I just bought a 360PD at the gunshow.


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TenderFoot
January 8, 2006, 01:06 AM
I know theese puppies recoil like a mule in your hand, but I will take the 9mm out of I want to plink a bunch of rounds off. I bought this for conceal carry/self defense. I do not think recoil will be on top of my mind if I needed to use this. With that being said, I noticed that on the gun it said nothing under 120grain ammo to be used. I noticed this AFTER I bought some 110grain .357 mag winchester JHP. Will this hurt the gun to shoot them???

My other question is, what brand and grain would be a good/accurate/powerful JHP to carry in this particular weapon. Thanks for any input.

-Ryan

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Preacherman
January 8, 2006, 02:01 AM
The problem with the ultra-light snubbies (yours is 12oz. unloaded) is that there just isn't enough weight to help absorb a lot of recoil. As a result, the gun "snaps" back hard and fast. This can overcome the crimp on your cartridges, causing the bullets to move forward in the case. If they move far enough forward, they'll prevent the cylinder from turning - which would not be a Good Thing if your life was on the line! So, to help prevent this problem, S&W specifies a minimum bullet weight. Anything lighter than that will not have sufficient bullet inertia to resist being pulled forward in the case. Bullets of that weight and heavier should have enough inertia to stay put - but you'd be well advised to put a few cylinders-full through the gun to test this for sure!

As for what round to carry: I'd recommend the Remington Golden Saber 125gr. JHP in a .357 Magnum round. It's a medium-velocity load, not blasting out at full pressure, which makes it rather more controllable in an ultra-light gun (although it still won't be pleasant! :eek: ). Alternatively, you could download to the Speer Gold Dot 135gr. JHP in .38 Special +P. This will be much more controllable. In fact, it would be my first choice in your snubby.

mbartel
January 8, 2006, 03:20 AM
Anything lighter than that will not have sufficient bullet inertia to resist being pulled forward in the case. Bullets of that weight and heavier should have enough inertia to stay put - but you'd be well advised to put a few cylinders-full through the gun to test this for sure!

You have it backwards........The lighter the bullet, the less likely it is to jump the crimp. The heavier bullets are the ones that tend to creep forward. In fact...it is the case that pulls away from the bullet. The heavier the bullet, the more it wants to stay put while the case pulls back from it.

TenderFoot
January 8, 2006, 03:31 AM
I didnt go to the show for this particular gun, In fact I was gonna get a .38. Since I chose the .357 I think I would prefer to load it with .357 for carrying. I am not worried about the recoil, when using it for defense. I am concerned about what you are saying with it getting jammed up in the wheel. I have never even heard of such a thing. Since the minimum the gun says to shoot is 120 grain, do you think it would be better to get a much higher grain than that???


On a side not, it would do no harm to the pistol to shoot the 110 grains that I already bought, correct? I got em already, may as well pop em off as long as its safe and wont hurt.

Thanks for the replies so far. :)

Preacherman
January 8, 2006, 02:23 PM
mbartel, no, I think you have it backwards - although I welcome counter-arguments from others who know about this issue. If I recall correctly, a heavier projectile has more inertia in the crimp - in other words, it has to move more violently to overcome that inertia and move past the crimp. A lighter projectile will move more easily. This is why S&W specify a MINIMUM weight of bullet, rather than a maximum weight. They used to put this warning into the instruction manuals, but have now replaced it with a generic "test the ammo" warning (see page 14 of their current revolver manual, available in PDF format here (http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/other/Revolver.pdf)).

There is also an issue of cylinder erosion in Scandium revolvers with lighter loads, which produce more flash and blast. This is also referred to in the manual.

TenderFoot
January 8, 2006, 04:42 PM
In yalls opinion, would this be a suitable round to carry for the 360PD ?

Corbon 357 MAG 140 GR. JHP 1300 FPS/ 525 FTLBS 20 ROUND BOX

mbartel
January 8, 2006, 11:49 PM
preacherman-

What happens is this. The heavier weight of the bullet makes it want to stay put right where it is, but it is the case that is pulled away from the bullet during recoil. It is very simple physics....A body at rest tends to stay at rest.
The bullet does not move forward at all...it is the case that moves backward, from the bullet that causes the "jumping crimp" effect. S&W says to stay away from lighter bullet loads because the higher velocities will contribute to accelerated gas cutting. If you load a .44 mag to 1300 fps with a 180gr. bullet and then load it to 1300 fps with a 340 gr. bullet, it is the heavier bullet that will tend to "pull" from the case.

