So i got to fire a s&w scandium snubby today...


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Antihero
December 29, 2006, 11:06 PM
I went to a range today that also has gun rentals and i rented a couple of guns including the scanium snub in 357 magnum. When i asked for a box of ammo they asked if i wanted to shoot 357 or 38spec in it. I said 357 but wanted a lighter load. That was a mistake. Let me just say as someone who shoots big bore revolvers a lot this is the most uncomfortable gun i have ever fired. It has probably twice the felt recoil of my Taurus 44C shooting 300gr 44mags. Why S&W didnt port this thing is beyond me, and the grips IMHO suck, they are hard and dont have enough grip on em, the gun shifted no matter what.Everything about the gun seemed "gritty" trigger pull, cylinder release, hammer, the range really needed to clean their guns a bit more i think.

After i fired one cylinder, right about the time i realized i didnt like the very exsistance of this gun, i looked down at the box of ammo the guy had given me. I had asked for lighter 357s, so i was expecting 125s. He gave me 158s:fire:

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MikeWSC
December 29, 2006, 11:22 PM
Ahhhhhhh, another christened in the beauty of those little lightweight guns. :neener: :evil:
Those little buggers make closing the car on your hand seem fun !:eek:
I'm right there with you bro, ooooh that smarts!:what: :fire: :D

Best in the New Year...... Mike

ArchAngelCD
December 29, 2006, 11:36 PM
Sorry you had to find out the hard way, I know I did. When I want out to buy a snub nose for myself I bought an Airweight (15 oz .38 Spl +P) instead of a Airlite (12 oz .357 Mag) I wanted a light gun do I got the Airweight instead of a 24 oz Steel M640 or M649. I would NEVER recommend an Airlite to anyone. Either get the heavier Mag or a .38Spl Airweight.

BTW, the 125 gr rounds would have made little difference, you would have still trashed your hand!

GRIZ22
December 29, 2006, 11:56 PM
I have absolutely no use for any of the super light revolvers out there. I could never understand why anyone would have a problem carrying a 20-24 oz (depending on the model) steel J frame. I wonder when I see suggestions on getting the wife/girlfriend an scandia or any airweight. What are they trying to do convince them shooting isn't for them. Even a 640 is a handful with magnums. It doesn't make a difference what bullet weight. I still could max a qual course with a 640 with magnums but didn't care to shoot more for fun after that. I carried Federal 147 gr +P+ which was very controllable in the 640.

pctech
December 29, 2006, 11:58 PM
Does anyone here own both a S&W Airweight .38 Special (642 & 637) and a S&W Airlite .357? I would really appreciate an accurate comparison of the recoil difference between these two series of guns.

I currently own a S&W 637 Airweight .38 revolver and acutally enjoy the recoil from it. Just wondering how much of a step up the .357 would be from this.

James

Antihero
December 29, 2006, 11:58 PM
Sorry you had to find out the hard way, I know I did. When I want out to buy a snub nose for myself I bought an Airweight (15 oz .38 Spl +P) instead of a Airlite (12 oz .357 Mag) I wanted a light gun do I got the Airweight instead of a 24 oz Steel M640 or M649. I would NEVER recommend an Airlite to anyone. Either get the heavier Mag or a .38Spl Airweight.

BTW, the 125 gr rounds would have made little difference, you would have still trashed your hand!

I shoulda shot it with 38 spec but i thought "hey i fire 44 mags in a gun about this size, sure it weighs much less, but a 44 mag is much more powerful" IMHO this gun kicks way too much for the power it brings to the table.

My hand wasnt thrashed but i wasnt about to fire more than 5 rounds.

ArchAngelCD
December 30, 2006, 12:08 AM
My hand wasnt thrashed but i wasnt about to fire more than 5 rounds.
Antihero,
LOL, your hand would have been trashed if you fired the whole box of 50!!
I currently own a S&W 637 Airweight .38 revolver and acutally enjoy the recoil from it. Just wondering how much of a step up the .357 would be from this.
pctech,
Since the Aitlite is even lighter than the Airweight and adding in the Mag rounds the recoil is a lot more than from your 637. Believe me, it's A LOT more!!
I bought a 638 which is the Bodyguard version of the 637.

Antihero
December 30, 2006, 12:20 AM
[Antihero,
LOL, your hand would have been trashed if you fired the whole box of 50!!
/QUOTE]

Im really not into "and i shall prove my total manly-ness by firing the pistol with most recoil and i will enjoy every minute!" After 5 rounds i realized that the gun kicked way more than guns that put out much much more power and i would never have a use for it.

[QUOTE] currently own a S&W 637 Airweight .38 revolver and acutally enjoy the recoil from it. Just wondering how much of a step up the .357 would be from this.


The 357 will kick much more, while i didnt actually fire 38spec in it, my experience 357 kicks about 2 times more than 38spec. Heck it kicks much more than any 44mag or 45 colt+P ive ever fired.

GRIZ22
December 30, 2006, 12:21 AM
Quote:

Does anyone here own both a S&W Airweight .38 Special (642 & 637) and a S&W Airlite .357? I would really appreciate an accurate comparison of the recoil difference between these two series of guns.

Using the formula:

E = 1/2 (Wr / 32) (Wb x MV + 4700 x Wp / 7000 x Wr)squared.

Where E = recoil Energy in ft. lbs., Wr = Weight of rifle in pounds, Wb = Weight of bullet in grains, MV = Muzzle Velocity of bullet in feet-per-second, Wp = Weight of powder in grains.

You only have to look at the first set of brackets to determine:

24 oz gun has X recoil
12 oz gun has 2X recoil
8 oz gun has 3X recoil

with the same load.

Yeah I used 8 oz to keep the math easy. To look at it the other way a 24 oz gun has 1/3 the recoil of an 8 oz using the same load.

