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Old January 22, 2014, 09:45 PM   #1
MJFlores
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Finish quality of NEW Smith & Wesson revolvers

I've been seeking another S&W 629 .44 magnum in stainless steel for a while now. You see, when I was 16 years old I saved all summer to buy one, and when the day came my Dad brought me so he could buy it (I was too young at the time). I had it for about 10 years and foolishly sold it. I've missed it ever since! So, now I'm 43 and have been looking for a year or so and finally held one tonight. It felt beautiful but boy it sure didn't look it. I actually had to ask if it really was a new firearm. The stainless finish was covered with swirl marks and clearly hadn't been polished yet. I was REALLY let down. Has anyone else seen this in new S&W revolvers? Such a shame...they had two and both looked like someone gave em a rub down with sand covered coarse steel wool. You'd expect much better finishing for $810.
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Old January 22, 2014, 10:03 PM   #2
FloridaGuy
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It is probable what S&W is calling matte finish.
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Old January 22, 2014, 10:09 PM   #3
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I cannot speak to the S&W that you saw, but I find the new S&Ws to be very nicely finished.



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Old January 22, 2014, 10:28 PM   #4
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In my opinion, the most beautiful finish ever put on a gun was the original Colt Python blue. After that came S&W blue and stainless. Either of those was a joy to behold.
By comparison, todays finishes are crap. Even the custom shop guns don't look as good as an original 29 or 66. Overjoyed I still have mine.
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Old January 22, 2014, 10:33 PM   #5
Arkhog
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I feel your pain

Last year I bought a Model 640-3 (stainless Centennial .357). This gun was new old stock. It sat in the dealer's safe for a while. It was made in 2009. I didn't pay much attention to the finish at the store. When I got it home I found that it had a factory "matte stainless" finish that even Mother's mag polish couldn't fix.

I now have a 640 with polished swirl marks. I don't like the looks of it. However, I will keep it because all-stainless Centennials are hard to find around here. Most are Airweights. Besides, I made an adjustment to the IL. Have to keep it now.

In my opinion, "matte" is another term for "we were too cheap to finish the gun".
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Old January 23, 2014, 08:32 PM   #6
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Yeah, to me there are two finishes you can do to Stainless Steel. Polished which should be bright and free from scratches and swirl marks, and Matte which would be polished and then bead blasted to take the shine down. The two "brand new" S&W pistols I held yesterday were neither...they were unfinished and just terrible looking. Either S&W thinks they can get away with selling things like that because the market for firearms is currently sky high, or they no longer care about creating a quality firearm. I would have dropped the $800 yesterday on the one I held but couldn't with a finish like that. I'm sort of depressed over it. It's a real shame.
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Old January 23, 2014, 08:39 PM   #7
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Jesus, we must be looking at different guns. The new S&Ws I see are beautiful. Granted they do not make as many with the glossy blued finish any more, but that can still be had with the 44 Model 29.

Oh well, takes all kinds. I will reiterate. I think that the new production S&Ws look fine. More than fine.
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Old January 23, 2014, 10:08 PM   #8
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I'm truly amazed at how many people have posts starting with:

"I just bought a xyz gun and when I got it home I noticed it looked bad/didn't work/was missing"...

Doesn't anyone look over the weapon before they say "Yep I'll take it..."

I've gone through multiple guns getting one I wanted. If the LGS didn't like it or have more to show me they didn't get my sale.

I always do a thorough inspection before accepting a gun to purchase.
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Old January 23, 2014, 10:18 PM   #9
MJFlores
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Rogervzv, have you looked at guns that have recently been produced? Often times revolvers can sit a while in a store. The guy working the counter was up font about it when I mentioned all the swirls...he said he gets a lot of bad comments and personally felt S&W was trying to keep up with demand. I don't know. The ones I just saw that just arrived in were terrible.

JGLSprings...???? Your comment didn't make sense. Did you read the post? Nobody bought anything.
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Old January 23, 2014, 10:27 PM   #10
Billy Shears
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I held a new blued GP100 side by side with a new S&W 27 a couple hours ago. The bluing on the Smith was so far and away better than the Ruger I could hardly believe my eyes. It really was stunning.
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Old January 23, 2014, 11:03 PM   #11
Arkhog
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New Gun Fever

Quote:
jglsprings I'm truly amazed at how many people have post starting with:

"I just bought a xyz gun and when I got it home I noticed it looked bad/didn't work/was missing"...


