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How much 357 Mag can a J frame take?

knifezoid Nov 4, 2012

  1. knifezoid

    knifezoid Bladerunners Systems -=BRS=- Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    I heard the J Frames aren't really meant to take a lot of 357 mag.
    If you shoot a lot through them they start to get loose over time.

    For those of you with experience with revolvers, what do you think
    the appx round count is with 357 mag before you start seeing this
    type of wear and tear?

    Question two: How many rounds can you take in a range session
    of 357 mag in a small J Frame/Small snubby type revolver?

    Is it not practical to practice a lot with 357 mag in it?
     
  2. CDR_Glock

    CDR_Glock Bali Demon JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    It's likely going to shorten the life by a couple of thousands of rounds but that will depend upon how much you care for them. I clean my revolvers all of the time, after shooting.

    I can shoot 100 rounds of 125 grain 357 grains in a snubby. I never tried more since I don't shoot much more ammo (with any handgun) than that on a regular basis.
     
  3. Parker

    Parker Former Village People Roadie Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    It's not the cleaning that is the issue.

    It is the repeated stress on the frame and cylinder.

    A scandium gun is NOT going to last anywhere near as long as a steel frame, period.

    Neither will an Airweight.

    A Smith and Wesson model 640-1 (that -1 is very important) will take the abuse of a .357 magnum for some time, but the frame and cylinder were re-engineered for the 357 Magnum and it is a heavier J-frame than a Model 60.

    Myself, I would have no hesitation about shooting a 640-1 with .357's for a while, but a model 60, even the newer ones supposedly rated for it, nuh-uh. There's not enough frame or cylinder for that to be a good idea.

    Loosening of the gun means it is getting the tolerances out of whack, which does things like fuck up the timing, which causes faster forcing cone and frame erosion, which causes further strides towards mechanical failure.

    Mechanical failure in a revolver is pretty neat. It can require the serious and immediate attention of a gunsmith to make it safe, never mind functional.

    And I guess the assumption I have made is that the original question refers to J-frames chambered for .357 Magnum. If you are silly enough to follow that idiot idea that a .38 can take about 50-100 rounds of .357 Magnum before damage occurs, well, it's sorta like asking for destiny to happen. If you've never seen the aftermath of an overpressured round in a revolver, my local shop has a couple examples on the wall. I'll be happy to take a picture for anyone who would like to see it.
     
    begreen61 and markandrex like this.
  4. knifezoid

    knifezoid Bladerunners Systems -=BRS=- Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    I have been told that 38 cylinders are made shorter as to not allow
    357mag rounds to be loaded in as a safety precaution. Is this true?

    Anyways in all my research everyone says shooting 357 mag out of
    a J Frame is murder on the hands. I'm not gonna invest in a gun I
    don't want to shoot. I think for a small J Frame one rated 38+P is
    much more practical as I will actually practice with it and it is almost
    half the cost as its 357mag counterpart.
     
    GregB likes this.
  5. 50calmike

    50calmike 50 caliber Devil

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    38 revolvers will not chamber a 357 round. Unless they were fucked with. Also, the bullet will protrude from the end of the cylinder a little if it has been fucked with, unless the bullet is very short, like a wadcutter.
     
  6. Parker

    Parker Former Village People Roadie Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    And there is another important safety tip.

    Do NOT, repeat NOT shoot reloads unless they were done by you and you KNOW what you are doing, or by someone known to you to know what they are doing.

    Shoving the projectile further back in the case will cause overpressure issues nicely and can again result in Ka-BOOM!


    Zoid, a stainless steel Smith and Wesson 640-1 is NOT unpleasant to shoot with 158gr .357 magnum JSP (Remington Green Box) so long as I had the gun fitted with a grip which fit ME. It had to fill my hand sufficiently to keep the gun from jerking around, and be large enough to hold onto. Thus, none of that two-finger bootgrip bullshit which seems to abound. I used a grip made by Eagle which was smooth rosewood, but it fit me AND filled the space between the trigger guard and the forestrap nicely, preventing the trigger guard from smacking my fingers badly.

