Primary carry: SW 60 3" (J) v. SW 64 3" (K)


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Nematocyst
March 18, 2007, 12:30 AM
So, I'll be clear about one thing right from the start:
IMO, there is no "right" answer to the question posed in this thread.

There are (hopefully) lots of opinions,
but there no "right" answer.
YMMV, and all that.

Here's the background for this thread.

I currently own two wonderful revolvers:
* SW 642 snubby (1 7/8")
* SW 686P 4"

I love both.
(I recently divorced myself from semi-autos in favor of revolvers.
That's another story entirely... :rolleyes: )

The 642 is my "carry gun" around my studio and home.
I'm not yet CCW but will be soon. Once I qualify for CCW,
the 642 will be my carry in warmer weather.
(My Mika pocket holster is in the mail.)

The 686 will be my "camp and wilderness carry",
and a secondary deer gun (after my Marlin 336),
one that can be pressed into "deer mode" in an emergency,
or while carrying my 39A squirrel gun with a deer tag.

I'm finding, however, that I'd like to own an intermediate between them,
something that I can carry in town in colder weather
when clothing allows concealment of a larger gun, yet not so large as a 686.

I've decided that's going to be some incarnation of a 3" revolver in .38 spl
(perhaps with .357 Mag capacity, but I'm not really concerned about that.
I'm happy with .38 spl for SD. .357 Mag would be icing on the cake,
but I wouldn't be feeding it a steady diet).

So, after some amount of reading and research,
I've narrowed my choices down to mainly two models:
model 60 3" (J-frame) and model 64 3" K-frame.

I've been discussing this issue a bit in a couple of threads
(642 club and K-frame club - see signature for links)
but have decided to take this discussion out of those clubs
since this particular issue is a bit OT for both.

Now, I've done some homework. I understand the following:

* Model 60 (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&productId=14755&tabselected=tech&isFirearm=Y&parent_category_rn=): .38 spl +P AND .357 Mag (as long as not a steady diet of latter, and the recommendation is to use mostly 158 gr when one does use .357 Mag. 5 rnd. Most relevant factor: 24 oz.

* Model 64 (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&productId=14757&tabselected=tech&isFirearm=Y&parent_category_rn=): .38 spl. +P. 6 rnd. Most relevant factor: 33 oz.

* Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.

I think in this case, the most relevant factor for me is weight (and I want a 3" barrel).
I want a revolver that I can carry all day in some holster
(strong side OWB, cross carry OWB, shoulder holster...) comfortably.
I'm a small person. (Well, tall and thin.)

The model 60 is 9 oz lighter. That's just over half a pound.
The model 64 is only 5 oz lighter than my 686.
In my world, that's a substantial difference.

Some have argued that the 64 is just better than a 60.
For example, in addition to holding one more rnd,
due to its weight, it offers quicker recoil recovery times,
and is more stable to point, etc.
(For me, both are important, but for different reasons:
I'm a smaller person - tall and thin - so light is good
to get on target more quickly, and is easier to carry,
but recovery from recoil may be enhanced by added weight.)

What I'm looking for is opinions, from those of you
who own at least one, but preferably both,
about whether the 64 really is worth lugging around given it's increased weight.

Yes, of course I'm open to suggestions about guns that are better than either a 60 or a 64.
(Several have already been suggested to me; e.g., Model 19.)
But I'm setting up this exercise with those two mainly as extremes on the weight spectrum,
and because I have a tendency to buy new rather than used. (That's yet another story...)

Again, this is a highly subjective exercise. There is no right answer.
I'm looking for your personal objective and subjective experiences with these guns.

As is typical for me, I'm way ahead of the game here.
I probably won't purchase another revolver for months.
(That's a financial constraint.)
But I like to do my homework in advance.

Thanks in advance.

Nem

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Old Fuff
March 18, 2007, 02:00 AM
In terms of a holster gun (as opposed to a pocket revolver) the 3" K-frame has some advantages. First of all I agree that a 3" barrel is ideal on the K-platform in the context of a concealable weapon. You have a full-stroke ejector rod, more weight forward for balance, and a longer sight radius over a snubby, and yet not as long as a 4". It can be easily concealed in winter clothing.

