Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

K Frame Forcing Cone Failure

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by 308win, Apr 10, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. 308win

    308win Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    2,918
    Location:
    Ohio - The Heart of it All
    How many rounds would you expect before forcing cone fails when firing high pressure .357 Magnum 125gr loads? If I fire regular pressure loaded with heavier bullets should I expect issues. I have a late 70's production target Model 19 Combat Magnum with a 6" barrel that probably has less than 400 rounds through it but most of them have been 125gr maximum loads.
     
  2. gwnorth

    gwnorth Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    502
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I would think you would be good for thousands of rounds at least (a few k's anyway). It's also not something that is guaranteed at all. Shooting light weight, hot .357 loads does clearly increase the likelihood of forcing cone cracks, but it in no way assures that it will happen. I know a couple of folks with model 19's and other k-frames with many, thousands of rounds through them and they are still tight, sound and shoot just fine.

    To minimize the risk of a catastrophic failure, I would stick with 158gr loads, and do in my model 65-3.
     
  3. harmonic

    harmonic member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,247
    FIY:

     
  4. Radagast
    • Contributing Member

    Radagast Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    8,083
    Location:
    Australia/OZ
  5. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    9,773
    Location:
    Illinois`
    Gunblast=sound advice
    N or L frame blaze away with +p and any magnum load.

    K frames work best with 140 grain magnums and heavier and avoid the +P .38Special stuff altogether.
     
  6. 308win

    308win Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    2,918
    Location:
    Ohio - The Heart of it All
    I don't remember what I loaded with but it wasn't 296 or 110. I only have 50 or so of the 125gr left and I will only use those for SD load.
     
  7. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,640
  8. snooperman

    snooperman Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,143
    I have had my share of K frame problems...

    shooting hot loads over many years. My model 19 went out of timing several times. I have hunted deer and wild boar with it on my land , and have found the K frame lacking. Hence, I only hunt with my Rugers now. If you plan to shoot a lot of 357 magnum loads , buy a Ruger . I do my own reloading and My Ruger blackhawk and sixes have never let me down with my hot loads.
     
  9. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    632
    Location:
    Escondido, CA
    Hi,
    I believe the statement above is accurate for the K frame magnum. There are many articles about the forcing cracking, shooting loose and going out of time.
    I have a model 66 4 inch and still believe it is the best handling revolver Smith ever made. But I shoot 38 specials almost all the time with a occasional few rounds of 158gr 357s. The K frame magnum was meant to shoot 357s only on occasion.
    I leave my heavy duty shooting of full power 357s to my Ruger GP100 4 inch or my Ruger Police Service Six 4 inch. Both can take it. Smith has the 586/686 and 27/28 which would be good choices too.
    Here is another link on a good article on the K frame magnums shooting 357s.
    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/model_19_family.htm

    Good luck,
    roaddog28
     
  10. dispatch

    dispatch Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    344
    Location:
    DFW area
    I just understand why anyone would use less than a flat nosed or SWC 158 grain slug.
     
  11. Confederate

    Confederate Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,103
    Location:
    Bethesda, MD
    This comes up repeatedly on this forum, and there's no easy answers. The best approach is to not wear out a great gun by shooting magnum loads. If you want to shoot extensive magnum loads, get a Ruger Security-Six. And speaking of the Security-Sixes, quite a few had notches cut into the bottom portions of their forcing cones, and they weren't problems.

    The K-frame S&Ws had structural problems other than forcing cone weakness. The blast was distributed throughout the frame, which was weakened by the side plate. Light-bullets tended to eat away at the forcing cones while the heavier bullets adversely affected the frame. Frame warping caused the timing to fail while erosion leeched the carbon from the forcing cone, causing it to crack. Stainless steel resisted erosion more than standard steel, but it wasn't immune.

    A gun with 6,000 hot magnum loads through it would likely be well shot out, and probably would have required retiming twice. A Security-Six would just be getting started -- and there are cases where people have fired well over 30,000 rounds of hot magnum rounds with no problem whatsoever.

    If you have a 19/66 and are determined to shoot light bullets in factory magnum loadings, you might want to consider hard chroming your pistol. It won't stop warping, but it may slow down leeching and gas cutting.

    If I had a nice Model 66, I'd shoot mostly .38s in it (which I do with my Rugers as well).
     
  12. VA27

    VA27 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,854
    Location:
    Slovenly Manor, Dungheap-Upon-The-Hill
    It's not just K-frames. I've shot loose 2 Model 29 N-frames and a 681 L-frame. The 681 was rebuilt by the dept armorer 4 times. He said the next time it would have to go back to Smith, 'cause he'd done all he could do.

    If you use any piece of machinery a lot you will wear it out, it's just the nature of mechanical things. Do you still have your first automobile, lawn mower, chain saw?

    Shoot it and don't worry about it, that's what they're made for. When it needs a tune-up, send it to a specialist and get it fixed.
     
  13. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,020
    Location:
    Northern Orygun
    The .357 K frame was intended for duty use. Practice with .38 and carry .357. I was never intended for a steady diet of .357. If you want to shoot .357 all the time get a L or N frame.
     
  14. evan price

    evan price Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,476
    Location:
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    I load "Cowboy" .357 loads for my "K"-frames using lead 158-SWCs or 125-TCs. Keep the velocity down, use a fast powder, and you'll have no problem. The real cone-eaters were the 110-grain Magnums travelling 1500 FPS or more. Stay under 1100 FPS and you'll do OK.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page