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Old 03-25-2018, 08:04 PM   #1
ak610
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Default Smith Wesson 637, new, rough looking bore?

I recently picked up a BNIB Smith Wesson model 637. The piece was in perfect condition out of the box, with a bit of carbon around the barrel from when it would have been test fired after manufacture.

After cleaning the barrel for the first time, the barrel looks pretty bad - the pics aren't great, but some of the "chunks" that you see in the rifling appear to actually be the bore flaking away. I took a dental pick to clear it out, but metallic flakes were peeling away instead of chunks of carbon.


I will mention that the crown is immaculate, as is the rest of the piece.

Is this actually a brand new S&W barrel in terrible condition from the factory, or am I missing something here..?
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File Type: jpg 637 bore (2).jpg (82.9 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg 637 Bore.jpg (43.6 KB, 67 views)
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:14 PM   #2
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My first thoughts were "that looks like quite a bit of carbon." However, I've never received a new gun looking like that regardless of factory test firing. When in doubt send it back to the factory
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:15 PM   #3
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Looks like crap on the surface, not defects in the rifling.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:42 PM   #4
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Possibly lead fouling? You say you bought it brand new OP?
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Fortis View Post
Possibly lead fouling? You say you bought it brand new OP?
Yes, brand new. There were zero visible roll marks on the cylinder.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:47 PM   #6
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Are you sure that is not build up on the surface from rounds down range?
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:58 PM   #7
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Scrub that MF'er with a brass brush and some Hoppes. See if it comes out.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:02 PM   #8
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Scrub it, shoot it, repeat.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:06 PM   #9
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Thank you all for the replies. Sometime this week I'll soak it with something aggressive and give it some TLC. I'll post the results of that. I can't imagine this is some kind of defect... it must be bad fouling like y'all are saying. It's just weird that it would be in that condition from the factory. Thank you all again.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:58 AM   #10
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Yup soak w copper and lead de-fouling solution then scrub the shit out of it w copper or brass brushes. If that does not clean it up there is some serious fuckery at work
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:44 AM   #11
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New S&Ws are pieces of shit.

I love them to death and will continue to buy them but just know they are no where near older models. I'm not talking the stupid pre lock/lock debate. I'm just talking about their lately attempt at cutting corners at QC.

It is very important now to check all of their new products over very closely before purchase.
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Old 03-26-2018, 02:20 PM   #12
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The last time i saw stuff like that was when we were forced to us that crappy nyclad projectile crapp. Clean it out and see its still there?
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Old 03-26-2018, 02:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stopsign32v View Post
New S&Ws are pieces of shit.

I love them to death and will continue to buy them but just know they are no where near older models. I'm not talking the stupid pre lock/lock debate. I'm just talking about their lately attempt at cutting corners at QC.

It is very important now to check all of their new products over very closely before purchase.
I can't disagree with anything you've posted here. Smith and Wesson has been cutting corners to maximize profits since the Bangor Punta era of the 80's; the later the model year, the more corners were cut. This why I seek out the older models (and pay the higher prices); even if they're used.


@ak610 -- After looking at your photos of the bore, and by your description of, "metallic flakes were peeling away instead of chunks of carbon"; I'd say that your problem is a lead fouled bore. Those metallic flakes are lead; this is a common problem with revolvers.

The vast majority of factory produced revolver caliber cartridges that are loaded with non-jacketed lead bullets, use swaged bullets. The swaging process uses almost pure lead because it's softer/more malleable; whereas cast bullets use a harder alloy with higher percentages of tin and antimony. The softer the bullet, and the faster it's driven, will cause the bullet material to smear inside the bore like a crayon. Commercial and individual bullet casters sometimes employ what's known as a "gas check" to reduce lead fouling. It's a gilding metal jacket that covers only the base of the bullet, and is crimped onto the heel. Here's a link to better describe it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_check

Most newer barrels have a slightly rough finish that has to "wear in"; this is most often due to the freshly cut surfaces, and not necessarily indicative of poor workmanship. Only the high dollar match grade rifle barrels have their bores lapped in to eliminate this slight roughness. To get a better idea of the true condition of your barrel; you've got to get the lead out.

