New smith and wesson revolvers, why all the hate?
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New smith and wesson revolvers, why all the hate?


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Old 07-06-2015, 02:05 AM   #1
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Default New smith and wesson revolvers, why all the hate?

Why does everybody seem so hateful about the newer smit and Wesson revolvers?

There seem to be a bunch of things people complain about. Not being as 'smooth', the two piece barrels, the lock (which I actually understand), etc etc.

I have only owned one older (1980ish, which isn't even a very old one) smith and Wesson revolver and it was a nice gun. Are the new ones REALLY a that bad or awful or deserving of so much criticism?

I have been considering a new production M66 combat magnum lately because I want a double action but would prefer it not to be an L frame or N frame or the tank of a gun that a GP100 is. The few times I have handled a new production M66 it felt great in hand being a little smaller, and would be easier to tote around when hiking and camping than a larger heavier framed gun. Nothing against the l frames n frames and gp100's I just want something a little smaller.

I couldn't see any issues in fit or finish in the few I have handled in stores. All of them felt nice in single and double action. They locked up well, everything was nice and crisp. When comparing to a GP100 side by side the M66 blew it out of the water in fit finish feel and function. There was no comparison between the trigger pulls (I am aware there is a $200 price difference between the m66 and a standard gp100) but even putting it against a GP100 match champion (same price point) the smith still felt way above and beyond.

Are these things people seem to be complaining about actual issues or are they just this that guys who are used to the older more slowly made, hand fitted type guns are just complaining about because it's a perceived (or actual) reduction in quality to a thing that they are used to?

If these guns really have gone down in quality or the modern production smiths don't seem to be worth it I will pass and stick with a Ruger most likely. Is it still worth paying 700-750 for a modern production smith or should I just save $200 and go with a ruger tank?
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:38 AM   #2
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I dont have a whole bunch of experience with Smith revolvers but I have shot a .38 spc bodyguard next to 2 ruger revolvers (LCR, sp101). The LCR had a much better trigger than the bodyguard but I ended up buying the sp101. I have also shot a model 36 along side my Colt Detective Special. The colt just points naturally and holds an extra round, the 36 sure is pretty though.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:06 AM   #3
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I currently own half a dozen that are old enough to be pinned and rebated, and a couple of modern ones. The triggers are about twice as stiff as the old ones, even the one that came through the custom shop.

Unless you are going to shoot far more than the normal person, or extremely hot hand loads, you will never wear any of them out.

I'm a S&W fan, buy whichever quality revolver fits your hand.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:46 AM   #4
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I also own almost a dozen old S&W revolvers. I prefer the 60s-80s time frame. I won't own a newer one. Quality went out the window as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:20 AM   #5
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Besides the complaints you mentioned, one of the cost-cutting measures S&W has made is the use of MIM parts - which wear faster & are prone to breakage.

And, that internal lock...it's not only ugly, it has also locked up the gun during shooting, which is why no police gun has it.

Before I got rid of my S&W 500, it went to S&W for warranty repair twice - both times for timing issues caused by cheap MIM parts that wore out after 200 rounds.

The only S&W's I now own were made 25 years ago.
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:34 AM   #6
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I have watched videos of these new combat magnum revolvers done my people that are sponsored by S&W so I wouldn't necessarily trust what they say, but the main positive point they all agree on is that S&W really beefed up the forcing cones on the combat magnums and they claim that they can take a steady diet of .357 or .44 magnum ammo, as where most magnum revolvers have a thin forcing cone. That's all I really know about the combat magnum's.
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatoth View Post
I have watched videos of these new combat magnum revolvers done my people that are sponsored by S&W so I wouldn't necessarily trust what they say, but the main positive point they all agree on is that S&W really beefed up the forcing cones on the combat magnums and they claim that they can take a steady diet of .357 or .44 magnum ammo, as where most magnum revolvers have a thin forcing cone. That's all I really know about the combat magnum's.

BTW I been eyeballing the 69 combat magnum for awhile now. I like.


EDIT: I have not a flipping clue how I quoted my own post and replied to it...
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:13 AM   #8
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My issue is the price, for the a lower price I can get a functional and reliable Ruger SP 100 or 101. My wife has the SP101, it's a nice gun. I've been thinking about getting one for myself.

As far as quality issues, I've had to use the S&W 38's from the 60's and 70's in the academy. They were old (40-50 yrs), but man they were nice. I have yet to really get to know the new ones like I did the old academy guns. Therefore, I don't have any room to comment on the quality, so I won't.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:05 AM   #9
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If Smith & Wesson beefed up the forcing cones on their revolvers it is because they split when firing magnums.

One of the reasons Ruger's magnum revolvers are stronger than Smith's is because Ruger designs a frame around the magnum cartridge. Smith has a history of using an existing frame designed for the non-magnum cartridge, then modifying if for the magnum cartridge. Example: The "K" Frame Model 19 is basically a 38 Special with a lengthened cylinder to accept 357 Magnum. S&W may have heat treated the cylinder differently, but it's still too light a gun for frequent shooting of magnum rounds.

When Remington designed the 44 Magnum cartridge, Smith & Wesson used their existing "N" Frame 357 Magnum (Model 27) & simply drilled out the cylinder & barrel for the larger 44 Magnum round instead of designing a heavier frame for the higher pressure. That's why there isn't much metal between the chambers in a Model 29 - especially where the bolt notches are. The Model 29 doesn't hold up under frequent firing with 44 Magnum. They probably figured most shooters wouldn't like the recoil of the 44 Magnum & would shoot 44 Special most of the time. Well....they were probably right - because the Model 29 is too light for 44 Magnum firing, so it recoils more than a heavier gun like the Ruger Super Redhawk which is comfortable with magnum loads.

I have both a Ruger GP100 & Super Redhawk. I have fired both extensively with maximum handloads. Neither gun has been repaired. I have owned three Model 29's that needed overhauls after 200-300 rounds of magnum loads. After the second repair on one of the Model 29's, I asked a S&W rep. why it needed frequent repairs. He replied, "Stop shooting handloads in it" which is B.S. My handloads are loaded below factory pressures.

I have one Model 629 "Classic" which I purchased used. It locked up solid when I bought it, which indicates it wasn't fired much. After a few hundred Medium-power handloads (240 Gr. Cast bullet at 950 fps), it was out of time. S&W replaced the hand under warranty. (The hand is what advances the cylinder to the next chamber).
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:31 AM   #10
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Ok, Dakota1, so like Glock, S&W just took a design and made it bigger for it's bigger cartridge? EX glock frame designed around the 17 9mm goes up to .45 acp and .357 sig in their other models.
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