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Pinned and recessed verses non.....your opinions?



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#1
Smith & Wesson no longer pin their barrels or recess their chambers. Most likely a labor and cost reducing measure.
Your thoughts on pinned and recessed verses non?

Coup
 

Gullwing

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#2
How much machining time does it take to make a revolver? How much machining time does it take to make a polymer pistol?
Why build something that costs more to produce when they sell for near the same price?
Word on the street is that revolvers are getting phased out, at least many of them.
 

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#3
Was the original design of a pinned barrel and recessed chambers a safety issue to protect the shooter?
 

Grumpyoldretiredcop

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#4
Here's an American Rifleman article that discusses recessed chambers and pinned barrels. Having had a S&W 66 barrel start unscrewing while I was using it to qualify at my department's range (yup, it was the Early Stone Age, when men were men and cops all used wheely-guns!), I can see why pinned barrels could be considered a good thing. However, other than that well abused loved LE issue revolver, I've never seen another case where there was any difference between pinned and non-pinned barrels.
 

MET45

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#6
Here's an American Rifleman article that discusses recessed chambers and pinned barrels. Having had a S&W 66 barrel start unscrewing while I was using it to qualify at my department's range (yup, it was the Early Stone Age, when men were men and cops all used wheely-guns!), I can see why pinned barrels could be considered a good thing. However, other than that well abused loved LE issue revolver, I've never seen another case where there was any difference between pinned and non-pinned barrels.
Early Stone Age - The era of blue steel, real leather, and hickory. Still got your call box key?
 

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#7
Remember when police used to carry black powder revolvers?
 

Grumpyoldretiredcop

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#8
Early Stone Age - The era of blue steel, real leather, and hickory. Still got your call box key?
My agency never used them as far as I know, but I still have a San Francisco call box key - needed to gain access to the SF Jail at 850 Bryant. We used to have to deliver SF warrant arrests as SF would never pick them up and we had enough problems of our own!
 

SeegarSmoker

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#9
Smith & Wesson no longer pin their barrels or recess their chambers. Most likely a labor and cost reducing measure.
Your thoughts on pinned and recessed verses non?

Coup
It was strictly a cost reducing measure. You could argue it was a reduction of the craftsmanship S&W once put into their product, but functionally I don't believe it ever affected anything. I will say that today it's not uncommon to find misaligned/canted barrels on new S&Ws that I don't recall hearing about back when they were still pinning the barrels. I suspect that's more to do with a modern lack of quality control than the pinning/non-pinning process.

Same thing with the recessed cylinders. It eliminated steps in the manufacturing process and reduced costs. Today on some of their higher end Performance Center guns they still mill out the cylinder to accept moon clips, but you pay for it.
 

TexasJackKin

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#10
I don't think pined and recessed makes much difference, if the revolver is properly built and fit. The state of newer S&W revolvers is a shame, compared to the way they used to be made. I had a "L" framed revolver stolen, and finally got around to replacing it 15 or 20 years later, and couldn't believe how the quality had slipped..... Sad indeed.....
 

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#11
There is a noticeable difference in the way the actions feel as well. You take a Smith & Wesson revolver made during the early part of the century 1900's-1960's, you will notice a very smooth action, like a Swiss watch.
Quality took a hit in the 70's and 80's up to present.
I have a stainless 629 with a six inch barrel that was made in 1988.
It took a lot of polishing and fine tuning to get it to feel like an early Smith.
The days of hand-fitted guns are over. Mass production, loose tolerances, and plastic has taken over.
Witness how many brand new guns aren't reliable out of the box. Many require some "smithing" to improve reliability.
 
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#12
I have an early Harrington & Richardson revolver in 32 Smith & Wesson Long.
The quality, although not up to S&W or Colt standards of the time (1940's), is still excellent.
When H&R became New England Firearms (NEF) the quality dropped like a rock....loose lock-up, wobbly cylinders, and 40 pound trigger pulls (liability issues).
 

MAC702

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#13
A recessed cylinder absolutely makes for a better looking gun. Pure cost-cutting measure there. While I'm sure that's what drove the torqued v pinned barrel decision at the same time, I can't articulate the advantages and disadvantages of the difference. The pin is the easy thing to look for if you want a true classic one, though, which will also mean better overall.
 

DeanD

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#14
In the old days there were plenty of people with skills and experience to do the fitting and assembly on the Colts and Smiths, that labor force doesn't exist anymore. The way the economy and country was in 1950 a man could make a decent living to support a family working for the gun companies and the gun companies could manufacture at a cost/price that consumers could afford. It was in balance. No more! Same problem in the aircraft manufacturing business. Nobody wants to drill holes and buck rivets on their knees or working overhead for 10 hours a day. We are down to Boeing alone in the US now and they strive to automate because there is no skilled labor force. Quality problems there as well.
 

Bob R

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#15
To me a P&R Smith revolver tells me it is an older build and therefore quite possibly a higher quality build. I do like the looks of a recessed cylinder but can take or leave a pinned barrel.

bob
 

Gunhand

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#16
I have several P&R S&W revolvers, an couple I have were made in the 50's and are really quality revolvers. A couple of years ago I bought two 642 J frames for vest guns when I ride my Harley. They were no lock models, and I immediately took them to my gunsmith to have Wolffe Springs installed and have him smooth out the actions a bit. He called me laughing because he opened one of them up and found a jolly Rancher wrapper inside the frame. So obviously quality control is down with newer S&W revolvers.

I recently picked up a Model 637 J Frame that was one of the S&W Custom Shop Wyatt Deep Concealment revolvers from the now defunct television show American Guns. Now it is very smooth and beautifully done, but again it's a product of the Custom Shop.
 

DeanD

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#17
I had sold all my revolvers but came upon a mint 1980 era 4" Colt Trooper MK-III with the sort-of round butte grip so I bought it as it is so well made, fitted and finished old school. Same with the older S&W's. I haven't fired it but I just like having it to look at and admire. They were rugged and strong as an anvil but the action is not as smooth as the Smiths of that time. Pinned and recessed is just a thing of beauty. You couldn't give me one of the current Smith & Wessons.
 

Smokers10x

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#18
To me a P&R Smith revolver tells me it is an older build and therefore quite possibly a higher quality build. I do like the looks of a recessed cylinder but can take or leave a pinned barrel.

bob
Agree! P&R is from the old days. I think all of my .22 rimfire revolvers have recessed cylinders to help reduce peening. I remember someone telling me about balloon head cases during the transition to smokeless powder. This may be one reason for recessed cylinders, but I'm not sure.

I have a beater P&R, 5-screw, 4 inch, Model 28 Highway Patrolman. 1st year production, 1954. Carried and shot. Dropped on the rear sight and probably beat on quite a few based upon the bottom of the trigger guard. But this M28 has the best double-action trigger of any revolver I own. The big N-frame cylinder just keeps moving once it gets started.

I also have a Performance Center 625 that is a beautiful revolver. The factory trigger is nice, but not in the same league as my Model 28.
 

gene(10)mm

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#19
It is tough to beat the action on older S&Ws
 

Gullwing

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#20
It is tough to beat the action on older S&Ws
My business partner did a lot of competitive shooting in the 70s and early 80s. After some drinks with friends... Why can't we have the action of a S&W with the accuracy of a Colt?...
So they went to their gunsmith and he installed Python barrels onto their model 19s. The Smolt.