K frame trainers - which models

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K frame trainers - which models

Postby jeep45238 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:19 am

I’m going to try and add a K frame to the safe, mainly for training that can trickle down to the J frame, for the fact that I haven’t really messed with revolvers before, and that the whole “common things are common for a reason” seems to have proven itself over and over to me. It’s also an option for my wife to shoot if she comes with me to the range that doesn’t require a lot of how to use instruction (she’s not much of a gun person, and I’m not going to push something down her throat, so let’s leave it at that).

So, I know that 6X is stainless, and 1X is carbon steel. I don’t have any desire to shoot .357 mag, but if there’s another reason beyond ‘you can’ to snag a .357 mag model, let me know.

That leaves it to adjustable and fixed sights - I’m not a high volume shooter due to life, but I really appreciate good sights. I know you can do things with the adjustable models that you can’t on the fixed (sight blades, etc) - but how much of a difference is the sight picture between the two, factory to factory?

Then the difference between sight models - fixed (M&P) are 10/64/12 for .38 (13/65 for .357), adjustable (Combat Masterpiece) are 15/67/68 (19/66 for .357). I don’t have interest in the alloy or long 6” targets.

Given the 10/64/12 and 15/67/68 - what’s the consensus for best range trainer? Known problems with one model versus others? Why would one of the above be better than the other from the same ‘family’ (ie 15/67/68)? Wanting to stick with a shooter grade, and trying to keep the costs down as much as possible (I need to get a .38 conversion for the press).

Thank you all!
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby Mr. Glock » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:59 am

A 4” model 10 is probably going to be your cheapest entry point.

Although adjustable sights are really quite nice, those guns tend to be a little more pricey. Really depends if you want to stay with a J frame understudy (ie fixed sights) or want a better overall wheelgun.

And then moving up to 357 is a jump in price too...keep going, soon you will be at a 686 (great gun but 2x price of model 10
in the used market)
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby Brian D. » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:49 am

I've always favored the adjustable sight models, the difference in point of impact between say 110 grain and 158 grain ammunitions is challenging when you can't change the elevation. Remembering to hold high or low gets tiresome for me. Sometimes the windage even varies betweon heavy and light ammo.

You've been in competitive shooting so I would surmise you would share this sentiment.
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby Sevens » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:51 pm

All of these are K-frames:

Model 10 is blued, fixed sight .38 Spl
Model 13 is blued, fixed sight .357 Mag but looks like a 10 Heavy Barrel
Model 15 is blued, adjustable sight .38 Spl
Model 19 is blued, adjustable sight .357 Mag but "magnum" style with ejector shroud and top rib
Model 64 is stainless, fixed sight .38 (stainless Model 10)
Model 65 is stainless, fixed sight .357 (stainless Model 13)
Model 66 is stainless, adjustable sight .357 Mag (stainless Model 19)
Model 67 is stainless, adjustable sight .38 (stainless Model 15)

Remove all these from your list, as they are K-frames but not appropriate for your needs:
Model 12 is a long discontinued alloy revolver in .38
Model 14 is a target revolver, "The K-38 Masterpiece"
Model 16 is a scarce .32 caliber revolver/target revolver
Model 17 is a .22LR target revolver
Model 18 is a .22LR trainer/"combat" revolver (a Model 15 but in .22LR, maybe a decent option for training!)

I have a few Model 10's, one Model 64. Have had 19's and have a 66.

When it comes to BANG FOR THE BUCK, one model is absolutely untouchable for what it seems like you want/need at this time:

Model 10
Get a 4-inch heavy barrel Model 10. Look for a Model 10-6 through Model 10-10 and you should be able to find an ugly duck for scary-low money ($300 or less) and you'll have one fantastic machine that gives a lifetime of service and this will be long, long after it was issued to someone for some manner of service or duty and then eventually turned in and sold to you for peanuts.

If you truly believe you must have the adjustable sights, the Model 15 is the one you want.

My order of preference based on your OP:

Model 10 with 4-inch Heavy Barrel
Model 64 with 4-inch Heavy Barrel
Model 10 with 4-inch tapered barrel
Model 15 with 4-inch Heavy Barrel

...all of the rest will typically be higher in price simply because the above four likely were the most issued and most available.

Not to open the "old stuff vs new stuff can of worms" (okay, I am lying, I fully choose to open this can of worms...)
---In my experienced, hands-on opinion, give me my choice of hand-selected Model 10 or 64 heavy barrel made any time from 1968ish to around 1995 over ANY NEW SMITH & WESSON DIRECTLY FROM IT'S BRAND NEW BOX, TODAY, IN THE STORE RIGHT NOW. I'm going to get twice the gun at half the price, every single time.

As for the .357 Magnum K-frames (13, 19, 65, 66), I say skip all of them, for these reasons specifically:
--NO durability upgrade in a .357 chambered K-frame, the only "upgrade" is the ability to shoot .357
--.357 Magnum from a 4-inch K-frame is... not... enjoyable. Better from a 6-inch barrel, but still -FAR- better in L or N-frame
--K-frame .357 Mag is always always always going to cost more than a K-38, all else being equal

The K-frame .357 is the "jack of all trades" that is truly the master of none.
I have half a lifetime of being totally in love with Smith & Wesson revolvers and I believe in my heart that the Model 19 is the most over-rated S&W revolver of all time. It's not nearly as good at .357 as most all the other S&W .357's and it's not as nice, smooth or svelte in .38 Special as a Model 10 or 64 and it always costs more.

