The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson

This is a discussion on The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The M&P may be somewhat of a copy of a Glock, but I've got both and very much prefer my M&P. Feels better in hand, ...

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Thread: The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array BamaT's Avatar
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    The M&P may be somewhat of a copy of a Glock, but I've got both and very much prefer my M&P. Feels better in hand, and much more accurate. I've had no problems with a 642, a 19 I used to have (and wish I still did), and a model 63. My brother has had no problems with at east 4 or 5 Smiths. Only problems I've had we're with a Colt Detective Special (gasp!) and a Taurus .22. Just my experience.
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  3. #17
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    If the M&P is such a ripoff of the Glock, why is there no lawsuit for patent infringement? Considering the M&P continues to earn market share away from Glock, you'd think if there was a case of "ripoff" it'd have been filed by now.

    What I know is in this day and age, I can never fault any company for trying to make a profit. If they aren't breaking laws, then good for them.

    It is funny people spend time on this stuff when we have our 2nd amendment under attack from all sides.
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  4. #18
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    Well I gotta tell my recent S&W story. To preface this I now currently own several Smith firearms so I'm by no means a hater and as a matter of fact will never part with my very early 629 or my 39. So I recently inherited a Thompson Center Hawken from my recently deceased fathers estate. For those that don't know Thompson Center is now owned by S&W. This is a gun that has been in my family for years and I hunted with it when I was barely a teenager and I'm the short side of fifty now. Anyhow my father in his last years needless to say didn't take very good care of his guns and this one had been shot and put away without cleaning. The barrel was a mass of rust and was ruined. so I called S&W and asked what we could do and the very nice guy said send it in and they would look at it. So I wrote a nice letter explaining the history of this gun with my family and what it meant to me and wanted to know what could be done to restore it to shooting condition.
    After waiting for several weeks I recieved the barrel back saying it was ruined and was not safe to shoot. Duhhh to the ruined part as far as accuracy was concerned that I knew, but it was safe to shoot because the reason I knew it was ruined was because I shot it a lot. My big beef was they didn't even bother to offer to sell me a new barrel (which I would gladly paid for) or even a call to say at least screw you which would have been a little better I suppose. To me this is purely an example of the worst customer service there is and has sealed in my mind that from this point on I will take a Taurus over any Smith.
    Last edited by Jeff F; February 7th, 2013 at 08:47 AM.
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  5. #19
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    Well, it's not like Colt (for counter example) hasn't had its share of problems and questionable practices over the years. In particular, the O frame (1911) guns sold during the multi-year UAW strike were about the worst Colt ever let out the door; the manufacturing tooling was worn out the the craftsmen who could get around sloppy tolerances were walking picket lines. New management and 20-century tooling and manufacturing processes helped to produce some decent 1911s by the early 90s.

    S&W has suffered over the years with ups and downs based on who owned them. The Bangor-Punta and subsequent Lear Siegler ownership didn't do much for product development, and probably used S&W as a cash cow. LSI then sold them to some investment guys (FL) who then sold them to the limey firm, Tomkins, in it was that leadership that "sold out" to the Clinton administration. Recognize that none of these owners had anything other than profit in mind; new product development is expensive and market success is never guaranteed. But nothing succeeds like success, so copying the Glock line via the Sigma venture. But around 2001, Tomkins sold S&W to the current owners for a pittance (like 10 cents on the dollar), and it looks like over the past decade S&W has brought a bunch of new products to the market. They aren't all winners, and you can't deny that marketing folks led some of the charges (like with the I-bolt), but overall I'd say they are in a better place than they've been in probably 50 years.

