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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve just had an experience with S&W that I’d like to pass on.  I contacted their Customer Service via email concerning a problem that made my Master Hunter unusable. Within one day, I had a return email that listed the return authorization number and informed me that they would pay the Fed Ex overnight ship to and ship from expense.

I included the following message with the revolver and forwarded it last Tuesday:

“This revolver’s cylinder does not lock-up after each shot is fired.  That is, the cylinder does not advance to the next cylinder cavity and requires manual rotation assistance.  Additionally, the trigger action does not function properly.

Since I expect you to be honest with me, I certainly need to be honest with you. This problem starting occurring when using a load that may have exceeded the revolver’s tolerance(s).  I used 22gr of Lil Gun with a 320gr. LWFN bullet load that I use in my Super Blackhawk.  Because the Master Hunter is the more accurate revolver and the load appeared to be O.K., I switched to the Master Hunter for my next session. The problem began to occur within the first 5 shots, at which time I stopped shooting.  I then reverted to my standard Master Hunter load of 15.7gr. Blue Dot with 240gr XTP and the problem continued.”

Today, one week later, I’ve received the revolver, fixed at no expense. This revolver is my most accurate shooter and cost me $800 on sale. I was sick to say the least, but firmly believing the fault was mine, was expecting a significant repair cost.  I would certainly expect the work they performed to be outside warranty, unless their warranty covers stupid shooters that don’t know what they’re doing.

So, government appeasement still sticking in my craw, I’ll be able to swallow better when S&W’s name comes up. They did me right!

Dan
 

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Customer Service

DOK said:
I’ve just had an experience with S&W that I’d like to pass on. I contacted their Customer Service via email concerning a problem that made my Master Hunter unusable. Within one day, I had a return email that listed the return authorization number and informed me that they would pay the Fed Ex overnight ship to and ship from expense.

I included the following message with the revolver and forwarded it last Tuesday:

“This revolver’s cylinder does not lock-up after each shot is fired. That is, the cylinder does not advance to the next cylinder cavity and requires manual rotation assistance. Additionally, the trigger action does not function properly.

Since I expect you to be honest with me, I certainly need to be honest with you. This problem starting occurring when using a load that may have exceeded the revolver’s tolerance(s). I used 22gr of Lil Gun with a 320gr. LWFN bullet load that I use in my Super Blackhawk. Because the Master Hunter is the more accurate revolver and the load appeared to be O.K., I switched to the Master Hunter for my next session. The problem began to occur within the first 5 shots, at which time I stopped shooting. I then reverted to my standard Master Hunter load of 15.7gr. Blue Dot with 240gr XTP and the problem continued.”

Today, one week later, I’ve received the revolver, fixed at no expense. This revolver is my most accurate shooter and cost me $800 on sale. I was sick to say the least, but firmly believing the fault was mine, was expecting a significant repair cost. I would certainly expect the work they performed to be outside warranty, unless their warranty covers stupid shooters that don’t know what they’re doing.

So, government appeasement still sticking in my craw, I’ll be able to swallow better when S&W’s name comes up. They did me right!

Dan
These guys actually do care. Visit the plant and you will find assembly line guys each carrying out their particular task with a dedication to the company and the product. I'll admit that sometimes I am not thrilled with the perfection of fit or an answer that I receive but this is a company of people who really do care.
As far as them selling out the government I might add one alternate point of perspective. In the public mind they 'found religion' and became a 'good' gun company. However the public is made up of sheep - the dumbest animal on earth next to the lemming. In reality they pissed off a bunch of gun owners and got the govenment off their back. They actually agreed to very little. It enabled them to get back to the business of developing, manufacturing and improving guns. It also allowed Customer Service to deal with gun owners rather than anti-gun lawyers.
The company has an old plant that costs a fortune to upgrade and has had its staff cut 75%. They are producing quality handguns for S&W and Wather and manufacturing parts for automobiles and other gun manufacturers. None of that would have been possible if they didn't get the government off their back and they did so in a public fashion that cost little and gained a lot.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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The new S&W management made their amends with the gun toting public and also voided the deals made by the former regime from England.

I was one of the most outspoken opponents of them when they bellyed up to the Klinton gang and rolled over forthe Schumer thugs. Since the sale and the change of policies, I'm again advocating them as quality suppliers of handguns.

Sadly, their top management is relocating from the Scottsdale, Az headquarters back to the eastern seaboard and the factory.

Wish Colt would change their attitude as well and begin again making firearms for the general public.
 

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Ditto on S&W customer service. Had to send my new 629 back. Received the FedX label, mailed it on a Monday and received it repaired that Thursday.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #5
Gentlemen, appreciate your timely comments as I've been looking for a good excuse to post the following letter to the editor in the latest "American Handgunner" magazine .

