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40 S&W Revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by calaverasslim, Feb 3, 2010.

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  1. calaverasslim

    calaverasslim Member

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    I am sure this has been discussed before but here goes anyway.

    Has anyone ever converted or attempted to convert a S&W K frame to 40 S&W?

    I know that Charter Arms is coming out with one of theirs in 40 but I kinda wonder how a M13/19/65/66 with a 3" barrel would work. A 5 shot maybe?

    Just curious
     
  2. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    I'd actually love to see a Ruger SP101 3" in .40cal while we're dreaming!
     
  3. calaverasslim

    calaverasslim Member

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    I don't think it is quite a stretch. The Smith folks made the M610 in 40 but it didn't go over. It was on the "N" frame which is really to big for carry.

    If the one from Carter Arms works and sells, the SP101 is a real possibility which I would like also.
     
  4. Evil One

    Evil One Member

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    We carriers of N frames are glad to know that our carry guns are too large for carry... :D


    Jim
     
  5. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Member

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    Hi Slim,
    S&W really did make a .40 S&W revolver --- the 646 -- here is a photo of mine;
    [​IMG]

    It is a 4" on a "L" frame ----- they are still around on the used gun market and sell for around $600/700.
     
  6. w_houle

    w_houle Member

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    Why not just build one that takes both 10mm and .40 S&W?
     
  7. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    The 610 is in 10mm and will take 40S&W with moonclips. Someone has takken a 646 to 10mm and uses mid-line loads. IIRC they said it was quite manageable.
     
  8. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    Wonder why Smith had to screw up a pretty good idea (the 646) with that stupid and ugly cylinder? Had they put a regular stainless cylinder in it I would have probably bought one. Oh well...

    Dave
     
  9. DWFan

    DWFan Member

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  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    because the Ti cylinder holds up better for fast shooting, the stainless bolt notches peen more readily
     
  11. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    One of the two guys I know who compete with one is a VERY accomplished Master class shooter who told me he's had the cylinder replaced twice. If I understood what he told me correctly there is a blast/flame erosion issue that Ti doesn't handle well.

    But, the lighter weight does equal less rotating mass to start and stop, making the gun a bit faster.

    -Sam
     
  12. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    Too bad they made so few 646s, only 400 of the original PC model in 2000 and 300 of the non-PC guns (like the one pictured above and mine below:D) on 2003. Their scarcity makes them pricey these days, more like $850-$1000ish (the PC guns are on the high end) than $600/$700. You can find them on Gunbroker now and then.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

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    Although the 646 isn't a K-frame, it is ALMOST a K-frame . . . instead being built on the slightly taller, stouter "L" frame. Both K and L frame revolvers share the same grip size too.

    Here's the original version . . . the racegun. Performance Center Model 646 with the lightened, skeletonized barrel for faster pointing and recovery times when swinging between targets as one staged the double action trigger for the next shot.

    It is a great gun, but the crybabies at IDPA thought using the new "racegun" was "unfair," and it got banned from competing with run of the mill revolvers, so their speedloader wheelguns would have a chance. It is one of the few times I've ever seen gun competition sports move backwards on embracing a better way to do guns!!!

    The 646 revolvers all use moon clips for fast reloading. I enjoyed mine but when rules started changing I decided to just stick with my 625 .45ACP revolver. S&W never totally worked out all the bugs with the 646 but frankly, with the popularity of the .40S&W cartridge today, I'm very surprised it hasn't been reintroduced YET!

    Great guns . . . and very, very accurate . . . and wonderful handling revolvers when shooting super-fast, double action revolver matches!

    Here's the original PC646, in its case . . . ready to go to a match. I purchased the Hogue "rubbers" for match day.

    [​IMG]

    PS: Someone wanted mine pretty bad . . . and offered me $1,200 for it . . . so I let it go to someone who would truly appreciate this ground-breaking revolver for the great gun it is!!!
     
  14. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    If you believe that 9mmephipany, then more power to you. If you can fine one buy it. These days, even if they bring it back it will be a lawyered model and I won't own one of those just on principle. I actually prefer the Smiths from the era before Bangor Punta bought them. I'll keep looking for them and you can have all the 646s you can find.

