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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors WITH Model Numbers


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  #51  
Old 10-25-2007, 06:53 PM
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Good news!!!

After tonight's session, the round count for our test has climb to 346. We are one-third of the way through the test. Subject gun appears to be doing fine (the shooter is still getting beat up). Check out the details in The Log on page 1, second entry.

.... sprey
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  #52  
Old 10-25-2007, 07:33 PM
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When you finish with the +Zeros... I mean +Ps... how about doing it again with some 38/44 loads?
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  #53  
Old 10-26-2007, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SaxonPig:
... how about doing it again with some 38/44 loads?
LOL, I might test 38/44's in an alloy N-frame, but these are so rare that the last one I saw change hands (many years ago) did so for $14.5K....and I'm fairly certain that S&W will not repair/replace anyone's cracked alloy N-frame.

....sprey

PS - SP, I believe that this test will run a course that in the end will vindicate your position on the issue of shooting +P in an M12.
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  #54  
Old 10-26-2007, 06:31 AM
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I'm serious. In 1955 Elmer Keith wrote of shooting 38/44s in an alloy Chiefs Special. He said that the recoil was pretty sharp (and for Keith to notice the recoil it must have been significant) but otherwise nothing happened.
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:58 PM
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Nothing shakin' on this thread for a couple of weeks now. Any more data to report? How's the test coming?
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  #56  
Old 11-13-2007, 07:48 PM
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Thanks for checking.

Nothing new to report other then I acquired some additional +P ammo to run through the gun, LAWMAN 158gr FMJ. Big gunshow this weekend in Chantilly that I'll shop for more ammo. Unfortunately, apart from an IDPA match tomorrow (I'll be using a Beretta), I won't be able to get back to the range until after Thanksgiving.

Holiday Jam, ya'know....

... sprey
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  #57  
Old 11-13-2007, 09:19 PM
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Thanks for the update, Osprey. Figured as much that the upcoming season might have factored in.
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  #58  
Old 11-14-2007, 04:11 AM
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Osprey, Explain to me again.......why are you doing this???? Must have alot of 'dead time' on his hands, or alot of extra +P ammo !!!!! Bob
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BobK:
Osprey, Explain to me again.......why are you doing this????
Because someone "should have" and I could afford to do it. I had a gun I was willing to risk and I have the money, if not necessarily the TIME I would like to have. In the end, I hope this test is perceived as one of the "great things" about the Smith & Wesson Forum and its community of members.

Individually we're all pretty good, but collectively, WE ROCK!!!!

.... sprey
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  #60  
Old 11-14-2007, 10:51 PM
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I, for one, think this is a very interesting execise. A well documented test to validate or debunk the concern about +P's in the M12 series guns by a "regular guy".

Based on my own limited M12 experience, I bet it survives just fine, although I've been hesitant to advise +P usage in these guns.

Keep us informed, and thanks for doing thins test and sharing it with us!

Bill
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  #61  
Old 11-17-2007, 06:22 PM
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Folks,

I've added an administrative update to The Log on page 1, second entry. There have been no additional shots fired, but I did change grips and have included some additional notes of interest.

.... sprey
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  #62  
Old 11-23-2007, 07:09 AM
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I stumbled across the 2006 topic about a broke model 38 from The Firing Line. I've linked it here because it speaks of frame cracking right underneath the barrel (something we are looking for in this test). The story here implies that frame cracking such as this may be attributed to the factory over torquing the barrel into the frame. Well worth considering, especially if our subject gun survives the 1,000 round test.

FYI.... sprey
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  #63  
Old 11-25-2007, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Osprey:
...The story here implies that frame cracking such as this may be attributed to the factory over torquing the barrel into the frame.
I can confirm that--it's exactly the reason S&W gave me when I discovered the frame of my unfired 442 was cracked underneath the barrel. I've seen identical cracks on two other NIB Airweights as well. Because the guns were all brand new and unfired, I've come to the conclusion that shooting Airweights with +P ammo is not what causes those frame cracks at all. Cracked frames are likely a pre-existing condition made worse by the stress of shooting ANY ammo.

