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Problems with 929s continue ?

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Hi Guys,

I'm curious to know, if the problems on the 929s continued on recent purchases or were only in the initial run(s) ? Are there serial number ranges or up to a serial number on which the problems appear to be and after a certain number have stabilized ?

Long time student on this forum. Learned a lot. Thanks.

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Our store just received another one from a distributor yesterday. Same conditions are ongoing. The latest one had the trifecta of issues. Barrel overclocked, Trigger traveling diagonally through the rear notch. Hammer top right and bottom left dragging on frame. (ie. poor DA sear angle or bent hammer pivot pin). Oh, also when cocked to SA it cocks in a mystery notch, then at about 4lb pull the hammer continues rearward then drops onto the SA notch, then with a little more rearward pull on the trigger it breaks as designed. Much of the issues seem to be MiM fitting issues. They seem to have redesigned the action to be drop in parts and the drop in parts are all acting differently on each other. The higher priced V-comps and 5" slab side 627 we have gotten in do not yield the same mis-fit parts as the 929's, yet they are also all MiM parts as well....? I am unsure what is really going on.

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I must have been lucky. My 929 came to me in perfect shape. Barrel was dead center, trigger pull was 8 lb double action and 3 lb single action. No problems with cases getting stuck like in my previous 929.

Hammer and trigger were hard chromed. I think since the Performance Center has been revamped at least my gun came out better. I'm hoping everyone's will turn out this good.

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For the most part the problems with the 929 isn't specific to the 929. The lack of QC across all the revolver models has been the main problem. I have an early made 929 and another that just came off the line. The parts quality was fine in both, it's the fitting of the parts that was the only issue. My newest 929 went back because the barrel/cylinder gap was cut large and crooked so when it went back they replaced the barrel and fit it perfectly. An improperly fit barrel can happen with any model.

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Our store just received another one from a distributor yesterday. Same conditions are ongoing. The latest one had the trifecta of issues. Barrel overclocked, Trigger traveling diagonally through the rear notch. Hammer top right and bottom left dragging on frame. (ie. poor DA sear angle or bent hammer pivot pin). Oh, also when cocked to SA it cocks in a mystery notch, then at about 4lb pull the hammer continues rearward then drops onto the SA notch, then with a little more rearward pull on the trigger it breaks as designed. Much of the issues seem to be MiM fitting issues. They seem to have redesigned the action to be drop in parts and the drop in parts are all acting differently on each other. The higher priced V-comps and 5" slab side 627 we have gotten in do not yield the same mis-fit parts as the 929's, yet they are also all MiM parts as well....? I am unsure what is really going on.

MMM, maybe they've decided to put a 2 stage trigger in their revolvers now?! :roflol:

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Have you guys heard of this one ?

The dealer/seller says its "NIB" straight from the distributor. However, it has a lot of carbon on the front of the cylinder, on the top strap and on the blast shield forming a 1/3 circle above the firing pin bushing. more than a test firing, it looks like. It also has burrs on the barrel shoulder as it juts out the frame to meet the cylinder. The b/c gap seems even to fit the .005 feeler gauge easily on all chambers, .006 would not go in. The hammer and trigger finish is not even either, has some broken lines

Is this "factory new normal" for a 929 ? or any PC gun for that matter ?

Thank you for the answers so far.

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Our store just received another one from a distributor yesterday. Same conditions are ongoing. The latest one had the trifecta of issues. Barrel overclocked, Trigger traveling diagonally through the rear notch. Hammer top right and bottom left dragging on frame. (ie. poor DA sear angle or bent hammer pivot pin).

If my old posts were available, you would see I have been ringing that bell for a long time.... not just on 929 but all new SW guns including PC. Barrels not straight, hammers dragging on frame, trigger problems, B/C gaps too wide and my pet peeve: sideplates so tight it takes dynamite to remove them. That's why I stopped buying new SW products some time back.

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For the most part the problems with the 929 isn't specific to the 929. The lack of QC across all the revolver models has been the main problem.

Correct. Exactly what I have seen. I used to think that SW sent all their defective guns out here to California to punish the state for their idiotic gun laws, but now I think it's just a quality problem in general.

IMHO, SW did away with QC in favor of letting customers do it for them and send the guns back under their "lifetime warranty". And they aren't the only ones. QC is expensive, time consuming, reduces product output and requires skilled and experienced people. None of those things are allowed in today's business model.

Edited by bountyhunter

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That seems like a pretty good assessment of the situation BH.

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I agree We just took in a new 25-15 Classic that a customer ordered with us. It has most every issue found on many 929's. There is so much money in plastic guns one has to wonder if revolvers will even be produced decades down the road from now.

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I'm curious who does the come back work. I'm wondering if there is one group that slaps them together and gets them out the door and then a special group that works on the ones that come back. I wonder because the work on my 929 that I sent back was well done.

