I find the answer from S&W interesting and not what I have come to expect from US gun manufactures; here it is:
I purchased a new in the box, unfired, 1981 S&W Model 36 from a local gun store; the gun came in the mint original box will all documentation , even the 1981 warranty card. Anyway, I found that with a little pressure the cylinder would rotate clockwise when closed with the hammer down. I contact S&W customer service and explained the situation and they said they would “take care of it” and provide a shipping label to return the gun.
A few weeks later I get an invoice from S&W asking that I pay $83 to authorize the repair. I contacted them and the same guy that said he would take care of it now says that S&W did not offer a life time warranty until 1989 and since my gun was manufactured prior to that it wasn’t covered. The interesting part is they admit that the gun is unfired and that the problem is cause by a manufactures defect.
I probably shouldn’t have expected anything different, but having been a loyal S&W customer for 35 years and the owner of 13 of their handguns I was a little disappointed. I have come to expect American gun manufactures to stand behind their product and have had great luck with Colt, Ruger, Rock River and Weatherby.
Am I wrong to expect this level of customer service?