Let's settle the S&W internal lock debate once and for all!!! Read instructions!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by 460Shooter, Feb 26, 2014.

?

S&W Internal Lock Problem?

Poll closed Mar 28, 2014.
  1. I've owned 1 S&W revolver with an internal lock, and had no problem.

    71 vote(s)
    40.1%
  2. I've owned 2 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    39 vote(s)
    22.0%
  3. I've owned 3 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    21 vote(s)
    11.9%
  4. I've owned 4 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    13 vote(s)
    7.3%
  5. I've owned 5 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    8 vote(s)
    4.5%
  6. I've owned 6 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    7 vote(s)
    4.0%
  7. I've owned 7 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    3 vote(s)
    1.7%
  8. I've owned 8 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    1 vote(s)
    0.6%
  9. I've owned 9 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. I've owned 10 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    1 vote(s)
    0.6%
  11. I've owned 11 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. I've owned 12 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    1 vote(s)
    0.6%
  13. I've owned 13 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  14. I've owned 14 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  15. I've owned 15 S&W revolvers with internal locks, and had no problem.

    3 vote(s)
    1.7%
  16. I've had 1 S&W revolver that had a problem with the internal lock. Post the number of good.

    6 vote(s)
    3.4%
  17. I've had 2 S&W revolvers that had a problem with the internal lock. Post the number of good.

    2 vote(s)
    1.1%
  18. I've had 3 S&W revolvers that had a problem with the internal lock. Post the number of good.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  19. I've had 4 S&W revolvers that had a problem with the internal lock. Post the number of good.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  20. I've had 5 S&W revolvers that had a problem with the internal lock. Post the number of good.

    1 vote(s)
    0.6%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Manny

    Manny Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,046
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    I had a 5" M60 with the lock that locked up when cocked loaded with a full cylinder of live ammo. It was my one & only, gone soon after and I avoided further problems by never purchasing another. I voted one bad.
     
  2. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    8,509
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    I have three with lock and 1 without, no lock incidents, but only one (with lock) that was used for all day carry. That one has been replaced by an exceptional Security Six, so it will be sold to someone who might use it.
     
  3. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    12,673
    original post edited
     
  4. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    8,600
    Nice thing about internet forums, folks don't worry about being identified, nor do they feel they need to always be truthful. Odds are that person who voted he had 5 different lock failures with 5 different guns has never owned a S&W.
     
  5. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    23,500
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    Do you plan to normalize the poll results such that round count for a given gun is accomodated? It would seem that an owner's experience with a gun with 400 rounds through it is not the same as the ownership experience with a gun with 15K rounds thru it...
     
  6. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    12,673
    That is absolutely true, and I did consider that fact. Unfortunately I don't really see any practical way to go about it in a number gathering exercise of this type. I thought about putting a minimum round count on a gun to make it eligible. But I think a lot of folks don't really keep track of that. Then we get into agreeing on the criteria of ownership and sufficient round count to consider an ILS as passing or failing. If you have any suggestions I'm certainly open to them.

    So these numbers will not have any real statistically significance. It's just going to be a simple percentage.

    Of corse the most obvious flaw is that you have to assume people are being honest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  7. VA27

    VA27 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,884
    Location:
    Slovenly Manor, Dungheap-Upon-The-Hill
    I had one. Never a problem.

    Somebody with a better memory than mine can correct me if I'm wrong (a distinct possibility according to my ex-wife), but didn't the company who invented the lock and couldn't sell it to anyone, buy S&W in order to get the lock on the market? If that's the case then there is zero chance that the lock is going away.
     
  8. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,414
    Location:
    Delaware home of tax free shopping
    It's no problem to remove the flag mechanism that locks the hammer, and that is what I did on 5 of the 6 I own. The 6th one still has the flag (N frame .45 acp) and after a couple thousand rounds (or more) there have been no problems. BTW the Flags and keys are all taped to the inside cover of the manual that came with each of the revolvers for the use or non use of a future owner should the gun be sold.
    The first I removed it from was my 642 I did not like the fact that the flag was not visible when locked on a gun I carry for self defense. Idid have one gun bought used a629 mountain gun that did have a lock problem. When the key was turned to the unlocked position the flag would not fall all of the time, it would stcik in the up position. I removed the flag immediately after purchase and no problem since. It could of been because of the slicking up done by the previous owner which had been done very well indeed so I hesitate to blame it on the lock being defective.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  9. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    886
    Location:
    JAX, FLA.
    THE FACT:
    637 using MagTech .38 Special non +P had 3 or 4 lock ups. After playing with the trigger and hammer everything would go back into place.

