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Old June 28, 2013, 01:54 PM   #1
skeath
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Location of S&W internal lock

I am a newbie to revolvers, but will be shopping for a used 686 in the near future. After reading about the S&W internal lock, I think I would prefer to avoid that if possible. I have looked at a few at GB, but have not seen anything in the pictures that appears to be a keyhole.

My question is about the location of the lock, and if it would be easily observed in a good side-view picture of the gun?

Thanks,

SK
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Old June 28, 2013, 01:59 PM   #2
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It's VERY easy to spot, it's immediately above and almost somewhat obscured by the cylinder opening latch on the left side of the revolver.
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Old June 28, 2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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Ah, I see it. It took a few moments to find a picture that had one:



Thanks,

SK
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File Type: jpg sw_686_withlock.jpg (16.1 KB, 165 views)
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Old June 28, 2013, 03:40 PM   #4
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many people selling S&W's with the lock seem to go out of their way to photograph it in such a way that you can't see it. Even S&W doesn't seem to post many pics of the "lock" side of the guns on their website.
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Old June 28, 2013, 03:49 PM   #5
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Much has been written and said about that lock, but if it is not wanted it can be ignored. If an owner wants to remove it, he may do so and there are "plugs" sold to fill the hole. Some gunsmiths will not remove it, though, because of possible liability if there is a problem with a gun with a "safety device" removed, even if the lock had nothing to do with whatever happened.

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Old June 28, 2013, 07:40 PM   #6
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many people selling S&W's with the lock seem to go out of their way to photograph it in such a way that you can't see it. Even S&W doesn't seem to post many pics of the "lock" side of the guns on their website.
Not really. The right side of a S&W has traditionally been the side to photograph since on older guns that's the side the rollmark was on and because engraving or inlays were commonly done on that side.
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Old June 29, 2013, 03:24 AM   #7
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In my (comparatively short) life's experience with Smith & Wesson revolvers, I've owned a decent handful and all were pre-lock except one. The one ILS-equipped revolver that I had was a Model 60, 3-inch, full-lug .357 Magnum J-frame. And I can readily and happily admit that it was a very fine specimen and there was nothing specific to the on-board lock that made me dislike that revolver.

Frankly, I found the build quality to be excellent, I found the accuracy to be exceedingly good and the smoothness of the double action trigger bred confidence. Top-to-bottom "feel" that it was a well-made revolver and nothing about the fact that it was newer or had the infernal lock made me dislike the revolver.

I did sell it anyway, because I never got along well with that J-frame and I found it uncomfortable to shoot.

It may sound odd then when I admit that here in the year 2013, I simply have no interest in a Smith & Wesson revolver if it is equipped with the internal lock. And that's much more due to the fact that it's of "more recent" build date and not from an era where I'm more comfortable. It's about some of the parts being made differently and the general consensus that most men come to eventually, almost no matter the subject: "they just don't make 'em like they used to..."

In my eyes, there are so many phenomenal used Smith & Wesson revolvers on the market that interest me, it just seems senseless to take a chance on a newer one with bits, parts and changes I don't care for.

So for me, it truly has never been about the lock itself. It's not so much about how dumb it looks on a classic revolver. It's not because S&W sold out to some British company. Not because they sold their soul to the Clintons.

It's just because they aren't the guns that I grew up with, so they really aren't what I want. And the big ugly lock & hole? If anything, it's like a giant beacon that draws your eyes and to me, it says, "keep looking, nothing to see here."

It doesn't mean they are bad guns, and I would never worry that the lock is going to "engage all on it's own!"
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Old June 29, 2013, 10:03 AM   #8
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Not really. The right side of a S&W has traditionally been the side to photograph since on older guns that's the side the rollmark was on and because engraving or inlays were commonly done on that side.

The auto-pistols on the S&W page are all facing the other way.. Seems to me that even S&W is embarrassed about how bad that hole looks. So are many people who sell them privately and go to lengths to use an angle that obscures the unsightly hole.
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Old June 29, 2013, 01:17 PM   #9
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Sevens says he doesn't hate S&W's because of the lock, he just hates them, hates them, hates them and maybe just plain hates them. Other than that, I wonder how he feels about S&W's.

Jim
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Old June 29, 2013, 01:47 PM   #10
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I have two Smith and Wessons. The locks on my revolvers are located in a zip lock bag, in my gun safe.
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Old June 29, 2013, 01:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Sevens says he doesn't hate S&W's because of the lock, he just hates them, hates them, hates them and maybe just plain hates them. Other than that, I wonder how he feels about S&W's.

And I didn't even use the word "hate" in my post.
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Old June 29, 2013, 05:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens
the general consensus that most men come to eventually, almost no matter the subject: "they just don't make 'em like they used to..."
Those are the internet cackling hens you hear squawking, and they make a lot of noise. The guys who actually shoot a revolver really well generally don't care - or put another way, they care much more about shooting than collecting and complaining. The cackling hens dismiss them as "gamers", but they're just really good revolver shooters, no matter the gear. It's a lesson The Hens seem to miss.
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Old June 29, 2013, 05:35 PM   #13
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The guys who actually shoot a revolver really well generally don't care
Mr. Borland, given your background, let me fix it...especially for you.
"The guys who shoot a revolver in competition, when there is nothing shooting back, don't care."

