (finish only...not performance), its like Snap-On vs generic Chinese tools.

Driftwood Johnson
February 29, 2012, 10:14 PM
Many guys prefer the "old" Smiths to the "new" ones.

So what year of production entitles a Smith to "old"?

I got a late 80's 686-3 that shoots, looks and feels good to me. Is my 686 considered old?

Howdy Again

It is completely subjective. The oldest S&W revolver I own was made in 1870. I own at least one Smith from every decade between then and the 1980s. I actually do not know how many Smiths I own, I have lost track. Probably approaching 4 dozen by now.

I'm sure that when S&W came out with their first swing out cylinder model in 1896 there were die hard Top Break fans claiming that the new swing out models were 'crap' and nothing would approach the quality of the old Top Breaks.

The simple fact is, most of us are resistant to change. So we tend to look nostalgically at what came before. Just yesterday I bought a 32 Rimfire Tip Up. Probably made around 1872 or so, I have not had it dated yet. First thing I did when I got it home was I took it apart to see how it looked inside. The insides were coated with hardened old oil and powder fouling, but once I got it cleaned out I was just amazed, as I always am, at the quality inside. The parts are just beautifully made. Simple and functional, yet elegant. But most important, when I looked at the edge of the side plate and its mating surface in the frame, there were still tool marks on them. What that means to me is those parts came off the machinery so precisely made that they needed no hand fitting. The fit was perfect right off the machinery. If you have ever popped the side plate off of a S&W, you will understand what I am talking about when I say precise fit. Straight from the factory, the joint between the side plate and the frame has always been almost invisible. Pretty impressive to do that with a mass produced object about 140 years ago. They produced over 100,000 of these puppies between 1868 and 1875.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/Tip%20Ups/lockwork.jpg

The first two Smiths I ever bought were a Model 17 and a Model 19 that I bought brand, spanky, new in 1975. Those happen to be the only Smiths I have ever bought brand new. This was the Bangor Punta era. I have heard for years that quality was down in the Bangor Punta era, but there was never anything wrong with those two. The machining inside is top notch. Fit and finish are right up to prewar standards.


*****


There is nothing new about driving the cost out of a product. Why do you think Smiths went from five screws to four and then to three, years before all this fuss about crush fit threads and the elimination of the pinned barrel? S&W got rid of the upper side plate screw in 1955, and the screw in front of the trigger guard about 1962. Why? To save money. Getting rid of the upper side plate screw was made possible by adding a lip on the side plate that fits into a slot on the frame. That eliminated a tapped hole and a screw. In another life I used to be a mechanical designer, and I can tell you that tapped holes add more expense than a minor change in the contour of a part. Getting rid of the screw in front of the trigger guard meant getting rid of a tapped hole, a screw, and the plunger that pushes against the cylinder stop. Now I love five screw Smiths as much as the next guy, but getting rid of those two screws did not affect the quality of a S&W revolver at all. I do have to confess though it is much simpler to change the cylinder stop spring by taking out a screw than it is with a three screw, where you have to take the whole gun apart to get at that spring. But a little bit of convenience for a tinkerer does not equate with lower quality.

The same with countersunk chambers. When is the last time you heard of a case head letting go and somebody being injured because the chambers were not countersunk? Yes, countersunk chambers are a nice touch, but they really are not necessary for the safety of the shooter.

I will admit, I think MIM parts are ugly, but I had a very interesting conversation with an engineer at S&W a couple of years ago. He explained to me the calculations he went through in determining the material strength needed for parts like the hammer that are now MIM parts. He did the calculations, and added a safety factor, and then they started producing some MIM parts. Then they thoroughly tested them for strength. Yes, I agree, a MIM hammer is ugly when you take it out of the gun, but it does the job.

What do I consider 'old'? Anything prewar. I just like them. But I'll bet you there were guys in the 1930s complaining how quality had gone to hell in a handbasket since WWI.

P.S. I only own one S&W with MIM parts. I picked up a used ten shot Model 617 a few years ago for a lark. Yes, the trigger pull is much better on my K22 that was made in 1932. But the sights are a lot easier to see on the stainless MIM gun.

If you want to see lack of quality, take apart an Italian replica single action some time. Burrs, poor finish of parts, and edges left so sharp that you need a couple of bandaides on your fingers before you're done. That is my idea of poor quality. They look real nice on the outside, but take one apart some time.

sixgunner455
March 1, 2012, 04:04 AM
They fit, and they shoot straight, and they look nice, and I have one that is over 80 years old and still fits, shoots straight, and looks nice.

