J-Frame vs. K-Frame .357 magnum


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iyn
December 5, 2010, 04:32 AM
I'm still learning and new to revolvers. I read that S&W designed the "L" Frame because the K-frame, like the Sw 66 could not hold up to shooting the .357 magnum loads. I don't see any .357 Magnum K-Frames but I see .357 magnum J-frames in the current S&W line up.

So how does the smaller J- Frame hold up to .357 magnum loads? Will the J-Frame hold up to .357 Magnum shooting just as good as the "L" frame?

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71Commander
December 5, 2010, 08:42 AM
The J frame will hold up just fine because after your shoot one 357 in it, you'll load up 38+P's from that point forward.:p

Old Fuff
December 5, 2010, 10:55 AM
Advances in steel and aluminum alloys has made it possible to build .357 Magnum revolvers on small platforms such a Smith & Wesson's J-frame, and lowering the specifications for maximum cartridge pressure helped too.

However in .357 the J-frame sized revolvers are not particularly a good choice. If you think otherwise shoot one before you buy.

If you are still determined to go in this direction, look at Ruger's SP-101.

A much better choice for general shooting would be an L-series Smith & Wesson, or a Ruger GP-100. Get at least a 4" barrel. Then you won't have to worry about how long the gun will stand up, or how long you will last. :uhoh:

Guillermo
December 5, 2010, 11:41 AM
Commander and Fuff are giving you good advice.

Light, short guns have wicked recoil and are not a good choice for a first revolver.

In fact, it is not a good choice for me at all even though I am not particularly sensitive to recoil.

The SP101 that OF mentioned has more heft and is much beloved by their owners (I am not one of them but regularly read their praises and do not recall anyone ever dissing them)

harmon rabb
December 5, 2010, 12:07 PM
So how does the smaller J- Frame hold up to .357 magnum loads? Will the J-Frame hold up to .357 Magnum shooting just as good as the "L" frame?

j-frame .357's are no doubt intended to be carried a lot, shot a little (with .357). seriously, have you ever fired a j-frame, even with plain old .38spl? firing .357 out of a j-frame feels approximately like opening your car door, placing your hand in the door frame, then slamming the door as hard as you can. only a masochist would actually put a decent number of .357's through a j-frame.

if you want the smallest .357 that can actually stand up .357 as long as a k-frame (and that won't be painful to fire), you want a ruger sp101.

harmon rabb
December 5, 2010, 12:10 PM
The SP101 that OF mentioned has more heft and is much beloved by their owners (I am not one of them but regularly read their praises and do not recall anyone ever dissing them)

the only negative aspect of the SP101 is in fact a positive aspect -- its weight. it is laughably heavy compared to a j-frame or lcr. however, in exchange for that weight, you get a revolver that can not only stand up to the hottest .357 loads, but that is also comfortable to fire said .357 loads out of. the sp101 is actually a fun gun at the range, something which no j-frame is.

as long as you belt carry, and have a real gun belt, the weight of the sp101 is a non-issue. of course, if you want to pocket carry, well, that's why j-frames and lcr's exist.

Old Fuff
December 5, 2010, 12:13 PM
In fact, it is not a good choice for me at all even though I am not particularly sensitive to recoil.

A lot of folks say this when trying to justify the use of .357 ammunition in small/lightweight revolvers. But when observing some of them shoot I notice either a long delay between shots, or fast but badly scattered shots all over the landscape.

The most powerful of cartridges won't win the day unless the bullet is precisely placed on an attacker, and a delay between follow-up shots can get you killed, especially if you are up against more then one attacker.

In a non-defensive context none of this matters, but any way you cut it small .357 snubbies aren't exactly fun to shoot.

Guillermo
December 5, 2010, 12:29 PM
Old Fuff,

what I was trying to convey is that I am not particularly sensitive to recoil as I love shooting 44 magnums but I HATE a super light snubby. I don't like to shoot them. Because of that I don't practice with them. I do not shoot them well.

