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  #1  
Old 12-07-2011, 12:26 PM
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Default K-Frame .357 Magnum

Unless I have overlooked something (not unlikely) it appears that my choices for a current production Smith and Wesson .357 are either J, L, or N-Frames. Is that correct? I believe from reading on here that S&W used to make 6 shot K-Frame .357's, is that true? What are some models with 3-4" barrels, stainless or blued doesn't matter? Are there any non-steel K-Frames?

I carry a J-Frame with a 1-7/8" barrel but I've been looking for something a little larger when clothing and confort allows it. The 2-3" barrel J-Frames aren't much in the way of an improvement and it seems the only other option is to go to the 686 L-Frame which is too big and heavy for me to carry. I'm looking for something in the middle if such a thing exists.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:30 PM
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The K-frame .357's were dropped in 2003. I have a 66-7 made in 2003 and it was one of the last production runs of the legendary Model 66.

It was said that S&W got tired of servicing loose K-frame .357's and that shooters didn't get the whole ".38 for training, .357 for carry" concept So they dropped them.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:37 PM
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S&W made K-Frame .357 Magnums from 1955 when the original Combat Magnum (Later named the M19) was introduced until just a few years ago when they stopped making K-Frame .357s.
The models were, in numerical order, the M13, a blued or nickel fixed sight version of the Military and Police line. Barrel lengths were 3' or 4". The aforementioned M19, blued or nickel Combat Magnum with adjustable sights, barrel lengths 2 1/2", 3" (kinda rare) 4", and 6". The M65, the Stainless version of the M13, and the M66, a Stainless version of the M19.
These are still readily available on the used gun market and make great carry guns. They are some of my favorites. If you plan to shoot A LOT of heavy .357 Magnums in them, they will probably need service at some point. This is actually the reason they came out with the stronger L-Frame.
They are very interesting revolvers, and some of my favorites.
Jim
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:42 PM
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Thanks. So it sounds like the K-Frames weren't made for a steady diet of magnums like the L-Frames. That's no problem for me, I would practice mostly with .38 +P's, practice a little with .357's, and then carry .357's. What is the "-7" or "-x", the generation of the model? Does S&W still use the "-x" with their current models? I've never noticed it on either of the two revolvers I have.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:50 PM
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The dashes refer to engineering changes made over the years. Every time they made a change they would give it a different dash number.
If you really want to know all things S&W you should get a copy of the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas. All this info is in there as well as serial number info, which will give you a year the gun was born (You didn't really think we had all that stuff memorized, did you). This is a great read and you'll really enjoy it.
Jim
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:53 PM
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The Model 19 is legendary and Bill Jordan was the "father" of the K-frame .357.

Bill Jordan and S&W acknowledge that the K-frame .357's like the 19 were designed as LE duty guns, to be lighter in the holster and easier handling, while still allowing LEO's to use .357's for duty. They were never designed for a steady diet of .357. In the 70's and 80's PD's reported that 110-130 gr. .357's were loosening up their K-frame .357's, as well as cracking forcing cones and excessively flame cutting top straps. PD's started training with their duty ammo, rather than .38's.

I believe that occasional use of 158 gr. .357's will not hurt a k-frame .357, but the light bullet .357's are not recommended in any amount other than a token amount of test firing.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:58 PM
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And then there's the forgotten K-Frame .357, the Model 65:

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Old 12-07-2011, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
I believe that occasional use of 158 gr. .357's will not hurt a k-frame .357, but the light bullet .357's are not recommended in any amount other than a token amount of test firing.
Is this true for all K-Frames, or just the Model 19?
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:48 PM
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its something to do with the length of the round as the 158's are longer than the 124 grain rounds.

and when the shorter lighter rounds are used it exposes a weakened area of the forcing cone on the bottom of the barrel that was cut to fit the longer cylinder of the .357 magnum to the .38 special K frame to higher PSI or plasma with the magnum loads than the heavier 150's as talked about here

Use of Magnum Loads in S&W Model 19 and Other K-Frame Magnums

hell if it wasnt for the fact that they were worried about people using .357s in .38's and hadnt lengthened the case that issue probably would have never happened with the K frame in the first place

and the gunblast guy has had a model 19 - 3 for the past 20 some years and put any and all normal pressure magnums through it with no trouble when I asked him about it awhile back in an email I sent him, its just the possibility of getting one that has a forcing cone that isnt really up to spec that bugs me otherwise I would have gotten rid of my old $300 dan wesson and replaced it with it awhile ago.

