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

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by P. Plainsman, Aug 27, 2007.

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  1. P. Plainsman

    P. Plainsman Member

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    Posted today on TV personality and THR member Michael Bane's blog:

    http://michaelbane.blogspot.com/2007/08/s-revolver-safety-failure.html

    4" Ruger Redhawk, anyone?
     
  2. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    For the record, and for anyone reviewing this thread later:

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

    We suspect Ruger will start doing locks on DAs at some point...we'll have to analyze that design later.
     
  3. M1 Shooter

    M1 Shooter Member

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    This is one reason why I will not buy a new S&W revolver. I will go out of my way to buy an older pre-lock S&W, and I suspect I'm not the only one.
     
  4. Action_Can_Do

    Action_Can_Do Member

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    Funny. Everytime I hear of a S&W lock failing, it is a 329.:scrutiny:
     
  5. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    This wouldn't happen if they'd hold the gun sideways.:neener:
     
  6. hexidismal

    hexidismal Member

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    I'm with you. I have several smiths now and still buying.. no locks. The way I see it it's an answer to a problem that never existed. Does anyone actually use the locking mechanism on their handgun ? ANYONE ? I don't think I've ever talked to anyone who used it more than maybe once just to play with it when they first bought a gun.
     
  7. azredhawk44

    azredhawk44 Member

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    Also why I went out and chose to augment my 5.5" redhawk with a 4" little brother, instead of a 629 or 329.
     
  8. Ghost Walker

    Ghost Walker Member

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    Internal action locks suck - Period!
     
  9. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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

    BikerRN member

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

    Biker
     
  11. Troutman

    Troutman member

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    <<too have avoided S&Ws with locks; there are just too many good pre-locks out there for me to consider buying a Clintonista Special.>>

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

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

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


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

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

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

    fletcher Member

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

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

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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

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

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

    Troutman member

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

    No. Because……

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

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

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

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


    That’s why……

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

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


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

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

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


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

    Jim Watson Member

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    I think Massad Ayoob has some accounts of lightweight .357s self-locking. Seems to be a connection between light weight and hard kicking calibers.

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

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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

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

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

    buzz_knox Member

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

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

    buzz_knox Member

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    That's consistent with the design of the mechanism. The parts move from front to rear to set the lock. High levels of recoil would naturally cause the parts to "want" to move into the locked position. If the tolerances aren't right or the weight of the parts is insuffucient, the parts can move far enough to lock the system up.
     
  19. M1 Shooter

    M1 Shooter Member

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    IMHO, I think S&W's lock is the poorest designed of all the integral locks out there. I've never heard of any other maker's lock failing like this.

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

    campbell Member

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    Let's be clear who we're talking about here. Stroh ain't the "Just Brakes" of pistolsmithing. Jim Stroh has been in business over 25 years, is on the board of the American Pistolsmiths Guild, and is widely regarded as one of the top revolversmiths in the country. The kind of guy mentioned in the same breath with Hamilton Bowen and Dave Clements.
     
  21. pdowg881

    pdowg881 Member

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    Can someone explain to me what the internal lock is and how it works?
     
  22. Troutman

    Troutman member

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

    Agreed!


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Can somebody explain to me why anyone would want to lock a gun?

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

    Cosmoline Member

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    This sounds like a dangerous product defect. S&W's lawyers may be driving the company right into court.
     
  25. YosemiteSam357

    YosemiteSam357 Member

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    I find it amusing that a lock implemented by a company named "Saf-T-Hammer" is causing problems. Not to "Saf", eh?

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

    -- Sam
     
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