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M&p 340

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by DAdams, Jun 12, 2007.

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  1. DAdams

    DAdams Member

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    JFH

    Very nice. Looking forward to your report.

    Are there Crimson Trace grips available? If they were would you put them on?

    Have you tried it in the Smart Carry yet? If so do you feel off balance? :D

    Those grips look familar. Similar to the standard Pachs that came on my L Frame 686 CS-1. Circa 1985. Same shape same pattern.

    Very nice...yes indeed.
     
  2. jfh

    jfh Member

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    NG 386: first range trip impressions:

    1. The K/L frame size, the relatively-higher weight (relative to a j-frame lightweight), and that fabulous grip work very well indeed. Only near-max magnum loads (158-gr. running above 1050 fps from 2" / 2.5" barrels) get some noticable hand slap.

    I shot 300 rounds this session, in only the NG386 and the 686P. Callouses all remain uncracked (although that may be due to Vaseline Intensive Care hand lotion, and some new frou-frou stuff my gf brought over for me) and no band-aids were needed.

    2. C&S's rear sight simply do not work well for me (aging eyes). The deep "U" channel, combined with the relatively-smaller front dot, are subject to optic distortion for me. I'll shoot it one more time, but I think I will replace it with a standard S&W adjustable rear sight.

    3. Inherent accuracy is there--I think. See #2 above; more in the mini-review later, c/w target pic(s).

    4. The operational fit is good--very good. B/C gap was measured at .004+.

    5. The action needs breaking-in, of course. The K-frame action (I also have a 686 / 4") has a much-more-defined-"notch" in the pull when all the stacking is done, then a fast release like the single-action pull. I can easily stack the j-frames, but the release is cleaner--which may be strictly a function of "break-in" polishing.

    6. Cosmetically, this sample is "error" free but for two issues: the S&W lasered-logo on the left side strikes me as a bit weak, and the finish on the sideplate does not match up perfectly--it's acceptable--maybe.

    DAdams: Yes, CT grips are available. I will probably get a set. They will go on either the 686P or the NG 386. I'm about to change the bedside gun out to either of these K/L frames--more likely, the 686, I suspect. Then the HD guns will be the 686P, with the NG 386 and the M1 Super90 as BUGs.

    Good news on the grips--they really were the "highlight" of this first session, once one gets beyond the NGF (New Gun=Fun!).

    More later--

    Jim H.
     
  3. loplop

    loplop Member

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    DAdams

    Yep! I love the little M&P 340. I shoot it better in rapid-fire than the 442, and I've had some fun with magnum loads. Recently I shot some GDHP 158gr full-house loads. :what: They kick a little more in the 340 than my M27 :neener:

    I find myself considering the Night Guard revolvers, as well. As you said, they're like the "big daddy" to the 340. You either get more shots (8 357's in the n frame!) or six of a larger caliber. No way would I buy 44mag in that gun, so for me it would either be 45ACP or 357. I'd lean towards 357 because it's such a versatile load--you can get so many different types of ammo you're sure to find something great for it. And don't forget the good old GDHPSB +P in 38spl; I feel comfortable with those in my 340, and I'd feel fine with 8 of them in the NG.

    That said, there's something so FUN about range trips with the 45. And looking at that giant bore is really intimidating. Moon clips make loading a snap, too.

    Yeah, I really am considering a NG. I carry my N frame revolvers (the Thunder Ranch 22 and a M27 in nickel) frequently when I'm not going out and about and I'm not worrying about true concealment. I have a Milt Sparks PMK for the N Frame and it makes wearing them SO comfortable. More comfy than IWB, really, so I actually use it more than one might imagine. Even though the NG barrel is shorter, it should work well in that rig. Of course, if I had a NG, I'd want something IWB for it as the weight suggests out-and-about CCW would be fine. Maybe a Milt Sparks VM2.

    That said, I recently found a M25 3" in 45ACP, nickel plated. OK, so not light like the NG, but I looooove nickel revolvers.