    Dave
     
  15. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Yes, but the 610 is an N-frame, whereas, as someone already mentioned, the 646 is an L-frame.

    For those who'd like to shoot ESR, for example, but find the N-frame 610/625s too big, the 646 would be an alternative. Too bad it's not more widely available.
     
  16. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    it's a pretty standard modification for revolvers used in ICORE competition. the carbon or stainless steel bolt notches start peening from the speed they stop during strings of rapid fire. the coated Ti cylinders are "harder" and do not wear at the same rate...i'm sure the lighter weight helps too.

    Randy Lee of Apex Tactical in Morro Bay CA turns out some superb competition revolvers and his top of the line models, on your 627, replace the cylinder with a Ti one and installs his proprietary hammer, which along with his other magic gives you the best feeling DA trigger available
     
  17. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    We're comparing apples and oranges. My bent on handguns has always been duty weapons and self defensive carry. I don't think about guns to play games and shot IPSC in it's early days with my duty weapon. When IDPA came along I shot my CCW gun in that. If the easily scratched cylinder is what you need to shoot gun games, more power to you...as I said in my earlier post.

    Dave
     
  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    i thought i was addressing your question of why S&W optimized the M646 with a Ti cylinder, your post seemed to address it's aesthetics over performance

    BTW: i looked seriously at carrying an Apex Tactical 8-shot moonclip loaded, 5.5lb DA triggered, M627 as a duty gun before i retired
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  19. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    5 shot .40 would be a riot !

    imagine ... !
     
  20. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    i agree, Ruger wen the wrong way with the Sp-101. they should have introduced the new version in .40 instead of .327...chamber the LCR in .327 Mag
     
  21. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    When I got off probation (9 months after graduating from the academy) I qualified with a Colt Government 45 ACP and carried one model or other of 1911 until I retired and well past that. Different strokes and all that.

    Dave
     
  22. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

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    IMHO the Titanium cylinder may have had more to kill the .40 revolver than anything else. I think it would have stayed in the line and developed a following with a conventional cylinder. Instead, the bad buzz instantly created within the shooting ranks of the elite revolver competitors this gun was created for . . . doomed this gun. And the gripes about the hard extraction from the Titanium cylinders was the deal breaker but certainly not the only serious problem.

    The bugs had not been worked out of the PC646 back in the day and competitors faced three big problems when using their 646s in matches:

    1. VERY hard extraction at times, when spent, expanded brass stuck to the titanium walls!

    I remember the first match I ran with mine . . . on a typical IPSC-type stage. I was used to my slicker than butter M625 and suddenly in the middle of a stage, I went for reloads and tried to dump the spent moonclips in my normal, fluid motion . . . but the damned spent cases refused to budge.

    At speed, and in frustration I chopped pretty firmly with the heel of my hand on the ejector rod . . . and was rewarded with a nasty puncture wound. I finished the stage with blood all over the gun . . . but my times sucked and I regretted not using my 625-3 instead of course.

    I believe I ran one more match with the gun before going back to my 45ACP revolvers and putting the 646 into the safe. I eventually was contacted by a deep pocket collector who liked the photos of my still-pristine PC646. He waved big bucks at me (four figures) so I let it go to someone who needed a nice specimen for his collection, and I used the money to fun other gun projects . . . a good deal for both of us.

    2. The second HUGE problem was the inconsistencies with the head diameters on various makes of .40 Short & Wimpy brass.

    S&W provided two thicknesses of moon clips with the 646 . . . but the damn cartridges flopped around still . . . TOTALLY different from .45ACP moon clips perfected decades earlier . . . and thus the rounds were NOT sticking straight out when you went to drop 'em in the smaller cylinder holes of the 646. This made reloading a tad slower at best . . . and speed wins matches.:banghead:

    Also, some ammo flopped around so bad that rounds could even fall out of loaded moon clips . . . and grabbing a moonclip missing a round or two is HARD to load . . . not to mention the gun going "click" randomly!:eek:

    NO ONE EVER COMPLAINED ABOUT IT BEING HARD TO LOAD AND UNLOAD .40 S&W MOON CLIPS THOUGH!!!