    The flag was up just enough to feel it, but not fully in the engaged position.

    No trouble with other brand's including the carry brand of 158 grain Hydra Shocks.

    I, only have a couple of hundred rounds threw it because itis uncomfortable to shoot.

    I, have a couple of billion dry fires.

    I, can not count my Classic 27 tendency to become very stiff because I am not sure that it is the lock. But I really hope that is the cause because it will be remedied this weekend.

    If not the lock, then I, guess the dinosaurs are right.
     
  10. meef

    meef Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    Oregon
    460Kodiak - post #3:
    They certainly do have the option, and have exercised it at least once that I can personally attest to.

    I have a Model 442 Pro (that uses moon clips) that has no internal lock. And it was definitely manufactured since the internal lock became standard for S&W revolvers.

    Don't know why they chose to eliminate it for this gun, but sure enough.
     
  11. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,907
    Location:
    Arizona
    Once, while discussing a heated issue of the day with a friend he remarked, “On most any subject you will have people who believe as you do, and others that equally disagree, and finely in the middle a much, much greater number who frankly don’t give a darn.”

    This is one of those issues, largely comprised of a combination of reason and emotion.

    It’s no secret that I prefer older revolvers (and by “older” I mean those that were made before Bangor-Punta purchased the company from the Wesson extended family in 1965). I can support my opinion with considerable experience and knowledge, but this doesn’t (and shouldn’t) mean that anyone else is required to believe the same.

    There should be no argument, because between current, recent and past production – often is great quantities – anyone can find and obtain what ever floats their boat.

    While the merits of old vs. new will always be debatable, no one is obligated to march in lockstep with any particular viewpoint. Personally I would be devastated if everyone agreed with me, because the likely result would be skyrocketing prices that would make what I look for prohibitively expensive.

    Also I would hope that the demand for currently made guns didn’t drop to the point where Smith & Wesson abandoned revolver production altogether.

    Carry on… ;)
     
  12. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    3,141
    Location:
    Northwest IL--the other 'Downstate'
    We have some newer 64-7s at work in the armory. I pointed out the lock hole and inquired where the keys were kept---and no one knew. I hope it never comes up.....
     
  13. Glocktogo

    Glocktogo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    148
    [QUOTEBecause you disabled the lock? Does this mean you had issues before you disabled it? If not then there is no way to prove it's flawless because you blocked it. ][/QUOTE]

    Disabled before I ever shot it and yes, that was sarcasm. Why did I disable it? Because it served no functional purpose on my competition gun and was another potential failure point. When you spend as much time, money and effort as I have shooting major matches, you don't leave stuff like that to chance. That's even more applicable to a self-defense gun IMO.

    I won't go further at the OP's request.
     
  14. JFrame

    JFrame Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,680
    Location:
    Next to a reclaimed patch of swampland called D.C.
    Dang -- I can't believe I mis-counted my locked S&W's...I actually have five, rather than the four I answered in the poll above (with no problems).

    Sorry, Kodiak -- please adjust the numbers if you like...Otherwise, no biggie... swoon2.gif

    .
     
  15. Blueduck

    Blueduck Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,184
    Yes the company was purchased by Saf-T-Hammer in 2001, they then changed the name to S/W Holding Corp.

    So it could be said in some truth that S/W is a lock company, that just happens to include revolvers with some of it's lock purchases :evil:
     
  16. joed

    joed Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,707
    Location:
    Ohio
    I owned 3 S&W revolvers with locks and never had a problem. I would buy a new one without hesitation.
     
  17. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,005
    Location:
    Within the lightning of realization
    I've ordered a M&P 340 which came from the first production run. I've used it hard. Never had a problem with the ILS.

    You really have high hopes to "settle this debate once and for all"? Really? :scrutiny:

    Having been through a S&W revolver armorer class, I had a chance to exchange info with other LE armorers. I've also spoken to different folks at the factory this subject (being curious), including armorer instructors and repair techs. I've also seen a lot of new-style revolvers with the ILS come through range sessions. (None have acted up for their owners, yet.)

    A potential problem with taking a non-scientific "poll" of private owners is that you have no way to knowing the actual circumstances involved in any reported instances of ILS "problems", nor the ability of any particular owner to properly & correctly identify a range of problems which they might assume are "lock problems".

