S&W DA/SA Recommendation - 1st revolver for personal protection
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:15 AM   #1
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Default S&W DA/SA Recommendation - 1st revolver for personal protection

A few weeks ago I posted for .22 l.r. revolver but learned it would be in the same price range as a .357. I might just a semi-auto 22 l.r. pistol for practice.

Anyhow, I want to get my 1st revolver and would like a S&W stainless frame .357 caliber for personal carry-on and home protection. I'm thinking of a barrel length between 2" and 3". What's the major difference between a 2" and 3" barrel except for size and weight? How about recoil?

S&W's models are confusing to me. For example, they offer S&W 60 and 63, both in .357 and come in 3". Then, they also offer 640, 642, etc.

Can you recommend a few models to me? I want a revolver that can be carried-on for personal protection and can also be used for home protection. My wife is likely to shoot it as well and she has very small hands and relatively weak arms. Therefore, recoil is a majoy consideration.

Obviously, we'll practice using 38 special but will occasionally shoot in .357.

One last thing, what are the advantage/disvantage of buying a revolver with exposed hammer vs non-exposed hammer?

Thanks.

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Old 11-04-2010, 02:47 AM   #2
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Well the J-frames that you mentioned are good at being a CCW, however you mention DA/SA in your subject, and most of them are DOA...although some of those models do come with a "bobbed" hammer so you can shoot SA. One thing to consider is that the J-frames may be hard for your wife to shoot. If you're hoping to have a home defense and CCW in one gun I'd look more at a SP101 3" or similar in the S&W. They're a little easier to shoot and not too hard to conceal at the same time.

Exposed hammer some claim hinders draw under pressure/stress (may with an extra tire in the way, and mine is growing btw)...and if you're thinking of pocket carry hammerless or at least bobbed is almost essential.

On the 22 lr note, a Heritage Rough Rider or similar can be bought for about $150 and are a good practice/plinker piece. They're not a collector's piece but are good for practice and plinking. Just a thought.

Oh, and in general, the longer the barrel length the less recoil the more velocity as the bullet leaves it. The longer it is the harder to conceal. 4" should be no problem for IWB/OWB carry, but 2" or less is best for pocket carry.

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Old 11-04-2010, 05:10 AM   #3
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I'd second considering the Ruger SP101. Not that there is anything wrong with S&W revolvers, just you may want to consider another option.

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Old 11-04-2010, 09:52 AM   #4
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While I really like S&W revolvers, I recently picked up a Ruger SP101 with 2 1/4 inch barrel. I was amazed that I could fire .357 rounds in it rather comfortably and quite accurately. They really are nice, well built guns. For home protection (it's a tad big/heavy for carry) I use a S&W 686+ .357 with a 3 inch barrel. All the models you mention are based on the J-frame and the 60/63 are generally all steel while the 640/642 are generally alloy to save weight. The purpose of a concealed hammer is to prevent snags when concealed - especially in your pocket. Most of them are DAO because you can't thumb cock the hammer for SA mode. Before you buy a smallish .357 - shoot one first if you can. While the SP101 isn't to bad, some of the small, light S&W models can be real beasts to shoot. Here's my 686+ along with the SP101 for a frame of reference...

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Old 11-04-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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Take a good look at the SP101, I've got one and love it. It's comfortable to shoot all day and built like a tank.

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Old 11-04-2010, 03:13 PM   #6
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Take a good look at the SP101, I've got one and love it. It's comfortable to shoot all day and built like a tank.
Thanks everyone for your feedbacks. Ruger SP101 seems a good revolver and I'll take a close look at it. What would be S&W's equivalence to Ruger SP101? Can give a few models? I like the appearance of S&W's grips a little better.

Thanks.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:30 PM   #7
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The SP101 doesn't exactly fit in line with the different S&W lines. I roughly think of it as a stout, stronger J-frame of sorts.

The grips looks are not as important as the grip's feel and ability to aid you as you fire the weapon. There are many great looking aftermarket SP101 grips too.

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Old 11-04-2010, 03:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bf109 View Post
Thanks everyone for your feedbacks. Ruger SP101 seems a good revolver and I'll take a close look at it. What would be S&W's equivalence to Ruger SP101? Can give a few models? I like the appearance of S&W's grips a little better.

Thanks.
I have a few different set of grips for my SP101 but the factory grips are very comfortable to shoot with...
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:20 PM   #9
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Take a good look at the SP101, I've got one and love it. It's comfortable to shoot all day and built like a tank.
Thanks all for your comments.

Ruger SP101 comes in 3" and 2.25" in barrel length. 3" has two model while 2.25" has 5 models. Also, it comes with a hammer or hammer-less. Is the one with an exposed hammer capable of both SA and DA? How's the recoil on the 2.25"? I know the 3" is a better shoot with longer barrel and less recoil. But for carrying, the 2.25" might be easiler to conceal.

I imagine the one without exposed hammer is DA only. Two 2.25" models come with Crimson Trace LaserGrip and ask for $250 more. What's the use of the LaserGrip? Is it worth it?
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bf109 View Post
Thanks all for your comments.

Ruger SP101 comes in 3" and 2.25" in barrel length. 3" has two model while 2.25" has 5 models. Also, it comes with a hammer or hammer-less. Is the one with an exposed hammer capable of both SA and DA? How's the recoil on the 2.25"? I know the 3" is a better shoot with longer barrel and less recoil. But for carrying, the 2.25" might be easiler to conceal.

I imagine the one without exposed hammer is DA only. Two 2.25" models come with Crimson Trace LaserGrip and ask for $250 more. What's the use of the LaserGrip? Is it worth it?
The exposed hammer does DA/SA. The recoil (with .357 ammo) is manageable and "less" than a J-frame S&W. I'm not a real fan of lasers and such but it might float your boat. Mine has a front night sight which is a pretty nifty addition - I think it cost $40...
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