It was my way to wave him off.

The lightest snub that I own is a Colt Cobra and the only reason I bought it is because it was cheap. I can't imagine shooting 357s out of a snub of that weight.:what:

When I was young and dumb I bought a Taurus Titanium Tracker and have NO desire to ever relive that experience.

Leaky Waders
December 5, 2010, 01:35 PM
I have a ladysmith and 4 inch 686.

The main differences to me besides the obvious size and capacity differences (5 shot versus 6 shot) is that the back strap of the ladysmith rests against your palm, while the 686 has the grip enclosing the backstrap.

I think the grip causes more perceived recoil than the actual weight differences...but that's just my perception. Both perform well at self defense distances with rapid fired shots, and both can be aimed well for slow shots if you were jackrabbit hunting.

You could swap out the grip of the ladysmith with something that covers the backstrap, but that would be kind of defeating the purpose of its small design.

Rodentman
December 5, 2010, 01:38 PM
I just bought a 396-1 .44sp Mountain Lite .44sp. Weighs 17oz. It's not that bad to shoot but I wouldn't call it a range gun. There's a lot to be said for a bit more heft. I think I'll go to Trail Boss or even .44 Russian in that gun. At least by reloading one can control the loads.

John Wayne
December 5, 2010, 01:43 PM
There is nothing wrong with a J-frame in .357. They are well-built guns and will hold up to shooting as many rounds of .357 Mag as you can stand to fire out of them :)

The S&W model 60 .357 with 3" barrel is a nice compromise of power, size, and weight. There is little to no point in getting a .357 with a barrel shorter than 3" though, as it will be very uncontrollable and offer slight gains in velocity at the expense of tremendous noise, muzzle blast, muzzle rise, and recoil.

The K & L frames are very similar to the same size, with the L frame using the same grips, but being beefier in certain areas. K frame .357s will still last you as long as you stay away from 125 gr. and lighter bullets. The only current K frame in production is the model 10 in .38 special though, so if you want a K frame .357 you'll have to find it used.

If you want to shoot ful-house .357s all day long though, you need a GP-100, L or N frame S&W.

rayman
December 5, 2010, 02:41 PM
More comfortable & fun to shoot .357 AND .38 out of a larger gun. My model 13 with 4" HB & magnas is work. N frame 627 is smoooooth. 8 shots aren't bad either.

roaddog28
December 5, 2010, 02:44 PM
Hi,
Like most of the others have said, I would not recommend shooting any 357 magnums in a J frame. Recoil will be a problem and I doubt you would be very accurate shooting 357s in the J frame. I also agree a 4 inch barrel in a medium to large medium frame revolver is the best choice. If you want to carry sometimes then a 3 inch barrel medium frame revolver would work. Personally for defense ammo I would carry Buffalo Bores 158gr LSWCHP "FBI" 38+P round. I have used this round in two 4 inch revolvers and its a accurate round. Recoil is stiff but a person can get 1100fps and penatration is very good. This round is like shooting a 357 round. Here are some of my suggestions in a 3 inch barrel.
1. S&W model 13.
2. S&W model 65.
3. Ruger Speed Six.
4. Ruger GP100.
5. S&W 686 in a 2 1/2 barrel.
If I were looking I would probably try to find any of the top three. The bottom two are heavier frame revolvers and are good for shooting 357s but are heavy to carry.
Finally a Ruger SP101 in a 3 1/6 barrel is a consideration but for me I don't like the grip and even though they are heavier than a J frame they still are a handfull shooting 357s.
Good luck,
Howard

Marshall
December 5, 2010, 03:13 PM
I have a Model 60 J Frame .357 Mag and a Model 13HB K Frame .357 Mag.