The action - at least on older pre-MIM models is amenable to being tuned for a lighter yet reliable double action trigger pull. This is largely because of the leaf mainspring and the greater distance between the hammer and trigger pivot points that allows the trigger to have more leverage on he hammer. I am not so critical of the MIM parts as such, as I am of design changes to make assembly easier at the factory, coming at the expense of a better feeling action, but again - some of this can be overcome by a first-class pistolsmith. Don't try to do it on your own.

The larger handle gives you more to hold on to, and thereby control the revolver during shooting and recovering from recoil. Those that can shoot a J-frame faster and more accurately then a "K" are few and far between.

And of course there is the issue of the 6th shot. Something that may, or may not be necessary, but is nice to have. It is one reason I prefer Colt's Old D-frame (think Detective Special) over S&W's J size.

The principal difference between an L-frame, such as a model 686 and the K-size isnít so much weight, as bulk. This only becomes important in that less bulk is easier to conceal under some circumstances.

And thatís the J-frameís strong point. It offers less weight and bulk, but here the advantages in carrying it (over a K-frame) may be lost if you have to use it. The most convenient weapon is seldom the most effective one. :scrutiny:

Nematocyst
March 18, 2007, 02:13 AM
Excellent post, Fuff. Thanks.

IMO, you set the bar for subsequent posts.
Many thanks for your opinion.

Three of your statements really struck me:

The larger handle gives you more to hold on to,
and thereby control the revolver during shooting and recovering from recoil.

<snip>

The most convenient weapon is seldom the most effective one.And, while reading your post,
another detail popped out in my search for
an "intermediate" between the 642 (J) and 686 (L).

K is "intermediate" between J and L.

J K L

Like you said,

The principal difference between an L-frame,
such as a model 686 and the K-size
isn’t so much weight, as bulk.Excellent point.

MikeJ
March 18, 2007, 02:21 AM
3" K frames are the bee's knees.

Nematocyst
March 18, 2007, 02:24 AM
Mike,

As a person with an undergrad in entomology,
who focused on bee biology,
I can relate to the term "bee's knees".

Would you please elaborate?

What makes those 3" K's so appealing?

grimjaw
March 18, 2007, 03:13 AM
What makes those 3" K's so appealing?

They're so darned pretty?

http://www.grimjaw.net/mig/albums/theboomgoesthere/handgun/revolver/sw64-3.jpg

But I liked it better as a house gun or winter carry.

jm

Marko Kloos
March 18, 2007, 09:49 AM
Hmm..let's see. I use 3" K-frames exclusively for CCW, so you may wager a guess which way I voted.

Why are they the bee's knees?

Easier to shoot than the J-frame, with one more round to boot. Barrel just long enough for a full-length ejector rod, and the best compromise between ballistic performance and concealability...more steam than the too-short 2", and easier concealed than the 4".

Fixed sights that don't break or get misaligned, ever...unless you roll over the gun with a backhoe or something, and then you have bigger problems than having sights out of whack.

Lastly, they handle and point like nothing else. They feel much bigger in the hand than any J-frame, they weigh more and handle recoil better, and the three-inch barrel on a K looks and balances just right. They are more nimble and less porky than the L-frames, too.

For a pocket gun, a lightweight J-frame is a superior gun, no doubt about it...but a 3" J is not a pocket gun, and if you're going to carry it on your belt anyway, the 3" K beats any J in every respect.

MikeJ
March 18, 2007, 10:24 AM
Marko Kloos nailed it!

357wheelgunner
March 18, 2007, 10:36 AM
I had a pair of 3" K-frames, a model 65 and 66. I carried the .38+P 158gr LHPSWC "FBI load" in them. They shot well but I didn't like the 3" barrel. Now I have three 4" K-frames. They carry just as well IWB and I like the balance of the 4" barrel.

Any K-frame in 3" or 4" barrel makes a fantastic carry gun. J-frame is only good for pocket carry. Get the 3" model 64 and then use your 642 if the K is too big for what you are wearing that day.

DaleCooper51
March 18, 2007, 10:43 AM
I would vote for the 3" model 65.

I enjoy shooting the mid-range 357's more than the 38 +P's in mine and think everyone should at least one.

