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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was examining a new 686 Plus with a three inch barrel and the built-in lock yesterday. I like it and think I'll acquire one eventually. I was not impressed with the trigger, however. It may be that I'm too used to my three pre-lock K-frames with trigger jobs, but I thought the DA trigger pull was overly stiffon that one. The SA wasn,t anything to get excited about either. Does anyone know, besides the lock and frame mounted firing pin, has Smith changed much of the internals. Can a good ole fashioned "duty" tune be done to the trigger (8 lb DA) like the old days. My last 686 was my Border Patrol issued BP-1 and I don't remember it being that still.
 

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Don't know if the internals are different but being brand new it will loosen up a bit after you fire it some. I for one do not care if it has a lock or not, I have carried guns with the lock and without and never felt it would not work when I needed it. You will get different opinions here, there are lock-haters all over. Welcome to the forum, James.
 

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Mine is a post lock 686. I bought it used so I don't know what was done prior to me getting it but it has an awesome trigger on it. The single action esp is feather light.
 

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Most of my revolvers have had a street-worthy action job. Meaning they will reliably fire any primer known to man and will pull at around 8 to 8.5 lbs and smooth.

That group includes a 29-2, Lew Horton 29-3, 629-4, 64-5, and a 65-8.

Of all those, the 65 is the only one with a lock and MIM parts in the fire control group. It is also, BY FAR, the sweetest, smoothest action of the bunch. The only one that comes close is the 29-3.

All action jobs were done by the same gunsmith (former S.O. armorer).

So yes, MIM guns are more than capable of taking an action job as well or better than the older ones with forged parts.
 
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I think folks get confused. The increased stack tolerances would make one think that some of the newer MIM guns have a smoother trigger pull. And they indeed can and do feel that way. The tradeoff, in some cases, will come in durability.

Along with many of the handfitted parts being eliminated, some decisions were also made that will make the guns frames ~ unable to be repaired.

giz
 

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I'd like to see the S&W drawings of MIM and forged triggers and rebound slides before I accept that the tolerances are wider now.

My 65-8 has 5206 documented rounds through it without a single malfunction. I bet I can triple that before something goes.
 
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Wyatt,

That's a part of the changes, when something goes, ~ then what?

Let's say it's the hammer, trigger, cylinder stop, and rebound slide studs. They used to be screw in and could be replaced easily. Now when they wear out, that's no longer possible.

The frame lug used to be a replaceable part. It is now part of the frame. If it wears, your frame must be replaced...


giz
 

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carl418 said:
I didn't think that MIM parts could be cut because the hardened outer shell is so thin.

Is that not correct?
No different than case hardened forged steel. Case hardening is case hardening.
 

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Jose,
I'm fairly sure that's not true. The MIM parts have a soft core with a hardened outer layer. But if you cut it, as in doing a trigger job, the softer core will be exposed if you cut very far. That softer core will wear very fast, if exposed.

From what I've read, the hardened outer layer is very thin on MIM parts.

I'm just a little surprised to hear of someone doing a trigger job on MIM parts. I thought that was a no-no..
 

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The process of metal injection molding is evolving. The first MIM parts were atrocious. Some the worse components S&W ever produced.

I attempted to polish and correct the sear angles on my first issue MIM .45 Colt Mountain gun and quickly made junk out of these parts. The same techniques had been used with success by me and many others for many generations with forged parts.

But by the time my 640-1 was made in 1996, it seems these problems were corrected and it has a box-stock action that is very smooth.

But, as good as the MIM parts seem to be today, they will never be as "solid" (admittedly a subjective observation) as forged parts are. Time will tell, but my money is on the forged parts running fine for a hundred years, but not MIM.

This is true as the carriers, lubricants and binding agents that are in the raw alloy flash off in the firing processes and the finished part is less dense than the green part. Unlike a forging which actually increases the density of the part.

BTW, Case Hardening high nickle forged Molybdenum steel is not the same as case hardening sintered metal. The alloys are quite different, and therefore the resulting surfaces will be different.
 

