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Thread: New S&W 57-6 is JUNK

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    New S&W 57-6 is JUNK

    I bought this one a few months ago, and have been fighting it since. The grips they come with are junk, the quality is junk, and the accuracy is junk. I got rid of the grips the first day, not a big deal. The quality is not there for the price. There is all kinds of scratches and the stamping isn't even straight. The worst part is the cylinder bluing. I probably have around 400 rounds through the gun now. The bluing on the front of the cylinder was wiped off right away. Now the sides of the cylinder are being blasted off too, and I'm not sure why. Older S&W's with more rounds through them don't have this problem. Now the big problem is that this is the least accurate gun I own by a far. I've never shot it at 50 yards, because I can barely keep them on paper at 25. I've tried all kinds of powders, and both jacketed and cast bullets. In my dads 57-2, the most accurate load was a SWC with bluedot, and will group under 3" at 50 yards all day long. This is also the most accurate load in my handgun, but I'm doing good to shoot 4" at 25 yards. I was getting all kinds of lead fouling, and I knew the throats were about the same or smaller than the groove diameter, so I sent if off to be reamed. Now that they are perfect, accuracy has not improved one bit! There doesn't seem to be a thread choke from the frame, actually it almost feels like a recess. With that, the barrel seems to be tapered to get bigger at the muzzle. The barrel is clean for the first 1/2" or so, then gets progressively worse. At the muzzle it has bad copper fouling after only 50 rounds.

    No response by email from Smith and Wesson. I was on hold today for about 20 minutes, and was disconnected. Now I try to call again, and they are closed for the holiday. It seemed so dumb at the time to pay $1200 for a used gun, now I am kicking myself for not doing it.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy JoeJames's Avatar
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    I swore I'd never buy a Smith with a Hillary hole, and now it appears my instinct was correct. I hope things work out after the 4th.

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    While I took used Blue Dot in the 41 Mag for some time I learned that in cold weather it pressure spikes badly. Wrote to the powder company asking questions and never got a response. In the last year or two they have come out with a definitive "don't use Blue Dot in the 41 Mag".

    Seems like you found out why the previous owner got rid of it. Usual processes you may not have tried..

    recut forcing cone and muzzle crown
    slug barrel and size to .001 -.002 over
    try different alloys from soft to hard
    Lap barrel to same dimension thoughout its length
    Try groups shooting each chamber individually
    Replace the barrel or cylinder as last resorts

    Sell the dang thing!

    Please keep us informed

    RichardB

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Sorry if I wasn't clear, this gun was purchased brand new in box, but I should have purchased an old one. The barrel is garbage, plain and simple, and needs to be replaced. I just hope I don't get the run around from S&W. It seems like you have to spend $2000 just to have a working handgun anymore.

    I've had the cylinder throats reamed uniformly by a professional. I've tried to the slug the bore, but I can't do it accurately. Pushed all the way through, it measured .408, and I'm guessing there is a constriction. Normally 41 mags are .410" and don't vary much from that beyond normal tolerances. I've tried two cast bullets, both SWC's, sized .411" and .412" (just under throat diameter), as well as a remington 210 grain JSP and XTP hollow point. I've tried all kinds of powders, 700X, Blue dot, H110, AA #9, HS6, even blackpowder. Oddly, FFg blackpowder with a SWC probably gave the best groups of anything at about 4". All shooting done off sandbags. I'm not a great handgun shooter, but 1 1/2" at 25 yards is no problem at all with any other of my handguns.

    Not to sound like a ding dong, but Alliant has had that warning about blue dot for at least 10 years now, and when questioned, they have never been able to reproduce any of the problems in the lab. They just got so many reports of problems, they decided to put out the warning. The only cold weather spiking I have heard about happened when it was -30F or lower, and I'm not even sure how credible the source is. I've personally ran these over the chronograph over the winter in -10F, and while the velocity had dropped, they were still very consistent.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 07-03-2018 at 06:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Guesser's Avatar
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    I've looked at a couple S&W revolvers in the "Classic" series. I did not like anything I felt or looked at. The finish, machine work, grips, etc; just cheesy.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I own a good many S&W revolvers, the newest one I have is a 25-5, early production & Pinned.
    I don't waste my time on new model stuff. All the gun companies are the same run by bean
    counters who might as well be making toasters. They are all slipping. A few companies have decent customer service but to many guns are getting out of house that should have not left the
    factory. They are getting to be like fast food joints were you pay before you recieve your order.
    If you get bad food only a small percentage of people will complain. Gun companies are working
    same plan. Most people won't go to the trouble to send guns back. They pay Smith to repair them
    or just put in in a corner.