ArchAngelCD
December 30, 2006, 12:28 AM
Antihero,
Please don't misunderstand me, I was in no way telling you that you have something to prove. I was only trying to make the point to others how bad it was to fire an Airlite. You and I both know already I shot only 10 rounds and it was more than enough for me. I could only imagine what a full box would have done to ANYONE'S hand. Not a good design IMO.

pedaldude
December 30, 2006, 12:35 AM
for shooting the lightweight J frames a very tight grip is essential. I found that shooting one handed actualy hurts less but recovery time for the next shot is twice as long. I'm looking for some wood grips for my 642 because after 50 or so rounds of +P the skin on the web of my hand starts to get ripped off and I end up leaving the range with a swollen and numb hand. I had just shot the little bugger again yesterday with 100 rounds of 38spl, much easier to control but still after shooting 300 rounds from my new 45 the little thing managed to give me a bloody thumb knuckle.

shooting 357 outa' the security six was a joy afterwards.

Those little guns are for self defense and practice for something like that is a good thing even if it isn't fun or even painful. I never want to have to use mine other than the range. But a cylinder or two isn't that bad. The trigger isn't that good either but smooths up with use or dry firing. I do plan on getting the lighter one when funds allow. I might even find a good deal on one "only fired once" :)

Old Fuff
December 30, 2006, 12:39 AM
I once ask a S&W rep why they made those (ultra-airweight .357 Magnums).

He answered: "Because people buy a lot of them." :eek:

So long as that is the case they will keep making them... :scrutiny:

C-grunt
December 30, 2006, 12:46 AM
Those little .357 intrigued me. Then I went to the store and picked one up. I dont even know how it feels in the hand because the instant I picked it up, I laughed and handed it back to the clerk. No Thanks!

Antihero
December 30, 2006, 12:55 AM
Antihero,
Please don't misunderstand me, I was in no way telling you that you have something to prove. I was only trying to make the point to others how bad it was to fire an Airlite. You and I both know already I shot only 10 rounds and it was more than enough for me. I could only imagine what a full box would have done to ANYONE'S hand. Not a good design IMO.

I just read my post and could easily see why you thought that, i meant that the people that worked at the range seemed to act as if it was a contest in manlyness. When i told the guy that s&w shoulda ported it and added a set of usable grips he said(not exact quote) "Ive fired it a lot. im not sure id agree with you" in a condecending manner. I felt like telling him" hey buddy ive fired plenty of big guns" but in the end i dont really care what the idiot behind the counter getting 8 bucks an hour thinks of me.

Im sorry i didnt make that clear, but to make it absoulutly clear i wasnt offended in anyway, nor did i feel you slighted me. I hope you accept my humble apology for not being clear.

Having said all that if id fired 50 rounds thru the Helium Cannon(my new nickname for all lightweight magnum firing revolvers. I think its catchy.....or i could just be sleep deprived:D ) i wouldnt be playing guitar for awhile

earplug
December 30, 2006, 01:09 AM
In my range experience, I shoot about twenty round from my 638, 642 when i'm at my indoor range.
Been shooting the J frame for 30 years.
I don't think shooting more then twenty rounds helps.
BTW my sex life is not effected.

ArchAngelCD
December 30, 2006, 02:38 AM
Antihero,
You have no reason to say you're sorry. I just wanted to make sure you didn't think I was trying to offend you in any way. I like this forum and don't want to make an enemy. It is very nice of you to apologize but it is not necessary. No harm, no foul!! LOL
Tony

ArchAngelCD
December 30, 2006, 02:54 AM
for shooting the lightweight J frames a very tight grip is essential. I found that shooting one handed actualy hurts less but recovery time for the next shot is twice as long. I'm looking for some wood grips for my 642 because after 50 or so rounds of +P the skin on the web of my hand starts to get ripped off and I end up leaving the range with a swollen and numb hand. I had just shot the little bugger again yesterday with 100 rounds of 38spl, much easier to control but still after shooting 300 rounds from my new 45 the little thing managed to give me a bloody thumb knuckle.
pedaldude,
I own a 638 and fine my hand was getting swollen after 30 or more .38 +P rounds too. The Uncle Mike's boot grips that come stock on the J frame aren't very good IMO. Since I have changed the grips on my 638 to Pachmayr "Compac" grips it's much more comfortable to fire. They aren't that much larger as to compromise your ability to conceal but they do cover the back strap and are slightly extended so your third finger has a place on the grips. I find control much better and recovery time lessened. You might want to give them a try. http://www.pachmayr.com/pachmayr/index.htm

tantrix
December 30, 2006, 04:17 AM
When I bought my newest snubby (I wanted one of the light ones) money was no object, I had $1000 in my pocket and hit the town looking. After handling probably close to 100 guns that day, I chose a 2001 pre-lock model 642-1 Airweight that looked like it had been barely touched. I don't regret choosing it over the Airlite whatsoever.

http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/3599/smith642oo9.jpg

Glockman17366
December 30, 2006, 04:49 AM
"I could never understand why anyone would have a problem carrying a 20-24 oz (depending on the model) steel J frame"

For pocket carry, weight makes all the difference.
My first snubby was a Taurus 85 in stainless steel. This little gun weighed in at 21-22 oz and would drag my trousers or jeans down even with a good belt.

The 85 I own now is a Taurus Multi-Alloy (aluminum frame, titanium cylinder and barrel shroud) which goes around 12-13 oz unloaded.

The Multi-Alloy is much easier to carry in a pocket (with holster, of course!).

If one's primary mode of carry is IWB or OWB, definitely go for the steel gun, however!

hceptj
December 30, 2006, 08:07 AM
I own both a 642 (wife's bedside gun) and a 360pd. I've shot target wadcutters and +p stuff through the 642. I've shot 38 special wadcutters and full power 357 mag (speer 130gr jhps) thru the 360pd.

The 642 has a kick with the +p stuff and after about 20 rds I get tired of it. However, the 360 has no more kick with the 38 +p stuff than the 642 does IMO.

Honestly, after reading the negative reviews on the kick of the 360pd I was a little nervous (and I've been shooting pistols for 28 years now). I ran Speer gold dot 130gr 357's thru the 360 (a box of 20) because that's what I'm going to carry in it. That was after shooting 30 rds of wadcutter 38's through it first. Yeah, it kicks and after the box was gone my hand was a little red but I went right back to shooting my 45 w/o any problems.

