Bourjaily: Behind the Scenes at Smith & Wesson, Part I

The Smith & Wesson factory in Springfield, Mass., lies right on the way from the Hartford, CT, airport to Amherst College where my older son is a senior. Gordon and I stopped over to tour the factory in August as I was taking him back to school. I only wish I had thought of this three years ago when he was a freshman.

I have been on several gun factory tours and I can tell you that Smith & Wesson is a very impressive facility. The machines are new and state of the art, while the workforce is, on the whole, older and experienced. I haven't done much handgunning but I came away from this visit wanting a Smith & Wesson.

To look at more pictures that show some of the manufacturing steps, click here or on the photo. You can see the whole thing for yourself if you're ever in Springfield. Tours are available Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call 800-331-0852 xt 3259.

Here's Part II of this factory tour.