Scandium revolvers


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JohnL2
April 16, 2007, 10:07 PM
I was wondering if anyone had experience with these pistols. Especially the S&W 325PD. How is the recoil with the reduced weight?

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Jim March
April 16, 2007, 10:08 PM
Most reports I've seen contain terms like "ouch" and "you gotta be $#%$#@^in kiddin' me"...

I wouldn't own one on a bet.

Antihero
April 16, 2007, 10:47 PM
I fired a 357 scandium snub and found the recoil to be substantially worse than any handgun ive fired more than a 45colt Blackhawk loaded with 325 hardcast at 1350fps.

Frankly i wouldnt own one ever.

balin
April 17, 2007, 02:46 AM
I have a 340pd. If you are adverse to recoil then I definitely would'nt get a scandium. These guns do there jobs but very very few that own them enjoy practiceing with them with hot loads.

ARTiger
April 17, 2007, 03:06 AM
Scandium guns do bite back if you shoot hot loads in them (or, for that matter even normal loads in some calibers). You should really shoot one yourself and make the decision on that experience. The one 340 I shot with typical 125 gr. .357 was lively, but not totally horrible. For defense though, you will sacrifice some time on target for the second shot.

Now then, I'm a fairly big guy who likes large caliber weapons. The Scandium guns (at least in .357) are no hill for me, but I wouldn't carry one just for the shootability factor in SD situations. With carry removed from the equation, the weight becomes less an issue.


Also - Welcome Balin!

ArchAngelCD
April 17, 2007, 03:40 AM
I fired one once and would only do so again if it were the only gun available to save my life. Yes, it was that bad....

The Stainless Steel S&W J frames are so much better to shoot or a Ruger SP101.

I bought a 15 oz .38Sp Airweight over the 12 oz Aitlite...

loplop
April 17, 2007, 08:47 AM
The internet lore on these guns is way out of proportion with the actual experience of shooting one. When I bought a MP340 to add to my j-frame collection, I thought the first cylinder of magnums would have me collecting my hand from the opposite end of the range with every 357 magnum fired. I thought I'd break my wrist, cut my finger off, lose all feeling in my hand for 35 minutes, and figured my dog would kick me for being so stupid to buy one.

The real experience was nothing like that. Felt recoil is subjective, to be sure, but I shot cylinders full of magnums with no permanent effects. As stated above, your followup shots will be slower. You decide if the magnums are worth it, and if not, carry 38 +P.

Now, I have no experience with the 325PD, but I'd like one. I think 45ACP in a revo is a riot. Definitely not for the timid. My Mod 22 Thunder Ranch beats me up pretty good with the stock wood grips, I would expect the 325PD to do the same. Still, your hand won't fly off, etc...

BigG
April 17, 2007, 08:51 AM
Only have fired the snubby, but proper technique, i.e., firing DA only goes a long way to taming the recoil. What gets you is the recoil velocity. That gun comes back RIGHT NOW. If you only have one finger gripping the handle, as you do with a SA trigger pull, you will get a sharp rap on the second knuckle when the gun jumps back into your palm. DA helps keep the gun and hand in same relationship by providing more fingers to hold the grip. HTH

miko
April 17, 2007, 11:39 AM
I have a 340. The recoil with 357 is excruciating but not damaging to the hand - no after-effects as far as I could determine.
I did install a backstrap-covering grip on it, which helps somewhat - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=231172

I would never trade it for 15-ounce 38 Spl.

3 ounces difference in weigth might determine whether the gun is on you when you need it. My boxers do not have a belt. A loaded 340 in SOB is about the limit of what the waistband would support.

The energy advantage of 357 over 38 (around 60%) might well determine whether the BG stops fast enough. At really close ranges (0-1 foot), the energy of the gasses would make difference even more drastic as the urgency increases.

I practice mild 38s or wax bullets from a steel 3" model 60 with an identical grip. It works well enough.

miko

JoeHatley
April 17, 2007, 11:49 AM
Especially the S&W 325PD. How is the recoil with the reduced weight?

