smith and wesson lock


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jgo296
March 25, 2008, 08:41 PM
i havent bought a new s&w since they put locks on them
id never lock it if i had one but i have a question
does the lock do anything that could make the gun less reliable or durable?

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Archie
March 25, 2008, 08:52 PM
Numerous reports of the lock locking itself under recoil.

This seems to be denied by S&W, but I know for certain my non-lock guns have never locked accidentally. In my not so humble opinion they're just another doodad without purpose to malfunction at some inopportune point.

Erik
March 25, 2008, 08:53 PM
There have been reports that the heavier loads available for the big bore magnums can tie up the Scandium framed Smiths; the recoil enables the lock, apparently.

jhco
March 25, 2008, 08:56 PM
never had my 642 do anything unusual but it is a concern but not enough of one to stop them from selling

Virginian
March 25, 2008, 09:12 PM
Can you totally disable the lock from inside? Ruger's new lock is totally unobtrusive under the grip panels, and I don't see how recoil could tie the gun up, but I am planning to disable it or remove it anyway when my Wolff Springs, new base pin, and grips get here.

Sir Aardvark
March 25, 2008, 09:31 PM
Disabling the lock is as simple as grinding off the little inside tab.
You cannot tell that it has been altered from the outside.

Removing the lock leaves you with the issue of now having a hole in the side of your gun.
It would be best to order a spare part from S&W and then you could always return it back to "factory-specs".

Bendutro
March 26, 2008, 12:36 AM
I own a Performance Center 629 with the IL and it hasn't caused me any trouble. If I was gonna CCW an IL S&W, I'd remove the internals to make 100% sure though.

(The only unintentional IL events happened with Scandium revolvers and Magnum loads.)

BMW2
March 26, 2008, 04:50 AM
I've put about 800 rounds of various factory loads through my 629 and never had a problem. My .02

Evyl Robot
March 26, 2008, 11:51 AM
I wasn't going to mention this, but when my wife's 627PC came back from the factory, we took it to the range that night. After about thirty rounds, the action locked up. The hammer, trigger, and cylinder were all three immobilized. After playing with the IL keys in the lock for 15-20 minutes, we got the thing to release, and it has not been a problem since. Granted, we've only put a couple hundred rounds through it since then, but still.

My purpose for mentioning it here is this:

When I got my 29, I had never seen the IL before. I got the keys, and played with the lock a couple of times, then I put the keys in the box and never thought about them again. when wife's gun came home, we did no such thing. If the lock were to rattle into an in-between position during shipping, neither locked nor unlocked, it stands to reason that recoil could have enough of a jarring motion to lock the gun.

In the couple of cases that I have seen documented of people having this problem, I have to wonder if they could have solved the issue themselves by this means. I know a lot of people who are modern Smith fans, having put lots of rounds through many IL-equipped guns without any problems. I actually asked several of them about this after the incident with the 627. The response was a unanimous "heard of it, but never seen an actual case of it happening in real life."

Needless to say, I think we're going to pull the lock from my wife's gun if she decides to carry it. I'm not sure I want to risk it in a carry gun, either. I keep thinking that surely, somebody makes a plug-kit, so you don't wind up with a hole in your frame... If not, somebody should...

jgorniak
March 26, 2008, 12:22 PM
Here's the thread from the S&W forums; it's the most comprehensive list on this issue that I've found:
http://smith-wessonforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/500103904/m/228102718

Thaddeus Jones
March 26, 2008, 12:27 PM
The lock is a poor solution in search of a problem. S&W can pound sand till they make revolvers without locks. TJ

Deer Hunter
March 26, 2008, 12:43 PM
The reports came from very lightweight (non-steel) revolvers being loaded with very hot magnum rounds. This was years ago, and I have not seen or heard of this happening since then, even with the small revolvers.

Not buying the gun because it has a lock that you can see? That's fine, leaves more for me. S&W makes a damned fine revolver with or without the lock.

bdjansen
March 26, 2008, 02:42 PM
I wasn't going to mention this, but when my wife's 627PC came back from the factory, we took it to the range that night. After about thirty rounds, the action locked up. The hammer, trigger, and cylinder were all three immobilized. After playing with the IL keys in the lock for 15-20 minutes, we got the thing to release, and it has not been a problem since. Granted, we've only put a couple hundred rounds through it since then, but still.

My purpose for mentioning it here is this:

When I got my 29, I had never seen the IL before. I got the keys, and played with the lock a couple of times, then I put the keys in the box and never thought about them again. when wife's gun came home, we did no such thing. If the lock were to rattle into an in-between position during shipping, neither locked nor unlocked, it stands to reason that recoil could have enough of a jarring motion to lock the gun.

