SMITH AND WESSON WITH GRIP SAFETY


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johnny blaze
January 16, 2007, 04:42 PM
I was talking with a guy that I know the other day, and he mentioned that he had a Smith and Wesson revolver with a grip safety. I told him that I did not think that they made one. He said that it was a model 40.
I found one on the internet for sale, and sure enough it had a grip safety on it.
I never knew they made such a thing.
I was wondering if anyone would know anything about these? What other models did they make with the grip safety? When produced?
Are they dependable? Pros / cons?
Any information would be appreciated.:confused:

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Phil DeGraves
January 16, 2007, 04:44 PM
They made some early top break "lemon squeezer" models that were double action only and had grip safeties. These later evolved into the swingout cylinder DAO J-Frame "Centenniel" or Model 40.

Phil DeGraves
January 16, 2007, 04:45 PM
Eventually, they just kept the DAO feature and eliminated the grip safety.

Ala Dan
January 16, 2007, 04:51 PM
I once had the all steel model S&W model 40 .38 caliber revolver, made in
1971. Didn't have enough gumption too keep it; but wish I had it back for
my snubby collection. I've got a 642, but it just isn't the same~!:( :uhoh:

SJshooter
January 16, 2007, 04:53 PM
Actually, Smith is re-releasing a Model 40 with a grip safety this month. They just announced it at the SHOT show. It -doesn't- have the internal lock other S&W revolvers do because of the grip safety. It is available in blue, nickel and case-color-hardened. Here are some pics. The top is the new Model 36 in case color, the next two are the new Model 40 - blue and case colored:

http://www.gunblast.com/images/SHOT2007/100_0105.jpg

johnny blaze
January 16, 2007, 05:49 PM
Thanks for all the information.
SJ shooter - What exactly is the case color finish?
Also, how good is the action, trigger pull when the grip safety is thrown into the ratio?

Old Fuff
January 16, 2007, 06:33 PM
On the original Centenniel model the grip safety did not prove to be popular because of the recoil caused by the .38 Special cartridge (yes, it could hurt!) The .38 Safety Hammerless top-break was chambered in .38 S&W so recoil wasn't a problem. In any case the grip safety doesn't effect the trigger pull.

Color Case Hardening is a heat treating process that hardens the surface of the metal and leaves the oil-slick colors. S&W used it on their hammers and triggers prior to adopting MIM lockwork.

Incidentally, at Smith & Wesson they hate the term "Lemon Squeezer." Call it the Safety Hammerless, or simply "Safety." :cuss:

johnny blaze
January 16, 2007, 06:40 PM
OLD FUFF
Thanks for the information. You are in the know!:D

Old Fuff
January 16, 2007, 06:53 PM
Know what... :neener:

If you are interested in the first of the breed, a top-break made from 1887 to 1940, go to www.armchairgunshow.com

It was an interesting revolver. Owners included president Teddy Roosevelt, and Col. Rex Applegate - who was the driving force behind getting S&W to make the models 40 and 42. :cool:

roo_ster
January 16, 2007, 06:56 PM
I would love to have a modern version of the break-top S&W 38 Safety Hammerless. Especially if it was in 9mm, though I would be happy if it was available in non-plus-P .38spl.

Old Fuff
January 16, 2007, 07:11 PM
I would love to have a modern version of the break-top S&W 38 Safety Hammerless. Especially if it was in 9mm, though I would be happy if it was available in non-plus-P .38spl.

In theory, they could make a 9mm (with moonclips) but not a .38 Special. They cylinder is (or was) too short, and the ejector system wouldn't work if they made it longer.

It still works fine in .38 S&W... :evil: ;)

D-Man
January 16, 2007, 07:14 PM
A local shop had a model 40, and I took a look at it just to check out the grip safety. Unfortunately it no longer worked, and the guy said that it is common to find them with it either broken or disabled.

I do agree that even if it worked shooting it might not be that comfortable.

Sistema1927
January 16, 2007, 07:42 PM
Not complaining, but I wonder what S&W's rationale is for leaving "the lock" of of this re-issue of the "lemon squeezer"?

I know that they did, since I heard the S&W guys mention it while listening to Tom Gresham's show via PodCast, but the grip safety doesn't do the same job as the internal lock. The internal lock, if it has any purpose at all, would present an unauthorized person from utilizing the weapon. The grip safety simply keeps the weapon from firing until the grip is squeezed. Apples to Oranges, I wonder how they snuck that past the corporate legal department. Like I said, I am not complaining, but it makes you wonder why they bother with the infernal lock.

Joe Gunns
January 16, 2007, 08:27 PM
The safety hammerless was designed so that a young kid would not be able to overcome the spring resistance of the safety bar on the back of the frame to fire it. IIRC the design was tested by the designers 12(?) yo daughter.

The stated purpose of the internal lock is to keep kids from firing a weapon found unattended. Remember: it was "for the children."

Serpico
January 16, 2007, 08:43 PM
And sales probably factored in...I'm sure most guys who want a throwback firearm aren't going to want a new fangled lock on it....

SJshooter
January 16, 2007, 09:10 PM
And sales probably factored in...I'm sure most guys who want a throwback firearm aren't going to want a new fangled lock on it....

Sales didn't factor in one bit. If it did, NONE of the retro models they are putting out (24, 25, 27, 29, 1917) would have locks, but they all do. The only reason these are out is the company feels the grip safety covers their obligations in the current legal climate.

Jim Watson
January 16, 2007, 10:20 PM
Didn't the originals come with a pin in the grip that you could place to lock the grip safety down?

I do not know why S&W is doing these "retros" in color case hardening. S&W never case hardened anything but their lockwork in the past so this is not a reproduction of any earlier style. I don't even like colors on period or repro Colts and Winchesters and they just look odd and ugly to me on a Smith.

wcwhitey
January 16, 2007, 10:40 PM
I believe you are correct. The pin was under the grip panel. Bill

PX15
January 17, 2007, 10:00 AM
johnny blaze:

Here's my 1955 pre-40... Original "high horn" grips/locking pin intact..

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a73/Laserlips/100_4769.jpg


Best Wishes,

J. Pomeroy

roo_ster
January 17, 2007, 11:27 AM
Personally, the squeeze-lock is MUCH less obnoxious than ""the lock." Especially, given the ability to neuter it.

I say, "Squeeze-locks for all Smittys" as an improvement over "the lock."

Gordon
January 17, 2007, 11:40 AM
Looks like I'll be buying one of those case hardened M-40s!:uhoh:
Hope it won't be another cheesy POS!:scrutiny:

Old Fuff
January 17, 2007, 12:03 PM
As on Colt Single Action revolvers, the color pattern on each frame is different. You never know what you're going to get until it arrives. When Colt got badly colored frames they set them aside to make nickel plated revolvers. I wonder if S&W will do the same? :evil:

Also again, I'd remind folks that these revolvers with the grip safety are aimed toward collectors, not users. With .38 Special loads they can be painful to shoot, which is one reason this feature was dropped in the first place. :uhoh:

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