Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 7/2/2008 5:36:36 PM EDT
I need a .38 snubbie with a shrouded hammer. Normally I would start shopping the used market hard, but old Smiths are really going up in price.

I have an opportunity to get a NIB S&W model 638 for a steal. However, the J-lock really turns me off.

I talked a S&W rep today and he told me there have been zero warranty claims or repairs because of the J-lock.

So anyone have a bad experience with the J-lock? Should I just take the plunge?
Link Posted: 7/2/2008 5:38:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 455SD:

Should I just take the plunge?


I've never heard of anyone who had problems with theirs, FWIW..............

My .o2
Link Posted: 7/2/2008 6:09:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/2/2008 6:27:06 PM EDT
I have a SW 642, and I put about 200 rounds through it the first day I had it, and the lock didn't engage on me and didn't feel like it was close (after the range session, I turned the key and could firmly feel it click into the locked position).

That being said, if someone has directions on how to remove the lock and has a suggestion on a plug for the hole, I would be inclined to do that.
Link Posted: 7/2/2008 6:48:17 PM EDT
It's kinda hard to believe that SOMEBODY hasn't marketed a plug of some sort for that ugly hole yet. I'll do my best to never buy one with the lawyer-hole in it, although I am sorely tempted by the "Night Guard" (or Nighthawk or Nightwatchman or Nighty-night or whatinthehellever) series. That 8 shot .357 looks awful sweet.
Link Posted: 7/2/2008 6:56:21 PM EDT
Never engaged mine and don't need to so I've never had any problems with it.
You know their coming out with the Lemon Squeezer again............
Link Posted: 7/2/2008 11:05:45 PM EDT
What ikor said. Too many reports of the things locking themselves, and not just the J frames either.

You can always take out the round lock part and dremmel off the nub that activates the lock. I wouldn't feel comfortable unless the flag was pinned as well though.
Link Posted: 7/3/2008 2:47:45 AM EDT
For a range toy maybe. On a self defense gun I wouldn't own one if they gave it to me for free.
Link Posted: 7/3/2008 5:23:29 PM EDT
After a couple of months of looking I came across a used but new 642 pre lock for 400$.
I snatched it up quick!
Only problem...its got Ladysmith etched across the side. Oh well..I figure should I ever need it that shouldnt hold me back for to long.
Link Posted: 7/3/2008 10:15:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By T1NMAN:
After a couple of months of looking I came across a used but new 642 pre lock for 400$.
I snatched it up quick!
Only problem...its got Ladysmith etched across the side. Oh well..I figure should I ever need it that shouldnt hold me back for to long.


The problem is the fact that I can get a NIB one for under $300.
Link Posted: 7/3/2008 10:54:30 PM EDT
All the issues I heard about the ILS on the S&W revolvers were from the Internet. I also here nasty problems with FTF and FTE on some Sig Sauer P220 models. I have a newer model S&W 686 Plus 4" barrel with the ILS and a Sig Sauer P220 Carry two tone (one of the suspect models) both of which has not exhibited any problems or negative issues. Maybe I'm fortunate or lucky but I'm happy with these handguns and will continue to enjoy them despite the problems a few vocal owners are conveying on the Internet.
Link Posted: 7/4/2008 6:33:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 455SD:

Originally Posted By T1NMAN:
After a couple of months of looking I came across a used but new 642 pre lock for 400$.
I snatched it up quick!
Only problem...its got Ladysmith etched across the side. Oh well..I figure should I ever need it that shouldnt hold me back for to long.


The problem is the fact that I can get a NIB one for under $300.


that is a heck of a deal. i'd snatch that up. i have a 638 and haven't had any problems with the lock. it's a great little gun. i feel it's just like anything else on a gun. It just needs maintenance from time to time and testing to make sure that it works properly.
Link Posted: 7/9/2008 2:27:35 PM EDT
Just remove the flag and spring, there's no need to remove the lock cylinder. Mine keeps going with no problems.
Link Posted: 7/10/2008 6:44:49 PM EDT
I'm not a D/A Guy nor am I a S&W Guy, but the New Smiths are the cause of the Old Smiths increased value. That should answer your question.
Link Posted: 7/11/2008 7:20:21 AM EDT
A very good friend of mine bought a NIB 637 for his wife. She loaded it with their "cowboy loads" and went to the range. As they fired it, the trigger got heavy then it locked. They unlocked it and then it did it again after the first shot, seemingly during recoil. I did not witness this, but have complete trust in my friend.

