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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/11/2008 at 16:52
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I was asked today why a lot of people were upset with smith and wesson about ten years ago or around there, and I did not remember the whole story.  Can anyone fill me in or give me a web site that has the answer?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/11/2008 at 17:50
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 I posted about smith and wesson and did not say why people were upset, it had somrthing to do with lawsuits toward firearm man.  I think.  Does anybody remember this? I remember there were a lot of people boycotting smith and wesson over there actions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/11/2008 at 18:21
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Smith and Wesson has over the years produced many fine handguns and some that severly lacked quality control. My Dad had a five screw model 27  3 1/2 in blue .357 that was a very well bulit 1950's pistol.  About 1980 I purchased several different S&W revolvers and pistols and quality control was on its way down, however I had a competant gun smith who was able to work miracles with them (get the timing right, chamfer the rough edges on the cylinders to make feeding more reliable, re-crown the barrel which made them shoot much more accurately and essentially hand fit the internal parts and adjust the springs.) You could cut a coil off the trigger return spring and significantly lighten the trigger pull. The S&W revolvers of that era came in K and N frames and later the heavier L frame. Since these were six guns the detent where the cylinder stop locked into the bottom of the cylinder was cut directly over the hole where the cartridge went --- a high pressure cartridge would blow out the cylinder at that weak point. If you look at the current pistols you will find .357 made in J frame 5 shot,    L frame 6 & 7 shot,   and N frame 8 shot,  and the best choice by far is the L frame 7 shot pistol because like the J frame 5 shot the cylinder stop detent is cut between the two chambers.  The only K frame pistols still made are .38 not .357  I will note that every S&W that I have looked at in recent years had correct timing and appeared to be well made with some of the finest pistols ever made coming from the Performance Center. While I have not purchased one of the new ones  there are a couple that I would really like to have.  Also note that older S&W pistols had the firing pin attached to the hammer and today they do not have that feature and have added a locking device above the improved cylinder release.  I suspect the change in firing pin style was the result of law suits where some clumsy person dropped their pistol and discharded it by accident then followed a line of reasoning that the manufacturer should have warned them that beating the firing pin against a primer could cause the firearm to go off.
 
Take note that handguns are a thinking man's weapon.   I recently heard of an officer who shot himself in the leg with a 5 shot J frame chief special carrying it loose in his pocket - obviously some action cocked the hammer like forcing it into the pocket and at that point anything that touched the trigger could set it off.  One wishing to carry in such a manner should equip themself with the hammerless centinal version which has no exposed hammer and is double action only.  I will also note that the 1 7/8 (2 inch) guns really dont have enough barrel to develope much velocity compared tp eaven a 3 inch barrel. As far as todays S&W buy with confidence they have a lifetime warranty.  


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - March/11/2008 at 18:25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/11/2008 at 19:05
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To make up for poor quality S&W while under ownership by a british plumbing company made a deal with the devil.  They set up dealer agreement that would control what the dealers sold by other companies and would allow a lot of anti gun business pratices.  The dealers told them to go to hell! When dealers don't buy and the customer are supporting that desision... The stock is worth a lot less.  S&W got sold. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/11/2008 at 19:12
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I think what Scooter was talking about was the big flap over S&W agreeing with a lot of regulatory nonsense from the Clinton administration and the anti-gun groups about coming up with this Owner ID "smart gun" technology ( where a firearm could not be discharged unless the legitimate owner had his hand on the grip...) ---and other IDEAS--- that the Sarah Brady-types had come up with. Do you remember that stuff?  S&W was the ONLY gun manufacturer to get in line and kiss their a$$.  At the time S&W was owned by a British conglomerate of investors.  Ownership has since changed hands, but some people still remember the bad feelings, and the boycott.     --Ed
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/11/2008 at 20:40
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Ed yes that is what  I was talking about, I remember being mad at them myself but I didn,t remember why. There was a guy at my work today that he was so upset he sold the three smiths that he had and will never buy another but he could not explain why he was so mad. thanks for reminding me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/11/2008 at 20:45
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about 10-15 years ago a magnetic ring was invented that activated the action, and SW was sending them out for testing. the conglomerate was Thompson machine, which had acquired sw from BangorPunta,. The thompson guns were so bad , I used to buy them and send them back underwarranty without every shooting, for such problems as misaligned barrel, out of time, etc. Since all this a company in Arizona, (some lock company) purchased them and the guns today are every bit as good as the old bangor punta days.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/11/2008 at 22:10
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Yea, basically S&W fell on hard times and was sold to a British concerned. They got friendly with the gun grabbers/UN types and made US handgun owners anger. Sales drop off and the American S&W V.P. who remained got some investors together and bought the company, returning it to American hands. If memory serves, the next year is when the 500 S&W X Frame was release. S&W made a huge effort to regain their repuatation. I think their was an interview with the new S&W Pres in American Rifleman some years ago that is the longer version of the above.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/11/2008 at 22:25
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I knew they made good stuff in the 50's and 60s and somewhere in the 70's and 80 the quality started to slip and then it bottomed out in the 90s but the guns I have seen the last few years seem well made and the timing is correct. The cylinder lock should engage locking up the cylinder prior to the hammer falling on every chamber. They have made some really innovative revolvers in the last few years.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2008 at 07:44
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Yep, I think all that stuff is in the past now.  Thank goodness that the British owners and the Clintons are all gone.    WE HOPE.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2008 at 10:06
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Saf-T-Hammer Corporation announced on Monday (May 14) that they have purchased Smith & Wesson Corp. from Tomkins Corporation, a subsidiary of UK-based Tomkins PLC, once again bringing S&W under American ownership. What effect this will have on the shooting public's perception of the company - which is anything but positive - remains to be seen.

