From S&W ... Ammunition Warning for Ti, Sc, PD Series Revolvers

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_CY_

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Ammunition Warning for Ti, Sc, PD Series Revolvers

Before placing any of these reduced weight revolvers into service, perform the following test to determine the suitability of the ammunition you intend to use.

At a gun range or other suitable and safe location, prepare your revolver for firing by fully loading its cylinder with the ammunition to be tested. While pointing the firearm in a safe direction, fire all but the last round. Remove the empty casings and the last loaded round from the revolver’s cylinder.

Carefully inspect the loaded round to determine if its bullet has started to unseat (move forward) from its casing. If it has, you should not use the tested ammunition in your revolver. Choose another projectile weight or brand of ammunition and repeat this test until you find one that does not unseat under these test conditions. When you are finished, fully unload your revolver and secure it safely.

ALL SCANDIUM REVOLVERS FIRING MAGNUM AMMUNITION
WARNING: DO NOT USE MAGNUM® LOADINGS WITH BULLET WEIGHTS OF LESS THAN 120 GR. THIS WILL REDUCE THE POSSIBILITY OF PREMATURE CYLINDER EROSION.

– S&W Manual of Modern-style Revolvers
 

Stillhunter

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I understand the bullet unseating is known to be an issue with Alum. alloy Airweights loaded with unjacketed lead bullets, and less common with factory ammo using a copper jacketed bullet. Maybe lead bullets are crimped lighter?? It's not uncommon for a bullet to work its way forward enough to prevent the cylinder from rotating. Makes sense that the problem would be worse on the Ultra lightweights.

Cylinder erosion? Ammo Issues? Personally I didn't need any MORE reasons to avoid something extremely lightweight, in an exotic alloy, firing .357 Mag!

Good idea, the test for revolver ammo. I'm going to do it.
 

sanjuro893

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I thought the aluminum alloy airweights were okay, it's the scandium and other funny named revolvers that were having problems. I could be wrong, though.
 

ldp4570

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I fear the day will come when we see the era of the throw away gun. Like everything else in our society that we throw away after one use, the same may happen to the gun. With enough plastic, polymer, and unobtainium eventually someone will come up with a firearm loaded and ready for use. You shoot it and throw it in the trashcan when done.

I for one am sad to see the way firearms have been going. Just because the technology is there, and other metals can be applied, doesn't mean it was for firearm development. I'll stick to steel please!!!
 

Glock 'em down

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I'm one of the ones who never leaves home without my Airweight J frame in my pocket.

Now then. With that being said, that same Airweight J frame rarely gets fired anything but standard pressure ammo. Why you may ask? Simple. With a revolver, it's basically unnecessary to "function check" your carry/duty ammo in a revolver because I've never in the 21 years I've been totin' revolvers witnessed a failure to feed in a wheelgun.

The closest I came was with my Colt Cobra who absolutely hates the Speer 135gr short barrel Gold Dots. They just absolutely will not load into the cylinder. :ugh2: It's kinda like putting .357 Magnums into a .38 Special...they load up into the charge holes just fine but the caseheads stand up enough that you can't close the cylinder. Crazy, huh?

Anyway...I need to try the "test" and see if my vintage 1985 Smith & Wesson model 38 ND Airweight Bodyguard does this with my carry ammo.

Might be time to try something else.

Good post _CY_ :thanku:
 

jbarnett

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I am with you GED.
Mine is in my pocket now as it will be tomorrow also.
I would rather take my chances with my 340 than a lcp.
 

_CY_

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for the longest time mistakenly thought the 120 grain warnings on my 340PD barrel was for lighter bullets un-seating. and that it was ok to use heavier bullets in all .357 loads.

after several conversations with S&W customer service reps. they informed me 120 gr warnings was only for revolvers with Ti cylinders. lighter bullets use slower burning powders, so bullet will have left barrel before powder has fully burned. this would increase erosion of Titanium cylinders.

what alerted me to differences was M&P 340, only one oz heavier than my 340PD. yet carried no 120 gr warning. M&P 340 has a steel cylinder and are not effected by slow burning powders.

evidently testing for bullets unseating applies to ALL light weight revolvers shooting magnum loads. it's easy to see where one could be confused at the two very different warnings. sometimes both applying to the same revolver.
 

sanjuro893

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I've been thinking about switching my carry ammo to standard pressure loads. I'll probably still check it out at the range but I've never carried anything other than speer gold dots 135 gr. It's things like this that make me want to hunt down another model 60 stainless like I had back in the day, but those aren't rated for +p ammo, which was why I got the 637 airweight in the first place. Decisions, decisions....
 

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