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Old July 1, 2018, 11:57 PM   #1
Ralph G. Briscoe
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Smith lockup--it happened

As the owner of several newer (with lock) Smith revolvers I've been skeptical about reports of them spontaneously locking up....until yesterday.
I was testing some new handloads in my model 632. On what would have been the 5th shot it locked up. I've read that this is most likely to happen with hot loads. My gun has been fired very little and never with hot loads. Those carrying Smiths with the lock for self defense should be warned.
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Old July 2, 2018, 01:12 AM   #2
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"Locked up" is a general term, covering any cause that keeps the cylinder from rotating. So, let's be clear, are you saying that the S&W internal lock ACTIVATED ITSELF FROM RECOIL??

and what did you do after that?? Did unlocking the gun (using the key?) cure the problem? Did you try again, to see if it was just a one time fluke, or a regular thing???
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Old July 2, 2018, 03:09 AM   #3
Model12Win
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We need more information before jumping to conclusions.
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Old July 2, 2018, 03:09 AM   #4
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I'm curious to hear more details as well. I've heard of this but have never seen it. I don't just mean on the internet. My gunsmith told me about it happening on an air-weight J-frame. Hot loads with a very light gun does seem like the best odds for it. Of course, the "I told you so" from the "it's a totally unnecessary mechanical extra that could dangerously fail and only exists due to duress from anti-gun political forces" folks might feel justified on one example.
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Old July 2, 2018, 04:16 AM   #5
shurshot
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Remove it in 10 minutes. How to-do videos on YouTube. Mine have never locked (638, 29-10), with hot loads through both. More details please pertaining to your load and lock up situation.

Last edited by shurshot; July 2, 2018 at 04:21 AM.
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Old July 2, 2018, 08:11 AM   #6
cslinger
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I hate the lock and absolutely believe it can happen, especially with the hot loads/light Gun combo.

That being said there are more ways to lock a revolver up then that lock.

Are you sure it was the lock? Were you able to key it off and be back in business?
Could it have been debris under the ejector star?
Could one of your reloads been out of spec or jumped crimp?
Any internal parts failure found?

Again not saying it wasn’t the lock and would love to have another documented case of it to add to the data pool so to speak, just curious as it could have been something else. I mean I locked up a 625 pretty good......pre lock.
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Old July 2, 2018, 08:40 AM   #7
FITASC
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Quote:
I was testing some new handloads
I suspect this to be the more than likely culprit
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Old July 2, 2018, 10:28 AM   #8
Dave T
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Quote:
I suspect this to be the more than likely culprit
So you're saying the problem with this S&W revolver is that it should only be fired with mild ammunition, lest it render itself inoperable?

Sorry but I won't own one of the (expletive deleted) things.

I'll go take my meds and crawl back under my rock now,
Dave
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Old July 2, 2018, 10:29 AM   #9
shurshot
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I locked up my old early 70's model 10 about 30 years ago, just playing with it. Ejector rod backed out slightly ... locked her up solid. My favorite GunSmith had to use a rubber mallet to open it. Drop of lock-tite fixed it. How hot were your handloads? I have heard of the Scandium frame .357 Magnums locking up on occassion, but not the Airweight .38's.

Last edited by shurshot; July 2, 2018 at 10:34 AM.
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Old July 2, 2018, 10:32 AM   #10
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lets give the OP a little more time to respond with more details before we speculate ourselves to irrelevance. Not everyone is here every day...
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Old July 2, 2018, 11:05 AM   #11
FITASC
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Quote:
So you're saying the problem with this S&W revolver is that it should only be fired with mild ammunition, lest it render itself inoperable?

Sorry but I won't own one of the (expletive deleted) things.

