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Old February 12, 2021, 11:42 AM   #1
wild cat mccane
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Need pic help: N vs L frame

Hey there,

I don't have access to an N frame, but I'm starting to rethink my submissiveness to the 610 10mm/40. 38/357 just isn't available.

As I've heard it, an L frame is N frame in the front, K frame party in the back.

However, that doesn't let me see the size difference on the grip.

Anyone kind enough to stack an N size with an L frame? The side by side pics I'm finding online just aren't showing the difference.

I've got smaller hands. So it is a concern...
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Old February 12, 2021, 12:03 PM   #2
Paul105
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Here are some measurements I made on an N Frame (S&W 629 Mtn Gun 6 shot .44 mag) and an L Frame (M69 - 5 shot .44 Mag)

629 Mtn Gun weighs 39 oz
M69 L Frame weighs 37 oz

629 Mtn Gun Cylinder Diameter: 1.70”
M69 L Frame Cylinder Diameter: 1.56”

629 Mtn Gun Cylinder Length: 1.705”
M69 L Frame Cylinder Length: 1.670”

(Note: The M69 cylinder is 1.670 inches and isn't recessed for cartridge rims -- a 1.712" hand load fits, but is right at the face of the cylinder. Lymans No 49 edition shows OAL w their 425421 Keith Bullet is 1.710". A .429 minus plug gauge will enter all throats a .430 plug will not.)

629 Mtn Gun Frame Window - Height: 1.735“
M69 L Frame - Frame Window Height: 1.600“

629 Mtn Gun Frame Window – Width: 1.880“
M69 L Frame - Frame Window Width: 1.820“

629 Mtn Gun Cylinder Wall at Narrowest Point: .095” -- (.0900” between chambers)
M69 L Frame Cylinder Wall at Narrowest Point: .060 “ -- ( .130 “ between chambers)
(629 Cyl Bolt Cuts are over the chamber while M69 bolt cuts are between chambers), Brian Pearce -- Bolt notches weakest point - M69 thicker than M629 at this location

629 Mtn Gun Frame Top Strap – Width: .665“
M69 L Frame - Frame Top Strap Width: .665“

629 Mtn Gun Frame Top Strap – Height: .220“ to top of frame (includes sight mortiss)
M69 L Frame - Frame Top Strap Height: .210“ to top of frame (includes sight mortiss)

629 Mtn Gun Barrel Shank OD: .630“
M69 L Frame - Barrel Shank OD: .620“

629 Mtn Gun Frame Over Barrel OD: .900“
M69 L Frame - Frame Over Barrel OD: .880“

629 Mtn Gun Trigger Reach: 3.10“ (Hogue 500 x frame grips for both 629 & M69)
M69 L Frame - Trigger Reach: 3.00 “

Brian Pearce -- Bolt notches weakest point - M69 thicker than M629 at this location

Last edited by Paul105; February 12, 2021 at 12:09 PM.
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Old February 12, 2021, 12:41 PM   #3
Bob Wright
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I can't show phots as you suggested but will tell you this: I have both N-Frames and L-Framed Smiths. I csn handle the L-Frame much better in double action shooting, the reach from backstrap to trigger geing slightly shorter. As to the L-Frame bing a n N-Frame up front, not so. The chlinder is smaler in diameter, hence the sighting plane is lower.

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Old February 12, 2021, 01:41 PM   #4
wild cat mccane
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Okay, so there is a reach difference, though not terribly major. Perhaps enough though to be a problem for me.

Interesting that the top strap is the exact same.

yeah, idea that the L is just an N front with a K back is kinda a general statement I was seeing on the S&W forum. Looks pretty accurate, but didn't mean to say that was 100% accurate. Good to know.

Thank you both!
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Old February 13, 2021, 10:55 AM   #5
jetinteriorguy
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I can overlay my K frames with my N frames and the trigger reach handgrip relationship is identical and feels exactly the same in my hand. This is with Hogue Monogrips which leave the backstrap exposed so the frames and triggers are a dead match. So I would assume the L frame will have the same dimensions given it takes the same grips as a K frame.
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Old February 13, 2021, 12:01 PM   #6
unit 900
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Indeed, K and L frames share the same grips. I have revolvers in both and swap grips as I feel the need or mood.
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Old February 13, 2021, 12:50 PM   #7
pete2
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They are 3 different size frames. K the smaller, L mid size and N the large. the K and the L have the same grip size, the N is somewhat larger. You state you have small hands, the K or L is prolly best for you. I shoot both and with the different size/styles of grips available for both I can find something that works for both grip frames. It's trial and error tho, you have to shoot different grips to find what you like best. I can tolerate a lot with a 2 hand hold but for one hand I need something that is just right, usually needs to be a tad larger for 1 hand shooting.