In the couple of cases that I have seen documented of people having this problem, I have to wonder if they could have solved the issue themselves by this means. I know a lot of people who are modern Smith fans, having put lots of rounds through many IL-equipped guns without any problems. I actually asked several of them about this after the incident with the 627. The response was a unanimous "heard of it, but never seen an actual case of it happening in real life."

Needless to say, I think we're going to pull the lock from my wife's gun if she decides to carry it. I'm not sure I want to risk it in a carry gun, either. I keep thinking that surely, somebody makes a plug-kit, so you don't wind up with a hole in your frame... If not, somebody should...

The lock on my gun doesn't effect the cylinder at all. It locks the trigger and hammer but I can still load and unload the gun as normal. Sounds like it could have been a different problem?

Evyl Robot
March 27, 2008, 02:02 PM
BDJ,

I'm not going to rule out that possibility, but the fact of the matter remains that playing with the lock fixed the problem. the gun has not acted up in the least since then. Strange things, at any rate...

./Michael

mec
April 3, 2008, 11:03 AM
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-10/1282318/lockfailure1.jpg
Here's one that happened last week. Partial Lock as they were able to get it back in battery by maniipulating the trigger and hammer. the shooter was doing fine with medium loads then switched to a jhp magunm. the gun partially locked twice in a short time.
Shooter said that the hammer apparently bounced to the pictured position as the trigger is full back and the cylinder still locked. There have been some reports of the lock engaging on model 21-22s as well as the heavy recoiling revolvers.

earplug
April 3, 2008, 12:37 PM
Its possible to take the lock out without grinding or breaking anything.
If the lock is a problem to you, take it out. New S&W revolvers are very accurate and stout.
The lock can be compared to the cars of the 1960's that had the first seat belt buzzers or open door noise things. Live with it or disable it.

Boats
April 3, 2008, 01:30 PM
Or don't buy and further enable the stupidity. The Hilary Hole is far more obtrusive than a door buzzer. No buzzer holds the possibility of getting killed for its malfunction.

btg3
April 3, 2008, 01:44 PM
...but the fact of the matter remains that playing with the lock fixed the problem. the gun has not acted up in the least since then. This was after 15-20 of fiddling only with the lock? Or a combination of lock, trigger, hammer, cylinder, manipulations? I think the jury is still out.

Shooter said that the hammer apparently bounced to the pictured position as the trigger is full back and the cylinder still locked. There have been some reports of the lock engaging on model 21-22s as well as the heavy recoiling revolvers. So limp wristers may fare pretty well with IL revolvers? --LOL

Thaddeus Jones
April 3, 2008, 01:46 PM
Well said Boats. How people can buy handguns with this idiotic feature, and then admonish those of us who won't, to simply ignore the lock, or disable it, astounds me. Thanks, I'll keep buying real S&W's, you know, the ones they used to make without locks. :)

S&W only cares about dollars, nothing else. Don't buy the product and perhaps they will make a better product. Equating internal locks on revolvers, to seat belts in automobiles is ludicrous.

The internal lock is NOT A SAFETY!!!! OK?? IT IS A SAFE STORAGE DEVICE!! :banghead:

earplug
April 3, 2008, 05:55 PM
I did not imply the lock was a safety device as a seat belt, only that if the noise/lock bothers you you can remove it.
And the new S&W revolvers are as good or better shooters then the old stuff.
I'll trade my four inch M29-2 for another 625-8

batmann
April 4, 2008, 08:43 PM
If you like what you see---get it.
My S&W with IL HAS NOT BEEN a problem. If you are concerened, take it out, 10-15 min deal.

xring44
April 4, 2008, 08:57 PM
My experience with the locks has been all positive. I shoot hunter silhouettes with a 8 3/8" 686 S&W .357 magnum, it has over 10,000 rounds through it of full bore magnum loads, it has never had a failure due to the lock and only 1 of any kind, the ejector rod backed out slightly. That was some 2 or 3000rounds ago, a little blue loc-tite cured that ailment.

Old Fuff
April 4, 2008, 10:25 PM
Not pointing a finger at Smith & Wesson, but as a general observation…

When it comes to personal weapons there is an old saying, “Keep It Simple Stupid,” or KISS. Adding anything that isn’t necessary increases the possibilities that something might, just might… go wrong at a bad time.

Therefore it is not wise to add anything to your life insurance that you don’t need. If you need to secure the gun a metal box with a lock will suffice just as well as an internal lock, without possibly compromising the gun’s core purpose. A handgun without an internal lock is one where a possible malfunction has been eliminated, simply because it isn’t there, never has been, and never will be.

