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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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Old 05-22-2020, 06:34 PM
JayFramer JayFramer is offline
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Exclamation Yoke Gap in New J-Frames?

Iíve been in the market for a new 442 No-Lock and a few dealers in my area have actually had them in stock. What is alarming is they all have had a significant amount of yoke gap. Iím talking about this:



I have been under the impression a Smith & Wesson revolver should have a tight gap, such as this:



Is yoke gap just how these guns are made now? Does it hurt anything? Iíve read itís bad for the action but maybe it doesnít concern S&W at this point in time?

I just couldnít bring myself to buy one without consulting the forum first. Thanks all in advance,

-Jay
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:09 PM
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If the cylinder closes and functions fine, it's just not machined correctly. It doesn't look good, but is mechanically OK. I think they could do a better job if they really wanted to.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:26 PM
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How does the first one look without pressing the cylinder? The thumb on the side could be making it look like a problem.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:56 PM
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Those are example photos only.

But the three 442 I’ve examined locally all have what I have come to consider excess yoke gap. It’s frankly frustrating as I have a SWEET holster and speed strip pouch ready and waiting just SCREAMING to get stuffed with a J.
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:08 PM
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If you can close the gap with a gentle squeeze, it's a pretty easy fix, but not something you should need to do on a new gun. If you can't close it with slight pressure, it might not be reasonable to make it cosmetically correct. There's always the chance that closing the gap will hurt the alignment, but I have never encountered this. If I was looking at a used gun with a gap like the first pic, and I could close it with minor pressure, I would buy it if I could get a significant discount. I wouldn't buy a new one like that.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:20 PM
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Pull the trigger, keep it held to the rear, and then check the gap while slightly pressing on the off side of the cylinder. It's highly likely you will only see a very minimal gap, if any. I just checked several new 442's with DMH, DMW, and DML prefixes. None had a gap that I'd concern myself over.

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Old 05-23-2020, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Yoke gap

Sorry gents, but I just can't help myself on this one, gotta voice my opinion......
It's apparent that our beloved S&W factory has gone the way of everything American. From top management, through the skilled machinist, assembly worker, QA/QC, on down to the lowest paid employee, job dedication, care about product quality, and our general give a snort attitude is in the dumpster. It's who we've become.
Look around you, weed stores have been deemed not only legal, but essential to our existence. Booze shops remained open during our government controlled "lockdown". I like a drink as well as any of you, maybe even more than most, but we've gone from a patriotic, hard working, God fearing society, with high standards, to a society of folks that don't care if they even hold a job, or if they do, offer only the minimum effort to keep it. We live in Mom's spare room until we close in on forty, expect to be fed, clothed, and sheltered on Pop's dollar, and haven't the foggiest idea how the world should work, or where the money tree grows.
So, I have to ask..... wadda ya expect?
I'm gonna finish up my 80th year here real soon, and I wouldn't trade one of my great years living in, working in, and serving, this country, for the chance to be a part of this young society.
My comments are not meant to offend anyone here, or any of your kids/grandkids, it's just how I see it. Now I feel better! (for now)
Regards to all,
Bob
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:56 AM
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You say its a new gun, but it reminds me of years ago when people would load the cylinder, spin it and slam it shut they said it could spring the yoke. Thats probably would it would look like also.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:25 AM
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The only way to actually tell is to use an alignment toll. Though a range rod would give you some information. But to me its not right.

