Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snub Selection

Oooo! Tam in my comments said:

"Personally? I think the J-frame .357s are some of the dumbest guns tom come down the pike in decades, but that's just me."

And I repeat them here in case she doesn't revisit the comment.

What WOULD you recommend, Tam, in lieu of a .357 J Frame? I'm pretty sure my only hard and fast requirement is that the future snubbie I get be made of steel. I chose the 640 because of the steel, and that, if it was rugged enough to take .357, it will be more than rugged enough to shoot the .38 I'd use 99% of the time with it.


Peter said...

Ruger SP101 .357 mag 2.25" bbl flavor. It's like a J frame, but better!

Crucis said...

K-frame, 2.5", round butt. (Check my S&W M13.) It's heavy enough to absorb the recoil with properly sized (for you) grips. I had a bobbed SP101 but the butt just didn't feel nor fit me well.

A .357 J-frame is just too frickin' light for most people. I've fired one and after five rounds, my hand ached half-way to my elbow.

It wasn't easy to control either after the first round. If you can't keep the rounds on target when in need, what good is it?

Old NFO said...

I'd get a .38 as it is controllable... That's just me...

JB Miller said...

I have been carrying my small frame 1911 lately. Six shots of .45acp! Nice small package. Much more comfy since I have the hammer trimmed.

Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation, I shoot Buffalo Bore .38 (their 20/20C stuff) out of my S&W 442. I'm happy I upgraded to some Pachmayr Compac grips (those stock boot grips and thus the bare backstap + Buffalo Bore? Ouchie), since that Buffalo Bore smacks hard. But she seems to be doing fine with it.

I too wanted a 640 for the longest time for the same reasons: I want steel. I wouldn't shoot .357 out of it, just prefer steel. To find one without a trigger lock is difficult. Heck to find one period is difficult since everyone seems to want 642's. Since my desire for *A* snub overrode my desire for *THE* snub, I bought the 442 (no lock model) since a local store I like had one in stock. Meantime I use it, shoot it, will be taking a 2-day class on the snub with Claude Werner next month. Something is better than nothing right now. Meantime, I just keep my eyes peeled... if a 640 with no lock came on the market and I had the money, I'd get it.

Anonymous said...

Shooting 38's out of a 357 is dumb - I shot a bunch of 38 wadcutters from a 357, and when I went to put some 357 rounds in it, they wouldn't fit - the chambers had gotten so gunked up that it took a tornado brush to clean up the wax/lead/carbon ring that had formed ahead of the 38 case necks. I haven't made that mistake since.

If you want to shoot 38's, I would recommend a 38, not a 357. If you absolutely HAVE to have a 357, don't shoot cheap 38 wadcutters through it. If you MUST shoot cheap wadcutters through it, plan on cleaning it before you try to shoot 357's through it.

I bet a 38, shooting +P ammo, is close enough to 357 performance (out of a snubbie) as makes no difference. Personally, I would favor 148 grain target loads out of a snubbie - they don't kick much, and they make nice groups, and I don't think a perpetrator could tell the difference.

A K frame is smaller, lighter, more concealable than a J-frame. If you limit yourself to 38's, then you could have an alloy frame to reduce weight even more - although you say you want steel.

If you must have a 357, in steel, the K-frame is not as durable as the heavier J-frame, but it will probably outlast you. These guns are not pleasant to shoot with powerful loads, so the question is which will wear out sooner - the gun, or you?

A steady diet of 38's in a K-frame 357 will let it last almost forever - just beware of the debris ring that will foul the cylinder.

Crucis said...

Uhhh, Anon-10:27, you have your S&Ws reversed. It's the J-frame that is the smallest and only holds 5-rounds. The K-frame is larger, heavier and designed to shoot .357 ammo.

I have two J-frame snubbies (M442), one for me and one for my wife. I also have a two K-frames, the M13 2.5" that is shown in my Icon photo and a 4" square-butt M19.

I can understand wanting a .357 rated J-frame for the stronger materials. But, IMO, it's really not needed. My M442s are +P rated and I load them with Buffalo Bore 158gr LSWCHP +P. Yes, that ammo does slap the hand a bit. My wife prefers the same BB ammo but in standard load, not the +P. That's what I like about BB. They give you a lot of choices.