Michael Bane: My S&W's Internal Lock Just Catastrophically Failed


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P. Plainsman
August 28, 2007, 12:23 AM
Posted today on TV personality and THR member Michael Bane's blog:

I went out today to shot some .44 Magnums through several guns, including my ultralight-weight 329PD overhauled by Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision. I've put a bunch of .44 Specials through the gun already, and in truth I took it along as a "control" to compare the newer guns to.

I ran 50 rounds of Winchester Cowboy .44 Special (240-grain lead @ 750 fps) through the 329 and it shot as sweet as it always has. Then I went to BlackHills 240-gr JHPs @ 1260...thumpers, but one of my favorite .44 Magnum loads. I ran through 3 cylinders-full with no problemo.

Then I went to Buffalo Bore "lower recoil" 255-gr Keith style lead bullets at 1350 fps, a load specifically designed for the 329 and one that I have used in all my other .44 Magnums with great accuracy. Here is what Buffalo Bore says about their load: ...

This load is ideal for those of you who carry the S&W model 329PD. This load will not lead your barrel. ...

This load falls well under SAAMI pressure specs and is safe to use IN ANY 44mag. While we love to hear from our customers, please do not phone/email us and ask if this load is safe in your particular 44 mag.—it is—providing your gun is in normal working condition.


In other words — and I have said this repeatedly — the ideal load for a dangerous game back-up gun, which was what I got the 329 for. As I said, I like the load..it's heavy, but nothing like the Winchester or Cor-Bon hunting loads!

On the second round, the "flag" part of the locking system flew up and locked the gun up at almost a full cock.

I couldn't unlock it; I couldn't uncock it; I couldn't get it to fire. It took me 20 minutes of working v....e....e....r....r....y gingerly with a screwdriver to get the lock to release enough to allow me to bring the 329 to full cock and subsequently unlock the cylinder and empty the gun.

I'd say this was NOT GOOD for a gun billed as a dangerous game back-up gun!
http://michaelbane.blogspot.com/2007/08/s-revolver-safety-failure.html

4" Ruger Redhawk, anyone?

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Jim March
August 28, 2007, 01:36 AM
For the record, and for anyone reviewing this thread later:

It's true that Ruger is also experimenting with locks. But the ones on the Ruger Single Actions to date (New Vaquero, 50th Anniversary Blackhawks) has NOT FAILED once. Zero reports of problems. And they're less obtrusive regardless.

We suspect Ruger will start doing locks on DAs at some point...we'll have to analyze that design later.

M1 Shooter
August 28, 2007, 01:52 AM
This is one reason why I will not buy a new S&W revolver. I will go out of my way to buy an older pre-lock S&W, and I suspect I'm not the only one.

Action_Can_Do
August 28, 2007, 01:56 AM
Funny. Everytime I hear of a S&W lock failing, it is a 329.:scrutiny:

Geronimo45
August 28, 2007, 02:06 AM
This wouldn't happen if they'd hold the gun sideways.:neener:

hexidismal
August 28, 2007, 02:23 AM
This is one reason why I will not buy a new S&W revolver. I will go out of my way to buy an older pre-lock S&W, and I suspect I'm not the only one.

I'm with you. I have several smiths now and still buying.. no locks. The way I see it it's an answer to a problem that never existed. Does anyone actually use the locking mechanism on their handgun ? ANYONE ? I don't think I've ever talked to anyone who used it more than maybe once just to play with it when they first bought a gun.

azredhawk44
August 28, 2007, 02:33 AM
Also why I went out and chose to augment my 5.5" redhawk with a 4" little brother, instead of a 629 or 329.

Ghost Walker
August 28, 2007, 02:54 AM
Internal action locks suck - Period!

Rexster
August 28, 2007, 04:35 AM
Too many independent reports of this happening with the 329 for me to think it's an anomaly. Of course, a 629 Mountain Revolver or Mountain Gun (I had one of each!) punished me badly enough that I like even heavier weapons when firing massive magnums, so I am in no danger of buying a 329, anyway. I too have avoided S&Ws with locks; there are just too many good pre-locks out there for me to consider buying a Clintonista Special.

BikerRN
August 28, 2007, 05:54 AM
My EDC is a 22-4 Thunder Ranch Revolver.
It failed on me during the first fifty rounds and was sent back to S&W. I equate the lock failing with the ejector rod "backing out". Both are catastrophic during a gunfight, just ask my Brother. His ejector rod "backed out" during a gunfight and he found out that the S&W Model 28 makes a pretty darn good club. :)
Since I have gotten my 22-4 back from S&W it has had over 1,000 failure free rounds through it. It is my EDC when I am Off-Duty. On-Duty I have to carry the "bottomfeeder" they issue me. :(

Biker

Troutman
August 28, 2007, 07:27 AM
<<too have avoided S&Ws with locks; there are just too many good pre-locks out there for me to consider buying a Clintonista Special.>>

One can remove the lock, all together. It’s a real easy fix. But…..some states require the internal lock. So before one does this they have to check to see if it’s legal to do.

In today’s world, with ambulance chasing, carpet bagging, media happy, shyster lawyers, out their. Commercials’ run ramped out their on T.V. land for them. Gun companies and “their” lawyers have to take action to lawsuits (frivolous) against them. And those “safety features” are part of “their” answer. You see ‘accidents” happening all the time on the internet. Some gun owners, doing not too intelligent things with them. They don’t read the manual that comes with the gun, about the safe use of their gun. Some of those people go into denial mode; by saying “it’s a “safety” defect in the gun….Maybe”? With that, an ambulance chasing, carpet bagging, media happy, shyster lawyer comes along and says: “Hey! I think you have a pretty good case where the gun manufacture is at fault, for the loss of your leg”, attitude.
Where not only talking about the “internal lock”……can you say “child-safety lock” or “unauthorized person lock”…. here, either.
Let’s hope gun manufactures’ don’t have to put additional safety devices on future handguns.

And let us say, thanks, that it is an easy fix, for ones that live in those states, that it’s legal, by choice, to remove it.


<< Does anyone actually use the locking mechanism on their handgun ? ANYONE ? I don't think I've ever talked to anyone who used it more than maybe once just to play with it when they first bought a gun.>>

Knew an incident, where a kid brought a gun to school. If the owner (father? /mother?) did not have that internal lock on. It COULD HAVE BEEN a tragic story. Cause the gun WAS loaded.
No news media, that day.

How many gun-owners have kids, and gun-owners with kids have gun-safes? Never the less….In this case the I.L. saved their butt. And maybe, a lot of other kids/people.

fletcher
August 28, 2007, 09:01 AM
Does anyone actually use the locking mechanism on their handgun ? ANYONE ?

My dad does (not a revolver though, Springfield 1911). He likes it more than a cable lock because it actually disables the gun. Unless the unauthorized user wants to break the gun or improvise a replacement key, it works well. So, if he likes it, I'm assuming there are others out there that would also. I DO think that it should be an option from the factory to have it or not.

I wouldn't use them because I do not lock my guns - they're either loaded and out or in the safe if I want them locked up.

Thaddeus Jones
August 28, 2007, 10:35 AM
I purchased eight S&W revolvers in the last 18 months. However, S&W didn't get a dime, as they were all used, LNIB, pre lock. I haven't bought a new S&W since 2000, and have no intention of doing so, till they remove that idiotic lock.

It is ironic that Mr. Bane is a friend of Charlie Petty, who wrote that BS about the locks in American Handgunner.

Does this mean that S&W will have to admit to one lock failure now?

Troutman
August 28, 2007, 11:54 AM
<<Does this mean that S&W will have to admit to one lock failure now?>>

No. Because……

<<including my ultralight-weight 329PD overhauled by Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision.>>

Overhauled? Red flag word to me (no pun intended).

S&W warrantee (read their warrantee) does not cover modifications’ on their firearms, or any other gun company does not cover it either, for that matter.

Gun owners do this. Going beyond just changing out grips, sights.
Rugers are examples. Owners buy those (rugers) out of the box, and overhaul (by third party) them to their liking, including, but not always pertaining to changing them to wildcat cartridges.


That’s why……

<<It took me 20 minutes of working v....e....e....r....r....y gingerly with a screwdriver to get the lock to release enough to allow me to bring the 329 to full cock and subsequently unlock the cylinder and empty the gun.>>

Because he knew dam well it’s not a S&W problem, anymore. See above. Whatever in the “overhauled?” was done to it.
It’s a Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision problem now.


