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Smith & Wesson quality

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Red Cent, Oct 25, 2011.

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  1. Red Cent

    Red Cent Member

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    I am amazed at the number of responses to the Tauras post. I am also surprised with the number of posters complaining about the somewhat recent quality control of Smith & Wesson. I cannot offer anything in that regard. I have a number of Smiths including a M10 in 357, a M29 bought around 1975, two unfired commemorative M19s bought around 1973, a 39 and a 59, and some others. I have a super nice M10 PPC with a Douglas bull and a Davis rib.
    As you can see, mine, I believe, came from an era of very fine workmanship from Smith & Wesson. I have never had a problem with my shooters.

    Are the recent and current S&Ws plagued with quality problems?
     
  2. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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  3. birdhunter317

    birdhunter317 Member

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    after reading that article I guess have to now sell my 586 no dash 4inch barrel that i have owned since new 1982 for some taurus or rossi quality revolver..................................not
     
  4. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I would buy a new Smith if they weren't over priced. I'd just inspect it just as I do any revolver, reject what doesn't pass inspection. Some Smiths AREN'T that high, the 642 for instance. It's pretty reasonably priced. I do prefer the older used Smiths in good shape, of course, and one can STILL find deals on K frames. I won't reject any brand that passes my inspection. Thankfully, they don't make Rohm/RG anymore. :D That is the ONE brand I would NOT consider even if it were the one in a thousand that passed inspection.

    Just look it over close, measure gap, end shake, check timing, the sticky at the top about revolver inspection says it all. Don't buy sight unseen. ALWAYS inspect a purchase, no matter the brand, no matter if used or new. That's really all you need do. If you DO get something you missed, the warranty will take care of it. That's not likely if you follow the sticky above. The only revolvers I order sight unseen are Cabela's cap and ball Piettas on sale. :D I know Cabelas will back 'em under THEIR warranty if I get a bad one, but that hasn't happened so far.

    Taurus has a lot of haters. Smith has a lot of fanboys. Facts are, I own both, and they both make good quality guns. I'll admit to not owning any NEW Smiths or any Taurus newer than 1996. I tend to be a Ruger fanboy when push comes to shove, but I'm not into hating brands. I dis Smith now and then in Taurus bashing threads just to P off the fanboys and to point out their QC now days is no better. Hawks points out some of that, but I think he makes it sound worse than it is.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  5. 22lr

    22lr Member

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    Ive been buying new S&Ws on a regular basis for years. Never had anything but the highest of quality. Sure its not the hand crafted quality of the old days, but im also not willing to pay 2k for a revolver so I accept MIM and CNC. Fact is that they are still a much higher quality than Taurus or Charter arms.
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    The only FACT there is that it's YOUR opinion.
     
  7. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Personally, WAY too many put WAY too much value in Chuck's opinions
     
  8. bdb benzino

    bdb benzino Member

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    Could not agree more, I think that guy is full of it!
     
  9. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Yeah, Chuckles is not to be taken seriously.

    Don
     
  10. rich642z

    rich642z Member

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    I only own a S&W 625-8 and the rest are RUGERS in .357 mag for target and self defense.
     
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Some people hate Fords and swear they fall apart in 20 miles. Some say the same about Chevrolets. And Nissans. And Dodges. And Toyotas. Etc. Chuck's hatred is directed at S&W and he has gathered (or made up) every bad thing possible about an S&W product. Ranters of that type are best ignored; go by your own knowledge and experience.

    Jim
     
  12. BossHogg

    BossHogg Member

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    S&W is my favorite revolver for DA. Everyone I have is just a great gun. I can't believe anyone looking for a used revolver would turn their nose up to one. Better than any thing else out there. Don't go cheap get the best.

    One of my very favorite revolvers is a RG model 66 9 1/2 in barrel 22lr, I guess I got the 1 of a thousand. I also have 3 more RG's all are as good as any Taururs as I've traded off. No Taurus' but 4 RG'S what the hell.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  13. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    ..and the inverse is true as well.

