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Old 09-27-2010, 08:10 PM
bodyarmorguy bodyarmorguy is offline
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Friday night we were running a Corrections Class through night fire quaification. Corrections is required to shoot .38 Special revolvers and the academy uses S&W Model 67's. These guns are new, with no more than 800 rounds through any one gun.

A student, who has consistently been a good shooter, was all over the target. Inspection of his revolver revealed that the barrel was missing....yes, missing. It was recovered on the ground where he was shooting from. The barrel separated at the threads halfway down the forcing cone.

At that same time, a second cadet was complaining that he could barely pull the trigger on his. Inspection revealed that the same thing had happened but the barrel had not yet fallen off. It was separated and was creating pressure between the forcing cone and cylinder.

The ammo being used is Mag-Tech 158 grain round nose standard pressure. The barrels of the revolvers are marked .38 Special +P.

All guns were pulled from the line and are being inspected this week along with a phone call to S&W.

Has anyone seen anything similar?



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Old 09-27-2010, 08:17 PM
tekarra tekarra is offline
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That is interesting. Do you a photo of the fracture surface? I bet S&W would be anxious to have those two back for an analysis.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:27 PM
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This is the best pic that I have of the surface right now. And S&W will be getting the entire lot of guns back, not just those 2....24 I believe.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:30 PM
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Excellent time to get the guys into autos.... and I bet S&W will be willing to cut a good deal!
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:33 PM
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Happened to NC Parole & Probation Model 65 with two piece barrels a few years back. Do these have them? I know S&W is no longer making two piece barrels.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:34 PM
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Yeah, unfortunately DOC mandates revolvers for corrections statewide, while we run the law enforcement cadets with 9mm Glocks.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:36 PM
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Happened to NC Parole & Probation Model 65 with two piece barrels a few years back. Do these have them? I know S&W is no longer making two piece barrels.
I will check.....however, I do know that these guns were just received from Smith in the last 3 or 4 months.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:39 PM
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Yup, those old fashioned pinned barrels were just a waste of money.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:39 PM
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Pretty neat that Corrections still uses wheelguns! Any particular reason why?

I am also curious if these were 2-piece barrels.

Thank God no one was hurt, that could have been catastrophic. My question is how do you shoot a revolver after the barrel has fallen off and not notice it

Looks like all the guns came from a bad lot, pretty discouraging that two guns that could have been used to save someone's life would fail like that. If I were shooting a S&W and the barrel fell off, it would take a LOT to restore my faith in S&W.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:45 PM
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I was working for NC Probation and Parole when this happened. Here Prisons got new 4" 64s and P&P got 3" 64s, issued and qualification ammunition was 125 grain SJHP(+P) from one of the big manufactures, depending on low bid. We had problems with barrels coming off, internal lock malfunctions, and misfires. S&W quietly took back all the new revolvers and traded them equally for new M&P40s with night sights and 3 magazines.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:46 PM
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Do you suppose that he or someone on the range would have noticed that he didn't have a barrel on the revolver? DUH! Sorry but it sounded from the post that he was all over he paper as if he shot it for a while. I suppose that almost anything can fail and does but this sounds a little strange.

Tom
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:49 PM
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There were some photos on the forum of the two-piece barrel failures if anybody wants to dig for them. Please keep us posted on how S&W responds.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:51 PM
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I like the idea of revolvers still being issued as duty guns.....has the Corrections dept. considered switching to Ruger GP-100's?
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:56 PM
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Wow, never saw that before.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:59 PM
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Well that's about as bad as it gets. Never thought I'd see the day when the barrel blows off of a 'quality' revolver. What have we come to?

Is nothing sacred?
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:27 PM
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This has got to be an incredible failure of QC by S&W. I have a 67 that I regard as a "go to" revolver, have fired just about every +P round there is through it(and mine does not have a "+P" marked barrel.

I am interested to note IL failures here. Myabe S&W should not place the IL on LE weapons.....................
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:37 PM
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I may be mistaken, but the newest two peice barrel 67s are the dash 6 models - Craig Buckland is using them to dominate the SSR division in IDPA. S&W has gone back to the one piece barrel this past summer and I think those are dash 7s. The revo pictured with the failure is a dash 5 - could it be that S&W is trying to recycle some of thier old stock? Those guns may be new to the users, but they aren't current manufacture.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:56 PM
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That is unacceptable coming form a quality gun maker like S&W. Heck, that’s unacceptable coming form any gun manufacturer. From the photos it looks like metal fatigue and failure, but after only 800 rounds? It would be interesting to see a metallurgist report on those broken guns.

Last edited by Kelly Green; 09-27-2010 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:03 PM
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More that likely they were just using up some old frames they had in the warehouse. After all S&W does have a rather long history of releasing serial numbers out of sequence.

