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  #51  
Old 03-17-2016, 03:56 PM
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As some of you may have read, I am on a search for a new Model 617 & Model 29 Classic. For at least the past 6 months, none have been found in the metro Phoenix area. So, the chance of having to order online (if I can find them) is probably the only way that I will be able to get one within the coming year.

My biggest concern in ordering online (i.e., not physically inspecting the gun before I buy it) is getting one that has a canted barrel - see a lot of complaints about this, both with Ruger & S&W. In fact, one of my Ruger GP100s has about a 1-degree cant (over-clocked) on it.

I was in an LGS yesterday and asked to see a new Model 629. Sales person handed it to me and sure enough, there was about a 1 to 2 -degree cant in the barrel.

So, for you guys that have recently bought new S&W revolvers, what kind of luck have you had in getting a barrel that is not either over or under clocked? I am trying to figure out what the chances are of getting a canted barrel on a new gun, maybe 30 to 50%? Too bad that we have to be concerned about a QC issue like this on a new gun.
I think the clocked barrel is a pretty common defect but not the only one I have seen frequently. The last gun I "ordered" was a PC 627 where I stupidly thought the quality should be OK since it came from the PC. It had so many defects I had to work on it a couple of weeks before it was even shootable. I will never buy another new SW but I would certainly not order one where you are stuck with whatever shows up.
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  #52  
Old 03-17-2016, 05:37 PM
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A couple of months ago, it took going to 3 different shops before I found an M69 that didn't have an issue with either a canted front sight or a loose lock up with the new style detent lock on the yoke.

Prior to that, I bought a 625-8 JM, it had a canted front sight due to barrel over tightening that I did not notice. I had on a pair of single focus "computer" glasses (I normally wear bi-focal) that I had made up specially just for the focal length of looking at computer screens, and I couldn't see how the front sight blade was tilted to the left when looking at it through the rear sight slot.

I bought a Hi-Viz front sight because I didn't care for the gold bead, and it had an issue tilting in the other direction... between the two defects, they ended up canceling each other out and it now has a "normal" sight picture, you can read what I posted about it
here

My LGS has gotten in more S&W revolvers, some are PC models, and this current bunch of about a dozen, it looks to be better, out of the 3 or 4 that I looked at, not a canted barrel to be found and quality was pretty good overall.
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  #53  
Old 03-17-2016, 05:39 PM
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I think the clocked barrel is a pretty common defect but not the only one I have seen frequently. The last gun I "ordered" was a PC 627 where I stupidly thought the quality should be OK since it came from the PC. It had so many defects I had to work on it a couple of weeks before it was even shootable. I will never buy another new SW but I would certainly not order one where you are stuck with whatever shows up.
Very unfortunate that the large demand for guns has caused the manufacturers to lower their QC standards to the level that we are seeing.

There are several new guns that I would love to buy, but they are only available online, not locally. However, I am not willingly to "roll the dice" on an online purchase anymore and then have the hassle of dealing with what comes out of the box.
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  #54  
Old 08-26-2016, 08:43 PM
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I just bought a 29-10 from Davidsons and when I got home I noticed the barrel was under clocked as the barrel is canted to the right so I called S&W and was told this is the way they are made now and to just adjust the sight and I said no way that I wanted a shipping label it took 3 days for the label to come and I have sent the 29-10 there way. I just hope she comes back with the front sight at 12 o clock.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:17 PM
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I can't believe that the S&W Customer Service reps are giving people that line of BS. As far as I know these guns are not sighted in at the factory, they are only test-fired in a machine to test for safe function. So there is no way that the factory is making that kind of adjustment to get POA to match POI. If they had to sight in every gun at the factory, and then make adjustments, their production rate would fall and the cost per gun would rise.

Furthermore, guns with adjustable rear sights often come out of the box with the rear sight adjusted far left or right. I inquired about that and was told that is the way the sights often come from the sight manufacturer - the gun manufacturer just screws them on the frame and ships the gun that way, again, there is no sighting in at the factory. So, the first thing to do when you get a new gun out of the box is to center the rear sight and make some test shots, from a rest, and then adjust the rear sight as required. In my opinion the "intentional" canted barrel excuse at the factory is BS.
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  #56  
Old 08-27-2016, 02:20 AM
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I bought a new 625 Performance Center a few months ago & checked the barrel to see if it was canted first. It appeared to be slightly under-clocked so I figured no problem. Wrong. I have to adjust the windage all the way to the right to center the POI.

