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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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  #1  
Old 03-08-2020, 07:04 PM
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I really want a 686 competitor.

The first one I ordered had a canted barrel by at least 2 degrees.

The second one had a straight-er barrel. Do you see something off though? Not the black spot. That was dirt and oil.

Should I give up on ordering a 3rd one? hAhhhaa
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:13 PM
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Excessive gap between the back of the ejector shroud and the front surface of the frame?
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:40 PM
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May do better buying a used 686 at a pawnshop
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:42 PM
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If the gap mentioned above is what you are referring to I have seen this on guns from many decades. I don't look at it as a problem.
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:51 PM
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That just looks wrong. Too much daylight where it doesn't belong. Get an old 686 that is put together right.
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:55 PM
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i am quite new at the Smith game but I can still see something wrong with your revolver . It's in you hand and not mine . sorry I couldn't help myself . I would like to see a pic of the whole gun . thanks , kenny Mauriceville texas , USA
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Old 03-08-2020, 08:25 PM
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Seriesguy, it’s a 1400 dollar gun.

Yeah. That gap could fit your fingernail in it. I checked out their three of their other Smith and Wesson revolvers and they no gap.

But the other 3 had noticeable canted barrel with diagonal front sights.

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Old 03-08-2020, 08:53 PM
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If that gap is immaterial to the functioning of the revolver (and I think that is correct) but the mere sight of the gap bothers you, then I have a heretical suggestion: inject a little caulk deep into the gap to block the light coming through and call it a day.

S&W revolvers ain't what they used to -- and they probably never were.
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:02 PM
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If the gap bugs you then I'd just keep looking. Sooner or later you'll have to find a good one without defects.
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:15 PM
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There is a chunk of steel missing from the frame, just to the left of the serial number. It appears to have broken off. Absolutely unacceptable.
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:40 PM
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My diagnosis is "Barrel shroud gap-osis".
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Old 03-09-2020, 12:59 AM
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Rep said just buy it, smith and Wesson would fix it for me.

Forgot to mention it also had a big frame/yoke gap.

Anyways, if anyone has a straight barreled, gap free, straight shooting, 686 competitor, Iím willing to buy it at retail price.
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Old 03-09-2020, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
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Rep said just buy it, smith and Wesson would fix it for me.
I would caution you not to buy a new S&W with the understanding that the factory will 'fix' it. Chances are good that it will come back to you with new issues it didn't have before, such as finish damage. The lifetime warranty is worthless in my view because it is a gamble that depends on which tech works on it. Many of them are either unskilled or just plain careless.
Besides, a chunk of frame steel missing is not repairable. You would need a new gun.
If you aren't happy with it as it is, I'd definitely say pass.

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Old 03-09-2020, 03:33 AM
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Not trying to make things worse for you, but the barrel ejector rod relief looks off too. It seems to ride lower than the same relief on the frame.
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Old 03-09-2020, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S&W Rover View Post
S&W revolvers ain't what they used to -- and they probably never were.
Profound thought
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:08 AM
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To s&wrover,

Isnít part of having a crush fit mean the barrel and frame have to press together... so making this example half crush-fittted?
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
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To s&wrover,

Isnít part of having a crush fit mean the barrel and frame have to press together... so making this example half crush-fittted?
Only the central portion is ever "crush fit" They all have at least a small clearance cut past a certain point. The heavy underlug models are particularly noticable. This ain't nothing new. And affects function not at all. I've had a late '90s PC 627 "V8" with a compensator slot that still showed where the milling cutter broke and still have a 1994ish 629 Light Hunter PC that had an end mill break off in the extractor rod slot, leaving a nasty spot in the bottom of the groove. (There's photos in old threads.) That 629 is still fantastic, and I can't get the 627 back from the buddy who finally managed to wrangle it from me!

