Quantcast

Locks on a S&W

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Glock-IT, Sep 12, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Glock-IT

    Glock-IT Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    West Texas
    I am new here and am not trying to stir the pot but I don't understand the "big" deal about the internal locks on the new S&W handguns. I own a mod. 637 38 spl+p and I have had no problems with it. I have never locked it and I don't carry the keys. They stay with the original box and stuff in storage. To me they are as safe as you are. Am I missing something about the locks or is it just something nobody wants because the are a waste?
     
  2. Rokyudai

    Rokyudai Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    686
    Location:
    Texas
    It's a feel good solution to a question never asked to help the namby pamby bleeding heart left live along side people who know that 2A does not stand for this dreck.

    It does not to my knowledge add to or take away from the functionality of the gun. I don't know if I'm convinced that these somehow interfere to the extent others say they do. Bottom line, I don't like them and won't buy them for what they stand for which is control.


    ETA: Where are my manners... Welcome to the forum!!!
     
  3. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,665
    Ooooh, yes it does!

    I had no problem with the notion of a lock on the gun itself. There if I needed it, could be ignored if I didn't.

    That was BEFORE I learned on here that if the lock were to "fail" somehow (as every mechanical device can)...it would "default" to the LOCKED position. Leaving you with an expensive, short, and relatively lightweight CLUB with which to defend yourself...:what:
     
  4. Rokyudai

    Rokyudai Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    686
    Location:
    Texas
    Yeah Green Lantern, I remember that thread. I just wasn't convinced entirely. I'll agree with the theme to an extent since ultimately we agree they are bunk...maybe just for different reasons. ;)
     
  5. Glock-IT

    Glock-IT Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    West Texas
    Are there any documented cases that it failed and went to the default postion?
    I have put ,oh let's say... LOTS an LOTS, of rounds through mine and it's just like sitting down in a chair or getting in my truck and driving off. I never doubt the chair or the truck to do its job and I don't it in doiong it's job. I guess I look at things different. I mean any gun can fail as could the ammo. But we still depend on them regardless, right? I understand your points and appreciate you responces. As far as the the "namby pamby bleeding hearts" that have convinced them to apply theses safeties ... well I agree whole heartedly with you. I wouldn't have bought it either. (I traded for it at a show ;))
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2008
  6. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,092
    Location:
    North Carolina
    What I am waiting to see is a first hand account of the lock failing. I understand that any mechanical system can fail, but I'd like to have an objective analysis of just what kind of reliability this specific feature really has.
     
  7. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
    MO
    Lots. And lots. And more.

    Mostly with the lightweight magnums, but none are immune. Google it, or search the S&W forums, you'll find plenty. There are several well-respected gunwriters (both print and highly-read blogs) who have had S&W revolvers lock up - not uncommonly requiring gunsmith disassembly to fix.
     
  8. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Messages:
    2,261
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
  9. Glock-IT

    Glock-IT Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    West Texas
    Thanks for that info. What about the 38's though. Have they failed too? I was reading some of the other forums and they don't really mention a lot of the 38s failing mainly larger calibers. Maybe I should trade it off for something else.
     
  10. 18DAI

    18DAI Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,061
    Dr Sominex lectured us in mechanical engineering 101, that as you add more parts to a simple machine, increasing its complexity, reliability declines.

    The internal lock adds unnecesary parts to the revolver, thereby eliminating the two main reasons to buy a revolver, simplicity and reliability.

    S&W appears to be getting the message that many of us will not buy this crap.

    They have released lock free, new build 642's, and model 37's. RSR also has a new batch of lock free 442's due in.
     
  11. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,811
    Location:
    Port Charlotte, Fl.
    That's the problem...

    Let me bring you up to speed:

    1. Locks on a S&W are bad.
    2. Groove on the front of a 1911 slide are bad.
    3. .380 ACP is NOT a recommended caliber for self defence even though nobody will volunteer to be shot with one.
    4. MIM parts are crap.
    5. The racking of a pump shotgun instantly renders bad guys into quivering hunks of underwear staining flesh.
    6. Anything Col. Cooper says is gospel.
    7. Glocks are crap.
    8. Paying twice as much for a Sig when another gun is half the price and just a good as a performer is justifiable.
    9. Same goes with $1000 dollar and $500 1911s.

