Range Report: S&W Model 64-2 w/2" Bbl...

Range Report: S&W Model 64-2 w/2" Bbl...

This is a discussion on Range Report: S&W Model 64-2 w/2" Bbl... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello. Yesterday, after arriving home from an out-of-town trip, I was checking various gun boards and at the Texas CHL Forum ( http://www.texaschlforum.com/ ), I ...

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  1. #1
    1951 - 2011
    Array Stephen A. Camp's Avatar
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    Range Report: S&W Model 64-2 w/2" Bbl...

    Hello. Yesterday, after arriving home from an out-of-town trip, I was checking various gun boards and at the Texas CHL Forum ( http://www.texaschlforum.com/ ), I noticed that one of the moderators ("HighVelocity") had a very clean Model 64 snub for sale. The revolver was from the California Department of Corrections and had "CDC" followed by numerals on the frame beneath the cylinder on the same side as the cylinder release. HighVelocity reported that the gun had been bead blasted and it was pictured with a set of Pachmayr "Professional Compac" grips on it.

    He wanted to sell face-to-face in the DFW area...which is where I was. Cutting to the chase, I met him at a location in Ft. Worth, examined the gun and it was just exactly as he described. The matte finish was very clean and the action was smooth with very good cylinder timing and lock-up. This very nice young man furnished a flashlight so that I could more easily examine the bore...which was just fine.

    I bought the revolver and the accompanying belt holster and got three HKS Speedloaders as part of the deal. I thought I liked the gun but that's really not known until it is shot.

    Today I was able to get to the range with it and fired at distances varying from 15 to 7 yards.


    Here is the Model 64-2 I bought. It is wearing a set of inexpensive nylon "Hideout" grips that I bought through Brownells. I don't normally use smooth handgun stocks but these seem "textured" enough to provide a secure grip. (I've tried them on several K-frames and they were always slightly loose. Not so on this particular K-frame, so I thought I'd give them a try.) I've had very good luck with their J-frame grip, but have to relieve the left side grip for speedloader use.


    The K-frame Hideout grips work fine with speedloaders w/o the need for any alteration to the stock itself.

    I fired 12 shots in double and single-action to make sure that the gun was functioning properly. No problems.

    Shooting: Initial shots were fired in slow-fire at 15 yards. I was seated with my wrists braced and using a two-hand hold. This was just to see how well the sights were regulated. In other words, would POA match POI. Point-of-aim was the center of the bullseye. The first group was fired single-action with the second in double.


    Twelve shots were fired at each target. The ammunition was a handload consisting of a Redline 158-gr. CSWC over 4.8 grains Unique if once-fired R-P cases ignited by a Winchester Small Pistol primer. As is evident, the POA nicely matched POI with this load.

    Next I fired 5 shots (short on ammo) of Remington's 158-gr. LSWCHP +P. This was done standing and using a two-hand hold at 10 yards. Firing was not rushed but not nearly so slow as when firing at 15 yards.


    POA also closely matched POI using my preferred "carry load". The shot that is outside the black bullseye was my fault and I felt myself throw the shot when it happened. It was the third shot of the group.

    A snub load that is really popular is Speer's 135-gr. Gold Dot +P. It is specifically designed for snubnose and shorter barreled revolvers. As with the Remington, only 5 shots were fired. I noticed after I shot that I was about two paces behind where I'd been when I fired the Remingtons so I marked the distance as being 12 yards.

    (For those who might be interested, here is a report on three loads often recommended for snubs:
    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/3...mmo%20test.htm )


    This was the best group fired. I suspect that it is luck as I do not shoot that well, but it is obvious that any of the three loads fired have more than enough accuracy for most of us. A nice surprise was POI is very close between these three loads. I really expected the Speer bullet to strike slightly lower than the Remington or the handload. I noted no significant horizontal variation between any of the three loads.

