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.
Anyone read this?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
Chuck Hawks = Jerk.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
S&W repaired my 1911 at no cost. Great customer service.
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?
[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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.