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Old September 21, 2022, 10:14 PM   #1
Nathan
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Revolver conversion to moon clips

I have a S&w 340 revolver that would reload much easier with moon clips, imo.

If I pay to convert it, what are the negatives?

Can clips be loaded and unloaded by hand for small volume shooting?
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Old September 22, 2022, 12:23 AM   #2
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A speed loader would be a lot cheaper and faster.
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Old September 22, 2022, 12:34 AM   #3
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The guy to ask is Tom Kilhoffer (SP) at TKCustom.com. He does an excellent job in converting revolvers for moon clips. I had him do a Model 29 and it was great.

Moon clips aren't hard to load or unload with your fingers and make for much faster reloads than the best speed loader. Just make sure no one steps on them.
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Old September 22, 2022, 01:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
I have a S&w 340 revolver that would reload much easier with moon clips, imo.

If I pay to convert it, what are the negatives?
I'm not familar with that specific model, so I looked it up. What I found said it was a J frame, 5 shot, DA only .357 Magnum with a titanium alloy cylinder and a scandium alloy frame.

and you want to have it cut to use moon clips??

What are the negatives?

well, lets see, first, are there clips to fit a 5 shot .357 J frame cylinder???
IF not, kind of makes the idea moot, doesn't it?

IF clips are not an issue, consider, who is going to be doing the work, cutting metal from the titanium cylinder for the clip clearance. And what is the cost, compared to the benefits? Is the gun still under warranty? How will having it worked on that way affect the warranty?

I'm curious, does your gun fully extract .357 cases? Is it going to matter if all the cases are clipped together?

Quote:
Can clips be loaded and unloaded by hand for small volume shooting?
IF "by hand" you mean without any tools, it depends on the clips and the hands doing it. First, the clips, it depends on what the clips are made of, and their design. And the hand strength needed to "roll" the cases out of the clip. Note, I did not say "pry".

I have no personal experience with moon clips in .357/.38 size, but I do with metal clips in .45acp size. I can do it with my fingers alone, but its not easy and care must be taken so the metal clips don't get bent. Someone else might not be able to. There are simple tools made for loading/unloading the cases from the clips, and they make it simple and easy for anyone to do.

Something else to consider is how are you going to be carrying the spare clips?? Loose in a pocket? Think there might be any possibility of the long .38/357 rounds carried around unsupported possibly bending the clip?

It doesn't take much for the clip to be bent enough the cylinder won't close, or even worse, will close, but won't turn.

If you're serious about the idea, the first thing you need to do is get a few of the clips you plan to use. Whatever gunsmith you approach to have the work done will need to see them and measure them to see if they are willing to take on the job. All clips are not created equal. Nor are all gunsmiths...

I have a 1917 Webley Mk VI, which, at some point in the past, was cut to use .45acp brass and half moon clips. This was a fairly common practice 60 some years ago when the supply of .455 Webley ammo ran out.

HOWEVER, the work was done by various importers or individual gunsmiths, and some are not quite the same as others. The gun I have was "just barely shaved". It will work with ONE kind of half moon clip, a very thin one. Some half moon clips are too thick. It will not work with any moon clip I have found, they are too thick. It will also not work with .45 Auto Rim cases (unlike Colt and S&W 1917s) the rims are too thick.

If you're going to have your revolver cut, it must be cut to work with a clip you have (and can get), and may not work with every clip you might find.

I'd seriously consider just sticking with a few good speedloaders, but that's just me.

Quote:
Moon clips aren't hard to load or unload with your fingers and make for much faster reloads than the best speed loader. Just make sure no one steps on them.
I'd agree with the don't step on them part, but I'm not so sure about "much" faster than the best speed loader. Measurably faster with high tech equipment, possibly, IF its something the individual is capable of. But "much faster"? I don't see how. I've used speedloaders with the "auto" button release, shove it in, and drop it as you close the cylinder. Don't see how clips can be faster than that.

I mostly use the HKS speedloaders, with the twist knob release. Sure, they're about the slowest speedloaders, but they are very good at holding the rounds securely, and fractions of a second in my personal speed of reloading a DA revolver are not a concern in my world.

If they are, in yours, go for it, Its your gun, and your money.
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Old September 22, 2022, 06:47 AM   #5
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TKCustom also has tools to make loading and unloading moon clips easier. Today there are also some polymer rather than steel clips out there.
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Old September 22, 2022, 09:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan
I have a S&w 340 revolver that would reload much easier with moon clips, imo.
"Easier" is pretty vague - "easier" to reload faster or "easier" to not have to deal with individual rounds?

