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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 05-18-2009, 10:46 AM
Superheat Superheat is offline
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I was at the range and a couple of guys were talking about BUG's and how they would shoot more if they had a steel J frame. Why? I asked. They said the aluminum and SCANDIUM frames wear out and they didn't want to wear out their guns. I've been shooting mine and thought it would last for a good long time, am I wearing my gun out? They said they wear by opening and closing the cylinder. I looked at my 327 night guard and see quite a bit of wear into the frame where the cylinder closes. I was planning on shooting this gun for competition for years to come. If it will wear out I am going to sell it. Does S&W warranty this wear??
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:44 AM
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If the barrel is not over torqued it should last forever, especially with 38 spc. The wear you are seeing is most likely the black coating coming off. Yes S&W warrants the frame should you ever have a problem.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:48 PM
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ENH, I would tend to believe you. I think I was getting urban legend. I found a pic of the spot on my 327 Night guard. IF I COULD JUST FIGURE OUT HOW TO POST A PIC.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:04 PM
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Considering that many makers- Colt, S&W, Taurus and others have been making alloy frame revolvers for years, I highly doubt that regular shooting will wear it out.

I have a friend that has carried an old model 37 for so many years, that all the writing on the sides of the barrel is gone from it being in his pocket with change and keys and it looks like a "stainless" gun because there is no finish left on it, unless you call scratches and gouges finish.

Yes, the center pin from the cylinder will cut a trough in the frame where it traverses it, but this is only natural. A good polishing though to make certain there is no burrs on it won't hurt a thing.

I guarantee you that it will outlast most of all of us on this board if it is well maintained. Now, I didn't say the finish will take that much abuse, but the finish on a blued gun will come off after carrying it every day in a pocket for 20+ years too. (I've seen it!)
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:08 PM
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Superheat - bdgreen made the below posting and is how I learned to post pictures. Not hard at all. Now after you register with Photo Bucket and have pictures stored on your computer in "My Pictures" or you files, you open photo bucket and click on up load and choose the pictures you want to upload to photo bucket. It is easy.

from bdGreen

I use Photo bucket at 'photo bucket.com'

It's free...

1. REGISTER

2. LOGIN

3. Have your image stored on your hard drive.

4. You will see a square empty box about midway down on your screen with a blue box with white lettering that says:

"CHOOSE FILES"

5. Double tap "CHOOSE FILES"

6. Browse to the directory on your hard drive where the image is stored.

6. Double click the image file name.

7. The file will automatically download and will now be stored on your Photo bucket page. It will remain stored there until you delete it.

8. For posting to a forum go to the image of your choice. Below that image find the blue 'IMG code' line. (Pale yellow background box with fine black lettering.)

11. Place your cursor on the text 'IMG code' and tap the left mouse button one time which will turn the box background blue.

12. While it is now white lettering with a blue background press the right mouse button and select 'COPY'.

13. Open up a new post on the Forum or respond to an existing one.

14. Place your cursor in the dialogue box.

15. Press the right mouse button and select 'PASTE'.

16. The whole image title should be in the dialogue box with the brackets and [IMG] at the first of the string and brackets [/IMG] at the end of the string.

17. If you "Post Now", your post will have just your image. Now is the time to add your text. Just don't disrupt the format of the pasted image.

18. If your image is much too large you can go back to Photobucket and use their "EDIT" button to resize your image. Or, you can go back to your own photo editor for a resize and resubmit the image.

I find that if you size your images to 800 pixels wide you will get maximum page size without being too large. That is providing your picture was taken at a nominal size to begin with. If your picture started out smaller than that then leave it so it won't be distorted by a resize.

One word of caution. Once you have posted your pictures and submitted them to the post if you go back into Photobucket and delete the image all of your posts will lose that image.

