The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 8, 2021, 04:30 PM   #26
Ruger45LC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 729
I very nearly bought a 3" 686+ last week, I passed but I'm still holding on to the idea. Looks great, don't worry about imperfections, it's a production gun and if you intend on actually using it, it will get a scratch on it here and there. The main thing is if it shoots well. I have a 629 Deluxe 3" and it's a great shooter.
Ruger45LC is offline  
Old June 8, 2021, 10:48 PM   #27
AlongCameJones
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 129
I'm not worried about scratches at all with satin or bead-blasted finishes. I like crisp numbers and letters on barrels, though. The letters and numbers on my 686 look like they were drawn on beach sand with a stick. Very lame for a wheel gun retailing for $900. Roll stamping displaces metal and pushes it outward and upward causing the surfaces around the letters and numbers to buckle slightly. This is why barrels can bulge when a button forms the grooves of the rifling. Metal is compressed or displaced, not removed. I believe the gunsmiths would dehorn the rough edges on the letters, numbers, cylinder and barrel and frame surface first by machining before blasting on the new satin surface.

Sometimes roll stamped characters look crooked or deformed. They can have uneven depths or uneven impression line thicknesses. It is a cheap marking method lacking precision and neatness.

I would be ashamed in my workmanship as a gunsmith to use roll stamping.
__________________
Keep America and this planet beautiful. Don't litter. Take the time to find a garbage can. Don't be lazy. Report litterers in to the police. Use peer pressure against those you know who litter. Litter is ugly. Litter hurts animals. Litter injures people. Please pass it on.

Last edited by AlongCameJones; June 8, 2021 at 10:53 PM.
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old June 8, 2021, 11:06 PM   #28
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 23,735
Quote:
...I started examining the gun at home closer under my bright home office lights and with a magnifier...
At least you were honest with them. I gotta say though, that level of scrutiny on the finish of a production line gun is kind of messed up. In a custom gun or maybe even a performance center S&W, that might be justified, but not on a standard production piece.
Quote:
Very lame for a wheel gun retailing for $900.
You keep saying $900 like it means something. Try and find a decent quality 7 shot .357Mag stainless steel revolver for significantly less.

You mentioned going with Taurus--look at this picture of a new one. Pay attention to the lettering--you won't need a magnifier.

That's what you can expect. You got the quality you should have expected for the price you paid. The fact that you didn't expect that, even after a seller told you straight up to expect it has nothing to do with S&W.
Quote:
I would be ashamed in my workmanship as a gunsmith to use roll stamping.
You can look at the pictures on the S&W website and easily tell that the barrel markings are roll stamped. If you were going to use your magnifier, that would have been the right time to do it.

Roll marking is a very common method for marking guns and honestly, this is the first time I can recall someone complaining that it's somehow a substandard process.
__________________
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old June 8, 2021, 11:52 PM   #29
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 16,157
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlongCameJones
... Roll stamping displaces metal and pushes it outward and upward causing the surfaces around the letters and numbers to buckle slightly. This is why barrels can bulge when a button forms the grooves of the rifling. Metal is compressed or displaced, not removed. I believe the gunsmiths would dehorn the rough edges on the letters, numbers, cylinder and barrel and frame surface first by machining before blasting on the new satin surface.

Sometimes roll stamped characters look crooked or deformed. They can have uneven depths or uneven impression line thicknesses. It is a cheap marking method lacking precision and neatness.

I would be ashamed in my workmanship as a gunsmith to use roll stamping.
With all due respect, I think your expectations are unrealistic, and your understanding of the manufacturing process is incorrect.

1. Smith and Wesson revolvers are not custom-made by gunsmiths. They are a mass-produced commodity, assembled in a factory from mass-produced parts by assemblers who each know how to put that part in the gun.

2. No mass production manufacturer of firearms goes back after the rollmarks have been applied to file or grind down the slight ridges of displaced metal around the rollmarks. These are factory produced firearms, not one-off custom guns.