    I've learned of new-style revolvers being returned for warranty repair for owner-reported "lock problems", but when the guns were examined at the factory it turned out that it wasn't a lock problem at all.

    I remember when the owner of a new 617 brought his revolver to us (another S&W revolver and I) because it "wasn't working right". Looking at the gun, the cylinder wouldn't carry up, and the trigger and hammer felt as if they were catching on something, and then quickly they wouldn't move at all. Opening the sideplate, it turned out that the trigger hand spring had become bent, mangled and then "cut", and had eventually jammed the mechanism.

    That must have been the time for spring breakage, though, as it was about the same time that another guy brought in his mid-70's vintage M36 nickel because the cylinder wouldn't turn unless you tipped the gun at a downward angle. (Hint) The old-style hand spring had snapped. The broken piece was glued inside the frame by a few decade's worth of goo.

    I had an old-style 649 that had the trigger & hammer lock up tight. It was a pre-MIM/ILS model I'd bought new. The revolver armorer of that time easily corrected a couple small problems.

    FWIW, I've personally experienced, and witnessed as an armorer & firearms instructor, a LOT more problems with the older style S&W revolvers (60's-90's) than I have yet to see with new-style MIM revolvers. A number of things can occur that can cause a revolver to "lock up", even if it doesn't have a lock. ;)

    FWIW, the itty bitty dog-leg spring that anchors the locking arm ("flag", if you'd rather) slips under a recessed spot in the channel in which the bolt moves. I noticed during the armorer class that if you opened the frame, removed the hammer and bolt (as if some owners don't do this to "polish & improve" things :rolleyes: ), and then tipped the frame on the right side, the locking arm could shift (of its own weight) and pull the spring leg out from under the recess (no bolt next to it). If the locking arm isn't properly installed (anchoring the torque lock spring's bottom leg), the locking arm has no tension holding it down under recoil forces.

    People are going to believe what they want to believe, or what they feel comfortable believing, or what makes them feel good believing ...

    That original M&P 340 I mentioned? I later bought another one when the No-Lock model was released. Thought the No-Lock variation was sufficient excuse to buy another one. :)

    The one I shoot the most and carry the most? The one with the ILS (lock). Go figure.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  18. Saleen322

    Saleen322 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    533
    Location:
    Western PA
    I have 2 S&Ws with locks that I have had no issues with. However I did not put anything in the poll as I can't ever remember using the lock in either one so if you never used it, I don't know if that counts as it not failing.
     
  19. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    12,673
    No not really. It's just a tactic to get people to come in to the thread and hit the poll. Like I said in my op, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. I just want to gather basic numbers to shed a little light on the IL fears that seem to be expressed by some forum members, in an admittedly simplified poll. You are absolutely correct. A very in depth study with much tighter criteria would be needed to establish truly significant results, but I think that would require a rather detailed online questionnaire. And I'm no web guru, so I'm keeping it simple. If someone else comes up with a better idea, I'm totally in favor of asking a mod to lock this thread, and participate in someone else's data collection. I'm not prideful. Just curious.

    Salern322, I'd count those two. Since the concern a lot of folks have is fear of the locks engaging due to regular recoil and use, your count. So go ahead and vote.

    No worries JFrame. I appreciate the correction. I'll add one for you based on this post when sorting through the posts. I figure I'll take stock once a week or so of the posts and keep a running tally of add ons.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  20. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,135
    Location:
    MN
    I have 2 with and 5 without. No problems but still would rather not have them.
     
  21. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,247
    Location:
    Colorado Front Range
    I have had one S&W with the lock and that gun had lock problems.
     
  22. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    8,509
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    Given your screen name, should we guess that it was a big caliber with hot loads, most of the formula for known incidents?
     
  23. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,419
    Sooo...... Don't keep us in suspense, what happened?
     
  24. 2ndamd

    2ndamd Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    587
    Location:
    Brownsville thru El Paso
    There is no debate.
    The lock sometimes works and sometimes fails.
     
  25. Dframe

    Dframe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,249
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    The lock is an annoying feature but all the fury seems to be a tempest in a tea pot. I own several now and have fired thousands of rounds through them with no problems of any kind. I simply ingore it. Probably would have thrown away the key but kept it "just in case". It's in the box stored away, where it will stay. The actions on mine are smooth as glass, and I've dropped my objections to more modern lock parts.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice