Ultralight snubbies. Anything to watch out for?

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The Mastiff
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Ultralight snubbies. Anything to watch out for?

Postby The Mastiff » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:44 am

As above. I've been looking around for something in .357 or 44 sp. I know about recoil and muzzle flash and am not new to revolvers or snubbies. I was just wondering if anyone has any experience to add such as...." I had a xxxx and whatever you do, don't get one!!", or "the model xyz seems to have troubles with....."

I've seen some that are down in the 11 and 12 ounce range that are rated to handle magnums. I currently have a Ti ( all ti except barrel insert) 38sp that weighs around 13 ounces but I'm wanting some more power. I have stainless/blued steel frame stuff but I'm wanting things I can wear without belts when I'm out with Finn at night. The last thing we need here is a strange old guy with a mastiff that walks around with his pants constantly falling down. :(

How are the scandium framed S&W's? How about Taurus ultralights? Etc.

Thanks.
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Postby JLS » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:59 am

As long as you can accept the recoil, they're great to carry. ;)

I did see 3 Taurus Ultralights that were purchased new from about 2006-2009. One of them was great. The other two had some issues with one of them being serious. If you check it out first, Taurus can make a good revolver. The serious problem was on a Ti Ultralight and were the hand notches at the rear of the cylinder. The part was not perpendicular to the centerline of the cylinder and consequently, the amount of drag and the trigger pull would vary as the cylinder rotated through the 5 chambers. We were able to clean that up without issue and now it's great. The difference was only .004", but that was the difference between dragging and not. The cylinder gap opened up by about .002" as a result, but total gap was now .011". A bit big, but still acceptable. Those without a machine shop available to them would be in a real bind. I scolded the guy for not checking it out functionally before leaving the shop.

On the other hand, the S&W Scandium framed revolvers I've seen so far have all been good. This is a sample size of only about 6 since they were introduced, but it covers .38, .357, and .44 calibers. The recoil is stout, but fit, finish and function are great.
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Postby GotDogs » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:23 am

Aside from some wear issues ( cosmetic ) the light guns are a pleasure to carry. If you are not recoil sensative they are the way to go for extended carry and casual shooting. Taurus is not a gun that I would purchase. They are knock-off masters with poor QC and worse customer service. If funds permit, go with the originals because like our knives we will want the better one down the road. In my neck of the woods .38 / .357 would be the way I would go. Ammo choices, availability I think favor the .38 / .357. Good luck and lets us know which way you go. Yours in sport, John
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Postby r small » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:30 am

I carry a steel S&W .38 snub and have fired the airweight (alloy frame) models. The steel is fairly comfortable with +P ammo. The alloy frame is a little rowdy but not bad. I would guess that the ultra-lightweight titanium of scandium frames would be a little unpleasant in hot .38 or .357. At least for alot of us.

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Postby rg02 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:49 am

i previusly owned a model 637 s&w airweight .38special that fired +P and it was a very nice snubbie. I just am not a good lightweight revolver shooter and feel more comfortable with my Glock 26 for CC. I can recommend the S&W 637 though I would go with the new internal hammer design so it would work better for pocket carry......

not sure if that falls in to the weight category that you are looking for........
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Postby JNewell » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:48 pm

I have a lot of experience with the .38 Special and .44 Special Al/Ti Airlites, not so much with the .357/.44 Mag Sc/Ti guns. One of the .38s is a very high-miles gun and still runs like a Timex before they were made overseas.

Reading the mail over the years at various forums, what I see is very few complaints about problems with the non-magnum revolvers, but quite a few complaints involving the magnum versions.

That issue apart, even with +P .38 Special ammo, the recoil is pretty noticeable in an 11 ounce gun. It's not so much that there's a lot of recoil, IMO, but that the recoil impulse is very, very sharp. These guns and their owners benefit from having an identical, all-steel version of the same model for training/practice/range use.

Overall, my experience over the last dozen years (I bought a 342 when it was first introduced) has been extremely positive.