Good Luck

bdGreen

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Old 05-18-2009, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superheat:
ENH, I would tend to believe you. I think I was getting urban legend. I found a pic of the spot on my 327 Night guard. IF I COULD JUST FIGURE OUT HOW TO POST A PIC.
Send me the picture and I will post it for you.

As far as warranty, I don't think so. The S&W lifetime warranty is no more. my last new one only has 1 year.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:10 PM
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Hi, Scandium frames are only good for like 500 rounds. If you have shot that many in them already then I will gladly buy your revolver for $100.00...I know this is a lot to offer you on a broken down revolver but you can put the money towards a quality metal K,L or N frame. HAA HAA

The scandium revolvers are great revolvers they can handle almost anything you throw in them...
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Revolver_King:
Quote:
Originally posted by Superheat:
ENH, I would tend to believe you. I think I was getting urban legend. I found a pic of the spot on my 327 Night guard. IF I COULD JUST FIGURE OUT HOW TO POST A PIC.
Send me the picture and I will post it for you.

As far as warranty, I don't think so. The S&W lifetime warranty is no more. my last new one only has 1 year.
This from the S&W web site:

Warranty Information
The Smith & Wesson Advantageô
In addition to providing some of the highest quality products available today, Smith & Wesson is committed to providing our customers with support and services second to none. When you purchase a Smith & Wesson handgun, you receive the Smith & Wesson Advantageô, comprised of four service features:


1. Lifetime Service Policy


We will repair any defect in material or workmanship without charge to the original purchaser for as long as you own the handgun.


2. Expedited 911 Priority Service


This service is available in the event emergency repairs are needed by law enforcement, military, or government personnel. This service allows you to expedite the prompt repair and return of your handgun.


3. Easy Access Customer Support


Our customer support representatives are available to assist your every need.

Contact Us


4. Pride
Our customer support staff is proud to represent Smith & Wesson. They are dedicated to helping customers and look forward to providing you with a level of support equal to the quality level of Smith & Wesson products. Call us any time, even before you make your purchase. Our customer support team is product knowledgeable and can help you decide which model best suits your needs.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:28 PM
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I suspect your wrist will give out before your gun does if you don't shoot overly hot loads.

Hot loads will accelerate wear on the gun and your wrist and are accumulative on both.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:42 PM
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Shoot and enjoy. I have carried and fired my 340PD for years and have not had any trouble with wear, other than normal finish-wear. Frame is fine and an armorer looked it over right before I retired. Shoot on, my friend.....
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:02 AM
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Here is the picture that he sent. note the wear under the barrel area.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:04 AM
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I had once heard that the early Colt Commanders with alloy frames were only good for 5,000 rounds due to steel wearing against aluminum. I don't know whether or not it was true, but alloy composition has come a long way since that pistol was introduced, and a lot of the wunder guns of the hi capacity semi auto persuasion have had alloy frames for years and have lived thru thousands of rounds. There may have been some in the late 80s that were manufactured to the U.S. military specifications that called for a service life of 5.000 rounds that started cracking soon after, but those issues have since been corrected. Even the frame flex in Glocks causes peening on the inside of the slide that isn't harmful to the longevity of the pistol.

It is my understanding that Scandium is one tough material. I would not be prone to worrying about excessive wear unless someone with more experience that I with alloy framed revolvers sees a problem with yours. The only advantage I've seen to steel framed revolvers is the added weight dampens recoil a bit more that the light weight alloys. That's more of a wear and tear issue on the shooter and not the gun.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
note the wear under the barrel area.
That's really not much worse than the wear in the same location as in my 625-9. I'm not sure what to say about that other than I'm going to keep shooting the **** out of my 45 Colt mountian gun. I have 1500-2000 rounds through it.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:26 PM
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RevolverKing thanks for posting my pic. Does anyone else have wear like mine? There is a groove in the frame where the (I don't know what it is called) yolk meets up with the frame.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:18 AM
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please look at pics and give me your opinion
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:53 AM
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That looks like very poor fitting of the crane. For what you paid for that gun, I'd send it back to them. As is said around here with increasing frequency, "S&W will make it right!". Even if they don't the first or second time.

Those frames can't be all that durable. If they were, they would not need that Obama engineering metal shield to protect the topstrap from flame cutting. "Innovative". Regards 18DAI.
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:55 PM
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I have a 325 NG and its just got a little wear like yours. I think its just the finsh being burned off by the hot gas. I have been all over mine and in no way does anything make contact in that area that would leave marks like that.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:52 PM
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Those lightweight Colt Combat Commanders with their new-fangled aluminum alloy frame -- the ones that were going to wear out-- the ones I know of are still in service.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:06 PM
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I suspect the crane to be a bit tweeked also. The obvious mark is probably from the bushing on the back of the crane, between the crane and cylinder that the extractor rod runs in. It looks like the back of the extractor shroud has been radiused to make room for the tweeked crane. All the finish is gone from there also. I don't have that exact model here to compare but I've never seen a shroud cut that way before. Strange. If it came from the factory that way it needs to go back.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Those frames can't be all that durable. If they were, they would not need that Obama engineering metal shield to protect the topstrap from flame cutting. "Innovative". Regards 18DAI.
Don't confuse strength and hardness. A scandium alloy frame is very strong, but not very hard, hence the shield.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:44 AM
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No confusion here. I was speaking to durability. To me, the lack of "hardness" you refer to, would indicate a less durable frame. Regards 18DAI.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:25 PM
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Bang a piece of steel into a piece of softer alloy and that's what happens. I personally won't sacrifice durability for weight reduction. Considering the cost of these guns they should be made of steel.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:04 PM
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The bright spot of wear you see on your frame from the yoke contacting it is normal. Don't worry. The only worry spots are the two piece barrel staying together and the blast shield in the top strap above the forcing cone not being flame cut into multiple pieces. Check both often. Old guys like me are supersticious but we've found that one piece barrels and steel frames eliminate possible problems which could occur at an inconvenient time.
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wayne M:
The bright spot of wear you see on your frame from the yoke contacting it is normal. Don't worry. The only worry spots are the two piece barrel staying together and the blast shield in the top strap above the forcing cone not being flame cut into multiple pieces. Check both often. Old guys like me are supersticious but we've found that one piece barrels and steel frames eliminate possible problems which could occur at an inconvenient time.
I have a pair of 340PD's, one with about 100 rds and one with about 1,000 rds. They both have the same wear markings and they both function perfectly.
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superheat:
I was at the range and a couple of guys were talking about BUG's and how they would shoot more if they had a steel J frame. Why? I asked. They said the aluminum and SCANDIUM frames wear out and they didn't want to wear out their guns.
...
Maybe these guys just don't want to admit that shooting the light guns simply HURTS. The lighter the gun and the hotter your ammo, the more it hurts. I do about 50% of my practice with a 317 .22 'cause it's cheap and harmles to my hand, another 40% with light loads in my 340PD, and only about 10% with duty loads in the 340.
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:10 PM
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the shiny spot immediately under the barrel shank is 100% NORMAL. when you put either a black andodized or powder coat finish on aluminum and then subject it to friction from opening and closing the cylinder plus the slam/bam/thank you ma'am that it gets under recoil the finish gives up the ghost! you should be noticing a shiny curved mark on the recoil shield also where the center pin is rubbing as you open/shut the cylinder to load/unload. what seems strange to me is the shiny spot on bottom edge of the extractor rod cut-out in the barrel shroud. there should be ZERO wear there and in the picture it almost looks like a beveled line or chamfered edge. that's strange and warrants a further investigation of the revolver.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:00 PM
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If you wear out a revolver, thats a great reason to buy another one look at it as a goal.... Remeber they're made to shoot, not to stare at, scratches add character!!!
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:26 PM
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14,387 rounds J frame .357
20,840 rounds N frame .357
17,967 rounds N Frame .44 mag.
If just specials are used ( .38 or 44)then use a multilpier of 1.43876
Steel frame -use a multiplier of 16.5784 for magnums and 486.9768 for specials.
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superheat View Post
I was planning on shooting this gun for competition for years to come. If it will wear out I am going to sell it. Does S&W warranty this wear??
I am not a competitive shooter but I used to shoot a lot. I have had lightweight Commanders since I was a young lad. Still have my original one in .38 Super, and one purchased a few years later in .45 auto. They're both from the late sixties.

