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Old 07-25-2006, 03:41 AM   #1
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Revolver's/A beginner's guide

Hi there all,



Among the plethora of handguns available on the market today, the revolver still has a place among those seeking a mechanically simple and easy to manipulate firearm.



Why? They are easy to load, easy to sight and easy to shoot depending upon the frame size and require no other accessories or safeties in place of the simple fact that you open the cylinder and load the bullets into each chamber, close the cylinder and are ready to start shooting.



In the evolution of handguns, the revolver was the first "repeating" handgun dating back to the mid 18th century based upon the design of Samuel Colt who got his idea for a repeating "revolver" while working as a young sailor and watching the "wheel" on a sailing ship. He designed a "cylinder" mounted in frame that could be turned and that contained self contained charges including the "bullet" and the "charge" fired using a "primer".



About the turn of the last century these "self contained"cartridges and handguns had evolved through technology to become the modern revolvers today.



Many modern revolvers are classified according to their "frame size" by modern manufacturers like Smith and Wesson.



Here is the run down of the current and most popular S&W revolver frame sizes:



One of the most popular frame sizes and top sellers for Smith and Wesson is the "J" frame size. This frame size is generally limited to .22, .32, or .38 caliber size cartridges (although some revolvers are chambered in .357 magnum caliber):







One step up from the "J" frame size is the "K" or medium size frame revolver. This size generally holds a cylinder that holds 6 shots in either the .38 special or .357 magnum caliber. This is one of the oldest frame sizes that began around 1899 with the introduction of the S&W Model 10.







The next frame size is the "N" frame size that holds essentially the same number of bullets as the "K" frame, but generally cartridges of even greater caliber including the .44 special/magnum, .45 caliber revolver/ACP cartridge.







There is one larger frame size and the newest--the X frame designed to chamber the .460 and .500 S&W cartridge. These revolvers are designed to shoot cartridges that are achieving "rifle like" performance bullets for handgun hunting and sillouette shooting.



The design of the revolver will continue to be among the "top selections" of handguns for personal defense, hunting and recreational shooting.



Chris









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Old 07-28-2006, 10:33 AM   #2
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Revolver's/A beginner's guide

I think the L-frame should be included. Brought out about 26 years ago, it was developed in response to complaints that the regular use of hot light-bullet .357 magnum loads was damaging the popular K-frame revolvers. With a slightly larger cylinder married to a K-frame sized grip, it proved to be very accurate and reliable. In recent years it's been improved with an extra chamber, making it a very size-efficient "seven-shooter".
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Old 07-30-2006, 02:02 PM   #3
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Revolver's/A beginner's guide

Darkenfast,



Thank you for the additional info.



Josh <><
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Old 08-10-2006, 06:35 PM   #4
 
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Revolver's/A beginner's guide

RIP: The K-Frame

I seems that S&W has seen fit to remove the K -frame and all the classic American revolvers that go with it such as the M-19 and M-66 Combat Master. The only remenant of this historic frame size will be the M-10, the first "Modern Revolver" along w Colt's New Police Positive. While it did not have the extremely small frame for sub compact concealment, it was always my favorite of the S&W frame sizes, beefy enough to be able to handle a powerful cartridge, but slender enough, even in "service sized" pistols, to conceal, and a great revolver for smaller framed individuals, such as women, to use for SD/HD. I don't know how many women, who were talked into buying a j-frame as a bedside HD gun, and then were to intimidated to shoot it regularly because it kicked too much, or discouraged because was hard to aim accurately, and were about to trade it in for a "mouse gun" figuring that it was the only weapon they could handle, that I talked into trying a K-Frame. They all pretty much went for the K-Frame, usually a .357mag that they would either load w/ hot .38 Spl. +P or felt comfortable enough, esp. with a 4-6" barrel to load it w/ full power .357 mag loads, which they mastered as well as any man I know. I had heard the complaints about the .357 mag loads damaging the gun, but like Sasquash, I've heard the rumors but yet to see the results. I have a 2.5" M-66 that I've had for over 15 years ( though officially it was my Mom's, we both knew who would be using it if someone were to break in. I was 15 at the time. ITs my wife's bedside gun , now.) And I've but a lot of hot .38 loads as well as full power .357 125 gn load though, and the only problem I've ever had was the extrator rod getting stuck. This was about a year ago. The gunsmith didn't even bother charging me for the repair as it tookk him abiout 2 minutes to fix what was wrong, hand it back to me, and say "come back when one of your guns is REALLY broken!" Those things are tougher than a javalina. I just can't buy that they were having problems. Only thing I can think of is the decline of the revolver, often the K-Frame S&W, as the standard sidearm for American law enforcement and the dept. sized orders that go along w/ it. Since they lost "cool points" to hi cap semi autos, mainly of European extraction, people aren't buying them as much.
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Old 08-20-2006, 08:43 AM   #5
 
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Revolver's/A beginner's guide

As a "Newbie" on this forum, I don't want to be impolite by asking an "Old" question but will someone tell me what frame I have with my 7-shot S&W686? I know I have a J-frame with my S&W640-3.

Thanks,

Charlie
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Old 08-20-2006, 05:36 PM   #6
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Revolver's/A beginner's guide

Hi there scwcharlie,



First, welcome to the H&A forum!



The frame size of your revolver is S&W's "L" frame designation.



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Old 12-09-2006, 04:43 PM   #7
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Revolver's/A beginner's guide

Hiyas!



A couple of historical notes on frame sizes.



The first Hand Ejector was the Model 1896, in what would eventually (with a number of improvements) be known as the 'I' frame. I frames were mostly made in .32S&W Long as well as lesser numbers in .22 rimfire and .38S&W. The I frame was too small for the .38Special so the J frame was introduced (in 1950) for that caliber. In roughly 1961 the remaining models that were still using the I frame were converted to J frames.



The smallest S&W frame was the 'M' frame used in the original LadySmith series, a 7 shot .22 rimfire made between 1902 and 1921 in several variations. (not to be confused with the current offerings marketted with women in mind) If you find one do NOT fire it with current ammo!



There exists a few examples of a gun (Model 73 I think) that was similar to the Colt Police Positive Special in size; a petite 6 shot .38Special. Most were destroyed. I have no idea why.





Regards,



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Old 11-26-2008, 11:19 AM   #8
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Revolver's/A beginner's guide

Pat,



I asked about the guns that were destroyed at www.smith-wessonforum.com. Here is what I was told:



Look it up in the Standard Catalog of S&W. They were called a 'C' frame. If I remember, the problem was a unique offset cylinder lock that never worked right.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/eve/for...4/m/2411098223

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Old 12-01-2008, 08:55 PM   #9
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Revolver's/A beginner's guide

Yes. :)



Since my previous post I've gotten the third edition of the Standard Handbook which also has that information.



Having one stashed in the back of the safe would make a nice retirement bonus. Shame they couldn't get it to work, since no more PPS are ever going to come out of Colt.





Regards,



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