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Let's get to the bottom of the revolver lock issue once and for all

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Boats, Jun 25, 2005.

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  1. Boats

    Boats member

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    So that we can always direct the newbies to this thread for the definitive discussion about this topic.

    I'll rev up the ice breaker:

    Integral locks have come, or are coming, to all revolvers thanks to the crazy communists in California.

    S&W has their lock interfering with the hammer travel which is activated through a key hole on the side.

    Taurus has their recessed lock hole in the hammer itself usually and it operates to immobilize hammer travel.

    Ruger's integral lock is not widely implemented yet, but if the New Vaquero is the harbinger, the Ruger lock will block the mainspring area under the grips, necessitating removal of the grips to activate the lock. No doubt they will add instructions to the barrel. ;)

    Some might think me dead set against locks because I do not care for new S&W revolvers because they have an integral lock. I would just note that I possess a Springfield Champion 1911A1 that came with their ILS system in the mainspring housing. Yes there was a sight hole in the mainspring housing. I activated the lock once to see if it worked, unlocked it, and eventually replaced it with standard parts.

    I tolerated the ILS on purchase because I rid myself of it for about $50.00 with no sign it was ever there.

    If I could stand owning a Taurus revolver, I wouldn't mind their implementation of their lock, it can be permanently deactivated, the hole of which is small and not easily located at a glance.

    So too can the S&W lock be permanently decommissioned. A Dremel will end the lock in less than 10 seconds once the proper part is revealed.

    The Ruger lock is not one I have been able to examine, but I generally approve of the concept of a lock so hidden that it insults the "logic" of those communists who demanded it. I'll bet the Ruger lock can be deactivated by Dremel, but it is probably also the case that the aftermarket will provide the necessary lockless part for the Ruger implementation if there is a market for its total removal.

    So my main objection to integrally locked revolvers is primarily that I hate the lock, no matter how well designed, as a theoretical impediment to a successful use of the weapon when most needed. Secondarily, if the locks are a fact of life to acquire a new revolver, then I want the most invisible/easiest to permanently disable lock on the market.

    And that is where S&W fails horribly. Not only does one get to deal with the sideplate, (which wouldn't stop me) but even when successful, one is still dealing with the everlasting eyesore on the left side of the weapon. Not even S&W photographs the lock side promotionally in their catalogs that I have, or on their website. Just like Ruger doesn't show off the billboard.

    However, as shown repeatedly in this forum, the billboard is a cosmetic problem easily remedied. I haven't seen a good method of filling the hole on a S&W.

    So there is my complaint in so many words: I can deal with a lock, but not one that scars the firearm permanently unless it is as cleverly done as Taurus did it. Give me invisibility, or nearly so, and the ability to permanently deactivate it or replace it with non-locking parts without scarring the firearm, or don't bother trying to sell me on it. Aesthetics are as important as function in my book since one does not have compromise anything to have both if the engineers are clever enough.

    Too bad S&W did their lock so poorly.
     
  2. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    You have summed up the argument, for me anyway, regarding the lock on S&W. Its like putting the ignition key for my car in the center of the windshield.
     
  3. J Miller

    J Miller Member

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    Boats,

    You hit it right on the head. I've said it several times here and other places: "I will not buy a gun equiped with the lawyer inspired afterthought locks, unless I can remove them."

    We are in agreement.

    Joe
     
  4. 461

    461 Member

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    First of all, it wasn't because of California laws at all. California requires handguns to pass a drop test, not a lock of any kind physically on the weapon although all handguns sold must have an approved lock with them or an affidavit claiming ownership of a safe. Now don't get the idea I'm one of your "Communist's", I simply live in California and am aware of the laws.

    If I ever see or hear of a verifiable failure of one of these internal locks then I may change my opinion, but for now I see it as seatbelts in a car. When seatbelt laws came out people bitched and moaned about how invasive they were and how the government was overstepping their bounds. Try and have a seatbelt argument today and you'll sound as silly as you do about internal gun locks.

    If you like a gun buy it, if not then don't. Welcome to America where you have the choice to support or not support any product you wish.
     
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    You summarized the situation very well, but I would add that anyone who absolutely will not tolerate the lock(s) has the option of buying older handguns that don't have them, and may be better built in other respects as well.

