New S&W K-frame .357?


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peacebutready
August 14, 2014, 11:50 PM
Looks like S&W brought back their K-frame in .357. Anyone know if these can take a steady diet of .357 factory loads?

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rcmodel
August 15, 2014, 12:06 AM
No.
They haven't been out long enough to tell yet.

But with a lifetime warranty?
It seems very likely S&W testing thinks they will.

Or they will go broke repairing them free.

rc

ArchAngelCD
August 15, 2014, 12:07 AM
Looks like S&W brought back their K-frame in .357. Anyone know if these can take a steady diet of .357 factory loads?
Of course unless you have a track record there is no way to know for sure BUT I highly doubt S&W would re-release their K frame .357 Magnum unless it will hold up. Besides, the factory .357 Magnum ammo of today is not the same as it was back in the 70's...

I'm betting the new M66 doesn't have the cut-out at the bottom of the forcing cone which was the point of weakness on the original .357 Magnum K frames.

peacebutready
August 15, 2014, 12:15 AM
Besides, the factory .357 Magnum ammo of today is not the same as it was back in the 70's...

Off Topic: About 200 fps difference, right?

On Topic: This new K-frame is something like 36.5 oz. That's light.

Snubshooter
August 15, 2014, 12:19 AM
My guess is that the same changes they made in the L frames to make a 69 would translate to the K frames to do a very reliable .357.

rcmodel
August 15, 2014, 12:29 AM
This new K-frame is something like 36.5 oz. That's light.No, thats heavy.
The old K-Frame Model 19 / 66 Combat Magnum was listed at 36 oz. with a 4" barrel.
Closer to 40 oz loaded.

Light weight was the only reason there ever was for the Combat Magnum in the first place.

Without going into great detail on the history of them, police wanted a lighter .357 Magnum they could carry a lot, and shoot a little.

A man named Bill Jordan had all to do with getting S&W to make the first ones as the ultiment, easier to carry all day, .357 LEO belt gun of the time.

And it was.

If you want a heavier, heavy duty, shoot 1,000 rounds a week .357?
Buy an L or N frame .357.

rc

peacebutready
August 15, 2014, 12:33 AM
No, thats heavy.
The old K-Frame Model 19 / 66 Combat Magnum was listed at 36 oz. with a 4" barrel.
Closer to 40 oz loaded.


The new one has a 4.25" barrel.

Steve C
August 15, 2014, 02:22 AM
The K frames where faulted for cracking the forcing cone in the thinned out part at the bottom due mostly to full powered 125gr JHP's. If you look at the picture of the forcing cone of the new model 66 vs the older model shown from the "Gunblast" article you can see that it no longer has a thinned out are at the bottom so it looks like S&W has "fixed" the problem and one should be able to shoot any .357 mag ammo loaded by the major companies (Fed, Win, Rem, CCI, Hornady) without fear of damaging the forcing cone.

As to if it "can take a steady diet of .357 factory loads?", that will depend upon the definition of "steady diet" and who's factory loads. Like any gun, heavy loads from Buffalo Bore or DRT will likely wear the gun out faster than loads by Win, Fed, Rem, CCI, Etc. All things mechanical will wear out eventually but I'd wager you will spend many times the cost of the revolver in ammo before you wear it out and even then it will likely be able to be rebuilt.

NEW
http://i1171.photobucket.com/albums/r552/s_o_cikkubs/SampWnew66.jpg

Vs OLD
http://www.gunblast.com/images/Butch_MagnumLoads/Fig-3.jpg

19-3Ben
August 15, 2014, 03:57 AM
The new one has a 4.25" barrel.To quote South Park, "Blame Canada."

Canadian min. Barrel length is 4.2" iirc.

gotboostvr
August 15, 2014, 05:26 AM
If they bring back the 2.5" I'm snapping one up.

If it's alloy framed with night sights I'll knock over little gray haired grandma's To get one.

bannockburn
August 15, 2014, 06:42 AM
I wold definitely be interested in a new K frame .357. Never should have traded my Model 13.

RealGun
August 15, 2014, 06:55 AM
Not loving the black trigger, cylinder release button, and hammer (?). Not loving a glass bead finish either.

Goosey
August 15, 2014, 08:33 AM
To quote South Park, "Blame Canada."

