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S&W K-frame, J-Frame, etc; what's the difference?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by UberPhLuBB, Mar 24, 2005.

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  1. UberPhLuBB

    UberPhLuBB Member

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    I don't have a revolver of my own yet, so I figure it's time to get one.

    What exactly is the difference between these frame "sizes," and how else do they vary from one another? J, K, L?
     
  2. Sir Aardvark

    Sir Aardvark Member

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    Well, I'll dive into this one..........

    J frame = Smaller; Lightweight; Holds 5 rounds .38; Shorter Barrel; Hammerless pocket gun configurations available.

    K frame = Standard size; A bit heavier; Holds 6 rounds .38.

    L frame = Beefier in size than the K frame, sort of an intermediate firearm between the K and N frame, designed to stand up to repeated use of .357 mag ammo; Options include 6 or 7 rounds .38/.357 (Model 686).

    N frame = Large frame designed for the .44 mag; Heavy, although an aluminum/titanium model exists and 3" snubbies are available (Model 629).

    X frame = Really big; Really heavy; Shoots the .500 S&W Magnum
     
  3. UberPhLuBB

    UberPhLuBB Member

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    Thanks!

    Just to clarify, is this letter classification a S&W exclusive, or do other manufacturers follow the exact same screw placement and shape?
     
  4. tomkatz

    tomkatz Member

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    To add to what sir aardvark said, you can get .22 and .357 in j-frames and k- frames, and the N frames can be had in .357, .45acp and .45 Long Colt in addition to .44 magnum......tom
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2005
  5. Pistol Toter

    Pistol Toter Member

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    Yeah the letter designation from Sir Aardvark are for Smith and Wessons. Rugers: the Super Redhawks are N frames ++, Redhawks are N frames +, GP series is and L frame + and the SP Series are L frames in a J frame size, or something like that. What are your intended uses for such a firearm? I'm sure that someone here can help with potential recommendations. The final decission will be yours as to what fits your hand and desires. Go to a a good reputable shop and if you have a range nearby that rents guns that will be your best option. Regards P.T.
     
  6. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    No two manufacturers use the same scheme. Comparisons between guns made by different manufacturers are rather difficult, since the fundamental designs are usually very different.
     
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