Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Serious Product Warning

Over at PawPawsHouse in the course of a much-deserved literary beat-down of Paul Helmke (to whom I refuse to link), he links to an interesting string over at AR15.com.

According to the post and responses there, S&W's new "lawyer lock" has an exciting new feature - a lawyer-lock-induced spontaneous lockup of the pistol into non-firing mode. Additional links at Smith Forums, Michael Bane, and I suspect at other locations.

Now, this looks to have been around as a known issue for a little bit, but it's one I'd not heard of before, so with some qualifiers, I'll repeat the warning.

Apparently lock-up issues have been experienced on S&W firearms produced with the integral lock-up systems since at least '04. Should this occur in a self-defense or law enforcement environment, this could be a *very bad thing*. Be warned - I, for one, will not buy a S&W of post-lock production hearing this...and it looks like I should think about unloading my Bersa Thunder .45 in favor of something w/o an integral locking system in place.

I'm not prepared to bet my life on a firearm with foolish and unnecessary points of failure, something I should have considered before my last series of trade-ins. (Yes, I got the Bersa and a Keltech P3AT - and am having second thoughts now about the Bersa.)


1) I am not a gunsmith nor a mechanical engineer.
2) I have not personally observed a failure of this sort, but given the stakes concerned, choose caution over adventure. The rumor, combined with the reality that each additional system added to a device creates one or more additional opportunities for total device failure, makes a new production S&W in my eyes an excessively adventuresome choice.

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