    Bottom line - take C Hawks article with a grain or two of salt.
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  6. #20
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    I don't like the lawyer locks on most of the SW pistols.
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  7. #21
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    Odd that someone would not mention the other companies that copied Colt and S&W designs. I have a Charter Arms Undercover that looks almost exactly like my S&W Model 30 down to the design of the wooden grips. IMO, Hawks had an ax to grind with S&W.
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  8. #22
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  9. #23
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    The only S&W semi-auto I own is the Model 41 and befitting a target pistol it has been superbly accurate and reliable. I have several revolvers that all date from the 1950s to the 1980s, none have given any problems. My favorite is a Model 19-5 with a 2 ½ inch barrel, I can shoot it better than any other handgun I own and between 7 and 25 yards both 38 and 357 shoot to the same POA. As far as the new revolvers with that senseless, useless lawyer inspired lock I do not and will not own one.
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  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard58 View Post
    I don't like the lawyer locks on most of the SW pistols.
    Both of my S&Ws shipped with lawyer locks, luckily I have spare room in a drawer for them. They're resting comfortably...
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  11. #25
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    As I expected there seems to have been experiences from both sides here on DC. Like I tried to make perfectly clear in my first post, I really never had anything against S&W until I ran across this article and then started to do subsequent research. Then, I think the only thing that really changed my mind was the business part of it. Like I said I had had no negative experiences personally so, I was open to buying one just never got around to it. Any company can and does have QC issues, it happens. It just seemed that from my research they had more than normal.

    I really don't think he has an axe to grind I just think he has had a lot of crappy experiences with them and that swayed his opinion quite a bit. But, on a good note, from what you guys are saying and the research I've done just tonight that seems to be trending in the other direction which, is great since everyone benefits from all manufacturers making better products. It keeps the competition up and we, the consumers benefit.

    To address the copying issue, I think that just about every gun company has done it. Not necessarily exact copies but more like taking an idea and changing it to fit their needs so that they don't have legal issues. Glock took HK's idea with the poly pistol, then everybody did the same thing to Glock, then S&W and Glock both used Springfield's idea about the interchangeable back-straps, back in the day S&W had some issues with a certain pistol, the 1076 if I remember correctly where they had changed the de-cocker from the slide type that they had been copying from Walther to a frame mounted one that was copied from Sig. Sig put a heck of a lawsuit on them just like Glock did for reverse engineering the G17 and marketing it as the Sigma. Sig wanted S&W to never be able to produce another pistol that had any kind of de-cocker. So in short I guess all the companies took ideas from each other.

    Yargo28, Yes I do have an idea how fast a company can change. No, the article, from what I was able to find was written around 2010. So, it's less than three full years old, still relevant IMO.

    Smlock, Yes, we do have a lot going on regarding the Second but, I have been sending multiple letters, emails, and phone calls per week as well as social media, newspapers, news networks, etc. So, I am doing my part therefore I can still make time to do the things I like to do with a clear Conscience.

    10THMTN, I was thinking the same thing about Rollo...Haven't seen him on here in a while...

    Thanks for all of your guys' opinions. I just may have to look into them yet.
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  12. #26
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    I love my M&Ps

    Not a single FTE or FTF

    I did have a single mag that was a problem, but their customer service was excellent

    I would aggree that thereare similarities between the Glock and the M&P, but the M&P has some great
    Innovations over the basic plastic DAO trigger pistol that everyone is making

    Improved ergonomics
    Backstraps
    Shield design
    Different trigger system

    I think the author has an axe to grind
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  13. #27
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    To each his own. We all have our opinions, some are heard by more people than others. I trust my life and families life with S&W.
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  14. #28
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    Seems like an older article, picking on a lot of even older issues. One could make many of the same points about Ruger, with some of their innovations they came up with starting from a 'blank slate', having a string of recalls on a whole sequence of things they made, etc.

    Strikes me as more of a hit piece, and if you dig deep enough, you can do that to any company.

  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard58 View Post
    I don't like the lawyer locks on most of the SW pistols.
    That's one area where they should have copied others. Taurus revolvers and the Ruger LCR both have better systems and without the visibly unappealing holes.

  16. #30
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    When has a company (ANY company) not taken ideas from another company, put them with thier ideas, and called it "Innovation". We have a lot of other corporations that are far more guilty of this than S&W. I own a 5906 that never had problems. When I bought it, I called S&W to see if I could get a schematic with a parts list. Instead, they said they would send me an owners manual that included the schematic as well as a brand new Smith and Wesson pistol case. I appreciate that you want to call out companies and thier bad practices, but I don't feel that this particular company is any more guilty than all the other corporations trying to make a buck, and you may be calling them out a bit later than necessary seeing as how this article is old as the hills.
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