In the link Osprey noted above, the poster shot 5 rounds of +P the previous owner had loaded in an unfired Model 38, and only then decided to "do a quick inspection". In all likelihood the gun was cracked before he ever started shooting. I strongly suspect most Airweight owners who discover cracks after shooting never inspected that area of the frame before shooting. (I know I never did until I read about the problem here on the forum.) So when they finally notice the crack, they wrongly assume that their ammunition caused the problem.

My own experience with cracked frames leads me to believe that the original concept of this experiment may be flawed--that shooting +P (especially in a K-frame revolver) is not what causes the "infamous cracked frame". It's good, though, that the frame window and b/c gap measurements were added soon after the test began, because that would be the most likely indicator of any problem--not an immediate, catastrophic failure like a blown cylinder or cracked frame, but simply accelerated wear or gradual stretching of the frame. Even then I suspect it could take more than 1000 rounds, and also think that those problems are more likely to occur on a lightweight J-frame instead of the beefier K-frame. So although some members are hoping for solid proof one way or the other, it's unlikely that a single mid-size gun tested for only 1000 rounds will provide any definitive answer to the question of whether or not +P can damage an Airweight.
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  #64  
Old 11-25-2007, 08:54 AM
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I have been following discussions about +P in older alloy-framed revolvers with great interest and, in particular, this thread on "The Test" is very interesting. Although I'm aware of the cracked frame issue, I have never read or believed it was a result of over-pressure ammo and never heard that until reading these discussions. I have always read and heard that if there is a problem with +P in older alloy revolvers, it is the possibility of top strap stretching, not frame cracking. I hope this test provides some light on that issue. With the increased thickness of a K-frame topstrap over a J-Frame, however, I am not postive this test will shed any light on +P through older airweight J-Frames. Still, a welcome addition to the information pot by Osprey.
Edited to add: Sorry for re-plowing ground already tilled by DC7.
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  #65  
Old 11-25-2007, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Osprey:
In the end, I hope this test is perceived as one of the "great things" about the Smith & Wesson Forum and its community of members.
.... Osprey
Please add another "Thank You" for doing this sprey. It is appreciated.

This test is interesting; I still hope to pick up a 642 someday. I also figure the used M10-7 we picked up should outlive our kids.
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  #66  
Old 11-25-2007, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DC7:

My own experience with cracked frames leads me to believe that the original concept of this experiment may be flawed--that shooting +P (especially in a K-frame revolver) is not what causes the "infamous cracked frame". It's good, though, that the frame window and b/c gap measurements were added soon after the test began, because that would be the most likely indicator of any problem--not an immediate, catastrophic failure like a blown cylinder or cracked frame, but simply accelerated wear or gradual stretching of the frame. Even then I suspect it could take more than 1000 rounds, and also think that those problems are more likely to occur on a lightweight J-frame instead of the beefier K-frame. So although some members are hoping for solid proof one way or the other, it's unlikely that a single mid-size gun tested for only 1000 rounds will provide any definitive answer to the question of whether or not +P can damage an Airweight.
Now that I have the Firing Line topic and some confirmation from DC7 (and others), I'm feeling a little guilty that my prep work for this test was very sloppy. However, the hypothesis and the test are still as legitimate as a "one time data point" (to quote budrichard who makes some excellent points) test can be. A test can confirm or refute the hypothesis. We began this adventure with many of us (myself included) believing that the subject gun would be dead long before 1,000 rounds. So far, we've only gotten over 1/3 of the way through, but already, I'm starting to experience a bit of a paradigm shift in my thinking.

My hope is to get the test over the half way mark by Christmas and finished within a year. Assuming we get to the end without the terminal effects that many expected to see, then we will enter into the part of the testing process that I believe will be the most difficult....documenting The Conclusion(s). With that, I would like you all to start thinking about that right now.