There's a pretty decent difference in recoil and pleasure when shooting them. I'm average size, 6 feet tall & 215 pounds with strong hands and hunt with .44 Mag Redhawks. The Model 60 J Frame will make you wish you were shooting a .44 Mag Redhawk. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't break your wrist or anything, but it delivers a harsh kick. I mean, you still feel it in your hand after you shoot. I shoot 158gr ammo and the lightest I shoot is the 145gr Win Silvertip. Those Silvertips pack a punch. I will not shoot 125gr ammo out of them. Grips make a difference.

The K Frame is just fun. L & N Frame, more fun.

iyn
December 5, 2010, 04:00 PM
Thanks guys.

Old Fuff
December 5, 2010, 04:31 PM
what I was trying to convey is that I am not particularly sensitive to recoil as I love shooting 44 magnums but I HATE a super light snubby. I don't like to shoot them. Because of that I don't practice with them. I do not shoot them well. It was my way to wave him off.

I know, but you opened the door so I walked through it. :evil:

When I was young and dumb I bought a Taurus Titanium Tracker and have NO desire to ever relive that experience.

I wouldn't either, but I do have an all-steel/5 shot/.44 Special made on the same platform that's a fixed-sight snubby - and I carry it when I think a .38 won't do.

Marvin KNox
December 5, 2010, 05:54 PM
I carry two J frames in .357. My primary is an all steel 640. My back up is a 340. For carry purposes they are just about right.

I've shot quite a few other .357 magnums over the years. The heavier the gun and the larger the grip on the gun - the more I enjoy shooting it.

The .38 spl./.357 magnum calibers have a lot going for them. Choose a platform for what you are up to and it's almost always up to the task you ask of it.

Olympus
December 5, 2010, 06:36 PM
I'd rather have an older K-frame .357 than a new J-frame .357 any day of the week! My Model 66 has no problems with the .357s. Just avoid the lighter weight bullets. And most of the J-frames are "point & shoot" guns and I like a gun with an adjustable rear sight.

http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa121/adambrown69/PC040016.jpg

http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa121/adambrown69/PB060019.jpg

http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa121/adambrown69/PA300007.jpg

Rob1109
December 5, 2010, 07:19 PM
I have a 642 that I'm trying real hard to like. With BB +P it is EVIL!
Regular range ammo is not fun. Great gun, as long as you don't have to shoot it! Can't imagine what a .357 would be like. My SP101 is great for .357.

Also, I wouldn't mind finding a snub .357 at about 20oz.

Suggestions? Thanks.....

Confederate
December 5, 2010, 11:27 PM
The .357 J-frames are not going to hold up better than the .357 K-frames, and the changes in pressures were made before the J-frame magnums made the scene (unless they've done it again), but you can't expect a small steel gun to be as robust as a larger steel gun like a K-frame, much less an L-frame.

I like the OLD 686 4-inchers the best, but the 66s were fine guns, too. The 60s are still essentially .38 revolvers!

jhvaughan2
December 5, 2010, 11:44 PM
Back to the OP's original question. The problem of the K frame vs a J frame is not so much with the frame but with the barrel. The "issue" with K frame .357s was not the frame but the forcing cone of the barrel.

I do not have pictures handy. In the K frame the forcing cone is forced to be thinner on the bottom. That is where cracks occurred, on some, when "too many" high velocity cartridges were used.

The J frames do not have the same constriction on the forcing cone as the K's do/did. nor do the L frames.

But I still bet not to many would want to but enough .357 through a j frame to be "too much" (what ever that number is.)

1911Tuner
December 6, 2010, 06:01 AM
It's not that the K-frames won't stand up to full house .357 ammo...it's that the L-Frames will stand up to it longer. Not only do they not have the thin section in the forcing cone, but the frames are stronger as well. They're very close to the Colt Python in size and heft.

I think the grip causes more perceived recoil than the actual weight differences...but that's just my perception.

