S&W Model 60, 640, or 340 for Wife's Carry Gun?


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JLStorm
November 15, 2006, 12:54 AM
She wants a revolver, and I agree with her decision as she cant rack the slide on any semi auto in the store. This will be her primary and only carry weapon. I was considering the 60 3" barrel, the 640 2 1/8" barrel, the 60LS with 2 1/8" barrel, or the 340 with 1 7/8" barrel.

My wife is 6 feet tall but she is a bit of a wuss at times. Even though the gun is a 357, for the first year or so we will only chamber it with 38 or 38+p and then if she wants too we can move up to 357 without having to buy her a new weapon. The grip on all of these weapons is about the same and they feel comfortable in her hands, but we cannot find places that rent any of them (other than the 340 which I own) so I am going to have to just do what I think is best and get her the model I think will work best for her. I havent let her shoot the 340 yet, because honestly I think she is going to hate it and not want to touch any of these other guns which are twice the weight with longer barrels and should really cut down on recoil. We have really looked around at many companies and these models are really the only things she is willing to consider mostly because of the grip and the fact that she likes S&W (I think she got that from me), and I think she has narrowed down a good selection.

My pros and cons of each weapon are listed below. I would like your opinion on these models and these models only. I have looked good and hard and have narrowed it down to these four, but I am really having a problem moving forward. Please don't suggest I have her try shooting each of these, I have thought of that and most are not rented in any of the 3 shooting ranges we go too. Also keep in mind that these guns will be for carry use on a daily basis not just target shooting.


60 with 3" barrel weighs in at 24 ounces and its obvious advantage and drawback is the 3" barrel. Recoil reduction would be great, but it would harder to conceal, especially for a woman wearing it IWB, thigh, or ankle which is the only way she would wear it. Hammer would have to be bobbed, but DA is better for recoil training than DAO IMO..

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/162430_large.jpg


640 with 2 1/8" barrel weighs in at 23 ounces and has reduced size for easy concealment, but less recoil reduction than the 3" barrel on the 60. The main benefit is the internal hammer which is nice for carry, but on the other hand an external hammer can be easily bobbed and is better for recoil training than a DAO internal hammer IMO.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/163690_large.jpg


60LS with 2 1/8" barrel weighs in at 21.5 ounces has a slightly lighter weight which would be more comfortable for her to carry, but still ahve enough weight for recoil reduction. A big deal is that it says "lady smith" with pretty wood handles. Yes you may think its silly, but if she thinks its pretty and a gun for a lady, she will be more proud to carry it, and carry it more often. Obviously, because its cute its now a fassion accessory, not just a tool The only downside may be the wood grips may be less shock absorbing?? The hammer would have to be bobbed, but DA is better for recoil training than DAO IMO.I think I am leaning towards this one

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/162414_large.jpg


340 with 1 7/8" barrel weighs in at 12 ounces. I carry one of these as a backup gun, and I just think its to much kick for most women, even chambered in 38, do you all think I am wrong?
http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/163060_large.jpg



I would really appreciate any help I can get on this, because I am considering surprising her for christmas and I would have to start working on this soon.

Thanks :D

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Preacherman
November 15, 2006, 02:30 AM
Thoughts on this choice:

1. How is she going to carry it? In a holster, the 3" barrel isn't going to make that much difference, and I'd go that way. In a pocket or purse, the shorter barrel can make a real difference, and I'd pick one of them.

2. Forget the wood grips - buy a Crimson Trace laser grip for it. She'll be astonished at how easy it is to put the dot on target and get a good hit. Models are available with rubber over the backstrap, to ease the recoil. In my opinion, the CT grips are must-haves for a snubby, given its generically lousy sights.

3. Lower weight = higher recoil, but also diminished ease of carry. Again, check how it'll be carried. If in a pocket, I'd go with the lighter weight. If in a bag or holster, the heavier weight is manageable, and the reduction in recoil is worthwhile.

Those are my thoughts, anyway. In your shoes, I'd go for the 640 or 340, with the concealed hammer - she won't have time to cock it if the curtain goes up, so get her used to double-action shooting all the time. I'd add the 642 to your list, as it's probably cheaper than either of the others (considerably so!), and the cost savings may be enough to pay for the CT laser grips. There's also a CT-equipped model direct from the factory, if you're interested.

JLStorm
November 15, 2006, 02:38 AM
Preacherman,

Thanks for the info. She will be carrying this pocket, ankle, thigh, and occassionaly IWB, so it will be all over the place depending on what she nees to wear that day. The 642 is a nice gun, but I really wanted her to have something that she could shoot 357 with if she wanted to ever move up.

Thanks again for the reply.

dbarale
November 15, 2006, 06:20 AM
Of the three I would pick the 640 but my wife loves her 60LS. But then again she likes my old 4" Security Six even more, just too big to carry...

Roca
November 15, 2006, 10:00 AM
I voted for the 640 for recoil reduction and the fact the hammer doesn't have to be bobbed.

I have heard, but have not been able to confirm, that if you bob j-frame MIM hammers you risk unreliable ignition. It may just be another vicious Internet rumor but might be worth investigating FWIW.

GunNut
November 15, 2006, 11:41 AM
640, it's very controllable when firing .357mag and is just a great gun.

