S&W DA/SA Recommendation - 1st revolver for personal protection

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by bf109, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. bf109

    bf109 New Member

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    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.
     
  2. NRS

    NRS New Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010

  3. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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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.
     
  4. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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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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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  5. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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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.
     
  6. bf109

    bf109 New Member

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    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.
     
  7. NRS

    NRS New Member

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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.
     
  8. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    I have a few different set of grips for my SP101 but the factory grips are very comfortable to shoot with...
     
  9. bf109

    bf109 New Member

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    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?
     
  10. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    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...
     
  11. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    I plan on putting Crimson Trace on my SP101. Check out this video...
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5cY0Q4z-g8&feature=&p=D21F99B66C61B9EB&index=0&playnext=1]YouTube - Crimson Trace - The Art of Survival - Chapter 1[/ame]

    If you go to YouTube, you can see the other chapters.
     
  12. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The 60 is a traditional DA/SA exposed hammer revolver. The 640 and 642 are "Centennial" revolvers in DAO with no exposed hammers. Personally I prefer a 3" M-65. You can find them used and they shoot great.
     
  13. bf109

    bf109 New Member

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    Safety lock on a revolver

    I understand there's no manual safety lock on a revolver, DAO or DA/SA.

    How do you carry it safely loaded with ammo? What will happen if you drop the gun on the ground or run around with it loaded or ride in a bumpy car, etc?
     
  14. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    All modern revolvers have a hammer block and are totally safe to carry loaded...
     
  15. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    Don't let that deter you at all. If you study a little on how revolvers are put together, you'll see the lack of a manual safety is not an issue.