What did S&W do?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by khari, May 21, 2016.

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  1. khari

    khari Member

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    I've owned at least one gun for nearly 25 years but I've only been an enthusiast for 5 years, so there's a lot of historical stuff that I don't know.

    I was just reading an article regarding the .460 S&W Magnum on chuckhawks.com and the article said of the gun/cartridge, "...its popularity is automatically limited to those consumers with memories so short that they are willing to do business with Smith & Wesson.com".

    What'd they do to make people feel so strongly about doing business with them?
     
  2. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Likely referring to the key lock they installed to garner favor with politicians and set themselves up in a business position to get more of the market from competitors not including such a lock.

    When a gun company does such a thing it is just a matter of time before someone makes a law requiring it, then that company has almost a monopoly for a time, and sometimes such things are patented, hence an incentive to take anti-gun steps on occasion.
    But you ultimately have them to thank for politicians realizing such an option is feasible, and then requiring it in legislation.
    When gun companies do this unchecked they incrementally add new requirements on gun owners as some politician thinks this or that safety or lock should be mandated.
    These things can add expense and be impractical. Similarly as an example of just how it can turn out, California now has microstamping requirements on the books for new handguns added to the approved list of handguns you are allowed to buy, because of a company trying to get itself in a monopoly position (which didn't work out for them) and pushing it on legislators as a necessary safety. Company greed can easily lead to restrictions on gun owners.
    As they have incentive to push things for profit. They only learn that is foolish when it leads to serious consequences, like boycotts and loss of sales. They have to be hit in the wallet to learn that screwing people over for a fatter wallet is not a good course of conduct because it has the opposite effect. Money speaks in business.

    There was some gun companies falling over themselves in the 90s to outdo each other to gain political brownie points. Stuff said by Bill Ruger for example had a similar sentiment against Ruger until more modern times.

    But the general sentiment seems to be that most of those things happened long enough ago, and they have since gone the other direction.
    You can buy plenty of modern handguns, semi auto rifles, and all sorts of things the antis don't like from them today, and they continue to add such products.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  4. OldBrownDog

    OldBrownDog Member

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    S&W put the locks on their guns around 1994 around the passage of the AWB as part of a deal with the Clinton-era DOJ to avoid lawsuits when their guns were used in crimes (obviously not their fault). They were blackballed by many gun owners for a time and the boycott significantly hurt sales. I believe it's part of the reason for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
     
  5. khari

    khari Member

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    Thanks, that helped a lot. On the Wikipedia page it said that S&W announced in '09 that it would begin phasing out the locks. Did this ever take place?
     
  6. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Yes and no. They still make firearms with and without locks. I suppose for people who like or live in a state that requires them. Peruse their website catalogue and you will see "No lock" in some descriptions.
     
  7. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

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    I love them again after the "British Invasion" ended. May they follow the right path from this point forward! :)
     
  8. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Besides the lock, some folks do not like the use of MIM parts and some folks feel the fit and finish of the current S&W guns is not what they used to be.

    Interestingly, in the 1970's and 1980's, folks were complaining about S&W and the management by its parent company of the time.

    Guess some folks just can't be pleased.

    My post lock S&W revolver shoot just fine as do my pre-lock models.
     
  9. CLP

    CLP member

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    I thought it was just their back up guns that didn't have locks. You can't get a model 29 without a lock now, can you?
     
  10. HankR

    HankR Member

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    There's a bit more to it than that

    They cut a deal with Clinton and Maryland Governor Parris Glendenning to force the "Saf-T-Lock" on consumers, and insist that any S&W dealer go above and beyond the required background checks in denying 2nd amendment rights to customers -- not just for S&W products but for any gun the dealer sold. This enabled Glendenning to force his "smart gun" bill through the MD legislature. Up until then Marylanders were successfully fighting the bill (which would require that no guns other than smart guns be sold in MD starting in 2003) by arguing that no such "smart gun" existed and that they were not likely to be ready for consumers in the three year timeframe. S&W testified that they had smart guns ready for testing right then (March 2000) and that they would be fully tested and ready for consumers by the target date (in 2003).

    We were able to alter the bill so that it included words to the effect that such guns had to be brought to market before that part of the law kicked in, but even then it was a bad bill and became a bad law after S&W sold us out. At the time of the signing, it was the only state bill signing that BJ Clinton attended as he was promoting Maryland's law as a blueprint for other states and eventually for the nation.

    I was a big fan of their products, but have not bought any new since. I had saved up for a 10mm revolver, which I never bought. Luckily the boycott almost coincided with their quality decline which also almost coincided with the addition of the lock, so for the most part it's easy to avoid the crappy, post boycott product on the used market by looking for the lock.