The same can be said about some other features that certain anti-gun politicians and lawyers advocate. Most of them will never show up on any firearm I own. Those that do will be neutered in short order.

I have never needed a bliss-nanny to direct my choice in anything. After a long life I see no reason to start now.

popeye
April 5, 2008, 01:53 PM
Old Fuff hit the nail on the head. Murphy's law applies. There's plenty of used Smith's around without locks.

btg3
April 5, 2008, 02:41 PM
...and it's easy enough to disable the locks on the new ones.

(FWIW, I'm shopping for a used 638 or 642 and am not finding any deals, so I figure why not buy new? I'm not in a hurry and will keep looking for few weeks, including the next show here. Also, the gun shop has a counter full of used S&W in condition that I would not consider, so I'm leery if I can't inspect prior to payment. Anyone been burned?)

Doug S
April 5, 2008, 02:52 PM
I know this has been posted a zillion times recently, but the S&W forums have a sticky listing instances where the locks have malfunctioned. Even though it seems to be a relatively infrequent thing, it does happen enough for concern. Also, contrary to some things I've read, it does seem to happen with some guns other than the ultra light weights. I know there is at least one example of this happening with a 642 listed on the thread.

I recently was happy to find a pre-lock for a decent price. It may never have been a problem, but I figured that would be one less thing to worry about.

Redhawk1
April 5, 2008, 03:01 PM
4 years with a S&W 500 mag and thousands of rounds of heavy thumpers, and never a problem.

jeff-10
April 5, 2008, 03:07 PM
does the lock do anything that could make the gun less reliable or durable?

Heh.

Whats better 9mm or 45ACP?:evil:

Old Fuff
April 5, 2008, 10:24 PM
What's a 9mm ????? :evil: :D

Drail
April 6, 2008, 12:59 PM
A 9mm is a .45 set on stun.

btg3
April 6, 2008, 02:23 PM
Hilarious! That really hit my funny bone. (But I'm still gonna carry my 9mm.)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 6, 2008, 11:28 PM
From that 14-page S&W forum lock thread on page 10:

Because I'm an engineer, and because I dearly like data, (and because this is the best forum on the web... thanks Para...) I painstakingly went through this thread and pulled together a spreadsheet which summarizes the ILIF posts contained herein (and contained in this thread only). If you want your ILIF counted in the next update of the spreadsheet, post it as described in the opening of the discussion. I may, at some point, look at other forum's discussions on the topic / dig through the numerous posts on S&W forum looking for distinct incidents.

My observations:
First and foremost -- sorry, I gotta say it...
A lot of folks would well benefit from reading the thread in its entirety before posting (pay particular attention to Osprey's original post reproduced below.)

All that being said, here's the data:

Total ILIF's: 20
S&W ILIF's: 19
Tarus ILIF: 1
Other ILIF: 0

Rated Caliber of ILIF's reported:
.32 H&R Magnum: 1
.38 Spl: 1
.38 +P: 2
.357 Magnum: 5
.45 ACP: 4
.44 Spl: 1
.44 Magnum: 5
.480 Ruger: 1

Number of ILIF's attributable to "hot loads"* by caliber:
.38 +P: 1
.45 ACP: 1
.44 Magnum: 1
Total: 3

My general observations having read all the posts in this thread:
1)It appears as though most of the S&W guns involved are lightweight J-frames shooting "normal" loads.
2)Lock or not is a personal preference. The general responses are:
"I ain't buyin' one."
"I bought one, but now wonder about reliability."
"I'll buy one and take out / modify the lock."
"I'll buy one and take my chances."

I will not enter this debate from any point other than a factual one. The facts are above.

I will, on a monthly (or so) basis, update the spreadsheet to add new, properly formatted posts on ILIF's. Please be nice and stick to the original intent of this thread. If you want to discuss the lock, please revive one of the many existing non-scientific, opinionated, threads threads on the forum.

*hot loads are subjective opinion (in most cases, I counted it a "hot load" if the round is near the rated capacity of the firearm... not from a scientific burst pressure standpoint, but if it's a .38 +P, and you're shooting 158gr .38 +P's, you're probably close to the max rated pressure.) I would love to learn more about rated pressures / pressures generated by a particular load / powder, etc.... if anyone would like to educate me

shooter429
April 7, 2008, 09:20 AM
Sadly, not the last. They have only occurred in the Ti/Sc Magnums with magnum loads for me. The 329 appears to be the worst offender.

I decided that I would not buy or carry any more ti/Sc with the lock.

That leaves every other all steel and steel/aluminum available. I have purchased several new Smiths since, and have never suffered ILIF on a SS model.

