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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 04-02-2024, 01:05 PM
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Default N frame endurance package

Was the endurance package applied to the N frame revolvers chambered in 357 magnum, or only to the 44 and 41 variants?
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Old 04-02-2024, 01:30 PM
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I would imagine it was applied to all the frames, regardless of chambering. One size fits all, so to speak.

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Old 04-02-2024, 01:31 PM
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Yes.

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Old 04-02-2024, 04:14 PM
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As far as I know, S&W applied the endurance package to all N-frames, even though those chambered in 44 Magnum were the ones that were most benefited by the improvements. Cheaper to make all of them the same rather than having two sets of parts for the N-frame lineup.
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Old 04-02-2024, 10:52 PM
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Default NO

One of the features of the Endurance Package is the bolt block & in N-frames this feature is NOT on all modern models.

I try to remember to check my various revolvers when I pull off their sideplate & note it in my database for this feature.

My 610-3, 25-13 & 625-8 do not have bolt blocks even though they are all N-frames (10mm, 45 Colt & 45ACP).

My 41 & 44 Magnum N-frames have the bolt block for sure. Haven't verified my 357 Magnum N-frames yet, but I can later.

And as far as all frames having the same Endurance Pack features again I say No.

A 686-6 (L-frame) doesn't even have larger/elongated cylinder stop notches, which was part of the Endurance Package.

I contend different models, frames, calibers got different variations of the package.

.

N-frame bolt block
.



.
.

Small cylinder stop notches, 357MAG
.



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.

Even the M69 44MAG has small notches
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Old 04-02-2024, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
One of the features of the Endurance Package is the bolt block & in N-frames this feature is NOT on all modern models.

I try to remember to check my various revolvers when I pull off their sideplate & note it in my database for this feature.
...
Interesting. You would think it would be more cost effective for all the N frames to have the same features. L frames are a story unto themselves.

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Old 04-03-2024, 12:43 AM
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Thats why Im asking you guys, Im not even sure if the 8 shot of 357 makes the stainless worthwhile for me.
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Old 04-03-2024, 05:43 AM
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The endurance package stemmed from durability issues with the N-frame chambered in 44 Magnum. I'm not aware of durability issues with those chambered in 357 Magnum or even 41 Magnum.
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Old 04-03-2024, 07:30 AM
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I don't have much energy this morning, but will try to share the context and background.

Several decades back...there was a very strong competition and marketing/ad campaign between two major revolver manufacturers: Ruger and Smith and Wesson.

I feel, if I am recalling correctly, Ruger was positioned more that they were more durable because of the build composition (thicker, beefier, more metal, et cetera). Consumers were also starting to champion this as well; be it real or imagined between the two brands...

Then along came S&W engineering dept.

They did some testing--to make a long story short--made some modifications and called these improvements the 'Endurance PKG', which was rolled out.

***For quite some time, again going from my personal memory... there was debate on if these first revolvers were marked in a special way, noting that they were transitional...***.

Turns out, there were a few so marked and an example is the "629-2E"; E standing for "Endurance". No clue on numbers anymore...my guess is a few hundred so marked and I am skeptical (why, just ask) that there were more marked and over the years commentary was a couple hundred.

Here is a picture of my "629-2E" transitional. I have everything for it (box, etc.). I always enjoyed sales competition in business and this was a battle to change consumer opinions and increase brand loyalty.

I have always enjoyed this bit of history
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Old 04-03-2024, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stansdds View Post
The endurance package stemmed from durability issues with the N-frame chambered in 44 Magnum. I'm not aware of durability issues with those chambered in 357 Magnum or even 41 Magnum.
It wasn't durability as much as it was the cylinder coming out of battery under the recoil of heavy loads and then not rotating to the next loaded chamber
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Old 04-03-2024, 08:41 AM
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Steelslaver’s additional comments are correct. No idea how prevalent; and this was an easy “fix”.

Thanks for sharing; not feeling good and could’nt recall to add in my post.
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Old 04-03-2024, 10:42 AM
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Default Endurance Package

As stated above by steelslaver, the Silhouette Shooters were having problems with the 44Mags using heavy bullets, and hot, reloads! The easiest way to tell if a gun has the endurance package is the comparing the cylinder stop notches!

Guess which gun has the endurance package! All the guns I have seen stamped were the 629-2E w/3" barrels!
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Old 04-03-2024, 12:06 PM
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I have several 629s but only one was made prior to the Endurance package coming into being, a six-inch 629-1. I use it strictly for single-action target shooting and use only 240-grain cast semi-wadcutters over 10.0 grains of SR4756 so I doubt it would benefit from having the update performed.

