Smith and Wesson quality
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:19 PM   #1
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Default Smith and Wesson quality

This post serves only to illustrate a point I was making in another post. I made some comments about the generally declining quality of Smith and Wesson revolvers (as well as others) and another member expressed shock at anything other than a glowing review of Smith Products.

I am not bashing Smith and Wesson, simply pointing out that while manufacturing processes have improved, it is my belief that quality workmanship and quality assurance checks have suffered. Take a look at this link to another forum and see what this customer found on his revolver. Argue as much as ya like, but something like this should never have left the factory and poses a serious safety hazard. I will let the readers be the judge in this case...

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Old 12-25-2011, 09:29 PM   #2
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Holy crap. I noticed what was wrong right off the bat, that's scary as hell. Looks like a kaboom waiting to happen.

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Old 12-26-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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Humans make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes have catastrophic results. In my experience, Smith and Wesson quickly and happily fixes their mistakes. The inspector will have some "splanin" to do for sure.

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Old 12-26-2011, 03:34 AM   #4
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If you actually STUDY, about any gun manufacterer, you will notice a sharp decline in quality and Smith & Wesson shares these trait, however compared to many others they suffer less than most but still an embarasment in my book. Look at an early 870 Remington and compare to the guns of today, a great decline in quality has resulted from the early days. The fact they still operate sometime puzzles me.

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Old 12-26-2011, 03:44 AM   #5
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I hate to say it but it also goes to their production of the MP AR-15 Rifles. Several have had catastrophic failures! I think they have improved as of late?


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Old 12-26-2011, 02:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
Humans make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes have catastrophic results. In my experience, Smith and Wesson quickly and happily fixes their mistakes. The inspector will have some "splanin" to do for sure.
Humans do indeed make mistakes, and that is to be expected. However, a series of errors are usually the cause of something like this example leaving the factory. Not knowing the exact sequence of steps that S&W uses to produce a cylinder, I can only guess, but I would bet that no less three people handled that cylinder, prior to the gun passing final QA inspection.

Think about the things that have to happen to make a cylinder. First, turn the raw stock to the proper diameter and form the boss that the cylinder ratchet will be cut from. Then the ratchet, locking lugs, cylinder flutes and chamber pilots must be cut, all timed correctly so that the chambers will align with the barrel when the hand is cycled by the action. While the location of the flutes is not critical to the timing of the finished product, they do need to be positioned such that they are between chambers, rather than over them. Once the machine work is completed, the cylinder must be fit to the crane and the action of the gun must be timed for proper chamber alignment.

Even though all this machine work is done by CNC equipment, after every stage of machine work, it would be typical for the machine operator to de-burr and check the parts for dimensional accuracy and make any adjustments to the CNC program that may be required to account for such things as tool wear. In a typical high production machine shop, as many steps as possible would be done in a single setup in the machines. To cut all of the features of a cylinder would likely be three setups, one for the lathe work, and two for the mill work. These separate setups would likely be done by different people at various machining stations.

This particular "oops" was not created by a single person's lack of attention. I believe it is the result of a much larger problem within society that I call "The pursuit of mediocrity", the idea of "it's good enough" or "it'll be OK". Taking pride in quality work is a trait that I think is rapidly departing society. Couple this with the practice of replacing highly skilled machinists with "machine operators", and other such reductions of skilled labor and it is a recipe for marginal products of questionable quality.

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Old 12-26-2011, 05:07 PM   #7
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Sadly, declining quality/customer service seems to be the norm in business & not just in the firearms industry. I believe one cause is tendacies over the years of the consumer putting too much emphasis on price & failure to appreciate good quality & after the sale service.

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Old 12-27-2011, 04:31 AM   #8
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I can understand people complaining about S&W QC not finding this, but it passed through many other hands with the defect unnoticed. The guy who bought the gun didn't catch it before he plopped his money down, and even went to far as to perform an action job on the gun. To me, that would mean he hasn't fired it before doing the work, and had been all over the gun before he caught the defect. It is bad, but apparently wasn't readily noticeable until one studies the pic of the cylinder. The purchaser must have looked at that cylinder numerous times before he found it. Had he tried to shoot it, I would bet only 1 of 6 rounds would have fired and he would have noticed the problem. It does make me wonder if S&W still test fires before shipping.

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