    Full disclosure, I did trade for a M&P .22 rifle a few years ago to help a buddy out, and it's tons of fun, but I won't be directly giving them any of my money soon. The Ruger LCR looks to be a good replacement for the J-frame if I ever wear out by Bodyguard so the boycott is easy enough for me to continue as a matter of principle even though my meager potential contribution won't be missed on their bottom line.
     
  11. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    People still boycott them over that even though the company has changed hands since then.
     
  12. MAKster

    MAKster Member

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    The deal S&W made with the Clinton Administration never was implemented. S&W didn't put the internal locks on the revolvers until 2001, so calling it the Hillary Hole makes no sense. Some people don't seem to understand that the purpose of a corporation is to make a profit for the shareholders. It is not to promote a ideological agenda to the detriment of its profits. If a corporation's product is banned then they are out of business so it would only be logical for them to do what is necessary to stay alive.
     
  13. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    Unfortunately at the time when Clinton was going full retard on the gun industry S&W was owned by a multinational company HQ'd out of London. The British, with no connection or understanding of the second amendment, agreed to all kinds of things. This pissed off American gun owners all over the place, who boycotted them. S&W was very close to going under when the Brits sold it for a fraction of what they bought it for. Saf-T Hammer bought S&W for $15mil and took over the $30mil in debt. From there I think they did a pretty good job bringing the company back.

    What I find interesting in this scenario is that S&W took the brunt of the blame for gun makers folding to Gov't pressure. When in actuality it was Ruger who folded first and agreed to the 10rnd magazine limit first. They took some heat, but nothing like S&W did.
     
  14. evan price

    evan price Member

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    Bill Ruger was no friend to the casual firearms user/owner especially as it has evolved in the last 20 years. His business came first; he wanted to save his own gun production by getting Congress to enact magazine-capacity limits instead of outright bans on certain guns. I believe the word we use nowadays- scornful word- is a "FUDD".

    http://www.thegunzone.com/rkba/papabill.html

     
  15. HankR

    HankR Member

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    The boycott did give the FFLs some leverage to stand up to S&W and S&W eventually backed down (let it fade away when so few FFLs agreed to the deal). The gun control laws in Maryland were not repealed and the RKBA effort in Maryland never fully recovered from the sellout. MD wasn't a gun owners paradise prior to this by any means, but things started heading downhill at a rapid clip after this event.
     
  16. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    The Clinton agreement went far, far beyond locks. As I recall, S&W pledged to force all of their dealers to bar under-18-year olds from gun-selling sections of stores, not sell "assault weapons", etc...basically Clinton was trying through backdoor wheeling and dealing to enact harsh measures against gun enthusiasts that he never could have gotten through Congress. S&W's British owners (at the time) didn't see a problem with stabbing Gun Culture 2.0 in the back, but fortunately no other big gun makers caved to Clinton's demands, and the backlash and boycott against S&W made an example of them. Very quickly, as I recall, S&W "reinterpreted" the Clinton agreement to say that the dealer requirements would apply only to its own products, leading to much spluttering from the Clinton cabal, and since S&W sales tanked, the company was eventually sold by its British owners. After the sale, S&W was able to repudiate the Clinton scheme completely.

    The new ownership is far more 2A friendly than its former British owners. The old S&W would never have gotten into the AR market and probably wouldn't have made full-cap mags for pistols, either.

    But when push came to shove, S&W signed a legal agreement with the most anti-gun administration in U.S. history to strip away gun-owner rights, whereas Sturm Ruger (and Colt, and every other major gun company) told Clinton and his minions to pound sand and stood up for gun owners when it counted. That helps redeem Sturm Ruger from the shame of Bill Ruger's prior craven pandering, IMO.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  17. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    A few things that folks go on about to me:

    Locks
    Advocating fired cases for record
    Active support of governmental regulatory increases
    Quality slumps
    MIM parts

    Real or imagined, these legacy issues still plague S&W but to what degree, I do not know. Most of the folks who I know personally who tend to go on about them are not really potential buyers and use these as convenient excuses.

    Todd.
     
  18. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Chuck Hawks has a few nasty articles out directed towards S&W. He is not a fan of that company or their products.

    Take it with a grain of salt. Do your own research and come up with your own opinions. I agree with a couple of his points against S&W, but also think many of his reasons are not right.
     
  19. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    I am not a fan of the clintons nor the policies S&W adopted years ago.

    That said, I own may OLD S&W's and enjoy them. I think the lock is an accident waiting to happen and will not/do not own of of their handguns with a lock in them. Their lock is a bad design and has been known to engage under recoil.
     
  20. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    To the best of my knowledge, they make NO revolver with an exposed hammer which does NOT have the lock.
     
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