"We had a plainitive call from a guy in Australia who wanted some help re-calibrating a M629 to keep it out of the crusher. To make a long story short, the plan wouldn't work so we put in a call to S&W's Custom Shop to try to buy a couple of parts to help the fellow. The kindly folks at S&W ended-up just giving us some cylinders which we in turn, donated to the guy Down-Under.

The, it gets even better. the S&W international sales rep went to bat with the Aussie importer and helped those guys get some badly needed competition guns that heretofore were unobtainable in that part of the world. Not real hard to figure out who is really concerned about its customers.

Hamilton Bowen, Bowen Classic Arms"

I figure if an individual as knowledgeable as Mr. Bowen speaks well of a companie's service, they're doing something right.

Dan
 

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I have a S&W 22ss that I bought when they first came out. It broke the under lug off the back of the slide last year. They paid the shipping both ways & fixed it free. That was under the new owners. They have my business. I think it is just a little unrealistic to hold them responsible for what the bloody limeyes did. They are a much better bunch running the show now.
:D
 

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DOK, I'm surprised that one cylinderful of that load would damage the Smith. I checked the Hodgdon site and that is a couple grains over max recomended for lil gun. I know Smiths have a reputation of loosening up over time with a steady diet of hot loads, but I have also heard they have improved the strength of their guns, so that type of failure so quickly still surprises me.


Glad to hear about good customer service though.

Eric
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
EricG said:
DOK, I'm surprised that one cylinderful of that load would damage the Smith. I checked the Hodgdon site and that is a couple grains over max recomended for lil gun. I know Smiths have a reputation of loosening up over time with a steady diet of hot loads, but I have also heard they have improved the strength of their guns, so that type of failure so quickly still surprises me.


Glad to hear about good customer service though.

Eric
Eric,

Apparently that load affected the mechanism that holds the cylinder in place......they identified that two components had been replaced. I suspect the weight of the 320gr. bullet contributed significantly to the problem. I certainly don't have any "explosives" expertise, but assume that loads exceeding maximum have an expotential rather than linear effect.

Dan
 

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It always saddens me to read good reports like this. Because mine were exactly the opposite. I have a 25-5. It's performed very well during it's life, and simply needs a good overhaul.
I called the "new" S&W service department and was told by the person I talked to that my gun was "junk" and in effect, don't bother them with sending it in for repair.

I'm not rich, I'm not even solvent, so a major gunsmith expense is something I can't afford. My Smith just sits unused in semi retirement because I can't afford to send it to a real gunsmith, and I can't afford to replace it.

Even if I had the money to buy a new one, what would I replace it with? In my opinion the S&W 25-5 with a 4" barrel was the best designed .45 Colt DA revolver. My favorite, nothing even close.

Strange. It must be nice to have a gun that is easy to fix so the company can make brownie points. I suppose if I had a model 29 that is marked .44 Remington Magnum they might fix it. But because it's marked .45 Colt they can't be bothered.

Sory for the negative post, it just frustrates me that I can't get my gun fixed at the factory.
And by the way, I didn't even ask for warrenty repairs, I would have gladly paid the factory costs. They are ususally less than private smiths anyway.

Joe
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #10
J Miller said:
Sory for the negative post, it just frustrates me that I can't get my gun fixed at the factory.
And by the way, I didn't even ask for warrenty repairs, I would have gladly paid the factory costs. They are ususally less than private smiths anyway.

Joe
Hey, Joe, don't apologize for a real world story just because it doesn't match some other experiences. Both sides of the story are what is needed.

I wonder if a letter to the company president would get better results. Maybe indicating your confusion based on web site posts that indicated good results. Tell him the revolver, as well as your circumstances, and indicate you're not looking for "something for nothing".

Dan
 

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Doc,

Thanks for the encouragement. I'll do some research and when I get over this case of the creeping death respritory infection that's got me I'll write them.
I guess my question is basically why I was told what I was told, when others have reported good service on guns that have been older than mine, as well as newer.
I probably should have pursued this further at the time, but I'll still do it.

Joe
 

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Joe,

I haven't had experience with S&W, but it is possible you just got the bad apple on the phone. You might want to try calling back sometime.

By the way, is their customer service all centrally located or distributed? That can often times cause problems. One location has a different mentality then the other. I used to work for a check printing company that had locations all across the company, the facility I worked for had the only warehouse that was unionized. Strangely enough, the local union while taking a large part of their pay demanded less money then other locations readily gave, as well as prevented them from participating in the 401k. Why I bring this up is, our location out of a couple dozen contributed more then 75% of the companies total worker complaints. Mainly from the union employees. Want to guess the companies eventual solution? Close the building, move locations.

-MJ
 
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