hell the whole issue seems to be 70% a quality control issue and 30% a design issue and if smith and wesson would just reissue the gun with that particular area appropriately machined to give it a little extra metal in that area it would probably turn into a non issue and the K frame would thrive again with no real problems hopefully and I'd buy one as long as they'd see sense and get rid of that keylock and got it the overal QC and customer service of the company back up to 99% like the old days



still if I was the head of smith and wesson I'd have a few prototype guns rigged up and tested with a 50,000 of both 120 gr loads and 150 grain loads at even intervals and then afterwards sell the finished product that has no issues whatsoever as a custom shop only gun without that stupid keylock to make up the cost of development for a few years and then turned into normal production guns once they were a 100% street proven

hell the old N frame .357 was just that back in the day and sold like hotcakes despite the price and basically being custom shop only guns, after all if you make a good product that will last forever they will come and buy your product, athough 1000 is probably about the most you could reasonabily sell the thing for in its custom shop form, but the key is not to nickel and dime something like that as otherwise you cut key corners and a bulletproof vintage mercedes turns into a troublesome modern chrysler.



anyways try and find one with recessed clyinders, firing pin mounted on the hammer and a pinned barrel as that would make it a pre 1980's gun before the QC problems hit as the gunblast guys gun is a pre 1980 like my model 29

The Smith & Wesson Model 19

and is about the same vintage as hickok45's model 29 that has lasted 70,000 some rounds

.44 Magnum Model 29 8-inch (Close-up) - YouTube

although it did go in for repair only about 6 months ago, but basically for about damn near 30 years and a ton of wear it had zero problems and it was only really a minor repair, after all nothing in life is really a 100% infallible no matter how good it is.


and make sure the forcing cone looks good and stong and you'll probably have a K frame on your hands that will last as long as any of the pre 1980s N frames as long as you dont use hotrodded ammo in it like some people did with the Model 29 and then frankly bitched about it not being able to take the strain of their overpowered loads despite it being their fault that they overloaded the gun and expected it to hold up to their unreasonabile expectations.

Last edited by Kavinsky; 12-07-2011 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:39 PM
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Naby if you can afford to purchase enough 357 ammunition to wear out a K-frame magnum, you can easily afford to buy two more to replace it with.

The K-frame magnums were made side by side with the L-frames for over twenty years. Kind of a long production run for a flawed design, don't you think?

S&W doesn't currently produce a revolver as nice as a K-frame magnum. Buy one, shoot it, love it. Get a nice 13, 19 or pre lock 66. Shoot only 158 grain grain 357's and your grandchildren will enjoy that fine revolver.

In forty three years of shooting K-frame magnums I've yet to wear one out or break one in any fashion. Regards 18DAI
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:44 PM
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Oh boy! Another excuse to show off the colossal 66-4 2.5" in perrrrrfect condition I just picked up Monday!!!!

This is, IMHO, the high point of K frame .357 S&W production:

Yes. I know. It needs new grips...
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:49 PM
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Hard to beat the 66



or the 19

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Old 12-07-2011, 03:23 PM
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It kinda flies in the face of logic that S&W would drop the k-frame because it couldn't stand a steady diet of magnums while at the same time producing the j-frame in magnum caliber and not officially saying doodly squat about a steady diet of magnums.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:02 PM
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aint that the truth.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18DAI View Post
Naby if you can afford to purchase enough 357 ammunition to wear out a K-frame magnum, you can easily afford to buy two more to replace it with.

The K-frame magnums were made side by side with the L-frames for over twenty years. Kind of a long production run for a flawed design, don't you think?

S&W doesn't currently produce a revolver as nice as a K-frame magnum. Buy one, shoot it, love it. Get a nice 13, 19 or pre lock 66. Shoot only 158 grain grain 357's and your grandchildren will enjoy that fine revolver.

In forty three years of shooting K-frame magnums I've yet to wear one out or break one in any fashion. Regards 18DAI
This is the best and only response anyone needs to the K frame question. The K frame .357 was made for DECADES and is still highly regarded in it's retirement. I wouldn't be without at least a fistful of K's! The description of what you are looking for is what the K frame is all about. Best carry .357 IMO.

