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Old September 6, 2005, 09:47 AM   #1
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Opinions on S&W 916a

I'm considering buying a used S&W 916a shotgun. It is in reasonably good condition, needs a good cleaning, but seems to be functionally sound. Are these good guns and what would be a fair price for one?


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Old September 7, 2005, 10:30 AM   #2
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I suppose the S&W 916 is a serviceable enough shotgun but, IMO, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of its aesthetics (admittedly a subjective opinion) and handling qualities-sort of the Hi-Point in shotguns. They didn't cost much when new and, personally, I don't think they're worth much more than $100.00, even if NIB...
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Old September 7, 2005, 10:49 AM   #3
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$25 is max, save your money buy an 870

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Old September 7, 2005, 06:32 PM   #4
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The S&W 916 holds the record as being probably the worst pump shotgun ever made in America.

The 916 was a copy of the old Nobel shotgun, and wasn't actually made by S&W.
Nobody seems to know for sure just who did.

In any event, the 916 was a disaster for S&W, and at one point, S&W management actually discussed buying the guns back from the buyers, just to recover S&W's reputation.

The gun was simply a bad gun.
There was no specific weakness, if there had been, S&W probably could have corrected it.

The problems were systemic.....EVERYTHING broke.

S&W discontinued the 916, and in a few years replaced it with the much better S&W Models 1000 semi-auto, and the Model 3000 pump guns, made for S&W by Howa of Japan.

Not all 916's broke or failed, but enough did that S&W's reputation took a real beating.

As long as the gun works, you're OK, but if/when it does break, they seem to have an almost malicious tendency to start falling apart.

Gun Parts Corporation sells 916 parts, and you'll want to remember this if you buy one.
If my experience over the years is any'll be needing Gun Parts services.
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Old September 8, 2005, 12:27 AM   #5
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I was just trying to be kind.
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Old September 11, 2005, 12:13 AM   #6
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I'm the former owner of a S&W 916. I'll tell you why I no longer own it:

Only one action bar. This makes the forearm wiggle (clocking) just holding the weapon. Also makes for iffy cycling.

The barrel is screwed into the receiver, like a bolt-action rifle. Forget about swapping barrels on it, unless you're a gunsmith (or can afford taking it to one for a sub-$100 gun). Also, spare barrels cost more than the gun's worth from Numrich - the only source of barrels I've seen.

Parts are pricey, when they can be found, due to the dwindling amount of parts left available (nothing new is made for these). Also, most parts that you might need (the ones that break most often) are always out-of-stock - so you'll probably never find one.

Barrel has fixed choke. Mine had a "Modified" choke, which I didn't really like. Having it threaded for either inside or outside choke tubes would be MUCH more than it's worth.

Mine had feeding problems galore, with any and all brands/types of ammo I tried. The magazine cutoff (the lever that prevents a double feed from the tubular magazine) often was sticky, and wouldn't allow a fresh shell to the elevator for feeding.

Absolutely NO accessories are available for it. Forget about mag extensions, shellholders, and just about anything else. Want a synthetic stock instead of the warped wood one? In your dreams...

Personally, I'd only own another for use as either a wall-hanger, or to teach a 5 year old gunsmithing upon. You can find MUCH better shotguns out there, especially used ones, for the same money.

I only bought mine (it was my first shotgun) because I knew nothing about it at the time. After a little research (very little, as there's almost nothing on-line about them), and my own experience with it, I traded it in within a month on a Mosin Nagant M44 carbine in excellent condition. I know I got the better end of the deal!

I'd avoid owning one like the plague, even if it was given to me at no cost.
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