    Thanks for the review jfh. Sounds like it's a nice package.
     
  4. Marvin KNox

    Marvin KNox Member

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    I've lost confidence in Speer .357 "short barrel's".

    Some time back I posted (in another forum) concerning my choosing Speer 135 gr. .357 short barrels for my carry ammo. It was a glowing defense of the pros at Speer and the fine job they had done in providing this special ammo.

    I just posted another post that says:
    -------------------------------------------------------
    "Since then I've read posts about the .357 version of this round loosing it's tip and perhaps then overpenetrating (or under penetrating as the person posting sees things).

    The problem seems to be that these rounds were created for .38's. They work great in them at those velocities. When they are pushed even a little past their design envelope, they cease to perform well. It's because of the special deep and extra serated cavity that allows them to mushroom at very low velocities.

    Speer had this to say (rough quote, but representative):

    "Other .357's have more speed at 100 yards then you do at the muzzle (with a 2" barrel). These short barrel rounds 'should be' better for you. When the 135 gr. bullets are 'over-driven' as they are in the .357 version, the tip may loose it's integrity. But being a bonded bullet the rest will hold together and should continue to penetrate. They should do fine out of the .357 even if that is the case. 'You should be fine with these rounds, They should be an excellent choice in your snubbie."


    "Over driven?" "May loose it's integrity?" Should continue to penetrate?" "Should be an excellent choice in your snubbie?"

    Pardon me, but I've lost confidence. Speer apparently just kicked the designed bullet up a hundred or so fps and called it a .357 magnum. That's true, I guess, they are now in .357 cases after all.

    But obviously they haven't tested them out. Even if they have, it still remains that they are loading a bullet that is being "over-driven" (their words, not mine). Is it too much to ask that Speer design a bullet that wont be "over-driven" when used even one or two hundred fps faster than the .38's? No wonder this .357 ammo is such a weak sister.

    Pardon me, but I don't want to shoot an "over-driven" Gold Dot. Pardon me, but I don't want my Gold Dots to come apart - even if they "should" continue to penetrate without the tip. Pardon me but I expect Speer to specifically design a bullet that works well in my snubbie or just stick to .38's.

    Pardon me, but I've gone to other ammo. I've lost confidence. I'll either shoot full house .357's out of my 340 or I'll go to another tip design (like the DPX) altogether.

    There wasn't all that much gain over the 38+p version to begin with - but there was a little to be gained. I wont shoot "over-driven" bullets that fail at the terminal end of things just to gain that little bit of energy and be able to say that I shoot .357 magnums.

    Shame on me if I do. The life of others depends on my choice of ammo.

    Shame on Speer!

    Anyone think I'm overreacting.

    MARV"
    --------------------------------------------------------

    So what do you guys think?

    It seems like Speer would have just stuffed a little more powder in their .38 short barrels and called them +p's rather than call them .357's if they were going to just use the same bullet. Oh, that's right, they already used up the +p angle on their regular .38's.

    It seems like pros like Speer would just stay out of the .357 short barrel market until they had perfected a bullet specifically for the, say, 1000 to 1100 fps range. I guess they just couldn't resist making a little quick money.

    Hopefully this is why the .357 short barrels have not been available. Perhaps they are tweaking the bullet a little before reissueing it as a .357. That would be nice. I'd be the first to praise their integrity and perhaps even try the round again.

    I've loaded up with the regular .38+p's for now. I really enjoy shooting magnums like the Double Taps. But I don't think that I want to carry those full house magnums for my regular carry rounds. I do want to find a .357 round to carry for some extra "oomph" over the .38's.

    Considering the DPX from Cor Bon. It looks like it will expand every time out, regardless of a hundred fps either way. Great penetration because of the 100% weight retention and yet no over penetration due to the reduced speed.

    Any thoughts on any of this?

    MARV
     
  5. jfh

    jfh Member

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    Marvin:

    Thanks for posting the 'this and that' that you picked up on the other forum.