Your perception is about right. A few weeks ago, I fired a Ruger SP-101 for the first time ever...with my go-to handload consisting of 14.5 grains 2400 and a 158-grain cast bullet. It wasn't bad at all, despite its size. In comparison, my 4-inch Model 13 Smith, with factory Magnastocks is singularly unpleasant with the same ammo, and borders on being uncontrollable in rapid fire. If my hands are a bit cold, it's painful...and I don't mind recoil.

Incidentally, the above data closely approximates the original pre-attenuated .357 ammunition, and is not recommended for regular use in a K-frame sized revolver...and for use in my 681, I prefer to drop the charge weight by a full grain. That load is suitable in N-Frames, New Model Blackhawks, and others in that class. Approach it carefully.

Stainz
December 6, 2010, 08:10 AM
It's always best to compare firearms with real info. A 3" SP101, KSP-331X, 27 oz, & MSRP $607 isn't that much larger than the S&W 3" 60, #162430, 24.5 oz, & MSRP $853. They use the same 5-shot speedloaders, too. Both started life as .38's, as well. Now the construction method... the Ruger is cast steel; the S&W is hammer-forged and hardened. The S&W has a fully adjustable rear sight, the Ruger is fixed. The only SP101 with an adjustable sight available now, and it's windage-only, is the .327 Federal model. I've owned - and worked on - many Rugers, but my SP101, a 4" .32 H&RM, was the absolute worst QC new firearm I have ever seen, much less owned.

The best choice nowadays for a pocket gun, IMHO, is the S&W 442/642 hammerless .38 Spcl +P. New, they had a $50 rebate - and I heard S&W has lowered many prices recently, too. Believe me, a 158gr LHPSWC +P round fired from a 642 is sufficient for protection - and a decent 'bounce' in the hand. I've shot a 340 - the older 12 oz model with the Ti cylinder - with some hot .357M CorBons - and it is the last thing I'd ever want as a PD firearm. Too much recoil - no mass - and nothing to hold on to. If you miss with the first shot, you might have to search for the gun!

The choice I made for a HD firearm was a bit extravagant - a S&W 2 5/8" PC627 UDR, an 8-shot .357M (See below.). I had the money from the sale of an old friend. Of course, it has gone down from $1,185 to $1,049 MSRP lately - my luck. Note the moonclip full of Remington R38S12 .38 Spcl +P 158gr LHPSWC's - my choice for protection. I reload - so I make plenty of .357M plinkers - wimpy - my choice.

http://s171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/IMG_4546.jpg

Now - the K-frame has a small forcing cone edge - thickened in the larger width L-frame's front strap. Either will shoot standard 140-158 gr .357M's fine - the thin fc of the K-frame can erode and crack with continued use of 110-125gr hyper hot .357M's. They never established when - some say <10k, some say 40k rounds - of those lite weight hot loads. As snubnose K-frames are only available on the second hand market nowadays, the shooting history of a used one is a crapshoot. Still - a barrel will fix it - and S&W still has plenty of SS and blued barrels.

I bought a pair of L-frame .44 Specials, 296 & 696, new on the same day eight years ago - without considering their fc's. Oops! Another dimunitive fc, barely made possible by the thicker front strap of the L-frame. Still, .44 Spcl is a low pressure round - and only minor flame cutting has been noted on the topstrap over the b/c gap - and only in the alloy 296 AirLite Ti. BTW, that Ti cylinder, as delivered with the first 396's, is too tempermental for me - no short cased, ie, .44 Russian, rounds for it, according to S&W. They dropped the Ti cylinder in general - and from the 396 in the last 'Night Guard' variant, thus it's last 24.2 oz weight (The original was 18.0 oz.). It would be fine with .44 Russians or Specials.