I shot 10 double action and 10 single action with the 357's. The double action groups at 7 yds (I don't plan on ever shooting it further than this in real life) were around 5"-6". The single action groups were 2"-3". So it does what its supposed to do, only with more kick than most people want to deal with.

I think if your an experienced shooter and are aware of what your getting into, you won't have any problems with it. I'm not a huge guy, 6'2" & 195#, with average size hands, if your wondering about that.

Will I shoot 357's in it at the range every time...sure, not 20 gold dots (too expensive) but I will shoot 15-20 125gr jhp's thru it to stay in practice.

It sits on my night stand when I go to bed and its loaded with those same 130gr speer gold dots right now. My take on the flash/noise of a 357 vs a 38 is that the noise/flash will effect the bad guy just as much as me...probably more so because I'll be expecting it.

My reason for buying it? I own a hvac/plumbing/electrical maintenance company and spend a lot of time being active. I just retired a Kimber 45 Ultra Carry II for the 360pd because even the Kimber weighs my pants down half way thru the day. The 360pd I forget I even have on me.

jamz
December 30, 2006, 08:52 AM
Does anyone here own both a S&W Airweight .38 Special (642 & 637) and a S&W Airlite .357? I would really appreciate an accurate comparison of the recoil difference between these two series of guns.

I currently own a S&W 637 Airweight .38 revolver and acutally enjoy the recoil from it. Just wondering how much of a step up the .357 would be from this.

James

I own (and carried) an older Model 38 Airweight for a while, and a few months ago bought (and carry and shoot) a 340pd.

The stock grips are bad, my handsome wood grips are worse, but with Hogue monogrips .357 is very manageable and not at all painful with the 340pd.

I suppose the difference in felt recoil, to me, would be like someone taking a cane, and thwacking you in the hand with it in a mild, heart's-not-really-in-it kind of way, vs. someone smacking you in the hand a pretty good one, but not enough to want to do you any real damage. Quite a bang, recovery time doubles, but there you are.

And now, with probably one of the worst analogies of 2006 out of the way, I will conclude this post. :)

-James

An edit I just thought of:

Muzzle rise with .38 +p for me, is about an inch and a half or so. Muzzle rise with .357 is about 5-6 inches.

ArchAngelCD
December 30, 2006, 10:57 AM
hceptj,
You are probably the only person on thsi forum who thinks the recoil from am Aitlite is no big deal... Good for you.

BTW, the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel .38 +P and .357 rounds are 135 gr, not 130 gr. If you're not using the Short Barrel stuff then they are 125 gr and 158 gr.

The Real Hawkeye
December 30, 2006, 11:26 AM
Lightweight .357 Magnum J-frames are a bad idea. Even in all steel, a hot load of .38 Special are no fun to shoot, but at least they are manageable enough so you can get some meaningful practice shooting in. You simply cannot practice shooting these lightweight magnums. I have a scandium .38 Special S&W J-frame, and it hurts plenty with standard power .38s. You couldn't pay be to touch off a magnum in a gun that light.

coach22
December 30, 2006, 11:35 AM
May I suggest Corbon DPX. For me they have MUCH less recoil in either 38+P or 357 than the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel in both of those calibers. I have a 640 (38 no lock) and a 442 (no lock) both loaded with DPX. My 340 PD either has 5 DPX 357's in it or sometimes I load the first 2 up with 38+P and the last 3 with 357. The DPX 38+P weighs 110 grains (OK in 340 even though less than 120 grains, because it's 38...120 grain minimum applies only to 357) and 125 in 357. They are lighter and faster than the Speer and are supposed to penetrate better. I've had no bullet pull with either. The 340 PD isn't a gun for all day at the range. It's for an emergency and NOTHING carries better in your pocket.
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results if you give the DPX a try.
coach22

NMGlocker
December 30, 2006, 11:45 AM
I have a 360 and a 642, with .38's they seem to recoil about the same.
The 360 is BY FAR the easiest pocket carry gun I own.
I carry Speer 135gr. GDHP +P short barrel loads in both of them.

tantrix
December 30, 2006, 12:20 PM
Lightweight .357 Magnum J-frames are a bad idea. Even in all steel, a hot load of .38 Special are no fun to shoot, but at least they are manageable enough so you can get some meaningful practice shooting in. You simply cannot practice shooting these lightweight magnums. I have a scandium .38 Special S&W J-frame, and it hurts plenty with standard power .38s. You couldn't pay be to touch off a magnum in a gun that light.

Exactly. It's all marketing...the guns don't actually perform that well with .357 cartidges, it's the word "magnum" that sells. Notice how after they released the scandium .357's all the ammo companies started making crippled .357 loads for use in them.

This is telling me 1 of 2 things: Either the guns can't handle full power .357 loads, or the shooters can't handle the recoil or hit the broad side of a barn with them.

Rather than get a scandium .357 and load it with crippled versions of real magnum ammo (which does pretty bad out of a 2" tube anyway) I got a true .38spl so I could actually shoot more than 1 cylinder when practicing.

The more I think about it, passing on the scandium .357's is one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Guy B. Meredith
December 30, 2006, 12:43 PM
I wonder how many of the lightweights get real range time. Even my 4" M66 is very uncomfortable with .357 magnums.

Moving on to +P or on to the heavier revolvers is an absolute pleasure.

treebeard
December 30, 2006, 01:00 PM
A few months ago I shot a small scandium frame .357 snubbie with some high velocity .357 rounds and it did not hurt, but it was uncomfortable to say the least. I actually hit the target at 10 yards but I don't know if I could ever get comfortable shooting something like that. I shoot 158gr. XTP-HP's out of my Model 36 Chief's Special and it is just right.

pctech
December 30, 2006, 01:04 PM
Thanks everyone for the helpful responses, especially hceptj. Your summary does give me a good idea of what to expect compaired to my S&W 637 Airweight.