I don't get into the rest of it. I don't like the safety hole. Personal preference, that.

Guillermo
March 1, 2012, 09:47 AM
DW,

Without delving back into MIM parts (too much :neener:) , you are actually supporting my point. You have mentioned several features that have gone away (pinned barrel, screws, recessed chambers, etc). Those cost cutting decisions certainly did make for a less nice gun. Back then, when they had more competition, doing so was probably for staying competitive more than increasing profit.

The real issue is when they went to MIM. As mentioned in a previous post, MIM parts are hardness all the way through. Smaller parts are brittle, can't be polished, doesn't take plating well. In addition, MIM doesn't interact with other metals smoothly.

In addition QC has plummeted at S&W.


The bottom line is this.


The current S&W revolver is not in any meaningful way different than a current Taurus revolver. But it is a LOT more expensive.

MtnSpur
March 1, 2012, 10:25 AM
Smith collectors swear by their older (by this I mean 1970 and before) revolvers for good reason. They were well made. Many Model 10, Victory Model, 15's, 27, 36's for the snubby, and even the 66 that came out in 1970 are fine shooters and have stood up admirably. Obviously I can't name em all. As has happened to many of the old firearm manufacturing entities COST control that translated to MIM parts and QC issues have radically affected the gun industry. I'm admittedly not a fan of plastic weapons as I grew up when steel revolvers were carried by LEO's nationwide. I like the heft, accuracy and looks of the Combat Masterpiece of yesteryear. Then again, I own more Colts than Smiths. I'm old and set in my ways :D

Fishslayer
March 1, 2012, 12:00 PM
Capacity limited ugly guns



Posts like this prove that friends shouldn't let friends post while they're drunk.

My money is on "Glock fanboi troll."

Probly shows up on "Which .22 revolver?" threads & suggests they should pay a little more & buy a Block.:rolleyes:

MrBorland
March 1, 2012, 12:51 PM
The current S&W revolver is not in any meaningful way different than a current Taurus revolver. But it is a LOT more expensive.

oh, puh-LEEZE :scrutiny: If this were so, you'd see as many Tauri (more, since they're cheaper) as newer S&Ws in matches, yet you don't. And it's not because those shooters are ignorant, or sponsored by S&W.

I've said it a thousand times - newer S&Ws may not have the fit & finish of the older one, but they shoot every bit as well. If F&F are your bag, great, but it's never ceases to amaze me that some will confuse "fact" with "opinion" because they aren't content with what they like & prefer.

As to the OP, here's one reason I like S&W revolvers. The target below was shot offhand @ 25 yards with my Tauru...uh...I mean newer S&W 617. Yep, that's right. My bone stock ersatz knockoff with MIM parts & The Lock. A vintage 5-screw K-22, ought to easily shoot 1 hole @25, no? Hey...wait a sec...I do have a 5-screw K-22. :confused: Sure is pretty, but it doesn't shoot any better. Must've been a Monday Morning gun. I forgot I had it. My 617 sees much more trigger time.

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp239/becke016/GunsTargets/SW617B-16Freestyle.jpg


Here's another reason I like S&W revolvers - I shoot them well, and they've taken me far. They flat out run, despite the hard use I expose them to. The 686 in the photo is my 1 IDPA gun, which I've also carried. It's completely reliable with anything I've fed it, even though the action's been tuned to 7lbs. On top of that, it's a tack driver, and despite the FO front sight and DAO hammer, I wouldn't hesitate to press it into service in a target event. And did I mention?...it too, has MIM parts & The Lock, which I could care one whit about, all things considered.

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp239/becke016/GunsTargets/TomIDPA2012Worlds.jpg

Guillermo
March 1, 2012, 12:59 PM
Please enlighten us Mr Boreland.

In what way is the manufacturing process or design of Taurus revolvers differ in any substantive way than that of S&W revolvers?

Fishslayer
March 1, 2012, 01:17 PM
Many guys prefer the "old" Smiths to the "new" ones.

So what year of production entitles a Smith to "old"?



A number of things.

"Pre lock"

"P&R"

"Pre MIM"

"Firing pin on hammer"

"Diamond stocks"

I'm sure there are others. Those just come to mind offhand.

FWIW I really like my 80-something 686 no dash. I wouldn't really buy one of the "new" ones. Too expensive, and I don't like "the hole."

