The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson, By Chuck Hawks - Page 2

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    1. #21
      PX
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      [QUOTE=cwl Why would somebody buy a new smith when you can get a comparable ruger or taurus for $100 to as much as &300 cheaper than a S&W?
      [/QUOTE]


      cwl:

      Respectfully, for me anyway, I would buy the new Smith vs the Ruger or Taurus because:

      I've owned S&W firearms, pistols and revolvers, for over 50 years, and of all of them I only had one bad one. The bad one was a "Victory" revolver bought well-used (obviously) that had initially been a 4" (maybe 6?) blued 38 Special shipped to England during WW2..

      Apparently it was never issued, and after the war someone bought the batch, cut the barrels down to 2", "chromed" 'em, put fake pearl handled grips on 'em and sold em here in the U.S.

      Pretty sucker, but whoever cut off the barrel never took the "crowning" section of gun-smithing because it was so inaccurate you couldn't hit the side of a barn, from inside, with it.

      Since that experience I've owned, or still own, a small pile of Smiths and never had one with a problem.. In fact at present I own a J-frame 49,and 638, and a 3rd Generation 5906/6906/3913/3913LS/CS9/CS45, all of which perform just fine.

      I like Ruger revolvers, but generally don't care much for their bulky, heavy centerfire pistols.. I have recently purchased an LCP and it's turned out to be a very, very good little mousegun.. I'm really high on my Ruger LCP.

      I don't like Tauri anything.... A continuing reputation for poor build quality, and even tho they come with a lifetime warranty I keep reading posts on the various firearm forums complaining about the quality and turn around time for those services.

      Actually I believe most of us make up our minds about what we consider "good" or "bad" depending strictly on our personal experiences with any specific thing...

      You buy a new Smith firearm and it works fine, SMITHS are WONDERFUL, forever..
      You buy a new Smith firearm and it is a piece of crap, SMITHS are all crap, forever...

      Add whatever firearm brand here _______________ and the story will be the same.

      Just the way the human mind works..

      Again, just my semi-senile old opinion, no offense intended.

      Best Wishes,

      Jesse

    2. #22
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      I read that article

      and still bought a newer Model 60 anyway.

      I've had good luck with Smith & Wesson - I've got 4 right now...and would have more if I had more money to throw around.

    3. #23
      Member wjh2657's Avatar
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      I own 8 S&W's. They date from 1951 (M&P, pre-Model 10) to a J-Frame made in 2008. I have owned at least a dozen more throughout the years. I have never had a problem with a S&W pistol or revolver. The only other handgun that I own that I trust as much as my S&W's is my Glock 23. I am sure that a very small number of bad guns have gotten through the S&W line as they have in every other manufacturer. I had two absolutely terrible Colt MKIV 1911s (Blasphemy!!!) that unfortunately fell into my possession, I have also owned at least half a dozen outstanding Colt 1911s. I still believe the S&W line, particularly the revolvers, to be as good a gun as you can buy.

    4. #24
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      Smile

      Well old Chucky sure had an ax to grind in this piece. The only part that kind of bothered me was the QC problems he mentioned. As far as copying other guns, or changes in management, I don't give a good rip, and I wonder if it was one of those guys who POed Mr. Hawks. Taking a look back I came up with a list of S@W products I have owned or have fired and can still remember . Deep breath here:
      Model 317 .22 Kit Gun, Model(?) J-Frame .22mag., Models 442 @ 642 .38s, Model 649 J-frame .357, Model (?).32 H@R "hammerless" J-frame, Model 629 .44 mag., Model (?) .41 mag., Model 60 in both .357 and .22, Model 10 .38, Model 340 .357 mag., Model 696 L-Frame .44 spl., Model 686 L-Frame .357, an older Model 3913 9mm semi, etc. Sorry about missing model numbers, I am to lazy to look 'em all up! So, how many problems did I experience over the years shooting these various firearms, and how many of my buddies complained to me about the poor quality of their guns? Nada, zip, as in zero. My guess is there are a whole bunch of folks out there who could form there own list of "no failures", especially with the revolvers. Anyway, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it! Come to think of it, I think they used to make a small semi-auto. That thing jammed all the time!
      Thanks for the thought provoking post, God help us if Chuck ever hooks up with that crazy KBoom Glock guy!
      Happily picking up a new S@W 686 plus tomorrow.

    5. #25
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      Smith & Wesson stand behind their products through the best customer service in the industry. All manufacturers of any product can sometimes fall short with quality control but if they are willing to make it right with out argument, they are a stand-up company. As far as copying designs, this is fairly common practice in ANY industry where one product proves to be very popular. Then the company puts their own twist and innovations into the original design and the design is strengthened and all consumers benefit. Mr. Hawks, thanks for starting this thread as it proved a lot of useful opinion.