I'm going to do some asking around at my local gun range to see if anyone has an Airlite .357 I can try out before buying one.

MikeB
December 30, 2006, 01:15 PM
I own several Smith J-Frames. I carry a 340SC Airlight. The recoil can be brutal, the worst part is that the gun twists as well during the recoil. I can and do regualary shoot 100 rounds through practicing at the range. Your hand and trigger finger will get sore, it's really not that bad though. I usaully carry .38+p in it.

zoom6zoom
December 30, 2006, 01:27 PM
I only carry standard velocity .38's in my 642. No +P. The ability to stay on target and get that second or third round off quickly and accurately means more to me than a bit more muzzle velocity.

treebeard
December 30, 2006, 01:36 PM
the worst part is that the gun twists as well during the recoil

Yup, that's what it was like!!

MikeB
December 30, 2006, 01:46 PM
Yup, that's what it was like!!


Oh it twists. I actually have a picture around somewhere that was taken as the gun was twisting, I'll have to see if I can find it and post it.

edit - here is the pic, you can see the twisting happen.

Nhsport
December 30, 2006, 01:53 PM
Pretty much my experience . I have owned steel J-frames but ended up leaveing them home more times than not because of the weight. My 642-2 can go with me in my pocket and pretty much is forgotten because of the lightness. It is shootable although not pleasant with +P,I carry them so I train with them from time to time.When I shoot /carry 357 it isn't in anything lighter than my 2 3/4" S&W 686. I don't want to hear about a gun that is 1/2 (1/3?) the weight with grips half the size! The scan and ti guns are crazy in the price dept also!

wcwhitey
December 30, 2006, 02:00 PM
I have been carrying my .38 +P Model 640 for 15 years now 24/7 as an OD or BUG. Recoil have never been a big problem but after 50 rounds of +P I am not really looking forward to another 50. My gun is advertised as being 20 oz. There are times when I wish it was a few ounces lighter but unfortunately I am mandated to carry the steel frame gun. The AirLites in .357 are an engineering marvel but a physics nightmare. I personally cannot see how anyone can expect to become proficient with thier carry gun if it is too painful to shoot. Stout recoil is one thing, but you have to be able to practice. The reports of the bullets unseating and locking up the guns is not good either. I was talking to a gunshop buddy of mine a while back who said he likes the Scandium revolvers because they sell, he has one that he has sold three times. Wonder why? Bill:fire:

MikeB
December 30, 2006, 02:04 PM
The reports of the bullets unseating and locking up the guns is not good either.

I've fired thousands of rounds through mine, that has never happened. I've even tried measuring the last round with a caliper before firing it and seen no difference in the OAL of any cartridges.

ravencon
December 30, 2006, 02:11 PM
I could never understand why anyone would have a problem carrying a 20-24 oz (depending on the model) steel J frame.

When I am wearing a business suit I usually pocket carry my Airlite. Sure, a suit jacket will allow me to conceal just about anything with a belt holster. But, I often take the jacket off during lengthy meetings. High quality suit pants are made of very light weight wool. Pocket carrying a steel J frame is not feasible. Indeed, I found that there was a substantial difference between an Airweight and an Airlite for pocket carry when wearing suit pants.

For me the Airlite is a carry often, shoot infrequently gun. It is much more pleasant to do most practice with a steel frame snubby.

wcwhitey
December 30, 2006, 02:24 PM
I believe Smith and Wesson states not to use bullets lighter than 125 grains for that reason. The only time this has happened to me personally was using soft lead .357 SWC's in an old Colt Trooper. They would walk all the time, it's not fun. :banghead:

MikeB
December 30, 2006, 02:50 PM
I believe Smith and Wesson states not to use bullets lighter than 125 grains for that reason.

They say 120grains, it's even on the barrel. I did try some 110 grain, it still didn't make a difference. It's kinda a moot point, I wouldn't carry something that light in a firearm with a 2" barrel anyways.

coach22
December 30, 2006, 02:50 PM
A respectful suggestion to Mike B with the picture of "twisting".
When I shoot a revolver, I always wrap my left thumb over and around the web of my right (shooting) hand. Obviously this grip won't work with an auto, but it makes a world of difference with my revolvers. It helps keep the barrel from rising and reduces twisting. I repeat...a respectful suggestion.
coach22

MikeB
December 30, 2006, 02:54 PM
Normally a good suggestion coach, but with that particular gun and that picture it was more of a support than a two handed grip. I usually shoot it one handed, but had probably shot hundreds of rounds and a whole lot of big heavy firearms that day. That was taken at a THR shoot that happened in PA a few years back. I had been shooting my 445 Supermag most of the day.

Confederate
December 30, 2006, 03:31 PM
I've never even been tempted to try those little revolvers. They were meant for a last ditch gun, I suspect. If you were in a pinch and needed it, I don't suppose you would notice the recoil. It's kind of like people who have had to shoot charging bears. Asked afterwards, they didn't notice the blast or the recoil. One fellow, who shot six .44 magnums at such a bear, said he didn't even have any ringing in his ears. He did, however, devolop a bad case of the shakes after the incident, when the bear was dead.

formerflyer
December 30, 2006, 04:06 PM
I agree with the general consensus here: The recoil of the Ti guns firing full house .357 ammo is somewhere between Unbearable and Unbelievable. They are emergency rescue equipment, not field or plinking firearms. They are best suited to use with .38’s, and are difficult to shoot well with .357’s.

Having said that, I wanted the advantages they offer and came up with a plan to be able to use them. I have the 3” version, and I have a 3” .22 j-frame that’s about the same weight. I fitted both of them with identical Crimson Trace laser grips. I discovered that the point of impact for .38 and .357 was w/in about 2 inches at 15 yards if I stayed with the 158gr bullets, so those are what I carry.

