S&W 638 Shoots To The Right - Can That Be Fixed?

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by teflon97239, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. teflon97239

    teflon97239
    Portland, OR
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    S&W 638 Airweight (.38 & +P) 1" barrel snub with shrouded hammer. Fixed front sight.

    More than a few good shooters I know find that it makes consistently tight patterns about 2" right at 7 yards. Same group with single or double action, free hands or from a rest.

    It's within tolerance to be lethal at self-defense gunfight distance, but the center of the bullseye would be better.

    Can that 1" barrel be rotated a bit by a gunsmith? Who do you guys recommend in/near Portland?

    Thanks in advance for ideas.
     
  2. jbett98

    jbett98
    NW Oregon
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    A Crimson Trace laser grip would solve that particular problem.
    At around $170.00 it's cheaper then a gunsmith monkeying around with it.
     
  3. Chee-to

    Chee-to
    Oregon
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    I'd aim 2" to the left........;)
     
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  4. Ed69

    Ed69
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    I second Jbett98's idea of getting a laser-grip for it. Our snubbies really aren't target guns but I find my 642 fun to shoot (if jumpy) with a CT laser-grip. There are cheaper lasers out there for S&W revolvers that come in under $75 if you look.

    If you really want to adjust the aim of the gun, consider sending it back to S&W if they will take it on warranty. They may charge you a bit to look at it but unless you really know/trust your own gunsmith, I wouldn't let anyone just crank the barrel on that lightweight frame.
     
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  5. Medic!

    Medic!
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    Call S&W. They will fix it.
     
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  6. oremike

    oremike
    Creswell, Oregon
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    Before you spend a ton of money, a lot of point of aim issues can be fixed with how you grip the gun or even different grips. An easy way to see this is to shoot the same gun with each hand, dollars to doughnuts the POI will be way different between hands.
     
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  7. Medic!

    Medic!
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    The OP said others have shot the gun and they had the same point of impact.

    It doesn't cost anything if S&W sends you a call number to cover shipping. And then fixes the gun.o_O
    They have fixed a couple for me in this way.
     
  8. oremike

    oremike
    Creswell, Oregon
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  9. 2506

    2506
    Seattle
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    Might try different weights of bullets as well.
     
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  10. Medic!

    Medic!
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    Sorry oremike. If I came across as rude.

    I just noticed the OP mentioned others had tested his gun.
    And S&W is great about fixing there guns. Just wanted to help save some time and money.
     
  11. oremike

    oremike
    Creswell, Oregon
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    No problem Medic. I'm left handed so every gun I own including rifles and shotguns shoot well for me but different for right handed shooters, the opposite is true if I shoot their guns. I can change my point of impact by changing how I grip the pistol. It's kind of hard to describe but I'll try. Try dry firing, if the front site moves when dry fired, look at the angle of the pad of your trigger finger in relation to the trigger. If the pad is not square on, you might be pushing or pulling the gun when you want it to be steadiest. Big hands and little grips can be a factor here. Right handed people will push one way while left handed will push the other given they have hands similar in size. Sometimes moving your hand up or down a bit on the grip will make just enough difference.
     
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  12. teflon97239

    teflon97239
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    I assumed it was me for a few years. It was new (for awhile), it jumps pretty abruptly and the grip is a tiny even in my average size paws.

    Started mixing it up: SA/DA, left hand, right hand, 3-4 different brands of .38, some JHP, some ball, +P, other very consistent shooters (with no warning from me). Same story every stinking time since I began paying attention.

    And don't get me wrong guys, I don't expect any revolver with a 1" barrel to double as a target piece. It's just that the groups are always off 2" to the right at 7 yards.

    Since I first posted here, I showed it to the smith at a shop with a good rep. He'd personally avoid torqueing on a light little frame like that and said I should ask S&W even though it's 5 years old. Fair enough.

    It's just one of those little things that became annoying once I started paying close attention.
     
  13. jbett98

    jbett98
    NW Oregon
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    Some guns just need to find another home.
    If it doesn't perform well for you, I would replace it with another that does.
    Tweaking the barrel might not solve the problem.
     
  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
    SE Portland
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    If it bugs you, send it back. They might torque it a bit and that would move the poi to the left a bit, but in all likelihood they'll hit it with a lead hammer.. for reals. Don't do that yourself though.. it's kinda a specialty thing.
    Personally, if I didn't want to send it back and wanted it to hit where I wanted/where it should, I'd file on the front and or rear sights with the proper files. I'm good with my hands and've done it before. perfectly
    anyway
     
  15. teflon97239

    teflon97239
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    If I can't get a professional re-index by S&W for free or cheap, I'll file a smidge off the left side of the front sight blade. It's really close, but I can make it closer.
     
  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
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    Whatever that'll least cosmetically affect it.. if you do the rear (well, front too), of course use a file that only cuts on one side. And it's hard to put metal back on so go slow (I'd actually do it at the range and go real slow and test before you think you need to. lol
    anyway, it's not a big deal
     
  17. revjen45

    revjen45
    Snohomish County
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    Bend the front sight to the right a smidge.
     
  18. teflon97239

    teflon97239
    Portland, OR
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    Just realized that I inadvertently abandoned this thread after I got the pistol fixed, sorry about that. (I do recall telling off some loudmouth pantload at the S&W fansite who was insisting I should "learn to shoot slightly to the left of bull" like he does to "compensate" for a 1" barrel vs rifling or some such gibberish). Anyway, here's my report.

    I phoned S&W and they emailed me a printable shipping label. I think it was Fed Ex with direct drop off and pick up, requiring none of that FFL shipping nonsense. They had the wep for 10 days and twisted the barrel enough to put my groups on bullseye (at least as close as you can get with a 2" sight radius and double-action reflex drills). It was previously scattering a softball size group about 2" to right of bull. Now it's dumping the same size cluster into the black.

    S&W also inspected and replaced the firing pin. Big bonus for me. Although I'd been seeing nice deep primer indents in my practice rounds (Aguila SJHP .38) there were more than a few instances of FTF. But no more with 100+ test rounds, so I maybe it wasn't all the ammo. (I still suspect, though, that maybe the primers on my FTF Aguila ammo scooted in just a tiny bit resulting in a soft strike? Possible? Never happened with Remington or my sexy EDC rounds.)

    Bottom Line:
    Pistol's back and shooting where the sights point. Free, quick and excellent customer service by S&W.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017

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