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Old July 19, 2000, 12:49 PM   #1
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I have a S&W Mod. 60 J-Frame chambered for .357 magnum. There are no limitations whatever specified for load use with this gun.

The K-Frame is heavier than the magnum J-Frame by perhaps 25%. I've never read any load limitations being specified for the K-Frame.

We've recently loaded .38 Spec considerably past maximum .357 magnum pressures and fired these in aluminum frame, lightweight, and break-top revolvers without damage.

Someone please explain why the K-Frame will not manage maximum .357 magnum loads. S&W developed the .357 magnum, and developed the firearms chambered for this caliber. I've never read of load limitations anywhere for the K-Frame. I think it's "folklore" to put it politely. Don't you think Smith & Wesson knows what they're doing?

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Old July 19, 2000, 01:38 PM   #2
Robert Foote
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'Damage' is relative. You may or may not blow off the top of the cylinder and topstrap (I have seen it done), but it can be gradual and cumulative. Short of catastrophic damage there will be increased wear on parts, usually manifesting itself in the gun going out of time. Forcing cone wear will be accelerated and the gun will commence to spit . There is no free lunch. Even continual use of hot factory .357s takes a toll on the gun versus more moderate loads.

Personally I am not that fond of recoil and need all my body parts.

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Old July 19, 2000, 02:02 PM   #3
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,213
Nah, not folklore.

As Robert points out, it's a cumulative thing.

This will happen with just about ANY gun IF you put enough round through it.

The biggest problem areas with the K frame and a lot of full-bore .357 Mag. is endshake, cylinder wobble, and timing.

Endshake is the cylinder moving back and forth along the length of the clyinder axel. This happens because the front bearing boss on the cylinder (the raised part of the cylinder that the muzzle end) smacks against the frame during recoil. Eventually it will shorten due to peening.

Two ways to fix this, with a shim washer, or by strecthing and recutting the cylinder axel.

Cylinder wobble and timing problems are generally related. Too much cylinder wobble can be the result of bad timing.

Cylinder wobble can be the result of a damaged cylinder bolt. Firing heavy loads can cause the cylinder bolt to slap into the bottom of the locking cut on the cylinder, making it shorter. Too short, and the cylinder won't lock up property. Worst case scenario is that the cylinder will begin to "freewheel," or not lock up at all.

Timing problems are caused either when the hand won't push the cylinder all the way into lock up because it is too short due to recoil battering, or the notches that the hand pushes on are damaged.

Of the three, the timing problems are potentially the worst and most expensive to correct.

Fitting a new hand is a real pain in the butt. It's trial and error.

Replacing the extractor star (the indexing notches are part of this, normally) can also get to be pretty expensive.

So, how does this happen to a K-frame? Simple, the lighter the gun, the more the recoil forces affect it.

Beware the man with the S&W .357 Mag.
Chances are he knows how to use it.
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Old July 20, 2000, 07:27 PM   #4
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Location: AZ
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WHY? If you want something that kicks harder or makes more noise go to a bigger caliber.Don't overstress a firearm.You might not care about your own health but how about the person next to you on the range.
I have a K frame with over 40,000 rds through it.It still very well.Out of the total rds shot maybe 1000 have been hot loads.

Age and deceit will overcome youth and speed.
I'm old and deceitful.
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Old July 21, 2000, 10:11 PM   #5
Big Bunny
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Join Date: August 9, 1999
Location: New South Wales - Australia
Posts: 605
A "max load "in my 38Spl K14 is 3.5gn of Green Dot or 700X. IMHO that is all that is needed.

Why anyone wants to go further beats me!

If we shooting sportspersons don't hang together... we will all hang separately !
Never knock another's different shooting interest or discipline...REMEMBER we are all but leaves on the same tree of freedom.
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Old July 21, 2000, 11:00 PM   #6
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Location: WA, the ever blue state
Posts: 4,678
I just got the sprare parts today for a 38 Special that I bought to torture to death. It is an Aluminum frame. I have bent one Aluminum frame 38 with 357 loads, but that was lighter wieght than this beast. I have been unable to hurt a 38 with H110, but Blue Dot is another story.

You could buy a beater gun like the gun you have a shoot hotter and hotter until it gets screwed up. Then keep it for parts. Back off a safe distance from the failure point and you have your max load for that gun.

I would bet brass would stick before you reached failure in that S&W.

[This message has been edited by Clark (edited July 22, 2000).]
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