A very S&W-opinionated Stainz

ArchAngelCD
December 6, 2010, 11:02 AM
It's my opinion if you really want a J frame size .357 magnum buy one in all Steel like suggested above. The Ruger SP101 is the heaviest closely followed by the S&W M60, M640 and M649. I own a S&W M640 and it's not bad to shoot with .357 Magnum ammo but i really don't like shooting the 12oz S&W Airlite line of J frames!!! The words ".357 Magnum" and "12 ounces" just don't mix well IMO!

springfield30-06
December 6, 2010, 12:02 PM
In the K frame the forcing cone is forced to be thinner on the bottom. That is where cracks occurred, on some

Here is a picture taken from http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Smith%20&%20Wesson%20J,%20K,%20L%20and%20N-frame%20Comparisons.htm The K-frame forcing cone is on the left and the J-frame forcing cone on the right:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Smith%20&%20Wesson%20J,%20K,%20L%20and%20N-frame%20Comparisons_files/image012.jpghttp://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Smith%20&%20Wesson%20J,%20K,%20L%20and%20N-frame%20Comparisons_files/image014.jpg

Notice how the K-frame has the bottom flattened out and is thinner than the rest of the forcing cone.

ArchAngelCD
December 6, 2010, 06:09 PM
It wasn't so much the K frame forcing cones were weak, they just weren't designed for the excessive velocities generated by light bullets. When the K frame was developed no one was really shooting a 125gr bullet in the .357 Magnum. The 158gr bullet was most common and most shot. When 125gr jacketed bullets became popular .357 Magnum ammo using that light bullet became a speedster. Those excessive velocities are what damaged some K frame forcing cones. From what I remember the one on the left with the flattened bottome of the forcing cone was a modification to prevent the damage from occuring. (but I could be wrong on that point)

1911Tuner
December 6, 2010, 06:21 PM
It wasn't so much the K frame forcing cones were weak, they just weren't designed for the excessive velocities generated by light bullets.

Any thinning weakens the material.

When the K-Frame .357s were introduced, it's doubtful that there were any jacketed bullet loads available...light or heavy. The standard fare was a 158 grain LSWC loaded to the original frantic pressures that were meant for N-Frames.

From what I remember the one on the left with the flattened bottome of the forcing cone was a modification to prevent the damage from occuring.

That's a clearance cut for the crane. Without it, the cylinder wouldn't close.

ArchAngelCD
December 6, 2010, 06:28 PM
At least I knew I was probably wrong about the cut.. LOL

popeye
December 6, 2010, 07:05 PM
I'm gettin a little long in the tooth. With that malady comes a little rheumatism in the wrists, more so in thumb joints. .357 is a thing of the past for me much less out of a Jframe. I really like the Colt DS format. DS, Agent, Cobra. With the weather colder now I carry a DS on my belt, and a recently aquired Smith 640 no dash .38 spec. in my back pocket. The 640 replaces a 432 I WAS carrying so both guns are same caliber. I like .38 spec 158GR LSWC'S in both guns. I guess I'm a wimp.

friscolatchi
December 6, 2010, 08:03 PM
In my experience carrying the 1 7/8 scandium snubby (340ct M&P) as EDC cannot be beat. It handles any 38 's with aplomb, is light and very easily concealed in a front pocket. When I camp and hike in the mt's in the summer, loading it up with 357's makes me feel better when camping in bear infested camping areas. I figure that I can point that pretty red laser at the big hairy black head and let the 158's rip (am I kidding myself??). I found that I can handle 357 loads in this gun shot as if I have a pit bull by the ears. I have no problem hitting the mark, and using the laser and can group reasonable well at 10 yards. However, this usually comes AFTER my practice with 38's. I really feel that the 357/38 Lightweight J frame is the perfect carry gun, as I can stick it in my pocket when summer backpacking and hiking. Here in NY, there are 3 things that I take in consideration: concealment, concealment and concealment.

However, the K frame ( I have a 4 inch 19-6) shoots way way better in all formats. I'm reticent about shooting the higher velocity 357 loads due to the forcing cone issues, but the difference is like driving a subcompact ( J frame) and a mid sized or larger vehicle (K frame ) I haven't had the opportunity to shoot the L frames in this caliber but would certainly like to get spoiled. As I said previously, in NY State it's about concealment otherwise I'd carry a larger framed revolver, probably a 3 incher.

