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Thread: Return of the K frame 357

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    Return of the K frame 357

    Like many folks, I love the feel and handling of S&W K-frame revolvers. I have 5 of them in various barrel lengths and calibers.

    Missing from the new production line up for a few years now has been a K frame in 357 magnum. Reports about the supposed fragility of K frames have been passed around for a while now, but none the less K frame 357s remain very much in demand. Model 19s, in particular, don't stay on the shelves long around here.

    As per the Smith and Wesson website, it looks like they are bringing back the 4" Model 66(stainless equivalent of the model 19). It is described as having a "2 piece barrel" and "ball detent lock-up"(I'm guessing the latter may be the lock-up at the yoke as seen on the new X-frame guns). It sounds as if S&W may be making some effort to improve the strength. Unfortunately, it also appears to have the internal lock.

    Here's the new S&W page for the model 66

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...layErrorView_Y

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    I wonder what they mean by a 2 piece barrel.

    The K frames are nice sized.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    I wonder what they mean by a 2 piece barrel.

    The K frames are nice sized.
    Google would be your friend if you bothered to use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    I wonder what they mean by a 2 piece barrel.

    The K frames are nice sized.
    The outside of the barrel that you see is actually a hollow metal shroud with the rifled, bullet-launching tube inside.

    Don't pay any attention to Skidmark's comment. It actually took me less time to type that sentence than it did for Skid to hunt up that link and type his pointless remark--as though asking for information is bad. Oh! I finally got it! You can only ask questions that can't be googled!


    Four-inch K-frames leave me disinterested. Nothing against them; just not my cup of tea.

    Now, if they started making 3" Model 66's with a real barrel, I'd be on the waiting list. If they made them with pinned barrels, I'd take a day off work just to celebrate!
    Last edited by Citizen; 01-05-2014 at 10:13 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    I didn't see any thing on the S@W web explaining that they used a liner in the barrel shroud.

    I figured that was the most likely explanation.

    But thanks to skidmark we know for sure that is what they did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    I didn't see any thing on the S@W web explaining that they used a liner in the barrel shroud.

    I figured that was the most likely explanation.

    But thanks to skidmark we know for sure that is what they did.
    It came up a few years ago a little while after S&W started making them that way. I came across some commentary, maybe in gun magazine, where somebody was complaining S&W wasn't making available the special tool to remove the shroud, thus gunsmiths couldn't work on them. And, a big warning not to just try to unscrew things--somebody was complaining they'd bent the shroud up pretty good not realizing it was a shroud or something.

    A poster here a couple years ago or so posted a photo of his muzzle, saying he couldn't figure out the green residue down inside the "crown". It was the seam at the muzzle where the shroud met the muzzle. Apparently, the seam holds a little bore solvent down in its crevice which then dries out, whereupon the dissolved copper leaves a little ring of green residue to annoy people.

    Personally, I wouldn't want one. Seems cheap somehow. Just doesn't seem as solid and rugged as their real barrels.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    The outside of the barrel that you see is actually a hollow metal shroud with the rifled, bullet-launching tube inside.

    Don't pay any attention to Skidmark's comment. It actually took me less time to type that sentence than it did for Skid to hunt up that link and type his pointless remark--as though asking for information is bad. Oh! I finally got it! You can only ask questions that can't be googled!


    Four-inch K-frames leave me disinterested. Nothing against them; just not my cup of tea.

    Now, if they started making 3" Model 66's with a real barrel, I'd be on the waiting list. If they made them with pinned barrels, I'd take a day off work just to celebrate!

    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Charter Arms tried the barrel shroud, and it helped bring them a bad rep. They have since returned to a solid barrel.

    For what Smith now charges they should return to the pinned barrel. Right now I would not buy a new Smith. I handled a few in my search for a 44 and was appalled by their lack of workmanship, and the gritty hard trigger pull. Nothing at all like the pulls on their gun that brought them the legend.

    I would buy a Hi Point before a new Smith. Now a good vintage Smith is another story.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Hey! Quit it!

    Why don't you toss up some pics of skimpy-clad chicks, or a photo of Glenfiddich splashing onto an ice-cube?

    Dammit. Now, I'm not gonna be able to concentrate for the rest of the day--thinking about 3" Sixty-sixes.