I always start off a practice session by emptying out my carry ammo, both to make sure I’m constantly cycling fresh ammo into the gun and to see what my baseline performance is with no warm up and firing full power ammo. I can place all 5 rounds into about a 6” circle at 15 yards firing very rapidly (Yeay, Lasergrips!). I then practice extensively with the .22 (couple hundred rounds usually), then switch to the 158gr .38’s and shoot a box or so. I then finish off the session with 2 cylinders full of .357 158’s, and that’s the end of the day’s shooting, cause there’ll be no more useful practice after that.

These aren’t fun range sessions, but they do serve the purpose. I can carry that scandium framed “helium monster” with confidence, and it doesn’t print in dress clothing or weigh down my drawers when I’m out for a family hike in comfortable clothing. It serves the purpose.

D-Man
December 30, 2006, 04:54 PM
I was at the range today, and a couple of guys were looking at a titanium snubbie (a Taurus - not sure of the model number). The guy at the counter actually told them he doesn't recommend them because of how tough the recoil is - especially for new shooters which those guys were. Kind of nice to hear the honesty out of the salesperson.

My 642 is enough for me in that size pacakge - I couldn't imagine shooting a .357 round out of it.

brett30030
December 30, 2006, 05:18 PM
How much of a difference would the powder charge be for a 158 grain bullet vs. 125? Would the powder charge be proportionally different based upon bullet weight (i.e. 25%+/- more powder in a 158 gb than a 125gb)?

hceptj
December 30, 2006, 05:58 PM
glad it helps pctech...if your in the dfw area i would be glad to let you try either of mine out...:)

shooting4fun
December 30, 2006, 07:17 PM
G'day All,

Merry New Year to everyone!

Thought it might be helpful / interesting to share some of my experiences and findings with my SW 360. Let me add that I shoot a bit for fun in the AZ sun. While the majority of my action shooting is with a “bottom feeder” (as Jerry Miculek refers to them, and just like Jerry) I shoot revolvers (a.k.a. Limited 6) on occasion.

I would like to say up front that even with all the entertainment shooting that I do, the SW 360 is not well suited for that purpose. I use the SW 360 for personal protection. It does get a substantial amount of range time appropriate for just that application.

I bought it back when they were relatively new on the market (I'm fairly sure it is way over 4 years ago). In that time I've run all factory loads through it. Everything from the Winchester White box in 38 special up to Remington 180gr CoreLok 357 Mag. hunting loads. It has handled them all with good accuracy. The Remingtons were pretty impressive on the 100 yrd rifle steel targets! Unfortunately, I absorbed my share of the energy too. <Note: this type of activity is not advised for those that are recoil sensitive!>

Ok all that being said, I've pretty much worked out my revolver to know that it shoots well. What I did not realize was that this particular revolver works much better when you shoot it in double action. If you shoot it single action (which I observe most casual wheelgunners to do at the range) it will beat you up! While it is not a pleasant gun to shoot, shooting in in DA mode I find I'm able to shoot it quite a bit more before reaching saturation. Example: When I first got it 10 shots SA and I was pretty much done. While shooting it DA it was better and it wasn't that bad to go through a full box of 50.

I did manage to do some research to improve my situation after I got the idea from watching Shooting Gallery where they interviewed Hamilton Bowen (they work on SWs, and Rugers). There are a number of grip options for the SW revolvers. I found a Hogue grip that was a bit larger in size and still fit the 360. That was all the improvement I needed. This new grip fully surrounds the backstrap so that the only metal contact you have is on the trigger. This is similar to the Ruger GP-100 grip where the rubber grip fully encapsulates the grip stud. Now shooting the 360 is just like running with my 686 less a round. I'm ok with the slightly larger grip cause the benefits are that I can practice more with my carry gun and it drives nicely.

Lastly since I run my pistols and revolvers so much for fun it was important for me to fully understand the proper running and functional design of each pattern. I've always performed the work on my pistols (with a few exceptions). As one who owns and operates Midnight Madness Gunsmithing, my first experience with popping the side plate on an SW wheelie was met with me looking and thinking, “Wow, I've really gone somewhere where I've never been to before...” Just as with the pistols there are some places on the revolvers that will benefit from a small amount of careful attention. That small amount of attention has greatly improved my shooting experience.

So would I run a stock SW 360 in a match? No, that wouldn't be my first choice. Run mine as it as it is now, maybe? Recommend one, sure with provisions! Be well and be warry of that gunstore gossip. Cheers!

Antihero
December 30, 2006, 08:19 PM
How much of a difference would the powder charge be for a 158 grain bullet vs. 125? Would the powder charge be proportionally different based upon bullet weight (i.e. 25%+/- more powder in a 158 gb than a 125gb)?

What are we talking about, reloading or factory ammo???? To answer your question simply, no there isnt a defined less powder between bullet weights.

Im not entirely sure were you're going with this, Why do you ask?

Antihero
December 30, 2006, 08:25 PM
I was at the range today, and a couple of guys were looking at a titanium snubbie (a Taurus - not sure of the model number). The guy at the counter actually told them he doesn't recommend them because of how tough the recoil is - especially for new shooters which those guys were. Kind of nice to hear the honesty out of the salesperson.


Scarily enough there was a large family,who apparently were all first time shooters except the husband whom seemed to know little, that came in just as i was finished with the S&W and the husband was trying to get his wife to rent it saying it would be perfect for her, cause you know the best gun for a woman is a snub nosed revolver:rolleyes: and the guy behind the counter didnt say a thing:scrutiny:

Credit goes to her for telling him she'd rather fire autos.

pstmstr
December 31, 2006, 08:57 AM
You'd be surprised at how well the newest model of the Crimson Trace laser grips tames this little blaster. It has an air pocket near the top of the backstrap that sounds like advertsing hype, until you try it. While it's still not pleasant to shoot, it does make it tolerable to practice with.

brett30030
December 31, 2006, 02:31 PM
How much of a difference would the powder charge be for a 158 grain bullet vs. 125? Would the powder charge be proportionally different based upon bullet weight (i.e. 25%+/- more powder in a 158 gb than a 125gb)?
What are we talking about, reloading or factory ammo???? To answer your question simply, no there isnt a defined less powder between bullet weights.


