New 357mag Revolver - Page 4

New 357mag Revolver

This is a discussion on New 357mag Revolver within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by bmcgilvray I agree with you and refuse to have anything to do with the baggage that is the lock! I have experienced ...

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  1. #46
    Member Array MLittle's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    North Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I agree with you and refuse to have anything to do with the baggage that is the lock! I have experienced a lock-related failure on another person's new Smith & Wesson Model 329, the revolver shutting down. None of my Smith & Wesson revolvers will ever have a lock-related issue because they are without the silly thing.

    Good question about the Model 66 design revisions. I like the "pinned and recessed" versions best of all but that's just a nod to the craftsmanship of the age and the esthetics of the extra attention given the revolvers having these features. There was a post over on "Big Blue" Smith & Wesson forum just this week touting the later K-Frame Magnum revolvers for what the poster considered to be design improvements characteristic of the post-1981 revolvers. These revolvers won't feature the pinned barrel or the recessed cylinder. In the poster's view these later revolvers were better for actually shooting and who's to say he's not correct. I've never happened to have any experience with a later vintage K-Frame Magnum.

    I've never had a moment's trouble out of the K-Frame Magnums owned while using full-powered handloads and these are never fired with .38 Special loads. There are .38 Special chambered revolvers on hand for that. None of the K-Frame .357 Magnums around here have seen especially high round counts though and I don't still have the ones that were the most heavily used. The rise of the internet forum has saddled the Models 13, 19, 65, and 66 with the reputation of being prone to shooting loose and occasionally suffering cracked forcing cones where the forcing cone is relieved to receive the yoke when the revolver's cylinder is closed. It is said that the full-powered .357 Magnum is straining the capabilities of the 1899 vintage K-Frame design, especially with the hot 125 grain factory loadings. I've not personally seen either issue in my revolvers nor in revolvers of other close associates who own these models. I haven't babied my revolvers but tend to use them with ammunition featuring 158 grain bullets. There is probably a grain of truth deep within the hyped up rumors of K-Frame Magnum issues but I'm firmly convinced that the problem is way overblown.

    The intermediate-sized L-Frame .357 Magnum revolvers were introduced by Smith & Wesson in 1980 to obviate any issues connected with K-Frame Magnums, providing a fully formed forcing cone with no relief cut and a slightly beefier frame. Of course the L-Frames also introduced the full-lugged barrels to the Smith & Wesson line, something which was once uniquely the province of the Colt Python. The L-Frame has well proven its mettle at this point, being considered robust for extended use with the heaviest .357 Magnum loadings. The full-lug barrel also serves to dampen perceived recoil. There is a marked difference in perceived recoil when shooting a given load in a 4-inch Model 19 and a 4-inch Model 586. The full-lugged barrel is also popular with many who feel it steadies the revolver while aiming. Lots of folks also love its looks. The full-lugged barrel's popularity took off like wild fire and is still popular. One is "in style" when he has an L-Frame and is likely considered an old fogy if he is sporting a Smith & Wesson model without the chunky barrel.

    I don't much care for the full-lugged barrels, finding them to be an offense to the eye and ill-balanced and front-heavy. While I don't like 'em I'm in the minority. Despite the reputed benefits of the L-Frame, I really love the slightly smaller K-Frame .357s or the larger N-Frame .357 revolvers. Since both K-Frame and "traditional" N-Frames (being the Models 27 and 28) are now discontinued, they may only be acquired as used guns.

    For the folks wanting a .357 Magnum for shooting quantities of full-powered factory loads or experimental heavy .357 Magnum handloads, the N-Frame Models 27 and 28 are without peer among double-action revolvers. A Ruger Blackhawk could afford the shooter equal durability if he was willing to go the single-action revolver route. The big N-Frame guns exhibit great accuracy and are so nicely balanced yet soak up recoil so well. They are durable and hold up to all sorts of fun handloaded ammunition creations. A fairly unknown secret about the N-Frame revolvers is the fact that they accomplish double-action shooting uniquely well due to their heavy cylinders. This is something that must be experienced to appreciate. The N-Frame's my favorite revolver for doing .357 Magnum. If a shooter is looking for a .357 Magnum for range use, hunting, or bedside self-defense he can do no better than a Smith & Wesson N-Frame revolver. These large .357 Magnums when fitted with 3 1/2-inch or 4-inch barrel may be carried concealed with thoughtful holster selection. I'd like to have a 3 1/2-inch Model 27 for the purpose.

    It just doesn't get any better than a Smith & Wesson Model 27 or Model 28. Of course that is only an opinion. Now all the fans of the double-action Dan Wesson and Ruger .357 Magnums along with those who love the vaunted Colt Python can rise up and pounce on the pontificating above. They're entitled to their opinions too. Thing is, there are a host of really great .357 Magnum revolvers out there and all can well serve for a number of handgunning chores. The "real" full-powered .357 Magnum is an amazing cartridge and this is from a fellow who loves the old .38 Special, its flexibility and capabilities.
    Thanks for the great writeup on Smith just made my decision much more difficult. There are just too many options....I did like the looks of the Model 27. The Python is also very interesting and beautiful handgun, but I hear their actions are somewhat delicate.

  2. #47
    Senior Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    May 2007
    "The Python is also very interesting and beautiful handgun, but I hear their actions are somewhat delicate."

    Hi again MLittle;

    I'm going to go against the grain to say that the Python isn't nearly as delicate as it's current internet forum reputation frequently suggests. Sometimes folks hear and then repeat stuff without benefit of personal observation. I've not fired just a tremendous number of rounds through my 1978 example but it's not been especially babied either. It's stayed "bank vault tight" and in time though occasionally hammered with .357 Magnum handloads.

