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Old 10-31-2010, 07:04   #21
silversport
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fastbolt knows his stuff and likes to share...I have learned much from his writings...

FWIW I have a 642-2 with the lock...would have preferred it did not have it but the price was right when I bought it and I have since had mine worked on but the lock was left untouched...no issues but mostly 125GR standard velocity Nyclads with some reloads and 135GR +P Speer Gold Dot (before the short barreled ammo was available)...no problems with mine...carries nearly a easily as my Seecamp LWS32...

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Old 10-31-2010, 11:07   #22
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FWIW, over the years since the introduction of the ILS in the S&W revolvers I've had the opportunity to discuss it with some of their folks, including a couple of the repair technicians and some of the CS/QC folks who work directly with LE/Gov agency customers.

From what I've heard, while they experienced a few scattered issues with the early X-frame guns and the ILS (due to the tremendous recoil, it seems), they resolved those issues. I've also heard that guns that have been returned for "lock problems" turned out to be either caused by other problems, involved guns which might have been tampered with by the owners, or might even have been the result of an occasional production/assembly issue. (This last potential factor seems to have been taken quite seriously by the company from the way it was discussed.) They seemed candid enough and weren't defensive in the least about the subject.

It just didn't seem that it was something for which they received a lot of complaints and warranty returns.

There are many more things which can "lock up" a revolver than a potentially malfunctioning ILS.

When I've ordered some spare/repair parts I've noticed the ILS torque lock spring has been revised. Not uncommon, though. A lot of S&W parts and components are always being revised. Sometimes it's a change in the part itself, a refinement or improvement, sometimes a change in a vendor, and sometimes simply a change in the part number or some minor change not connected to the performance of the part.

As I stated earlier, I know a number of guys who are carrying various J-frames, both Airlite Magnums and Airweight .38's, and they've not experienced any problems related to the ILS in their guns. While any piece of mechanical equipment can experience a problem, the potential for ILS-involved problems has gone pretty far down on the personal list of things I worry about.

There was one guy who bought a used 642-2 to carry as a backup weapon & for off-duty when he didn't want to wear a belt holstered weapon. He was experiencing no problems with the 642 on the range as he received it. I did inspect it at one point and felt the locking arm spring seemed a little lighter in tension than I'd found in new guns (or during the armorer class). I replaced the locking arm & spring with newer parts and noticed the spring tension was heavier. The gun still ran normally afterward, and I liked the heavier tension on the locking arm spring. I know another guy who carries a 442-2 for backup & off-duty and shoots it a lot. He's a longtime shooter, for recreation and competition venues, and has subjected that 442 to heavier use than many J-frame owners would probably consider doing. No problems with his ILS-equipped gun to date. I could go on ...

On the other hand, for the folks who are adamant in not owning a revolver with any sort of lock built into it, there are options out there, even within the S&W product line. Suit yourself. I certainly don't make it my business to try and convince someone that they need to think about things the same way I might. It's their money and their choice.

Personally, I've considered adding a 6th J-frame to my retirement collection, this time maybe a new M40 (no ILS, but a grip safety), and maybe in nickel. I miss an excellent M36 nickel 3" Heavy Barrel I foolishly let slip through my hands many years ago.
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Last edited by fastbolt; 10-31-2010 at 11:23..
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Old 11-04-2010, 19:31   #23
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I have a few snubbies with the lock, and a whole bunch more without it....they all have worked just fine without fail. Let's see.....11 snubbies in the collection now...it's all good stuff!
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Old 11-04-2010, 19:44   #24
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I have for a couple of years. Every time I go shooting, I draw it from my pocket holster and fire five shots.....it always go bang. Personally it does not bother me. There are plenty of internet stories saying otherwise. Until it fails me I will continue to use it.
After it fails once, you may not be able to continue using it.
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Old 11-05-2010, 14:00   #25
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When you think about the vast number of ILS equipped revolvers that are out there, I'd have a tendency to believe that the percentage of those guns that have had ILS problems is probably very small. And likely much smaller than other guns with their problems.
Has anyone heard or seen any stories about an S&W owner being hurt or killed in a self defense situation because the ILS seized up their gun?
My 642 has been and continues to be flawless and if it was'nt for firearm forums and the internet stories floating around, I would never have known there was any sort of problem.


The thing I don't like is that the lock ruins it's good looks.
It's like a boil on the face of a beautiful woman.

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Old 11-05-2010, 14:25   #26
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I carry a 638 with a lock daily, and shoot 50 rounds through it weekly. Never had a problem, nor a worry.
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Old 11-05-2010, 17:56   #27
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I carry one or two j-frames daily, each have ILS, each gets taken to the range often and shot hard. Never a problem with either. If I carry the second j-frame it is not because I don't trust one or the other, it is because it is faster to pull out a second revolver and start shooting vs recharging and getting back into action.
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Old 11-05-2010, 19:02   #28
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Carrying my MP340 right now. I completely forgot about the lock until I saw this thread. I had intended to remove the lock when I first got it after reading some stories......on the internet. Like I said, I forgot about it and carry it all the time. I shoot it every time I go out and never had a problem!
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:45   #29
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Mine works well for me although I would prefer the lock not be there.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:49   #30
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I have a no lock 442 that I carry every day, just couldn't bring myself to get a gun with a built in lock,
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Old 11-13-2010, 20:01   #31
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I've never bothered removing the locks because they don't bother me, but they're easy to remove if you don't like them. I sure wouldn't pay a premium for a non lock gun.
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Old 11-17-2010, 20:49   #32
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I just picked up a 442 with a lock. I was inclined to buy one without a lock but after some discussion with trusted sources and the $319 (before rebate from Smith) price I went home with a gun with the ILS. The only time I think about it is when I read threads like this one.

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Old 11-17-2010, 20:56   #33
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I just picked up a 442 with a lock. I was inclined to buy one without a lock but after some discussion with trusted sources and the $319 (before rebate from Smith) price I went home with a gun with the ILS. The only time I think about it is when I read threads like this one.

rk
$319 BEFORE the rebate? That dealer got a smoking deal some place. That's below the current wholesale price for them.
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Old 11-17-2010, 21:01   #34
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$319 BEFORE the rebate? That dealer got a smoking deal some place. That's below the current wholesale price for them.
The price really simplified the decision making process for me

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Old 11-17-2010, 21:19   #35
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You should buy five or ten for that price. You can make money on them later.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:29   #36
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Likewise, I got a great deal on a new 642.

When I see used 642's going for $325, I always wonder just how badly the seller got scammed on the original deal.

I don't know if S&W is bending the rules for the poorer economy - selling them to dealers at low prices - or what's going on. But enough of the Airweights are to be had, new, at great prices that it doesn't make sense to buy a 642 used for above $300. Especially since the word on the street is that, while they CAN handle +P's, the frame starts tweaking from the shock, and to never buy a 642 with more than XX number of +P's through it.

I'm fine with all of that - it's a great carry pistol, and I'm fine with it not being a target pistol or a +P monster.
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Old 11-18-2010, 18:24   #37
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Likewise, I got a great deal on a new 642.

When I see used 642's going for $325, I always wonder just how badly the seller got scammed on the original deal.

I don't know if S&W is bending the rules for the poorer economy - selling them to dealers at low prices - or what's going on. But enough of the Airweights are to be had, new, at great prices that it doesn't make sense to buy a 642 used for above $300. Especially since the word on the street is that, while they CAN handle +P's, the frame starts tweaking from the shock, and to never buy a 642 with more than XX number of +P's through it.

I'm fine with all of that - it's a great carry pistol, and I'm fine with it not being a target pistol or a +P monster.


I'd love to know what XX is, since the guns have been tested to over 20K with +p ammo.
I DID read a review where the new Ruger LCR picked up .003 of frame window dimensions after 5K of +p...but I haven't heard such a thing with the Airweight Smiths.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:23   #38
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I'd love to know what XX is, since the guns have been tested to over 20K with +p ammo.

Well some guy works with a guy who overheard two guys talking at a gun shop and he said he read on the Ruger Forum.................
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Old 11-19-2010, 18:21   #39
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Well some guy works with a guy who overheard two guys talking at a gun shop and he said he read on the Ruger Forum.................
Was that his wife's sister's cousin's roomate who wrote on the forum about his brother's friend's uncle's experience with that second hand revolver with 175,000 rounds through it?

With all this scary lock talk, I think I'm gonna dump my 642 and buy a P-3AT.

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Old 11-19-2010, 18:34   #40
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I carry a Ruger SP101 so I do not have to worry about a gun that might lockup when you need it in self defense. I carry Ruger revolvers because they are dependable and less expensive than S&W products.
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