View Full Version : A Smith and Wesson question.
Mas, I highly respect your professional opinion so let me see if I can get this question out the way I want to. First off, I hope it's ok to post this here as it doesn't fit into any other category in the GATE forums. My question is in regards to S&W revolvers and the internal lock. I want to still carry my new gen 686 which has the internal lock. I have heard some (supposedly true) internet stories (taken with a grain of salt of course) that there have been some issues with the locks engaging by themselves when the gun was fired? Is there any truth to this and is it something that I should be concerned with in a carry gun Smith and Wesson brand or otherwise? It may sound like a stupid question but I would really hate to have a problem like this if I should ever need my sidearm (God forbid.) Again, I'm sorry if this question isn't exactly in context to the SD forum but since it sort of relates, I'll grit my teeth and see if I get scolded (LOL!) Thanks and take care. :wavey:
NEOH212, there have been some documented failures of the IL (internal lock) in firing, but they have been few and far between. Some time ago on the S-W forum, there was a long discussion thread (no longer archived, unfortunately) in which I counted about 19 reports. Cases I've documented from reliable sources seem to be almost always very light revolvers firing very powerful cartridges. The two most common seem to be the 26 ounce Model 329 with full power .44 Magnum, and the 11 ounce Model 340 PD with full power .357 Magnum. The very violent recoil of such high powered rounds in such light guns causes extreme buffeting to the tiny parts in the IL. I also know of one case when an all-steel S&W spontaneously locked its IL when dropped to a hard floor: again, very hard impacts jarring very small parts.
I'm not seeing the problem in the 686, FWIW.
Removing or disabling the lock creates an opportunity for opposing counsel to argue that the owner is so reckless, he deactivates the safety devices on lethal weapons, and so arrogant that he thinks he knows more about the gun than the manufacturer. Should you choose to go that route, you want to download hard copies of threads on the various gun fora where IL failures have been reported, so you have evidence to support your decision. While that excellent thread mentioned above is no longer archived, one you might use is the sticky titled "Massad Ayoob on the Internal Lock" in the concealed carry section at www.smith-wessonforum.com. It grew out of a discussion some months ago in my blog at www.backwoodshome.com, and migrated.
Again for what it's worth, I shot two of my last 3 IDPA matches with a Performance Center S&W 625 with working lock, shooting full power Rem-UMC .45 hardball (194000 power factor, only 165000 required for ESR division) and experienced no functional problems whatsoever. One of my regular EDCs is the S&W 340 M&P (love the sights, best S&W ever put on a carry J-frame!) which has had many rounds of full .357 Mag through it w/no problems. It is slightly heavier than the 340 PD, which seems to help in that regard. I carry it with 135 grain Gold Dot +P .38 Special; lock is intact, no problems yet, and I don't worry about it. As always, YMMV.
Thank you very much for your reply sir. I really appreciate it! Take care. :wavey:
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