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Intregal Revolver Locks

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Catpop, Jan 19, 2019.

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  1. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Other than atheistics and possibile future valve appreciation, does an integral special key revolver lock affect or could affect the functionality of a revolver?
    Has there ever been a case of a malfunctioning integral revolver lock rendering the revolver inoperable?
     
  2. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Oh boy, I'll be back in a second with a big bag of popcorn...
     
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  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    The most credible report was from Michael Bane on his blog. He reported to have filmed a S&W lock stopping the gun from firing while testing. He said he would post it the next day because it was late but of course that never happened. Two days later the original blog disappeared and emails were ignored. I'm guessing S&W threatened to pull their advertising from the many TV shows he has but that's only a guess. (but a good guess)

    For some reason, even though S&W has different owners than those who made the deal to install the locks they refused to suspend installing them. They know they are bad and prove it by offering no lock guns to police agencies and in the most popular J frame revolver with Centennial frames.

    If the default state was not locked I would not care but it's not. If that tiny spring fails the default state is locked. I guess they don't want to admit the locks were wrong by no longer using them.

    Just my 2¢...
     
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  4. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I started a horrendous thread on this topic several years ago regarding S&W revolvers. The reports from participants was something like a 5% failure rate. If everyone was to be believed that is, and people weren't skewing the results due to their dislike of the locks without actual failures. Plus it represents a sample of a the participants on THR, which is only a sample of all the S&W lock guns out there.

    I think the bottom line is it's another set of moving parts that can fail.

    I don't let that bother me though.
     
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  5. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    Yes there are several individual accounts of this happening. For the vast majority of users I do not suspect the lock is a problem.

    This is just as good a thread as any for reference.

    http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-re...562864-s-w-lock-failure-finally-happened.html

    I have a Taurus auto with a key lock. I simply ignore the lock. If i owned a revolver with a lock i think i would follow the suggestion in the thread and buy/install the lock delete from the company mentioned in the thread.

    It’s 6-5 and pick ‘em, as far as I’m concerned. Arguments for and against leaving them alone, and for and against deleting them or buying revolvers without them. Individual choice is still a thing we can enjoy to some degree, and it appears to apply here. YMMV.
     
  6. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Smith integral locks have malfunctioned & tied up the guns.
    I knew Bane, it happened to him.
    It happened to Mas Ayoob, I also know him.
    And it happened at a training session for one state agency here where my brother-in-law witnessed it.
    I trust the veracity of all three.

    I've never heard of a Taurus lock activating itself, different mechanism.
    Same with those Rugers that had it.
    Denis
     
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  7. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    The lock is what keeps me from buying a 327 PC revolver. I’d love to have one but I’m nervous about the lock failing. Maybe someday I’ll get over it or they will offer them without it.
     
  8. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    I have passed on many S&W's that I wanted due to that lock in them. I REALLY hate them on their new "classic" line as it is NOT classic in anyway. Plus, I don't trust the locks.
     
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  9. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I ran out popcorn so I will chime in with my $.02 for all the more it is worth. I have seen very few well documented lock failures in stock S&W revolvers. Seems like many (certainly not all) involved revolvers that have had trigger work done and/or aftermarket part swapped in.

    I own five (ETA make it six, forgot about the new M29) S&W revolvers, one has the internal lock. The lock is in my current USPSA revolver, a 627 PC that I have been using in competition since late 2013. Several years and many thousands round later the only time I think about that lock is when I run into a thread such as this.

    YMMV
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
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  10. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I've always been curious as to what percentage of people who own revolvers with locks actually employ them. My guess is, not very many.
     
  11. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Trigger work & aftermarket parts have nothing to do with the S&W lock failures.

    The three cases I mentioned were "documented", at least to a degree.
    Bane & Ayoob both published theirs for public consumption.

    The one my brother-in-law (a retired cop & former firearms instructor like me) witnessed was during a qualification for agents of the Utah State Attorney General's Office when he worked there.
    That one the agency did not publish, but my bro-in-law personally saw it happen to one fellow agent with a Smith J-Frame snub.

    These failures are more common in lighter Smiths, but have happened in larger Smiths.
    The percentages are low, but in answer to the original poster's question- yes, they have occurred.
    Denis
     
  12. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I’m glad that the Taurus lock got brought up because it seems like a much better design. I can’t imagine the Taurus lock failing and tying the gun up. I can absolutely see the S&W lock tying up the gun.

    Sorry...not to start arguments or causevthread drift... I find it amazing how so many people simply dismiss Taurus as inferior when in reality they are pretty similar on many points, and on others the difference is debatable. The lock is probably the biggest difference and it is an easy judgement to give that little victory to Taurus.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
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  13. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    The hammer lock on my Taurus 85 doesn't move. I don't use the lock and it flat doesn't move unless I make it move . . . with a key.