There are some good points made here, so I'll offer 2 more, with the caveat that I'm not sure what the OP wants out of the conversion:

1. Moonclips aren't fast. Speedloaders aren't fast. The user is or is not fast. A quick and reliable reload takes a lot of practice, whether you're using moons or a speedloader. A moonclip conversion will let you load up a bunch of moonclips before you head to the range, and save you the hassle of loading individual rounds into the gun (or speedloader), but speed and efficiency will also require lots of practice.

2. Moonclips work best with short fat semi-auto rounds. Much less so with long skinny revolver rounds. Think pushing spaghetti. Here's an idea: Buy 2 metal (not junky plastic) moonclips. Load 1 clip with empty brass and insert it into the cylinder (you won't be able to close the cylinder). Load the other with the ammo you'd be using (best to do this at the range if you're using live ammo). At this point, see how easy it is to 1) eject the empties, and 2) get the new ones in (even though you won't be able to close the cylinder). After some practice, you might be able to decide with more confidence whether moons, revolver rounds, and a 5-shot j-frame are or are not for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Is it going to matter if all the cases are clipped together?
Generally, yes. Everyone sees Jerry Miculek drop a moonclip into a cylinder quickly, but fewer notice the extraction - since the cases are clipped together, extraction generally is more reliable that ejecting loose rounds.
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Old September 22, 2022, 10:07 AM   #7
Jim Watson
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Looking at the TK www, cutting for clips is $175 and the clips are about $4 each, depending on how many you buy.

I tried clipping a 686 and because I am a slow learner, a 686+.
Clip loading the long skinny revolver cartridges is a different game from short stubby .45s in the M25. At the level of work I put into it, I remained better off with speed loaders.
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Old September 22, 2022, 02:55 PM   #8
Nathan
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Well, I guess I’m not sure…

First the revolver is this LINK

SS cylinder and scandium frame.

I got the idea because the 642 comes cut for moon clips.

“Easier” means with less struggle than it have with a speedloader. I use the safariland. I get it aligned, but occasionally a round hangs up in the loader or I rip a round out of the cylinder discarding it. I assume the clip fixes those 2 items. I carry the SL in an empty pocket. It’s ok, except for those issues causing finicky reloads which causes me to slow down to get it right.

When I say fast, I mean fast to drop in and close the cylinder.

I think TK or ten ring would do the work.

How common are bent moon clips coming out of a pocket?
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Old September 22, 2022, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan View Post
Well, I guess I’m not sure…

First the revolver is this LINK

SS cylinder and scandium frame.

I got the idea because the 642 comes cut for moon clips.

“Easier” means with less struggle than it have with a speedloader. I use the safariland. I get it aligned, but occasionally a round hangs up in the loader or I rip a round out of the cylinder discarding it. I assume the clip fixes those 2 items. I carry the SL in an empty pocket. It’s ok, except for those issues causing finicky reloads which causes me to slow down to get it right.

When I say fast, I mean fast to drop in and close the cylinder.

I think TK or ten ring would do the work.

How common are bent moon clips coming out of a pocket?
I never kept filled moon clips in my pocket, rather I used carriers or pouches just as I do with speed loaders.

I think speed loaders would be far more reliable than moon clips with 38 Special rounds. With a speed loader it possible for one or more rounds to fall out instead of getting loaded but you still get some rounds and the cylinder always closes. If a round with a moon clip jams it won't just fall to the ground, it stops everything until you pull them all out and start over.

Some are always better than none.
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Old September 22, 2022, 03:49 PM   #10
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When you release the rounds into the chamber, be sure to let the speedloader falls away on it’s own. The tendency is to physically pull it away and actively pitch it, but it can pull a round with it when doing so. And get the gun vertical.

Also, make sure there are no burrs in the loader where the base of the round sits. It’s a pretty close fit, so even a small burr can catch rounds. Test for hangups by dropping and pulling a round in and out of the hole. You shouldn’t feel resistant. You could even use a sharp knife to apply a slight chamfer. Just be sure didn’t actually creat a burr in doing so. You could also trim some of the skirt away.
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Old September 22, 2022, 06:31 PM   #11
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When the shooting sport IDPA was creating their competitive divisions, they initially had two for revolver, because it was believed that moonclip reloading offered enough of an advantage that speedloaders would not be competitive.

Over time, sophisticated speedloaders were developed that, for competition, made reloading speeds about equal, but I suspect a five-shot J-frame is going to be limited to the HKS-style "slow loaders", and moons will be quicker under ideal conditions, and much quicker and more certain under dire conditions.

