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New gun, horrible flaw? Ever happen to you?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by gulogulo1970, Aug 19, 2003.

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  1. gulogulo1970

    gulogulo1970 Member

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    Has anyone ever bought a gun, and was happy with it, only to bring it home and under closer scrutiny found a horrible flaw? Well it happened to me. I bought a S&W 329 PD (I like guns that wake you up) and the yoke was cracked near the hinge. Plain as day, a silver crack on a black gun. In my blind "gotta have" for the gun, I never saw it. Til, I got home. I went crazy when I noticed it . I never even shot it and its broken. It is on its way to S&W right now. Luckly there is a Service center about 60 miles away from where I live. I still feel stupid, that in my gun fever, I missed it.

    Has this ever happened to anyone?
     
  2. mete

    mete Member

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    You must be a young fellow. When S&W went down the tubes around 1980 it was almost certain that a S&W had problems .Many wouldn't work ,most had 2 or 3 major problems and many minor ones. I repaired many of these and used a check list to make sure I examined every part in the gun. Quality was so bad that the NRA made a special trip to S&W to talk about the problem. This is why many of us no longer consider S&W. It was very ,very sad to see an old company ,once the maker of the finest handguns in the world produce garbage.
     
  3. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Member

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    Note that mete's message either applies to a specific time period or is tongue in cheek.

    I am not familiar with past S&W revovlers, but the current top picks for competition are S&W and despite that the old timers and collectors pine after the revolvers of the past as being superior.
     
  4. Blueduck

    Blueduck Member

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    Can't speak for mete but Blueducks complete contempt of S/W's "standards" are not tongue in cheek, or limited to some past time period.

    S/W does I'm sure make still make some fine guns now and again (more by chance and a great original design than any real quality control IMHO). But no, words been out a LONG time that it's a total crap shoot buying one. Might be great, might be junk. Better check one out real well before taking it home. Also better check it out even better if it comes back from service there....
     
  5. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Sad to say, Smith & Wesson has been infamous for its lack of quality control a long, long time.
     
  6. goon

    goon Member

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    Brand new Springfield Mil-Spec 45.
    It shot about fifteen inches low and about 10 inches to the left out of the box.
    Amazing.
    According to the guys who wrote the instruction manual that came with the gun, the Mil-Spec was subjected to the most stingent QC ever. Somehow, this one slipped past them.
    Yes. I could have shipped it back to SA to be repaired. But I didn't buy a new gun just to turn it around and send it back for repairs. I bought it so I could use it. It should have been done right in the first place.
    If CZ can make a gun that is dead reliable out of the box and shoots POA with all the ammo I shoot through it (within about three inches elevation, dead on for windage), why can't Springfield?
    To hell with them.
    I got rid of it.
    The pity is that they also make other guns that I would like to have, but the fact that their name is stamped on them makes me stay away.
    They suck.
     
  7. J Miller

    J Miller Member

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    Rossi Puma in .45 Colt. Found it at a gun show. New In Box, with all the papers, warrenty cards, and all. No sign that it had ever been fired. Nice tight gun. Passed all the pre-purchase tests with flying colors.

    However once at the range I found it would not cycle factory ammo of any brand, none. My reloads were a maybe. The stock was cracked on the side of the tang, from top to bottom.
    The forarm was also cracked.
    There were several other defects that I could not have found with out taking it apart.
    I paid a decent price for it and it was a legal private party purchace. So it got fixed.

    Oh and not all early 80's S&W's were junk. My 25-5 is still going strong. Over 6000 rounds through it, untold dryfiring cycles, and NOTHING has broken.
    It's just now beginning to show some wear. Big freekin deal.
    Of course it's the newest one I own, so I can't say anything about the new ones. Well.......other than that stinkin lock and can speak on that.. :neener:
     
  8. Atticus

    Atticus Member

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    Yes, I'm afraid so. I bought a Model 19 at a gunshow last year. It appeared to be new or very lightly used. It had a pinned barrel, recessed cylinder, firing pin on the HAMMER, and the blueing was as perfect and deep as space. The box, tools, and manual looked new. I bought it quickly.
    It was extremely accurate, but the cylinder would bind occasionally and I couldn't figure out why. A month or so ago it locked up while dry firing. I took it apart and the hammer stud fell out. Sent it to Cylinder and Slide to be repaired. I talked to the C&S smith a few days ago, and was shocked to learn all of the things wrong with it. Now, I'm paying C&S a lot of $ to make it right. Foolish perhaps, but the alternative was to scrap it, and buy another gun that might have some of the same issues. In the end, I hope to end up with a model 19 that is completely in spec, and has features that S&W can't or won't produce today. I'll find out next month.....:(
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2003
  9. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    I guess (touches wood repeatedly!!) .. I have been lucky ...... my S&W M27-2 is approx 1977, and so pretty much ''pre-downhill phase'' .... seems good ... all others have so far not shown up as ''dogs'' ..... but I do know how the ''purchase fever'' can or could blur the observer's eye, enough to miss something wrong.

