SW 340PD ported?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by d'zaster, Sep 24, 2022.

  1. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

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    Hey Guys,
    I was at the local gunshop and noticed a 340 PD scandium frame 357. It's ported and is very clean.
    I know shooting 357 loads will be no fun but I have been shopping for a j-frame revolver for CCW. My questions......
    Did S&W produce a ported version of this snubby?
    Is this rare and I should jump on it before it finds another home?
    If you have one, do you like it? and have you compared ported vs not ported?
    Is the 340 PD too crazy and I should just steer clear?
     
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  2. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Member

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    I don't claim to know about all the variants that have come out over the years but I have got to shoot some lightweight .357 J-frames. I would rather shoot 454,475's and 500's all day than one of those. It's going to be crazy. Good for carry, borderline nightmarish to shoot. To me the 340 is worse than the 360.
     
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  3. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    To the best of my knowledge, S&W did not port these. There is always a chance of special distributor runs, and always the chance that I don't know what I'm talking about, but odds are the porting is aftermarket.

    I personally am not a huge fan of porting, but opinions vary. The 340PD already is a loud and violent thing, so the porting probably won't change much. I wouldn't let it affect your decision, as long as it appears to you to be professionally done.

    For carry, it's a great gun. For shooting, it's just awful. With full house .357 loads it is the most difficult gun I've ever used, and I don't especially mind the 4" 500 Magnum. Gun writer Mike Venturino called it a great .38 Special and I'm inclined to agree.
     
  4. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I've never seen a ported one but IMO it's not a bad idea if you plan to actually shoot .357s in it. Hot .38s are enough for me in that thing.
     
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  5. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

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    Thanks for your replies! I did some checking and while the porting looks like it was done very well, I don't think it's right for me. With such a light gun, i'd likely not be regularly shooting 357 loads which is fine.
     
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  6. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Differing with a PP, I much prefer the Centennial 340 to its exposed hammer cousin. The humpback can sit lower in your hand, reducing the bore axis.
    Originally got mine as a hiking gun (it's old enough that mine is marked 340SC), for which it is superb; little weight, and lets you carry two snakeshot, followed by 3 magnums as last ditch GTFOM for bears. I've some Fiocchi 140 TCFMJs that clock 1100 from a snub. They are no fun to shoot, but .38s aren't bad, especially full charge wadcutters, loaded to the same level as the old 158 gr RNL.
    For the OP, how is the price on the used gun? A new one is close to a $K. Does it pass the usual revolver tests? They are a great gun; an exposure to a ported SIG makes me think the venting won't be that big a deal.
    Moon
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2022
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  7. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

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    Price of the used ported 340PD is $900. It's clean and clearly has not been shot much as far as I can tell. I've decided not to go with ported although it looks like quality work my magna port.
     
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  8. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

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    I've always been sorta drawn to the 340 PD with the super lightweight package for CCW. I know 357s would be no fun but would likely be shooting 38 and +p most of the time.
     
  9. megatronrules

    megatronrules Member

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    D'zaster it most likely is a magnaport porting job. I've owned a couple of 340PD's through the years. My current EDC is a 340M&P the 340PD's black stainless steel cylinder PVD coated night sight wearing cousin.

    The gun is going to have a vicious recoil with full power 357 Magnum ammo yes. However any of the self defense tailored Magnum ammo like speer gold dot short barrel 357's or the Hornady critical defense both of which I've shot through both the 340PD and 340M&P. Yes they have bad recoil, however it's not anything you can't control. Also grips play a large role on this as well. My gun wear crimson trace LG405 laser grips which really help with recoil control and there are some grips without the laser that cover that back strap and will also help with recoil and to mitigate pain.

    That price you mention for that gun in this current climate isn't bad either. I was blessed to buy my 340M&PCT with the S&W logo crimson trace LG405 laser grips for $680 out the door.

    My gun weighs 13.8oz. on my postal scale loaded with 5 357 Magnum soft jacketed hollow points. The PD when ammo is Factored in weighs 2-3 ounces lighter due to the titanium cylinder being 40% lighter than the black stainless steel cylinder my gun uses. I've carried just about everything over the last 20 plus years and I keep coming back to the airlite centennial J frames for EDC. I hope this helps you in your decision sir.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2022
  10. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    I have one. It's a painful gun. The airweight j-frame is 14.4 oz, while the 340 PD is 11.8 oz. So even 38 Specials can hurt. It depends on how many you shoot. With 357, there can be a big difference between a high-pressure load with a fast powder and a high pressure load with a slow powder. Neither is 38 Special. They're both full-357 Magnum pressure, but the fast powder might send a bullet 850 fps out of that short barrel, whereas the slow powder will send the same bullet 1200 fps. You might think 850 fps is like 38 Special, but that same powder and bullet at 38 Special pressure levels would be 700 fps. To get 850 fps at 38 Special pressure levels, it takes a slower powder and the pressure curve is different, and the feel and sound are different. The heavy magnums with slow powders (Win 296) out of a 340 PD are hard. To me, it feels like holding my hand out for someone to smack it with a 24" long 2x4. It's violent. It hurts, but it can be done without an injury. A more modest 357 load with a fast or medium powder and 125 grain bullet will be more practical to shoot a box of.