    Last edited by Citizen; 01-07-2014 at 10:46 AM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Campaign Veteran Cavalryman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Now, if they started making 3" Model 66's with a real barrel, I'd be on the waiting list. If they made them with pinned barrels, I'd take a day off work just to celebrate!
    The Model 66 was never made with a 3" pinned barrel. By the time they put out the ones with the 3" barrel they were using the "crush-fit" technique. However, I DO have a Model 66 with a 3" pinned barrel and a recessed cylinder. It came from the factory as a 2.5" and was retro-fitted at some point in its life with the 3" barrel and longer extractor rod. I have Crimson Trace grips on it and it's one of my favorite carry pieces.

    IMO, a classic Smith and Wesson K-frame .357 magnum is as close to a perfect compromise as you can get when you blend power, carry-ability, and versatility. In .38 special/.357 magnum you can get ammo from snake shot to stuff that will stop a mountain lion and everything in between. The 3" barrel is short enough to carry concealed easily but the extractor rod is long enough to fully extract a magnum case (which the rod on the 2.5" barrel is not). I'm not a fan of the modern Smith and Wessons with the lock, but I have had two of them and I never had trouble with the lock. I just don't engage it. I wouldn't let the modern lockwork keep me from buying a Smith and Wesson if it otherwise fit my needs.
    Last edited by Cavalryman; 01-09-2014 at 01:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavalryman View Post
    I'm not a fan of the modern Smith and Wessons with the lock, but I have had two of them and I never had trouble with the lock. I just don't engage it. I wouldn't let the modern lockwork keep me from buying a Smith and Wesson if it otherwise fit my needs.
    I don't currently have a gun with the lock, but have owned them in the past. I too have had no trouble with them, however sold them when I replaced them with an equivalent pre-lock gun.

    Most of the(anedotal) real problems I've heard with the lock are related to magnum calibers in the ultralight(scandium/titanium) frames.

    I'm not crazy about MIM lockwork either, although I have to admit that my 629(the only MIM S&W I have) has a very nice trigger on it.

    I love recessed cylinders, but do have to admit that they are a bit of a pain to keep clean. I've had problem with my 27-2 in extended range sessions with Unique and 2400 powder, which leave a mess.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    I would buy a Ruger before buying a current Smith and Wesson.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I would buy a Ruger before buying a current Smith and Wesson.
    WW,

    Clinical studies have shown that the elevated heart-rate from looking at gun-porn slows recovery. K-frame porn was worst of all.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavalryman View Post
    The Model 66 was never made with a 3" pinned barrel. By the time they put out the ones with the 3" barrel they were using the "crush-fit" technique. However, I DO have a Model 66 with a 3" pinned barrel and a recessed cylinder. It came from the factory as a 2.5" and was retro-fitted at some point in its life with the 3" barrel and longer extractor rod. I have Crimson Trace grips on it and it's one of my favorite carry pieces.

    IMO, a classic Smith and Wesson K-frame .357 magnum is as close to a perfect compromise as you can get when you blend power, carry-ability, and versatility. In .38 special/.357 magnum you can get ammo from snake shot to stuff that will stop a mountain lion and everything in between. The 3" barrel is short enough to carry concealed easily but the extractor rod is long enough to fully extract a magnum case (which the rod on the 2.5" barrel is not). I'm not a fan of the modern Smith and Wessons with the lock, but I have had two of them and I never had trouble with the lock. I just don't engage it. I wouldn't let the modern lockwork keep me from buying a Smith and Wesson if it otherwise fit my needs.

    Well, yes. I know. That was why I said it would be worth a day's celebration if they did.

    Just imagine! (wistful sigh)
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    I just noticed this one also, a 5 shot L frame 44 magnum. S&W has made L frame 44 specials in the past, but this is the first 44 magnum on that frame size.

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...layErrorView_Y


    I expect that, much like the 29/629 Mountain Gun, this will be a great 44 special carry gun that can also shoot 44 magnums. The smaller size is certainly appealing. Maybe if response on this is good, we will also get an L frame 41 magnum.

    I will wait until I get these in hand to make a final judgement, but I for one am very excited to see new revolvers coming from S&W. There's a decent chance that I will end up with a model 69.
    Last edited by bunnspecial; 01-15-2014 at 11:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    I just noticed this one also, a 5 shot L frame 44 magnum. S&W has made L frame 44 specials in the past, but this is the first 44 magnum on that frame size.