Notice that the gap is uniform width from top to bottom. Normally a yoke that is not all the way home forms a gap that is taperer tight near the pivot and widening as it goes up. Think of a circle with lines radiating from the center. I bet that even if you could press the top home there would be a gap at the bottom.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azhobo View Post
Sorry gents, but I just can't help myself on this one, gotta voice my opinion......
It's apparent that our beloved S&W factory has gone the way of everything American. From top management, through the skilled machinist, assembly worker, QA/QC, on down to the lowest paid employee, job dedication, care about product quality, and our general give a snort attitude is in the dumpster. It's who we've become.
Look around you, weed stores have been deemed not only legal, but essential to our existence. Booze shops remained open during our government controlled "lockdown". I like a drink as well as any of you, maybe even more than most, but we've gone from a patriotic, hard working, God fearing society, with high standards, to a society of folks that don't care if they even hold a job, or if they do, offer only the minimum effort to keep it. We live in Mom's spare room until we close in on forty, expect to be fed, clothed, and sheltered on Pop's dollar, and haven't the foggiest idea how the world should work, or where the money tree grows.
So, I have to ask..... wadda ya expect?
I'm gonna finish up my 80th year here real soon, and I wouldn't trade one of my great years living in, working in, and serving, this country, for the chance to be a part of this young society.
My comments are not meant to offend anyone here, or any of your kids/grandkids, it's just how I see it. Now I feel better! (for now)
Regards to all,
Bob
I applaud you Bob. What you said needed to be said. Before someone posts and calls you an old Boomer Iím sure thereís many of us who feel the same way thanks for posting.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:06 AM
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A few years back the factory eliminated individualized fitting of parts; now they just assemble the guns as the parts appear in the bins. Apparently it is a necessary cost control step, but the fit of parts seen here is a consequence.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:16 AM
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Last time I looked there are more J frames than toilet paper rolls. Find and buy one that's right. Regardless of "tolerances" or other excuses, it will bug you every time you look at it.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azhobo View Post
Sorry gents, but I just can't help myself on this one, gotta voice my opinion......
It's apparent that our beloved S&W factory has gone the way of everything American. From top management, through the skilled machinist, assembly worker, QA/QC, on down to the lowest paid employee, job dedication, care about product quality, and our general give a snort attitude is in the dumpster. It's who we've become.
Look around you, weed stores have been deemed not only legal, but essential to our existence. Booze shops remained open during our government controlled "lockdown". I like a drink as well as any of you, maybe even more than most, but we've gone from a patriotic, hard working, God fearing society, with high standards, to a society of folks that don't care if they even hold a job, or if they do, offer only the minimum effort to keep it. We live in Mom's spare room until we close in on forty, expect to be fed, clothed, and sheltered on Pop's dollar, and haven't the foggiest idea how the world should work, or where the money tree grows.
So, I have to ask..... wadda ya expect?
I'm gonna finish up my 80th year here real soon, and I wouldn't trade one of my great years living in, working in, and serving, this country, for the chance to be a part of this young society.
My comments are not meant to offend anyone here, or any of your kids/grandkids, it's just how I see it. Now I feel better! (for now)
Regards to all,
Bob
Hallelujah, brother! Amen!
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:53 AM
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Last time I looked there are more J frames than toilet paper rolls. Find and buy one that's right. Regardless of "tolerances" or other excuses, it will bug you every time you look at it.
And thatís why itís so frustrating. Iíve TRIED. All around my local area. Obviously buying online is just too risky sight unseen, and locally, every single one Iíve handled has these big gaps.
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:15 PM
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That sloppy joke gap is the reason I never bought a NIB 696, back when they cost only a few day's non union construction pay in Arizona.
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
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And thatís why itís so frustrating. Iíve TRIED. All around my local area. Obviously buying online is just too risky sight unseen, and locally, every single one Iíve handled has these big gaps.
When it comes to buying guns... if you don't inspect them with your own eyeballs , then you just buying a pig in a poke !

If S&W doesn't sell enough guns because of poor quality , fit and finish then they might change their corporate policy , which is shipping out everything , good , bad or indifferent , and letting the customer deal with the problems .

Do you know who's QC has improved greatly in the past 10 years .... Taurus . I couldn't find what I wanted in a S&W so I started looking at Taurus ... they looked and felt good ...So bought one .... not one complaint ... Happy Camper !
S&W ..Pay Attention !
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:09 PM
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I’ll be honest, guys, and PLEASE DO NOT HATE ME FOR THIS... but I ended up buying a Springfield Hellcat 9mm after having no luck finding a J-frame that would pass muster.