    I am not surprised about the performance of the GDSB135JHP (my nomenclature) bullet at the 357 Magnum velocities--i.e., nothing a business does is surprising in the kind of judgments they make to drive the profitability of their financial statement.

    I'd like to read more about this issue. Can you provide a link to your posts in the other forum so we can follow along, too?

    And, I'd like to read what Speer has actually said about this issue as well--would you please provide that link?

    I have a PDF file of the original specs for the development of 38+P version. (It's not available online any more--if anyone wants it, e-mail me.) In it, the specs call for a velocity of 860 fps. If the bullet is breaking up / whatever at 110-140 fps greater velocity--and "somewhere" I have picked up the fps range for this bullet to be from about 850 to 1050 (that's true enough, as a field measurement), then it sounds like a development cycle at a nominal 1000 fps spec is in order.

    Personally, I've been wanting to see a GDSB 158, set up to work at 900 fps. In my chrono testing, that is what seems to be a good 158-gr. recipe as a higher-end load in an M&P 340.

    Jim H.
     
  6. loplop

    loplop Member

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    When I first bought my M&P340, it was time to re-evaluate my snub carry load (FBI +P). I looked at, and purchased, both the GDHPSB +P and the 357 version of that load. After some shooting, and some reading of ballistic tests, I settled on the +P load and bought a case. Why? It was a little easier to make follow up shots with, felt recoil was lessened, and it performed just fine in ballistic tests. I felt comfortable in my assumption that the bullet was developed for 38spl, and performed well there; so why throw more powder behind it?

    Seems like it was a good guess :D

    I agree that a 158gr 357 load would be nice. I recently started handloading, jfh, I'll have to start playing with that a bit.
     
  7. jfh

    jfh Member

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    loplop:

    If you scan back through this thread, you can see where I've reported some GDSB 38+P Replica Reloads--e.g., using a 140-gr. LTC bullet in either a 38 Special or a 357 Magnum case to obtain 860-900 fps. And, there has been good discussion of this general recipe in the reloading forum.

    Here is a link to one of those threads.

    There are widely-accepted parameters for the 38 Special "FBI load"--e.g., a 158-grLSWC-HP running, in its more-or-less last specification, at about 820-870 fps from a 2.5" or 3" barrel.

    A 158-gr. LSWC-HP 38 Special reload at todays 38+P spec (18,500 PSI) runs almost exactly 800 fps from a 2" barrel. Obviously, you can build that up nicely in a 357 Magnum case.

    FWIW, I think AA#5 is the the generally-preferred powder to do this with--it works great to build the 140LTC GDSB38+P (or 357 Mag) loads, and likewise with the "FBI-spec" loads. However, if you wander around some reloading forums, you will undoubtedly start hearing about "the Speer #8 loads" that use SR-4756 as the ultimate wonder powder for the FBI spec. It works--I've now shot a fair range of them--but IMO the real wonder powder for these two cartridges may well be Ramshot's True Blue.

    Depending on your reloading skills, either practice ammo type (the GDSB 38+P / 140 LTC, or the FB1-spec 158LSWC can be readily built. At a cost of about 12 cents a round (amortized case usage, 10 rounds), it allows one to practice a lot.

    I've done a lot of chrono work on the FBI-type load in the last couple of months, with several different powders--and the above general spec. is a good place to start.

    As I mentioned above, the 900 fps / 158-gr. recoil is about the max I like to shoot to be able to do "quad fives" back-to-back.

    Jim H.
     
  8. Marvin KNox

    Marvin KNox Member

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    Jim,
    As I said, some of the feedback from Speer came to me after enquiry. I don’t have the e-mail.

    My post is on defensivecarry.com

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbull...0-ive-lost-trust-speer-357-short-barrels.html

    Realize, please, that I’m not really as upset as I let on. It doesn’t surprise me at all. I’m a little upset with Speer, but some of it is just hyperbole. I’m just trying to get a good discussion on the subject to draw the guys out– just like here really. Like they say: if it wasn’t for the minutia (sp.?) what would we have to talk about anyway?