Here's a couple to wet your whistle. Many members here can show you much more than I (Allen-Frame comes to mind) and perhaps if they see this thread they will introduce you to the wonderful world of K frames!
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:17 PM
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1 old 0311 posted while I typed...beautiful guns!
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by lhump1961 View Post
1 old 0311 posted while I typed...beautiful guns!
Thanks. I have J's, L's, and N's but a K frame is the one I would grab if I could only have one.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 1 old 0311 View Post
Thanks. I have J's, L's, and N's but a K frame is the one I would grab if I could only have one.
I agree completely...I carry one daily. If there is anything more impressive than those snubbie K's you have there it is all those great grips!
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:16 PM
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Thanks to all of you for the responses, I'll have to start looking for one .
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhump1961 View Post
I agree completely...I carry one daily. If there is anything more impressive than those snubbie K's you have there it is all those great grips!



Work LOTS of these into your diet and the pennies will add up. Last weeks dinner was long ago flushed, but a clean K frame, or nice grips, will be appreciated long after this old Grunt is gone.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:44 PM
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Default K frame

You will use your k frame before any other S & W frame revolvers. I enjoy my 25-5 N frame and my j frames but my 66 357 mag goes with me to the timber. I run a lot of 38's thru it and load 357 for timber walks. Now here is where the trouble starts after the model 66 you will want a model 15 in 38 cal and the list will just go on and on. j
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:43 PM
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To me the K frame Model 66 is the ultimate revolver. Years ago I recommended that they produce a 38 Special version which is what most people use in the 66s anyway. Then we wouldn't be having this conversation. I routinely carry mine loaded with the old Chicago police load, Winchester 158 grn +P LHP. Once in awhile I'll shoot some 158 grn Gold Dot 357s thru it but always come back to the CPD load for carry.
I love the feel of my 3" 66 in my hand and find it to be the perfect size for most of my applications. The size of this revolver is just about perfect.
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:45 PM
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K frames are great - and with the right grips for your hand these become awesome six shooters.

Here are two favorites:

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Old 12-09-2011, 08:49 PM
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The K-frame is the best revolver ever. Period. There are other great guns out there, and some are so nice they will literally keep you up at night lusting after them, but until you have a Combat Magnum, you are missing the boat completely.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:16 PM
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I know other member of this forum will disagree, but in my opinion the S&W K frame magnum is the best all around revolver S&W ever made. My three K frame have the best double action trigger pull I have ever experienced. If you want to complete a revolver collection a K frame magnum is a must.
Here are my three.

Model 13-2 4 inch

Model 19-2 4 inch

Model 66-4 4 inch
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:34 AM
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Poohgyrr, nice k-frames! I like the grips! I have 4 k's, and none of them have originals on them. (did keep them though) My 10-8 Aussie Police Gun has C.T. lasers on. Pretty neat, to use. Bob
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:38 AM
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I totally agree with the posters who state that it makes no sense that S&W discontinued the K-frame in part because it supposedly could not handle a steady diet of 357s, and at the same time were kicking out new models of J-frame 357s right and left. I personally find the little J-frame 357s to be miserable things to shoot, although they are nice to carry.

I have a 4" 66-7 from 2005. I believe that was the last year. I've owned several other 357 Ks over the years, a 6" 19, a pair of 2.5" 19s, and a 2.5" 66. I only have the 66-7 and a 1980 vintage nickel 2.5" 19 at present. They are still not too hard to find, and I suspect that Smith might re-introduce some variant of the 19/66 again one of these days, but I'd grab an old one if'n you don't already have one!! Great guns.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:43 AM
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PS: For some curious reason, I've never taken to the L-frame. I am not sure why. I wouldn't mind having a 686SSR and that gun is on my short-list, but despite the fact that I have a fair number of S&W revolvers at present, none are Ls. They just seem like tain't to me, tain't K and tain't N. No disrespect of that frame intended, I have no doubt that they are fine revolvers, but just haven't fitted into my template thusfar.
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
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I totally agree with the posters who state that it makes no sense that S&W discontinued the K-frame in part because it supposedly could not handle a steady diet of 357s, and at the same time were kicking out new models of J-frame 357s right and left. I personally find the little J-frame 357s to be miserable things to shoot, although they are nice to carry.
You answered your own question. Nobody is masochistic enough to shoot a sufficient quantity of hot .357s out of a J-frame to break one.
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:10 PM
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I'll probably take some heat for it but IMO the K frame really isn't well suited to the 357 Magnum. One poster stated that he felt that the failures were "only" 30% a fault of the design. As an Engineer I do NOT think that is even on the threshold of acceptable. Would you drive a car or fly on an airplane that only crashed 30% of the time due to a design flaw? I rather doubt you would. BTW, the actual failure rate is undoubtedly much much lower but even 1/2 of 1 percent is unacceptable if you think about it happening in airplane terms. In addition there is the matter of the lifetime warranty which I have no doubt had some influence in the decision to drop the 357 Magnum K frames.

