Who makes the best revolvers now-a-days?


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gspn
October 10, 2012, 01:09 AM
I own some older S&W and Colt revolvers and I like them a lot. However...I'm thinking about buying a few more revolvers and wanted to get an idea of who has a current reputation for making quality double action revolvers.

I'm trying to decide if I should buy a new production gun or search for some older production stuff.

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ColtPythonElite
October 10, 2012, 01:15 AM
Go older

JERRY
October 10, 2012, 01:19 AM
edited to be nice to new guns.

go with the older guns.

ArchAngelCD
October 10, 2012, 01:22 AM
I have to agree, the older guns are the best made guns. I'm not happy with any of the new revolvers being offered by any company. Even the S&W Classic line isn't very classic with a hole in the side plate and fit-n-finish that is not finished at all...

Take your time and hunt the used market and I have a feeling you will make yourself very happy.

wlewisiii
October 10, 2012, 01:26 AM
I think I'll pop some popcorn, grab a cold beer & sit back and laugh my ass off at the various factions shrieking like monkeys on this one.

Guillermo
October 10, 2012, 01:29 AM
shrieking monkey alert

you cannot by a quality revolver these days

ColtPythonElite
October 10, 2012, 01:33 AM
you cannot by a quality revolver these days
Dang, I bought a Python just the other day. I thought it was a good one. I didn't see an expiration date on it.:D

JEB
October 10, 2012, 01:39 AM
i am a big fan of rugers. built like tanks and, IMO, very nice looking. pretty dang accurate too!

skidder
October 10, 2012, 01:51 AM
The k-frame (size) was king when 357 revolvers ruled the world. Funny how the 19/66 and Security Six are not in production anymore. What does that tell you? Think about it???

earplug
October 10, 2012, 01:58 AM
I have owned in the past and shot a 1960 vintage M-29 and 1975 vintage M-27 plus a pre hole none dated M-29.
If you want shiny buy a older S&W if you want to shoot buy a newer gun.
My go to revolvers are 625-8's with holes.
I'm a school trained S&W revolver smith that has modified my own guns, I compete in USPSA and ICORE and Bullseye, Steel Challenge with wheel guns.
I used to shoot metallic silhouette and a bit of PPC with a small dose of bowling pins.
My new 625-8 have been better guns to compete with and have given me very little problems.
I'm talking about ten pounds over the past four years of Clays, Bullseye and WST powder through my 625's that would have my older guns crying for the factory.
The 642 in my pocket is a MIM gun and its held up better then my old M-38.

Guillermo
October 10, 2012, 02:12 AM
Dang, I bought a Python just the other day.

LOL

you cannot buy a new quality revolver these days

bikemutt
October 10, 2012, 06:30 AM
Don't listen to Guillermo, he sold his stock in Saf-T-Lock (S&W parent) too early and is missing out on the lavish dividends :)

Seriously though, I just picked up a NIB Ruger GP100 blue 6", seems like a high value, if not high quality revolver from what I can tell.

I had, and still have, high hopes that CZ can revitalize the Dan Wesson line, once they pull prices back into the breathable atmosphere.

PuddleMonkey
October 10, 2012, 06:36 AM
I own 13 revolvers, the only one to give me trouble is the Taurus. I know people snivel about newer S&W's, but my 629's and 686's (-1/-3/-6) have never failed me, and I shoot the dash 6 the most. I can't get 20 shots through the Taurus without it locking up.

My Ruger's are like mini tanks, they're built great but don't expect a nice fit 'n finish. I have a GP from '88, a SBH from '92, another GP from '02, and a newer SP101.

BullRunBear
October 10, 2012, 07:24 AM
Can't speak to new S&Ws as my "youngest" is almost thirty years old. The folks I know who have new Smiths certainly aren't complaining. I think Rugers are a better value (cost for accuracy/reliability) based on prices at my LGS.

I prefer to look for older revolvers rather than buy new. I enjoy the hunt and, if patient, can stumble on great deals. My K-38 and K-22 were obtained that way for a fraction of their new counterparts.

Jeff

BullRunBear
October 10, 2012, 07:26 AM
I think I'll pop some popcorn, grab a cold beer & sit back and laugh my ass off at the various factions shrieking like monkeys on this one.
My Wisconsin raised wife says don't forget the cheese and brats! Shrieking monkeys are optional but likely.

Jeff

WoodchuckAssassin
October 10, 2012, 07:48 AM
New - Ruger (fewer "idiot" safeties - even if they come with the manual printed on the barrel - and tough as nails)

Old - Smith and Wesson (some of the finest machines ever made, reliable, dead accurate)


They would both be S&W if they didn't start putting those stupid internal locks on their revolvers. I REFUSE to buy one of those.

bannockburn
October 10, 2012, 07:52 AM
I have some older Smiths and some newer ones. Older ones have a definite quality to them in terms of fit and finish. Newer ones I think of as being more for work (CCW, etc.), and while not as finely finished as those in the past, are still perfectly suited for the task at hand.

Pretty much the same thing with my Rugers as well.

MedWheeler
October 10, 2012, 08:04 AM
Another Ruger vote here.. SP-series is hard to beat in current-production revolvers.

MCgunner
October 10, 2012, 08:49 AM
ruger

SP-series is hard to beat in current-production revolvers.

And a hearty AAAAAAMEN. :D

I'll buy a new Taurus or Smith, have in the past and my fave carry revolvers are Taurus, but I'll look it over real close. I look the Ruger over, too, but I hardly ever find a flaw in a NIB Ruger. My most accurate DA revolvers, though, have been Taurus. Their accuracy impresses me. I've not fired one that wasn't superbly accurate. Got to check 'em, though, just like a new Smith.

bikerdoc
October 10, 2012, 08:59 AM
Except for one, all new.
Another ruger fan here. got 4.
Like my 3 Smiths also.
Have a Taurus 605 3inch that is fantastic.

Guillermo
October 10, 2012, 10:07 AM
Bikemutt brought up Dan Wesson.

They are producing, albeit in small quantity, revolvers that are not filled with injection-molded parts.

They are the best, last hope for the revolver.

But if history gives us a clue as to the outcome, it won't be pretty

WNC Seabee
October 10, 2012, 10:21 AM
New production guns from S&W and Ruger (my only experience with NIB) are perfectly fine. If you can get past the aversion to the internal lock, then the quality is top notch for mass produced machinery. Buy S&W for a more refined machine, buy Ruger for a work horse.

All of this caterwauling about poor current production quality overlooks a major factor; There was no internet 50 years ago to tell us 50 times over every time a lemon made it through QC. These days, if a bunny farts in Fargo you can see it on 3 different video channels and 20 forums within an hour. There most certainly were a comparable measure of QC issues back n the day, we just didn't' hear about every one.

oneounceload
October 10, 2012, 10:25 AM
Korth still makes a hand-built quality gun, but you'll pay for it

Freedom Arms is still in business

Doug Turnbull does nice work

Thaddeus Jones
October 10, 2012, 10:30 AM
Ruger. Hopefully the rumors about Colt making DA revolvers will come to fruition, or the current company calling itself S&W will be purchased by a gun company, but currently Ruger revolvers are the only ones worth owning. :(

bikemutt
October 10, 2012, 10:39 AM
Freedom Arms is still in business

I'd like to see FA make a DA revolver.

kerreckt
October 10, 2012, 10:45 AM
Ruger GP's and SP's own both and they are well built and will last a lifetime of hard use.

