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Old 02-16-2017, 01:36 AM
hassiman hassiman is offline
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Default S&W quality control going downhill?

Hi!,

Just got my new 629-6 4" home and took a few minutes to look it over closely and I found what seems to be a tool mark near the muzzle crown.

I would have thought it would have been noticeable on inspection before the gun was shipped out.... I am a bit bummed but if it wont affect the weapon's accuracy I guess it doesn't matter.

Take a look and tell me if I am being too critical...
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:40 AM
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Unacceptable on a new gun IMO.
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:52 AM
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I agree it's not a premium crown.

I'd suggest you take it to the range & shoot some moderately loaded JHPs, to see how it groups, & then look at the crown afterwards.

If it groups poorly &/or still has those burrs on it you can send it back to S&W or have someone locally run a chamfer tool over it's crown to clean it up.

Shouldn't take much but I agree they should be doing a better job. I've had to clean up a couple of my own.

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Old 02-16-2017, 03:25 AM
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Their QC has been on a steady decline now for years! Just read all the problems "out of the box guns" are being shipped with right on this Forum! Normally I'd say return it for repair but unfortunately by doing so you risk them making it even worse (fix one thing and damage it somewhere else)! While it would bother me to buy a gun brand new and discover that, I would see how it shoots and if everything else is good (including accuracy) then leaving well enough alone might be the preferred way to go.

I know that is not the way it's supposed to be, but this is how it has become. Unfortunately, I have seen and read stories that guns returned for minor problems came back worse than they the condition they were sent out in. Your call - - - hey, you might get lucky and get a perfect gun back - just don't hold your breath!
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:04 AM
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Seems as though these issues are becoming frequent, yours is 3rd one with a crown problem that I have seen on the forums in the past couple of weeks. I would not accept that, particularly with that cut mark at 11 o'clock.
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:31 AM
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I guess their QC depends on maybe the day of week or a different assembly team or something like that. I just picked up a 637 this week and, cosmetically, it's the cleanest S&W I have never handled. Even under the grips, there isn't a ding or scratch or mark anyplace. Mechanically, it carries up strong on all five chambers, has a .04 BC gap, and locks up tight all the way around. Equally important to me – and I understand probably not important to normal people – the crane/yoke does not flex out with light pressure on the right side of the cylinder. The only small cosmetic flaw I can find is a couple of light scratches on one side of the hammer.

Truth be told, I got it from a kitchen-table dealer who had five or six of them NIB. The first one I checked was equally good cosmetically, but it had yoke flex and kinda loose lock up. I bought the second one I checked because it was near perfect as mentioned above. I liked the M637 so much that I did the same checkout on his stack of M442's. I selected the second one that I examined – but it will be April before I can afford to pick it up ... But, there is another issue to mention. He has a 3-in 686+ he received recently. Mechanically, it is perfect with even a smaller yoke/frame gap than any of the J-frames. But, it has a noticeable flaw on the left side at the barrel/frame junction. Some steel was pushed up when the barrel was crush-fit onto the frame. It's too much to polish out and basically ruins the appearance of the revolver in my opinion.

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Old 02-16-2017, 07:37 AM
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No I do not think it is anything new. In the mid 80's I bought a NIB Model 15. Had a push off problem back it went. Got a 586 from the 80's with a canted barrel. The big difference is these days a buyer has a problem he jumps on the net and spreads the misery. In those days we just dealt with it ourselves IMO. There have always been problems to some degree.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:46 AM
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Pick a product, any man made product, then Google it. If it's made in any kind of quantity, you will find complaints about it. The more complex the product, the more complaints. Does that indicate everyone is making bad stuff? No, it's more likely a direct result of the internet, where people who get a flawed product flock to tell the world.

There are companies out there who make more flawed products and deserve to be raked over the coals, but we need to be careful in deciding which companies deserve this treatment and which do not. I would submit the thread that was started in the 1980 to Present area of the Revolver section of the forum:

Is that old S&W revolver as reliable as you think??

As proof that the product S&W makes today is on par and in some respects even better than that produced in the 'good old days'.

