3 inch Revolver for IWB Carry


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WHW
October 17, 2006, 07:23 PM
I'm looking for a 3 inch revolver for IWB carry. Currently I'm looking at the S&W Model 64, Ruger GP100 and the sp101.
I can't find a store where I can compare them side by side, so I thought I would ask for advice.
My guess is that the GP100 will be too big for IWB. The sp101 is probably about the same size as the Model 64 but it only has 5 rounds, although it is chambered in .357. The 64 has 6 rounds but can't handle .357.
Which gun would you pick and why? Thanks in advance for the feedback.

whw

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dbarale
October 17, 2006, 07:29 PM
Ruger Speed Six if you can find one or S&W65, a lot of people like the SP101 but if you are gonna carry a five-shot, a J frame is quite a bit smaller and more concealable...

WHW
October 17, 2006, 07:45 PM
Is the Security Six the same frame size as the Speed Six? I have a 4 inch Security Six that could be cut down to 3inch.
thanks
whw

dfariswheel
October 17, 2006, 08:30 PM
When you balance all things out, the S&W 3" "K" frame revolvers are probably the greatest revolvers ever made in their class.

They're large enough to allow a firm grip, heavy enough to handle recoil, and the trigger is the best of any medium to small framed revolver ever built.

The frame and cylinder are small enough to conceal well, and light enough to allow easy carry in a good holster.

The action is "tunable" to a higher degree than any Ruger for a smooth DA pull.

If an accessory, grip, or holster is made for a DA revolver, it's made for the S&W "K" frame.
It's a little harder to find accessories for the Ruger.

Last, the S&W is simply a higher quality, better built, better finished and more "refined" gun.

The only thing that might be better is a Model 65 in .357 Magnum.
"Might" be better is the operative word since .357 Magnum in a short barreled revolver does a good impression of a SWAT stun grenade in tight places.
Muzzle blast is FEROCIOUS, and many if not most people wind up carrying .38 Special +P ammo.

The FBI issued the Model 65 for many years, and issued +P ammo for standard duty, with Magnum available when needed.
The reasons the FBI used the S&W are listed above: Simply, it was the best DA revolver available.
Other than not having the Magnum capability, the Model 64 is every bit as good.

Serpico
October 17, 2006, 09:07 PM
All good guns...but take a look at a 2 1/2 inch model 66 or 19 also....gorgeous guns and you can find them for around 300 bucks used....if you are real lucky you can find one of the rarer 3 inch models....pic courtesy of smith and wesson forum.....

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j61/catman253/19-3Duoshopped750x.jpg

WHW
October 17, 2006, 10:07 PM
dfariswheel,
Thanks for the feedback. I would like to have the stopping power associated with the .357 but the noise produced in enclosed spaces can cause some serious damage to the hearing.
I'm thinking that the +p round should produce enough stopping power, and the model 64 is made in the 3 inch configuration.
The K frames are great. I have a heavy barrel model 10 that I shoot in USPSA. It is a great gun.
I agree with your assessment concerning the Rugers. Even when Marc Morganti works on them, they still don't measure up to a tuned Smith.
Again, thanks for the feedback.
whw

WHW
October 17, 2006, 10:09 PM
Serpico,
I would love to have a 2 1/2 inch model 19, but the prices are going up pretty fast on gunbroker.com. That is a sure sign that they are in fact a quality piece.
Thanks for the feedback.

whw

Euclidean
October 17, 2006, 10:19 PM
I agree a 3" K frame is probably the best overall setup, but as someone who got tired of sorting through the used market for the right gun at a fair price, I grabbed a 3" Ruger GP-100 and never looked back. Granted that's a bit large for IWB, but I've an SP-101 as well and it's very slender and would work well for the purpose. Among new guns, I rate these as my top pics for a non pocket carry personal carry revolver.

Shoot the heck out of the Ruger, and learn to love the no sideplate design, and you'll come to appreciate it.

MCgunner
October 17, 2006, 10:54 PM
Ruger Speed Six if you can find one or S&W65, a lot of people like the SP101 but if you are gonna carry a five-shot, a J frame is quite a bit smaller and more concealable...

If you wanna carry a .357 magnum there is no better, more shootable, more compact package than a 3" SP101. If you're going to shoot .38, a 3" smith J frame is lighter and easier to carry IWB and you can get it in unobtainium as well as steel for an even lighter on the hip package.