I shot the .45 a lot more than the Super. The Super cracked its frame maybe ten years ago. It probably had 10% of the rounds through it the .45 has had. The .45 has been shot so much that the slide has been refinished at least three times. It is just as accurate and reliable now as it ever has been, but it could break tomorrow.

Your Smith with the Scandium frame should have better material in it than the Colts have. If purchased new, it probably has the best warranty in the business. I bet you will shoot a lot of rounds through that gun without trouble, and if you do have some trouble, I think S&W will handle it fairly. You can't really predict when things are going to break, so if you like the 327, why get rid of it? I'd use it as intended and handle whatever problems you have as they occur. If a pattern of trouble develops and it is more than you are willing to put up with, that is the time to get rid of the gun, IMHO.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:31 PM
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I have a Model 38 made in 1962 & a Colt Cobra from 1968. Both are going strong and I shoot them often.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:50 PM
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Many people worry too much about the "lifespan" of their guns.

Unless you shoot a ton, the average shooter won't wear out a S&W revolver, alloy frame or not.

Think of it this way, for a non-reloader, a case of 1,000 rounds of .357 will run you about $400. Say an alloy frame .357 will shoot loose in 20,000 rounds......it would cost you $8,000 in ammo to "wear it out". The $400-500 cost of the gun is a drop in the bucket compared to what it costs to wear out.

I also shoot Rugers, and many competition shooters have 100,000+ rounds on GP100's and Blackhawks. The cost of this, even for a reloader, is staggering. I own so many revolvers, I don't expect to see the day any of them wear out in my lifetime, even the "well used" ones. Between my work schedule and making it to the range even twice a month being a dream right now........plus money for ammo.......I'll be retired before I probably even get a chance to put the first 1,000 through some of my wheelguns. I used to stress about "putting too many rounds" through my guns, but the truth is I don't have the time to even worry about this right now.

Still, if I were to buy a gun with the intent of shooting it a lot, I wouldn't go for a Scandium.

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Old 06-19-2011, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drail View Post
Bang a piece of steel into a piece of softer alloy and that's what happens. I personally won't sacrifice durability for weight reduction. Considering the cost of these guns they should be made of steel.
The reason they cost more is because they are light and made of expensive materials...

Frankly, steel guns cost less.

They should just sell a pair of 2 - 1 steel and one lite-weight.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
Many people worry too much about the "lifespan" of their guns...

Think of it this way, for a non-reloader, a case of 1,000 rounds of .357 will run you about $400. Say an alloy frame .357 will shoot loose in 20,000 rounds......it would cost you $8,000 in ammo to "wear it out". The $400-500 cost of the gun is a drop in the bucket compared to what it costs to wear out.
Exactly. You can adjust those numbers around to suit the individual circumstance, but that is the principle I have always considered. Any machine will wear and eventually require repair or replacement. As long as the economics are not too unbalanced, I'm OK with Aluminum.