BTW, for those blaming the 2 piece barrels for this failure, look closely, that's a heavy profile one piece barrel that came apart. If I'm not mistaken the 2 piece barrels used the same half lug shroud as the 620 that covered the ejector rod and keyed into the frame. They also failed in an area which is typical for a failure of the one piece barrels, normal mode of failure for the 2 piece barrels is at the cap on the muzzle end.

Possible causes that may be at work. One is that some assembler got really stupid when tightening the barrel down. However I would expect a failure due to overtorquing to cause a failure at the transition between the extension and the barrel body, not within the threads. Second is that the mating face of the frame wasn't perpendicular to the bore for the barrel extension. This could cause a failure such as seen here. Basically tightening the barrel would impose a bending moment on the extension and depending on the strain path it could cause a failure at the point shown. Personally, that's what I suspect to be the cause in this case, it's a rather odd location for that failure. Finally it could be due to bad metalurgy, either improper grain structure or an alloy that didn't meet the specification.

If this failure is even a bit widespread I expect we will be seeing another recall. Especially if the cause is due to poor metalurgy. If S&W follows normal industry practice, they rely on their supplier providing material that meets specification and is certified to that specification. This means they don't have to pay to equip and maintain a metalurgy lab, they pay a bit extra to have the supplier carry that cost. It also means that the supplier will have to pay for the full cost of any recall that can be attributed to material that doesn't meet the specifications. BTW, you can bet that these barrels will be subjected to lots of testing at an independent lab, a quality manufacturer like S&W gets VERY VERY upset when a supplier screws up like this. I also suspect those frames will be gone over with a fine tooth comb and that things will get VERY tense in the QC areas.

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Old 09-27-2010, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshal tom View Post
Do you suppose that he or someone on the range would have noticed that he didn't have a barrel on the revolver? DUH! Sorry but it sounded from the post that he was all over he paper as if he shot it for a while. I suppose that almost anything can fail and does but this sounds a little strange.

Tom
The corrections recruits shoot two stages from the 7 yeard line at night. One stage is 3 strings of 6 rounds each utilizing a handheld flashlight. The second is a repeat of the first stage however no handheld flashlight, only whatever ambient moonlight is available. On that particular night it was very dark, just enough light to be able to see the target, however the recruits are essentially point shooting so there is no visualizing the front sight, hence he did not notice the missing barrel. Cadet to RO's ratio is 6:1
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:27 PM
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This is a totally worthless reply, but all I can say when I see something like this is. . .

. . .for cryin' out loud.

Andy
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:31 PM
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I have been shooting Smith and Wesson revolvers for over 30 years. I have never, until recently, heard of one breaking off like that. I have heard about, though never seen, the non pinned versions occassionally unscrewing themselves, but, nothing like this.

Really, its one of the most simple parts of a revolver. Its a screw and a thread...they got it right for over 100 years and now, its a part that has problems? Really? How does that happen?
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter123 View Post
BTW, you can bet that these barrels will be subjected to lots of testing at an independent lab, a quality manufacturer like S&W gets VERY VERY upset when a supplier screws up like this. I also suspect those frames will be gone over with a fine tooth comb and that things will get VERY tense in the QC areas.
I wish that were the case, but honestly I get the impression that S&W doesn't care about quality as much anymore. Look at some of the guns coming out of their shop these days. I bet they replace the lot of revolvers and that's it.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:48 PM
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Sgt, it's been happening for 100 years if the stories I've heard from some old timers chewing the fat at shooting ranges are to be believed. I once had a Columbus Ohio Cop back in the 70's tell me that he'd once broken the barrel off a model 19 over the head of a drunk, which was why his current gun had a brass butt plate on it. Of course, some of those range tales have to be taken with an understanding that there may be a "bit" of exageration going on.

The reason why we all hear about it now is simply due to the internet. Basically, stuff happens, it always has and always will.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:48 AM
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Thanks for posting this. Perhaps we all should closely examine our stainless barreled S&W's? Better safe then sorry here. Kyle
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:19 AM
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We had SW range guns send their barrels downrange but they were .357 and pretty well used.
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodyarmorguy View Post
Friday night we were running a Corrections Class through night fire quaification. Corrections is required to shoot .38 Special revolvers and the academy uses S&W Model 67's. These guns are new, with no more than 800 rounds through any one gun.

