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Hello. This topic comes up from time to time on other sites and has been discussed here as well and I wanted to see how folks here feel about the NIB S&W revolvers having the integral key lock. Please do not get into politics or why S&W did this. Keep the answers related only to the guns themselves and your preferences.

My own preference is w/o the locks and I personally do not care to own one with such. That does not mean that everyone or even anyone else will agree.

The reason for this is that I have personally seen two lock-equipped S&W revolvers "self-engage" when being fired, though I didn't see this on the same day. I have also seen more that worked just fine.

I am satisfied that most S&W's with the lock work fine and that the problem-rate is quite small, but that your gun's hanging up due to the lock being "statistically insignificant" is pretty meaningless if it should fail in a bad situation.

Best and thanks in advance.
 

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Mr. Camp,

I will absolutely NOT own one. They are a hazard. There is a board, which I will not mention here because I just don't want to flood it, where there is, IIRC, a whole FORUM dedicated to this problem and its fixes. It is much more common than generally known.

The Taurus clones do not seem to have this problem because of the location of the lock.

Josh <><
 

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Hi Stephen,

I own a M-642 with the lock and the M-65, M-60 and M-629 without the lock.

In terms of actual functioning, there seems to be no difference for me. My preference is not to have the lock, but it will not stop me from buying one with the lock.

I have a geniune passion for S&W revolvers, but can honestly say that if I saw one today at the range with a lock, I'd probably buy it.

Chris
 

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I had no problems with the locks or the MIM when they came out - but after I had a 60-15's lock self-engage (went cross-ways in its slot) after I oafishly knocked the unloaded gun off a counter onto a hardwood floor, I reconsidered my position on the lock.

I feel it's poorly designed. The impact that my gun suffered is not dissimilar from what a gun might be expected to absorb in a struggle with a felon. I would not have the luxury of digging out the key and unlocking it during such a struggle, and I would want my gun to work. I feel the Taurus on-the-hammer lock is a much better design.

Anyway, they can keep their S&Ws with the locks - it's a shame, because I like their new revolvers and am excited by several new models. :-[ I'll never buy one, though.
 

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Hello,

NO, I will NOT own a S&W with the lock.

Why anyone would spend money on something that Flat Can't be Trusted is beyond my comprehension. No offence Chris.

Take Care,
 

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Hi Sockman,

No problem. Should I ever have a problem with mine, I would probably feel the same way!

So far, so good.

Chris
 

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Mr. Camp,

I will not own one with the lock, a malfunction being my primary concern.

I also feel that they spoil the looks of the revolvers somewhat.

PGM
 

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I'm only now getting back into my favorite hobby..handguns. I retired (at 60) recently, and have the time to go to the range every day. I've owned a S&W .357 Model 65-3 "K" frame for 2 decades. It is a joy.

Just this week, I bought a S&W Model 637 having concluded I'm a Wheelman at heart. I'm picking it up Friday. Since obtaining a CHL here in Texas last year, I've used a KAHR P9 as my carry gun due to it's size and reputation. It's a fine weapon... just never cozied up to it, however.

I suppose the NIB 637 has the "key lock" being discussed. I'll let you know what my thoughts are after I get into it. I recall hearing about S&W and the "lock" controversy. Really not sure of the dynamics involved.

At any rate, it's nice to find a forum for handgun fans!
 
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For a sport-shooting revolver, I can tolerate the presence of the lock. But for personal defense, its track record of problems does not inspire confidence and any of the uncountable 10's of thousands of pre-lock Smiths on the used market are my preference.

However, there will be a lot of really nice Smith revolvers for sport shooting in the future worth owning, and they will have the lock. Unless you will be hunting dangerous game, the lock won't be a significant practical problem, IMHO.
 

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I'm with Chris, I would prefer the gun w/o the lock but it would not stop me from buying one. In fact I have two w/ the lock, a 642 and 625 and have had no problems
 

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+ 1 Erich, B. Reed and PGM. I say "NAY" Sorry, I know I am burning bridges with my old fashioned attitude, but so be it! I will just have to live with buying used pre-locks!!!!! ;)

Papabear
 

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Prefer a revolver without the lock, but a lock does not prevent me from buying models that are desired. Currently have 2 revolvers with the lock, a M21-4 (without side plate) and a M29-8 Mt Gun. Have not had a problem with either and really like the older style rifling and tighter chamber throats. If/when S&W comes out with another 3 in 44 special , hopefully fixed rear sight with keyed in front for windage adjustment, will buy it whether it has a lock or not.
 
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I feel that the lock is just one more thing to go wrong. During an armed encounter, Mr. Murphy needs no additional help. That said, I own a 642 with a lock. If you want a new Smith, you don't have much choice.
 

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I have four new S&W's with the lock. A 625, 67, 686 21/2 inch, 686 5 inch. I have had zero problems with any of them with 10,000's of rounds. I have come to some conclusions that are my own opinion. I send the new guns to the factory for the action job. I think the lock rubs on the hammer and you can feel it in the trigger. When they put the lock in they added metal to the gun this shortened the curve on the back of the gun. The non lock guns look better. Nicer lines if you will. The N frame guns still hold this curve and they look like the old style pre lock guns. I do not own or do I think I will buy a new S&W with the newer barrel set up. I can live with the lock but both of them may be to much for me. There are plenty of old Smiths out there. I do want to fined a 67-3 or 4 and a 66-4 for my collection which includes many more smith revolvers.
 

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Too many bad things are already happening if it has come down to having to "clear leather" in a confrontation. Why risk adding to them?

Put me in the "no lock - ever" category.
 

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No lock, ever, for me. Remember, you never need a gun until you really need a gun. Then is not the time to wonder if it is locked or not, or if it will be one of the locks that malfunctions.

Anyone know of an immediate action protocol for internal locks?
 

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Don't have any with lock; haven't formed an opinion yet.

I suppose I'll have to cross that bridge someday but as I prefer older Smiths it may be a while. :)


Regards,

Pat
 

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HELLO

I want my carry guns to be simple and reliable. the "key safety" is neither required for operation(simple) or reliable. I won't have one and thats a shame because some of the new S&W handgun are real interesting to this shooter.

I should qualify that a bit. I have a theory, after talking with a bunch of good old boy S&W shooters, that sales of these new "lock" guns will be so bad, that sooner more than later dealers will start giving them away to get rid of them. then I might glue the lock open and own a couple :))
 
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