The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson

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; I know that there are some on DC that may not agree with Chuck and some of his opinions but, but his opinions (which can ...

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Thread: The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson

  1. #1
    Member Array Crowbait's Avatar
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    The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson

    I know that there are some on DC that may not agree with Chuck and some of his opinions but, but his opinions (which can be very strong about certain things) are based upon facts and his personal experiences. So, even though you may not agree with his opinion at least it's not based on here say and the almighty internet experts; or, as I heard one person put it "the gun rag writers who never met a $500 gun they didn't like".

    I personally believe that he is right on the money about the majority of what he writes, the exceptions are few IMO. The following article was written sometime around 2010 I believe, so, there is a good chance that many of you have seen it already. But, IMO when it comes to stuff like this it never hurts to re-read and be well informed.

    I personally have never been a big fan of S&W preferring instead, Colts and Rugers. I had been only vaguely aware of some of the things that Chuck talks about in this article prior to reading it but, then I started doing a little searching of my own here and there and, basically came up with the same results. There were some things I couldn't find any info on but maybe I just wasn't looking in the right places. The main reason I'm posting this is that before I became aware of these things I would have been open to buying a Smith but, since then have changed my mind. I despise this type of business model and these practices that are/were employed by S&W. I'm not completely sure if it's still going on to this day but I wouldn't doubt it given, that a company that practices these things isn't bound to change but, I'm open to other evidence that proves otherwise. However, I still have made the decision to not give them any of my money until I have proof that this is no longer going on and maybe not even then.

    I am not trying to flame anyone who owns, has owned, likes, loves, or recommends S&W, so, please leave your attitudes and egos out of any replies. If you have any constructive information to add whether it be for or against I'd be glad to read/hear it. Just please do it in a respectable manner so this doesn't turn into a war. Safe Shooting!

    Thanks,
    -Russell


    The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson

    By Chuck Hawks


    AUTHOR'S PREFACE

    I've never had any particular desire to do an article about the dark side of Smith & Wesson, but it's time someone in the outdoor media called a spade a spade, so to speak, rather than sugar-coat it as a "manual digging implement." I'm sure that I will be accused of all sorts of bias after speaking out in this article, but the fact is that I have no personal motive, nor do I stand to profit in any way, from an S&W hit piece. Quite the contrary, as I will undoubtedly alienate some readers and a large potential advertiser.

    Frankly, I don't like to write negative reviews, which is why I have usually declined to review Smith & Wesson products. However, too many readers have written asking why I haven't reviewed S&W firearms, or asking if I recommend various S&W models. Guns and Shooting Online readers expect, and deserve, the truth--or at least an honest opinion. So here goes . . ..


    Article

    Of all the big American firearms manufacturers, Smith & Wesson is--in my opinion--the most deserving of censure. Certainly not because they make guns, nor are their products (always) unsafe when used as directed. However, Smith & Wesson's corporate actions over the decades of their existence have often been questionable and their advertising misleading, at best. (You could say that they flat-out lie and get no argument from me.)

    The recent S&W I-Bolt rifle is one example of S&W "shading" the truth in their promotions. The "I" in "I-Bolt" is supposed to stand for "innovation," an assertion so boldly false as to be almost breath taking. The truth is that this rifle is almost completely deritive. It is a knock-off of the venerable Remington Model 700 action, with a few ideas stolen from other manufacturers tacked-on. Almost nothing about this rifle is actually innovative. Indeed, it is notable only for taking cost and quality reducing shortcuts to a new level in American rifle making.
    This is a company whose professional conduct, as well as their product quality, has far too often failed to meet acceptable standards.
    Smith & Wesson is not a tiny shop assembling these pistols individually. They are the largest handgun maker in the world! Have they no pride? (A rhetorical questions, since they obviously don't.)
    As I write these words, S&W is busy producing their knock-offs of Glock, High Standard and Colt/Browning designs, plus Walther PPK type pistols by agreement with the German parent company. The latter, by the way, have all recently been recalled as defective and unsafe. This recall applies to all Walther PPK and PPK/S pistols manufactured by Smith & Wesson from March 21, 2002, until February 3, 2009. That's seven years of production! Think that maybe it took S&W's quality control a smigeon too long to find, or at least admit, that there was a problem?

    Enough is enough; Smith & Wesson's history of quality control problems and as a corporate copycat is too long, and too nauseating, to delve into further. Anyway, you've got the picture.
    Link to the article: The Dark Side of Smith & Wesson
    Last edited by Rock and Glock; February 6th, 2013 at 11:32 PM.
    R040607 likes this.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I have to agree on some points. The only thing innovative about S&W in the last few years is their ability to copy other designs.

    I have always said that they have stuck with concentrating on what they did better than anyone... Revolvers.

    However, the problems associated with the M19/66 k frame revolvers was not IMO as big a deal as it was made out to be. Actually, the problems weren't so much with the carbon frame guns as with the new at the time Stainless steel guns.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Everybody has an opinion on everything. All I know is both my S&Ws are great handguns.
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    VIP Member Array sixgun's Avatar
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    Wow!! most people recently have had good experiances with S&W. I recently bought a m&p and have heard customer service is top notch now. But I hope I dont have to use it. My gun so far is working really well.

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    Ex Member Array gregnsc's Avatar
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    Hey,we all have to do what we think is best.I've owned 2 revolvers and 3 semi auto's that are S&Ws.I've had to send one back once,and had no problems.Until S&W gives me a reason,if i see one i like,i buy it.
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    Member Array DaveInEdmonds's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like a guy with a blog and an axe to grind. I have owned three S&W revolvers, two Model 29's and a 686+. All have been flawless and the 686 is the finest shooting handgun I own. None of my friends have a bad thing to say about their Smith's either. I'll go on my personal experience rather than another's prejudice.

