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  1. #1
    Doberman's Avatar
    Doberman is offline Junior Member
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    Question The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson, By Chuck Hawks

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/smith-wesson_dark.htm

    Anyone read this?

    Your thoughts?

    Any truth to it?

    I have been a S&W fan my entire life, but never heard anything about poor quality and etc....

    Looking forward to your replies

  2. #2
    Rupert's Avatar
    Rupert is offline Junior Member
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    I own four Smiths and love each of them. I don't think I've ever heard someone say something bad about one of their revolvers until I read this.

  3. #3
    mikej997 is offline Member
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    I hadn't really heard that much about it before. I do have an experience of my own along those lines. I purchased a brand new S&W 637 .38sp. It is my first and so far only Smith. I had to immediately send it back to get a new barrel. There were severe tool marks running in the opposite twist of the rifling. I emailed their customer service with pictures and after a couple days I got impatient and called them. The fellow I spoke with on the phone told me that all guns are test fired at the factory and are safe. It won't be accurate anyway due to it being a snubby, just shoot it and be happy I own a Smith!
    Needless to say I was not happy with that response. Luckily someone finally read my email and contacted me. They said to send in the gun right away at their cost. When I shipped it I wrote a letter with the date and time that I had spoken to the guy on the phone about it, I never heard anything on that front but I let them know what I thought of it. When I got it back a week later it had a new barrel on it. By the way, it has turned out to be a suprisingly accurate gun for being a snubby. I can shoot .410 hulls at 10 yards with it.

  4. #4
    legionrider is offline Junior Member
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    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.

  5. #5
    dondavis3's Avatar
    dondavis3 is offline Senior Member
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    It's easy to write negative articles.

    Every manufacturer has had a gun or two that were not "right".

    I've owned 4 or 5 S&W's in my life (I currently own 2).

    I've never had a problem with any of them.

    I think they are an excellent "brand" and their customer service is great.


  6. #6
    Specialed is offline Junior Member
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    Talking

    It's easy to say that a machined part is not a good quality part. I have been in machining for about 15 years and quality is subjective. When it comes to quality, I listen to owners of whatever I am looking to buy. Do some reading. Smith and Wesson has an awesome track record when it comes to quality. As far as copying other designs, this has been done as long as people have been building anything. Or should every company that has made a mini van other than Chrysler (because they did it first) be considered cheaters and charlatans. When ever some one says they have no motive for the statement that they make, it sets off a red flag "This guy has a hidden agenda". Maybe the things he stated are correct as he remembers them. He is a writer and his JOB is to get people to read what he writes. So he accuses a company of something where the public opinion is the opposite of what he is saying. My final thought is that this is the first thing I have read that makes statements like this about Smith & Wesson, so I figure this guy is a moron.

  7. #7
    Tuefelhunden is offline Member
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    Interesting read no doubt. I think thier is a fundamental difference between taking someone elses basic concept and improving upon it to the point were you've made it your own versus outright copying or plagerizing under a different label. Imitation may be considered the highest form of flattery but it is still cheap, lazy and often unethical especially if patents are involved. I can't confirm the numerous problems he sited other than I think he does know his fire arms when it comes to quality.

    I have owned a few Smiths. Only problem I can recall was a 638 snub that the enclosed hammer and trigger would intermitently stay locked rearward after firing. Checked it, cleaned it lubricated the springs, problem persisted and I dumped it for a 642 that did not do that. Had a 629 44 mag that was awesome. I know the revolvers are sweet shooters but in 357 they do have a long standing reputation for not being anywere near as tough as Rugers with full house rounds. I have never put 15000 rounds through a single S&W 357 before so I can't confirm nor deny but do know that Ruger revolvers are built like high end bank vaults and historically for much less mulla.

    Whether that is a major issue or not I guess is up to the consumer. I know the M&P series is sure highly regarded by those who know what they are talking about in terms of quality no BS fighting handguns so it appears S&W got that right and to my knowledge it is not a knockoff of anyone else. In fact the M&P is a great example of what I was trying convey above. A company taking into account what everyone else is or has done and significantly improving upon it or at least putting their own very distinct interpretation into it. I did notice, unless I missed it, that Chuck did not reference the M&P one way or the other.

    I am interpreting this as not so much of a jump on the S&W hate wagon based on Chucks say so but rather food for thought and an FYI to keep my eyes and ears open concerning them going forward. Nothing wrong with that .

  8. #8
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    There are a number of hearsay accusations in the article, but no documentation. The entire article resounds of condemnation rather than facts. It flies in the face of the long, respected family business that was Smith and Wesson for so long.

    I cannot speak for the most modern Smith and Wesson handguns, but there was a time, up to 90's that I know, when it seemed that every Smith and Wesson revolver was a masterpiece. I collected them for decades and I never encountered a single problem such as those mentioned by the author of the article. I was also, and am still, much enamored of the Models 39 and 59 semi-auto pistols. They were, and mine still are, reliable to a fault. I would rather have my Model 39's than any Glock I have ever shot or owned.

    I have the same respect for that author and his diatribe as I do for gunwriters in general. That is, none.

  9. #9
    Rogelk is offline Banned
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    I think the guy is a self proclaimed expert on just about everything. I heard he has real issues with copying his writing and posting it as well.

  10. #10
    TheReaper's Avatar
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    Chuck Hawks = Jerk.

  11. #11
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is online now Senior Member
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    Most of the specifics he mentions probably have some basis in fact. S&W has been around a long time and have had a lot of different corporate leaders, each with their own ideas about what was efficient, profitable, and ethical. They have plenty of 'warts,' as do a lot of other businesses that have managed to survive as many economic ups and downs.

