I've owned and currently own S&W guns but no revolvers yet. I ordered a 686 Plus Pro
a while back but who knows when it will show up. I gritted my teeth and bore the lock because in every other way, this was my ideal .357. We'll see if it ever fails but is that really the issue we've all got with it?
Of course, a locking fail could mean the difference between life and death. Even if it is less likely than being struck by lightning, it's the fact that they gave us a raincoat with an antenna in the first place. The cons should be obvious to anyone, with or without an engineering degree. In most cases, every added part or step is an added chance for failure. This is true of the assembly within a firearm which, like the frame of your house or car, hinges life and safety on structural and operational integrity. I compare the lock to taking main support beams for your house, sawing them down the middle, and reattaching them with folded hinges. So, why did they do it? What purpose does it serve? Has anyone on this forum ever
Aesthetically, it is more than just an eyesore in itself. An earlier poster hit the nail on the head when they noted the location. The ugly hole and directional printing is crammed up against an otherwise attractive moving part. Even if the above argument fails, how hard was it to put this in a discrete location?
It also must increase the cost of production as it is an extra feature. What philosophy of business says that increasing the cost of production while saddling customers with something they don't want is good?
After saying all that, it might seem silly that I've ordered one. It was months ago and I honestly wasn't thinking too deeply on the lock when I placed the order. The other thing is that I haven't seen any other current production .357 that I like better. So, we'll see how it goes.
In the mean time, there may be some positive news. I was talking with a customer service guy at S&W. He said that they are aware of customer sentiment and that future revolvers are likely to move away from the lock. He suggested I check out the 442 Moonclip with no lock that's in current production. Maybe when the gun budget recovers--if I haven't been mauled by a bear with a locked-up gun in my hand before then--I'll pick one up.