I'vs shot a few years' worth of IDPA competition with moonclips, and the only bent clip I've experienced was one that was stepped on; they are pretty strong and durable.

I'd be reluctant to cut on an exotic titanium cylinder; would a used J frame, already cut for clips, be much more expensive than modding your existing gun?
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Old September 22, 2022, 07:08 PM   #12
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The SL Variant and the Speedbeez can be had in 5 shot J frame versions.
I carry the SL Variant every day for my SW 360 and Ruger LCRX, and the 6 shot version for my Kimber K6. Both are push type releases so a little faster than the twist.

Of course, good luck on finding a SL because they are more rare than hen's teeth!LOL
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Old September 22, 2022, 09:21 PM   #13
Nathan
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Quote:
Over time, sophisticated speedloaders were developed that, for competition, made reloading speeds about equal, but I suspect a five-shot J-frame is going to be limited to the HKS-style "slow loaders", and moons will be quicker under ideal conditions, and much quicker and more certain under dire conditions.
Actually the Safariland, while hard to load, is just a push to reload. It can kind of hang up on the rounds. I believe that is because they took a good idea and made it so cheap as to be barely functional.

Quote:
I'vs shot a few years' worth of IDPA competition with moonclips, and the only bent clip I've experienced was one that was stepped on; they are pretty strong and durable.
Thanks for the real world experience. Any issues with longer rounds?

Quote:
I'd be reluctant to cut on an exotic titanium cylinder; would a used J frame, already cut for clips, be much more expensive than modding your existing gun?
The cylinder is SS on my type of 340.
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Old September 22, 2022, 10:46 PM   #14
Jim Watson
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The better clip conversions still allow loose rounds and speedloaders. .
You can make your own comparisons.

There is a domestic copy of the SL Variant. I don't know the quality.
https://www.slvariant.com/shop/

Safariland Comp I is lots less expensive and more compact. More tedious to fill.
https://www.amazon.com/Safariland-J-.../dp/B001PBIWHG
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Old September 23, 2022, 01:34 AM   #15
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Shooting competitively with a revolver for over 40 years, I've shot every speed loader you can think of and moon clip guns with shoot stubby .45s and nice and long .38 specials.

Nothing loads faster than the 25 / 625 with full moons. If you get a chance look at Jerry Miculek's video when he set a world record of six shot, reload and six shots on three different targets in under 4 seconds.

My reloads with moons average 1.5 seconds. With speed loaders my average is 2.1 seconds, enough to make a big difference in matches.

I only mention this because I have experience with both setups. Whomever you get to do your custom work will let you know what moons to use. I like TKCustom. Expensive but well worth it.

Your main problem is justifying the cost. You can by a lot of speed loaders and ammo for what it would cost you to convert your gun. If you are not going to practice your reloads it won't make a difference. Stay with what you've got.
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Old September 23, 2022, 09:06 AM   #16
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I have a 442 pro that was cut for moons at the factory. Once you get over the novelty, they really aren't worth the trouble IMHO. First of all, .38/357 moonclips are very trin and easy to bend. While I load mine by hand, I find it best to unload them with a tool to avoid bending them. Secondly, the long, thin cartridges make it really no faster or more convenient than speed loaders for me. I've never used moonclips with semi-auto cartridges like .45 ACP but I can see how they'd be faster. Finally, the grooves above the rims of .38 cases aren't uniform from one manufacturer to the next and thus you need to buy moonclips of the proper thickness for the brand of ammo you want to shoot. I guess this would be ok if you only shoot one brand of ammo, but if you shoot different brands or reload with mixed brass it becomes irritating. Thankfully most .38/357 guns I've seen machined for moonclips retain the ability to function without them should you decide the moons aren't worth the trouble.
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Old September 23, 2022, 09:45 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan
Actually the Safariland, while hard to load, is just a push to reload. It can kind of hang up on the rounds. I believe that is because they took a good idea and made it so cheap as to be barely functional.
I'm guessing you're using the CompI or CompII version. Unlike the CompIII, Jetloader and SL Variant, insertion of the rounds isn't spring assisted. Unless it's defective, the design of the CompI/II is perfectly functional for their intended purpose, and you'd likely experience the same issue with twist-release loaders.

