S&W .357Mag Model 60 advice/suggestions/comments

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by UnderFire, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    Hey all,

    The wife has been hinting that she would like to have a .357 magnum.
    She's a Smith gal and doesn't want to get rid of or trade her S&W .38 spl. +P model 36LS, which I can't really blame her.

    I'm thinking of getting the S&W Model 60 for her and giving it to her for Christmas. I like the fact that the Model 60 is a "J" frame chambered in .357.
    Also when I have handled these revolvers in the past I have remembered that they had a nice feel & plenty of grip. I will bring her to the local gun stores to handle several revolvers to get her opinion on what's best for her.

    I would like to hear from members who own, used, tried this particular model, so that I can get a better understanding of this handgun.
    If this topic has already been discussed please give me a link so that I can read up on this model. I looked, but couldn't find anything.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    My wife's SD/HD handgun is a model 60. She practices shooting it double action with .38's in it. For protection use, it's loaded with Federal .38 hollowpoints.

    With .357's, it's pretty snappy, but not unmanageable. I've shot .357's through it and have no issues, but .38 HP's are definitely easier to shoot.

    The model 60 has a nice heft to it and shoots where it's pointed. I think that if your wife wants one, it will be an excellent choice. However, it it's strictly for home defense and not to be carried, something with a longer barrel is easier to shoot and will handle .357's more comfortably.

    If that's the case, you might take a look at a Ruger SP101 with a 3" barrel. It's considerably heavier and the longer barrel makes a big difference in recoil.
     

  3. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    CA357,
    Thanks for your reply!!
    My wife is hoping to carry it with her. She was telling me that since the weather is getting cooler, her and her sister are going to ride bicycles at parks, beaches, etc, and was hoping to put it in her backpack. She mentioned that she would like a lighter gun, because the .38spl she has now is sometimes uncomfortable because of the weight. She wants to run .357mag loads through it for self defense. Also, she's a "Smith gal"...I really don't think she'll go for another brand. I know, I know that's ridicuious, but that's my gal. :)
    Any other suggestions in the S&W family?
     
  4. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    The 60 will definitely be heavier than her Ladysmith, but there's nothing wrong with .38+P's as a self defense load. If she insists on .357 for carry, then the model 60 will do the job. However, maybe one of the concealed/shrouded hammer models like a 640 or 642 would be better.
     
  5. Clem

    Clem Member

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    I have a 640 and a 60 Pro. I like both of them, but they are both about 25 oz. If she wants something lighter, consider the Scandium guns. I also have a 340. I use the 640 for practice.

    IMO, the .357 J frame guns are just .38s with enhanced safety margins of strength. Not a bad thing. The aluminum guns are best carried a lot and shot a little. You may want to steel gun for serious practice.
     
  6. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    Very True, especially loaded. I think I'm going to have a problem finding her a light gun in a .357 caliber.

    Only problem with these models is that they are double action only. She likes the single action option to be included.
     
  7. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    It's funny you mention the "Scandium" series...I was at a big gun shop today and handled the "Night Guard" model 327, nice gun, but it weights 27.6 oz and has eight shots. When it's loaded I feel she won't like the extra weight.
    The 340 is nice, but it's double action only. My gal likes both SA & DA revolvers.


    Very true. At the same store I saw & handled a Stainless Steel model 60 with a 3" barrel and "Light Gathering" HI-VIZ Red Dot front sight. At the same price as the standard SS model 60. Sharp firearm, but it weights 24.1 oz. unloaded. I also saw the Pro Series version of the 60, it also is stainless steel with a 3" barrel and weights 23.2 oz. and a bit higher on the price. If you notice I'm looking at the 3" barrel models. I believe recoil & muzzle flip will be tamer on the 3" model vs. the 2" model. My wife has a .38 spl model 36LS w/ a 2" barrel that she shoots very well, but she's wanting to run .357mag loads in this particular firearm. So, I believe a 3" barrel would be best for her.
     