I'm sure I've got old P'Bucket photos of back ends of barrels not attached to frames showing the relevant area, just too much trouble to mess with that site any more.
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Old 03-09-2020, 05:05 AM
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The problem for S&W isn't that the visible gap or other non functional QC issues will cause problems; it's that the majority of potential customers think it will.
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:49 AM
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I did see a lot of older Smith and Wesson revolvers with a N frame with that gap. It is more esthetic than effect on funtion.
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:42 AM
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C'mon; let's not give S&W a pass on this. Clearly another example of poor QA/QC. This has become an all too frequent issue with most gun manufacturers, and it bothers me that folks simply excuse these thing as OK and acceptable. The old car example; if I purchased a brand new vehicle and found a dent or scratch, or poorly fitting components, would I accept it ?? Absolutely not.
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Old 03-09-2020, 08:40 AM
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As long as the barrel is not canted ( can not believe it sill happens as much as it does) and if it locks up tight, I would still buy it. I am not bothered by that gap. Have owned a few that way and it did not bother me or effect function.
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Old 03-09-2020, 08:43 AM
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I agree itís totally unacceptable, not just at this price point but at any price. Itís a new gun from one of the biggest name in the firearms business. And the silly comment from seller, buy it and S&W will fix it for you. How about you get it fixed by S&W and then Iíll buy it. And Iíve never seen such a gap on older guns.
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Old 03-09-2020, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAWF View Post
Rep said just buy it, smith and Wesson would fix it for me.

Forgot to mention it also had a big frame/yoke gap.

Anyways, if anyone has a straight barreled, gap free, straight shooting, 686 competitor, Iím willing to buy it at retail price.
That kind of comment from your rep us unacceptable. Let him get it fixed.

On a well known gun sales sight a company was selling a M41. There was a note saying the second screw on the grips was missing, but easy to pick up. I wrote to idiot selling the gun, and asked him why he did not get the screw. No answer. Another guy told me it was a simple mater to fix a gun with push off, and i should keep the gun. I told him to get it fixed, and I would take it back. never happened.

For my money and business, i would go elsewhere
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:14 AM
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What about that rear sight unit? Looks like the front end is bowed upwards, nothing to do with the downward slant of the frame. The rear sight of my new 686-6+ is nicely slotted into the top strap, not the same variation as the OP's,however.

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Old 03-09-2020, 02:34 PM
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At the price of that gun, I would expect a lot better quality control. Sad!
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:07 PM
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At the risk of beating a dead horse:
This is supposed to be a premium product, built in the much vaunted Performance Center. The supposed master gunsmiths at the PC considered this a finished product, ready for sale to a very discriminating customer who is willing to pay a premium price for this level of perfection.
S&W manufacturing seems to be completely out of control now. Their revolver designs are the best on the market (IMHO) but the actual product is completely compromised by substandard manufacturing practices. They are outsourcing many of the components without an adequate quality plan, and they are throwing them together and pushing them out the door just as fast as they can.
To be sure, they have had quality issues in the past (I have one in my safe) but not nearly at this level. Getting two misassembled revolvers in a row tells me that it is not a rarity, but a common occurrence.
Very disheartening, especially to collectors who are into the pride-of-ownership mentality. It is hard to have pride in owning a poorly made product.
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:11 PM
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I am not trying to be contrary but the complainers on here on flat out "out of line". I would take that nice 686-6 to the range and ENJOY it. You guys are just flat "looking a gift horse in the mouth"!

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Old 03-09-2020, 06:54 PM
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You are paying for something which is supposed to be above standard, not substandard.
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:54 PM
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Where is the latch for the front of the ejector rod? Is it in the shadow or not there?
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Old 03-09-2020, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
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Where is the latch for the front of the ejector rod? Is it in the shadow or not there?
Because of the special barrel configuration, the weights would be in the way. So they didn't use a traditional latch for the ejector rod. Notice that the cross pin in the barrel underlug that holds the usual latch and spring assembly is missing. Instead, they added a ball type latch on the barrel that latches into a recess in the crane. It looks like the ball type latch in the barrel coincides with the missing chip of frame metal that I mentioned earlier.
Maybe they rotated the barrel too far clockwise, and the ball put pressure on the adjacent surface on the frame. So they backed the barrel out one turn and called it good. (just a theory).
AFAIK, the front latch should still work since it latches into the crane.
And by the way, from the looks of this gun I would assume that is used, not new. Look at the black mark on the frame adjacent to the cylinder yoke pivot bore. And look at the sooting/polishing on the ejector rod.

