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ap3572001
08-19-2009, 9:56 AM
Question. How much premium are the pre lock Smith and Wesson revolvers in CA? Say a nice used 686 vs. a used 686 WITH a lock? Assuming the guns are the same.

Miltiades
08-19-2009, 10:48 AM
I have quite a few prelock S&W revolvers and none with the lock. In watching CA prices for used S&W revolvers, I haven't seen much difference in price between post lock and pre lock for a given model like the 686. I think the reasons are:

1. Many buyers don't care about the difference, so lots of people will buy one with the lock.

2. S&W has set the prices for new revolvers with a lock at pretty high levels, which tends to keep the prices on used ones right up there.

3. Some of the post lock 686s have other features people want, like a 7 round capacity instead of 6 rounds. So this enhances the price of these post lock guns.

Personally I won't buy a post lock gun, but I may not be a typical buyer. Here are my two prelock 686s:

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/pogo2/TwoSW686s05.jpg

Black Majik
08-19-2009, 10:49 AM
There's a pretty insane premium for pre-lock smiths in CA from what I've seen currently. Even higher premium for P&R guns.

However, those are for the more classic Smiths. Your average M10,M12,M14,M15,M16 (wow),M17 (& K22),M18,M19,M27,M28,M29 etc...

Something such as a 686 hasn't gained the high premium prices (yet) as its predecessors did. Trashman and rivviepop would probably be the ones to ask regarding this.

tmuller
08-19-2009, 10:55 AM
mild premium on something like a 686...I like Miltiades only buy pre-lock however...so to me the premium is higher

Californio
08-19-2009, 1:13 PM
I believe in Murphy's Law so added parts that don't add to the firing function are a big NO for me. I also don't care for Stainless, its just not sexy enough, even though I own two SS pre-locks. I also am luke warm to Nickel but have some also.

I willing to pay a Premium for blue steel that falls between C&R and modern non-listed but I don't think people pay that much of a premium difference between pre or post lock Stainless Guns.

rkt88edmo
08-19-2009, 1:24 PM
Not a ton of extra vlaue for me, just go in and disable lock. I wouldn't pay more than a new gun for sure.

rivviepop
08-19-2009, 2:23 PM
My biggest gripe is that I can't stand the feel of MIM triggers - that matters more to me than the stupid lock. Just the other night I finally got to fire my new-to-me 627 PC that has a lock but forged hammer/trigger and it's just wonderful (I mean, YUMM). I don't care that it has a lock. I have a newer 625 with a MIM trigger/hammer I'd love to replace with forged parts.

The metallurgy in the older 686s is also different than the new stuff; I'm not a metal-pro to be able to describe it correctly but the older -4 and lowers use some sort of metal technique in their creation that just looks a lot better than the newer stuff; once you see them side by side it's obvious but I'm not sure how to describe it in words....

dfletcher
08-19-2009, 2:33 PM
I bought a Smith 21 a few years back, newer model with the lock. Probably a nice gun, I just couldn't warm up to it because of the lock, the mottled grey MIM hammer & trigger. The finish was more of a high sheen blacking than bluing also. Aesthetics are part of the reason I buy Smiths, I just don't think the current models have that and that's why I'll pay a bit more for an older version.

Black Majik
08-19-2009, 3:02 PM
My biggest gripe is that I can't stand the feel of MIM triggers - that matters more to me than the stupid lock. Just the other night I finally got to fire my new-to-me 627 PC that has a lock but forged hammer/trigger and it's just wonderful (I mean, YUMM). I don't care that it has a lock. I have a newer 625 with a MIM trigger/hammer I'd love to replace with forged parts.

The metallurgy in the older 686s is also different than the new stuff; I'm not a metal-pro to be able to describe it correctly but the older -4 and lowers use some sort of metal technique in their creation that just looks a lot better than the newer stuff; once you see them side by side it's obvious but I'm not sure how to describe it in words....

You know, I forgot about it but you bring up a good point.

I long ago had a 686-4 Powerported model that was just an absolute tank. While it didn't have deep polished bluing or coke grips it was just a beast of a revolver. Very well built, very tight lockup and it had a pretty seamless sideplate.

I do miss that gun.

B Strong
08-19-2009, 5:19 PM
Question. How much premium are the pre lock Smith and Wesson revolvers in CA? Say a nice used 686 vs. a used 686 WITH a lock? Assuming the guns are the same.

Depends exactly on what we're talking about - if it's a piece intended as a user in user condition, that's one thing.

If we're talkng about an unfired pre-lock 686 NIB with all the Smith paperwork and the screwdriver, that piece is going to bring a premium over any current 686.

