Reputation of Smith & Wesson

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Uncle Tom, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Uncle Tom

    Uncle Tom New Member

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    What is the current view on Smith & Wesson? I've read negative comments about their "copycat" history, praise for the quality of their Classics revolvers, but others stating their overal quality is eratic. Would most people put them in the "higher-cost high quality" handgun category these days -- for revolvers? -- for autos? Thanks.
     
  2. SGT-MILLER

    SGT-MILLER New Member

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    Their revolvers are nice and their 1911 pistols seem pretty well made. I don't know about the other pistols they have.
     

  3. oldandslow

    oldandslow New Member

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    UT, 1/10/09

    I can only speak for their metal framed 3rd generation pistols and for revolvers. I have five of the metal framed pistols in both 9mm and .45 calibers. They have great double and single action triggers, are stone cold reliable and accurate. My revolver, a 686-3 inch barrel is also a great product. I can't speak to their plastic pistols but I have been very satisfied with all my SW pistols and in their excellent customer service. Good luck.

    best wishes- oldandslow
     
  4. Zappa

    Zappa New Member

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    IMHO, their revolvers have always been excellent. They had a few glitches with their early stainless models (galling) but that was worked out long ago through better metalurgy. Their early steel frame autos have a pretty good reputation for reliability, but the trigger action wasn't very refined. The early alloy frame autos were a bit soft and were known wear out rather quickly, but again, that too was addressed through better metalurgy. Their early "Sigma" line of plastic autos were junk and they got a bad reputation for these. The current M&P's seem to have found a loyal following, as do their 1911 models.
     
  5. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

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    I recently bought my wife a 442 airweight .38 dao and it's GREAT-usual S&W quality if it helps you any.
     
  6. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    I've got three of their revolvers (686, 640 and 617), they all get a lot of use and function perfectly.

    My gun club has S&W revolvers for rent, they've been abused for years and still work like a charm.

    I've got no experience with their semi-autos.
     
  7. stetson

    stetson New Member

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    I like some of the S&W products I have the sw99 in 45 which is awesome pistol.I even have an old sigma 9mm which I've shot a couple of thousand rounds out of with no problems.This was my my first ccw and now my truck gun.the MP is always being compared to the glock so I'd say they make some pretty good pistols.Revolvers they always made good ones!
     
  8. stetson

    stetson New Member

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    I like some of the S&W products I have the sw99 in 45 which is awesome pistol.I even have an old sigma 9mm which I've shot a couple of thousand rounds out of with no problems.This was my my first ccw and now my truck gun.the MP is always being compared to the glock so I'd say they make some pretty good pistols.Revolvers they always made good ones!
     
  9. Clem

    Clem Member

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    My more recent Performance Revolvers have been super. They just needed a little breaking in to be about as perfect as a mass produced article can be.

    The standard revolvers I have gotten typically needed a little internal smoothing, with a change to somewhat reduced power springs. This is probably a personal thing with me.
     
  10. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    The M&P series is fantastic for the price. The 1911s are very well made. Most of the revolvers are the best IMO. I've heard the sigma series is junk though.
     
  11. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

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    I have 5 Smith & Wesson handguns.

    Model 19, .357 magnum, circa 1970.
    Model 4006, .40 S&W, duty weapon, circa 1994.
    Model 457, .45 acp, main off duty carry gun, circa 2006.
    Model 642, .38 spl., J-frame, back up gun, circa 2007.
    An on-duty Sigma 40VE, issued by my employer.

    All of them, rpt. all of them, are quality, reliable firearms that I am willing to bet my life on. I've never had a problem with any of them. Ever!

    It is fashionable on some Internet gun forums to bad mouth S&W. It has been my experience that most gun bashing, of any brand, is based on second hand information, old wife's tales, or urban myths overheard at gun shows, or gun shops. With the competition in the modern firearms industry, all of the major gun makers strive to put out quality products. As with any other manufactured product, occasionally there will be a lemon. None of the gun makers want bad "word-of-mouth" or bad reputations, and will do everything possible to fix any defective products that make it into the marketplace.

    There was a time, in the 80's & 90's, when S&W was owned by a British company that was not run by shooters, and who knew little about guns. To them the products were little more than mass produced "units," where quality suffered. S&W is back in American, "gun guy" hands and their quality is second to none.
     