    6. #26
      Junior Member nrd515525's Avatar
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      It seems like this guy has some king of grudge against S&W. I've had problems with many manufacturer's guns over the years, but strangely, no S&W guns at all. I can't say the same for Colt, AMT, and several others.

    7. #27
      Member Overkill0084's Avatar
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      I thought it was an interesting aticle.
      S&W copying another bolt action. Well gosh, there's news. When was the last real innovation in bolt action rifles? How many different companies copied the 98 Mauser action for decades? Shocking.
      The L-frame was a copy of the Python? Perhaps. When was the last time a revolver was truely revolutionary? The Python is a stong & good looking design with an antiquated lock work. It could probably reasonably argued that the L-frame is an improved version of the Python. My dad always preferred the looks of Colts but thought that the actions of S&Ws were a superior design. He shot and owned a number of both, I am not inclined to argue.
      Bulky or not, I like N-frames and I will have one eventually.
      Political sucking up. Not really new, but shameful nontheless.
      Walther PPK/S - mine's a 2010 model, so I'm not familiar with the issue. That aside, how is licensing and producing Walthers with the permission and cooperation of Walther a bad thing? Ok, yeah they screwed the pooch quality wise. But the joint venture, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.

      You produce millions of anything, and I bet you have some quality issues along the way. What sets a company apart is how they deal with the problem. While they aren't the heart of darkness, it appears that S&W is a bit of a mixed bag.
      I still want a N-Frame though.

    8. #28
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      So, S&W waited 30 years to "copy" the Python? The underlug is the only thing copied from the Python. Also, he obviously never actually did holster an L Frame in a Python holster. They are a loose, at best, fit.

    9. #29
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      Some people just like to complain this guy appears to be one, I have owned many S&W revolvers and pistols over the years and they have all been quality guns with the exception of one and that's the Sigma but you get what you pay for. S&W is like other companies in a competitive business and they had to make a gun that could compete in the lower price handgun market, thus the Sigma. Regardless, I still plan to own and buy S&W handguns IMO there top of the line.

    10. #30
      Senior Member dondavis3's Avatar
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      +1 firediver

      Amen

    11. #31
      Junior Member texgunner's Avatar
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      It seems to me that he has an axe to grind. I've bought, sold or traded 23 different Smiths in the last 16 years and only one problem. An M17 that broke a firing pin. I shipped it to Smith & Wesson on their dime and had the gun back in 10 days.

    12. #32
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      Who the heck is Chuck Hawks anyway's??? I've owned three and sold one that I wish I didn't. I plan on getting a few more.

    13. #33
      Member wjh2657's Avatar
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      I have owned at least three S&W revolvers at a time since I was 21 years old (47 years ago) I now own six of them. None have ever failed me.

    14. #34
      Junior Member Iron's Avatar
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      Iv never had a problem with any of my S&W revolvers, like mentioned before their customer service is great! I had a problem with my model 64 awhile and they took care of it free of charge.

    15. #35
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      I joined this forum just to reply to this thread. WHATEVER CHUCK!!! If their revolvers are such a poor "copy" of the original Colt, where can I get me a new Colt? Why are so many poor, uninformed LEO's carrying Smith's? I've owned/own over a dozen, revolvers and auto's alike, each one worked flawlessly, and shot great to boot. My oldest is a 4th model Safety Hammerless and newest 337-1 AirliteTi. BG380 if they can make enough for me to finally get my hands on one. That rambling makes me think Mr. Hawkes may have a hidden agenda. Only a bafoon would slam a company who sets the benchmark for quality production guns.

    16. #36
      Member ozzy's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by tkroenlein View Post
      I joined this forum just to reply to this thread. WHATEVER CHUCK!!! If their revolvers are such a poor "copy" of the original Colt, where can I get me a new Colt? Why are so many poor, uninformed LEO's carrying Smith's? I've owned/own over a dozen, revolvers and auto's alike, each one worked flawlessly, and shot great to boot. My oldest is a 4th model Safety Hammerless and newest 337-1 AirliteTi. BG380 if they can make enough for me to finally get my hands on one. That rambling makes me think Mr. Hawkes may have a hidden agenda. Only a bafoon would slam a company who sets the benchmark for quality production guns.
      I have a BG 380 that I carry everyday, you will love it. I just think Chucky has tried to procure product for review and was turned down on his reputation. What a cry baby. LOL.