Here is the part of their (S&W) warrantee:

Smith & Wesson will not be responsible for:
• Defects or malfunctions resulting from careless handling,
unauthorized adjustments or modifications made or
attempted by anyone other than a qualified gunsmith following
Smith & Wesson authorized procedures, or disassembly
beyond the Field Stripping instructions in this manual.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL SMITH & WESSON BE
RESPONSIBLE FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
WITH RESPECT TO ECONOMIC LOSS, INJURY, DEATH OR
PROPERTY DAMAGE, WHETHER AS A RESULT OF BREACH OF
THIS WARRANTY, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE.


One does not have to be a Harvard lawyer to understand the above.
One does not get a brake job at “Just Brakes” and then decide to return to the auto (ford,chevy,ect.) makers’ service center, saying: Hey1 There is something wrong with your braking system! When you had a third party doing the work on the braking system.
Lets be fair here!

Jim Watson
August 28, 2007, 12:19 PM
I think Massad Ayoob has some accounts of lightweight .357s self-locking. Seems to be a connection between light weight and hard kicking calibers.

As far as warranty coverage goes, I think that is overstudied these days.
Do a serious test fire to find anything the manufacturer should fix, then modify and accessorize ad lib. If you screw it up, be an adult and get it fixed without whining.

Thaddeus Jones
August 28, 2007, 12:23 PM
Troutman I was being facetious. I personally have no expectation of S&W ever admitting to a failure of the internal lock. I have personally seen two failures at my local range, a scandium J-frame (I don't know the model number as I have no interest in current production S&W revolvers) , and a 329. Both locked up tight, had rounds in the chamber, and had to be taken apart by the range officer. I know the 329's former owner. When it was returned to him by S&W, there was no mention of lock failure. The repair sheet simply said, "spring replaced, returned to spec.". He dumped it and got a pre lock 629.

I think your point about the 329 being "overhauled", prior to the failure will be seized apon as an excuse, both by S&W, and those who think the internal lock is "not an issue". It's unfortunate Mr Banes 329 was not "stock", but then again, as a defensive firearm for big game, it's unfortunate that it had an idiot lock to start with.

I don't own any revolvers with IL's, nor does anyone I know who carry guns for serious. I purchase, and carry revolvers for their simplicity, and reliability. The internal lock does nothing but eliminate those two considerations, IMO of course, YMMV.

buzz_knox
August 28, 2007, 12:30 PM
<<It took me 20 minutes of working v....e....e....r....r....y gingerly with a screwdriver to get the lock to release enough to allow me to bring the 329 to full cock and subsequently unlock the cylinder and empty the gun.>>


Because he knew dam well it’s not a S&W problem, anymore. See above. Whatever in the “overhauled?” was done to it.

I thought he was being cautious because he had a cocked and loaded .44 magnum that he was trying disassemble in order to render safe. If he'd never had the weapon touched by a gunsmith not affiliated by S&W, he (or someone else) would have had to excercise the same care in order to get the weapon in a safe condition.

And whether it's a S&W problem or not will be determined by what went wrong. If the gunsmith never touched the lock or the hammer mechanism, then S&W will be hardpressed to say their design wasn't at fault.

buzz_knox
August 28, 2007, 12:34 PM
I think Massad Ayoob has some accounts of lightweight .357s self-locking. Seems to be a connection between light weight and hard kicking calibers.

That's consistent with the design of the mechanism. The parts move from front to rear to set the lock. High levels of recoil would naturally cause the parts to "want" to move into the locked position. If the tolerances aren't right or the weight of the parts is insuffucient, the parts can move far enough to lock the system up.

M1 Shooter
August 28, 2007, 12:41 PM
IMHO, I think S&W's lock is the poorest designed of all the integral locks out there. I've never heard of any other maker's lock failing like this.

S&W either needs to get rid of the lock or redesign it.

campbell
August 28, 2007, 12:44 PM
One does not get a brake job at “Just Brakes” and then decide to return to the auto (ford,chevy,ect.) makers’ service center, saying: Hey1 There is something wrong with your braking system! When you had a third party doing the work on the braking system.
Lets be fair here!

Let's be clear who we're talking about here. Stroh ain't the "Just Brakes" of pistolsmithing. Jim Stroh has been in business over 25 years, is on the board of the American Pistolsmiths Guild, and is widely regarded as one of the top revolversmiths in the country. The kind of guy mentioned in the same breath with Hamilton Bowen and Dave Clements.

pdowg881
August 28, 2007, 12:48 PM
Can someone explain to me what the internal lock is and how it works?

Troutman
August 28, 2007, 02:30 PM
<<Do a serious test fire to find anything the manufacturer should fix, then modify and accessorize ad lib. If you screw it up, be an adult and get it fixed without whining.>>

Agreed!


<<I think your point about the 329 being "overhauled", prior to the failure will be seized apon as an excuse, both by S&W, and those who think the internal lock is "not an issue". It's unfortunate Mr Banes 329 was not "stock", but then again, as a defensive firearm for big game, it's unfortunate that it had an idiot lock to start with.>>

It becomes now, the BLAME game. Is it S&W, or Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision?
Me…I’m a **** or get off the pot kinda guy. If they (Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision) did work on the gun. I want them either to fix the lock or take the lock off. It’s an easy fix. Might as well, take it off, one can’t void the warranty, anymore, than what it is, anyway.
Further more, not taking sides here. If work was NOT done by Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision. I would be calling up S&W, and giving them a blast. Either get it fixed, right. Or give me a refund! Then I WILL decide if the lock comes off….IF I choose to do so! The internal locks on todays guns are more of a problem, than their worth…….IF YOU let it be.

<< I thought he was being cautious because he had a cocked and loaded .44 magnum that he was trying disassemble in order to render safe. If he'd never had the weapon touched by a gunsmith not affiliated by S&W, he (or someone else) would have had to excercise the same care in order to get the weapon in a safe condition>>

I like your line of reasoning. And I agree with you.
But ………if things did not go well during disassembly……does Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision pick up for further repairs or S&W.


<< And whether it's a S&W problem or not will be determined by what went wrong. If the gunsmith never touched the lock or the hammer mechanism, then S&W will be hardpressed to say their design wasn't at fault.>>

Correct. I agree. It’s hard to say, though….. “What was modified?”


<< Jim Stroh has been in business over 25 years, is on the board of the American Pistolsmiths Guild, and is widely regarded as one of the top revolversmiths in the country. The kind of guy mentioned in the same breath with Hamilton Bowen and Dave Clements.>>

Look! I could not care if the guy won the Nobel Peace Prize for gun-smithing. There are scientists’ (with minds beyond mortal men) in the past, which have been proven wrong, on their theories.
Do you think I was born yesterday! Do you think I chase rainbows and set traps for unicorns! This does not mean, not to respect these people.
People, humans, anyway. Have biases, emotions, make errors, ect., ect., that make them HUMAN! Like ANYONE ELSE! So….its doesn’t work on me. If you’re telling me said man walks on water. No. I’m not falling for it.
Also if said person is in the business for 25 years, he should be able to fix it or remove it. As another poster puts it more diplomatically than I. would have.

<< If you screw it up, be an adult and get it fixed without whining.>>

Vern Humphrey
August 28, 2007, 02:30 PM
Can somebody explain to me why anyone would want to lock a gun?

I understand locking a gun up, but not locking the gun itself.

Cosmoline
August 28, 2007, 02:59 PM
This sounds like a dangerous product defect. S&W's lawyers may be driving the company right into court.

YosemiteSam357
August 28, 2007, 03:31 PM
I find it amusing that a lock implemented by a company named "Saf-T-Hammer" is causing problems. Not to "Saf", eh?

Unfortunately, I do own a "post-lock" S&W. Now I just have to decide if it's worth the potential legal implications to have the lock removed or disabled.

-- Sam

campbell
August 28, 2007, 04:50 PM
So….its doesn’t work on me. If you’re telling me said man walks on water. No. I’m not falling for it.
Also if said person is in the business for 25 years, he should be able to fix it or remove it. As another poster puts it more diplomatically than I. would have.

<< If you screw it up, be an adult and get it fixed without whining.>>

Your putting "overhauled" in quotes and "Just Brakes" analogy makes it sound like Stroh modified the lock mechanism and/or did some other modification that caused the failure. If there's any evidence for this, I sure haven't seen it.

Geronimo45
August 28, 2007, 04:57 PM
Can somebody explain to me why anyone would want to lock a gun?
People who think that locking the gun will render it perfectly and absolutely safe - so their kids or visitors' kids won't get hold of it and accidentally kill somebody.
A lot of folks don't have safes, so they think the locking device'll do the job instead.

nitesite
August 28, 2007, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by pdowg881...
Can someone explain to me what the internal lock is and how it works?