Driftwood Johnson
March 1, 2012, 01:21 PM
Those cost cutting decisions certainly did make for a less nice gun. Back then, when they had more competition, doing so was probably for staying competitive more than increasing profit.

You missed part of my point. Reducing the number of frame screws in no way affected the quality of the gun. It simply streamlined the manufacturing process a bit. Some of us like the old 5 screws, but at least in part that is purely subjective.

Show me a business that does not take steps to drive cost out of their product when possible. Why should S&W be judged any different than any other business?

hariph creek
March 1, 2012, 01:49 PM
If it was the best of all possible scenarios:
-Modern machining, with improved tolerances and superior steel.
-A true craftsman hand fitting/tuning and providing quality control.
-Master elves with little tiny hammers and anvils, forgeing the internals.
-A price deemed reasonable to the common ''man.''

I still would'nt buy it with the contemptable lock.

Fishslayer
March 1, 2012, 02:23 PM
If it was the best of all possible scenarios:
-Modern machining, with improved tolerances and superior steel.
-A true craftsman hand fitting/tuning and providing quality control.
-Master elves with little tiny hammers and anvils, forgeing the internals.
-A price deemed reasonable to the common ''man.''

I still would'nt buy it with the contemptable lock.


I would agree. The '50s-'60s vintage are IMO the pinnacle of S&W handguns.

Then the bean counters & lawyers took over...:(

MrBorland
March 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Please enlighten us Mr Boreland.

In what way is the manufacturing process or design of Taurus revolvers differ in any substantive way than that of S&W revolvers?

Nope - the burden of proof is on you, G - it was your claim, so you're the expert.

Besides, the manufacturing process, and any differences therein, isn't what's relevant to me - the final product is, which is what I addressed.

Guillermo
March 1, 2012, 03:00 PM
Why should S&W be judged any different than any other business?

A gun has several aspects of owning it.

Some folks, like Mr. Boreland, are fine with any revolver that shoots straight. And that is fine. I understand that he is an accomplished shooter and would be a wonderful person to have at your side when the flag goes up.

If that is your only criteria, you surely drive a Toyota Yaris. It gets you there dependably, reliably and in general comfort.

Then again, all of the items which you listed have certainly maid Smith revolvers "less nice".

And there is no question that QC issues have increased dramatically over the years.

(of course manufacturers do not release such data. I make that statement based on 3 of the last S&W revolvers had manufacturing defects, discussions with the fellows at the largest volume gun shop in the country, and reading message boards like this one)

Guillermo
March 1, 2012, 03:01 PM
the burden of proof is on you, G

The frames are made of the same material, the barrels the same configuration and the internal parts by the same method.

They are exceptionally similar in their construction.

MrBorland
March 1, 2012, 04:32 PM
Some folks, like Mr. Boreland, are fine with any revolver that shoots straight. And that is fine. I understand that he is an accomplished shooter and would be a wonderful person to have at your side when the flag goes up.

If that is your only criteria, you surely drive a Toyota Yaris. It gets you there dependably, reliably and in general comfort.


Not quite that cut & dry, G.

I have my preferences, and they include more than just "shooting straight". For action shooting (IDPA, USPSA, ICORE), newer S&Ws have it over older ones in ways that make S&W purists wrench their garments: Pinned front sight, new style cylinder release, frame-mounted firing pin, non-recessed cylinders, no ejector alignment pins, drop-in MIM replacement parts (if needed), etc. The drop-in sear also makes tuning & fitting much easier. The innards polish nicely, despite claims to the contrary (you really don't need to see my coin-on-the-barrel vid again, do you?;)).

I don't see it as a Toyota/Mercedes thing. I see it more as having some options in a nice car - an older classic with a carburetor & no electronics, or a newer one with fuel injection and computers, and in the end, one chooses what's most important to them. My needs may be such that carburetors are simply out of the question, so I go with a newer one, even though I can appreciate the older ones, and while others may have found reasons to decry the "cheapening" of the newer design (the walnut on the dash was installed with a <gasp> robot! :what:). Regardless, it's a great car and the best for me, so I'm free to appreciate the old and the new.

At the end of the day, keep in mind that proficiency is a user issue, not an equipment issue, so everyone ought to feel free to make their own choice. The "best" S&W is the one you enjoy shooting the most.

Guillermo
March 1, 2012, 05:44 PM
Regardless, it's a great car and the best for me, so I'm free to appreciate the old and the new.