Take it for what its worth. I would not avoid a new SS gun just because of the lock, but I also would much prefer not to have the stinking locks installed in the first place and am interested in pre-lock used guns. I would avoid the airlight magnums with the IL like the kiss of death, cuz it jus might be.

Of course, if you just have to have an 11 oz. 357 or 26 oz .44 you can always remove /disable the friggin thing and avoid the problem. You will still have crimp-jump and other issues to deal with though. To me, they jus aint worth it. Make mine steel, thank you very much.

Shooter429

TAC
April 8, 2008, 08:44 AM
Other than in gun forums, I've never seen a documented case where the internal lock on any S&W revolver caused any kind of problem. If there was even on case, I think there would be a lawsuit, and S&W would remove them from their design. I think most of the claims are rumors, and politics.

RobertFBurnett
April 8, 2008, 02:05 PM
Not calling it a rumor, but it does seem to be a localized problem, I too have only heard it on the lightweight (scandium? if I'm saying that right) frames, my 686-6 has never budged. Never heard of a .357 N frame doing it either.

If necessity is the Mother of all invention, I'm thinking if we create enough buzz maybe someone could create a kit that would somehow (i'm not the engineer or inventor) neutralize the lock and hide the dot without voiding the warranty? Something simple like a little Loc-tite applicator and a machined plug? Maybe SHOT show 09? I'll keep dreamin....

My $0.02

RFB

shooter429
April 9, 2008, 09:31 PM
It has happened with at least one gun that I have been present for-mine. Take a look over at the S&W forum.

This is the little monster that not, once, not twice but several times seized under recoil (the flag even came up) Tied her up until it turned the key.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e339/shooter429/PDlowres.jpg

I did not sue, because there were no damages, and frankly, litigation is really a pain in the rear and costs a lot of money.

I am probably one of Smith's more ardent supporters, and even I admit the airlights had problems. I hate the lock, but have learned to trust the SS guns even with it.

Shooter429

DuckhunterinTN
April 9, 2008, 10:21 PM
It seems that this problem is related only to the super lightweight revolvers. Would a 442 shooting .38's be less likely to have this occur?

ktate2002
April 10, 2008, 08:20 AM
Well, this is my first post and on a topic that I've finally resolved in my own mind. It was a fairly easy decision. With almost 30 years in law enforcement (the last 23 years with the USSS and four more to go), my use of firearms and related training has always focused on "setting myself up to win." The S&W locking system does not provide me with 100% confidence that the revolver will function every time. The IL system does not compliment the reliability I associate with a revolver. It puts the revolver on par with a pistol. I'm sticking with my old style J frame for its simplicity and track record.

Alexa
April 10, 2008, 09:41 AM
Okay, so my new S&Ws have the darn locks. So they can be removed, right? So what's the deal about having the hole in the frame, other than it looks like a hole? I mean, it's not supposed to be keeping anything inside, right? It's not like something will come shooting out, will it? So I guess I'm saying, if it's only a "beauty" aspect, I guess I can live with the hole in the frame. Isn't it better than having it lock up at an inopportune time? But of course, having a hole in the frame might cause dirt and other crud to enter the body of the gun and I'm had extra cleaning to do, not to mention extra worries about that crud clogging my guns pores or whatever.

I don't like the stupid locks anyway. We're told to keep it locked, unloaded, and in a locked box. Now I'm no genius, but logic tells me that's not good for EMERGENCIES. When the bad guy comes along, is he going to wait while I find the key to unlock the box, find the key to unlock the gun, and find the bullets and load the darn thing? Me thinks I would be dead before I dug out the first key!

Old Fuff
April 10, 2008, 11:32 AM
Now I'm no genius, but logic tells me that's not good for EMERGENCIES. When the bad guy comes along, is he going to wait while I find the key to unlock the box, find the key to unlock the gun, and find the bullets and load the darn thing? Me thinks I would be dead before I dug out the first key!

There is such a thing as overkill.... :scrutiny:

If you look around the forum a bit you'll find reports of youngsters and teens shooting themselves while engaged in play with an "unloaded" handgun they found. Such incidents could have been prevented if the gun had been secured. Also you realy don't want to come home and find someome has broken in and now has your gun.

But everyone doesn't have children around, so security should fit the circumstances. As a rule-of-thumb it's a good idea to secure any firearm that isn't under you personal control. Unloading it may or may not be necessary, but again I unload it if it's outside of my control. A revolver speed loader or pistol magazine can make it "hot" very quickly.

What I'm really trying to point out is that you are fully responsible for what may happen with your guns, but how you address this responsbility is your business.