Newguy1
March 18, 2007, 10:46 AM
I like my 10-6 and 64-5 (even though they are SB and 4 inch barrel) much better than my 60-4 which has adjustable sights and a 3 inch barrel.

They shoot much easier and hold one more round.

I like the K frame so much more, that I am considering trading my 60-4 for a Model 10 or 64 with a 3 inch barrel and a round butt for carry.

Old Fuff
March 18, 2007, 11:46 AM
Why a 3" inch barrel, rather then one 2" or 4" long?

The 3" length is the shortest that will still allow a full length ejector rod. This can be critically important in clearing empth cases during a reload. It also provides enough length to help tip the handle in tighter to the body, where a 2" will let the butt tip outward - at least in some holsters. The combination of a heavy, 3" barrel closely duplicates the balance of a lighter 4" one, and the 3" is often more confortable when you are sitting the the longer lengths - especially in a car. The holstered revolver doesn't tend to ride up and cause the handle to dig you in the ribs. It will also fit in the slash pocket of a coat, where a longer length won't. Of course a careful pick of holsters may solve some of the issues, but for concealed carry the 3" length offers the carrier more options.

As an aside: In cold or winter weather one does not want to carry their hardware under a coat. It takes far to long to get to it. One should pick both the coat and gun with this in mind.

If you are going to coat-pocket carry, or conceal the revolver under a layer(s) of something, seriously consider having the hammer bobbed and the action converted to double-action-only (DAO). If the hammer is bobbed it is no longer safe to cock it.

If you don't bob the hammer, but carry the gun covered by something (such as a coat or shirt) be sure the holster covers the hammer spur, or the checkering on it will soon wear a hole in the covering garment.

bobbytm
March 18, 2007, 12:50 PM
K-frame 64model 3"barrel,is a nice choice for daily holster carry!

Diamondback
March 18, 2007, 03:02 PM
I have a 3" K frame; and a 3" M60.....it's one of the older models, 60-3, with adjustable sights, chambered for .38 Special. I use the 3" J frame primarily as a kit gun for woods bumming and such. It carries comfortably, I'm ok with 5 rounds instead of 6, and loaded with Buffalo Bore 158gr. +p LSWCHP I am satisfied that I am prepared for what trouble I might meet locally. It has always accompanied me on my hikes up to the Alpine lakes in the Cascades to do some day fishing; it's relatively light and handy.

I use the 3" K frame the same way you suggest you would be inclined to carry it.....concealed in a holster for city protection. There is no reason I couldn't inter-change their roles.....I just like the lighter weight J frame when I'm humping up the side of a mountain. I'm no spring chicken any more !
However, the K frame has a nicer trigger, and it is easier for me to accurately shoot higher pressure ammo in because it weighs more.

Personally, I think a 3" Ruger SP-101 is also worth considering because it sort of splits the difference between the J and the K. But you didn't ask about Rugers, so I won't go on about them and "muddy up" your post. :)

Here's a not very good photo of my 3" S&W M60-3.

http://i19.tinypic.com/4cxipg2.jpg

- regards

Nematocyst
March 18, 2007, 05:17 PM
Cool! :cool:

While I slept, it seems you folks have been having quite a discussion. ;)

Thanks very much for the feedback.
I'm benefiting a lot from reading, and learning lots.

Please continue ...

Oh, yeah, one more thing:

Poll results so far:

M60: 05
M64: 13
"Other": 04

{PS: I should have included the statement "specify 'other' " in the poll. Although I'm focusing exclusively on 3" revolvers (not interested in semi-autos here), and exclusively on J & K-frame sizes, I'm not (yet) glued to either a 60 or a 64. I'm open to other suggestions (that are comparable to those two). If you suggest a revolver that is no longer in production, please specify it's weight. I'll confess to a strong bias now for SW mostly for subjective reasons :rolleyes: - something about their fit, feel, and finish that just consistently works for me. It's likely that I'll stay with SW since I've already got two.}
____________

In early voting, that 64 came out of the gate strong, :what:
and is running several lengths ahead of the other horses.

It's still a long race (poll won't close for around 88 more days),
and who can say what the 64's stamina is? It IS a heavier gun;
can it keep up endurance levels for the long haul,
or will it falter closer to the end of the race? :uhoh:

Only time will tell. :scrutiny:

Stay tuned ...