Guillermo
October 10, 2012, 10:54 AM
or the current company calling itself S&W will be purchased by a gun company

Thaddeus cuts to the chase

snooperman
October 10, 2012, 01:58 PM
+1 on the Freedom Arms guns. I bought the model 83 in 357 magnum with a 9" barrel several years ago and it is the most accurate gun I have. I have taken many deer and wild boar with it. That said, the Ruger Blackhawks can not be beaten for the money. The FA guns start at about $2000 now. I too wish they would make a double action gun. For double action I would buy the older S&W , Colts, and for target shooting long range, Dan Wesson.

MrBorland
October 10, 2012, 02:29 PM
I agree the best current revolver would be something from Freedom Arms, but those are single action. If FA made a double action revolver, I, too, would snap one up in a heartbeat.

In DA revos, S&W & Ruger. Newer S&Ws may not have the fit and finish of the older ones, and they may have The Lock and MIM parts, but they shoot as well as (or better than) their older siblings, and they tune up at least as well. When I look for a shooter, I go for one of the newer S&Ws.

fastbolt
October 10, 2012, 02:38 PM
Even if we like to feel nostalgic about them, the "good old days" produced some problematic revolvers. Just because they involved a lot more hand-controlled machine operations for the parts, and hand fitting, that doesn't necessarily mean it was always done well.

I've certainly owned my fair share of older S&W, Colt & Ruger revolvers that weren't exactly functioning at the high end of the optimal (hopeful) quality range. Some NIB older S&W's required repair, or at least corrections, before they'd work normally. Some of my older Rugers required repair, too.

I had enough opportunity to listen to a previous S&W and Colt revolver armorer complain about keeping oloder wheelguns running well (including some 70's vintage blued Pythons issued as service revolvers, especially if they'd been fired with a lot of Magnum loads, instead of +P qual ammo).

I've seen my fair share of older S&W revolvers that had rough fitting and finish inside (even if they had nice exterior finishes), or had been fitted at the ragged end of normal spec.

Nowadays we can benefit from some better metallurgy (and heat treating).

At least with the newer S&W revolvers they're offering a lifetime (to the original owner) warranty which includes free shipping.

CraigC
October 10, 2012, 02:43 PM
you cannot buy a new quality revolver these days
You did it again. :p
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_0950b.jpg

Some folks forget that single actions are revolvers too. Unfortunately you cannot buy a new DA as good as the best revolvers on the market, which are all single actions from USFA, Freedom Arms and Colt (past few years). The DA market has been gobbled up by the "dishwasher-safe, rubber gripped, stainless steel, as cheap as I can get it" generation.

weblance
October 10, 2012, 03:00 PM
The Ruger GP100 and SP101 are all the quality you will ever need. Your grandchildren will be shooting them when you are a long gone memory.

CraigC
October 10, 2012, 03:11 PM
The Ruger GP100 and SP101 are all the quality you will ever need.
Depends on what you're looking for. ;)

snooperman
October 10, 2012, 06:13 PM
Well stated CraigC, I share your opinion that the FA, U.S.Firearms,and Colts are much better made than their double action cousins. Two years ago I bought a U.S. Firearms birdshead sheriff's model in 45 colt, and the workmanship, and finish is superior to any double action on the market. The same is true of my Colt and FA guns as well. Yes, one has to pay for that quality, but at least it is available.

JM Browning
October 10, 2012, 09:04 PM
S&W 686+ performance center. Try it you'll like it

Old Dog
October 10, 2012, 09:54 PM
There are a number of revolver guys for whom I hold much respect (Jerry Miculek comes to mind) who believe that S&W is currently putting out some pretty good revolvers. While I love my 36s/60s/19s/66s/29s -- I find the current 627 Pro and 686 Deluxe to be damn fine revolvers in their own right, superb lock-up, excellent triggers and remarkable accuracy (although I, like many of you, do despise the ugly pimple on the sideplate for both its looks and what it stands for while still not quite fully comfortable with key parts of MIM).

buck460XVR
October 10, 2012, 10:06 PM
At least with the newer S&W revolvers they're offering a lifetime (to the original owner) warranty which includes free shipping.

Good friend of mine that shot Colt 1911's in national competition for his Guard unit for 20 years had a nice collection of Colt revolvers. We've spent many a Sunday afternoon shooting handguns together. After having a hard time finding parts and someone to fix one of them a while back, he sold all of them except for a LNIB Python he intends to give to his first born grandson. Most were sold on GB, but a few were sold at the LGS he now works at since he retired. He did quite well since demand for Colt revolvers makes for a seller's market. From the proceeds, he bought a collection of various new S&W revolvers and registered them in his 22 year old son's name. Said for the rest of his and the rest of his son's life, neither will have to worry about findin' parts or a smith to work on them. Makes sense to me.

If one is looking for a quality new DA revolver to shoot, Ruger and S&W are fine choices. Both are very well made, reliable and accurate for the price point and the customer base they are intended for. I know there are some here that consider themselves above that point, and for them there is no answer other than Korth when looking at new production. The rest of us can be well served by either of the other options. Customer service for both companies is great. MIM parts altho used by both are a non-issue as the process has been proven to work well. New production models shoot just as accurately and have longer life expectancies/round counts than many of the models that proceeded them. If one is really into shooting their DA revolvers and not just fondling them and reminiscing about the good old days of hand fit parts, the targets will speak for themselves.

roaddog28
October 10, 2012, 10:37 PM
For me in the current crop of revolvers it would be Ruger. I have bought two brand new ones this year and have no complaints.
Howard

DennisE
October 10, 2012, 10:39 PM
I've owned 40 smith revolvers all but a handful were new. They never failed me, never had to be repaired, have always bee accurate as hell, They are great guns! Dennis

three-fifty-seven
October 10, 2012, 10:59 PM
Ruger, and Freedom Arms.

TennJed
October 10, 2012, 11:18 PM
I like to buy all assortments of semi autos. Many great companies. I only buy Ruger revolvers

harvester
October 10, 2012, 11:22 PM
If a single action is acceptable the Single Action Army is still available as well as an adjustable sight Colt single action.

Guillermo
October 10, 2012, 11:49 PM
You did it again.

geez

you cannot buy a new quality double action production revolver these days

Jhamblen86
October 11, 2012, 12:12 AM
If you get a new production revolver. Go with a performance center smith. Can't go wrong with a piece a man has touched and made it his personal project.

Coal Dragger
October 11, 2012, 12:23 AM
Have to agree that it is hard to find a top quality DA revolver in current production, closest would be the Smith and Wesson PC guns. I would consider buying one.

Korth is still in business I think, and they certainly don't use injection molded parts... of course they also cost $5K. Which pretty much makes them unobtanium for 99% of people.

I also wish that FA would make a DA revolver, hell they have the aptitude for high precision and quality workmanship. Just not sure what kind of realistic market there would be for a $2K double action wheel gun. As others have noted the world of DA revolvers has degenerated into the rubber grips, dish washer safe, lowest common denominator range of products. Sad.

CraigC
October 11, 2012, 12:35 AM
There are a number of revolver guys for whom I hold much respect (Jerry Miculek comes to mind) who believe that S&W is currently putting out some pretty good revolvers.
Who are paid very well to say that. And they get whatever guns they need gratis from S&W. Sponsors are a wonderful thing that not too many of us enjoy.

Old Dog
October 11, 2012, 12:43 AM
Surprised it took so long before someone said this. Have you any familiarity with just how many rounds Miculek shoots competitively? The need for his revolvers to be supremely reliable and accurate? He doesn't say much about his guns; his performance with them says it all. I know competitive shooters who pay for their own revolvers, and their choice is overwhelmingly S&W -- new production revolvers. I think that most who bitch about the current state of S&W revolvers are simply repeating by rote the complaints about the lock and the use of MIM. Those who actually have a substantial body of experience with current production S&W revolvers aren't complaining too much ...

The question was "who makes the best revolvers nowadays" and I'm gonna interpret that as factory production DA revolvers (the SA revolver market is a niche, a fraction of the DA market), so I'm gonna go with S&W. The company is so much more innovative that Ruger with regard to revolvers, it's not even close. More interesting offerings, more accuracy, better-looking and more ergonomic ...

Having said that, I'll pick up a clean K-frame made in 1967 over any new production 686 in a heartbeat, any day of the week ...

mnrivrat
October 11, 2012, 01:35 AM
I think several companies can, and do, put out some very nice revolvers.

Smith & Wesson still being a strong competetor for top quality guns. I don't personaly care for Rugers but that is not because I think they lack anything in quality. I have a couple Taurus revolvers that I am very satisfied with as well.

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 02:31 AM
I know competitive shooters who pay for their own revolvers, and their choice is overwhelmingly S&W -- new production

Because they have no choice unless they want a Ruger or a Taurus.

Having said that, I'll pick up a clean K-frame made in 1967 over any new production 686 in a heartbeat, any day of the week

Because you are not a competitive shooter...so you choose the better gun over the one easily fixed "in the pits"

azgsmith
October 11, 2012, 02:33 AM
An older S&W does not have the key safety and over all the fit and finish is better. Ruger revolvers are just about bullet proof but they tend to be heavy and kind of klunky, but they work and keep working.

RinkRat
October 11, 2012, 02:39 AM
Ruger.... :cool:

Their GP100's and Redhawk's will eat anything you care to feed them.

The heavy ammo hitters like Garrett single them out as one of only three handguns that they say are safe for you shoot their 44mag +P 330g SHC Hammerheads in. Dan Wessons and the Taurus Raging Bull are the other two (these are not to be used in any S&W :rolleyes:)

Old Dog
October 11, 2012, 02:43 AM
Because you are not a competitive shooter...so you choose the better gun over the one easily fixed "in the pits"No, it's not a better gun. It's what I collect, what I appreciate more. If I had to choose a revolver with which to go in harm's way, it'd probably be the 4" 627 (8-shot) Pro made in 2011. But I'll sit in my man cave and admire a 40 year old blued S&W L-frame for hours while the 627 is ignored.

But yeah, when I shoot competively, it's autopistols ... Guillermo, methinks you just want to argue for argument's sake. The question was not, "Who made the better revolvers back in the day?"

Fishslayer
October 11, 2012, 02:59 AM
Older. Pre lock S&W. Of the new revolvers I'd have to go Ruger.

Dlowe167
October 11, 2012, 04:25 AM
I got a Taurus Raging Judge. Its good & fun. But still dont make them like the old days. Got a Charter Arms Bulldog Pug in .44 special. For $350 not bad at all,but time will tell how it holds up

Dlowe167
October 11, 2012, 04:26 AM
I got a Taurus Raging Judge. Its good & fun. But still dont make them like the old days. Got a Charter Arms Bulldog Pug in .44 special. For $350 not bad at all,but time will tell how it holds up

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 10:13 AM
Old Dog

A- not arguing

B- looking at the posts, it is not as though I am the only one who shares the opinion

Tell us, why do you collect older revolvers? (apparently it has nothing to do with quality)

CraigC
October 11, 2012, 11:28 AM
Have you any familiarity with just how many rounds Miculek shoots competitively? The need for his revolvers to be supremely reliable and accurate?
If I was shooting free guns and needed only ask for a new one, I would shoot new S&W's too. It's not like he has a lot of choice. Parts for older guns are drying up. As stated, new S&W's are more easily fixed "in the pits". You cannot simply say that because Miculek uses them, the must be good.


I think that most who bitch about the current state of S&W revolvers are simply repeating by rote the complaints about the lock and the use of MIM.
Really? You think that my lifetime spent buying, shooting and studying this stuff is irrelevant. Oh, of course you do, it makes for a more convenient counterpoint. :rolleyes:


The question was "who makes the best revolvers nowadays" and I'm gonna interpret that as factory production DA revolvers (the SA revolver market is a niche, a fraction of the DA market), so I'm gonna go with S&W.
Is that why there are so many companies making quality double action revolvers? Is that why we have more single action revolvers on the market than at any other time in history? Is that why the BEST revolvers made in the world right now are single actions? Methinks you can't see past your own nose. :rolleyes:


The company is so much more innovative that Ruger with regard to revolvers, it's not even close.
I'm not much of a fan of Ruger DA's but how do you figure that? S&W is still using designs over 100yrs old that have changed very little in that time. Ruger is utilizing brand new in-house designs of the last few decades. S&W's only innovation of the last 20yrs has been to figure out how to make them as cheaply as possible.

MCgunner
October 11, 2012, 11:39 AM
Ruger....

Their GP100's and Redhawk's will eat anything you care to feed them.

The heavy ammo hitters like Garrett single them out as one of only three handguns that they say are safe for you shoot their 44mag +P 330g SHC Hammerheads in. Dan Wessons and the Taurus Raging Bull are the other two (these are not to be used in any S&W )

That's a little unfair in that the old N frame is more svelte, not as heavily built, but easier to tote. And, then, Smith and Wesson DOES offer models that can handle super high pressures, the X frames. The Raging Bull rivals the X frame for size and weight, after all. It and the Redhawk are bigger and heavier than any N frame.

The built quality of the gun has little to do with how hot a load it can handle. Love my Rugers, my .45 Blackahawk especially, for the strength. They're also very well made for their price point and I would trust a Ruger before I'd trust a Smith and Wesson vs quality control out of the box guns. Just sayin, strength doesn't relate to built quality.

DAP90
October 11, 2012, 12:30 PM
I think that most who bitch about the current state of S&W revolvers are simply repeating by rote the complaints about the lock and the use of MIM. Those who actually have a substantial body of experience with current production S&W revolvers aren't complaining too much ...

I bought a new production S&W Model 60. I wasn’t worried about the lock or MIM. It was the canted and misaligned barrel and the off center rear sight that ended concerning me.

It was my second revolver. I’d recently bought a used 686-1 that’s been fantastic so I decided to get a new M60 3”. I’d read up on how to inspect revolvers. I checked cylinder play and alignment but didn’t check that the barrel was straight or the rear sight was where it was supposed to be.

My fault, I should have been more thorough, but then again, I shouldn’t have to check that the barrel is on straight. I sent it off the S&W. They sent it back saying everything is within their tolerances.

The front sight was canted off the top of the barrel and the whole barrel was pointed slightly to the left (from behind). The rear sight was off center to the right. I had to move it to near its extreme left to get it to center at 5 yards. Within tolerance though.

I traded it at a loss.

Those with “a substantial body of experience” probably check every little detail that I in my inexperience missed. That won’t happen again though. I learned my lesson. Check everything – and don’t buy new from S&W.

Poper
October 11, 2012, 03:08 PM
I can't get 20 shots through the Taurus without it locking up.I had the same problem with a Taurus .44 Mag. Tracker. I took it to a gunsmith. He said he refaced the cylinder because of burs left from the factory. Never a problem since. Cost me $60 bucks for the repair, though.

Poper

MrBorland
October 11, 2012, 04:01 PM
As has been mentioned, this thread was supposed to be about current production revolvers. That it quickly devolved into a new/old S&W rant was sadly predictable. Nonetheless, I know a few things about shooting a wheelgun competitively, so I'm gonna add to the thread veer just to clarify...

To claim new S&Ws are used by competitive shooters only because they're easy to fix is a gross oversimplification. Competition is hard on wheelgun. Sometimes they need tune ups. In rare instances, they'll even break. New and old. Loan me your chamois-babied revolver for even a single range session, and I may just make you cry. :cool: Nonetheless, my primary match gun has 50k-ish hard rounds through it, and it's held up just fine. If newer guns were relatively unreliable, they simply wouldn't be used by top wheelgunners.

Truth is, newer S&Ws just make better competition guns for a number of reasons: They're available in numerous configurations, they're as accurate as ever, easier to tune, aftermarket parts are available, ands frame-mounted FP make for lighter hammers. And they can be made (i.e. bobbed) far lighter than hammers with FPs. Replacing firing pins just happens to be much easier on newer guns that have frame-mounted FPs, but that's just a side benefit.

If you're convinced new S&Ws are used in competition only because they're easier to fix or because of someone's sponsor, I suggest making your inquiry at the Brian Enos revolver subforum, where many really excellent revolver shooters hangout. Be warned, though - they may not be as polite as me. :rolleyes:

beag_nut
October 11, 2012, 04:58 PM
Guess I might as well add my opinion:
My blue 6" GP100 (18 months old - aw, so cute!) is flawlessly finished, shoots 1" groups at 75 feet (on the bench - 3" in my hand DA), seems indestructible, fits everywhere like a bank vault, and if I had any grandkids I know it would outlast THEIR grandkids.
S&W has the rep, Colt has the history, Ruger has the capability.

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 05:05 PM
To claim new S&Ws are used by competitive shooters only because they're easy to fix is a gross oversimplification

I agree

It is a combination of "easy to fix" and "lack of choice"

Essentially there are only two choices for new production, double action revolvers for the competitive shooter.


The bottom line is that while the folks on this board love wheel guns...we are the minority. Not many people buy them (as compared to autos) and there is not the competition for this segment of the market.

Sad...but true

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 05:08 PM
FYI

In the name of full disclosure, I was holding a decent Smith two days ago.

A friend of mine was given a new S&W 442.

Sideplate was perfect. Yoke was a decent fit. Trigger is "okay" but with some lube and burnishing it will be okay.

Texan Scott
October 11, 2012, 05:10 PM
"revolvers" is a pretty broad field... even "DA revolvers" covers a lot. I hafta ask, best DA revolver for WHAT? Hunting? I'm not a handgun hunter... if I were, I'd use a Ruger SA... DA? I've no idea.
Rimfire? Ruger SA or S&W DA... not impressed with Ruger or Tuarus DA .22s lately.
Ultralight small frames? Still S&W, if at all. Not a fan of them, and my experience with Taurus UL has been MEH. Not horrible, but not stellar.
Oddly, for an all-purpose 38 or 357 house/ car gun, I'd be just as happy with a Taurus 82 as a Ruger SP or GP, espc. for the money. Basic DA 38s are one of the things Taurus has done well for a while now IMHO. Used S&W 10/64s are fine, but I wouldn't pay want they want for a new one.

AABEN
October 11, 2012, 05:10 PM
S&W 32 on hand

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 05:14 PM
they may not be as polite as me

being as polite as you is unlikely on any forum.

You are always courteous and diplomatic

CraigC
October 11, 2012, 05:40 PM
If you're convinced new S&Ws are used in competition only because they're easier to fix or because of someone's sponsor...
What else is a shooter sponsored by S&W gonna use???


Loan me your chamois-babied revolver for even a single range session, and I may just make you cry.
And you think old revolvers got to be old by hiding in the safe???


If newer guns were relatively unreliable, they simply wouldn't be used by top wheelgunners.
Again, what other choice do they have? It should be painfully obvious that anything available new, with easily procurable replacement parts would be first choice in any sport that is hard on equipment. Just because it's the best tool for THEIR job doesn't necessarily make them the best tool.

MrBorland
October 11, 2012, 06:16 PM
being as polite as you is unlikely on any forum.

You are always courteous and diplomatic

Aw, shucks, G. :o




What else is a shooter sponsored by S&W gonna use???

Suggestions on the internet abound that top wheelgunners are "all" sponsored, and given their guns, and have no choice in the matter. Of the really excellent revo shooters I know, factory-sponsored guys are few and far between, and AFAIK, weren't "given" their guns. They could freely use a pre-lock S&W if they chose to, but choose not to.



And you think old revolvers got to be old by hiding in the safe???

No, but heck, I have a few vintage blued guns, and even I wouldn't dream of putting them through what my match gun goes through in a single session. Wanna loan me a purdy gun for a few weeks? ;) I (sorta) promise to be (sorta) gentle :D


Again, what other choice do they have?...Just because it's the best tool for THEIR job doesn't necessarily make them the best tool.

They could use pre-lock guns with forged parts (for which replacement factory parts are available), but very rarely do.

At any rate, I wasn't making any case that new guns are superior in all ways, but rather that they are used by competitive wheelgunners for reasons other than they're simply easy to fix in the field when they presumably & inevitably fail.

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 06:23 PM
Mr. Boreland,

With all due respect...a competitive shooter needs a revolver that has ready parts and factory support. There is really only S&W in that category.

As you have pointed out, for these purposes, MIM guns are better for this.

So since the competitive revolver shooter does not have, practically speaking, any other choices...the answer is that they make the best. Because no one else is supporting them.

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 06:25 PM
put another way

As a competitive shooter...other than a new S&W, what have you considered?

MrBorland
October 11, 2012, 06:57 PM
As a competitive shooter...other than a new S&W, what have you considered?

As I indicated earlier, I could opt for a pre-lock S&W with a hammer-mounted firing pin. In fact, I have, on loan, such a .45acp 625 that I could use for IDPA ESR. 'Tis a fine gun indeed, but in practice sessions, I've been underwhelmed by it, so I haven't used it in matches. When I get serious about ESR, I'll buy a new 625, tune it, and shoot the livin' batsnot out of it. ;)

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 07:11 PM
Mr Boreland

Listening to you and David E, two outstanding competitive shooters, have inspired me. (especially on the other thread discussing "spits")

I have purchased a shot timer and am going to get more serious about my fast shooting.

Perhaps then I will join you on the MIM/new S&W bandwagon.

:what:

But we will have to see
:evil:

MrBorland
October 11, 2012, 08:07 PM
Listening to you and David E, two outstanding competitive shooters, have inspired me. (especially on the other thread discussing "spits")

I have purchased a shot timer and am going to get more serious about my fast shooting.

Perhaps then I will join you on the MIM/new S&W bandwagon.


Yowzer!! :what: :o

If you find yourself in the NC area, look me up - you can try out my newfangled stuff before you get too crazy. :D I'll bring my 5-screw K-38, and we can make a day of it. ;)

bikemutt
October 11, 2012, 08:46 PM
Perhaps then I will join you on the MIM/new S&W bandwagon.

Whhaaattt? Thanks Guillermo, you just cost me a tipped over Starbucks and a dry cleaning bill :(

L-Frame
October 11, 2012, 09:07 PM
So many people hate S&W for the lock today that it colors everything else about them. Every time a "big" change occurs there is a huge outcry that everything new sucks. When S&W stopped making wheelguns with pinned barrels and recessed cylinders you would have thought the Russians were invading. During the Bangor-Punta era the world was coming to an end. Now it's MIM and The Lock.

If there is one hard and fast rule in the world it is this: "Things were always better back then" whether they actually were or not.

Personally, I can't stand the lock but the guns I've seen look/work fine. I think Rugers are great guns. Decent actions that can be worked on to be nice actions, very accurate. The only reason competition shooters don't use them is that their actions simply don't work as well for the warp speed shooting necessary to be a Miculek, but in every other sense they are excellent. I even think that the fixed sight models are quite elegant (the adj. models are clunky).

gspn
October 11, 2012, 09:55 PM
Thanks to all for the replies. I currently own about a dozen of the older s&w wheel guns and i really like them a lot. As others have pointed out they are not perfect. As i type this my beloved model 29 sits useless with a front sight that flew away after its retaining pin broke. I also had a 625 whose bolt broke and sent the cylinder release latch flying through the air. While they have had a few malfunctionsn i still like them a lot...they look and feel like works of art.

Having said that...it sounds like the new guns are worth a look too. I think ill just always be on the lookout for older models and when i cant find a deal on one i like then ill just go buy a new model.

I think theyll all get along just fine in the safe when i shut the door at night.

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 09:56 PM
Mr Boreland,

Surely you are gentleman enough to mean it. If I get in your direction I will bring a couple of toys that just might make you change your mind.

A range day with an expert is always a pleasure.

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 09:57 PM
Perhaps then I will join you on the MIM/new S&W bandwagon.

Now BM...you did note the first word of that sentence...didn't you?

But send me the bill...I am liable for the damage

The very idea is shocking

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 10:02 PM
I can't stand the lock but the guns I've seen look/work fine

while one can say that it is just internet blather...it seems the quality is not what it once was.

Until the 442 I handled the other day, the last 3 new S&Ws (all686s) I handled ALL had factory defects.

MIM, CNC, IL, no QC...the list is long.

But all that said...Mr. Boreland is in a unique situation. He finds that for competition the new guns, if tuned and modified, are the bee's knees. And he appreciates that minor gunsmithing can be done on the tailgate of his Navigator. For those specialized purposes, I see his point. They are not MY purposes, so I have arrived at a different conclusion.

Cosmoline
October 11, 2012, 10:15 PM
So many people hate S&W for the lock today that it colors everything else about them. Every time a "big" change occurs there is a huge outcry that everything new sucks

Actually I don't care about the locks. But S&W's wheelguns have NOT impressed me of late. I find they are cheaply made and designed as range toys, not practical weapons. Compared with modern Rugers.. there is no comparison. For revolvers S&W is down where Taurus once was in my book, and Taurus has come up a notch or two. Granted, the Performance Center still makes good wheelguns, but they charge an arm and leg for them. And they are fully of silly gimmicks. The only thing S&W has over Ruger is their faster, smoother trigger. But personally I don't mind the Ruger finger exerciser, and for CCW I positively prefer it. I'm not shooting in any competition.

Even with more modern designs, Ruger is better. Compare the LCR with the Bodyguard. I tried out two of the Smiths at the store before getting the LCR. Even without live ammo they were choking. Cylinders were binding up, the laser was oddly placed and the whole thing felt like it was liable to crumble in my hand. The LCR is new fangled, but it's holding up and shooting like a Ruger. I can't say I've shot a lot of newer Smiths simply because almost all of them fail my gun store tests. Some were almost frighteningly bad, with all the indications of having been rushed out the factory doors.

For Single Actions, you have the Cadillac makers like FA and some others. But having just shot my brand new Ruger small frame Blackhawk in .45 ACP and .45 Colt, I would NOT HESITATE to recommend it. It's skookum. The balance is excellent, the cylinder loading is much improved, and it's exceptionally accurate with iron sights at point of aim for BOTH rounds. That takes some doing, folks. Someone at Ruger took the time with this revolver to test it and line it all up before shipping it out, and I really appreciate that.

L-Frame
October 11, 2012, 10:44 PM
Well Guillermo,

I guess one person's reality is another's internet blather. The 3 new 686's you shot obviously weren't good, but the 2 I recently shot (not mine) did just fine and they certainly did not, like Cosmoline suggested, seem like "range toys". I admit to having limited experience with new ones because, like I said, can't stand the lock and won't own one. I do prefer Rugers, owning 3 GP-100's and dearly love my 686-5, but my experience with new S&W revolvers has been positive. S&W quality may well be dropping but I can only speak of my own experiences and not about what I've heard or read. Now that would be internet blather.

Hotshot10
October 11, 2012, 11:00 PM
I've not been impressed with either Ruger's or S&W's current offerings, but the real reason that I wanted to comment was to see if anyone knew what happened with CZ's attempt to resurrect the Dan Wesson line of revolvers. I can't find any revolvers listed on CZ's website, although I know the company tried making some several years ago. What happened?

Guillermo
October 11, 2012, 11:01 PM
I guess one person's reality is another's internet blather.

True, your and my experiences are reality and became internet blather.

Please note that I try for full disclosure. The 442 I handled the other day had a great fitting sideplate and only one thing which could be considered a flaw. While MIM guns do not have the silky actions of forged guns, this one was fine...especially for a J-Frame

David E
October 11, 2012, 11:36 PM
But personally I don't mind the Ruger finger exerciser, and for CCW I positively prefer it. I'm not shooting in any competition.

Shooting for your life IS a competitive activity.

robhof
October 11, 2012, 11:47 PM
Hotshot10, check out the danwessonforums, the new model 15 DW is out and a great gun, unfortunately it has a price to match, but you pay for quality and the new DW is a work of art and as with all the older Dans, a great very accurate shooter. Look for Dan Wesson/CZ, they're still separate from the main CZ offerings.

Mr.357Sig
October 12, 2012, 12:07 AM
I'm so tired of the "Ruger's are built like tanks" sentiment. Tanks are built like tanks. Ruger wheelguns are tough, but it's no M1A1.

As far as good revolvers, Ruger is up there. The S&W PC line is nice, but I prefer the older Smiths. They have smoother triggers and are just constructed better. Colts are great too.

Not a fan of Charter Arms or Taurus revolvers.

bikemutt
October 12, 2012, 12:15 AM
Hotshot10, check out the danwessonforums, the new model 15 DW is out and a great gun, unfortunately it has a price to match, but you pay for quality and the new DW is a work of art and as with all the older Dans, a great very accurate shooter. Look for Dan Wesson/CZ, they're still separate from the main CZ offerings.
Well, I've handled two of the DW latest 715 specimens and I'm not seeing the value proposition, even at half the asking price. I'll grant they probably inherited the accuracy of their progenitors, but fit and finish? No way. The Monson, MA made model 15 I have in the safe puts the new 715 to shame. Admittedly I'm talking about minor points but, if one is asked to part with over $1000 for a 6-shot 356 magnum revolver, the least the manufacturer should be expected to do, particularly on a stainless gun, is to take down the sharp points. In my view CZ has a long road to my house, the good news is the door is open.

CraigC
October 12, 2012, 12:27 PM
Suggestions on the internet abound that top wheelgunners are "all" sponsored, and given their guns, and have no choice in the matter.
Uh, no one referenced "all" sponsored shooters. Jerry Miculek was mentioned specifically. He is on the S&W team and I seriously doubt he would be shooting a Ruger, if one were appplicable.


No, but heck, I have a few vintage blued guns, and even I wouldn't dream of putting them through what my match gun goes through in a single session.
And assume that we who own older S&W's store them in a diaper and only shoot them on our birthday.


So many people hate S&W for the lock today that it colors everything else about them.
Don't paint me with that brush. I don't care for new S&W's (hate is a strong word, I simply disregard them) because they look and feel cheap and yet prices only go up. Bottom line is that they have not made any of the recent changes because it results in a better product. They have made them because they make the guns easier and less expensive to produce. Not to even mention the hole in the side. When I behold an older S&W with gorgeous deep bluing, it stirs my soul and echoes from the distant past when everything was touched by a craftsman's hands and fitted with care. When I hold a newer stainless S&W with black rubber grips and fiber optic sights, it's just a cold, soul-less tool. It does absolutely nothing for me, to say nothing of the jacked-up prices. Life is too short for that foolishness.

Guillermo
October 12, 2012, 12:48 PM
So many people hate S&W for the lock today that it colors everything else about them.

should not a company that ignores what it's customers want be colored by that arrogance?

That they have a near-monopoly on new double action revolvers makes for a company of jerks

Cosmoline
October 12, 2012, 02:14 PM
I'll admit most of my thoughts on new Smiths is spidey sense. But my spidey sense is pretty danged good. I've held, bought and shot so many handguns at this point I can tell quality from junk. If I were to go into competition and needed an ultra-smooth trigger, I would by a Smith and Wesson... from about 40 years ago ;-)

Thaddeus Jones
October 12, 2012, 02:16 PM
Guillermo the owner of a Safety Wesson wind up gun? Seriously? :confused:

Who divided by zero?? Are dogs now going to sleep with cats??

Guillermo at least buy one from CDNN. That way you will at least pay closer to what one of those is worth. CDNN buys up all the unwanted wind up guns so they have.......just about all of them. :)

Guillermo
October 12, 2012, 03:28 PM
Thaddeus,

The earth did not swap poles. It is all still in order.

What I said was that if I was going to play the gun games, my priorities might change as Mr. Boreland's have.

If I was playing IDPA a gun that can be fixed "in the pits" might be an advantage.

I have a 4inch Diamondback on my hip right now and am scouring the web for a 38/44

All is well

Doc3402
October 12, 2012, 05:24 PM
Go older. The last three Smith revolvers I worked on left much to be desired. All three were J frames which may or may not have something to do with it, but fit and finish was terrible. Inside was MIM junk full of rough spots.

buck460XVR
October 12, 2012, 08:36 PM
Ruger.... :cool:

Their GP100's and Redhawk's will eat anything you care to feed them.





Sure they will. Just keep talkin'.........


http://forums.1911forum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=87695&d=1349092118

Hotshot10
October 13, 2012, 11:23 AM
Hotshot10, check out the danwessonforums, the new model 15 DW is out and a great gun, unfortunately it has a price to match, but you pay for quality and the new DW is a work of art and as with all the older Dans, a great very accurate shooter. Look for Dan Wesson/CZ, they're still separate from the main CZ offerings.

Thanks, I will do that. One of the grizzled veterans at my LGS swears that the current DW 1911s are the best at their price point, and I'm curious what the new revolvers look like.

I'm so tired of the "Ruger's are built like tanks" sentiment. Tanks are built like tanks. Ruger wheelguns are tough, but it's no M1A1.


+ 1 (And I own a Ruger. It's solid, but that phrase is so hackneyed.)

JM Browning
October 13, 2012, 12:04 PM
Cosmo I owned a early 80s 586 6"er had trigger work done is smooth, still have access,still in my family. I rescentley acquired a pre mark III Colt Trooper on the cheap. No comparison
Trooper wins.

Halal Pork
October 13, 2012, 02:54 PM
A few of us here might not realize that we're actually living in a Golden Age of revolver technology. At least that is the idea I get reading some of the comments here. Anyway, consider the Taurus Judge and the Ruger LCR if you have any doubt. Surely they're "different" from what some are used to, but I defy anyone to put up their old Colt/S&W/Ruger wheel guns head to head against their predecessors and not admit the superiority of the new, cutting edge technologies. There's just going to be a fair amount of sour grapes out there. Can't stop that.





Edit to add:

Just pulling your leg.

ljnowell
October 13, 2012, 02:55 PM
While Smith and Wessons quality has slid in recent years, Ruger still makes a fine DA revolver. However, if you truly want the best, only a Korth will do.

bikemutt
October 13, 2012, 03:02 PM
A few of us here might not realize that we're actually living in a Golden Age of revolver technology. At least that is the idea I get reading some of the comments here. Anyway, consider the Taurus Judge and the Ruger LCR if you have any doubt. Surely they're "different" from what some are used to, but I defy anyone to put up their old Colt/S&W/Ruger wheel guns head to head against their predecessors and not admit the superiority of the new, cutting edge technologies. There's just going to be a fair amount of sour grapes out there. Can't stop that.
I'll grant you that metallurgy has come a long way. It's now possible to make revolvers that are impossibly lightweight and still strong enough to handle the full house loads.

Beyond that dimension, revolvers have already seen their zenith I'm afraid.

MrBorland
October 13, 2012, 03:02 PM
However, if you truly want the best, only a Korth will do.

Are Korths & Manurhins still made, i.e. among the currently-available revolvers?

Even so, rare is the guy who can speak to their quality from actual first-hand experience. I wouldn't mind being one of those rare ones, though. ;)

Guillermo
October 13, 2012, 04:01 PM
I defy anyone to put up their old Colt/S&W/Ruger wheel guns head to head against their predecessors and not admit the superiority of the new, cutting edge technologies

The fact that the new revolvers with injection molded internal parts do not require a gunsmith to fix is an advantage. Otherwise, all of the cost cutting measures were for the benefit of the P&L statement...not to improve the revolvers.

L-Frame
October 13, 2012, 04:07 PM
I would dearly love a Korth or MR-73. But, unfortunately, especially in regards to the Korth, I can't afford to divert 3 or 4 mortgage payments for a revolver. I can dream though.

ljnowell
October 13, 2012, 09:10 PM
Are Korths & Manurhins still made, i.e. among the currently-available revolvers?

Even so, rare is the guy who can speak to their quality from actual first-hand experience. I wouldn't mind being one of those rare ones, though.


http://www.korthusa.com/start_en.htm

I have had the pleasure of shooting one. It was a very nice revolver.

CraigC
October 13, 2012, 09:26 PM
I'm so tired of the "Ruger's are built like tanks" sentiment. Tanks are built like tanks. Ruger wheelguns are tough, but it's no M1A1.
Ruger's marketing has proven to be powerful stuff! ;)

ColtPythonElite
October 13, 2012, 09:32 PM
Are tanks cast?

Guillermo
October 13, 2012, 09:53 PM
Are tanks cast?

no

but they do have some injection molded parts...just like a new S&W revolver.

ColtPythonElite
October 13, 2012, 09:59 PM
So tanks are built like S&W's?

Guillermo
October 13, 2012, 10:59 PM
So tanks are built like S&W's?

no...you can trust your life to a tank

barnbwt
October 13, 2012, 11:28 PM
I have had the pleasure of shooting one. It was a very nice revolver.

Aw, that's it? :( As dear as the Korth's are, I expected them to materialize a beautiful woman onto your arm and a drink into your hand when fired...

Oh well. ;) Seriously, though, don't the Korth's use some funky mechanism to release the cylinder? What did you think of the ergos on that?

TCB

CraigC
October 13, 2012, 11:34 PM
I would love to be able to handle a Korth but they're too ugly for me to ever entertain the notion of buying one.

beag_nut
October 13, 2012, 11:35 PM
The fact that the new revolvers with injection molded internal parts do not require a gunsmith to fix is an advantage. Otherwise, all of the cost cutting measures were for the benefit of the P&L statement...not to improve the revolvers.
Rugers have investment cast parts, NOT injection molded. There's a world of difference, partly being strength and accuracy-of-parts.
Nowadays, Rugers are the best, at least for twice the price.

Guillermo
October 13, 2012, 11:43 PM
NOT injection molded

The frames are cast, there are injection molded parts in the SP101 and GP100 as well as all of their autos

Guillermo
October 13, 2012, 11:45 PM
except for Dan Wesson (which is in VERY LIMITED production)...they all use injection molded parts

bikemutt
October 13, 2012, 11:54 PM
I wonder if there's a chart or something showing actual failure rates for injection molded parts versus cast parts versus forged parts etc. Retail gun buyers are unlikely to be full time metallurgists.

Guillermo
October 13, 2012, 11:55 PM
FYI

Since molded parts are ready for use when they are popped out of the mold, and cast parts need finishing, you can count on the bean-counters to increase the percentage of injection molded parts.

Guillermo
October 13, 2012, 11:56 PM
showing actual failure rates for injection molded parts versus cast parts versus forged parts

I don't think that the manufacturers are going to give up their stats of shame.

Doc3402
October 14, 2012, 05:55 AM
FYI

Since molded parts are ready for use when they are popped out of the mold, and cast parts need finishing, you can count on the bean-counters to increase the percentage of injection molded parts.
They may be ready for use, but they sure aren't as good as they could be. I have yet to see a S&W MIM part that didn't need to have at least a little bit of flash stoned off of it. I wish Ruger DA revolvers were more ergonomically pleasing to me. I would switch in a heartbeat.

savit260
October 14, 2012, 06:08 AM
The only new revolver I've ever bought was a Ruger Blackhawk. Fit and finish was o.k. but not nearly up to the standards of my older Colts.

Most of the new S&W's leave me cold.

I'd not hesitate to buy any double action Ruger provided I had a chance to look it over before purchase.

Can't speak to Korth because I've never held one, but they better be freakin' spectacular given the price.

Pilot
October 14, 2012, 08:30 AM
I have a USFA Rodeo that is superb. Can't speak to newer DA revolvers because I don't own any, but I do like the Rugers with a spring kit and some tuning.

OrangePwrx9
October 14, 2012, 11:07 AM
I went to the local gun store to buy a new no-lock 642 they had in the case. When I inspected it I had to fight to get the cylinder open. It would open, but only on the 3rd or 4th try. LGS owner said it would wear in with time. Maybe they do this when they leave the lock off...a gun you can't load is "safer" after all. :)

Ended up buying a LNIB Chief's Special (model 37) from 1968 that was sitting next to it in the case. No problem opening that one's cylinder. Saved $100 too.

Takeaway: Look them over closely if you're buying new.

Guillermo
October 14, 2012, 11:18 AM
a gun you can't load is "safer" after all

LOL

Driftwood Johnson
October 14, 2012, 11:34 AM
Howdy

Just to clarify things. Injection Molding usually means plastic parts. I don't think any of the parts inside the action of a modern S&W are plastic. S&W uses Metal Injection Molded (MIM) parts. Not the same thing.

Injection Molded parts are formed by injecting heated plastic resin into a mold under pressure. When the mold cools, the resin hardens into the shape of the mold, then it is popped out of the mold. But this is usually a process used for plastic parts.

Metal Injection Molding is a multi step process for forming metal parts with molding equipment. A slurry consisting of powdered metal suspended in a binder is heated and injected into a mold. When the part cools it is considered to be 'green'. The metal particles are held in position by the binder, but the part has no strength. The part is then treated with solvents and heat to remove a portion of the binder. At this stage the part is called 'brown'. It still has no strength. Then the part is heated to a temperature not quite high enough to melt the metal, but high enough to bind the surfaces of the metal particles together. The finished part then has almost the same strength as a conventionally machined part. As with conventional injection molding, there is some shrinkage from the green part to the finished part, so the part is molded oversize to allow for shrinkage. MIM is used because even with all those extra steps it is still more cost effective than machining forged parts.

