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SW 686 Quality control slipping?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Random 8, Nov 11, 2022.

  1. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Unfortunately, yes you have to either handle and inspect a new firearm, S&W, Colt, Ruger etc. or be willing to fix it yourself. Or deal with time and trusting the manufacturer to make it right.

    The 586 that I bought in 2019 took work to make it shoot 6 rounds into an inch at 25 yards. The throats and forcing cone needed work. But hey, they nailed the grips and bluing. It’s the 6” below.

    The 40 year old safe queen 586 no dash no mod I bought last week shot 1” out of the box. It was test fired before I bought it. In a week, I’ve got 150 rounds through it, LOL. It’s the 8-3/8” below. Perfect gun quality. Has the adjustable trigger stop, was built to be a shooter.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2022
  2. Onty

    Onty Member

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    In my early days I was dreaming about M27 with 8-3/8" barrel. Hard to find in may area, and those who had it didn't want to sell. Finally, an older gentlemen agreed to sell it (early one -1 or -2), and he brought revolver in a shooting club. When he pulled it out from a pouch, my eyes lit and I took it in my hands like the most precious Murano glass sculpture . Just second later I almost dropped it on a floor. The bottom of the frame opening had roughest finish I had ever seen on any revolver or pistol. It looked like somebody used coarsest wood rasp to file frame.

    Months later, I had seen on consignment in a store, in rather big shooting club, north of Toronto, another M27, 8-3/8" barrel, also early one 1- or -2. This one looked nicer, but cylinder was so loose in all directions. I asked personal what they know about that revolver, and they told me that it belonged to an older gentleman who was shooting for years nothing but 38 Special target loads.

    After learning more about endurance package on N-frame revolvers, I was dreaming about getting one of those newer M27, 8-3/8", but that was just a pipe dream, couldn't find any. So, I purchased 7.5" Bisley in 357 Magnum. After few months I started shooting half scale silhouettes and realized that, for such large revolver, 41 Magnum is much better option, sold 357 Bisley, and never looked back.
     
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  3. Rob96

    Rob96 Member

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    I was a LGS and one of the guys at the counter was boxing up a 44 mag in a presentation case to go back to S&W. Owner had taken it home and couldn't get a single factory round to drop into the cylinder.
     
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  4. derek45

    derek45 Member

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    My old Dash-4 custom. (early 1990's )

    Andy Horvath cut the 6" barrel to 5", installed a Jack weygand front sight mount, added a Dawson fiber optic.

    also converted it to 7 shot.

    3O1yF38.jpg

    CxMxBwc.jpg

    KK9KmTi.jpg

    PhozMsw.jpg
     
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  5. __steve__

    __steve__ Member

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    One would expect a company like S&W to slip during this stint of Washington corruption

    Please excuse the negativity

    At least they still produce high quality engineered products, just assembled without due care
     
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  6. Styx

    Styx Member

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    lB7l428.jpg
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    Model 69 Combat Magnum, Model 686+ 3" 3-5-7 series, and a 2.5" 686+ that I EDC. All 3 current models S&W revolvers I purchased Nov and Dec of last year. No problems, no complaints, but I am sure that if some wanted to nitpick, they could find something to complain about.

    upload_2022-11-15_23-9-6.png
    3" Model 60-15 purchased Feb 2021.

    gVCJqDP.jpg
    Model 640 Pro purchased Dec 2018

    Guess I been lucky so far. 5 for 5 in about 5 years.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
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  7. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    I've been buying new S&W revolvers at a rate of about one a year since 2018 or so. I tend to buy higher-end models like Performance Center, Scandium/Titanium, limited production items or something else semi-special. I haven't bought one yet that didn't have a serious problem that didn't go back to S&W. Some of them have gone back multiple times. I have added more and more to my pre-purchase checklist, but some of the problems like shortened firing pins and ground-down strain screws can be hard to determine without fully stripping the gun. Even so, I will tell you I don't lament the locks. I don't lament the two-piece barrels. I don't lament the MIM parts. Those things have never caused me problems.

    At one point, I started buying Ruger. I had the exact same experience. Had one that had to go back to Ruger twice.

    Colt is back in the revolver business. They were just getting restarted when I started buying revolvers and offered little at the time. Since then, they've added quite a bit to their lineup including the Python and the Anaconda that are highly appealing to my tastes. But guess what? Colt's introduction of the Python was plagued with egregious quality-control issues. There were examples of awful machining, and the whole loose sideplate screw issue with the slipping hands. I think it's widely recognized that they've fixed those issues on current production, but they still have terrible rear sights. Wilson Combat just introduced replacement sights to address the problem. So if I spend about 67% more than the typical price of a similar S&W, I have to add to that over $100 more for Wilson sights.

    The Colt is a nice gun, but for what it costs, it's possible to find a nice S&W, fix all the problems on it, and have quite a bit left over for customization like grips, moon-clips, cylinder chamfering, cutting the muzzle crown, sights, EDM trigger and hammer, and even having a gunsmith stone the sear surfaces and polish the internals. Besides the high initial cost, Colts are still very limited in their chamberings, the availability of different barrel lengths is limited, and they only come in stainless steel.

    The conclusion I draw is that a quality revolver is a project gun. Unless I found a flawless Colt or a Korth that met all my desires just as it came from the factory, I would expect to have to do a little work on the gun to get it to where it needs to be. S&W has always been the best basis for a project revolver and it continues to be. The aftermarket and gunsmithing support for Rugers and Colts and even Kimbers or whatever just isn't as deep.