The pre-lock premium really manifests itself when you go into the various non- C. & R. N frame Smiths, and again, condition is everything.

cudakidd
08-19-2009, 6:20 PM
I have a bunch of pre-locks...the limited run models...better quality and rarity are the attraction for me...

The "Grail Gun"! 627 "Bloodworks". 300 made.
http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo284/cudakidd/CIMG4171.jpg

66 Lew Horton Limited edition 3". 300 made.
http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo284/cudakidd/CIMG4172.jpg

686 Lew Horton/PC carry comp 4"
http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo284/cudakidd/CIMG4174.jpg

I have all the original boxes and grips. The grail gun is a dual cylinder too! I just happen to LOVE Craig Spegel grips!:)

B Strong
08-19-2009, 6:35 PM
Nice Smith's Cuda - Night Desert makes a nice background too.

cudakidd
08-19-2009, 6:53 PM
Thanks, I didn't post the pre-lock 17 or 617-3. I do have post locks, 327 PC snubbie, wifes model 60, my 317...but not as nice to me...

Night Desert EVAC blankets as Casual covers for the sofa...too mall ninja?;)

ap3572001
08-19-2009, 7:40 PM
A lot of interesting information. I noticed that many people who are in the market for a revolver ONLY look at pre Lock guns with forged parts. And will ALWAYS pay more for them. I am of them too.

Futurecollector
08-19-2009, 9:33 PM
Not a ton of extra vlaue for me, just go in and disable lock. I wouldn't pay more than a new gun for sure.

This for sure!!!

Snapping Twig
08-20-2009, 8:45 AM
On a general principle basis, you couldn't GIVE me a lock gun. Big sis govt. telling us we need to lock them or we're naughty.

That and like Rivepop says, the finish is better on the older stuff.

As to MIM, no thank you. Studies show it's equal to the task and quality, etc. but in my own experience I find it more subject to failure. When it works, it's just fine, but when it fails, it's big. I've got a broken hammer spur on my desk as I type this and the broken face looks like pot metal.

bshnt2015
08-20-2009, 9:10 AM
I was chatting with a gunstore owner, he hinted at the possibility of S&W dumping the lock device. I don't know if he was smoking some good stuff or as a S&W dealer he knew something the general public didn't know.

Reading on other websites, some folks have stated while shooting the current models with the lock, the revolver's lock actually engaged and caused the revolver to stop-oops if true. Perhaps complaints are finally making an in road.
All my S&W revolvers are pre-locks.

rivviepop
08-20-2009, 9:17 AM
As to MIM, no thank you. Studies show it's equal to the task and quality, etc. but in my own experience I find it more subject to failure. When it works, it's just fine, but when it fails, it's big. I've got a broken hammer spur on my desk as I type this and the broken face looks like pot metal.

Have you ever heard of someone replacing the MIM internals (hammer, rebound slide and trigger mainly) with forged versions? Think S&W would do it if I paid for the pleasure?

savasyn
08-20-2009, 9:22 AM
I have a number of pre-lock S&Ws and one post-lock. While I don't mind lock, I prefer the pres and generally look for those when I'm in the market.
I currently want a 4" 686+ and can't decide if I should just go buy a new one or look around for a pre-lock version. Cost is a factor, so I'll most likely go used anyway and therefore whatever is available at the time I'm ready to buy.

dfletcher
08-20-2009, 12:54 PM
A lot of interesting information. I noticed that many people who are in the market for a revolver ONLY look at pre Lock guns with forged parts. And will ALWAYS pay more for them. I am of them too.

I doubt I'm the only one to remember, but recall that when we were buying those forged parts Smiths new in the '70s we were told how crappy they were and not nearly as nice as the 50's versions? I was told way back then "by reliable sources" that Smith revolvers were so poorly made they locked up because of all the metal filings in the action. :eek: I can't begin to recount all the supposed tales of jammed guns and those "metal filings" that seemed to pour out of the action like sand from a sneaker at the beach.

Having said that, I'm in the same boat with you. I just like the older ones better.

dfletcher
08-20-2009, 12:55 PM
Have you ever heard of someone replacing the MIM internals (hammer, rebound slide and trigger mainly) with forged versions? Think S&W would do it if I paid for the pleasure?

Since Smith uses a frame mounted firing pin on their MIM guns that's not an option. Not sure about the trigger, my guess is no.

BigDogatPlay
08-20-2009, 11:28 PM
I own only pre-lock and pre-MIM. I am also not at all a fan of the sleeved barrel. I've handled and fired a number of examples and the fit, finish, action and overall quality (to me) is nothing like even examples from the Bangor Punta period.