I have never suggested that you should not purchase that which you want. I am glad that you are happy.

You do, however, understand that the "plug and play" nature of MIM parts, which make them so nice for you to change (and S&W to assemble) comes at the cost of you having to do so more often.

That is a compromise which you are willing to make because of your usage. But you must accept that because your Freedom Arms needs more skill to fix when it requires it does not make it an inferior revolver to a Redhawk.

My point is that the cost cutting of S&W revolvers should make for a cheaper retail price.

AABEN
March 1, 2012, 05:54 PM
I'll pass, I hate revolvers

*swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*
Well I have 57 revolvers and 4 pistols I do not like the pistols as much as the revolvers but I do not hate them.

kingvillien
March 1, 2012, 05:59 PM
Yeah, i've have a used S&W 66. It can't handle the hott 357's. That said the trigger in double or single action is second to none.

45_auto
March 1, 2012, 06:06 PM
Yeah, i've have a used S&W 66. It can't handle the hott 357's.

You must have got one of those old-fashioned worn out 66's that guillermo keeps talking about. All of the newer ones with the trigger lock and no pinned barrel or recessed cylinder have no problem with hot .357's.

MrBorland
March 1, 2012, 06:10 PM
You do, however, understand that the "plug and play" nature of MIM parts, which make them so nice for you to change (and S&W to assemble) comes at the cost of you having to do so more often.


Despite the pounding my 686 has taken, I've yet to break any (unaltered*) MIM part. Competition is hard on revolvers, but IME, the parts most likely to cause trouble are the yoke, the yoke screw and the ejector rod - design elements in all S&Ws.

My point is that the cost cutting of S&W revolvers should make for a cheaper retail price.

The cost of a new S&W doesn't come close to that of a Freedom Arms, so they are cheaper than something more handcrafted. What am I missing? :confused:

BTW, if FA ever made a DA revolver, it'd undoubtedly command a hefty price, yet I'd be one of the 1st in line for one. But...it had better deliver. The name on the barrel and/or the handcraft that went into it don't matter a whit when the rubber hits the road.


*I admit to breaking the original MIM hammer after cutting it waaay down. Once a part is altered beyond it's original design specs, all bets are off.

Guillermo
March 1, 2012, 06:27 PM
What am I missing?

As there is no major difference other than country of manufacture (which can be significant, I am not diminishing it), there should be little price difference between Taurus and S&W.

Other than higher labor cost (which they lowered significantly by going to MIM and eliminating QC) and US regulation there is no glaring manufacturing cost that should make the S&W higher.

wheelyfun66
March 1, 2012, 06:42 PM
Less talk...more pics!
I love S&W revolvers because:
http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/IMG_0668.jpg
http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/IMG_0667.jpg

45_auto
March 1, 2012, 06:52 PM
Other than higher labor cost (which they lowered significantly by going to MIM and eliminating QC) and US regulation there is no glaring manufacturing cost that should make the S&W higher.

LMAO!!! I love this guy!

Yep, you're right, a manufacturer should ignore labor cost, government regulation cost, and liability cost when pricing a product. They should price it based ONLY on it's manufacturing cost! :what:

Guillermo
March 1, 2012, 07:21 PM
So 45...you are saying that the US labor accounts for the S&W being double the price?

45_auto
March 1, 2012, 07:52 PM
Labor, liability, and complying with government regulations (EPA, ATF, etc) are the vast majority of the cost of the manufacturing industry (not firearms, but very similar) I've been involved in for the past 40 years. Raw material and capital equipment costs (machinery) are a minimal part of the product cost, well less than 25%.

Guillermo
March 1, 2012, 08:06 PM
45,

Taurus has extra shipping costs and the similar cost for office personnel (as they too have US offices). ATF and liability costs should be similar.

The labor costs for manufacturing are more for S&W but since a current S&W revolver has so few man hours in each one, the difference should not account for the additional 300 bucks per gun premium that they command.

In addition, if they could make a significant amount more per unit they would surely move manufacturing out of the country.

USSR
March 1, 2012, 08:39 PM
Guillermo,

S&W sells their guns for more, because they can. They are an established company with name recognition. This ain't rocket science. If I were the CEO of S&W, I'd sell them for a lot more than Taurus also. Suggest you sign up for Economics 101.:D

Don

Guillermo
March 1, 2012, 08:55 PM
Hey Russian,

having taught economics I doubt I need the class. But thanks.