    I’ll just let the guys roll on it awhile and see what I can glean from comments on the situation.

    One of the series of posts that drew my interest originally was one by Jim Walsh here on thehighroad:

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthre...ight=.357+short+barrel+overdriven#post2546300

    I read another comment by a user of the ammo on the Midway sight in the reviews:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=121256

    There have been other posts read elsewhere as well.

    There was a sight where they had pictures of gelatin tests along with a discussion. They were talking about the 135 gr. for short barrels there. They showed the broken headpiece etc. and talked about penetration etc. I’ll be darned if I can come up with the site again. I’d like to.

    I know there is plenty of ammo out there. I also know that 7/8 of a Gold Dot at 990fps is going to hurt a lot. I also know that a little fragmentation along the wound channel is not necessarily a bad thing. I would not be sweating all the time I carried these rounds even with these thoughts.

    But, really, I do think that Speer should have tweaked the big hollow points a little before calling them .357 rounds. They might have been able to push them around 1100 from a snub with little or no flash and ended up filling a better niche than these “over-driven” .38 bullets. I would like a different option of that sort from Speer “Gold Dots”.

    I just like discussions on my new carry gun and ammo for it. I’m going to be OK – even if I get little or no feedback.

    (I kind of hope Speer is listening in, though. Maybe they will “tweak” the projectile. I really like the idea of Gold Dots staying in one piece. I’ll bet Speer does as well. I also like the idea of that round falling very close to half way between “full house .357’s and .38’s. I’ll bet they’d sell much more and cut into some other maker’s market share )
     
  9. 8200rpm

    8200rpm Member

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    I would love to see a "mild" 357 magnum 140gr Gold Dot that can do ~1100 fps from a snub.

    FYI, Corbon offers a 140gr JHP that is rated at 1300 fps (probably from a 4" or 6" barrel). This could be a slightly stouter alternative to the 125gr DPX (1300 fps). But unless I've overlooked something, I see little "wrong" with the 125gr DPX...

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Corbon 357 Magnum 125 gr DPX Ammo.htm

    Seems to work pretty well from a 2.5" barrel.
     
  10. AStone

    AStone Member

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    I'd call that a couple of orders of magnitude better than a stick in the eye. :D

    Then, of course, I'm still shooting an inferior x42 in .38 spl. :rolleyes:

    Yes, it's loaded with Speer GD 135s. :scrutiny:

    I don't feel under powered. :cool:

    Ultimately, I'd like to stoke an M&P 340 w/ those ...
     
  11. jfh

    jfh Member

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    Marvin said: "...I kind of hope Speer is listening in, though. Maybe they will “tweak” the projectile."

    Exactly. I'd like to believe that Speer is hard at work on development--tweaking their bonded jacket specs to produce two rounds:

    1. A 135-gr. GDSB good for ca. 1000-1100 fps.

    2. A 158-gr. GDSB that works from 875 to 975.​

    I don't have a clear sense of the costs to do this--but they would do well to respond quickly to the questions about the suitability of the current 135-gr. GDSB bullet 357 Magnum round.

    8200rpm: Needless to say, the 135-gr / 1100 fps / 2" barrel criteria can be done fairly easily, and safely, with reloading. It does approach the published max load recipes but it is there. A 140-gr. bullet is already there--the Hornady XTP. (However, I am not up to speed on performance characteristics of the this bullet at 1100 fps--i.e., penetration depth, etc.)

    Like nem, I don't feel undergunned with 38+P GDSB 135s in my 340. But, at least part of that is because of my own assessment of my general environment--it is extremely low risk.

    Jim H.
     
  12. loplop

    loplop Member

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    Thanks, jfh, I will investigate the reloading threads. Luckily, I bought a case (1000) of GDHPSB +P's back when ammo cost was cheap (comparatively!) so I have a lot of them to practice with... But I might as well eek out that stash since I'm reloading now!

