S & W Terminology Inquiry

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by Jorgy, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Jorgy

    Jorgy New Member

    What do the terms "pre-lock" and "pinned barrel" mean?
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  2. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    Pre-lock probably refers to the built-in turn-key lock that makes the weapon inoperable. A pair of keys is supplied with a new gun. Many owners dislike the keyhole as degrading to the firearm. So pre-lock = no lock ="good thing"

    A barrel can be pinned, screwed-on, crush-fit, or integral relative to the frame. That could make a difference in the resale market. Some people swear by the pinned barrels in revolvers.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013

  3. Historical and Collector's terms

    The 'pinned barrel' was the way Smith & Wesson made their revolvers prior to 1982 or so. Since that time, the barrels have been 'crush fit' or simply made a trifle oversize and forced to fit. Along with 'pinned barrels', they used to recess the chambers on their revolvers chambered for Magnum calibers and rimfires. (The .32s and .38s and such were never recessed. I believe the oddball was the .22 Jet, that was also recessed; it was based on a .357 Magnum case.)

    Most of us old guys find this 'change' in manufacturing protocol to be cheapening and resulting in a less graceful and shoddier product. In fact, S&W had some problems with their early 'crush fit' barrels unscrewing of their own accord. I understand that is no longer a problem. Another criticism of the crush fit system is removing the barrel for change or adjustment is difficult.

    The 'lock' came sometime after the crush barrels. It was a 'safety' feature heavily suggested by the Clinton Administration - for the children, of course. S&W agreed to the 'lock', then got some serious government contracts - this was widely seen as a sell out. The locks do nothing to enhance the safety of children and - while heavily denied - have been found to switch on under heavy recoil. This may also have been 'fixed', but it's too late for me.

    I really appreciate Smith & Wesson revolvers and own - uh - several. However, I refuse to buy any new ones; they are simply cheap copies of Smith & Wesson revolvers.

    For a general use revolver, they are probably acceptable. Many people have bought them and appear to be happy with them.
  4. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

    Back in the day S&W revolvers were individually sighted in by S&W Techs. When the barrels were turned and fitted to zero the barrel was pinned in place. The Pre-locks are S&W handguns with out the "Hillary Hole" above the thumb latch. S&W has often yielded to the PC crowd in recent years. All of my S&W are -2 or much older. ;)
  5. Jorgy

    Jorgy New Member

    Thanks for the helpful info. I bought a Model 66-2 about 13-14 years ago. It's a beauty.
  6. JW357

    JW357 New Member

    I love my 66. It has a 2.5" bbl.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  7. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

    I have a 586 no dash and a 64-6. Both are older guns. Neither has a lock. Both are works of art. I also have a 642 and a 629. Both of those have the lock. I do not use the lock. It has never activated on either gun. All of my S&W revolvers are great guns. But it is easy to tell which is which. It is like they say, "They just don't make them like they used to."
  8. Jorgy

    Jorgy New Member

    This is a belated thank you for your response. I own a Model 66-2 (no lock) which is a beauty. I have not seen or held a new S & W revolver.

    What do you mean by "they are simply cheap copies of Smith & Wesson revolvers."?
  9. Yes, they are. I have a couple model 19 revolvers (the same revolver except in blued steel rather than stainless) and they are among the easiest moving devices made by man.

    It is a statement of my not so humble opinion. I suppose it is another way of saying, "They don't make them like 'that' anymore". ('That' meaning as well, as detailed, as correctly and so on...)

    I have handled and even shot some of the 'recent' S&W revolvers. The 'new' ones with non-pinned barrels, locks and frame mounted firing pins. Among other things, they just don't feel the same. They feel - less substantial. Not lighter, just the trigger pull and the mechanism feel as if they don't fit right.

    They just don't seem to have the care in assembly and fitting as the older models. On the other hand, it seems the shooting public don't really care much for revolvers - as general purpose handguns - anymore. Perhaps I am just carping about change I don't like.