It's sad S&W can't take a minute longer to check the alignment before passing it on to the next assembly station. You'd think they'd invest in a modern system that tightens & aligns it considering all the returns they must get.

The two & three piece barrel guns don't have canted barrels because the shroud is indexed/notched to the frame, so you can buy one of those with confidence.

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  #57  
Old 08-27-2016, 05:32 PM
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I've owned way over 100 guns in my life(am 62)and still have 51 of them.Aprox 50% of them were(are) S&W handguns.I still have the 2 that have such a problem;a model 28 circa 1990 and a model 17 bought in '78.Quick maths: aprox 50S&W and 2 problems=4%quality control issues.As much as I like S&W handguns,that is way too much(when I was working as a national sales director,I'd keep harassing production VPs that accepted quality standards were around .5 of 1%malfunction).
But then,one must look at the cold facts;if I span that 4% over 40 years of buying their products,it comes down to .1 of 1%.
I guess if I'd be national sales director at S&W,I'd have to either change my tune or stiffel!Yes,I'll continue buying their products;still very good value for the price.
But I must add I understand you unlucky guys with such problems!That's where S&W must step in with an excellent aftresale service.And the real question is:are they?
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  #58  
Old 08-27-2016, 11:28 PM
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Dang. I must be lucky -- every S&W revolver I've bought is essentially perfect, including the recently purchased 686-8 with 3" barrel.

I replaced the front sight with a .280 Trijicon white (night sight) dot. The old (black post, red insert) sight was dead-on accurate but the new white dot is a bit easier to see and is perfect too.

And tonight, shooting Hornady 125 grain JHP .357 rounds -- rated at 1500 fps -- was magic. Easily controllable, stout but not painful, and overall just fantastic. This is a round that I think would accomplish most of what you can expect from a self-defense round.

I read enough of these posts to believe that S&W must be letting some guns through with serious defects, particularly the clocked barrel. I may actually be running a greater risk of this because I tend to buy from Bud's, via the internet, so I don't get to inspect the gun first -- although I've never had a problem. But a certain percentage of S&W revolver buyers will have to send their new purchases back to Springfield, Mass for repairs -- which isn't right.
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  #59  
Old 08-27-2016, 11:46 PM
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.....it is still done this way. On the last station of assembly, the gun comes with the barrel torqued. The guy puts the gun in a gun vise and with a padded wrench tightens the barrel to it's 'final' position. No indexing, all done by eyeball. If that last guy's eyeball is not so good, the barrel is off. As far as I know there is no 'inspection' after this. They test fire it and ship it.
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:20 AM
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I guess I got pretty lucky... in that regard. My new 686+ Talo has a perfectly indexed barrel. Unfortunately, the gun suffers from light strikes and cylinder binding. As such, it's currently back at the mothership.
Come on S&W!!! We spend our hard earned cash on these guns and expect to get a quality product.
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  #61  
Old 09-30-2016, 02:29 PM
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I got a 686+ 2.5" last month from Buds. I just took it to the range yesterday for the first time. The first thing I noticed was that the rear sight was adjusted all the way to the left so I centered it. I then noticed that the front sight was tilting to the right when lined up with the rear sight which was level and parallel to the ground.
At 15 yards, my first shots were off paper by 15" left! I adjusted my rear sight to the right but was only able to bring the group to within 5" to the 8" shoot-n-see! Very disappointed. I've looked up the "canted" barrel issue on the Youtube and heard some real horror stories about S&W CS. I'm think I'll send it back to Smith for warranty. Funny thing, my blue box has a label on it that reads: "SHP: 8/11" If this is the month and year it was shipped from Smith, why would I be getting a new gun that is over 5 years old? Can anyone here tell me when the gun was made from the serial #?
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:50 AM
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  #63  
Old 10-02-2016, 01:26 AM
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Its not just canted barrels- you are just likely to get a new gun with grossly excessive cylinder gap. Some examples I have seen measure out to .015"- that works real well with .357 or .44 magnum.
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:06 AM
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...my blue box has a label on it that reads: "SHP: 8/11" If this is the month and year it was shipped from Smith, why would I be getting a new gun that is over 5 years old? Can anyone here tell me when the gun was made from the serial #?
The current labels on new guns have the date (mmddyy) printed on the factory label, by itself with no other verbage by it. Older guns had a Spec. Order number (yddd=year & Julian date) on the label that was it's date..

If it was had before they stopped (early this year) putting the fired case envelope in the box, it will have the date on the envelope. That's the best way to find the date.

Post a picture of the box's label if you're not sure.

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  #65  
Old 10-02-2016, 03:19 AM
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The two & three piece barrel guns don't have canted barrels because the shroud is indexed/notched to the frame, so you can buy one of those with confidence. .
Since this post I've gotten a 325TR. Oddly the front sight is no true vertical, when looking at it thru the rear sight notch, & I've had to crank the windage to the right to center my groups. Don't know what's going on with it. Can't see any cant at the barrel-frame junction but something's off. I have half a dozen two & three piece barrel guns & also just got a 327TRR8 & they're fine. I wonder if the front sight's blade slot was not cut true vertical? Humm..

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Old 10-02-2016, 11:18 AM
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The current labels on new guns have the date (mmddyy) printed on the factory label, by itself with no other verbage by it. Older guns had a Spec. Order number (yddd=year & Julian date) on the label that was it's date..

If it was had before they stopped (early this year) putting the fired case envelope in the box, it will have the date on the envelope. That's the best way to find the date.

Post a picture of the box's label if you're not sure.

.
Thanks Bluedot37. I checked as you suggested and found the date on the long label. 061516.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:46 AM
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Figured I'd add a non-cant post, yesterday I picked up a Talo 686-6 with a born on date of 29 Aug 2016. Ordered from Bud's.

Barrel's perfectly aligned, no scuffs or marks on the revolver.

Other than an overly heavy trigger pull (she'll get new springs anyway) it seems to be very well done.

Must be a Tuesday gun.

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Old 10-13-2016, 11:09 AM
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Wow, 5-degrees is hard to believe. I was able to get a decent measurement on my Ruger GP100 and it is right at 1-degree and it is visually noticeable - although I did not catch it when I bought the gun, was not familiar with canted barrels at that time. However, the sight picture does not look bad, i.e., the front sight blade looks pretty near vertical in the fixed rear sight notch, but you can see just a little bit of overclock where the barrel meets the frame.

A 5-degree cant would be gross looking - hard to believe something that bad would get past QC.

Due to the lack of inventory locally, I will probably end up rolling the dice and order one from Buds or Davidsons (when & if they become available) and see what it looks like before accepting it. They both have return policies where they pay shipping back to them if you find a defect upon delivery.
I hope I'm wrong. I don't remember where I read that. As far as a "barrel torquing machine" goes, they torque the barrel and then a guy with a padded monkey wrench puts the gun in a vice to eyeball the sight which is the last step in the assembly. At least that's what they showed in their video.

Personally, I've had no problems with sights, but hearing about so many complaints from my favorite manufacturer, with a LONG reputation for quality, would let that out of the factory.

I believe I understand their QC problem. Their QC looks at it and makes it has a barrel and trigger and what not. If a gun leaves the factory and doesn't come back then it's a good gun. But the CUSTOMER has to act like QC and decide whether or not it's acceptable. To their credit, they do pay for the shipping and turnaround is pretty quick on warranty jobs.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:22 PM
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Currently at the factory. 442 purchased new just last month 12/16. I feel dumb for missing this in the store but I just wasn't expecting it.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:34 PM
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In addition, some people are prone to complain about every little machine mark, every tiny "imperfection" and yet they want to pay "Chevrolet" price for "Rolls-Royce" attention to detail. S&Ws are mass produced, not hand built. If you want hand built, go buy a Korth with your $3,995.00, if you are happy with their base model. If not, $6,258.00 will buy the top of the line Korth.*
Nope, not the sollution. One of my LGS's had to send back a brand new Korth for being out of time. That gun was almost $7k. There will simply always be flaws in manufacturing no matter the manufacture practice.

