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Would you carry a 642 WITH the lock?

Discussion in 'The Snubbie Club' started by wrx04, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. wrx04


    Sep 25, 2008
    I just picked up my first 642 after trading in my p22. It's a nice little gun, but the only problem is it has the ILS. Even though the chance of the lock ever becoming a problem is small, something about it bugs me. Do any of you carry one with the lock?
  2. Whaledriver


    Dec 21, 2006
    I have for a couple of years. Every time I go shooting, I draw it from my pocket holster and fire five 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.

  3. JK-linux


    Mar 5, 2009
    I carry one nearly every day. I eventually removed the ILS "just to be sure". It probably wasn't necessary, but I can always reinstall it in a few minutes.
  4. wrx04


    Sep 25, 2008
    I thought about doing that, but i'm scared to "tinker" with a weapon that was designed to have the lock in it. I almost feel it would be less reliable with it removed.(?)

    I am contemplating taking the monetary loss and trading for a gun without the lock. I hate to lose money on a perfectly good gun though, just to get the same exact thing in return.
  5. JK-linux


    Mar 5, 2009
    Guess that's your call. Mine works fine with and without the ILS. Good luck.
  6. wrx04


    Sep 25, 2008
    Did you remove the lock yourself?
  7. ArtCrafter

    ArtCrafter ¤Hocker Mocker¤

    Jul 14, 2008
    Only if there was no alternative.

    There are many alternatives.

    Not sure about JK-linux here on GT, but 4eversnubby on YouTube did.

    If done correctly, removing the ILS components should not adversely affect reliability; in principle, it should actually improve it. (No lock/parts to fail.)

    Still, the more direct route would seem to be one of the aforementioned alternatives. (e.g., Buy a "no lock" 642; there are at least 11 of them on right now...)

    YMMV/HTH :wavey:
  8. This...plenty of "stories" on the errornet...
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  9. Dogguy


    Aug 2, 2008
    Soggy South.
    I have two 642 Smiths. One has the lock, one doesn't. Both have been treated to action jobs by a reputable gunsmith and both are as smooth as butter. I currently carry the one without the lock due to a propensity on my part to be overly cautious (possibly even paranoid). That is likely due to the speculation and the very few credible stories on the internet. Virtually ANYTHING can happen and usually has or will. I've got a few horror stories of my own I could tell about guns I've used but I know what happened in each case was atypical. It is unlikely those incidents will ever happen again. When I consider that, I really can't justify not carrying a 642 with IL just because of the lock.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  10. Chup


    Feb 11, 2008
    N. Ohio
    Yes, I would and have carried with the lock. ANYTHING mechanical can break. I bought a new J-Frame and after 30 pulls on the trigger it broke. This had nothing to do with the lock the cylinder just quit turning. this is why I would never carry just One Gun.
  11. wrx04


    Sep 25, 2008
    Interesting. I guess you just have to play the odds. I dont think i could ever carry two gun is a big enough PIA for me. The odds of you ever needing one are slim, and the odds of it failing when you need it are almost ZERO. That being said, the stakes are about as high as they get, your gun fails....your dead.
  12. tortoise


    Dec 18, 2000
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  13. oldtexan


    Jul 15, 2005
    I carry one or two 642-2 (with the lock) as backup(s) to a G34 or G19. I'd prefer 642-1 without the lock, but I'm not convinced it's a big enough risk to justify the expense of buying and breaking in a pair of 642-1.

    My understanding is that almost all of the unintended activations of the lock have happened either with extremely light guns with heavily recoiling ammo (eg 329 with heavy .44 magnum loads, etc) or, according to comments by Dr. Gary K. Roberts on another forum, when the gun is dropped onto a hard surface. I load +P .38 in the 642 so I'm not very concerned about the recoil locking up the gun. If I'm in a "fouled up tangle" with a criminal and drop the gun, my plan is to draw another.

    In the last two years or so, I've put about 350 rds through each 642-2 without any problem with the lock. I did, however have a misfire issue with one of them with certain types of factory ammo (Ten-X and Sellier & Bellot) and had to have the firing pin replaced under warranty.

