The better Model 60?


January 17, 2005, 12:12 PM
I'm thinking about which S&W to get. Should I opt for the 3" or 2" version? Thanks.

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January 17, 2005, 12:15 PM
1) What will you use this revolver for?

2) Which meets your needs better?

January 17, 2005, 12:18 PM
Right now, just for the range probably and the home. However, I'd like to get a revolver that would work with carry when I get to the point when I'm able. I'm not sure if I should just build on my 3" revolver collection or get a good snubbie first.

Black Snowman
January 17, 2005, 12:48 PM
Personally I really like the 3" guns and I think the 60 is a tad big and heavy for most pocket carry so might as well get the extra inch of sight radius and a few more FPS. If around the house it's going to be in a pocket holster then get the 2".

JMHO, YMMV, etc . . . ;)

January 17, 2005, 12:55 PM
Since carrying doesn't appear to be an option right now, I'm leaning towards the 3" as I think I might be more accurate with the longer barrel. I do current own a Detective Special, so maybe I should just concentrate on the 3" revolvers?

Old Fuff
January 17, 2005, 01:54 PM
If I understand correctly, you have or are getting a Colt Detective Special. This should take care of your snubby needs. For the purposes you outlined a 3-inch model 36 would be the better choice; but take a hint and get some larger grips, unless the revolver you get happens to come with some. They only increase the size of the gun slightly, but make a big difference when it comes to shooting. Think along the lines of what I believe is on the Colt.

Also be aware that because they aren't as popular as the short snub-gun length the 3-inch guns are often found on the used market for less. Something you should take advantage of.

January 17, 2005, 01:58 PM
I have the Colt DS. I was thinking of getting a three inch revolver, namely for my father whose hands sometimes makes racking the auto slide difficult.

January 17, 2005, 02:10 PM
As Usual - Old Fuff nailed it.

Another tidbit is the extraction is more positive with a longer rod on the 3" .

That little bit of bbl is not really a problem , the cylinder is, so is the grip.

Akin to a full size 1911 versus a Commander size, the bbl length is negligible - that stock / grip area is the same.

Carry cash, play dumb, and 3" RB guns will follow you home. Good holster and belt for will not have a problem in carrying.

Your dad will find the 3" "balances better and shoots better" than it is supposed to. He "might" let you shot it after he shoots it ...if you are a really good daughter...I mean really good. Like buy lunch . :D

January 17, 2005, 02:41 PM
I'll probably get the three inch in the GP-100 and model 60 and let him choose which one he likes better. Knowing my father, I might not see either revolver again.... :eek:

Ala Dan
January 17, 2005, 02:55 PM
Att: Laura

If I understand correctly you are speaking of the new S&W model 60
in .357 magnum, correct? If so please allow me to add another choice
to the mix. How about the hammerless model 640 .357 magnum from our
friends at Smith & Wesson? At the shop where I work, we have both the
model 60 and the 640 NIB; and this really would be a tough decision for
me. I don't think barrel length would really matter that much; and weight
is within one-half once of each other.

BTW, we also just got in a NIB Ruger KGP-141 in the new darker gun
metal gray finish. This thing is a beauty in its own right! :D

I sometimes carry an older (79-80 vintage) Smith model 60 in .38 SPL.
With the rubber bantam grips, it makes for an excellent carry piece.
I also just acquired a 2" factory nickel S&W model 10 from late 1972
or very early 1973, that has seen duty laying in a dresser draw for
the last 12-15 years. Its been shot very little, as there is NO cylinder
ring formed yet. For $150 OTD, you can't beat it! ;)

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

January 17, 2005, 03:05 PM
Thanks for the recommendation, Ala. I don't particular care much for the hammerless, double action guns. I sold my 442 for that reason. I like the hammer as it allows me to really modify my practice at the range and gives me the option to using the single action only if I choose.

I have shot the Ruger you mention -- it really is sweet but as I have the 4" 686, I'd like to go with a 3" barrel this time. Also, I'm sure it'll work better for my Dad. I know I'll like which ever revolver he rejects... :D

January 17, 2005, 04:58 PM
Instead of a 2 or 3 inch, how about a 2 and 3 inch - adds up to a 5 inch - Model 60 .357?