    At 7 yards I fired three groups of six shots each from a standing position and using a two-hand hold. I started from a low ready and fired a slight variation of drill thought up by firearm instructor, Jim Higginbotham. Part of this requires that 5 shots be fired at 5 yards in no more than 2 seconds using a two-hand hold and starting from a low-ready. I opted to see if I could do six shots in 2 seconds at 7 yards. Mr. Higginbotham's hit-or-miss approach is a 5 1/2 x 8 1/2" target. Only hits count. I used my usual hand-drawn "Gort Target" with an area about the size of a large coffee saucer. The ammunition used was the previously mentioned handload.


    I wasn't able to get all six shots fired in 2 seconds. I averaged 2.19 seconds for the three runs shown here.

    Chronography: Average velocities are based on 10-shots fired 10' from the chronograph screens.

    Handload:
    158-gr. Redline CSWC
    4.8-gr. Unique (This is the "old" Unique.)
    Once-fired R-P cases
    WSP Primer
    Average Velocity: 824 ft/sec
    Extreme Spread: 49
    Std Deviation: 15

    Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P:
    Average Velocity: 885 ft/sec
    Extreme Spread: 50
    Std. Deviation: 14

    Speer 135-gr. Gold Dot +P:
    Average Velocity: 942 ft/sec
    Extreme Spread: 56
    Std. Deviation: 15

    I was very surprised at the Remington's velocity from this Model 64's two-inch bbl. This is essentially the same velocity I get from a different Model 64 with a 3" bbl! I am not necessarily convinced that this particular snub has a "fast" barrel. I believe that this particular lot of Remington ammo is a tad hotter than some. The reason is that almost always, I get about 800 to 820 ft/sec with this stuff from a 1 7/8" J-frame, but the last time I fired my Model 642 with it, I got an average velocity of 844 ft/sec. The 3" gun's average velocity was taken with a different lot of ammo, one that normally averaged about 800 ft/sec from the J-frame snub. If I get the chance (and remember), I'll chronograph some of this lot through the 3" revolver and see what it does.

    Felt recoil is a subjective quantity, but to me, the Remington load had the most, followed by the Speer and finally, the handload. While the Remington seemed to "shove" more than the Speer, the latter felt "sharper"...at least to me.

    Conclusion and Observations: These will be no real surprise to anyone. There were no hang ups, failures to fire, sticky extraction or malfunctions of any kind.

    I was very relieved to see that the gun pretty well shoots to its sights and that very little if any "Kentucky Windage" will be needed ...except is playing around at longer distances.

    The Hideout grips were quite comfortable, remained tight throughout today's shooting and I noticed no loss of control in rapid-fire.

    When I'd previously shot Mr. Higginbotham's drill using a 4" Model 64, I was able to shoot an average time that was quicker than 2.19 seconds, but only by about 0.07 seconds! I did notice that the rapid-fire groups from the 2" gun were a bit more spread out than with the 4".

    After running these semi-formal "tests", I fired another 150 rounds of handloaded ammo through the gun. Again, no surprises. Primer strikes were nicely centered and the gun showed no signs of the cylinder trying to bind against the forcing cone as more and more shots were fired.


    Whether used for self-protection or just for fun, I believe that the K-frame/38 Special "marriage" is a good one.

    Now that I have fired and tested the gun, I can say w/o question that I like it. This one will probably be toted quite a bit.

    Best.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Excellent Write up as always why are you not writing for some of the gun rags .. Your stuff is much better

    I have seen a Article of your before in one but ya should be selling them a lot more ..

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array Glock 'em down's Avatar
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    Awesome review and GORGEOUS wheelie! I absolutely LOVE Smith snubbies! Looks like you got a winner there!

  4. #4
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    Agree with Bud 100% - I enjoy every one of your write-ups Steve .. excellent content and construct.
    I suspect that it is luck as I do not shoot that well
    Haha - Mr Camp Sir - you berate yourself unnecessarily ....... I'd say you were a more than proficient shooter (and writer too).

    As ever, thank you.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  5. #5
    1951 - 2011
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    Hello and thank you all very much. I'm tickled that the post was of interest. About the only article I have had published was in "American Handgunner" on the Dave Sample Patriot Pistols. Years ago I used to write some articles for the Texas Tactical Police Officer Association's magazine, "Command."

