Friday, May 01, 2009

Remain seated, please.

At the range last weekend I was shooting just a couple lanes over from a gunwriter who had a few T&E handguns out for play. During a break in my shooting, he set one of the handguns in front of me, a menacing black S&W 310 Night Guard, along with two full moonclips of 10mm JHP ammunition.

I don't know the back story on the individual revolver; the double-action trigger on the gun was as nice as any non-Performance Center factory S&W I've fired in the last several years. Other than that, it was your typical “Night Guard” N-frame: a blacked-out alloy-framed steel-cylindered snubby with a Cylinder & Slide “Extreme Duty” rear sight and a tritium dot up front.

I also don't know the back story on the ammunition; it was JHP, with one moon clip in brass with a Black Hills head stamp and the other with a Starline, if I remember correctly. What I do remember about it is that the recoil was zippy enough to get me thinking about another S&W I used to own...

Back a few years ago, S&W was blowing out their “325PD” model revolvers, an N-frame snubby in .45ACP with an alloy frame and a titanium cylinder. I bought one, and (given the good pricing) had no trouble selling a few in the store. Now, this was in the salad days of pre-Katrina ammo prices, and on top of that, I was sitting on a few cases worth of premium Remington Golden Saber JHP that I'd gotten for just stupid cheap, and that was all I ever shot through mine while I played with it.

A couple customers had very different experiences with theirs, though. Auto calibers are taper-crimped rather than roll-crimped, and most bulk auto pistol ammunition isn't crimped very aggressively, as anybody who's ever chambered a round of WWB/UMC/American Eagle 230gr .45 or 180gr .40 FMJ more than once or twice and seen it set back into the case can tell you.

Specifically, with any kind of budget .45 ball, the flyweight N-frame would turn into a kinetic bullet puller, causing bullets to "jump crimp", or become unseated, far enough to tie up the gun only three or four rounds into a cylinder.

Now, I'm not notably recoil-averse, but the sharpness of the recoil impulse on the 310 was noticeably different enough from the .44 Special 296Ti I carry to make me wonder about how well inexpensive 180gr 10mm ball will stay seated.

(On the other hand, the C&S Extreme Duty sights were the berries. I'll be getting them for my own 3” 610 in the near future...)


Albert A Rasch said...

Howdy all,

Alloy frame, titanium cylinder... and in 45 Auto, nice!

Do you recall how much it weighed? I'm going to go look that up.

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
The Range Reviews: Tactical.
Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit.

Robb Allen said...

I taper crimp my 10mm reloads, and they're pretty decent as a few chamberings do not seem to set them back. I've not checked in a while though to ensure everything is still copacetic, so thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

I have a 325pd 4" barrel I Am in love with it!!! this was designed to be carried a lot and shot sparingly (altho u must practice) I load my own so i have no problem with bullets coming "loose" because of recoil. A good taper crimp is all i use on the rounds i reload for thi beautiful smith. I shot the same rounds in my other 45s and never have had any trouble with them.

John A said...

Mention of recoil reminded me:

Firehand said...

Once fired a Taurus Total Titanium revolver in .41 Magnum.


Not very recoil-averse, but DAMN!