Smith & Wesson .460 S&W review Bad Customer Service
Smith & Wesson was once a trusted brand, considered the best production revolver available. In 2013 I discovered that they are only slightly better than Taurus. It saddens me to see what was once a great brand, now failing. -Shepard Humphries
My personal experiences suggest that if you want to buy a S&W, make sure it is an old one. One example is our .460 Revolver. I purchased it for use in our shooting instruction business, and after one summer of use, probably less than 200 shots of .460 Magnum shot through it (maybe as high as 300), I noticed the cylinder was loose. In June of 2013 I sent it to S&W for a repair, asking nicely that they rush the repair so that it would be back for our busy July & August season.
S&W called in mid November to say that the problem is within the frame and that the gun is not safe to use and needs to be destroyed. They offered to price a new one for me, but of course I was in no mood to buy a second product when the first one failed. Maybe they were joking and mocking me for being a sucker having purchased one of their products? There was no apology for producing a lemon, no offer of a discounted deal on a replacement, just a matter of fact notification that their gun failed and a solicitation to buy a new one. Of course i did not ask for their pricing.
I recognize that a gun will wear out, just like a car or shoe. My gripe with S&W is that it happened with so little use. Most handguns have less than 500 rounds fired through them in their life. Cheap companies like Taurus recognize this and build low quality guns that they know will not last long, and their low price reflects this. Tarus knows that the small percentage of shooters that used their guns more would send them back, so Taurus is slow but friendly in replacing their guns and makes it easy.
Smith and Wesson revolvers used to last much longer. Unfortunately, I had recommended them to hundreds of students before this incident. My experience, unless a fluke, indicates that Smith & Wesson is following this same ‘Taurus” path, except they have not adjusted their price downward to reflect a lower quality.
This incident is a great example of why knowing a company’s warranty policy is so great! Companies like LLBean, LWRC and Vortex Optics top the list, while it seems the IRS and S&W are at the bottom. We always hear stories about LWRC, Leupold, Vortex and LLBean standing behind their products. They even grit their teeth and treat customers right when they know it was the customer’s fault … and THAT is the point, there is a positive buzz about those companies:
- LLBean- “If you find one of their old worn out shirts in a gutter, mail it to them and they will send you a brand new one.”
- Vortex Optics- “If you get drunk one night and try to clean one of their scopes with a scouring pad, send it back to them with an honest note about your bone-headedness. They will apologize for the problem and send you a new scope in about 10 days.
Obviously ethical people like you and me would accept personal responsibility for the above examples and would not ask for a free repair or replacement, but these companies set the benchmark on perfect customer service. It is my sincere hope and belief that our conglomerate, JH Shooting, LLC has earned and will maintain the same reputation.
As for Smith and Wesson Warranty, it is not practically good. We were very disappointed about their failure, and now warn our clients to save the money and get an equal-value gun, the Taurus. Taurus quality is less than Smith and Wesson, but their warranty policy is better, so it evens out.