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Old 02-10-2011, 05:33 PM
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.357 ammo and the Model 19-3 .357 ammo and the Model 19-3 .357 ammo and the Model 19-3 .357 ammo and the Model 19-3 .357 ammo and the Model 19-3  
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Default .357 ammo and the Model 19-3

I am getting a 1979 model 19-3 from a good friend. What is the validity about .357 ammunition lower than 158gr being harmful to the revolver?

I have 125gr .357 magnum ammo on hand and hesitate to use it in the model 19 if it will be destructive to the gun.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:08 PM
Ducktape Ducktape is offline
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I believe "hot" original .357 mag spec ammo was the problem. Too much powder left to burn after the bullet left the cylinder. Today's 125gr is milder but I would still limit it. I shoot it outta mine sometimes but try and stick to 140 and above.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:09 PM
Sully Sully is offline
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Got a model 66 here....its NEVER had a .357 round run thru it...always 38 special wadcutters OR 125 gr 38 Special +P's. Been shooting it since about..?..1988 or 89. Still clean as a whistle.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:30 PM
38-44HD45 38-44HD45 is offline
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There has been MUCH written about this over the years, and much hype, confusion and outright bunk. There have been some Model 19s on which the forcing cones split, traceable to very hot 125gr. JHP loads in large numbers, some years ago. 125gr. loads at the same intensity are today loaded by Remington, Double Tap and Buffalo Bore. Shoot enough of them, and gun damage might result, or might not. There has never been any documentation of 110 gr. factory loads causing a problem, because factory 110s have traditionally been *****cat loads, compared to the 125s. It is NOT, I repeat NOT the bullet weight that matters, but rather how hot the load is that risks forcing cone damage. I.e., how much powder is loaded, and to some degree, the nature of the powder itself. Some powders literally burn hotter than others (like Green Dot), and the partially-burned residue of some powders (like AA#7)is more abrasive than in others.

It has been theorized that something about the length of the 125gr. bullets somehow causes more gas cutting and potential for forcing cone damage than longer, heavier bullets, but to my knowledge, there has never been any proof of it. Load any bullet weight up hot enough, and you will accelerate wear on the gun, whether you break anything or not.

Because they are no longer made, I still baby my K-frame magnums a bit, typically keeping them loaded with "-P" magnum loads like Speer Short Barrel or Remington Golden Saber ammo, or sometimes, full-power Speer 158gr. Gold Dots. Nonetheless, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a few full-power 125gr. screamers through them, if need be.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:27 PM
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My old agency had probably 75 or so M19's and later some M66's as well and we issued 125gr Federal .357B Magnum for many years (125gr @ 1400+ / -). Aside from two forcing cones split and some gas ring issues when the 19-4's were introduced we had few problems with them. The forcing cones that did split had been fired many hundreds of rounds with issued factory Magnums...not something many would do if they were not getting free ammo. I would not hesitate to use 125gr Magnums in any of my S&W's so chambered but would not feed a steady diet to my K frames or any of the later J frames.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:38 PM
timpitera timpitera is offline
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I have a TRR8- mainly for the range. With that said, my carry gun is a 340pd(min 125gr.) which I feed Buffalo Bore Short barrel .357 low flash rounds through (only for carry, not the range).

I thought about keeping the same short barrel carry round in the TRR8 in the Biovault next to bed. Can I use the same round in the TRR8 as the 340pd? Would I be better off using something else? I like the low flash component for nighttime and Buffalo Bore does not have a non-short barrel in low flash. Or do I use a .38 round?

I might add that many rounds had separation with exception of the Buffalo Bore round
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:20 PM
gregintenn gregintenn is offline
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My model 19 has "357 Magnum" written on it. That, along with the fact there's been no recall, leads me to believe it will safely fire ALL factory 357 Magnum loads. What does one fire in a Model 60 chambered for 357 Magnum? I would believe the K frame would be stronger than the J frame.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:05 AM
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I thank each of you for your comments. You have given me the information I wanted.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:49 AM
m1gunner m1gunner is offline
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New barrels are no longer available for the M-19. If you split one, you have an expensive paperweight.

