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  #1  
Old 09-25-2009, 08:55 PM
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Default The "Plug" for a S&W J-Frame

John has been cranking out "Plugs" for our S&W IL transplants for several weeks now & I believe he really has them down pat. Looks like they are set up for J, K, L, & N Frame revolvers in Blue, Stainless, & Matte finishes. I've gotten several "Plugs" from John, and they all are perfect regarding thicknesses into the IL hole. They are easy to put in and are held in by the Forked Spring. Well worth the $25.00 he is charging. Here are a couple pictures of my S&W model 638 Airweight Bodyguard, as well as the actual milled "Plug". Lets see some more of those J-Frames.
Carl
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:18 PM
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exfebee:

Looks great!

I think it makes a firm yet polite statement to those who might notice these little details. Sure, S&W doesn't see it although I have read a few recent threads where S&W is starting to produce more products without the IL.

I have a "Bullseye Smith" plug in my 686 SSR and one will be going in my 640.

I hope to see these plugs offered in Brownell's or the Midway catalogs someday soon.

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Old 09-26-2009, 10:28 AM
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My no lock 640 died one day when the barrel blew using std 38 special ammo.I wound up getting a new one with the IL which I never touch.I might buy one of these plugs to make a statement to S+W to get rid of them.....Mike
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:48 PM
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Cruiser RN:

Wait no longer: get a plug! "Banish the lock and be free of the key" is my new motto. OK, I only have two revolvers but it's still my new motto. Reward the creativity of Bullseye Smith who is filling the need (yes, pun intended) of fellow S&W owners.

Chris
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:50 PM
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They do look worlds better with that plug installed.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:31 PM
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I've got a 638 Airweight. How do I get a plug?
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:42 PM
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Just E-mail me at Wjohnwitt@aol.com
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:34 AM
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Is there one available that matches the black finish on the 340PD?

Thanks
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:17 PM
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The "PLUG" is for sale in the Classified section under the Accessories/Misc. section.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne02 View Post
Is there one available that matches the black finish on the 340PD?

Thanks
Ditto... my 432PD is a black anodized alloy frame, how close of match up would the "blued" version be??
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:26 PM
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The Blue is like a flat Black, should be close.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:32 PM
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Dumb question from a Forensic Pathologist and not a gunsmith or tinkerer with guns , but a shooter and a collector.

What does one have to do to disable the infernal internal lock so that the plug can be inserted. I don't have but one or two with the locks, but I really want them to go.

Be nice to an old guy and explain it SIMPLY!
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:56 PM
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medxam,

Try this link.

YouTube - S&W Internal Lock Removal
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2009, 05:25 PM
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Default Hopefully helpful...

I posted this on another forum:

Okay, guys, here you go:

I assumed that everyone already knows how to pop the sideplate, so hopefully, the pics will be adequate. I realized today that there was one I should have taken, and didn't, but I'm not going to strip it down to shoot one photo.

Here's the original, ugly-*** lock:


Here's the internal view, with all components of the lock assembly in place:


Here, the "flag," along with its tiny spring, have been lifted out, the lock cylinder/cam assembly has been removed, and you see the lock plug lying on top of the lock hole, just so you can see what the plug looks like. (I intended to shoot one of the assembly with just the flag and its tiny spring removed, but forgot.):


Here's the plug, from the inside, held in place by the same fork that held the lock cylinder/cam:


Now, here's the outside, looking much better, I think:



Overall, I just like my gun better now:


Removal of the lock cylinder/cam is the only tricky part. The fork must be firmly held back against its little blue spring, to full compression, while the lock cylinder is plucked out with a dental pick or pushed out from the outside. I had to put the revolver in my vise to have the necessary third hand. I used a tiny punch, on which I'd shaped the end to a chisel for some long-forgotten task, to depress the fork and spring. Insertion of the plug was easier, and can be done from either outside or inside. From the outside is easier, aligning the flat with the fork, so a little less compression of the spring is necessary.

The flat on the plug eases assembly, and John Whitt advises me that it also is a place to rest the flag, if one chooses to leave it in. Other than just having it there to fill the slot in the frame, I don't know why one would want to do that.


