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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Posted some time ago asking for information and appreciate all the input. Dealer I know well took one as a trade in. After the out of State routine picked it up yesterday and out to the range today.

Have owned 3 J Frames and several K's and N's over the years so am generally familiar with S&W revolvers. This one is totally different. I doubt if it shares any parts with my Pinned barrel 3 inch 36, except perhaps the butt shape. Looks like S&W took advantage of the materials design possibilities. Everything is smooth and well finished. On a scale loaded it's less than a pound. It does have the lock and key. Personally I don't blame S&W for this travesty, it's our legal system.

At the range 7 yards with a paper plate target.

First my usual 38 target loads two hand hold, 158 gr SWC's at about 800 fps light crimp. It shoots to the sights but kicks pretty good. No sign of the last round in the cylinder backing out on recoil. Had 50 rounds shot 20 and that was enough. These loads are mild in the steel frame Model 36, not so in this one.

Next some hand loads specially prepared for this revolver. Factory cast 125 gr flat points over a minimum load of W 231. Said to be 800 fps. Bullet has a deep grove and was well crimped. This load shoots to the sights and very pleasant recoil. Shot two hand, one hand, weak hand, and from the hip, no problems with anything. Shot all 50 and could have shot another box.

Finished up with some Winchester + P 125 gr jacketed HP's They kick pretty good and are not real pleasant to shoot. Perhaps a different set of grips would make it better it hits the web of my hand hard. I would relate the difference in recoil with the 342 using mild cast 125 vs JHP 125's Like the Model 28 I used to own using a full load 357's vs target 38 Specials. The 28 hurt too until I switched the grips.

Is the Titanium revolver worth having ? Well it's a choice and comes with compromises. Reliable, Powerful, and very Carry-able yes. Concealable but due to the cylinder width not as easily as Automatics and limited to 5 rounds. It recoils heavily with full loads.

Like all handguns it needs considerable practice to shoot well, for me target loads for most practice with some full power worked into the program will be the plan. Think I will keep it.

Boats
 

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Thanks for the range report Boats. I don't see anything wrong with trying Goodyear's on it if your going to shoot the hotter loads. I haven't shot anything that light. My 21/2" 66 is my lightest gun and It can get my attention with the right loads. Good luck with your new Smith.
Gib
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thinking about the Titanium revolvers design while reloading this afternoon. 38 specials were designed for Black Powder, case is much longer than it has to be. What if S&W really went updated with the J frame and came out with a new strong rimmed 38 cartridge. Sort of a short .357

Way I measured air space the cartridge and entire pistol could be 1/2 shorter. That would make it lighter too. or you could put the half inch back into the barrel which could improve performance.

Boats
 

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Hiya Boats!

I have had a 342 for a while now and it's a keeper. Its not a target gun or something to spend a day at the range with, but it can ride all day in a pocket and not be a bother. If I'm going out to the yard for a second wearing a tshirt and jersey shorts (no belt and barely stay up on their own) the 342 can ride comfortably in the pocket of the tshirt. Ditto old baggy sweater pockets. The Airweight I had didn't work on those situations.

Like you said, the 342 isn't a lot of fun with +P loads. I maintain minimal proficiency with it by clearing the cylinder when I'm at the range for other purposes. I have no intention of burning a couple boxes at one sitting with it. Other (steel) Centennials keep me familiar with the mechanics of it and one or two cylinders with the 342 remind me that it bites back.


I appreciate the steel frames, and today carried an old M&P snub when I went out, but its hardly a pocket gun.

All things have their places. A M&P or an auto are better for engaging targets at a distance. The 342 is mostly carried inside the house where 8 feet will be a long shot.


Regards,

Pat
 
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