In 2001 S&W was purchased by Saf-T-Hammer; the inventor and patent holder of "the lock". This wasn't a case of S&W's former owners saying "hey, lets incorporate a stupid useless feature in our guns just for fun". It was a patent holder looking for a platform to get their product out there in hopes of it catching on. It didn't. I don't like the lock either but it's presence or absence on any particular gun I'm considering buying has no influence on my decision.