Doesn't anyone look over the weapon before they say "Yep I'll take it..."

I've gone through multiple guns getting one I wanted. If the LGS didn't like it or have more to show me they didn't get my sale.

I always do a thorough inspection before accepting a gun to purchase.
So I didn't look it over to your satisfaction. I got a case of new gun fever and was blinded by the light. Smith finishes these days aren't as good. In fact, some of them can't be called "finished". No polish at all. Period.

If your guns are all perfect, then, good for you!
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Old January 23, 2014, 11:23 PM   #12
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gunstores are just like jewelry stores. they control the lighting over the display cases with lightbulbs that are best at blending/hiding flaws.

Kinda like why 40 year old worn out floozies like bars with only one 20 watt light inside.
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Old January 24, 2014, 12:21 AM   #13
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I had it for about 10 years and foolishly sold it.
It's amazing how in the world of firearms, the word "sold" is almost always preceded by the word "foolishly."
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Old January 24, 2014, 06:14 AM   #14
MJFlores
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HAHA...isn't that the truth. For me anyway, when you sell a car or truck it's because it ready to go...you're done with it. Often times, with firearms you're just wanting money for something else and cash in. Not all the times but sometimes. Those are the ones we regret, unless the firearm just wasn't anything special to us. When I bought my first 629, I paid $360 for it. When I traded it in toward a Sig in .40 cal, I got $350 ...cant argue with that really. I didnlt realize at the time that it was worth a lot more to me than a lousy 350 dollars. Now to replace it, you'll have to drop 800+ and end up with a gun that is nowhere as nice looking due to the finish quality. Now, it may function the same...could even be better but when you hold one now and examine it's lines and contours...it's just metal...and not something beautiful. I haven't examined any blued Smiths so they could still have a great finish on them, I just don't know. That could be the direction to go these days.
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Old January 24, 2014, 09:50 AM   #15
joe-lumber
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New S&W's with the lock hole in the side are a turnoff to me. Forget about the finish. Also after reading they lock up when they shouldn't is also a turnoff also. I would rather have one of the older models without the lock that is in good shape. Can't tell if the lockup problem is a myth but why take a chance when you really need a gun???
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Old January 26, 2014, 03:55 PM   #16
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You guys are all hung up on looks--it's the personallity that counts.
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Old January 26, 2014, 06:11 PM   #17
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FWIW I recently purchased a new Smith revolver. Granted it was a Performance Center model and so you'd expect the finish to be excellent and in fact it was.
Once I got it home though, while handling the gun I realized that the front site was so loose that I could move it and then remove it with my fingers. Not impressive at all.
It went back and they made good on it but it was pretty dismaying.
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Old January 26, 2014, 06:39 PM   #18
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I posted a thread about this a couple years ago, S&W's idea of a brushed finish on their revolvers is pathetic. Uneven swirl marks throughout the gun with no rhyme or reason. Don't get me wrong, I love S&W revolvers, but for an $800 plus gun I expect better. The first thing I do with any new S&W is spend a few hours with a rag and some mothers mag polish.

Quote:
I would have dropped the $800 yesterday on the one I held but couldn't with a finish like that. I'm sort of depressed over it. It's a real shame.
They polish out pretty easily, don't let it stop you from buying one.
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Old January 27, 2014, 06:27 PM   #19
pete2
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The new S&W guns aren't as nice as the older ones, The last 4 I bought all had something wrong with them. I think that the fact that they have super equipment for machining etc now makes them sloppy in the QC dept. They should be better in every way than the older guns but they are not.
625 JM, bad extractor, rear of the bbl not true
686 Plus, out of time
642, burr in the forcing cone
17, plates lead on the cylinder, hard trigger

It's not only S&W, sent back a Citori, an SR 1911 Commander(twice), repaired a new Kimber myself. They just ain't what they used to be when humans had a hand in building them. It seems that now they just assemble the parts, some work some don't. They will try to repair it if you send it back.
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Old January 27, 2014, 09:58 PM   #20
lifesizepotato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydster
You guys are all hung up on looks--it's the personallity that counts.
Even that's no good on some of them.

My uncle brought his brand new Classic model 29, a -8 or -10 or something (had a lock, too), to Thanksgiving last fall. The trigger on it was pretty surprisingly bad - kind of a hinky weight to it, and some grittiness near the end of the DA pull. More to the topic at hand, even the blued finish seemed more low-effort than the S&W high polish blue of yore.

