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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I'm on the trail for a .357 revolver to second my M10. Intented use is casual/defense shooting at the range. Used S&Ws only, as I like the quality and fit of theses guns.

Help me with these options:

- Stainless M65 4", pinned and recessed, with small wood original grips and one problem: the release do protude in the cylinder star when fully pressed - can be corrected easily with light stoning and a good argument to discuss the price (about 6-700 francs, I don't remember). What were the contras by these first stainless Smiths?

- Blue M586 4", with large wood original grips, shot but nice blueing, rather dirty inside, apparently in good shape. 580 francs. Was always prejudiced against these 5/686 - don't know why - but this one is tight and feels reassuringly massive in my hand. Maybe a good, comfy magnum?

- Blue M13, 3", advertised as "good shape" by a rascal whose manners and service are under zero. 480 francs. His prices are the best in land and the descriptions generally fit the reality.

- Wait for the next gun show(s) and find something really nice, like a M28, for example.

Bye.

L.
 

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- Stainless M65 4", pinned and recessed, with small wood original grips and one problem: the release do protude in the cylinder star when fully pressed - can be corrected easily with light stoning and a good argument to discuss the price (about 6-700 francs, I don't remember). What were the contras by these first stainless Smiths?

$487 to 568.00


- Blue M586 4", with large wood original grips, shot but nice blueing, rather dirty inside, apparently in good shape. 580 francs. Was always prejudiced against these 5/686 - don't know why - but this one is tight and feels reassuringly massive in my hand. Maybe a good, comfy magnum?

$470.00

- Blue M13, 3", advertised as "good shape" by a rascal whose manners and service are under zero. 480 francs. His prices are the best in land and the descriptions generally fit the reality.

$390.00

Prices seem high for such purchases in the US. Today the conversion rate is 1 Swiss franc = .8117 dollar

But the prices may be in line with the offerings there. I'll let others give you their advice and opinions on the various handguns.

Regards,

Steve
 

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Watch out for the 586 series. Some of these had factory defects in the cylinders and had to be returned to S&W to be repaired. I'm not sure of a serial number range for this issue, but it was in the early runs.

You might check the S&W Forum for information.

Me, I really like the M65 a lot, as it is the twin to the M13, which I also like a lot. I'd take the Model 13 with the 3" tube, as it is one of the best handling Smiths I've ever shot. I don't have one, but I do have a 3" round butt Model 10, and I love it. But that M65 doesn't sound bad at all.

Yeah, get the 65.
 

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Hi Larry,

My friend, so many choices and yet my vote goes for the M-65!

Why? Because I have one that I will never part with! As Leland said, it is a twin "cousin" to your model 10 and will offer more versatility in your shooting. The K-frame will handle .357 magnum loads. As to the sticking center pin, when I last checked they were a mere $2.85 or about 3.05 CF. I have no doubt that you can replace it yourself. However, I would negotiate that in the sales price as you have mentioned.

I have owned a 586 and a M-10, but the M-65 just feels right and balanced in my hand!



According to the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson, the model you are looking at was manufactured from 1972-1982. Beginning in 1982, they eliminated the counter bored cylinder and pinned barrel. There were only 2 model designations with production changes over that time period.

As to the price, it depends on how motivated both the seller/buyer are.

I wish you well in your decision!

Chris
 

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Larry,
I have the Model 67, the 4" .38 special sister of the Model 65 and 66. I purchased it in 1973 for $125.00 NIB. Often carried as my duty weapon, both on patrol and later as a detective in a shoulder holster. Many thousands of rounds later it's still a wonderful gun with a crisp trigger in both DA and SA. It has great balance and a nice feel in the hand. The Model 65 would be a great gun and should give you years of good service.

I would agree that if you can swing the money, it's a keeper. It would be hard to find a better one. Good luck!

Steve
 

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Larry,

Of course my choice would be the M13 with a 3" tube, and I know you prefere it without the bobbed hammer
Hey, its a tuff call between between the 13 & 65, but for me it would have to be a 3 incher either way.

Regards,
Papabear



 
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These are the pros and cons as I see them:

In general, Smiths are quality handguns. (Not every one that has left the factory has been perfect, but probably most all used ones have had any factory problems rectified by now.)