Please correct me if I"m misguided.

1911Tuner
December 6, 2010, 08:53 PM
I'm reticent about shooting the higher velocity 357 loads due to the forcing cone issues,

If you can live with 158-160-grain cast bullets, 13.5 grains of 2400 is accurate to a hundred yards and powerful enough to let you know you've touched off a magnum...and the gun will stand a lot of it.

ArchAngelCD
December 6, 2010, 10:58 PM
friscolatchi,
I agree a 12oz S&W Airlite is an easy carry in your front pocket but I find the Airweight no worse to carry in my front pocket. The Airweight at 15oz is just fine and it doesn't bite much when firing .38 Special +P ammo in the form of The FBI Load.

iyn
December 12, 2010, 11:31 AM
How does the Sw 60 in 3" barrel shot with .38 sp.?

ArchAngelCD
December 13, 2010, 05:41 AM
How does the Sw 60 in 3" barrel shot with .38 sp.?
The 3" M60 is an all Steel revolver which weighs 24.5oz. That's almost 10oz more than the M637 and more than twice the weight of the M360. Since .38 Special ammo is quite controllable in the 15oz Airweight it's even more so in a 24.5oz J frame. I own a M640 which is an all Steel Centennial J frame and can shoot .38 Special ammo in it all day long at the range. Actually, 145gr Winchester Silvertip .357 Magnum ammo is not bad either in those J frames.

BrocLuno
December 13, 2010, 01:11 PM
The S&W Model 60 in .38SPL is a joy to shoot. Get grips that fit your hand and it's even better :)

Rob1109
December 13, 2010, 09:17 PM
I wouldn't mind finding a 6 round 2" revolver at about 18-20oz. Suggestions?
Thanks in advance...........

ArchAngelCD
December 14, 2010, 01:41 AM
I wouldn't mind finding a 6 round 2" revolver at about 18-20oz. Suggestions?
Thanks in advance...........
The Charter Arms Police Undercover (http://www.charterfirearms.com/products/Charter_Undercover_73840.html) is one of the few 6 round J frame size revolvers still in production. Since the Ecker family is back at Charter Arms the QC is back too. It's just what you asked for, a 6 round .38 Special +P w/2" barrel that weighs only 20oz. It's price on the street is less than $400 too.

friscolatchi
December 14, 2010, 10:50 PM
Arch,

what do you think is the limit of weight for pocket carry? Up to 20 oz? I can see what you mean in regards to the Airweight at 15 oz. I have family that will be getting their CC permits and I'll recommend. The 340 is not for every one, not only does it have greater recoil effect but is much more expensive. The CT grips tames it a bit. Thanks for the input.

Rob1109
December 15, 2010, 12:03 AM
I carry a 642(14.4oz?) and LCR(13.5oz) sometimes in my front pocket w/o a problem. My M36 at about 20oz. would get somewhat tiresome, so that would probebly get a OWB carry. The LCR is superior to the 642 for recoil and trigger pull. But, still a snubbie with all the associated problems for a nubie. Personal preference....

ArchAngelCD
December 15, 2010, 01:31 AM
Arch,

what do you think is the limit of weight for pocket carry? Up to 20 oz?
I was carrying a M36 in my front pocket and after a while it was fine. Then I bought an Airweight and that was better but I don't like going back to the M36 if I don't have to.

I would say if you carried that 20oz revolver every day for a week or so it would become second nature. Like anything else it's what you're used to... Remember, you will be carrying a 6 round revolver, not a 5 round one like my M36. At least you get an extra round for the slight additional weight.

Warners
December 15, 2010, 04:20 PM
I'd rather have an older K-frame .357 than a new J-frame .357 any day of the week! My Model 66 has no problems with the .357s. Just avoid the lighter weight bullets. And most of the J-frames are "point & shoot" guns and I like a gun with an adjustable rear sight.

http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa121/adambrown69/PC040016.jpg




Which grips are these? I REALLY like them!