    I was ordering some other stuff and picked up some Hornady 140gr. Cowboy bullets. I'll give those a try and see how they work out, before I order a gross of cheaper ones. I also ordered some 38spl +p Starline brass cases. I suppose I could use 357 cases, too, although I don't have a ton of 357 brass as I never saved it (I have saved a lot of 38spl!) so I've been using it for Magnum loads.

    The good 'ol M&P340 is such a great pocket carry piece. It slides so easily out of any pocket type. And I think snubs are really fun to shoot; it takes some practice to shoot them "well," and I still shoot my Kahr PM9 a little better, but at <=21ft. I'm pretty good with the snubby now. Good stuff.

    I'm seriously considering one of the new Night Guard models. They do have good triggers. Can't decide whether I want the 45ACP (I've been shooting my Mod 22 a lot lately now that I can reload relatively cheap 45, and I love the 45!) or the 8-shot 357. But it's kinda hard to justify in my collection as I already have the PM9, which is 7 shots of 9mm, in a smaller package. But when you love wheelguns... :)
     
  13. jfh

    jfh Member

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    loplop: I reload both 38 and 357 cases for my "short barrel" reloading database.

    However, I prefer to shoot the 357 cases--there's a LOT less crud cleanup with the longer cases. And, at the medium pressure levels a GDSB 38+P "replica reload" runs, the 357 cases last a long, long time.

    I shot my NG 386 again--and mine has a definite POA issue that I will have to verify with some factory loads. If it is still there--and I see no reason why it won't be--I'll send it in to S&W for tweaking. If they've got the (minor) cosmetic issue of the finish on the side cover sorted out, they can deal with that, too.

    Other than those points, I am basically more-than-satisfied. In fact, I want to buy another of the NG grips to put on my 686.

    A Millet Adjustable sight is arriving today from Brownells, and that will take care of the aging eyes problem I have with the C&S combat rear sight, I imagine.

    Jim H.
     
  14. Marvin KNox

    Marvin KNox Member

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    CorBon DPX 125 gr. .357's?

    8200 RPM (& anyone)

    I meant to comment on your post suggesting these. How do they recoil? How do you like them?

    Anyone else have input on these rounds?

    They seem to fill that niche between full house .357's and .38's pretty good. I figure around 1100 fps from the 2" barrels if Camp's chronograph is typical of their true speeds. That's about 330 ft. lb. The Speer short barrel .357's are around 25% more power than the +p's and these are around 25% more than them.

    That's about where I'd like to be - recoil and performance wise.

    They are expensive. But they sound pretty good to me. It's not like you have to shoot a whole bunch of rounds of carry ammo.

    MARV
     
  15. FranklyTodd

    FranklyTodd Member

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    Well, we slipped off the board, so I thought I'd post a range report.

    I've been shooting my new Sig P239 mostly, but I recently put 100 .38 reloads plus a handful of GDSB .357s through the M&P340 - it's still great!!

    Interestingly, I let two others shoot it. One an experienced shooter (but not a DAO j-frame) the other a total noob. I have the CT grips, and the total noob did better than the experienced guy.

    Both did mediocre, to be honest, but satisfactory for 7 yard self defense. I don't practice nearly as much as some on this thread, but even with modest practice the 340 is reasonably easy to shoot well, and as we know, even easier to carry.

    I have to admit though, if I could fold up my P239 and fit it into my pocket as well as the 340, I may never shoot it again - the 340 fills a niche better than anything out there, but for pure shooting pleasure, I'm loving the Sig!!

    Best to all, and continued safe shooting!

    FT
     
  16. kkebs

    kkebs Member

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    MP340 Speed Loader

    I just picked up my MP340 after much back and forth on SW442 or MP340. I will be taking it to the range this weekend to try this pocket rocket out for the first time. I did not get the CT grips yet and want to just become comfortable with it as is. I need some speed loaders or strips for this new baby so can anyone advise where might be the best place, price etc. Thanks in advance
     
  17. XDShooter07

    XDShooter07 Member

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    I'm like you kkebs; I've gone back and forth on the 442/340 for about 3 months now. I'll be picking up the 340 later this month. The deal breaker for me is mainly the sights. That sight picture is sweet for a little pocket rocket j-frame.
     