It's got a bit of a snap to it. No big deal. I do however limit my rounds to 100 at a time.

http://www.iowatelecom.net/~hatley/325pd_t.jpg

Fun shooter...

Joe

ArchAngelCD
April 17, 2007, 02:36 PM
There may be a 60% advantage for the .357 Magnum over the .38 Special in a 4" revolver but there's no way you get that in a 1.875" revolver.

I for one never said you would break you hand firing an Airlite but it was very unpleasant. Since it's so unpleasant the owner probably won't practice as they should which will make for a poor SD handgun IMO.

HighVelocity
April 17, 2007, 04:07 PM
I really enjoy my scandium wheel guns. Yes, they are lightweight. Yes, felt recoil is more than with steel and they are not "fun" like a 22lr in an N frame would be (SW should build that, 20rd capacity).

The easiest and cheapest way to tame a scandium revolver is to get some rubber grips that cover the backstrap. Hogue, Pachmyr, etc.

ArchAngelCD
April 17, 2007, 06:24 PM
The easiest and cheapest way to tame a scandium revolver is to get some rubber grips that cover the backstrap. Hogue, Pachmyr, etc.
While that is true you then move away from pocket carry because of the increase in size. That defeats the purpose of a 12 oz revolver, after all, that's why you want it so light.

Gordon
April 17, 2007, 07:36 PM
I shoot a 242 (l frame 7 shot .38 2.5" hammerless) and a 296 ( l frame 5 shot .44spl 2.5" hammerless) , the .44 is snappy at 17 oz. but the .38spl isn't bad at all- even with +p . IMHO they are guns to be carried alot and shot once in a while :)

340PD
April 17, 2007, 08:50 PM
I am also buying a M&P 340 for my wife. Recoil in not a big deal for either of us. Most of my shooting is 38 sp. +p. I will reload 140 gr. JHP for practice if I am going to shoot over 100 rounds in a single session. The gun is a self defense gun. It would be used in only the most dire circumstances. That lightweight gun begs to be carried. Pocket holster or iwb, I never have an issue with it being too heavy. I would recommend Crimson Trace grips. With those grips, the second shot may not be necessary. That combination makes the scandiun gun a winner in my opinion. With the .357 option, I would never consider a 442 or 642. Just my .02

Matt Dillon
April 17, 2007, 08:57 PM
You might consider how often you will practice, if the gun hurts your hand to shoot it. :banghead: I have a friend that has one, and I wouldn't practice much with it. Go up one step to the 442, an aluminum and steel .38 special, and you get the best of both worlds. It doesn't hurt you when you shoot it, but it is light enough to carry effortlessly.

loplop
April 18, 2007, 08:44 AM
Matt, with the same loads, the Scandium MP340 feels the same (to me) in recoil as the 442.

I like the MP340 so much not necessarily for the lighter weight, although that is nice (a few oz. makes a big difference in some dress pants pockets)... Nor the 357 option (although that is nice)... But the front sight. The XS tritium sight is excellent, and in defensive training I pick it up very quickly and shoot more accurately than my 442.

I like the front sight so much I'm looking at some XS setups for my carry bottomfeeders.

glockman19
April 18, 2007, 11:53 AM
If you're shooting .38 I'm sure it feels like a 642/442. The .357 loads IMHO are "snappy". Not so much as to hurt but control on follow-up shots is most important to me. With only 5 rounds before reloading you need to hit your target in the right place.

miko
April 18, 2007, 07:57 PM
There may be a 60% advantage for the .357 Magnum over the .38 Special in a 4" revolver but there's no way you get that in a 1.875" revolver.
I saw the numbers that support my assertion - even regular ammo comes close and the ammo specifically designed for snubs - like Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 357 Mag 135gr JHP (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=121256) - is very efficient in 1 7/8 barrel.


While that is true you then move away from pocket carry because of the increase in size. That defeats the purpose of a 12 oz revolver, after all, that's why you want it so light.
No really - you don't have to go three-finger route. This creation of mine http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=231172 does not add to the length of the grip compared to the original "strapless" Hogue Bantam.


...but control on follow-up shots is most important to me. With only 5 rounds before reloading you need to hit your target in the right place.
Preoccupation with follow-up shots should not come at the expense of the effectiveness of the first shot for the last-ditch weapon.
When it comes to using a snub - which means really close to no range - control does not matter as much for accuracy and you might not have time for many shots regardless of control.

miko

dairycreek
April 18, 2007, 08:27 PM
I have had s&w 386 for about two years. It is a 7-shot TiScan in 357/38. It is light, accurate, and a jewel of a carry gun. It weighs about 18 ounces empty. Does it recoil? Of course. More with 357 than with 38 spcl. Is it impossible? Heck no. A lot of fun to shoot.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v736/dairycreek/tiscanfile.jpg

ArchAngelCD
April 18, 2007, 09:19 PM
I saw the numbers that support my assertion - even regular ammo comes close and the ammo specifically designed for snubs - like Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 357 Mag 135gr JHP - is very efficient in 1 7/8 barrel.
miko,
While I do like Speer Gold Dot ammo and use it in my carry revolver their Short Barrel .357 Magnum round does not deliver 60% more power than it's .38 Ps +P Short Barrel round. I'm only disputing this because you mentioned it.

Speer Gold Dot .357 Magnum Short Barrel:
135 gr
Muzzle Velocity: 990 fps
Muzzle Energy: 294 ft/lbs

Speer Gold Dot .38 Special +P Short Barrel:
135 gr
Muzzle Velocity: 860 fps
Muzzle Energy: 222 ft/lbs

That would give the .357 Magnum round a small advantage of 130 fps and 72 ft/lbs of energy. While better than the .38 Sp round it's advantage is 32% more energy and 15% more speed. That's a far cry from 60% and since Math doesn't lie, it's not an opinion, just a fact.

Yes the .357 Magnum has a big advantage when shot out of a 4" or longer barrel but not out of a sub-2" barrel. The length of the barrel (or lack of length) prevents the Magnum round from achieving it's full potential.

Abner
April 18, 2007, 10:18 PM
Second what loplop says. The M&P340 actually gives you a usable set of sights for any level of available light. Something my 642 didn't have and the reason why I rarely carried it. I find the 135+P GD pretty stout out of it, but am working my way up to it.
Adam

mlandman
April 18, 2007, 11:14 PM
I have a 340 and my wife has a 442pd. The 3 oz difference is notable. Hers has less recoil with the same load. She is recoil adverse and does 150 - 200 rounds a practice session with her S&W. I got the 340 for the weight and for the added strength. I can run 150 - 250 practice rounds (158 gr @ 775 fps & 200 ft/lbs listed with 4" bbl, probably 25% less from the 360's 2" bbl) with no soreness.

100 rounds of +p Speer Short Barrel (part # 23921 - 135 gr @ 860 fps & 220 Ft/lbs listed with 2" bbl) can be felt the next day in my palm and wallet. ;)

20 rounds of Speer 357 Short Barrel (part # 23917 - 135 gr @ 990 fps & 294 Ft/lbs listed with 2" bbl) makes MY hand sting, leaves a mark on the web between thumb and finger and a soreness in my hand bones.

I use the +p as a PD load and know I will never wear the gun out AND save 20% of the weight 442, at a $$$ cost.

ArchAngelCD
April 18, 2007, 11:15 PM
I have to correct some of what I said. I didn't realize the original post was asking about a N frame AirLite, I thought it was a J frame. I have no experience with the N frame revolvers, only the J frame ones. All I posted above will pertain to J frames, not N frames.

Jim March
April 19, 2007, 12:14 AM
Archangel: I've seen higher velocity numbers for the 357 135gr "short barrel" load. Or at least I think I have, and shooting the 38+P and the 357s, there sure feels like more energy difference than that!

