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Old 12-12-2020, 10:57 PM
bradaz11 bradaz11 is offline
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hi, another post about this beautiful gun.
still trying to get a feel for its history.

From what I've seen so far on here, if I understand right, these were made for the shooting team to achieve major factor with minor capacity?
mr Jinks was at that time team captain and had a hand in their development.
I've also seen reference to the team being given these guns, now would they have been given serials number 1-5/6?
this being serial number 7, does that make it anything special?
Is it going to be worth sending off for a letter on this piece?
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:59 PM
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are there any books out there that I can buy with some reference to these guns?
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Old 12-13-2020, 12:11 AM
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The 3566Limited and it's brothers came together in a Perfect Storm of Competitor's Needs, Manufacturing's Capabilities and a new realization of internal Ballistic Realities




The history of the 356TSW cartridge and the firearms that are chambered for it has lots of mixed information.

You know how it goes, a little fact then a little misinformation. Mix them up and let them circulate around the internet for a quarter century and a few Urban Legends get born.

I am working on a short article on setting these issues straight. So far I have interviewed several members of the shooting team from back then along with a few of the people in the Performance Center in those days and several ammunition manufacturers.

I can tell you these are all modest folks. They each give the credit to other parties for who got the ball rolling on this, but a pattern is forming.

I admit I am late in getting this completed. I even have two interviews left to do. Getting this completed is probably going to be my New Year's Resolution.

Once it is done it will first appear in the SWCA Journal and we will see where it goes after that.


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Old 12-13-2020, 12:59 AM
bradaz11 bradaz11 is offline
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thank you

basically in this country, if I want a gun like this, I have to justify why it could be of historic interest. This is what I have in my justification...

Statement to support the application for a variation under section 7.3 pistol heritage scheme

Since the introduction of practical shooting in the 1970’s, the major governing body for this sport (IPSC) set out the major / minor division. This meant that larger calibres, such as 45acp scored more per hit than small calibres such as 9mm. This was because shooting the larger calibres was thought to be more of a disadvantage due to magazine capacity and recoil, meaning that shooters with 9mm could get more shots off on target in the same time. This rule was designed to even the playing field and not disadvantage shooters who chose to use 45acp. Shooters have therefore been trying to find ways to get into major powerfactor, with a minor mag capacity and recoil.
This led to an arms race of sorts, as the rules stated that over a certain powerfactor (PF = mass x velocity), a gun qualified as major. This meant that lot shooters then tried to push the limits of what a cartridge was capable of, leading to some very unsafe loadings and incidents! So IPSC instigated a rule change, and set out that for a cartridge to qualify as major, it had to be commercially produced at that pressure / loading and have handguns produced by manufacturers in that chambering. This ended the homemade wildcats and 9mm+P++ that were appearing and opened the door to the manufacturers.
One such cartridge was the .356tsw, which was developed between Smith and Wesson and the Federal Cartridge company, with a view to equipping Smith and Wesson’s own sponsored practical pistol shooting team, named Team Smith & Wesson, or TSW for short. They loaded 9mm para cases to higher and pressures and found the case was strong enough to get the bullet up to a high enough velocity, but most actions on pistols were not able to take the extra pressure, so they elongated the case to 21.5mm long to ensure it would not chamber in normal 9mm handguns, an established practice done with many cartridges, 44spl vs 44 magnum being just one example. The bullet was still loaded to the same overall length as 9mm para, unlike with the calibre example of 44 magnum. This would allow them to still use 9mm para magazines and frames. This round was dubbed .356TSW
Smith & Wesson had a cartridge, they now set about with a gun. The 3566 Limited was designed in 1992 by Roy Jinks of the TSW team, to compete in the Limited category that existed at that time. It was built on a 3rd gen 9mm frame made from stainless steel and featured oversized rails for strength, a stronger, harder wearing titanium barrel bushing on a modified barrel for more consistent lockup which would result in better accuracy. The Frame and slide were nitrided, then ground to give a high contrast aesthetic. Checkering was added by hand to the front of the grip and came as standard with a flared magwell and extended controls. All guns were made and fitted by hand in the Smith and Wesson Performance Center for the 5 members of the team. The first production run was started in the spring of 1993 as a special production run specifically for S&W distributer Lew Horton, who specialised in selling unique designed small production run pistols to IPSC competitors and collectors. The first run was of 5” barrelled guns, identical to the team guns, followed by a run of 3.5” barrelled compacts, which shared the serial number range. 517 limited were delivered to Lew Horton and 386 compacts. Serial numbers of the 1st block made are reported as being between TSW0001 and TSW0125 with 120 stated as being made.