    That should about cover it.
     
  12. Glock-IT

    Glock-IT Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    West Texas
    Can I quote that as scripture?
     
  13. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,811
    Location:
    Port Charlotte, Fl.
    Pretty much...

    I was going to include "Taurus is crap" as #10, but that one's actually true. :)
     
  14. Hawk

    Hawk Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,512
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Internet scripture? Cool.

    I'm a bit more ambivalent about the lock thing.

    I don't care for the looks - that's subjective.

    It has a non-zero chance of glitching up - that makes it infinitely more likely for a lock-equipped revolver to have a lock-related problem than an non-lock equipped revolver to do so (duh) - division by zero and all that.

    I believe it's massively over-reported based on the following experiment:
    Enter the words "michael", "bane" and "lock" into Google or your favorite search engine. Looks like there's several dozen Michael Banes each of which had several lock incidents. Since there's only one Michael Bane reporting one incident I am forced to conclude that everyone, his horse and his half-brother has made note of the incident - in writing, repeatedly, on the intertubz. I believe we already have one in this thread. It's probably an exaggeration to state that Michael Bane's lock whoopsis has been reported 10,000 times but I'd bet it's at least a 1,000.

    I tend to be guided by those that actually sell or have sold the things. My favorite along those lines is this from May of '08:
    http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2008/05/lock-mess-monster.html
    <chortle>

    I (very) recently have caved in and have one such. Like the lady said, sometimes it's deal with the lock or deal without the gun. My preference is without the lock.

    I'm of the opinion that if one were to put a pencil to it, actual lock failures number far less than the number of other failures with anyone's revolvers. The lock is probably a bigger issue for those that actually believe revolvers never mess up anyway - that's more internet scripture - "six for sure", "always reliable". I've never bought into that gospel so I tend to view lock related failures as just another mote in a universe of guns screwing up anyway.
     
  15. capttom

    capttom Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    317
    Over at smith-wesson.com, there's a post on this subject. Sift out all the chaff of invective, hear-say, and opinion, the number of failures were incredibly small. Is the lock a danger? Not statistically. Is it a danger to you? I can't help on that question. Is it a danger to me? No. I have a 642 Airweight so equipped. I carry it as often as any other pistol.

    I can offer an occurrence from 25 years ago. I had an S&W 39-2, 9mm semi-auto. At the range one day, the safety failed in the safe position. I had to (carefully) fieldstrip the pistol. Although not a good description of what actually was wrong, the locking detent or spring slipped out of place. I was able to fix it at the firing bench with a small screwdriver and continue my practice. Did I get rid of the gun? After all, it was a machine and the mechanism failed. I kept and carried it for several more years. Currently I carry a Smith 908, the modern incarnation of the -39. They share the same safety design, AFAIK. I don't worry about the safety failing any more than I worry about the 642's safety.

    One gunner's opinion.
     
  16. Glock-IT

    Glock-IT Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    West Texas
    Thanks again.., I have yet to find any data that the mod. 637 internal locks have failed. From what I am finding it's mainly the larger calibers. 45,44,41,357 etc.., I found a case or two of the mod. 642 but I guess I'll keep searching.
     
  17. Hawk

    Hawk Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,512
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Were I a betting man, I'd wager you'll find more 642s light striking (factory stock) than auto-locking.

    That's why there's a market for this sort of stuff:
    http://www.cylinder-slide.com/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=prodshow&ref=124

    The difference is that if Michael Bane had an extended firing pin installed nobody would care.
    Nobody would incorporate it into their blog.
    And it would rarely be mentioned in threads. When it was, it would be "just one of those things", easily dealt with.

    Lock failures occur but when I was researching it there was some difficulty in determining if one had found 100 lock failures or 1 failure reported 100 times. The M. Bane incident really brought that home.
     
  18. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    3,592
    It's another mechanical thing -- out of many mechanical things on a revolver -- that can fail. The failure rate, IMO, is so small as to be worth dismissing, but it is a bit irritating that Smith is now adding useless widgets that can fail.