  8. Clem

    Clem Member

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    Scandium or any other N frame for concealed carry? Right.

    Perhaps, if she wants a hammer for single action, she might want to take a look at the 360.
     
  9. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    Come to think of it...that model 327 was a big gun; Large Frame. It wasn't until your post mentioning the "N" frame, that it hit me.
    Although women have an easier time concealing a firearm, I'm looking for a small to medium framed Smith & Wesson.

    Does this model have a 3" barrel?
     
  10. Clem

    Clem Member

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    It did. The 360 Kit Gun. Don't think it is currently in the catalog. 3" barrel with the HiViz front sight and V rear sight. I have one, but I changed out the sights to a black serrated ramp front and square notch rear.

    The scandium guns shoot well, but with reasonably powerful loads they become very difficult to control. I have Pachmayr Decelerator grips on mine. They help a lot with my large hands. With .38 loads, it is a ***** cat.

    Catalog photo of 360 Kit Gun
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Clem

    Clem Member

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    It occurred to me that if you like 3" barrels and steel, the 60Pro may warrent a look. 25 oz. and easier to control than the scandium guns.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Does it have to be new? You may be able to find a nice 3" 'Model 64, or even a 2.25" Model 19 could work.
     
  13. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    Yes!!, now that gun will work!! I'll have to check that one out.
    Thanks.

    Yes, I've been looking at those...the wife handled some today.
    She likes them, but is concerned about the weight.
     
  14. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    CA357,
    Isn't the S&W 64 a .38 Special +P only? :confused:
    I'm not familiar w/ the model 19, can you give some details?
    Thanks.
     
  15. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Maybe I was thinking of a model 66, which is an L frame .357. If I remember correctly, the model 19 is a K frame .357 the next size up from a J frame. So it's essentially a beefed up .38 that can shoot .357's. Practice with .38's and a handful of .357's and then carry with .357's.
     
  16. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    ok, cool!!
    I'll check out both those models.
    I'm going to call some S&W dealers and see what they have available.
    So far I'm looking at; 360 Kit Gun, model 66 & model 19.
    Thank you both; CA357 & Clem.
     
  17. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    You're welcome. Please keep us in the loop.
     
  18. Clem

    Clem Member

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    Keep in mind, the 360 Kit Gun and 60 Pro are both J frame, 5 shot guns. The 66 and 19 are both K frame, 6 shot guns. Even with the shorter barrels, they are (slightly) heavier and bulkier than the J frames.
     
  19. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    Yeah, I was at a gun shop today that had a Model 66 in stock.
    The gun is very heavy. I told the sales clerk, "well maybe the 19 will be better for her?" He said, " it's also a K frame with some variations and weights about the same."

    So I guess I'm down to the 360 Kit Gun.
    Haven't found one yet. When I do, I believe she'll like it. :)
     
  20. randomoutburst

    randomoutburst New Member

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    I test-fired the model 60 and loved it so much I bought my own (see my avatar!). I bought the 3" barrel model as I don't like the way the snub feels or looks.
    Shooting my model 60 is always a blast. It takes .38 very well - the recoil felt like less than my semiauto and I feel like I could shoot it all day without it bothering my wrists/hands. It took the .357 well, too - it did hurt my hand after 15 rounds, but only the meaty area below my thumb, not my wrists. I recommend Remington Golden Saber .357 for this gun as they kick less than the Monarch and Winchester I also tried.
    I am very pleased with this gun (except the S&W internal lock, but that's another post altogether...) and would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a J frame revolver in .357. :)

    I am also a S&W girl and wouldn't carry anything else - but those guys in the gun shops sure did try to persuade me to. I like the extra weight to my gun because the recoil is so much less when using .357 in the 60 than an Airlite, and the DA/SA choice was a non-negotiable for me. The extra inch on the barrel does wonders for accuracy but if this revolver is to also be used for concealed carry you must make sure she could conceal it depending on her preferred carry method. Holster choice is limited and might require a custom holster.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2009