I don't believe that S&W is producing guns with more problems, at least on a number of defects per 100 guns made, but more likely that they are producing more guns now than ever before in their history. Put it in these terms: if a company makes one gun with errors out of a hundred, and produces 100 guns a week, that's 52 guns a year (ignoring holidays) with errors. If the same company at the same defect rate makes 3000 guns a week, that now translates into 1,560 guns. Which means now instead of 52 people complaining on the internet, you have 1.560. OK, honestly, you won't have 1,560 complaining, but you can see how it will be more likely you'll hear more complaints. What about the other 154,440 owners who received a perfect product? Chances are you never hear a peep from them, so at least on the surface, it appears the company is putting out a lot of problem guns when in fact, on a per ratio, compared to the 'old days', nothing has changed.

The only true way to tell if S&W is making more defective products would be to examine their records to see the number of returned items over the past few decades and compare it to the number of products made. We all know though that S&W is highly unlikely to reveal those numbers no matter how they may portray the company. So I guess we'll just have to continue to speculate on the quality of S&W products today vs. those produced in years gone by.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:22 AM
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I don't agree.

The quality control of my first pre 27 was so good that I went out and got another one.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:45 AM
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I special ordered a 627 PC 5in model from my local gun store. When it came in I looked it over closely and noticed horrible gouges in the frame, crane, forcing cone, and muzzle. I looked it over before we started the paperwork luckily. The store manager said they would send it back for a new model. The quality of the 2nd one was much better.

Being a Performance Center model you would think they would have taken extra care to ensure the gun was tip top. I guess not.


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Old 02-16-2017, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twodog max View Post
No I do not think it is anything new. In the mid 80's I bought a NIB Model 15. Had a push off problem back it went. Got a 586 from the 80's with a canted barrel. The big difference is these days a buyer has a problem he jumps on the net and spreads the misery. In those days we just dealt with it ourselves IMO. There have always been problems to some degree.
10000% this

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Old 02-16-2017, 10:56 AM
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Well, I don't know that the QC is worse, as others have already mentioned they DO produce a LOT of guns these days, and I've had to send guns back to a LOT of manufacturers for one reason or another, and to me it's more important how their customer service treats me than anything else!!
I had to send my Ruger Alaskan, which, I bought used, 3 times before they fixed the issue, didn't cost me anything but time!! About 2 months of going back and forth!!
I sent a brand new Desert Eagle in 44mag back to Magnum Research, didn't charge me anything, they even contacted me and asked if I'd like them to install a muzzle brake for just the cost of the brake due to my inconvenience...and I did, and it was great!
I have a Rossi Rio Grand that was sent back, they said the rifle is out of warranty, going to cost me to fix it, ship it both ways.....never buy another Rossi/Taurus again.
S&W, the cylinder release fell off of my Backpacker Revolver which I bought used 5 months ago (I think it was made in 2004), brought it to my local gunsmith (figuring it would cost me to send it to S&W), who contacted S&W for parts, S&W had them ship the revolver to them and they fixed it free of charge....so...I would send my S&W's to them! They didn't have to do anything except sell the parts to my gun smith!
So needless to say, I would send any defect or messed up S&W back to them to repair it! These things happen.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bushmaster1313 View Post
I don't agree.

The quality control of my first pre 27 was so good that I went out and got another one.
But that's a example of 2. What about all the 27s produced that year? The only way to base QC % is off the total number made, not the total number you bought. And law of large numbers state that there were in fact problems. It's impossible to make every single product perfect so that means when both your 27s were made S&W also made a certain percentage with defects

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Old 02-16-2017, 11:40 AM
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One of the problems with modern S&W production employees is that they are now basically "button pushers" and programers. There is less hand fitting, less inspection and less hands on than ever before. Because of this there are less people looking at a particular gun before it lands in the box, less people "feeling responsible" for its QC and less people who really give a hoot.

I have been up at the Factory lately and have seen how the new guns are made - while it does guarantee a greater profit and faster production I do NOT believe it produces a better product because of the fact employees are actually less skilled as gunmakers and more skilled at computer programing. This is exactly why many original features of their Revolver line have been altered.