Hope this helps.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:30 PM
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Ok. I used the video to exorcise my 642 and it was great, BTW. It only took 20 minutes for a non-handy guy. When I went to perform the IL-ectomy on my 629 and 610, I saw the the basic strip is way different. I have searched the site for two days and can't find anything. I know I'm pathetic, but can somebody provide me A-Z instructions on the procedure for external hammer guns?
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:13 PM
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E-Mail me if you need help on it.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:10 AM
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This is quite interesting.

It's my understanding that on Smith & Wesson's super light weight titanium/scandium revolvers, there is a chance the internal lock system will engage itself under recoil.

The recoil of these super light weight revolvers can be quite a lot with full power loads, so it's plausible for the ILS to engage itself under recoil.

With that said, does the "Plug" prevent the remaining parts of the ILS from engaging under recoil or any other mechanical failure?
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:59 AM
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The only parts of the ILS that remains after installation of the plug is the fork and it's spring. This holds the lock in place and serves the same function for the plug. It's held in place pretty solidly, I don't think it would be a problem. I believe most (all) of the problems have been caused by the flag jumping up into locked mode during heavy recoil, it's only held in the unlocked position by a tiny spring. I hope this helps.

Paul
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:43 AM
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Great idea! Improves the looks 98% and no more worries about a frozen revolver. S&W screwed the pooch on this marvelous engineering fiasco.

Betcha Bullseye will reach retirement age early with the sales of his plugs.

Excellent idea and congratulations! Them revolvers look SO much better.

SG
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:54 PM
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So, by removing the flag, that disables the lock from engaging itself under recoil?

If the spring for the fork were to fail, what could possibly happen?

I don't suppose the spring could fail, but how long could that spring stay at the proper tension to keep the Plug in place? 10 years? 20 years? 30 years?
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:59 PM
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Thanks. I figured it out.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaRaised85 View Post
So, by removing the flag, that disables the lock from engaging itself under recoil?

Yes. The lug that actually locks the hammer is a little lump on the side of the "flag" itself. Remove the flag, you've removed the lug, and it cannot lock. That's all I've done, so far, to my 340PD lock.

If the spring for the fork were to fail, what could possibly happen?

The fork spring is a coil, compression spring. With the plug in place, the spring is almost fully compressed, with no place to go, best I can tell. If it collapsed and lost all spring tension (HIGHLY unlikely) in theory, the fork might be able to move forward enough to release the plug, but the spring is so close to going solid with the plug in place, I'm not sure it would release. If it did, at least in my 625, I think the result would be a plug that floated back and forth in the hole a little, but I don't think anything would hang up. If the fork itself could get loose, it might hang something up, but it doesn't look to me like it could get loose into the internals.

I don't suppose the spring could fail, but how long could that spring stay at the proper tension to keep the Plug in place? 10 years? 20 years? 30 years?

The "proper tension" of the spring is not going to be critical. One thing for certain, the likelihood of the plug or fork coming loose for any reason is a HELLUVA lot less than that of the flag locking up the gun. If anyone with a remotely mechanical bent looks closely at the unmodified internal lock, he marvels at why they don't self-lock more often than they do.
Please see questions answered within the quote.

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Old 09-30-2009, 05:16 PM
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Great idea, I hope to get one of these myself.

I have a j-frame 340sc (silver color like a 642), the for sale ad says the plugs are stainless or blue. Is there a plug that would match the color of these scandium guns?

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Old 10-01-2009, 02:41 AM
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This looks to be a nice solution.

I will have to buy some plugs for a 386, 686, and 617
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:19 AM
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My dealer just located a NO lock 442. I am a happy camper and am scheduled to pick up this Friday. They are out there and I hope smith gets the message, that people do not like the locks. There are other smiths I would consider buying, if they were available with no locks.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:05 AM
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If you feel so strongly against the internal lock, you should call and email Smith & Wesson to let them know.

Be polite, obviously.
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:46 AM
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On color you can make the bright finish a matt by taking the wifes green scrab pad from the sink and go over it. If the blue isn't dark enought spray with flat black.
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaRaised85 View Post
If you feel so strongly against the internal lock, you should call and email Smith & Wesson to let them know.