As Stan says, if you plan to do a LOT of shooting with the particular gun in question, just buy steel. Aluminum alloy guns are great for reducing the weight of a gun meant to be carried, and the gun can still be very serviceable, but if longevity is a major concern and carrying weight is not, then common sense favors steel.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:48 AM
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For me, any of the light frame guns are frequently carried, but seldom fired. I have plenty of steel frame versions for practice, so why risk wearing out an light very expensive model?
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:12 AM
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Here comes Bob’s opinion, plug your ears if you don’t want to hear me… I think alloy frames are a **** shoot. I have seen guns with little wear that have supposedly been fired on a regular and I have seen new in box unfired save for the factory one or proofs that has a frame crack. I don’t even know when my 637 cracked on me. I only found it during the process of refinishing it. You may get an Airweight or Airlite that won’t die and you may have yours go loose or crack in no time. I have decided that the ease of carry of the J frame Airweight outdoes the risk of them dying as long as I keep the round count low enough to where I know POI is when I pull the trigger. This just isn’t a gun that will be changing on me. I don’t need to go out and hammer countless rounds through it to know it works. Maybe once I get my 637 back I won’t feel so sore about alloy. But once you have it happen to you it really hits home. The ILS in the 637 was enough of a slap in my face. Maybe that gun was just a Monday morning / Friday afternoon lemon. Either way she is gone for repair now.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:04 PM
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I have decided that the ease of carry of the J frame Airweight outdoes the risk of them dying as long as I keep the round count low enough to where I know POI is when I pull the trigger. This just isnít a gun that will be changing on me. I donít need to go out and hammer countless rounds through it to know it works.
Well said!
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:19 PM
Steve in Vermont Steve in Vermont is offline
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I've owned revolvers for over 40 years and will only shoot steel. I regularly shoot a 36 2" and have shot a 642 for comparison. The extra 4 to 5 ounces of weight (in the 36) make a noticeable difference to me in recoil and recovery, for a second shot. Having said this, I realize age is a factor in my decision. The younger you are the more accepting of new technology and change you will be. That doesn't make us (older folks) right or wrong, just different.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:47 PM
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If S&W lacked it's outstanding Customer Service, I would care about longevity.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:10 PM
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I am from the old school of revolvers and 1911s. All steel and very,very,very,very,very,little to worry about. Scandiums,from my own point of view,JUNK TO WATCH OUT FOR IN THE FUTURE WITH COMPUTERIZED,MANMADE PROBLEM GUNs.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:21 PM
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Default S&W frame repair

I can tell you from having a 40 caliber pistol repaired at a service center. Smith and wesson's service is #1. No matter what happens to your handgun it will be repaired. This is why I have 5 smith & wesson handguns. Just know they stand behind their warranty.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:30 PM
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I can tell you from having a 40 caliber pistol repaired at a service center. Smith and wesson's service is #1. No matter what happens to your handgun it will be repaired. This is why I have 5 smith & wesson handguns. Just know they stand behind their warranty.
Glad to hear this, 'cause I have a cracked frame 329PD there right now.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:39 PM
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Alloy frame guns do wear out but S&W has built a protection factor. Smith no longer makes parts beyound 5 or 10 years. Try getting Smith to repair some of the Ti guns, they will tell you that they are out of parts.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:33 PM
Harry58 Harry58 is offline
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A guy at the local gun shop told me that scandium frame revolvers were rated at about a 5000 round service life, while the aluminum alloy frames were rated at about a 3000 round service life.

From some of the previous posts, it sounds like you guys think that the scandium guns will go a lot longer than 5000 rounds.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:19 AM
Steve in Vermont Steve in Vermont is offline
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I understand S&W will stand behind their products, but so will my local car dealer. Yet I don't want a car that I can't depend on, even though I'll feel better stranded at 3AM on a back road thinking "at least the dealer will honor the warranty".
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:48 PM
ShooterMcgavin18 ShooterMcgavin18 is offline
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Default False Information

Guys,

The information that most everyone in this post has responded with is simply not true. The Smith and Wesson lifetime repair policy does not apply to normal wear and tear, such as shooting the handgun. A Scandium revolver has a definite life span and it is no where near 1,000 rounds in my experience. I would estimate that I ran 500 rounds at the most through my 360SC revolver before the cylinder would simply slide backwards off of the ejector with the cylinder open.

