Smith & Wesson Revolvers, Old or New?

This is a discussion on Smith & Wesson Revolvers, Old or New? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; In the past 25 years, or so, my handgun shooting has been mostly pistol. Maybe I am just getting older and trying to revive my ...

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Thread: Smith & Wesson Revolvers, Old or New?

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    Smith & Wesson Revolvers, Old or New?

    In the past 25 years, or so, my handgun shooting has been mostly pistol. Maybe I am just getting older and trying to revive my youth. I am, again, gaining a new found love for revolver shooting. Cutting nice round holes in a black bullseye with low velocity WCs is just plain fun as well as inexpensive.

    Other than a Colt produced in the 80s, my newest revolver is an early 70s, Smith & Wesson. The older stuff is still in excellent condition, as such I don't want to use them anymore for fear of losing collector value.

    I am considering the Smith & Wesson Classic series, since new Colt revolvers are not a factor anymore. I have looked at a few new S&W Classics, Model 27 in particular. It is a good looking gun, but just doesn't seem to have the "soul" of the older models.

    My question is? How do the new S&W revolvers rate, as compared to the old ones. I know, fit and finish aren't the same, but how is accuracy, operation and dependability? Has anyone had any issues with the newer S&Ws?

    Do you think that I would be better off with a new revolver or paying the same for a used older model?
    bmcgilvray likes this.
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    Distinguished Member Array Doghandler's Avatar
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    Not one of your choices but I would shoot what you got just for the "pride and joy" factor.
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    I too am from the old school S&W camp. I have both a 70's Mod 19 and a 2000 something 686. Both are 6in guns. As you said the fit and finish are very different. I know one is blue and the other stainless, but you can tell the difference. I really don't know if the pinned barrel makes a difference but I like the old way better. The 566 seems to me to be barrel heavy with the Python style lug under it. But when it comes to putting holes in paper or dispatching the occasional rattlesnake both do the job well. I also like the 6 1/2 in Mod 29. Everytime I take it out of the safe, you gotta say "did I fire 6 shots or only 5". But my EDC is a 1911 so for me old is good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskeetshooter View Post
    In the past 25 years, or so, my handgun shooting has been mostly pistol. Maybe I am just getting older and trying to revive my youth. I am, again, gaining a new found love for revolver shooting. Cutting nice round holes in a black bullseye with low velocity WCs is just plain fun as well as inexpensive.

    Other than a Colt produced in the 80s, my newest revolver is an early 70s, Smith & Wesson. The older stuff is still in excellent condition, as such I don't want to use them anymore for fear of losing collector value.

    I am considering the Smith & Wesson Classic series, since new Colt revolvers are not a factor anymore. I have looked at a few new S&W Classics, Model 27 in particular. It is a good looking gun, but just doesn't seem to have the "soul" of the older models.

    My question is? How do the new S&W revolvers rate, as compared to the old ones. I know, fit and finish aren't the same, but how is accuracy, operation and dependability? Has anyone had any issues with the newer S&Ws?

    Do you think that I would be better off with a new revolver or paying the same for a used older model?
    While I'm sure the newer Smiths are just fine. I'd recomend seeking out another vintage Smith and/or Colt. For the price of a new revolver you could probably find a nice used one and still have some money left for ammo, and some range time.
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    Most folks over on Smith & Wesson Forum owing the "new crop" Smith & Wessons report that they shoot fine. The few I've handled and shot felt pretty much like the older traditional ones as far as action design. I don't care for the lock feature. I still shoot and seek the older ones, collector value be hanged. No other single brand of firearm has been shot more around here than Smith & Wesson and no brand has been so faultlessly reliable. I know Smith & Wessons can and have gone out of order. I've just not experienced it. Smith & Wesson revolvers were still "pinned and recessed" when I first started buying new ones and I still have four left from back in those days, one of those being this six-inch Model 27.


    Fit and finish really aren't the same on the new ones. Accuracy, operation and, I would assume, dependability is the same. I'm personally willing to own and use the older ones and unwilling to even try a new one at this point.

    Did security at a gun show just last weekend and while looking at the sea of black aluminum alloy and plastic found this Smith & Wesson K-22 Combat Masterpiece. Have wanted a 4-inch K-Frame .22 caliber understudy to complement the various 4-inch K-Frame .38s and .357s kept around here. Had intended to seek out a used Model 18 with some surface finish wear that could be put to work and holstered. Intended to begin looking for one after the first of the year. Wouldn't you know that this nice 1954 example would happen along and at a used Model 18 price. Hate to use "pre-Model 18" to describe this one. The Model 18 designation was given to this revolver in 1958 when the Smith & Wesson product line received numerical model designations.



    Haven't even got to shoot it yet but handling it gives that "ahhh..." feeling of classic Smith & Wesson quality.
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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    I say old. I firmly believe that S&W's quality has really gone down hill in the last couple of decades.
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Spuk View Post
    While I'm sure the newer Smiths are just fine. I'd recomend seeking out another vintage Smith and/or Colt. For the price of a new revolver you could probably find a nice used one and still have some money left for ammo, and some range time.
    I prefer old also, seems everyone is after the latest greatest most fantastic plastic they never pay attention to the classic all steel revolvers and generally they can be bought for quite reasonable prices.
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    I prefer the pre-lock ones myself. My pinned and recessed 65 gets carried and shot a good bit. I browse the used guns at gunshows, gun broker and guns shops looking for hidden gems. Every now and then I find one and then I buy and shot the snot out of them.
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    I visited 3 LGS today and found a few new and used S&W revolvers. I looked at a new Model 27, 586 and 29. I must say, from 3 feet away, the guns were quite impressive. Closer inspection shows decent fitting and finish, however nothing as compared to the 30+ year old stuff that I own. The prices, with the exception of the 29, were about the same as older stuff in 98% to "as new" condition.

    IMHO: Older S&Ws have considerably more value, or "Bang for the buck" than do the newer S&Ws.

    There are 2 guns shows in the Atlanta area this weekend. I think that I will be attending looking for some older stuff.

    Thanks guys, appreciate the input.

    BTW: Whatever brilliant, philosopher came up with the idea of those "Locks" should be drawn and quartered...
    A wise man once said: "Bugout bag?..What's that? Is that all the junk you sidewalk commandos plan on humping when the SHTF...I'll grab a Nylon 66, a box of 22s and a poncho liner and in less than a week I will have all of your stuff and everything else that I need for the duration."

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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    I have seen some old Colt revolvers in in LGS & LPS the outside wasn't much to look at but the classic colt action was there priced under $400 .38 special I wouldn't think +P but for your purpose it would seem a fit.

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    I have a S&W Model 36 classic, and that thing is SWEET! I mean the color, the trigger, everything on it is fantastic. I also just bought (this year), a new S&W air weight .22 Lr.

    The two dont compare in terms of looks, materials, etc, but the airweight is a fine gun, too. And darn fun to shoot. That actually came as a pretty big surprise to me, but everyone has a ball shooting it.

    The quality seems "same as it ever was. same as it ever was". If yah know what I mean.

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    You can't hit a moving copperhead with a S&W .38 SNUB from 2 feet. Well, I dented him twice...after 12 shots.

    Moral of the story, get a smith with a longer snout for moving snakes.

    Congratulations on your decision to carry an awesome brand of guns. I have 2 S&W revolvers, love them both.
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    36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.


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    I know this probably not what you want to hear but I gotta recommend my favorite, get a Ruger. As Rollo said the S&W revolvers have really gone down hill. Go check out the gp100, Redhawk, Blackhawk, and even the sp101 they are amazing guns!152.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sister View Post
    You can't hit a moving copperhead with a S&W .38 SNUB from 2 feet. Well, I dented him twice...after 12 shots.

    Moral of the story, get a smith with a longer snout for moving snakes.

    Congratulations on your decision to carry an awesome brand of guns. I have 2 S&W revolvers, love them both.
    We're actually working for a bead on snakes these days? What is the world coming to?
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    I would say that "newer is better!" Then again, I am always on the lookout for the older S&W revolvers so I am trying to keep my buying prices down. Seriously though, I have always gone for the older guns as I felt that they were better finished back then.

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