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S&W Performance Center revolvers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Zendude, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. Zendude
    • Contributing Member

    Zendude Member

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    Is there a way to find out what upgrades are on certain PC revolvers? The S&W website has no detailed information. Some upgrades I can see from the picture, but I am more interested in whether the trigger is different, especially on the J and K frame PC models.
     
  2. stu1ritter

    stu1ritter Member

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    From the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson", page 432. "The Performance Center does not take production guns and improve them. These handguns are built from "scratch". Using two CNC machines,the Performance Center turns out about 400+ guns a month.

    Stu
     
  3. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    PC guns used to receive extra tuning and forged parts, but from what I've seen in the last few years, that's no longer true. They might have a very slight chamfer on the chambers and a better sight, but generally, PC guns are now merely configurations you won't see in their standard line.
     
  4. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    MrBorland, I am pretty sure you are correct. The last three of my PC guns needed a trip back to S&W to correct issues. Following their return, I installed a set of Wollf springs, some minor polishing to the frame and rebound slide, and a bit of dry lube made their actions much smoother. If one were planning to keep and use their gun I think the money spent on a quality gunsmith would far exceed the benefits of a purchasing stock PC firearm.
     
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  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    If you go to the PC website, you see they describe many of their revolvers as having a PC tuned action. My last two PC revolvers have triggers that are a far cry from stock S&Ws, and I can see no reason to improve on them. They also have forged triggers and hammers as opposed to stock MIM. The description on the PC website still lists these as standard on many of their PC revolver models.
     
  6. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    I have a PC 686SSR that's 5+ years old, and it's got forged parts and some decent factory tuning.

    But while I haven't checked out all the current PC revolvers (so there may be some that still get TLC and forged parts), those I've looked at in the last few years weren't among them.
     
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  7. bigtubby

    bigtubby Member

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    I think it is more marketing than performance now a days!!!
     
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  8. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Apparently there are now two levels of performance center guns. One is true performance center and the other is the PRO Series, which is a stock gun with additional enhancements stated in the description. Examples are the 686 Pro which has the cylinder cut for moonclips and a different barrel than a stock 686.

    https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/performance-center-pro-series-model-686-plus

    From the website:

    "Completing the line between main production and the Performance Center, the Smith & Wesson Pro Series represents the next step from standard models. These firearms are offered with a variety of enhancements yet still remain true to "stock." Bringing competition specifications and features to factory models, the Pro Series offer that ready-to-go package while still maintaining production line integrity.

    Features
    • Cylinder Cut for Moon Clips"


    Or here is a full performance center 686 which does appear to have a different hammer and trigger (forged/ machined instead of MIM):

    https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/performance-center-model-686-competitor-6-weighted-barrel

    " Features

    • Chrome Hammer
    • Chrome Trigger with Trigger Stop
    • Adjustable Barrel Weights
    • PC Tuned Action

    Performance Center guns originate from standard designs or are created from the ground up. From hand-cutting and fitting to fine tuning for precision, these firearms are top performers. Products from the Performance Center are the ultimate expression of old-world craftsmanship blended with modern technology. "
     
  9. Tacoma

    Tacoma Member

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    I can tell you that of the five PC and Pro series revolvers I've bought in recent years, there was no sign of internal polishing /action work at all. All needed some TLC to get the triggers where you would expect them to be on a revolver that "is hand fitted". The PC models often come with a different ribbed main spring though.
    That said, the features offered in both PC and Pro lines tend to be unique and desirable on their own (at least to me).
    Additionally, I've seen a few QA issues with the PC revolvers that made me wonder about just what teh PC department does for quality control.
    i.e. I'll buy them for their features but see no evidence of hand fitting or the quality that would imply.
     
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  10. straightshooterjake

    straightshooterjake Member

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    I am pretty sure that the ribbed spring is a Wolff reduced power mainspring. As far as I know, Wolff is the only manufacturer of the ribbed mainsprings. They make both a standard power and a reduced power.
     
  11. Shaq

    Shaq Member

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    As some have noted, it's mostly a sales gimmick. Some PC revolvers have certain appearance features - that S&W thinks some (easily impressed) people will find "cool" and be willing to pay extra for them. I've handled many PC revolvers & I've never found one to have a better action than their standard revolvers - in fact some were worse.
     
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  12. Tacoma

    Tacoma Member

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    Haveing installed my share of them , I would agree.
     
  13. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    I suspect Smith and Wesson having the lions share of the revolver market and the need to produce a healthy bottom line for their shareholders, is now resting on their laurels knowing they can stamp extra words on the frames and add a few hundred dollars to each model without challenge from 99% of their followers.
    Personally, I have found new respect for some Rugers and Kimbers new snubbie which is a remarkably well made firearm.
     
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  14. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I only own one PC gun, a 686 Competitor. It has the ribbed mainspring, and I will say that my particular example has a very nice trigger. It's exceptionally smooth and breaks very smoothly. That being said, I'm the only one of my circle of shooting friends who owns a PC gun, and I've never gotten to play with a polished or custom trigger revolver. So my frame of reference is very small.

    I was having light strikes and failures to fire in double action. I had to send it to the factory for repair. Their solution was to put a longer firing pin in it. It also has an imperfection in the stamping on the side where it says competitor, and a slight imperfection in the contours of the gun. Honestly, it does bother me, given the price I paid to acquire it.

    None the less it is an extremely accurate shooter and a joy to blast away with. But the issues that it came with from the factory make me really doubt I'll ever spend the extra money again on a PC gun, unless there is some particular feature I really want.

    The imperfections I mentioned are on the other side. I've thought about asking S&W to fix the issues, but I am guessing they would say it's within spec, and I don't know that they could fix the issues anyway. I bought the gun online, and there was a no return policy. If I'd picked this one up in a store, I'd have passed, and waited for a clean example.

     
  15. dieselchief

    dieselchief Member

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    I own one and shoot another pc pistol quite often. the best way to describe them> they are the quality the regular production should be. simple as that. jmho
     
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  16. DPris

    DPris Member

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    I understood the forged PC parts ran out long ago
    How recently has anybody bought a NEW PC revolver WITH forged parts?
    Denis
     
  17. squirrelmurder

    squirrelmurder Member

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    What attracted me to the PC items was the higher capacity cylinders on some of those pistols. But from reading reviews, it sure doesn't look like there is any difference in quality at all. One thing you can be sure of is a difference in price. For me personally, I find it disturbing that a product would be described as "hand fitted" with "attention to detail" by "craftsmen", and then see so many blatant, obvious issues as outlined in the product reviews.
     
  18. gun_with_a_view

    gun_with_a_view Member

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    upload_2017-3-21_12-15-38.png

    Dirty Harry would ditch his 44 MAG for one of those.
     
  19. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    That's been my experience.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  20. Shaq

    Shaq Member

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    And, let's not forget that S&W pays Jerry Miculek a fortune to say, "This revolver is from the Smith & Wesson Performance Center" while demonstrating it in videos. Like we're gullible enough to believe the gun's performance has nothing to do with the extra customizing on that particular gun or Jerry's shooting skills.

    Yeah...if we buy the Performance Center gun, we'll shoot like Jerry.....
     
  21. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

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    Bought one of the John Ross 5" 500 mags and was disgusted by the state it came to me in...sticky crap all over it, that was nearly impossible to get off, some of it left permanent marks on the frame, the nut the grip screw screws in to was completely stripped and the screw itself looked like it had been ran through a garbage disposal. After addressing those issues I took it out to fire it. No joy. 4 out of the 5 cartridges I loaded didn't fire.
    What I did;
    Replaced hammer spring...a little better, 2 out of five on average.

    Replaced strain screw...didn't make a noticeable difference

    Upon examining it found the hammer was scraping against the frame as it fell. shims would not have fixed it, as it was hitting against the top and left side, so I polished metal off the hammer until it wasn't hitting the frame anymore. It took a LOT. It was an improvement, but still only 3 or 4 out of five would fire.
    I didn't do anything with it for a couple years being rather frustrated with it.
    I Revisited it recently and decided to disassemble it and see what I could find.
    I removed the firing pin. it had a shiny ring around the back end of it. Looked like kind of a tight fit. So I polished it down a bit.
    The firing pin return spring also seemed kind of stiff so I clipped it shorter. After removing that spring I looked in the firing pin hole/bushing. I couldn't see through it. I pushed a pin through it and something moved so I made a small hook out of a sewing pin and pulled out a metal shaving. Not a small one either. large enough to. make me say "wow, that was in there?"
    I also noticed part of the hammer was hitting the internal lock components, enough to have scraped it up pretty bad. I polished that up and removed the internal lock components instead of taking even more metal off the hammer.
    I put it back together and like magic it's 100% reliable and now I can use it for its intended purpose finally.(woods side arm)

    Point of all that is I was astounded how awful this revolver was from the factory, their high end custom shop no less. Combining that with the lousy 29-5 i had with even worse uncorrectable issues without a serious overhaul, and the 360 chiefs special 357 I have that while reliable, has the grittiest trigger I have ever felt on a revolver... I will never buy a new Smith and Wesson again.
     
  22. cal44mag

    cal44mag Member

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    I have a 2012 627 "Bloodworks" 8 shot snub.

    It has a solid back forged trigger.

    Frame mounted hammer as has been standard for a long time.

    Not sure if the hammer is forged or not. The finish on the hammer is identical to that on the trigger.

    Newer examples I've seen of the same gun have hollow back MIM triggers.
     
  23. Drail

    Drail Member

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    There's still plenty of old ones floating around (for ridiculous prices though). The last year production I would buy is 1996. After that things started going downhill. All of mine are 1970s and 80s. And they will never be for sale.
     
  24. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Actually there is a 629 version of this gun available as well. Harry could have had the best of both worlds.
     
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  25. DPris

    DPris Member

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    Cal,
    Thanks.
    2012 is still 5 years back.

    The PC was using a forged hammer & trigger for a while after standard production went to MIM.

    The PC hammer traditionally had a teardrop-shaped hammer spur, noticeably different from the regular squarish spur.
    Denis
     

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