Thanks in advance,

Warner

Vern Humphrey
December 15, 2010, 04:26 PM
There is a basic rule of physics that say, "Never shoot a gun that weighs less than the bullet." The light-weight .357 snubbies violate this rule.:evil:

Rob1109
December 15, 2010, 06:11 PM
I hate to shoot +P's in my 642. Can't imagine a .357 in even a lighter weapon!
The older I get the lighter the gun. Wouldn't mind a S&W Model 12, since it's a 6 round at about 20oz. But, the current owners want to retire off them!

ArchAngelCD
December 16, 2010, 01:53 AM
I hate to shoot +P's in my 642. Can't imagine a .357 in even a lighter weapon!
I shot a Airlite a few times and it's not pleasant at all. When you fire that 12oz revolver with full power .357 Magnum ammo it feels like someone is smacking your palm with a sturdy stick, hard! It really stings then goes a little numb and while shooting gloves help a bit, it's still not a good idea for a defensive handgun IMO.

Hey, that's why Speer developed their Short Barrel .357 Magnum ammo. Even though it's only rated @990 fps they call it Magnum to make the people who spent all that money on a 120z .357 Magnum feel better that they are shooting .357 Magnum ammo. (well, almost but at least it's marked .357 Magnum)

popeye
December 16, 2010, 06:38 AM
Let's say you've got your scandium super lite J Frame loaded with .357's. It's so light it would float away into the air without ammo loaded in it. You've got a laser mounted on that little beauty also. One night your walking your little dog and a big aggressive dog jumps out of bush and makes it clear he's going to attack. You pull your gun and bring your trusty laser to bare on that approaching dog. You pull the trigger. You better hope you hit the offender because you won't see again for 15 mins.

rdrancher
December 16, 2010, 08:46 AM
I shot a Airlite a few times and it's not pleasant at all. When you fire that 12oz revolver with full power .357 Magnum ammo it feels like someone is smacking your palm with a sturdy stick, hard! It really stings then goes a little numb and while shooting gloves help a bit, it's still not a good idea for a defensive handgun IMO.

I'll second that! I don't consider myself recoil sensitive, but I do have arthritis in my fingers and wrists from years of construction and ranch work. I fired a cylinder full of "real" magnums out of a friend's Airlite and that was plenty for me! It wasn't my fingers or wrist that hurt, but the palm of my hand. It's a definite SMACK!

I've tried Buffalo Bore's Heavy LSWCHP +P rounds, but settled on their standard pressure version as my "max load" in my 642. Truthfully, I keep the little j-frame loaded with standard pressure LSWC's or WC's for daily carry. I can afford to practice with a lot of them and I know where they're going to hit.

rd

Strykervet
December 16, 2010, 09:17 AM
Stainz: that is a sweet revolver, very nice.

I have a 340pd and a 686+ 6", I love them both, but they have different applications. I agree the 340pd would NOT make a good first revolver (the 686, any of them but particularly the newer models) would be a perfect choice. The 340pd has painful recoil, it feels like an intense bone shattering vibration, not a "kick". I, too, load it with .38+p for the first two rounds, which should do the trick, and the next three are 158gr. Gold Dots (not fun, but they work). This is strictly a conceal carry piece and it is phenomenal at that one job. What they call a "belly gun".

You can shoot the 686 all day long. It is so much fun, my wife is VERY recoil sensitive, but she enjoys shooting this one, even with the heavy loads. With .38+p it almost shoots like a .22. The trigger on the DA 340pd is heavy, long, and safe. The 686 (mine at least) is smooth and long DA, but SA has a feather trigger that I laboriously honed and polished. I'd go so far as to say it is my favorite of all my weapons. I got it for just over $200, including tax, in '99. I'd buy a case of them at that price now if I could.