The process Ruger uses for their cast parts is Investment Casting. Do not confuse Investment Cast parts with conventional Die Cast metal parts. Investment Cast parts are much stronger, than conventional die casting. Investment Casting is similar to the old Lost Wax process used by jewelers for centuries. A wax positive of the part is made and nested on an armature with many other similar parts. Then the wax parts are coated with a ceramic slurry. This creates a mold for multiple parts. Molten metal is poured into the mold and the wax melts and runs out, hence the name Lost Wax. The parts are then broken out of the mold, the mold is sacrificial. Ruger uses high strength alloys for their Investment Cast parts, and after they are broken out of he mold they are heat treated for strength. Ruger DOES NOT make cylinders or barrels from Investment Castings, these are still machined from solid stock. They do make frames and most of the internal parts of their guns from Investment Castings. Some of the Investment Cast parts will have some secondary machining done to dress critical fit areas. Look at where the barrel screws into the frame of a Ruger and you will usually see milling marks left behind from truing up the face where the barrel butts up.

I am a traditionalist, and I like guns made the old fashioned way. But even my oldest three screw Rugers have Investment Cast parts in them. And they have coil springs instead of the traditional flat springs. I have no problem with Investment Molded parts or coil springs in Rugers. I only own one S&W with MIM parts, a model 617. All my other Smiths predate MIM, most of them by many years.

But you know, I'll bet when Colt first started mass producing revolvers in the mid 19th Century there were a lot of traditionalists sitting around griping about the 'good old days' when all guns were made one at a time from scratch. Colt was revolutionary (along with several other 19th Century gunmakers like Winchester, S&W and a few others) in that they embraced the methods developed by the Industrial Revolution to mass produce firearms. Other countries, Great Britain being among them, did not and continued to produce firearms and other products using highly skilled craftsmen. The 'American System' as it was called, clobbered all foreign competition in everything from firearms to watchmaking. The result was affordable, quality, mass produced products.

Progress marches on. If you want to stay stuck in the past, then by all means gripe about modern technology. The bottom line is, if guns were made 'the old fashioned way' today, meaning a lot of hand fitting of forged and machined parts, they would be out of the price range of most of us today. That's why Rugers are so much more affordable then Colts. Investment Casting has driven the cost out of parts that used to be machined from forgings.

And there is certainly something to be said for modern processes. When I go Cowboy Shooting, I shoot a pair of 2nd Gen Colts. But a pair of Rugers goes along for the ride as backups to every match. Twice, over the years, I have had a failure in one of my Colts, usually a broken spring, and I have had to fall back on my Rugers. The simple fact is, even though Colt is still producing the SAA almost the same way as they did over 100 years ago, the manufacturing processes are outdated. Machining the bolt of a Colt is a multi-step process. Part of Bill Ruger's genius was driving the cost out by replacing it with a simple stamped part, that probably only costs pennies to produce.

Sorry to be so blabby, but this is a pet peeve of mine. If you want to buy old guns, and I certainly buy lots of them, my oldest S&W was made in 1870, be sure you understand why you are buying old guns. Is it because you genuinely believe they are better, or do you just like old stuff?

Guillermo
October 14, 2012, 11:52 AM
Driftwood,

Great post.

A couple of points of clarification. (you probably know this, so the clarification is for next reader)

The MIM part is more expensive to make, but they save money in labor over a forged part.

The shrinkage is not always consistent. Even with tightly controlling heating (and stable media) Smith and Wesson is having problems creating parts within .001".

Before Colt guys get too pious, the King Cobra, DSII and I think (not positive) Magnum Carry had sintered metal parts...a process that is very similar to MIM. In fact it is the predecessor.

HKGuns
October 14, 2012, 11:54 AM
Great post driftwood.

It is kind of funny how folks don't bat an eye at buying the latest mobile device or in general, technology........where processes and changes are far greater from generation to generation than in the gun world.

I don't know much, but the general consensus seems to be that S&W and Ruger are making the best mainstream revolvers today.

Guillermo
October 14, 2012, 12:10 PM
S&W and Ruger are making the best mainstream revolvers today.

and other than Taurus...who else is in the market?

where processes and changes are far greater from generation to generation than in the gun world.

Of course...phones are changing much faster...and should. This is because their functions are evolving. Once upon a time we used a phone to talk. Now we surf the net, play on social media, use it for navigation, translation, play games, take photos and movies, record audio.

In addition, phones are not constructed to last. Only until the next "big thing" hits.

You do make a great point in that there have been very few changes over the last 100 years in the gun world with the exception of materials. But that is not an insignificant change.

CraigC
October 14, 2012, 12:25 PM
It is kind of funny how folks don't bat an eye at buying the latest mobile device or in general, technology........where processes and changes are far greater from generation to generation than in the gun world.
Personally, I take technology where it benefits and appeals to me. I've been an IT consultant for the last 7yrs so technology is a daily reality for me and has been since our first PC back in 1983. I absolutely adore EFI over carburetors. That said, it ain't what I do for fun, apart from connecting my iPod to the stereo in my truck and farting around on these forums. It ain't what stirs my soul. It ain't what I daydream about. I daydream about traditional sixguns with forged parts and half cock notches. Flintlocks with curly maple stocks and browned barrels. Leather and walnut, brass and steel. DA's are not my primary focus but when I think about them, I think about the roaring `20's and Indiana Jones, not Fast and Furious. So stainless steel, rubber grips, injection molded parts, two piece barrels, cheesy lettering, tumbler finishes and fiber optic sights need not apply. Whether they're better or worse.....they feel cheap to me and life is too short.

Doc3402
October 14, 2012, 01:39 PM
and other than Taurus...who else is in the market?

Revolvers? Just off the top of my head, how about:
Colt
Dan Wesson
Korth
Chiappa
Charter Arms
EAA
Magnum Research
North American Arms
Rossi

Guillermo
October 14, 2012, 01:51 PM
We were talking double actions.

Sorry I was not more precise in my language

Doc3402
October 14, 2012, 02:00 PM
My apology. I misunderstood.

Guillermo
October 14, 2012, 02:24 PM
You did bring up Charter Arms.

Rossi was bought by Taurus...now just a relabeled Taurus.

Doc3402
October 14, 2012, 02:35 PM
I didn't know that about Rossi. They should do well together. <grin>

I really wish Colt was still on that short list. Of course they would probably end up like the others in order to compete.

Guillermo
October 14, 2012, 02:39 PM
Of course they would probably end up like the others in order to compete

Yep...they capitulated more than S&W with Hitlery.

I bet they would have plastic revolvers with locks, MIM parts and 3 part barrels and call them "Python II"

bikemutt
October 14, 2012, 02:50 PM
I bet they would have plastic revolvers with locks, MIM parts and 3 part barrels and call them "Python II"

I think I may have bust a gut, that's funny!

Doc3402
October 14, 2012, 02:54 PM
Yep...they capitulated more than S&W with Hitlery.

I bet they would have plastic revolvers with locks, MIM parts and 3 part barrels and call them "Python II"
That one needed a drink warning. I just missed spewing tea out of my nose.

Guillermo
October 14, 2012, 05:09 PM
Sorry guys:neener:

gspn
October 14, 2012, 05:27 PM
Yep...they capitulated more than S&W with Hitlery.

I bet they would have plastic revolvers with locks, MIM parts and 3 part barrels and call them "Python II"
That made me sick to my stomach...mainly because I can see them trying it...what a terrible vision that is.

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