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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #51  
Old 12-16-2012, 02:07 PM
Coaltminer Coaltminer is offline
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I currently have 2 revolvers, a 581, barrel is in alignment, a 29 Classic with barrel canted left. The rear sight adjustment can compensate for it. It's a 4". Got a great trigger and timing is spot on, is very accurate. I've decided to live with it.
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  #52  
Old 12-16-2012, 02:20 PM
Camster Camster is offline
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I don't think it's "normal" but lately,it seems to be the "norm".
It's one thing to put a bit of a cant on a fixed sight model(though aren't most SAAs adjusted with a hard rap of the barrel?),but on an adjustable sight model,if it can't be dialed in with the adjustments,I see a problem with how the gun was made.
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  #53  
Old 12-16-2012, 02:22 PM
Nick B Nick B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stregavet View Post
The last date on this thread is almost a year old, but I hope those folks who have taken the time to make such ardent and spirited comments are still monitoring this issue.

My brand new 617-6 10 shot (~$800) came with a canted barrel. I shot 230 MiniMags through it but was not able to sight it in to my satisfaction - rear sight was adjusted max.

The rear sight blade was loose, it spit a lot of lead, and some extraction was difficult. I sent it back to the factory and got the following comments:

Replaced rear sight. (Yea!)
Cut forcing cone. (Probably Yea!)
Replaced cylinder. (Yea ?)
Adjusted barrel alignment. (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) Look at the photos of my newly repaired and realigned S&W revolver.

I really want to love this gun, but it is getting harder all the time. Now I have to wrangle with Customer Service again and probably listen to the "within spec" chatter that many of you have experienced. I will call Customer Service on Monday - and let you know what happens. Thanks to your comments on this forum I won't feel like the only one who will not tolerate a crooked barrel.

What has happened to American excellence in manufacture? Has the pursuit of profit eaten all of our pride?
That second pic looks good to me .
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  #54  
Old 12-16-2012, 07:15 PM
rodsvet rodsvet is offline
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Shoddy workmanship. If the barrel was machined (rifled) incorrectly, it should never have been put on the frame. On a bolt action rifle with no sights, it makes no difference, on a S&W handgun, it shouldn't be canted. There are fewer and fewer true gun craftsman every year.
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  #55  
Old 12-17-2012, 04:56 PM
Triggernosis Triggernosis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aphelion View Post
To me, a canted front sight was (and is) unacceptable. It is not a matter of "looks" or "appearance." A canted front sight has a negative effect on sight alignment and sight picture. The front sight needs to be vertical in order to have a parallel strip of light on either side of the front sight when looking through the rear. If you don't have that, precision is difficult. The top of the front sight won't be level either, and that is also a problem.

IMHO, the factory is giving the OP a snow job because they don't want to take the time and expense to do it right.
+1 on that.
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  #56  
Old 12-21-2012, 01:21 AM
Billy M. Billy M. is offline
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I also have a smith with a crooked barrel. My model 66, which I purchased new. The front sight on mine is straight up and down, however, and it SHOOTS! I have a real old (5 screw) K38 with an off set hammer and a bent firing (hammer nose) firing pin, won't shoot worth a poop. The old ones have enough hand fitting in them, if you look hard enough, there will probably be somethng wrong. My heavy barrel square butt model 10 is my second most accurate handgun, I haven't even given it a good visual critique in enough years to know its flaws, reguardless, I'll keep it.
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  #57  
Old 12-21-2012, 02:14 AM
BillyMagg BillyMagg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter123 View Post
I would advise you to spend a bit of time shooting it from a benchrest to see if the sights will zero properly.

BTW, in benchrest shooting it's best to rest your hands on a sandbag, this will allow you to nearly duplicate your recoil management when shooting offhand. In addition, any revolver with a one piece barrel should always be shot with the barrel free of any contact with a support, supporting the barrel will impede it's "ring" and just destroy group size. The only exception to this rule are the 22 caliber revolvers, the barrel is so massive in relation to the power of the caliber that it's basically inert.

If you can get the sights to zero properly, there isn't any point in sending it in, S&W will only say it's within specification and send it back to you. As for the appearance, it's a HANDGUN, not some work of Art. It's meant to fire bullets accuratey, not become some object that you spend all your time looking at.