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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:51 pm

I have a 340 PD by S&W in .357 mag. Very Light weight, 10-11 oz. Scandium Frame with a Titanium Cylinder. Pleasure to carry, a bear to shoot, If you are used to heavy recoil then no problem. I stoke mine with hot loads and can shoot all day..but I'm a glutton for punishment. Stay away from the Taurus models, they have issues with gun coatings, and other things and I feel they won't hold up to extended shooting over time. I never had any luck with Taurus Firearms. FWIW the Smith I have has over 50,000 hot 357 mag loads through it and nay a problem....I did scratch the metal on the underside of the trigger guard (careless me) and there was some discoloration at the flash holes after 20,000 rounds but that stopped and haven't had a problem since....Basically a good solid gun that will hold up over time....Doc :)
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Postby 2cha » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:18 pm

I really want to like the aluminum and scandium framed Smith + Wessons. Sadly, I find them unbearable to shoot, even in .38. My trigger finger gets thrown forward and hits the trigger guard. I could deal with a little pain in a carry gun, but because of the pain, I tend to anticipate and my accuracy disappears. I much prefer shooting the Ruger LCR, though I haven't bought one yet. Even in .357, it is OK to shoot and in .38, it's a pure pleasure. Trigger is much, much better than on Ruger's sp101s or gp100s (both of which I have).
The LCR in .357 is a bit heavier than the alloy J-frames--weighing in at 17 oz vs. 15 oz.

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Postby The Mastiff » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:06 pm

Thanks everyone. I'm leaning towards a Smith & Wesson too. I've been through the armorers course for the revolvers and have confidence in them.

Recoil doesn't bother me all that much. I guess I'm like Doc. S. in that respect. The Rugers are stout little guns but harder to carry due to weight. I'm looking to the 11 to 13 oz. range.

I have no experience with polymer revolvers. I think I'd avoid them until I do know more and could make a better decision with them.

There is always someone around who knows somebody, who knows somebody who had a scandium frame crack but I've not had any direct experience with it, or spoken to anybody who has actually seen it in person.

We'll see what we see.

Joe
"A Mastiff is to a dog what a Lion is to a housecat. He stands alone and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race" Cynographia Britannic 1800


"Unless you're the lead dog the view is pretty much gonna stay the same!"

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Postby Rwb1500 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Two words, crimp jumping.

Extremely heavy recoil (magnum calibers) and light weight guns can lead to the bullets actually "jumping the crimp", meaning the bullet is actually pulled forward out of the casing from the recoil (in a chamber that isn't in battery.) This allows the tip of the round to protrude further forward than it normally would, so that when it comes time for that round to advance the protrusion jams against the forcing cone, stopping the cylinder from advancing, putting the gun out of the fight. This would be a very bad thing in a defensive firearm.

Thankfully, it usually only happens with lightweight bullets. I think S&W recommends using 125 grain or higher rounds in it's magnum scandium revolvers. Stick with a heavy bullet, and you'll be fine.


Personally I see little to no advantage in .357 over .38 special +p in a 2 inch or shorter gun. So I stick with .38 and don't worry about it. However, some do, so I'll leave it at that.

PS, the scandium Smiths rule. (Especially in .45 acp :D )

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Postby Blerv » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:49 pm

Those Rhinos are supposedly awesome with a 357mag and a 2inch barrel due to the design. You do look a bit like Robocop but I dig em! A recent forumite got one and was in love.
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:17 pm

There are big differences between a 38Special +P and any of the .357 Magnum offerings in different weight grains....That being said I won't get into details or have a pissy match, nor do I want to derail this thread, but just because you don't see the difference in a 2" Snubnose, doesn't mean there isn't. If there wasn't a hugh difference, there would no longer be a need for this round and it would cease to exist. The .357 Magnun is here to stay and is still used as the standard of which every other caliber handgun round is measured by......Doc :)
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Postby 2cha » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:30 pm

The Mastiff wrote:
I have no experience with polymer revolvers. I think I'd avoid them until I do know more and could make a better decision with them.


We'll see what we see.

Joe
Yes, worried me too. There's a youtube of a guy who burned through the top strap(?is that the right word for where frame meets barrel above cylinder gap?) early after introduction of the line. That part of the gun is aluminum in .38s and stainless in .357, however, not polymer.

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Postby JNewell » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:29 am

Joe, are you thinking pocket carry (which would IMO very strongly tilt you toward concealed-hammer "Centennial"-style models) or belt/IWB/OWB carry (which would make a traditional exposed hammer a reasonable choice)?

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Postby The Mastiff » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:11 pm

I carry IWB when out at night with Finn. I'm usually wearing sweats which is why I want something light. I vary at other times and have other carry options.My Ti .38 is a bobbed hammer model and I'll likely look for another one in .357. If I find the right 44 sp that's different though. More of a "take what's available" situation.

2cha, yes, the top strap is the correct name.It seems like it would take a lot of shooting to burn through that but seeing is believing.