He also had a newer 66 and 586 and they were similarly disappointing.

(To be fair, the 586 and 29 shot accurately. I didn't get a chance to shoot the 66 since the cylinder bound up in the frame. He's sending it back for warranty work.)

My take is, with the jillions of nice, easily available vintage Smiths available, go for the old.
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Old January 29, 2014, 10:34 AM   #21
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It must be true that the internet brings out people with problems more than happy customers.

My S&W 686+ (2013 vintage) functions great and looks great.

My S&W 627 PC looks terrific, is deadly accurate, and has no known defects whatever.

Same with my S&W 625JM -- fantastic gun and a pleasure just to look at.

Older S&Ws are OK. Frankly, in the old days S&W did a lot of hand-fitting, used outdated machine tools, and tried to make up for it in the quality control step at the end of the production chain. This is old-style manufacturing. Nowadays S&W, Ruger, CZ/Dan Wesson all use numerically controlled machinery, statistical quality control, and modern production techniques. The result is better guns at a better price. It is simply impossible economically to produce a hand-fitted production gun as in days of yore, and we are all the better for it.
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Old January 29, 2014, 10:57 AM   #22
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In the past the M28 was a real bargain compared to the M27 [30 % difference ] .The only difference in the guns was the finish of the 27 which required a SKILLED polisher !
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Old January 29, 2014, 11:34 AM   #23
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I think it comes down to what one wants from a gun. Is it a tool that will be used and will be exposed to wear or is a piece of art that one wants to look at? Is appearance more important than function? When a manufacturer produces a product, do they aim for the largest market within a specific price range or do they target a small amount of individuals? Years ago when stainless guns first came out, many folks disliked them because they were "too shiny" and did things to dull them before hunting with them. Now folks get a "brushed" finish and it's not shiny enough. Both could be and are easily changed. Hard to please everyone all the time.

Quote:
Originally posted by Rogervzv:

It must be true that the internet brings out people with problems more than happy customers.
It is. It also seems that the internet is a place for folks to whine. It also seems for every happen owner that posts once about their positive experience, there is one unhappy troll that posts continuously about problems their friend or someone they know had. This is true regardless of manufacturer or product. Over @ the S&W forum they have a new rule about bashing other folks newer production Smiths because of this. Not because there are no problems with new Smiths, but because it is the same few folks that feel the need to bash them on every thread, whether the thread started out positive or negative.

Folks want to pay for a mass produced firearm, but want a custom finish. Folks want to pay for a mass produced action, but want a trigger than breaks like that of a custom shop gun. Folks want to pay for a modern blued firearm, but want the finish of old that took many more man hours and chemicals that are now illegal to use. Like old better, buy old. Like new just as much, buy new. Don't like the Hilary Hole, buy a Ruger. Don't like a billboard on the side of your gun, buy a Smith. Don't like a brushed finish, pay for a polished finish or do it yourself.

Gets old coming to sites like this looking to glean knowledge and info only to find nuttin' but whining and complaints. Then folks like me come here and whine about the whiners.
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Old January 29, 2014, 12:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Is appearance more important than function?
No but you wouldn't buy a new car with a crap paint job.

Quote:
Folks want to pay for a mass produced firearm, but want a custom finish
I know how to do a brushed finish, a hell of alot better than I have seen on most S&W stainless revolvers, and it is not very hard. If they are not going to take the time to do a proper brushed finish, then polish the gun or bead blast it. If they are not going to do either of those, then they shouldn't charge a premium for their product. S&W revolvers are not by any means cheap in price. Bead blasting is extremely easy, cheap, and quick to do. With a large enough polishing wheel they could polish their revolvers up pretty darn quick and have them look alot better than their pathetic excuse for a brushed finish.

These are examples of alot of the brushed finishes you see on S&W revolvers. It looks like they dry brushed these guns, which leave it with an awful scratched up look instead of a satin type finish. Also there is no method to how they brush these guns, sure the rounded contours make it harder than a flat slide, but their finished product comes out looking awful.




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Old January 29, 2014, 12:57 PM   #25
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I agree with everything you say Buck.
I have three new Smith's, a 442 (no lock), Governor and a M-63. The fit, finish and function on all of them are very nice. I had to send the M-63 back for lead spitting but they had it back in about a week with a new barrel and no more problems.
When I bought them I wasn't looking for a highly polished work of art to hide in the safe.
If I was looking for a new house I would know better than to ask for wet plaster and hardwood floors.
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