This phenomenon is NOT limited to the S&W Co. and is being adapted my many manufacturing Co's. to make a product more competitive, faster and at a better profit margin. Don't expect any really high quality products from any Company producing intricate products on automated assembly lines any time soon.

As a side note:

Colt's Factory is far less high tech than S&W's is (antiquated in some respects). They operate on shoe string budgets, produce far less product than S&W does, but I must say that what is coming out of their Factory these days is the best quality I've seen in a long long time!
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:45 AM
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Unacceptable on a new gun IMO.
I agree. Send it back. However, the risk chief38 states is quite real. Sad that you have to put more work/money into a brand new gun to make it more 'new'.

I can't tell for sure, but it doesn't look like anything actually breeches the rifling. Although right along the edge there are marks that may. Overall a very poor crown. You could try shooting it, and if accurate, the marks are just cosmetic. Still, a consumer should not have to just 'deal' with this.

I agree it isn't just S&W, it's about any new age company. The day and age we live in, the make it cheap and disposable world. It's a numbers game, produce as many as possible as quickly as possible. If only so many come back for repairs, then it is profitable. All they need to do is keep the returns under a certain %. Since the majority of revolver owners have no in depth understanding of their gun's action design, build, or function, the chances of them realizing a problem is slim. Thus S&W beats the % odds on returns. The internet does make it easy for problems to be known, but that is also how these 'newbies' discover problems they didn't know about. Like the OP in this post who wasn't sure if that was acceptable or not. If he wouldn't have posted here, he probably would have just kept his mouth shut and kept the gun. No return for repairs, no money out of Smith's pocket. So I would consider the internet helping bring all these issues to light. Not making them appear exacerbated.

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Old 02-16-2017, 11:55 AM
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Unfortunately, Smith has delegated QC to the end user instead of keeping it in house.

Next time you're at a gun show take a look at every pre 1980 Smith: check for flaws. Then look at the current manufacture examples. Do the math.

You'll find a significantly higher percentage of current Smiths with obvious problems than older Smiths. Understand that these problems are only those that can be detected by visual inspection and doesn't include functional issues only discoverable at the range.

There is a reason newer Smiths don't maintain value or appreciate.

I wouldn't dream of buying a 'new' Smith
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:05 PM
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Unfortunately, Smith has delegated QC to the end user instead of keeping it in house.

Next time you're at a gun show take a look at every pre 1980 Smith: check for flaws. Then look at the current manufacture examples. Do the math.

You'll find a significantly higher percentage of current Smiths with obvious problems than older Smiths. Understand that these problems are only those that can be detected by visual inspection and doesn't include functional issues only discoverable at the range.

There is a reason newer Smiths don't maintain value or appreciate.

I wouldn't dream of buying a 'new' Smith
Far too broad of a statement, IMO.....

I picked up a new Smith & Wesson E series 1911. The one with the factory engraving. The finish work is very well done. I did work in a large machine shop (decades ago), which gives me an idea of what machined products should look like.

Your statement, is just to generalized.........and I'll stick to that thought.
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:49 PM
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If I saw that in the store, I'd pass until I found one that looked new. If a new car had a dent in it, I'd buy one that didn't. If an apple has a bruise, I generally grab one that doesn't. Maybe I'm picky, but an appropriately discounted price would change those decisions. However, if I didn't notice those things until I had made the purchase, I would likely just live with it, and learn from it.
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:27 PM
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Have you bought a new car lately? Go over it the same way and see how many "little bumps" you find. Do a search on Ruger Quality control. Pick just about any product that requires any degree of fine fitting and look at their QC feedback. It's not just S&W, it's everywhere.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:59 PM
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But that's a example of 2. What about all the 27s produced that year? The only way to base QC % is off the total number made, not the total number you bought. And law of large numbers state that there were in fact problems. It's impossible to make every single product perfect so that means when both your 27s were made S&W also made a certain percentage with defects

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Old 02-17-2017, 12:03 AM
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:26 AM
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I would be willing to be that a lot of businesses determined that it is cheaper to have one out of three "faulty" products returned by the customer for re-work, than hire the staff necessary to inspect/correct every piece.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:04 AM
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Exclamation RE:Quality Control at S&W

I am thinking of having Cylinder and Slide put an 11 degree crown on my 629. They will do a great job and I won't have to worry about it. I like an 11 degree looks nice. Won't have to worry about the quality of workmanship.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:42 AM
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I would be willing to be that a lot of businesses determined that it is cheaper to have one out of three "faulty" products returned by the customer for re-work, than hire the staff necessary to inspect/correct every piece.
There doesn't need to be a QC staff for every piece. A competent final assembler can easily pass or reject parts. Unless of course, the total process is automated with robots.

