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Js are the smallest are are akin to the Taurus small frames. Ks and Ls are medium frame revolvers akin to the Taurus compact and mid-sized frames. They also have N frames, which are like Taurus' large frame. Then there is the X frame, which is like the Raging Bull frames. In other words, X frames are freaking huge.
 

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Mr.T has it right.

Going ot add a little more. The frame size is a letter designation only. The makers figured the frames needed naming to differentiate the types of frames and that was the easiest way was to letter them for namesakes.

S&W is and Colt started doing that many decades ago.
J frames and their kin are the 5 shot snubbie class that S&W started as far as naming went.

When S&W came up with their 6 shooters for .357 magnum and their kin the K frame moniker was used.

K framed .357 magnums were taking a major beating and malfunctioned after the much higher pressured 125gr. JHPs were introduced that are favored for police and civilians alike. So S&W created a new frame slightly larger or about the same size, but able to take the pounding and extreme pressures better than the K frames. Less flame cutting or torch cutting of the forcing cone was noted also.

L frames are heavier, but take the steady diet of .357 magnums of any sort much better than the K frames.

Taurus offers K frame like revolvers with the models 65/66 or the 82.

J frame like offerings are the models 85/650/651/850/851 series. Rossi has the 361/362 series.

Tracker and Raging Bulls are not L frames, but are designed to take similar poundings from high pressure ammo.

X frames as Mr.TuffPaws has said are for the highest pressures and are the largest frame size that S&W puts out.

N frames are the large .357 magnum, 44 Special/.45 Colt frames for S&W.

Colt's D frame was their Colt Detective Special and it's kin. These are 6 shot snubbies. Rossi's 461/462 are similar size, but have different means of internal operation.

Might have missed a few designations of examples as to other Colt and S&W designations, but that about covers most of it.
 

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Ok, to add to the frame thing!! My Rossi 357 is not a J, it is bigger, it is not a K, it is smaller.

So I called Rossi, their answer was, it was an "RJ". What the heck is an RJ!!!

Of course I called during Shot Show week and all the main people were in Vegas.
 

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Robby. Those could be your initials and Rossi knows you or RJ is Rossi's way of marking the frame. Speak into the pen and look at the monitor... they see you. Gotta be different don't they, than say S&W and Colt?

You can call it RJ, or you can call it JJ ,or you can call itRay J, etc..
 

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Well I know the frame slightly different than the Ruger sp101 that my son carry's. But the frame is almost the same. Of course the SP101 is a 5 rd gun. A darn regular manmade hard J frame holster does not fit. They make one for the PT85, and the rossi 351,352, again all 5 rd guns

I am gonna make another call to Rossi this week and see if someone there this week, as no large gun shows are going on can help me.
 

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Well, you know us cheap old farts!! I am trying match budget to buy, and it is hard some times. But this is the first time I have heard of that company. Looking at site as I type.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies! That really helps clear things up a bit. I was under the impression that the letter designations were more of a reference to the visual design and/or ergonomics of the gun. For instance, one frame would have a distinctly different grip style that would qualify it as a particular style.

Thanks again for helping the noob!
 

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Just remember that we all started somewhere. And if we don't help those less experienced we are failing those who helped us way back when.
I'm really not as old as I sound above.

Steelheart
 
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