Stay away from the 125 max loads, go with 158 gr or stay 38 sp +p loadings and under. The 125 357 is just fine in a M-28.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:41 PM
38-44HD45 38-44HD45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregintenn View Post
My model 19 has "357 Magnum" written on it. That, along with the fact there's been no recall, leads me to believe it will safely fire ALL factory 357 Magnum loads. What does one fire in a Model 60 chambered for 357 Magnum? I would believe the K frame would be stronger than the J frame.
Actually, the opposite is true. If you'll look at the location of the cylinder stop notches on a J-frame, vs. their location on a K-frame, you will see that there is a lot more steel under the notches on a J, since they are betwee chambers. In the event of a catastrophic failure, the first place to separate is typically on a chamber, through a cylinder stop notch. The frame of a K may be a little stronger, but the frame alone is far from the whole story.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:48 PM
gregintenn gregintenn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38-44HD45 View Post
Actually, the opposite is true. If you'll look at the location of the cylinder stop notches on a J-frame, vs. their location on a K-frame, you will see that there is a lot more steel under the notches on a J, since they are betwee chambers. In the event of a catastrophic failure, the first place to separate is typically on a chamber, through a cylinder stop notch. The frame of a K may be a little stronger, but the frame alone is far from the whole story.
Thanks, I hadn't considered that.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:54 PM
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Default 110 gr. loads

Quote:
Originally Posted by 38-44HD45 View Post
There has never been any documentation of 110 gr. factory loads causing a problem, because factory 110s have traditionally been *****cat loads, compared to the 125s. It is NOT, I repeat NOT the bullet weight that matters, but rather how hot the load is that risks forcing cone damage. .
This is good news to me! I've often wondered whether or not the 110 gr. factory loads should be thrown into the "harmful" catagory with the 125 gr. magnum loads. Or, if they were no more stressful on the forcing cone than a 158 gr. load. In any event, I'm still of the belief that the M66 is the best all-around revolver ever made, whether one is shooting 357s or 38s. Great guns!
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:25 AM
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I solve the problem by shooting handloads with 6.5 grains of Unique/158 grain hardcast swc in all my Models 19. Not a *****cat load, but not a punisher, either. I especially like it in the 2.5 inch 19-3. I can't afford factory .357 ammo.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:57 AM
Steve C Steve C is offline
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Read this article on Gunblast.com Use of Magnum Loads in S&W Model 19 and Other K-Frame Magnums
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:28 PM
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I own a nice old 19 2&1/2 and I carry Remington 357 Magnum 125gr Golden Sabers in it. These are effective "medium-powered" Magnums and easy on the gun. They don't cost an arm and a leg either and come in a 25 round box.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:59 PM
random_rest random_rest is offline
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It's a matter of number of rounds fired. My brother had a python that, when he traded it, was very, very rough. Big gap, stretched frame, loose timing, the whole bit. That's a stout gun, but it shot loose after too many creative handloads. I have a 19 4" that required some TLC to reduce end-shake. Had the barrel turned back to correct excessive gap, etc. had it retimed. I don't know what was fired it in previously but enough rounds of full .357 of any weight will loosen these guns up. The 110 grain loads like the USA are comparatively light, only a bit over 400 foot lbs, so I have always assumed they are pretty easy on the gun, not to mention fun to shoot. Buffalo Bore has some lightened .357 loads that are still a good bit stouter than .38s, that I hope to try soon. I've always figured that in terms of the guns holding up, anything goes in moderation and wouldn't hesitate to use the 125 grain commercial loads if I found them manageable. For me, they are too much recoil and to much blast, and I either use .38s, or the 158grain magnum loads that I find more user friendly.
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340pd, 357 magnum, commercial, j frame, k frame, k-frame, m19, m66, model 19, model 28, model 60, model 66, remington

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