I thought they were pulling closer to 1,100ish from a snub. If I'm wrong, OK, but...what's your source?

mlandman
April 19, 2007, 12:22 AM
Archangel: I've seen higher velocity numbers for the 357 135gr "short barrel" load. Or at least I think I have, and shooting the 38+P and the 357s, there sure feels like more energy difference than that!

I thought they were pulling closer to 1,100ish from a snub. If I'm wrong, OK, but...what's your source?


Here is Speer's web links:

Speer 357 Magnum GDHP-SB (http://www.speer-ammo.com/ballistics/detail.aspx?loadNo=23917)

Speer 38 Special +P GDHP-SB (http://www.speer-ammo.com/ballistics/detail.aspx?loadNo=23921)

Both in 2" bbls

Jim March
April 19, 2007, 01:14 AM
Ah. Yep, 990fps from a snub.

Interesting. Somewhere I'd heard it was higher...can't recall where though, it was more than a year ago.

Thanks!

<scratches head>

Stuff ain't that hot, is it? BuffBore's new mild 357s look good in comparison.

Betcha Tim is right, too...that 140gr Sierra JHP he's loading ought to work at his velocities. Cor-Bon was loading it hotter and it was coming unglued.

Veeery interesting. The Speer 135 in 357 is very accurate, that's one plus, but now we know why it's so controllable in 12.5oz scandium S&W 357 snubs. It ain't got no heat on it. Hey...you know what, Buffbore's 158+P tops it in energy levels. Jeez, bigtime.

ArchAngelCD
April 19, 2007, 01:34 AM
I guess I don't need to answer!! LOL

mlandman,
Thank you for posting the links to show my numbers were correct.

loplop
April 19, 2007, 09:32 AM
I'm getting to not like the Speer GDHP 357 mag SB load. As Jim succinctly put it: "there sure feels like more energy difference than that!" It's a lot of flash and bang.

Of course, ~32% difference is nothing to sneeze at. But it really does test one's patience and tolerance for recoil more than the 38+P load.

I believe I will sponsor JE223 to test of that load out of a Scandium snubby next month, after we finish with the GDHP 9mm round. I'm intrigued to see the difference in gelatin vs. the 38+P, and see if the flash and bang is worth the extra recoil.

Ala Dan
April 19, 2007, 02:06 PM
One of my co-workers uses a S&W 325PD as his personal defense sidearm
on an everyday basis. He reports recoil too be sharp, but manageable~!

RNB65
April 19, 2007, 02:09 PM
I suggest you try to find one to test fire before buying. I'm betting that once you've fired 5 rds of 357mag thru one, you'll decide you don't want one.

340PD
April 19, 2007, 06:56 PM
Quote: "I suggest you try to find one to test fire before buying. I'm betting that once you've fired 5 rds of 357mag thru one, you'll decide you don't want one."

Given:

1. The felt recoil is the same as the 442 using +p 38 special loads.

2. The 340 has the capability to shoot +P 38 special OR .357 rounds.

3. In any of the various models, the 340 has better sights. Red front ramp, Hi-Viz, or 24/7 nite sights. The only equalizier is the stock Crimson Trace grips that are available for both.

Why would anyone prefer the 642 or the 442 over the 340 series?

Vern Humphrey
April 19, 2007, 07:13 PM
I don't know anyone who has one of these lightweights who enjoys shooting it -- and most don't shoot it much. I'd a lot rather have my Colt DS that I have put thousands of rounds through than I gun I shy away from practicing with.

ravencon
April 19, 2007, 08:11 PM
No question that recoil is robust. I load my 340 Sc with .38s. It is a specialized tool that I consider an invaluable addition to my CC guns.

loplop
April 19, 2007, 08:12 PM
Vern, although you don't "know" me, per se, you can now say you "heard about" someone who likes shooting their MP340: me.

I love shooting my 340 and 442. Lots of fun, and a great challenge. I shoot them at least once a week, most often 2x a week, and enjoy every round. they're a riot.

