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Take a chance on a used s&w?

This is a discussion on Take a chance on a used s&w? within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; So I've never owned a S&W, but always have coveted one. But, only a pre-lock, I wouldn't come near a new smith with the lawyer ...


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Old October 1st, 2016, 03:56 PM   #1
 
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Take a chance on a used s&w?

So I've never owned a S&W, but always have coveted one. But, only a pre-lock, I wouldn't come near a new smith with the lawyer lock. I have a Bulldog and a couple Rugers which I love, but I still really want a s&w both to shoot and to just keep as an investment. There's just something special about them. I've seen a couple of really pretty ones at gun shops, both were nickel-plated stainless .357. The first one sold, and I'm still kicking myself for not getting it, but I just didn't feel I knew enough about guns to get a used one yet. Yesterday I was in my local Bud's shop and they had two gorgeous pre-lock s&w, one blued, one stainless. The blued was like 800 bucks, and the stainless was 629. The stainless was a .357, wood grip, beautiful finish, tight lockup, etc. Only thing I didn't look at was the inside of the barrel. The only flaw I saw was the very base of the grip had a small area where the wood was faded, so I wondered what had caused that, but it seemed to be superficial. I sent my dad who's way more firearm savvy than me to look at it, he said it was a good gun, but he felt it was overpriced, but I told him that any nice pre-lock Smith in .357 won't be sold for much under 600 bucks, am I right? So I'm really tempted to go and put it in layaway. I don't want to be rash, but I'd kind of like to take a chance on it. What do you guys think? I don't remember the model number, maybe Model 19? But I'm pretty sure it was a 4-inch barrel, wood grip, .357, I remember the sales guy said it's model number and it was two digits but beyond that can't remember. Probably from the 70s-80s or so. Should I take a chance on it? Also is it true that if you buy a used s&w, with no box or anything, the warranty still stands regardless?



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Old October 1st, 2016, 04:18 PM   #2
 
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S&W model 19 combat magnum. Get it, you'll never miss the $$ a few months down the line.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 04:23 PM   #3
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The model number followed by a dash is all important in S&Ws, so it would be a big help to supply that when asking about price.

As to the warranty, in my experience, S&W has been good about repairing old guns. Yes, they've corrected a couple of defective guns for me at no cost, even though I was not the original owner. For a repair that they deem to be normal wear and tear or abuse, though, they will quote and charge you. Overall, my experience with them repairing guns has been good - not great, but good.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 04:45 PM   #4
 
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I have had S&W revolvers for more than 40 years. 38s, 357s, 44s. Never had a problem with any of them except that the 629 4 inch gets rough on my older wrists.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 05:03 PM   #5
 
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If it is a stainless steel .357 from the 80s, it would be a model 66. When checking "k" frame .357 revolvers always examine the forcing cone (the part of the barrel that extends into the frame just in front of the closed cylinder) for possible cracks and erosion. If it is a model 66 without a dash or a 66-1, it will have a pinned barrel and counter bored chambers. These are desirable features that will increase the value of the firearm although neither will have an effect on it's accuracy. The model 66 is the stainless version of the model 19. It is an excellent revolver and enjoyed years of success in the holsters of countless LEO agencies before the switch to auto loaders.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 05:21 PM   #6
 
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I have owned a good number of S&W revolvers over the years, and a few that were issued. I wish I had them all back.

I would love a older S&W in good condition but so far they have been too expensive. I have two new ones with the Hillary lock, but it does not affect the performance so for me no big deal. Ruger GP100 is an excellent revolver, I have two so I am happy. The only draw back to the GP is the weight, K frame Smiths are lighter. Personally I would rather Ruger bring back a SS size revolver, I would buy that before a K frame.