    Closest maybe (well, vaguely) was my SRH with 9 1/2 tube not so long ago .... gun was fine but the store fitted the Millet Red Dot at same time .... after some days it turned out front glass had developed a crack ... which got worse .... guess over torqued fittings. Yesterday tho got that fixed with replacement sight.

    Sad about the M19 tho ...... sounds expensive.:(
     
  10. Atticus

    Atticus Member

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    On the bright side... I've got a 1955 Target model .45acp, and a Model 66 .357/.38 snubby that are awesome...which is part of the reason I still have great faith in the overall quality of the older S&W's and want my Model 19 to work. I can't judge the new ones - I don't own one. But every brand has their lemons...just some more than others.
     
  11. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I bought a New 629 Mtn gun in 2001 and it had the rear sight cut in frame machined about 30 degrees off of flat and the sights jacked up and bent to bring to point of impact, until you tried to adjust them! I was pissed and brought it back to find a new in box 1989 629 Mtn revolver had come into the store. I traded thyem straight across with the store picking up the tax and license fees. They thought I was nuts:evil: I love this gun it is what I thought I was paying for in the first place , very sweet gun! I bought one of the last Model 25 Target's in early 80's only to find the crane to frame fit was not machined properly. I traded that gun back to dealer for something else. Alll this said I love my S&W's . I WOULD buy a 396, 296, or 360, IF I could find a good one. I think I'd have to pick thru alot of them to find one that was decent.:banghead:
     
  12. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

    S&W's quality control "procedures" have slipped dramatically since the early 1990s, and it's apparently that they continue to do so.
     
  13. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Member

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    When I was REALLY a green-pea, I met a range master with a Detonics. He raved and raved about it. You would have thought it made him breakfast in the morning.

    4 years later, I'm in Prescott, AZ and wander into a gun store. Lo and Behold! A Detonics! Barely haggled and bought it for $500 in about 80% condition with only one mag. Took it home and started researching them and found out mine was one of the first 300 made. Wow! Really exciting!

    Took it to the range.

    Wouldn't fire more than 2 rounds without a malf. Fail to feed. Fail to extract. Stovepipe. When I finally got through the mag, the slide wouldn't lock back. And the groups were the size of Rosie O’Donnell (sp??)--at 7 yards.

    Then I took it to the gun show to try and find some more mags. Found out that the early Detonics were all semi-custom and the mags were hand fitted. Couldn't find ONE mag that would even slide into the well, including some actual Detonics mags I found. Bought 3 anyway for $60 each (OEM).

    Sent gun and mags to a semi-amateur 1911 gunsmith I knew (because I wasn't really interested in dropping a bunch more money to get a pro to work it over). Four months later, he threw up his hands, sent it back and told me not to pay him.

    Finally sold it at a gun show for $450 with the mags. Almost felt bad about selling some one such a dog, but they were really excited about finding a Detonics that cheap. I couldn't bring myself to burst their bubble.


    Peter
     
  14. 38Mike

    38Mike Member

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    YES. Ruger GP-100, 3 inch barrel, barrel was a good .060" to the right of the frame. "gun barrel straight", not canted, but off that much. thankfully I didn't try to fire it before I noticed; Ruger was glad too, they replaced the gun...
     
  15. fallingblock

    fallingblock Member

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    The two worst new guns......

    that I ever bought were S&W's.

    One, a new model 13 in 1981 bears out what others have said about that era in S&W history. It failed to operate after less than 500 .357 magnums.

    The next (and last new S&W for me) was a new model 625 in 1999.
    It failed to carry-up on two chambers, suffered light strikes on three chambers from new (with the strain screw tight), the hammer would 'push-off' from S.A. after 200 rounds, and it had those horrible 'torque stress' rings where the barrel seats against the frame, as well as rings (or concentric depressions) at two other points along the barrel.:fire:

    S&W was a great revolver manufacturer once and may be so once again, but their Q.C. has certainly been spotty at times.:eek:
     
  16. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    I have bought five S&W's produced from 2001-2, the 4" 625 having the hammer-lock-zit, and a twenty-year-old 'new' safe queen 6.5" M24. That last one - the 'old' one - was rough as could be, trigger wise. Additionally, it would lock up on occasion. I cleaned & lubed it initially - and several more times, to no avail. Finally, I took the lockworks out - yuck! The inside of the frame had rough milling marks and spattered brass (brazing rod residue? I think the pins are brazed.). Some small Arkansas soft stoning, buffing with a Foredom, and Flitz polishing yielded a fine revolver.

    Three of the newer five, 625, 625MG, and 629MG, had light 'action' jobs and trigger return spring replacements 'out of the box' - they are all back to OEM springs now for reliability. My untouched 696 is now just as smooth as the doctored ones - and the 296 is as well. Additionally, it shoots POA at 12 yd with Blazer 200gr GDJHP .44 S&W Specials. The 696 had a scrunched ejector spring - not an operational problem, just found during dissassembl/cleaning - S&W happily sent a new one. The five newer ones have otherwise been smooth & flawless. Thank goodness they don't make them like they used to, if my '83 vintage is an indicator.