    The j-frame has a terrible trigger. I love S&W's DA K/L/N frame triggers, but the j-frame is not like them at all. Not only is it hard, but the spring pressure ramps up and then lets off before the sear breaks. It's not like a Colt where the pressure stacks and then breaks. The j-frame has a spike and then more travel after the spike before it breaks. I've put bigger grips on j frames and they're still too small to hold. I have large hands but not huge and thin fingers. I can hold it one hand fine. Getting two hands around it is difficult. There's just nowhere for all the fingers to go.

    I took my 640 j-frame out yesterday and fired 70 Magnums. This is a 22 oz gun, but it's not comfortable after firing that much. My L-frames, I can fire 250 Magnums or more with no discomfort. I think a lot of people carry j frames, LCR's, K6's without training with them or without shooting them much. I've done a lot of classes in 4 different states over the last several years and I've never once seen anyone with a j-frame. I saw one guy with an 9mm LCR and he had to quit after the first day until someone lent him a GP100. I've sold some of my j frames off and will sell the rest soon because I don't subscribe to this practice. I've done training (3 day classes) and shot thousands of rounds through my 3" L frame. That's what I would recommend for a small carry revolver -- or a 2.75" K frame, GP100 or maybe a Colt King Cobra. If you had moon clips or a half-dozen speed loaders, you could train with that in any class and shoot plenty in practice and not have any issues. Personally, I greatly prefer longer barrels, but that begins to get off topic.
     
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  11. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Yeah, I still am tempted by them. The first time I picked one up I was utterly shocked by the weight. Like picking up an empty gallon jug that you thought was full, I nearly tossed it into the ceiling. I'm sure you could pop the thing into a pocket and hardly know it was there.

    But I also remember being shocked by the recoil. The first shot with full-patch Magnum loads was astonishing; so unpleasant that I couldn't really believe it. I actually checked the gun over to make sure it hadn't exploded. The second shot confirmed for me that that truly was the result to expect, and shots three through five were made with my eyes closed and are still flying so far as I know - I certainly didn't hit anything with them, at least not on purpose.

    As a last-ditch gun - something you would be more likely to have on you, and something to use when you otherwise are so scared that you won't even notice the recoil - it may be just the ticket. The idea of practicing with it, though...
     
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  12. megatronrules

    megatronrules Member

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    I forgot to mention in my original reply that the 340 scandium J frames do have advantages over their alluminum Airwieght brothern. That being as already mentioned their lighter weight. They also have pinned front sights so changing front sights is simple and easy.

    Also being it's a 357 Magnum it can shoot any .38 special ammo without worry. They are not for everyone as others have mentioned. I will also say my 340M&P does seem to recoil a little less than the 340PD also there was no bullet crimp jump and erosion issues with Ti cylinder guns.,the latter is caused by using 357 ammo under 125gr weight. This is another reason I prefer the M&P version to the PD version of the 340,no restrictions on what 357 ammo that can be used. I've never had a round jump crimp in my M&P340 and the errosion issue is non-existent because the cylinder isn't titanium. So you clean it like any other cylinder.,no need for special cleaners or brushes.

    Some things to also be aware of with the titanium cylinder guns,I'm not sure if you know about these last few issues.

    That's why I prefer the M&P version of the 340 J frames. They have a night sight up front and a larger U notch cutout rear sight.

    I agree with another member here who said once that those are bigger advantages than the fact it's chambered in 357 Magnum. There are a lot of excellent.38 special rounds available today that even out of a J frame perform very well. I wouldn't hesitate to and have carried my 340 J frames with .38 special ammo. There are carry methods such as pocket,ankle and even for people like me with a bad lower back where every ounce of weight saves does count,and I believe that's where these guns truly shine.
     
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  13. eddiememphis

    eddiememphis Member

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    Guns like this are the result of the "smaller and lighter is better" phase we are currently experiencing.

    It is often pushed by tactical bros that say you need at least four 15 round magazines or are undergunned. They tend to espouse the paradigm that unless a gun is light, it will not be carried.

    So some poor fool bought a 20 ounce .357, thinking he will replace quantity with power, and recoiled at the recoil.

    He then sought a remedy for the "24 inch 2x4" to the palm he felt. Porting a 2 inch barrel is not a good idea. Ballistically, it makes a short barrel even shorter, losing as much as 200 fps. It likely does nothing to mitigate felt recoil as porting tends to reduce muzzle flip, directing even more energy to his soft, mouse operating hand.

    He probably traded it for a 3" polymer striker gun like all the tier 1 tacticians say he needs to carry to be safe. He added a trigger and a slide and stippling and a sweet kydex holster and still wonders why he can't hit what he is aiming at.
     