340PD
April 19, 2007, 09:45 PM
I second that.

joe4702
April 19, 2007, 10:52 PM
Love my 360PD after putting a Pachmayr Compac grip on it. Slightly more bulky, but far more comfortable and easier to shoot than the stock boot grip.
Before changing grips, I was ready to sell the gun. Now its actually a fun range gun.

orionengnr
April 20, 2007, 12:32 PM
The guy asked about the 325 PD, which is 23 oz 45 acp revolver.

Most everyone is going on and on about the 12 oz 357 model 340/360, 38+p/357 ammo choices, etc.

You are comparing apples and jalapenos.

The 325 has a bit of bite, but it is nothing like the 340/360.

I wanted one until I shot it and a Kimber Ultra Carry the same day. Both weigh the same (within an ounce), external length/height are similar. The 1911 is thinner and easier to conceal, and holds two more rounds.

The recoil of the 1911 was significantly less and I shoot it far better.

That settled it for me.

loplop
April 20, 2007, 01:49 PM
He did say especially, which isn't exclusively.

That said, he probably got a lot more about the 340's than he bargained for :)

ArchAngelCD
April 20, 2007, 11:23 PM
Given:

1. The felt recoil is the same as the 442 using +p 38 special loads.

2. The 340 has the capability to shoot +P 38 special OR .357 rounds.

3. In any of the various models, the 340 has better sights. Red front ramp, Hi-Viz, or 24/7 nite sights. The only equalizier is the stock Crimson Trace grips that are available for both.

Why would anyone prefer the 642 or the 442 over the 340 series?
Because the M442 will cost you half as much as the M340, that's why!! :rolleyes:

Sundles
April 21, 2007, 12:09 AM
The 325PD is a great revolver if you are looking for something its size. For me, it is too large for a "pocket" gun. Mine stays in my fanny pack that I wear only when I am bike riding. I carry two full moon clips as extra ammo and the fanny pack lets me carry a revolver this size with no problem, so for a fanny pack gun, I really like it, but as a pocket gun it would be too large. I carry mine with Buffalo Bore 230gr. FMJ-FN +P ammo and I dont find the recoil to be objectionable--but thats me.

klover
April 21, 2007, 02:25 AM
If I find a 325 for a good price I'll get it too.
Being that both are larger frames than a J frame, the recoil gets spread to a greater area, hence feels lighter. It's easier to find the larger handle in a pocket model like the 296. I would much rather shoot a 296 .44 special than a stainless 649 in .357. Weight is about the same, but spread out, so carry is easy.
I put the wood grips back on the 329 since it is not that bad on recoil with .44 mag bullets (recommended not greater than 200 grain). Accurate enough for most needs, follow up shots a little slower. Very packable.
I love Scandium:p

Sundles
April 21, 2007, 10:20 AM
After thinking about it, I have almost one (two of the 22 mag. J frame) of every scandium S&W. I think that the scandium revolvers fill a very real need. I find the quality of all new S&W revolvers to be high.

I HATE the darn locks.

ArchAngelCD
April 21, 2007, 12:53 PM
I HATE the darn locks.
Yeah, they are very ugly!!

omega5
April 22, 2007, 06:34 PM
I agree with LopLop. I've had a 340PD now for over 2 years. I practice with .38's, +P's and .357's. I'll admit I'll shoot alot more .38's than .357's but the .357's are managable. I have small hands and wrists too. I carry either 145gr Silvertips or the GoldDot 135gr Short Bbl .357's. Just ordered a set of LaserMax Grip laser sights for it. It's my daily carry.

mjolnir
April 22, 2007, 11:08 PM
I've found the recoil on my 325PD to be...faster...than my 625. Not painful at all, just quick.

The downside is that I had a bullet pull from the case at the range (or more accurately, the case pull off the bullet), tying up the cylinder and thereby the gun. The bullet was easily removed by pulling it out the front of the cylinder.