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...layErrorView_Y


    I expect that, much like the 29/629 Mountain Gun, this will be a great 44 special carry gun that can also shoot 44 magnums. The smaller size is certainly appealing. Maybe if response on this is good, we will also get an L frame 41 magnum.

    I will wait until I get these in hand to make a final judgement, but I for one am very excited to see new revolvers coming from S&W. There's a decent chance that I will end up with a model 69.
    Two Piece barrel? I'll pass, that has been tried by other companies before, with poor results. The only successful company that I know of is Dan Wesson, and that is because their barrels had a locking ring that could be tightened.

    Plus wayyyyy to much money for a gun that has to be tuned to be acceptable, IMO.

    I'll wait for ruger to come out with a 5 shot DA revolver before buying a S&W. For now I am happy with my Pietta 44 mag 6 shot revolver for half the cost of a S&W. Stoeger makes a SA 1873 clone in 44 mag nickle plated for even less than my Pietta. I will probably be buying one.

    Smith needs to get their poop together and go back to making quality products at a reasonable price.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 01-15-2014 at 12:38 PM.
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    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I would buy a Ruger before buying a current Smith and Wesson.
    I'm a fan of the Ruger revolvers and you wouldn't go wrong with one of them. I'm not a hater of the current S&Ws, but I agree that they have made changes which (IMO) make the firearm less desirable.

  18. #18
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavalryman View Post
    I'm a fan of the Ruger revolvers and you wouldn't go wrong with one of them. I'm not a hater of the current S&Ws, but I agree that they have made changes which (IMO) make the firearm less desirable.
    They are making a lower quality firearm, they should make the quality match the price. Either lower the price or return the quality. I would buy a Smith if it was priced to make having a gunsmith hone it to where it should be. Or if the quality was returned where out of the box it was again a fine firearm.

    I am puzzled where all those police revolvers went to, what a waste if they were mostly destroyed.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 02-06-2014 at 05:23 PM.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    They are making a lower quality firearm, they should make the quality match the price. Either lower the price or return the quality. I would buy a Smith if it was priced to make having a gunsmith hone it to where it should be. Or if the quality was returned where out of the box it was again a fine firearm.

    I am puzzled where all those police revolvers went to, what a waste if they were mostly destroyed.
    Most were traded in on semi autos and sold on the market some are still in storage at a few departments. Never heard that any were destroyed. But one doesn't know about the really anti gun areas.

    But considering it been 25 plus years sense the major turn over started from revolvers to semis they are sitting in peoples drawers, safes and show up on the use market very seldom because they re so useful.

    Yes WW we are getting old, revolvers were the main stay of police work when I started. Some times its hard to believe that was 36 plus years ago for me.
    Last edited by Firearms Iinstuctor; 02-06-2014 at 07:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    I just noticed this one also, a 5 shot L frame 44 magnum. S&W has made L frame 44 specials in the past, but this is the first 44 magnum on that frame size.

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...layErrorView_Y


    I expect that, much like the 29/629 Mountain Gun, this will be a great 44 special carry gun that can also shoot 44 magnums. The smaller size is certainly appealing. Maybe if response on this is good, we will also get an L frame 41 magnum.

    I will wait until I get these in hand to make a final judgement, but I for one am very excited to see new revolvers coming from S&W. There's a decent chance that I will end up with a model 69.
    According to an article I read (quite some time back, so I can't link to it), a .41 magnum on an L-frame would still be limited to 5 shots because the L-frame is almost -- but not quite -- big enough to accommodate a cylinder with enough steel to safely stand the pressures if it were drilled for 6 x .41. With that in mind, I can't really see where a 5-shot L-frame .41 magnum would be any better than a 5-shot L-frame .44 magnum. Too bad, because I had hoped a 6-shot L-frame .41 magnum was a possibility.

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    Just thought I'd report back here that I handled a new model 66 at an LGS today. The "street price" actually wasn't too bad, at $699.

    In any case, the flat spot at the bottom of the barrel is gone, so the issue with 125gr ammunition should be also. The ejector rod lacks the front lock-up point-rather the yoke locks up at the front.

    One thing that really struck me about the new gun was the balance. The barrel profile is more like what's seen on a heavy barrel model 10 or model 13(or alternatively a 64 and 65), and the gun is a bit more front heavy than I'm use to with the classic model 19 and 66. The difference isn't huge, but it's definitely there.

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