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In praise of the 3" K-frame revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Preacherman, Nov 19, 2006.

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  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    I thought that given the discussion of various revolvers as self-defense tools, and other threads on various barrel lengths, I'd jump in with what is undoubtedly my favorite carry revolver.

    I submit that the 3" K-frame in .38 Special or .357 Magnum is just about the quintessential carry revolver. Consider:

    - The 3" barrel is just long enough for a full-length ejector rod. Drop to 2½", and the rod has to be shorter.

    - The round butt can accommodate literally dozens of different grip styles, making it very easy to find one that's just about perfect for your hand and fingers. Crimson Trace also make grips for them.

    - The fixed sights on most 3" models are tough, durable, and won't go out of whack if you drop the gun. They won't adjust to accommodate different bullet weights, of course, but you can manually adjust them (file them down or use a bit of weld to build them up) to suit your preferred carry load. For combat accuracy (as opposed to target accuracy) they're perfectly serviceable.

    - The overall size of the gun isn't that much larger than a J-frame, making concealment relatively easy.

    - The 3" barrel is just long enough to give good performance with most defensive loads (e.g. about 900 fps with Speer's 135gr. Gold Dot JHP in .38 Special +P), but short enough that it doesn't get pushed up by the car seat when you sit down.

    - The overall balance of the gun is about as good as it gets.

    - With a moon-clip conversion, reloading is almost as fast as a semi-auto pistol (if you practice, that is!).

    A close second choice is the 2½" adjustable-sighted Combat Magnum (19 or 66), with the slight drawback of lacking a full-length ejector rod.

    I must have owned 8 or 9 of the 3" K-frames. I give them away regularly to my disabled and handicapped students, many of whom are on welfare or social security payments, and can't afford a latest-generation uber-blaster (and probably couldn't shoot it well if they could). Given that many of them have problems with 'limp-wristing' pistols, the revolver's the perfect weapon for them, and this size conceals easily next to their leg or hip in a wheelchair. With a decent action job, it's a wonderful weapon for them - and for me, too! :D
     
  2. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    Preacherman in my younger days I had a model 15 in 2.5. Great shooter and being nickeled was a real looker. I have to agree about K frames as a whole. They are my favorite revolver platform. I have not been blessed with a 3". I would like to find a Model 13 bull barrel in that length.

    Jim
     
  3. sm

    sm member

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    Preacherman ,

    Agree. For too many years I have felt the 3" RB K frame is THE Best as well.
     
  4. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    If I could just find it in blue.....................

    Be careful, I just might start considerin' stainless.....;)
     
  5. bpisler

    bpisler Member

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    I've carried a 3" 65-3 for the last 3 years on a
    daily basis and wouldn't trade it for anything
    else.Not too heavy/not to light,plenty of
    ammo and grips to chose from and the
    sights are easy enough to see.I think they
    are the perfect carry revolver for ccw except
    for pocket carry but ive got my 642-2 just for
    that.
     
  6. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    I don't have any 3" revo's but must say the major factor that would attract me is the ejector aspect.

    Trying to get a clean drop of cases when restricted by shorter ejector rod is sometimes a pain - and often seems to require two stabs - whereas with a full eject throw it is possible to clear all in one hit.

    Yep - 3" K sounds good - it would make a nice addition.
     
  7. michael_aos

    michael_aos Member

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  8. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Preacherman,
    I'll chime in with my agreement. I got your 2nd place gun, a 2&1/2" M66 a few months before I deployed. I love the fixed front ramp coupled with S&W excellent adjustable rear - a surprisingly low snag adjustable sight. Even though it lacks the full length rod as long as one gets the muzzle tilted up and gives the ejector a firm push, as should be done with any revolver, case extraction as been quite positive and reliable. As sm says "They don't eject up." Balance is excellent, and the old K-frames just sit right on the hip in a holster IWB or OWB. The balance and grip surface of the mid size frame also make it quite shootable. The accuracy potential of that little M66 snub surprised me - I can't wait to get home to shoot it more and get better with it.