I like the 3" SP101 a lot, but would carry it in .357 magnum with 125 grain JHPs. Flame thrower or not, they are effective. I don't think I'd use it for home defense, though, just CCW. That said, I don't have one. :D Right now, I wanna make a gun show and look for 2 or 3" K frames, preferable round butts. I really don't care the caliber, but I'd like a .357 if I had my choice. I'd take another M10, though, great old gun. The one I have now is a 4" heavy barrel square butt.

dbarale
October 17, 2006, 11:37 PM
Is the Security Six the same frame size as the Speed Six? I have a 4 inch Security Six that could be cut down to 3inch.
thanks
whw

Yes it is the same size but the Speed Six has a round but and fixed sights wich makes it more concealable. My daily carry is a Security Six that has seen quite a bit if work. I can handle 357 out of it pretty easily but on a J frame I'll stick with .38+P

I must agree that the SP101 is the nost shootable of the 5-shots snub but I'll still trade a barely larger gun for an extra round.

Here's a pic of my Sec Six:

http://www.flexplorers.com/photopost/data/3051/10Tactical_Six.JPG

Dollar An Hour
October 17, 2006, 11:38 PM
I don't think you can beat the SP101 for a real-world .357 for carry. Lighter .357s are much more expensive, have the dreaded internal lock, and are miserable to practice with.

I have a 3" GP100 and love it, but it's a bit large for my preference for carry.

DouglasW
October 18, 2006, 12:33 AM
I am very pleased with my 3" SP101 -- I added Hogue grips and a front night sight. It would be the last firearm I sold...if it ever came to that. It's just so darn versatile. Sure I wish it had a 6th round, but for IWB carry it's pretty great...and noticeably smaller/less bulky than my 4" GP100 for IWB.

That being said, I'd love to find an older -Six series Ruger. Even if it didn't replace the SP101 for CCW duty, it would be fun to have. :D

Haven't fondled a 3" GP100 or a Model 64. They might both be viable options, too. I believe the 3" GP100 has a slightly smaller grip/frame than the 4".

Jkwas
October 18, 2006, 09:35 AM
I have a small frame taurus 5 shot, about the same size as a smith j frame. I carry it iwb and owb with no problem. I picked up a 3in k frame and there is a big diff between carrying the two. The barrel length isn't the main issue, it's the sheer size of the gun. Given your options, I'd go with the sp101 strictly on overall size. Myself, I'm thinking about an airweight for my next purchase. It's not a "range gun" but it's not a "lead weight" either.

DWARREN123
October 18, 2006, 11:17 AM
I have a Ruger SP-101 in 357 mag w/3" barrel. I had a S&W model 60-15 same configuration but sold it because the Ruger is better in my opinion. It is heavier but after putting a Hogue Mono-Grip on it it fits and works perfectly for me.

tubeshooter
October 18, 2006, 12:09 PM
I like my 3" SP-101, I recommend it. Practice all you like, you aren't going to hurt it.

Even though I find myself carrying a dedicated snub .38 more often than not, it's nice to know the SP-101 can come along without much more difficulty if I'd rather. Mine usually plays more of a "house gun" role. It is versatile, and a good overall compromise for somebody in the small .357 market.

Jet22
October 18, 2006, 12:30 PM
Don't overlook the Smith 3" 357 Model 60 with the Full Lug and adjustable sights. I have one and really love it. It is accurate enough to deer hunt with and is an excellant house gun. Its a bit heavy for CCW carry for my tastes, but I do once in a while. I have a 3" Model 36 and its a great pointer too. I would like a 2.5 or 3" Model 19 or 66 but have enough 4" guns so its not a priority. When one comes along cheap enough...

miko
October 18, 2006, 03:22 PM
I have 3" model 60 and a 3" model 66.
I like both.

miko

Brian Williams
October 18, 2006, 03:50 PM
S&W 60-4 or a 13

sm
October 18, 2006, 04:21 PM
It would be best if you could actually try these guns and with various IWB holsters. We are all different we all need to be fitted individually to our guns, and equipment

Dfarriswheel gives great advice as always. Others have shared many great ideas as well.

I happen to like dedicated .38spls. I happend to be real partial to Older K frames, like the Model 10.