Fortunately, and unfortunately, there is an L frame that approaches the weigh of a 4 inch model 19 or 66 within an ounce or two. Fortunate in that you can find one if you are dilligent. Unfortunate in that it's not easy to find. That is the 686 Mountain Gun with the 7 shot cylinder. IMO S&W really need to wake up and smell the coffee and put a light barreled L frame into regular production, they could build a version in blued steel and call it the "new Model 19" and I doubt that there would be many objections to that at all. They could also drop that billboard engraving on the 686 and call it a "new model 66" for the stainless version.

Personally I think the L frame was an excellent solution to a known design weakness and the only mistake they made was putting a full length lug on nearly every barrel in the L frames. It would be nice to see the half lug or partial lug tapered barrels make a comeback because they do feel better balanced to me.

As for the 357 Magnum as a Defesive caliber, with today's modern bullet technology I think it's a poor choice, especially in a short barrel. It's too loud, has too much muzzle flash, and the increase in velocity over a good 38 +P isn't worth the risk of long term hearing loss of using a Magnum for defense. BTW, my ears ring every day when I wake up and go to bed, so I'm very well acquanted with the effects of hearing damage and loss. Magnum are fun at the range and a great hunting caliber but NOT my choice for Defense, for that I'll select a load that doesn't do any more harm to my remaining hearing.
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
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I'll probably take some heat for it but IMO the K frame really isn't well suited to the 357 Magnum. One poster stated that he felt that the failures were "only" 30% a fault of the design. As an Engineer I do NOT think that is even on the threshold of acceptable. Would you drive a car or fly on an airplane that only crashed 30% of the time due to a design flaw? I rather doubt you would. BTW, the actual failure rate is undoubtedly much much lower but even 1/2 of 1 percent is unacceptable if you think about it happening in airplane terms. In addition there is the matter of the lifetime warranty which I have no doubt had some influence in the decision to drop the 357 Magnum K frames.

Fortunately, and unfortunately, there is an L frame that approaches the weigh of a 4 inch model 19 or 66 within an ounce or two. Fortunate in that you can find one if you are dilligent. Unfortunate in that it's not easy to find. That is the 686 Mountain Gun with the 7 shot cylinder. IMO S&W really need to wake up and smell the coffee and put a light barreled L frame into regular production, they could build a version in blued steel and call it the "new Model 19" and I doubt that there would be many objections to that at all. They could also drop that billboard engraving on the 686 and call it a "new model 66" for the stainless version.

Personally I think the L frame was an excellent solution to a known design weakness and the only mistake they made was putting a full length lug on nearly every barrel in the L frames. It would be nice to see the half lug or partial lug tapered barrels make a comeback because they do feel better balanced to me.

As for the 357 Magnum as a Defesive caliber, with today's modern bullet technology I think it's a poor choice, especially in a short barrel. It's too loud, has too much muzzle flash, and the increase in velocity over a good 38 +P isn't worth the risk of long term hearing loss of using a Magnum for defense. BTW, my ears ring every day when I wake up and go to bed, so I'm very well acquanted with the effects of hearing damage and loss. Magnum are fun at the range and a great hunting caliber but NOT my choice for Defense, for that I'll select a load that doesn't do any more harm to my remaining hearing.
While I generally agree with you and the points you made, I would point out that saying "what failures do occur are only 30% the fault of the design" is quite different than saying "a design has a 30% failure rate."
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter123 View Post
I'll probably take some heat for it but IMO the K frame really isn't well suited to the 357 Magnum. One poster stated that he felt that the failures were "only" 30% a fault of the design. As an Engineer I do NOT think that is even on the threshold of acceptable. Would you drive a car or fly on an airplane that only crashed 30% of the time due to a design flaw? I rather doubt you would. BTW, the actual failure rate is undoubtedly much much lower but even 1/2 of 1 percent is unacceptable if you think about it happening in airplane terms. In addition there is the matter of the lifetime warranty which I have no doubt had some influence in the decision to drop the 357 Magnum K frames.