Alexa
April 10, 2008, 12:11 PM
Yeah, well, my point is that I could lock it away but not have to lock it with that internal locking thingy. There are other ways to lock a gun directly and more visibly, with one of those cable type locks that goes through the chamber and into the trigger area, for instance. So if I have my gun in a locked safe or box with a visible lock on it, there wouldn't be all that worry about the internal lock if it wasn't on the gun in the first place, now would there?

Just for the record, there are no children of any age in my house and none that visit. My daughter is an adult, as are all my nieces and nephews who are quite familiar with firearms. Our friends don't bring any children when they stop by.

My point about all the locks was simply that if someone broke in and threatened me, I'd be dead before I could unlock my weapon if I obeyed the "guidelines".

Old Fuff
April 10, 2008, 12:20 PM
My point about all the locks was simply that if someone broke in and threatened me, I'd be dead before I could unlock my weapon if I obeyed the "guidelines".

You are the one that's responsible for your guns. Therefore you make the guidelines. That includes the issue of internal locks. ;)

altitude_19
April 10, 2008, 12:41 PM
Just got through putting my new 325 through its paces at the range. Ran many reloads through it with ZERO malfunctions (and I make it a point to TRY to make the gun malfunction when I'm testing it out). 44 MAGNUM seems to be the culprit. 45 ACP is a fine round, no matter which particular configuration you choose. I run sub-sonic golden sabre JHP through this and my XD and get reliability, expansion, and accuracy WITHOUT over-penetration or excessive wear. Steer clear of the 329s (44 mag) and avoid using +P ammo in the 325. If you do this, you will have one helluva PDW.

Hawk
April 10, 2008, 09:19 PM
While scanning the ATF '06 domestic production numbers I noted that they extrapolated to roughly 450,000 S&W revolvers shipped in the time frame that the S&W forum ILS thread has been running.

I could be wrong but it seems to me that if another mainstream manufacturer, say Kimber, produced roughly 150,000 units in the same time frame they'd have well over a proportional number of "show stopping" issues. In fact, anything over 7 reports of Kimber "show stoppers" would put the problem rate ahead of S&W's. S&W just ships a pantload of reciprocating-challenged handguns.

Makes it hard for me to get worked up based on the number of reports. Granted, my "serious" handgun isn't a revolver, the lock doesn't need to be there so whatever amount of catastrophic failure is attributable to the lock didn't need to be there and it's aesthetically challenged.

But even if we bumped the S&W forum number by two orders of magnitude to take a wild guess at compensating for those not posting to the thread, it's still between 4 and 5 sigma - a number many companies would cheerfully kill for.

Based on raw numbers, gross speculation based on intr4w3b bandwidth and general grousing contrasted with the amount of product shipped, the ILS is probably one of the least troublesome 21st century mechanical geegaws.

But it offends us on a number of levels and, being somewhat of a revolver noob, I readily accept everybody else's angst. I'm afraid though that, sooner or later, I'm going to see something I like that's not available used, or from Ruger or Taurus or Manhurin or Rossi or Korth or Freedom Arms and I'll buy it.

If the lock acts up, I'll buy a lotto ticket - I figure the liklihood of the thing giving grief is on the order of my getting two out of three nasty Pythons.

Sure is ugly though, t'aint it?

moewadle
April 10, 2008, 10:47 PM
Sorry, I think I understand what you are referring to but if you use jargon, on the first entry of it please put in what it means for those of us who have not seen the phrase. I have to learn it someway.

mec
April 10, 2008, 11:54 PM
Sure is ugly though, t'aint it?

I just don't see the ugly unless you are already mad that it's there in the first place because of its political origins,or its potential for failure. Prior to WWII smith hand ejectors looked like this:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=76176&stc=1&d=1207882323
Note the hammer pin under the cylinder latch. It is about the same size and visibility as the lock.

Hawk
April 11, 2008, 12:02 AM
Note the hammer pin under the cylinder latch. It is about the same size and visibility as the lock.

Didn't know that.

Knock down my aesthetic objections and I'll probably be all over one when I find something I can't live without.

Old Fuff
April 11, 2008, 01:34 AM
Mec:

If you look inside that old 1905 Hand Ejector you'll find the way it's put together is a lot differenent then you what you see now. That one was built, today they're assembled... :scrutiny: ;)

Master Blaster
April 11, 2008, 09:10 AM
Rated Caliber of ILIF's reported:
.32 H&R Magnum: 1
.38 Spl: 1
.38 +P: 2
.357 Magnum: 5
.45 ACP: 4
.44 Spl: 1
.44 Magnum: 5
.480 Ruger: 1




You know I was believing the statistics until I saw that there was a Smith with a problem in .480 Ruger last one in the list.