These are the offending parts. A key turns the cam which rotates the flag up, causing a post on the other side of the flag to engage a slot in the hammer thus immobilizing the hammer and preventing its movement.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y141/nitesite9/thelockpartsweb.jpg

And here, BTW, is what a Model 686 looks like when those parts are... ummmm.... performing other duties.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y141/nitesite9/no_lock_web.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y141/nitesite9/lock_hole_web.jpg

Actually, the post can be mistaken for a machining burr and be accidentally removed with a Dremel tool when doing a good inspection and cleaning on the insides of a new S&W with "the lock".

Or you can be clumsy and drop the flag behind a piano, then just put the other two pieces back in, to fill the hole in the side of the gun just above the cylinder latch. The missing flag means a 1/32" gap is on the left side of the hammer. Hardly noticeable.....

pdowg881
August 28, 2007, 07:03 PM
Internal locks sound like a bad idea in general. I remeber a recent discussion where some people said they've seen or had 870 shotguns with the safety lock locking up out in the field all by itself.

Regolith
August 28, 2007, 07:29 PM
pdowg....but unlike S&W, Remington got the point and stopped making them. :neener:

JERRY
August 28, 2007, 08:13 PM
you want a NON locked S&w 649 .38spl? right here for $350.00, thats half the price of a new one that comes with a built in disabling devise.

Black Adder LXX
August 28, 2007, 09:00 PM
One of the reasons why I haven't gone with the 642 yet. I'm kinda hoping someboy would wise up at S&W. I love their products otherwise...

MCgunner
August 28, 2007, 09:16 PM
In a 329 which is a back country handgun not for self defense against human predators particularly, what legal hassle could there be in disabling the lock?

I've lost the key to my M85UL Taurus. I've never locked it. I've never had it fail in thousands of rounds, so not real worried about it. It's a different design than the Smith lock, on the hammer and operates 90 degrees to recoil forces of the gun. I could easily disable it, but see no need.

Glad I got a pre-lock SP101 already. Whew!

MassMark
August 28, 2007, 10:40 PM
Smith and Wesson engaged in a popular practice - it's called business survival. With anti-gunners and their ilk - coupled with like minded lawyers circling like viltures to a kill, Smith and Wesson took steps to ensure they could continue to do business - pure and simple. The AWB is over and has been for quite some time. Where is Ruger with 30rd factory magazines for the Mini 14? Where has HK's non LEO non Military customer service gone? Where are all those neat civilian versions of their weapons? What about Colt? Try and find a civlilian Colt M4 that isn't neutered beyond reality. That's just a few examples of gun manufacturers circling their wagons in the face of a world gone mad...

For every "failure" - (suspicious or not) which makes the Internet, tens of thousands of other Smith and Wesson owners enjoy a reliable, robust, accurate and superb firearm, (s). Spend some time on the Internet. Type in any firearm and include words like: trouble, problem, issue, awful, etc. You'll find threads on just about any and everything. Springfield Armory M1A's get bad press, yet I have over 7,500 rounds through mine with zero issues. My 642CT has been nothing short of stunning. Everything about it is just a joy. And I don't shoot poo-poo girly man rounds through it either - it's fed a steady diet, (approaching 1,000 rounds now) of Speer GDHP +P 135's. This and I haven't had anyone "tinkering" with it to boot. My internal lock is off and has been since the second I removed it from the box. I turned the lock on, then off and tossed the key back in the box - done.

I don't find this "evidence" as anything more than more hype on the WWW. Good information to keep in the far reaches of the gray matter I suppose, but nothing more than a blog by a guy who had a failure with a modified firearm. Reminds me of guys who run 28" tires on their ATV's and wonder why they're blowing belts...Answer: The quad wasn't designed for 28" tires... ;)

Standing Wolf
August 28, 2007, 11:17 PM
S&W either needs to get rid of the lock or redesign it.

Smith & Wesson doesn't admit mistakes: it manufactures, markets, and sells them.

Hawk
August 28, 2007, 11:25 PM
I've only recently discovered revolvers and thus far none have locks. I doubt I'd be troubled by a lock as my personal revolvers are, for the most part, range toys.

Should I find myself toting one for "serious" uses I could easily picture myself having an accident with my only bottle of red threadlocking compound.

Not a slam on S&W - my EDC semi has no firing pin block and no lock. I'm just a fan of simplicity.

Nightcrawler
August 29, 2007, 01:34 AM
I'm kinda hoping someboy would wise up at S&W. I love their products otherwise...

Here's the thing. A lot of folks feel the same way. As near as I can tell, almost no one seems interested in telling that to Smith & Wesson.

Look folks. Talking about this on an anonymous internet forum isn't going to affect their business decisions. It is extremely unlikely that anyone that is in a position to make a decision like that (to change or remove the internal lock) reads this forum. It's more likely that all they look at are sales numbers.

The "average shooter" doesn't spend a lot of time on internet boards. The "average shooter" buys guns he/she likes and is happy with them; if they break, the "average shooter" sends them back to the factory for repair, and is happy when they come back.

Most people that buy Springfield 1911s don't swap out the mainspring housing to be rid of the ILS. Most people who want an inexpensive firearm don't avoid Taurus because they have internal locks.

So instead of preaching to the chior, as it were, let Smith & Wesson know how you feel.

EMAIL: qa@smith-wesson.com
TELEPHONE: 1-800-331-0852 (Monday-Friday, 0800-2000)
FAX: 1-413-747-3317
SNAIL MAIL:

Smith & Wesson
2100 Roosevelt Avenue
Springfield, MA 01104

Tell them that you're a fan of Smith & Wesson products, but have heard enough reports of lock malfunctions that you're hesitant to buy one. Tell them that they're losing sales to Ruger over this. Please, please, do not make stuff up. I know this is an emotionally charged issue for a lot of people (for some reason), but it only takes one exxagerated story of THE LOCK causing someone's wife to leave him or some such to destroy the credibility of everyone else. If you have experienced or witnessed a lock malfunction, explain in detail what happened and tell them that this is unacceptable.

For my part, I'm not worried about the locks on my guns becuase they're so chock-full of Blue Loc-Tite that they won't budge.

Anyway, it's possible, even likely, that this won't change anything at Smith & Wesson. On the other hand, internal locks are optional on, say, the M&P series autoloaders, there's no reason that it shouldn't be an option on their revolvers as well. Either way, I guarantee nothing will change if no one is so much as willing to send an e-mail over this.

SlamFire1
August 29, 2007, 10:04 AM
I have a Taurus M85 38 Special snubbie, lightweight. Do not fire it much because the recoil is surprizing sharp. It has an internal lock. Do not recall anyone claiming these locks jam the pistols. In fact, can't recall any posting for any other manufacturer's internal locks failing.

So, anyone heard of any other brands of internal locks failing beside S&W?

nitesite
August 29, 2007, 10:21 AM
Does any other manufacturer use such fragile-looking and overly complicated parts? I'm familiar with the Ruger, Springfield Armory and Taurus designs and IMHO they are simpler and more robust.

Sylvan-Forge
August 29, 2007, 10:38 AM
Thanks for posting the email Nightcrawler.
Here's my short letter:


To whom it may concern,

As you no doubt have been receiving some increased email as of late on the topic of internal locks, I would like to cast my vote with you as well. Please do us all a big favor and make a nice political statement to boot ..

Send the internal locks to the wood-chipper along with the nasty holes in the frames.


From an endearing S&W fan.
Best regards,
MM

Serpico
August 29, 2007, 10:30 PM
Seems like a lot of people here and on other forums (myself included) do not like the lock enough to not buy new...I wonder how much of a dent that is in S&W sales? You would think anyone buying a new gun might join a gun forum and learn about the lock but apparantly that isn't the case.....

VonFatman
August 30, 2007, 12:21 AM
I too have made a decision to avoid S&Ws w/locks...so far, it's been an easy decision as I do not see anything in the current line-up that trips my "trigger".

Soooo many pre-lock Smiths to choose from.

Bob

nvcdl
August 30, 2007, 11:38 PM
I have avoided the new S&W revolvers - dislike lawyer locks. Kimber was doing great untill they tinkered with their proven design.

2ndamd
August 31, 2007, 12:58 AM
+1 on never buying a Smith with a lock......never!

JERRY
August 31, 2007, 06:44 AM
the NON locked guns for sale on the various auction boards are about half the price of the new ones with the lock....and seem to be of better quality too.