Fortunately, and unfortunately, there is an L frame that approaches the weigh of a 4 inch model 19 or 66 within an ounce or two. Fortunate in that you can find one if you are dilligent. Unfortunate in that it's not easy to find. That is the 686 Mountain Gun with the 7 shot cylinder. IMO S&W really need to wake up and smell the coffee and put a light barreled L frame into regular production, they could build a version in blued steel and call it the "new Model 19" and I doubt that there would be many objections to that at all. They could also drop that billboard engraving on the 686 and call it a "new model 66" for the stainless version.

Personally I think the L frame was an excellent solution to a known design weakness and the only mistake they made was putting a full length lug on nearly every barrel in the L frames. It would be nice to see the half lug or partial lug tapered barrels make a comeback because they do feel better balanced to me.

As for the 357 Magnum as a Defesive caliber, with today's modern bullet technology I think it's a poor choice, especially in a short barrel. It's too loud, has too much muzzle flash, and the increase in velocity over a good 38 +P isn't worth the risk of long term hearing loss of using a Magnum for defense. BTW, my ears ring every day when I wake up and go to bed, so I'm very well acquanted with the effects of hearing damage and loss. Magnum are fun at the range and a great hunting caliber but NOT my choice for Defense, for that I'll select a load that doesn't do any more harm to my remaining hearing.



anything and everything is fallible, human or mechanical, the K frame magnums have been around since 1955 and made up until about 20 years ago so some are bound to falter over time and to my knowledge none have locked up on anyone with the first six shots of magnum ammo or gotten anyone killed with that tiny crack in the forcing cone.

and that 30% referers to the post 1980 guns in my book, which I will not touch with a 10 foot pole...... atleast when it comes to their revolvers.... because of an L frame 686 and a **** K22 from that era that never worked right in its life after being sent back to smith and wesson at about 06, twice and a master gunsmith twice as well

damn thing never could fire all 6

plus remember it said a colt python was one of the ones reported with this problem too, under the chart on the bottom

Use of Magnum Loads in S&W Model 19 and Other K-Frame Magnums


I looked into this awhile back with the pythons as well, but that was more for the going out of time thing than the barrel cracking as that was the first time I had ever really heard of it

anyways colt started crushfitting the barrels into the python like smith and wesson with all of their model revolvers in 1980 and I betcha its one of those post 1980's models too that had that crack

plus tooling started wearing out for both SW and colt and with the emphasis moving over to semi autos for LEO contracts in the 1980's well, keeping the quality control on revolvers high evidiently became a low priority

plus they started taking shortcuts like not pinning the barrel which apparently is still biting them in the butt to this day judging by these examples:


S&W Model 29-3 Problem!!! - YouTube
Poor Customer Service From S&W - YouTube


and then the glock came around in 85'...


so basically quality control and the low emphasis of creating a lifetime lasting revolver like they used to back in the 50's till the late 1970's became a low priority for both companies in the 1980's and thus I think this is how that issue really came to the forefront, their quality control problems, mixed in with the cost cutting messures and the crushfitting is what gave the K frame its bad rap, not the design

although the area they took out around the forcing cone to fit the .357 cylinder into a K frame in 1955 could have had a factor in this but I think that if it did it would have been a simple fix if the above hadnt happened with colt and smith and wesson in the 80's and I think there was no real need for an L frame to begin with, with factory loads atleast.

and as people like to hotrod stuff like idiots, and then blame the machine when it couldnt take it and not themselves the L frame was probably ment to stand up those hotrodded loads that the K frame couldnt which the rugers could, which doesnt mean that the K frame cant take the factory loads it was ment for in 1955.

it just means that only factory rated ammo that matches what the gun was designed to take should be used it, like the properly rated fuel for your car.


and if your carrying a gun for self defense why didnt you bring along ear plugs to begin with? its a practice I've been doing for many years now and thats just in general, not for carrying guns but just for general purpose, at the range or at the shopping mart as you never know when some idiot is going to pull the fire alarm somewhere.

and I put them on under my headsets at the range and keep them in all the time and it has saved my butt a few times there too, specifically on a short stocked ak variant that knocked off my headset while firing it.

Last edited by Kavinsky; 12-10-2011 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:29 PM
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so basically quality control and the low emphasis of creating a lifetime lasting revolver like they used to back in the 50's till the late 1970's became a low priority for both companies in the 1980's and thus I think this is how that issue really came to the forefront, their quality control problems, mixed in with the cost cutting messures and the crushfitting is what gave the K frame its bad rap, not the design

although the area they took out around the forcing cone to fit the .357 cylinder into a K frame in 1955 could have had a factor in this but I think that if it did it would have been a simple fix if the above hadnt happened with colt and smith and wesson in the 80's
So post-1980 corner cutting is the reason for cracked forcing cones?

That doesn't really explain the picture in this thread: 19-4 Cracked forcing cone (19-4s and earlier have pinned barrels/are pre-crush fit).

Or this 19-3 thread: Model 19-3 with cracked forcing cone. Any Help?

Or this one: 19-3 Dilemma...cracked forcing cone...can I use..
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:51 PM
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Guys. Um. I was having more fun reading this thread when we were just talking about how much we like K frames.

Back to the OP;
I'll fish out some pics of my 3 K's:
2.5" 66 38/357 - oops, posted that on page 2.
3" 10-4 .38 only - Aussie trade in - BTW; there's another batch of 3 inchers on Bud's out there today!
4" 64-5 great all around shooter. This is what I train people with. You just can't go wrong with a 64.

Just look at those 66 collections earlier in the thread! Any one of those will last your lifetime and your kids, and their kids, and their kids....
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But then, what do I know?

Last edited by M3Stuart; 12-10-2011 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:11 PM
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Guys. Um. I was having more fun reading this thread when we were just talking about how much we like K frames.
The OP didn't say "tell me how much you like K-frames." He noticed that .357 magnums were not currently available from Smith and Wesson in a K-frame. Thus the entire discussion: why we like .357 K-frames and reasons why they aren't available anymore.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:14 PM
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BTW; there's another batch of 3 inchers on Bud's out there today!
I only saw 4 inchers when I looked earlier today.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:36 PM
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So post-1980 corner cutting is the reason for cracked forcing cones?

That doesn't really explain the picture in this thread: 19-4 Cracked forcing cone (19-4s and earlier have pinned barrels/are pre-crush fit).

Or this 19-3 thread: Model 19-3 with cracked forcing cone. Any Help?

Or this one: 19-3 Dilemma...cracked forcing cone...can I use..
you've got your numbers mixed up, its 19 - 3 and earlier that have pinned barrels and are non crush fit, the numbers vary for either model

although supposedly the crush fitting thing started a little earlier than 1980, not really sure when exactly so the latter 19 -3s could be crush fit as well

with the 29's its a dash 2 and earlier that means its a pre 1980, although mines a 1979 - 1980 one with the pinned barrel 6 incher as they did away with the 6 1/2's the time that was made and its probably one of the first crush fit ones but I still trust it absolutely and I love the damn thing and the forcing cone doesnt look weak either, but the N frames arent known to have this issue to begin with, atleast to my knowledge.


and I think its a basic quality control issue where sometimes the steel would be thicker in that area than others and its possibile that maybe because of the longer barrel with the gunblast guys gun, which is a 6 the forcing cone was thicker than on the 4 inch ones with his particular example

and I wouldnt think that's just the reason why it was like that on them, its just one of the factors I noted, but notice how those guns are still usabile and in a repairabile state, still the 158 grain rule is probably the best possibile choice for ammo for it to lower the chances of that happening

mixed in with the earlierst one you can find

with my pre 1980 rule its because of what happened with the 686 my father bought back then, first 6 shots of magnum ammo and the thing locked up on him and I've been hearing this and that report about smiths not being as good as they used to be with the modern ones and ones of the same era as the 686, and about 4 other 686's with the same problem that happened to my father on here.

basically I think its a shot in the dark whether or not you get a good revolver that's a post 1980 regardless of the model for those reasons, including the guns there making nowadays, plus the keylock that never should have been added in the first place.

semi autos discluded as honestly while I've heard the horror stories and seen them with their revovlers the semi auto pistols they make seem to be what the revolvers used to be, damn near bulletproof.



so my rule is generally try and find a dash 2 or earlier and so far I have yet to get a lemon or a problem child of a smith and wesson like the 1980's K22 with it and I'm going to apply the same logic to the hunt for a model 19.


and besides with the exception of the model 29 where I shoot 180's instead of 240 because of the noise it makes I'd be trying to use only the 158's anyways as I like the number better than 124 and I make a point to shoot the heaviest avalabile factory ammo for all my guns.


Quote:
Originally Posted by M3Stuart View Post
Guys. Um. I was having more fun reading this thread when we were just talking about how much we like K frames.

Back to the OP;
I'll fish out some pics of my 3 K's:
2.5" 66 38/357 - oops, posted that on page 2.
3" 10-4 .38 only - Aussie trade in - BTW; there's another batch of 3 inchers on Bud's out there today!
4" 64-5 great all around shooter. This is what I train people with. You just can't go wrong with a 64.

Just look at those 66 collections earlier in the thread! Any one of those will last your lifetime and your kids, and their kids, and their kids....
fair enough I just didnt want to leave my viewpoint unexplained to anyone reading it.

Last edited by Kavinsky; 12-10-2011 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:10 PM
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you've got your numbers mixed up, its 19 - 3 and earlier that have pinned barrels and are non crush fit, the numbers vary for either model

although supposedly the crush fitting thing started a little earlier than 1980, not really sure when exactly so the latter 19 -3s could be crush fit as well
Per the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson, Model 19 engineering change dash 5: "Eliminate cylinder counterbore and pinned barrel; small change in cylinder length to 1.62"." Now, I'm sure there were a few models that right around the change that don't match up exactly as the last of the pinned barrels were used, but generally 19-4s are pinned and 19-5s are not. Either way, dash 3s (1967-1977) are not crush fit, but they've suffered the problem too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kavinsky
with my pre 1980 rule its because of what happened with the 686 my father bought back then, first 6 shots of magnum ammo and the thing locked up on him and I've been hearing this and that report about smiths not being as good as they used to be with the modern ones and ones of the same era as the 686, and about 4 other 686's with the same other problem on here.
Not exactly a representative sample you have there. Perhaps your father's 686 needed the "M" modification.
If you are so against 1980 and onward Smiths, why exactly are you hanging out in the "1980 to the present" forum?
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:07 PM
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Per the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson, Model 19 engineering change dash 5: "Eliminate cylinder counterbore and pinned barrel; small change in cylinder length to 1.62"." Now, I'm sure there were a few models that right around the change that don't match up exactly as the last of the pinned barrels were used, but generally 19-4s are pinned and 19-5s are not. Either way, dash 3s (1967-1977) are not crush fit, but they've suffered the problem too.

Not exactly a representative sample you have there. Perhaps your father's 686 needed the "M" modification.
If you are so against 1980 and onward Smiths, why exactly are you hanging out in the "1980 to the present" forum?


the gunblasts guy's model 19 was aquired in in 1973 as a - 3 model so I'm just going by what I know as he's had the thing from the getgo and hasnt tried hotrodded ammo in it like some of the previous owners could have potentally done with those examples before they were bought by their current owners, so that kind of elimintates the chance of some person pushing the limits of the guns like what could have happened with the others as a legitimate failure of the gun rather than user error.

hence why I'm going off of primarily his example there and hickok45's with the 29' as I trust both of their opinions entirely and hickok's M29 was also one he bought new at the same time as the 19, a 1973 model

and yes I've heard his 686 was one of those and he did send it back to smith and wesson for that recall but he lost all faith in the gun and smith and wesson because of it and the K frame model 19 was first made in 1955 till about 20 years ago and I have been looking for one myself and someone was talking about the 158 grain rule and posted what I knew about it here.

plus it showed up on the new posts thing and I dont restrict myself to the pre 1980 guns on the forums, I just click on whatever someone posts that sounds interesting regardless of my feelings on the matter to see what they say.

plus I've kind of been debating weather or not to drop the rule for a few exceptions but everytime I consider it something pops up that makes me stick to my guns on that rule, no pun intended.

as honestly I have seen a few I like like the thunder ranch .45 acp but the keylock and those customer service complaints just dont fill me with a lot of confidence in them.

plus that K22 was sent to springfield MA twice and came back the same both times and its just like okay 50/50 shot I get a good one, do I really want to risk getting a bad one that will never get properly fixed?

and then its marked as being sent back to the factory and the value goes down when I try to get rid of it?

