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S&W Quality or a thing of the past.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by FLHTC, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. FLHTC

    FLHTC NES Member

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    I’m a little pissed at Smith & Wesson. I bought a S&W 1911DK. The list price was about $1400. It’s like I bout a $200 gun. I take it to the range and the safety keeps enacting. It appears the detent hole was not deep enough to capture the ball plunger. So off I go to my gunsmith. Now, I come back from the range and find the little button medallion in my gun case. No, it’s not a big deal but I wonder if it’s indicative of the decline of quality found at S&W. I had read issues that others have had with S&W products. A friend of mine bought the same gun (1911DK); it was supposed to have had an ambidextrous safety, his left the factory without it. Let me add that I have and have had a lot of S&W’s over the years and I was always a huge fan.
     

  2. JimB

    JimB

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    1911dk

    send it to S&W, is this a new gun??

    JimB
     
  3. Bob J

    Bob J NES Member

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    Agree with JimB.... Send it back to them..... I've had one gun go back to them (bought used) and their service was excellent....[grin]

     
  4. ochmude

    ochmude Marine Veteran

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    As others have said, send it back. As far as S&W quality goes, I personally believe that S&W is a wheelgun company. Their revolvers are top notch. Their autoloaders are pretty much hit or miss these days. There are a lot of S&W fans that will vehemently disagree with me, but I developed this opinion after speaking with quite a few employees of the company.

    EDIT: Saying that they're hit or miss may be a bit of an overstatement. I don't mean to imply an actual 50/50 shot of getting a lemon. The chances of the autos (especially the 1911's) having issues, though, is much greater than it should be considering the reputation of the manufacturer, historically speaking.
     
  5. mark056

    mark056 NES Member

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    Send it back and they should either replace it or fix it. Unfortunately (and I hate to say this as a S&W Stockholder) Smith and Wesson has repeated bouts of lapses in quality control over the years, starting with the acquisition of the company from the Wesson family in the early 1960's by the Bangor Punta Corporation through a sucession of owners up to this very day. This spotty record regarding quality control is one of the contributing reasons, although not the only one nor the main reason, why S&W lost the major share of law enforcement contracts in the 1980's and is only now recovering from that loss. As Fred said at the TVI shoot: "They ought to teach about Smith and Wesson at business schools." It's true, a lot of companies could learn not what to do by studying the S&W business model.

    I am always hypercritical of any S&W gun I purchase and certainly not without some justification. Last year I puchased a nickeled Model 22 (1917 version) as part of the Classic Series. The nickel plating was flaking off the backstrap and this was a brand new gun. I sent it back and they refinished the gun and it is fine, but why did it have to be that way in the first place? A few years ago a prison in either North or South Carolina ordered a batch of Model 64 revolvers (which as ochmude has suggested is still their core product) and they were defective resulting in the order being shipped back to Springfield repaired or replaced, and these were brand new guns!

    I know that any manufacturer can produce shoddy goods, it happens...but it seems to happen with Smith and Wesson more, for some reason. The saving grace, in the context of my experience (can't say about yours) is that the customer service department has always been friendly and cooperative.

    Mark056
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  6. FLHTC

    FLHTC NES Member

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    Yes it was a new gun
     
  7. FLHTC

    FLHTC NES Member

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    I think I'll still continue to buy S&W revolvers but my auto's will be sigs or other top brands.
     
  8. Supermoto

    Supermoto NES Member

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    I purchased a Performance center 627 V-comp. it was crap from the factory.
    Hammer hit the frame
    slide plate had a chip in it
    Action was rough and heavy
    forcing cone had a large burr on it
    yoke barrel had burrs.
    I sent it back, but they were unable to work on it because I had installed a Jpoint red dot sight and their gunsmith was not able to get the 2 screws off. If the gunsmith does not know how to remove 2 loctited screws, then they should not be working on guns
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. HTRN

    HTRN Instructor Dealer NES Member

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    Are you sure that they didn't refuse because they didn't want to be liable for possible damage to your sight?

    Probably not a question of 'ability' but of 'liability'.

    When I send items back, I remove aftermarket items such as these.
     
  10. Supermoto

    Supermoto NES Member

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    Nope, they tried to get the screws out, but couldn't, the screws were marred up from them trying
     
  11. GaryO

    GaryO NES Member

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    I carry a S&W 910 and never had a problem with it. Over 2k rounds without FTF or FTE.
     
  12. HTRN

    HTRN Instructor Dealer NES Member

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    That's just ugly. Sorry to hear that. Usually when I use blue locktite, I don't have to mar screws to remove them.
     
  13. bfm

    bfm NES Member

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    The stuff coming from the Performance Center is sweet. The autos are so smooth that even at the $1500 or so they were asking, it was as nice as most customs that you couldn't even touch for $2k.
     
  14. Supermoto

    Supermoto NES Member

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    I disagree, you are still getting standard S&W parts. Their hand fitting is not worth the extra cost. A true custom with high end parts is going to a better gun and better investment
     
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  15. arlow

    arlow

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    Any loctite will remove easily if you apply some heat
     
  16. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    Smith has always bounced around a bit on quality, on just about anything they make. Most of the time you will not get a lemon, but there are some notorious lapses in
    quality. One fun example is the plunger tubes on the SW1911PD/SC. I haven't met anyone yet who hasn't had the tube fall off their gun at least once. I'm not sure if it's just a crappy part, a bad run of a crappy part, or what.

    At least they make it right, and usually do it relatively fast..... although that PPK recall thing is starting to grate on some folks nerves....