    With the K-Frame recently discontinued in 357 Mag versions, and only a few variants chambered in 38 Special still hanging on we've lost some great carry guns. Fortunately Ruger still makes the slightly bigger than a J Frame, slightly smaller than a K Frame, SP-101. As I said in the SP-101 thread currently running, were I not able to find a good used short bbl K-Frame the SP-101 would be my next choice. Yes, you lose one round with a capacity of 5, but 5 rounds of 357 Mag, or even 38 Spc. +P is nothing to scoff at. I'll stick with K Frames as long as I can, but it's good to know that there's a viable alternative if need be.
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The easiest solution I've found to adjusting the sights for point-of-aim/point-of-impact is to have a gunsmith mill down the original front sight, and then cut a dovetail to fit one of the popular sights made for various automatics. You can drive it in the dovetail to adjust for windage, and file it down to do the same for elevation. Works on any barrel that has a heavy rib.
     
  10. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Last month I bought a 3" Model 65 Smith from CDNN. I'd been wanting a Model 13 for a long time, but NOBODY in this part of Ohio has any. I'm not a fan of stainless steel, but I was willing to compromise in order to get the equivalent of a 13.

    It's the ideal size for a CCW revolver, has the flexibility of .38 Special or .357 Magnum, and points naturally.

    When I took it to the club, everybody who handled it asked, "Who did the trigger job?" I just said, "It came that way."
     
  11. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    This would be my ideal, a 3" mid-weight barrel on a K frame. These were made for a Model 10 and a very few model 12s, I would love one on a 13.

    [​IMG]
    This is my 3" 13 and a 4" 65 that was a 3".
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Prefer the L frame in .357 but everything else is SPOT ON FOR ME.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. ACP230

    ACP230 Member

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    It seems to me that three-inch K-frames are the revolvers that look the most balanced. Four-inch guns are close, but three-inchers are just closer.

    I have a Charter Arms Pathfinder .22 three-inch and haven't shot it yet.
    It sure feels good in the hand and points right where I look when I bring it up one-handed. A three-inch M657 is bigger but still feels good to me. A K-frame would probably feel better than either.

    An M65, or an M64, is on my "get" list.
     
  14. steveracer

    steveracer Member

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    Where are you getting them???

    I have been looking for a 3" k-frame .357 for YEARS!
    Somebody have one they want to sell?
    Steve
     
  15. absolute0

    absolute0 Member

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    That's what I'd like to know Steve. I love the K frame Smiths and the 3" barrel intrigues me, but I don't ever recall seeing one.
     
  16. Bullet Bob

    Bullet Bob Member

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    Here's one of mine:

    standard.gif
     
  17. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    CDNN had a bunch last month. All gone now.

    Keep an eye open there and at Summit Gun Broker.
     
  18. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I was issued a Model 65 3" just before leaving federal service, I think it was developed for that. We were issued the 110grain +p+ treasury load for it. It was a pretty good concealed carry weapon , I used a Bucheimer scabbard that was pretty flat , with no complaints .:cool:
     
  19. bigmike45

    bigmike45 Member

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    I ran across this 3" 65-5 that has been made DAO by the S&W Performance shop. It has the nicest trigger of any revolver I have ever shot. It is super accurate.

    HPIM0559.gif

    HPIM0558.gif
     
  20. baker

    baker Member

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    I have had a J-frame for a few years, and THEN I stumbled across a k-frame snub.

    Then I had to have one that was pinned and recessed.

    Then I had to have a 3" P&R round butt.:cool:

    Now the 3" is at S&W for an action job, & reset cyl. gap:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2006
  21. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Baker - you have a 3 FOOT K-frame at S&W? :what: :eek: :uhoh: :scrutiny:

    :neener:
     
  22. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

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    If I could find a 3" round butt M10, i'd have bought it already:banghead:
     
  23. baker

    baker Member

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    It's one of a kind:neener:
     
  24. Marko Kloos

    Marko Kloos Moderator Emeritus

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    Got two...a Model 13 and a Model 10. Both take turns as carry guns.

    [​IMG]

    The Model 13 by itself:


    [​IMG]
     
  25. Jkwas

    Jkwas Member

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    Here's mine. Picked it up at JG sales. Australian trade-in.
     

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