    Equally important...ChuckCawk is something less than an unbiased, credible source....and that is an understatement.

    Note that I am not expressing a preference for any particular manufacturer.
     
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    No one is "unbiased". Just look at this thread.

    You're looney. :D RG wouldn't make it as a cracker jacks toy. :rolleyes: Not even in the same class with REAL firearms like Taurus and Smith and Ruger or Rossi or Charter Arms or High Standard or H&R for that matter. But, hey, if you like 'em, it's YOUR gun, not mine, thankfully.

    Yeah, I'm biased against RG/Rohm. Sorry.
     
  15. snooperman

    snooperman Member

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    I have the older S&W revolvers, pre-1980

    I prefer them over the new ones because I liked the workmanship and finish. That said, I am not sure that they will out perform the newer ones in any way. At least it has not been proven to me yet. The newer metals and SS finish has it's value too, even though I prefer the older blue guns.
     
  16. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    All my S&W's have forged parts, great triggers, beautiful finishes, barrels that are not canted and not one of them cost me more than $600 or so.

    Not one of them was made after 1995 either. :neener:
     
  17. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Member

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    I have mixed opinions about this subject. I have several old S&W revolvers dating back to the M&P 38 special. This includes a model 19-2 and a 13-2 and my M&P 38 special. All of these revolvers are among my best shooters. Also the quality of the blueing and overall appearence as well as the double action trigger are great. I do have some later S&W revolvers. I have a 686-2, model 10-14 and a 66-4. These revolvers are all made after 1980. I compare them to the old ones I have and to me they are not as well made.
    Sure they shoot fine. My 10-14 actually is a good shooter at the range. But still as good as this revolver is I still prefer my older ones. If I were to buy a new revolver today it would not be a S&W. They have priced themselfs out of the market for the average shooter like me. I would but a new Ruger instead because they are a better value.

    Regards,
    Howard
     
  18. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I think most members of this forum define "older" Smith & Wesson's as being 1950 >, or even 1946 >. I define them as middle 1880's >.

    In terms of functioning, today's and recent Smith & Wesson's are usually O.K. In terms of fit and finish they don't even come close. This is not because the company has failed to keep up the quality, but rather because our 21st Century manufacturing economy leaves them no choice.

    I prefer older Colt's and S&W's because I want more then equality-in-functioning. But I won't find what I want in a new gun that sells at an affordable price.

    Spend your money on whatever you like
     
  19. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    So, have you traded in your '51 Navy Colt for one of them new fangled top break cartridge guns, yet? :D
     
  20. thomis

    thomis Member

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    I love both my Ruger's and my Smith's.
    I own mostly Ruger's, though, because they are more my style. I did have to send a Super Blackhawk back to the factory once. Ruger graciously fixed it for free.
    My favorite Smith is the 340 PD. Who else has made a .357 Mag that weighs 11.4 ounces and is so accurate and reliable??
    I would like to let S&W have a chance to respond to Hawk's accusations.
     
  21. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

    But if you had the opportunity to take apart a reprehensive group of Smith & Wesson (as well as other) revolvers made from the Civil War to present, you would notice differences in workmanship. Quality of material is another matter; because without question today's steel and non-ferrous alloys are better.

    However just for example, I have a little .38 S&W top-break that when locked has NO cylinder end-shake nor rotational movement – and all 5 chambers are concentric with the bore. Sideplate-to-frame fit is so tight that you can hardly see it. This little gem was made around 1884 without the benefit of CNC controlled machinery. I don't see this being duplicated today.

    In a .38 Military & Police, made during wartime in 1918, the internal lockwork was highly polished before the parts were case hardened, and the quality of the blued finish is so much better then you see now there is no comparison. The smoothness of the double-action trigger pull is so good it could move you to tears.