  7. #7
    What does the rifling look like? Is it shallow like that new electosis take metal away method? A friend showed me his 2 newly acquired Smith & Wesson .44 Specials at a match last weekend. One was a pre-Model 24, beautiful gun with the crown that was sharp, rifling in the bore that was cut crisp and real serrations on the front sight. They don’t make them like that anymore.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I don't have any way to accurately measure the rifling depth of a 5 groove, but I think all S&W's are EDM (S&W might call it ECM?) rifling, and this one should be no exception. Comparing the 57-2 side by side with my new 57-6, the rifling depth is about the same. Looking down the barrel of my 57-6 after cleaning, I can't see any imperfections. With a dirty barrel, they are very clear.

    On a related note, I got to shoot a S&W airweight. I don't know the model number, but it is a scandium frame, 38 special. It's actually quite accurate, now that I think of it, off hand groups with it were about as good as my sand bag groups from my 57-6. The asinine thing about the airweight, you cant even pull the hammer back! I'm not talking a bobbed hammer, the design was such, the hammer cannot be physically cocked because it hits your hand. That might take the cake for dumbest thing I've seen from a firearm in a while. Double action was just fine though. Not long after that, my dad purchased the same exact gun. After pointing out the obvious defect, he actually got mad at me, and said it worked fine for him. He holds it about 1" low. Some people can overlook anything. I have a feeling S&W could quit rifling guns altogether, and people would still buy them.

    Not all manufacturers are this way. I've bought 3 Rugers in the past 2 years, and all are great. Two had minor flaws. LCR sights were off by a lot, and was fixed no cost to me (not even shipping), they even answered the phone, and my GP100 loose grip was an easy fix for me. They are 2/3 the price too. Not a handgun, but Henry is phenomenal. I'm looking to get another, I can't speak highly enough of the craftsmanship you get.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy iron brigade's Avatar
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    I was looking at buying the same revolver a few months ago, but ended up with a new Lipseys Ruger Blackhawk bisley in 44 special. Cost me $595 out the door. What a sweet revolver. The old S&W revolvers were nice and I have a S prefix 38 made 1948. The one in my avatar. Hope it all works out for you.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I am starting to think revolvers are on their way out. They can make two plastic pistols for one revolver.
    Leadmelter
    MI

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leadmelter View Post
    I am starting to think revolvers are on their way out. They can make two plastic pistols for one revolver.
    Leadmelter
    MI
    Every gun shop owner I've talked to admits semi-autos dominate the market, but revolvers have seen a strong resurgence in the past couple years. They are no more gone than the 1911.

    I really tried to like the blackhawk, but just couldn't get over the single action grip. At the risk of sounding like a wuss, 41 mag is about all I can shoot well, and I do not feel like I have any control over a single action grip with 41 magnum. I really should have considered the 44 special GP100 more, but just loved the old model 57. Oh well, it's not my only revolver. I've just got a bad feeling S&W would just send it back saying it's "in spec". I've been down that road before.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I would fire lap this one. You have nothing to lose. BTW it is my opinion you can get very close to a true measurement on a 5 groove by rolling the slug in your micrometer jaws. I cannot prove this but have done so many times and think I am within .001" of a true measurement. You will not get both a groove and bore measurement.
    Rule 303

  13. #13
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    Sorry if I wasn't clear, this gun was purchased brand new in box, but I should have purchased an old one. The barrel is garbage, plain and simple, and needs to be replaced. I just hope I don't get the run around from S&W. It seems like you have to spend $2000 just to have a working handgun anymore.

    I've had the cylinder throats reamed uniformly by a professional. I've tried to the slug the bore, but I can't do it accurately. Pushed all the way through, it measured .408, and I'm guessing there is a constriction. Normally 41 mags are .410" and don't vary much from that beyond normal tolerances. I've tried two cast bullets, both SWC's, sized .411" and .412" (just under throat diameter), as well as a remington 210 grain JSP and XTP hollow point. I've tried all kinds of powders, 700X, Blue dot, H110, AA #9, HS6, even blackpowder. Oddly, FFg blackpowder with a SWC probably gave the best groups of anything at about 4". All shooting done off sandbags. I'm not a great handgun shooter, but 1 1/2" at 25 yards is no problem at all with any other of my handguns.