    My other revolvers are Rugers: Old Army, .454 SRH (My first DA revolver!), and Bisleys/BH's - all worked fine out of the box. My wife's CZ-75B was dead on with Blazers out of the box - appears to be able to work forever without cleaning. My Ruger MKII is better than me. My 24" SS Puma M1892 .45 Colt works flawlessly through hundreds of rounds of LSWC/LRNFP reloads between cleanings - my best ever lever gun. My Marlin 1897 Cowboy, the prettiest firearm I have ever owned, was like that M24 - rough internal milling made the action horrible (No, I didn't 'try it' at the dealer's!). It left me after <2months. My other Marlins worked well out of the box. My CZ-452 .22's were/are fantastic - as was/is my Savage 93FVSS. The brand new Kahr/A.O. 1927 Thompson was a joke - poorly milled bolt ejected the extractor every three rounds - back to them for over 6 wks and they returned it nasty and loose - I sold it.

    The moral is simple - everyone can produce a 'bad one' every now and then. Most marques assume we the consumer to be the final QC inspection - do so at the 'dealer's'! I feel that the likelyhood of S&W doing so is low at worst - and they will send you a mailer and have it picked up after a call to their 800 #. Your 329PD could have been dropped, the cylinder 'popped out' , etc. They will replace it - you'll love that revolver - just don't feed it too many .44 Maggies - YOU won't like it!

    Yes, I'll buy more S&W's - with that ugo hammer-lock-zit!

    Stainz
     
  17. Kharn

    Kharn Member

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    Bought a used Ruger MkII Govt, shot a few mags out of it and discovered that the barrel could rotate in the reciever when heated by the sun. Sent it back to Ruger and am awaiting the arrival of its replacement. :fire:

    Kharn
     
  18. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    "The moral is simple - everyone can produce a 'bad one' every now and then."

    Unfortunately S&W has been producing FAR more than than a bad one "every now and then."

    Not long ago I was at a gunshow where, in the span of about 20 minutes, I found FIVE new-in-box S&Ws that had barrels that were incorrectly installed -- the front sights weren't vertical.

    If the company can't get something as basic as getting the barrel screwed in straight correct, why should we be surprised if they're letting far worse stuff out?
     
  19. Randy63

    Randy63 Member

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    I'm a huge S&W fan but my newest S&W revolver was built in 1990 (a 4" 17-6) and the fit, finish, and function are great.

    I'm wanting one of the new 66 F Comps, but after reading about the QC problems of the newer Smiths I won't buy one sight unseen over the net. I guess I'll have to find one locally so I can check it out thoroughly.

    K22
     
  20. Gmac

    Gmac Member

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    Yep! Bought a new Ruger Bisley 45 L.C. Got it home & noticed the grip frame wasn't properly fitted. After 5 or 6 shots the cylinder didn't want to rotate when I tried to cock the hammer. Took it back to the dealer who sent it back to Ruger. Got it back in 3 weeks, grip frame was fine, Ruger replaced the pawl and "repaired" the barrel ( bbl./ cyl. gap?) Anyhoo it works great now!
     
  21. dshimm

    dshimm Member

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    Not sure this counts as truly horrible, but when I bought my Kimber .45 when they first became popular in the 90's, I had a lot of trouble getting factory rounds to chamber properly without the slide stopping about 1/8" out of battery. I could get handloads to chamber if I cranked my taper crimp down really tight, but even then, I'd usually have a couple of failure-to-feeds in the course of an IPSC match. I finally took the thing to a gunsmith, and it turned out that the chamber was a shade tighter than SAAMI specs. A trip on the reamer took care of this problem for good, fortunately.
     
  22. JDSlack

    JDSlack Member

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    I must be one lucky Son Of a Gun (no pun intended). I have 20 S&W revolvers and Semi-autos (from .22 to .45) and with the exception of a 624 that had a horrible double action trigger, I have no complaints about any of them. I bought my first in 1972, and they are mix of new and used.

    Maybe the fact that I've been so lucky with the S&Ws explains why I never win the Lottery.
     
  23. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Member

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    JDSlack,

    My experiance with S&W has been similar to your's. I've purchased over a dozen S&W's in the last three years. About half new, one from 1933, and the rest from 1975 --> 1985. They have all proven to be great, with one exception, and that was due to a previous owner's abuse, not factory quality control. The folks at C&S were able to fix it right up.

    BTW: most of these were bought sight unseen.

    Must be a lot of Bad Kharma out there, or maybe folks who have had bad experiances are just more vocal that some of us.

    Joe
     
  24. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Happily, no. You've got good eyes. BTW, did you drop it off or send it via your dealer?
     
  25. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    Somewhere around 1979-1982 the Dallas PD armorer was a friend of mine. DPD issued 4" 64's. He told me that on average, out of 100 guns, 60 or so wouldn't work out of the box. The guys there could make about half of those work and on average, 30 went right back to S&W because they could not fix them. Thats really sad. Other than a few that had triggers that felt that they had been fitted with ball peen hammers and aquarium gravel, most of mine have been just fine though. But, that did scare me off for awhile...
     
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