    17. #37
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      Quote Originally Posted by legionrider View Post
      S&W has been around a long time. The people who spend hard earned dollars are not stupid, nor are they easily deceived. No matter how good a PR campaign a company ran, word would circulate about these issues, and the consumer would stop buying their products. ANY manufacturing process has its high points and low points, The current recall of toyota? How about the Ford Pinto? The O-rings on the space shuttle? the point is Longevity is not driven by ad campaigns but by consumer confidence and reputation spread by word of mouth.
      This is my first post, as I have come here to talk and learn about my 642CT and .380 BG, but I wanted to clarify one myth that you referred to. The booster o-rings on the shuttle that exploded were not defective. They were not designed to operate at the starting temperatures the shuttle saw that day. A very good man lost his job for blowing the whistle on Morton Thiokol and their refusal to tell NASA NOT to fly the shuttle that day. NASA was advised as part of the documentation of the product not to fly in those temperatures, but the Whitehouse, under tremendous pressure, told NASA to fly anyway. Sadly, Ronald Reagan, a great man and an American hero in my eyes, ultimately bore the responsibility for that disaster. He of course was not aware of the details, but by the nature of his position was responsible for the actions of his staff. I studied that disaster for a week during engineering school in an ethics course.

      Actually, you can argue the design was defective, but it was not defective as long as it was operated above 53 degrees F, and NASA knew that and was repeatedly advised not to fly under that temperature. However, there's no publicly-accessible documentation that the part was to function at a given range. I suspect, given the fact that NASA management was crucified for the accident, that they were told that the part had only been tested down to 53 F. Why would Thiokol only test down to 53F if that was not part of the design requirements? I blame NASA, not Thiokol.

    18. #38
      Member wjh2657's Avatar
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      Far too many posters expect perfection in their weapons. Any mechanical device, no matter how well designed or manufactured will possibly have components that ultimately will fail early. As a former armorer, I periodically check any of my "critical" (carry or HD) weapons for early wear or failure. I do the same with my automobile. I carry S&W revolvers almost exclusively. I disassemble , clean and inspect any of them I have designated for defense purposes. I do the same with my Mossberg shotguns that are for HD. If I find unusual wear, cracks or anything else "funny" with a part, I replace it.

      I am aware that not everybody has been trained as an armorer. It would behoove gun carriers to become acquainted with an armorer or gunsmith and have their weapons checked periodically. The same advice is sound for mechanics and automobiles.

      The argument that this "shouldn't be necessary as the gun should be made to last" argument flies in the face of mechanical reality. SIGs and Kimbers can break down as well as Taurus and Rossis. They may not break down as often, but they possess the same potential.

      I have a lot of faith in the design and workmanship of S&W, but I still check them. If a part breaks, I contact them and we work out a way to remedy the problem. I don't go around telling everybody what a "POS" they manufacture, we fix the gun.

    19. #39
      Senior Member Bob Wright's Avatar
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      O.K. Here's my take on Smith & Wesson revolvers:

      I own maybe a dozen of so Smiths, .38 Specials, .357 Magnums, .45 Colts, and .44 Magnums. So, my experiences.

      I have an early Model 29, 6" barrel, bought from a friend with maybe 1,000 rounds fired. I experienced some parts breakage, notably the trigger pivot pin. This using factory and heavy handloads. Also had the cylinder unlock when firing, and the hammer deliver a double strike on the primer. I complained to Smith about this and was told my gun needed the "endurance package" installed. I returned the gun to Smith and this was done free of charge. At the same time I had a full lug barrel installed, getting an 8 3/8" barrel. Shortly afterward I had my gunsmith cut the barrel to 6". No further problems, and having fired in excess of 10,000 round through the gun.

      A second Model 29 I had fitted with 5" full lug barrel. This barrel turned in the frame, so I had my gunsmith pin the barrel. After about 8,000 rounds the barrel stub split. Smith replaced the barrel with a new one.

      These two .44 Magnum revolvers are the only ones I've had break down, and for a DA revolver, Smith wins hands down with me.

      In addition, I might add, I've had Colts and Rugers experience similar break down. Most of my guns have seen heavy use, most have in excess of 10,000 rounds fired, one Ruger .45 Colt Blackhawk nearing 20,000 rounds. And, yes, I keep a count of rounds fired in my log books.

      Bob Wright

    20. #40
      Junior Member cwl1862's Avatar
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      Hey PX think ya better go back and re-read my post I'm not knocking anyones quality, especially S&W. I own several New and old. Just saying Smith & Wessons are a little overpriced of late. jmo

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