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Discussion Starter #1
I can't figure the attraction of the gun. It's more like a toy than a firearm but I'm told the model sells well. I imagine it'd be usable if you were shooting .38's but it'd probably be murder on the hands to go higher than that. Are these guns really pleasant to shoot or have I been mislead to think they're a waste of money?
 

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being a Smith it's a well made gun and I thought it would make a perfect carry gun......I also believe that you have to shoot your carry gun alot and be very able with and I can say this is not a gun you want to shoot a hundred rounds a week out of....but I still like the little power house.......knowing what I know now I wouldn't have bought it.......
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I find it surprising the company wouldn't have anticipated this problem and given it more weight. I like the design but I generally feel light weight guns are more unpleasant than an asset. I'll be shocked if anyone says it's the greatest thing since apple pie! :D
 

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It's the greatest thing since apple pie. Sorry, I could not resist. The PD guns are SUPPOSED to be featherweight. The 357 or 44 that is comfortable to shoot for hundreds of rounds will be large and heavy enough to not be applicable to the PD's niche market: carriers looking for absolute minimum weight. If I am on a 5 mile run, or backpacking into Katmai for 2 weeks, the PD at 12-18 ozs will make a better tool than the 42 oz M29.

They are just specialized tools for specific apps. They are not designed to be recreational target or plinking guns, so they are'net going to be "good" for those purposes. A shooter can build skill with any gun, and transfer those skills to the next.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd be curious how your hands feel after only shooting a few rounds and if you can be accurate through the pain...;)
 

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I think the new offerings in Scandium and AirTi from Smith the past 5 years have been genius incarnate. Yeah, they are painful in 38 +P, 44 Spl even, 357 Mag, 44 Mag. However, they took over for durability for classic guns like the Star PD. Shoot a little to get familiar, carry alot. I mean, carry a LOT. I love all of my 296s. I own several. SUperior packaging in potent calibers. I shoot no more than 50 rds per familiarization sessions. I am so glad we live in a world of such innovation. Use steel guns for steady practicing and plinking.
 

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Mastro,

If you practice enough w/ your 686 and shoot mostly .38's through the airlite during practice time w/ maybe one cylinder of full house magnum to close out your range time... I'd opine that, like hunters who claim to not hear or feel the shot when deer or goose hunting, that in that moment when you really needed that liteweight, your adrenaline would be pumped up and you might feel it, but you'd probably put the rounds on target with minimal fuss and bother.

You sure could carry it all day tho, couldn't ya? And thats where it shines.

I want one... too bad I'm still playing that S&W "cut off my nose to spite my face" game. Maybe I could find one used... yeah, that's the ticket.

Adios
 

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I don't disagree with you Gunz.......just I shoot alot and the 'LIL BUGGER" is tough!!!!!! I like my 1911s best.....but just hard every day carry.....as ur in and out of cars/places etc......of course winter here in the N.E. .....hell u can concel a shotgun......:)
 

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I have the 340PD.
It's a gun to be "carried much, shot little".
It particularly succeeds as a pocket gun.

It's not exactly painful to shoot .357gr+P 125gr premium loads, but it's not really fun, either (too much attention to maintaining a vise-like grip).

As it happens, mine is more accurate with .38 Sp +P 158gr Nyclad than with any .357 Magnum load (and I tried 'em all), so that's what I keep in it.

A friend who shot his quite extensively with full power .357 Mag 158gr loads experienced extensive gas-cutting of the top strap, and had to send it back to the factory, so it's really obviously NOT a "shoot a lot" kinda gun, but it's easy to carry and therefore likely to be there when you need it.

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm not sure I'd invest in a gun that I'd carry much and shoot little. Hardly seems worth it but I suppose it depends on why it's needed. My ideal snubbie would be a 686 or for something lighter, a Lady Smith or model 60. I kind of prefer steel I guess....:)
 

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I have a S&W 296 in 44 Special and I am here to tell you this isn't a gun you want to take to the range for a long session. I had Lou Alessi make me a Belt Slide holster and his comment was: "Richard, why in the hell did you buy it?" Lou said he had fired one that belonged to a friend and he didn't enjoy it. With this in mind I want no part of a lightweight 357 mag or 44 mag. Regards, Richard:D
 

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It's a 7 shot .38/.357, much lighter than a 686, but with the same basic feel and action. Practice with your all-stainless 686, and then carry the lightweight gun, firing it only for basic familiarization. Even you wind up choosing to only shoot .38's in it, you won't find any other 7 shot .38's.

At some point I will buy a 329(the scandium .44 mag) I probably won't load it full tilt, but they won't be .44 specials:D

The model 696, the .44 special Mountain Lite has a warning on the side "200 grain bullet max". This warning is of course an affront and challenge to my handloading skills, so....:D

Mastro, have you seen the Model 60 with 3" heavy barrel? They are sometimes called "The Distinguished Chief's Special". All steel, not as light as a scandium gun, and with adjustable sights, they might be a happier compromise for you.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Tex -- the model 60 and those like it are up my alley. As much as I appreciate the feather weight versions, I just don't think I personally have the need for them. I love to practice with a gun, so I may as well have fun doing so. :) Best of luck to those than can handle the 386PD of firearms. ;)
 

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I was really tempted, and just about to buy one, but an hour at the range convinced me that my little old Detective Special was still the best choice for me.;)
 

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I have the 360 (Scandium/Ti 5-shot) - when I first got it I put a 100 or so rounds of .38 special through it and about 30 full house .357's... felt lilke I laid my hand on a counter and whacked it with a rubber mallet. I actually didn't think it was uncontrollable, but after shooting it my hand tingled so badly it was hard to shoot anything else for a hour or so...

BUT, liking to experiment, I sent it off to MagnaPort to be ported and in my wildest dreams, I never would have imagined the incredible difference it made in perceived recoil and controllability.

I don't know if the extremely light weight allowed the porting to work all the better, but I'll never say it is "fun" to shoot now, but it is sure manageable.

This gun is meant to carry alot and shoot a little, but now I can get the practice in to feel confident with it.
 

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Here is my Airweight Smith 637:



I can pack it all day with no inconveniences. I would not want to shoot it too much, I've noticed some wear on the aluminum frame from range time that I don't want to magnify.

This .38 is punishing enough on the hands. I couldn't imagine going to a .357 or .44 in a lightweight gun like this.
 

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I shoot a .38 spl 442 Smith. This is the aluminum framed hammerless model. I shot +P 38's out of it with no problems with recoil or tingling hands. I shoot it enough to stay proficient but I don't think shooting any revolvers is fun. Too slow to reload on the range. I like to go faster, it just seems so old school. This is for the range only. I realize that almost all self defense situations are solved with the ammo in the gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I love my S&W 686 4" and had a blast with a range member's GP 100 4" Ruger. I think a revolver is a great choice but like anything, you need to factor in the weight and barrel length if you expect to have fun using it.
 

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Don't misunderstand me. :) I had a 625 with the moon clips and a couple .38/357 4" Smiths. I thought they all sucked on the range and in matches. It is just me and revolvers. Just my opinion. I know others love them. If all you have to do with them is point them at the target and MT them, they are fine. It is when you are reloading that I think the suck. They are fine as a SD weapon. No reloading required.
:D
 
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