    I have been hard pressed to find anything in the current crop of revolvers that I really can't live without, although I have purchased some Taurus models that have the lock, and am a little interested in Ruger's new .357 Blackhawk commemorative.

    I have been suprised that no one offers a slightly oversized thumbpiece for S&W revolvers that would hide the lock and/or lock hole. This would seem like an easy solution ... ;)
     
  6. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I have to agree that locks don't make me all warm and fuzzy.
    I have to agree that locks are here to stay and had locks been employed in certain situations children who are dead may still be around growing up.

    I have five S&W revolvers with the spiffy locks.
    I ignore the locks because I don't need them but I wish the people who do need them would use them.
     
  7. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    I am not personally offended by any locks. That said, if I have to have one, I prefer one as well designed as the Taurus system. I have not seen the Ruger and can't comment on it, but it sounds good based on description. The S&W lock is an eyesore and I've read about just enough failures to make me nervous. I have experience with two lockable Taurus' and both worked fine.

    I actually have a use for integral locks. I have a young daughter. She's too young to teach the 4 Rules (she's not quite 2yo). At home, all of my guns live in various gun safes or lockers when not on my person, but when we travel, the security choices are narrowed to what I can carry in our luggage. A gun with a built in lock can be secured even if you forget or can't pack your security device. Currently, I carry a P32 when traveling and lock it inside the nice case that came with the gun. I use a tiny padlock to lock the two zippers together. While in this case and in it's pocket holster, there is not way to manipulate the gun in a way to make it fire. Maybe not as quick to action as a cocked and unlocked 1911 under my pillow, but it's a good compromise around kids when traveling. Having a Taurus with it's lock would work in much the same way, but without the need to pack another item.

    That said, I have no need for locks on sporting guns at all. Those are locked away at home unless I'm at the range or in the field hunting.

    Chris
     
  8. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    mtnbkr I have to agree that the Taurus lock is much more practical and easier to operate than the Smith lock.
    Considering that Taurus handguns are basically licensed copies of S&W designs one might think that S&W would consider incorporating the Taurus type lock on their products.
    Mybe they can't afford or don't want to pay the royalty or maybe they don't want to admit somebody did it better.

    I have never seen a S&W lock that has actually failed, just some printed concern that it could or did occur.
     
  9. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    I don't get why they don't offer a choice. So customers can buy a gun with the lock if they choose, or without the lock.
     
  10. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Taurus revolvers are not "licensed copies" of Smith & Wesson products and never were, although at one time Bangor-Punta had a financial interest in both companies. Today there is no connection at all, and the internal lockwork between the two is much different.

    It is doubtful that S&W will offer two versions of their revolvers - with or without the lock. It would cost them too much money to inventory different part sets for every model. Consumers look at guns in terms of what they'd like to see. Manufacturers look at them in terms of production costs.
     
  11. SnWnMe

    SnWnMe Member

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    How is this the definitive discussion?

    Do we have experts on hand here? Folks involved in gun design and accomplished REVOLVER smiths?

    I'm not discounting that quite a few of us are KNOWLEDGEABLE gun owners. But to have a definitive thread to which we will point newbies to help them with their decision, we need EXPERTS. Otherwise, we are all just starting another lock vs no lock vs other forms of lock discussion.

    Old Fuff is probably a been there done that expert with credentials to match.

    Anybody else?
     
  12. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Okay by me to invite some industry experts, as long as you don't invite the experts who designed the locks. It wouldn't be pretty. ;)

    Do the guns with integral locks come with a cable lock, too?

    John
     
  13. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Old Fuff QUOTE – “You summarized the situation very well, but I would add that anyone who absolutely will not tolerate the lock(s) has the option of buying older handguns that don't have them, and may be better built in other respects as well.”

    I won’t buy a gun with a lock as long as I can buy older handguns that don't have them. I’ve bought at least 6 Smiths in the last year or so, NO locks. This would have been 6 new Smiths if they didn’t have locks.
     
  14. Boats

    Boats member

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    My intent in starting this thread has nothing to do with engineering. In fact, it doesn't really matter what the merits of the engineering of the various locks is because they are all superfluous equipment.

    What I wanted to get at was a thread that gets at all of the attitudes people here have about ALL revolver locks, but also to put in one thread what people might think about the shortcomings of particular locks.

    Practical? Aesthetic bummer? Hazardous? Non-issue? I was just trying to get it all in one place.

    Engineering issues are a red herring.
     