    I'm looking to buy a revolver now. I have a 686 at S&W to fix a problem with some heavy machine marks they left on it the last time I had it at the Performance Center for some upgrades. When I get it back, I am determined to sell it. I'm not happy with it anymore and it's moving on. It's been replaced with a 586 that I already own. That one has had its own issues including light strikes due to a shortened firing pin (0.490"). I'm not totally satisfied all the problems are solved yet. I've been considering a Colt, a different S&W, Ruger... If S&W quality is slipping, there just isn't an obvious alternative on the market. There has always been other choices, but they come with their own issues and limitations.
     
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  8. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Some of you have to be the most unlucky gun owners on the market to have just about every revolver from just about every manufacturer have something wrong with them.

    CDEWywq.jpg
    The Colt King Cobra and K6s I purchased last year. No issues.
     
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  9. RA40

    RA40 Member

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    Was in a LGS some years back and they had a PC 686 that I requested to get from the display case. The trigger pull was coarse and super firm. The cylinder didn't spin very well when it was opened. The fitment was not very good overall. At $1,500 it was disappointing. Asked for a regular 686 and it was better than the PC version yet still pretty rough compared to the -3's I have. The shooting range has some no dash and a -2 686 that are well shot yet still solid. Fairly ugly with scratches and dings yet impressive builds.
     
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  10. Onty

    Onty Member

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    If I understood correctly, you are talking about EMD hammer and trigger for S&W revolvers, replacement for MIM parts.

    Any info who is making those EMD parts for S&W revolvers?

    Thanks.
     
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  11. HPCadm17

    HPCadm17 Member

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    Apr 24, 2018
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    The quality of my run-of-the-mill mid-70's Highway Patrolman is lightyears ahead of the new crop, IMHO. I just haven't been very impressed with any new model.
     
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  12. Onty

    Onty Member

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    IMO the best S&W revolvers are those -2E, -3, -4 and some -5 with firing pin on hammer. And the best of the bests are 26/629 Classic DX. Those revolvers are making 1.5" on 50 yds on testing. Again, I prefer those with specified dash numbers.

    My 686-3, 6" is fine revolver, there are some over polished areas, but cylinder locks solid. Due pandemic problems with range, and still waiting friend to start casting, I didn't have a chance to test it thoroughly and develop loads for it. But a friend, who is a top notch shooter, tried some 38 Special target loads, and he thinks that with right loads my revolver should make 1.5". One thing I don't like about it; weight. Almost the same as 629, 6", with partial underlug, 44.8 vs 45 oz., too much for my taste.
     
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  13. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    Power Custom, TK Custom
     
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  14. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

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    Yeah, I can imagine so, judging from my latest Smith purchase. I bought a new model 25-15 in 45 Colt the other day from Davidson's. I have one manufactured in the 70's 25-3 and was just curious how the exact same model/barrel length compared, then vs now. It's garbage compared to what they used to make. The trigger is way better on the old one, and the fit and finish are way better as well, the grips fit perfectly on the old one, the new one; not so much. I asked my kids(aged 5 to 13) to tell me which one they thought was better. The vote was unanimous; the old one, with no hesitation. My 11 year old daughter asked what that hole was for in the side. I told her "to make the Clintons happy". She wrinkled her nose.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2022
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  15. ditmo

    ditmo Member

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    Denver Metro
    I bought a 686-6 and a 25-15 in the last 6 months. Both have been good to go. Only a couple of hundred rounds through each.
     
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  16. hemiram

    hemiram Member

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    My newest S&W revolver is my 625 from 1989. The rest range from 1967 (28-2 4"), '79 (28-2 4"), '77 (28-2 4"), and '83 (629-1). My not long gone 686 was a no dash. I had no probkems with it, but a friend offered me stupid money for it, and I took it. I have so many .357 revolvers, one less is no big deal and I got about $150 more than a very similar gun went on GB, and about double what I paid for it.
     
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  17. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    In just picked up my TRR8. Looks great. Fit and finish is excellent. Trigger is good, but not buttery smooth like the old days. This one sends to have made it through just fine. I connected earlier about a 627 Perf Center with no sight, but I do have several really good newer Smiths. My model 60 pro is a great gun with a wonderful trigger. My 640 is spot on as well.
     
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  18. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    This is my no dash and the only mod I did last year were the grips.
    IMG_1864.jpeg IMG_1867.jpeg
    This is my carry gun and I got lucky because it is pretty awesome.
    IMG_1116.jpeg
     
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  19. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Member

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    They may not be perfect but overall the QC at S&W is still way better than Ruger.
     
  20. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

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    A 686 no dash I bought in 1986 for $310, I still have the receipt. I love it now as I did them. Perhaps the best 357 revolver ever made. 401667962.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2022
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  21. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    Could this simply be a case of the front side plate screw being incorrect? (or swapped with one of the other side plate screws)

    Having just replaced the springs in my 19, that front screw also retains the yoke, and is supposed to have a different shape to the tip. The tip is supposed to be narrower and non-threaded.
     
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  22. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    I thought the gap in the yoke was cause by an overclocking of the barrel during installation.
     
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  23. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    No.

    Correct.
     
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  24. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

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    I am fortunate to have a close friend who is a certified S&W armorer so all of my late model SW revolvers are running super smooth.
     
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  25. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    It is EDM, not EMD. Electrical Discharge Machining. Often called Wire EDM. A thin wire is charged with current and gives off a continuous spark that cuts through metal. The company I used to work for had several EDM machines and I used to design parts to be cut on the Wire EDM machines.

    https://unitedcenterlessgrinding.bu...7TC_vNHYqrKuLMo3ROAWqZSSKTdLriyBoCFZIQAvD_BwE

    I did not know Power Custom was making parts for S&W revolvers with EDM, but I have their hammers cut by EDM in a few Ruger single action revolvers.

    Scroll down through this and you will come to the parts for S&W revolvers.

    http://powercustom.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=12

    EMD stands for Electro Motive Division of General Motors who used to build railroad locomotives.
     
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