:D

Nem

jad0110
March 18, 2007, 09:53 PM
I voted for the 3" Model 64. I think with a good quality holster and gunbelt, you won't notice much difference between packing a 60 and a 64. Either that or a 3" Model 10. Same thing as the 64 (K Frame), except in a blue finish.

If you lean towards something chambered in 357 Magnum, you may want to consider a 3" Model 65. It is the same thing as the 64 (stainless, fixed sights), except it is chambered in 357 Mag.

Check out these 3" S&W Model 65s on Summit Gunbroker for $385: http://www.summitgunbroker.com/1704450.html

Or the adjustable sight version, the Model 66 (but it is a 2.5"): http://www.summitgunbroker.com/1704457.html

I may yet get a Model 65 myself in 2.5" or 3". And as you know, I'll also keep my eyes open for a 2.75" Ruger Security Six. Ah heck, all these Model #s get confusing, here's my little summary (all Ks available with 3" barrels except where noted):

Model 10: 38 Spl, blue, fixed sights
Model 15: 38 Spl, blue, adjustable sights (2" and 4" only)
Model 64: 38 Spl, stainless, fixed sights
Model 67: 38 Spl, stainless, adjustable sights (2" and 4" only?)
Model 13: 357 Mag, blue, fixed sights
Model 19: 357 Mag, blue, adjustable sights
Model 65: 357 Mag, stainless, fixed sights
Model 66: 357 Mag, stainless, adjustable sights

Photoman
March 18, 2007, 11:50 PM
One big advantage of the K over the J is Safariland Comp III speed loaders. They work much better for me than the HKS loaders. Also, I think most would shoot the K better than the J.

Nematocyst
March 19, 2007, 01:23 AM
Hey, Jad.

I was wondering how long it'd take you to show up in here. :rolleyes: ;)

The vote for the model 64 jumped by 4 since last time I checked.
Did you vote 4 times? :D

You know, if it wasn't for you, I probably wouldn't be asking this question.
But noooooo, you had to get me hooked on the 686.
It was all downhill from there. :p

Nice concise list of the models. Thanks. They do get confusing.

Yeah, those Model 65's on Summit Gunbroker look tempting.
If I had $385 burning a hole in my pocket, I might jump.

But alas, I gotta buy new amp for the studio first. :(

And I still think a .38 spl is going to be good enough for me.
As tempting as another .357M is, in this case, it may be too much...

VA27
March 19, 2007, 02:19 AM
My vote goes to the 60-18. A five-inch J frame, 357Mag. You've got your J frame for easy concealment...the barrel is no problem if you carry IWB, and the five inch barrel gets the most velocity out of your full power loads.

The longer sight radius with the five inch barrel also improves your accuracy and in fact it could take the place of the 686 4" for trail duty.

"But wait," you say. "The 686P holds seven shots!"

"Oh ho," says I. "The 60-18 and the 642 together weigh about what the 686 does by itself, and they can share speedloaders! Carry 'em both and you have ten shots at your disposal before you need to reload!"

My opinion, and it's worth exactly what you paid for it! Good luck with your quest!

Nematocyst
March 19, 2007, 02:38 AM
VA27,

You make several good points.
Thanks for your input.

I suspect that someday
I may own a 5" or 6" barrel SW.
(For example, I'm fond of those 6" 686's :rolleyes: )

But for now, I'm pretty committed to a 3" barrel.
It just intuitively feels right for this project.

Nem
____________

Current vote count:

60: 07
64: 19
OT: 05

ArchAngelCD
March 19, 2007, 02:39 AM
Since you already have a J frame then you really should go with a 3" K frame.

I own a Ruger Service-Six w/2.75" barrel and it's a great carry. (very similar to the K frame)

I'm a little surprised you aren't looking at the 3.25" Ruger SP101.

Nematocyst
March 19, 2007, 03:02 AM
I'm a little surprised you aren't looking at the 3.25" Ruger SP101.Arch,

I have looked at them.

Several times, actually.
Fine revolvers, no doubt.

