Deleting Smith & Wesson Locks

The product of recent work performed with a focus on practical safety issue. Here’s how to remove a the factory Internal Locking System on Smith & Wesson revolvers and why you might want to.

by RK Campbell

As a rule, I would never remove a safety feature whether a manual safety, firing pin block, or other device. I recall the first time in my experience when a safety feature became controversial. When the Colt Series 80 first came out with its hammer block/firing pin safety the pundits were quick to condemn the change. In my opinion, the safety block doesn’t prevent a good trigger action as that problem just doesn’t exist with a properly manufactured firearm. On the other hand, I prefer a lightweight firing pin and an extra strength firing pin spring as a drop safety.

Once SIG introduced the P series with their positive firing pin block, anyone wishing to make institutional sales would have to offer a similar product. Of course, the Series 80 was seen as an add on as it was not originally engineered into the pistol. Many folks also don’t like the grip safety on 1911 handguns and that was in the original. If you don’t like the grip safety of the 1911 pistol do not pin the safety in place or deactivate it. Choose another firearm!

This brings us to the Smith & Wesson revolver and its Internal Locking System. Smith & Wesson has a long history of “safety” revolvers. The Safety Hammerless models and similar were intended to protect children from unintentional discharge and they are very well made revolvers. The problem is the much later Internal Locking System was designed into existing designs at a time when Smith & Wesson was in the throes of considerable controversy due to unsavory dealing with the Clinton Administration. I should stress that the company was nearly bankrupted by the subsequent boycott. The present owners are not the same owners and had no part in the previous dealings and have reinvented the company.

The S&W ILS features a small hole in which a key is…

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