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How to tell if a S&W has been fired after factory?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by TwoNiner, Mar 28, 2010.

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  1. TwoNiner

    TwoNiner Member

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    I've got my eyes on a couple of older stainless smiths (model 63 no dash and 629-1). The owner got them from a collector and doesn't know if they have been fired. Are there any tell-tale signs if the gun has been fired after it was shipped from the factory? Did S&W test fire all 6 rounds back then, or just 1? Any other hints I can go off of, such as flame cutting from the top strap, powder traces on the front of the cylinder? I imagine you should shoot a box or two and clean the stainless up pretty good.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    There is no way to tell, other then the obvious you can't fix or clean off.
    Look for a ring around the cylinder or other evidence of use.

    Flame cutting would never be present until way more rounds had been fired then you could scrub off.

    Does it matter anyway if they are so perfect you can't tell?
    Or if you plan to shoot them?
    Buying them for an investment is not going to pay off in the long run anyway unless you keep them until you are 95 years old and Obama Jr. doesn't take them away from you before then.

    rc
     
  3. TwoNiner

    TwoNiner Member

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    It really doesn't matter to me if they have been fired 6 times or 600. I just like to learn about these revolvers as they fascinate me. I don't plan on buying them as collector guns, I want to shoot 'em all as much as I can afford.
     
  4. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    I'm not sure S&W is consistent in their test firing. The last NIB S&W I picked up had three consecutive chambers fired. It would make more sense to fire every other one.

    No days they have to be fired at least once just to provide the fired case that comes with them.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Years ago, they used to always clean them after they test fired them.
    So you really couldn't tell if they had been fired or not.

    Not cleaning them after testing is a more recent cost cutting measure it seems.

    rc
     
  6. Oro

    Oro Member

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    That is my understanding of what they have been doing for a few years now, and are consistent in this practice. I believe they stopped cleaning them sometime in the late '90s. I do not know what the practice was in the mid-80s - which would be the time frame in question for the 629 and probably the 63.
     
  7. DickM

    DickM Member

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    I did the factory tour last year, and that's what they told us - revolvers are tested by firing 3 shots, semi-autos get one full magazine. (They also said the guns were cleaned before boxing and shipping, but who knows how well.)
     
  8. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Smell the muzzle. :D
     
  9. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    Or it there is smoke coming out of it.
     
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