I feel the 3" RB K frame - is the best combat handgun, in a revolver there is. Yes a .357 would me my preference for more combat needs. I prefer blued guns...

I have a 3" RB HB Model 64. I have no idea how many hours carried, or rounds fired. How many new shooters have shot it. It works, every darn time it works.

I have shot it indoors, I have shot it inside a vehicle, being a low pressure rd, I do not have the flash, recoil ,or noise a .357 does. For inside a Apartment, and having to answer the door, or next to to bed, I have a combat weapon , even in .38spl that will its part - if I do mine.

No adjustable sights to hang on a steering wheel, seat , or roof of vehicle, nothing that will catch on bed linens, and I find I have a BG standing over my bed.

I like the 3" model 10, harder to find, I like the other offerings shared in this thread too.

I chose to buy six, 4" Model 10s -used police guns for hidden guns in a business.

After I bought my NIB 3" Model 64, tested it, and checked it out. One dozen of these were bought, at my suggestion. Six were carried on person, and the other six hidden in a business.

These employees liked them so well, another dozen 3" RB Model 64's were ordered for home and family use.

Sales Rep was out with us, shooting, and he liked them so well , he had our Gun Guy order another Dozen 3" RB HB Model 64's. He carried two, sometimes 3 while on the road and staying in hotels. The other 7 were for his family to use.

All told, our gun guy, now passed sold 4 dozen of these, in about 60days.

Might explain why these might of been hard to get for some folks at a certain region and point in time.

Blame Steve as they say...:D

Hobie
October 18, 2006, 04:42 PM
I sometimes carry my 4" Speed-Six without problems. I have a 3" M13 and there is little operational difference in the two guns.

revolverman357
October 18, 2006, 05:31 PM
I carry my 3' SP101 every day IWB, except sometimes in the summer when I want something a little smaller I carry a J-frame smith. Mostly it's the Ruger 3". Love it.

OhioPaints
October 18, 2006, 07:13 PM
I have a 3" Taurus 5 shot 357 and agree with the others that it is an easy to carry CCW gun yet I can still handle the recoil okay.

OWB it packs in nice and flat.

What I have not found is a good IWB holster for it. Lots of 2" ones around, but I'm having trouble finding holster for a 3". Suggestions?

Ken

WHW
October 18, 2006, 07:36 PM
Thanks to everyone for the great advice. I think I have settled on a 3 inch with fixed sights in a six shot configuration. I'm also getting more comfortable with the idea of a .38 special as a defensive round. I like the .357 stopping power, but the flash, noise and recoil are drawbacks.
I'll go with the S&W model 64 if I decide on the .38, or I will go with the GP100 if the .357 wins. The only negative with the GP100 is it's size. It looks a lot bigger than the model 64.
I will now be searching for a good IWB holster for a 3 inch revolver. Does anyone have any suggestions?

jad0110
October 18, 2006, 07:51 PM
The GP100 is a very nice gun, don't get me wrong, but it is a big 'ole pig for CCW. If you want a .357 6 shot, I think a 2.5" 19 or 66 would be ideal. Just don't shoot too many hot, light weight .357s though those K Frames and they'll last forever. Stick to gentler, 158 grain stuff. If you don't mind a 4" M66, check these honeys out...

http://www.summitgunbroker.com/1355435.html

or, perhaps a 5 shot M60...

http://www.summitgunbroker.com/1355740.html

WHW
October 18, 2006, 08:59 PM
jad0110
Thanks for the link. Nice looking model 66's. I wasn't familiar with this dealer.

whw

DouglasW
October 18, 2006, 09:14 PM
Thanks for the link. Nice looking model 66's. I wasn't familiar with this dealer.

No doubt WHW -- if Summit Gun Broker was local to me, I'd be a much poorer man :p

grimjaw
October 18, 2006, 11:36 PM
Oddly enough, I've owned and shot all three, GP100/SP101/M64, except the GP100 was a 4" version. IMO, the SP101 has the most convenient size of three as far as IWB carry goes, and it will handle almost any load you can throw at it. It has the same sight radius as a M64 with one less shot. I prefer the grip on the SP101 but the trigger on the M64.

jm

Hobie
October 18, 2006, 11:37 PM
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c288/TheRealHobie/Firearms/DetectiveSpecialwithlatewoodgrips.jpg

Sorry forgot about the Detective Special. In size and weight it is betwixt and between the J and K frame S&Ws. A 3" Police Positive Special or Cobra would be about the same thing.

