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S&W K Frame 3" bbl

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by wrs840, Aug 16, 2011.

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  1. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    The short set-up for this question is: The more I target shoot, the more I love revolvers, S&W in particular, .38s in specific. My current favorite is a 64-5 4"bbl, April 1989 production, that I bought as a police-trade off the internet a couple years ago. For whatever reason, I shoot it better at 50 feet than any other handgun I own.

    I ran across a M64-8 3"bbl in a pawn shop today, yeah, it has the ILS, (which really doesn't bother me much), but it's in great shape, and the action is wonderful. The action is so good, in fact, that I need to make sure the strain-screw isn't the culprit, but I'm seriously considering dropping close to $500 for it.

    I guess my only real question is: how hard is it to find 3"bbl S&W k-frame .38s (should I hold off or jump), and is there anything peculiar to the 64-8 that I should be wary of?

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    The only reason to hold off is if you don't like the ILS. I don't like it myself and look for older revolvers without the lock.

    But, if that doesn't bother you, I can't think of any other reason to hold off.

    $500 may be a bit much, but I'm not up on current later model Smith prices, so I'm not sure.

    I love the 3" K frame myself. Check out the Model 65 3" some time.
     
  3. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    3" k-frames with fixed sights aren't all that common, but they're not super rare, either. 3" k-frames with adjustable sights, however, are rare, and, when I've seen them, commanded a hefty premium.

    IIRC, the 64-8 has a 2-piece barrel. Some decry 2-piece barrels as simply a cost-cutting measure that S&W took to cheapen their gun, but, in fact, the guns that were fitted with the 2-piece barrel have a particular reputation for excellent accuracy.

    The only other issues are related to this. A 3" 64 is a fine gun. A 3" 65 .357mg is probably the best all-around revolver I can think of. But, for target work, adjustable sights are preferable. And a 4" barrel for the extra sight radius. S&W still makes the 4" Model 67, precisely a 3" 64 with a longer barrel & adjustable sights. They were made for a little while with a 2-piece barrel, but recently went back to 1-piece, I believe. The blued version of the 67 is the 15, which can be bought used.

    There is a lot to be said for a gun that's slick right from the factory, as there's no guarantee another will be as good. Fortunately, they all tune up nicely. BTW, I have a 3" 65, and its factory action is a rare gem too. Check it out.
     
  4. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

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    Cool vid, mrborland! I'll have to give that a try with my own 65-3 3"...
     
  5. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator

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  6. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Thanks. It was fun to do, but it was was a great mental and relaxation exercise as well. There's a Part II if you haven't seen it yet.

    Sure, give it a whirl. It obviously takes a very smooth action to cycle the action with a coin balanced on edge, but just getting the coin balanced on edge takes a bunch of practice, but even that's very worthwhile, IMO. Be sure to post a vid or pics if you get there (fwiw, it took me several days of practice just to get the coin balanced with my weak arm by my side).

    True, but AFAIK, they were early run guns, and the problem was later fixed. The thing is, the public met them with suspicion, no doubt helped along by the early failures, so they didn't sell particularly well, which, I understand is why S&W went back to a 1-piece design.
     
  7. oldbear

    oldbear Member

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    Many consider the 3" smith's to be the perfect carry/ self-defense revolver. I've never owned or shot one so I can't comment. I do know that these are becoming somewhat harder to find on the open market and are not getting any cheaper, so if you can AFFORD it you might as well buy now when you can. Good luck.
     
  8. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    and the MIM parts, and the 2 pc barrel

    That said...many people are happy with the "new and improved" S&W revolvers.

    I would not even consider it.

    YMMV
     
  9. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    I have a S&W model 60-4 .38 Special, 3" barrel and adjustable sights; cicra
    1990. I like this weapon very much as a CCW~! ;) :D Oops, its a J-frame
    S&W; not a K-frame.
     
  10. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    The last time I saw a 3" M66 they were wanting $600+. :eek:
    And they sold it, too. And quickly.

    I've since acquired a 4" M66 and am a little bit sorry I didn't jump on the 3". They are that good.
     
  11. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    Well, I traded a worn-out police-trade 3913 +$100 flat for it today. Came with box and original papers and accessories. Yes, it has MIM parts and is the first two-piece bbl Smith I own, but I already have a much nicer 3913 than the one I traded (and a 908), and ...now I have my very first 3" K-frame.

    I shot it today and I'm very pleased. The strain screw had been backed off about 1/4 turn, I put it back where it belongs, and it made little difference on what really caught my attention in the first place: great action (even better than my much-loved 64-5). Here it is, along with my 64-5. (sorry for my crappy iphone photo)...
     

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  12. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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  13. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    ^^^^^
    Those are 4"bbl. ...Or am I missing something?
     
  14. Jeb21

    Jeb21 Member

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    I have the sister of this gun. It is wonderful. Neither the lock nor the 2 piece barrel have given me the slighted problem (and I have owned the revolver for 6+ years and have used the gun for range work, IDPA competition and ccw. Get the gun you will be very happy with it.
     
  15. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Gunbroker has 2 or 3 S&W 64 3 Inchers for well under $400...a couple right at $300.

    35W
     
  16. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Three inch Kframes are fantastic carry guns, no less accurate than 4", and with the heavy barrels, recoil action isn't noticeably different than the longer, but lighter, barreled models. Sweet guns. Wish I could afford another one.
     
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