Saturday, August 29, 2009

S&W Locks

One of me next firearm purchases is a snub nosed S&W revolver.

But most every Smith and Wesson comes with a stupid little trigger lock on the frame. Certainly the models I am interested in. (S&W reveresed policy and actually offer some new models of snubbies without a lock.)

And the great State of Maryland kinda insists on trigger locks, anyhoo. If you get a new gun without one you have to buy a State-approved external trigger lock. And they only like the expensivest kind.

So why are my knickers in a twist? It's an extra mechanical doohicky on my gun that could fail when I need it most. The purpose of a snubbie is self-protection, not target competition or hunting. You need it to work like a fork. Not a fork that you need to unlock. Or a fork that locks its own self in your pocket.

Sure, you'll get all the anecdotal evidence in the world that will tell you the lock is dang reliable. It only fails .00000000001 % of the time. Yeah, so? The .0000etc... is too much.

(you alos can get anaecdotal evidence that it fails once every 5 shots or so... but we'll give S&W the benefit of the doubt.)

I just fixed a .44 where a screw that rattled loose caused a total failure in.... uh... stick-togetheredness!

If a screw can rattle loose, a lock can rattle closed.

So, I'd rather not have a lock on my 640. I also want a gun never owned by anyone before. Looks like I wish in want hand and poop in the other and see which fills up first. The chance of getting a pre-lock 640 New In Box from something like Gunbroker is pretty remote.


  1. Wait for S&W to ome to their senses and make a gun right.

  2. Buy one with the lock and get a GOOD revolver gunsmith to totally disable it.

Crap. Neither option is good.

Let's review:

Extra doohickeys == BAD. Nothing extra that stands in the way of reliability == GOOD.


Bgg said...

Well, maybe something will pop up on Gunbroker, Auction Arms, Guns America for you...

What part of MD are you in?

BobG said...

Quite a few of my collection of firearms are second-hand; personally I prefer buying from private individuals so as not to have to put the firearm on any government form or list. As long as a gun hasn't been abused, all that being second-hand means is that the parts might be working a little smoother than a new one.

Anonymous said...

Go with the Ruger.

JB Miller said...

I have been wanting the new Ruger LCR:

Anonymous said...

The Ruger LCR has an internal lock.

You're going down the same road I recently went down. Read about it in my blog if you want the details. :-)

But basically I realized it came down to a simple choice: do I want the gun now or later?

If you don't mind waiting, then that will improve your chances of getting what you want. Set aside a large chunk of cash, then keep your eyes peeled at stores, gun shows, pawn shops, GunBroker, other online spots for sales (e.g. forums like TheHighRoad). The moment you see her, snag it without reservation because it may never come around again. But that also implies it may never come around in the first place. It's not impossible to find a new 640 without a lock, but it will be difficult... and if you do, likely you'll pay a premium. You may have to accept a loss in some area, e.g. a used lockless 640.

If you want the gun now, then you'll have to determine what if your criteria is more important and look based upon that. In my case, lockless became pretty important, and I too prefer new. I figured if I got a steel-frame anyways I'd still be shooting only .38's out of it... I only wanted steel to help with managing recoil, so really if I got a lightweight model that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. On a whim I called a local store to ask what they had in stock and lo, the had a lockless S&W 442 in stock. I hung up, drove to the store, bought it. Now I've got a snub that fits most of my criteria... and well, I've got one for the needs that I needed filled.

Meantime, I continue to keep my eyes peeled for that "dream snub". If and when it ever comes along, great. If it never comes along, I'll be OK.

Stretch said...

Um, why don't you cross the river to Virginia? Our state government trusts the citizens to act as adults.

Bob said...

I would suggest watching Robertson Trading Post at GunsAmerica. They have a huge selection of S&W handguns at all times, and have someone on staff who really knows how to evaluate condition of used revolvers. You might just be able to find a used 640 in like-new condition which will be acceptable to you.