If you plan on doing a lot of shooting with full-power .357 loads, the Model 586 (an L-frame revolver) is by far the most preferable, as its frame in the critical barrel-shank area is beefed up over that area of the Smith K-frame revolvers. (The Models 13 and 65 are somewhat more delicate K-frame revolers. Smith introduced the L-frame revolvers due to the tendency for cracking of the thinner forcing cones of the barrels of their K-frame .357's with heavy shooting of the light bullet/high velocity service loads that became popular in the 1970's. Smith has dropped all K-frame .357's from their line-up, having replaced them with L-frame revolvers.) If you plan on mostly shooting .38 Specials with a more limited amount of .357 shooting, then a Smith K-frame will give you adequate service life. To be honest, it takes more shooting of a K-frame .357 Smith with .357 loads to damage them than the great majority of owners will ever give them (but Smith no longer makes any of them and that should tell you something).

The Model 586 has adjustable sights, the 13 and 65 do not. Unless snag-free concealed carry is an issue, I always much prefer adjustable sights to get the zero "spot on." But that's me.

In my area, the Model 28 is rather uncommon (although the better fit-and-finished equivalent, the Model 27, is much more common, but pricier). Being on the Smith full-sized N-frame, it's a "lot of gun" to carry, and less "size-efficient" for the cartridge compared to the smaller-framed Smith .357's. But if you're going to primarily shoot rather than carry, this isn't an issue. And that big revolver aborbs recoil better and makes shooting magnum loads more pleasant.

Beyond these issues, it's just a matter of preference.


One thing to check on a used .357 (or any magnum) revolver. If the revolver hasn't been shot a whole lot, the barrel's forcing cone (the rear-most interior of the barrel tapering down to the rifling) will still have the circular machining striations fresh and unworn. On a heavily shot magnum revolver, these will be worn and less distinct, and maybe completely eroded away. (Be aware that powder fouling, bullet fouling and lead can fill in and obscure the striations that are still there. I'm talking about examining a clean revolver)


Good luck and have fun.
The "quest" is a major part of the fun .


P.S. I have at least one of the Smith models under discussion, so have no "axes to grind" model-wise. Suffice to say, a Smith&Wesson is a Smith&Wesson ;).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you very much, all, for the very knowledgeable answers and advices.

I gave the prices as comparison between the different choices. Gun prices are, indeed, high here in comparison with US, even for SIG Sauers.

To that point, I turn to the 13 or 65. I'm not mad about stainless guns but they makes sense for wheelguns are not especially fun to clean - my point. That "pinned and recessed" 65 is very desirable, as is the 4" tube for magnum shooting.

I will not rush yet as "the quest is a major part of the fun" and keep you informed.

L.

Just an add-on: does anyone knows about a good book on S&W revolvers, something both technical and historical?
 
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There is no current book that's both technical and historical, but there's two excellent, reasonably-priced books that each treat these aspects of Smith&Wesson handguns:


The technical book would be the Standard Catalog of Smith&Wesson by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas. It lists and describes every model of Smith, its factory features, s/n's, production numbers, design evolution and model variants. It also has a section at the beginning dealing with the overall attributes of Smiths, such as frame sizes, factory finishes, factory grips, the pinned and recessed issue, sights, boxes , etc., etc., etc. It is the "must have" book for collectors and "accumulators" of Smith handguns. It's a reference book to find out all about a particular Smith model, rather than a "reading" book. Still in print, $35 USD, and deals with all but the newest Smith models.

The History of Smith&Wesson would be the other book of interest about Smiths and the Smith&Wesson company, by Roy Jinks, Smith's historian. Unlike the above book, it's a narrative and deals with the history of the founders, evolution of the company, stories of the company's leaders over 125 years, and describes the development of their firearms from 1852 though 1977 (the book is in its 12th printing). About $30 USD. I think it's sill in print and available. (Or it will probably be again ---- the 13th printing.)

If you have trouble getting these in Europe, re-post here as we can list sources stateside that you can order them directly from.
 

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Hi Larry,

+1 on Alan's comments on the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson.

I refer to mine prior to purchasing a S&W handgun and have actually been asked by a local gun shop to look info up on some of their aquisitions when a model designation comes into question.

Chris
 

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I am a fan of the K-Frame S&W but a steady diet of 357 will cause it to go out of time and they are more difficult to control. However, it carrys a whole lot easier than the L/N Frames. The L's are a lot like the Colt's Python and can easily handle 357 magnum every day, they are just a little bit bigger. Finally, I always reserve the N-Frame for 41 and above. Having said that a M27/28 is a joy to shoot with the full throttle 357. And, it is best for uniform holster wear.
 

