THE K FRAME.357- AN EXELLENT ALL-AROUNDER
It’s dependable, effective and, most of all, versatile. Load it with one of the many available defense loads, and you have one of the best weapons for close-quarters personal protection. Load it heavy, and it’s suitable for deer-sized game at moderate ranges (I limit my hunting shots with a .357 to about the same as I would when I’m hunting with a bow).
To lessen the recoil, muzzle blast and penetration, you can load it with .38 Special or .38 Special +P ammo—great for home defense, as a fun plinker or as an accurate target gun.
The Smith & Wesson Model 19 .357 Magnum revolver, built on the company’s K frame, debuted in 1957. From 1935 until that time, the .357 was offered only in S&W’s large-frame revolvers, which eventually became known as the N frame.
The K frame has been around since 1899, when Smith & Wesson introduced it to go with its then-new .38 S&W Special cartridge, known more commonly today as simply the .38 Special. The company’s .38 Special Model 10 saw wide use among police departments, but the more-powerful Model 19 replaced it in many cases. It wasn’t until 1970 that the gun was offered in stainless steel as the Model 66.
Below: K frames all. From the top: a vintage Model 10 .38 Special, followed by the .357s: stainless Model 66, Model 19 Carry Comp and the Model 19 Classic