Those of us who dislike the ILS do so because it is an additional and totally unnecessary potential failure point.

Many of us have owned or carried pistols or revolvers since long before S&W added the ILS.

And some of us have an engineering background and understand "how things work"...

This is not an S&W thing, per se. I also asked Springfield to remove the ILS from the EMP I bought (when I suspected it was instrumental in the light strikes). They did so, without any questions.

I sold the Ruger MKIII I got a killer deal on...because the "lawyer crap" was interfering with both the operation of, and my enjoyment of, a strictly range gun.

As stated, the ILS can be removed and "Plugged"...or you can buy an earlier pre-ILS model (and in some instances, a modern S&W without The Lock).

Make up your own mind, and buy/act accordingly. Just make sure you have all the facts on your side (that means doing some research beyond this one thread) and then make an informed decision.

And for the record, being called a "hen" by someone I once respected does not change my mind or lessen my resolve.

It only diminishes the regard I once had for that individual...and the type of person who tries to win arguments by stooping to calling others names. That is a tactic The Left uses frequently, and to good effect (frequently unopposed.

Sad to see a TFL member using that tactic.

Last edited by orionengnr; June 29, 2013 at 05:48 PM.
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Old June 29, 2013, 06:54 PM   #14
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Straight from the mouth of a cackling hen .

The lock is an exclamation mark on the direction this country is taking. There are those who are blinded by their rose colored classes, who get upset at the very resistance to "progress". Those that see it out their window, but just keep on driving, thinking the next passer-by will stop and help. And last, but not least, the "cackling hens"... Who know and "shutter" at the thought of the outcome over the horizon.

I would be lying to my own discernment if I said it was all about mechanical failure. When they met the devil at the "crossroads" at the turn of the century.... I was right there cackling, and I will continue to cackle at the "progressive" scars left behind.
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Old June 29, 2013, 06:59 PM   #15
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Those are the internet cackling hens you hear squawking, and they make a lot of noise. The guys who actually shoot a revolver really well generally don't care - or put another way, they care much more about shooting than collecting and complaining. The cackling hens dismiss them as "gamers", but they're just really good revolver shooters, no matter the gear. It's a lesson The Hens seem to miss.
I think you are mistaken, and you might consider your own preferences in a Smith & Wesson revolver as an example. I know that there is a particular engineering number of the 686 that you yourself prefer over all the others -- you've mentioned this in the past.

It has the features you like best. Of the ones you've tried, it's the one you like above the others...is it not?

That's really what I'm after in a S&W revolver -- I want the one I like most above the others. I don't want the oldest, I certainly don't want the newest. I don't care to chase down a Victory Model, as interesting as they are. Of course I could enjoy one... I own a Taurus that I enjoy, too. But I'm not after one, looking to make my best deal on one and I'm not waiting on multiple contacts to notify me the moment they come across one.

I want the ones that I have convinced myself that I like the best. And I'm not wasting my time trying to convince anyone else in this thread that my favorite should be anyone else's.
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Old June 29, 2013, 07:23 PM   #16
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Last two posters are a couple straight-shooting hens.
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Old June 29, 2013, 07:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Not really. The right side of a S&W has traditionally been the side to photograph since on older guns that's the side the rollmark was on and because engraving or inlays were commonly done on that side.

The auto-pistols on the S&W page are all facing the other way.. Seems to me that even S&W is embarrassed about how bad that hole looks. So are many people who sell them privately and go to lengths to use an angle that obscures the unsightly hole.
I've explained it to you, think whatever you like. I've circled the lock tree enough times already over the years that I really don't have the energy or patience to argue about it any more.
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Old June 29, 2013, 08:03 PM   #18
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Over the years since the internet has made photography easy, I have noticed that many people post multiple pics of their handguns for sale, from both sides and from many angles.

With one exception.

S&W revolvers with The Lock are almost invariably photographed from the opposite side, and only that photo is posted.

Again, do your homework and see if I am lying.

It has gotten to the point where if I see an S&W revolver pictured, and the pic is from the right side, I take it for granted that the revolver has The Lock, and the owner is hiding that fact...so I have no interest in that gun.
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Old June 29, 2013, 08:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens
I think you are mistaken, and you might consider your own preferences in a Smith & Wesson revolver as an example. I know that there is a particular engineering number of the 686 that you yourself prefer over all the others -- you've mentioned this in the past.
You have a good memory. Mostly. I mainly shoot a 686, and it's true my preference is for the -5 variant, but my primary gun is a -6, with The Lock. It's what I happened to have well before I stumbled on my -5, and saw no reason to relegate it to backup status just because of the lock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens
And I'm not wasting my time trying to convince anyone else in this thread that my favorite should be anyone else's.
Neither am I. I'm just pointing out that if one wants to shoot, shoot. Everyone's got their preferences, which I respect, but these Lock & MIM threads have a self-limiting way of focusing on gear, rather than skills. If you want (or need) more of the latter, preLock/Lock, MIM, new/old issues aren't very important.
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Old June 29, 2013, 09:05 PM   #20
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The lock is an exclamation mark on the direction this country is taking.
Meh. It all started when David Lee Roth left Van Halen. Think about it. This country has been sliding into the abyss since then. They changed the formula for Coke, Ernest Borgnine died, they stopped making Twinkies, and dagnabbit, they cancelled Manimal!