  18. kkebs

    kkebs Member

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    My decision was the same as the one you made, but in addition to the xs sights I felt the finish on the MP340 would be more durable and worth the extra couple hundred vrs the 442. Lots of luck with yours....
     
  19. wingslevel

    wingslevel Member

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    ive got a 340PD and M&P340 on hold at $668 NIB to decide on. Like the MP sights, finish and no worry of 357 weights to use (though probably keep it with +P but want it to be able to feed in a pinch from the same strips/loaders carrying .357 that i use for my 60/686).

    not real fond of whate ive heard with the PD cylinders finish wearing off but do like the lesser weight if it really makes a real world difference.

    have not been able to do a side by side comparison for the weight as it will be a pocket carry only so the lighter the better.

    thanks for this thread, have read it several times and is where ive gotten most of my information.
     
  20. DAdams

    DAdams Member

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    Welcome To

    XDShooter07, kkebs and wingslevel.

    Other than my Seecamp .380 for deep cover carry, my M&P 340 gets most of the pocket travel time.

    I liked the pd and almost purchased one until I read about the M&P and waited to handle one and check out the sights. The lightpipes are great during the day and beat the gutters on most S&W J Frames but the XS covers both daytime and night time eventualities.

    Looking forward to your impressions and pictures.

    kkebs:

    You can get both the Bianchi Speedstrips and Safariland Speed Loaders from Midway.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/Bro...tabId=4&categoryId=7233&categoryString=655***

    They are the preferred devices for speedloading. IMO that is. I have HKS and prefer the Safari.
    The Maxfires have issues. If you do a search you will find some details.
     
  21. wingslevel

    wingslevel Member

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    Is there a similar discussion/thread that deals with the 340PD or non M&P version? This one has provided a lot of information relating towards the MP but would like to find info on the PD as well since they are both in the running for me.
    Did a search but found nothing like the 340MP club or the 442 club.
    thanks
     
  22. FranklyTodd

    FranklyTodd Member

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    I don't think so, wings, although I know there's been banter about the differences.

    IIRC, the PD is 1.3oz. lighter (titanium cylinder for PD, stainless for M&P), one is not supposed to shoot .357s lighter than 125gr in it, and the sights are different.

    Someone will jump in and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's about it. There's been some talk about the finish on the PD cylinder being less durable, but that may be more rumor than fact.

    I think you'd get a great deal of info directly applicable to the PD on this thread, and we certainly welcome you to the M&P340 club (yes, I just took it upon myself to speak for the whole thread ;))

    Best,
    FT
     
  23. jfh

    jfh Member

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    I believe a third difference--e.g., beyond the cylinder material / weight detail, is that the PD is equipped with the XS "Big Dot" front sight. At least, that was true when I evaluated both and selected the M&P 340 about fifteen months ago.

    I selected the M&P 340 because 1) I did NOT like the big dot, and 2) I was a bit leery--i.e., a subjective feeling--about a titanium cylinder. Although I can now differentiate weight differences between a 442 and M&P 340 (and probably could therefore do so with a comparison with the M&P 340 and the 340PD) I do consider that weight differnce irrelevant for pocket or underam carry--but I might not think so if I used an ankle holster and carried it as a BUG.

    I think that, early on, the PD cylinders were / are problematic--e.g., it is apparently easy to scratch the chamber surface when cleaning them, and I have heard of binding issues with full-power rounds, IIRC.

    I suggest you use google to search this thread, and at the "Revolvers" forum at the S&W forum--and the internet in general to substantiate these comments.

    Jim H.
     
  24. XDShooter07

    XDShooter07 Member

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    I thought I had heard somewhere that the PD had more problems with crimp jump than the M&P did?
     
  25. kurtiss

    kurtiss Member

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    I had the PD version, and sold it a while ago. I never had any problems with it, I just liked the M&P better. I loved the large site and the finish. I really cid not notice the difference in weight.
     
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