44and45
August 31, 2007, 12:07 PM
This Taurus bashing has got to stop! :cuss:

WHAT? These aren't Taurus, they're S&W revolvers...this can't be??? :eek:

Well, not to worry, send them back on their warranty. :o

p35
August 31, 2007, 01:26 PM
S&W should go to the Taurus type lock if they need to have one- as someone said, it's a simpler and more reliable design. When I had a Taurus .22 Mag I left it locked when I wasn't using it just on general principles, and never had trouble with it either working or not working.

batmann
September 1, 2007, 12:24 PM
I am an new member and this is my first post---please be kind!
I think the key word here is "overhaul". Does that mean it had been shot enough to require an overhaul and if it had--why no failures before the "overhaul"?
I have a 629 MG in .44Mag and it has the IL. I have put many hundreds of rounds thru it. It has had both "target" loads and heavy hunting loads with NO problems. It is is primary home defense gun and is loaded with Cor-Bon 165g HP.
It appears to me that the early "Blued" and Sc guns have the problems, just my thoughts.

Vern Humphrey
September 1, 2007, 12:47 PM
I just have a strong prejudice against paying extra money for a feature I don't want, then having to go to the trouble to remove or modify it. There are lots and lots of pre-lock guns on the market, and any manufacturer who wants me to buy a gun with a lock will have a loooooong wait.

wuchak
September 1, 2007, 03:01 PM
I'm pretty sure by overhauled he meant completely tuned by one of the best revolver smiths in the country.

Socrates
September 1, 2007, 07:43 PM
S&W has you, if you want a 329, 360PD, 340PD, etc. If you want a real easy to pack revolver, and scandium strong, you have no other choices.

Mine 'auto locked' after about 150 rounds of .38 special, and, it locked while dry firing, maybe 2000-3000 times, on snap caps:

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/Socrates28/360PD/360LEFT.jpg

I figure the lock, designed by S&W's new owners, shows their design brilliance.:barf: Likewise, the stupid little rubber grips that come stock on the gun. They don't cover the backstrap, so they don't take up much, if any recoil.
They are rubber, so, they catch on your clothes, this on a gun designed for CCW. Finally, unless you have the world's smallest hands, they are too small to hold onto the gun under 357 recoil.

S esq.

Vern Humphrey
September 1, 2007, 08:33 PM
Anybody wonder why I won't buy a new S&W?

Socrates
September 1, 2007, 09:05 PM
I called S&W when the gun locked. They sent me the stuff to send it back, but, I know a great gunsmith, and, the guys that generally work for the big companies are just learning.

I asked for a full refund, and, they never responded. It was ok, because there is no other combination of weight and power on the market in that size.

I am concerned that without the lock piece, that binding may wear out parts in a way they shouldn't. You can feel a weird sort of take up in the first part of the trigger, from where the lock piece used to be.

Maybe I'll have that looked at.

S Esq.

MBane666
September 1, 2007, 11:30 PM
Yikes, guys...sorry to be so long in catching up on this thread!

For the record, Jim Stroh did a trigger job on my 329 and replaced the factory fiber optic with a gold bead front sight. Jim Stroh is one of the best S&W revolver guys in the world. He never touched the lock mechanism.

I bought the gun used (off the S&W Forum classifieds, if I remember correctly). The trigger pull eas outrageous, and not in a good way. I do not think anyone — Jim or S&W — is obligated to fix a problem with a used gun. It's on me and my wallet. To their credit, both S&W and Jim Stroh contacted me immediately after I posted and asked for the gun. I feel obligated to allow S&W's engineers to see the gun to see if something can be learned from it.

I handled the gun gingerly because the hammer had fallen when the flag jammed it...so I had a hammer under tension with a live round in the gun and no way to decock. Scared the crap out of me. I sat the 329 down for a few minutes until I could figure out how to address the problem without requring three arms and a trained monkey. Eventually, I was able to bring the hammer back to full cock by holding the trigger back, pressing the flag down with the tip of the screwdriver and pulling back hard on the hammer, all the whiloe keeping the muzzle away from my anatomy.

As far as an "overhauled" gun, I disassembled my first S&W revolver when I was about 15 years old (and dinosaurs ruled the earth!), so I'm not new to the dance. I collect N-frames and have worked with some of the top S&W experts int he world. All things considered, the S&W DA revolver mechanism is pretty much bomb-proof. Since this happened, I've talked to some of the top gunsmiths in the country, and the general consensus is that the recoil wave in a light-framed revolver is so fast that it causes the flag to bounce pretty hard, and whedn you get a "perfect storm" — hot loads, heavy bullets and the hammer falling just so as the flag is bouncing up — the hammer binds against the flag. It seems to depend on a lot of factors coming together just so...for instance, no one seems to be able to replicate the phenomenon in a rest; it needs a hand,, wich has more "give" than a rest, to recoil against.

I would like to point out that I've put hundreds of rounds through various .500 S&Ws with locks with NO problems whatsoever. I've also put a lot of .44 Magnums/.44 Specials, through guns with locks with no problems.

Bottom line to me...I got the 329 SPECIFICALLY as a back-up gun in dangerous game country after I shot Hamilton Bowen's 329 with loony-tune hunting loads. That means hard-cast heavy Keith bullets and hot loads. I suspect the only way I will feel safe using the gun in that context is with the lock removed.

Michael B

CleverNickname
September 1, 2007, 11:41 PM
So, are there any gunsmiths out there that will remove the lock mechanism and weld up the hole in the frame?

fastbolt
September 1, 2007, 11:43 PM
There has been a lot of reaction to the presence of various internal locking systems introduced on various firearms. I, for one, certainly wouldn't be surprised to see this as a trend of things to come when it comes to new production firearms ... but that's another subject ...

Anyway, I've listened to the reactions of the vocal folks who oppose the presence of the internal/integral locks, whether fool-proof or not, as well as the folks who find them useful and practical for their needs ... and everyone else who vacillates back and forth or falls in between.

I've talked to several folks at S&W who have a lot of experience with the revolvers produced with the locks. They've been pretty puzzled by the complaints of unintentional lock engagement. I've been repeatedly told the locks were exhaustively tested in their revolvers before being incorporated in revolver production, from the lightweight J-frames all the way up to the .500 & .460 S&W Magnums. I've also been told that they've been unable to duplicate the unintentional lock engagement, as long as the locks were installed properly and hadn't been tampered with ...

I'm as skeptical as the next person when it comes to change, though, and since I'm not a 'specific brand loyal' kind of guy I've been listening and watching ...

I've handled and fired a number of S&W revolvers equipped with the locking system, including J-frame Airlites and a couple of X-frame .500 S&W Magnums. No problems with unintentional engagement.

I've observed a number of other folks shooting new S&W revolvers equipped with the locks. No problems observed and no complaints heard.

I finally bought a new J-frame MP340 equipped with the lock. Shot it with standard pressure and +P .38 Spl, as well as shooting upwards of a hundred rounds of various .357 Magnum through it. Ouch. Dry-fired it until my finger couldn't cycle the trigger. Rested and did it some more. Did it on different days. Lost track of the dry-firing. No problems with unintentional engagement of the lock.

Being a curious LE armorer-type, I examined the lock arm and the torque locking spring. Interesting. The installation of the torque lock spring is a bit tricky when it comes to securing the short leg within the locking arm, and the longer leg must be properly positioned within a small recessed slot in the frame. I can see how it might be improperly installed if someone was distracted or wasn't paying attention. The small size of the lock arm's torque lock spring makes for difficult handling, if nothing else.

I noticed the current lock arm for the E/J frame guns (Part #29373) is Revision E, and the torque lock spring is Revision NEW. Of course, this may not mean what you might think, on the surface, since S&W is constantly making refinements & revisions to parts, getting them from new vendors or getting new versions from vendors, etc., etc.

For example, on a recent parts order 6 of the 8 various types of parts I ordered had various Revisions listed in the name/description. On another invoice where I ordered 10 various parts, 9 of them had Revisions listed in the descriptions. Pretty normal for them.

I think that almost all of the magazine springs I've been ordering in recent years have all been marked with a Revision number or letter, or both. How about a magazine spring listed as MAG SPRG REV A1 CH-244 REV.M2 ... or MAG SPRG REV. L5 ... or MAG SPRG CH244 REV. L1 ... or MAG SPRG REV. NEW?

Anyway, and oddly enough, a couple of problems I've recently encountered with S&W revolvers have involved a sear which wasn't properly fitted (causing the sear to stubb on the rear of the trigger, locking up the revolver when firing Magnum ammunition), and it was in an older 'pre-lock' revolver ... and a DCU (Doesn't Carry UP) timing issue where the cylinder didn't consistently lock on all charge holes before the hammer fell. Nothing to do with internal locks, believe it or not.

I've had other issues with S&W revolvers which were produced 'pre-lock', too, some going back to the 'good old days' when they were being produced with pinned barrels. A couple of examples are a 649 .38 Spl Bodyguard that came out of the box with a trigger that wouldn't return and a 629 Classic which exhibited Push-Off, and which had a hammer & trigger so far out-of-spec that it required a replacement hammer & trigger in order for the condition to be corrected.