    Not to sound like a ding dong, but Alliant has had that warning about blue dot for at least 10 years now, and when questioned, they have never been able to reproduce any of the problems in the lab. They just got so many reports of problems, they decided to put out the warning. The only cold weather spiking I have heard about happened when it was -30F or lower, and I'm not even sure how credible the source is. I've personally ran these over the chronograph over the winter in -10F, and while the velocity had dropped, they were still very consistent.
    Blue Dot has my favorite 41 mag powder a looong time. Never had any problems as long as I stayed within any reasonable guidelines and the accuracy was better than any other powder I tried. I never tried it below -30 and don't intend to. I have a "Hillary Hole" model 24 SW and it shoots ok, but not nearly as well as my 1932 Hand Ejector 44 spl. The wood stocks on the New S&W's are a bit too thin for me anyway. C'mon Smith and Wesson, you can do better than this. If the factory will not help you, like Piedmont said, fire lapping probably wont hurt.
    Last edited by murf205; 07-03-2018 at 10:29 PM.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  14. #14
    Very disappointing to hear about your new Smith & Wesson.

    I shot a friends Smith & Wesson Model 28 that Clements re-calibrated to .44 Special. Probably the most accurate handgun I’ve ever shot. That man carries a custom Ruger single action most regularly.

    I favor the grip and feel of the single action revolver by Colt’s. Colt’s almost always have oversized cylinders however I did buy a new one recently with proper cylinder throats. I had a ‘smith cut me a new cylinder with proper dimensions. Both the custom cylinder and the factory cylinder in proper dimensions did not shoot any better than my other dozen Colt’s with oversized cylinders. YMMV

    I am convinced that a custom revolver is superior to a factory product.

    Sorry to hear Smith and Wesson has once again gone into a downhill slide. In the 1980’s when I started actually having money to buy guns the Smith & Wessons were no good. The Colt’s is no stranger to problems too. Smith and Wesson came out of that decline in the early 80’s and now here we are again.

    I had a 1963 Model 29, absolutely beautiful but it shot just OK, not fantastic. I just picked up an old K38 and so far it just shoots OK.

    Honestly there’s no substitute for taking an old Model 28 / 27 and having a professional recalibrating it.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master
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    S&W will need to do A LOT BETTER than the recent products I have examined from that maker, if they expect me to spend money with them again. The prices of existing pre-MIM S&Ws keep rising for a reason. My newest S&W was made in 1990.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9.3X62AL View Post
    S&W will need to do A LOT BETTER than the recent products I have examined from that maker, if they expect me to spend money with them again. The prices of existing pre-MIM S&Ws keep rising for a reason. My newest S&W was made in 1990.
    I say I wish I had gone with a good used 57, it took me a while just to choke down the $900 for the new one. I probably would never pay more for used of any product. That's just not right, unless it's discontinued or has otherwise collectable value. I see where guys are coming from with the price, but I just don't see why a 1970/80/90's N-frame would be collectable. The old recessed cylinder and pinned barrel sure.

    If I had the money, everything I own would be a custom job. I think it's a sad day when a $900 firearm (of any type or brand) needs to be modified, or else it is just a fancy noise maker.

    My advice, if you are looking for a hunting revolver, go to another brand.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy glockfan's Avatar
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    seems like the real problem withS&W revos is that,you can get a winer,but next to it there's a lemon.it's really a hit or miss with them since a decade or so.

    that is the why i'd rather own a ruger revolver by many lenght ; red hawk or GP100. you know what to expect ,and rugers delivers as intended.....

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    If they had a blued redhawk 41 mag in a 5"-7.5" barrel, I would be all over it. I hate stainless for hunting, might as well carry around a mirror. I think the GP100 is awesome, I will probably own more in the future, but the 48 ounce N-frame is as light as I would like with a 41. The super redhawks shoot great, but they have to be the ugliest chunk of hardware out there. I try to be unbiased, but I am becoming a strong Ruger fan.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy am44mag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJames View Post
    I swore I'd never buy a Smith with a Hillary hole, and now it appears my instinct was correct. I hope things work out after the 4th.
    My 629-6 has the dreaded Hillary hole, and honestly it's as close as you can get to perfection in a handgun. Accurate, beautiful, and the kind of trigger you have dreams about.

    I think he just got a bad gun.
    ______________________________________________
    Aaron

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by am44mag View Post
    My 629-6 has the dreaded Hillary hole, and honestly it's as close as you can get to perfection in a handgun. Accurate, beautiful, and the kind of trigger you have dreams about.

    I think he just got a bad gun.
    If it was only inaccurate, or only minor flaws, sure. It's not though. I don't care about the internal lock at all. Mine is not accurate, mine is not beautiful, and my trigger is not great. The trigger is plenty acceptable by my standards, but it's average at best. My GP100 trigger is better, and it was $250 cheaper. You can put some fault on me for buying it in he first place, but I am willing to overlook imperfections for accuracy. There is really nothing good about it. If I fire lapped the barrel, did a trigger job, touched up the bluing, along with the grip replacement and throat reaming already done, I might have something.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 07-04-2018 at 01:09 AM.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check