It’s pretty sad. I had no idea Smith & Wesson stopped fitting parts. I bought a 642 in about 2013 and it did not have a gap like any of these have had, and was a quality gun. But yeah, I sold it! :’(
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:15 PM
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Maybe this issue is why those dealers have them in stock?

You should be legal to buy something anywhere in your state, and even out of state you can have it shipped to an FFL in your state. Dealers, private parties on Armslist, gun shows that bring out lots of small dealers that may not even have storefronts... (well yeah, the plannedemic is restricting some of that now) but like I said, try looking for a certain K frame. Looking for a J frame should be ducks in a barrel.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerjf View Post
Maybe this issue is why those dealers have them in stock?

You should be legal to buy something anywhere in your state, and even out of state you can have it shipped to an FFL in your state. Dealers, private parties on Armslist, gun shows that bring out lots of small dealers that may not even have storefronts... (well yeah, the plannedemic is restricting some of that now) but like I said, try looking for a certain K frame. Looking for a J frame should be ducks in a barrel.
Getting them to inspect the guns for crane gap (even if they know what that is) might be difficult...
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:40 AM
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It seems every single one I’ve found made in the past few years has these gaps.

Just sad.

How much more are we going to accept?
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:20 AM
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Quite possible that it's "green steel" from Asia and it warped in a wet cargo hold in transit?
Sad, whether it functions or not.

Getting ready to buy a new N frame 357Mag, tool budget slowed that down a bit as did none in stock locally, and glad the factory new 460, bought from out of town, had no turn line etc etc and a warranty.

Talking with the makers of fine doubles and shotguns, decades ago, how they'd train youngsters like me to make every screw line up and about crush factor etc etc, then the kids would go out and start their own shop without paying their dues for the education.
Same conversation with the Boss at Powell Flutes in the mid-seventies.

These days I see/hear lotsa archtop guitars that sound like a cross between a light stringed Gypsy Maccaferri and a cheap Dobro.
Not even close to a guitar with some cello in it.
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerjf View Post
Last time I looked there are more J frames than toilet paper rolls. Find and buy one that's right. Regardless of "tolerances" or other excuses, it will bug you every time you look at it.
Many, many years ago, when the Model 63 first came out, I had to do that. Don't remember whether I passed up three or four, or even half a dozen. Sorry to hear that they are back at it again (or still?).
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:34 PM
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Buying a new revolver online is iffy at best. I know it gets tempting when you see the one you want online at a great price but without getting to really give it the once over in my opinion it’s not worth it. I’ve been disappointed too many times.
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:03 PM
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Buying a new revolver online is iffy at best. I know it gets tempting when you see the one you want online at a great price but without getting to really give it the once over in my opinion itís not worth it. Iíve been disappointed too many times.
True. Me too. Revolvers are not like semi-autos in this regard. No such thing as ďair gapĒ or ďend shakeĒ or ďcrane gapĒ with new autos vs new revolvers. If itís from a reputable brand and especially if itís (god forbid) a modern polymer gun, odds are itís going to be put together properly. Revolvers are just much more complex in this regard.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azhobo View Post
Sorry gents, but I just can't help myself on this one, gotta voice my opinion......
It's apparent that our beloved S&W factory has gone the way of everything American. From top management, through the skilled machinist, assembly worker, QA/QC, on down to the lowest paid employee, job dedication, care about product quality, and our general give a snort attitude is in the dumpster. It's who we've become.
Look around you, weed stores have been deemed not only legal, but essential to our existence. Booze shops remained open during our government controlled "lockdown". I like a drink as well as any of you, maybe even more than most, but we've gone from a patriotic, hard working, God fearing society, with high standards, to a society of folks that don't care if they even hold a job, or if they do, offer only the minimum effort to keep it. We live in Mom's spare room until we close in on forty, expect to be fed, clothed, and sheltered on Pop's dollar, and haven't the foggiest idea how the world should work, or where the money tree grows.
So, I have to ask..... wadda ya expect?
I'm gonna finish up my 80th year here real soon, and I wouldn't trade one of my great years living in, working in, and serving, this country, for the chance to be a part of this young society.
My comments are not meant to offend anyone here, or any of your kids/grandkids, it's just how I see it. Now I feel better! (for now)
Regards to all,
Bob
Yup, ď they donít make them like they used toĒ has never been more appropriate.