S&W make newer models that, I think, may be better, like the 8 shot. Some now are large frame scandium with steel cylinders, all kinds of choices (the scandium frame with the steel cylinder is probably the better compromise now, but I got the titanium one right when they came out). The performance center pieces are awesome, such as Stainz's.

All of them hold up to the .357 mag now, but not all of them are fun shooters. The lighter it gets, the more painful it gets. Note that the 340pd is so light that it has a warning ON the barrel stating that bullets <125gr. not be used. This is because the thing is so light and so powerful that the first shot or two will unseat the rest of the rounds in the cylinder. It also happens with heavier bullets, but not so bad. I also would refrain from shooting reloads or handloads in this revolver. I blew out parts of the cylinder around the forcing cone using N110 and 140gr. xtp's. They were not hot, they were fine in the 686, but they are hot and long winded and I think that was the culprit. S&W graciously replaced the cylinder --I sent it out on Monday and got back on Friday, now that is service!

Rob1109
December 17, 2010, 09:22 PM
"I've tried Buffalo Bore's Heavy LSWCHP +P rounds, but settled on their standard pressure version as my "max load" in my 642. Truthfully, I keep the little j-frame loaded with standard pressure LSWC's or WC's for daily carry. I can afford to practice with a lot of them and I know where they're going to hit."

If you get a chance read Buffalo Bore's comments/logic on their 150gr. (148?) HC WC. It comes out a a S&W snub and something like 885fps. Interesting.....

rdrancher
December 17, 2010, 10:03 PM
If you get a chance read Buffalo Bore's comments/logic on their 150gr. (148?) HC WC. It comes out a a S&W snub and something like 885fps. Interesting....

I've run a few boxes through my 642 and like the round a lot. Buffalo Bore has a nice variety to choose from, for sure.

We're a bit off-subject, but here's an interesting read on wadcutters for you.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_3_49/ai_97170894/

THR member JE223 has gelatin test results on Buffalo Bore and many others here.
http://www.brassfetcher.com/38%20Special.html

S&Wfan
December 17, 2010, 10:26 PM
I'll take a short barreled K-frame .357 any day over any J-frame .357. The former is a serious fighting handgun, the later is made because so many new shooters just HAVE to have a super tiny, super light .357.

Truly, if I were dictator of the world I'd ban those 12 oz. super-light little revolvers in .357. Sure, they'll never wear out . . . because no one is going to shoot them much at all. Total pain, horrid recovery times between shots and a very poor choice for self defense. Additionally, the violent recoil can literally pull the remaining bullets almost out of their cartridges, and jam up the guns!!!

I own J frames . . . but all in .38 Special, for this is the perfect FIGHTING round in a J frame.

Don't own any clunky L frames anymore. I'm always looking for .357 K frames though. Y'all keep spreading that junk about the K's wearing out from the 125 gn. bullets.

Those true stories came from serious, competition shooters wearing out THEIR K frames due to firing thousands of rounds of hot, lightweight .357 bullets PER WEEK in their competition revolvers for practice. Most folks will NEVER, EVER wear out a K frame from cracked forcing cones.

I've lost count of how many thousands of rounds I've put through my 1984-vintage 3" barreled Model 65 K-frame. Lots of practice rounds and lots of competitions fired with this gun . . . though not with 125 grain Federal Hydrashocks and such. Nawww . . . that's just what I keep it loaded with for self defense. I've probably only fired about 800 rounds of 125gn stuff through this gun. It is still just as good and tight as when it was new!!! Won a bunch of matches with this sweet shooting gun too! . . .

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/415/415871/folders/305468/244924665-3.jpg

The K frame is the most perfectly balanced, and compact framed 357 revolver concept ever perfected . . . great for the average street cop and the average civilian in every way!!!

357 Terms
December 17, 2010, 10:40 PM
Everything you need to know was mentioned in the first few posts.

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