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Sebago Son said:
The process of metal injection molding is evolving.
Indeed, and it is currently at a very high state of the art.
Sebago Son said:
But, as good as the MIM parts seem to be today, they will never be as "solid" (admittedly a subjective observation) as forged parts are.
Technically true, but "solid" enough for the job they need to do. The jury is still out about durability measured in centuries, but progress usually improves things so my money is on MIM making it just as long as forged steel in the proper applications.
Sebago Son said:
Unlike a forging which actually increases the density of the part.
The density of steel does not change from its wrought to its forged state. The density of steel changes with its alloying elements, but that is it. Depending on the exact alloy, that will be between 7.7 and 7.85 g/cm3. Powdered Injection Molded alloy steel densities range from 7.6 g/cm3 for low alloy MIM/PIM steels to 7.8 for 316-L sintered stainless steel

Sebago Son said:
BTW, Case Hardening high nickle forged Molybdenum steel is not the same as case hardening sintered metal. The alloys are quite different, and therefore the resulting surfaces will be different.
The allys are different so the heat treatment temperatures and times will be different but the surface hardness can be made the same and so can the case depth in most cases. There is no separate Rockwell scale for MIM. A MIM part CH to Rc 55 to a depth of .002" is exactly as hard as a part made of AISI 4140 and hardened to the same Rc value and case depth.

;)
 

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It appears this debate is going to go on for a while..

It doesn't matter to me what a person decides to buy. If MIM is acceptable to someone, so be it.

However, from what I've seen, most people on this forum seem to gravitate towards older guns with forged parts. This is, after all, a collector's forum. Just makes sense that most of the people here buy older guns.

Regardless, debate is fine.. so long as it stays civil.
 

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Carl, I've said my peace on the issue based on 15 years of designing and using tools, jigs, and fixtures in both aerospace and automotive companies, plus a an engineering degree from one of the best schools in the nation (USNA).

You're right, the focus here is mostly on the older guns. However, the subforum we are on inlcudes guns with MIM parts and from the looks of it, S&W is not going to make them go away.

So the least we could do is discuss them based on factual, verifiable information. Yes?
 

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Carl, I'm just not rich enough to be considered a collector. :roll:
I do, however appreciate a fine older revolver with the forged parts. I am forced to buy only top shape, older, revolvers when I can find them at a reasonable price. Hence, I haven't bought a S&W revolver in a few years. I'll just stick with what I have! kfjdrfirii

The thing about MIM, is that they made to closer tolerances, which means that they are interchangable. Therefore, the revolvers do not have to be "fitted" with parts for each gun. (I'm not a gunsmith....by any means. :roll: So, I can't say for sure.) They can be "slapped together" on the assembly line.

I don't own a MIM revolver.......and probably never will!!! But, they must be "acceptable" to a lot of people....that continue to buy them. While the forged parts do offer owners to do some tuning, most of us (meaning guys like me :roll: ) don't do it. My "trigger jobs" are done by shooting 1000's of rounds down the tube. I would imagine that the same process applies to the newer MIM guns, too.

For many of us.....it's a non-issue. Now.....about that lock...... :lol: Bob
 
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Wyatt....if I may.

First off, you are among Good Friends here... :)

You and I have disagreed to agree in the past. That's cool. We may still do so in the future. Lord knows I love a good argument against a willing opponent. ... :)

What gave you away was the posting of the gun that you did so much Chrony work on. I followed that post, found it interesting and well done. I did have a comment or two from my own observations and maybe we can take that up over here...

Anyrate, Welcome to the Forum...as the other former admin (Not Lee) called this place the land of the disenfranchised.

PM me when you get the chance...you and I need to type at one another.... ;)


giz
 

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Jose said:
So the least we could do is discuss them based on factual, verifiable information. Yes?
You want factual? Write us again when MIM parts have been used SPECIFICALLY in the same application as forged for as long as those parts have been in service. See ya in 100 + years.

At best MIM longevity is supposition, extrapolation and conjecture.

That you cannot argue.
 
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