I mean yeah I dont like rugers, I dont like their triggers and given the choice I'd take an old smith over a new ruger everyday but if I had to choose between a new smith and wesson revolver and a new ruger revolver I'd be inclined to go with the ruger as atleast the thing has a 90% chance of being a good one with no problems I reckon, provided its a reasonabile gun design, not that 357 magnum J frame like gun they've been making now that has apparently has had the same damn problem as the 390PD

Last edited by Kavinsky; 12-10-2011 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:50 AM
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I stated my thoughts on the History of the 357 Mag K frames on another thread.

IF you use a K Frame as a "Light Duty, 357 Mag, ie shoot 38's most of the time and save the 357 Mags for serious use, the K frame 357 Mag makes an excellent concealed carry 357 Mag.
It makes an excellent field carry 357 Mag.

That is what it was concieved for. And it is excellent at it.

If you want a High volume Master Blaster 357 Mag, get an L frame or a N frame.

This is one of the best things about the 357 Mag. You can get S&W 357 Mags in the J frame, the K frame, the L frame and the N frame, with barrels from under 2" to 8 &3/8ths. you can shoot light target 38 Specials to full power 357 Mags AND Speer shotshells.

Sometimes I wish I was a 357 Mag kind of guy... It has a lot going for it...
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:32 AM
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Kavinshy, we are getting into a bit of thread drift here but sometimes I think that can be a good thing.

I believe that you are doing yourself a dis-service in avoiding revolvers made after 1980. You may not remember it but S&W during the Bangor Punta Era had periods when their reputation for Quality was pretty miserable.

All of my revolvers are post 1980 and I really can't complain about any of them. In fact my model 67-1 from 1988 is as close to perfect as can be made. My model 620 from 2008 is far more accurate than I'm capable of shooting even by "cheating" with a scope and rest. As I've learned, 50 yards out ANY error in technique results in flyers and all I can do is achieve occasional flashes of "brilliance". Fact is that even with the Lock, S&W is building very serviceable revolvers that are an excellent value for the money invested. In addition they remain very easy to work on. In fact the post frame mounted firing pin and MIM revolvers are the easiest revolvers I've found to do an action tuning on.

BTW, IMO the reason the 357 Magnum has been dropped from the K frame is mainly due to the lifetime warranty. It has proven to be a bit more sensitive to proper care and ammunition choice that would be desireable in a gun with a lifetime warranty.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:05 PM
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Default Model 19-5



Seems like as good a place as any to jump into a thread ... I ran into Combat at a gun show yesterday and he put me onto a deal from a guy walking around looking for trades just before closing time. I was actually shopping for something else yesterday (used Beretta 3032 or a 38/357 derringer) but this hog leg for $300 changed my direction instantly.

Numbers stamped into the metal:
MOD 19-5
C14
919XX
F5

Numbers stamped in ink on the back of the grips:
FEB 910XX

The guy said that his dad passed down two of them and he was letting one go and keeping the other. My guess is that the grips got mixed up somewhere along the way since the numbers don't match. No idea about the actual age but I read somewhere that the 19-5 was produced from 1982-88. Sound about right?

Last edited by amplifryer; 12-11-2011 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Reduce picture size
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:32 PM
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Went to Shooter's on my way home from Columbus today ... I like it ... a lot! Sadly, just about everything I own is pretty much equity. There are only a few firearms in the safe that can be considered part of a permanent collection and everything else is subject to horse tradin'. This K-frame might actually be around for awhile.

12/12 - 158gr JHP .357mag@10 yds.

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Old 12-11-2011, 08:03 PM
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Pretty good shooting for the first time with that gun. A little more practice and you will be getting them all in the 10 ring. They are great shooters.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
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Pretty good shooting for the first time with that gun. A little more practice and you will be getting them all in the 10 ring. They are great shooters.
Thanks! I sent my 6" Taurus .357 M66 (7-shot) to Chris for his birthday last week. It's pretty minty, with box and paperwork. Don't need it anymore now that I've got this. Thanks again for finding the guy who was selling it at the gunshow ... it was the only deal I saw all day long.

I sold my old H&R Guardsman carry pistol and remaining supply of .32 S&W Long and got almost got as much as I gave the guy for the 19-5. The Model 35 Beretta 7.65 fits great in the same ankle holster so I'll never miss it.

For as much as California firearms laws suck, they've got pretty good regs for family transfers. Download a PDF, fill it out and send it in with 19 bucks. No FFL transfer. Chris is really happy with it ... he never even considered a wheel gun before.
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