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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I recently purchased a new 686+ 6", which I really like a lot. I have shot about 30-40 rds of .357 and 100 rds of .38 through it. Very accurate and smooth action.
Here is my problem / question:
Starting with the very first shot, I have now accumulated 4 split cases, all .357 magnum.
They are all new production R-P (Remington), not reloads. None were .38 spl.
I have not marked a particular chamber yet, but it would make sense that since 1 out of 7 is close to 4 out of 30, it may be one culprit chamber out of spec. If the hole was drilled too big, the pressure generated by the .357 round might expand the case beyond its ability to stretch, thus causing he split. I would have thought that the .38 rounds would have enough
I also have a Vaquero in .357, and I have never had a split case with using the same ammo. In fact, I have NEVER had a single (recovered) split case with any of my other 20+ guns, so this is definitely out of the ordinary.
At first, I thought it could just be a problem with the ammo, but now I am inclined to think otherwise.
Would the cylinder be strong enough to prevent a catastrophic failure and safety concern? The thinner walls of the 7 shot 686+ add to my concern.
I sent a request for a return shipping label to S&W, but I have not heard back yet. As I said, I really like this gun. I would hate to send it in only to have them just throw in a new cylinder and create other problems like a gritty action or chamber to barrell spacing issue.
Has anyone else experienced a similar problem? If so, how was it resolved?
Thanks for your help!

Gun Firearm Revolver Trigger Shotgun
 

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S&W Service has always done good by me. The only problem is that.......... they return the gun with dirt, oil, and fingerprints on it. Not a big deal....just wipe it off. ;) If you have replaced the springs with lighter ones......they will automatically put new stock (heavy) springs in it, to return it to factory specs. It's company policy. :rolleyes: Bob
 

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From the looks of the case, I would suspect a "void" in the casting back toward the rear of the cylinder, with perhaps a "fault line" running from there toward the front of the cylinder.

It almost looks bad enough that visual examination under a good light would show it up.

If it is a fault in one side of the cylinder, a "movement check" with a loaded cartridge might not show up an oversize hole.

The next time you shoot, number the cylinders, and orient the cartridges in a discernable direction, and then examine the failed case to see where the failure lies in relationship to the orientation of the cartridge in the cylinder -- that will point you in the right direction -- something like a dentists pick should aid in locating any defect within the cylinder bore.

Examination of cases that didn't fail, assuming you can tentatively identify what is suspected as the "bad hole", may show excessive stretching, or incipient failure.

It is a crap shoot to lay out close to a thousand dollars for a gun and not have confidence that you will receive the quality that you are led to expect by past performance.
 

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It is cause for concern. I would most definitely send it back to S&W along with the split cases, and the lot number from the box of cartridges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No void in the cylinder or fault line. All smooth as glass. Cases that didn't fail all seemed fine. I didn't twist them in a caliper to see if they were out of round or stretched. I did reinsert spent cases back into the cylinders in random order to see if any were tight going back in. The split ones are much tighter, of course. I can't tell any difference inserting good cases, but there is one hole that seems to be a little bigger, as the split cases go in further with less effort than the other holes. I marked that hole.
I will see what S&W says about a return. I don't want to keep shooting if there is a safety issue. And I agree, shelling out good money for a premium gun ($100 more than the Ruger GP100) should yield premium performance/quality.
This is my 5th S&W overall, and I have been happy with the others.
 

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confused02 I'd be sending any remaining ammo or the empty ammo box and the gun back to S&W...The only time I have had brass split on me was due to age" IE ", reloaded to many times...and they were 44 mag's loaded hot! SSCAROIT I sold my 686 lock model because I just had some issue's with it. "SEND THE GUN AND ANY AMMO TO S&W"
 

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Hey geezer.....you like everything!:D Bob
Yes I do Bob.......this is a good discussion about a potentially serious problem. I like the way everyone is handling themselves and the issue.

In fact, I'll give your comment a "Like" too because you gave me a chance to say so...............chuckle...........Thank You.......!

Regards All,

Geezer
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
UPDATE!
This is a little late, as I have been busy, but......
I got my 686P back from Smith, and it seems like everything is fixed. They replaced the cylinder, and I have had no more splits. They aligned the barrel, but it is still a hair off. Not a problem, as it shoots straight. I was worried that the action might suffer, but if anything it seems smoother (probably the same).
Good job standing behind your products Smith & Wesson!
Thanks to all for the feedback on my problem.
 

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UPDATE!
This is a little late, as I have been busy, but......
I got my 686P back from Smith, and it seems like everything is fixed. They replaced the cylinder, and I have had no more splits. They aligned the barrel, but it is still a hair off. Not a problem, as it shoots straight. I was worried that the action might suffer, but if anything it seems smoother (probably the same).
Good job standing behind your products Smith & Wesson!
Thanks to all for the feedback on my problem.
Glad to hear that S&W corrected their problem/defect. Did they happen to say what they found? If I had to guess I would say one of the cylinder bores was out of tolerance.
 
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