WHW
October 19, 2006, 10:02 AM
Grimjaw,
Thanks for the comparison. I've changed my mind more than once on this issue. The infamous lock, the weight, the caliber, the number of rounds--- .
I wish I could make my own gun.

whw

WHW
October 19, 2006, 10:03 AM
Hobie,
Good point. I just never considered a colt because I don't see them around here. In the last several years I've seen one Python and one Anaconda. That's it.
I wish Colt would get back into the business in a big way.

whw

Jet22
October 19, 2006, 10:07 AM
I've changed my mind more than once on this issue. The infamous lock, the weight, the caliber, the number of rounds--- .
I wish I could make my own gun.

Buy em all(exept the lock)!! You won't regret your decision:D

OhioPaints
October 19, 2006, 10:13 AM
If the overall size is the same, I would definitely vote for a 357 vs a 38. The 357 gives you the option of the hotter load and will probably have a higher resale value. Most 38s today are identical in size to their 357 cousin, they just don't bore the chamber out as deep.

Another option if you want a 357 snubbie is an older Ruger Security Six or Single Six. They are solid guns at reasonable prices.

Ken

DouglasW
October 19, 2006, 10:27 AM
Another option if you want a 357 snubbie is an older Ruger Security Six or Single Six.

Just a minor correction, Ohio: I think you're referring to the Ruger Service- or Speed-Six, in addition to the Security-Six. These are all well-regarded cousins to the GP100, built on a slightly smaller frame (link (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_149_24/ai_65910639)). They are no longer produced.

The Single Six, however, is a popular .22lr (primarily) single-action revolver from Ruger.

bigmike45
October 19, 2006, 10:56 AM
+1 for the SP-101

It's built like a tank, will handle ANY .357mag loads, is accurate, priced right and readily available in most areas. You will definately get a better trigger with most S&W revolvers, but for a few bucks a good gunsmith can turn the SP-101's action can be made as smooth as butter. Some will not even consider it because it is 5 shot only, but most gunfights are over after the first or second shot anyway. If more are needed....that is what speedloaders or moon clips are for.

They carry nicely IWB with a good holster and belt here is my rig. A Tucker Heritage IWB and my SP-101.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f43/mike_seale/Tucker1.jpg
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f43/mike_seale/Tucker2.jpg

WHW
October 19, 2006, 11:03 AM
bigmike45,
That is a good looking rig. I've heard good things about Tucker. I'm sure you are very satisfied with the quality of product.
The Rugers have a lot going for them. They are built like tanks and they haven't caved to the political "lock pressure" yet. Their 3 inch guns seem well balanced too.
Are those Pachmeyer grips?

thanks,
whw

WHW
October 19, 2006, 12:50 PM
DouglasW,
Thanks for the link. It was a good article on the Ruger revolvers.

whw

OhioPaints
October 19, 2006, 01:24 PM
Douglas,

You are right, thanks for the correction. I have a Security Six and I've always had trouble figuring out the other models :-(

Ken

<<<Just a minor correction, Ohio: I think you're referring to the Ruger Service- or Speed-Six, in addition to the Security-Six. These are all well-regarded cousins to the GP100, built on a slightly smaller frame (link). They are no longer produced.

The Single Six, however, is a popular .22lr (primarily) single-action revolver from Ruger.>>>

Thorn001
October 20, 2006, 12:47 AM
Personally I love the SP101 with your favorite 357 loads. Unfortunately Colt made the absolute best snubby ever for exactly 1 year. The Magnun Carry was a 6 shot 357magnot much wider that the SP101. You used to be able to find them for 400, but now people are advertising them as rare and collectable so the price has doubled.

RMW59
October 20, 2006, 02:53 AM
Check out the S&W 360 Kit Gun. It is an awesome gun. It is basically a 360 SC with a 3.125" barrel, adj. sights, and a larger grip. The gun only weighs 14 oz. However, S&W just discontinued it this year, so it may be difficult to find one.

My father in law has the SP101 with a 3" barrel and it is a great gun too. But we both prefer my 360 Kit Gun. With .357 mags the recoil is a little snappier, but it is very controlable. The 360 Kit Gun is nearly half the weight of the sp 101. It makes for a much more comfortable gun to carry.

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