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New S&W K-frame .357?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by peacebutready, Aug 14, 2014.

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  1. peacebutready

    peacebutready Member

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    Looks like S&W brought back their K-frame in .357. Anyone know if these can take a steady diet of .357 factory loads?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No.
    They haven't been out long enough to tell yet.

    But with a lifetime warranty?
    It seems very likely S&W testing thinks they will.

    Or they will go broke repairing them free.

    rc
     
  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Of course unless you have a track record there is no way to know for sure BUT I highly doubt S&W would re-release their K frame .357 Magnum unless it will hold up. Besides, the factory .357 Magnum ammo of today is not the same as it was back in the 70's...

    I'm betting the new M66 doesn't have the cut-out at the bottom of the forcing cone which was the point of weakness on the original .357 Magnum K frames.
     
  4. peacebutready

    peacebutready Member

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    Off Topic: About 200 fps difference, right?

    On Topic: This new K-frame is something like 36.5 oz. That's light.
     
  5. Snubshooter

    Snubshooter Member

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    My guess is that the same changes they made in the L frames to make a 69 would translate to the K frames to do a very reliable .357.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, thats heavy.
    The old K-Frame Model 19 / 66 Combat Magnum was listed at 36 oz. with a 4" barrel.
    Closer to 40 oz loaded.

    Light weight was the only reason there ever was for the Combat Magnum in the first place.

    Without going into great detail on the history of them, police wanted a lighter .357 Magnum they could carry a lot, and shoot a little.

    A man named Bill Jordan had all to do with getting S&W to make the first ones as the ultiment, easier to carry all day, .357 LEO belt gun of the time.

    And it was.

    If you want a heavier, heavy duty, shoot 1,000 rounds a week .357?
    Buy an L or N frame .357.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  7. peacebutready

    peacebutready Member

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    The new one has a 4.25" barrel.
     
  8. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    The K frames where faulted for cracking the forcing cone in the thinned out part at the bottom due mostly to full powered 125gr JHP's. If you look at the picture of the forcing cone of the new model 66 vs the older model shown from the "Gunblast" article you can see that it no longer has a thinned out are at the bottom so it looks like S&W has "fixed" the problem and one should be able to shoot any .357 mag ammo loaded by the major companies (Fed, Win, Rem, CCI, Hornady) without fear of damaging the forcing cone.

    As to if it "can take a steady diet of .357 factory loads?", that will depend upon the definition of "steady diet" and who's factory loads. Like any gun, heavy loads from Buffalo Bore or DRT will likely wear the gun out faster than loads by Win, Fed, Rem, CCI, Etc. All things mechanical will wear out eventually but I'd wager you will spend many times the cost of the revolver in ammo before you wear it out and even then it will likely be able to be rebuilt.

    NEW
    SampWnew66.jpg

    Vs OLD
    Fig-3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  9. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    To quote South Park, "Blame Canada."

    Canadian min. Barrel length is 4.2" iirc.
     
  10. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    If they bring back the 2.5" I'm snapping one up.

    If it's alloy framed with night sights I'll knock over little gray haired grandma's To get one.
     
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I wold definitely be interested in a new K frame .357. Never should have traded my Model 13.
     
  12. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Not loving the black trigger, cylinder release button, and hammer (?). Not loving a glass bead finish either.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  13. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    105 mm / 4.13 in ;)

    Ruger did this first I believe, so I'm guessing they sold a lot of 4.2" GP100s up there. S&W seems to be following their lead.
     
  14. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Me neither. I recently handled a M69 that has it's fit and finish along the same lines as the new 66. It did nothing for me. To each his own though.

    I'm sure they are useful sidearms. But as RC said, it is impossible to know at this point if they will hold up. I don't care to be a test driver on this go around.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  15. edmo01

    edmo01 Member

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    I am smitten with S&W revolvers and own more than a few, including a mid '80s production 4" model 19-5 K frame. The K frames are a great balance of size, weight, and power. The L frames came about to fix some of the K frame weaknesses with magnum rounds. My 686 L frame has been flawless in the 25 years I've owned it.

    All of my older S&W revolvers have been great. However, I've owned four new production S&W revolvers and only one of those four hasn't had issues. Not a good track record for me. The lifetime warranty is a great thing, but I don't want to use it on almost every new gun!