As far as mass produced parts go, it's also easy to see and reject parts that standout as defects. Just pull them out of the line at that point. To have one reject out of every three, would be on the side of being ridiculous, unless all workers have particularly bad eyesight. Or they're just mindless robot types.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:43 PM
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How does the gun shoot?

I have a Model 60-15 that looks like this:



And shoots like this offhand at 25 yards:



I'm happy with it.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:05 AM
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Re:OP. Call S&W. They'll make it right. Sincerely. bruce.
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Old 02-18-2017, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
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There doesn't need to be a QC staff for every piece. A competent final assembler can easily pass or reject parts. Unless of course, the total process is automated with robots.

As far as mass produced parts go, it's also easy to see and reject parts that standout as defects. Just pull them out of the line at that point. To have one reject out of every three, would be on the side of being ridiculous, unless all workers have particularly bad eyesight. Or they're just mindless robot types.
After WWII, the Japanese, with the help of an American, developed the process of doing away with inspectors by making each person responsible for their work, including the ability to stop production if a problem was found, rather than letting it go through the production system and rely on an inspector to find it and have it corrected. It's why the Japanese were beating the pants off US automakers in the 80's and 90's. Unfortunately for us, the consumers, this practice has been slow to catch on in other products produced in our country, most notably the RV industry, but I digress.

My point is, if you train employees properly and empower them to be able to make decisions, you can do away with inspectors.
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom S. View Post
After WWII, the Japanese, with the help of an American, developed the process of doing away with inspectors by making each person responsible for their work, including the ability to stop production if a problem was found, rather than letting it go through the production system and rely on an inspector to find it and have it corrected. It's why the Japanese were beating the pants off US automakers in the 80's and 90's. Unfortunately for us, the consumers, this practice has been slow to catch on in other products produced in our country, most notably the RV industry, but I digress.

My point is, if you train employees properly and empower them to be able to make decisions, you can do away with inspectors.
This only works when the project enginer,department manager team leader and production employe are on the same page. Throw in a shipping schedule, a team leader wanting the next promotion, managment that will tell you one thing and the supervisors production has to be met or we will be fined if we don't meet scheduled delivery but no fines if the customer rejects the parts for quailtey issues.This is how at least one automotive supplier works that I know of but working in the industr for 40 years seeing what the recall rate is it is not the only one. The customer doing the quailty inspection is a lot cheeper the number of returns is lower that way.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:07 PM
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In the last few months I have purchased two new S&W handguns. Both have bad enough problems to warrant being sent in for repairs.
Dunno if I'll ever buy another.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
In the last few months I have purchased two new S&W handguns. Both have bad enough problems to warrant being sent in for repairs.
Dunno if I'll ever buy another.
Four in the last two years. No problems at all. My last, around 4 months ago, is a 1911 E model (machine engraved). It's exceptionally well built, machining wise. Also shoots without a hitch. Adding to that, I couldn't be happier with my half year old 45 ACP Shield. Do I just live a charmed life (weapon wise) or something...
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:55 PM
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How do you know a gun that you bought second hand, and claim to be perfect, was never sent back to the factory?

Factory rework marks? They marked each and every gun?
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:04 PM
hassiman hassiman is offline
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Question RE:Two new guns teturned

What were the problems you experienced with your 2 new guns?
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:16 PM
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Are any guns marked for factory returns now? I seriously doubt it.
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SWCA1967 SWHF244
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:30 PM
hassiman hassiman is offline
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Are you saying that Smith sells refurbs as new firearms?
That is not legal....
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