What can we conclude from our successful firing of 1,000 rounds of +P ammo through a single test gun?

..... sprey
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  #67  
Old 11-26-2007, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
What can we conclude from our successful firing of 1,000 rounds of +P ammo through a single test gun?
Osprey - The truth is, not much. Remember, this has all been done years ago, with smaller guns (Model 37) and with an acclaimed, independent gunsmith keeping a detailed record of his measurements of the gun as the firing progressed. Truth be told, I think your test should be extended to 2,000 rounds, just to add interest! This is the same as Keith's test, and I believe the old number S&W came up with for an estimated service life of their airweight guns. Even so, you would only be duplicating an earlier test.

Note that I say this fully realizing that when Keith did his test, there was no such thing as +P ammo. But he did, specifically, mention that the ammunition he used included his handloads. I don't think anyone could reasonably doubt that his handloads were other than garden variety 158 gr. RNL. Mr. Keith was not known for advocating such ammunition!

Others more knowledgeable have already pointed out that any test involving only one sample just isn't going to prove much, as Keith's test didn't, but it can still be interesting to us, as hobbyists. One can't draw any real conclusions beyond that. It might be of further interest to shoot this gun until it needs service (probably for excessive endshake) - just to see how many rounds that takes.
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  #68  
Old 11-28-2007, 09:15 PM
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More shots fired. I think you'll like this update a lot. Check it out in The Log on page 1, second entry.

Cheers... sprey
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  #69  
Old 11-29-2007, 12:52 AM
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As the owner of 2" and 4" rnd. butts,I am following this test with great interest.
My first airwieght was a three inch 37,I
quickly learned to be sparing with "real"
plus-ps(1973).

Seems like the K frame will spread the pain alittle wider,hopefully softer.

Looking for another 37 as we speak.
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  #70  
Old 11-29-2007, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gaucho1: Seems like the K frame will spread the pain a little wider, hopefully softer.
Definitely. Our 2" M10 kicks less than the 2" Chief's Special.
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  #71  
Old 11-29-2007, 06:19 PM
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Regardless of whether it's 1k or 2k rounds; one gun or ten.... as the owner of a couple of Model 36's, this test is interesting and useful, IMHO
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  #72  
Old 11-29-2007, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
The "does my gun make my *** look too big" question asked the most is...Can I shoot +P's in my M-10, 12, 36, 37 etc.
I disagree. To me the queston most asked is whether or not shooting +Ps will DAMAGE THE GUN. I agree with what Smithnut said on this subject, but will have to paraphrase his statement since I am not going back to search for it: to tell someone with a gun you have not seen that it is OK to shoot +P ammo from any time period is not a prudent thing to do on the forum.

Those were not his exact words, but it does convey the same message. Probably 95% of the time it will be OK, but to indicate that IT IS ALWAYS OK may be over reaching.
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  #73  
Old 11-29-2007, 08:47 PM
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Stiab,

I believe this is the comment from SmithNut.

Quote:
Originally posted by SmithNut:
While it's generally thought that today's Plus P is mostly a marketing ploy by some, I'm of the opinion that there have been some stout Plus P and Plus P Plus ammo made over the years.
When someone asks if Plus P is OK to use in their gun, and you say yes, absolutely I believe you are giving naive and poor advise. Who knows what they have, when they bought it, how old it is, etc. The factory says no, there is a reason for that. The lawyers, afterall, are there to keep the company out of trouble due to doing something the gun wasn't designed to do. This discussion isn't about steel framed K frames, it's about the alloy versions. These guns aren't being made today, why? Is it because they are not popular? Maybe, maybe not. It's possible that the guns presented too many problems, whether that be in manufacturing (cracked frames are common, afterall), or from use, or - a combination of both - I'm of of the opinion that S&W is advising against using hot ammo in this gun for a reason.
Regardless, you can do whatever you want with the gun, if you use Plus P in it and it blows up, at a minimum you are out a gun as the factory will not fix it under warranty, if anything worse happens then you may have some medical bills to pay.....
I've got ammo in my stash that was made 30-40-50 years ago and it still shoots great, so who knows what the ammo vintage is that someone is planning on using? Too much risk for me.
Prudent advice... sprey
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:47 AM
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Yes, that's it, thanks Osprey.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
What can we conclude from our successful firing of 1,000 rounds of +P ammo through a single test gun?
Believe me when I say that i am not being contentious but you did ask the question.
When one has NOT finished a test program and begins to think about the results and how to interpret shows a lack of understanding of how properly to conduct such a program. I won't bore you with another anecdote about a person that conducts such tests on Damascus barreled shotguns but suffice it to say, I am the only person that contests his methodolgy and results.
When conducting such a testing program one documents the methodology, results and uses that information to draw conclusions. This is then published in a recognised journal and subjected to 'Peer' review.
Now if you had a degree in Metalurgy or had someone on your team with the engineering/scientific credentials, then you might have some valid conclusions.
But as previously pointed out, the +P specification has been interpreted by many manufactures over the years. Frankly, I have some original Super Vel 110 gr 38 Specials, that i would not fire in a Model 12, not that i would expect catastrophic failure but more of a lock up problem, long term failure is another issue.
So, in short, my opinion is its too early to speculate about conclusions without being finished.-Dick
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:13 PM
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I'm happy to report the first test update of 2008. I succesfully "processed" 120 rounds of +P ammo tonight. I recommend going to The Log on page 1, second entry, to check out the new data (and the old entries as well). Tonight's session was somewhat diluted by the sharing of range time with a couple of Glocks; a G19 and a recently acquired used G23 that I was trying out for the first time.

I'd also like to mention that today is kind of a milestone of sorts. 15 years ago today (1/16/93), I was sitting in my appartment in Fairfax, VA, when my sister called from a hospital in NY. My father had been admitted and was declining rapidly. That call was followed a couple of hours later with another informing me that my dad, the man who sparked and nutured my interest in firearms (and many other things), had passed away.

Long time forum members are probably experiencing a bit of deja vu. Over the last 15 years, there have been many a reference to the 16th day of January attributed to me. I try to go shooting every year on this date. If dad has internet access I imagine he's enjoying following this test as much as I am conducting it.

I hope you're all still enjoying it too.

Happy New Year...

... sprey
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:14 AM
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Osprey-good test of the mdl. 12 and good celebration of fond memories. Way to go!
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by budrichard:
When conducting such a testing program one documents the methodology, results and uses that information to draw conclusions. This is then published in a recognised journal and subjected to 'Peer' review.
Now if you had a degree in Metalurgy or had someone on your team with the engineering/scientific credentials, then you might have some valid conclusions.
Hey, you just nullified the conclusion of every firearm review and so-called "torture" test ever printed in a gun mag (and maybe rightfully so)

To me, the results are worthwhile.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:46 PM
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As the proud owner of a Model 12 myself, I thank both you and your Dad for this fine, practical test.

I have my own little rituals to honor my Dad, who has also passed, and I believe yours does honor to both of you.

Thank you my friend.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MOONDAWG: If a dog's owner tells me his dog will bite, I'll take his word and not wait for a sceintific answer from the AKC
MOONDAWG


I was drinking a hot cup of coffee and enjoying our crisp, frosty morning when I read this... My chuckle almost made me spill...

I always try to keep things straight and not forget what life is all about.

I think your example is a pretty good way of doing that.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:28 AM
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An old Dude's recollection:
In the 70's, when +P ammo was a relatively new phenomenon, the question OFTEN arose as to what guns were safe with +P.
S&W put the word out at that time that "ANY S&W with a model number stamped in the frame WOULD BE SAFE with +P ammo".
IF anyone cares to search the "Reader's Questions" sections of magazines like "Shooting Times", "American Rifleman", and "Guns & Ammo", you will probably find that S&W quotation. Look in Skeeter's and Elmer's columns around 74-76 to start with, and the "Questions" in the "Amer Rifleman".
The "with a Model Number" statement would have precluded the ALUMINUM cylinder guns built in the early 50's.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:27 PM
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While I was adding an administrative update (gun cleaning) into The Log, I thought I'd add a summary of cumulative round count by ammo type.
  • Winchester 110 gr JHP 35
  • Federal 125 gr Nyclad HP 36
  • Georgia Arms 158 gr LSWCHP 101
  • Winchester 125 gr JHP 200
  • Remington/UMC 125 gr JHP 100
  • Speer/Lawman 158 gr TMJ 150
Total = 622[/LIST]Enjoy the long weekend....