    The ones I've had with issues have been a 642-1 (misfires - replaced), a BG38 (misfires - replaced), and a 640 Pro Series. The 640 was the replacement for my broken 642 and arrived with numerous issues straight from S&W. It was never fired, boxed back up, and is currently back at S&W for repairs. This replacement process is currently at five months and it will be another two-three weeks (at least).

    I guess I'm an unlucky S&W revolver guy, but my thoughts on current production guns is to look them over very closely before you buy.

    Edmo
     
  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I know that cracked forcing cones are documented for K magnums, but they are not a certainty. A guy here fired a documented 6000 rounds of magnums through his M19 with no damage.
    But they were "traditional" magnums, 160 gr SWCs and lots of #2400; none of these 125 gr blowtorches.
    (Another of that group just flat wore out a Blackhawk .45, they were shooting a LOT in the 1970s.)
     
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I read the original laws were 100mm but of course they wanted to make thing difficult on the people to own guns so they lengthened the min barrel to 105mm. I'm happy Ruger and then S&W countered with making the barrels a little longer to comply with the arbitrary barrel length and allow the people of Canada to again legally own a nice revolver.
     
  18. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Odds are the gun will hold up better than the shooter's wrists/hands, and as RC stated, with a lifetime warranty, why would you worry about it?
     
  19. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Yeah, me too; lock and MIM notwithstanding ...
     
  20. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I've got two, a 66-2 and a -5, both snubs. Both of those have had each, at least several thousand full house jacketed 296 / H110 loads run through them, especially the -2 I've had since the 80's. And although I haven't put a whole lot of 110's and 125's through them, they have had a good deal, again all full house 296 / H110 stuff.

    I keep the FC's clean of any possible build up, as that is what greatly contributes to their failure.

    They aren't as weak as one might think, IMO.

    GS
     
  21. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    If it's a true K-Frame...you'll lose your bet.

    The reason for the cut was to allow the crane to clear the forcing cone in the K-Frame window.

    Actually, any jacketed bullet loaded to .357 levels is hard on the K-Frame forcing cone. Shooting lead bullets is the answer to that particular problem.

    This.

    Jordan's caveat: .38s for practice and .357s for business." was sound advice for K-Frame .357 owners. Sadly, too many ignored it...and the result ushered in the L-Frame. Smith & Wesson was losing money repairing and/or replacing Model 19s and 13s...so the L-Frame was mostly their way of throwing in the towel.
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Since SAAMI neutered the pressure limits of .357 in the early nineties (was discussed on another thread) when the J frame magnums came out, I'd think an old k frame, new K frame, whatever, would handle any modern factory load just fine. I shot many 158 grain cast gas checked SWCs over 14.5 grains 2400 out of my M19 which I sold off 20 years ago. It never had a problem with those loads and they were hotter than today's standards. They were the late Skeeter Skelton's standby and i figure if it was good 'nuf for Skeeter......;D

    I'm glad they did away with the flat at the bottom of the forcing cone, if it's true, even if they had to make a little more room in the frame. I had that split on my M10 from lead build up at the forcing cone (my theory) and had to rebarrel it. Wasn't just 125 grain Super Vels that were hard on that forcing cone. You really have to keep the lead out of 'em from standard cast bullets.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    We all know it's not a true K frame. If it were there would be no ILS, forged instead of MIM parts and not fitted with a 2 piece 4.25" barrel either. This is why I said "new" K frame. I think my wager is safe. ;)
     
  24. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I thought the New 66 had potential but the 4.25" barrel is a liability.

    IDPA revolver shooters (all 10% of the membership) were limited to 4" barrels until the Canadian wing got it increased to 4.20" to pass their Anti's sniff test.
    Now we are talking about measuring the barrel from forcing cone to muzzle instead of cylinder face to muzzle so the nominal 6 thou of cylinder gap isn't included.

    S&W is a major sponsor. Did they not have anybody there who knew the rules? Did they really care?
     
  25. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Maybe they thought the M64 and M67 had that covered since they are still fitted with a 4" barrel. Does anyone in IDPA shoot .357 Magnum ammo or are the two .38 Specials good for their needs?
     
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