  12. squib

    squib New Member

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    + 1 Pioneer 461-----------I have used S&W revolvers since the very early
    1970's also and have never ,ever, had occasion to doubt their quality,reliability,durability,etc.. The only real problems S&W had ,other than the Sigma, was with the model 59. When it came out ,best I can remember,
    in the early 1970's--it was termed the original "Jamamatic". However,S&W did step up to the plate,recalled all of them for free factory upgrades,and turned
    them into the icon of high capacity 9mm's ,at that time.
    You could do a whole lot worse than a S&W. I suggest that you scan various forums for updates on whatever specific model is being considered for purchase.
     
  13. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

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    Squib,
    I too had a model 59 (no dash). Mine never had a hiccup, and the only reason I still don't have it, was I traded it for the 4006, when I learned some disturbing info about the 9mm round from our medical examiner.
     
  14. squib

    squib New Member

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    Come on !----------O.K. I'll ask......What did the Med. Examiner have to say ?
    I'am always open to new info--- I carry a 9mm....Iam more than curious !
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  15. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

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    About one month after beginning to carry the 4006, I had to use it on duty, resulting in a death. The short version is; a running attacker armed with a large knife. Two shots, double-tap, (dept. issue Winchester Silver-tips) to the 10x ring, and the attacker went down instantly. Both rounds penetrated sternum, exploded the heart and continued with sufficient force to sever the spinal cord, instantly disconnecting the legs. She came to rest at my feet. When she had turned with the knife, she was right at the 21 foot line, and I had already drawn on her. It took about a full minute to bleed-out and die.

    The state medical examiner, who has a lot of experience with police shootings, told me that had I still carried the 9mm, the chances were that there would not have been enough penetration to sever the spinal cord, thus allowing the attacker's momentum to let her to get to me with the knife.

    One month later, no officer on the department was still carrying a 9mm. There has been some changes to 9mm ammo since 1994, so I don't know if given the same identical situation the outcome would be the same. We will never know.
     
  16. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    pioneer - That is a rough story that I am sure has brought back some memories. Thank you for sharing that with the rest of the forum.


    That information should be read and retained, but out of respect please keep the direct questions to a minimum.

    JD
     
  17. Forte

    Forte New Member

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    In my town, Smith & Wesson is very reputable. The 686 and 686 Plus vanish from display cases quite frequently. I've seen many people with them, but never heard any complaints about them
     
  18. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Smith and Wesson has some issues but not because of "British ownership". Tompkins bought S&W from Bangor Punta. The real issues were the pre-Tompkins guns. When Tompkins bought them, they looked at Smith's 19th century gun building techniques and said "no more". The factory was shut down and upgraded with new equipment. Many of the members of management were pink slipped because they could not or would not get on board with a modern philosophy of assembly line gun building. The third generation pistols (4506, 5906, 4006) were the product of this new style and fresh capitol.
    Tompkins made a grave tactical error by entering into negotiations with the ATF and anti-gun groups. This ws not a S&W decision, but a British decision. When they were sold again to Safe-T-Hammer this mis-guided process was ceased.

    I have always had the utmost esteem for S&W. Like anyone else, they occasionaly churn out a defective product. They cheerfully fix any and all problems I have ever sent them. I once sent them a worn out M-66 that likely had 10K fired through it. I could not repair it and they gladly replaced it with a brand new gun. It was interesting that our inventory control NAZIs spent the better part of 6 months and at least two polygraph exams trying to find out who "stole" the gun, before I showed them the memo dated two years earlier explaining the gun no longer existed and was replaced. Dumb *** civilians. Not asking the right questions of the right people.

    Some other makers are content to sit back and say there is nothing wrong with their guns, blaming ammo or Navy SEALs for breaking the buns. All the while they are quietly redesigning the guns and adding a letter suffix to the model designation.
     
  19. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I had one smith revolver M17 K22 Masterpiece with a 8" barrel and target trigger and hammer. That pistol would shoot just as good as many 22lr rifle will shoot today. My dad has its bigger sister a 357 with 8" bbl. That thing was so much fun to shoot.
     
  20. eapking

    eapking New Member

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    Have had an M&P semi-auto 9mm since November. Have put about 350 rounds thru it. Now it's misfiring like every 5 rounds. Had not cleaned it to that point. Was kind of surprised that I had to clean it so soon.