Be polite, obviously.
Many folks have done so, and many more feel as strongly as I do, some even more. (I do own two Smiths that originally were equipped with locks. I know a number of folks who love Smiths, but won't own one that ever had a lock.) However, one should remember that S&W is owned by Saf-T-Hammer Corporation, a British company. No matter how polite, rational, logical, loyal, trustworthy, obsequious, purple, clairvoyant*, pretty or sexy one might be with letters and e-mails, Saf-T-Wesson won't care. As long as people keep buying the lock-equipped guns, they won't change.

*With thanks to Steve Martin.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38-44HD45 View Post
Many folks have done so, and many more feel as strongly as I do, some even more. (I do own two Smiths that originally were equipped with locks. I know a number of folks who love Smiths, but won't own one that ever had a lock.) However, one should remember that S&W is owned by Saf-T-Hammer Corporation, a British company. No matter how polite, rational, logical, loyal, trustworthy, obsequious, purple, clairvoyant*, pretty or sexy one might be with letters and e-mails, Saf-T-Wesson won't care. As long as people keep buying the lock-equipped guns, they won't change.

*With thanks to Steve Martin.
What the management of smith needs to understand is that this is America. And in America we don't buy guns solely because we need them, we buy a lot of guns because we want them.

This in turn means the market is not finite. You can increase the number of guns sold, if you have guns American want. Don't all raise your hands, but how many have guns they really don't need, but have simply because they want them? Yes we use and enjoy these guns, but we don't need them.

A lock to myself and many others is a turn off in regard to buying what is a discretionary purchase.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:15 PM
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i my self agree i wont buy a s & w with the lock & mim parts too! mim parts are just as bad as the lock
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davemercer View Post
What the management of smith needs to understand is that this is America. And in America we don't buy guns solely because we need them, we buy a lot of guns because we want them.

This in turn means the market is not finite. You can increase the number of guns sold, if you have guns American want. Don't all raise your hands, but how many have guns they really don't need, but have simply because they want them? Yes we use and enjoy these guns, but we don't need them.

A lock to myself and many others is a turn off in regard to buying what is a discretionary purchase.
I just had an Internal Lock Failure today when range practicing with my concealed carry weapon a 642-2. Why do I need a concealed carry weapon which is fundementally unreliable? Never mind liking or disliking a gun. This is a personal defense weapon which is carried to protect life. This is not some range toy.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:05 PM
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Default smith and wesson with locks

guys and girls, its very simple, do not, do not, buy smiths with the gun locks. there are so many nice, older smiths out there without the locks. maybe smith would wise up with the lost of new sales.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surveyor47 View Post
I just had an Internal Lock Failure today when range practicing with my concealed carry weapon a 642-2. Why do I need a concealed carry weapon which is fundementally unreliable? Never mind liking or disliking a gun. This is a personal defense weapon which is carried to protect life. This is not some range toy.
Don't get me wrong, I agree with you on needing a dependable gun for protection. From your experience and those of others I would never carry a Smith with an internal lock for protection.

However, I also don't like the locks - period. I think this opinion is shared by others as well. So even for range guns I will not buy a Smith with an internal lock. My point is I believe many of us have guns we really don't "need", but have them because we enjoy having guns. Bottom line is I suspect my collections of Smith handguns would be larger if they were more available without locks.

I am a customer that will buy more than I "need" but you have to offer a product that I like. Perhaps these Brits do not understand that a big part of their market is people who own multiple guns far in excess of what they "need."
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:50 PM
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Some people don't like the locks, so be it. But don't tell people what and not to buy. I would take a lock on a new S&W over that other junk and tupperware that is made. That is like saying if you own a glock then you need to put your butt on a plane and move to where they are made. Nothing is wrong with the new Smith's, pull the lock stuff out and put a plug in it. That will solve the problem, I didn't come up with the plug for the money, I did it so a young person can buy a new Smith and be proud to own it. There are a bunch out there already that are very happy with it and the looks of the guns after the fact. This forum is a family, the people in the 1856 section has respect for this section and like wise from here. So don't cry about it, do something to help. That is like telling your kid not to buy a ford but buy a toy instead. I have olds ones and I have new ones and I support S&W 100%, because I what my Great Grand Child to be able to buy a new one and be proud of it. Then take it to the range with one of mine and have fun.
My 2 cents
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:08 PM
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Guys, if you don't like the ILs, then do something about it. S&W isn't going to change the IL design and stop making them. They don't really care or give a rat's behind. As John said put a Plug in it. It is really simple to do. If you ever put any toy together for your kids, you can put in one of John's Plugs. Screw Driver & a paper clip is all you need. They fit perfect & he has the lengths down pat for all the frame thicknesses, as well as the stainless, blue, and matte. If your blue gun is beat up & rusted you can scratch one of John's Plugs on the sidewalk & make it look like your gun. The Plug Job takes about 10 minutes. Do it between TV commercials or even while you're on your first beer. Simple to do & looks super. this little tid bit is for any procrastinators .. you can do it !
Carl
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:05 PM
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I think a more likely option Smith & Wesson would choose would be to redesign the internal lock.