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Old 01-10-2017, 06:16 PM
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My new 637-2 does not appear to have a canted or misaligned barrel or sight, but at 5 yards it is 6" right and 6" high and it is not my shooting or my loads. Same results for a friend who tried it at the same time (who is a good shot with a snubbie) and the same loads have printed on POA for 3 other .38's, two of which are snubbies.
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:30 PM
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Currently at the factory. 442 purchased new just last month 12/16. I feel dumb for missing this in the store but I just wasn't expecting it.
That is unfortunate. I just got one on a warranty replacement straight out of the factory. Label on the box says 12/22/2016. Perfectly aligned, but I did look before I left my LGS with it . . .
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:45 PM
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As long as we keep buying they have no reason to tighten there Q.C. as do any of the other manufacturers. This is what it's come to?? Very sad.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:37 PM
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That is unfortunate. I just got one on a warranty replacement straight out of the factory. Label on the box says 12/22/2016. Perfectly aligned, but I did look before I left my LGS with it . . .
This is my first s&w revolver. It's definitely not turned me off to them though. Every other s&w pistol I've had has been exceptional. But I'll definitely look down the barrel next time i'm in the market for a s&w revolver!
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Diesel Kilgore View Post
This is my first s&w revolver. It's definitely not turned me off to them though. Every other s&w pistol I've had has been exceptional. But I'll definitely look down the barrel next time i'm in the market for a s&w revolver!
Just one of the many things you should check, kinda like buying anything, even bread (wrapper not torn, no mold, label free of anything you're allergic to, not crushed on one side, etc. . . )
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:43 PM
Jupiter01 Jupiter01 is offline
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Are S&W Canted Barrel Problems Getting Less Frequent Are S&W Canted Barrel Problems Getting Less Frequent Are S&W Canted Barrel Problems Getting Less Frequent Are S&W Canted Barrel Problems Getting Less Frequent Are S&W Canted Barrel Problems Getting Less Frequent  
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Originally Posted by BoulderTroll View Post
I agree, being told it is "in spec" is aggravating. What is even more aggravating is when the customer service rep for a major firearms company basically calls you a liar when you describe the problem with the gun.

Long story short, it sure leaves a sour taste in your mouth when a company doesn't stand behind their products.
Right! Or the Mechanic/technician (automotive) saying "Cannot duplicate the problem!"
I have had the same problem with gun manufacturers...sights off, needing to be adjusted full right to even get it on the edge of an 8" bullseye. Another time, having had a problem with a rifle, which numerous complaints had been registered, and the "Customer Service" rep told me I just didn't know how to use a bolt-action rifle!

Caveat Emptor applies for any major purchase, especially today!
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:18 PM
TonyS&W19 TonyS&W19 is offline
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Canted barrels, this is still happening. Just sent a 686-6 3inch back for a barrel issue. It was on straight when i sent it back to them, and they repaired the problem by sending me back a canted barrel. It is on it's 3rd trip to the factory to try and correct the issue. I would not buy anything online at this point that is made by S&W, without a once over by a qualified gun smith. Do a search online for defective S&W revolvers. You will get a idea of what people are going through to have there guns repaired. It's very frustrating.
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:31 PM
quickdrawjohn quickdrawjohn is offline
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im VERY put off to S&W anymore.

im a licnsed dealer, and i can say that an average of 3 out of 5 S&Ws i get in have this issue. just recently i ordered a 6" 686-6 for a LE customer of mine. got it in and we went out the the range to shoot.

this brand spanking new 686 out of the box with the rear sight cranked completely to the right STILL shot 8" to the left and WAY high.

sent it to S&W for their "911" service for LEOs. it was repaired within a couple days or so, but sat in shipping for ALMOST A MONTH until i called and pitched a fit with a manager/supervisor then it went out same day. their customer service is TERRIBLE also. I had to call several times for a manager and everytime i did i was put on hold then told "manager said they would look into it and get back to you in a couple hours" never to call back, EVER i finally go on the hone, got an operator and explained to her what was going on. she got me a manager and the gun actually went out a couple hours later and she called me back with a tracking number.

I WILL NOT carry S&W in inventory anymore and i will HIGH DISCOURAGE my customers from ordering their guns. to many issues and to many problems.too bad too, cause ive always been a die hard S&W fan. all of their older stuff i have ( 686 no dash and 586-4 among others) shoots like a laser. the new stuff? JUNK
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:04 PM
Zipdog Zipdog is offline
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Originally Posted by BSeabrooke View Post
In addition to the above responses, having purchased several (my wife says "many") firearms through the Internet, I have a few additional thoughts on this subject:

1. I am not sure whether or not the seller has an obligation to disclose this fact in the listing. However, I certainly would, and a seller certainly should. Negative feedback regarding a non-disclosed firearm defect can be a "wooden stake through the heart" for any seller. After I have completed the required documents at my LGS I have one of the most knowledgeable people there go over the firearm with me before I walk out. If not disclosed, this is another opportunity to identify this problem, if it exists. He and I identified a Model 57 with a "trigger action job" that was never disclosed. The seller allowed me to return it for a full refund.