My point is that S&W's revolver quality has plummeted and their price has skyrocketed which makes them a crappy buy. (Mr Boreland disagrees due to his use...which is fine with the understanding that he is unique)

I only went into the specifics of labor costs because 45 Auto suggested that they were the reason for the price discrepancy.

My position is exactly the same as yours. Due to lack of competition, S&W has been able to cut the quality of their revolvers and raise the prices.

Or as you succinctly stated...because they can.

Driftwood Johnson
March 1, 2012, 10:04 PM
Basically you are saying that people grumble because they don't understand that modern manufacturers have to use MIM parts, 2 pc, crush fit barrels and virtually no QC.

I really don't know why I am continuing to reply to this thread.

Where in the world did you get the idea that there is virtually no QC at S&W? That sounds like the kind of misinformation that gets repeated on the internet often enough that people start believing it. Have you ever toured the factory? I have. I can tell you, I saw plenty of inspection stations.

And continuing to bring up this business about crush fit barrels is a bit tiresome. The Colt Single Action Army 1st and 2nd Gen revolvers had an interference fit between the barrel threads and the frame. Starting in 1873 up until 1975. There was never a pinned barrel in the SAA. The barrel had tapered threads, just like pipe threads. The more it was screwed into the frame, the tighter it got. Third Gens do not have tapered threads. Gee, guess what, Colt decided to save a little money in 1975 and did away with tapered barrel threads. And no pin either. But everybody makes a big deal when Smith does away with the pin and goes to an interference fit barrel thread. How do you think Uberti keeps their barrels from backing out? They do not have interference fit threads, they use a thread locker.

That's the kind of thing that I hear grumbled about, and when folks grumble about that stuff, pardon me for being blunt, they usually don't know what they are talking about. Instead, they get on internet forums and spread misinformation.

What I was trying to say earlier is that S&W is doing what any modern company does. When new technology becomes available they evaluate it. If it makes sense to incorporate the new technology, they do so, rather than puffing themselves up and saying they are still making their product the exact same way they did 100 years ago. The bankruptcy courts are full of companies that insisted on resisting change.

Well, it's a form of "modern manufacturing". USFA builds their sixguns in a thoroughly modern manner. They're so well machined, they actually require very little handwork. Yet they are just about as finely made as a sixgun can be, yet not exhorbitantly priced. If the modern S&W represents "modern manufacturing", I don't want any part of it. At any price.

OK, I will admit that I have not bought a new S&W for almost 40 years. So I looked up some prices. Yikes - most of the classic S&W revolvers are going for $900 - $1000. I usually buy old used ones for 1/3 to 1/2 of that, depending on the model. Then I went to the USFA site. Most of their revolvers are going for about $1000 - $1500, depending on the model. Yes, you could buy the Rodeo for a lot less when they were making it, but the Rodeo does not have the high polish and beautiful blue of their other models, so that is not a fair comparison to the classic Smiths.

So what do you get for $900 -$1000 for a classic Smith vs $1000 - $1500 for a USFA? Well for one thing, you get a much more complicated piece of machinery. Not counting springs, there are only four moving parts inside a single action revolver of the old SAA design, like a USFA. There is the hammer, trigger, hand and bolt. That's it. There are other moving parts, but they are not part of the action.

But a Smith is a double action revolver. It has a lot more moving parts and the mechanics are much more complicated than the old SAA. Anybody who has ever tinkered inside a Smith knows that. I won't go so far as to say that current Smiths are a bargain, but they sure are a more complicated piece of machinery for the same money or less than a USFA. And you can say the same about the current crop of real Colt SAAs too.

As far as what year is the cut off for 'old' Smiths, you guys who think the 1970s are really making me feel old.

USSR
March 2, 2012, 07:26 AM
That's the kind of thing that I hear grumbled about, and when folks grumble about that stuff, pardon me for being blunt, they usually don't know what they are talking about. Instead, they get on internet forums and spread misinformation.

+1. And, when they can't sufficiently attack the message, they attack the messenger, such as in the intentional misspelling of MrBorland and the reference to my screen name (sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not Russian). You can tell a lot about a person by the level of their discourse.;)

Don

MrBorland
March 2, 2012, 07:52 AM
As there is no major difference...there should be little price difference between Taurus and S&W

My point is that S&W's revolver quality has plummeted and their price has skyrocketed which makes them a crappy buy. (Mr Boreland disagrees due to his use...which is fine with the understanding that he is unique)

My point wasn't about my personal preferences, and certainly not to claim uniqueness - it was that competition is a proving ground for what works and what doesn't, and that the dominance of S&W (old and new) and virtual absence of anything else (save a few Rugers and Colts), strongly argues against your comparison.