No? Then I vote for the 3 inch.


picture from

January 17, 2005, 05:01 PM
I'll be sticking with the 3" thanks. :p BTW, I did check out the 640, how hard is it to pull the double action gun and who could I send it to lighten the trigger if I went that route?

January 17, 2005, 05:22 PM
One important difference in the 2" and 3" barrels is ejection of the spent cartridges, the 2" barrel model will not clear empty 357 cases from the cylinder for reloading, the ejector is too short, the 3" will, if you need to reload in a hurry that is a tremendous difference.

January 17, 2005, 05:27 PM
Mastrogiacomo -

My wife has a .357 Mag 640 which has had a trigger job - very smooth, non-staging pull of about 4-5 pounds. Very easy to shoot accurately.

January 17, 2005, 05:28 PM
Where did she send the gun for work? Was it expensive?

Old Fuff
January 17, 2005, 06:22 PM
This is an example of an older S&W model 36 with a 3 inch barrel. Notice the grips, that has changed the small round butt to a larger square butt configuration. While the revolver is slightly bigger it is much easier to hold onto and shoot - especially in double action. One drawback of the J-frame guns is the small handle, which while easier to conceal make the gun harder to control during recoil. This is one answer when circumstances don't require concealment, although it works fine out of a IWB holster.

January 17, 2005, 06:32 PM
Old buddy old pal, old mentor...*ahem*

Err..umm...err..I took a "glance" at that there 36, I think you should really send that one to me...for learning purposes of course.

Noticed the stocks, thumb other stuff too...puhleeese. :D

Old Fuff
January 17, 2005, 07:33 PM

Oh no ...

You wouldn't want it ... Really ...

The former owner begged me to take it, seeing that it wasn't rated for ++++P ammunition and had that unpopular barrel in addition to being blued. I plan to polish all of that off and tell everyone its stainless - until it starts turning brown.

Those grips came from CDNN Investments, and were expensive ... something like $2.95 as I remember - but I might be wrong. Shipping/handling is $10.00 by the way, so I was forced to buy several pairs ...

The reason they are so light is because I'm in the process of refinishing them. They'll be darker when I get done.

You are much better off with that old K-frame you've got. This one only holds 5 cartridges, and that's hardly tactical in anybody's book. Why what will I do if I get jumped by 25 or 30 of those drug and people running border jumpers?? (Answer: quickly withdraw under fire). And do you have any idea what it's like to be caught in public asking for an IWB holster for a (gasp) 3 inch J-frame??

No, I couldn't live with myself if I stuck you with it. If the word got out my reputation would be mud ... :evil: :D

Now Tuner on the other hand .... :evil: :evil: :scrutiny:

January 17, 2005, 09:06 PM
Mastro, for any revolver action work, my unvarying recommendation is Clark Custom Guns ( I've had several revolvers treated with their Service Action Job, and it's wonderfully good. They're not cheap, but then, you get what you pay for!

January 18, 2005, 02:10 AM
Old Fuff.

If you'll send me that ugly old Model 36 I'll only charge you $5 to take it off your hands.

You know how fragile and undersirable those old flat latch guns are. They're just not very tactacal. What with them being made out of that old fashioned heavy steel instead of one of these new wonder-metals.

January 18, 2005, 02:15 AM
Forgive me. Seems as if the Old Fuff is - once again - being his usual Reprobate Self. :D

Being as I am on " Probationary Reprobate Status" ...err... I may be a few years younger than the Reprobate...but I ain't that stupid. OH I have LOTs to learn...I admit that- I may be dumb - not stupid.

There is that something spl about a 3" that handling "reveals", besides the extraction and all.

See I too have taken a set of stocks, used a knife to whittle to tweak the fit, used emery to smooth before finshing out. Notice how those stocks in Reprobate's pic fill the gap b/t grip and trigger guard? There is a reason , same one folks use Tyler's .

I always recommend folks buy the newfangled stuff, with uber capacity in uber materials...oh part is the Reprobate dealie....and mostly because I am selfish and want the OLD guns for me...

Old Fuff forgot I know how to bribe, lie and decieve. Lets I start with Fried Pies, or the Pic Of Sophie Loren ? :evil:

January 18, 2005, 10:29 AM
I've got and use both. The 2" is great for the pocket, the 3" is better for everything else.