More specific answers if you have any specific questions!
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby Mr. Glock » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:09 pm

The Model 10 was the Glock of the LEO wheelgun world, back in the day.
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby Brian D. » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:08 pm

Jeep, perhaps it was a typo, but you listed the model 68. Sevens didn't make mention of that, so with some delight in upstaging him, :lol: I will:

Long story short, S&W teamed up with the LAPD to make a small run of 6" stainless K-frames with .38 special cylinders, but the slightly added frame length of the model 19/66, so the guns could handle a steady diet of that era's hottest +P loads. Why they did it and then stopped would make this a Stu- type long story. The model 68s are a rare bird and somewhat collectible.

Sorry, Sevens, I am bored and couldn't resist.
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby Mr. Glock » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:43 pm

Brian D. wrote:Jeep, perhaps it was a typo, but you listed the model 68. Sevens didn't make mention of that, so with some delight in upstaging him, :lol: I will:

Long story short, S&W teamed up with the LAPD to make a small run of 6" stainless K-frames with .38 special cylinders, but the slightly added frame length of the model 19/66, so the guns could handle a steady diet of that era's hottest +P loads. Why they did it and then stopped would make this a Stu- type long story. The model 68s are a rare bird and somewhat collectible.

Sorry, Sevens, I am bored and couldn't resist.


I thought that was for the California Highway Patrol, not the LAPD? :mrgreen:
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby Brian D. » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:06 pm

Both agencies, although CHP may have asked first. I've read two "definitive" stories about that which vary in details.
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby Sevens » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:34 pm

Haha, would take far more to even "annoy" me in that way, S&W made a zillion oddball variations here, there and everywhere. All are interesting but no way can I keep track of them. ;)
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby Sevens » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:39 pm

Also, just to say it right quick before it becomes evident in a post, Evan Price knows far more anout S&W revolvers, especially K-38's than I ever will. But in a street brawl, I'll whup his tail in S&W 1-2-3rd Gen and PC discussion! ;)
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby jeep45238 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:38 pm

Model 10 with 4-inch Heavy Barrel
Model 64 with 4-inch Heavy Barrel
Model 15 with 4-inch Heavy Barrel
Model 67 with 4-inch Heavy Barrel


My initial thought was towards fixed sights, ala j frame, for that commonality and to build more skills at once. Brian's right though, and I know .38 can have big vertical differences based off loads within standard pressures. I'm also finding out that the adjustable sights have a deeper notch that's a bit wider, making it a more versitile sight picture.

Someone buy up my for sale ads already so I can put some money towards this and a 640!
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby Sevens » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:51 pm

How about...

Skip the 640 and skip EVERY J-frame that S&W ever made and if you feel you must handicap yourself with a snub revolver, you go for a 2-1/2 inch barreled K-frame. Yeah it's a little bigger, and far better in every way.
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby Mr. Glock » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:59 pm

Sevens wrote:How about...

Skip the 640 and skip EVERY J-frame that S&W ever made and if you feel you must handicap yourself with a snub revolver, you go for a 2-1/2 inch barreled K-frame. Yeah it's a little bigger, and far better in every way.


Hey now, J-frames are awesome but only give up their secrets to those who study their ways. And K frame snubbies are snubbie in name only, heavy and big (but way cool too). You aren’t going to ankle carry an M66 snubbie for very long unless you are very dedicated, while you will forget that 642/442 on your ankle.
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby jeep45238 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:03 pm

Sevens wrote:How about...

Skip the 640 and skip EVERY J-frame that S&W ever made and if you feel you must handicap yourself with a snub revolver, you go for a 2-1/2 inch barreled K-frame. Yeah it's a little bigger, and far better in every way.



Nah, the J fits niche roles that can’t really be filled by anything else, period. If I want to go bigger, the usual P226 or recent P239 will get the nod. The K is for my training on the range, since I have no revolver skills, and lent as range users for family and close friends who don’t get the semi auto (plenty of them - me and my brother in law are about the only ‘gun’ people, and those dipping their toes are all using steel j frames)
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Re: K frame trainers - which models

Postby SMMAssociates » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:26 am

Somebody taking my name in vain?

I have a 4" 10-something with the heavy barrel, and a similar 6" M19, both from about 1968. No idea about that LAPD or CHP gun discussed above.

In my case, Vietnam was ramping up, and finding 4" M19's was difficult. A co-worker's brother owned a gun shop in Boston, and he flew in with a 6" M19 for me. $135! (I think the M10 was about $65 with a Police discount at that time.) The 4" M10 was for "soft clothes", the M19 for "uniform". Good choice in my case - I'm big enough to conceal the 4" easily, and could probably hide the 6" without the "target" grips.

I had a 2" Chief's Special (Model 36 - I think it's a J-frame). Couldn't hit anything with it :D....

(I have a Charter "Undercover .38". Circa 1968. I can't recommend that, but if I can ever get mine back together, not the worst choice for bedside or trunk/truck.)

For bedside, trunk, truck, or glovebox, the S&W M10 HB, or the M19, would be good choices. The more recent versions probably are a little better, and since concealability is not an issue, the 4" or 6" guns are a really good choice. I can't see any need for adjustable sights on any carry gun - it's nice to be able to "tune" one, but you won't do that quickly, and switching between target and "social" loads probably won't happen often.

(Putting 6 rounds in a 6" circle at about 30' is all you need for accuracy, but the 6" guns are more fun on the range.)

If you do end up with an M19, it makes a superb .38Spl gun. You won't need the .357 at home ( :D ) anyway. Most shooters can pick up that hand-cannon with .38Spl loads and shoot it like a .22. (Or, if you're really nuts, any .44Spl gun make a superb stopper, but don't go with .44Mag loads! If you can shoot it - I can't - fine, but your friends may have problems.)

Buy several :mrgreen: .

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