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Thread: Signs of use on a S&W Revolver

  1. #1
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    Default Signs of use on a S&W Revolver

    On a S&W magnum revolver like the models 27, 28, 29, 57 etc. what are the indications of use and when do they occur? Has anyone ever noted as they used a revolver how and when the signs of wear occur?

    In my experience the cylinder ring is one of the first signs of handling but not necessarily shooting. Even a demo gun if not handled properly can show signs of the cylinder stop dragging.

    Other signs I look for are the rings of wear or errosion on the front of the cylinder, errosion or cutting on the top of the frame just above the barrel, and wear on the recoil plate from the head of the cases hitting it as the gun is fired. I've never noted however just when any of these signs appear.

    Anyone have any data or observations of when these or other indications of use appear?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  2. #2
    Member S.B.'s Avatar
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    You'll see the impression of the shell head on the recoil shield.

  3. #3

    Default good question...

    I own a lot of S&W revolvers. In addition to what you mentioned, here are a few things I consider. Signs of wear, use, and abuse are subjective. While a steady diet of max loads may increase cylinder endshake and wobble, tons of medium loads will not present itself so obvious. Cylinder timing is an important area which tells if fit/timing are not quite right. Check the crane/frame fit for a sprung crane which most happens when someone slams the cylinder close with a sideways flick of the shooting hand (as seen on tv). This may also bend the ejector rod. On hammer mounted firing pins, check the area inside the frame where it protrudes from the bushing for elongation or burrs. I also look at the frame screws to see if they are buggered up by someone playing gunsmith, then check the sideplate if it had been pried off (improper) and therefore gouged, bent, or raised edges. It's always nice to find a nice older S&W in good shape. Hope this helps some...

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Read a S&W in house quaility control paper about thirty years ago and was shocked. Note this was just for their smaller frame guns but you had to wonder what the the big guns were ment to do. The mod.60 was the strongest and was ment to hold up to five hundred rounds before needing work and the air weights were only one hundred and fifty rounds. It was mentioned that most small guns are found twenty years after purchase with the same box of shells purchased with the gun.

  5. #5
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    Default Usefull life

    The vast majority of guns never get shot more than a few rounds at most. However, guns in Alaska probably get used and shot more than anywhere else in the US in my experience.

    Designing a gun to meet its expected usefull life produced a smaller lighter weigh firearm - S&W is apparently doing this in their firearms. An airweight J frames may only be designed for a few hundred rounds where a Model 27 is probably good for tens of thousands. Ruger on the other hand grossly overdesigns their guns and produces overly heavy clunky firearms that endured many times their expected lifetimes. The Ruger desing is certainly excellent for the very small minority of shooters that do shoot 1000s or tens of thousands of rounds a year but it certainly a less desireable design strategy for the vast majority of owners.




    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Read a S&W in house quaility control paper about thirty years ago and was shocked. Note this was just for their smaller frame guns but you had to wonder what the the big guns were ment to do. The mod.60 was the strongest and was ment to hold up to five hundred rounds before needing work and the air weights were only one hundred and fifty rounds. It was mentioned that most small guns are found twenty years after purchase with the same box of shells purchased with the gun.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I'm sure S&W has probably dumped this reasoning as they now OK +P ammo in their small frame guns.Don't think you could ever shoot a 27 apart but I'm glad the 29's are stronger now.As for Ruger I knew folks that shot the 454 shell in their old 45 colt redhawks (25 year ago guns) all the time but the guy that tried it in his 25 didn't fair as well

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    Default N frame

    The old N frame just isn't large enough for the .45 cal round. I wish S&W would make a "N+" frame scaled up slightly in the frame opening to handle a large diam. cylinder. The X frames are just too big for a .454 class cartridge. The SRH frames are strong but their weight is almost the same as an X frame. A .454 on a RH frame would be fine but I apparently the cast frame of a RD isn't strong enough. If Ruger would make a forged frame .454 RH is would probably be a great seller but then they would have to admit thir castings aren't as strong - weight for weight - as their competitor's forgings.


    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    I'm sure S&W has probably dumped this reasoning as they now OK +P ammo in their small frame guns.Don't think you could ever shoot a 27 apart but I'm glad the 29's are stronger now.As for Ruger I knew folks that shot the 454 shell in their old 45 colt redhawks (25 year ago guns) all the time but the guy that tried it in his 25 didn't fair as well
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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