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I took the factory tour a few times in the 90s. They were still hand fitting at the end of the assembly line.It was amazing to see them "tune" with hammers and files. Sadly,the tours stopped around 2000.
 

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I note the caption on a couple of the photographs: "This employee is one of the scores of skilled bench workers entrusted with critical phases of manufacture or assembly requiring superb manual skill."

What a shame none of those guys work there now.
 

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I note the caption on a couple of the photographs: "This employee is one of the scores of skilled bench workers entrusted with critical phases of manufacture or assembly requiring superb manual skill."

What a shame none of those guys work there now.
Or trained their replacements. 😕
 

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Or trained their replacements. 😕
I should have phrased it as what a shame no one like those guys works there now. I've seen many complaints about poor workmanship on the newer Smiths. All of my Smiths are old. I haven't bought a newly manufactured Smith & Wesson revolver since...I think it was 1974. The only new Smith I bought in the past several years was a Shield in .45acp, and it sorta doesn't really count. To be completely fair, maybe there are some really talented craftsmen working at S&W, but I'd have to believe they're few and far between.
 

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Wondered how they got the cylinder opening in the frame. Now I know, a vertical broach. Years ago, I spent several years working in machine shop, with tools dating back to the 40s and 50s if not older. Have even ran a horizontal broach more than once. Interesting to see those pictures. Thanks.
 
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