Yeah, I find this quest for perfection a bit baffling at times. However, I suspect that somewhere out there someone is underneath their automobile waxing the exhaust system because they ran through a puddle and if they found the muffler cocked by 1/2 a degree they'd probably want to return the whole car. Bottomline, if it bother you that much, don't look at it, just go out and shoot the gun.
Detroit Auto worker Huh? Guvmint Motors? If I didn't look at my guns, I would buy Rugers,,,but my Smiths, they better be purty at the prices I pay. I did buy a 629 Classic Hunter once in an ice storm, I noticed the rear sight was canted to the right, but assumed the sight was bent? I had a 627 at home so took it anyway, should have said no. Replaced the sight still canted to the right, called Smith, oh thats not likely, OK! Sent it in, well we tried to fix it, [milled improperly], but we really messed it up, and had to replace the frame, worst crane to frame fit I have ever seen on a Smith and Wesson. It was brand spankin new, took it back to my dealer and traded for a used 29 Classic DX, it remains to this day one of the most beautifull accurate revolvers I ever owned. My shooting partner, and best friend hounded me until I traded him for a Colt Combat Commander, so if anyone has a 29 Classic DX for sale or trade pm me. I expect outstanding quality from my Smiths, yes I have been dissapointed in the last few years, but when I pick up an old Smith, hand fit by the Master Gun Smiths of the past, now that is ART WORK. That front sight is engineered to stand straight up at 0 degrees, if it doesn't thats poor "execution". If you aren't cursed with an "eye", then you won't notice it, and it will be good enough for guvment work.

Now your advice about shooting is what its all about, but we all expect better from Smith and Wesson, don't we fellas? Billy
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  #58  
Old 12-21-2012, 02:20 AM
BillyMagg BillyMagg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aphelion View Post
Canted barrels from the factory have always been present. Less years ago, then more prevalent in the 70's and later. I used to see them frequently. In every case, the rear sight had to be adjusted quite a bit to one side or the other to compensate. Usually, the barrel wasn't turned up enough, but occasionally it would be turned too far. I corrected many of them, and preferred the ones that needed to be turned up more, for several reasons. Once corrected, the rear sight could always be used near the center of the adjustment range.

To me, a canted front sight was (and is) unacceptable. It is not a matter of "looks" or "appearance." A canted front sight has a negative effect on sight alignment and sight picture. The front sight needs to be vertical in order to have a parallel strip of light on either side of the front sight when looking through the rear. If you don't have that, precision is difficult. The top of the front sight won't be level either, and that is also a problem.

IMHO, the factory is giving the OP a snow job because they don't want to take the time and expense to do it right.
"Amen"! and that all important sight picture is critical to longer range shooting, when bullet drop becomes a factor, and yes I do shoot all my handguns at over 50 yds most of the time. Billy
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  #59  
Old 12-21-2012, 12:27 PM
Magster Magster is offline
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With perfectly aligned barrel and sights, one only need be concered with bullet drop at various distances appropriate for handguns. Any cant to the barrel or sights introduces lateral indescrepances of POI at various distances. My 629 Classic 6 1/2 barrel has perfect alignment and is my primary hunting revolver. I can hit 6in. plates at a hundred yards all day as long as I have a steady rest. This gun will also shoot, with slight adjustment of vertical hold, accurately at 25, 50 or 75yds. My sights are adjusted for 50yds. I would not use this gun to hunt with if there was any misalignment. I can take deer at 100yds only because I know my revolver is spot on. The rest is up to me.

Last edited by Magster; 12-21-2012 at 12:38 PM.
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  #60  
Old 12-21-2012, 04:28 PM
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I guess i'll be looking closer at my new S&W N Frame revolvers before i purchase them. So far my 3 new ones look ok.

This tells me that the CNC machined parts won't go together without a gunsmith fitting them properly. Is the barrel off to one side or canted? If its off to one side its off the centerline of the frame too. If its canted its not fully on center too.
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  #61  
Old 12-21-2012, 05:42 PM
MXP MXP is offline
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I have one of the newest 686 (6", 6 shot). It has correct adjusted barrel. The gun shop where I got it is also a fine gun smith and he would never sell a gun with canted barrel. The guns he gets are checked and if anything wrong he sends them back to the importer. Why does your gun shops accept revolvers with canted barrel and why do you buy them? ....I assume that you check the gun before you buy it? ... I think you should return the gun to the shop and let them have the trouble by sending it to s&w for repair or they should give you a new gun.

On the 686 I have a trigger job has been done and LPA fiber sights has been mounted. The gun smith would never work on a gun with a canted barrel. My rear sight is adjusted very close to the center.
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  #62  
Old 12-23-2012, 01:11 PM
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There are some people who "DRINK THE KOOL-AID" when it comes to S+W.This Model 36 with a born on date of 6/12 had a barrel so badly canted to the right that if I had to use it at 10 feet without aiming before testing it I may be very dead today.This failed 3 points in quality testing and should have never left the factory.This is highly unacceptable when you are making a product that may be used to save the buyer's life one day.When it got sent back after this I got the letter adjusted to factory specs with vice marks on the gun.In 25 rounds it was so canted right the cylinder ejector rod could not engage the frame.They cared sooo much they just twisted the barrel back.After round 3 they "Got around " to taking off and replacing the DEFECTIVE BARREL which should have been done to ascertain if the barrel or frame threading or both were bad THE FIRST TIME.Thank God I look at the barrels of my guns instead of just shooting them and PRAY that S+W did the job right to begin with....JMHO.....Mike

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  #63  
Old 12-23-2012, 01:20 PM
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It's not getting any better. S&W burning the midnight oil right now producing nothing but M&P 15's and shields. Mostly the AR's. In anticipation of the unknown.
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  #64  
Old 06-17-2013, 06:58 PM
1869 1869 is offline
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The original design demands that the center line of the forward lock is in exact center of the ejector rod. If this is not the case the rod is in a bind and the cylinder will be pushed out of center. To ignore this when mounting a barrel is poor workmanship. I have noticed that on most post WWII guns that the front lock is poorly fitted, and exists in name only.
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  #65  
Old 08-25-2016, 09:37 PM
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I bought a S&W 29-10 and after one week took it out to the range and the barrel is canted to the right put a box of 44 magnum 240 grain loads through her and it shoots great and when I got home I called S&W about my problem and was told that a canted barrel is normal.I do not think so and she is headed back to S&W for repair and I hope to get it back fixed.
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  #66  
Old 08-25-2016, 10:02 PM
Triggernosis Triggernosis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Doug View Post
.... was told that a canted barrel is normal..
Oh really? That's the biggest crock of schit I've ever heard. S&W needs to step up their game if they are going to continue to charge premium prices for their firearms.
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  #67  
Old 08-25-2016, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn mccarver View Post
You forgot the lead babbitt way used by S&W and its armorers for decades! It is painful to watch, but really works!
I've been waiting for someone to bring that up. Smith&Wesson armorers school teaches this method and has since at least the 70's. It is not used to "turn" the barrel to align the sights as much as barrel to cylinder alignment checked with a range rod. It works!
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  #68  
Old 08-26-2016, 08:48 PM
rchrd53 rchrd53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Front Sight 357 View Post
This is all new information and very interesting.

It sounds like this could be a fix that needs to be done, or it could be just fine the way it is. It sounds like a number of folks have revolvers that are canted, and shoot just fine.

Scooter, thank you for your long response. Very informative.

Asthetically I would prefer a barrel that is exactly straight. However, it sounds like a number of revolvers out that have a canted barrel and that is not a problem so long as the revolver shoots to point of aim. And I would hate to ship it to them, and have them somehow mess it up.

Anyone have more info on how barrels are canted at the factory to adjust for windage, if it is normal?

Suggestions on what to do next...

A Leave it as is, and adjust sights for windage to shoot to point of aim, and accept that a canted barrel is okay.
B Send it back and hope they can fix it (if it is indeed broken).

And more info or ideas?

I appreicate everyone's input.

Best Regards
How do you know where the point of aim is if your sights are crooked? This is not a trivial problem. It makes aiming very difficult. It is unacceptable in my opinion. I've seen in on two Colts and probably three S&W's. It needs to be fixed if you have any sense of accuracy.
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  #69  
Old 08-26-2016, 09:00 PM
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Agree, you should ship it back to S&W and get the barrel screwed on straight. I had a Ruger GP100 that was canted maybe 2 degrees. Sent them a picture, they sent me a FedEx label 5 minutes later and I had the gun back in 9 days with a straight barrel.
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