On the other hand, I've had a couple of NIB S&W revolvers which were seemingly terrific right as they came from the box ... one had MIM parts and the other didn't. Go figure.

It's not just S&W revolvers, though. I could talk about problems I've had with other makes of revolvers, as well. Don't get me started on some Rugers. ;)

Things happen, and they'll likely continue to happen, especially when it comes to machinery produced by people.

I do think, however, that S&W ... and a few other manufacturers of firearms which I could name ... could stand some improvement when it comes to their Quality Control, though. :scrutiny:

Just my thoughts ...

smoking357
September 2, 2007, 12:41 AM
Mike, please let Stroh see the gun first so that Smith doesn't blame him for the problem and so we can all get an honest assessment of the failure by a truly top-flight gunsmith.

Smith will either finger Stroh or conjure up some BS excuse.

I trust Stroh more than Smith.

The bottom line is that the lock introduces an unneeded part into what was a flawless machine, thus increasing the failure rate of the machine. As long as Smith keeps the lock, the Rugers will rule the roost.

Socrates
September 2, 2007, 01:14 AM
My smith had the lock out in 5 minutes. He would not do it at first request, but,
he was amazed the stupid little thing had managed to lock the gun up. I thank God I wasn't at the range when it happened. Carrying a loaded, cocked gun around, or trying to figure out how to ship it would have been a real nightmare.:fire:

S esq.

Thaddeus Jones
September 2, 2007, 01:44 PM
Mr Bane, please assist those of us who would like to purchase a new S&W revolver for self defense, but can not accept an internal lock. Use your influence to get S&W to offer us a choice of internal lock or not, the same choice they offer to Police officers with the M&P pistols.

If the internal lock is so reliable, and "not an issue", why don't Police departments want them on their guns?

Why are non police treated differently, and forced to accept the internal lock?

Last question, when will your friend Charlie Petty be printing a retraction of his puff piece, and apologizing to those he insulted?

nvcdl
September 2, 2007, 01:55 PM
I recently bought a 4" Ruger Redhawk in 44mag. Ruger includes a rubber coated padlock that can be used to prevent the cylinder from being closed. Seems like a much better approuch. It is also very obvious to naked eye that revolver is locked or not locked.

Socrates
September 2, 2007, 02:49 PM
Mr Bane, please assist those of us who would like to purchase a new S&W revolver for self defense, but can not accept an internal lock. Use your influence to get S&W to offer us a choice of internal lock or not, the same choice they offer to Police officers with the M&P pistols.

If the internal lock is so reliable, and "not an issue", why don't Police departments want them on their guns?

Why are non police treated differently, and forced to accept the internal lock?

Last question, when will your friend Charlie Petty be printing a retraction of his puff piece, and apologizing to those he insulted?
Thaddeus Jones is online now Report Post

Wow!!! I just saw a 800 pound pig fly by!!!!:rolleyes::eek:

The new owners business, in my limited understanding, is selling gun locks.

Do you really think they are going to take them off the S&W's?

Heck, why don't they just make them work????

S esq.

Archie
September 2, 2007, 03:29 PM
As mentioned in the 'quotes' thread...

"New Smith & Wesson revolvers are cheap imitations of S&W revolvers."

If they'd go back to making real revolvers, we'd all be happier. Sadly, they don't seem to be able to do so.

Phydeaux642
September 3, 2007, 09:24 PM
Can somebody tell me where all of these pre-lock Smiths are? I am a fan of the Centennials and when I check at my local shops they never have any and tell me that they never get any. I tried to buy a no-lock 442 off of Guns America about a month ago and it was already sold (although they won't remove the ad). I guess I will just have to wait for the Model 40 "lemon squeezer" to hit the shelves or pick up a bobbed SP101.:banghead:


________________

"Phydeaux, bad dog....no biscuit!"

Troutman
September 3, 2007, 11:40 PM
<<Can someone explain to me what the internal lock is and how it works?>>

And

<<These are the offending parts. A key turns the cam which rotates the flag up, causing a post on the other side of the flag to engage a slot in the hammer thus immobilizing the hammer and preventing its movement.>>

Adding to nitesite post

Go here

http://smith-wessonforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/530103904/m/875107028/p/2


And scroll down to where the post says “internal lock”. Pictures with post are for educational purposes only. And not to be used for the removal or modification of the Gun Banning Lobbyists Locks (internal locks).

p.s. And if you want to believe that. I also have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

xd45gaper
September 4, 2007, 01:12 AM
Because he knew dam well it’s not a S&W problem, anymore. See above. Whatever in the “overhauled?” was done to it.
It’s a Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision problem now.


i agree, when i read the title of the thread and the post the only thing i could see was this gun was modified and now the trigger lock does not work properly, doesnt sound like S&W's problem sounds like who ever modified the gun jacked something up.

i carry a "locking" smith and have had no poblems with, granted i think its freaking a useless POS that has no purpuse on my gun, *Edit* (im 99% positive all these locks came about from the anti gun crowd) im sure some people out there could use it. but my gun fires ever time unlocked and thats how i keep it, keys in orginal case gun loaded and ready for action.

*edit* more about the locks and anti gun crowd, man all that ANTI GUN CRAP they put in new firearms today makes me want to PUKE seriously, any one read any current ANTI GUN inserts they put in firearms, i just recently purchased a glock and almost had a fit reading that stuff

Feanaro
September 4, 2007, 01:45 AM
doesnt sound like S&W's problem sounds like who ever modified the gun jacked something up.

We could blame this malfunction on the pistolsmith, save that stock S&W revolvers have done this and the pistolsmith in question has a very good reputation. Because it is modified, we can't rule out the possibility of poor gunsmithing but the evidence tends to suggest otherwise.

Socrates
September 4, 2007, 08:37 AM
I think the S&W locks will happen, just a matter of time. Snap caps, and lots of dry firing, and, it may happen to you, like it did to me.

Problem is people use some guns about like they do fire extingushers. However,
Fire extingushers are more reliable.

S esq.

rich642z
September 4, 2007, 02:29 PM
I was on the phone this morning with Mikes Sales person Marshall,and he said that Michael sent the S&W 329 to Smith and Wesson to get checked out. I guess time will tell S&W if the locks shall be a piece of long gone history about this problem and just use the padlocks like some of the other gun manufacuters send with their guns from the factory. RichZ,Omaha,Ne.:uhoh::uhoh::uhoh::uhoh::what::what::what:

Vern Humphrey
September 4, 2007, 04:42 PM
That's something I don't understand -- the ideal "gun lock" for most handguns if you must have one is a bicycle-type (long hasp) padlock. For revolvers, open the cylinder and run the hasp through a chamber. For automatics, lock the slide back and run the hasp through the ejection port and out the magazine well.

No need for a built in lock.

Odd Job
September 4, 2007, 05:01 PM
That internal lock seems like a design turkey to me. I wouldn't buy a gun with one of those. I wouldn't even consider it. Maybe on a computer, that lock would work nicely ;)

MCgunner
September 4, 2007, 05:42 PM
I just have a strong prejudice against paying extra money for a feature I don't want

Though others argue with me, that's the way I feel about a LOT of things, like ABS on motorcycles, air bags in cars, etc, etc, etc.

Vern Humphrey
September 4, 2007, 05:55 PM
If it's so good for me, how about letting me decide if I'm willing to pay for it?

It reminds me of Bill Clinton, "Ah could give y'all a tax break, but y'all'd spend it on the wrong things."

The "wrong things" -- like food, mortgage payments, school clothes for the kids and so on.

Troutman
September 4, 2007, 05:56 PM
Here are some articles on how the internal locks came about.
Also, a reminder (articles) on how things can get worse. There is an election coming up in 08’. If a particular presidential candidate does run and wins. It will be dejavu all over again. Their will be two presidents in that office then.
These articles date back to 99’, 00’, and 01’. So, vote wisely.


SMART GUNS/FOOLISH LEGISLATORS:
FINDING THE RIGHT PUBLIC SAFETY LAWS, AND AVOIDING THE WRONG ONES

http://www.davekopel.com/2A/LawRev/SmartGuns.htm#II.%20CHILDPROOFING%20GUNS:%20LOCKS%20AND%20GUN%20STORAGE%20REQUIREMENTS

Smith & Wesson's Faustian Bargain

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment032000b.html


Are Gun Locks Like Aspirin Caps?

http://www.davekopel.com/NRO/2000/Are-Gun-Locks-Like-Aspirin-Caps.htm


Get Smart

http://www.dlc.org/ndol_ci.cfm?kaid=119&subid=157&contentid=472

Letter to Rep. McCarthy on handgun control

http://www.acponline.org/hpp/mccarthy99.htm


Gun Poll: Poll finds most Americans want trigger locks, stricter enforcement

http://www.icrsurvey.com/Study.aspx?f=AP_Guns3.html

Troutman
September 4, 2007, 06:09 PM
<<Though others argue with me, that's the way I feel about a LOT of things, like ABS on motorcycles, air bags in cars, etc, etc, etc.>>

How about the seat belt law.
Why should people......ah. I should speak for myself. Get a ticket if I choose not to wear it ALL the time. Buckling up, is not going to prevent me from getting into an accident.