Unfortunately; they also donít make us like they used to.

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Old 05-28-2020, 08:52 PM
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After seeing this thread I just had to go check out my 642 NL. It's not as tight as the second photo, but much tighter than the first one. My GP100 has a little more than hairline gap too. Wish I could be more helpful.
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:44 PM
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I just simply cannot buy a gun without handling and inspecting it very carefully, and on a double action Smith & Wesson or Ruger this is a fettish for me. Gotta be a hairline fitting and no play.
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Old 05-29-2020, 08:55 AM
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My S&W revolvers do not have that bad of a gap. Of course, my youngest S&W revolver was born in the 1990's. Things seem to have changed since then.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azhobo View Post
Sorry gents, but I just can't help myself on this one, gotta voice my opinion......
It's apparent that our beloved S&W factory has gone the way of everything American. From top management, through the skilled machinist, assembly worker, QA/QC, on down to the lowest paid employee, job dedication, care about product quality, and our general give a snort attitude is in the dumpster. It's who we've become.
Look around you, weed stores have been deemed not only legal, but essential to our existence. Booze shops remained open during our government controlled "lockdown". I like a drink as well as any of you, maybe even more than most, but we've gone from a patriotic, hard working, God fearing society, with high standards, to a society of folks that don't care if they even hold a job, or if they do, offer only the minimum effort to keep it. We live in Mom's spare room until we close in on forty, expect to be fed, clothed, and sheltered on Pop's dollar, and haven't the foggiest idea how the world should work, or where the money tree grows.
So, I have to ask..... wadda ya expect?
I'm gonna finish up my 80th year here real soon, and I wouldn't trade one of my great years living in, working in, and serving, this country, for the chance to be a part of this young society.
My comments are not meant to offend anyone here, or any of your kids/grandkids, it's just how I see it. Now I feel better! (for now)
Regards to all,
Bob
I'm with 'ya Bob!! I was shocked to read some of the posts on this one that found this gap "acceptable". Personally, I find it incomprehensible and totally UNacceptable!
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Old 05-29-2020, 12:30 PM
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andyo5 andyo5 is offline
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Originally Posted by JayFramer View Post
And thatís why itís so frustrating. Iíve TRIED. All around my local area. Obviously buying online is just too risky sight unseen, and locally, every single one Iíve handled has these big gaps.
You can buy online with confidence...IF you remember to inspect it first before accepting transfer from your FFL. Bud's and Grabagun both accept firearms back if rejected by the buyer for functional or cosmetic issues.
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  #31  
Old 05-29-2020, 01:09 PM
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I just went on Gunbroker to examine as many M442s as I could find that showed a view of 'the gap'. All the ones I saw (even no-dash versions) had some amount of gap, although none were as bad as your first example nor any as good as your second one.
I recently purchased an L frame and an N frame, both new, online. Neither one showed a significant gap, although both had other issues that had them back at the factory for correction.
I think that S&W have probably loosened some tolerances to cut costs, and those loosened tolerances permit visible gaps like the one you are discussing. They have had several bouts of varying quality over the years. Recall the Bangor Punta era.
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:26 PM
JayFramer JayFramer is offline
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Thanks, gang.

I’m calling off my search for a J-frame. I’ve decided to carry a soulless, ugly plastic pea shooter: the Springfield Hellcat.

At least it is built properly.