I don't know the mechanics involved, but having a Ruger style internal lock in the grip would look a whole lot better than having a hole above the cylinder release. Could this be done with a leaf spring rather than the coil spring that Ruger uses? The type of spring is the only outward visual difference that I could see.

By the way, Bullseye Smith, I sent you a PM. Jeff Quinn at GunBlast.com would like to review the "Plug."

I would like to see your plug become a successful product.
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Old 10-03-2009, 04:49 AM
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Funny thing is that Smith & Wesson actually makes "plugs" for internal locks.

Check out the M&P semiauto. Where the lock is, there's a plug on non lock equipped models.

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Old 10-03-2009, 09:15 PM
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Thanks Georgia, and I will send him one or two. I just copied what Iggy had to say about it in another section:

QUOTE=Iggy;1119959]Well Boys and Girls, If I can do it, you can too.
I am danged handy with barbed wire but I ain't no gun crank by anybody's definition, but I got her did.

I watched the link below a couple of times and tied into my wife's 642.

YouTube - S&W Internal Lock Removal

I did a little cussin' getting the lock thingy out, but puttin' the plug in it's place warn't hard at all.

I took out the flag and the lock and the plug matches up purty as a speckled pup. John put a brushed finish on mine and it matches the screws and cylinder release just like it was factory made.

If you got any reservations about trying John's little invention, git over them and git to it.

John, Thank you Sir, for coming up with this fix for the wart on the side of the newer Smiths.

Regards,
Iggy[/QUOTE]
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:43 PM
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Default Installed mine

The install was super easy and plug looks great. The only problem I had was the hammer block fell out when I removed the side plate. This being the first time I have ever removed the plate I had no clue where it went. And the internal lock video didn't have a hammer block. With some S&W forum site searching I figured it. Thanks a bunch to the forum member and John for making the plug.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:01 PM
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Just put one in my J. Simple. Only question is since I left the flag in, which way should the notch on the inside face? Forward or to the rear?

As a side note to others doing it, if the trigger feels frozen when you try to pull it during disassembly, make sure it is fully pushed in to the frame. Mine tends to try to slip out and I have to push it back in to unfreeze the trigger.
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:07 AM
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Hmmm, didn't even know this thing existed! Bump for the benefit of newbies like me.
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye Smith View Post
Some people don't like the locks, so be it. But don't tell people what and not to buy. I would take a lock on a new S&W over that other junk and tupperware that is made. That is like saying if you own a glock then you need to put your butt on a plane and move to where they are made. Nothing is wrong with the new Smith's, pull the lock stuff out and put a plug in it. That will solve the problem, I didn't come up with the plug for the money, I did it so a young person can buy a new Smith and be proud to own it. There are a bunch out there already that are very happy with it and the looks of the guns after the fact. This forum is a family, the people in the 1856 section has respect for this section and like wise from here. So don't cry about it, do something to help. That is like telling your kid not to buy a ford but buy a toy instead. I have olds ones and I have new ones and I support S&W 100%, because I what my Great Grand Child to be able to buy a new one and be proud of it. Then take it to the range with one of mine and have fun.
My 2 cents
Morning, Bullseye Smith, and All,

This is a great post, and absolutely true! One thing we sometimes forget, in this otherwise outstanding hobby of ours, is that old 1960's phrase, "different strokes for different folks". Some folks like having an IL, and some don't; some folks live in States that require such a lock before the gun can even be sold there(!); and some folks simply don't care, one way or the other.