The gun-buying public's enmity towards S&W began in earnest in March of last year, when S&W signed an agreement with the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and local and state governments. Restrictions on individual gun owners per this agreement include gun rationing, mandatory gun owner registration, and mandatory training requirements (putting your rights on hold). Restrictions on gun dealers include mandatory employee training, no one under the age of 18 may enter an area in which guns are for sale without an accompanying adult, and forced submission to BATF harassment -- and those are just the high points.

Smith & Wesson, which had been for sale for some time, made what I'd call a huge blunder by entering this agreement, which ired gun owners across the USA. Word spread rapidly among gun buyers that S&W was cozying up to Bill Clinton and the rest of the gun grabbers, and that was all it took for the lion's share of us to stop buying Smith & Wesson's products. Obviously, buyout offers were not in abundance at S&W now that their market share was in serious jeopardy, and sales dropped markedly.

They didn't learn their lesson, though -- S&W entered yet another agreement in December of 2000, this time with the city of Boston. In this agreement (according to CNN.com), S&W "agreed to commit 2% of annual firearm sales to developing safety technology and design changes on triggers. The agreement largely mirrors one the company reached in March with the Clinton administration and some other states and cities."

Further distanced from the gun-buying public, S&W continued to wallow through the first quarter of this year. Despite a short-lived rumor that Sturm, Ruger & Co. was going to buy them out (which was quickly denied by both Ruger and S&W when I called them to ask about it), S&W seemed to be on a sure path to destruction. Will Saf-T-Hammer Corporation be able to save S&W from total destruction? That remains to be seen.

I spoke with Carol Heine (who's in charge of Saf-T-Hammer's Customer Service) about the buyout this afternoon. My first question was, naturally, "What will this do to the "deal?" Answer: They don't know yet. Saf-T-Hammer's attorneys are pounding away at it, looking for any "room" that may be built into the agreement, and I'm certain that Saf-T-Hammer is hoping (and searching) for a chance to renegotiate this agreement. After all, the HUD deal is what enabled Saf-T-Hammer to buy S&W for a mere $15 million (the Brits paid $112 million for it in 1987), and now it's time to start rebuilding the company's image (and therefore its worth).

Unfortunately, the Boston deal cannot be avoided or renegotiated -- at all. It won't be going away, and Ms. Heine confirmed that it is, indeed, "set in stone" -- while she quickly pointed out that it only affects the state of Massachusetts, rather than the entire USA.

With the HUD agreement still up in the air, it's too soon to tell what changes, if any, will be made to S&W's products in the future.

The good news is that Smith & Wesson is once again under the ownership of a company here in the good ol' USA. When I asked Ms. Heine if Saf-T-Hammer takes an official position on "lock up your safety" laws (which would require folks to keep their guns locked in their own homes), she said that although they're in the business of selling gun locks and similar items, they believe the choice should ultimately be the gun owner's to make. She also said they won't support any mandate that would require gun owners to lock up their means of self-defense. It felt good to hear these things, because these are the people who will be steering S&W from now on -- I feel, for the moment at least, that S&W is in good hands.

Knowing that Saf-T-Hammer's President, Bob Scott, left Smith & Wesson in 1999 due to problems with their policies, makes me breathe a bit easier, too. Mr. Scott is the former Vice President for Business Development for Smith & Wesson.

We'll all be watching and waiting to see what will happen with S&W from this point. If Saf-T-Hammer isn't able to renegotiate the HUD deal, they're in for a huge disappointment in their investment, in my opinion. I don't know any shooters who will more readily buy S&W products just because a little money has changed hands and the flag of the owners has become our own. We'll all be looking for results, along the lines of negating the HUD deal as completely as possible.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2008 at 12:21
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Thanks for the update and clarification Doug, I do hope that S&W makes a full comeback. Dirty Harry needs to be placated.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2008 at 12:29
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I think S&W is healthier than ever. They bought T/C. One thing I'm concerned with is they still seem to have the flavor of the day thing going on with their basic products.
I still favor their revolvers over all others.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2008 at 12:40
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I grew up with S&W revolvers, that was all my father and grandfather would own handgun wise. They sold them when there was the QC issues, even though it didn't affect the ones they owned. Then the whole BS that is mentioned above which really is more of a govco sponsored antitrust agreement thing, where S&W was trying to corner a market and got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Dad went Colt, and I went Ruger, which I really like these revolvers by the way. S&W is an American icon in the pistol department and competition is a good thing as it keeps companies honest. I love any and all quality handguns, and hope to see a bright future for them all which will mean good things for us freedom wise. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2008 at 13:05
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The quality control went to hell on some of the ammo about the same time.  I was  thinking the idea was  that if they couldn't take them away they would make them so unreliable that nobody would want one.  I can remember finding a  CCI/ Blazer 200 gr JHP .45acp cartridge in my duty pistol that was straight wall no recess where the extractor fits in. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2008 at 13:23
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If a COP had gotten that batch of ammunition, the gun grabbers and Sarah Brady and the ACLU would have had a conniption!! They would have burned the Constitution and the Bill of Rights on the ten o'clock news! Chuck Schumer would have lit the match!
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