280PLUS
January 10, 2006, 07:19 PM
I don't know which way is which but I DO KNOW that you'd better make sure whatever ammo you're using will not jump crimp in this gun. I've seen .38 Specials do this in a 360 PD too so it's not just the .357 that can have this happen. Ive heard the Gold Sabers are ok but I would STILL run a bunch to make sure. You will probably not like the recoil with .357 but you can always practice with .38 Sp and carry the .357.

C96
January 10, 2006, 07:43 PM
There is a 360PD at the local shop with some serious flame cutting on the face
of the cylinder. Caused by some 110 grain factory loads. Don't think it will hurt
anything but sure looked ugly. Shop talk was that's why they didn't want 110
grain loads, too hot a flame. But you know what gun store talk is worth.

Interesting though.

allan

Rangie
January 10, 2006, 07:46 PM
Get yourself some of the Speer 135gr. .38spl+P gold dots and give them a try first. If you feel like you can deal with more recoil go to the Winchester 180gr. .357 mag. partition gold.:evil:

TexasRifleman
January 10, 2006, 07:47 PM
Well, the instruction book for my 386PD says to watch out for the LIGHTER bullet weights, so I'm gonna have to go with Preacherman.

As for the recoil, it's pretty nasty.

I actually carry .38+P Nyclads in mine, the Magnum loads were just too ridiculous. I don't feel undergunned with 7 rounds of +P .38

TexasRifleman
January 10, 2006, 07:48 PM
In yalls opinion, would this be a suitable round to carry for the 360PD ?

Corbon 357 MAG 140 GR. JHP 1300 FPS/ 525 FTLBS 20 ROUND BOX

Heh heh. Shoot a couple at the range, then ask that question again :evil:
My hand hurt for 3 days :eek:

HighVelocity
January 10, 2006, 07:57 PM
As for what round to carry: I'd recommend the Remington Golden Saber 125gr. JHP in a .357 Magnum round. It's a medium-velocity load, not blasting out at full pressure, which makes it rather more controllable in an ultra-light gun (although it still won't be pleasant! ). Alternatively, you could download to the Speer Gold Dot 135gr. JHP in .38 Special +P. This will be much more controllable. In fact, it would be my first choice in your snubby.


Being a Scandium Junky, I agree with the above statement 100%. I tried a few different 357mag loads in my 340pd and came to the same conclusion.
The 125gr Golden Sabers are tolerable. The 135gr Speer 38spl that's made for snubs actually has MORE felt recoil in the noisy cricket then the magnum Golden Sabers.
I am carrying the Speers in my 340pd now.

I can tell you what loads NOT to try in it. The 165gr Golden Sabers and the 158gr Federal JHP are real wrist wreckers.

MassMan
January 10, 2006, 08:54 PM
Good luck with your new gun. I am sure you will grow very fond of it. I bought one about a year ago and when I first shot it with 357 loads it hurt. The recoil resulted in the trigger guard hitting my trigger finger. I changed the Bantam grips it came with and put on Hogue grips which allow all fingers to grasp the grip. That made all the difference. It still has a stiff recoil, but now it doesn't "hurt". I also had a problem the first day with 158 gr lrn reloads. One "jumped" the case slipping forward enough to prevent the cylinder from turning. I used a razor to trim the bullet enough to rotate the cylinder and remove it. Smith & Wesson recommends thoroughly testing any ammo you plan to use for self defense.

AustinMike
January 15, 2006, 11:29 PM
I recently joined the Scandium club myself.

There's already plenty of range reports on the light little Scandium revolvers, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents out here for what it's worth.

I acquired a 360PD a couple weeks ago. I wandered into a local shop and was fondling their new Scandium selection. I've contemplated one of these light J-frames for some time, as an "always" gun that I have no excuse not to carry. It's something that just fits nicely with any attire in any season. The high $600 price tags were not something I was ready to handle though. I was getting ready to leave when I walked by the used gun case and noticed a 360PD in there. I asked to see it and there was no indication that it had ever been used. It looked like factory grease was still on it and it was otherwise clean and could have passed for new. They wanted $495 for it. Too good of a deal to pass on, so it came home with me!

