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Thread: S&W Scandium 340PD FAILURE

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    S&W Scandium 340PD FAILURE

    The 340PD is a .357 J-frame. During qual 5 rds of 38 +P 135 gr HP Gold Dot SB. Chunk that came off hit the instructor running the course (no injury). Low round count, just carried a lot in an ankle rig. It continued to run after the chunk came off (round 2 or 3 of 5) as the shooter did not notice it.

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    Apparent cracking initiated by notch sensitivity. Failure crack most likely originated from a tool mark left over from broaching the cylinder recess in the frame. S&W would be well advised to increase the filet radius as well as improving surface finish in the filet and/or shot peening. Looking at the brown stain adjacent fracture looks familiar, this appears to have been working a while and picked this time to let go.

    Cop armorer friend in SoCal had to send 2 or 3 standard aluminum J frames (642/442) back to S&W that cracked the frame at 6 O’Clock below the forcing cone. S&W said that happens sometimes from hoop stress transferred through the aluminum when the machine screws on the barrel or when they thread the frame for the barrel. They replaced the entire gun each time.

    The so-called S&W "lifetime warranty" has limitations. Same retired LE armorer bought himself a retirement-gift all steel 640 and the “hammer stud” broke off flush with the frame with a few hundred rounds on board. From the gitgo dry firing it did not feel quite right, but was still working as the side plate kind of holds the stud (pin) in place...When he popped off the side plate he saw the internal parts slightly shifted...well that’s not normal.

    For a number of reasons I won’t get into S&W needed to replace the frame (they can’t repair aluminum frames so those are replaced when this happens) they sent him a bill for $145 even though they said it had nothing to do with anything he had done. I had to get the local S&W LE rep involved and even he could not explain why this fell outside the normal “lifetime” warranty. Somehow he eventually made the bill go away. Those without a badge or retired credential probably won't be as lucky.

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    A broken hammer stud is becoming more common with the shift to MIM. Especially on the N frames. Machinist buddy fixes a lot of them because guys don’t want to wait 30-60 days for S&W “service”. As for screwing on barrels, they sure torque'em on tight. Forcing cone constriction has been a problem with the late production guns I’ve inspected. It's usually $100 gunsmith fix to set back and refit, but shouldn’t be necessary if they fitted correctly just cut a UNF-Class 2A thread, not a 3A, then just screw it in correctly and pin it, Like they did in the old days. One of many reasons I prefer the older revolvers. That stud as now manufactured is now a MIM part press fit into a slightly raised collar instead of being screwed into the frame. The repair is to drill it out and then tap thread the frame and install a new stud the old fashioned way.

    Reinforces my gut instinct that "an old gun that works is worth more than a new gun that doesn't."
    None of my older (1970s) S&W Model 12 Airweight M&P .38 Specials have failed firing standard pressure (NOT +P!) loads.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Wow. That is disheartening. Glad nobody was injured.

    Hope my almost new Taurus 856 UL holds up a little better. It cost less, but I have no illusions about any warranty service. I would have expected much more integrity from Smith and Wesson. But I guess the buyer now pays for any short cut flaws these day

    I am still on the hunt for vintage iron, though.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I like your term "Vintage Iron"

    By golly I will use that!

    "An old gun that works is worth more than a new gun that doesn't."
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I have one of those. They replaced the frame once due to the cylinder sliding past the frame lug when ejecting cases. it was that way from the git-go. I have fired a couple of 158 JHP magnums just to see. The rest of the rounds fired have been 38 target and 38+p 125 gold dots. I'll definitely keep an eye on it.

    Brad

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BK7saum View Post
    I have one of those. They replaced the frame once due to the cylinder sliding past the frame lug when ejecting cases. it was that way from the git-go. I have fired a couple of 158 JHP magnums just to see. The rest of the rounds fired have been 38 target and 38+p 125 gold dots. I'll definitely keep an eye on it.

    Brad
    Was your frame lug forged integral with the Scantium frame or was it a steel one threaded into the frame?
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    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    A little JB weld and it will be good as new.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Looks like Chinese Mystery Metal.
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  8. #8
    Been following the hammer studd issue on a few other forums.
    It's a shame s&w chooses to go the route they do.
    I have more than a few older s&w revolvers.
    They seem destined to piss off the gun community and ruin their reputation.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Was your frame lug forged integral with the Scantium frame or was it a steel one threaded into the frame?
    I think it was forged. They sent me a frame with different serial number, it was not a repair of the original frame.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    They also corrected a canted barrel cylinder gap at the same time. The gap was much closer smaller at the top than the bottom.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by BK7saum View Post
    They also corrected a canted barrel cylinder gap at the same time. The gap was much closer smaller at the top than the bottom.
    Nice to hear they fixed you up.
    Sad situation .

  12. #12
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    Sort of makes me not want to "upgrade" my 442, which to date has worked great with Federal HSTs.

  13. #13
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    Sad to hear of these problems. I don't follow the S&W forums much, are these problems common? I do know that since S&W bought out Thompson Center that quality has dropped.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    My 325PD has had thousands of rounds thru it and still looks new and locks up tight. However one of my 642's has been back to the factory for a barrel cant issue that was covered under warranty.
    Without the dark night, you would never see the bright stars...

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  15. #15
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Read a bit about problems with the scandium frames, especially with a diet of +P ammo. Personally, I would only use +P in steel frame guns, but that’s my choice.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Even worse....this happened to a 357 shooting 38s.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master




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    Seems I am reading about more issues with S&W revolvers than any other gun on the internet. Did Remington buy them out or something??
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

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    My 357 mag S&W is a 340 scandium titanium gun. It has a warning on the barrel that says only bullets over xxx weight ( I dont remember the exact weight). I wonder if lighter bullets cause a shock effect or bad harmonics

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master



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    It's no less than 120 grains and it's for "Bullet Pull". In light weight revolvers the inertia of discharge with the accompaning high speed recoil makes the projectile start creeping from the casing. This can eventually have the bullet projecting from the face of the cylinder and locking up the gun.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    It's no less than 120 grains and it's for "Bullet Pull". In light weight revolvers the inertia of discharge with the accompaning high speed recoil makes the projectile start creeping from the casing. This can eventually have the bullet projecting from the face of the cylinder and locking up the gun.
    That's why police duty loads are sealed for water and oilproofing with Black Lucas, which also increases bullet pull.

    Important safety tip - pull down one of your factory rounds.

    If you see no black mouth varnish you should buy something different next time.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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