In my experience, the easiest way to eliminate the bulk of the lead fouling is to fire several jacketed bullets through the bore. I alway throw a box of 130 grain FMJ (.38 SPL) in my range bag to clean the Schmutz out of my barrel after firing lead bullets. The rest of the fouling is easily dealt with by using some Hoppe's #9 and a bronze brush. Try this before writing the barrel off.
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Last edited by Thruxton-Texas; 03-26-2018 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Added a link for clarity
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Old 03-26-2018, 05:36 PM   #14
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Looks like a little lead fouling on the bores surface. Clean it with solvent, brush it out and should be fine.
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:49 AM   #15
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Default All good now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev06 View Post
Yup soak w copper and lead de-fouling solution then scrub the shit out of it w copper or brass brushes. If that does not clean it up there is some serious fuckery at work
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thruxton-Texas View Post
I can't disagree with anything you've posted here. Smith and Wesson has been cutting corners to maximize profits since the Bangor Punta era of the 80's; the later the model year, the more corners were cut. This why I seek out the older models (and pay the higher prices); even if they're used.


@ak610 -- After looking at your photos of the bore, and by your description of, "metallic flakes were peeling away instead of chunks of carbon"; I'd say that your problem is a lead fouled bore. Those metallic flakes are lead; this is a common problem with revolvers.

The vast majority of factory produced revolver caliber cartridges that are loaded with non-jacketed lead bullets, use swaged bullets. The swaging process uses almost pure lead because it's softer/more malleable; whereas cast bullets use a harder alloy with higher percentages of tin and antimony. The softer the bullet, and the faster it's driven, will cause the bullet material to smear inside the bore like a crayon. Commercial and individual bullet casters sometimes employ what's known as a "gas check" to reduce lead fouling. It's a gilding metal jacket that covers only the base of the bullet, and is crimped onto the heel. Here's a link to better describe it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_check

Most newer barrels have a slightly rough finish that has to "wear in"; this is most often due to the freshly cut surfaces, and not necessarily indicative of poor workmanship. Only the high dollar match grade rifle barrels have their bores lapped in to eliminate this slight roughness. To get a better idea of the true condition of your barrel; you've got to get the lead out.

In my experience, the easiest way to eliminate the bulk of the lead fouling is to fire several jacketed bullets through the bore. I alway throw a box of 130 grain FMJ (.38 SPL) in my range bag to clean the Schmutz out of my barrel after firing lead bullets. The rest of the fouling is easily dealt with by using some Hoppe's #9 and a bronze brush. Try this before writing the barrel off.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithy72 View Post
Looks like a little lead fouling on the bores surface. Clean it with solvent, brush it out and should be fine.
You gents were right. It must have just been bad led fouling. I stuffed several cleaning patches into the bore, then poured led and copper solvent in, then sealed both ends of the barrel and let it soak for for a few hours. Then, I pulled the patches out and scrubbed the barrel with a .38 brass brush wrapped in copper scrubber. The barrel looks brand new now (as it should). Maybe S&W tests these with cheap non-copper jacketed ammo? Who knows. Anyways, I really do appreciate you all's advice, I've never actually seen or dealt with led fouling before, so this was all new to me. The piece is in great shape now. Cheers.
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File Type: jpg 637 bore clean.jpg (56.8 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 637 bore clean (2).jpg (45.4 KB, 11 views)
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:55 AM   #16
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my barrel looks like that when I am shooting hot loads of cast bullets. PC helps but the 637-2 is just a tight chamber gun which in turn doesn't help in preventing leading..
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak610 View Post
Maybe S&W tests these with cheap non-copper jacketed ammo? Who knows. The piece is in great shape now. Cheers.
The bore looks clean enough to eat off of; as it should. The more regularly you clean it, the easier the job stays. Compared to semi-autos, revolvers take a bit more time and elbow grease to keep clean.

FWIW, most standard pressure .38 SPL cartridges use swaged lead bullets. The main exception is the 130gr. FMJ loadings that replicate the military-type ammo; these are offered by many manufacturers. A few companies will offer cast bullet loadings; but more often, cast bullets are used by hand-loaders.

Jacketed bullets are predominately used in +P loadings; obviously to prevent barrel leading. Small "J" frame revolvers are not particularly pleasant to fire with regular pressure ammo; and are less so with +P. .......James.
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:55 AM   #18
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Maybe they tested them with .38 lead RNs and it’s the slag left in the barrel.

Try running a brass brush down the bore and we what happens.
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