I removed the ILF in my carry gun that has one.

Hawk
April 11, 2008, 10:47 AM
Nice catch.

While I'd assume that most on this forum and the S&W forum know what they're about I sometimes wonder how many times the lock has taken the fall for a normal garden variety revolver hiccup.

This is speculation on my part but I've noticed a bewilderingly high percentage of owners apparently laboring under the misapprehension that revolvers are 100% reliable 100% of the time.

Is it possible for the lock to engage without the "flag" popping up?

Anyhow, on the stat listing - does the .45ACP seem to be out of proportion? I wouldn’t have guessed it was shipped in the numbers needed to be nearly tied with .357 and .44 magnum.

Old Fuff
April 11, 2008, 11:25 AM
While the lock is known to malfunction on rare occasions, there doesn't seem to be a particular reason - or if so it hasn't been identified. On at least one occasion a faulty spring was blamed, and S&W replaced it. Other times the effects of recoil forces have been thought to be the cause.

There was a time when occasionally a .38 Special revolver would be blown up when what was supposed to be an ultra-light charge of Bullseye powder apparently detonated. Efforts to duplicate this in a laboratory failed, so to this day it remains a matter of speculation as to "why".

In both cases there isn't any evidence that a single cause is or was always responsible for what happened on each and every occasion.

If all lock failures could be traced to a single cause, the matter could probably be addressed and corrected. But as it is, you can't solve the problem(s) when a single cause isn't known.

There is one solution however that is a sure thing. No revolver will ever be unintentionally disabled by a lock that isn't there.

No style of handgun is 100% reliable, and of the total number a certain percentage will for one reason or another become inoperable. However this percentage can be reduced somewhat by careful manufacture combined with comprehensive quality control and inspection – both sadly lacking today. Reliability can also be enhanced by not incorporating questionable and often unnecessary devices that can contribute toward the number of failures.

Master Blaster
April 11, 2008, 11:27 AM
Is it possible for the lock to engage without the "flag" popping up?


No its one solid piece of metal, the little nub that locks the hammer by engaging the slot in the hammer is the same piece of metal as the flag. Now if you have a 642, 442 etc with an internal hammer there is no little flag to pop up.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=25505&d=1118685571

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=25506&d=1118685587

Hawk
April 11, 2008, 11:59 AM
No its one solid piece of metal, the little nub that locks the hammer by engaging the slot in the hammer is the same piece of metal as the flag. Now if you have a 642, 442 etc with an internal hammer there is no little flag to pop up.

Safe to assume then that a picture purported to illustrate a lock failure on an exposed hammer model with the flag "fully down" has actually gotten its panties in a bunch for a reason unrelated to the lock?

Don't see 'em often but they do show up occasionally.

...

No argument from me on unneeded stuff, Fuff.

However, I did rather despair of convincing S&W to revise the thing based on market forces when I saw how much they actually ship. 185,000 in '06 alone. It seems to me that if we've got 1000 posts from people stating they'll never own a lock it's actually 100 people repeating the resolution 10 times. The amount of market clout would seem to amount to piffle.

It'd be nice if they took a page from Colt's playbook and issued some "replicas" minus the thing. They already offer the forged parts and pinned sear on some higher-end models. I expect the price on a lockless (relatively) low production, forged part, pinned sear item will be higher than some would guess.

Old Fuff
April 11, 2008, 12:39 PM
However, I did rather despair of convincing S&W to revise the thing based on market forces when I saw how much they actually ship. 185,000 in '06 alone.

I don't think for one minute that my opinion, or that of others of a like mind, is going to cause S&W to eliminate the lock, although they might change the design. They are also not going to stop using EDM machines to cut the rifling in their barrels or abandon two-piece barrels with crush-fit threads, which in effect make barrel changes a factory-only job. I won't get into the issue of MIM lockwork, but do notice the hammer pictured above does have a sort of crude look to it, and the famous case-colors that once graced earlier revolvers are gone.

Without question any business I might give them is a small drop in a big bucket, and they won't miss it one bit.

However my very modest needs can be met by shopping the used market, and for an example of the selection that's available at the moment - from a single source yet, go to the following sites and look:

www.armchairgunshow.com

www.armsbid.com

mec
April 11, 2008, 01:42 PM
If you look inside that old 1905 Hand Ejector you'll find the way it's put together is a lot differenent then you what you see now. That one was built, today they're assembled...

