View Full Version : Need some S&W info

12-23-2010, 03:13 PM
Heya Folks ,
I'm purchasing a S&W Model 65-1 revolver and have been looking up information on it. But it seems it is an older model and what I find is sketchy at best. what i'm getting is a .357 mag. w/ 4" barrel. my main qeustion is what type of frame would they consider this. S&W'S K FRAME , J-Frame,etc. designations never made since to me :meeting:.
Any information and or history on this model is appreciated.

P.S. It has been years since i last bought a modern firearm. I've been stuck on reproduction flintlock arms for the past 13yrs.

God's Country
12-23-2010, 08:07 PM
The model 65 is a great gun. I love mine almost as much as my 586.
The 65 is a K frame. Some of the older one's did have some issues IIRC with heavy exposure to hot mag loads. You should avoid <158g bullets in the older models.

12-24-2010, 01:45 AM
God's Country is indeed correct about the "K"-frame, and also about the 110 to 125-grain hot-loaded .357 Mag ammo. These loads will cause "flame-cutting" on the topstrap, and loosen up the lockworks if fed a steady diet of them.

Here's a 65-5 I picked up last week on GunBroker:





As for the Model 65's history, here's a little of it, straight from the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 3rd Edition:

Model 65: The .357 Military & Police Heavy Barrel Stainless
Manufactured 1972-2004

65-1 (1972): Introduction.
65-2 (1977): Change to move gas ring from yoke to cylinder.
65-3 (1982): Eliminate cylinder counterbore and pinned barrel; slight change in cylinder length to 1.62 inches.
65-4 (1988): New yoke retention system/floating hand/hammer nose bushing; radius stud package on 4" square butt.
65-5 (1988): Same as above, radius stud package on 3" round butt.
65-6 (1997): Change to frame design; eliminate cylinder stop stud/change to MIM hammer with floating firing pin/change internal lockworks.
65-7 (2002): Introduce internal key lock system.
(2005): Model 65 dropped from catalog.

Looks like yours would be a (approximately) 1972 to 1977 Model; also, as yours is a "-1" model, it has the highly desireable pinned barrel and counterbored cylinder. The OLD Smith & Wessons are FAR superior to the NEW ones today, in Fit & Finish and metal materials, IMHO.

Enjoy it safely; it will give you many years of good service, with the proper care and ammo.


12-24-2010, 02:11 AM
Your K Frame is fully capable of using any standard SAAMI pressure factory ammunition and handloads.

The flame cutting referred to by God's Country is correct in general but does not apply toK frames of the vintage of your gun. Most flame-cutting problems with Smiths pertain to the use of .38 Special +P and +P+ loads in "I" "J" & early "K" frame guns.

That having been said please understand that maximum pressure loads in constant use will cause more rapid wear and tear on ANY handgun. Long before you ecperience any flame cutting of the frames top strap your revolver will lose tight lock-up (with the gun empty and pinted in a safe direction, cock the hammer and with your weak hand grasp the cykinder on both sides over the top strap try and move the cykinder side to side and try to rotatae it. The cylinder should not move at all - thatindicates a tight lock up suxh as in a brand new gun) When you lose lockup the chamber does not always line up with the breech face of the barrel. This lack of proper indexing is referred to as "timing".

The loss of proper lock-up leads to a loss of timing. If younexperience any of these problems get your Smith to an experienced revolver gunsmith or the Smith factory for repair DO NOT SHOOT IT!

In reality there is nom need to feed you 6-1 a steady diet of maximum effort loads. One of the great advantages of the .357 Magnum chambering is that for practice and training, you really don't need to use anything other than standard .38 Special loads. Using .38 Special your 65-1's lifetime will far exceed your own.

When practing you xhould always fire a few rounds of your maximum effort ammo so that you will understand how the revolver will perform when the chips are down.

Good luck and enjoy your new Smith they really are great guns and properly cared for and not abused will serve you a very very long time.

12-24-2010, 08:07 PM
Kind Folks ,
Thank you very much for the Info. you provided me exactly what I needed to know and then some which is always good.

02-08-2011, 02:09 PM
The 4 inch K frame 357 is the quintessential revolver. Almost as good as the 3 inch. I have a 3 inch 65-2 for winter carry. Great, strong guns.

02-08-2011, 02:51 PM
I'm a S&W guy, but when I need info on one of their guns I go to the link below and search their forums or post my question there. From what I've read, the early K frame forcing cones weren't up to a steady diet of .357's and could split, though my K frame of 28 years hasn't had that problem, but I have seen that on other K frames.


Just another data point and ya can't beat a S&W wheel gun. :D


02-09-2011, 11:57 AM
Back in the early 50's and 60's Skeeter Skelton carried a S&W M27 most of the time as a duty weapon. His .357 Mag load was hot, a 150 LSWCHP at 1300 fps or so. His main practice load was a 148 gr. WC over a light load of Unique or some such that shot to the same POI at 25 yds. 90% or so of his practice shooting was with the light load, and he still had flame cutting on at least two of his revolvers because he shot so much. All loads flame cut, but some cut more than others. Full house .357 loads obviously cut the most. Any decent gunsmith can fix the frame if this happens.

That said, You, I, normaly none of the other people here will ever damage a frame by flame cutting. You have a great pistol. Enjoy it and know for a fact that I am jealous!