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grumpycoconut
02-25-2010, 8:19 AM
I just read a comment in another thread in which the writer wrote that one could not / should not shoot lead through alloy framed Smith & Wesson 6 guns with steel sleeved alloy barrels. WHAT?

The specific gun under discussion was the Night Guard. Somebody knowledgable please help me here. I don't understand the logic here. Is the operating theory here that sticky, squishy lead grabs onto the barrel and pulls the sleeve forward and out of the alloy that surrounds it? Perhaps the mix of ancient lead and modern high tech alloy somehow offends the gods of internal ballistics and metalurgy.

To me this sounds like the claim that one shouldn't dry fire one's older S&W revolvers becase the nose of the firing pin will break right off. Has anyone here ever even heard of anyone anywhere who actually had this happen? Maybe Snopes will have the answer.

SnWnMe
02-25-2010, 8:40 AM
Did you mean steel barrel with alloy sleeve?

Urban legend comments in forum threads are not reliable sources of info. IIRC those sleeves are locked in place by a key/slot arrangement. They will not pull forward. Haha that's funny though.

grumpycoconut
02-25-2010, 9:07 AM
Did you mean steel barrel with alloy sleeve?

Urban legend comments in forum threads are not reliable sources of info. IIRC those sleeves are locked in place by a key/slot arrangement. They will not pull forward. Haha that's funny though.

Nope. Steel inside of alloy. Doing it the other way around doesn't make much sense does it. Soft light stuff as the bearing surface inside a decorative sleeve of hard heavy stuff. That's the stuff of giggles. I was just taken aback that no one called BS on the comment and I didn't want to jack a thread that was otherwise pretty good.

As for the interwebs being a reliable source of information, I don't even take anything I write here without a grain or 3 of salt.:rolleyes:

CHS
02-25-2010, 9:14 AM
There might be some truth to this. This is what the barrel/sleeve combo looks like. The barrel holds the sleeve in, not the other way around. This is my friends which blew up, but unrelated to lead ammo :)


http://www.23.org/~chs/gallery/airlight/PICT0558.jpeg

SnWnMe
02-25-2010, 9:26 AM
Nope. Steel inside of alloy. Doing it the other way around doesn't make much sense does it. Soft light stuff as the bearing surface inside a decorative sleeve of hard heavy stuff. That's the stuff of giggles. I was just taken aback that no one called BS on the comment and I didn't want to jack a thread that was otherwise pretty good.

As for the interwebs being a reliable source of information, I don't even take anything I write here without a grain or 3 of salt.:rolleyes:

So it IS a steel barrel in an alloy sleeve. Sleeves go outside like shirt sleeves.

SnWnMe
02-25-2010, 9:27 AM
There might be some truth to this. This is what the barrel/sleeve combo looks like. The barrel holds the sleeve in, not the other way around. This is my friends which blew up, but unrelated to lead ammo :)


http://www.23.org/~chs/gallery/airlight/PICT0558.jpeg

And the barrel is screwed into the frame just like all other S&Ws. There is no truth to this IMO.

littlejake
02-25-2010, 9:32 AM
I just read a comment in another thread in which the writer wrote that one could not / should not shoot lead through alloy framed Smith & Wesson 6 guns with steel sleeved alloy barrels. WHAT?

The specific gun under discussion was the Night Guard. Somebody knowledgable please help me here. I don't understand the logic here. Is the operating theory here that sticky, squishy lead grabs onto the barrel and pulls the sleeve forward and out of the alloy that surrounds it? Perhaps the mix of ancient lead and modern high tech alloy somehow offends the gods of internal ballistics and metalurgy.

To me this sounds like the claim that one shouldn't dry fire one's older S&W revolvers becase the nose of the firing pin will break right off. Has anyone here ever even heard of anyone anywhere who actually had this happen? Maybe Snopes will have the answer.

I was the one who posted that; and it was posed as a question about the Night Guard.

I had a S&W 342 which was marked .38 Spl +P jacketed only. I bought it new in 1999... it had a titanium cylinder, alloy frame with a stainless steel barrel sleeve withing an alloy barrel shroud. I believe that sleeve was pressed into the frame.

Lead bullets tend to run larger diameter than jacketed; and they are swedged to fit the barrel in the forcing cone. S&W implied that use of lead ammunition could expell the sleeve from the frame.

SnWnMe
02-25-2010, 9:36 AM
It's been a few years but I IIRC this had something to do with lead cleaning compounds attacking the finish. But I'm kinda old and I'm not really sure.

CHS
02-25-2010, 10:21 AM
I had a S&W 342 which was marked .38 Spl +P jacketed only. I bought it new in 1999... it had a titanium cylinder, alloy frame with a stainless steel barrel sleeve withing an alloy barrel shroud. I believe that sleeve was pressed into the frame.


