.357 Snubbie

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by Franciscomv, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    My next addition to my arsenal (baring any impulse buys) is going to be a small .357 revolver. I've been without one for a while and really miss it.

    I don't need an ultralight gun, I like stainless steel frames just fine. What I do need is a gun that will stand up to a steady diet of magnum rounds. I just love snubnose revolvers and shoot them a lot, so I want a tough gun.

    I'll shoot a couple of boxes of .357 through it every week.

    Right now I'm looking at a new S&W 60, it feels very comfortable and the price is great (the same as in the US, which is amazing for a store in Argentina). For a bit more money I can get a Ruger SP101, which I've been meaning to try out forever. Is it stronger than the S&W? I like the cylinder release on the Ruger as well, the one on Smiths tends to cut my thumb when rapid firing.

    I know it would make more sense to go for a bigger, sturdier frame for frequent shooting at the range, but I like J frames. :D
     
  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Even the beefed up version of the 60 will not withstand that much magnum ammo. The next step up would be a Model 65. K frame 3" round butt. You WILL have issues with this one also. If you truly want to shoot 5000+ rds of magnums a year, you will need to go up to an L-frame. A 3" 686 round butt was made. They were a special run for Lew Horton allegedly directed toward the US Secret Service. They are out there, but I have not seen one lately.
     

  3. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    I have a 3 inch 686+ and it's about the smallest (and lightest) gun I'd want to shoot lots of magmuns through. I was at my range one day a year or so ago and I felt a concussion and heard a gigantic BOOM from the lane next to me (yes, I had my ears on).

    Fella had just bought one of those scandium lightweight .357 snubbies and was trying it out with full-load .357 defense ammo. He shot one cylinder though it and carefully put it away. He was visibly shaken and had not had a good experience....
     

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  4. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    My wife has a Model 60. She shoots .38's in it. I've fired .357's through it with no problems. I guess that hundreds or thousands of .357's wouldn't be good for it. But once in a while, it's not a big deal.

    Check out the SP101, it's a stout little rascal and will take .357's all day long.
     
  5. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I have a Ruger SP101 that I bought for the wife to shoot 38s. I also wanted an all around gun that could take magnums all day long for years to come. I was consistantly pointed back to the SP101. It's a great pistol with a reputation for eating hot magnums with a smile.
     
  6. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    I own a 4" 686, it's a great gun, but I want a smaller frame. And I understand how small, light, revolvers behave. I just happen to enjoy it, I don't know why but I do. :)

    It's just a fetish of mine.

    Most of the feedback I'm getting is pointing me in the SP101 direction as well, I really like its looks too. The thing is, the S&W 60 feels better in my hand and it's quite a bit cheaper (remember I'm not in the US, we've got weird pricing here). Are there Hogue grips for the SP101?
     
  7. tookalisten

    tookalisten New Member

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    Yes, you can order Hogue grips for the SP101 straight from the Ruger website with the Ruger emblem on the side. I put these on my SP101 and definitely like the feel better when shooting .357's. Very pleased with the SP101!
     
  8. Virginian

    Virginian Active Member

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    I have a Taurus 605 with a 3" barrel, and I have been very happy with it, but I do not expect it will stand up to a steady diet of Magnums any better than a S&W Model 60. But it may give you a much cheaper alternative. Depending on the grips you choose it can give a lot of different "feels". Good luck.
     
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I certainly understand the want for a compact .357. The problem is wear and tear. Shooting large numbers of mags through a compact gun WILL shorten the life span of the gun. Theoretically a gun has a life span measured in rounds, not years. A model 60 (in .357) may have a life span of 1000 rds of magnum ammo. A model 65 or 66 may have a life span of 2500 rounds of magnums. A 686 - maybe 5000 - 7500. A 27 - MAYBE 10,000.

    Kind of like car engines. You can make a 2 liter 4 cylinder churn out 300 HP, but it will not go 100,000 miles with out MAJOR work. A 5+ liter V-8 can make 300+ HP and last easily 100K. 200K is not unheard of.
     
  10. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    Trust me on this one...
    You WILL NOT shoot 2 boxes of .357 Magnums in a S&W 60 each week. You won't make it through the first box... before you'll be ready to ho home and soak your hand... BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.
     
  11. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    There are Hogue grips available for the SP101 but one thing unique about Ruger is that their factory grip wraps completely around the frame which helps reduce felt recoil, very similar to what you gain when adding a hogue to other pistols.

    I will agree with robocop, if you want a gun to eat magnums day in and day out the larger frame gun is the way to go for long term durability. If you are looking for a a small frame 357 that will handle magnums on a regular basis I believe the SP101 is your best option.