Maybe buckling up, makes me, care free, about driving.

2ndamd
September 5, 2007, 08:25 AM
I agree. heck we should also protect ourselves from fast food. Maybe we could sue McDonalds for making me heavier than I ned to be?

But, there is one thing that ticks me off more and more I think about it: Seat belts are required when driving is an infringement on liberty.......except driving is a privledge. therefore, from a legal standing point I think there is not much I can do but, pay the fine for not wearing that stupid device.

But my 2nd amd rights are not a privledge they are a right. Therefore, if a mandated lock was law it would be an infringement on my (and ours) liberty. But, the dang lock is not even required by law and still manufacturers are putting it on guns? Come on makers of guns! I know you love money more than the liberty that allows you free trade but, TAKE A STAND ON SOMETHING.....JUST ONCE IN YOUR LIFE! Heck, why not pay a bunch of extra taxes that are not required while your at it.....I mean it is inevitable that taxes will rise again. Right? So go ahead and over pay your taxes in the same light that they too will raise eventually. Oh wait. I forgot. The love of money is greater than the love of freedom.....I forgot.......My bad. You jerks!

Troutman
September 6, 2007, 07:34 PM
<<It's more likely that all they look at are sales numbers.>>

As crazy as it sounds…..about the lock that is….the numbers, don’t lie.
As much as I don’t want the lock. Overall, it’s not a big concern, even to ones (handgun buyers) buying them.
Speaking for myself, I never had a problem about the lock anyway.
For some reason, when I bought mine, they never came with the “flag” portion of the lock. I guess, I was lucky!

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/070906/lath070.html?.v=101&amp;.pf=family-home



Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation Posts Record First
Quarter Revenues and Profits
Thursday September 6, 4:10 pm ET

Record Revenue of $74.4 Million vs. $47.6 Million in Prior Year (+56.3%)

Operating Income of $9.8 Million vs. $5.9 Million in Prior Year (+66.7%)

Quarterly Net Income of $4.7 Million vs. $3.4 Million in Prior Year (+39.2%)

Increasing FY2008 Net Income and Earnings Per Share Expectations
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (Nasdaq: SWHC - News), parent company of Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary 155-year old company in the global business of safety, security, protection and sport, today announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2007.
Record revenue of $74.4 million for the quarter ended July 31, 2007 reflects an increase of 56.3% over the comparable quarter last year. Revenue from the sale of firearms for the quarter ended July 31, 2007 grew 55.2% over the comparable quarter last year. Excluding revenue from Thompson/Center Arms, a rifle maker we acquired in January 2007, revenue increased by 17.8% over the comparable quarter last year.
Net income for the quarter was $4.7 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, compared with $3.4 million, or $.08 per diluted share, for the comparable quarter last year.
Smith & Wesson President and CEO Michael F. Golden said, "Our results for the first quarter of fiscal 2008 demonstrate progress across many initiatives and reflect growth in our core handgun business as well as our newly established long gun business. Our sales growth was particularly strong given that the comparable quarter of the prior year included $5.2 million in U.S. government orders for Afghanistan that were not duplicated in the current quarter. Handgun sales into the retail channel increased by 41.0% for the quarter, driven by our direct sales force and a number of ongoing retail initiatives. We continued to penetrate the law enforcement channel in the first quarter. Our Military & Police (M&P) polymer pistols have a cumulative win rate of over 80% in all test and evaluation processes in which they have competed. The number of law enforcement agencies that have purchased or approved for carry our M&P pistol has now grown to 231, including recent wins at sizeable agencies such as the Hartford, Connecticut Police and the New Hampshire State Police."
Golden continued, "On the diversification front, we continued to deliver as well. Long guns, a category that we entered in late fiscal 2006, accounted for over 25% of our revenue for the quarter. We continue to be extremely pleased with our acquisition of Thompson/Center, which has now delivered its second consecutive quarter of 22% revenue growth. We have commenced production on our Thompson/Center ICON(TM) and our Smith & Wesson i-Bolt(TM) bolt-action rifles, and both of these new category entries are beginning to arrive in retail locations. We have also commenced shipments of our Smith & Wesson shotguns. They are beginning to arrive in retail locations as well. As we have stated, our goal is to become a significant player in the $1.1 billion long-gun market."
Golden added, "We are very pleased with our profit performance on a number of fronts. Gross margin for the quarter was 36.4%, an increase of 170 basis points over our gross margin of 34.7% for the comparable quarter last year. Operating income increased by 66.7% over the comparable quarter last year, driven by the combination of higher sales and improved gross margins. Both our revenue and our earnings came in above our expectations. It should be noted that our stronger-than-expected results in the first quarter reflect not only growth in our business but also the integration of Thompson/Center and the impact of hunting on our traditional seasonality."
Outlook for Fiscal 2008
We continue to expect revenue to increase to approximately $330 million in fiscal 2008, which would represent a 40% increase over fiscal 2007 revenue. This revenue expectation does not include the results of any potential future, diversification initiatives, but does include growth in our existing consumer market, as well as continued penetration of the law enforcement, federal government, and international markets. Sales of our M&P pistols, M&P tactical rifles, our new shotguns and both of our new lines of hunting rifles are all expected to be key drivers of the revenue increase for fiscal 2008. We expect second quarter revenue to increase by approximately 60% over revenue in second quarter of fiscal 2007, driven by continued expansion in our existing markets and the addition of revenue from Thompson/Center.
We are increasing our expectations for fiscal 2008 net income to approximately $28.5 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, which is higher than our earlier expectation of $28.0 million, or $0.62 per share. These results would represent an increase of 119% over net income for fiscal 2007. While first quarter results were $0.02 per diluted share higher than our expectations, approximately one-half of this increase was due to timing on depreciation expense. Our capital expenditures for the first quarter were lower than anticipated, though we still expect to spend $17.7 million in fiscal 2008. We continue to expect gross margin improvement to the range of 35% to 36% for the full fiscal year, with second quarter gross margins of approximately 33%, reflecting the impact of the annual two week plant shutdown which occurs each August at our Springfield and Houlton facilities. The 33% gross margin reflects a 180 basis point increase over the second quarter of fiscal 2006. The seasonal nature of the hunting business will be reflected in higher marketing expenditures in the second quarter as a result of our increased advertising efforts during this peak buying period. We still expect operating expenses to be in the 20% to 21% range for the full fiscal year.
We continue to expect positive cash flow in fiscal 2008 of approximately $41 million, with net cash flow of $23.0 million after capital expenditures of $17.7 million. We also continue to expect cash flow for the first half of fiscal 2008 to be negative, becoming positive in the third quarter and strengthening in the fourth quarter.
Golden concluded, "We are extremely pleased with our progress to date. We are excited about delivering new long gun products and look forward to establishing a prominent position in that very sizeable market. We continue to explore opportunities to diversify, and we remain committed to our growing presence in the areas of safety, security, protection and sport."
Conference Call
The Company will host a conference call today, September 6, 2007, to discuss its first quarter results and its outlook for 2008. The conference call may include forward-looking statements. The conference call will be Web cast and will begin at 5:00pm Eastern Time (2:00pm Pacific). The live audio broadcast and replay of the conference call can be accessed on the Company's Web site at http://www.smithandwesson.com, under the Investor Relations section. The Company will maintain an audio replay of this conference call on its website for a period of time after the call. No other audio replay will be available.
About Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, a global leader in safety, security, protection and sport, is parent company to Smith & Wesson Corp., one of the world's largest manufacturers of quality firearms and firearm safety/security products and parent company to Thompson/Center Arms, Inc., a premier designer and manufacturer of premium hunting rifles, black powder rifles, interchangeable firearms systems and accessories under the Thompson/Center brand. Smith & Wesson licenses shooter eye and ear protection, knives, apparel, and other accessory lines. Smith & Wesson is based in Springfield, Massachusetts with manufacturing facilities in Springfield, Houlton, Maine, and Rochester, New Hampshire. The Smith & Wesson Academy is America's longest running firearms training facility for law enforcement, military and security professionals. For more information on Smith & Wesson, call (800) 331-0852 or log on to http://www.smith-wesson.com. For more information on Thompson/Center Arms, log on to http://www.tcarms.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements contained in this press release may be deemed to be forward-looking statements under federal securities laws, and the Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor created thereby. Such forward-looking statements include statements regarding the Company's anticipated sales, income, income per share, cash flows, sales margins, gross margins, expenses, including anticipated energy costs, earnings, capital expenditures, penetration rates for new and existing markets and new product shipments, for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2008; the Company's strategies; the demand for the Company's products; the success of the Company's efforts to achieve improvements in manufacturing processes; the ability of the Company to introduce any new products; the success of any new products, including the Military and Police pistol series and long guns(rifles and shotguns); the anticipated benefits of the acquisition of Thompson/Center Arms; the expected financial effect of the acquisition of Thompson/Center Arms; and the effect of the Thompson/Center Arms acquisition on the Company's growth strategy. The Company cautions that these statements are qualified by important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include the demand for the Company's products, the Company's growth opportunities, the ability of the Company to obtain operational enhancements, the ability of the Company to increase its production capacity, the ability of the Company to engage additional key employees, the ability of the Company's management to integrate Thompson/Center Arms in a successful manner, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's reports filed with the SEC, including its Form 10-K Report for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2007.
Contacts:
John Kelly, Chief Financial Officer
Smith & Wesson Holding Corp.
(413) 747-3305