I'll go take my meds and crawl back under my rock now,
Dave
Nice snarky comment, considering that is not what I said. It doesn't take a lot in some cases to lock up any revolver. So, until the OP provides more info to rule it out, it IS a possibility.
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Old July 2, 2018, 12:03 PM   #12
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was it 632-1 or a 632-2?
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Old July 2, 2018, 12:23 PM   #13
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The OP posted this on another forum. His follow up post is quoted below

Quote:
"It locked up completely--nothing would move, couldn't open the cylinder. As I was testing new handloads at first thought the problem might be ammo-related, then I remembered the lock, found the key and unlocked it. It's functioning normally now, but I don't trust it until the lock's dehorned."
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Old July 2, 2018, 01:10 PM   #14
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For the sake of clarity, spawnd references a thread by the OP on the Smith and Wesson forum.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-rev...-happened.html

For the record, the above linked thread has numerous first hand reports of internal lock failure on Smith and Wessons. That forum actually had a sticky of such episodes, but got lost in some kind of interwebs meltdown.
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Old July 2, 2018, 04:12 PM   #15
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Scandium frame is nothing more than aluminum with about 1 % scandium ! There have been some comments about bullet weight and loads with light frames .
Just dump the lock and get on with life ! The world is full of poor engineering .
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Old July 2, 2018, 06:36 PM   #16
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I swore I would never buy one with a lock but last week I found a deal I couldn't pass up.

I got a 640-3 and will be removing the lock and plugging the hole.

Otherwise it is a great gun.
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Old July 2, 2018, 07:03 PM   #17
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The lock is such a bummer... I'm a Ruger man but only because of that dang lock.
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Old July 2, 2018, 11:27 PM   #18
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I bought a .500 mag X-Frame in 2003, and had it lock up solid on the 3rd or 4th shot. The lock flag thingie was NOT up, and the key wouldn't turn the lock mechanism either direction. The hammer would not cock in either single or double action modes, and the crane wouldn't open. I emailed S&W about it, and Herb Belin (product manager) called me and said he would arrange for it to be picked up the next day and returned for repair. I asked if it was going to be FedEx or UPS or what, as it still had live rounds in it, and he said, "I have a rep in Denver who will drive to your house and personally take possession of it."
A little later, the Denver rep, Danny... something, called and asked when I would be available the next day, and I told him 4:30 would be perfect. About 4:30 the next day, he drove up my road outside East Helena, Montana, took possession of the revolver, gave me a receipt, and left. A week or so later, a brand new X-Frame .500 was delivered to my house via FedEx. Herb followed up with another call and said it was the first factory documented failure of the new locking system up to that time. Maybe they tell everybody that, who knows.
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Old July 3, 2018, 10:42 AM   #19
Bobshouse
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Got fortunate and purchased a S&W 617 years ago, was expecting the lock, but it came in without one!
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Old July 3, 2018, 03:08 PM   #20
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Ralph, come back. We need more details!
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Old July 3, 2018, 04:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
Ejector rod backed out slightly ... locked her up solid.
Lacking other proof of the IL as the culprit, the above seems a more likely answer. And yes, I have both early and late model Smiths...more than an dozen...to qualify that statement. Rod
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Old July 3, 2018, 05:39 PM   #22
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My philosophy, never buy a gun with a lock or a springy thingy in the trigger.
Recently wanted to add another .357 to my collection, searched high and low for a reasonably priced pre-lock 686, finally gave up and popped for a Dan Wesson. No lock and interchangeable barrels what's not to like.
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Old July 3, 2018, 06:03 PM   #23
Sgt127
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Quote:
Ejector rod backed out slightly ... locked her up solid. My favorite GunSmith had to use a rubber mallet to open it
Find a new gunsmith....
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Old July 3, 2018, 06:28 PM   #24
shurshot
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Sgt127; Any suggestions on how to open a locked up solid model 10 with a backed out ejector rod as I described, WITHOUT using a rubber mallet??? As far as my Gunsmith, he retired long ago, in his mid 80's now, a personal friend of mine, a retired Constable in the Town I grew up in. The mallet worked and quite well, as that gun was locked up tighter than Hillary's E-mail server. Is there a better method you know of, aside from your suggestion?

Last edited by shurshot; July 3, 2018 at 06:34 PM.
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Old July 3, 2018, 08:39 PM   #25
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Yes. Several ways. If it’s a shrouded ejector, A thin strip of inner tube or leather wrapped around the knurled part of the ejector. You have to feed it around. Hold the hammer back partially to drop the bolt and rotate the cylinder, while holding tension against the rod. Alternatively, use a brass punch and use it as a wedge against the knurled part of the rod and the lug, and rotate the cylinder as described.

Exposed rod, simply Tighten with padded pliers or, hold it, drop the bolt by manipulating the hammer and, rotate the cylinder until it’s tight enough to clear.
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