I have one of the scandium 357's and have not had any trouble. Another friend of mine has a 638 and has not had any trouble. Like anything mechanical, it can fail. I personally think it is a worthless addition, but find it hard to get rid of my little magnum though all of my other j-frames are pre-lock guns...and I still wish I had not parted with my pre-lock 342!!!
Link Posted: 7/11/2008 7:36:29 AM EDT
I like to lock my friends revolvers when they leave them unattended....it entertains me.
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 4:16:07 PM EDT
I have a total custom .357 model 60 with the lock. It's my carry gun and I had the cylinder lock on me one time while firing fast with heavy magnum loads. Smith is absolutely stupid about the lock, they could have put it on the hammer like Taurus did but instead they ruin the frame.
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 5:17:52 PM EDT
Google "integral lock failure" and you will find somewhere in the ballpark of 30 pages of discussion and first hand accounts of internal lock failures. With that said, I bought a 642 used because it was just too cheap to pass up. I'm not sure how long I will keep it. I have serious issues with what used to be the greatest revolver company in the world putting a lock on their guns that could get their customers killed in the event of an emergency.
Link Posted: 7/14/2008 9:30:34 PM EDT
The only time I have every seen a lock activate was on a 329 (N frame .44 mag) that was beat to shit and had thousands of full house .44 mag rounds threw it.
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 8:40:52 AM EDT
With all the people saying that they only had the lock activate on them "one time" it makes me think what if that "one time" was the one that counted for real?

I'd be curious on how easy or feasible it is to disable them, but without the lock being disabled, there would be no way in hell I would trust my life to one.
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 1:31:12 PM EDT
U pull the flag/spring off and problem solved.
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 3:54:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LgAnimalVet:
I like to lock my friends revolvers when they leave them unattended....it entertains me.


Haha! A sick bastard after my own taste.
Link Posted: 7/16/2008 3:58:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LgAnimalVet:
I like to lock my friends revolvers when they leave them unattended....it entertains me.








Link Posted: 7/16/2008 4:27:30 AM EDT
Anyone have a link to a step by step tutorial for removing the flag and spring and reassembling?
Link Posted: 7/16/2008 4:34:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/16/2008 4:52:21 AM EDT by packingXDs]

Originally Posted By GLOCKshooter:
Anyone have a link to a step by step tutorial for removing the flag and spring and reassembling?


I had one tagged or bookmarked somewhere. Let me see if I can dig it up before someone beats me to it.

ETA:

I can't seem to find it. But it was a nice write up, with pictures and all. I think it was on THR or similar forum.

Found it linked on The Firing Line. S&W Forum

ETA:

Now its in my subscriptions so I won't have to hunt for it when I decide to remove mine.
Link Posted: 7/16/2008 5:35:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Stinson342:
It's kinda hard to believe that SOMEBODY hasn't marketed a plug of some sort for that ugly hole yet. I'll do my best to never buy one with the lawyer-hole in it, although I am sorely tempted by the "Night Guard" (or Nighthawk or Nightwatchman or Nighty-night or whatinthehellever) series. That 8 shot .357 looks awful sweet.


I swear I've seen such a filler in the Brownells catalog, but damned if I can find it on their website.
Link Posted: 7/16/2008 7:57:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By T1NMAN:
.
.
Only problem...its got Ladysmith etched across the side. Oh well..I figure should I ever need it that shouldnt hold me back for to long.
Gimme a break, I handled several of those at the local funstore and gun shows, and oh man oh man, they have the best factory S&W trigger's on them, If I were in the market for a J-frame, I would have no qualms about owning a Ladysmith.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 11:32:02 AM EDT
I had a lock 637 and sold it after buying a prelock 638. At the range I could tell no difference in trigger pull or function between the guns and never had a problem with the 637 during the time I owned it. That said, I collect prelock S&W models so doubt I would buy another lock model unless the price was too good to pass up. Hey if you can get it for a song, why not buy it and resell it later to make a few bucks?
Link Posted: 7/25/2008 4:47:11 AM EDT
Just a heads-up.

S&W has produced, and is now shipping limited numbers of 642s and 637s without the lock!