Canadian min. Barrel length is 4.2" iirc.

105 mm / 4.13 in ;)

Ruger did this first I believe, so I'm guessing they sold a lot of 4.2" GP100s up there. S&W seems to be following their lead.

460Kodiak
August 15, 2014, 09:00 AM
Not loving the black trigger, cylinder release button, and hammer (?). Not loving a glass bead finish either.


Me neither. I recently handled a M69 that has it's fit and finish along the same lines as the new 66. It did nothing for me. To each his own though.

I'm sure they are useful sidearms. But as RC said, it is impossible to know at this point if they will hold up. I don't care to be a test driver on this go around.

edmo01
August 15, 2014, 09:26 AM
I am smitten with S&W revolvers and own more than a few, including a mid '80s production 4" model 19-5 K frame. The K frames are a great balance of size, weight, and power. The L frames came about to fix some of the K frame weaknesses with magnum rounds. My 686 L frame has been flawless in the 25 years I've owned it.

All of my older S&W revolvers have been great. However, I've owned four new production S&W revolvers and only one of those four hasn't had issues. Not a good track record for me. The lifetime warranty is a great thing, but I don't want to use it on almost every new gun!

The ones I've had with issues have been a 642-1 (misfires - replaced), a BG38 (misfires - replaced), and a 640 Pro Series. The 640 was the replacement for my broken 642 and arrived with numerous issues straight from S&W. It was never fired, boxed back up, and is currently back at S&W for repairs. This replacement process is currently at five months and it will be another two-three weeks (at least).

I guess I'm an unlucky S&W revolver guy, but my thoughts on current production guns is to look them over very closely before you buy.

Edmo

Jim Watson
August 15, 2014, 10:01 AM
I know that cracked forcing cones are documented for K magnums, but they are not a certainty. A guy here fired a documented 6000 rounds of magnums through his M19 with no damage.
But they were "traditional" magnums, 160 gr SWCs and lots of #2400; none of these 125 gr blowtorches.
(Another of that group just flat wore out a Blackhawk .45, they were shooting a LOT in the 1970s.)

ArchAngelCD
August 15, 2014, 10:46 AM
105 mm / 4.13 in ;)

Ruger did this first I believe, so I'm guessing they sold a lot of 4.2" GP100s up there. S&W seems to be following their lead.
I read the original laws were 100mm but of course they wanted to make thing difficult on the people to own guns so they lengthened the min barrel to 105mm. I'm happy Ruger and then S&W countered with making the barrels a little longer to comply with the arbitrary barrel length and allow the people of Canada to again legally own a nice revolver.

buck460XVR
August 15, 2014, 12:55 PM
Odds are the gun will hold up better than the shooter's wrists/hands, and as RC stated, with a lifetime warranty, why would you worry about it?

Old Dog
August 15, 2014, 03:36 PM
If they bring back the 2.5" I'm snapping one up.Yeah, me too; lock and MIM notwithstanding ...

gamestalker
August 15, 2014, 04:23 PM
I've got two, a 66-2 and a -5, both snubs. Both of those have had each, at least several thousand full house jacketed 296 / H110 loads run through them, especially the -2 I've had since the 80's. And although I haven't put a whole lot of 110's and 125's through them, they have had a good deal, again all full house 296 / H110 stuff.

I keep the FC's clean of any possible build up, as that is what greatly contributes to their failure.

They aren't as weak as one might think, IMO.

GS

1911Tuner
August 15, 2014, 06:48 PM
I'm betting the new M66 doesn't have the cut-out at the bottom of the forcing cone which was the point of weakness on the original .357 Magnum K frames.

If it's a true K-Frame...you'll lose your bet.

The reason for the cut was to allow the crane to clear the forcing cone in the K-Frame window.

The K frames where faulted for cracking the forcing cone in the thinned out part at the bottom due mostly to full powered 125gr JHP's.

Actually, any jacketed bullet loaded to .357 levels is hard on the K-Frame forcing cone. Shooting lead bullets is the answer to that particular problem.

Light weight was the only reason there ever was for the Combat Magnum in the first place.

Without going into great detail on the history of them, police wanted a lighter .357 Magnum they could carry a lot, and shoot a little.

A man named Bill Jordan had all to do with getting S&W to make the first ones as the ultiment, easier to carry all day, .357 LEO belt gun of the time.

