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new S&W s' vs. older ones

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Sauer Grapes, Oct 8, 2010.

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  1. Sauer Grapes

    Sauer Grapes Member

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    I figured I'd ask this here.
    I only have experience owning and shooting older S&W revolvers. {pre 1980 manu.}
    How do the new ones stack up against the older ones. Are the triggers still buttery smooth? Another fella at the range and I were wondering about it today. He is a big S&W fan, but all his Smiths are pre lock pinned barrels like mine.
    I'm a big S&W fan. I don't shoot my revolvers that much, but there's something about them I just like. I grew up shooting my father's mod.12 and 15. Maybe it's just nostalgia that peaks my interest in the wheelgun.

    I reeally like some of the new ones, but have never had the opportunity to shoot any.
     
  2. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    My experiences have been disappointing with new S&Ws. A 442 I had went back twice to the factory for defects and I had enough. They fixed the first problem and caused a new one when "fixing" it.

    I now only own and buy Ruger Revolvers.
     
  3. bsms

    bsms Member

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    Mine are excellent. A Model 60 & a Model 686, both new this year. The Model 60 has the best trigger of any gun I've ever used, and there is nothing wrong with the 686. Overall, I think the tolerances are better on the new stuff.

    I also have a Ruger Alaskan - looks ugly, but shoots great. No complaints from me on modern guns.
     
  4. Sevenfaces

    Sevenfaces Member

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    I've only ever shot a 4" 686+ and I didn't find anything wrong with it, except its price new (800$ in stores here) from what I see on the forums, there seems to be a belief that S&Ws quality has degraded over the years, especially with the advent of locks being installed.
     
  5. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    Aside from the lock abomination they say the tolerances are tighter.
    And they are very good guns.
    They certainly lack the class and pride of ownership that comes with the older ones. Of course that is my opinion.
    If the stupid lock ever goes away, I may purchase one to see how it stacks up against my many older S&Ws, the newest one is 14 years old.
    Old ones are less expensive and better IMHO.

    YMMV
     
  6. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    I've shot older S&W's, but the first one I owned one myself was 9/02 - it was made in '01. I currently have a few S&W's - all but one, a 625-6 MG in .45 Colt from '96, were bought new - most including the IL. Oddly, the only S&W's I've sold were '01 or earlier, some much earlier, production. Obviously, I like the current production. In fact, my first revolvers were Rugers - and they are all gone - to make room for, albeit fewer, S&W's.

    One caveat re recent S&W's. S&W is tort sensitive - and their production reflects that. Not knowing the conditions of cleanliness - or sources of ammo - their hammer springs are overly stout. Again, not knowing the state of cleanliness folks accept in their revolvers, they opt for stout trigger rebound springs to insure the trigger can be pulled again quickly. Both add up to a stout DA pull. Oddly, the uniformity and hardness of the MIM parts yields triggers that smooth out quickly, with dry or live fire - no gunsmith time required. So, I'd say they quickly get as smooth - and, with spring changes, will get as light or lighter than the older models. I know that everyone who tries my S&W triggers, especially owners of older guns, marvel at my recent production examples.

    Stainz
     
  7. TexasBill

    TexasBill Member

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    I like both of my new Smith & Wessons - Model 60 3-inch, Model 637 snub. Good triggers, well-made, no fit or timing issues, cylinder-barrel gap is fine. The locks don't bother me; I can take 'em or leave 'em and haven't had any issues while firing full-house +P and Magnum ammo. In fact, my Model 60 is on my hip as I write this.

    What I find odd is that Smith & Wesson's "bad period" is generally acknowledged to be the later Bangor Punta years (late 70s and 80s) yet everyone gets hysterical about guns that were produced after Saf-T-Hammer took over and the so-called "Hillary Hole" lock was introduced. Incidentally, that didn't happen until after George Bush became President and both Smith & Wesson and the White House had renounced the agreement signed during the Clinton Administration.

    I've put thousands of rounds through both of my Smiths and had zero problems. And, to be quite honest, the triggers are among the best I have encountered on a Smith. Very smooth. In fact, the trigger pull was the reason I chose the Model 60 over the less-expensive Ruger SP101.
     
  8. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    a wise man said this


    :D
     
  9. PRM

    PRM Member

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    I have owned and shot both. The newest S&W I have is a Model 60-9 (late 90s). The only problem I have encountered has been with this last gun. At some point S&W started cutting cost by using MIM parts. One of these was the hammer block. My gun broke two and I was almost at the point of not trusting the firearm. I guess the problem was frequent enough that S&W addressed the issue and is now sending stamped metal replacement parts when these break. Problem solved.




    Model 60-9 ~ hand polished with "Mothers Mag Polish," upgraded with elephant ivory grips
     

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    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  10. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    The newer guns are made using modern technology and CNC machining making them top drawer in precise parts fitting. They are also stronger in some ways.

    But they lack the fine finish because polishing costs money and EPA rules forbid the chemicals they used in the past to achieve that lustrous blue and nickel finish.

    Bottom line: New S&Ws work fine. Old ones have more panache.
     
  11. camsdaddy

    camsdaddy Member

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    I have a prelock 1968-1969 M38 that I would trade in a heartbeat for a 442. I dont know why . I just like the feel of the 442 and the one I held I even liked the trigger as well. I guess Im just odd. I dont fear the lock either.
     
  12. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    So instead of building them right they are fixing them right?

    :what:

    scary
     
  13. PRM

    PRM Member

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    In theory, the hammer block should not be a part that breaks. I can't imagine they saved enough on that part to ever have gone away from the older style stamped steel. S&W Customer Service was good about getting replacement parts to me in 2-3 days. The problem for me, was that they were sending the same injection molded part. I started searching THR and other forums and found 10 other posts where owners had experienced the same thing. Out of the thousands of guns sold, that is probably not a significant number (I am sure there were considerable numbers that were not posted). But, I was not happy with the solution and was at the point of trying to find someone to fabricate an older style hammer block that would fit my gun. I talked to Customer Service at the factory about 7 weeks ago, and was told they were no longer using the MIM hammer block and I was sent a new curved stamped steel one that dropped in my gun.

    I have always been a fan of S&W revolvers ~ just happy the right fix was arrived at. I do give their Customer Service a 10+ rating on service. Over the years, I have sent a couple of guns back to them for repair. Always quick and they have never charged me.
     
  14. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    thank you for clarification.

    Less MIM parts is always good
     
  15. mjb

    mjb Member.

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    In my opinion, if I want to lock a gun it makes more sense to have a trigger lock. that way I know it is locked. The last thing I want to do is to attempt to use a gum in an emergency only to find out that it is locked and not know it by just looking at it.

    S&W revolvers are way overpriced. A used pre 1982 smith is hard to beat. The workmanship on these revolvers are excellent.

    I work as a security officer, and one of the companies that I worked for issued us S&W model 10-11 .38 spl. This is back in 2001-2003. The trigger on this gun was not near as smooth my model 10-6.
     
  16. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    +1. I have two post-lock Smiths.....both PC models and one is a X_Frame that wasn't made at all before the locks and MIM. I also have several pre-lock older Smiths. The new models shoot just as nicely as the older ones and neither has given me any trouble at all. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new Smith....the accuracy of their guns, the quality of their materials, their lifetime warranty and great customer service means more to me than the Hilary hole. I don't use the lock and don't even notice the hole. For those of you that prefer Taurus quality to that of S&W, I say..... go for it.:rolleyes:
     
  17. huntershooter

    huntershooter Member

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    I own 30+ pinned and recessed (where applicable) and 3 MIM/lock/new "N" frame S&W's.
    While I am no fan of MIM parts and the lock, the tolerances are tighter on my new guns and I have obtained outstanding double actions on them as well.
    While I have great double actions on several of the pre lock/pinned guns; the new/MIM guns were CONSISTENTLY good with the same work.

    Call this a grudging thumbs up for SOME aspects of the new S&W's.
     
  18. robctwo

    robctwo Member

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    I was looking for a .45 Colt S&W earlier this year. Read a lot about various accuracy issues with older model 25s, so got the 25 Classic in Nickel. Then I heard that the lock is a real problem.

    I've fired a few thousand rounds through it. I put a reduced Wolff main and rebound spring in it. Very accurate gun. Accurate enough to break clay birds on the burm at 60 yards. Not every shot, but often enough to do it. I haven't found any trouble with the lock or the mim. I'll keep shooting it and report any trouble.

    I have pre-lock Smiths as well. Very nice guns. None shoots better, few shoot as well as the new Classic.
     
  19. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Member

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    Sauer Grapes,

    I am in a gun store looking at two S&W revolvers 4 inch. First one is a 586-1 4 inch. Second one is a 28-2 4 inch. Both are the same price. No brainer. The 28-2 goes home with me.
    Howard
     
  20. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    I vote with SaxonPig on this one
    (all mine are old style, but woobie pride goes just so far)

    PS
    yo, G,
    let's hear your take on old Colt revolvers vs. new Colt revolvers !
     
  21. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    LOL

    I am HAPPY to drop Colt in the grease for retracting from the civilian market but do not want to deflect the OP's thread.

    I will just say that Like Smith and Clinton, Colt can not carry the jockstrap of of the shadow of their past and leave it there.
     
  22. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    It's not pinned and recessed, not good. It has a lock, not good. It has some MIM parts, not good. It has a two piece barrel, not good.

    Well, maybe so and maybe not and maybe some of both. But my newer ones work, so do the older ones. Triggers feel good and accuracy is good too. I have had zero problems with any of them, new or old.

    Personally, my biggest complaint is the look of the lock, I think it stinks the appearance up of a beautiful revolver brand across all the models it touches. Thankfully it just stinks up one side. With that said, one of my favorite Smith revolvers is my Model 60 .357 Mag J-Frame, with lock.

    Do I buy new Smiths? Of course, and will continue to do so. As a firearm lover, it would be silly to shut myself out to a whole brand of great revolver offerings. I'm a Ruger fan as well and own four of them, great guns!
     
  23. rwb

    rwb Member

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    I'm new here does s&w still make the 460v I was reading on line that they make the 460 but not the 460v is this true
     
  24. dashootist

    dashootist Member

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    Hammer block? I thought everybody tosses this thing into the trash as soon as possible.

    I hope people are not throwing the baby out with the bath water. Yeah, lock and MIM sux. But S&W still makes some really nice guns. Their guns are still great platforms for competition. I see mostly S&W, both new and old, at local matches. I don't see no serious shooters using Rugers or Tauri. If S&W go out of business because we don't buy new guns with lock and mim, that would be a very sad day.
     
  25. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    I would not shed a tear.

    As far as I am concerned they are a parts company.
     
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