A picture ain't gonna show you much, it'll show the N frame is a tad larger than the K.
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Old February 13, 2021, 01:50 PM   #8
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I just have to object to the idea that an L-frame is an N-frame front with a K-frame rear. That just isn't the case. The L-frame is a beefed up K-frame meant to handle a steady diet of full power 357 magnums, particularly the very hot 125g loads that were popular with law enforcement back in the early 1980s, just before LE agencies started switching in mass to semi-autos.

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Old February 13, 2021, 04:56 PM   #9
KyJim
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I have small hands and my N-frames are a stretch for me with standard grips, but are okay with a set of rubbers I have. The smaller L/K frames fit my hand much better. This is part of the reason SW used the smaller grip size on the L-frames.
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Old February 13, 2021, 05:00 PM   #10
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I've never owned a N frame. They always felt too large for my hands, yet I was comfortable with a K or L frame. It doesn't take alot of size to get past what is comfortable. Yet, I hunted with a borrowed 29 and it didn't feel all that bad. In the store though while able to compare them, the difference seemed more noticeable. Back then they all wore those large wood target grips. You really need to handle them both side by side. It will tell you more than any photo.
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Old February 13, 2021, 05:21 PM   #11
jmr40
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Quote:
I've never owned a N frame. They always felt too large for my hands,
Aftermarket grips fix this.

I sold my Smith 686 and Ruger GP-100 after buying a Smith 28. In a 4" gun the weight was within 1-2 oz, and in a 6" barrel the N frame is lighter. The cylinder was roughly 1/8" thicker on the N frame I found that most holsters would work with either gun.

I just like the N frame better and if I want something smaller I'll go to a K frame.
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Old February 15, 2021, 05:20 PM   #12
CCCLVII
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N frames are great guns! They have 8 shot 357 Magnums now! I think one cut to take moon clips would be amazing. I would love to see one in 9mm/357mag/38special
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Old February 17, 2021, 08:21 PM   #13
BUGS BUNNY
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Here is a 686 & 66 to compare - no sweat I will post a pic of a 66 - 686 3in 357 next to a 3in 629 or 625 Wife & I been taking pics for auctions

The "Plus" guns in my opinion are a way S&W made up for its companies inadequacies plain & simple - nothing anyone would shoot with a 357 or 44 magnum would require 7 or 8 shots if you require that perhaps a M60 or m240 is what you should be carrying.

No MIM here
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Old February 18, 2021, 12:23 PM   #14
BUGS BUNNY
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Old February 19, 2021, 09:33 AM   #15
khegglie
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Thanks Bugs!
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Old February 20, 2021, 10:18 AM   #16
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Man that model 66 3” gets my motor hummin.
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Old February 21, 2021, 11:36 AM   #17
wild cat mccane
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How does this 610 rubber stock grip compare to smaller options?

In googling, I only hear about stock wood grips on N frames, not the current rubber options.

https://www.smith-wesson.com/product/model-610
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Old February 21, 2021, 01:50 PM   #18
pete2
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Current S&W rubber grips don't work for me. I have both a 617(K frame) and a 629(N frame) that came with them. Replaced both with Hogue wood. Finger grooves on the 629 and slightly larger non finger groove on the 617. The older Hogue rubber grips S&W used were pretty good. I don't know why they changed.
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Old February 21, 2021, 02:14 PM   #19
dahermit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUGS BUNNY View Post
Here is a 686 & 66 to compare - no sweat I will post a pic of a 66 - 686 3in 357 next to a 3in 629 or 625 Wife & I been taking pics for auctions

The "Plus" guns in my opinion are a way S&W made up for its companies inadequacies plain & simple - nothing anyone would shoot with a 357 or 44 magnum would require 7 or 8 shots if you require that perhaps a M60 or m240 is what you should be carrying.

No MIM here
Short barreled handguns are usually carried for defense...so more than six as round count may be appropriate. Short barreled handguns are usually not hunting guns...that is what I took from your comment: "... nothing anyone would shoot with a 357 or 44 magnum would require 7 or 8 shots if you require that perhaps a M60 or m240 is what you should be carrying."
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Old February 21, 2021, 06:31 PM   #20
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I find the K/L frame to be a better fit than the N frame.
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Old February 24, 2021, 12:09 PM   #21
Dan-O
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The measurements of the grip pegs can be found here.

https://www.nill-griffe.com/Smith_We...rames_137.html
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