I'm with Doc. S. on the difference in 38sp and .357 loads even with very short barrels. That trigger guard slamming back into the finger, the flash bang like shock wave of 125 grain .357's from lightweight snubbies is very real. They are manageable, but very noticeable. They do have newer loads designed for shorter barrels that have flash resistant powders as well as bullets designed to expand at the velocities produced.

I got rid of all my real hard kicking rifles when I went through the shoulder reconstruction surgeries. It really was painful with a light .300 mag, or 7mmrem magnum after a surgery by a couple months when I was still healing, and my shoulders were atrophied away.

Now, I at least want the 300 maggie back, plus the garand that went due to being broke. I can shoot again but it remains wishful thinking for now. Heck, pistols are more practical and useful for me anyway.

Thanks again

Joe
"A Mastiff is to a dog what a Lion is to a housecat. He stands alone and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race" Cynographia Britannic 1800


"Unless you're the lead dog the view is pretty much gonna stay the same!"

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Scandium Smiths

Postby dwayne1341 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:45 pm

I've got some S&W wheel guns (none of them has that dumb Clinton lock on the side).

I've got an 11 oz model 342 in 38 with some jump to it. My 342 sports an old school set of S&W jfame small wooden grips on it, nice contrast with the scandium frame. That thing makes shooting a 16 oz airweitght kind of a joy.

I've also got a 3 inch scandium 337 in 38 special at 13 oz to match my little eight shot 317 in 22LR. Both sport matching S&W pro series wood grips now and have I have remoeved the dumb little glow stick front sights by droping them off at the factory that's only a couple miles away for about two weeks.

I can say that the 12oz model 340pd shooting 357 loads it is not a fun gun to shoot.
GIVE SOME THOUGHT TO GETTING THE 340PD & ALWAYS LOADING IT UP WITH 38 SECIAL LOADS.
You must stay away from the 329pd in 44mag at 27oz for it is an unholly beast. The 329pd is just not a good gun to shoot, about on cylinder full is all the fun you can stand. It makes shooting my old man's S&W Mt. Mag 44mag at about 35oz to 36oz a joy. Seriously, Gun Test shot the 329pd and said it was the hardest recoiling pistol they ever shot. The 329pd has been known to bind up the cylinder by the harsh recoil pulling bullets unseated.

For me my personal favorite is a model 42 with the grip safety that's sporting a set of the open backstrap CT Defender grips (slightly customised to make them fit). That pistol is 16oz worth of old school fighting pistol with the addition of the modern CT laser grips.

PM me is you want to talk some more about S&W's.
dwayne1341

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Postby gac » Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:13 am

I think you guys are nuts.
The Mastiff wrote:Ultralight snubbies. Anything to watch out for?
Arthritis?

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The Mastiff
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Postby The Mastiff » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:57 am

Arthritis?
Already got plenty of that. 4 joints rebuilt so far, need about 6 more surgeries. The last one was sort of troubling and didn't go well so I'm putting the next off for a while. My hands though arthritic and with nerve damage are still strong, gorilla grips. They do sometimes open up by themselves and drop stuff though. Recoil isn't a problem any more than, say, walking.

I checked a 340pd at the gun show today. I would have bought it if I could even though it was used and scratched up. It was the only one there. There were hundreds of 38 sp of all types. I even saw Taurus Ti 44 mags, a discontinued Taurus Ti 44 sp ( nice). There were plenty of new charter arms bulldogs in 44 sp too. Not expensive at all compared to the alloy smiths.

I did find out my pistol purchase permits from the sheriff were expired. :( I got to get more, or get a CC permit, which is probably the best bet.

Joe
"A Mastiff is to a dog what a Lion is to a housecat. He stands alone and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race" Cynographia Britannic 1800


"Unless you're the lead dog the view is pretty much gonna stay the same!"

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Postby coonan » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:00 pm

Check out the .327.It ballistics are very near the .357 and a lot less recoil.

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Postby Pinetreebbs » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:23 am

I would look at the Charter Arms Bulldog in SS. It's 21 ounces and the .44 special is a great round.

A buddy has an older Bulldog in blue steel. I have fired it on several trips to the range. It is a handful, actually twisting a little in your hand, apparently from from the torque the projectile generates in the short barrel. The recoil is not as bad as some .357 rounds though and it doesn't require any expansion to make a bigger hole.

What ever you chose, consider getting it ported to help with recoil.
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