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the ABC's of revolver sizing...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by PT1911, Apr 23, 2009.

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  1. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    so, the process of distinguishing revolver sizes with letters is just confusing to me.. I am hoping for some responses that will

    One- break them down into what is what
    two- explain any reasoning for this strange naming system
    three- give other opinions regarding this subject...
     
  2. Thingster

    Thingster Member

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    I don't know the premise behind the nomenclature, but here's what S&W has had:

    I frame: tiny gun, .32, hasn't been made in quite a while.

    J frame: Current smallest offering, (ie model 442)

    K Frame: Medium frame revolver, (model 19)

    L frame: Hybrid heavy/medium frame. Heavy frame with medium frame grip (686)

    M frame: 7 shot .22- original Lady Smith concept, hasn't been made in 80 years or so

    N frame: Original large frame revolver. .44 spec originally, then .38/44 which evolved into the original .357 and the "registered magnums" (27, 29)

    X frame: Extra large frame with medium frame grip (.500 S&W magnum, .480, .460, etc)

    No real rhyme or reason to the naming. Just something that you pick up from messing around with them.


    Then colt had their own lettering system, which doesn't jive with the S&W system at all.
     
  3. Dimis

    Dimis Member

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    with S&W just remember the further down the alphabet the bigger it gets
    thingster explained the rest
     
  4. schmidtundveßon

    schmidtundveßon Member

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    Location:
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    Here's more detailed list:

    C: Experimental small 6-shot .38 frame (never produced)
    E: Stainless steel version of J-frame
    F: Stainless steel version of K-frame
    G: Stainless steel version of N-Frame
    H: Stainless steel version of L-Frame
    I: Small frame
    Improved-I: Slightly beefed up I frame
    J: Small frame (5 shot .38)
    J-Magnum: Beefed up J-frame for .357 Magnum
    K: Medium frame (6 shot .38)
    L: Medium Magnum frame (6 shot .357 Magnum)
    M: .22 Ladysmith circa 1900
    N: Large frame (6 shot .44 Magnum)
    X: eXtremely large frame (.500 Magnum)
     
  5. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    wow.. that is extremely confusing.. hopefully I will become smooth enough in revolver speak to allow frame sizes to roll off my tongue without giving them a second though.... I somehow doubt it though.. what ever happened to small, medium, and large? LOL
     
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