How sturdy is the Smith & Wesson model 65 3 inch?


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kashton
November 5, 2007, 06:02 PM
I am thinking of purchasing a S&W Model 65 with a 3 inch barrel. Can it handle a lot of .357 hot loads?

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rcmodel
November 5, 2007, 06:11 PM
It is a fixed sight K-Frame M&P, the same as the Model 19 / 66 adjustable sighted version.

As such, it suffers from the same design compromises that had to be made to make a 6-shot .357 that size. But a lot of cops carried & shot the same one throughout a carrier, and retired with it still working just fine.

It will give you a lifetime of use for normal shooting.
But if your idea of "a lot" is thousands of rounds of max .357 loads a year, I'd get something else.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

nitesite
November 5, 2007, 06:17 PM
rcmodel pretty much summed everything up quite well. :)

I cannot think of anything to add.

BTW, the 3" 65 is becoming extremely popular and prices are rising steadily.

jaholder1971
November 5, 2007, 09:55 PM
I now own my late father's 65 3inch that he carried as a Topeka PD sergeant. It does nightstand HD duty these days but we take it out a couple times a year.

I'm looking for a second one for carry. I would hate to lose Dad's as evidence should I be forced to use it in a CCW scenario.

DANGERRUSS
November 5, 2007, 10:17 PM
You will hate it!! Please tell me where it is so I can make sure no one else gets stuck with such a thing!:evil:

Brian Williams
November 5, 2007, 10:17 PM
It is a K frame and will suffer from 125 gr loads like most of the other K frames.

Shoot 158gr loads and it will be fine.

ElToro
November 6, 2007, 12:33 AM
if you can afford shoot enough ammo to wear it out, you can afford to get annother one... that being said, im not letting go of my 3 in 65 LS or 3 in 13!

although if i came upon a 3 inch 686 id jup on it.

RON in PA
November 6, 2007, 03:21 AM
The gun will last much longer (perhaps your lifetime) and will be much more pleasant to shoot if you shoot .38 special +P ammo. As has already been posted, if you do want to shoot .357 stay with 158 grain loads.

bpisler
November 6, 2007, 04:24 AM
I bought mine used about 4 years ago
so i don't know the total round.I
have put over 4,000 rounds thru mine
with no ill effects.

Most were moly coated 158gr LSWC's
reloads that run about 1230fps from
the 3" barrel.The rest were factory
158gr JHP/JSP's from various makers.

I've stayed away from the lighter
110-130gr loads as they are not very
accurate from my 65-3.

If you don't abuse them 357mag k-
frames will last a long time without
being babied.

edhaus
November 6, 2007, 08:05 AM
I have recently bought a Model 65 in 4" stainless. It shoots great and feels very comfortable in the hand. I have noticed there seems to be a preference for the 3" model on this thread and others I have read. Typically a longer barrel is considered desirable for velocity and aim. What's the rest of the story?

Geronimo45
November 6, 2007, 11:54 AM
What's the rest of the story?
Concealability and carryability, I think. Just a tad longer than the typical snub barrel, with a larger grip for (in theory) easier shooting... it's basically a snubby on steroids. Less painful to shoot magnums out of a heavier gun, too.

Brian Williams
November 6, 2007, 01:01 PM
The grip on a 65 3" is the same as on any K frame round butt.

pete f
November 6, 2007, 02:47 PM
practice with .38's and carry .357's, its the constant banging with lighter 125 bullets in the .357 that eat them up, but this does not mean you can not shoot the 125's as occasional fodder. I have a model 13, (same gun in blue) which is 30 pl us years old and its tight as can be, but only shoots 357's a cylinder or so full at each range session. The rest is stout 38 special loads.

20nickels
November 6, 2007, 05:33 PM
Slight detour;
Is a late 80's Model 10 in .38 the on par strength wise with the K framed .357's? Technically isn't it the same gun with the exception of the full length .357 chargeholes?

rcmodel
November 6, 2007, 05:43 PM
NO.

The Model 10 cylinder is 1.56" long.
The K-frame .357 cylinders are 1.62".

The .38 Spl. guns have more unsupported barrel shank sticking through the frame.

The Magnum frames are slightly thicker in a few critical places.

There may or may not be differences in heat treating the frame & cylinder, but nobody except S&W can prove it.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

MR_A
July 4, 2011, 02:06 PM
I don't know where the Idea that a K-Frame cannot withstand .357 and 38 +p the gun was designed to fire a lifetime of both in the Mod 65 especially. I personally carried at mod 65 3" for over 15 years on duty and shot thousands of rounds of .357 and 38 +p and the gun showed very little ware. My models 19, 66, & 67 all have been feed a diet of 38 +p and 38 +p+ and .357 and show no ware what so ever. The Combat Masterpiece and Combat Magnum are greatest modern revolvers of all time.

Guillermo
July 4, 2011, 05:29 PM
RC is giving you great advice.

underline what he said

918v
July 4, 2011, 06:19 PM
I think Clark should weigh in on this. No one has abused a K-frame like him.

jad0110
July 4, 2011, 07:43 PM
What caliber for zombie threads?

