Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by halfmoonclip, Apr 26, 2022.
Did I miss a memo, or has Smith & Wesson finally had an epiphany about the locks?
See link posted above to the Smith & Wesson website for more accurate information.
Hmm ... When I ordered a 642 eight or ten years ago, my friendly local FFL asked me "Lock or no lock?" Maybe he was mistaken, or just joking.
My 642 has a lock.
Not 100% sure but I'm thinking I bought it (new) in '09.
Never had a problem with it and, I have shot the heck out of it but, if I would've known at the time about some production runs not having the lock I absolutely would've bought it instead (just the purist coming out in me)
I had to special order my Model 642 no-lock, I wasn't going to settle when I knew it was still being made without the hole.
Since the hammerless guns which have an internal hammer lack a external slot, the Flag is not visible. The only way to know if the lock is engaged is to pull the trigger.
That is a safety Hazzard, and I am surprised if S&W hasn't been sued as a result because it is a serious design and safety flaw.
Good, valid points that I had never considered.
I have fired mine (a lot~900) to ensure reliability but ignored the lock completely from the beginning never considering the systems integration and operation on a concealed/interior hammer design.
ETA: while I'm getting older, I'm not ready to start handing down my collection to my children yet and that lock, in addition to adding a unnecessary complexity to what always was a simple, solid, reliable design, does entail a different "manual of arms"; no "flag" to indicate if it's locked or not, pulling the trigger just to find out...
I don't know if I'd call this an epiphany but, it's a scenario I hadn't considered before.
Has Smith & Wesson ever been sued because a lock engaged when it shouldn’t have on any of their revolvers?
Not trying to start an argument. I have searched for this a few times with no results.
Oh, there’s a lot of commentary regarding the lock but I can find no internet evidence of an internal lock engaging on its own at a critical time.
I am not saying it hasn’t happened, I am saying I can’t find anything.
One interesting point that I did find, but can’t find now, is that “incidents of the lock inadvertently engaging is purely anecdotal because any part can fail rendering the gun inoperable”. I believe that argument was someone’s reasoning that the lock is no better or worse than any other gun part.
I have S&W guns with the lock and without. I have never had an issue with a lock engaging, but then, I have never had any part break on an S&W revolver that rendered it inoperable…YET!
The argument there is that while that is true, the inclusion of the lock includes more parts and thus more chances for the gun to fail at a critical time.
Most reports of the lock failing are of the "a friend of a friend had one!". Local gunsmith told me that all of the guns brought in to him because of "internal lock failure" were locked up because of something else.
I'm not saying it has never happened or doesn't happened, just that it doesn't happen as much as few want us to believe. The argument against the lock has kinda drifted from the possibility of failure to one of "esthetics" or "principle", you know, the "ugly Hillary Hole". When the lock first came out, it was to be the doom of S&W unless they immediately succumbed to the pressure from complete lack of sales. Ruger's stock dropped ten times the rate of S&W stock today. Just sayin'......
Another thing that I find humorous is the MIM parts complaints regarding S&W revolvers but other manufacturers get a pass.
360 and 360 PDs are/were available both with and without lock. Both have external hammers.
The lock has nothing to do with the type of hammer and has absolutely nothing to do with "need".
That said I've owned lock and no lock versions of the above mentioned models. I've also owned a 637 with the lock. I fired some pretty stout 38 special ammo including +p and +p+. I've also shot full power magnums through the 340/360 guns I've owned. I never had a lock engage on it's own. Of course it can happen I'm sure, anything CAN happen but the more I researched this I wasn't able to find a single case that was documented of it actually occuring.
I could be wrong about this last one but i believe and someone please correct me if I'm wrong here. But I believe I read a few places that said the lock on the S&W revolvers engages opposite of the recoil impulse. Meaning down instead of up. I think a lot of the lock debate is mostly political and passionately based vs. more than face based. Which is fine to each their own. I prefer a no lock model of the same gun given the choice. But to me it's more about looks than the very slim chance of the lock malfunctioning.
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