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Are alloy-framed revolvers junk?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by A strange person, Aug 23, 2011.

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  1. A strange person

    A strange person Member

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    OK, to make it short: I need a good, light, concealable carry gun, I like (the idea of) reloading for only one caliber, I like that caliber to be the .44MAG, and I have been eyeing the alloy-framed .44MAG snubs available from Taurus and S&W. The only problem is that I don't know anything about alloy-framed revolvers.

    What are the known issues with scandium and titanium revolvers? Should I stay away from max loads in them (not that I'd use anything more than .44 special-ish loads in such a weapon)? Is there any difference between a steel revolver and an alloy revolver other than that the latter is lighter and more expensive?
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    My oldest alloy gun is a 1966 vintage. It is far from junk.
     
  3. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    They`re just not meant to go to the range & bang 300 rnds a visit .

    Some are very hi quality revolvers ,I consider em not meant for heavy use & there useful lives can be shortened with hi pressure loads.
     
  4. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    My 55 Cobra is wonderful
     
  5. kludge

    kludge Member

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    You can reload .44 Special with the same dies.
     
  6. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    I have a beautiful little S&W Model 37 Airweight, definitely not junk and I have a Taurus Ultralite in 32 H&R Magnum, also definitely not "JUNK"!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. A strange person

    A strange person Member

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    That's plan B.
     
  8. A strange person

    A strange person Member

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    The only loads I would use in it are my .44-40-duplicate loads that I use in my rifle for practice and small game hunting. WAY below max pressure for the .44MAG. That will probably let it live a long life.
     
  9. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    No gun (or any other tool for that matter) that can reliably perform its designed function is junk.
     
  10. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    CzechpointUSA is now bringing in some interesting alloy framed revolvers from AlphaProj in the Czech Republic at a decent price, and Czechpoint stands behind all their products.
     
  11. pendennis

    pendennis Member

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    I own, and carry, a S&W Model 325NG. While I don't want to stand at the range and put 1k rounds down range a lot, it's a solid revolver. I use only ammunition loaded up to reload manual specs.
     
  12. Drail

    Drail Member

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    If comparing it to the same gun made from high grade steel, yeah, they're junk IMO. Ultra lightweight guns are not much fun to actually shoot.
     
  13. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    If you like to shoot a lot and buy alloy-framed revolver you will need second revolver for range use (something heavy, ugly and indestructible like Ruger GP100 comes to mind). I have only one handgun now and it's S&W Model 12-2 but I hate to shoot and for me the so called practice is total waste of time and money. I can go to range anytime and place all my holes inside of dixie size plate at 10 yards or less even in "rapid fire" mode.
     
  14. PreMod70

    PreMod70 Member

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    Plan A will get you a quicker visit to a orthopedic surgeon than Plan B but both will do the trick if you shoot that light of a .44 very often.
     
  15. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    Depends on what the alloy is. You can do some pretty amazing things with aluminum, but it still won't hold up like steel. But it'll be a whole hell of a lot lighter. On the other hand I have a heritage .22 with a cast zinc-alloy frame that I wish I hadn't bought.
     
  16. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Aluminum frame revolvers made by mainline manufacturers are not junk, and in .44 Magnum - which I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole - the gun will likely outlast the shooter's hand. In .44 Special they are still a handful (pardon the pun) and given the revolver's weight vs. cartridge recoil I much prefer an all-steel gun.

    Taurus has recently introduced an aluminum/steel combo in .44 Special which might float your boat. Charter Arms has some .44 Special models, but I believe they are all steel.

    Titanium is lignt, strong, but elastic. There have been problems, especially in cylinders, and I recommend you pass on it.
     
  17. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I agree on the 10ft pole but I have seen some reports of guys wearing out the S&W .44Mag's. Actually, I think Paul105 has worn out two of them. Personally, I don't wanna shoot a .44Mag ligher than the 629MG.
     
  18. kludge

    kludge Member

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    In that case, might I suggest the following...

    165 GR. LRNFP CAST IMR Trail Boss .430" 1.500" 6.0 960 17,200 PSI 8.0 1086 18,800 PSI
    185 GR. LRNFP CAST IMR Trail Boss .430" 1.540" 6.2 936 19,500 PSI 7.8 1050 21,100 PSI
    200 GR. LRNFP CAST IMR Trail Boss .430" 1.570" 6.1 890 17,900 PSI 7.7 988 20,700 PSI
    240 GR. LSWC CAST IMR Trail Boss .430" 1.620" 6.0 828 19,100 PSI 7.3 917 21,600 PSI

    I wouldn't worry too much about the reliability of the gun with hot loads... It's not like your going to want to shoot that many of them. I would worry more about the ammo jumping crimp. And that stinging sensation in my hands.

    The Trail Boss loads above will kick, but nothing like regular .44 Mag loads.
     
  19. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I am aware of several cases where a Smith & Wesson aluminum frame/.44 Magnum sent the barrel downrange with the bullet :what:. But this apparently was caused by a manufacturing defect.

    I think that the gun builders concluded long ago that the shooter would give up long before the revolver did. Of course they're are exceptions to any rule.

    One who handloads can download the Magnum, but why bother when .44 Specials are available?
     
  20. easyg

    easyg Member

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    Definitely not junk.
    Aluminum alloy frames have been used for decades and have proven themselves quite durable.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    It depends on what alloy. A good aluminum alloy, such as is (or was) used by Smith & Wesson or Colt, is very durable.
     
  22. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    started as a two piece barrel, ended as a two piece gun
     
  23. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    If I remember right, Paul's just shook themselves to pieces. Not defective. Just more shooting than S&W ever planned on anyone doing with one.
     
  24. webfox

    webfox Member

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    No disrespect to the other post, but I disagree with getting a heavy range gun and using a light EDC one. The POI will be different, behave differently, and getting back on target will take different timing. Since we're talking .44 mag, I'd be esp. careful about overpenetration and missed shots. The firearm should, at the least, behave as you expect it to, and have practiced with, in a stressful situation.

    Definitely find a good gun and practice with IT, not a substitute, unless it's the same make.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  25. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    I've tried a few of the lightweights, the new ones with the two-piece barrel, (L-frame .357, J-frame .357 and J-frame 22 mag) and have found them to be less accurate (sometimes drastically) than the old airweight revolvers with the one-piece barrel. I will not buy another.
     
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