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  14. eddiememphis

    eddiememphis Member

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    I have heard about erosion with lighter .357 bullets. I thought it was the top strap, not the cylinders. Are you saying it only happens with titanium? I was told never to load 125s with H110 because my GP100 will blow itself into pieces due to flame cutting., although I have doubts that a giant chunk of steel will melt after a few rounds, regardless of how hot they are.
     
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  15. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I'm a crusty old bastard, and I say a gun barrel should have ONE hole, and that hole should go from the breech to the muzzle. If a gun needs more than one hole, I don't need that gun.

    If you're going to carry a snubbie, you need a lot of practice. But with this gun, you have two things working against you -- blast and recoil. And both of them are painful. So you either don't practice, or you develop a hell of a flinch.

    If you want to carry a snubbie, go with .38 Special +P and forget the magnum loads. Those are for full-size revolvers.
     
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  16. tominboise

    tominboise Member

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    Matches my experience exactly when I got a 360. I sold it after the first 5 rounds. It literally felt like someone hit my palm with a baseball bat.
     
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  17. tominboise

    tominboise Member

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    I've done the same - sold all my j frames except my 640, which is in a drawer in my toolbox in the garage, loaded with 38 +p loads. I love my revolvers but I've gone to striker semi autos for concealed carry.
     
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  18. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Couple thots'.
    With a sample of exactly one ported barrel, a 365 and a 365 SAS, fired with the same loads thru' the chronograph. There was a virtually negligible difference in velocity. So the venting may or may not drop the velocity much.
    Maybe I'm simply spoiled by an indoor range that is 20 minutes away, with unlimited shooting time. So I don't feel the need to shoot a couple hundred rounds thru' a light gun at one session.
    With due respect to you guys with really high pain tolerance, but shooting 'till your hand is numb is a great way to develop a flinch.
    BTW, that front sight is indeed removable on scandium frames, but the roll pin is a tiny little stinker. Seem to recall using a really small drill bit to tap it out; my regular drifts were way too big.
    Back to the OP's dilemma; for that kind of money, I'd simply buy a new one.
    If you do get an SC340, (or 340PD, as they are now calling it), try it with a little carry ammo (need not be WFO magnums, depending on the intended purpose), and then practice with full charge wadcutters, or something else calmer.
    And that trigger can really be slicked up, without giving away reliability.
    One last observation on recoil in J guns, steel in this case. Got a 940 the other year, and have an original 640, which is the same size frame. The 940 was a rappy little bugger with my regular 1100'sec 115 FMJ reloads (that velocity measured in a 9mm pistol). It was more like hot +P in the .38. Tried some regular pressure 147 9mm in the 940, and those felt just like full charge wadcutters in the .38.
    Both 9 mm loads were done with B'eye.
    Moon
     
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  19. MachIVshooter
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    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

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    I don't think porting these would help much, just increase blast and flash perceived by the shooter.

    Great little carry guns, but as well documented here and elsewhere, vicious with full magnum loads. I have a 360 PD, shot it a fair amount with .38 and .38 +P, but have not put even 30 rounds of magnums through it in the years I've had it. First outing, I went straight to full power 158 gr .357 loads. I went through 2 cylinders before switching to .38s, and felt that for a couple days. Makes my Ruger SRH .454 and 3" S&W 629 seem sedate. When I do carry the 360, it's with 125 gr .38+P. Might not feel the recoil so much in a defense situation, but recovery time is still a factor, and it's significant with magnum loads in these. I can put 18 rounds of 9mm on target much faster than five .357s out of the 360. And my hand isn't numb in the web afterward...
     
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  20. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    You may not feel recoil in a life-or-death situation, but you will in an ordinary training session, and you'll develop a lot of bad habits training with full charge loads.
     
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  21. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    I always go back to noise and blast. It is possible to take yourself out of the fight with a 1 7/8 ported barrel in .357 Magnum in an enclosed dark environment. Temporary loss of sight and hearing is not a good thing. I take nothing away from someone who can shoot any scandium revolver in a potent round. I practice with my 638 and a box a month is enough. Falls under the science metallurgy has made it possible but not ergonomically feasible for me. They just plain old hurt!
     
  22. MachIVshooter
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    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

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    I don't disagree. The point, however, was that regardless of perceiving the painful recoil or not, your recovery time will be slower.
     
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  23. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

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    I greatly appreciate all the replies.
    I decided to go for the 340PD but not the ported gun at the local shop. Got a pretty good deal for a very clean, like new example at $805
    Looking forward to practice with various .38 handloads. Taking yall's advice (and warnings) about the .357 loads.
     
  24. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    It is a superb, potent, and very attractive revolver that shines as a hiking companion.
    Stout, lightweight, full-power capable, and easily slips into a jacket or pants pocket.
     
  25. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Please keep us posted. I always worry that I am being a sissy about that gun's recoil. I mean, I don't want you to die or anything, but it would make me feel better if you sprain a wrist or two. :p
     
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