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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


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Old 12-02-2010, 10:39 PM
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A Stainless S&W Question To Any Experienced Stainless Users A Stainless S&W Question To Any Experienced Stainless Users A Stainless S&W Question To Any Experienced Stainless Users A Stainless S&W Question To Any Experienced Stainless Users A Stainless S&W Question To Any Experienced Stainless Users  
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Default A Stainless S&W Question To Any Experienced Stainless Users

I began shooting and reading of shooting about 1973. Then and into the mid 1980's (when I quit subscribing to gun mags) I continually heard "reports" by gunwriters that the...

"...stainless S&Ws could not hold up to the steel models because of the difficulty of polishing stainless and its habit of 'galling'."

I stayed away from stainless revolvers until I bought two Ruger Vaqeuros in bright stainless and their actions were as smooth as any Colt Clone and some Colts as well. Then I came here and began an earnest collecting spree of S&Ws. Of course as I ran out of blued and nickel versions to buy I began buying stainless...again expecting rough actions and hard trigger pulls.

Not so, I would hazard to say that all of my stainless S&Ws (7 or more) have better actions and trigger pulls than many of my blued and nickeled S&Ws regardless of their construction date, be it pre-War, post-War, and later.

So how about the rest of you? Same outcome? Do you S&W stainless revolvers exhibit nice, smooth actions?
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:49 PM
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My SS Smiths are as smooth as, or smoother than the blue ones. My 681 (no dash) is easily the smoothest and slickest of the lot.

Even better, I have Jerry Miculek's DVD on tuning Smiths. In it, Jerry states that he prefers the stainless guns as they are slicker. And if anybody knows smooth, slick, and quick, its Jerry!
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:54 PM
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Presently I own three stainless revolvers spanning almost the entire history of S & W's production of these guns, a 66 no-dash (1972), a 617-1 (1993) and a 625JM (post-2005). All three of these guns have excellent triggers and I'd say that the trigger on the 66 is superb.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:44 PM
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Early Smiths that were all stainless reportedly did have a problem with galling. The factory found that by varying the composition of the stainless alloys that interacted with each other they could eliminate the galling. Then they did away with the stainless hammer and trigger and used carbon steel that was plated with a matte chrome finish to further eliminate any problems. Now the stainless guns have the carbon steel case hardened parts like the blued guns. As far as smooth actions go, I have an 8-3/8 nickel 29-2 that is by far the smoothest factory DA I have ever felt. It isn't as good as my Andy Cannon customs but it is better than any factory stock stainless guns I have.

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Old 12-03-2010, 12:09 AM
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semperfi71-
I heard and read the same things as you did, because we both started roughly about the same time (I started reading about guns at least, a couple years before that). I believe that the above poster covered most of the troubles, but too, back then machining SS for small gun parts was still in its infancy. I know they had come out in '66 with the M-60, but relative to carbon steel guns, SS was far less common until the mid '80's or so than carbon guns.

I guess I was young and dumb, 'cause my first handgun (being all I could afford at the time) was a new Ruger SBH, followed less than a year later by a new and hard to find at the time Redhawk. I was at first worried about galling after reading an article by Skeeter Skelton that mention the issues mentioned by the poster above. After shooting it several times with no trouble what-so-ever regarding galling, I never worried again, and never looked back. In fact, for quite some time I would only buy SS guns. Since then I have come to my senses and gone back to blued guns.
I still much prefer blued guns for looks, but as far as smoothness goes they are equal in my opinion.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:32 AM
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Good posts.

I too had heard the mentioned problems and ultimate fixes, yet some writers still spinned tales of other tales evidently.

I love all the finishes but am getting to like stainless a lot. It is easy to clean, one doesn't have to worry about the finish as much concerning outdoors use and holsters, etc.

Blue and nickel is so "classic" yet stainless is so "useful".
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:37 AM
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As the younger generations says- true that.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:08 AM
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My best double action performers are a S 238xxx serial 29-2 and a CNV xxxx serial 686.
I can't tell wich one is better, there's a 45 year gap between their production dates and they're made out of different steel so, Which are the factors that come in play for a nice double action?

Regards, Alejandro
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:20 AM
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I remember very early production 66's having some internal and external challenges,cosmetic and function. I sent two 66's back in the early 70's that basically locked up and would not function. I will say they were fixed quickly,and I still own these weapons. I find the stainless actions and quality to be excellant. Living in the south,it is easier to maintain a stainless weapon,especially a duty weapon.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:20 AM
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Yes, it was the first 66s that had problems and were recalled for new cylinders. I don't think the other models had any trouble.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:40 AM
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Default 686 Stainless

I bought a new 686 in 1985 to replace my model 28 service revolver. The 686 was a super nice smooth easy to clean and keep clean revolver. The PD here issued 66's and I don't remember them ever having an issue. My 686 locked up one time as I didn't get the ejector rod tight enough after a complete tear down. When the PD made me change to a glock I being stupid sold my beloved 686 and have regretted it ever since. Sold to a friend and he has no pity for an old guy begging to buy his weapon back. Sniff and wipe a tear away....
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:26 PM
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325w,

You're a cop, raid his house!!

Just kidding. There's lots of M686's out there so you will be able to find one again.

I have four M586's but am debating the desire for a M686. Either a 4 inch or 3 inch. Someday.

I have become lazy and just see the ease of cleaning and using stainless handguns as a big plus.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:38 PM
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I can't imagine that galling was ever a problem in Smith revolvers. This was a semi-auto pistol issue until the right SS alloy mix was discerned by most major pistol manufacturers by the mid 80's. Galling was only an issue on the slide/frame surfaces of auto-pistols, not revolvers. Most of your "action" parts on a SS Smith revolver are not SS. These guns tune every bit as well as any "blued" steel version. In fact, most of these parts are exactly the same for both the SS and blued versions.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:24 PM
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In 1985 a small amount of incorrect stainless material was shipped to S&W and used in the SS cylinders of Large frame models,(approx 500 units) this is why you see the red letter"C" stamped on the label for 624 and 629 models from that era.This stamp shows that the cylinder was magnafluxed and found to be OK.There is a FAQ on the forum about this event.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:37 PM
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It used to be that stainless steel had a slightly higher tendency to tear when machined than it's carbon steel counterparts and that led to actions being slightly rougher on average right out of the box. They did smooth out nicely with use just as carbon steel also does. Tooling today is so much better now than 30+ years ago that the problem literally is a thing of the past and, in actual use, it was never a big deal to begin with.



Bruce
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:57 PM
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I have all stainless Smiths. I have had blued smiths too. I prefer the stainless one, just my preference.

My 627-0 model of 1989 is almost as smooth as my RM I had. Nothing has beat that RM to date. My 629-3 is just sweet it is so smooth I can shoot it DA and do well with it.

John
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617, 624, 625jm, 627, 629, 681, 686, colt, ejector, glock, m686, model 28, model 60, model 686, redhawk, ruger, s&w, skeeter, skelton

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