    For all it's glitz and glamor the Python action is a part-for-part rendition of a Colt action design dating to 1907 when their Army Special was introduced. The Army Special was renamed the Official Police in the mid-1920s and soldiered on until 1970 when the action design was completely revamped into a coil spring affair that better lent itself to modern production methods (read that less hand-fitting and cheaper to build). The Python, originally introduced in 1955, continued on with the classic, but more expensive to produce, V-Spring action design until it too was sadly discontinued in the mid-1990s.

    Given proper care, kept cleaned and lubricated, the Python should be expected to give excellent long-term service. Now the following is only a personal opinion based on observation that hasn't been gleaned from a credible source.

    It seems that the the Colt double-action designs offer excellent durability and trouble-free service as long as the shooter does the clean/lube part faithfully. Let the Colt get gummy and grungy and continue to compel it to function and it seems to wear and go out of adjustment sooner than a Smith & Wesson revolver given the same treatment. Neglect is hard on any firearm though and is a shameful thing. Of course this shouldn't be a problem for the dedicated firearms devotee who takes care of his equipment. There are two Army Special revolvers(1913 and 1925), a Commando (1943), an Official Police (1953), and a Officer's Model Match (1957) around here that all share the same basic size and action design as the Python. Only the oldest one was trouble, caused by being "Bubba'd" by a nitwit. It was acquired as a basket case to become an exercise in rebuilding and has been trouble-free since. The others have all given perfect satisfaction over the years, never needing any adjustments or work.

    Another fairly common enemy of Pythons is the ever-popular "action job" given so many of them by doofuses who just can't leave well enough alone. Some fellow gets a fine used Python with a perfectly delightful action that's "as slick as a gut" right out of the factory but has to "improve" on what Colt produced. So he takes, or sends off, the revolver to some reputed "action-whiz" gunsmith who may or may not (lots more "may nots" out there) know the ins and outs of Colt revolver mechanics. The gun comes back with an action that's superficially even smoother than it was but the timing's on the ragged edge, main spring's been altered and possibly weakened, and hammer and trigger sears have been stoned to be the equivalent to parts in a worn out ol' clunk. This arrangement doesn't last very many hundred rounds before parts relationships go haywire and then the revolver design is blamed when it was nitwits at work all along, both the nitwit owner and nitwit gunsmith. Leave things alone is the watchword for best long term satisfaction.

    Trouble is, many Colt Pythons today are in the cold, clammy hands of collectors who shoot them seldom or never. The revolvers are never enjoyed for their designed purpose which is to shoot. That's a shame too because a Python at the range is a very fine thing to experience, again and again.

    Some of us old gun geezers don't see the classic models as inferior or obsolescent in comparison with the "latest and greatest" popular firearms on the market. Such oldies can be quite modern, giving functional equivalency to anything currently produced. They were only discontinued in favor of designs that use less costly materials and production methods. This can be a good thing for it helps keep affordable firearms in the hands of the shooting public and our nation desperately needs a shooting populace. Down side is that fit and finish became a thing of the past. It can be gratifying though to keep a few of the older classic designs on hand for both shooting fun or as serious self-defense tools. I know I'll always admire older forged steel revolver designs, 1911s, and Hi-Powers most of all.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  3. #48
    Senior Moderator
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    Bryan isn't just making me swoon with the gun porn, he's making me smarter, too.
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  5. #49
    Member Array Mark_in_wi's Avatar
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    Jul 2012

    Not a revolver but.....

    .357, 9+1, and almost always gets attention. Yes it's the Desert Eagle!! I know you are looking at revolvers but the Desert Eagle is a blast to shoot. You can still have your .357 and it IS something different.
    Sorry I just think everyone should shoot one of these at least once in their life.

  6. #50
    Senior Member Array Darrow75's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    St. Petersburg, FL
    I really want a 4" GP 100. I think that will be my next buy but I just brought home a G26 and an M&P 9c yesterday so I guess I'll have to wait a bit. Have an LCR in .357 and still miss my old .357 Vaquero. Revolvers are cool!

  7. #51
    Lead Moderator
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    Sep 2006
    Thanks Bryan, now I am going to have to add the Model 27 & 28 to my GunBroker search list.

    I have only one K-frame a 65-2 and I am amazed at how well it shoots (compared to my Ruger Speed Six)

    For me the .357 magnum has become my favorite caliber and carry gun. I only have 3, the S&W 65-2, Ruger Speed Six and a Taurus 605 (that I usually carry .38 spl +P's in it).

    The .357 and it's little brother the .38spl are a hand loaders delight, both can be fired out of a .357 revolver. On can use a .38 special on small game (I have shot rabbits with a LRN and it made a .36cal hole straight through the little bunny) and a Hog with a 180gr Swift A frame from Federal Vital-Shock with my Ruger.

    I think that a 3 inch barrel would be optimum for concealed carry
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

  8. #52
    New Member Array mossy500camo's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    SE Alabama
    I am looking to buy a S&W 60 .357 mag soon.

  9. #53
    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    buffalo NY
    Quote Originally Posted by MLittle View Post
    I love revolvers! I'm looking for a new 357 Magnum revolver to add to my collection. This is for shooting......not a collectable for the safe. I now have a Ruger SP-101 and a Ruger GP-100, but want something else to take to the range. I'd consider a Smith and Wesson, but nothing with that infernal frame lock. Just looking for ideas..... Would also consider other revolver makers...
    Colt Python

  10. #54
    Senior Member Array camsdaddy's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    South Georgia
    I love my 3" 13

  11. #55
    New Member Array gravale's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Miami, Fl

    .357 magnum TDA

    I just got a 357 mag from an old guissard. It is a Thermodinamic System made in Santa Monica California. Has anyone heard about them before. What is the economic or historic value?/?????

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