Several are for sale on the S&W board, and apparently they are starting to show up at dealers.

This may not be repeated, so if you want one, I'd buy now.

The 642 is the best deal.
Most prices are around $425-450.
Link Posted: 7/25/2008 3:58:42 PM EDT
If they were to make one of these with no lock and my dealer had it for the same price he had on the locked version, I would buy it immediately.
Link Posted: 7/25/2008 4:30:57 PM EDT
At SHOT I told a rep that my gun locked up. He said it happens all the time but the lock is here to stay. I predict that ends the first time a guy is found dead with two rounds out and the flag up.
Link Posted: 7/25/2008 7:32:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mini14jac:
Just a heads-up.

S&W has produced, and is now shipping limited numbers of 642s and 637s without the lock!

Several are for sale on the S&W board, and apparently they are starting to show up at dealers.

This may not be repeated, so if you want one, I'd buy now.

The 642 is the best deal.
Most prices are around $425-450.


I picked up my 642-1 "no lock" today. I never thought I would see new ones available again.
Link Posted: 7/25/2008 8:08:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/25/2008 8:11:36 PM EDT by Black_Talon]
Image stolen from another forum

Link Posted: 7/26/2008 12:13:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Black_Talon:
Image stolen from another forum

i192.photobucket.com/albums/z292/Othalt/Smithairweight.jpg


I want one.
Link Posted: 7/26/2008 1:36:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 53vortec:

Originally Posted By Stinson342:
It's kinda hard to believe that SOMEBODY hasn't marketed a plug of some sort for that ugly hole yet. I'll do my best to never buy one with the lawyer-hole in it, although I am sorely tempted by the "Night Guard" (or Nighthawk or Nightwatchman or Nighty-night or whatinthehellever) series. That 8 shot .357 looks awful sweet.


I swear I've seen such a filler in the Brownells catalog, but damned if I can find it on their website.


Any luck finding that yet?
Link Posted: 7/27/2008 7:42:24 AM EDT
Bumping this one back to the top to see if anyone knows where to get a plug for the j lock hole.

I'd love to take the entire lock out of my 340PD.
Link Posted: 7/27/2008 8:13:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Henny:

Originally Posted By 53vortec:

Originally Posted By Stinson342:
It's kinda hard to believe that SOMEBODY hasn't marketed a plug of some sort for that ugly hole yet. I'll do my best to never buy one with the lawyer-hole in it, although I am sorely tempted by the "Night Guard" (or Nighthawk or Nightwatchman or Nighty-night or whatinthehellever) series. That 8 shot .357 looks awful sweet.


I swear I've seen such a filler in the Brownells catalog, but damned if I can find it on their website.


Any luck finding that yet?


Never could turn it up online.

I'm travelling right now so I don't have a Brownells catalog with me. I'll update this thread with any progress.
Link Posted: 7/27/2008 11:01:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 53vortec:

Originally Posted By Henny:

Originally Posted By 53vortec:

Originally Posted By Stinson342:
It's kinda hard to believe that SOMEBODY hasn't marketed a plug of some sort for that ugly hole yet. I'll do my best to never buy one with the lawyer-hole in it, although I am sorely tempted by the "Night Guard" (or Nighthawk or Nightwatchman or Nighty-night or whatinthehellever) series. That 8 shot .357 looks awful sweet.


I swear I've seen such a filler in the Brownells catalog, but damned if I can find it on their website.


Any luck finding that yet?


Never could turn it up online.

I'm travelling right now so I don't have a Brownells catalog with me. I'll update this thread with any progress.


53Vortec,

I know I've looked in Brownell's on line catalog in the past and last night with no luck. I would think that by now SOMEONE would make a plug to fill that damn Hilliary hole!
Link Posted: 7/27/2008 2:04:28 PM EDT
I am with T1nman. I recent picked up a 3" SW60 Ladysmith 2 months ago - if it was fired you cannot tell, prelock, no MIM, $395 out the door. I also picked a 3" 36 with a pencil contour barrel - picked it up 4 years ago for $325 because the finish was worn.

