Carry revolver material choice


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spbigger
July 6, 2008, 05:50 PM
I figure I would select the .57 mag over the 38 special since it may be a little more durable and I could switch to .38 ammo for just shooting.

Problem I am having is deciding which material to purchase. Certainly I want a lighter unit but,at the same time, durable. I once owned a S&W model 60, stainless steel which served me very well.

Now, I hope to move to the .357 but after reading all the information I could find, still do not know which material to go with. I plan to go with a barrel of
1 7/8" to 2" .

How does aluminium compare with stainless,titanium, and scandian alloy as far as durability is concerned. Surely, one or more of the available materials would be superior in terms of up-keep and general durability.

I will most likely target shoot on a fairly regular basis.

Any input would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

Sam in Anderson, SC

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machinisttx
July 6, 2008, 10:58 PM
I don't think it's been as much of a problem on the aluminum alloy guns, but the Scandium and Titanium S&W's seem to like to lock themselves during a string of fire.

I haven't found anything yet that would cause me to switch from stainless.

mnrivrat
July 6, 2008, 11:19 PM
Not sure I have any great insight here, but I see you added Stainless into your material listing. Well, stainless is again not the lighter material, although it may be the most durable of the ones mentioned - and again maybe not.

If you believe the numbers titanium has an advantage over the rest for both weight and durability. I think you will get mixed reactions from those who believe that or not. Personaly I carry a Titanium revolver and have had no regrets at this point. I have had it about a year now and it has been my constant companion with no problems to report.

That said, most of the modern lite weight frames are strong and durable to and do not cause a problem, They are good for a lot of shooting. Of course the power of the .357 mag loadings can have an effect on materials, and I suspect more so on alloys of aluminium. Wether that means stretch in the modern guns or not I do not know. Recoil with heavy magnum loads shot from lite weight guns are a factor to look at as well. Easily resolved for the most part these days with selections of lower power ammo for at least the practice end of shooting.

Jenrick
July 6, 2008, 11:36 PM
For me the recoil was much more a decision maker then the material. Lighter weight means it recoils more, and with a .357 mag it can get into painful territory. A lighter revolver is easier to carry, but an Airlite in .357 mag is just murder on my hands. An Airweight in .38spl +P still has some pop, but not enough to cause pain.

-Jenrick

rdoggsilva
July 7, 2008, 01:47 AM
My handguns are all steel either stainless or plain steel. I know plastic or alloy is lighter, but I just like the feel of steel. Or I am just an old fart.

spbigger
July 7, 2008, 06:21 AM
Thanks for the nice response Machinisttx.

Before joining up, I always appreciated the sincere responses.

Great Forum.

Sam

madcratebuilder
July 7, 2008, 07:56 AM
Unless weight is extremely important, I would go with stainless. Obviously stronger and heavier, you well have less felt recoil. I carry a 640 loaded with 357mag, but I practice with 38spl for the most part. When I do feed it the mags I have no worry about it being tweaked by the heavier loads.

FCFC
July 7, 2008, 09:50 AM
If we're talking J-frame size, a Model 60 is one of the finest carry guns you can use.

Shooting an alloy (either aluminium or scandium) J-frame in .357 magnum will be painful. I don't know anyone who shoots that. One hears very few reports of people who shoot one a lot in .357.

Shooting .38 +P in a Airweight is very harsh but repeated practice is very doable.

If you're gonna carry a gun, gotta practice AMAP with it.

If you go up to K or L-frame size, then One of my favorite carry guns is a S&W 2.5" 686, an L-frame. A bit heavy, but it soaks up the recoil and is a heckuva platform for .357.

Bob79
July 7, 2008, 01:30 PM
The "Airlite" J-frame from S&W is pretty rough on the recoil even with standard pressure .38 special. The all steel M60 is pretty heavy, and if I was going that heavy I'd probably carry a more powerful gun. The "Airweight" that is steel and aluminum seems to be the best all around J-frame .38 for carry. You can fire .38+P ammo without it being murder on your hands, but the recoil is still fairly snappy. But if you don't mind the weight, as you said you had a M60, then get the heavier gun.

Flame Red
July 7, 2008, 01:35 PM
+1 on all stainless (from another old fart)

dairycreek
July 7, 2008, 02:04 PM
[QUOTE]I don't think it's been as much of a problem on the aluminum alloy guns, but the Scandium and Titanium S&W's seem to like to lock themselves during a string of fire.

I haven't found anything yet that would cause me to switch from stainless./QUOTE]

This is good advice and I suggest that following it will result in a better handgun choice.

Early on I was enamored of the alloy guns and bought several. I did not find them either easy to shoot nor particularly reliable. Now, several years later, I have come full circle and opt for all steel guns (usually stainless but not always) and find that I am much, much more satisfied with the results.

ArmedBear
July 7, 2008, 02:07 PM
I bought a 642. Great little gun.

The .357 Airlite is nice in theory, but I've tried them and in practice I'd load it with .38+P anyway, just like the 642. Therefore, I figured I'd save a few hundred bucks and just get the .38+P Airweight instead. I'm still happy with the decision.

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