    -Mike
     
  17. Zappa

    Zappa Road Warrior NES Member

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    I agree with this.
    I've never cared much for their autos, with the exception of the Model #41, which is a superb pistol, but bears zero resemblence to any other gun they make.
     
  18. depicts

    depicts Army Veteran NES Member

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    I like Smith & Wesson. Two weeks ago, I noticed some damage in the barrel of a used snubby I bought. I called S&W, and they sent me out a shipping label for free to send the gun to them. This morning I got the gun back with a new +P barrel, no charge, no questions, no hassle.

    They stand behind their products. Call them and ask for a shipping label to send the gun back for repairs.

    In full disclosure, like my friend Mark056, I too am a stockholder in SWHC.
     
  19. JimB

    JimB

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    add a couple of things

    First off, since its a new gun you really shouldn't mess with it. Just call
    S&W for a call tag, most come by email, follow the directions. You'll
    have it back pretty quick.

    Folks like me who have several older Smiths can say that they are a great
    gun and have had no problems. Well it may not be totally true, we may not
    have had any problems but the previous owner might have and we now
    have it with the faults repaired.

    S&W will bend over backwards to help you out. I've sent back a few myself,
    in fact i have 7 of them.....

    JimB
     
  20. chuckster

    chuckster

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    If I were to use loctite on a firearm I would use purple loctite (#222). Dosen't require heat to remove. I've never used it, just going by what I've read. [grin]
    Chuck
     
  21. TomH

    TomH

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    S&W autos are crap IMO. Yours may vary. Unfortunately they are about the only good source of 1911's (new) in MA.
     
  22. wheelgun

    wheelgun NES Member

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    I've owned four S&W's over the years, including revolvers and autos. All of them have excellent fit and finish. One early auto (4006) had feeding problems, which I attribute to the finicky truncated .40 S&W cartridge. But a 1911 was perfect from day one, feeding anything I threw at it. And the revolvers are of course wonderful. I think for every lemon you hear about there are hundreds of very satisfied customers.

    And to the OP, if you buy a new gun and experience immediate problems right out of the box, why the heck wouldn't you first contact the manufacturer? Granted, some have poor customer support reputations (S&W is definitely not in that category). But in any case, that's the first path to take. S&W stands behind their products 100% for the life of the gun, even if you're not the original owner.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  23. Danrk6

    Danrk6

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    As everyone has been mentioning S&W make amazing wheel guns. I won't name specific numbers but between my dad and I we own a bunch of .38 snubs as well as a .357 magnum and they all perform expertly. If you know how to maintain a revolver (which is really easy) you can keep them in fantastic working order. You would be surprised how accurate the .357 is. As far as S&W autos, the M&P series guns are really nice and I have not had any problems with mine. Sorry to hear that you have been having some problems with S&W, but like others have said just send your gun back to them and have them fix it up for you. My dad use to own one of their earlier models of 9mm autos, I forget the model, but it was so inaccurate that he ended up trading it in for the .357. Personally though when I think S&W, autos don't even enter my mind even if I do own an M&P. They are a superb manufacturer of wheel guns and I have never once had a bad experience with one. A little off topic, but when I had gone to take my NRA safety course for my LTC a while back I actually took it at the Smith and Wesson Academy in Springfield which was kinda cool cause they have a display of all the guns that they are so well known for in their history as well as all their new lines. If you get a chance it is worth a trip if you aren't too far away.

    Dan
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  24. vellnueve

    vellnueve

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    I own six S&W autos.

    Model 41 - no problems whatsoever
    Model 22A - after a very high round count the rear lug on the barrel assembly cracked. They installed a new one and had it back in a week.
    M&P9 - no problems
    M&P40 - replaced a mag catch, 30 second fix, shoots like a dream
    SW1911 - No issues whatsoever
    SW9F - It's a Stigma, but no problems

    I will continue to buy S&W autos.
     
  25. Danrk6

    Danrk6

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    Forgot to mention, have a 22a which is an absolutely fantastic target pistol. Really well balanced and have never had a problem with it that could not be attributed to cheap ammunition. You can literally pull the trigger as fast as you want and paint the black of a target at 25 yards no problem (given you know how to use a gun [wink]). Best part is its a 22! I love going to the range with just my 22s because my wallet thanks me every time.
     
  26. sdavid

    sdavid

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    The majority of my handguns are S&W's. I had the plunger tube problem with my first 1911Sc (twice) both times repaired, at least the second time it was repaired. I did have one S&W magazine fall apart on me, granted it was after I dumped it during a reload, but they sent me out a new one with out any questions.

    Matter of fact the last time I sent the 1911Sc in it came back with a magazine and a new set of rubber grips, which I liked better than the wood.
     
  27. FLHTC

    FLHTC NES Member

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    My issue is I shouldn't have to send a $1400 gun back to the mfg. It should be perfect. I mentioned my buddy who bought the same gun and it didn't come with an ambidextrous safety. Quality happened before the sale, damage control happened after. I love my 1911DK and I love my many S&W wheel guns but that does not negate the fact that these guns should be flawless. In my opinion poor quality provides room for foreign competition.
     
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  28. the_doctor

    the_doctor

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    Hoy. They have a recall on 22A, now.
     
  29. dd

    dd

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    First, call S&W and ask for a mailing/shipping label so that YOU will not have to pay for shipment to them. Enclose a copy of the letter that you would have sent to them ID-ing the gun by S/N, you, and problems. This may ensure that your gun does not go astray.

    dd
     
  30. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    I've had good luck with all of my S&W revolvers, but they are all pre-lock. I'm not interested in the S&W 1911s. YMMV.
     

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