As mentioned several times, efficient reloads (SL or moons) take lots of practice and good technique.
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Old September 25, 2022, 05:11 AM   #18
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i primarily use a revolver with moon clips. the biggest downside is that you would be using a semi auto pistol round. however, if you look up rowland and some of his cartridges, thats not a downside anymore.

someone said speed loaders are cheaper and faster? NO THAT IS FALSE
i use a redhawk model 5050. 45acp. carry it with 460 rowland.

i get 8 moon clips for 11 bucks.
you know how much ONE speed loader goes for? a low quality one is about 15. a high quality one is like 40 bucks. do the math!
and no. its not slower either.
i got my reload time down to 2.3 seconds. thats in semi auto territory. reloading quick is easy when all your rounds are connected and you dont have to wipe away a speed loader or jiggle rounds into chambers.

no dude convert it to moon clips. trust me youll like it better lol
and if you dont, you can always buy a spare cylinder on ebay or something and convert it back.

also. if you get quality moon clips. they wont bend or break. ive used the same moon clips, which i have like...94? last i checked. something like that. 94 in plinking use that ive never broken. the ones that came with the gun were good for like one or two uses but the aftermarket clips never broke never bent. and ive used and abused them. slept with them in my pocket crashed my motorcycle with them on my hip.

the downside to a clip conversion doesnt exsist lol

i just remembered 357 moon clips exsist. in that case, what id do is have the gun rechambered for 9mm and use 960 rowland in it. why? why go through that hassle?
with moon clips, name of the came is shorter is better. the longer the rounds the harder it is to line em all up. its a 340 right?

not sure how the smaller cylinder would act but id bet the redhawk 357 using clips is a nightmare. between the giant hole in the middle of the clip and the long 357 mag rounds its gotta be rough.
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Last edited by hammer_jockey_91; September 25, 2022 at 05:15 AM. Reason: remembered the 357 moon clips
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Old September 25, 2022, 06:14 AM   #19
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hammer jockey 01 has explained it best so far. The only thing I would add is that even .357s will reload faster with moons.

For ICORE matches, that's Internation Confederation Of Revolver Enthusiasts, I've shot just about every combination of moons possible. The .45 is the fastest to reload with but you are talking hundredths of a second between them and .357s. .38s work great and unless you are using the gun for CCW that's what I'd carry.

You could convert to 9 mm and then get the benefit of cheaper ammo but you have to shoot an awful lot to benefit from the difference.
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Old September 25, 2022, 07:37 AM   #20
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Did the Op state that he is using his 340 for IDPA competition?
In the real world, no one is going to go around in public life dressed like an IDPA competitor with a belt full of moon clips on front of his belt for faster reloads!LOL

I imagine that if you carry two j frame moonclip loads loose in you poscket, they will eventually get tangled up.
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Old September 25, 2022, 07:58 AM   #21
Nathan
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Currently, I carry the gun AIWB in a Philster holster. I carry 1 Safariland speedloader in my right front pocket with nothing else.

While the gun is rated for 357 mag, the shooter is only 38 Spcl +p rated.
I would carry moon clips the same.
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Old September 25, 2022, 08:31 AM   #22
Jim Watson
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Cheap test.

Get one moon clip and load it with rounds.
Carry around in your pocket for a while. Does it get bent or rounds dislodged?

Load the gun with it. No, it won't go in an unmodified cylinder so you can shoot with it but you can soon find out how to line it up and drop it in vs speed loader.
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Old September 25, 2022, 09:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammer_jockey_91 View Post
in that case, what id do is have the gun rechambered for 9mm and use 960 rowland in it. why? why go through that hassle?
About a 960 Rowland conversion:

1. It would need to be rechambered for 9X23, because the Rowland uses a 9X23 case.

2. The 960 Rowland runs at 40,000 to 45,000 psi, which exceeds 9mm +P pressure of 38,500 psi. TK Custom says not to exceed 9mm standard pressure of 35,000 psi in their conversions - no 9mm +P. So using 960 Rowland would greatly exceed their recommended operating pressure guidelines.

https://www.firearmsnews.com/editori...d-review/77904

Last edited by 74A95; September 25, 2022 at 10:17 AM.
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Old September 25, 2022, 10:14 AM   #24
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I saw a 940 that had been reamed from 9mm P to 9x23 with enough room for .38 Super.
I did not shoot it or see it being shot, it was on a trade table at the range for sale.
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Old September 25, 2022, 11:25 AM   #25
HighValleyRanch
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Here is my J frame reload setup for EDC.
A leather holder for the 5 round SL Vairant speedloader and an 8 round speed strip which gives me 13 rounds total reload capacity. It's carried in my right rear pocket with easy thumb and finger access immediately to the variant speedloader.

Beats reaching deep into my right front jeans pocket searching for the end of the speedloader. I would not do this with an HKS becasue grabbing the knob has a risk of letting the rounds loose. The speedloader is usally loaded with a truncated tip bullet like the Horandy FTX for easier placement into the chamber holes.

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