Last edited by andyo5; 03-10-2020 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 03-10-2020, 01:21 AM
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Andyo5,

It’s being sold as a new gun.

I didn’t mention earlier it had about a 2 mm yoke/frame gap. And 2 deep scratches on the other side of the barrel.

I was about to spend 800 dollars more than a normal 686. Is it not right to expect near perfect quality?

Also, if you look closely at my picture it also appears that the barrel is shooting to the ceiling. Look at the place for the crane on the frame and look how the place for the crane on the barrel angles upward.

So it was either a 686 competitor with a badly canted barrel, or one with a frame gap + yoke/frame gap. Which would you have picked for 1400? Hahaha

I still want this model... I see some online retailers selling this model as “new”-factory repaired.

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Old 03-10-2020, 02:15 AM
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If you have significant misgivings and you haven't bought it as yet, walk away. No harm, no foul.

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Old 03-10-2020, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyo5 View Post
There is a chunk of steel missing from the frame, just to the left of the serial number. It appears to have broken off. Absolutely unacceptable.
I believe what you are seeing as a missing piece is actually a locking device for the crane.

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Old 03-10-2020, 08:56 AM
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Good grief. There's nothing wrong with the gun in the picture. Nothing. You have a non-standard PC barrel on an L-frame. The barrel doesn't match the contours of the frame, which is machined for the standard full-lugged barrel. That's why there appears to be a "gap" between the frame and the lower part of the barrel. OP says there is also a gap between the yoke and the frame. That's more of an issue than this little "gap."
You guys would've had a heart attack at the sight of some of the old PPC guns with those baseball-bat size barrels...
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Old 03-13-2020, 02:38 PM
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I've seen these sorts of threads before -- often regarding canted barrels. Opinions differ but no one is really "wrong." If perfection is important, ship it back to S&W as many times as needed to get it right (or maybe bite the bullet and take it to a really good S&W revolver gunsmith). Nothing wrong with insisting on perfection at these prices. But this means you have to have patience and the time to do it. (Not worth the effort, though, if it makes you fret).

If you can accept the flaw(s) on a gun, particularly if the price is right, then that's okay too. People who can do this are from the "life is too short" school of thinking.

Neither way of looking at it is wrong. What might be mistaken, though, is to think S&W is going to change the way they make revolvers, which is based on some old techniques and technologies (with an admixture of some newer materials and methods, where they can save money) and an indifferent workforce. The company is under heavy financial pressure again and isn't going to be able to fix any of this.

I own four S&W revolvers, all in pretty good condition. That Mdl 10-10 is holster worn (former Australian police model) but the trigger is slick and the gun looks great. The 686 3" 7 shot is a brute. The 586 PC 4" 7 shot is remarkably accurate. The 642 just slips into my pocket when needed for a run to the store. The point here is -- every one passes MY particular test for what I want in a revolver. And that's what we all should do! Get it the way it matters to you! Perfect in all regards? Then never quit until you get it that way. Willing to accept some flaws? Then shoot the snot out of it.
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Old 03-13-2020, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyo5 View Post
At the risk of beating a dead horse:
This is supposed to be a premium product, built in the much vaunted Performance Center. The supposed master gunsmiths at the PC considered this a finished product, ready for sale to a very discriminating customer who is willing to pay a premium price for this level of perfection.
S&W manufacturing seems to be completely out of control now. Their revolver designs are the best on the market (IMHO) but the actual product is completely compromised by substandard manufacturing practices. They are outsourcing many of the components without an adequate quality plan, and they are throwing them together and pushing them out the door just as fast as they can.
To be sure, they have had quality issues in the past (I have one in my safe) but not nearly at this level. Getting two misassembled revolvers in a row tells me that it is not a rarity, but a common occurrence.
Very disheartening, especially to collectors who are into the pride-of-ownership mentality. It is hard to have pride in owning a poorly made product.
The performance center label has been over sold and over stated. You would be led to believe you are getting something special. You are not. You are getting something that looks different. That's all
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Old 03-13-2020, 02:57 PM
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I believe what you are seeing as a missing piece is actually a locking device for the crane.

