Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Smith 357 mag for carry and range

    I am looking for a 357 mag for carry purposes, but I also want to be able to feed it a diet of .357 (not just 38s) for range fun and training purposes. Barrel must be between 2.75 & 3".

    Initially I was looking towards the L frame 686+ in 3" but I'm thinking this gun may be too heavy for carry. I then looked at the J frame model 60 in 3". This gun seems to be a very nice size and I do not mind the diminished capacity, but I am afraid that a steady diet of .357 may lead it to an early grave. Are my fears legitimate?

    Now I am looking towards the K frame, model 66 in 2.75". Does anyone have experience with carrying this model? Is the weight managable? Can it handle a diet of full house 357? Will velocity loss be significant, cutting only .25" of bbl?

    Ideally, I think I would like the 60, but not if its going to destroy itself in short order. I am not entirely opposed to Ruger, but I definitely prefer the look of the Smiths, so I am leaning that way.

    Does the creature I'm searching for exist?
    Last edited by marinville; November 22nd, 2017 at 09:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Smith 357 mag for carry and range

    The Model 60 is an excellent choice but I would seek out a pre-hillary hole version. A steady diet of full power .357 mag is not only hard on the revolver but also on the shooter. There are many outstanding high performance .38 Special loads available from Underwood, Buffalo Bore and other firms. With the shorter .38 Special cases, it's much easier to fully eject the empties from the cylinder during times of stress.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Smith 357 mag for carry and range

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyVet View Post
    The Model 60 is an excellent choice but I would seek out a pre-hillary hole version. A steady diet of full power .357 mag is not only hard on the revolver but also on the shooter. There are many outstanding high performance .38 Special loads available from Underwood, Buffalo Bore and other firms. With the shorter .38 Special cases, it's much easier to fully eject the empties from the cylinder during times of stress.
    I do appreciate your reply, but I am definitely looking for something that can handle full 357s and not destroy itself. While I don't want an air weight that will be an absolute nightmare to shoot, I am also not worrying terribly about the effects of recoil on the shooter, from an all steel revolver.

    ETA: I'm not worried about the lock either, since it can be removed.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Smith 357 mag for carry and range

    Quote Originally Posted by marinville View Post
    I do appreciate your reply, but I am definitely looking for something that can handle full 357s and not destroy itself. While I don't want an air weight that will be an absolute nightmare to shoot, I am also not worrying terribly about the effects of recoil on the shooter, from an all steel revolver.

    ETA: I'm not worried about the lock either, since it can be removed.
    Got it...the Ruger SP101 may be what you're after.

    CHECK THIS OUT
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Smith 357 mag for carry and range

    Ruger SP-101 with a 3 in bbl. Strong, and the 3 in barrel will get a bit more out of the 357 loads than a shorter one. Not as graceful as the smiths, but it fits your description.
    http://www.ruger.com/products/sp101/...eets/5719.html
    Illegitimus non carborundum est

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Smith 357 mag for carry and range

    From my understanding, the 66 will not do well over an extended period of time with full .357 loads.
    I did carry it for a short time. A trainer I had did say to stay with a 4" bbl.
    I don't remember the reasoning but I bought the pistol specifically to take a revolver only training session with him. It unfortunately cancelled due to lack of interest.


    I'm not familiar with the 357 Rugers but the Redhawk in .44 and the Blackhawk in .41 that I have are nice.
    Opinions are like anal apertures. They all stink but mine.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Smith 357 mag for carry and range

    I'd also like to add that you'll want to look into defensive loads that are optimized for short barreled revolvers...
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Smith 357 mag for carry and range

    An all steel S&W 649 is what you seek, a bit heavy but shoots very nicely with any of the 125 gr defensive loads out there, can be a bit brutal with 158 grainers. Conceals as good as any handgun and you can shoot a sweet and accurate single action if desired or just ignore it, never understood the love and perceived superiority of the DAO 640. Though I'll admit the humpback 649 are not the prettiest girl at the dance

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Smith 357 mag for carry and range

    Quote Originally Posted by 27hand View Post
    From my understanding, the 66 will not do well over an extended period of time with full .357 loads.
    I did carry it for a short time. A trainer I had did say to stay with a 4" bbl.
    I don't remember the reasoning but I bought the pistol specifically to take a revolver only training session with him. It unfortunately cancelled due to lack of interest.


    I'm not familiar with the 357 Rugers but the Redhawk in .44 and the Blackhawk in .41 that I have are nice.
    I've read that with the reintroduction of the model 66, the forcing cone has been redesigned thicker, enabling it to better handle 357 loads, long term.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Smith 357 mag for carry and range

    Quote Originally Posted by gghbi View Post
    Ruger SP-101 with a 3 in bbl. Strong, and the 3 in barrel will get a bit more out of the 357 loads than a shorter one. Not as graceful as the smiths, but it fits your description.
    http://www.ruger.com/products/sp101/...eets/5719.html
    This looks like something worth considering, but I wonder if they make one with an adjustable rear sight, rather than that gutter. Still holding out hope for a Smith that fits the bill.
    Last edited by marinville; November 22nd, 2017 at 11:04 PM.

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