Now, I originally wanted a 340PD, but for the price I decided I could live with the hammer spur. I prefer to carry IWB and I can't forsee problems with a draw from a holster that surrounds the spur, as long as I get the shirt out of the way. I just got in a Concealco holster for IWB and I think that is going to do nicely. While waiting on the IWB holster, I carried in an Uncle Mike's pocket holster. In my jeans pocket, it doesn't look like any thing more than a cell phone in there. Practice draws from jeans and shorts have not produced any snag issues. Empty, this little cannon weighs about 11.5 oz. on my scale. It does not drag down in any pockets I've tried and it's easy to forget that it's there.

So, how does it handle? With standard pressure 158gr. 38 loads, it's a pussy cat. No recoil issues for me. For the record, I'm 5'11", 230lbs, with medium size hands. Some 125gr. +P 38 loads were certainly more stout, but still very controllable. Recoil rise is higher. Muzzle flash is not too bad. On to .357 rounds. I chose some 130gr. Federal "low recoil" rounds. Recoil? Hell, yes. Did I mention the gun is less than 12 oz.? Based on what others have said, I braced hard for the first shot. It was loud, smacked back hard, and there was considerable muzzle flash. That said, it wasn't all that bad! I shot the rest of the cylinder in fairly rapid succession. The gun hit my hand hard, but no serious pain and no blood drawn.

For further experimentation, I fired a few .357 rounds with strong hand only. No problem controlling recoil for me, but it is a wild ride! BTW, I'm firing at 7 yards and keeping everything in a 6-8" circle with double action trigger pull. At this point, I've convinced myself that recoil is not a reason to NOT carry .357 loads. However, I'm concerned about the noise and flash. Here's where I do something semi-stupid. I want to know what I'd be up against if I had to fire magnum loads in a real-life situation. So, I removed hearing protection from one ear and turn that ear away from the gun (I'm shooting outside.) I fire one shot to assess the noise factor. In a word...deafening. I didn't expect any less, but it is something that you have to experience to appreciate. I think a lot of folks might think twice about carrying .357 loads if they tried this test. You can say that you won't notice the blast so much in a crisis, but I must say I'm not convinced. Additionally the muzzle flash in the daylight was very much visible. At night, it may be temporarily blinding. The shock and awe factor of firing is sure to get the bad guys' attention. I feel that it may be overwhelming for the shooter as well.

I didn't have my chrono with me, but I plan to do some ammo comparisons later. Given the flash out of the muzzle, I have to think that MUCH of the benefit of the .357 magnum is lost as a great deal of powder is burning outside of the <2" barrel. All things considered, I believe that I will be carrying 38 +P.

Accuracy-wise, this little gun is not bad for a snubby. I didn't bother shooting past 7 yards. A gun like this is for up close and personal engagement. At 7 yards, with a single action trigger pull, I was able to contain off-hand shots on a 3" target dot. Rapid fire (with 38 SP) at a silouhette was easy to keep in the torso area.

The double action trigger pull is about what I've come to expect on factory Smiths. The weight is OK, but it is a little rough. I'll be doing lots of dry fire practice to see if it smooths out, as they usually do. I may have my gunsmith do some polishing work was well, without modifying any springs.

I like the dark finish on the PD series a lot. It cleans up easily with good ol' Hoppes No. 9. One curiosity is the front sight. The one I got came with the H-Viz fiber optic sight. Now, I use such sights on my competitions guns and they are pretty cool in daylight. Low-light, they're virtually worthless. Makes me wonder why S&W chose to put them on a pure defensive weapon like this. In any event, it's kind of cool for practice, but in a real world scenario, I'm not counting on having any time to line up a sight picture on a snubby anyway!

I fired about 75 rounds in my range session, 20 of which were .357 mag. I had a little ache in my strong hand which I felt for the next day or so. This is not a fun range plinker and I certainly didn't buy it for that. I plan to shoot it a couple of times a year to keep accustomed to it and to ensure proper function. Other than that, it will be my companion for personal defense. The light weight, concealability, and fire power of this little gun make it one of the best choices for carry in my opinion. There is a lot to be said for the reliability of the revolver and these Scandium J-frames make it real easy to carry one.