Change is inevitable. I'm not a huge fan of the lock, but it doesn't cause me any sort of distress beyond aesthetics. Despite an emotional preference for older blued Smiths, the modern ones run just fine for me. In fact, I have a 620 that outshoots all of my older specimens but one.

On the other hand, I've seen more issues with the Bangor Punta-era guns than any other group taken as a whole.
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Old June 29, 2013, 09:24 PM   #21
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focusing on gear, rather than skills
Before either you or I arrived at this forum, it was a place to discuss either... or both. I believe it still is. Actually, if threads solely focused on gear with absolutely zero thought to skills aren't tasty... this might not be an enjoyable place to spend time. (because we've got many)
Quote:
I'm just pointing out that if one wants to shoot, shoot. Everyone's got their preferences, which I respect, but these Lock & MIM threads have a self-limiting way of focusing on gear, rather than skills. If you want (or need) more of the latter, preLock/Lock, MIM, new/old issues aren't very important.
Perhaps -- however, you did notice the thread title, correct?
I mean, it's not like we are discussing "the L-frame in competition" and it has since derailed in to a "country's goin' in to the toilet and my wheelgun has a balloon-knot on the port side" discussion.

It's...actually a discussion about the lock, how to identify it, and why some (many?) folks look for it...so they know to just keep looking.
Quote:
On the other hand, I've seen more issues with the Bangor Punta-era guns than any other group taken as a whole.
I've heard this many times and because I've heard it here and from folks who's knowledge I genuinely respect, I simply cannot discount it as if it's just an "internet rumor" (aka, easy way to write something off just because you want to) but of the handful of Smith & Wesson revolvers that I own... of course it ends up being a Model 19-3 that sure seems to be the "best" of them all. Could be because that particular B-P era 'Smith was produced as a commemorative, I don't know, but I *think* I know what I'm looking for, and it's my...uhhh... "finest" ?!

'21, '74, '82, '88, '89, '94, 2001. I like all of them. I suppose the "shoddiest" one I have owned was a 1979, and it wasn't what I would call "shoddy." I'm unsure if '79 was Bangor Punta era or not.

Of course, great ones and less-so examples have certainly come from any/every different "generation" of Smith & Wesson revolvers. It makes for interesting discussion.
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Old June 29, 2013, 09:43 PM   #22
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Meh. It all started when David Lee Roth left Van Halen. Think about it. This country has been sliding into the abyss since then. They changed the formula for Coke, Ernest Borgnine died, they stopped making Twinkies, and dagnabbit, they cancelled Manimal!
Like I said, some don't really care and some do. You made it clear where you stand Tom. Thanks for showing me.
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Old June 29, 2013, 10:33 PM   #23
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Like I said, some don't really care and some do. You made it clear where you stand Tom. Thanks for showing me.
Glad to help! Just remember, it isn't Van Halen if Sammy Hagar's at the mic.

Quote:
I've heard this many times and because I've heard it here and from folks who's knowledge I genuinely respect, I simply cannot discount it as if it's just an "internet rumor"
It's going to be subjective. I grew up with the Bangor Punta guns. Some were impeccable. Most were good. Some left me scratching my head and wondering how they got through quality control.

What I've seen in the post-2000 guns is greater consistency. I attribute some of that to CNC.

It's hard to do a 1:1 comparison because we're all going to have different pools of guns to compare, but I can think of a couple of examples from my experience. I saw at least ten Bangor Punta era guns that came out of the factory with over- or under-torqued barrels, resulting in the front sight being out of alignment. I've only ever seen that on one of the newer guns.

I have seen one of the locks fail, and I've heard at least two other credible accounts of them failing. On the other hand, I saw several of the older guns with bent hammers that dragged the frame, and I saw at least three in which the hammer blocks were misaligned under the sideplates, causing them to drag.

Thing is, I've been in the business for a few years, and I see tons of the newer guns come and go. From my particular vantage point, the newer guns are overwhelmingly solid.
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Old June 29, 2013, 10:50 PM   #24
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Glad to help! Just remember, it isn't Van Halen if Sammy Hagar's at the mic.
Well.... There's one thing we agree on. Van Hagar is not Van Halen.
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Old June 30, 2013, 09:14 PM   #25
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"country's goin' in to the toilet and my wheelgun has a balloon-knot on the port side" discussion.]
HA! that gave me a good chuckle!
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