    The guns/ammo etc that I write about are ones that I either own or can borrow and I write 'em as I see 'em. If I do not care for a product or firearm, I certainly don't buy it and therefore don't evaluate and write about it. There are certainly firearms and products that I don't care for and what I might write would probably get a magazine editor in hot water and me dismissed.

    Best.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    yep the Patroit Pistols is the one i read still have it around here some where


    I do see you point but we need some honesty in the gun writers and reviews when was the last time ya saw one come out and say ya know i wouldn't use this gun as a boat anchor it was a real turd

    Prime example the Sigma

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Smith&Wessonfan's Avatar
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    That is one outstanding handgun.

    I need to find me a K frame snub.

    Stephen, you may want to try Safariland speedloaders if you haven't yet. I wager that your HKS will collect dust after you do.

  8. #8
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    Hello, sir, and thanks for the tip. I might just have to do that.

    Best and thank you again.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    S&Wfan the Safari land one are the one ya just push on the end to dump the cartridges in the chamber right ?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Smith&Wessonfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud White View Post
    S&Wfan the Safari land one are the one ya just push on the end to dump the cartridges in the chamber right ?
    Almost.

    Yes, Safariland speedloaders have a black knob at the same place that HKS do. Unlike HKS, that knob is used only to lock the cartridges in place.

    To release the cartridges, all you do is grasp the speedloader by its body (not by the knob) and push it in against the cylinder. The front side of the loader has a small plunger in the center of the loader that springs up when the cartridges are locked in. When you push the loader against the cylinder that plunger is depressed until it clicks. At that point all rounds are released and the loader can be dropped/swept away.

    It is lightning fast in action compared to the fumbling with the release knob on an HKS.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Yep thats one i was thinking off I have 2 and yes they are lighting fast couldnt look at mine to remember what i had as they are on loan

    Ive always lined it up in the cylinder and just pushed the back of it for it to dump the rounds

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Smith&Wessonfan's Avatar
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    One caveat with Safariland loaders and J frames.

    The body of a Safariland loader for J frames appears to be a smidge wider than an HKS for the same gun. I will meausure them both at home later on today and post.

    I found out that that extra diameter creates a binding problem when using semi wadcutter bullets in your ammo. The body of the speedloader becomes jammed on the factory boot grips of my 637 when trying to load my practice ammo loaded with Oregon Trail 158 grain .358" semi wadcutters.

    The problem does not exist with bullets with a more gradual profile such as RN, RNHP, RNFP, and conical flat point. The problem also does not exist, including ammo loaded with SWCs, when using Safarilands on K frames. The larger frame to cylinder gap there cures the problem.

    My carry ammo is 38 +P 135 gr Speer Gold Dot and I have confirmed that there is no binding at all when using a Safariland loader.

    As I expend my practice ammo loaded with SWCs, I am reloading it using round nose bullets of the same weight and make.

    Moral of the story: thoroughly wring out ALL components of your defensive weapon system every time you make a change.

  13. #13
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    The body of a Safariland loader for J frames appears to be a smidge wider than an HKS for the same gun
    That piqued my curiosity so measured mine . the HKS and Comp 1 Safariland ........ To all intents - mine came out same at 1.332".

    I certainly can agree on the potential for problems with SWC's and speedloaders ..... and have found the more rigid ''hold'' of the Comp 1 makes insertion that bit easier. Too often for me, one round at least, wobbling in the HKS, will foul up the smooth insertion of the set.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Smith&Wessonfan's Avatar
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    Chris, even if they are the same (and I don't doubt your word), it is quite possible that the sharp shoulder of the hard cast SWCs I have been using for practice may be the culprit. Bullets without that square feature are more forgiving in terms of alignment (or lack of), as my experiences with a Comp I and round nose and conical bullets of various types indicate.

    For me, at least, the combination of a M637, Safariland Comp I, and my reloads with Oregon Trail 158 gr SWCs does not play well. Any other roundish bullet works just fine.

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