Old Fuff
January 18, 2005, 10:32 AM

I would do as you request, but I regard you much too highly to stick you with this obviously over-the-hill revolver when it would be much better if you obtained something made from the latest "wondermetal" (plastic polymer or whatever). These at least you can load with somebody's "Super Ultra-Magnum Max-Blaster ammunition that will stop a B.G. if it passes within a half-mile of said person. As it is, you would have to actually hit your intended target, and that wouldn't be tactical unless you taped a flashlight to the barrel. However I do appreciate your generous offer. :uhoh:


For the reasons stated above I must also decline your suggestions, although your last words clearly indicate how far you are willing to go to obtain this piece of antique firearms technology. I should have never posted the picture, but in a moment of weakness I decided to showcase the grips to illustrate that these little revolvers can be much more controllable if the user has something more to hold on to. I am devastated to learn that you might be doing the same sort of thing, and to prevent any more of this unfortunate behavior I suggest you move to the U.K. where handguns are banned (except for criminals of course) and I understand that “knife control” isn’t far behind. There you may be able to obtain counseling and treatment to overcome your distasteful propensity to whittle on wood handgun grips and other probable bad habits. :evil: :D

January 18, 2005, 10:58 AM
Sorry man- ain't gonna happen. :D

You are just upset I used hand methods to tweak the fit on the stocks instead of grabbing a Dremel tool or the Foredom Flexshaft. I Had to learn hand methods to finish metals...granted the Dremel was not even around back then - the Foredom was though. Still it too a l-o-n-g time before I was allowed to even touch a powered tool.

I know you were testing me - probably a "pop quiz' on this Probationary Status you have bestowed upon me.

FYI - I may be able to rid another poor soul of an antiquated steel wheel gun.
I have selling the fire out the "custom" grip screws for Glocks, Keltecs, and other such polymer one pc frame guns.

If you build it - they will buy it. :evil:

January 18, 2005, 11:09 AM
Mastrogiacomo -

The work was done here in Tulsa, OK at Tulsa Firearms. They do good work, although I have no doubt that you could find someone locally to do just as good a job. After all, the basic S&W revolver lock mechanism has been around for a long, LONG time.

Old Fuff
January 18, 2005, 11:11 AM

>> I may be able to rid another poor soul of an antiquated steel wheel gun.
I have selling the fire out the "custom" grip screws for Glocks, Keltecs, and other such polymer one pc frame guns. <<

Well now, I may be proud of you yet. Selling the grip screws is an excellent idea, and will be a great help to those that buy them. I don't believe they are obtainable elsewhere.

As for the wheel gun ... If you should obtain it you MUST send it to me for inspection and my blessing. Not to worry ... you will get it back ...

Someday. :evil: :D

January 18, 2005, 12:21 PM
Hey with 3 sets ordered ya get a free tactical picture hanging kit a regular $9.95 value. For all the mall ninja posters and awards and such.

Getting kind low , gotta go cut some more bailing wire and rustle up some more pull tabs from soda pop cans... :evil:

< Old Fuff slaps forehead "why didn't I think of that?" > :neener:

Old Fuff...for my graduation to Reprobate Ceremony I was thinking of wearing my '28 Detective Special , with 158 gr LSWC-HP standard loads...that okay? :)

Old Fuff
January 18, 2005, 01:07 PM
>>Old Fuff...for my graduation to Reprobate Ceremony I was thinking of wearing my '28 Detective Special, with 158 gr LSWC-HP standard loads...that okay? <<

No !!! Unless you want to see Da' Fuff turn an envious green ... :eek: :D

January 18, 2005, 02:37 PM
Okay -

I'll wear my BBQ gun. :D

Model 64 3" RB HB with the factory wood stocks. The six rds of Win 125 gr STHP look right purty in that glistening cylinder.

Buttery smoooooth DA action. :neener:

Old Fuff
January 18, 2005, 04:43 PM
Oh my ....

My blood pressure is going to go out'ta sight ... :eek:

But ya' got'ta do something about those grips ... :neener: :D

January 18, 2005, 07:47 PM
I was going to spin some sort of a witty saying about since I am now over the hill that my armament should be also.

But then I got to thinking. The principal reason I made it this long was due to having good revolvers when they were needed.

So... since my armament was obsolete long before I was does that make me ahead of my time?