    I do regularly shoot magnums thru mine but I should put that in better context. I bought it for my wife to shoot 38s thru, I like magnums so picking a caliber was a no brainer. The gun typically only gets fired when my wife goes with me to shoot which is once a month at most, it may go 6-8 weeks between shootings (don't jump on me for my wife not shooting enough, she enjoys it and shoots well but doesn't enjoy it as much as I do. I don't want to push her away from it.) so it does see regular use but not weekly like you're discussing.
     
  12. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    Actually, I used to do it with my 640 until it was stolen. Lately I've been renting a .357 snubby at the range (since the one I've got left is a .38). I enjoy it. Like I said, it's a weird fetish of mine.

    I should note that I shoot reloads that aren't the strongest possible .357 loads you can get.

    Robocop, you're right. I'm going to ask a probably stupid noob question here: What do you mean by "life span" exactly? Is it just that I've got to send the weapon to a gunsmith to get some adjustments, perhaps replace a piece or two? I'd be fine with that, it makes sense that a small frame revolver is not going to stand up to continuous use with magnum rounds as well as a larger one.

    Thanks for all the feedback!
     
  13. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    After a while it will develop a condition known as End Shake Cylinder (see the articles section). This will cause light indent misfires and poor trigger pull until corrected. The J and K frames will experience some flame cutting of the top strap just above the forcing cone. Eventually the gun will break at that point. Other failures will more likely happen before the frame breaks. I have only seen one M-66 that got to the point I could not fix. I sent it back to Smith and they replaced it with a new gun. This might be a difficult proposition for you.

    Basically they "wear out". The tolerances can get stretched to the point the parts do not engage correctly. This will take a lot of rounds before it will happen but it can happen. Metal fatigue, cracks (especially in the forcing cone and top strap), tolerances out of whack, etc

    I agree it will be a difficult thing to do because the 60 will bite harder than the 640 ever thought of.
     
  14. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    The model 60 was not intended for frequent use, and it has a rather heafty snap to it. It's a well made revolver though...
     
  15. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    Thanks to all for your advice. Robo and Mark, you guys are right I just need to grow up and realize that I'm looking for an imposible thing.

    For the price of the SP101 I can get a new S&W 60 and a used Taurus snubbie (in .357 as well). I'll practice with the Smith, but since I intend to carry it I don't want to torture it too much, the cheap Taurus will take a beating though. :)

    I still want to get an SP101 with a 3" barrel at some point.
     
  16. mudge

    mudge New Member

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    I've got a Smith 60 snubby and 686 + with a 4 inch barrel. I don't have any problem shooting the 357 in the 60. I shoot a box of 38 specials to practice and then finish off with a few rounds of 357 just to remind me of the difference. The trigger is still a little stiff and I plan to get a trigger job as soon as I can come up with the bucks. I carry 357 in the 60 because with only five rounds I want each hit to be devastating. I like being able to just drop this gun in my pocket when I walk the dogs at night.

    The 686 + was perfect right out of the box. The most accurate handgun I've ever shot and it handles the 357 recoil very well. A pleasure to shoot.

    One conceals easily, the other doesn't.
     
  17. gadrooning

    gadrooning New Member

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    Any reason why you wouldn't stick with a 38+p gun like smith and wesson j frames. In a 2" barrel the 357 has more recoil, report, and harder to shoot, with not much more gain in energy.
     
  18. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    It's because of the stupid ammo laws in Argentina. Any sort of expanding bullet is illegal for self defense (we can own hollow points for "sporting" use). All of the 38 +p rounds I've seen for sale were hollow points. Since under my country's law I'm stuck with LRNs, I'd rather have .357s instead of .38s. Even flat nose bullets could get me in trouble.

    One of my best friends reloads for both of us and he's come up with as close to an ideal .357 round as we can hope for within our legal boundaries. It's a medium power magnum load, which makes follow up shots easy but still has plenty of power, with soft lead points.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  19. gadrooning

    gadrooning New Member

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    Well that is a very good reason. I don't know of any 38 special +p ammo that is not a hollow point of some sort or flat nose either. However there is the powrball ammo. Would this be considered illegal as well. you cannot visibly see it is a hollow point under the ball.
     
  20. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

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    Corbon's Pow'rball is illegal as well, basically anything but FMJ or LRN is against the law for self defense.

    A few years ago, it was considered a minor offense and the worst you could get was a fine (since it's not an actual law, but an administrative ruling from the federal gun registration agency), but recently judges have begun applying it as part of the criteria to consider a self defense shooting to be a criminal homicide. They even do this to police officers, the result is we get loads of innocent people injured by over penetrating police rounds. :(

    Sorry, I didn't mean to stray away from the topic. I decided to go with the Smith & Wesson model 60, I'll probably have the hammer bobbed by my gunsmith (new bodyguards and centennials are hard to come by here, the importer only offers a handfull of S&W models).