Smith & Wesson, if you’re reading this forum (I doubt it), STEP IT UP or expect to lose more sales. PEOPLE ARE NOTICING.
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Old 05-29-2020, 02:56 PM
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Made me check a pair I had close by. Both 442, one silver and one black. Neither have a gap similar to what you have pictured. Both are very tight, more like a crack than an actual joining if parts.
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  #34  
Old 05-29-2020, 04:17 PM
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Iím calling off my search for a J-frame. Iíve decided to carry a soulless, ugly plastic pea shooter: the Springfield Hellcat.
I carried an airweight J frame for several years. They are so easy to carry. But not so easy to shoot. For me, it was strictly a deep cover belly gun. At seven yards, I would be able to put 38 special rounds on a man sized target. Past that and I'd worry about hitting bystanders and missing my assailant. Plus, only 5 rounds. And for me, .357 ammo was definately off the table in an airweight J frame.
You may be better served by one of the mini nines like your Hellcat. But if you really feel a need to carry a small, lightweight revolver; Ruger makes two versions and I think that Taurus may also make some.

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Old 05-29-2020, 06:13 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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I have given up on getting upset about the yoke gaps on recent S&W's. As long as they are even-ish, like the one on my 640 below, I just ignore it. I thought someone mentioned above - maybe they deleted it - that the gap serves a practical purpose in that a grain of unburnt powder won't (or shouldn't) interfere with cylinder closing completely. I've never had that happen but I suppose it has some foundation in truth. I just carried my beater 637 again this morning - it has a gap very similar to the 640. The B-C alignment looks perfect, per my old guy's vision, even with the gap. I've been worried about encountering a coyote or worse during my pre-dawn walks and the 637 is great peace of mind!

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Old 05-29-2020, 09:33 PM
JohnRippert JohnRippert is offline
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Here is my 442 from a couple years ago. Has the gap, and also has wear marks on the crane portion of the frame from section of the ejector rod just in front of the cylinder face. I do not think I even paid $300 for this one brand new at a gunshow. It is only for carrying when I walk the dogs so it does not bother me that much. It is sad that these are examples of present day S&W product. It is also why I buy older S&W revolvers almost exclusively. If this 442 had the lock I would not have bought it.











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Old 05-29-2020, 10:08 PM
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Here is my 442 from a couple years ago. Has the gap, and also has wear marks on the crane portion of the frame from section of the ejector rod just in front of the cylinder face.
Your second photo seems to show an interference problem between the crane and the frame.
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Old 05-30-2020, 03:29 PM
JohnRippert JohnRippert is offline
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Your second photo seems to show an interference problem between the crane and the frame.


Yup, you can see where it is rubbing. It will rub until the clearance is good and then I will clean it up and apply a bit of white lithium grease. No biggee, other than it is a shame things have reached this point in S&W.





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Old 05-30-2020, 04:14 PM
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Yup, you can see where it is rubbing. It will rub until the clearance is good and then I will clean it up and apply a bit of white lithium grease. No biggee, other than it is a shame things have reached this point in S&W.
What I am getting at, is I wonder whether the interference is the cause of 'the gap'.
Are your primer hits centered?
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:12 PM
wetdog1911 wetdog1911 is offline
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Have you considered the frame material?

I have 7 J frames, 2 are airweights, the other 5 are all steel.

The 2 Airweights (A M442-1 and a M43C), both have a slight, but even gap and seem tight enough with no play evident.

The all steel versions (2, M49s, 2, M34-1s and one M60), have a gap so tight you need a good light just to notice it.

Perhaps just different tolerances for the aluminum frames vs the steel frames?

I'm going to keep the M43C in .22 lr, but the M442-1 will be hitting the road. Recoil is just a bit too stout for the 'arthur' in my hands. The all steel J's are at least tolerable to shoot.

Rob
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  #41  
Old 06-02-2020, 06:23 PM
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Perhaps just different tolerances for the aluminum frames vs the steel frames?

I'm going to keep the M43C in .22 lr, but the M442-1 will be hitting the road. Recoil is just a bit too stout for the 'arthur' in my hands. The all steel J's are at least tolerable to shoot.
Rob
Aluminum and steel have different thermal expansion rates. You may be onto something there, Rob.
I totally agree about the recoil issue with airweights. Problem is, the all steel versions are too heavy for pocket carry. And if you are going to waist carry, you might as well carry something something heavier and with a longer barrel. I'd pocket carry a Model 60 if it weighed 17 to 18 ounces.
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