A student, who has consistently been a good shooter, was all over the target. Inspection of his revolver revealed that the barrel was missing....yes, missing. It was recovered on the ground where he was shooting from. The barrel separated at the threads halfway down the forcing cone.
This is why I never recommend anybody try to change a barrel for different length: it's so easy to stress the frame and weaken it when torquing the barrel. Pretty much inexcusable for the factory, but when you fire the gunsmiths and hire min wage monkeys....
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:22 AM
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I wish that were the case, but honestly I get the impression that S&W doesn't care about quality as much anymore. Look at some of the guns coming out of their shop these days. I bet they replace the lot of revolvers and that's it.
SW is extremely concerned about finding the defects in their guns... however, they now use their customers to locate them.
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Sgt 127 View Post

Really, its one of the most simple parts of a revolver. Its a screw and a thread...they got it right for over 100 years and now, its a part that has problems? Really? How does that happen?
It has to be torqued in to crush the washer and end up exactly where it should be vertical. Doing it right means shaving the end of the barrel fit surface until it's just right.... doing it lazy means getting a bigger wrench and cranking until the front sight points up.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:27 AM
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This thread is really food for thought. Over the last year I've been transitioning from semi's over to my 686's for concealed carry, just for the extra reliablity I feel they could provide in certain circumstances. Things like close contact where you might not be able to pull a semi-auto back enough to make sure the slide is in battery, i.e. something like a wrestling match.

For some I know my concerns aren't an issue since they claim that I'm a fool for thinking that if I'm theatened by an unarmed person I'll try my best to deal with it the old school way (leave, talk, fists etc.) before drawing my weapon. They tend to shrug off my "The force needs to match the threat" line I give them feeling that if they are threatened, in any way whatsoever, then it's time to clear leather.

I always leave them with, "Let's just hope you don't come across someone like the Valedictorian of your local High School with no priors who just happens to be acting like an idiot that day and you shoot him and then you have no witnesses that will back up your claims that he was a deadly threat."

When it comes to life & death you better be about as sure as a person can be on each & every aspect, especially your weapon's reliability.............
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:14 AM
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I read on the Net that the Hong Kong cops sent back some for the same reason. Don't know if its true.

Some Ruger Redhawk barrels also came off, and it was traced to leaving some manufacturing liquid on barrels over the weekend, I think. Whatever that was, it weakened the steel.


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Old 09-28-2010, 11:38 AM
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I have been working on a project gun of mine for quite a while....It's a 686-4 2.5 inch. It has been dished for moonclips, I bobbed the hammer, put those sexy Nill grips on it, did an action job, and then installed a C&S fixed rear sight......this is when all the trouble started for me. Since the 686 has the RR front sight, I had no way of adjusting the POI, so I had the front sight dovetailed and had a tritium 1911 sight installed. Thinking that would fix the problem I was really dissapointed that I could not even get the gun to hit my target from 15 yards (the front sight was almost hanging off the dovetail, it looked terrible!).....so back to the drawing board. As it turns out, the barrel needed to be turned to the right a few thousandths.....however this barrel was already severely over torqued from the factory. The barrel was put on a lathe and just turned by hand (no need to turn the lathe on and take too much off the shoulder)......this finally corrected the problem and had I done this at first the RR sight might have worked, but as it turned out I love the tritium front sight and this gun has turned out to be a favorite. I have another 686-4 2.5 inch that I am wanting to convert to a 3 incher......and I'm sure the barrel is probably not aligned or over torqued on this one as well......
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:21 PM
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OP contact S&W. After they deny any problem, blame your maintenance and then blame your ammo, they will quietly exchange your 67's for free M&P pistols.

Thats what they did here. Then S&W will issue a press release announcing your agencies "adoption" of the new M&P pistol!

S&W's QC/QA may not be worth anything, but their PR folks are top notch. Regards 18DAI.
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:06 PM
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It has to be torqued in to crush the washer and end up exactly where it should be vertical. Doing it right means shaving the end of the barrel fit surface until it's just right.... doing it lazy means getting a bigger wrench and cranking until the front sight points up.
When did they start using a washer?
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:16 PM
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OP contact S&W. After they deny any problem, blame your maintenance and then blame your ammo, they will quietly exchange your 67's for free M&P pistols.

Thats what they did here. Then S&W will issue a press release announcing your agencies "adoption" of the new M&P pistol!