(see dates from post 15 to 16) :D

357Shooter
July 4, 2011, 08:38 PM
This 1982, model 65-2 3" has seen thousands (8k+) of rounds of everything I could put in it, heavy duty 110g, 125g, 158g, H-110, 2400, Unique, Bullseye, never a problem although being a little more calm these days and not looking for flame thrower effects I've tamed them down a bit, it's my wife's favorite range pistol for 357.

shooting4life
July 4, 2011, 09:00 PM
Hot loads will be fine just not a steady diet.

CajunBass
July 4, 2011, 09:32 PM
What caliber for zombie threads?

(see dates from post 15 to 16)

Yea, maybe so, but I still found it interesting since I just put a 65-5 Ladysmith on layaway.

I hope I get to shoot it enough to worry about wearing it out. :D

gamestalker
July 5, 2011, 07:51 PM
I've been hearing the story about S&W K frames not being up to the full house .357's but have yet to find the limit for either of my 66's. One is a early 1980's 66-2 and the other a 66-5 made some time around 2003 I think. Both have had a very steady diet of 125 gr. XTP's on top of a 20 gr. charge of H110/296.
I saw some where that S&W responded to the claims that forcing cones were failing with hot 125's in the K frames, so S&W ran 250,000 rounds of full house 125's through a K frame and the firearm was uneffected. They stated that the presumed cause was due to lead build up, and general dirty forcing cones causing the damaging pressures responsible for the forcing cone fractures.

wlewisiii
July 5, 2011, 10:39 PM
Don't know, but I'd love to find out. I've got a wonderful 4" 64-5 and would love to find either a 65 or 13 to complement it. Alas, though the spirit is willing the wallet is weak.

charlie echo
February 23, 2012, 01:56 AM
I don't know where the Idea that a K-Frame cannot withstand .357 and 38 +p the gun was designed to fire a lifetime of both in the Mod 65 especially. I personally carried at mod 65 3" for over 15 years on duty and shot thousands of rounds of .357 and 38 +p and the gun showed very little ware. My models 19, 66, & 67 all have been feed a diet of 38 +p and 38 +p+ and .357 and show no ware what so ever. The Combat Masterpiece and Combat Magnum are greatest modern revolvers of all time.
Thanks

sidheshooter
February 23, 2012, 02:23 AM
Not much to add except that I shoot a bit of .357 every time I take my 3" RB 65-3 out.

Most of that is wwb 110, various 158 loads and the occasional 145 silvertip (which is a sometimes carry load; it shoots to POA) I've probably got less than 100 rounds total of the hot Fed and Rem 125ers through it. Who knows what was shot through it before I got it though. Still nice and tight. They are tough little guns for most use.

Geezer Glide
February 23, 2012, 06:25 AM
I wonder how many of these people that advise against using magnum loads are speaking from actual experience?

Monster Zero
February 23, 2012, 07:28 PM
No, it's really not meant for that. You might as well not waste your time with it.

Who was it who had it for sale, again? ;)

1911Tuner
February 25, 2012, 01:10 PM
I wonder how many of these people that advise against using magnum loads are speaking from actual experience?

Me.

The lightly built K-frame is neither as strong nor as robust as its larger L and N-framed cousins.

When the Model 19 made its debut, Smith & Wesson's advice was echoed by Bill Jordan in his typical "Jordanspeak."

"Use .38s for practice and .357s for business."

After pretty much destroying three Model 29s...a 4-inch Model 19...and a 4-inch Model 13...I conceded and accepted that the engineers who designed the guns may know a thing or three more about pressures and recoil stresses than I did...and I finally accepted that there was really no need to touch off a miniature thermonuclear event every time I pulled the trigger. Downloading just 10% and using cast bullets will effectively double the life of the revolver.

rcmodel
February 25, 2012, 01:21 PM
I wonder how many of these people that advise against using magnum loads are speaking from actual experience? Me, me, me!!!

And S&W had some experiance with them too.
Enough so, they finally stopped making K-Frame Magnums and replaced it with the beefer L-Frame.

However, I never said you shouldn't shoot Magnums.
I said It will give you a lifetime of use for normal shooting.
But if your idea of "a lot" is thousands of rounds of max .357 loads a year, I'd get something else.


rc

Driftwood Johnson
February 25, 2012, 01:23 PM
Howdy

I have an ex-LEO Model 65 that I bought a bunch of years ago. It was sold when the officer retired. I have no idea how much 357 Magnum ammo that officer put though it, but I have never had any trouble with it.

S&W-Keeper
February 26, 2012, 11:08 AM
I agree with the Mod. Don't shoot a lot of 125 gr. and you will be fine.The 3" 65's are one of the better cc revolvers.

Bush Pilot
February 26, 2012, 02:21 PM
I'm shooting very mild 38 special loads (125 gr plated/3.5 grs Bullseye) and expect my 65 to last forever with that combination. BTW, that gun is a kick in the butt to shoot.

Fishslayer
February 26, 2012, 05:34 PM
What caliber for zombie threads?

(see dates from post 15 to 16)

Wonder what that 3" M65 would go for today? :D

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