If a DA revolver comparison can be made, I'd compare current S&Ws to those made by Ruger. Ruger's done well with investment cast frames, which likely accounts for this (relatively small) price difference.

You also compared S&W to expensive handcrafted handguns from Freedom Arms, to argue S&Ws quality had bottomed out, yet you chose to ignore that price comparison when pointed out, focusing on Taurus, instead.

Thanks for the discussion, folks. I think I'll back out at this point. Good shooting to all!

45_auto
March 2, 2012, 08:13 AM
Please don't leave the thread! If you do, Guillermo might leave and then we won't have the benefit of his vast, totally unsupported, S&W "enlightenment"!

I only went into the specifics of labor costs because 45 Auto suggested that they were the reason for the price discrepancy.

Care to supply a quote or reference where I said that? It appears that you have about as much understanding of what I've said as you do of S&W revolvers! :D

CraigC
March 2, 2012, 09:04 AM
...so that is not a fair comparison to the classic Smiths.
It is and it isn't. The standard bone charcoal/hot blue SAA from USFA has a street price of around $900. Which is about what one should expect to pay for a new S&W Classic. I understand that DA's are more complicated than SA's, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck yesterday. However, there should not be such a HUGE difference in the way these guns are built, if they're selling at roughly the same price. We go from a SAA that is about as finely made as one can be, one that Hamilton Bowen says he can do little to improve upon, made from all forged and machined parts, exhibiting near perfect fit and finish, to a DA that is made as cheaply as possible with injection molded parts, two piece barrels and some of the ugliest lettering I've ever seen. Both at the same price. This from a company that has been making the same double action revolver designs for how long???

The bottom line is that they are good enough for those who buy them. Let's face it, those of us who like the older guns are in the minority. Most going into the gunshop to buy a .357 are looking for a new stainless steel, rubber gripped 686 and couldn't care less about the internal lock or MIM parts. Their "Classic" line is supposed to appeal to 'we the minority' and I'm sure it does to some but probably not to most. Because while they appear to be a classic from a distance, up close they're just like the rest of their junk. I'm sure they would rather sell one or two revolvers to 10 million average shooters than half a dozen to a much smaller minority. This is what happens when you like old stuff, you get obsoleted right along with it. Which is okay with me. I like what I like because I like it and you're not gonna piss down my back and tell me it's raining or convince me that the new S&W's are "just as good". They might be "good enough" for you but they're not good enough for me.

Guillermo
March 2, 2012, 12:21 PM
Mr Boreland, Driftwood and CraigC,

It has been a pleasure discussing this with you. Good conversation.

Folks like you make THR a great board.

hariph creek
March 2, 2012, 02:31 PM
from CraigC ''turnip truck''

mmm...turnips.
You know, I think turnips, along with parsnips and rutabegas (sp?), are very underappreciated root vegetables in this day and age.
They've got a depth of character not found in todays more favored root vegetables. True, many can't appreciate their unique qualities and old world charm. They do take extra time and skill to prepare. I think it's worth it.
They sure are better than instant potatos. Yes, instant potatos are cheaper to make.
Or say, strained carrots. They're great for those who can't yet appreciate solid food.
Both instant potatos and strained carrots will nourish you, though.

Kind of like older S&W's? I honestly can't say they're better. I do like them better.

Remember too, you can find a bad turnip or carrot in any bag. That doesn't mean they're all bad.

LTR shooter
March 2, 2012, 05:27 PM
I like what I like because I like it and you're not gonna piss down my back and tell me it's raining or convince me that the new S&W's are "just as good". They might be "good enough" for you but they're not good enough for me.

That's one of my favorite lines from Outlaw Josey Wales and Clint Eastwood didn't even say it.

The last new Smith I bought was in 2000 and it is a 629-5 with those "dreaded" MIM parts. Evidently we have a high percentage of metallurgist on the boards who say the stuff is crap. So be it.

I'd just say if there were a national Smith & Wesson contest to find the most accurate Smith 44 Mag with a million dollar prize I would sure take my 629-5 over any of the old time Smiths , as beautiful as they are. I want an exceptionally accurate revolver and my 629-5 actually exceeds my expectations in that regard.

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