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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors WITH Model Numbers


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Old 02-11-2024, 08:11 PM
Mstorm Mstorm is offline
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Can you knowledgeable folks tell me what the significance is of dealers referring to their offerings as Bangor Punta models? Is this somehow a good thing or bad????
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Old 02-11-2024, 08:24 PM
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Bangor Punta bought S&W in 1965 and and sold it to Lear Seigler Corporation in 1980. Opinions are mixed about the sale being a good or bad thing. Probably the majority would favor a bad move for S&W products.

Bill
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Old 02-11-2024, 08:48 PM
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It's pretty much meaningless, just something to say that sounds important.
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Old 02-11-2024, 08:53 PM
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So since I’m a bit slow, let me be clear: Then most considered the sale to Lear as a “bad” thing making the era of Bangor Punta a “good” thing (or at least appearing more desirable —hence the dealers saying “Bangor Punta gun” as a net positive thing—-is that correct???
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Old 02-11-2024, 09:41 PM
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I remember my dad saying the Bangor Punts guns weren’t up to the earlier ones when the business was family owned. I’ve not done a side by side comparison but have a M10 2” in almost new condition from 1964 and would like to compare it with a mid 70’s.
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Old 02-11-2024, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mstorm View Post
So since I’m a bit slow, let me be clear: Then most considered the sale to Lear as a “bad” thing making the era of Bangor Punta a “good” thing (or at least appearing more desirable —hence the dealers saying “Bangor Punta gun” as a net positive thing—-is that correct???
Well, if one thinks Bangor Punta production was better than Lear Siegler then I suppose that is correct. Many don't think the purchase by Bangor Punta did much to enhance S&W products. Something about the perceived transition from "making the best possible product" to "making acceptable products at lower costs."

But S&W made good products in both periods, and now too, so I wouldn't worry too much, or put any particular "price premium" on anything being advertised as "Bangor Punta" production.

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Old 02-12-2024, 06:54 AM
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I remember when I went to buy my first handgun, the clerk at the LGS told me "You don't want a new one, they're junk" (or something along those lines.) and we don't have one anyway. I've got some nice used ones I can sell you." I figured I'd keep looking, being of the mindset that buying used meant buying someone elses problems, something my Father had pounded into my head about cars.

I ended up buying a brand new Model 19 (probably a -4) from another dealer who did have them in stock. I remember that "Bangor Punta" slash across the box. I of course knew nothing about such things, but the gun was a long way from "junk" IMHO.

I still look at Bangor Punta guns with a nostalgic fondness. I don't think they were any better or worse than others. Things changed yes, but then they've always changed and always will.

That BP gun was also the last NIB Smith and Wesson I bought until the reintroduction of the Model 19 in 2018? But boy have I changed my mind about "pre-owned" ones.
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Old 02-12-2024, 07:05 AM
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On the "plus" side, Lear Siegler (aka LSI) did introduce the 24-3 and the 624, thus marking the return of the 44 Special to the Smith & Wesson product line.
And they did introduce the L-frame with the 586 & 686. I don't recall anybody here ever suggesting these were anything but fine revolvers. In fact "no dash" 586 and 686 revolvers command a market premium.
Another win for LSI was finally bringing about correct cylinder throats for the 45 Colt 25-5.

On the other hand, LSI did end the "pinned & recessed" era. And, they did change the bluing process.
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Old 02-12-2024, 11:04 AM
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From what I have seen over the years, Bangor Punta and Lear Seigler both had some that were as good as any and some that were stinkers, with the majority running somewhere in between the 2 extremes. A lot of them had 2 or 3 minor problems, but were decent overall. (Sound familiar?) When these problems were corrected, they were serviceable guns. Some of them needed a good working over before you could even think about starting on an action job. Then as now, getting a good one was down to the luck of the draw, or the knowledge of the buyer. I never worried about it much, since I could fix anything they did.
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Old 02-12-2024, 12:24 PM
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I had one Bangor Punta that was a stinker, S&W would not repair it. The stuff the sell now stinks as far as quality is concerned but they can be made to work well, so far.
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Old 02-12-2024, 12:52 PM
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IMHO, the Bangor Punta era was not bad at all for S&W. In fact, most of my N-frame revolvers (Model 25-2, 27-2s, 28-2s, 29-2s, and 57) are from the 1970s and are extremely well made and nicely finished. So is my 1973 Texas Ranger Commemorative set with Model 19-3. I won't say that the BP-era revolvers are as beautiful or nicely hand fitted as the early .44 HEs, Reg Mags, .357 Magnums, or early .44 Magnums...but they are darn nice and dependable. The latest manufacture date of my vintage N-frames is 1980- I believe just before LSC took control. I think that the Bangor Punta acquisition turned out much better for S&W than the AMF takeover was for Harley Davidson!
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Old 02-12-2024, 01:38 PM
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This is a bit like the way Les Baer Hillsdale made pistols are considered by some as being superior to the current Leclaire made pistols. Les Baer wasn't bought out or sold, he just changed the location of his shop by 20 miles or so. Same staff, probably some new equipment, but somehow some folks decided that their older pistols were better.
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