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Airweight revolvers are they really junk.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by tango3065, Jul 17, 2004.

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  1. tango3065

    tango3065 Member

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    I recently purchased a new smith 637 and all I have heard and read about is they wont hold up. I only plan to put about a hundred rounds a year thru it so one anyone care to give me a rough idea of how long this gun will last me.
     
  2. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    For as long as you could ever think of using it...

    WildgunsdowearoutAlaska
     
  3. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Hmmm, you must know something that I don't.

    1980 vintage 37, as tight as the day it left the factory.

    1999 vintage 642, carried quite a bit, shot quite a bit (almost all +P), just as tight as the day it left the factory.

    Airweight J-frames are great. I believe that your post is the first time that I have ever seen the word "junk" in the same sentence as "Airweight".
     
  4. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Member

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    Relax... and enjoy your new gun. S&W Airweights are fine handguns.

    At the rate of two boxes per year, your great grandchildren will still be shooting a "like new" revolver.

    642_2t.jpg

    Good Luck...


    Joe
     
  5. ColtShooter

    ColtShooter Member

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    I have had a 637 for about 2 years and it has digested 1,000+ rounds so far. Don't worry about it.
     
  6. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    I've seen plenty of used Airweights and Airlights over the years and have never seen one that was loose. Some of the joints in the former owners' hands, maybe :D but not the guns.

    Seriously, you have nothing to worry about. Just keep away from spray miracle cleaners, which may dissolve the clearcoat finish.
     
  7. SnWnMe

    SnWnMe Member

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    Who said they are junk?

    If they are, there must be countless gun savvy folks out there who are suckers. Alloy guns that have been on the market since the 50s probably have some virtue going for them.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. mattz357

    mattz357 Member

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    S&W&me, what kind of ammo is that? Thanks!
     
  9. James Bondrock

    James Bondrock Member

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    I would not shoot the Buffalo Bore loads excessively, but any Airweight (aluminum frame, steel cylinder) Smith made in the last 25 or 30 years will hold up to an immense amount of shooting, and ones made in the past five or so years are rated for unlimited use of +P ammunition ... if your hand can take it! ;) These guns IMO are at the lower limit of practicality for a pocket gun firing full power ammunition from a controllability standpoint, and I have no desire to acquire a titanium/scandium model.
     
  10. RWK

    RWK Member

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    mattz357 . . .

    I am not trying to derail a response to your question from SnWnMe, but I believe the rounds in his very nice image are Federal Nyclad .38 Special +Ps (at least they look just like the Nyclads I sometime carry in my Ruger SP-101).
     
  11. sabre

    sabre Member

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    AirWeight guns are most certainly not "junk". It is possible to wear one out or damage it with improper ammo - but the same can be said of a Super Redhawk. You'll have to work harder to "kill" the SRH, but that does not make the AirWeights bad guns. This AirWeight pre-Model 12 was made in the mid 1950's and still shoots great, locks up tight, etc. after who knows how many rounds!
    orig.jpg

    At the rate you plan on shooting your new 637 it will last many lifetimes:cool:

    Bill
     
  12. mattz357

    mattz357 Member

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    Sabre, I had no idea model numbers that low denoted snubbies! I thought that the lowest model number for snubbies was the 37. What other models am I missing out on? I am not a blue gun fan by any means, I'm too paranoid about finish wear, but that finish is beautiful!
     
  13. SnWnMe

    SnWnMe Member

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    Matt and RWK: They are Federal Nyclad 125gr +Ps.

    Matt: It's not only the model# that determines if a given Smith will be a snubnose but also the variations within a model. There are probably hundreds of thousands of 2" Model 10s, Model 12s and 19s out there combined. You'll also find snubnosed N frames like the 27 and the 29 and of course, the OG of em all, the Model 36 aka Chief's Special.
     
  14. ruger357

    ruger357 Member

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    Have had my 637 for about a year and a half with no problems at all. Enjoy yours.
     
  15. Checkman

    Checkman member

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    It's been my experience that those who constantly bash S&W hate the company. For whatever reason they have strong personal feelings against Smith and Wesson. I own five Smiths (all used)and haven't had any trouble. Take care of them and they'll outlast you and your greatgrandkids.
     
  16. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    The only Smith Airweights I own are a Model 12, a Model 37, a Model 38, and a Model 442. Made in (respectively) 1966, 1976, 1982, and 1994, they are all holding up nicely. Limit your use of +P ammo in any Airweight made before 1994, and you should be golden.

    Checkman,

    There are good Smiths and there are bad Smiths. There are some that are tanks, and some that have decent durability if certain caveats are followed. I have some that are absolute gems, some that are merely adequate, and a couple that are total dogs. I don't own five (all used) Smiths, but I do own (currently) some thirty-four or thirty-five. Like a fancier of a certain breed of animal, I feel it my obligation to point out flawed bloodlines or bad examples of breeding as part of my overall dedication to the breed.
     
  17. Checkman

    Checkman member

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    Good point Tamara. I've been lucky I guess. I still like Smiths though. But nothing is perfect.
     
  18. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

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    Airweights

    As a Police and Civilian rangemaster I would not own an airweight pistol as I have witness two of them disintergrate on my ranges.

    The worst thing that can happen in a rapid fire course is to hit a case without powder that with primer power will put a bullet in the bore, with a live round coming behind it I have twice seenthe top three cylinders and top strap shatter off. I have seen the same thing happen to a steel Smith and happened to me personally with a Ruger. Both withstood it without damage to the pistols.

    I seriously dislike using range provided ammo unless it was from my own reloading business.
     
  19. magsnubby

    magsnubby Member

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    Printed on the barrel of my 642 ".38 S&W Spl +p". That's good enough for me.
     
  20. klover

    klover Member

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    They're such awful garbage that

    I really doubt I can restrain myself from buying many more:D
    How can I forget that I passed up a blued, mint condition 60's, NIB for only $300:confused: :banghead:
     
  21. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I don't believe an alloy frame gun will stand up as long as a comparable size steel frame will, but it will certainly last a lot longer than some folks seem to think.

    If one is going to shoot bad handloads, one can blow up any gun. The Ruger Redhawk is considered a strong pistol, but I have seen one blown up with a heavy load of Bullseye, and a Ruger .44 Blackhawk blown with a full case load of three (yes, 3) different powders the owner read about in some magazine.

    BTW, I never shoot any handloads except my own. That way, if something does happen, I know the name of the SOB who goofed.

    Jim
     
  22. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Since the cylinder on an Airweight is steel just like the cylinder on an all-steel Smith, I'm wondering how you can attribute that to the gun's being an Airweight?
    :confused:
     
  23. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

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    Airweights

    They were the first airweights I had seen in the 70's and how many were sold and still in use?

    Luckily no one was hurt just shocked with pieces of the revolver in the wall and ceiling of the shooting booth and in the second instance no one was on either side of the officer on my my police range.

    Both were 148 gr .38 target loads.

    Fitz

    Rangemaster
     
  24. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    Were those "disintegrating" Airweights model 12s with aluminum cylinders? Back in the Seventies lots of folks were blowing-up revolvers with double charged wadcutter loads. Might still be doing it today for all I know, but you heard about it more often then. Probably because revolvers were more popular then.
     
  25. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

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    Airweights

    Ron, That was what I was referring to and how many still exist and are being carried?

    I still carry a Smith 60 which I feel is a great weapon especially since I got the first leg of my Marshal DX badge with it.

    Fitz
     
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