3. It's highly unlikely that the bead-blasted finish is applied after the rollmark. I strongly suspect that the rollmark comes after the finish has been applied. Otherwise, the interiors of the characters would be satin finished.
__________________
NRA Life Member / Certified Instructor
NRA Chief RSO / CMP RSO
1911 Certified Armorer
Jeepaholic
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 12:03 AM   #30
AlongCameJones
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 129
Guns can be bead-blasted aftermarket: the markings on the barrel are already intact from the factory.

I'm a boomer and remember when $900 was a pretty chunk of change. I'm glad I at least got a cheaper Smith 642-2 last year with much better finish and neat markings. How ironic. New full-frame Smith revolvers were typically under $400 in the '80's. I even saw a nice new Model 619 in 2005 for about $400 with excellent finish and markings. I have seen what good things Smith & Wesson has done in the past for much less money. This is why this latest 686 of mine surprises me unpleasantly. Mine older eyes have seen the golden days of glory gone by.
__________________
Keep America and this planet beautiful. Don't litter. Take the time to find a garbage can. Don't be lazy. Report litterers in to the police. Use peer pressure against those you know who litter. Litter is ugly. Litter hurts animals. Litter injures people. Please pass it on.
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 01:56 AM   #31
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 23,735
Quote:
This is why this latest 686 of mine surprises me unpleasantly.
Again, the first seller, the one you were upset with for being honest with you, told you what to expect even though he knew it was going to cost him a sale. You may not be happy about what you ended up with, but claiming to be surprised doesn't make sense.
__________________
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 02:11 AM   #32
AlongCameJones
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 129
Doesn't make sense? Well, the ad photos at the S&W site make the finish look deceptively nice. If you bought a new Smith for $450 one year and it looked sharp to your eyes and then you paid double for another Smith gun a year later and it looked somewhat shoddy on the exterior, what should a rational person think? I ordered this 686 online. I expected a new $900 Smith to look no less nice than my new $450 Smith did a year ago also purchased by me online.

The first seller told me about swirl marks on new Smiths but I didn't believe him because my el-cheapo new 642-2 last year didn't show any such imperfections whatsoever.

Why did Smith give so much cosmetic attention to their cheapest model revolver? A little hammerless d/a-only aluminum J-frame .38 they call an Airweight in a finish they call matte silver?
__________________
Keep America and this planet beautiful. Don't litter. Take the time to find a garbage can. Don't be lazy. Report litterers in to the police. Use peer pressure against those you know who litter. Litter is ugly. Litter hurts animals. Litter injures people. Please pass it on.

Last edited by AlongCameJones; June 9, 2021 at 02:21 AM.
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 09:11 AM   #33
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 2,414
So you know, the finish on that other revolver is cheaper. Bead blasting is just that, media blasting to a fine finish.

I suspect the 686 gets a rougher polished look....to look rougher while not going full bright stainless like the Python.

I agree with you though. It looks crappier. But when you know the others are just media blasted to look good (GP100), you know the 686 gets more attention just with a crap polish.

Your pushed lettering and harder indenting is a new one though. That I would annoyed by. Other than that, actually a good finish for a 686.
__________________
My wife is a pulmonologist (respiratory Dr) and epidemiologist. If you have any questions on COVID, please reach out to me in PM.
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 09:27 AM   #34
ojibweindian
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2000
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 1,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlongCameJones View Post
Guns can be bead-blasted aftermarket: the markings on the barrel are already intact from the factory.

I'm a boomer and remember when $900 was a pretty chunk of change. I'm glad I at least got a cheaper Smith 642-2 last year with much better finish and neat markings. How ironic. New full-frame Smith revolvers were typically under $400 in the '80's. I even saw a nice new Model 619 in 2005 for about $400 with excellent finish and markings. I have seen what good things Smith & Wesson has done in the past for much less money. This is why this latest 686 of mine surprises me unpleasantly. Mine older eyes have seen the golden days of glory gone by.
900 bucks back then isn't even close to 900 bucks today. Obsessing over roll marks on a carry gun is way too OCD, and not in a good way.
ojibweindian is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 12:42 PM   #35
HighValleyRanch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2005
Posts: 3,930
I never actually looked at the original photos, but from the description, I expected to see crayon like lettering!LOL
Huh, just a few minor imperfections that you need a magnifying glass to see?
Picky, picky, picky!
__________________
From the sweet grass to the slaughter house; From birth until death; We travel between these two eternities........from 'Broken Trail"
HighValleyRanch is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 03:23 PM   #36
AlongCameJones
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 129
I need the magnifier to be able to read the lettering. The imperfections I can see with unaided eyes easily. I should have just found a beater .357 revolver at a pawn shop much cheaper had I known about the new 686 ahead of time.
__________________
Keep America and this planet beautiful. Don't litter. Take the time to find a garbage can. Don't be lazy. Report litterers in to the police. Use peer pressure against those you know who litter. Litter is ugly. Litter hurts animals. Litter injures people. Please pass it on.
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 03:35 PM   #37
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 2,414
Na. I think he has a point with the raised areas round the lettering.

That's totally different that uneven lettering imprinting that could otherwise be common...
__________________
My wife is a pulmonologist (respiratory Dr) and epidemiologist. If you have any questions on COVID, please reach out to me in PM.
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 04:11 PM   #38
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 17,044
Slight correction, Aquila

"2. No PRESENT mass production manufacturer of firearms goes back after the rollmarks have been applied to file or grind down the slight ridges of displaced metal around the rollmarks. These are factory produced firearms, not one-off custom guns."

Look at a well preserved old Colt or Smith's markings.
Jim Watson is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 06:20 PM   #39
AlongCameJones
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 129
Yes, I have seen some Colt and Smith handguns both with sloppy ridges around the marks and others of both makes, pistols and revolvers, that were neat around the marks. Those guns with neat marks either were machined after stamping or the marks were made with some kind of engraving process.

I've seen new Colt 1911-type 45's in the 1990's and 2000's with slides that looked roll-marked and crude. Over my lifetime, I've owned a pre-1964 Colt Govt. Model, a 1970's Series 70 Colt Govt. Model and a 1971 Colt Lawman Mk. III all with superb crisp lettering that didn't look rough roll-marked at all. That new Colt King Cobra I bought last year and dumped shortly afterward had the same crisp lettering quality my older Colt guns had. I dumped that new King Cobra at a loss of about $200 for a number of reasons: bright stainless barrel scratched or hazed real easily, trigger was crappy and Colt "customer service" over the telephone was virtually nonexistent.

I swore off both new Colt products and such shiny brightly-finished firearms from thereon. On revolvers, I either want a satin/brushed/blasted stainless finish or a brushed-looking, matte silver finish like my 642-2 has. These don't seem to easily show fine scratches or haze. These guns have finishes like a car painted with a metallic silver paint. Metallic silver, neutral or gray on automobiles hides dust, fine scratches and fine gritty haze well. On those older Colt 45 autos, I like traditional blue or the mil-spec finish of old. I like the way Glocks are finished for auto pistols. I like the way older Colt AR-15's are finished for mil-spec-looking rifles.
__________________
Keep America and this planet beautiful. Don't litter. Take the time to find a garbage can. Don't be lazy. Report litterers in to the police. Use peer pressure against those you know who litter. Litter is ugly. Litter hurts animals. Litter injures people. Please pass it on.
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 10:52 PM   #40
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 23,735
Quote:
Well, the ad photos at the S&W site make the finish look deceptively nice.
They aren't blown up to the extent that yours are, but I've looked at them and as I already posted, if you look at the closeup of the barrel, you can clearly see that the metal is pushed up from the roll marking.

