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Thread: M&P 340 .357 mag capabilities

  1. #1

    Question M&P 340 .357 mag capabilities

    I'm thiking of picking up an M&P 340, that scandium j-frame with a stainless cylinder & a tritium sight. I understand that it kicks fiercely when loaded up with magnums, and I was wondering: what kind of magnum factory ammo/handloads do people have experience with in this kind of gun? I'd think that something light, say 125-135 gr, would work best. I'm thinking gold dots or DPX. What about hardcasts? Does the gun jump crimp with heavy loads? Or does it get too painful to shoot at that weight?

    I'd probably shoot .38 spl most of the time, .38+p for general carry, and .357 once in a blue moon. I'm looking for a gun that has nearly the same capabilities as my SP101, only a lot lighter. I think dropping from .357 down to +p as a carry load would be acceptable given the 12 oz difference. Any other thoughts I should consider?
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

  2. #2

    Default SP101 great gun

    Wolfeye,

    I haven't voiced my opinion on the ultralight J-frame .357s. I think they are ridiculously light for a cartridge of the .357 variety. I am still unsure of how they will hold up with a steady diet of magnum fodder. I personally don't get this big fad of ultralight guns in magnum calibers. Seems a wrong-headed way of doing it. Your SP-101, in my opinion, is the best small frame .357 ever built. It isn't really THAT heavy, is it? If you just want another piece, fine, but I don't think you could do better. Get a pancake holster from Rob Leahy and you'll feel just fine carrying it.

  3. #3
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    I'm thiking of picking up an M&P 340, that scandium j-frame with a stainless cylinder & a tritium sight. I understand that it kicks fiercely when loaded up with magnums, and I was wondering: what kind of magnum factory ammo/handloads do people have experience with in this kind of gun? I'd think that something light, say 125-135 gr, would work best. I'm thinking gold dots or DPX. What about hardcasts? Does the gun jump crimp with heavy loads? Or does it get too painful to shoot at that weight?

    I'd probably shoot .38 spl most of the time, .38+p for general carry, and .357 once in a blue moon. I'm looking for a gun that has nearly the same capabilities as my SP101, only a lot lighter. I think dropping from .357 down to +p as a carry load would be acceptable given the 12 oz difference. Any other thoughts I should consider?

    We have a his and hers in the 340 PD here and for the purposes they are made for I feel they are ideal. These are not the kind of revolvers that you would want to learn the art of the pistol with. They are purpose deigned and built. My wife is out today with the berry brigade and packs it with her for defense against the blueberries and bears.

    If you are going to practice with the 340PD slip a light glove on your shooting hand for protection and you are good to go. We have never shot anything but full house .357 mag loads in ours, because this is our carry loads using the WINCHESTER Silver Tips. Yes these guns recoil, learn to live with it or get a heavy gun that you won't be as willing to carry as to the weight. These are carry all the time guns and not made to shoot the 2700 events with. It's been several years of carrying mine and I love the darn thing every time I slip it in my pocket. I like double action only, I like the made with hammer shroud. I like everything about the pistol. It could not be a better design for what we use them for. When it comes to protection firearms, it's the best I've found.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Default Ultralightweights= ultraguns

    The S&W ultralights in any caliber are a real inovation in the handgun world - just like the stainless steel Model 60 was when it came out way back then.

    The Ruger fans can be envious but the ultralights are selling quite well and fill a real need for carry guns that is not being met by Ruger or Colt or the other top tier pistol manufacturers.

    No sane person is going to fire a steady diet of high powered loads in a ultralightweight magnum pistol - durability is just not a factor but the weight and bulk is what the ultralightweights are all about. For a carry gun the ultralightweights S&Ws have no real competition from anyone.