Liz Sharp, VP Investor Relations
Smith & Wesson Holding Corp.
(413) 747-3305
lsharp@smith-wesson.com


SMITH & WESSON HOLDING CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED UNAUDITED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
For the Three Months Ended:

July 31, 2007 July 31, 2006

Net product and services sales $74,411,708 $47,604,449
License revenue 429,840 398,385
Cost of products and services sold 47,632,762 31,324,719

Gross profit 27,208,786 16,678,115

Operating expenses:
Research and development, net 412,537 168,094
Selling and marketing 6,650,446 4,711,932
General and administrative 10,336,871 5,915,185

Total operating expenses 17,399,854 10,795,211

Income from operations 9,808,932 5,882,904

Other income/(expense):
Other income/(expense), net (37,166) (123,737)
Interest income 20,692 30,711
Interest expense (2,233,969) (344,961)

Total other expense, net (2,250,443) (437,987)

Income before income taxes 7,558,489 5,444,917
Income tax expense 2,867,998 2,075,601

Net income $4,690,491 $3,369,316

Weighted average number of common
and common equivalent shares
outstanding, basic 39,954,492 39,447,960

Net income per share, basic $0.12 $0.09


Weighted average number of common
and common equivalent shares
outstanding, diluted 48,056,811 41,045,839

Net income per share, diluted $0.11 $0.08


SMITH & WESSON HOLDING CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
As of:

July 31, 2007 April 30, 2007

(Unaudited)
ASSETS
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $1,008,379 $4,065,328
Accounts receivable, net of
allowance for doubtful accounts
of $197,846 on July 31, 2007 and
$146,354 on April 30, 2007 52,124,823 52,005,237
Inventories, net of excess and
obsolescence reserve 41,239,542 32,022,293
Other current assets 7,934,743 4,154,595
Deferred income taxes 7,809,939 7,917,393
Income tax receivable 365,195 2,098,087

Total current assets 110,482,621 102,262,933

Property, plant and equipment, net 48,899,824 44,424,299
Intangibles, net 68,519,971 69,548,017
Goodwill 40,608,259 41,955,182
Other assets 10,469,635 10,066,997

$278,980,310 $268,257,428



LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $19,807,043 $22,636,163
Accrued expenses 11,154,386 9,479,490
Accrued payroll 6,590,790 7,370,804
Accrued taxes other than income 1,617,680 2,648,698
Accrued profit sharing 2,432,397 5,869,677
Accrued workers' compensation 425,414 428,136
Accrued product liability 2,288,444 2,873,444
Accrued warranty 1,676,427 1,564,157
Deferred revenue 185,132 190,350
Current portion of notes payable 14,792,758 2,887,403

Total current liabilities 60,970,471 55,948,322

Deferred income taxes 21,527,515 23,590,404

Notes payable, net of current portion 120,069,452 120,538,598

Other non-current liabilities 10,450,245 9,074,905

Commitments and contingencies

Stockholders' equity:
Preferred stock, $.001 par value,
20,000,000 shares authorized, no
shares issued or outstanding -- --
Common stock, $.001 par value,
100,000,000 shares authorized,
41,329,534 shares issued and
40,129,534 shares outstanding on
July 31, 2007 and 40,983,196 shares
issued and 39,783,196 shares
outstanding on April 30, 2007 41,330 40,983
Additional paid-in capital 46,670,943 44,409,668
Retained earnings 25,573,703 20,977,897
Accumulated other comprehensive
income 72,651 72,651
Treasury stock, at cost (1,200,000
common shares) (6,396,000) (6,396,000)

Total stockholders' equity 65,962,627 59,105,199

$278,980,310 $268,257,428


________________________________________
Source: Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation

buzz_knox
September 7, 2007, 12:01 AM
How much of that growth can be attributed to the M&P line (both pistols and rifles) along with S&W's considerable diversification?

As to people not having an issue with the lock, the Pinto was a popular car until 1) the problem with the gas tank was made clear and 2) the memo in which Ford made a decision that it was less expensive to litigate wrongful death suits than fix the vehicles was made public.

Ghost Walker
September 7, 2007, 01:21 AM
^^^ Good points! ;)

nvcdl
September 7, 2007, 07:56 PM
The gunwriters seem to have given S&W a pass on the trigger lock - Charlie Petty seems to specialize in being an apologist for silly things like the trigger lock and limiting "tatical" ammo sales to civilians. At least that is my opinion as a "knuckle dragging mouthbreather" (as Petty so eloquently calls those who dare critize his writing). Funny how Petty has to resort to ad hominem attacks to defend his stance.

However it seems that more enthusiasts get their info of the internet nowadays and the trigger locks seems to be almost universally disliked.

S&W's new line of M&P auto pistols and their AR-15 rifles probably account for the increase in sales....

sig228
September 7, 2007, 10:13 PM
But Michael Bane, what's with the :evil: '666' :evil: in your user name?

(PS - I enjoy your show!!!)

Ghost Walker
September 8, 2007, 12:13 AM
Originally posted by nvcdl
The gunwriters seem to have given S&W a pass on the trigger lock - Charlie Petty seems to specialize in being an apologist for silly things like the trigger lock and limiting "tatical" ammo sales to civilians. At least that is my opinion as a "knuckle dragging mouthbreather" (as Petty so eloquently calls those who dare critize his writing). Funny how Petty has to resort to ad hominem attacks to defend his stance.

The Hell you say! I thought Charlie was retired. Haven't seen him in TAR in quite some time. It's all about the internet, anyway, nowadays - Isn't it? ;)

Barr
September 8, 2007, 01:11 AM
Here is a copy of the letter I sent to Smith-Wesson regarding my stance on this issue. Some of the posts and thoughts on this thread I used as a starting position to describe my position.

Good evening,

I am writing you to express my deep disatisfaction with your new internal lock configuration built in to all of your new guns, most notably your revolvers. I have heard of several instances of your locks catastrophically failing and locking up the action of a gun while being used. This phenomenon mostly seems to center around your lightest weight scandium framed revolvers in the magnum calibers.

I have not personally seen a failure in front of me, but that is most likely because I refuse to buy from or support a company that manufactures a gun with an internal lock. I object to the internal lock for several reasons:

1) I should not have to pay extra for an option that is useless to me. The internal lock is an option that I do not want as a paying consumer.

2) If I do require a lock to secure my firearm, I will purchase a suitable cable lock that is secure and is instinctively and intuitively obvious by a visual glance that the gun is inoperable and unable to fire under any circumstance due to the gun action being secured in the open position.

3) The revolver is one of the most popular handgun designs for several reasons. It is mechanically simple and sound and is rarely prone to malfunction and breakage except under the harshest and most extreme conditions. It has a simple manual of arms to operate and fire it under the most extremely stressful conditions. Adding this lock has compromised the basic operating principles that have made this design so popular. Smith-Wesson has effectively removed every reason I had for buying a double-action revolver from you.

4) The notion that I as a customer need an internal lock to keep myself or my loved oned ones safe is inherently flawed. As a responsible gun owner, all of my firearms stay locked up in a reputable safe out of sight of visitors to my home unless the gun is either actively being used or is loaded for self or home defense. Gun safety and security is a responsibility that starts and ends with me as a responsible American owner.