Im not entirely sure were you're going with this, Why do you ask

Read your first post regarding shooting a 125 vs. 158. If the powder charge is the same, how much would bullet weight effect recoil?:confused:

JohnKSa
December 31, 2006, 04:01 PM
Part of the problem that I have with light revolvers is the twist that pushes the gun & grip over against my thumb. I think this would be a good deal less uncomfortable if it twisted the opposite way into the meat between my thumb joint and index knuckle.

Maybe just reversing the direction of rifling twist would help a lot?

Antihero
December 31, 2006, 06:47 PM
Read your first post regarding shooting a 125 vs. 158. If the powder charge is the same, how much would bullet weight effect recoil?

As i said before the powder charge isnt the same and firing 125s have less felt recoil because you arent slinging as heavy as a bullet. Is it like firing a 22 vs a 44mag? No but ill take every advantage i can get when firing something like a 10oz revolver.

gbran
December 31, 2006, 07:57 PM
I bought the Taurus 7 shot titanium 357 snubbie. It's a little heavier than the scandium Smith, but it too really bites. This thing was ported too. I got rid of it because it was ammo sensitive and I never felt I could trust the gun.

norfdet893
December 31, 2006, 09:28 PM
I used to own a 340PD as well as a 638 and a 640. I never made it to 357 rounds with the 340PD before I realized that it was not for me. I daily carry my 638 and find that the airweight is a nice balance between the all steel and scandium/titanium. I don't find that much of a difference between the 12oz scandium and the 15oz aluminum alloy. I do find however that the extra 3oz makes a big difference when firing the 135gr+p in the j-frame. I sold the 340PD but kept the 638 (daily carry) and the 640. YMMV.

..
December 31, 2006, 09:34 PM
I bought one before trying, big mistake. These things kick so hard they are pointless, and I was only shooting standard pressure .38's. You couldn't pay me to try .357's! I'll stick with a 642 thank you.

chipp
January 1, 2007, 12:05 AM
I owned a model 37 since the early 80s its my favorite gun of all time.
I bought a 340pd as soon as I saw it. I don't know they both kick.
I carry lighter grain bullets on the first 4. Got the crimson tace lazer grips for chrsitmas. They make the recoil more managable.Didn't shoot it as much as I wanted. Was there more to shoot another gun.
Anyway if you shoot a light wieght for practice maybe it will make a full size feel better. works for me.

Socrates
January 1, 2007, 05:54 PM
Recoil figures for different rounds, out of a 360PD

Finally out of a scandium snubby:
.86 lbs

185 Grain Bullet 900 fps = 12 ft lbs
160 " " 1200 " =17
230 " " 900 " = 18 " "
130 " " 1200 = 12 " "
158 " " " =16 " "
90 " " 1500 =10" "
230 " " 1100 =27 " "

After looking at this table, I decided "Low Recoil" Federal 130 grain HP's at 1240 fps, would be my carry load. I've also shot 125 Corbon's that are supposed to go 1450, but actually go 1204 out of it, as well. Corbon also has a plus P round that is supposed to go 1175, but, I think they stopped making it.

Recoil wise, the light, like 90 grain bullets, at 1500 fps would be the way to go. However, when trying the Corbons that actually go 1204, when rated at 1450, the velocity loss in a snubby tends to really hurt the light, fast 357 loads, at least from my limited testing. Forgot to mention the top strap cutting problem with light load bullets: hence the warning to use only 120 grain bullets or heavier on the barrel of the 360PD

for reference:
Let's look at recoil, in my 2.64lb 1911 Kimber:

185 Grain Bullet 900 fps = 4 ft lbs
160 " " 1200 " =5
230 " " 900 " = 6 " "
130 " " 1200 = 4 " "
158 " " " =5 " "
90 " " 1500 =3 " "
230 " " 1100 =9 " "

Also not in the figures is how much the lightweight increases the recoil velocity. The speed of recoil increases a LOT with the scandiums.

I found Hogue mono grips make the gun shootable with 357 magnum, but,
sacrifice concealment issues. Good news is you can sand the Hogues to make them smaller, something I have to give a try. I like the front fill in on the grip, and, the hard plastic doesn't catch on clothes, like rubber.

S

Gewehr98
January 1, 2007, 10:36 PM
Try the L-frames in .44 Special, namely the 296 and 396. Yee-haa, handgun rodeo! :what:

Socrates
January 1, 2007, 11:58 PM
I'll be happy to try those, if you shoot a couple cylinders of 525 grain bullets at 1350 fps out of a 500 Max. It's only 62 pounds of recoil...:evil:

S

Logan5
January 2, 2007, 12:46 AM
I find my 296 is doable with the available sub 200gr loadings I've tried in it. My 640 is rated for .357, but it was purchased as an upgrade to my plain old model 38 airweight with the aluminum frame, and I run the same loads in both. The 640 is an improvement. Anyway, that's the way I look at it.

jbeltz7
January 2, 2007, 12:52 AM
Lightweight .357 Magnum J-frames are best thing since the microwave. Better to bitch about the handgun you have in your pocket then praise the one locked in your safe.

I dislike Glocks but that doesn't mean they don't work well for many shooters. Given the luxury of choosing a handgun for self defense it would be my Colt 1911. Funny thing is I always find my J-frame in my pocket at the end of the day, it must be because it doesn’t pull my Kaki shorts down to my knees when I’m carrying it.

Recoil is stiff but this is a defensive weapon, not designed for shooting pins at the local tourney. Practice with the cheap .38 ammo and mix in a few heavy .357s to make your day. I routinely fire 25 – 50 rounds at the range with the Scandium and can testify it is more then accurate enough to ruin any would be bad guy’s day. So lighten-up in 2007 and don’t bash a weapon simply because your not comfortable shooting it.

Antihero
January 2, 2007, 03:06 AM
Lightweight .357 Magnum J-frames are best thing since the microwave. Better to bitch about the handgun you have in your pocket then praise the one locked in your safe.

