• A firearm and ammunition are a system and must work together. Their performance is closely related. There are different types of ammunition for different types of firearms. Your firearm has been designed for ammunition of a specific type and a specific caliber. It is important to select the proper ammunition for your firearm.
Different combinations of bullet velocity, bullet weight and firearm weight can have major impact on felt recoil.
• Gun Weight: lower gun weight increases felt recoil.
• Bullet Weight: higher bullet weight increases felt recoil.
• Bullet Velocity: higher bullet velocity increases felt recoil.
To acclimate yourself to higher levels of felt recoil, consider the following:
• Use a firm two-hand hold on the grip when firing.
• Always start your shooting experience with the lowest bullet velocity and lowest bullet weight available for your firearm. Some examples are as follows:
- Use .38 S&W Special in place of .357 Magnum® loads.
- Use "mid-range" or "target" loads rather than loads designated "high power".
• Ask your firearm dealer to suggest the lowest power, lowest velocity, lightest bullet weight for your firearm.
• You can also consider changing your firearm's grip configuration/composition to better fit your hand's specific size and shape.
A WARNING: NEVER USE AMMUNITION NOT SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED FOR USE IN YOUR FIREARM. FAILURE TO USE THE CORRECT TYPE OR CALIBER OF AMMUNITION MAY CAUSE THE FIREARM TO JAM, FAIL TO FIRE OR EVEN GENERATE EXCESSIVE PRESSURE WHICH CAN DAMAGE OR EVEN RUPTURE YOUR FIREARM, CAUSING PERSONAL INJURY, DEATH OR PROPERTY DAMAGE.
You are responsible for selecting ammunition that meets industry standards and is appropriate in type and caliber for this firearm.
Locate the caliber designation marked on the handgun. This information indicates the ammunition caliber that should be used in this firearm. (See figure #1).
HANDLOADED OR RELOADED AMMUNITION
4V WARNING: NEVER USE NON-STANDARD, RELOADED
OR "HANDLOADED" AMMUNITION WHICH HAS NOT BEEN SUBJECTED TO INTERNAL BALLISTIC PRESSURE TESTING. RELOADED OR HANDLOADED AMMUNITION, MAY HAVE MANY MANUFACTURING AND QUALITY VARIABLES (SUCH AS THE TYPE AND AMOUNT OF GUN POWDER). ANY AMMUNITION THAT IS IMPROPERLY MANUFACTURED, EVEN IN THE SLIGHTEST DEGREE, MAY FAIL TO FIRE OR MAY GENERATE EXCESSIVE INTERNAL PRESSURES WHICH CAN DAMAGE OR EVEN RUPTURE THE FIREARM, CAUSING PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH TO THE SHOOTER OR THOSE IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY.
• Use only commercially manufactured ammunition with internal ballistic pressures which are in strict accordance with the specifications of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI). If you are uncertain, contact your ammunition supplier for verification.
• Use only ammunition specifically recommended by Smith & Wesson for your firearm.
• Never mix ammunition.
• Never use a cartridge not specifically designated for use in your firearm. Pressure from the wrong type of ammunition may exceed the capability of your firearm and may damage or even rupture your firearm.
• Whenever rimless pistol cartridges are used in the cylinder of a Smith & Wesson revolver, (except M547) full or half-moon clips MUST be used to both position and extract such cartridges. Failure to use ammunition clips with rimless cartridges may result in malfunction of the revolver.
Additional ammunition calibers can be fired from the following list of select calibers. Caliber on Barrel Can also Fire
.45 S&W .45 Schofield
.45 ACP .45 Auto Rim (in revolvers only)
.44 Magnum .44 Special
.357 Magnum .38 Special, .38 Special +P
(in revolvers only)
In some cases, a round of ammunition not specified on your handgun may fit into the chamber or cylinder. Firing ammunition not specified on your handgun may cause it to rupture and cause serious injury or death to you or others.
Always inspect your ammunition before using it. Never use dirty, corroded or damaged ammunition which can lead to a burst cartridge which may cause damage to the handgun and personal injury or death.
"Plus-P" (+P) ammunition generates pressures in excess of the pressures associated with standard ammunition. Such pressures may affect the wear characteristics or exceed the margin of safety built into some revolvers and could therefore be DANGEROUS. This ammunition should not be used in Smith & Wesson medium (K frame) revolvers manufactured prior to 1958. Such pre-1958 medium (K-frame) revolvers can be identified by the absence of a model number stamped inside the yoke cut of the frame. (i.e., the area of the frame exposed when the cylinder is in the open position.
"Plus-P-Plus (+P+) ammunition is not recommended for use in Smith & Wesson firearms. This marking on the ammunition designates that it exceeds established industry standards, but the designation does not represent defined pressure limits and therefore such ammunition may vary significantly as to the pressures generated.
In the Model 940 revolver, some brands of 9mm parabellum ammunition may cause difficulty in extracting spent cartridge cases from the cylinder. If this situation occurs, thoroughly clean the cylinder charge holes with solvent. If this condition persists, we recommend changing to another brand of 9mm parabellum ammunition.
Smith & Wesson has found wide variations in primer sensitivity between some brands and types of .22LR ammunition. Smith & Wesson recommends that before you put your .22LR handgun into regular use, that you fire several boxes of your brand of ammunition through it to determine reliability of ignition. If "failure to fire" occurs, try different types of brands of .22LR ammunition until a reliable loading is found.
MODEL NUMBER IDENTIFICATION
Was this article helpful?