But Smiths are a good investment, Colts are even better.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 05:30 PM   #7
 
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justakyguy first off there are either Blued Carbon Steel or Chromed Carbon Steel or Stainless Steel S&W's I have always had very good luck with S&W revolvers I currently have a S&W Model 66 no dash .357 Stainless Steel 4 inch barrel pinned barrel & recessed cylinder. These guns are very desirable I feel mine is easily worth $800.00. Yes you are right it's hard to find a clean S&W or Ruger GP100 under $600.00 I really like the K framed S&W I shoot mainly .38 Special's & a few .357's for a heavier diet of .357's either a L framed 586/686 or a Ruger GP100. Sounds like Buds Gun shop has their used S&W's priced about what I have seen them here in Utah for. I do not care for pre lock guns either. But I feel that even the new S&W's are very nice guns as are the Ruger GP100 one gun is as good as the other. Both will serve you very well. Good luck, I feel the same way as you do wanting a nice S&W because I had been wanting a nice Ruger GP100 I found one so having both S&W & a Ruger GP100 both are great revolvers!!!
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Old October 1st, 2016, 05:36 PM   #8
 
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good revolvers even with the lock.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 05:46 PM   #9
 
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Agree both new Rugers & S&W's very nice reliable revolvers!!!
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Old October 1st, 2016, 07:05 PM   #10
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If the gun you're tempted to buy is the stainless steel example it's not a Model 19. If you're sure it's a Model 19 (you saw the 19 stamped on the yoke for instance) then it's probably a nickel 19 that has a pretty dull finish. There's no such thing as "nickel plated stainless". I've seen a number of nickel guns described as being stainless by gun shop guys who didn't really know any better. Kinda hard for the rest of us to offer much of an opinion on the prices you saw when you don't really know what it is.

For a guy who owns no S&W revolvers and appears to know little about them you seem to have a very strong opinion about the internal lock. I own a lot of S&W revolvers from early post-war through current production - K frames, N frames, L frames and X frames, Model 17, 18, 14, 15, 19, 27, 28, 29, 637, 629, 686+, etc..... While there have been documented instances of issues with the IL they are very scarce. And the internal lock can be removed and the hole blanked if you like. Guns without an IL can also fail. Anything mechanical can fail. To dismiss an entire product line (arguably the most prolific, varied and interesting revolver lineup in the industry) over one feature seems a bit narrow minded. I enjoy my old Smiths and I enjoy my new Smiths. I often carry a IL equipped 637 in my pocket and I fully expect it to go bang every time I pull the trigger.

I own more S&W revolvers than Ruger but I can't speak from personal experience on how good or bad their customer service is as I have yet to need it. I can tell you Ruger has really good customer service as I've used it a number of times.... S&W's written warranty is a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser so buying a used one could put you on the hook for any repairs. They may choose to repair something at no cost to a subsequent owner but they're not obligated to do so. Of course Ruger has no written warranty at all so everything they do is at their own discretion - it just so happens they tend to be quite generous in their service work.

BTW I own a lot of Ruger revolvers too so I'm not just a S&W guy defending his favorite brand. Lots of OM single actions, GP100s, SP101, Vaqueros, Super Redhawk, plus Ruger pistols, rifles and shotguns in my collection. I like my Rugers too. I usually end up having to clean up the new Rugers - finish flaws, metal shavings in the action, shim a hammer, etc. I've never done anything like that to any of my new Smiths. I've swapped out some stocks and that's about it. I may be selective but all of the new S&W revolvers I've bought in recent years have had very nice fit and finish and great triggers out of the box.

I think you're missing out on a lot of very interesting revolvers if you turn up your nose at all the new Smiths. Lots of stuff Ruger doesn't even offer in a DA revolver - 7 shot and 8 shot 357s, 9MM, 41 Magnum, .410, 460 S&W, 500 S&W, titanium, scandium, crazy short snubbies to ridiculously long hunting versions, old style "classics" to some pretty avante garde designs. Ruger tends to stay well within their comfort zone.