I dislike Glocks but that doesn't mean they don't work well for many shooters. Given the luxury of choosing a handgun for self defense it would be my Colt 1911. Funny thing is I always find my J-frame in my pocket at the end of the day, it must be because it doesn’t pull my Kaki shorts down to my knees when I’m carrying it.

Recoil is stiff but this is a defensive weapon, not designed for shooting pins at the local tourney. Practice with the cheap .38 ammo and mix in a few heavy .357s to make your day. I routinely fire 25 – 50 rounds at the range with the Scandium and can testify it is more then accurate enough to ruin any would be bad guy’s day. So lighten-up in 2007 and don’t bash a weapon simply because your not comfortable shooting it.

Lightweight 357s done right would be fantastic but s&w really didnt think this one thru, the grips suck and it desperately needs to be ported. The gun has way too much recoil for the power it brings to the table.

Ill never understand the "practice with a round that is entirely different in nearly every possible way than what you will keep it loaded with" so i hope your not saying that you mostly practice with 38 and load it with 357.

I also should mention that in single action at 15 feet i got a 6 inch group that was low and to the right, to me thats unacceptable. It could have been the ammo and the gun was spitting back lead so probably wasnt in the best shape, but i wasnt impressed.

There isnt any bashing here, just people who have fired the gun sharing thier experiences. My recommendation to you is to lighten up in 2007 and dont whine at people who dont like the gun, simply because you own one.

foghornl
January 3, 2007, 10:11 AM
I went to the range a while back with a guy who has one of those "Ultra-Light-Tanium" .357 S&W's (don't remember which one, though).

Loads that were.....well, 'stiff' in my Vaquero and Blackhawk were absolutely NOT SUITABLE (for me) in that sub-1Lb. snubby. Even the 125 & 158-Gr "Cowboy Action" rounds were more that I wanted to shoot in that thing.

Makes my hand & wrist twinge just typing about that day...:(

Vern Humphrey
January 3, 2007, 01:31 PM
Ultra lightweight snubbies seem to result in one of two situations -- either people don't practice with them, and lose the fight when the chips are down, or else they do practice, develop flinching and jerking, and lose the fight when the chips are down.

My snubbie is a Colt Detective Special, and I stick with standard .38 Special loads.

miko
January 3, 2007, 03:02 PM
Ultra lightweight snubbies like my 340 are not intended for a “fight” - they are for a last-ditch, close-range defense.
The main advantage of such gun is that it is always on you. Even at home, you can stick one in the waistband of your pajamas – without the belt - cross-draw or in the small of the back or in a pocket and not worry about it pulling the pants down or feeling uncomfortable.

miko

Vern Humphrey
January 3, 2007, 03:11 PM
Ultra lightweight snubbies like my 340 are not intended for a “fight” - they are for a last-ditch, close-range defense.

What's the difference between a fight and a last-ditch, close-range defense?

Regardless of what you call it, most encounters are at close-range and don't last very long. Experience shows most shots fired in such encounters miss, and that places a premium on getting at least one hit from a cylinderful.

Frandy
January 3, 2007, 03:15 PM
Sold mine. Bought a 640 and couldn't be happier. For me, shooting accurately is more important than weight.

miko
January 3, 2007, 04:01 PM
What's the difference between a fight and a last-ditch, close-range defense?

For the purposes of this discusson, the difference is mostly the range and the amount of stress.

Even if you don't practice much with the .357 out of a 340 or whatever unfamiliar pistol/ammo combination you happen to grab, you will still hit the BG at 5-10 feet.

I realistically see shooting my 340 with a barrel firmly planted into some part of the BG's anatomy or from inside a pocket at arms-length or some such dire situation.
Not that I 340 is not capable of delivering .357 in a 2-inch group at 15 yards with some practice but that is not why I have it.

miko

Headless
January 3, 2007, 04:27 PM
Don't have a 340 (.357) but i've been kicking myself for not getting it since i bought my 642. I fire 100 +P .38's and 100 standard .38's a week from my snub 642, and while it was painful the first 2 weeks, after week #3, the pain dissapears and you start building up some resilience. A month or 2 of practice later, I can now empty 5 rounds in 2 seconds @ a 20oz bottle @ 25feet and hit it with 3 of the 5, darn close with the other 2, and i'm still improving.

The recoil is nasty, but it's tameable. I saw a fellow with a nice 4" .357 the other day blasting away, much flash, much bang, big thud. Took over the 642 and offered him a cylinder full - he fired one and yelled "HOLY ****"!! it was really gratifying ;) That said, i tried firing a 5" .357 s&w with bigass wood grips and found it to be even harder to handle than my 642 w/ .38 +P's...the slick wood twisted HARD under my hand and i couldn't keep my grip worth a damn.

It's all about the grips. A set of hogue monogrips lessened the perceived recoil of my 642 by a TON. We got to do side-by-side comparisons with my brother's old model 36 on non +P rounds. 1 cylinder from the 642 then one from the 36 with monogrip - no comparison. My brother and I concurred it felt like 1/3rd as bad recoil. The open backstrap makes firing these like being beaten with a metal baseball bat. I find the right grips combined with a good Grip make all the difference; shifting my grip slightly can turn firing the gun from a 'stout' recoil experience to a 'mean' one very quickly, which i have attributed to the aforementioned 'twist'..gotta control that as much as you have to control the rest of the recoil.

I think alot of people don't give these guns enough of a chance to learn how to tame the recoil and make firing them manageable.

Sniper X
January 3, 2007, 05:07 PM
I shot one, felt like someone hit me in the palm with a 5lb dead blow plastic hammer.....hard...hated it and it made me LOVE my Taurus model 605 sooo much better than I allready did!

JohnKSa
January 3, 2007, 11:22 PM
Even if you don't practice much with the .357 out of a 340 or whatever unfamiliar pistol/ammo combination you happen to grab, you will still hit the BG at 5-10 feet.Missing someone who's shooting at you is surprisingly easy even at very close range.

The classic example was the example of the Kehoe brothers traffic stop. There was a 4 person gunfight ranging from point-blank to about 10 feet in which at least a couple of guns were emptied. No one was hit.

