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Discussion Starter #1
Last week I took out my Model 640 S+W.This gun was the replacement for one which blew up using 38 special loads.I put 5 rounds downrange and noticed my shots were just right of center when I was aiming dead on.I put another 5 in the cylinder,pulled the trigger and boom.BYE BYE BARREL 50 FEET DOWNRANGE.The barrel was pristine and look like it had been twisted off the frame.It is going back to Smith and I already told them I don't want another 640,maybe a Model 36,but no 640.This gun maybe had 800 rounds down the pipe and also had never seen a 357 magnum load in its life.I will happily stick to my stable of Colts:cool:Guess maybe I should play the lottery.
 

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I'm glad you are OK!

I can't believe the bad luck you have with S&Ws. I have plenty of them along with my Colts and I've never had a problem with even one of them in 30 years. Likewise with my Colts, a somewhat newer interest for me.

I also have a Mod 640. Mine's been a fine gun.

Good luck, Mike! See you in early June.
 

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Mike, you say a Mod 640, but you mention 357s. Do you have a Mod 640-1? They are not the same guns. My Mod 640 is what S&W people calle a "No Dash". In this case it's a 5 shot rated only for 38 Spec. +P with the standard 1 7/8" bbl. The 640-1 chambers 38 and 357 and I think the barrel length is 2 1/8" or 2 1/4".
 

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Yeow!
I have seen guns that should have blown up and didn't (a Ruger Blackhawk in .30 carbine), but never one that shouldn't have come apart and did! (and couple that had no choice but to disassemble themselves under the circumstances) I have never destroyed one myself, but I know folks who have.
Glad no one was injured.
Stay safe.
 

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I've seen top straps blown off, but never a barrel. Does Smith still use a barrel pin? Did the barrel just unscrew from the frame? Pictures, please....
 

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Mike I am glad that you are alright. I have carried and shot(a lot) my smith model 60 .38 and I have put some "hot loads" through it and it has function flawlessly for the 30 years that I have used it. I never owned a 640, I carry the 60 all the time and a model 19-3, 2 1/2 inch occasionally. These are the only smith revolvers that I carry at the present. Sorry for your "bad" luck with the 640. Peace.

Blade
 

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wow glad you're okay. I don't believe I have ever seen that before. I own a 640 as well. A five shot 38 special plus p.
 

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Thank God you are mostly all right after that frightening incident, Cruiser RN!

I say your blood-chilling detailed writeup on Smith-wessonforum.com.
 

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I just read the whole sorted deal from S&W Forum and it makes me slightly uneasy to carry a J frame of recent manufacture. Glad your OK and that gun sure did blow up.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well I didn't reference the write up I did on that forum primarily because of the reactions of some the forum members.Let us just say some of the bad intent and hostility experienced also reminded me of why I stay here and we will leave it @ that.The 640 barrel launcher is packaged and ready to go back to S+W and we will see what happens from there.....Mike
 

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Mike,I'm glad that you are okay.Man that must have been scary.Did you feel better after you changed pants?I looked at the photos and have a question.In the photo looking at the face of the cylinder it looks like it is recessed for case rims am I seeing that right or just the angle of the camera makes it look that way?I think Smith should refund your money and give you a new gun of your choice,D*
 

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I have had a bunch of revolvers over many years and never had such a failure. From your picture, it looks like the threaded part of the barrel/forcing cone assembly is still in the frame. It looks like the barrel fractured where the threads start at the front of the frame. I would guess that the barrel was over tightened when it was screwed to the frame. S&W ceased using the pin to retain the barrel against the forces of torque many years ago and went to crush fitting the barrel. I would be pretty upset with S&W no matter what they do about it. There is no excuse for that kind of failure. Luckily neither you nor a bystander were injured nor were you depending on that revolver to protect your life at that time! This is another good example of why its a very bad practice to obtain a firearm and carry it for defense before shooting it. Fortunately, you were smart enough to test it. That happening twice to me would definitely put me off on S&W's.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Daryl I think it was the angle of the picture.Yes the threads of the forcing cone is still in the frame and the barrel fractured there.it is off to Smith today and I am going to call again to tell them I want a Model 36 and not another Model 640 barrel launcher.....Mike
 

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Glad you're OK. I've got a 640-1 and carry it often. I've shot some hot loads through it and it seems to handle them appropriately. Shootin' those full power .357s through that little gun always reminds me why it only take a few shots to sight it in ! Good luck and keep us informed.
 

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Mike, PTL you are OK after this incident! I, too, am a firm and confirmed lifetime believer in things Colt. My concealed carry weapon is a Colt .45 OACP. Now I'm wondering about my wife's weapon. She carries a S&W Lady Smith .38 Special I bought new for her at Christmas in 2011. It's loaded with Hornady Critical Defense 110 grain HP ammo. The +P is too much for her. Though I've not heard any bad news on other S&W light weight weapons, I'd like your take on our situation. Sure don't want a repeat of this!!!

Ed
 
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