Kevin
StrawHat, the locking device is the spring loaded ball, which is visible in the photo. I'm talking about the frame section behind the ball in the photo.
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Old 03-15-2020, 11:09 AM
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Default 686 no dash 4inch with a canted barrel

I'm new to the forum, so forgive me if I don't know proper protocol. I recently picked up a 686 no dash with 4inch barrel that genuinely has a canted barrel. I own quite a few S&W revolvers that are great in every way and never noticed the barrel on this one having a 2-3 degree can't to the left. I took it to one of the best S&W gunsmiths in the US and he agreed that it is definitely canted to the left. We both think that when it was in the fixture for the machining operation to machine the frame to accept the barrel that there was probably a metal chip/chips from the previous frame not cleaned off the fixture properly that resulted in my frame being at an angle in the fixture, thus resulting in the barrel being at an angle. I never caught it our noticed it when I bought it. The dealer I bought it from has not been the most cooperative, so my question is this. Does anyone think I should call S&W about this even though I am not the original owner? I would appreciate any of your thoughts and opinions on this. Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2020, 11:21 AM
Babysitr Babysitr is offline
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Plinker38. first, welcome to the forum, its a great one! to answer, I would call them ASAP...I have had two dealings with them, both good...when they questioned me on one of them, I sent them good detailed pictures,and they came around quickly, made me happy..send pics.......
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Old 03-15-2020, 01:18 PM
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Your 686 no dash is decades old. So it may not even have the lifetime warranty on it.
I would caution you to take extensive photos of it before sending it in to S&W, to document its current condition. That way, if it comes back to you with finish damage (which I consider a 50% probability) you will have proof that they caused it. Frankly, I would rather have a good gunsmith work on it than the factory repair folks. Your mileage my vary.
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Old 03-15-2020, 01:42 PM
M29since14 M29since14 is offline
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...And Iíve never seen such a gap on older guns.
I have. And plenty of times. Iíll bet most of my older S&Ws have a gap there that will pass a piece of paper - maybe a dollar bill.

Really, I am not directing this comment at the OP, but I am beginning to wonder if S&W shouldnít institute a tiered price schedule. One price for the measuring-picking crowd, and a different price for shooters. Iíd guess a differential of about 3-4x should cover it.

Some of the comments Iíve seen lately are just nuts. Everyone that owns a crummy $30 electronic caliper is a manufacturing engineer, or so it seems. Itís simple, folks! If you donít like it, donít buy it.
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  #42  
Old 03-15-2020, 02:36 PM
Protocall_Design Protocall_Design is offline
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I'm new to the forum, so forgive me if I don't know proper protocol. I recently picked up a 686 no dash with 4inch barrel that genuinely has a canted barrel. I own quite a few S&W revolvers that are great in every way and never noticed the barrel on this one having a 2-3 degree can't to the left. I took it to one of the best S&W gunsmiths in the US and he agreed that it is definitely canted to the left. We both think that when it was in the fixture for the machining operation to machine the frame to accept the barrel that there was probably a metal chip/chips from the previous frame not cleaned off the fixture properly that resulted in my frame being at an angle in the fixture, thus resulting in the barrel being at an angle. I never caught it our noticed it when I bought it. The dealer I bought it from has not been the most cooperative, so my question is this. Does anyone think I should call S&W about this even though I am not the original owner? I would appreciate any of your thoughts and opinions on this. Thanks!
I have seen a few like that over the years. I know of a M29-2 right now that has the barrel off to the right and down by a couple of degrees. The evidence shows that it was made this way originally. Most likely a chip got between the frame and mill fixture when this operation was done.

The barrel hole in the frame is clearly off center to a properly timed cylinder chamber, just eyeballing with the barrel off. With the barrel on, there was no way to get a range rod to even think about crossing the cylinder gap. The frame is not bent or twisted. The threads in the frame are clean and sharp, not stripped or cross threaded.