Check out the photo I posted above. It's the exact same kind of gun that you are describing, titanium cylinder and all.

Barrel is screwed into the frame, holding the shroud in place. The shroud is "keyed" vertical by a post in the frame. Nothing is pressed into place.

Note, my friends doesn't say "jacketed only" anywhere on it, but I can see some truth to what you're saying about lead bullets being larger diameter. Lead bullets also require different load data, so it makes sense. I'm sure S&W has their reasons.

littlejake
02-25-2010, 11:30 AM
Check out the photo I posted above. It's the exact same kind of gun that you are describing, titanium cylinder and all.

Barrel is screwed into the frame, holding the shroud in place. The shroud is "keyed" vertical by a post in the frame. Nothing is pressed into place.

Note, my friends doesn't say "jacketed only" anywhere on it, but I can see some truth to what you're saying about lead bullets being larger diameter. Lead bullets also require different load data, so it makes sense. I'm sure S&W has their reasons.

I appreciate your photo; it gives me confidence in the Night Guard. I wish I still had that 342 so I could post a photo of the muzzle end. IIRC it did bot appear that the SS barrel sleeve captured the barrel shoud.

BTW -- HTF did your friend blow up that S&W??

Kindest Regards,

Jake

CHS
02-25-2010, 11:38 AM
BTW -- HTF did your friend blow up that S&W??

We're not positive, but believe that it was some bad commercial ammo loaded to too-high pressures. The frame cracked underneath where the barrel threads in, and the barrel and shroud went down-range. FYI, it was .357 mag FMJ.

S&W replaced the frame with free shipping both ways. Their service was pretty exemplary and he still carries the gun today.

Here's a photo of the crack:
http://www.23.org/~chs/gallery/airlight/PICT0554.jpeg

littlejake
02-25-2010, 11:39 AM
"When recommending loads for the 342 to your customers, be sure to point out that the barrel of the firearm says, ".38 Special P Jacketed." S&W's extensive testing showed that lead-bullet P ammunition has a lighter taper crimp than jacketed-bullet P amino. A light crimp combined with the rapid recoil of the 342 may cause the bullets in the remaining chambers to unseat from their cases and move forward in the cylinder, causing the gun to jam. Standard velocity .38 Special bullets will not cause this problem."

SnWnMe
02-25-2010, 11:44 AM
I didn't realize that they extended the jump crimp warning to alloy 38s as well. I knew that they warned against this in the alloy 357s though.

littlejake
02-25-2010, 11:48 AM
We're not positive, but believe that it was some bad commercial ammo loaded to too-high pressures. The frame cracked underneath where the barrel threads in, and the barrel and shroud went down-range. FYI, it was .357 mag FMJ.

S&W replaced the frame with free shipping both ways. Their service was pretty exemplary and he still carries the gun today.

Here's a photo of the crack:


OUCH!!!

BigDogatPlay
02-25-2010, 12:04 PM
A short article with a similar frame crack experience in a J frame scandium frame can be found here (http://www.thegunzone.com/sw340pd.html).

A quick search found several other pages with similar issues. I hadn't thought much about even buying one of the S&W super lightweights... and now I defiinitely won't be buying one.

CHS
02-25-2010, 12:51 PM
I hadn't thought much about even buying one of the S&W super lightweights... and now I defiinitely won't be buying one.

I wouldn't either. I love the idea of them, but they are NOT FUN to shoot.

Think of having a concussion grenade going off in your hand every single time you pull the trigger.

I can't even get through an entire cylinder of .357mag on one they are so uncomfortable to shoot. Even .38 specials (not +P's, regular .38) aren't enjoyable.

On the contrary, I can shoot my Ruger SP101 with .357mag's all day long with little discomfort. Yeah, it's a little bigger and a lot heavier, but that's a good thing in my opinion :)

grumpycoconut
02-25-2010, 1:35 PM
Good info and thank you. I'd heard of the warning against super light weight fast bullets before but had never thought through issues related to the bigger diameter of lead bullets. I usually stick to easier shooting loads in my little 6 shooters (649, 442) and save the hot stuff for occasional fam fire and night stand duty. It's amazing how much difference those few extra ounces of stainless steel in the humpback makes in absorbing recoil impulse. I'm by no means recoil shy but neither am I masochist enough to want to push hot 357s through a j frame sized super light weight. I think I'll save my next batch of snubby money for a blue steel 36.

J-cat
02-25-2010, 10:25 PM
"S&W's extensive testing showed that lead-bullet P ammunition has a lighter taper crimp than jacketed-bullet P amino."

BS

It's not the crimp that is lighter, but the case wall friction on the bullet.