"February 15th, two men opened fire on law enforcement officers during a routine traffic stop in Ohio. The spectacular shootout at point-blank range (during which none of the participants was hit) was caught on the highway patrolman's video camera and shown on news programs to millions of viewers nationwide. The gunmen, who escaped, were identified as Chevie and Cheyne Kehoe,"

I've seen the video. Don't EVER fool yourself into thinking you can't miss--even at point blank range it can be--and IS--done.

Antihero
January 3, 2007, 11:26 PM
"February 15th, two men opened fire on law enforcement officers during a routine traffic stop in Ohio. The spectacular shootout at point-blank range (during which none of the participants was hit) was caught on the highway patrolman's video camera and shown on news programs to millions of viewers nationwide. The gunmen, who escaped, were identified as Chevie and Cheyne Kehoe,"


Creepily enough they used to live pretty close to me although i never met them.

As for the video it is a great example of extremly poor marksmanship

I've seen the video. Don't EVER fool yourself into thinking you can't miss--even at point blank range it can be--and IS--done.

Very true.

Antihero
January 3, 2007, 11:30 PM
I think alot of people don't give these guns enough of a chance to learn how to tame the recoil and make firing them manageable.


I think thats true, in my case i think that if i have to deal with loads of recoil i better gets loads of power and the Sc snub doesnt deliver it.

S&W should think of porting and changing the terrible grips.

FW
January 4, 2007, 01:07 AM
Shooting 357 in the 340pd and the other Airlite 357 revolvers is not for everyone. Actually, for shooting 357, they are not for most people.

Only experienced shooters should be doing this and even some of them shouldn't be.

When shooting 38 or 38+p, there is a definite advantage of the 340 over a 642. It is about 25% lighter. And yes it makes a difference for pocket carry sometimes. Only problem is, it costs twice as much.

A 642 is a real bargain. A 340pd is "better", but is not a great bargain. It is however, not priced much higher than many other popular compact carry handguns.

miko
January 4, 2007, 03:36 PM
Missing someone who's shooting at you is surprisingly easy even at very close range.
The classic example was the example of the Kehoe brothers traffic stop. There was a 4 person gunfight ranging from point-blank to about 10 feet in which at least a couple of guns were emptied. No one was hit.

...Don't EVER fool yourself into thinking you can't miss--even at point blank range it can be--and IS--done.


True. One can even miss while commiting suicide.
But the important aspect of the issue is - are you much more likely to miss at 10 feet with a 340 compared to some other gun?


I think thats true, in my case i think that if i have to deal with loads of recoil i better gets loads of power and the Sc snub doesnt deliver it.
Sc snub delivers exactly as much power as any other snub. The "loads of recoil" that you have to suffer is a tradeoff for portability - having the gun with you. If you empty the cylinder at BG(s), your arm will smart some. The alternative is not a better gun - if you could wear a better gun, you would not have to use a 340. The alternative is no gun or a much less powerful gun.

The grips can be greatly improved if you just use the 3-finger combat grip standard with model 60. It has a closed backstrap. The concealability does not have to be sacrificed - you can just cut off the bottom for a 2-finger result, as I did:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=231172

miko

honkeoki
January 4, 2007, 09:33 PM
FWIW -- I couldn't handle more than about 15 +P rounds from my 442. I remember walking out of the range one day, thinking I was a total pu55y, trying to shake the sting out of my hand, when I met this guy going in. He saw what I was doing and shook his head.

"My Smith Airweight always beats me up," he said.

"Mine, too!" I said.

"I only shoot .38 plus ps in mine," he said.

"Me, too!" I said.

"I bought one of them Uncle Mikes grips," he said.

"Me, too!" I said. Then I left because I felt like a putz.

I traded the 442 for a Kahr P40 Covert... and it only got worse. Much, much worse. :banghead:

JohnKSa
January 4, 2007, 11:53 PM
But the important aspect of the issue is - are you much more likely to miss at 10 feet with a 340 compared to some other gun?Dunno...

I can only say that you're less likely to miss with a gun you shoot well, and you're more likely to shoot a gun well if you practice a lot with it.

miko
January 5, 2007, 04:03 PM
I can only say that you're less likely to miss with a gun you shoot well, and you're more likely to shoot a gun well if you practice a lot with it.

Yes. But how well is well enough for practical purposes?
Here is a mental experiment. Imagine you can practice a lot with a 340 full-house magnums without experiencing any pain. You would undoubtedly get very good at it.

Now imagine you practice very little with a 340 full-house magnums but insted shoot some mild 38s, or even none at all from that gun but instead some other revolver - maybe even 22. But you still zero in and carry .357.
How much would your groups open at 10 feet? From 1 to 2 inches? 3 Inches? I doubt that much.

So what would you rather have at 10 feet? 1 inch groups with 38 Sp +P or 2-3 inch groups of 357 Mag that carry 40% more energy?

Some might prefer the former but it is not a foregone conclusion.

miko

Vern Humphrey
January 5, 2007, 04:14 PM
Yes. But how well is well enough for practical purposes?

I have never been in a shootout as a civilian. All of my experience is in combat. But that experience tells me you should expect a 90% degradation of skills in actual combat.

Oddly enough, when you look at records of how police perform on the range and in real shootouts, that seems to be borne out -- in fact, it might be a bit on the optomistic side.

So I would say a well-trained man, in his first shootout, would be doing well to get one hit out of five at 10 feet, anywhere on his opponent's body.

tubeshooter
January 5, 2007, 07:49 PM
That's a pretty sobering stat. I bet a lot of gun owners actually just feel safer than they actually are, considering training and experience with such encounters.

That being said, the deterrent-by-presence factor is still very valuable. And nothing wrong with feeling safer, either. Feels better than the alternative.


I've never had a deadly encounter, and I pray I never do.

JohnKSa
January 5, 2007, 10:56 PM
So I would say a well-trained man, in his first shootout, would be doing well to get one hit out of five at 10 feet, anywhere on his opponent's body.That matches well with the statistics I've seen.

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