Watch for a J-frame - they are plenty around


Originally Posted By T1NMAN:
After a couple of months of looking I came across a used but new 642 pre lock for 400$.
I snatched it up quick!
Only problem...its got Ladysmith etched across the side. Oh well..I figure should I ever need it that shouldnt hold me back for to long.
Link Posted: 7/27/2008 4:24:44 PM EDT
Try Topgun supply in EE

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=88&t=565781
Link Posted: 7/28/2008 3:29:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Henny:
Bumping this one back to the top to see if anyone knows where to get a plug for the j lock hole.

I'd love to take the entire lock out of my 340PD.


My 340PD has the locking cam and spring removed, but the receptacle for the key (whatever it's called) is still there.
From the outside, it looks like the lock is still active.
You can even put in the key and turn it.
Link Posted: 7/28/2008 3:31:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JohnMayer:

Originally Posted By Black_Talon:
Image stolen from another forum

i192.photobucket.com/albums/z292/Othalt/Smithairweight.jpg


I want one.


$425 shipped, brand new.
smith-wessonforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/511103904/m/5211055413

Link Posted: 7/28/2008 12:03:46 PM EDT
I was just about to pull the trigger on a new 442 since it was a hassle to find a used one in the limited time I have to look.

But then I found out about the new lockless 642s and bought one without a second thought.
$409 +tax local

I figured why take a chance on parts breaking.
Link Posted: 9/27/2008 8:00:43 PM EDT
OK, I just couldn't deal with the J-lock.

So I bought an early nineties Model 38-2 off gunbroker. The pre-lock Model 38s are getting pretty tough to find.

Here is my new Airweight pocket gun.







I couldn't be happier.
Link Posted: 9/28/2008 7:16:04 AM EDT
I bought a 637-2 NIB the end of August and have fired 230 rounds in it with no problems. From what I have read on S&W forums is that the problem happens most often with brand new pistols.


here is a link to the thread on S&W forums of 25= pages of IL problems

Link
Link Posted: 9/29/2008 2:43:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Nosmik:
U pull the flag/spring off and problem solved.


Not exactly. See my post in the other "lock" thread on this forum.

There are plenty of documented failures of this gadget. Some of you may choose to dismiss it as the whining of "a few vocal folks on the internet". Fine; your decision to make.

But if you believe it is a non-issue, you are sadly mistaken.

.
Link Posted: 9/29/2008 1:54:19 PM EDT
I've had a couple of centerfire models with the lock. No problems but they really kill the collectibility factor.
Link Posted: 9/29/2008 5:49:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 455SD:
OK, I just couldn't deal with the J-lock.

So I bought an early nineties Model 38-2 off gunbroker. The pre-lock Model 38s are getting pretty tough to find.

Here is my new Airweight pocket gun.

i26.photobucket.com/albums/c107/455SD/DSCN1164.jpg

i26.photobucket.com/albums/c107/455SD/2.jpg

i26.photobucket.com/albums/c107/455SD/DSCN1176.jpg

I couldn't be happier.


VERY nice! I've been looking for one myself. Congrats!
Link Posted: 10/12/2008 7:52:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mini14jac:
Just a heads-up.

S&W has produced, and is now shipping limited numbers of 642s and 637s without the lock!

Several are for sale on the S&W board, and apparently they are starting to show up at dealers.

This may not be repeated, so if you want one, I'd buy now.

The 642 is the best deal.
Most prices are around $425-450.


True, I just bought one friday $430 no lock.

now i have to get used to the trigger pull!

but it carries great, I could not get used to carring the XD45
Link Posted: 10/13/2008 6:40:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Henny:
Bumping this one back to the top to see if anyone knows where to get a plug for the j lock hole.

I'd love to take the entire lock out of my 340PD.


There was an ILS thread in the S&W section shortly after I joined arfcom that included a set-by-step instruction on how to remove the infernal device and plug the hole. The guy used some sort of metal filler that was sanded flush with the surrounding surface. It was medium grey in color. It was a very clean looking job. Perhaps a team member can do a search.
Link Posted: 10/13/2008 8:11:11 AM EDT
For those who say the IL never fails (including the folks from S&W) here is a 25 page thread at the Smith & Wesson forum about that very subject.

The bottom line is that it DOES happen, and the most likely culprits are the ultra lightweight, hard kicking guns like the 329PD.

I have owned two IL equipped Smiths, neither malfunctioned for ME, but I never fully trusted them either. I have since found pre lock replacements for both guns and will never buy another IL equipped S&W.

Top Top