Saturday, January 24, 2009

S&Ws without internal locks

I took up handgunning when the revolver was king. My first double-action revolver was a S&W Model 19 .357 Magnum I bought with hoarded money from a summer job I had between my freshman and sophmore college years. When I went into law enforcement, I carried a S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman tuned by Ron Power, who launched Power Custom in 1959 while still working for Armco Steel in the Kansas City area.

I still carry a S&W rev0lver every day. I'm an old goat in a vast sea of semi-auto toters. But the warm spot I hold in my heart for classic Smith and Wessons has never extended to cover those with the internal locks, MIM innards, crush-fit barrels, etc. I examine them at the gun shops and seldom take one home.

The classics line has somewhat regenerated me. It's good to see the fabled Model 58 .41 Magnum back in the the current catalog, as well as the Models 17 and 18 .22 K-frames. They still have the damned keyhole, but I see where the 442 and 642 J-frame Centennials are now offered without internal locks. Perhaps S&W is building a few with frames designed for the reintroduced lightweight Model 42 Centennial. Neither the all-steel Model 40 Centennial nor the aluminum-frame Model 42 is burdened with an internal lock because they're fitted with grip safties.

My 642-2 is equipped with the Clinton/Cuomo internal lock. The never-used key is still resting in the blue plastic box. The mechanism not caused any malfunctions for me, but more complex devices are more likely to fail as some have found out. If I want to lock a revolver, there's plenty of cable locks around here. Handcuffs work even better than internal or cable locks for most revolvers. One can run one cuff through the cylinder opening in the frame and fasten the other cuff to an immovable object.

No comments: