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Hey guys I have a question on .357 Magnum ammo. I recently just got an S&W 686 and a Model 19, my model 19 is to be my "shooter". I read a couple of articles online about the model 19s barrels occasionally cracking when hot magnum rounds are used. Has anyone here had any experience with this happening? I have a stash of Fiocchi 142 grain FMJTC @1400 fps, and I was wondering if these would be too hot for my K-frame. My Model 19 has actually quickly become one of my favorites and I don't want to do anything to shorten her life. I would really appreciate any input you guys would have on this topic, thanks for your time, Jon S.
 

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My understanding is that the primary culprit in cracking barrels are the 125 grain loads. There's something about them that causes the barrels to crack. And FWIW, your M686 is probably better suited for a steady diet of magnum loads than your M19 is. The problems experienced with K-frame .357s is why S&W developed the L-frame guns in the first place.
 

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Your load sounds a little warm. I think your 19 will be fine with occasional use with heavy magnum loads but I don't think you'd want to give it a steady diet of them. Even without the barrel issues, they will loosen up with the heavy loads.
 

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My understanding is the model 19 is an alternate to the models 27 and 28. Both of these were designed for the 357, but heaver. For carry, the 19 can fire 357s and be more comfortable for duty.
 

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I would tend to agree with the other poster... shoot the boomers through the 686, especially the heavier bullets. You are asking for accellerated wear on your nice 19 running a steady diet of hot Magnums through it. I've not heard of the barrel split (etc..) but it beats up the action.
 

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The original load...

...for the Model 19 (Combat Magnum) was a 158gr JHP. S&W had made heat treating changes to the K frame to accommodate the hotter load.

However, a few years after development, Winchester came out with the 125gr JHP, while not a significant increase in pressure, did burn much hotter. There was significant erosion in the barrel throat, and adding to that a lot of flame cutting of the top strap.

S&W advised customers to use the 125gr only as a service load, and to practice using +P, or other milder loads.

A lot of police departments forced S&W to take back the Model 19's, and replace them with Model 28's as a stopgap measure. This lead directly to the development of the L frame. As to barrels cracking, this is not one of the issues with the 125 grain loads.

In the interim, S&W developed the stainless K frame, which has nominal differences over the carbon steel K frames, and supposedly the 125 grain load wouldn't damage it.

A steady diet of 142 grain FIOCCHI probably won't damage your Model 19. The load pressures are no hotter than any other .357 magnum load. But if it were me, I would shoot them in my L frame, and use only 158gr loads in the Model 19.
 

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My understanding is the model 19 is an alternate to the models 27 and 28. Both of these were designed for the 357, but heaver. For carry, the 19 can fire 357s and be more comfortable for duty.
Somewhere I read that Smith & Wesson decided to come out with the .357 Magnum K frame, at the request of Bill Jordan. He envisioned it as the perfect law enforcement sidearm. S&W engineers were afraid that the gun wouldn't handle the .357 loads available at the time.

They approached the ammo manufacturers to cut down the loads. The cylinders on .357 and .44 magnum guns were also recessed at the time incase the cartridge case blew up. Current 158 gr. loads are doing slightly over 1200fps.

If I remember correctly, the original load for the .357 Magnum launched a 158 gr. lead bullet at well over 1500 fps. I think it had more energy than the current .44 magnum loads produced today. Barrel leading must have been terrible after the first cylinder full.

Dan Wesson, in a publicity stunt used the new .357 in the (Pre) Model 27, to shoot all kinds of North American game. I think he even shot a grizzly and polar bear with it.
 

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I use to shoot the 686 with 158grn back before the Dept. went to auto's all the time and had no problems. Id stick with that receipe
 

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Have a 19 shoot mainly just plain 38's and some plus p stuff
Load the magnum stuff hunting and traveling in dark areas......
 
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