... Osprey
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:12 PM
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If we are going to examine the validity of this "test," that Osprey is conducting (it strikes me that as far as he is concerned scientific validity is his last interest) it is, of course, valid only as to this one example of a model 12. In order to have validity to the whole population it would have to be conducted over a statistically valid sample, say 100 guns/1000 rounds each,

Osprey, are you up for it?

Ken
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CowboyKen:

Osprey, are you up for it?
No...and...duck!
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Old 01-21-2008, 03:00 PM
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Osprey,
You don't really expect to do any damage to that Model 12 with only 1000 current Factory .38 Special +P rounds, do you? I know you know that "normal" .38 Special ammo from 20 years ago was hotter than the so called .38 Special +P ammo of today.

Thanks for running this test and confirming what most of us have known right along.
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Old 01-21-2008, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
I know you know that "normal" .38 Special ammo from 20 years ago was hotter than the so called .38 Special +P ammo of today.
Is that based upon actual tests you have done? I'm in the process of checking several boxes of old and new factory .38 Special ammo, and so far that has not proven out. When the industry testing standards changed in the late 1970's, those false advertising velocity numbers from previous years suddenly became more realistic.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Is that based upon actual tests you have done?
I don't need to do tests to know if you use 8.5gr HS-6 under a 158gr bullet it will produce both more pressure and velocity than if you use 6.2gr HS-6 for the .38 Special or 6.6gr HS-6 for the .38 Special +P which is the Hodgdon Max recommended charges today. Those rounds were fired in the old Model 10's for decades with no ill effects.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
I don't need to do tests
If you do decide to do some actual tests, you will see that todays +P in FACTORY loads is actually more powerful than yesteryears (20 years is the number you used)"standard" loads. Quoting watered down reloading manuals does not address the comparison of today's factory loaded +Ps with the "standard" 158 grain RN factory .38 special of 20 years ago.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CowboyKen:
In order to have validity to the whole population it would have to be conducted over a statistically valid sample, say 100 guns/1000 rounds each,
I know that are a group of people who are concerned with the statiscal validity of this (who knew there were so many academics) but
could somebody please cite a gun test/study in which this has actually been done?

IIRC, even the recent NIJ tests were done with a few (I want to say two) samples of each model.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by remat457:
Quote:
Originally posted by CowboyKen:
In order to have validity to the whole population it would have to be conducted over a statistically valid sample, say 100 guns/1000 rounds each,
I know that are a group of people who are concerned with the statiscal validity of this (who knew there were so many academics) but
could somebody please cite a gun test/study in which this has actually been done?

IIRC, even the recent NIJ tests were done with a few (I want to say two) samples of each model.
In fact, I was only teasing Osprey. But if you want to be technical I am right and I don't care if anyone actually does the right thing or not. If you are going to try to demonstrate that a gun will or will not react in a certain way if you do X to it and you only use one or two guns you have not conducted a valid test.

Ken

p.s.: It might be fun though.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:42 PM
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Good news!!! The test crossed the 3/4 mark tonight (750 rounds). Check out The Log on page 1, second entry.

Also, in the same range session I had my Glock 19 with me. Before I shot the Glock, I found an unfired lead 9mm round. Feeling brave, I fired that lead bullet through my G19 equipped with a stock OEM barrel and then fired another 50 rounds of FMJ fodder afterwards. Neither sprey nor the Glock KaBoomed!!!

Living on the edge...

... sprey
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:09 PM
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Quote "Also, in the same range session I had my Glock 19 with me. Before I shot the Glock, I found an unfired lead 9mm round. Feeling brave, I fired that lead bullet through my G19 equipped with a stock OEM barrel and then fired another 50 rounds of FMJ fodder afterwards. Neither sprey nor the Glock KaBoomed!!!"

I would not suggest firing lead in a factory Glock barrel. A very close friend of mine fired 5 rounds of RN lead in a Glock 17 and on the 5th round, the case ruptured and got stuck in the chamber. The resulting pressure caused the magazine to be blown out the bottom of the magazine well. The magazine had cracks in it and the slide stop lever was snapped off and his hand was blackened and tingling! He had to take a hammer to the barrel and slide to get the barrel to unlock. The empty casing's base was flattened with the case headstamp almost being to the point where it could not be read and the primer was flattened to the point it was part of the casing. The sidewall of the casing had ruptured out through the feed ramp, thus not allowing the slide to cycle. Very luck, but not very smart.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:25 AM
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Did anyone check their library for this statement that S&W put out in the 70's? I know I read it numerous times in different sources. It MAY have appeared in Trade magazines for the gun industry also.
Quote:
Originally posted by handejector:
An old Dude's recollection:
In the 70's, when +P ammo was a relatively new phenomenon, the question OFTEN arose as to what guns were safe with +P.
S&W put the word out at that time that "ANY S&W with a model number stamped in the frame WOULD BE SAFE with +P ammo".
IF anyone cares to search the "Reader's Questions" sections of magazines like "Shooting Times", "American Rifleman", and "Guns & Ammo", you will probably find that S&W quotation. Look in Skeeter's and Elmer's columns around 74-76 to start with, and the "Questions" in the "Amer Rifleman".
The "with a Model Number" statement would have precluded the ALUMINUM cylinder guns built in the early 50's.
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:26 PM
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26 JAN 08 Summary of cummulative round count by ammo type.

All rounds are +P unless otherwise noted:

Winchester 110 gr JHP 35
Federal 125 gr Nyclad HP 36
Georgia Arms 158 gr LSWCHP 101
Winchester 125 gr JHP 200
Remington/UMC 125 gr JHP 200
Speer/Lawman 158 gr TMJ 200
--------------------------------------
Total = 772
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Did anyone check their library for this statement that S&W put out in the 70's?
No, but the owner's manual that came with my 12-3 (since traded) said not to shoot +P.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:55 PM
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I squeezed in a short range session today. You can get the latest by review The Log on page 1, second entry.

Here's a summary of cumulative round count by ammo type as of 8 FEB 08.

All rounds are +P unless otherwise noted:

Winchester 110 gr JHP 35
Federal 125 gr Nyclad HP 36
Georgia Arms 158 gr LSWCHP 101
Winchester 125 gr JHP 200
Remington/UMC 125 gr JHP 200
Speer/Lawman 158 gr TMJ 300
------------------------------------
Total = 872

I anticipate completing this test the next time I take the test gun to the range.

.... sprey
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Old 02-09-2008, 02:09 PM
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After 5 months, 8 pages, 112 posts, and over 10,000 views, I've noticed a trend in the last couple of updates that follow-up commentary is almost non-existant. I'm wondering if this is due to the size of this topic (8 pages, 112 posts, and 10,000+ views used to attract readers). Maybe this is the calm before the storm, that will be the conclusion of this test. Perhaps interest has waned because the test gun hasn't blown up and sent sprey feathers into orbit...

...Anyways, I did add an administrative update (cleaning) today.

Your feathered and obedient servant...

sprey
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Old 02-09-2008, 02:53 PM
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I for one am still reading with interest. I was sure the gun would make it.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:34 PM
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I'm still keeping up with the test. Keep the test and the thread going!!!!!!!!

Don
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:06 PM
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As the holder of a 2" and a 4" I am interested
in any and all info.
Thank You
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