S&W Airweights UNSAFE to Shoot?!?

This is a discussion on S&W Airweights UNSAFE to Shoot?!? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I noticed on a local gun dealer's website that all of his brand spankin' new Smith & Wesson Airweight revolvers were tagged with the warning ...

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Thread: S&W Airweights UNSAFE to Shoot?!?

  1. #1
    Member Array austinguy23's Avatar
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    S&W Airweights UNSAFE to Shoot?!?

    I noticed on a local gun dealer's website that all of his brand spankin' new Smith & Wesson Airweight revolvers were tagged with the warning "NOT TO BE FIRED, UNSAFE TO SHOOT!".

    http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/ad...%26p+airweight

    When I e-mailed the owner to ask why all of his brand new Airweights were unsafe to shoot, he replied with the following:

    "These guns were made with alloy cylinders and the unsafe to fire warning comes from Smith & Wesson itself."

    You've got to be kidding me. Does Smith & Wesson really manufacture and sell guns they consider unsafe (or choose to lable unsafe)?!?

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    Aluminum is a malleable metal that has a tendency to severely work harden and become brittle. It is not resilient like steel. When these guns were manufactured, they were likely quite safe to carry and fire. However, with aluminum cylinders, this dealer likely has no idea what abuse they may have taken in the past - so that is pretty much a CYA statement.

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    yeah sure smith is going to put out guns unsafe to shoot this guy is clueless

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    Distinguished Member Array fed_wif_a_sig's Avatar
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    To me thats ludicrious to post on his website. He wants people to buy an $800 gun and not shoot it? Wow.
    Steve
    "Respect all ... Fear none!!!

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    Member Array ziondog's Avatar
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    These Airwieghts are unsafe to shoot

    I'm not at the house so I cannot double check my facts. S&W did indeed make revolvers with alloy cylinders that are now considered unsafe to shoot. All of the current Airwieghts have steel cylinders. If I remember correctly they were limited run firearms or experimental or something. These revolvers are considered highly collectable as many have not survived. As the websight is a collector site I believe this is what they are. Do a little research on S&W alloy cylinders on Google and see what pops up.

  7. #6
    Member Array samtechlan's Avatar
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    Yes this was a attempt to make super light guns in the old days. After a couple of years Smith realized that the cylinder at least had to be made of steel and that is the way it stayed until the advent of Titanium and Scadium. As previously mentioned they are so valuable because they are extremely rare.

  8. #7
    1943 - 2009
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    Smith & Wesson manufactured approximately 40,000 K frame .38 Special revolvers with alloy frames & cylinders for the USAF between 1951 and 1957. They were designated M-13 by the Air Force. S&W called them the Aircrewman. Most were destroyed and very few authenticated examples exist.

    In addition, S&W manufactured 605 J frame Chief's Special revolvers, also in .38 Special with alloy frames & cylinders for the USAF in 1953. S&W called them the Baby Aircrewman. Fewer than 10 authenticated examples are known to exist.

    I don't know what S&W models this dealer has, but they are not USAF revolvers.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Looks like to me that they are not brand spankin new. They are collectors items, and you should treat them as such until you can verify the full history on them.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  10. #9
    Member Array austinguy23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonofASniper View Post
    Looks like to me that they are not brand spankin new. They are collectors items, and you should treat them as such until you can verify the full history on them.
    That's odd. They changed the pictures. They were showing the S&W 340 models...

  11. #10
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    The first two appear to be legitimate M&P .38 Special Airweight (pre Model 12) revolvers. The 4 screw sideplates, diamond Magna stocks and "Airweight" markings on the right side of the barrel are correct. These revolvers differ from the Aircrewman only in the markings, which are stamped "Revolver Lightweight M13" on the top strap and "Property Of U.S. Air Force" on the back strap.

    I would be skeptical of the third revolver's provenance. It should also be marked "Airweight" on the right side of the barrel, but isn't.

    Keep in mind that counterfeit examples of these revolvers do exist and have been verified.

    Standard pressure & velocity .38 Special ammo can be fired in these revolvers, in moderation.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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