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    Member Array Yarg28's Avatar
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    Isn't that article like 5-6 yrs old? You have any idea how fast a company can change?
    Seems kind of pointless. Maybe we can get an article about how the Pinto explodes when you back into something?
    DandLfam and Hedimitrius like this.

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    Personal experience

    Good read, thank you. My experience with S&W has been reasonably good, customer service wise anyhow. I hit a milestone in my career, and purchased a 340 S&W .357 mag. For those not familiar with the gun, it is a 12 oz j frame that shoots 357 magnum. First 5 shots from the gun and the barrel was loose. Sent back to Smith and had it back within a week. Fast forward about 1000 rounds and 7 or 8 years and the gun was looking pretty tattered, not from lack of cleaning, but the clear coat came off the frame. I contacted customer service and they sent me a shipping label and I sent it back. About 3 weeks later I got an essentially new frame and serial number, using the old barrel and cylinder. I carried the gun for 4 months and when I needed to qualify with it, suffered a failure to fire and a serious jam. Sent it back to service again with a respectful yet critical letter. About 2 weeks later I got the gun back and after firing 100 rounds through it, I qualified and to this day carry it on a daily basis. That was about 400 rounds ago. Still seems tight and reliable. I must pass on a positive experience regarding customer service, but one must question initial quality and the quality process.

    Lesson learned: fire and fire more when new or when back from repair!
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    I did have a chuckle when S&W came out with the "Governor" revolver. I mean, of all the guns out there to copy - they had to copy the Taurus Judge?

    PS - Paging Rollo! Rollo - please report to this thread!

    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    S&W obviously had a bad period when it was owned by the British PE firm that basically seemed to want to destroy the company. They have put out some really bad products, like the Sigma, but today is different. Some may jump on S&W for copying Glock with the M&P, and they do have some credence to that. However, think about it, you make a polymer framed, double stack, SAO semi auto in 9mm,.40,.45, and .357Sig, who isn't going to say you copied an idea? Glock itself could be accused of copying the concept of using a polymer frame, since HK used one more than a decade earlier.

    The bottom line is that an company that is around as long as S&W will have ups and downs, I think it's fair to say that now is a major up. I trust my life to two of their weapons and have no hesitation in doing so.
    Maxwell47 likes this.

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    lol... I think the artical is misleading, and leaning towards falshood. First off I'd like to know what design S&W copied from colt? The 1911 pistol?... Ummmm every hang dog and upscale manufacture in the world makes a 1911 pistol... why just single out S&W? Besides... the 1911 is a John Browning design... not a colt design. Unreliable double action auto pistols?... where'd that come from? The most grueling acceptance testing done included all the unusual suspects. Only three passed, and were accepted by this department. Sig, Glock, and S&W.

    A bit of unprovable anecdotal stories?... I know of one case where S&W sold a police department thousands of spec. guns. These were model 60's in 38 sp. They were bobed hammer DAO revolvers. They did have several malfunctions during the late testing sequence. In the mean time the gun's were sold to members of the department. When the gun's were condemed by the department, S&W took back every last one of them, and issued a certificate for the purchase of any kind of a gun the officer wanted. (I got a Glock). I have owned several.... a whole lot of S&W revolvers and a few auto pistols. I have had exactly one problem with one gun. I sent it back to S&W, and they sent me a brand new gun. No excuses, no blaming, no whining... just a new gun.

    The S&W revolvers I own, and have owned were no safe queens... I'm not a collector... I'm an end user. S&W has delivered me from harm, and one a few occasions certain death. I swear by S&W products, I bet my life on S&W products.

    Smith&Wesson does what S&W must do to stay in business. While I may not agree with some of their business decisions, or their politics, S&W products are IMO as good as any, and better than most.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    For me, I can assess their politics and business decisions in a brief statement:

    They make guns I like, I buy guns they make. Everyone in this scenario has been happy.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Spuk View Post
    S&W revolvers I own, and have owned were no safe queens... I'm not a collector... I'm an end user. S&W has delivered me from harm, and one a few occasions certain death. I swear by S&W products, I bet my life on S&W products.

    Smith&Wesson does what S&W must do to stay in business. While I may not agree with some of their business decisions, or their politics, S&W products are IMO as good as any, and better than most.
    Amen.

    I love my M&P. I've shot thousands of rounds through it; everything from dirty, no-name ammo to top of the line self-defense rounds such as Speer Gold Dots and haven't had one malfunction. Not one. I carry it every day and just like Secret Spuk said, I bet my life on it.

    Yes, it may be a "rip-off" of a Glock, but what polymer gun isn't? All I know is that it is just as reliable as a Glock, and much more comfortable in my hands. Plus, it has a stainless steel slide that won't rust and is made in the U.S.A.
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  14. #14
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    Seems a bit of an axe to grind. The old, well used m-66 revolvers we used in the police academy were all working well for us. The two k-22's my dad own work perfect. The model 41 I used for competition was excellent. In fact the only pos S&W I ever saw was a shotgun that was branded S&W but was made by another maker.
    No issued with all the S&W's I have personally used or saw , and at one time almost all PD in the area were using 5906 or 4006 pistols.
    oneshot likes this.
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    The only dark side I've seen with Smith & Wesson was when I bought a 442 instead of a 642.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.


    Guns are like sex and air...its no big deal until YOU can't get any.

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