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Old 04-03-2024, 12:33 PM
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My Model 25-9 in 45 Colt has it.
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Old 04-03-2024, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
Interesting. You would think it would be more cost effective for all the N frames to have the same features.
If I remember right, those N-frames of mine that do not have the bolt block don't even have the channel cut in the frame for the hardware.

Guess every little bit they don't have to do saves them some money but then that frame has limited uses.

.

PS:
----
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L frames are a story unto themselves.
But doesn't it make you wonder why an L-frame 44MAG doesn't need all the features that the larger N-frame 44MAG does??

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Old 04-04-2024, 10:07 AM
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But doesn't it make you wonder why an L-frame 44MAG doesn't need all the features that the larger N-frame 44MAG does??

.
NO! The problem that prompted the Endurance Package was caused by a few that pushed the load limit past the design of the gun! A 44 mag is not a 454, 460, or 500! You will note that all of these cartridges were built on heavier stronger frames! Everything has a limit and when pushed past that limit many time things turn soft and brown!
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Old 04-04-2024, 10:18 AM
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The 627-0 received the endurance package, at least in part, as well as the 25-9/625-3s a later.
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Old 04-04-2024, 12:08 PM
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Default endurance package

My 27-5 has it.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-04-2024, 12:22 PM
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Around 1978 I had some insurance money from a home burglary and bought a 8 3/8" M29 (didn't know about dash numbers then but guess it was a -2). Sent it to magnaport arms - shorten bbl to 5", action job, magna port and hard chrome. That gun drove me crazy because of the cylinder not rotating to a loaded chamber after firing. Had it to a number of gunsmiths (big name guys in the Denver area at the time) and none could fix it. My most frequently used load was 18 gr of H2400 and commercially avail 240/250gr cast bullets. Eventually traded it for a 629 Mtn Gun when they were introduced (wish I had it back).

FWIW

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Old 04-04-2024, 01:51 PM
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My 629 duty gun suffers from the issue. It never had a lot of hot loads but did have many, many very light loads with 240g cast lead semiwadcutters. Well it also had a lot of the same bullet loaded fairly hot but less than factory hot. I first discovered the issue in qualification during rapid fire with factory duty loads when I'd click back down on an empty casing. I ordered a heavier spring for it but lost it somewhere. I was hoping that would fix it. I'd still like to solve the problem. I called Smith about it once and was told basically "Too bad, so sad"!

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Old 04-04-2024, 03:55 PM
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I had a friend with a 627-0 that would skip chambers. He sent it to Smith, but that did not fix it. In fact, I think he sent it in twice. After the second trip, I stoned the top of the cylinder stop so that it would ride higher in the cylinder notch. Fixed it!

I bought my first model 29 in 1968 and fired a lot of 20 grain 2400, and Keith 240 grain bullets in it, with never a problem. I used to use it at our IPSC club, so it had some rapid fire full loads through it too!!

The metallic silhouette shooters used to shoot thousands of rounds of max loaded 300 grain bullets. Some guns just develop more issues than others, especially when max loaded all the time.
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Old 04-05-2024, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightowl View Post
I had a friend with a 627-0 that would skip chambers. He sent it to Smith, but that did not fix it. In fact, I think he sent it in twice. After the second trip, I stoned the top of the cylinder stop so that it would ride higher in the cylinder notch. Fixed it!

I bought my first model 29 in 1968 and fired a lot of 20 grain 2400, and Keith 240 grain bullets in it, with never a problem. I used to use it at our IPSC club, so it had some rapid fire full loads through it too!!

The metallic silhouette shooters used to shoot thousands of rounds of max loaded 300 grain bullets. Some guns just develop more issues than others, especially when max loaded all the time.
I dont know, I know the name of that shooting game is long range, and knocking a target over... but seriously if a 240-260 swc cant knock it down...

Why not just get a bigger gun? 454 should be able to do the job
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Old 04-05-2024, 10:06 AM
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A N frame may well exhibit the problem and a L frame not because the N frame has a much heavier cylinder

IF I had a gun with that problem the first thing I would do is make sure my end shake was under .002, then I would make sure my cylinder stop was bottoming out in each cylinder notch and replace the stop spring.

