Author Topic: Removing the S&W Internal Lock  (Read 1294 times)

Offline David in MN

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Removing the S&W Internal Lock
« on: November 24, 2018, 01:44:29 PM »
So I saw this video removing the internal lock on S&W revolvers...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVPYgohVCNM

Have any of you done this? Is it legal? I've thought about gluing mine open before. I mean, nobody has ever used the lock. From a safety standpoint I've never understood it. Is there some fool out there who tells the wife, "it's OK that junior is waving around a revolver because the internal lock is engaged"?

Just reaching out to hear what others have done or their thoughts on the matter. It's a sensitive subject so please keep things theoretical.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Removing the S&W Internal Lock
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2018, 04:41:15 PM »
It's a patented (or at least claimed) fill in part.

https://www.originalprecision.com/

And even they tell you to keep the original parts if you need to send the gun in for service. I guess S&W doesn't take favorably to us jokers modifying their guns to avoid a lockout we'd never use anyway.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Removing the S&W Internal Lock
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2018, 05:15:46 PM »
In today's ridiculous, litigious society, I would heartily recommend against any modifications to a firearm of this nature.  Especially one carried for self-defense. 

Even though the prosecutor may waive off the criminal trial for self-defense, you still face a civil trial.  Requirements for finding in favor, or against,  of a defendant are much lighter than in a civil trial.  Only 51% is necessary.  If the other side's attorney finds out about the modification, your trial is going to be filled with "David didn't even care for the safety features of the weapon, so he decided to make it MORE LETHAL by removing the safety of the weapon."

No, to anyone with common sense, the mod wouldn't have done anything better, or worse, but do you really want to be tried in front of a jury of ignorant idiots who won't know any better?

If it's a target pistol or competition pistol, only. . .meh.

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Offline David in MN

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Re: Removing the S&W Internal Lock
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2018, 05:30:27 PM »
In today's ridiculous, litigious society, I would heartily recommend against any modifications to a firearm of this nature.  Especially one carried for self-defense. 

Even though the prosecutor may waive off the criminal trial for self-defense, you still face a civil trial.  Requirements for finding in favor, or against,  of a defendant are much lighter than in a civil trial.  Only 51% is necessary.  If the other side's attorney finds out about the modification, your trial is going to be filled with "David didn't even care for the safety features of the weapon, so he decided to make it MORE LETHAL by removing the safety of the weapon."

No, to anyone with common sense, the mod wouldn't have done anything better, or worse, but do you really want to be tried in front of a jury of ignorant idiots who won't know any better?

If it's a target pistol or competition pistol, only. . .meh.

The Professor

I hate to say... Exactly what I thought. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury; he removed a safety feature..." Yeah, one that none of us have ever used and costs a risk of failure.

If ever this world got sane.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: Removing the S&W Internal Lock
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 06:33:25 PM »
Is it legal? Why wouldn't it be? There is a pretty clear cut list of things that would make the firearm illegal to own without tax paperwork or a Type 3 FFL/SOT. You aren't making it fully automatic, or attaching a vertical foregrip, or a shoulder stock, or converting

As far as being prosecuted for it... It has absolutely NOTHING, I'll say it again, NOTHING to do with the safe function or use of the firearm. No argument can be made, in a situation where lethal force was legally warranted, that the removal of a storage device had any bearing whatsoever on the legality of the shooting itself. Nobody would EVER engage that lock and then carry the gun. "Wait a sec while I unlock my gun please".  ::)

I have removed exactly one, on my mother's 642. It took about an hour total, only because I stoned and polished the action while I had it open. If I had only removed the lock itself, then fifteen minutes tops. I don't buy guns with locks on them, so it's probably the only one I will ever remove.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Removing the S&W Internal Lock
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 05:29:17 AM »
Is it legal? Why wouldn't it be?
Legal?  Absolutely.  (OK, there may be issues in places like NJ or MA, but those aside.)  The real point here is how not to be taken to the cleaners in an ensuing civil trial.  The Professor put it well a couple of posts up-thread.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: Removing the S&W Internal Lock
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 06:47:32 PM »
As I said...it is a STORAGE device that has zip, zero, nada, nothing to do with the safe function or use of the firearm. It would be a loonnnngggg stretch to argue that removal of a storage device constitutes malicious intent to injure or kill another person.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Removing the S&W Internal Lock
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 06:04:47 AM »
As I said...it is a STORAGE device that has zip, zero, nada, nothing to do with the safe function or use of the firearm. It would be a loonnnngggg stretch to argue that removal of a storage device constitutes malicious intent to injure or kill another person.

I wouldn't even give it that status. I can't imagine being in a position where I relied on the internal lock as a safety measure. It presupposes that either the gun is in hands it shouldn't be or that I am in a condition where I shouldn't be fiddling with a gun. Either way there are better solutions. Maybe one could make an argument for its use in cleaning but I still feel it's better practice to just lock the ammo. The only scenario where an internal lock would be useful is if your gun is taken in a fight and the provided internal lock can't do that.

All that said, it's the dumbass jury system I fear. I know that all the people reading this and anyone who owns one would completely understand wanting to be rid of that useless feature. But I have to convince the dumbest 12 people they could scoop up off skid row that I didn't "make  the gun more dangerous". As is sadly often the case with guns perception triumphs over reality.

Offline DevinStClair

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Re: Removing the S&W Internal Lock
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2019, 02:04:14 PM »
Just bought a model 638 last year, would have preferred not to have the internal lock but not an option for the new ones as I understood it.  Searching around for cases where it failed to fire (safety malfunction) looked like there haven't been many cases of that and nothing very recent.   Is that the reason you want to remove yours David?  Just curious, in case my info is wrong and I should consider removing mine too.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Removing the S&W Internal Lock
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2019, 02:26:38 PM »
Just bought a model 638 last year, would have preferred not to have the internal lock but not an option for the new ones as I understood it.  Searching around for cases where it failed to fire (safety malfunction) looked like there haven't been many cases of that and nothing very recent.   Is that the reason you want to remove yours David?  Just curious, in case my info is wrong and I should consider removing mine too.

Just imagine if your car had 7 toggle switches to ensure you were sure you wanted to turn it on but you could leave them on all the time. You'd never turn them off but it would be a useless feature. That's the internal lock. Nobody engages it and it has a couple springs that could cause failure. It's a bad feature. You don't follow lock out tag out procedure on a gun. Just imagine telling the police to calm down because you have engaged the internal lock.

Bottom line for me is that it provides almost no value and has a failure capacity. In a world of people like me it would be gone but in the current world I'd fear the legal ramifications if I removed it. Not legal advice and YMMV.

Offline DevinStClair

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Re: Removing the S&W Internal Lock
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2019, 02:46:00 PM »
I see, thanks.  I almost chose a different revolver based on that lock, wanted to be sure I didn't miss any recent news about reported problems with it when I saw your post.