S&W's QC/QA may not be worth anything, but their PR folks are top notch. Regards 18DAI.
Why not switch them for more 64's/67's since that's what the law requires.
Maybe it's time they try a Taurus or Rugers? Can't possibly be worse.
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:28 PM
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When did they start using a washer?
I thought there was some kind of washer in there. maybe not, that's what I thought.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bodyarmorguy View Post
The corrections recruits shoot two stages from the 7 yeard line at night. One stage is 3 strings of 6 rounds each utilizing a handheld flashlight. The second is a repeat of the first stage however no handheld flashlight, only whatever ambient moonlight is available. On that particular night it was very dark, just enough light to be able to see the target, however the recruits are essentially point shooting so there is no visualizing the front sight, hence he did not notice the missing barrel. Cadet to RO's ratio is 6:1
You corrections guys do it differently than LE. I finished my firearms block about a month and a half ago. IIRC, we fired 3x 2-shot strings in ambient light followed by 2x 3-shot strings and one 6-shot string.Then we did the same thing with flashlights, all at 7 yards. I lost one point in the night shoot and that was the only point I lost all day between the 2 handgun relays, the nighttime handgun relay and the shotgun relay. The funny part is the point I lost was during the 6 shot string with a flashlight... I was trying to use the sights as they told us. I should have stuck to point shooting. Oh well, I still won top gun by a wide margin.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:55 PM
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Same course....I just didn't break it down by each string. I do the firearms blocks for both LE and Corrections.
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  #39  
Old 09-28-2010, 07:29 PM
handgunner356 handgunner356 is offline
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When he lost his barrel I would have thought the change in recoil and muzzle flash would have been a hint that something was outta whack. I'd put money on the over torqued theory.
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  #40  
Old 09-28-2010, 07:59 PM
Speedo2 Speedo2 is offline
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The failure appears to me to have been in the barrel threads; looks like a standard threaded barrel attachment, rather than the 2-piece design. The fracture surface appears to be brittle, and because the guns were fairly new, fatigue is unlikely. Just a guess on my part, but I'd suspect intergranular stress corrosion cracking. Maybe some bad 400 series stainless, or perhaps some improper thread sealant was applied. Looks like a job for a good metallurgist. Regardless, glad that nobody was hurt and that the failures didn't occur during a more critical event. Very bad PR for our favorite gun company; I hope that you get a satisfactory explanation and that you can share it with us. Thanks for posting. -S2
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  #41  
Old 09-28-2010, 08:06 PM
FHRZR1 FHRZR1 is offline
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Two new S&W Model 67. Less than 800 rounds.
Firing line, night fire. At the same time, two barrels fail.
One flies off the gun and the other is angled downwards.
What is wrong with S&W.
It is not the first time this has happen.
In 2008, I had 4 Model 64's loose their barrels during firing.
They just broke right off.

S&W quality is down, way down.
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  #42  
Old 09-28-2010, 08:46 PM
stantheman86 stantheman86 is offline
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I once talked with a guy who said new S&W's were nothing more than overpriced American made Taurus........maybe there was some truth to it after all!
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  #43  
Old 09-28-2010, 08:52 PM
Harrison Harrison is offline
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Unfortunately the alternative is buy something made in Brazil or made in Turkey :-(
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  #44  
Old 09-28-2010, 09:31 PM
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I had this happen to me about 20 yrs ago, with model 64. Actually showed up late for range at Ohio Dept of Rehabilitation & Correction. Picked up the last weapon on the table and fired 1 round at 25 yds. Did not fire a second as I could not find the front sight. The the guys in the next lanes started yelling at me to not fire. They saw the barrel go down range about 5 yds. I sheared off right in front of the yoak. The institution sent all the weapons (about 60) back to S&W for inspection and repair if necessary. Smith did replace the barrel for no cost.
These weapons were about 5 yrs old at the time. With probably several thousand rounds through them.
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  #45  
Old 09-28-2010, 09:34 PM
John Brown John Brown is offline
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Maybe it was MIM.
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  #46  
Old 09-28-2010, 11:01 PM
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First thing, that not a two piece barrel, second it was over tighen or 125 gr +P has been in it. That +p is the same as a 357 in most ways. S&W will fix it, but to them it will be another fix, nothing else.
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  #47  
Old 09-28-2010, 11:16 PM
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Andy Griffith Andy Griffith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodyarmorguy View Post

A student, who has consistently been a good shooter, was all over the target. Inspection of his revolver revealed that the barrel was missing....yes, missing.
Well, at least now we know that even without a barrel a target can still be hit...somewhere. I always did wonder if a bullet out of a chamber would even hit a target at five yards- that is very, very interesting on it's own.
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  #48  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Griffith View Post
Well, at least now we know that even without a barrel a target can still be hit...somewhere. I always did wonder if a bullet out of a chamber would even hit a target at five yards- that is very, very interesting on it's own.
That is what I'm thinking-How many rounds did he fire before realizing the barrel was missing??? I'm hoping it wasn't more than 6
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  #49  
Old 09-29-2010, 09:43 AM
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Wonder what the sight picture looked like with no barrel?
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  #50  
Old 09-29-2010, 09:50 AM
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I find all this very disturbing. Hey Smith & Wesson, are you listening? This is absolutely despicable.
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