And it was.

If you want a heavier, heavy duty, shoot 1,000 rounds a week .357?
Buy an L or N frame .357.

This.

Jordan's caveat: .38s for practice and .357s for business." was sound advice for K-Frame .357 owners. Sadly, too many ignored it...and the result ushered in the L-Frame. Smith & Wesson was losing money repairing and/or replacing Model 19s and 13s...so the L-Frame was mostly their way of throwing in the towel.

MCgunner
August 15, 2014, 07:23 PM
Since SAAMI neutered the pressure limits of .357 in the early nineties (was discussed on another thread) when the J frame magnums came out, I'd think an old k frame, new K frame, whatever, would handle any modern factory load just fine. I shot many 158 grain cast gas checked SWCs over 14.5 grains 2400 out of my M19 which I sold off 20 years ago. It never had a problem with those loads and they were hotter than today's standards. They were the late Skeeter Skelton's standby and i figure if it was good 'nuf for Skeeter......;D

I'm glad they did away with the flat at the bottom of the forcing cone, if it's true, even if they had to make a little more room in the frame. I had that split on my M10 from lead build up at the forcing cone (my theory) and had to rebarrel it. Wasn't just 125 grain Super Vels that were hard on that forcing cone. You really have to keep the lead out of 'em from standard cast bullets.

ArchAngelCD
August 16, 2014, 12:00 AM
I'm betting the new M66 doesn't have the cut-out at the bottom of the forcing cone which was the point of weakness on the original .357 Magnum K frames. If it's a true K-Frame...you'll lose your bet.
We all know it's not a true K frame. If it were there would be no ILS, forged instead of MIM parts and not fitted with a 2 piece 4.25" barrel either. This is why I said "new" K frame. I think my wager is safe. ;)

Jim Watson
August 16, 2014, 12:08 AM
I thought the New 66 had potential but the 4.25" barrel is a liability.

IDPA revolver shooters (all 10% of the membership) were limited to 4" barrels until the Canadian wing got it increased to 4.20" to pass their Anti's sniff test.
Now we are talking about measuring the barrel from forcing cone to muzzle instead of cylinder face to muzzle so the nominal 6 thou of cylinder gap isn't included.

S&W is a major sponsor. Did they not have anybody there who knew the rules? Did they really care?

ArchAngelCD
August 16, 2014, 12:16 AM
I thought the New 66 had potential but the 4.25" barrel is a liability.

IDPA revolver shooters (all 10% of the membership) were limited to 4" barrels until the Canadian wing got it increased to 4.20" to pass their Anti's sniff test.
Now we are talking about measuring the barrel from forcing cone to muzzle instead of cylinder face to muzzle so the nominal 6 thou of cylinder gap isn't included.

S&W is a major sponsor. Did they not have anybody there who knew the rules? Did they really care?
Maybe they thought the M64 and M67 had that covered since they are still fitted with a 4" barrel. Does anyone in IDPA shoot .357 Magnum ammo or are the two .38 Specials good for their needs?

1911Tuner
August 16, 2014, 06:00 AM
We all know it's not a true K frame. If it were there would be no ILS, forged instead of MIM parts and not fitted with a 2 piece 4.25" barrel either. This is why I said "new" K frame. I think my wager is safe.

I was referring to the dimensions of the frame and cylinder, not the internal materials and the lawyer add-ons.

If the frame window and the yoke/crane assembly is K-Frame SIZE...that flat has to be cut on the bottom of the forcing cone in order for the cylinder to close.

In any event, if the shooter does the bulk of his/her shooting with lead bullets, the forcing cone won't be an issue.

Drail
August 16, 2014, 10:32 AM
IMO this problem has nothing to do with the revolver - it's because everybody believes that they "need" to use flamethrower loads in it. And when someone points out that it may be abusive to the gun they still insist on using flamethrower loads and whine about how the gun is damaged from doing so and the gun should be "improved" so they can use flamethrower loads. Madness.

HankB
August 16, 2014, 10:49 AM
I know it's an old and oft-repeated complaint, but IMHO by including that silly lock the suits at S&W missed an opportunity to introduce a better product.