    When I look at a S&W with an eye for purchasing, I give it the same 'going-over' as I would any other brand. Some I like, and some I don't, but they do a good job with the old stand-by revolvers which I favor, so I have no complaints. They have made some bad shotguns, and had some problems with some of their AR type rifles, and some semi-autos, but I have found their service after the sale to be excellent, and I'm glad they have survived.

  12. #12
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    I have very little experience with Smith & Wesson, but I've heard a lot of good things about them, and not many bad things. I would have no issues purchasing an S&W weapon and using it, assuming it met all of my needs, ect. I've never heard of Chuck Hawks before now, but I think he's just upset and trying to tell the world about it and get everyone to agree with him. Also, part of business and product development is seeing, analyzing, and responding to what they competition is doing. If company A comes out with a new product and it's the best out there, you bet all the others are going to do their best to mimic that product, or improve on it and steal market share. The business world is not an 'I called it or thought of it first (without patent )' environment.

  13. #13
    deputy125 is offline Junior Member
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    i ain't too worried about the rant.

    smith revolvers still rule the roost in competition. MY "j" frames have been solid performers for back-up/ccw.

    most everything today is a copy or slight change of another design while trying to step around patent laws. patents have long since expired on 1911's, and probably the 700 as well.

    as far as the clinton mess.......it's history...... smith has changed owners since.......you don't punish the child for the sins of the father..............same goes for ruger and the AWB ban on mags. Bill Ruger is gone....may he rest in peace.....and the company is under new leadership.

  14. #14
    Sully2 is offline Banned
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    After reading the "report"..I remember back to my old days..sitting in a saloon...smelling beer s mixed with hard boiled eggs. LOTS of stinky smelling gas is all it is.

  15. #15
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    S&W a Bad brand??

    I regularly read and enjoy Chuck's articles but on this one I'll have to disagree. I have owned numerous S&W firearms over the years (10 total) and currently have seven in the safe. (M66-0, 629-0, 625, 686-0, 39-1, 642, the most recent purchase a near perfect used 908) and those that I've sold to make room for others I wish I still had! All of them have functioned flawlessly. As you see I own one of the dreaded model 39's rumored to only function with FMJ ammo and even then be a bad jammer, all I can say is I must have one of the perfect ones as it feeds everything HP's FMJ's, +P, and +P+ ammo without so much as a hiccup. The only time I ever had an issue with it jamming was found to be the aftermarket magazine I was using and not the gun. I own both no lock and Hillary hole models, and have not had issues with any of them. Do I like the locks? Hell no, but I fear they're here to stay, (blame the lawyers for that one) but I wont stop buying S&W firearms because of it. I have complete confidence in S&W as a brand. As I do with SIG, Colt, Kimber, Ruger (yes I own an SR-9 & an LCP & never an issue with either) even Bersa and Taurus make good weapons. (Yea I got quite a few handguns)
    My only issue with new S&W's of late is the cost! I think S&W is pricing themselves right out of the market. 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?
    My question for the guy who bought the J frame with the tool marks on the barrel, and then became angry with S&W about it. If you knew about the tool marks and bought the gun anyway. Why did you buy it? Especially if it was a new firearm?? If I were your dealer I wouldn't have even put it out on my shelf for sale. It would have went back to the distributor/factory as defective to begin with. But I wouldn't have sold it to one of my customers. However if it was used, and you bought it with the tool marks on the barrel, how is that S&W's issue?? Yes I agree their customer service dropped the ball when communicating with you,(unusual for S&W). But they did fix the problem didn't they.

  16. #16
    mikej997 is offline Member
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    When I bought the gun (brand new) it was oiled heavily. I couldn't see the marks in the barrel and I was excited enough about getting it that I didn't slow down and look close enough. I learned a lesson about that and it won't happen again in the future.
    I didn't get angry with Smith about it, I reckon that sometimes things like that can happen. The only real issue I had that irritated me was with one of their customer service reps on the phone. The person I was able to contact via e-mail got the issue resolved very quickly. I was pleased with the gun repair and the speed with which it was done.
    I love my little Smith revolver and have absolutely no doubts about it or it's accuracy. I also wouldn't hesitate to buy another Smith revolver in the future. I will however take a much closer look at it before I buy, though that will be with ANY firearm, not just Smith.

  17. #17
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    Thumbs up

    Got ya. & I understand I'm kind of the same way when I get a new toy for my collection Like I said S&W dropped the ball when they were conversing about with you about your issue, and the guy who said live with it deserves to lose his job, or at the very least get a demotion to floor sweeper for his actions (inaction)
    But in my experience this is very uncharisteric of S&W. I'm sorry you had bad the experience. But alas there are bad apples everywhere you go! Hopefully S&W will find that one and throw it outta the basket before he's had an opportuinity to do more harm! I Hope you enjoy your S&W!

  18. #18
    Hiram25 is offline Member
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    I have carried S&W revolvers both as a Military Police Officer in the Air Force and as a Delaware State Trooper. I would stake my life on the S&W and have done so.

  19. #19
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    S&W repaired my 1911 at no cost. Great customer service.

  20. #20
    buck's Avatar
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    He showed his real knowledge of Smiths with this statement......

    Smith L-frame revolvers are the same size as a Colt Python. L-frame revolvers will--surprise, surprise--fit perfectly in holsters formed for the Python. They even have the Colt full-length barrel under lug and a rib on top. This is because Smith simply copied the Colt Python's frame size and styling clues


    Has anyone else ever seen a Python "rib" on any L-frame unless it was a custom barrel or a PC gun? I know I haven't. Doesn't history tell us that Elmer Kieth and S&W created the .357mag cartridge? Same with the .44mag. S&W and Remington developed it. S&W designed the first prototype .44 mag with the model 29. I believe Colt made their revolvers to handle the cartridges innovated by S&W, so who copied who?

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