Shooting Older Smiths?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by JCooperfan1911, Apr 27, 2021.

  1. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    E9CB3FD8-CB59-43E5-8966-E231C96EBEF3.jpeg I not only shoot this circa 1957 pre-Model 10…I sometime slip it in my waistband in it’s Bianchi #3 Pistol Pocket holster and carry it.
     
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  2. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    Mine are all made in the 60’s-80 and I shoot them all. I do feel a bit guilty for carrying the 1960 something chiefs special, but I don’t feel quilt enough to quit carrying it.
     
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  3. jar

    jar Member

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    I only have one S&W revolver made after the 1980s and it is seldom carried.
     
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  4. swg1

    swg1 Member

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    Just got done loading up 200 44 Special rounds for it. Wouldn't be much fun to own if I didn't shoot it.

    tripleLock.JPG
     
  5. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Older? Now I am feeling old. I thought that this thread would be asking about the feasibility of shooting pre-War guns, never guessing that we would be talking about 1980.
     
  6. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I guess it depends on which war you mean by pre-? :)

    I have guns of about every manufacture you can think of dating from 1879 to 2014 and have no qualms about shooting any of them. Some I won't shoot "hot" loads in just because I understand the true consequences of metal fatigue but others that are almost as old I will shoot "hot" for their era loads in because they're made of metals that resist fatigue very successfully - and/or they have not seen as much hard use. As an example, all Marks of Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield rifles in my collection get the equivalent of the 1910-73 era Mk.VII load (174gr. FMJ @ 2440fps) or less fed to them as a steady diet while my last remaining No.3 Mk.1*/Model of 1914, a Winchester-made beauty (also .303Brit and proofed for the Mk.VII load) gets some pretty darned warm Sierra 180gr. loads which would have been considered "very hot" in the early 20's - and they aren't any cooled off today. ;)

    I know the SMLE's are made of good, strong metal and a truly excellent design... however, they are battle rifles and I strongly suspect each one has seen considerably more use in its lifetime than the No.3/1914, which was a reserve-issue, substitute-standard rifle which spent its entire career life in a rack. The metallurgy of the 1914 may (NOTE: "may" also implies "may not") be superior as well - the US was not at war when it was made but the UK certainly was when my SMLE's were made. YMMV but as long as you take metal fatigue and era-appropriate proofing pressures into account. I really don't see how running up the clock a few hundred rounds per year will shorten any commercial or military-contract made firearm.

    Case in point: Spanish-made '93/'95 which were arsenal rebuilt as "new" Model of 1916 "Small Ring" Mausers survived multiple wars, police actions and arsenal rebuilds before being rechambered and proofed to the lower pressure 7.62mm CETME when they were arsenal modified to FR7/CETME standards. I don't even want to think about how many rounds of commercial .308Win and surplus 7.62x51mm NATO those rifles have survived since being sold as surplus but each trigger pull is a proofing load or higher and most of those rifles are (miraculously?) still working. That's a testament to something, I'm sure.
     
  7. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    A target model Triple Lock. Very nice. You don't see too many of them.

    This one shipped in 1913.

    pnc5uYxuj.jpg
     
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  8. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    I'll start worrying about the 40 to 50 year old Smiths when I start having problems with my 1917 Army P6080114.jpg
     
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  9. johnjohn

    johnjohn Member

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    I have a model 15 from the early '60s that we shoot every time we go to the range. I don't think its possible to wear out/break in my lifetime. Maybe my grandson will have concerns about that type of thing.
     
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  10. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    No offense, but I find this such an odd question/proposition. If you spend even a little time on Smith and Wesson forums you'll find a fair number of guys who won't shoot anything as new as 1980. Everything breaks I guess, but one of the reasons that vintage S&W revolvers have become so iconic is that it's actually rather hard to find old examples that don't work. They're out there, but it isn't anything like old Iver Johnsons or H&R's. In my experience, most S&W's are functional (or can be made so easily) even when the bores are pitted from neglect, stocks are cracked from dryness and age and the internals haven't been oiled in decades. And I'm really talking about guns from the 1930's or 40's. But as recent as 1980? (I.E., that's not old.)

    I'm out of the mode of carrying revolvers for defense nowadays, but when I was, my optimum was an old model 36 three inch that had been sorely neglected to the point that I was able to buy it for $180 within the last 5 years. The exterior bluing was rusted beyond redemption from poor storage, but the bore had escaped any serious corrosion somehow. I took it apart and cleaned and oiled the modestly rusty internals, and voila: I now had a defensive revolver of extremely high quality that was totally reliable but I didn't worry about scratching or wearing away the bluing (I had sanded all the exterior rust off with 220 grit, then merely protected the exterior with oil.) AND I'd paid under 200 bucks for it! The ONLY reason I wouldn't carry my other model 36's was because I didn't want to put wear on the beautiful original finishes. As weapons, they can be counted on as reliable shooters for the next half century. Any used gun can need repair or adjustment, but I've had more brand new guns malfunction right out of the box than I've I've had vintage Smith revos malfunction. Also, I can't imagine a commercial gunsmith who couldn't work on S&W's - THE STANDARD OF DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVERS - but I'm guessing they're out there, too.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  11. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Ain't THAT the truth!

    If your Smith was made before the Eisenhower Presidency, it's too new for the dedicated Smithophiles (I just made that word up) to care about.:D
     
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  12. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    Yep. Me, I'm willing to own and shoot a no-lock, no-dash gun from as recently as the 1980s. I only hope I last long enough, and get to shoot enough to wear one of mine out from shooting. :)
     
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