End shake will let the cylinder slam back and forth if the curve of the notch smacks against the curve of the stop, it would pop it down, then as the gun and your hand twist even a tiny bit as that happens under recoil and the cylinder moves out of the correct battery and the hand doesn't engage the proper notch the next time so click instead of bang

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Old 04-05-2024, 10:32 AM
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Default Second thought!

I can not shoot a 460 or 500 because after every shot I need to reach up and rotate the cylinder back to battery! This happens on EVERY gun I have tried! The problem is not the guns, it's the shooter! When I fire any gun, I relax my trigger finger when the round fires! Under heavy recoil of the 460 or 500 my trigger finger slaps the trigger with enough force to unlatch the cylinder and it moves!
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Old 04-05-2024, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelslaver View Post
A N frame may well exhibit the problem and a L frame not because the N frame has a much heavier cylinder

IF I had a gun with that problem the first thing I would do is make sure my end shake was under .002, then I would make sure my cylinder stop was bottoming out in each cylinder notch and replace the stop spring.

End shake will let the cylinder slam back and forth if the curve of the notch smacks against the curve of the stop, it would pop it down, then as the gun and your hand twist even a tiny bit as that happens under recoil and the cylinder moves out of the correct battery and the hand doesn't engage the proper notch the next time so click instead of bang
Move this if it's too much of a thread hijack. But this thread got me to thinking on this again.

Got my old 629-1 out of the safe and was looking at it again. I'm now thinking it might be a timing issue. It doesn't have much end shake but I have addressed that issue in the past.

Dry firing it I can't duplicate it single action. However double action, with very light thumb pressure on the left side of the cylinder producing slight counter rotational force, I can reproduce the problem.

After pulling the trigger, the cylinder will release and counter rotate as the trigger is released. That's with slight counter rotational force against the cylinder with the thumb.

This indicates to me that the cylinder stop does not always engage the cylinder and is only being held in place by the hand against the extractor when it happens.

This won't occur during slow fire as the cylinder isn't fighting the counter rotational forces developed under recoil. That's why it only happened during timed rapid fire double action.

With single action it locks up solidly every time, thumb pressure or not.

Without the thumb pressure it locks up with slow dry fire when I check lockup after every trigger pull.

Thoughts? Perhaps a slightly wider hand, if I can find one?

I don't think I ever abused this gun but I guess it is pretty high mileage.

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Old 04-05-2024, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul105 View Post
Around 1978 I had some insurance money from a home burglary and bought a 8 3/8" M29...
That gun drove me crazy because of the cylinder not rotating to a loaded chamber after firing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post
My 629 duty gun suffers from the issue.
I bought my 29-2 new in 1977 & a few years ago it started to do the same thing, rotate back a chamber on recoil.

It had been my only 44MAG for decades & saw one, or two , hot loads over that time & I never loaded heavier that 250gr bullets.

Adding a couple shims/bearings to the cylinder corrected the endshake issue & solved the problem.

.



.
.

I loaded mostly [email protected] with 240/250gr LSWC too.
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Old 04-05-2024, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
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But doesn't it make you wonder why an L-frame 44MAG doesn't need all the features that the larger N-frame 44MAG does??.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcelect View Post
NO! The problem that prompted the Endurance Package was caused by a few that pushed the load limit past the design of the gun!
LOL, a "few" ??

And you're not implying that 44MAG L-frame owners won't try to push their loads past design limits, unlike 44MAG N-frame users?

.

I know I never would
.



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Old 04-06-2024, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
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LOL, a "few" ??

And you're not implying that 44MAG L-frame owners won't try to push their loads past design limits, unlike 44MAG N-frame users?

.

I know I never would
.



.
Sorry, I should have included the 44 Spls also! That's exactly why the original 44Spl, 5 shot, L frame, the 696, was drop from production! It is a wonderful little gun for folks with smaller hands to handle a 44!
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Old 04-07-2024, 11:17 AM
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I’m late to the party, but I noticed last night that my 625-8 JM has the extended cylinder stop cuts. I’ve had the side plate off several times and honestly can’t remember if it had the bolt block.
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Old 04-08-2024, 09:11 PM
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That's exactly why the original 44Spl, 5 shot, L frame, the 696, was drop from production!
I believe the foremost weakness in the 44 Spcl. M296/396/696s was the barrel breech's thin forcing cone which overshadowed any other shortcomings.

They were perfectly fine for factory loads but, again, handloaders pushed its design which the M69 fixed.

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M69, 44 Combat Magnum
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