    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    Wolfeye,

    I haven't voiced my opinion on the ultralight J-frame .357s. I think they are ridiculously light for a cartridge of the .357 variety. I am still unsure of how they will hold up with a steady diet of magnum fodder. I personally don't get this big fad of ultralight guns in magnum calibers. Seems a wrong-headed way of doing it. Your SP-101, in my opinion, is the best small frame .357 ever built. It isn't really THAT heavy, is it? If you just want another piece, fine, but I don't think you could do better. Get a pancake holster from Rob Leahy and you'll feel just fine carrying it.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  5. #5
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    I agree with Al on this one. These guns are for ease of carry and not intended for training tools. Everything about them indicates they should not be shot extensively either because of durability or the shooters ability to absorb the recoil. For an accomplished shooter, familiar with various revolvers and able to shoot very well with any of them, this gun will make an ultra light weight package that will be there when the need arises. If you can shoot a model 13 you can shoot any of the light weight 357's. These guns are more durable than the previous attempts at lightweights a few decades ago when S&W used aluminum alloy cylinders. The alloy frames with steel cylinders worked but weighed maybe 18 ounces and they wouldn't take extensive use but these newer space age alloys will take all the shooter cares to absorb in the shooting hand.

    I still prefer a handgun with some heft to it. They point better for me when I can feel the barrel. I like to be able to hit bottle caps pointing from the hip. The weight of a heavy four inch barrel helps that along.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  6. #6

    Default Still like SP-101

    I don't see the SP-101 as being a heavy handgun to carry, but I guess that is a subjective opinion. They are obviously heavier and more blocky then the J-frames, but in my opinion, they are still small framed guns that can easily handle long term use of .357 magnum loads without failure, more so then the lightweight J-frames. I like to shoot whatever guns I have for my own enjoyment, as I already know how to shoot so didn't consider it for training, though I understand your point. I have had several in the past and the 3 inch barrel model I had was an excellent piece and certainly not a massive gun to carry, except compared to the lightweigh J-frames. The other thing is that I don't consider a short barreled .357 a decent bear gun by any means, especially using hollowpoints.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    I don't see the SP-101 as being a heavy handgun to carry, but I guess that is a subjective opinion. They are obviously heavier and more blocky then the J-frames, but in my opinion, they are still small framed guns that can easily handle long term use of .357 magnum loads without failure, more so then the lightweight J-frames. I like to shoot whatever guns I have for my own enjoyment, as I already know how to shoot so didn't consider it for training, though I understand your point. I have had several in the past and the 3 inch barrel model I had was an excellent piece and certainly not a massive gun to carry, except compared to the lightweigh J-frames. The other thing is that I don't consider a short barreled .357 a decent bear gun by any means, especially using hollowpoints.

    I don't disagree with your choice in the Ruger and I don't mind the weight. Some folks do and they like the light weights. Geez! I didn't know we were talking about bears, there are two legged bad guys out there you know.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  8. #8
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    I have a M&P 340 and love it. It is about the perfect CCW pistol for me. You can pretty much drop it in a front pant pocket and forget about it with a good pocket holster. I got one from Simply Rugged and it works very well in this set-up and disappears inf the front pocket of most jeans or pants. I like the fact that I don't have the dress around my CCW now.

    My usual carry load is the 135 gr. Golddot Short Barrel .357 mag load. This is not your usual "full-house" magnum load but you know when you pop one off. It sort of fits the bill between a .38 +p load and a regular .357 mag load. However, rapid follow-up shots are a breeze at realistic defensive distances (7-10 yards). I started off carrying the .38 special Gold Dot loads but wanted something with a little more behind it as the recoil from .38 loads was not bad at all and looking at the ballistics the .38 loads were not that impressive, at least on paper.

    I have shot some full-house .357 mag loads (Cor-bon 125gr). I could manage them with a firm 2-handed grip but they would not be good for my carry purposes as the recoil prevented any kind of quick follow-up shot. Some people may be able to pull it off, not me.

    The M&P 340 is not a range gun by any means. At least for me, it does not hurt to shoot it, but it is not much fun after 50 rounds downrange with the faster .357 loads. I could shoot .38 all day with no issues.

    One particular feature which sold me on this model, instead of the 340PD, was the sights. The M&P 340 has a XS Big-dot tritium front sight standard on it. Not really made for precision work but is extremely effective for aquiring the front sight rapidly from the holster. In my opinion these are just about perfect sights for a close range defensive handgun. The 340PD has a green or red fiber-optic front sight. It too is a very good sight, I just think the XS big-dots are better for their intended purpose.

  9. #9

    Default That's true

    I guess I was responding to Big Al saying his wife carrying one for blueberries and bears.
    Oh, absolutely is the J-frame fine for naughty people, but the 442 I had for a while with 38+Ps was what I carried for a while. I actually got rid of it and got the 3" SP-101 because it was too light for my likings. I like that extra mass. Probably just used to it. I now carry a 2 7/8" Security Six. I still like an all steel gun knowing it will hold up well. But, uh, I also have a Kel-Tec 32 for the pocket too. Go figure. Well, I got it for $150.00, so...