    One reason I carry more than one gun is because of the possibility of a malfunction. Anything made by man is fallible.
  14. I asked the same question of Evan Marshall on his site, as I have a 642 with lock that has a trigger that is butter smooth out of the box. He said something about expecting Martians before expecting a lock problem. I too carry a 2nd and occasionally a 3rd gun for that and other reasons. I had a new Charter Arms 2000 that broke after about ten rounds, a Mac 11 that gummed up on hardball (out of box) and an AMT DAO Backup that choked on hardball (out of box). A return trip to the mfg. for the pistol and revolver and a dremmel tool for the Mac 11 (burr in chamber) solved the problems as long as I had the guns. Carry a backup if you EVER expect trouble that will involve a firearm to solve! You have been advised!

    Gray Rider
    Deo Vindice!

    "I have heard. You are the gray rider. You would not make peace with the bluecoats!
    You may go in peace!"

    Chief Ten Bears to the outlaw Josey Wales
  15. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    My collection of J-frames includes one with the ILS, a M&P 340. I use it for most of my range training & practice nowadays. It's never exhibited a problem with the ILS (internal lock) when I've used standard pressure and +P .38 loads or Magnum loads.

    I've handled, shot and inspected (as an armorer) a number of other J-frames, some of which are equipped with the ILS and are carried by fellow LE as secondary or off-duty weapons, as well as having observed a number of other owners of ILS-equipped J-frames shooting for practice or qualification, and none of them have experienced problems to date.

    In the revolver armorer class I attended I asked the instructor about any reported problems from LE users with the ILS (since the J-frames are becoming very popular again for secondary & off-duty weapons among LE). He said he'd never heard one of his LE armorer students report a problem, and nobody in that particular class had anything negative to report ... aside from the older folks in my age group being prone to preferring the older, traditional revolvers. ;) The part of the class devoted to servicing the ILS was very brief and limited to replacing the torque lock spring in the locking arm if it was ever required.

    I will offer that if someone opens up their ILS-equipped revolver and starts to fiddle with things, like removing the hammer and bolt, then it's possible for the bottom leg of the locking arm's torque lock spring to slip free of its recess in the frame, which could cause problems.

    Personally, if given the choice between a model equipped with the ILS and one without, I'd choose the one without the ILS (less parts and less to maintain from an armorer's perspective), but I don't worry about my M&P 340's ILS engaging unexpectedly, either. ;)

    While I own a couple of 642-1's without the ILS, I've come to carry the M&P 340 much more often than my 642's. I like the night sight and it's lighter in my pocket holster.

    Juts my thoughts.

    FWIW, S&W has started to offer some of their internal hammer J-frames without the ILS. The M40/42 has the grip safety instead of the ILS, too. ;)
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010
  16. G33

    G33 Frisky! Millennium Member CLM

    May 29, 1999
    With G29
    fastbolt always has great posts.
  17. GammaDriver


    Jun 3, 2002
    I carry mine more than any other weapon I own.
  18. the perfesser

    the perfesser

    Jun 24, 2007
    I have a 442-2 with the lock. Would prefer one without, but bought mine new a few years ago when there was no option, and for $371+tax. So I really can't complain. When I carry -- and that's infrequently -- that's what I have in my pocket.
  19. F350


    Feb 3, 2005
    The Wyoming Plains
    The only problems I have heard of are with the 357 chambering and then when using light bullets with heavy powder charges.

    When working at an indoor range I did see one. A guy came on with one locked up, he had cocked the hammer to fire single action and could not get the hammer to fall, he brought it in all taped up to prevent firing.

    I took it on the range and cut the tape off and tried to fire it, nothing. used a key from one of our guns and unlocked and tried to fire, nothing, turned the key to lock, then unlock and the hammer dropped:wow: Fortunately the internal safeties worked and it didn't fire, while pointed down range I did not have the best grip on it to handle the recoil from the Rem 125 gr 357 semi-jacked HPs it was loaded with.

    The gun was new, first trip to the range and this was the second cylinder of the Remingtons which was the load he planed to carry. He said he had fired 50 38 spls first then went with the 357s.

    Again, I have not heard of problems with the 38s just the 357s with heavy loads, my wife caries a 642 and I have fears of problems with it.
  20. wrx04


    Sep 25, 2008
    Thank you for the detailed post. Means a lot coming from a s&w amorer.:thumbsup: