The official gun supplier to the Hong Kong Police Force last night admitted some revolvers it delivered were faulty after a legislator suggested up to one in five may have had cracked barrels. It is believed that 200 of a recent consignment of more than 1,000 Smith and Wesson .38 calibre revolvers delivered to the force were faulty. A spokeswoman for Getz Brothers Hong Kong, official distributors for Smith and Wesson, last night confirmed that 'some firearms were found with minor deviations from the requirements'. 'The returned firearms were then sent back to the manufacturer for high-precision verifications,' she said. She refused to verify the number of returned firearms or the date of the batch delivery. Hong Kong police last night declined to comment. However, Secretary for Security Regina Ip, in a written reply to the Legislative Council yesterday, did shed some light on the fiasco. Independent legislator Ng Leung-sing had asked about the 'batch of 1,000-odd Smith and Wesson Model 10 heavy barrel revolvers bought by the police a few months ago, some 200 [of which] had to be returned to the manufacturer for replacement because cracks had been found in the gun barrels'. Mrs Ip replied: 'The rejection of such newly-delivered firearms was . . . attributed to the high standards and stringent testing procedures adopted by the Force. 'Over the past five years, a total of 262 firearms, representing 12.7 per cent of the overall number of firearms . . . were found to be sub-standard,' she wrote. The problems with the guns come as the Hong Kong Police Force begins to phase out the traditional Smith and Wesson revolver. This year, about 500 police officers equipped with Colt .38 revolvers are expected to have them replaced with Glock 19 pistols at a cost of $2.7 million. The Colts are being replaced because spare parts for the weapon, introduced to the force in 1976, are only expected to last for a further two years. The manufacturer stopped production in 1996.