  10. #10
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    In the real world of what works for you or me does not mean it is the same for everybody else. No firearm is any good if you don't have it loaded, no good if you don't have it with you, don't know how to make it work when you need it.

    In the case of my wife, she ends up keeping her .44 magnum hang in the house or left in the truck, car. In other words not with her when she attacks the berry crop. I have yet to find any gun regardless of caliber to be of any use if you don't have it in reach when the time of need arises.

    Now there is a lack of understanding about bears, they don't like to get shot, they are not big fans of being shot and in every case I'm aware of, move off when shot and shot repeatedly. Only in the case of Field and Stream and Outdoor Life and the imagination, do all bear attack and your .460 Weatherby failed to knock them down after they attack. Bear shot with number #8 shot run when stung, that's the real world. I know that does not meet the needs of the good story world we would all think we live in.

    As to the real world of the imagination of what works and what doesn't work. I put the Silver Tip Winchester bullet at the top of any list for handgun use. Why, because they work. I have never seen any other bullet have the same effect as the Silver Tip and this has been over decades of using these bullets. That's why I use them and load them for my wife. She does her practicing for head shots only, I don't give a rats south end about anybodies advertising theories. The first time I shot and animal with the Silver Tips, it caused me to look at the revolver, and think I had entered the twilight zone. It still causes me wonder to this day about the real world effect of this bullet.

    I have a box of the God Dot ammo, I don't carry it, I've never shot anything with this ammo. I do not carry anything I have not killed with, any ammo, that I have not witnessed the effect of I will not use. The only tests for me is the flesh and blood test.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11
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    Default Small and light = higher proability of having it with you

    The reality the smaller and lighter the gun the higher the probability is that you will have it with you when you need it. Since we normally wear jackets and such here in AK a small lightweight gun that slips in your pocket is much more likely to be with you when you need it than a gun that requires a holster of any kind.

    Follow up shots are almost no-existant although everyone practices for them including me. From what I can find virtually all gun fights are one shot at around 7 - 8 ft. Like bears people don't like to be shot either and unless they are doped up or something a well placed shot will drop them quickly.

    The gun I would like to see S&W make would be a 5 shot 3' K or L frame titanium in 10 mm. It would be relatively small, light, and have plently of punch for anyone. With full moon clips it would also handle .40 S&W.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  12. #12

    Default real world

    Why do I get the impression that it is being suggested that my opinion doesn't come from real experience? I live in the real world and in my opinion, a hollowpoint bullet for bears is not the best way to go, but as you say, that is your choice. A perfer a solid for penetration. As to shooting a bear and making it go away, there is no way to be sure that is what will happen. You never know with a bear, what their response will be. I'd hate to test the theory at very close range with a snubby .357. As to what someone is willing to carry, that is just personal choice. When I was still deep into my reloading business, I did some penetration testing and in NO case did a hollowpoint penetrate as well as a solid, for obvious reasons. They are not meant to. As concerns just shooting a bear and wounding it to potentially cause harm after the scene, I won't voice my opinion on that. In my experience, not my imaginings, a bear no matter what kind, even if fatally shot, may not go down immediately, though I have seen it happen both ways.
    TVFinak, this wasn't a discussion of defensive shooting against people.

  13. #13

    Default

    It sounds like people enjoy that little gun. I do still like my SP101 - it's a hoot to shoot and seems fairly accurate with magnums, at least at the distances I practice it with. I don't mind carrying it for the odd trip, but it's a bit much to be toting around on a daily basis. That's what got me thinking about the M&P 340.

    Any grip recommendations? I see that hogue and pachmayr both make full-sized grips for j-frames. I've used 1911 wraparounds from both manufacturers and thought the hogues had a nicer fit, and was wondering if it's the same with the j-frame models.

    I tossed in the hardcast question because they're usually about the hottest loads people use. I don't know if I'd want to try firing a 13.3 oz gun with them, at least not before a few hundred rounds of various ammo that's a lot tamer. Not knowing any better yet, I plan on getting to know the gun with creampuff .38's first after I pick one up.
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

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