    Same goes for the hammer block lock on my Taurus TCP and the same goes for the lock in my Bersa Firestorm. They don't move unless you use the key.

    Then there is my Ruger Single Six where the lock is hidden under the grips. It hasn't moved unless I make it move . . . with a key.

    I've never owned a S&W with the lock, but the few I've fired with the lock worked fine. Not like I did long term testing though.

    I'll admit, I'd prefer guns without built in lock mechanisms. Especially self defense guns, but so far I've had no issues with the locks that my guns have.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
  14. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I think trigger work (especially by hack gunsmith) can and has effected the lock's function in some of these failure cases. It would be hard to say it hasn't when those parts, specifically the hammer, interacts with with lock and we all know what a mess a hack gunsmith and a Dremel can create.

    Links to documented case if you have them. I like reading them as a reference.
     
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  15. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    The only two "documented" cases I gave are Bane & Ayoob.
    Those were, as I recall, on unaltered guns.
    The Utah AG's incident involved an un-altered snub, alterations (to the best of my knowledge) not allowed there.

    I don't see how triggers & aftermarket parts CAN cause S&W lock failures.
    The lock doesn't operate off either part.
    Denis
     
  16. mcb

    mcb Member

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    As I understand it hammers do interact with the lock since it's a hammer block. A couple of the alleged cases I saw a few years ago involved skeletonized or aftermaket hammers.

    I have also never seen a good explination (cause and effect failure chain) for the failure. If it was truely a design problem you should be able to force it to fail in a laboratory setting. If you create the right set of part tolerances (MMC/LMC), environmental conditiond, recoil impulse etc you should be able to force it to happen much much more often than we currently see in production guns. I have never seen that done either.

    Ultimately they are easy enough to avoid or remove for those that don't like them. If nothing else they are a devisive subject for sure.
     
  17. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

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    The only one I have is on my 460XVR and it has never locked up. I lost the key so I hope it never does. And yes, I have shot many 300 and 360 grain heavy loads.
     
  18. Drail

    Drail Member

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    To me the question is if the lock device has any possibility whatsoever to engage and prevent the gun from firing then it serves no useful purpose in the real world. It is not a matter of how many documented cases can you find - it's simply a question of is it possible? And if it is - you don't want it on a business gun. There's a whole slew of factors involved on the possibility of self engagement - weight of the gun - weight of the bullet and power of the load - how the gun is gripped etc. etc. But if it is anyway possible then that's one pinball machine I ain't dropping a quarter into...... I own a bunch of S&W revolvers but they're all really old pre lock models. (that means they're dangerous - it's a miracle the human race wasn't wiped out a hundred years ago by all those unlocked guns)
     
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  19. Lyle Wyatt

    Lyle Wyatt Member

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    Even if hack trigger jobs are what's causing the locks to "lock up", if there were no locks on the these revolvers, there would be nothing to "lock up".
     
  20. Drail

    Drail Member

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    The way the lock is designed and the tolerance stacking and sloppy fitting technique is all that is necessary for the lock to get in the way of the hammer - no hack smithing is needed. The first time I examined a S&W lock revolver I had to shake my head. To take something as reliable and refined as a S&W lockwork and then intentionally screw it up is just stupid. I'm sure the Clintons and the SafTLock clowns thought it was just great though.
     
  21. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    Mechanical engineering 101 - as you add parts and complexity, to a simple machine, reliability goes down.

    I personally observed two J frames lock up tight on the police range during qualifications. Both had to be disassembled to unload them. The s&w IL guns were put on the prohibited list right after that. That was.........2004....2005?

    Evidently many agencies did the same thing. Because just a year or so later, the company calling itself s&w started making lock free J frames again. Even after years of the fanboys assuring everyone that "the lock is here to stay!".

    Tits on a bull. That is what the IL is. S&W went out of business in 2001as far as I'm concerned. And I don't miss them anymore. I have a nice new K6. :)
     
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  22. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    The worst part about the ILS is, it's a storage device, not a safety. An external trigger lock and cable works better, is faster to use and once it's removed, it's gone. No so with the ILS which it fails locks the trigger and can get you killed.

    It's a useless storage locking device, not a safety!
     
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  23. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    I would happily buy a lock equipped gun and have the lock removed but I’ve read too many comments from folks suggesting it could be a liability to have the nerve to do so. It’s truly a bummer because some of their innovative designs have come during the era of the lock.
     
  24. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    I want a 5-inch 629 Classic but as long as S&W persists in making them with the infernal lock, I'll keep looking on the used market.
     
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  25. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    The lock

    That's why my revolvers are Rugers----and why I refuse to buy a new S&W
     
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