    In both cases the stocks were individually fit to the frames before they were finished (blue, nickel plate, or whatever) for a perfect fit, and then serial numbered to the particular gun.

    Clearly, being driven by cost-cutting lay well into the future.

    What would you think would happen if someone in Smith & Wesson’s top management went to the production engineers and said that they wanted to have a second notch cut along side of each cylinder stop notch, and a hardened insert staked in place to prevent the ball on the cylinder stop (that’s the part that you see sticking up in the bottom of the cylinder window) from dinging up and battering the cylinder stop notch. And to put frosting on the cake when the operation was finished the fit was so tight it couldn’t be detected without a strong magnifying glass!!! Could they do it without causing a substantial increase in the revolver’s cost? Could they even do it at all?

    Well the fact is they did exactly that, during the late 1890’s/early 1900’s.

    I could go on and on, but anyway, poking your nose into some of these older guns can provide an education. What they make today isn’t bad by today’s standards, but they can’t touch what came before. ;)
     
  22. browncoatdawn

    browncoatdawn Member

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    I don't know much

    I don't know much at all about revolvers, as I am only 32, and have not really been exposed to many of the classics. What is clear to me is that the "golden age" of revolvers seems to start at about 1858 and go til about the mid 1970's.

    Recently, my uncle told me his SW Model 10 Victory, with holster and extra cylinder and assorted parts that he has had for years, passed from his dad, is going to me when he gets too old to give it a proper home. I am blessed, as this is the gun I remember seeing on my grandfathers hip for years working on his salvage yard. I have no kids of my own, and likely cannot, after my accident, so my nephew is being raised right by my sister, and he already has a shotgun with his name on it waiting for his 16th birthday. The model 10 will be his. But I digress.

    I am going to be looking at a friends old colt, and Smith selection, as he has been collecting for many years. He has 3 Anacondas, and 4 Pythons. He said he just can't leave one laying where he finds it if it has a price tag on it.
    I would love to find myself a few of the older Smiths for a reasonable price, as they seem to be grand. Anyone looking to sell in Iowa, look me up, lol.

    I have a fondness for Ruger, and found the trigger on the LCR to be quite pleasing, but not like the older Smiths I have handled.
     
  23. tpelle

    tpelle Member

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    A friend of mine used to be a police officer, and at the time the department-issued pistol was a S&W Stainless .45 Auto (a 645 maybe?). In my friend's case, his issue pistol continuously malfunctioned to the point that he lost confidence in it. The department's armorer worked on it several times and could not get it to work. My friend finally got fed up and bought, with his own money, a brand new Glock 21 with the NY trigger (which he subsequently sold to me). He took the Glock into his Chief's office and laid it on his desk and told him that if he didn't get the Smith fixed he was going to start carrying the Glock for his duty pistol.

    The Chief finally had it sent back to S&W, and they determined that it was built with a 10mm Auto slide, as well as some other random parts from other caliber pistols.

    After they replaced all of the oddball parts with .45 Auto parts the pistol ran fine.

    Subsequent to that the department switched over to SIG pistols.

    (BTW, that NY trigger on the G21 sucked swamp water! I changed it out to a standard trigger, and now it runs as nice as you could expect from a big square chunky hunk of plastic.)
     
  24. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Having handled and done work on a lot of older S&W guns I can assure you that they ain't what they used to be. The new ones aren't so bad really but they are WAY overpriced. In the early days Colt and S&W would set a man down at a bench with a box of parts and tell him to assemble and fit everything until it was perfect. They didn't really care how long it took him. And after he had done it for twenty years he got pretty good at it. Almost no one in this country still builds stuff like that anymore. Imagine what a gun would cost with that many man hours in it.
     
  25. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    And what if the original owner hardly used it, and now it's sitting at the local gun-gouger's shop in a used gun counter filled with polymer pistols and one lonely, almost new revolver priced at $375.00? :evil:
     
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