Steve

The Real Hawkeye
November 15, 2006, 11:53 AM
I'd go with the 640. Light enough to carry all the time, yet has some weight for absorbing recol. Barrel is short and hammer is covered, so nothing to snag on anything. Perfect for her. Send it to Cylinder and Slide for an action clean up and tune when you get it. These days they come from the factory pretty rough inside. Not like the old days, when they would get an action polish before they went out for sale.

pax
November 15, 2006, 12:48 PM
JLStorm ~

Surprising her is a cool idea, but this is research you really should not be doing. Instead, you should show your wife this thread, and discuss the pros and cons with her. Encourage her to make her own final choice based on the information given here.

When you do the research for her, you cripple your new shooter's ability to learn what she needs to learn. It's kind of like a little boy "helping" the butterfly out of its cocoon: he meant well, but the butterfly needed to do the work itself or it would never be able to fly. Similarly, the process of picking out her own first gun allows the new shooter to begin developing the mindset that a shooter (esp a defensive shooter) really needs to have.

pax

JLStorm
November 15, 2006, 02:17 PM
Thanks guys, I ordered the 640 today and I will be getting some "pretty" grips to go along with it :D

cortez kid
November 15, 2006, 08:54 PM
My wife loves her 637 with Crimson Trace grips. That red dot makes all the difference for her. By the way she's halfway descent with regular sites.
kid

JLStorm
November 15, 2006, 09:07 PM
Surprising her is a cool idea, but this is research you really should not be doing. Instead, you should show your wife this thread, and discuss the pros and cons with her. Encourage her to make her own final choice based on the information given here.

When you do the research for her, you cripple your new shooter's ability to learn what she needs to learn. It's kind of like a little boy "helping" the butterfly out of its cocoon: he meant well, but the butterfly needed to do the work itself or it would never be able to fly. Similarly, the process of picking out her own first gun allows the new shooter to begin developing the mindset that a shooter (esp a defensive shooter) really needs to have.

pax


Pax,

I dont want you to think Im doing all the research. She tried out the model 60 and 642 in the gun shop. The 642 has the same exact grip and dimensions of the 640, but is a few ounces heavier due to the materials. She said she wanted slightly bigger grips with finger groves and something in stainless steel that was lightweight but something I thought would still help a bit with recoil.

I thought originally the lady smith would be perfect, but in talking with smith and wesson this morning they mentioned that those grips are made for women with smaller hands, and her hands are only slightly smaller then mine. She really likes the width of my hogue bantam grips on my 340PD but wants something pretty in wood. I thought that the custom made grips I am having made with finger grooves would be perfect since they are just a tad bit wider than the hogues and great for her long fingers. They will also have her initials ingraved and outlined in gold. :D

The gun will be the same size barrel as the 60 she tried but with a more concealable grip of the 642 that she liked, but with the pretty wood grips that have room for an extra finger, yet doesnt loose any concealment ability.

So I took a few liberties but I really think I did what she wanted, the only thing she didnt get with this one is the "lady smith" engraving but the 640 doesnt come with that option and she was worried about now having a hammer that could get snagged on something. I actually wanted an external hammer to help work with recoil training, but I went with her wishes on this one.

The only issue is she didnt get to test fire any of them since we couldnt find anyone who rented them, so she just said to do what I thought was best. She just didnt think I would go get engraved grips and give the gun to her before next year.


Sooo, I know I didnt follow all the rules...but overall how did I do?

pax
November 16, 2006, 02:03 AM
JLStorm ~

Sounds like you've got all the bases covered, then. :D

I hope she loves it.

pax

JLStorm
November 16, 2006, 02:16 AM
Me too! The hardest part will be waiting until christmas morning to give it too her...and also the most nerve racking. I dont think I was this nervous wondering if she would like her engagement ring!

jamz
November 16, 2006, 08:47 AM
I don't know if you reload, but if you or someone you know does, you could always start out with some low powered plinking type loads if she needs time to get used to the recoil, then move up to factory .38spl, then move up to +p, then move up to .357. That's the beauty of the versatility of revolvers. :)

I bet by next Christmas, she'll be outshooting you. :D

JLStorm
November 16, 2006, 02:40 PM
I only shoot factory ammo, but I was thinking of starting her with some frangible ammo, its a big expensive but its the lightest recoil I can think of. The only other load I know of that is somewhat lower recoild round is a 110 grain 38 which is still a substancial bullet weight.

GunNut
November 16, 2006, 02:46 PM
I'd probably just skip the expensive practice ammo and pick up some .38 special w/lead SWC bullets. I picked up some Miwall reloads and they are very light shooting. They can be purchase online at www.outdoormarksman.com

Congrats on picking a great gun and customizing it to her needs. She's going to love it, it's probably the one gun that I regret selling the most.

Steve

JLStorm
November 16, 2006, 08:23 PM
Thanks, I'll check out the ammo. Now the hard part is going to the gun shop on friday with her not knowing... :uhoh:

10-Ring
November 16, 2006, 08:56 PM
In the snubbies, I like steel guns and in the j-frame, I prefer the 60 & 640. BOth will serve her well and depend on what she preferes...or you could go w/ both :D

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