Hope this is helpful to anyone considering one of these great little guns!

22luvr
January 16, 2006, 09:42 AM
On the barrel of my Smith 340SC, it states "120 gr or higher." Approaching that limit, I had several brands that uncrimped and jammed the round up against the forcing cone. I could not get through a 5 round cylinder without this happening.

I switched to Proload 158 gr JHP's and the de-crimping problems stopped.

However, I had cylinder face erosion and had the gun sent to S & W for a replacement cylinder. Smith, to their credit, did an excellent job of customer service and I got the gun back in about 10 days.

Mind you, I'm not a recoil weenie but shooting 20-25 rounds of just standard pressure .357 loads through this thing made the web of my hand ache for days afterwards. .38 spcl loads? The 340SC shot them just like my old Smith mod 638.

I had a brain-fart a couple of years back and sold it; in spite of its problems, I wish I had it back! Its virtues outweighed its shortcomings.

TenderFoot
January 31, 2006, 07:04 PM
Wow, thank you very much for the great replies. Thank god for AustinMike cuz I felt pretty bad about my purchase until his write-up. Believe it or not, I have still not taken this puppy to the range yet. I have been really researching on what rounds to try in it, and since I am only interested in carry rounds those are very expensive. I can't afford to go out and buy 4 diff carry rounds to try out right now. I will admitt I bought some federal hydra shocks .357 magnums 158 grain. I have those in it now, but I havent shot em yet to feel the pain. Sadly I prolly will go to the .38 spl+p, but it sure makes me mad I spent the extra 300 on the gun cuz I wanted magnums. I guess I will just tell myself I paid the extra money for the 2 ounzes less weight than the .38 airlite.

TexasRifleman
January 31, 2006, 07:08 PM
Sadly I prolly will go to the .38 spl+p, but it sure makes me mad I spent the extra 300 on the gun cuz I wanted magnums. I guess I will just tell myself I paid the extra money for the 2 ounzes less weight than the .38 airlite.

I really don't think that's a sad thing. +P .38 is plenty potent.

I carry Nyclad +Ps in my 386 and they shoot very nice.

Try it I think you will be pleased.
And, lots cheaper to shoot and since it's all about shot placement anyway.....

pezo
January 31, 2006, 07:21 PM
You have it backwards........The lighter the bullet, the less likely it is to jump the crimp WRONG. I had everyone on a forum topic one time say thE same thing, most just guessing "the heavy bullets jumping crimp made more sense so therefore right. They were wrong but I was the only one who said it right.:banghead: heavier bullets dont jump the crimp, the lighter one's do. AMEN.

sfled
June 4, 2008, 10:49 AM
To all, thanks for a great thread. Superb education for a noob like me. I just purchased a S&W 340 AirLite .357 Mag. Going to the range this week-end to fire .38s through it.

AustinMike, your post is very educational. Thanks for taking the time to relate your experiences firing the weapon. And your absolutely right, this revolver (in a Mike's "in the pants" holster" is a wonderful everyday carry weapon. Your description about removing your ear protection on the "away" ear was colorful! Ouch.

Thanks again!

AustinMike
June 4, 2008, 12:08 PM
Glad I could help. I'm still carrying my 360pd daily. My holster changed a while back to an outside the waistband pancake holster made by Simply Rugged (http://www.simplyrugged.com/). I think it's called the Silver Dollar Pancake. This holster is awesome! Like the name of the company, it's simple and rugged, plus so comfortable! I wear my shirts untucked and you never see the holster. It is so much more comfortable than any IWB I've tried. Highly recommended!

DAdams
June 5, 2008, 10:10 PM
beauty of what you have isn't necessarily what round it will or won't handle but that at 12 ounces it is much more comfortable to carry for long periods. Stay over the 120 gr. You might find Buffalo Bore standard pressure 20C to your liking. I put it in my wifes 642.
I like the 38 spl SGDFSB 135 gr plus P in both my 642 and M&P 340. SGDFSB in .357 might be worthwhile testing, but it is not a commonly available round. Stay over the stated rated limit. You can test for crimp jump by marking the rounds with a Sharpie and inspecting the subsequent rounds after firing the prior round. By the time you get to round four and five if you see no change in separation you should be good to go. Then find that which you can do 5x5x5, five rounds, in five seconds, at five yards.
557 is better yet.

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