P & R is going to bring a premium, and the more screws in the sideplate there are raises the bar ever more. To me, P & R is well worth the premium it commands.

My opinion is that an S&W revolver is supposed to be a high quality piece of equipment. The current marks of most models are not that. The PC guns and some of the classics they are producing again are exceptions. But I would suggest that a side by side comparison of a 27-1, -2, or -3 with a current production x27 would result in everyone selecting the vintage model each and every time.

Mr. Beretta
08-21-2009, 9:13 AM
Somebody said a long time ago, "They ain't making them like they used to".

When it comes to S&W revolvers nothing could be more correct. They can't. If the factory did, it'd cost an arm & a leg and most of America couldn't afford them.

The pre lock post lock argument is almost as popular as the 9mm vs 45acp discussion. Pretty good points on both sides. I stay pretty informed on the "real" selling prices of the pre locks and can attest, they haven't gone down. Just the opposite, they continue to climb.

I'll be the first one to admit, I'm old school. I have more than one pre lock Smith sitting in the safe & whenever I can afford it, I give it a companion.

After all, "They ain't making them like they used to".:)

rivviepop
08-21-2009, 9:18 AM
Since Smith uses a frame mounted firing pin on their MIM guns that's not an option. Not sure about the trigger, my guess is no.

FYI, modern PC guns with forged parts use a frame mounted firing pin.

dfletcher
08-21-2009, 10:38 AM
I own only pre-lock and pre-MIM. I am also not at all a fan of the sleeved barrel. I've handled and fired a number of examples and the fit, finish, action and overall quality (to me) is nothing like even examples from the Bangor Punta period.

P & R is going to bring a premium, and the more screws in the sideplate there are raises the bar ever more. To me, P & R is well worth the premium it commands.

My opinion is that an S&W revolver is supposed to be a high quality piece of equipment. The current marks of most models are not that. The PC guns and some of the classics they are producing again are exceptions. But I would suggest that a side by side comparison of a 27-1, -2, or -3 with a current production x27 would result in everyone selecting the vintage model each and every time.


I agree with much of the above. But I do think the smoothness of the current MIM action is better than the BP era. Still, I'll gladly break out the stones and wet n' dry paper to clean up the BP action any day - I think they clean up a bit slicker.

My bet is that the current models are probably manufactured to tighter tolerances - you'd figure with advances in machining and CNC, that has to be the case. Problem is, in order to sell at a desireable price point Smith has homogenized the hell out of their product and economized on finish.

Argonaut
08-21-2009, 10:48 AM
S&W has done a great job designing the lock. It is unobtrusive and has no perceivable detriment to the operation. My new 629 is as good as my old 29. The crane fit is tighter, probably from improved manufacturing techniques. I have never turned on the lock mechanism. kind of forget it is there. None of them come close to my Nickle Python. I understand wanting the older designs though......I don't buy Japanese Brownings either

bwiese
08-21-2009, 11:05 AM
Most of the pre-lock/post-lock discussion is emotionalism or 'collectoritis'.

Yeah, the old blued P&R guns had great finishes. Some had great triggers.

But today's S&W wheelguns, I feel, shoot better. Better barrels, better triggers, more gun-to-gun and model-to-model consistency.

The 1987 686-2 my dad gave me isn't as good a gun as the new generation of 686s: my late friend Parag's 2005 686+ was tighter, had a smoother trigger and likely a tad more accurate (I'm a reasonably tolerable revolver shooter). Other new 686s I've shot have been similar. My 2005 625 in 45ACP is also equally excellent, and the 686 vs 625 differences as far as trigger pull smoothness are minimal (can't really compare a 7-shot revolver to a 6-shot revolver due to timing due to different amount of cylinder rotation).

There will be WAY more gun-to-gun variation in 1980s & earlier guns. Every gun back then was essentially a 'custom gun', with human variabilities encoded into its manufacture & assembly. Some will end up being "jeweler's grade" while others may have triggers that feel like they have 5 stages. (I had a early 1980s Bangor Punta 645. I don't have it anymore.)

The new wheelgun locks can be readily disabled if you so desire. I haven't disabled the lock on my 625 yet and may not get around to it - I am much more irritated by the mag disconnect safeties affecting trigger feel on my S&W 1006 and M&P 45.

If I'm looking for a wheelgun in Caliber X, barrel length Y I will find the best setup for me - which might be a new post-2000 MIM gun.

Instances of MIM failure are statistically insignificant and are exaggerrated by a tiny minority of "old guard". Frankly, there's far more likely to be a failure on the hammer-mounted firing pin on the older generation guns.