First Shots: S&W Model 64-3 w/4" HB

This is a discussion on First Shots: S&W Model 64-3 w/4" HB within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hello. Like so many within the shooting community, I find myself afflicted with "galloping gunorrhea", a condition in which resistance to buying certain firearms fades ...

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Thread: First Shots: S&W Model 64-3 w/4" HB

  1. #1
    1951 - 2011
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    First Shots: S&W Model 64-3 w/4" HB

    Hello. Like so many within the shooting community, I find myself afflicted with "galloping gunorrhea", a condition in which resistance to buying certain firearms fades to nothing and one's backbone becomes mush. The ability to utter even a faint, "No", becomes almost impossible...especially if the price is right.

    The disease's symptoms are similar but it is triggered by different firearms, depending upon the shooter. For some, it might be brought on by certain Garands for sale, or FAL's, side x side shotguns or a myriad of handguns.

    For me, intense flare-ups occur when I see certain specific handguns such as 9mm FN/Browning Hi Powers, certain 1911-pattern pistols and many pre-lock S&W revolvers. I am as fond of the S&W Model 10/64 family of K-frame .38 Specials as I am Hi Power pistols.

    My most recent attack of galloping gunorrhea resulted in my buying a very clean S&W Model 64-3 with a 4" heavy barrel. It had been carried a little and had a few shiny "rub marks" on the barrel and cylinder from rubbing against a holster. The right-side service grip panel showed a few dings, but not bad; the set can be cleaned up and refinished. The left-side panel was fine. This is typical of a handgun carried on a person's right side.

    The seller advised that the serial number indicated 1981 manufacture.


    Here is the Model 64 as I bought it. The double-action was quite smooth and measured 12.5-lbs. Single-action dropped the hammer at S&W's usually crisp 4-lbs with practically no over-travel. Side plate screws didn't appear to have been removed or at least had been removed with a proper screwdriver...if at all. The bore was pristine and no nicks or flaws were visible at the barrel crown. Both cylinder lock-up and timing were fine whether the trigger was pressed slowly or not.

    I have removed the magnas and will refinish them in the near future. In the meantime, I stuck a set of Pachmayr "Grippers" on the revolver. I also "cleaned up" the extremely minor surface flaws using Flitz and cleaning patches.


    Here is the revolver in its current condition and as it was for today's short range session.

    I didn't have a lot of time today so I only shot a couple of loads through the gun, both being commercial reloads from Georgia Arms. The first load was their lightly-loaded 125-gr. LFP "Cowboy" load and the second was a 158-gr. PSWC ("Plated Semiwadcutter") that in reality is a plated flat point. I will wring the gun out more in later sessions but despite my lack of time today, I fear it is at least a minor sin not to fire a new acquisition, particularly a favorite even if it has rained for days and you've been busy with other projects.

    All shooting today was done double-action and using a two-hand hold in a standing position. Distance was only 12 yards. There was no effort at speed. I just wanted to see if the revolver was functioning properly and check POA vs. POI.


    I don't recall how many cylinders-full either load were fired at their respective targets. For this light load, POA was the center of the bullseye. I estimate that a total of about 150 shots were fired total through the gun today but not all at the targets shown in this post.


    Not quite a six-o'clock hold, I aimed slightly below the center of the bull when shooting the standard power 158-gr. plated bullet load.


    Around the crown, fouling appeared uniform and no obvious flaws or nicks were observed.

    In short, I was not surprised with either the 100% reliability or the gun's ability to group. POA is matching up nicely to POI, at least at this distance and based on past experience, will be fine at about any "normal" handgun distance.

    Though a couple of more shooting sessions will be required to be absolutely sure, I strongly believe that this revolver will be a boringly reliable, tight-grouping K-frame .38 Special but in these cases, boring can be good.

    Best.

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  3. #2
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    I always enjoy your writings sir. Thank you for helping to foster my own case of "galloping gunorrhea".

    Now I need to talk to my sponsor.

    Biker

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    Stephen, as always, a well written and informative review. I look forward to the next installment when you really wring the new 64 out. I expect it to be a good result. Thanks.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

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    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    Stephen, that is a beauty, definately enough to give me a worse case of "galloping gunorrhea", especially considering my weakness for anything wearing that distinctive S&W symbol.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

  6. #5
    1951 - 2011
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    Hello.


    I polished out few more very minor minor surface flaws and have cleaned up and refinished the magna stocks that came with the gun. A quick review in Kuhnhausen's The S&W Revolver (A Shop Manual) and I fitted the sear on this spurless DAO hammer to the gun. A small amount of very fine and minimal polishing internally and a 16-lb rebound spring have made an already slick action a little nicer, but I am by no means capable of real action work. I just did a tiny bit of "cleaning"and "smoothing" here and there. I fired a couple of hundred rounds without incident yesterday but will need to do this again at least once more before I will actually trust this revolver enough to use it for anything potentially "serious". I'll probably load up a couple of hundred .38 handloads using CCI primers and if it they all "pop" flawlessly, I'll likely consider it good to go. I already know that the sights are "on" with my carry load of choice as well as the handloaded 158-gr. CSWC's I shoot fairly frequently.

    Model 10's and 64's are sort of like Hi Powers to me; I cannot resist them.

    Best.

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