https://www.smith-wesson.com/product...lus?sku=164194

You can also see finish scratches/swirls from the brushed finish in that picture and it's also obvious that the frame finish doesn't quite match the barrel finish.
Quote:
I think he has a point with the raised areas round the lettering.
Well, 1) it's visible on the S&W website pictures as seen above, and 2) it's pretty standard to some extent or another on a lot of guns with roll markings. I'm not going to pull a ton of guns out of the safe, but the GP100 I bought in 1990 clearly shows it. Looked at a couple of Glocks, and although matte finish hides it and it's not very pronounced, you can still see it if you want to pull out a magnifier. It's VERY obvious on the Kahr I grabbed. I don't see it as being uncommon nor as being a new thing.
__________________
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 10:58 PM   #41
HighValleyRanch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2005
Posts: 3,930
I could worry myself to death about the "read instructions" legalise on the barrel of my Ruger LCRX, but it doesnt show up when it's in the holster, so what?
Maybe I can take some bondo and fill it and mat black the barrel again!
Oh the worries of life!
__________________
From the sweet grass to the slaughter house; From birth until death; We travel between these two eternities........from 'Broken Trail"
HighValleyRanch is offline  
Old June 9, 2021, 11:15 PM   #42
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 16,157
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlongCameJones
New full-frame Smith revolvers were typically under $400 in the '80's.
I'm old enough to remember paying 25 cents per gallon for gasoline, too. It's called "inflation."

$400 in 1980 equates to $1,303 in 2021.

$400 in 1985 equates to $998 in 2021.

You got a bargain for your $900 ...
__________________
NRA Life Member / Certified Instructor
NRA Chief RSO / CMP RSO
1911 Certified Armorer
Jeepaholic
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old June 10, 2021, 11:07 AM   #43
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 5,126
March 2014: I stepped into my LGS on my way into work just to pass some time. It was the peak of the Sandy Hook shortage. Their "wall of guns" was almost completely empty. One of the very few guns remaining was a 686+ w/ 3" bbl.

I asked the counter guy if I could see it - just for the heck of it; passing some time. The instant that thing hit my hand, I knew it was coming home with me (10-day wait in California). Love at first touch. I messed around with it long enough so the counter guy didn't think I was insane ; but I instantly knew I was buying it. ($922 out the door, if memory serves.)

I am pleased with it. I have other Smith revolvers; most dating back to the mid-'80's - I'm a revolver guy. This one's trigger is rather heavy and a little gritty; but I don't mind at all. I shoot it just fine. Fine enough to carry. It's big, so I need a windbreaker for it to hide. But I'm here in sunny/warm California, so it's short sleeves 9 months a year. That's the only reason why I don't carry it all the time. I'm moving to Idaho. I'm looking forward to carrying it much more often there (looking forward to much more firearm freedom in general ).
__________________
Gun control laws benefit only criminals and politicians - but then, I repeat myself.
Life Member, National Rifle Association
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old June 11, 2021, 03:00 AM   #44
hemiram
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2005
Location: Toledo, ohio
Posts: 741
This kind of thing is why I'm only interested in the old S&W stuff. Newest S&W revolver I have is a 625-3. Made in '89. I've got a 28-2 that's just about to turn 55, another that's 42, and a third one is a young 40. Nothing S&W makes in centerfire handguns interests me in the slightest. Only thing they make that I want is a M&P 15-22 Pistol.
hemiram is offline  
Old June 13, 2021, 02:31 PM   #45
shurshot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2006
Posts: 1,797
I'm pretty happy with my new 2.5", 6 shot 686 I bought recently. Polished up pretty nice with Mother's, not a Python type shine, but pretty good for an off duty CCW / fly fishing companion. IWB is so comfortable, I wore it kayaking 2 weeks ago and forgot I had it on. I got my money's worth, MIM, lock and all. After all, It's a SS S&W and in .357 Magnum to boot.
shurshot is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2020 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Page generated in 0.08636 seconds with 11 queries