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Hi oberstlt,

Appreciate your comments, however, would you please define, [steady diet of .357]. I have had my M13-3" since 88' and realistically fed it 6,000 rds of .357 and the lockup is still tight and the accuracy is still there too. I realize 300 - 400 rds a year ain't much but over 18 years it adds up. The L and N frames are heavier frames, and should last even longer than the K frames I agree. With the HB on my 3" M13, shooting 125 - 158 gr .357 and 158 gr +P .38 I haven't had any control problems, however, I can see why some would. I don't use mine to plink with, just practice, right and left handed, knock on wood, I've had to use it, but if I do, I'll know exactly what it will do.

Regards,
Papabear
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all for the references,

Not problem to order from Switzerland. Rayrilingarmsbooks gives a very good service, for example, and I like to give my money to specialists who keep a lot of titles in reference.

Another option would be a M19 in 4". I had one in 2,5" for a long time but finally sold it to someone who was mad about it. I don't regret it to much, as the fit in the crane-frame area was not terrific. The short barrel had shortcomings too, in flash, recoil, and extraction. A 4" would do it but I don't have targeted one still.

Bye.

L.
 

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Dear Papabear:

My experience with the M19 lead me to find that about 1000 158 grain full loads was about the outer limit for the K-Frame before having to have some significant retiming work done. However I have seen them last longer with the 125s and 110s. Initially, there was discussion of "flame cutting" on the top strap but I noticed that while there was some metal erosion it appeared to stop once it got to a certain point. However, I have noted broken cylinder stops, deformed cylinder stars and the odd damaged cylinder hand from time to time. But I don't really know where the cut off is outside of my personal experience. I think that I may also be thinking of more 158s than the 110/125s. Finally, I think control is both a function of fit and fitness in my experience. Well fitted grips and strength assist in the management of the revolver. I am also a fan of matching the load to the barrel length. Many of the older loads do not achieve any greater velocity as chronographed but have a large ball of unburnt powder as muzzle flash. I forget who paraphrased Roarke into saying "Use just enough gun" but that is a wise saying. By the way, I only drink Kentucky Bourbon.
 

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Hi oberstlt,

Thanks for your reply, to be totally honest here, if I had to break it down, the majority of the rounds I have put through my M13 have been the the lesser weight 110/125's. In the early days I did shoot a lot of 158's, but a lot for me back then was probably 300-500rds, since then, I have only used the lesser weight rounds, ie., wad-cutters for a target shooting, but then I was told since I only used the M13 for protection in my home or vehicle that I should practice with what I was to keep it loaded with, so since then I have mainly used the 110/125 rds, the .38 +P's were maybe only two or three box's, so you point of the 158gr makes sense, but I have still put a lot of rounds down the tube of my ole M13, and it is still a fine shooting K frame. Only Kentucky Bourbon huh, well in that case, you will probable last a long, long time too, just as my ole M13.

Take Care,

Papabear
 

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Hi Larry,


Another option would be a M19 in 4". I had one in 2,5" for a long time but finally sold it to someone who was mad about it. I don't regret it to much, as the fit in the crane-frame area was not terrific. The short barrel had shortcomings too, in flash, recoil, and extraction. A 4" would do it but I don't have targeted one still.
That would be an excellent choice as well, but I am still a fan of the fixed sight revolvers for heavy outdoor activities. I may be a dinosaur in that respect! But, as a range handgun, that is a perfect choice.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hello,

I have also found a 2" M15 for less than 300 francs (230$). It's not a .357, it's short but damn sexy. What about?

L.
 

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Hi there Larry,

What condition? For less than 300 CF, it sounds like a bargain and there is nothing wrong with a .38 special K frame that can be loaded to +P specs.

What is the - dash model designation?

I will be happy to look up some info for you.

Chris
 

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Hello,

I have also found a 2" M15 for less than 300 francs (230$). It's not a .357, it's short but damn sexy. What about?
I paid a bit more than that a few months ago for my 2" M15, which is pretty much useless to me as handguns go, but as the man says, it's incredibly sexy!

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Gasp, Leland, yours is just incredible!!!

I don't know about dash and condition, as the seller is a professionnal - that very guy with bad manners and service but best prices - who imports weapons by containers. If you insist a lot and wave a valid permit, you may see some exemplaries and choose.

Bye.

L.
 
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