    Again, the revolver weighs in empty at 23oz which is plenty to damp recoil of a standard JSP, particularly as the low bore axis allows better recoil management than would a higher bore axis.

    But in the end, you're right - you are generally speaking far better off shooting a .38 out of the smaller guns and getting those shots where they are supposed to be, versus missing but being very noisy and impressive with a little hand cannon :bang:
     
  7. rbmcmjr

    rbmcmjr Nuclear Powered Devil

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    Yes, although it is more the other way around. The .357 and .44 magnum brass is 1/8th of an inch longer to preclude chambering in .38 or .44 Special revolvers.
     
  8. CDR_Glock

    CDR_Glock Bali Demon JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    I agree with you, Parker, but I am referring to ongoing inspection and maintenance on any handgun/firearm. When I clean my guns, I am also inspecting the action and insuring that no parts are getting asymmetrically worn. Revolvers require a lot more work regarding cleaning and inspection. They don't handle heavy trauma like a Polymer being dropped onto concrete. Cranes break, timing gets out of line and parts fail.

    38 Specials can handle 38 only. Some are rated for 38 Plus P but not all.

    357 Magnums can handle 357 Magnum, 38 and 38 Plus P.

    The softest shooting 357 in my lot is the Coonan 357, though, which is a 1911-style pistol. One of the Sweetest shooting semiauto pistols to me. However, the Colt Python is just something else. That trigger is so sweet!

    Thanks to supersuby, I have a 586 L-Comp that I acquired a few weeks ago. Great revolver.
     
  9. Top Dog

    Top Dog Little Member

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    Parker,
    That is some very sound advice.
    Actually,you do not get really that much more ballistic performance from a 357 out of a snubby. Heavty recoil plus a good amount of muzzle flash and noise.

    Some years back,the NRA did an exhaustive test on 38 spl rounds and found that the lowly 38 spl wadcutter was very effective.

    That's what I carry in my Charter Arms lightweight hammerless snubby.

    As always,shot placement in the key factor.

    Top Dog
     
  10. snache

    snache Should be a custom title here

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    Parker was last on here in 2015. Agreed In a LW Snubby 38 Special is best, that's what I carried in my Titanium J Frame Smith.
     
  11. Top Dog

    Top Dog Little Member

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    Snache,
    You have the right idea there. No sense in beating yourself or the gun up.

    Top Dog
     
    snache likes this.
  12. xeodguy

    xeodguy Little member

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    Modern .38 Special ammunition is much more effective than the old police loads with lead round nose bullets, and simply using wadcutters at the same velocity improves their stopping ability. A wheelgun in .38 isn't too little gun to bring to a gunfight.
     
    snache likes this.
  13. Top Dog

    Top Dog Little Member

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    xeodguy,
    I basically think along those same lines.

    Many folks criticize loads and calibers and that debate will always rage on but being able to control your shots for correct hits is what that counts the most.

    Top Dog
     
    xeodguy and snache like this.
  14. snache

    snache Should be a custom title here

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    And run real fast!
     
    xeodguy and Samb like this.
  15. Top Dog

    Top Dog Little Member

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    Snache,
    You're right there!! Better yet is to be aware of what is going on around you. If you see trouble brewing up ahead then avoid it.

    Slightly off thread here but I see many folks go through the hoops & hurdles to get their carry permit,then don't carry.

    That is the beauty of these fine gems of snub nose revolvers,they can be packed discreetly.

    In Church,I pack my Charter Arms standard stainless steel snubby in my "Bible pack" and in an ankle rig carry might Charter lightweight hammerless snubby.

    The Pastor? He has a snubby in his pocket and a lever action rifle stashed in the pulpit.

    Top Dog
     
    snache likes this.

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