S&W 340....Good or Bad?

S&W 340....Good or Bad?

This is a discussion on S&W 340....Good or Bad? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'd like to purchase one of these little DAO pistols...either the 340PD or the M&P 340, but I'm rather confused about their reliability. Here's what ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array PhillyGlock23's Avatar
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    S&W 340....Good or Bad?

    I'd like to purchase one of these little DAO pistols...either the 340PD or the M&P 340, but I'm rather confused about their reliability.

    Here's what I understand...and please correct me:

    340 PD: Very light, but shooting 125gr .357 out of it may cause the bullet to become dislodged from the casing, causing the cyclinder to stick. Also...the internal lock sometimes will become engaged, preventing continued fire.

    M&P 340: About 1.3 ounces heavier than the 340PD due to the stainless steel cylinder, but that this change was instituted to correct the bullet problems with the 340PD. But still...the internal lock will sometimes become engaged with .357 rounds.

    So is this true? I'd like to pick one of these bad boys up for a BUG...but if reliability is a problem...well...

    I'm interested in all of your feedback on this matter...pros, cons, opinions, rumors, etc. If it pertains to those super light .357s...go ahead and send the info this way!

    Many thanks in advance!

    --Dan


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    .38 caliber Airweight instead?

    Rather than worry about bullets becoming unseated in a lightweight .357 magnum, why not buy a .38 +P caliber Airweight J frame like the model 642? The frame is aluminum and the gun weighs 15 ounces empty, so pocket carry is quite feasible. Because of lower recoil, you can probably put more rounds on a target in a short amount of time than you could with the .357.


  3. #3
    Member Array estimber's Avatar
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    I had a 340PD and while it was a nice gun, shooting 38+p's in it was down right rude, 357's was absolutely insane. I eventually sold it because practice sessions were just not pleasant. Yes, it was easy to carry but if I am not comfortable shooting it then what is the point.

    Now that the M&P 340 is being released, I really want one. I handled the hammer version the other day and I really like the night sight, the finish and especially the look. I currently carry a 638 and find it much more pleasant to shoot than the 340 was. However, it does not look anywhere near as kool as the M&P 340 so I am not deciding if I want to go back to somewhat painful practice sessions. I am inclined to try one and think that I may like it.

    I guess what I am getting at here is think long and hard about what your shooting habits are. The scandium revolvers are definitely carry a lot and shoot almost none revolvers.

    The other thing to consider is the price, the M&P versions seem to be selling from the mid to high 700's while the 340PD can be had for 550.00 to 600.00.
    If we treat every gun as if it was loaded, then why not treat every individual as if they are armed.

  4. #4
    Member Array PhillyGlock23's Avatar
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    Many thanks Pogo2 and Estimber! Definitely some good things to consider.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    I had one too; great to carry, but not to shoot (way to painful to shoot in .357mag after 3-4 rounds).

    Trigger pull was in the 12-14lbs; had a gunsmith work on it, but I didn't like the "lighter" pull after he was done with it.

    Sold it and now carry a G30 w/CTC.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Super Trucker's Avatar
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    I personally think the lock just gives the "older guys" something to whine about. These guys fathers were probably the same one whining about color TV.
    Do you personally know anybody who has had a lock issue? I doubt it. If it were such a problem there would be a recall.
    I carry a 340SC and have no problem with the lock, I just don't use it. If you put a box of .357 downrange your hand will be sore, but to me that is the trade for having such a light carry gun.
    The barrel is stamped with "nothing less than 120gr bullets", because they a bad for the titanium cylinder, is what a S&W rep told me. They will shoot ok, just will eat the finish on the cylinder.

  7. #7
    Member Array Smitty908's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I bought my 340 about a year ago and I love mine! Yes...it does hurt to shoot it with .357's but as long as I can get them into 3" to 4" in a relatively short time who cares? You mentioned the "bullet pulling" issue...i have experienced this with mine but only with WWB. I carry Federal Hydra Shoks in mine though because of the nice heavy factory crimp...and have never had any problem with those, and they are full power 158's......It is a joy to carry, also...I say go for it!



    P.S.-- No, the stupid lock will not lock up the gun no matter what the 'net ninjas' say....just make sure it's unlocked and store the key for good.
    Last edited by Smitty908; April 3rd, 2007 at 12:03 AM.

  8. #8
    ckd
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    Member Array ckd's Avatar
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    Have a 340ss and M&P, both are sensational. For the lower price of the stainless steel cylinder and the slight increase in weight, I think it makes the for the perfect j frame.

    If you aren't going to carry 357s for SD or shoot them on occasion, I would go with +p loads in a 642 or 442. Any lightweight revolver will kick like a mule with 357s, but if you can place the bullets properly thats what its all about. Weekly practice is mostly 38 specials with a full run of 357 at some point.

    I prefer Speer Gold Dot short barrel HPs and Corbon DPX in our j frames.

    I have never encountered a lockup on any of our newer lock models.

    My primary carry is a G23, and the 340 with 357s spanks a lot more.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array fed_wif_a_sig's Avatar
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    The 340PD is an awsome gun, designed to be carried alot and shot alittle (very little). I broke my dont sell gun rule with it and sold it to a friend because I just got tired of the stink when qualifying with it. Went back to an airweight (440). But as far as reliable you dont have anything to worry about.
    Steve
    "Respect all ... Fear none!!!

  10. #10
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    Maybe my hands are too numb from leatherwork, or I'm just plain nuts; but I personally don't find my 340PD all that bad to shoot with 357s and don't see what all the fuss is about. Mine serves as an on-duty back-up gun.
    "He who makes things with his hands is a laborer, he who makes things with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who makes things with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist."
    www.garritysgunleather.com

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array NY27's Avatar
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    Although I am not a huge fan of the IL on the S&W Js, I still own one. I have a S&W340PD that I have shot with .357 mags. With the stock hogue grips, it is a handful. If I shoot .357s I put on Uncle Mikes combat grips to help w/ recoil. Most of the time I leave the hogues on and carry .38 +p Speer GDs 135 gr.

    I have never had the gun lock up due to the IL, although I have read on other forums that there is a slim chance of this happening.

    If the IL bothers you that much, pick up an old 442 without the IL. It is only 3 oz heavier and only shoots up to .38 +p.

    Good luck.
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  12. #12
    New Member Array timbo's Avatar
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    Phillyglock, I was in the same boat and while i got a taurus 650 .357 i use the Speer short barrel magnum ammo, it kicks like their+p stuff

  13. #13
    Member Array wheelgunner88's Avatar
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    Light weight J frame

    I don't own a 340, but I own a 642 and 325 PD. I have shot both in club level IDPA matches, and did reasonably well with them. The 342 is pretty abusive with my home grown 125 gr. 38+p loads (this is what it takes to make minimum power floor with 125 gr .357 bullets.) On the other hand, the last time I shot the 325 was around a 100 round match. I shot it on a Sat. Feeling returned to my hand sometime Sunday, and my hand didn't quit hurting 'till around Thursday. This was with WWB .45acp. Out of a 4" gun these make around 170,000 IPSC or IDPA power Factor. .357 mags will make around 200,00 and better IIRC. I'm a glutton for punishment, but I don't think I could shoot a lighter gun with more recoil enough to be comfortable with my proficency.Both of my guns are more accurate than I am and can be shot very well. Shooting these in matches proved to me that they are definately carry a lot and shoot a little. For the record, with the 325 I shot a stage that was two targets @5-7 yds around 3 yds between targets. Draw, 5 shots on first target, tactical reload, and 5 shots on second target. Final time was 7.5ish seconds, 0 down. I was rather pleased.
    "An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject."

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