To make such a huge deal out of this, is, in my humble opinion, more damaging than productive, especially when new folks come on board, and start to get that warm and fuzzy feeling of being with others of like mind, only to find this type of "argument without end"!

As to 642's, I have one "without", and will very soon have one "with". I look forward to comparing the two, when I can, and fully expect them to be pretty much the same in every way but the IL. And, even though I'll be leaving my IL as it is, for a little while, I am definitely going to order "The Plug" from you, Bullseye Smith, and I thank you, VERY much, for having come up with this simple, yet very elegant solution for those so inclined to remedy "the problem". I'll be talking to you soon, and sending payment for your neat gizmo. Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc (who has lots of Smith & Wesson pistols, and loves them all!) [By the way, the .41 Maggie Smiths are the top 'o the heap, IMHO!]
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Last edited by Doc Mark; 10-27-2011 at 02:34 PM.
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  #43  
Old 10-27-2011, 09:11 PM
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Hello pluggies!

I wrote to S&W a week ago, asking if they would consider making a Model 649 without The Lock, and got a response back from a fellow that said they *have* to make them with The Lock or they would not be able to sell the guns in many states.

I had not heard that reason before, do you fine folks know if that is truly the case?

I carry an old Model 49, and shoot the .38 Special 158 grain +P lead hollow point semi-wad-cutters out of it, and those seem rough on the poor baby. It is developing quite a bit of end-shake, and I would love to [s]replace[/s] augment it with a nice stainless Model 649.

Now that I see there is a plug available, maybe I'll be able to live that dream!

- Thomas
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  #44  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:04 AM
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Saw the "plug" mentioned on another gun forum. Glad I found out about it as I just acquired a 642 with the internal lock. As soon as I can I will be sending off for one of the plugs!
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  #45  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasH View Post
Hello pluggies!

I wrote to S&W a week ago, asking if they would consider making a Model 649 without The Lock, and got a response back from a fellow that said they *have* to make them with The Lock or they would not be able to sell the guns in many states.

I had not heard that reason before, do you fine folks know if that is truly the case?
Maybe the reason you never heard that reason before is because you never went to the right source for it (?).

Last edited by rayban; 11-02-2011 at 11:00 AM.
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  #46  
Old 11-02-2011, 11:27 AM
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What states require an internal lock to be designed into the gun???
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:35 AM
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The ONLY state that requires an internal lock on handguns, in order to be sold in that state, is Maryland. NO others.

Don't take my word for it, look for yourself. That "many states require it" excuse has been around for years and is still incorrect. Regards 18DAI
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:45 PM
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Bravo there 18.....they had me scared for a minute. I don't plan to go to Maryland and buy a gun anyway....so I guess I am okay.
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18DAI View Post
The ONLY state that requires an internal lock on handguns, in order to be sold in that state, is Maryland. NO others.

Don't take my word for it, look for yourself. That "many states require it" excuse has been around for years and is still incorrect. Regards 18DAI
Morning, 18DAI, and All,

Unfortunately, California also requires certain locking features by put on many handguns sold in this state. Any such guns have to be on the CA Safe Gun List, or whatever it's called. As I understand it, the only way you could buy a new, non-IL S&W in this state, is to buy it from a LEO that moved here from another state and had brought the gun in legally, then both of you have to do down to do the background check (both pay, of course), then do your ten day wait, then you can legally own and pick up your new non-IL gun. Same with older guns, I believe, but I could be wrong about that. FTF purchases between private individuals are not allowed in this very leftist state. This USED to be a great place to live..... but, I fear it will never get better, and might even get a good deal worse! Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:08 PM
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I couldn't care less about the appearance of the lock - Heck! Unless you're looking for it you won't see it. Much ado about nothing...

However, when it comes to function of my daily carry, that's another thing entirely. I really have no way of knowing how frequently the locks fail. but I know one thing. That is no longer a concern of mine...

I have replaced the lock in my 642 (daily carry) with the "Plug". I feel better, don't you (LOL)...

Dale53
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