2. If this is a risk or concern for any buyer, I would certainly make a specific inquiry of the seller about it in the "pre-bid" questions. No matter what the listing states, I always send an e-mail to the seller or call before I start bidding regarding my own "hot buttons" - 1) trigger job or action, 2) excessive barrel-cylinder gap, undisclosed mechanical issues, 3) excessive cylinder play, etc. I have several Model 25s and I always asked the sellers about the possibility of oversized cylinder throats before I bid. They never complained to me about my request. As a seller, this has never been a "PITA Issue", resolving these possible issues before a buyer bids is far better than attempting to resolve these issues post-sale.

3. Although we all have a difference of opinion regarding the responsiveness and timely resolution of warranty issues by the OEM, I believe that, for the most part, they are eventually resolved in our favor. The S&W Holding Company sales and profits are on the rise. That would not happen if it were not for us.
I don't sell firearms on any auction sites. However I do sell some things on Flea bay. When I get questions from any potential bidder that are along the lines of your questions they receive no answer and are blocked from ever being able to bid on any of my items. Reason: I don't need one, too many people glad to be able to buy whatever I am offering. I always understate the condition of my items and my feedback proves it. The guys that ask the most questions never bid.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:24 PM
Execpro Execpro is offline
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I can understand your frustration when paying $$$$ for a new revolver. With some 15 plus revolvers over the years I never considered canted bbls. as long as poa=poi. With tight lock up,no end play and good mechanical function I was good to go.

Bought a new fixed site snub that shot 2 1/2” left off a rest at 7yards and back it went to factory (canted bbl and poor bbl to frame fit). What really gets my goat is buying a new gun that is defective from the LGS and you don’t find the problem until you shoot it or get it home and give it a good cleaning and inspection. You can’t return it. Your only option is to go through the hassle of sending it back to the mother ship and HOPE they fix it right the first time.

Maybe the LGS should check out the guns they sell when they receive them and THEY send them back before putting in the gun case for sale.

Went to LGS today. 2 of 3 S&W j frame (all different models) revolvers had obvious issues that the person who buys them will probably have to send back. I pointed this out, but back to the gun case they went. Also a new Colt snub that had noticeable end play and lousy cylinder lock up for only $700.

I apologize for unloading and thank you for all comments.

Be SAFE and shoot often!

Last edited by Execpro; 06-13-2018 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:59 AM
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slabside2 slabside2 is offline
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No one‘s been harder on Smith and Wesson‘s quality control then me. People say you never hear the good things about Smith & Wesson only the bad. Well I finally got one that I didn’t have to send back. A performance center J frame with no defects...so far. I’m very pleased with it. With that said Smith and Wesson quality control still sucks as do most of the other manufacturers these days and I don’t see it getting any better. No matter what product you buy a lemon get through now and then but now and then turns into common place. Guess it’s the time we live in today.

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Old 06-13-2018, 11:04 AM
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I've seen my share of canted barrels. I've inspected a dozen new J-frames and could find only one that had a straight barrel and decent lock up and forcing cone.

My thoughts are this: back when the revolver was the only show in town, and all LEO's carried them, the wheel gun market was very competitive. Colt and S&W and Ruger all had to have their stuff together, lest the other company get a little ahead the others. Market competition bred excellence.

Today, *everyone* (except a few older gun collectors) get a polymer striker gun. All LEO'S are issued the polymer striker guns. That means, zero market pressures on any large scale. Prices can rise while quality falls.

That said, I've found that Ruger GP100's tend to be pretty well clocked at 12, and their cylinder lockup is consistently tighter than the new S&W L-frames.

I did manage to find a new 649 J-frame magnum with a perfectly 12 o clock barrel and decent lockup. I will never sell it.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:35 AM
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While the canted barrels are a definite problem, poorly cut forcing cones and barrel crowns seem to be current issues as well. I donít have either, but have observed those on this forum that did.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by epj View Post
While the canted barrels are a definite problem, poorly cut forcing cones and barrel crowns seem to be current issues as well. I donít have either, but have observed those on this forum that did.
I recently passed on a 686 4" due to a forcing cone that was not cut concentric. Viewed from the side, the f/c was clearly cut at an angle, leaving more material on the top than the bottom. I also saw a brand new 640 with a sliver of metal inside the forcing cone, blocking the bore.
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