    3. An equally serious problem . . . no optimum bullet shapes on the market for a .40S&W caliber cartridge in a revolver!

    Where the .45ACP revolvers using moon clips had access to the big old, round nose FMJ bullets that literally can be dropped into an open cylinder from a foot or so above (by folks who have practiced this stunt), the .40 S&W ammo did not offer the same bullet shape needed for maximum speed. Thus, it was easy to fumble around with floppy cartridges that had bullets that also wouldn't cooperate!

    I could also add number four if I wanted . . . harder to clean internal cylinder walls with the Titanium. Titanium may make sense to lighten the weight of AirLite J-frame and Taurus snubbies and such, but these little revolvers aren't being reloaded at optimum speed either where their shortcomings become glaring.


    BOTTOM LINE . . .

    As I alluded to initially, the 646 WAS a good idea . . . but the bugs hadn't been worked out yet.

    I truly believe that this revolver idea needs to be readdressed today by someone. 40 S&W ammo is hugely popular with the public and with law enforcement . . . and this caliber will always be around and accessible.

    Being able to have a tackdriving, fast reloading (moonclipped) revolver in America's current favorite caliber . . . to go with an enthusiast's .40S&W autos, would be a great idea.


    I'm sure the floppy moon clip/cartridge variance issues can get ironed out. I'm not sure the Titanium cylinder is the way to go though. Stainless steel would be more reliable.


    IN THE MEANTIME . . . the few 646 revolvers out there (300 PC guns, and the 800 guns built on L frames using 686-type barrels and the remaining 646 cylinders saved for parts from the only S&W run), represent a rare and desireable gun in the safes of wise collectors! It is also the last new model S&W revolver before they wimped out and put the weep hole lock on the guns in 2002 . . . giving the guns the dubious distinction of being the last "good gun" out of the factory before S&W's then-owners wimped out to the Clintonian pressures of possible law suits and put the damn lock on a REVOLVER!

    Locks belong on revolvers as much as the belong on the ripcord mechanism of a parachute!!! Both these things are used to save your life in a sudden point in time where to delay . . . is to die.

    I'd love to see it come back as a 5-shot K-frame personally . . . with a 3" barrel. Any revolver with a lock on it will never be in my possession either, so the damn locks eventually have to go away if S&W will ever again get my business for new guns.

    Luckily, there are plenty of pristine OLDER guns with all the "right stuff" out there for S&W lovers to acquire and enjoy.

    Here's my latest this year . . . a pristine 1970 S&W Model 27-2. Recessed cylinders that went away in the '80s . . . a pinned barrel that was dropped from S&W production in 1982 . . . forged parts that were replaced by Metal Injection Moulded parts around 2000, the firing pin on the hammer replaced by the frame mounted firing pin of today's models . . . PLUS a checkered top strap . . . and gorgeous, premium wood stocks that are now all replaced by cheaper methods and poorer results.

    Times march on but my standards don't . . .

    [​IMG]
     
  23. bhp9mm

    bhp9mm Member

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    Taurus made 5 shot 40 revolver before but its rare i think they only made like one i saw it sale on gunbroker ruger also made Vaqueros in 38-40 with a extra cylinder in 40 u can also shoot 40 out of the smith and wesson 610 and smith and wesson made a pc and non pc is is my 646 non pc



    [​IMG]
     
  24. .41Dave

    .41Dave Member

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    Unfortunately, a .40 caliber K frame would be impossible to make. There is simply not enough steel in the forcing cone area.

    As for the titanium cylinder on the L frame 646, S&W made it out of titanium due to the relatively high pressure of the .40s&w and the thin cylinder walls left after squeezing 6 .40 caliber holes into the cylinder. S&W engineers felt that a steel cylinder would not be strong enough.
     
  25. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

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    Thanks for the info Dave. That is a shame.
     
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