It was only the fourth round, 3 having been fired before it.

Examining the bullet, Independence 230 FMJ, there was a substantial groove around it from the case crimp, and it wasn't merely an undersized bullet or oversized case.

Yes, I know Independence ammo is not the best.

Nonetheless, if you are using a 325PD as a CCW, I'd do some measuring of your favorite ammo...measure OAL of a particular cartridge BEFORE firing, then place it 6th in the queue, and measure OAL again having fired the previous five.

Having fired thousands of ACPs out of Ruger Blackhawk convertibles and S&W 625s, this is the first instance of a pulled bullet for me. There's no doubt the heavier all-steel revolvers simply recoil slower than the 325PD.

SAWBONES
April 22, 2007, 11:21 PM
I own two 340PDs and have fired hundreds of full power factory premium 125gr .357 Magnum JHP rounds through them when trying to find the best (most accurate and precise) loads for CCW.

The felt recoil is "sharpish" but not painful, and nothing that any experienced revolver shooter would find worth whining about.

I did find, after much experimentation, that my two 340PDs did their best with the Gold Dot "short barrel" .38 Special+P 135gr JHP load rather than with any of the .357 Magnum cartridges.

orionengnr
April 23, 2007, 05:20 PM
The felt recoil is "sharpish" but not painful, and nothing that any experienced revolver shooter would find worth whining about.

Your opinion, and you are entitled to it.

However, read up a bit and you will find that most people who own one carry with 38+p. The recoil of a 340/360 (with 357s) is painful (my opinion, shared by a pretty good number of people), to the point that very few fire them enough to be proficient.

Note also that there are more than a few for sale with low round count. I owned one 360 and two 340s, and paid at or less than $500 each. They have all since departed, and I don't miss them...

Of the people I sold them to, only one claims to carry it with 357s...

SAWBONES
April 23, 2007, 10:44 PM
"However, read up a bit and you will find that most people who own one carry with 38+p. The recoil of a 340/360 (with 357s) is painful (my opinion, shared by a pretty good number of people), to the point that very few fire them enough to be proficient."

I don't disagree with your experience or that of anyone else. I also agree that .357 loads aren't "fun" to shoot in these little lightweight guns. I just wouldn't refer to them as "painful".
What matters most is hitting your target, and as I noted, the Gold Dot "short barrel" 135gr .38 Special loads do this for me in the 340PDs better than any of the .357 125gr loads.
Best.

kludge
April 24, 2007, 11:30 AM
FWIW, the Gold Dot short barrel ammo is not a hot .357 load. A real 357 load will do much better out of a snub (albeit with alot more flash and bang).

Rule #1: Know you customer. IMHO Speer loaded the 357 short barrel GD at that velocity because that's the velocity range where the bullet performs the best, and if it's more pleasant to practice with people will buy more of it.

MassMan
April 24, 2007, 10:16 PM
I second Joe4702's comment. I also thought it was unbearable until I changed the boot grip to a larger grip which allowed the little finger to get a grip. Now it is much more pleasant to shoot and I have no hesitation in carrying it with mag loads.

280PLUS
April 24, 2007, 10:27 PM
I shot the 342 up at S&W becasue I thought I wanted one. Found out no I didn't. I opted for the 332 (now 432) .32 H&R mag, 6 shots instead of 5. Still a snappy little gun but not nearly as bad as the .357.

Spiff_P239
April 28, 2007, 02:02 PM
At 5'7, 145 pounds (after a big meal), I'm hardly what one would consider a big guy. With that said, I ordered an M&P 340 on Thursday to be my carry gun. I put a box of 135 grain Speer Gold Dot .38+P through it (as that will be my carry load) and it wasn't bad. I even put some Remington UMC .357 Magnum rounds through it as well. Granted, those aren't full-house self-defense loads, the recoil wasn't bad at all. Recoil is very subjective, though. What works for one person just might not do the same for another. Try it yourself if you can rent one.

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