Drail
August 16, 2014, 11:41 AM
I don't think there was anything terribly wrong with the old designs (if people didn't abuse them). On almost every gun forum you read there appear questions almost every day of "Can I use +P ammo in....?" There's your problem. If you need more gun, get another gun. Don't try to solve the problem by using hotter loads. Mechanical devices have physical limits. Exceeding those limits only creates more problems. I went through the whole +P flamethrower load thing when I first got into this game many years ago. After beating a new gun to death with my handloads I came to my senses. I still have that gun as a reminder.

gotboostvr
August 16, 2014, 01:38 PM
To those wondering about people using revolvers in IDPA...

I run a 4" 19-3 with T grips and sanded down factory magna's out of some Bianchi leather. Being in my mid-twenties I get some strange looks, but I just couldn't shoot my Gl*ck 34 worth a crap.
http://i.imgur.com/Rj4ji.jpg?1

1911Tuner
August 16, 2014, 01:48 PM
IMO this problem has nothing to do with the revolver - it's because everybody believes that they "need" to use flamethrower loads in it. And when someone points out that it may be abusive to the gun they still insist on using flamethrower loads and whine about how the gun is damaged from doing so and the gun should be "improved" so they can use flamethrower loads. Madness.

Word.

Cooldill
August 16, 2014, 02:04 PM
I've handled these new "K-magnums" and I'm not so impressed.

The two I've handled, model 66's they were, seemed pretty stiff and one had noticeable cylinder play OTB. I also think that the finish choice is ugly. The bead blast SS and the black controls don't make for a pretty revolver. Why not traditional satin satinless everything? Would look much better and wouldn't be much more expensive at all. Also ditch the internal lock and recontour the frame in it's absense.

I think Smith missed the boat on this one. However, I like the new M69 .44 magnum L-frame. It is inovative and to me isn't like it's supposed to be a reintroduction, so the new finish doesn't bother me as bad. I think I'd rather get a Model 69 and stock it with hot .44 special hollow points for defense. IMHO 5 .44 specials beat 6 .357 magnums. No matter how fast you push the .357, it's still a smaller bullet than the .44 special, and there are some loads out there for .44 special that really have some gumption and would be extremely effective for defense.

But I digress. At first I was overjoyed and shaking in my boatstraps to know Smith was reintroducing the K-frame Model 66 .357 magnum. But I don't really so much care for the execution. My hunt for an old pre-lock model 66 continues!

BigG
August 16, 2014, 02:48 PM
The K frame was for easy carriage and getting in and out of cars. The original S&W 357 Magnum was an N frame. The guys who said carry much and shoot little were right.

peacebutready
August 16, 2014, 06:21 PM
Odds are the gun will hold up better than the shooter's wrists/hands, and as RC stated, with a lifetime warranty, why would you worry about it?

Personally, I'm tired of sending guns back.

Drail
August 16, 2014, 07:49 PM
"IMHO 5 .44 Specials beat 6 .357 Magnums." I like the way you think, sir.

Artym
August 16, 2014, 08:16 PM
Imused to shoot a lot more than I do now, and put close to 10,000 rounds through a 6" model 10. About 1,000 were magnums. At this point , the barrel cylinder gap got too wide and the gun started to spit lead.
Most of the shooting was with 38 special hand loads.

Most of the magnum loads were heavy, but a number were Golden Sabers, 125 middle power loads, or 110 gr. Loads. There are obviously limits to how many magnums you can put through the gun.

Drail
August 16, 2014, 10:22 PM
Especially if they're mostly 110-125 grain loads. The expanding gases hit your forcing cone like a white hot Freightliner. Ever use an oxy-acetylene cutting torch?

rcmodel
August 16, 2014, 11:08 PM
and put close to 10,000 rounds through a 6" model 10. About 1,000 were magnumsWell, theres your problem!

The Model 10 was only ever chambered in .38 Special.

A steady diet of .357 Mag would probably Not be good for it!!

But they won't even fit in the cylinder!

rc

peacebutready
August 17, 2014, 01:03 AM
http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_827561_-1_757769_757767_757751_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y

peacebutready
August 17, 2014, 01:04 AM
The Model 10 was only ever chambered in .38 Special.

A steady diet of .357 Mag would probably Not be good for it!!


Maybe the loads were very hot .38.

1911Tuner
August 17, 2014, 06:05 AM
Originally Posted by rcmodel
The Model 10 was only ever chambered in .38 Special.

A few Model 10s were chambered in .357 Magnum. I've seen three, and one of our members...Red Cent...owns one. They're fairly rare, but they're out there.

Radagast
August 17, 2014, 06:23 AM
Yep. The Standard Catalog of S&W mentions that in 1972, several thousand Model 10-6s where chambered in and marked as .357 magnum for the New York State Police.

RealGun
August 17, 2014, 07:10 AM
peacebutready - Personally, I'm tired of sending guns back.

I'm tired of waiting months for gunsmithing, but S&W and Taurus have returned guns lickety split. It is very easy to arrange. The Rugers are inherently kind of a work in progress and need gunsmithing more than return/rework. I say that more for the DA than SA guns. I don't mean to imply that quality-by-rework is okay.

Artym
August 17, 2014, 08:58 AM
I didn't hammer the 357s into the model 19. It was a typo on my IPad.

cfullgraf
August 17, 2014, 11:54 AM
If it's a true K-Frame...you'll lose your bet.

The reason for the cut was to allow the crane to clear the forcing cone in the K-Frame window.



I have not seen a current manufacturer Model 66 but my Model 67 made in 2013 has the flat cut in the bottom of the barrel. I know, it is a 38 Special but I would be surprised that Smith and Wesson would make a special K frame for just the Model 66.

Of course, S&W may have updated the K frame design after the production run for my Model 67.

Also, I have a Classic Model 14, circa 2010-2011, and a Model 66, circa 2003, and both have the flat cut in the bottom of the barrel.

I will keep my eyes out for a new Model 66 but I probably won't see one for another year here in Knoxville. :)

As another note, I cracked the forcing cone in my Model 19 in the early eighties due to a steady diet of full magnum loads with 158 grain JHPs. I used it to shoot IHMSA silhouette competition for a while.

After S&W graciously replaced the barrel, I have limited the amount of heavy loads shot through the revolver. I can get my full house jollies shooting my wife's 586.

1911Tuner
August 17, 2014, 12:09 PM
I have not seen a current manufacturer Model 66 but my Model 67 made in 2013 has the flat cut in the bottom of the barrel. I know, it is a 38 Special but I would be surprised that Smith and Wesson would make a special K frame for just the Model 66.

The caliber is irrelevant. Eyeball the front of the cylinder while moving it in and out of the frame, and you'll see exactly why that flat is there. If it weren't, the cylinder wouldn't enter the frame.

buck460XVR
August 17, 2014, 12:25 PM
Personally, I'm tired of sending guns back.


Me, unless it is an unreasonably short time, having a gun repaired free because I had the opportunity to "shoot" it out, by putting too much ammo downrange with it, seems like a win/win.

cfullgraf
August 17, 2014, 01:56 PM
The caliber is irrelevant. Eyeball the front of the cylinder while moving it in and out of the frame, and you'll see exactly why that flat is there. If it weren't, the cylinder wouldn't enter the frame.

I agree, that was the point i was trying to make, the K frames of recent manufacture that i have have the flat machined in the barrel.

I'd assume the new Model 66 is the same, but I have not seen one in the metal (my folks were from Missouri:)).

1911Tuner
August 17, 2014, 02:29 PM
that was the point i was trying to make, the K frames of recent manufacture that i have have the flat machined in the barrel.

Ah. So, ArchAngel lost his wager before he made it.

peacebutready
August 17, 2014, 11:02 PM
I'm tired of waiting months for gunsmithing, but S&W and Taurus have returned guns lickety split.

Surprised to hear that about Taurus. I thought it was like pulling teeth based on things I read.

peacebutready
August 17, 2014, 11:03 PM
Me, unless it is an unreasonably short time, having a gun repaired free because I had the opportunity to "shoot" it out, by putting too much ammo downrange with it, seems like a win/win.

I agree with that. I probably should have mentioned being tired of sending guns back with less than 1000 rounds through it.

peacebutready
August 17, 2014, 11:12 PM
If a K-frame can't digest a steady diet of .357, maybe they should use one of the more exotic metal in high-stress areas. S&W made .357 models that were about 15 oz (scandium?). Maybe using a different metal would enable a K-frame to absorb as much, if not more shellacking than a current Model 686.

I don't really know anything about metallurgy.

RealGun
August 18, 2014, 06:25 AM
Originally Posted by RealGun
I'm tired of waiting months for gunsmithing, but S&W and Taurus have returned guns lickety split.

peacebutready replied - Surprised to hear that about Taurus. I thought it was like pulling teeth based on things I read.

Truth be told, they only did a test fire and returned the gun with the test target, indicating that 2" high and left was "within spec" on a fixed sight gun. But they did that within two weeks, as I recall.

P5 Guy
August 18, 2014, 01:48 PM
I admit I'm rather opinionated and it is my opinion the biggest mistake S&W has made is chambering 'J' and 'K' frame sizes in .357MAG.
My not too humble opinion.

RealGun
August 19, 2014, 06:26 PM
I admit I'm rather opinionated and it is my opinion the biggest mistake S&W has made is chambering 'J' and 'K' frame sizes in .357MAG.
My not too humble opinion.

Apparently people like them but tend to mention how they shoot 38 Special and "like the option to shoot 357 Magnum".:rolleyes:

I have a Model 60 Pro and like it with Speer Short Barrel. It will never see 38 Special, for which I have other nice guns.

peacebutready
August 19, 2014, 07:35 PM
Apparently people like them but tend to mention how they shoot 38 Special and "like the option to shoot 357 Magnum".:rolleyes:

I have a Model 60 Pro and like it with Speer Short Barrel. It will never see 38 Special, for which I have other nice guns.


IIRC, the Speer Short Barrel loads are less powerful than full .357 loads.

RealGun
August 20, 2014, 06:29 AM
IIRC, the Speer Short Barrel loads are less powerful than full .357 loads.

It would be hard to tell in the smaller, lighter gun. The shooting experience would be comparable to full power rounds in bigger guns. "Short barrel" ammo is definitely not a way of wimping out, unless you use it in 40-something ounce gun.

P5 Guy
August 20, 2014, 01:12 PM
Yep, RealGun they seem to be popular with some, just not me.

mdauben
August 20, 2014, 01:23 PM
If they bring back the 2.5" I'm snapping one up.
Same here. I've been casually searching for a Model 66 snub, but I'd go with this new model to avoid the potential forcing cone issues.

peacebutready
August 20, 2014, 04:24 PM
"Short barrel" ammo is definitely not a way of wimping out, unless you use it in 40-something ounce gun.


It's not available in 158 grainers, is it?

RealGun
August 20, 2014, 06:06 PM
Originally Posted by RealGun "Short barrel" ammo is definitely not a way of wimping out, unless you use it in 40-something ounce gun.


It's not available in 158 grainers, is it?

Is there a point you're trying to make?

ArchAngelCD
August 20, 2014, 07:24 PM
I agree, is there a point to your post about not being made in 158gr?

It's not the bullet weight that did the damage to the forcing cones, it was the velocities the lighter bullet was pushed to. The 135gr Speer short barrel .357 Magnum ammo is rated at only 990 fps, hardly a magnum load in any gun. In contrast their short barrel .38 Special +P load is rated at 860 fps.

The only reason why anyone is calling the Speer short barrel .357 Magnum load a magnum load is it's printed on the box and they are using .357 Magnum brass. IMO it's just a good .38 Special +P round they claim is a magnum.

IMO it was created to make all those buyers who spent all that money on a 12oz Airlite J frame Magnum feel good. They get the impression they are shooting a .357 Magnum because that's what the box says so they feel justified spending more than twice on their revolver as those who bought a Airweight in .38 Special.

RealGun
August 20, 2014, 08:07 PM
It's not the bullet weight that did the damage to the forcing cones, it was the velocities the lighter bullet was pushed to. The 135gr Speer short barrel .357 Magnum ammo is rated at only 990 fps, hardly a magnum load in any gun. In contrast their short barrel .38 Special +P load is rated at 860 fps.

You'd think a Short Barrel round would be rated from a short barreled gun, inherently lower in velocity. Likewise, a 38 Spl +p would not likely be rated from a short barrel. The Speer book shows that to be the case, using either a S&W Model 19, 6" or a Model 19, 2.5".