Like you all have posted, I was under the false impression that Smith and Wesson had a lifetime guarantee on this product. I called up S&W, they sent me a prepaid shipping label to return the firearm and I sent it back, only to receive the attached letter in reply(along with my unrepaired firearm).

I was shocked at the reply I received from Smith and Wesson. I immediately looked on the internet and found this thread. Assuming that you were all putting out accurate information, I called Smith and Wesson to discuss their policy and determine why my firearm had not been repaired. Their representative, Paul (Manager), explained to me that the lifetime repair policy only covers defects in manuafacturing and in no way covers normal wear and tear from usage, I.E. FIRING the gun! He explained that the policy would only cover me if there were defects in the manufacturing process that caused the failure.

I would caution you all, if you own a scandium or Aluminum revolver from Smith and Wesson, DO NOT FIRE IT! The gun has a most distinct lifespan before it will break and it is in no way covered by Smith. I mean, they did not even offer to repair the gun for a price. Essentially I have a $900, paperweight now.

I would suggest that you buy a steel frame equivalent, of for that matter go with another brand of firearm that has a better warranty and covers their firearms to be used as they were intended. I have always loved my Smith and Wesson products, but after this experience, I may be going elsewhere with my money when I purchase my next firearm.
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  #46  
Old 05-11-2021, 04:52 PM
ShooterMcgavin18 ShooterMcgavin18 is offline
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See the attached picture. This is the malfunction that I am having. The gun was shipped to Smith and Wesson in this exact condition. The firearm was purchased in roughly 2007 and has only 500 rounds fired through it at the most. It is most likely much less than that.
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  #47  
Old 05-11-2021, 05:05 PM
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Considering that this thread is over a decade old, it's highly likely that at the time S&W's Lifetime Service Policy DID apply to ordinary wear and tear but simply DOESN'T ANYMORE, or at least they're no longer honoring the terms of their own policy.

Either way, posting in a thread that started in 2009 and had its last post in 2011 arguing that what folks are saying is false makes no sense.

This is why if you do a thread search, you should always make note of the date in which the thread was posted/active, because times change, things change with them, and replying to ancient threads is pointless unless it's an ongoing thread that has been pinned or otherwise is repeatedly referenced as a source of information which is no longer accurate.
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  #48  
Old 05-11-2021, 05:08 PM
ShooterMcgavin18 ShooterMcgavin18 is offline
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Well my friend, If it was posted in 2009. It applies. That is the timeframe that the gun was purchased during, and should be the guarantee afforded to me from Smith and Wesson.
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Old 05-11-2021, 05:48 PM
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ShooterMcgavin18,
Sorry to hear about the issue with your 360Sc and the poor factory response.

Please understand that this forum is privately owned and not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation in any way. See the bottom of any forum page for the disclaimer. We have no pull with the factory.

The issue your having is referred to ďcylinder jumping lugĒ. That problem happens when fired cases stick in the cylinder and and you apply a lot of force on the ejector rod, without supporting the cylinder. When S&W made the change from the pressed in steel frame lug to the integral frame lug, they didnít make the ledge that limits rearward movement of the cylinder tall enough. Thatís my opinion, anyway. Itís worse on alloy frame guns, where the harder steel or titanium cylinder contacts the aluminum alloy lug.

I had the same problem on the 342Ti. Fortunately for me, S&W was able to straighten the yoke and get my gun back in service. Your gun will still function OK, but youíll need to make sure the chambers are smooth and clean, use ammo where the fired cases donít stick in the chambers and support the cylinder while ejection.

Itís a darn shame S&W didnít deal with your problem and accept responsibility for a poor design.
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Old 05-11-2021, 06:17 PM
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I realize it's not ideal/what you were hoping for but an experienced torch welder or you could try JB Weld to build up the lug and then shape it with a file?
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