Yep Indeed:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=76230&stc=1&d=1207931937

the avalance of horrors tends to make us forget all that's gone before. We didn't like it when they did away with pinned and recessed but we tended to forget that when they started mimming parts. Now MIM parts have receded into the background in the face of the LOCK and the erector set barrels and shrouds.

Hawk
April 11, 2008, 04:19 PM
Fuff, I'm glad you have those resources.

Regrettably, I've got no business buying stuff over the internet based on my previous luck. If someone were to sit down and design Hawk's personal hell, armsbid would probably be the result.

AS IS / WHERE IS - Generally, items in this auction are sold as is, where is, with no guarantee whatsoever, subject to the minor exceptions for absentee bidders listed in #5 below.

Nobody that manages to spend 2,500.00 on two Pythons to recover only 1,300.00 several weeks later after discovering they barked at the moon should be bidding on something with a "good luck with that" condition of sale. I've managed to lose more money, faster, with revolvers than I was able to ever do previously outside a casino or gentlemen's club. And, the memories from both the casino and gentlemen's club are more pleasant than those provided by the Pythons.

Although the timing-challenged P&R 57 worked out well, I'm pleased to report.

I suspect that the more often one takes it in the shorts on the used market the better the lock and other "features" on the newer product start to look.

The non-local used market is a great resource for those with the necessary background to avoid the minefields, or have Ron Jeremy's luck. But its size is diminishing and the luckless need not apply.

There's still the occasional local stroke of good fortune though - like the 6" 686 last week in the Lear Siegler box that shoots like a dream. It's only wart is the absence of the "M" on a "no-dash". I intend to run an experiment to see if I can learn first-hand why there was a recall. I'm disinclined to send it in as I'm afraid they'll "fix" it and it's just got too nice an action to risk.

Old Fuff
April 11, 2008, 10:06 PM
www.armchairgunshow.com and www.armsbid.com are both run by Jim Supica, who besides being a member of The High Road is a ranking authority on Smith & Wesson, and a co-author of Catalog of Smith & Wesson, which is the bible for those that wheel & deal in that company's guns.

In both cases the guns are carefully examined and honestly described in the catalog or on the websites. I have bought a number of guns through both of the websites and have yet to be disappointed. That which he offers seldom goes cheap, but what you expect to buy will be what you get - and sometimes it's better then what you expected.

I would rate him higher then a local dealer with minimal knowledge about classic handguns that simply takes one in, hangs a tag on the trigger guard, and then puts it in the used gun counter.

Run your eyeball up to the picture in Master Blaster's post that shows the inside milling of the frame, the lock and an MIM hammer. Then go to mec's post with the picture of the inside lockwork of a pre-war Military & Police .38. The much better workmanship will leap out at you! I'll take one like that any day of the week. Not getting a lock is just an additional bonus.

Hawk
April 12, 2008, 12:13 AM
I have no doubt that Supica is a superlative dealer.

But he's not Superman, and probably can't test fire every firearm that goes on the auction site and I've shown a spectacular (especially to me) ability to search out and buy dogs.

You've shared in some of my frustrations and also good fortune (nickel 5" 27s, wonderfully resurrected 57s, that sort of thing).

But I've not found the used market to be the field of sunshine and buttercups many make it out to be. Some Pythons suck. Some P&R Bangor Punta era 57s suck. A lot of stuff, I would guess, that didn't suck when it left the factory was made to suck by the owners previous to my showing up - like the Anaconda with the backwards and upside-down crane cup that you helped me with before.

Point being: someone buying a 2-piece barrel, MiM trigger, frame locked, slapped together wheel gun runs a 99.97% chance of the thing working first, last and always. A similar stunt on the used market has less than a 99.97% chance of working right - If I'm any indication it's closer to 70%.

If Supica shows up in this thread and says: "Hawk, that disclaimer doesn't apply to you - if you get a dog, you can return it" I'll happily eat my words.

But I think those disclaimers are put there because people like me exist.

Sometimes old stuff isn't better - it's just older.

For my sake, let's hope Jim Supica doesn't post to this thread - my finances are compromised enough without me suddenly thinking I can buy early model revolvers with impunity. I figure the chances of that are slim, though.

Just to make it interesting, I'll commit to a minimum of 5K in bids within the next 60 days if someone chimes in telling me I absolutely, positively won't take it in the shorts buying over the internet. I'll even promise to stay clear of bidding on Pythons as I've learned my expectations for "buttery smooth" don't coincide with Colt's fans ideas of the concept. PM or public, either way.

Old Fuff
April 12, 2008, 01:27 AM
Boy... are you a hard sell... :neener: :D

You must have been born under an unlikely star. Well we can compromise. I'll still take a chance on the older stuff, and you can play safe (maybe) with what's coming down the line. :evil:

Hawk
April 12, 2008, 01:09 PM
Dang!
:D

Oh well, can't blame a guy for trying.
Special terms at armsbid would have been so nice.

