Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 4/24/2008 4:30:58 AM EDT
I am mad.

No one here has ever seen me mad before, My wife has only seen it once, but here I am.

I got a new .41 mag S&W 357PD Air lite a few months ago.
To shorten the story it was built with a bad cylinder with one chamber out of speck.
I paid to send it back for repair. It arrived today about ten days after I sent it in. The cylinder had been replaced,so off to the range I go to try it out.
I fired about 36 rounds and was re adjusting the sights. I was shooting my own loads a 210 grain LSWC target load. nothing special.
I though I had the sights where I wanted them when about 3 rounds in the gun locked up.
The hammer dropped to where half cock would be and stopped.
I looked at the gun as if it had fell from the sky Dumbfounded would be a good description.
Having more than a little firearms training and experience I started to clear the malfunction. Pulling the trigger again did nothing. Pulling the hammer back did nothing.
The gun was locked up.

I mean that, the little metal flag that says "LOCKED" was up
I had not locked or un locked the gun with the key. In fact I have NEVER locked this gun and don't know where the key is.

The gun had safety locked itself.

I pushed down the metal flag with my thumb and managed to get the hammer down. I cleared the gun.
Frankly I could not believe what had just happened. I pulled the trigger a couple of times and the gun worked. I reloaded and fired it again this time it locked on the second round.
My temper boiled over. I packed up everything and left the range.

I recall reading in a gun mag last year about how S&W was saying this did not happen. That the reports of it happening were just "the Internet" and if it was really a problem then S&W would know.
Well they know now. I called and told S&W what happened. A pick up tag is on the way to me. I am betting no announcement from S&W will follow.

Thats why I am mad. People including me buy S&W products to bet our lives on. The lock is a useless feature that only appealed to S&W's litigation lawyers. The lock does nothing for the function of the gun,except to stop it cold.

I say this as seriously as I can. If you have a S&W revolver with this lock feature for protection you need to re think it.
IT CAN GO BAD AND LOCK UP YOUR REVOLVER
This is not a product I can have faith in any longer.
I would be a fool to carry one to protect my life.







NOI
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 4:45:45 AM EDT
I hate that it happened to you. I'll give you a dollar for it.

All joking aside, the lock can be removed! You'll be stuck with a hole in the side of the gun.
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 4:56:29 AM EDT
Why did you pay shipping back the first time? I've never heard of Smith not footing the bill for shipping to and from the factory for repairs.
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 6:02:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/24/2008 6:04:25 AM EDT by bigez]
Take the lock out...throw it in the trash.

ETA: S&W are supposedly doing massive "smart gun" development as well-- so that only a certain person can fire it. Can't imagine anything going wrong with that "safety" feature...
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 6:40:04 AM EDT
Cost me $56 to ship it the first time.

Not happy with S&W, but to be fair the "smart gun" was the previous owners.
you know, the British Clinton but kissing owners.

S&W has reached the point that the guns are so safe they don't fire.

The market has changed. If S&W was still selling a ton of revolvers to Police then you would not see this lock. S&W is rolling the dice with my life, and your life and the life of every owner of one of these safe guns.
They are hoping that the odds will favor them and some one will not be killed because his revolver locked up.

Honestly why don't they just weld the cylinder shut and make them super safe.

NOI
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 6:43:00 AM EDT
Oh, I emailed the above to S&W as well.

NOI
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 7:30:17 AM EDT
That sucks. I'm dreading having this happen to my 340PD. I'm at the point of wanting to file down the lock's flag, deactivating it. If Smith & Wesson was smart, they'd offer a plug that replces the lock on their guns. IMO, a lock like this has NO place on a gun.
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 11:26:19 AM EDT
Too bad there isn't a replacement part like removing the ILS on the Springfield 1911 platform.
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 11:47:46 AM EDT
This freaked me out. My S&W guns dont have the locks described (thank god) but my Taurus revolvers do.

Is there any way to disable the internal locks or is it integrated into the mechanical action in a way that would render the gun inoperable or unsafe?

Is there any law in NC that would prohibit disabling an internal locking device of a firearm?
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 1:23:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/24/2008 1:23:43 PM EDT by Strider47]

Originally Posted By PFC-Demon:
This freaked me out. My S&W guns dont have the locks described (thank god) but my Taurus revolvers do.

Is there any way to disable the internal locks or is it integrated into the mechanical action in a way that would render the gun inoperable or unsafe?

On the S&W you can file down a "flag" on the lock that will prevent it from engaging the hammer. It leaves the lock in place, so you don't have a hole in the frame. If you ever send the gun to S&W for repair, they will re-activate the lock by installing a new one- so be warned.

Is there any law in NC that would prohibit disabling an internal locking device of a firearm?

Not to my knowledge and I seriously doubt it (this isn't MA, NJ, CA or IL), although I'd be damn sure to replce that filed piece if you ever sold the gun. IIRC Smith will send you a replacement piece for a nominal fee.
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 1:30:46 PM EDT
all my S&Ws are pre-lock (model 28 and model 66) now, it will definitely stay that way.

thanks for the heads up and for confirming the 'myth'
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 1:36:09 PM EDT
My shotgun came with a lock. It doesn't have one anymore.
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 4:57:31 PM EDT
Reports like these just make my OLD Smiths even more valuable to me. IF one must buy new, take the lock out!!!!! I have been advocating this to all customers who buy from our local trading post.
Link Posted: 4/24/2008 5:41:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/24/2008 5:42:47 PM EDT by bigez]
Somebody should make a replacement part that replaces the lock.
$$$
But I guess filing down is good enough.
Link Posted: 5/2/2008 8:42:09 AM EDT
7 days out and no pick up tag yet.


I don't think anyone will aftermarket a drop in replacement plug. Making a product that removes a factory safety device open a lot of liability problems.

As for me removing it and how easy it is, I don't doubt it.
But I am more concerned about the guy who's first clue about these problem locks comes while he is on the ground bleeding with a locked up S&W in his hand.

Yes I can "fix" mine the point is to get the word out.
Once you know you pay your money and you make your choice...once you know.


NOI



Link Posted: 5/2/2008 10:33:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bigez:
Somebody should make a replacement part that replaces the lock.
$$$
But I guess filing down is good enough.


How sweet would a titanium plug be for these! Alas, we'll probably never see it happen for liability reasons.
Link Posted: 5/3/2008 12:18:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2008 12:21:44 PM EDT by pdmcghinnis]
If you can find someone that has worked for more than 6 years with the NC Dept. Probation/Parole, ask them why we sent ALL of our new S&W revolvers back and were given M&P40's as replacements.

I used to work for them and personally witnessed about a 20 percent failure rate in the new revolvers; model 619 that had been intended to replace our aging model 65's. The gun would lock itself durinig a string of fire. I watched a surveillance officer hurl his new gun downrange at the target after his gun locked up a second time in the same qual. session. No, not smart, but a sign of how frustrated he was.
Link Posted: 5/3/2008 2:25:39 PM EDT
That is one of the most asinine features I have ever seen on a gun.

Do your other .41s have these locks? I don't know much about Smiths so I didn't look when I was playing with them at the shoot.
Link Posted: 5/3/2008 2:29:27 PM EDT
Nope, the others are older and were not modified by lawyers.

NOI

Link Posted: 5/4/2008 10:29:10 PM EDT
Again we get another report of a Smith locking up. And people look at me funny when I say I'd trust a Charter over a Smith with a lawyer-lock.

I refuse to buy a lawyer-locked Smith. Personally, I'd file down the flag to disable it, a gun that won't go bang when you need it to can get you dead.

To the fellow who asked about the Taurus lock, it is a completely different design, and I've never heard of one failing. But you could always loc-tite it just in case.
Link Posted: 5/5/2008 6:31:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pdmcghinnis:
If you can find someone that has worked for more than 6 years with the NC Dept. Probation/Parole, ask them why we sent ALL of our new S&W revolvers back and were given M&P40's as replacements.

I used to work for them and personally witnessed about a 20 percent failure rate in the new revolvers; model 619 that had been intended to replace our aging model 65's. The gun would lock itself durinig a string of fire. I watched a surveillance officer hurl his new gun downrange at the target after his gun locked up a second time in the same qual. session. No, not smart, but a sign of how frustrated he was.


The Model 65's were great. I remember when they were making the switch to a semi-auto .40 but the talk was for a Glock 22 or 23. It's incredible that they went to another, more complicated/fragile revolver.
Link Posted: 5/5/2008 4:10:37 PM EDT
Did you call Smith and Wesson? I was sent a prepaid UPS sticker with a phone call and returned my P22. It was sent back to me inside of three days. The rep. said all current production are under lifetime warranty with S&W paying shipping both ways.

Don't get me wrong. It's a shame that a name like Smith & Wesson is applied to anything as poorly engineered as their "Wiley Coyote" internal locking system.

Send it back! Make them pay to fix THEIR problem.
Link Posted: 5/5/2008 5:30:25 PM EDT
I called S&W that day.
Call went.

"um...um......whats the serial No? OK we will send out a pick up tag right away."


I emailed the post above to S&W customer service. I am not expecting anything from them.

I know the gun will be repaired. S&W lawyers would go into fits at the though of an "internal safety device" NOT being repaired at the factory.
They will fix it ship it back and say nothing.
Nothing to see here, move along.

S&W is rolling the dice with our lives with these things.When you market and advertise a product for the protection of the users life and the lives of his family you need the market to have a reasonable expectation that it will work when needed.

The odds are weighed by S&W that darn few of us will ever need the gun for a self defense situation, and even fewer will have to fire the gun. and the chance of that slim few who have to fire having the lock malfunction and end up with a short leverage hammer in their hand instead of a gun...well easier to fight that one case than to..................
What??????????
Recall all those guns and remove the locks? Announce that thousands of revolvers made by S&W can self lock when needed most?
Discontinue the lock and hope no one notices?

Nope, cheaper to just fight the widow in court.


NOI
Link Posted: 5/5/2008 8:02:20 PM EDT
Sorry to hear about your troubles with the mickey mouse S&W lock. I have seen threads that it's actually not a lawyer lock, but a way for Saf-T-Lock to sell more of its product. Since no one else in their right mind would put it on their own revolvers, Saf-T-Lock bought the company and stuffed it down S&W's throat.

PS: When I had to send a gun back to S&W they emailed me the shipping info and I just used that with the shipper. Didn't have to wait for pre-printed label.
Link Posted: 5/6/2008 5:37:17 AM EDT
There's a 15 page thread on ILF's over at the S&W forum. You're definitely not the first one to experience this. Can anyone say, "class action"?
Link
Link Posted: 5/6/2008 9:18:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/6/2008 9:18:41 PM EDT by Strider47]
They make the M&P pistols available without the lock, I don't see the harm in offering the revolvers without them as well. Let the consumer decide what's best for their use.

This thread has me SERIOUSLY considering unloading my 340PD, and I love the freaking thing.
Link Posted: 5/7/2008 11:18:23 AM EDT
UPDATE

Just got a call from S&W seems they mailed me a pick up tag that was returned "undeliverable" So now they are sending it to the right address.


NOI
Link Posted: 5/8/2008 2:18:59 AM EDT
Hopefully they can get this resolved for you. I have had more than a few revolvers and some were S/W but none of the newer stuff. They were all fine handguns. However with the troubles you have had the first thing I thought was Thank God you were at the range and not defending your family when it happened. I would not personaly carry that particular sidearm ever for protection no matter what they do to fix it. I would have to have a new replacement, tested and determined to be reliable before I could trust it.
Link Posted: 5/9/2008 1:21:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By nooneimportant:
UPDATE

Just got a call from S&W seems they mailed me a pick up tag that was returned "undeliverable" So now they are sending it to the right address.


NOI


I'd make sure S&W remembered me for a long, long time.
Link Posted: 5/12/2008 4:54:03 PM EDT
Thats a baaaaad little problem.

I have been eyeballing for a revolver myself.

Prefer something in the .44mag and like the Colt Peacemaker.

But that will be awhile down the road. After the gas goes back down to 99¢ where it was when I graduated high school.
Link Posted: 5/30/2008 7:31:51 AM EDT
So it ends.
I got the gun back today ups.
This is the only reply I have received from them.





I expected nothing from them and I was not disappointed.
Oddly there was a new rear sight assembly enclosed as well. I have no Idea why.

The gun goes in the safe to stay. I will never trust it again. I sent Ruger a note asking if they would consider producing a 4' Readhawk in .41 mag.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 4:10:24 AM EDT
For any still interested I found the original article on line


Publication: American Handgunner

Publication Date: 01-JUL-06

Author: Petty, Charles E.

http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-15369959_ITM

COPYRIGHT 2006 Publishers' Development Corporation

Tempests are forever in search of teapots to inhabit. One of the most vocal of late has been the furor over Smith & Wesson's internal lock. All of this, of course, is brought to you by the Internet--the greatest source of disinformation since the Cold War.

In early 2003 S&W began phasing in an internal lock for their revolvers and today all have it except for a very few made for an export market. Almost immediately after the locks appeared on S&W revolvers the complaints started. There were a lot from people who simply did not like the idea on principle and some even went so far as to say the addition of a lock interfered with their Second Amendment rights.

The simple fact is there are some people who will resist change and find any excuse to do so. But there were also a few reports the new lock would engage itself without warning and render the revolver useless. When I read those threads there were many knee-jerkers who proclaimed they would never, 1 SAY NEVER, buy a gun with a lock and damned S&W for doing such an evil, politically correct, thing. But there were also a couple of reports that sounded credible, where the owner had returned the gun to the factory for service. We will cover that in a bit.

The Lock

On the left side of the frame, just above the cylinder latch is a key hole and new guns come with a couple of keys that look very much like handcuff keys. On some revolvers the shape of the cylinder latch requires you to push it forward to insert the key, on others it is reachable without that. Turning the key about a quarter turn counterclockwise causes a little flag called the lock arm to pop up beside the hammer. It has the word "locked" plainly visible. Mechanically the lock is very simple and consists of four stamped parts and two springs.

Engaging the lock involves moving a small flat piece of steel called the "lock cam" by turning the key, which raises the lock arm into the visible position. There is a small protrusion on the lock cam which engages a slot in the hammer to lock it. The springs help with the raising and lowering of the flag. Even though the lock engages the hammer it does not affect trigger pull when not engaged. There is a clearance cut on the side of the hammer where the lock can ride without interference.

I don't spend much time with Internet forums because there is more disinformation than fact and common sense is not a prerequisite for speaking there. There is so much obvious BS, hearsay and even malicious gossip that my blood pressure doesn't need the challenge. But when the stories about

the internal lock began to spread I went to the Smith & Wesson forum and found the topic. To be sure there were lots of people who were still mad at S&W for previous sins and those who swore they'd never have one, just because. But there were also a couple of posts that sounded credible where the lock had engaged during shooting. Obviously, not good. Those revolvers were sent to S&W and returned with the notation, "Replaced spring."

S&W Says

S&W's contact person for folks like me is Paul Pluff. He is a gun-guy who has been at S&W for over 20 years. He's not a trained PR flack who can spin daylight into dark. When I met him he was in charge of Customer Service and has worked his way up in the company. When I first asked about the lock thing he hadn't heard about it, but promised to check for me. He found the gunsmiths who actually had seen the guns and reported back: "Only a couple of guns have come back and we have been unable to duplicate the condition." But on the premise it's better to do something than nothing, the most likely culprit would be the spring, so it was replaced.

I'm sure you've all taken the car to the shop only to have the rattle disappear or the idiot light to go off on its own. So, I embarked on a test of my own. I have no idea how many S&W revolvers with locks have come and gone through my hands since they were introduced. I still have several in various stages of testing so I gathered up a bunch--mostly larger calibers including the .500 and .460 magnums--and went to the range.

I would engage the lock a few times and then turn the key until the flag barely dropped down and then fire a cylinder full double-action (Note to self: Don't do this anymore with monster magnums). The drill was repeated several times with each of five guns. The two X-frames, new Models 21 and 22 and a Model 625. There were no lockups.

Dangerous Assumptions

The curse of the Internet is that untold thousands (maybe only dozens?) of people see a comment and many assume it's true. The other curse of many gun owners is if something happened once, they assume it's an everyday occurrence. So the sky falls and panic rules the gun universe. One Internet genius even went so far as to offer instructions on how to remove the lock. Not only would that be a great reason for S&W to void your warranty, but picture yourself on the witness stand:

"The gun your neighbor boy used to shoot that little neighbor girl had a lock didn't it?"

"Yes"

"But you removed it?"

"Ah, um ... (gulp) yes."

"Too bad."

And, since the Internet is not nearly as anonymous as some believe, the guy who told him how to do it might want to start some evasive action too.

But a better perspective isn't hard to find. S&W's Revolver Product Manager is a big, gruff guy named Herb Belin. He has also been with the company forever and when I first spoke to him he wasn't aware of a problem either. "We've made well over 100,000 guns with the lock. If there was a problem I think I'd know about it," was all he said. Gee, I guess that sums it up pretty well.


COPYRIGHT 2006 Publishers' Development Corporation
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:06:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By nooneimportant:
For any still interested I found the original article on line


Publication: American Handgunner

Publication Date: 01-JUL-06

Author: Petty, Charles E.

http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-15369959_ITM

COPYRIGHT 2006 Publishers' Development Corporation



i remember reading that article, i'll just have to take American handgunner w/ a grain of salt from now on. or, cancel it and subscribe to arfcom!
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:31:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pdmcghinnis:
If you can find someone that has worked for more than 6 years with the NC Dept. Probation/Parole, ask them why we sent ALL of our new S&W revolvers back and were given M&P40's as replacements.

I used to work for them and personally witnessed about a 20 percent failure rate in the new revolvers; model 619 that had been intended to replace our aging model 65's. The gun would lock itself durinig a string of fire. I watched a surveillance officer hurl his new gun downrange at the target after his gun locked up a second time in the same qual. session. No, not smart, but a sign of how frustrated he was.



I just finished the Basic Training course in April and we were told that barrels had a tendency to "fly" down the range when the gun was fired.


Vulcan94
Top Top