I am a very big fan of Smith-Wesson revolvers. My family has been shooting your pistols for four generations now. Smith-Wesson used to make one of the finest firearms in America and certainly the best double-action revolvers. By adding this lock, Smith-Wesson has bent to public anti-gun pressure and lawyers seeking to avoid liability in frivolous firearms lawsuits. Smith-Wesson has allowed this lock to become incorporated into its most basic designs. I support my beliefs with actions, words, and my wallet. None of my family or I will buy any of the new Smith-Wesson products until this lock has been removed from Smith-Wessons' designs. I will continue to discourage my friends and associates from buying newer products as well based on the reasons listed above. I own several older Smiths and will continue to enjoy shooting and buying them, but regretfully none of them will be newer products or have the latest advances in technology. I sincerely hope this letter will help to change your political, design, manufacturing, and engineering position and stance on this issue.

Barr

fastbolt
September 8, 2007, 01:31 AM
Nothing heard back from S&W on Mr Bane's revolver yet?

I keep checking this thread to see if anything has developed.

Granted, probably still a bit soon, though.

I'm curious to hear the answer.

Like maybe a stronger torque lock spring being used, if nothing else.

Also, I must admit I'm glad I own a number of pre-lock S&W revolvers. ;)

2ndamd
September 8, 2007, 02:10 AM
To: S&W and any one else for that matter
From: Me

Please see me signature line. "If ye love welth greater than freedom..." :)
What liitle progress we have made when over 200 years ago Samuel Adams Quote rings true today.....sad it is one of our "own" that needs to be reminded of the enduring price of freedom. The tree of liberty does need refreshing from time-to-time.

drforsythe
September 11, 2007, 12:52 PM
I recently purchased a S&W 640 and the internal lock failed on my second round of five... I was able to get off a couple more shots in between 'clicks' before it completely failed on the 13th round (unlucky 13?). S&W performed a warranty repair on the unit stating it was a broken firing pin and the unit was returned to me. The internal lock problem was not even addressed by them, even though I sent a very detailed letter with questions in it. I have not had problems since, but am not confident to carry it. Recoil is said to be a problem in the lighter guns, but this one is stainless and I was using factory self-defense loads that were lighter than target loads I use in my old 686. I wish I would have researched this subject prior to purchase.

Vern Humphrey
September 11, 2007, 01:15 PM
I can't see carrying a gun in which I have no confidence. The key to winning is to visualize winning -- but carrying a gun you think will fail is visualizing losing.

Thaddeus Jones
September 11, 2007, 01:25 PM
The two reasons we purchase, and choose to carry a revolver, are it's simplicity, and reliability. A revolver with an internal lock is neither.

fastbolt
September 11, 2007, 01:50 PM
the internal lock failed on my second round of five... I was able to get off a couple more shots in between 'clicks' before it completely failed on the 13th round Did the trigger completely lock up and not move? Or, did the trigger function and the cylinder rotated but the gun just didn't fire?

S&W performed a warranty repair on the unit stating it was a broken firing pin and the unit was returned to me. It might well have been what was stated.

I've heard that some guns have been returned to the factory with other functioning problems, with the owners complaining it was a "lock problem", when it was something else. This isn't uncommon when folks bring other things in for repair, from computers to motor vehicles, you know.

I was told that in some instances the sears hadn't been fitted in the guns properly and weren't clearing the trigger, causing the guns to 'lock up' sometimes. If so, then it sounds like a production problem that could use some attention.

Having experienced an improperly fitted sear stubbing in a M66, which 'locked up' the gun a couple of times, I can see how it might seem to be mistaken for a 'lock problem' if something similar were to happen to a gun equipped with a lock ... except, of course, that my M66 was pre-lock. It didn't take much to adjust and correct the sear engagement.

FWIW, I took my new MP340 out and shot it again yesterday. It still functioned fine with both standard pressure .38 Spl. 38 Spl +P and Magnum ammunition. Another fellow at work who does a reasonable amount of practice with his 442-2 has yet to have a problem with unintentional engagement or activation of the lock in his gun, which he carries as a back-up weapon.

I'd still like to hear something from S&W about confirmed lock problems, aside from any resulting from improper production/assembly, and what steps are taken to resolve such issues, but I'm not yet prepared to accept that the locks are failing left & right ...

I'm interested to hear the results of S&W examining Mr Bane's revolver and its unintentional lock activation.

S&W briefly attempted to use a trigger guard locking system in a limited number of their TDA pistols several years ago ... but they were discontinued. Good decision. They were ugly and awkward.

Like others, I'd also like the option of choosing to buy a S&W revolver not equipped with a lock ... and given the option I'd choose the gun not equipped with the key-operated ILS. I wouldn't be at all surprised if S&W's brisk revolver sales picked up even more if they offered models without the locks.

buzz_knox
September 11, 2007, 01:56 PM
I'd still like to hear something from S&W about any confirmed lock problems, and what steps are taken to resolve such issues, but I'm not yet prepared to accept that the locks are failing left & right ...

We'd all like to hear something. However, the official S&W rules for discussing the lock seem to be 1) the lock is perfect and has no issues and 2) if there is a confirmed problem with a lock, refer back to rule 1.

DawgFvr
September 11, 2007, 03:24 PM
Um...I suggest that you all dump your S&W stock and invest in Ruger.

Master Blaster
September 11, 2007, 04:02 PM
I recently purchased a S&W 640 and the internal lock failed on my second round of five... I was able to get off a couple more shots in between 'clicks' before it completely failed on the 13th round (unlucky 13?). S&W performed a warranty repair on the unit stating it was a broken firing pin

So when you pulled the trigger the cylinder advanced, hammer fell and there was only a click instead of a bang??

Sounds like the firing pin diagnosis is correct, if the lock had failed, it would have locked the hammer and trigger and there would have been no click.

drforsythe
September 11, 2007, 07:43 PM
From my earlier post...
I recently purchased a S&W 640 and the internal lock failed on my second round of five... I was able to get off a couple more shots in between 'clicks' before it completely failed on the 13th round (unlucky 13?). S&W performed a warranty repair on the unit stating it was a broken firing pin

Master Blaster's question...
So when you pulled the trigger the cylinder advanced, hammer fell and there was only a click instead of a bang??

Sounds like the firing pin diagnosis is correct, if the lock had failed, it would have locked the hammer and trigger and there would have been no click.

NEW INFO

I agree with you regarding the CORRECT functioning of the internal lock. Had it completely locked, it would have operated as you say. I indeed had problems with the firing pin, but the other problem came after unloading the last round of five. I removed the cartridges from the cylinder and began cycling the trigger to see if the pin was in fact coming forward. I noticed that the firing pin was not fully extending. After several times repeating this test, the cylinder would not correctly index. After getting home and cleaning the gun, I located the key to the internal lock. I could lock and unlock the unit, but it would not work completely. Sometimes the cylinder would lock and sometimes it would not. Sometimes the trigger would be locked and I could not cycle anything. Sometimes I could get the firing pin to come forward, sometimes not. The actuator for the IL felt "loose" after having the problem. It was much tighter after receiving the repaired unit back.

The long and the short of it is that I have lost confidence in the unit and cannot in good conscience sell it to someone who may be using this as his only means of self defense or protection of his family. No more new S&Ws for me until they stop producing the IL.

I am not trying to be unfair to Smith & Wesson. I love my 686 that I purchased in 1990. I just want others to be aware of this problem. If you carry every day you must know with the utmost confidence that your weapon will work if you need it defend yourself or your family. Right now I have a snubnose range gun.

Ghost Walker
September 12, 2007, 12:47 AM
:) Very well said, drforsythe! I like my 1997 Model 686, too. (And all of the other 70's vintage Smiths that I have in the safe.) No way, though, that I would purchase one of their locking revolvers. As a matter of fact, the last revolver I purchased, some 18 months ago, is a Ruger SP-101. I couldn't be happier with it, too! :cool:

pinkymingeo
September 12, 2007, 05:32 AM
What drforsythe describes is not a lock problem. If the lock is engaged, the "flag" will be up and the hammer won't move. The only way the flag can self-engage is if the small spring that holds it down is incorrectly installed. This problem would appear in the first few rounds fired through the gun, and is easily fixed. The lock offends my sensibilities, but I don't believe it's particularly prone to trouble. I wouldn't own a steel S&W with lock, but I'm also a fan of scandium revolvers so I'm stuck with them on several of my guns. Even though I don't expect lock problems, I always deactivate the thing. Only takes a few minutes.

YosemiteSam357
September 12, 2007, 12:45 PM
If the lock is engaged, the "flag" will be up and the hammer won't move. What about on the 642, where there is no hammer, and no flag?

-- Sam

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