  15. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    So "Bullet" has the option to go the "buy an older gun" route, while others can buy the newer guns if they want to.

    I see no problem with this ...

    This issue isn't so much a matter of locks as it is one of choice.

    But if or when the government dictates that we MUST have locks, that's different. :uhoh: :fire:
     
  16. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

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    Although I believe the locks shouldn't be there, I like the 1911 locks in the mainspring housing because new METAL mainspring housings are so cheap and so readily available. Most OEM MSHs are now made of plastic or nylon, so I would likely be replacing them anyway ... if I were going to buy a new 1911. If doing so just happens to lose a lock that shouldn't be there, I won't lose sleep over it. Just keep the original MSH in the box so that if you ever sell the pistol, you can include the lock.
     
  17. klover

    klover Member

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    Just bought a 649 with a lock

    Just occured to me that someone might have engaged the lock. I haven't had time to fiddle with these new locks and only own two that have it.

    I did try the .44, and it shoots. The .357 is wrapped in plastic to form the new leather I made for it.

    How does a locked or partially locked action reveal itself without actually discharging the weapon? It'll be sometime before I get to the range or get to fiddle with the silly key.

    Given my rathers, all guns would remain loaded and ready at all times.
    Simply follow the 4 rules, and KEEP THEM SECURE from kids and druggie psychos.
    Keep muzzles aimmed in a safe direction even in storage.
     
  18. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    I made the simple decision not to buy a gun that has an intergal lock. I actually prefer no MIM also, but that is more a bias then a decision.

    Why reward companies that cave to lawyers?
     
  19. jdkelly

    jdkelly Member

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    My definitive statement for the definitive discussion.

    Locks are ugly! I'd have half a dozen more S&Ws if they didn't have locks.


    Respectfully,

    jdkelly
     
  20. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Smith & Wesson was purchased by a company that was in the firearms locks line of work.

    No internal locks in my gun safe, and especially not in my holster! Not now. Not ever.
     
  21. Hook686

    Hook686 Member

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    Today, 03:01 PM #12
    JohnBT
    Senior Member asked:




    In Kaleefornia they do.


    Hook686
     
  22. Hook686

    Hook686 Member

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    Today, 01:08 PM #14
    Boats
    Senior Member stated:



    Personally I have no negative attitude towards the lock on my 686. Actually I think it a very good idea for family types with children. My kides are now in their late 20's and enjoy telling me tales of their past behaviors. One story was that when I slept they would go into the storage room and go through the boxes. I one box in the 2nd row, under 2 other boxes, they found a 1970 Penthouse magazine. They were 5 and 7. They giggled and would bring their friends over and show them the pictures, and all would giggle. In their exporing the boxes, they came across my Ruger Single Six Convertable. Fortunately I had no ammunition stored in the boxes. I think I would have liked an integral lock on the hand gun while children were in the house. Now there is only me ... as Chesty Puller said when his unit was surrounded in WWI ... now I can shoot in any direction.

    I like the idea of the integral lock.

    Hook686
     
  23. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    For anyone that has kids. LOCK your guns, not to do this is irresponsible and could get someone killed, but I still don't need Smith to put a lock on my gun.
     
  24. Leaky Waders

    Leaky Waders Member

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    although everyone moans on this board....

    I doubt the locks hurt much of the firearms sales.

    Look at Springfield Armory, Remington, Beretta, Ruger...were they targeted by a presidential team of lawyers? I'm sure that there are others. People here tend to bash S&W over the others. I'm, not sure why.

    My take is, if I want a new revolver...a good one, from a company that's been designing weapons and loads on American soil for a long long time...a company that will stand behind their product, with a good track record of timely customer service: then I'll get S&W. Regardless of the present lock.

    That's why I already have a 686, 357 ladysmith, and am purchasing a 617 on Monday (ordered Friday...darn UPs won't deliver on the weekends) - all have the lock, with the bonus heritage/features listed above.

    My two locks worth ;)

    LW
     
  25. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Leaky Waders Quote – “ People here tend to bash S&W over the others. I'm, not sure why.”

    Maybe because this is the Handguns: Revolvers section. Smith & Wesson in the past made some very fine guns and to see what they have become bothers some people. It would be like if they put a big wart on the Statue of Liberties nose. Maybe that wouldn’t bother you, but I’m sure it would bother me.
     
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