I'm still managing to avoid the new stuff, but I suspect I remain more nervous through the process of buying used than I should. You did get me thinking about what I would do if I was buying for "real" social purposes. New with lock or old with a personal "hard luck" history. Tough decision. Probably Ruger.

Oddly enough my overall luck reflects standard laws of probability. The statistical clustering doesn't kick in until I'm buying used revolvers. Since I don't actually believe in luck either my revolver history will improve or it'll be indicative that the market actually consists of 30% baying dogs. Since the latter isn't plausible, I'm looking forward to a couple good buys to rearrange my expectations and attitude. For the time being though, they should likely remain local so I can do the checkout.
:)

Old Fuff
April 12, 2008, 05:16 PM
Armsbid.com is an auction. Most of the guns are consigned for auction, which doesn't leave much wiggle-room, although I haven't been stung, and I know others that have all won guns through the auction and been well satisfied. The risk I would say, is much less then bidding on guns offered on other auctions such as gunbroker.com

Armchairgunshow.com is Jim's own sales site. Some of the pieces are on consignment, where others are his - bought as inventory to be sold, or sometimes part of his personal collection. If you spot something there you are interested in, send off an e-mail to see what guarantee he can offer. Not to worry, the gentleman doesn't bite, and I've found him to be as honest as they come, and he does want you to be satisfied. That said, he is selling vintage arms as collectors' items, not shooters - but collectors want their guns to be fully functional too, or have advanced notice when they aren't. Hopefully no one will consider post-World War Two guns as “vintage,” because if they do the Old Fuff is in trouble…

sdkidaho
May 18, 2008, 11:41 PM
Batmann said:
If you like what you see---get it.
My S&W with IL HAS NOT BEEN a problem. If you are concerened, take it out, 10-15 min deal.

Is it really this easy? Does anyone have a guide posted up somewhere that shows how to remove this?

shooter429 said:
You will still have crimp-jump and other issues to deal with though. To me, they jus aint worth it. Make mine steel, thank you very much.

What is crimp-jump?

I'd really like to buy the 329PD to have as a carry pistol while I'm out in the woods hunting. We're often in area's where there are black bear or even grizzly and so I'd like the .44 on me, but I'm not really interested in one that is going to fail in time of need. The Scandium is appealing because it is a lot less weight to carry around (obviously), but if weight is the difference between dead and not dead, well... I'll just suck it up and deal with the extra weight.

And Shooter429 - are you interested in selling that lightweight revolver? :D

sdkidaho
May 19, 2008, 01:46 PM
Posted by sdkidaho:
What is crimp-jump?

I found the answer to this question:
In brief, crimp creep occurs when a heavy load is fired from a relatively light gun. The recoil imparted to the weapon is great enough that the inertia of the other bullets in the cylinder causes them to advance out of the case slightly. This usually occurs only a few thousandths of an inch for a given firing, though I have seen bullets jump as much as .020″. Crimp creep can occur in any kind of firearm, but I personally have only observed it in revolvers.

Found in this article here: http://www.scopedin.com/wordpress/?page_id=21

Pretty good article about the 329PD and what loads to use. Looks like those Buffalo Bore 255 grain bullets are the way to go.

veritas111
June 20, 2008, 08:43 PM
I have a Smith and Wesson revolver with the new lock and it does cause the pistol to malfunction sometimes. I the gun is held loosely this can happen.
One of the advantages of a revolver is it's reliability and simplicity. You can remove the lock but you are leaving yourself open to a lawsuit if you do.
So the bottom line is that Smith and Wesson is once again covering their ass at the expense of their customers. They would rather that you the customer take a legal risk and possible a physical risk.

mec
June 20, 2008, 09:27 PM
It a win-win situation. S&W can make safety revolvers until the cows come in and we don't have to buy them.
Everybody's happy.

Old Fuff
June 20, 2008, 11:30 PM
It a win-win situation. S&W can make safety revolvers until the cows come in and we don't have to buy them.
Everybody's happy.

Now why didn't I think of that???? :D :rolleyes:

..
June 21, 2008, 12:39 AM
I just picked up a NIB 442, brought it home and promptly ground off the tab. Only a fool would bet his life on Smith's defective ILS.

bg226
June 21, 2008, 09:15 AM
There are several reports of locks engaging by the recoil of the weapon, requiring the key to unlock.

Selling products that satisfy those who would never ever purchase a gun is a very poor sales strategy.

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