I would contact S&W and see what they say about it.
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  #43  
Old 03-21-2020, 04:00 PM
Jimmys&w Jimmys&w is offline
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C'mon; let's not give S&W a pass on this. Clearly another example of poor QA/QC. This has become an all too frequent issue with most gun manufacturers, and it bothers me that folks simply excuse these thing as OK and acceptable. The old car example; if I purchased a brand new vehicle and found a dent or scratch, or poorly fitting components, would I accept it ?? Absolutely not.
I agree 100%

That gun does not look right and you cannot tell me that S&W couldnít trim up something... anything with the barrel to make it flush. Look we have a cylinder gap for a reason. That gap right there? I see no reason for it.
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  #44  
Old 03-21-2020, 04:07 PM
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I’d put the $1400 in a new Python instead. *gasp* yep, I said that.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:06 AM
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Iíd put the $1400 in a new Python instead. *gasp* yep, I said that.
Competition is a good thing. If the Python succeeds, it can't help but get S&W looking to beat up on Colt again. That said, I keep a couple of "old" Pythons around just to remind myself why I keep shooting S&Ws. (Final QC has been the customer's responsibility with S&W revolvers since at least the 1970s...)
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:43 AM
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All I can say is Thank God I collect older Smith & Wesson revolvers and don't have to deal with these newfangled sorts of quality control issues. I just picked up another pristine perfect 586 (No Dash) the other day. The fit and finish are flawless works of art. No "M" and I'll keep it that way rather than risk it coming back a mess.

Now, maybe long ago the original owner had to send it back to the mothership for something... who knows. Or maybe he was just lucky. But I'm too old now to deal with buying guns that need to go back for repairs right out of the box. Been there, done that and it didn't work out well. Besides, with this crazy coronavirus thang going around and given my advanced age, I could be long dead and buried by the time the gun ever gets sent back to me.
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  #47  
Old 03-26-2020, 11:54 PM
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Default Not my experience

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Originally Posted by Narragansett View Post
The performance center label has been over sold and over stated. You would be led to believe you are getting something special. You are not. You are getting something that looks different. That's all
Last year I bought a Performance Center 442. Yes it looks different. Yes there is a significant difference in the double action trigger between it and the well broken in 360J I bought a couple years before. I am sure a good gunsmith could copy the trigger. The whole package was significantly cheaper than going a full custom route.
Iím sorry the original poster is having issues with a Performance Shop item.
The problem with theses special editions is youíre unlikely to find them in a LGS. You have t order sight unseen. From a ďCustom ShopĒ they should be flawless. Iím well satisfied with mine. Mine and my familyís Smithís from the 50s though the 90s ( about 10 guns) were flawless
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:19 AM
johncantiusgarand johncantiusgarand is offline
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That gap looks intentional to me. It is better if the contact between barrel shoulder and frame is restricted to a smaller circular area rather than to have the bottom lug also tensioned against the frame, making the barrel want to spring upward. Could S&W have done better by making that clearance gap smaller? Sure, but that gap wouldn't make me fear any detriment to accuracy. Quite the contrary, since I would know that the barrel could vibrate consistently with no chance of occasional contact with the frame causing any variations, the only contact being between the yoke and that ball detent. If that gap is the sole concern of the OP, my advice would be to forget about it.
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:03 AM
rich5674 rich5674 is offline
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Default Sooo

If the barrel is not butted against the frame. MAYBE at the thread only. How tight is the barrel? Iíd be hoping for a chamfer at the frames threads to get the barrel closer. And then there is the indexing. S&W got it right for 100 years. Maybe they donít want to spend the time to get it right or have workers with the skill.
I'm understanding the sleeved barrel better now.
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  #50  
Old 03-27-2020, 06:11 AM
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Since his birthdate even .357 Magnum (i.e. pre.27) had very often (always maybe) a gap between the shroud and the frame. This is normal and S&W always said it is ok. If you want I can show it on my pre27. And we can not affirm that in that era gunsmiths didn't care about the fitting.

Please take a look here 28-2 ejector shroud gap
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