The median velocity for suggested Short Barrel loads using Unique is your 990 fps. However, 5 out of 7 powders listed are higher. The median for AA #9 is 1230 fps. I think then that your characterizing Short Barrel as a 38 +p load is straining to be cynical about the round and those who use it. In reality it is a very well suited round for light weight and short barrel 357s, yet is still within the range of being a bona fide .357 Magnum.

ArchAngelCD
August 20, 2014, 08:36 PM
You'd think a Short Barrel round would be rated from a short barreled gun, inherently lower in velocity. Likewise, a 38 Spl +p would not likely be rated from a short barrel. The Speer book shows that to be the case, using either a S&W Model 19, 6" or a Model 19, 2.5".

The median velocity for suggested Short Barrel loads using Unique is your 990 fps. However, 5 out of 7 powders listed are higher. The median for AA #9 is 1230 fps. I think then that your characterizing Short Barrel as a 38 +p load is straining to be cynical about the round and those who use it. In reality it is a very well suited round for light weight and short barrel 357s, yet is still within the range of being a bona fide .357 Magnum.
Actually, Speer does test their "Short Barrel" ammo in a short barrel. Both the .38 Special +P and .357 Magnum ammo are tested in a 2" vented barrel.

A few years back I did extensive testing on replicating both of those Speer loads. I was working with a few other loaders online and working with Speer. The girl on the phone gave me information that surprised me. They usually won't tell you which powders to use in a replica load but at the time they had a data sheet available and she hinted at which powders I should try. (as in we have reports XX powder gives the best results {wink wink}) I not only wanted to match the velocities but I wanted to match how the recoil felt. I feel I did just that...

It turns out AA#5 is best for the .38 Special short barrel replica.
It turns out Power Pistol is best for the .357 Magnum short barrel replica. (of course they add a flash suppressor)

RealGun
August 21, 2014, 06:20 AM
The Speer book shows 38 Spl +p, 135 Grain GDHP, Short Barrel load, AA#5, to be 819 min and a max of 878 fps.

For 357 Mag Short barrel, Power Pistol, it shows a min velocity of 1046 and a max of 1137 fps.

That's quite a spread between the two calibers.

ArchAngelCD
August 21, 2014, 09:54 AM
The Speer book shows 38 Spl +p, 135 Grain GDHP, Short Barrel load, AA#5, to be 819 min and a max of 878 fps.

For 357 Mag Short barrel, Power Pistol, it shows a min velocity of 1046 and a max of 1137 fps.

That's quite a spread between the two calibers.
Sure those numbers are good if you reload but if you are buying factory ammo the numbers are 860 fps for the .38 Special +P and 990 for the .357 Magnum from a 2" vented barrel. There is no way around that if buying factory ammo and many shooters in this forum don't reload unlike when we are in the reloading forum.

HankB
August 22, 2014, 09:43 AM
First a disclaimer: Note that some of this early (circa 1970) data that follows was apparently NOT pressure tested, and may not be advisable . . . especially with current 2400 powder, which may be a bit different than what was being sold back then.

I haven't tried these specific loads myself, but I've come across some data in this particular Speer manual that is - absolutely! - too hot for any of my guns, producing pressure signs at levels well below Speer's recommended maximum charges. YMMV, use caution, etc.

The 1st edition of the Speer #8 loading manual lists .357 Mag loads for short (2 1/2") barrels that are considerably warmer than most current data - for example, with 125 grain and 160 grain jacketed bullets, charges of 2400 powder of 19.5 grains and 15 grains produced velocity of 1378 and 1199 ft/sec respectively, with a CCI 550 primer. These were tested in both Colt and S&W revolvers.

So why present this "old" data at all?

The main useful take-away from this early Speer data is that even in short barreled revolvers, the highest velocities still came from slower-burning powders, albeit at the cost of increased muzzle blast.

RealGun
August 22, 2014, 10:26 AM
Sure those numbers are good if you reload but if you are buying factory ammo the numbers are 860 fps for the .38 Special +P and 990 for the .357 Magnum from a 2" vented barrel. There is no way around that if buying factory ammo and many shooters in this forum don't reload unlike when we are in the reloading forum.

That's a 15% increase for 357 Magnum. That strikes me as significant, when attempting to equate short barrel 357 ammo with 38 Spl +p. It sounds to me like Speer is using Unique or perhaps Universal, yielding velocities on the lower end of powders suggested in their book.

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