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Old December 15, 1999, 08:33 PM   #1
45 Fan
Join Date: August 14, 1999
Posts: 27
Hi to the list:
I have recently purchased both a Smith 625 and a 696 and have a question about these guns. It appears that Smith has changed the material used for the hammers and triggers in these guns. It appears that they are now made of sintered metal instead of chrome moly gun steel. Will I still be able to achieve a light and smooth trigger pull, both DA/SA, with these new parts or do I need to look for older hammers and triggers to refit to these guns? Thanks in advance to those who reply......45Fan
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Old December 15, 1999, 10:09 PM   #2
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Join Date: July 18, 1999
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I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that S&W doesn't use any sintered pieces in their guns. I know that some of the early Colt's hammers were sintered, and experienced failure due to repeated shock.

I think I know what you mean about the new S&W hammers. Are you refering to the ones with a uniform soft grey appearance? If so, then the answer is that the composition of steel is the same, but they've started to "flash" chrome the hammers and triggers. The parts are of the same steel as the former case-hardened parts, just the "frosting" is different these days.

Why'd S&W do this?
It's as easy to ask why they habitually discontinue some of their greatest guns (M18 for example).
The answer: I don't know.

I've guns with both types of hammers, and haven't noticed any difference in the quality of the action.

$.02, -Kframe
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Old December 16, 1999, 02:40 AM   #3
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,531
S&W uses the MIM (metal injection molded) technique which is a more advance than the old and failed sintered metal effort of Colt (their parts fell apart). Like sintered metal, metal powder is injected into a mold and then heated up to bond the powder into a solid block. The depth of precision is such that they're producing parts which comes out very crisp and "allegedly" requires very little honing or stoning. It also holds up well.

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt

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Old December 17, 1999, 10:30 AM   #4
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Good info. I was wondering about the new S&W hammers, having noticed mold marks on the hammers of S&W revolvers that were manufactured recently. I'm willing to believe that the new hammers are fine as a rule. But I recall reading in "Gun Tests" earlier this year about a brand-new Model 696 whose hammer broke (broke!?) almost immediately. I've never heard of a broken S&W hammer before, which makes me think the new manufacturing process represents a downgrade. OTOH, maybe S&W hammers have always broken from time to time--only I just didn't hear about them.

[This message has been edited by jimmy (edited December 17, 1999).]
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Old December 17, 1999, 01:22 PM   #5
Paul B.
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Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Jimmy. I have an S&W 629 in .44 Magnum. This is one of the early 629's, so you would think it to be well (?) made. After about 250 rounds, the trigger/hammer sear arrangment was all screwed up. The warranty had run out and it was not cheap getting it fixed. They replaced the hammer and trigger. About 200 rounds later, it happened again. Another replacement, and more money gone. Methinks, I'll take it to the neaxt gun show and trade it off for something that will hold up. Then again, maybe not. I'd feel guilty as hell sticking some poor soul with that piece of junk. Naaaahhhhh!
Paul B.
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Old December 17, 1999, 01:51 PM   #6
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,279
Up until the recent change, S&W always made hammers and triggers of unhardened carbon steel and case hardened them. Many people messed them up by stoning and cutting through the case hardening. I understand they are now using a new technique as Gary describes. In fact, I thought Ruger was also using that and has been for some time. I know their parts are harder than heck and don't seem to be just hardened steel.

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