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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the first guns I bought when I was out in AZ and could walk into a gun store like it was a candy shop and pick from among dozens of guns was a Smith and Wesson revolver that had the barrel emblazoned with .357. it wasnt just stamped in but it was billboard size easily double height of their usual text. It was ages ago but I am pretty sure it was Model 66.

Now I bought it used but it was in pristine condition from all outward appearances.

So what did I do .. I ran out and bought a box of .357 and went to town and it was FUN! .. before I finished the 50 rd box .. Done .. I cant even remember what went wrong but it stopped functioning.

I contacted smith and wesson and they were great and even though i bought the gun used they sent me a shipping label. I was thrilled. Got it back some 3 weeks later all fixed but .. in the box was a note from I guess the guy who worked on it. It was hand written in pencil.

It read .. "practice with 38, carry .357" and a scrawled signiture.

I sold it immediately. I felt duped. It had a huge engraving in the barrel proclaiming it to be .357 but I wasnt supposed to shoot it.

So now years later I can appreciate things a bit better and the looks of a K frame I find quite attractive but .. what is it for? Do you only carry 38+p? do you trust it to shoot .357? I am not sure where it fits in in my imaginary gun needs. If you carry and love a k frame .. I am just curious .. what is it about them that does it for you?
 

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I dont even own a K frame in 357 magnum, but as much as I shoot I would probably make up a reduced power magnum load for it. Full power magnums are what L frames were made for, and I have 3 models 686. I would trust one to shoot full power magnums. but know I would probably wear it out sooner than need be.
 

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I've got a nickle 13 with a 3" barrel. I hardly ever carry it anymore, but when I do, it's loaded with .357s.
I usually practice with .38 specials, unless I'm trying out a new type of .357 to carry.
 

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I have and carry my 2.5" 66-2 and I also have a 4" model 19-4 , both K frames and I shoot .357 magnum rounds but not the hot rounds, the hot rounds are saved for my N frame 4"/6" 28-2's.;) I practice with both .38/.357 and and the 66-2 is usually what I use for EDC.
 

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What kind of ammo was that first box? bullet weight, etc.
 
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Any chance it was a 686 no dash? Those had an issue with hammer nose and required a modification if heavily used with .357 ammo... There was a recall...
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
This was back at least 15 years ago so I cant remember exactly what ammo but it would have been some sort of 125gr commercially available target rounds because I remember it being a box of 50 so it wouldnt have been anything exotic.

Its killing me that I cant find a pic on the net so I can say for sure which it was. All I remember is it had .357 but in really big text on the barrel.

I will keep looking but .. 66 is in my head and it wouldnt be there for any other reason.

Edited to add
So the text was large like on this guy but it clearly said.357 or .357 magnum and not Smith and Wesson. Grrrrr. I cant believe I cant find a picture and I know I didnt imagine owning it!!

 

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158 grain Magnum are fine. 125 grain are too hot for a regular diet mate. But I put a few through mine now and again, you are not unarmed with a K frame, especially a 19

Thewelshm
 

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Since I don't like the "buzzy" feeling in my hands, I usually shoot .38's out of my 66-4. That said, I've put 100+ rounds of .357 through it in one sitting on numerous occasions without issue- 'cept the gun got rather warm.

I think the advice was that shooting full bore .357's out of a K frame without a good deal of prior experience causes assorted problems with the shooter-Flinching being the most likely.
 
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That is why I was wondering if it was 125 grain. Pretty hot for a steady diet but 50 rounds shouldn't have been an issue.
 
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Definitely we shoot .357 out of a K frame, less comfortable than the L and N frame, but not extreme! I personally like loads like Remington Golden Saber, not quite a full power load but still quite a bit more powerful than the .38 Special. Back when Stephen Camp was alive he did a number of articles showing the load as 125 grain at 1200 FPS from a 3" barrel.
 

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You haven't lived until you've shot .357's out of a J frame.
It's why I bought a pair of gloves when shooting my Model 60-15 with them.

 
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My guess is that you had an L frame model 686. It's difficult to quickly see the increased frame size from the K frame models. They still have Billboard sized markings on them. The no dash model had issues with locking up when using 357 ammo. Not sure what bullet weight was the culprit, but S&W issued a recall for all of them. They replaced a couple of parts and stamped an "M" or something like it so anybody owning it would be able to see that it was properly modified.
The one 686 no dash I owned was sent in for the recall, and it never had any issues after that.

My wife now has a 4" model 66 model that she shoots like Annie Oakley did with her rifle.
 
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“Help me understand the K frame”. And where the 357 fits in it. Okay, not a problem. The K frame has been around nearly forever. So has the N frame, it’s bigger brother. In the beginning only the K was chambered for the 38 Special cartridge. In yhe 30s, Law Enforcement asked for a more powerful cartridge to help defeat the automobiles and primitive armor of the era (bad guys were known to use both). Colt responded with the 1911, chambered in 38 SUPER. S& W responded with the first N frame chambered in 38/44 (a heavy loaded 38 Special). Folks like Phil Sharpe, Elmer Keith and others experimented with the 38/44 and the N frame and soon had a very powerful round. In 1935, S&W introduced the new 357 S&W Magnum, available only in the 357 Magnum revolver either registered or unregistered (another thread). Fast forward to 1954. Bill Jordan meets Carl Helstrom at the National Matches at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio. Hestrom is the head honcho at S&W. Helstrom asks Jordan to describe the ideal LE revolver. Jordan actually had designed his ideal so when asked, he answered. Long story short, the K frame 357 was created as the Combat Magnum (later the Model 19). It was designed and built around the 357 Magnum but it was encouraged to train with the 38 Special (a lawsuit or two later, this training practice was changed). A search of Bill Jordan will get more in depth information.

After a couple of decades, it was discovered that certain magnum ammunition was hard on the thin forcing cone of the K frame. The normal, 158 grain load was and still is fine to shoot.

Kevin
 

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ive owned a number of K framed 357's in differing barrel lengths - they all found other owners (except for 2 that are part of my permanent group). They were all certainly capable of handling 357's and i used multiple loadings in them and never had to send one back to the mothership.. i will say they were all 'earlier' guns - pre '81 changes.

The K's I shoot all the time are the .38 masterpiece line (M14) or .22 (M617) , and I rotate thru the myriad of K framed M&P versions ive somehow permanently 'acquired' over the years.

These days for 357 delivery, I only shoot my 686. I also never have found a need to shoot .38 in it. I bought it new and yes it has a lock and wears a rubber boot, and i would never go back to a K for that caliber. It also has never had to go back to S&W for 'adjustment'...
 
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