Old Fuff
January 18, 2005, 08:30 PM
Not sure ....

But it makes you a gentleman of sound judgment ... :D

January 18, 2005, 09:06 PM
But ya' got'ta do something about those grips ...

*ahem* I ain't got grips , I gots stocks.

Grips are them awful rubber thingies. Rubber is for rubber bands, vehicle hoses and such - not guns.

Stocks are real wood, Ivory and such.

Somewheres there is a set of Eagle Secret Service and Some Herret's that fit the RB K frames.

See I like to shoot stock stuff because folks say stock stuff sucks. So the 64 has the Factory stocks on at the moment.

Gots the black Bake-lite's on the '28 Dick Special. Really pisses a fella off for me to shoot that thing and have 12 rds in a playing card. His 'better gun" than mine, authorized by team Walrus or somesuch ...well I guess his gun allergic to playing cards.

NO I do not take "tacky pills" - I am naturally this way. :p

January 18, 2005, 10:27 PM
Well, Fuff ol' boy, since it was I, your humble servant, who found Steve his '28 DS, I could always start looking out for one for you, if you're interested. We get all sorts of interesting old revolvers around here. For example, at my favorite coffee shop - er, I mean, gun shop! - today, they've just got in an absolutely minty-condition S&W snubby with grip safety, probably early 1940's production. I've never seen one in such pristine condition. Price is reasonable, too. Interested?

Old Fuff
January 18, 2005, 10:31 PM
Well now, I was under the impression that "stocks" went on them long guns like rifles and shotguns. But I'll humor you 'cuz I want to get than old Det. Special into a new home.

Mine .... :evil:

Anyway, sometime when you get around to it, take off the "handles" and see if the gun's serial number is scratched anywhere in the inside. If so we might both learn something ... :scrutiny:

Incidentally, they aren't Bakelite, but a close relative called " Gutta Percha." Older Colt catalogs listed them as "Rubber Stocks." (See? I had to say it.)

I like those folks with fancy guns (Tuner calls it "bling"). Sometimes they can hit something, and sometimes they just think they can. Moving a target out to 25 yards and further - maybe MUCH further - can have an interesting effect on them ... :neener: If you really want to get they're attention set the card edgewise at about 6 paces and cut it in half. :eek:

Old Fuff
January 18, 2005, 10:50 PM

Yes indeed, I am interested.

If the revolver in question is a top-break it would be what S&W called the "Safety Hammerless." or "New Departure." It should have an enclosed hammer, and as you say, a grip safety (which gave the model its name). They made a small frame (.32 S&W) and larger frame (.38 S&W). All were 5 shot. I have one that once belonged to Col. Rex. Applegate. They were made from the late 1880's to about 1937 (the .32) and 1940 (the .38).

If it is a hand ejector (the cylinder swings out to the left) it is a model 40 (steel/.38 Special/1 7/8" Bbl.) or 42 (same with aluminum frame). Col. Applegate had a considerable hand in they're development also. He was an interesting man to know.

Edited to add: The latter two revolvers date from 1952 to present in various model numbers..

January 18, 2005, 10:59 PM
But the models 40 & 42 aka Centennial and Centennial Airweight didn't come along until 1952.

January 18, 2005, 11:25 PM
Fuffikins, I've sent you contact info via PM. Good luck!

January 18, 2005, 11:43 PM
Hey, I keep telling you folks I ain't that smart. :D

Preacherman must have blessed this one, 'cause when I shoot it it makes me look good. :D

Credit goes to Preacherman, he found the DS and the "handles" for me. Never owned a Colt Revo before - all "backwards" from them OLD S&Ws I grew up with. I grew up with Colt for Semis, Smiths for wheel guns. Later I found out about the BHP for another choice on semis. ;) Been doing this dance ever since.

Folks that used to be around I dealt with are gone. Shops closed, owners passed away, or retired and moved off .

The DS is sentimental, good friend , mentor , and elder raised as I with Colts for semis, Smiths for wheelie...bought one and I razzed him good. On his death bed he wanted me to have a DS - Preacherman assisted. I know - sounds corny. Tell anyone I'm sentimental and I'll deny it.

Whatever the "handles" are Preacher put on...they have character and remind me of some stuff...sniff.

February 9, 2005, 06:18 PM
Another 3 incher advocate, given the criteria.

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