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The problem is 90+% of the people buying them fire a box of ammo, one thumb cocked shot at at time at a target 5yds away and are pretty excited that they hit the target most of the time, ergo they wouldn't know if it was defective unless it wouldn't fire at all. Half the remaining customers are either sending it right to a smith or are doing the work them selves and understand that it showed up as a project. That leaves the small fraction that may end up sending it back if theirs turns out to be problematic

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Have you guys heard of this one ?

The dealer/seller says its "NIB" straight from the distributor. However, it has a lot of carbon on the front of the cylinder, on the top strap and on the blast shield forming a 1/3 circle above the firing pin bushing. more than a test firing, it looks like. It also has burrs on the barrel shoulder as it juts out the frame to meet the cylinder. The b/c gap seems even to fit the .005 feeler gauge easily on all chambers, .006 would not go in. The hammer and trigger finish is not even either, has some broken lines

Is this "factory new normal" for a 929 ? or any PC gun for that matter ?

Thank you for the answers so far.

Not normal for any new gun I've ever bought...

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The problem is 90+% of the people buying them fire a box of ammo, one thumb cocked shot at at time at a target 5yds away and are pretty excited that they hit the target most of the time, ergo they wouldn't know if it was defective unless it wouldn't fire at all. Half the remaining customers are either sending it right to a smith or are doing the work them selves and understand that it showed up as a project. That leaves the small fraction that may end up sending it back if theirs turns out to be problematic

This.

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I'm curious who does the come back work. I'm wondering if there is one group that slaps them together and gets them out the door and then a special group that works on the ones that come back.

Almost certainly. There always has to be at least one guy who knows what he's doing and "oversees" the min wage monkeys.

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Almost certainly. There always has to be at least one guy who knows what he's doing and "oversees" the min wage monkeys.

Someone on another forum called the gunsmiths at Century Arms a bunch of drunk monkeys but he was told he should not be insulting monkeys by comparing them to the guys that work the assembly line at Century. :roflol:

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I was thinking to add a 929 to my collection so I could shoot revolver competitions (USPSA specifically). Seems that may not be a good idea. What's a good recommendation now?

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The 627s have been good, but some of them have the same issues. The main difference overall is the 627s didn't have brass sticking in the chambers after firing.

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I was thinking to add a 929 to my collection so I could shoot revolver competitions (USPSA specifically). Seems that may not be a good idea. What's a good recommendation now?

Here is my recommendation: don't buy any new SW revolver unless you can give it a DETAILED bench review before buying. I would NEVER special order (pre pay) a gun because then you are stuck with it.

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Tuned my first 929 for a buddy tonight. Other than the chromed internals, it seemed the same as any 627.

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I was thinking to add a 929 to my collection so I could shoot revolver competitions (USPSA specifically). Seems that may not be a good idea. What's a good recommendation now?

Here is my recommendation: don't buy any new SW revolver unless you can give it a DETAILED bench review before buying. I would NEVER special order (pre pay) a gun because then you are stuck with it.

What would be a detailed bench review? What should I look for? I'm capable of using calipers, but not proficient, if I need to. Having said all that, if I want a revolver that isn't a Smith and Wesson what else is out there that's good?

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I was thinking to add a 929 to my collection so I could shoot revolver competitions (USPSA specifically). Seems that may not be a good idea. What's a good recommendation now?

Here is my recommendation: don't buy any new SW revolver unless you can give it a DETAILED bench review before buying. I would NEVER special order (pre pay) a gun because then you are stuck with it.

What would be a detailed bench review? What should I look for?

I'll go from the most prevalent defects I see on new SW:

1) Barrel cylinder gap. Ideal is .004 - .007, limit is .010". I have seen some .015.

2) Breech face gap /square to frame. Measure gap from rear of cylinder to breech face ALL THE WAY AROUND not just at the top. I believe the spec is .062 - .064", absolute min for me is .060". Install fired brass in all cylinder slots and measure gap to verify you still have at least .004" gap or so.

ALSO: hold gun sideways and eyeball gaps above and below cylinder to frame. Check for square.

3) Drag marks on side of hammer. Eyeball if hammer is "centered" in frame.

4) Pull trigger slowly, check for any drag or hesitation in the hammer or is it smooth.

5) Barrel alignment: eyeball top lines on barrel center and see if they align with frame center. Also: see if rear sight has been cranked to one side. If barrel is not aligned, forget it.

6) Cylinder carryup. Install fired brass. Very slowly DA pull while tip of left finger just touching cylinder for slight resistance. Cylinder lock underneath must lock into the notch before hammer falls. Repeat SA doing a slow cock to verify stop locks in before hammer cocks.

7) Cylinder lockup. install fired brass. cock hammer, pull AND HOLD trigger and then gently try to rotate cylinder. There should be no perceptible wobble side to side. Check all six locations.

8) Side plate fit. Check the seam that the side plate fits to the frame. Some are so tight you will see "ridging up" near the top left.

9) Cylinder end shake. Hold gun tightly and see if the cylinder has any front to rear movement (unloaded).

That's all I remember, might be something I forgot.

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