    The REAL problem, IMO, is simply that the darn thing is a constant reminder of a tiresome and litigious age. That's really what's got so many people purple-faced with rage, despite the fact that the lock isn't an especially big deal from a practical perspective.

    I've got a couple, including a .44 Special that gets loaded, occasionally, to .44 Magnum territory. So far the locks have been ignored and have not intruded. Both guns, however, did come from the factory with serious problems that are unacceptable on expensive guns, but that's fodder for another story. On the whole, I'd rather they didn't have locks (or the perfectly functional MIM parts, for that matter) but like the man said, we just have to deal with 'em, if we want to buy guns from the factory.
     
  19. Phydeaux642

    Phydeaux642 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,693
    I was in my local "toy store" not long ago and the gun counter manager was telling me that another customer had his new S&W with the IL lock up within the first two cylinders of ammo. It was, of course, a scandium revolver with magnum loads being put through it.

    My 642 has been reliable so far and is much more accurate than my other, non-IL, 642 that I just purchased recently so I like it a little better.

    I wonder if any of the locks are in a "half locked" position from the factory and eventually lock completely after heavy loads have been put through them. I'm not sure "half locked" is even possible, but the first thing that I did with mine was lock it. I then unlocked it and put the key in the box to never be touched again.
     
  20. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    5,508
    Well, I know someone who had it happen to him. Prior to that I tended to dismiss or downplay the possibility (since I owned five or six at the time, perhaps the more accurate term was denial). After his experience I decided to do some more research.

    While not an everyday occurence, it's hardly an isolated one. Care to take a guess as to how many ILS-equipped S&W revolvers reside in my safe (or holster) today? Let me give you a hint; it's a round number...a very round number. :)
     
  21. MBane666

    MBane666 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    244
    You know, that's a fair question...100 lock failures or my lock failure 100 times. In truth, I don't know the answer myself. I got the gun back from Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision — who specifically asked me to send him the gun — he kept it four months and elected to do nothing to it "on advice of counsel." Neat-o, huh?

    The net is that I have a 329 I like but don't trust. I plan to shoot it s bunch if I ever get done with traveling like a crazy person and see what it does. I can't imagine, however, that I would EVER feel secure loading it with .44 Magnum heavy bullet loads...

    Michael B
     
  22. jjohnson

    jjohnson Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,181
    Location:
    Rochester, Minnesoviet
    No, you're not missing anything. Welcome, by the way, new guy.

    The lock is called a "Hillary Hole" by those of us who refuse to buy a new S&W because it insults us. There are still thousands and thousands of new and nearly new S&Ws without locks to be had, way more than I will ever need, so I for one, won't buy a new S&W until they "get their minds right" or I die.
     
  23. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    9,326
    Location:
    Hoosieropolis
    What about locks on Rugers, Glocks, HK's, Bersas, Taurii, Remingtons, Walthers, or Springfield Armory guns? Do those insult you too, or are you only sensitive to the ones on Smiths?
     
  24. Hawk

    Hawk Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,512
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX
    While disappointing that storage gizmos would be treated as factory safeties when gunsmiths are discussing liability it's probably not at all surprising.

    However, Grant Cunningham chimed in on Tamara's "Lock Mess Monster". I'm reading it that the flag might be modified without changing the function of the little beast. Since the thing remains intact it might allow our 'smiths to modify the product without their lawyers getting apoplexy. One can hope, at any rate.

    I'd rather like to know a bit more about that. Sounds almost like something a Stroh could do without exposing his tort, as it were.
     
  25. jjohnson

    jjohnson Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,181
    Location:
    Rochester, Minnesoviet
    Answer for Tamara

    Tamara Said:
    Yes, they insult me as well. :fire:

    I learned to shoot 46 years ago and fire more in a year than most shooters will shoot in a lifetime. I learned early to not put your finger in the trigger guard unless you were ready to discharge a firearm. This was reinforced in my military service, rifle coach days, and LE firearms training.

    I don't need lawyers to tell me how to conduct myself at a range, politicians to tell me what I should own, or manufacturers to dumb down their designs for me. :cuss:

    Smith & Wesson has a special place on my s**t list for putting locks on revolvers that I like, but oh yes, all of them offend me.:banghead:

    Thanks. I feel better now. :scrutiny: Sort of.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
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