If you want to buy an investment gun then look at old Smiths from the P&R era and buy a "new in box" (NIB) condition, unfired example complete with shipping sleeve, papers and tools. Buy a factory engraved one if you can swing it. Tuck it away in the corner of your safe and never shoot it. Wait 20 years and then brag to all your buddies about how little you paid for it. Otherwise I wouldn't waste much time on the investment angle - find something you like and shoot it a lot.
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Old October 1st, 2016, 08:07 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justakyguy View Post
So I've never owned a S&W, but always have coveted one. But, only a pre-lock, I wouldn't come near a new smith with the lawyer lock. I have a Bulldog and a couple Rugers which I love, but I still really want a s&w both to shoot and to just keep as an investment. There's just something special about them. I've seen a couple of really pretty ones at gun shops, both were nickel-plated stainless .357. The first one sold, and I'm still kicking myself for not getting it, but I just didn't feel I knew enough about guns to get a used one yet. Yesterday I was in my local Bud's shop and they had two gorgeous pre-lock s&w, one blued, one stainless. The blued was like 800 bucks, and the stainless was 629. The stainless was a .357, wood grip, beautiful finish, tight lockup, etc. Only thing I didn't look at was the inside of the barrel. The only flaw I saw was the very base of the grip had a small area where the wood was faded, so I wondered what had caused that, but it seemed to be superficial. I sent my dad who's way more firearm savvy than me to look at it, he said it was a good gun, but he felt it was overpriced, but I told him that any nice pre-lock Smith in .357 won't be sold for much under 600 bucks, am I right? So I'm really tempted to go and put it in layaway. I don't want to be rash, but I'd kind of like to take a chance on it. What do you guys think? I don't remember the model number, maybe Model 19? But I'm pretty sure it was a 4-inch barrel, wood grip, .357, I remember the sales guy said it's model number and it was two digits but beyond that can't remember. Probably from the 70s-80s or so. Should I take a chance on it? Also is it true that if you buy a used s&w, with no box or anything, the warranty still stands regardless?
The 629 if correct is a stainless 44 mag and is a good price at 800.00.
If is a Model 19 blued in my area around 700-850 and is 357 mag. I have a 629 and love it. I had a 19 nickel and sold it as did not fit my hands right. I would not feel bad about getting either one.
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Old October 2nd, 2016, 08:18 AM   #12
 
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I bought several S&W revolvers back in the 80's and I've never been sorry about it. They've been great shooting guns and I've yet to have a problem with any of them. If you find a nice example that you really like, and the gun is tight and clean...go for it. The prices are certainly not going to go down on them...it's only going to go up...
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Old October 2nd, 2016, 09:22 AM   #13
 
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Nice guns but check the timing on older s/w revolvers..some have had rough use and the crane, etc is not as robust as the Ruger system..my 2 cents worth. S/W has a big following just like Harley...confirmed Harley riders are just that...confirmed Harley riders...Confirmed S/W owners are just that..confirmed S/W owners...all mechanical things have weak areas....Most of all enjoy what you buy..

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Old October 2nd, 2016, 01:01 PM   #14
 
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I think it's a model 19. I'd rather have a .44magnum, but this one is nice. Selling a spare SP101 that I've rarely shot to help towards it. I love Rugers but in future I won't be buying one unless I know I'm going to keep it, because their resale is lousy! I've taken this sp to several pawn shops and the lowest offer I got was 250 (ridiculous) and the highest was 325, still crazy low. I almost laughed in their faces at those offers. If it was a Smith, I'd bet it'd get way more.

I really really love Smiths, my dad thinks they're the best guns ever, and I've always wanted one but haven't had one yet. I absolutely hate the internal lock though, I really love some of the new Smiths, especially the Classics line, but I just can't stomach the lock on them. Looks like Smith would at least remove the locks from their new classics line. It would seem to me that Smith's sales of new revolvers would have to be pretty dismal with the locks, so why don't they remove them? If you're a parent who lets a child near a gun, then you've already failed as a parent, so why are the locks even there? Don't get it. I just couldn't stomach owning one of those I don't think. But based on my experience I'd bet you could take a new Smith and a new Ruger Blackhawk or Redhawk to a pawnshop and the Ruger would only get like a 350 dollar or 300 offer, while the Smith would be a lot closer to the original retail. Ruger's resale is atrocious. I won't have another Ruger unless it's one I absolutely want to keep for myself, like my GP100.
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Old October 2nd, 2016, 01:41 PM   #15
 
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You know a neat gun for you might be a S&W Model 69 a L Framed 5 shot .44 Magnum. I have read quite a bit on these guns they seem to be very nice guns. Plus opens you up to shooting also .44 Special plus .44 Magnum Just a thought, but I also have never had any issues with my S&W's never had to send in for service but also can say the same thing for my Rugers I have more Rugers then S&W's love both SA/DA Rugers that I have clearly my Ruger GP100 WC ranks as high to me as my S&W Model 66 no dash does!!!
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