Unfortunately for Smith and Wesson, as soon as this calibre hit the competition scene and started to dominate, IPSC held an emergency meeting in February of 1995 and made a change to their rules for Limited division (where this cartridge and gun were being marketed for), adding the rule that for a calibre to be classed as major, it must not have a bullet diameter less than 0.400 which overnight removed the need for this cartridge, leaving it dead in the water, with Federal and the 2 other ammunition manufacturers that were producing it to cease production, and Smith & Wesson bringing production to a close. It didn’t end shooters desires to achieve major from a small frame pistol though, instead leading to a rise in popularity of cartridges like 10mm auto and subsequent development by S&W of the 40S&W
356tsw could be likened to 357sig without the bottleneck, and perhaps with better marketing (9mm magnum perhaps) it might have survived


I would like to apply for a variation for this pistol as;
It is extremely rare due to the low numbers made and the short period of production. Even more so as this is the 2nd publicly available gun after the shooting team guns.
Ammunition is also very rare, being impossible to find in this country. And extremely uncommon in the US where it fetches over $2 a round.
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Old 12-13-2020, 03:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradaz11 View Post
thank you

basically in this country, if I want a gun like this, I have to justify why it could be of historic interest. This is what I have in my justification...


...IPSC held an emergency meeting in February of 1995 and made a change to their rules for Limited division.
It didnít end shooters desires to achieve major from a small frame pistol though, instead leading to a rise in popularity of cartridges like 10mm auto and subsequent development by S&W of the 40S&W.

Ammunition is also very rare, being impossible to find in this country. And extremely uncommon in the US where it fetches over $2 a round.
I hope you are successful in getting your variance. They are indeed awesome pistols.

What country is "this country"?

A factual correction, the 40 S&W came out three years (1990) before the 356TSW & five years before the rule changes you reference.

356TSW (9x21.5mm) ammo can be made from 9x23mm brass by trimming down it's length.

While the 356TSW brass is thicker/stronger than 9x19mm brass the 9x23mm is even thicker/stronger than the 356TSW brass. Thus cut-down 9x23 brass will have about 4.5% less capacity than 356TSW brass, which should be factored in when reloading it.

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Old 12-13-2020, 06:13 AM
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Apex Tactical is set to market 356TSW brass in 2021. Regards 18DAI
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Old 12-13-2020, 01:05 PM
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Look like great justification to me.

I found an extra "and": "They loaded 9mm para cases to higher and pressures and found..."

They loaded 9mm para cases to higher pressures and found...
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Old 12-13-2020, 03:23 PM
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proof reading FTW I think it should read 'higher and higher pressures' thank you!

I'm in England.
thanks again Bluedot, I'll see what I can do to reword that too.
my plan is to use that brass, as per your previous suggestion, but I've had it on order for 4 months now, it keeps being rolled over on backorder dates. the drawback to buying brass in the UK, certain calibres are so simple, but some more exotic stuff is so frustrating.
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Old 12-13-2020, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Shooters have therefore been trying to find ways to get into major powerfactor, with a minor mag capacity and recoil.
I have been a little confused here, as the 3566 Limited uses a double-stack "hi-cap" magazine that holds 15 rounds. For anyone who may not be aware, although original and also period-correct accessory magazines are clearly marked "356TSW" and have the glorious PC logo, these magazines are dimensionally exactly the same as 5906 magazines, with the tiny exception that they came with the speed-bumper base plate, to assist loading the magazines in to a pistol equipped with a funnel or magazine well as the 3566 Limited did.

At first when you said "minor capacity" I thought perhaps you were referring to the propellant capacity of the cartridge case, which we could argue... but the .356TS&W round makes it's extreme speed with what we might agree is extreme pressure as much or more than anything else.

My absolute opinion is that in 168 years of Smith & Wesson, our subject gun here is unmatched and unequaled in pure gorgeous looks. S&W has made a laundry list of great looking handguns, but no other example has ever matched nor exceeded the 3566 Limited in pure stunning beauty. I am willing to let the hardcore revolver guys ignore my stance on this, it's not a fair comparison. But if we are talking semiautomatic pistols, I can't see that anyone could show to me a S&W that's better looking than the 3566 Limited. It hits every single button.
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:15 PM
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I had understood that the original efforts for the 356 TSW were done with the 9x21 cases. Then S&W realized they already made guns in 9x21 for the Italian market, so lengthened the case 0.5mm so that the high pressure loadings would not fit in a standard 9x21 chamber.
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Old 03-06-2021, 01:28 AM
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I had understood that the original efforts for the 356 TSW were done with the 9x21 cases.
Absolutly not. The 9x21 is a substantially weaker cartridge case than the 356TSW

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Then S&W realized they already made guns in 9x21 for the Italian market, so lengthened the case 0.5mm so that the high pressure loadings would not fit in a standard 9x21 chamber.
Smith & Wesson did not Suddenly Realize they had built 9x21s.

It is a matter of Italian Law that Civilians can not own handguns chambered for Military cartridges. The 9x21 is used for ALL auto loaders sold into Italy that would have been marketed as 9MM here in America

9x21 is commercially loaded to levels very comparable with 9MM Parabellum (aka 9x19)
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Old 03-06-2021, 01:46 AM
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I’m curious to know if S&W made more 9x21 chambered handguns other than the Super 9 and the 952-3, both of which came YEARS after the debut of the 3566 Limited in 1993.
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Old 03-06-2021, 01:50 AM
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No particular argument with what you say. I do know that 9x21 cases were being loaded hot prior to the 356 TSW development.

The hot loaded 9x21 and 38 Supers proved the concept of high pressure handgun cartridges, though numerous shooters suffered "Super face" during the process.

The "suddenly realized" is my dramatization only since, again, as I understood at the time, the development work was with the 9x21 and not the 9x19. That's not to say no one loaded the 9x19 hot, but the 9x21 (loaded hot) was fairly well established by the time the 356 TSW came about.

The 9x21, in and of itself, is a political 9mm Luger, having equivalent ballistics. It was the mistaken receipt of a drum of cases by a shooter in the US that led to it being loaded hot (by handloaders).

I was sorry to see both the 356 TSW and the 9x23 Winchester fail in the marketplace.
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Old 03-06-2021, 02:09 AM
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Im pretty sure my 986 is chambered in 9X21, I wish it wasnt. I dont have any of those rounds to test it but 9mm rounds drop completely flush into the cylinder. Also the same gun is/was marketed in Italy in 9 X 21 I believe.
I agree with Sevens, the 356s are a great looking gun, I wish the PC 5906s had the same color scheme.

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Old 03-06-2021, 03:05 AM
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Is my memory faulty or do I remember that one problem of the 9x23 is that it was too long to fit 9x19 size magazines and therefore required a "large" frame?

John?
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Old 03-06-2021, 04:36 AM
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That's right.

The 38 Super & 9x23 (max COAL": 1.280" & 1.300") cartridges need a 1911 size frame.

The 356TSW, 9x21, & 9x19 have similar max COAL"s (1.170" & 1.169"), and conversely, need magazine spacers if used in a 1911 size frame.

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Old 03-15-2021, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post
The 3566Limited and it's brothers came together in a Perfect Storm of Competitor's Needs, Manufacturing's Capabilities and a new realization of internal Ballistic Realities




The history of the 356TSW cartridge and the firearms that are chambered for it has lots of mixed information.

You know how it goes, a little fact then a little misinformation. Mix them up and let them circulate around the internet for a quarter century and a few Urban Legends get born.

I am working on a short article on setting these issues straight. So far I have interviewed several members of the shooting team from back then along with a few of the people in the Performance Center in those days and several ammunition manufacturers.

I can tell you these are all modest folks. They each give the credit to other parties for who got the ball rolling on this, but a pattern is forming.

I admit I am late in getting this completed. I even have two interviews left to do. Getting this completed is probably going to be my New Year's Resolution.

Once it is done it will first appear in the SWCA Journal and we will see where it goes after that.


Mark,
My understanding is that these guns were designed for the purpose of WINNING IPSC matches with a 9mm MAJOR cartridge....power factor had to meet 1993 Major #s. These guns did win (they cleaned house) and IPSC changed the rules the following year and made MAJOR 40cal and above. Team S&W abandoned the competition. I have had all 5 (FIVE) guns....3.5", 4" SD (Stocking Dealer), 5", 5" race and 940 J-Frame revolver (Pocket Rocket).
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:56 AM
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Answer to brass for me was to simply get a 9x19 barrel and spring from Briley. I don't need the power for anything and I haven'y had a grizzley soda pop can run away from 9x19 yet.

Any idea what these Limiteds are selling for these days?
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