But like I said above (post #15):

I'll confess to a strong bias now for SW mostly for subjective reasons -
something about their fit, feel, and finish that just consistently works for me.

07
21
05

ArchAngelCD
March 19, 2007, 03:23 AM
Sorry, I missed that line in your post.

I voted for the K frame BTW, not other... I really don't blame you for liking S&W revolvers, I do too. I just canít seem to find a 3" K frame locally for over a year now. I was glad to find that Ruger and the price was right too.

Nematocyst
March 19, 2007, 03:30 AM
I just can’t seem to find a 3" K frame locally for over a year now.Arch, that may be an unfortunate trend all around.

Rumor has it (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=260781) that Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson are kowtowing
to consumer demand for J's and L's to the exclusion of K's. :scrutiny:

I'm going to do some calling in my region over the next couple of weeks
to see what K's are available around here, especially whether there are any 64's about.
(There are several J's in my local shops...)

skeeter1
March 19, 2007, 03:52 AM
But I must have to admit, after having my fixed-sight M60 for a lot of years now, I've become a fan of fixed sights unless they're on a target revolver.

Fixed sights that don't break or get misaligned, ever...unless you roll over the gun with a backhoe or something, and then you have bigger problems than having sights out of whack.


They work surprisingly well and are the only ones I would want on a snubby.

Old Fuff
March 19, 2007, 11:33 AM
Rumor has it that Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson are kowtowing
to consumer demand for J's and L's to the exclusion of K's.

That's been the case for years. In an overall view the demand for mid-frame revolvers has dropped way down. Two obvious reasons: (1) Law enforcement change to pistols, and (2) a strong used gun market well supplied by law enforcement revolver trade-ins.

However K-frame revolvers will be found in reasonable numbers at dealers/distributors that specialize in police trade-ins, and on the several Internet firearms auctions. The problem is that these fine guns are no longer inexpensive if they are in excellent or better condition, but they are still priced under new guns, even when they are new-in-box.

From S&W's point of view it makes sense to push the L-frame at the expense of the K, but customers looking for a concealable sidearm that's larger then the J-series often disagree.

Jkwas
March 19, 2007, 11:40 AM
I have a 3in. K and I have a Taurus 605 2in.(similar in size to the M60). I have holsters for both. The 605 gets more carry. It's overall size is smaller than the Kframe. For me, the model 60 would be the better choice, especially for primary CCW.

19-3Ben
March 19, 2007, 11:48 AM
I voted for the model 60, because you are going to carry a lighter gun more often, and there is a big difference in size. Frankly, I can't imgaine carrying a K-frame gun as much as a J-frame size. All the extra weight and balance for quick recovery time won't do crap when you left the gun at home because it is so heavy that it's a burden.

Do yourself a favor. Stick with the 60.

BTW- MY preference was for a SP101 3" but I already read about your prefrence for Smith's. But seriously...the ruger is sooooo nicely balanced....

Nematocyst
March 19, 2007, 04:19 PM
This just in...

Overnight, perhaps as the larger, heavier Model 64 was resting,
the Model 60 made a substantial attempt to take the lead,
and is coming up fast!

Current numbers:

60: 14
64: 21

We here at THR News 870 will watch this development carefully ... :scrutiny:

Nematocyst
March 19, 2007, 04:35 PM
Ben addressed the point that I am probably most concerned about in this decision:

Frankly, I can't imagine carrying a K-frame gun as much as a J-frame size. All the extra weight and balance for quick recovery time won't do crap when you left the gun at home because it is so heavy that it's a burden.It's the weight issue that concerns me the most here.

Even more than .357 capability (60) and one more shot (64), it's the weight.

Admittedly, even though I've had good holsters for my handguns, I'm just now getting around to ordering a good gun belt. (A 1.5" Galco is in the mail.) I know that's going to help distribute weight better.

Still, back when I owned a Kahr K9 (23 oz), and had an excellent holster for it (High Noon Topless), I still found its weight distractingly heavy for any length of time. I found myself carrying my little 642 all the time. (I recently sold the K9 to buy my 686, which I reasoned would make a good camp and wilderness gun, but in that case, it doesn't need to be concealed. I'll probably carry it either in a chest holster, or in a shoulder holster.)

But as I've mentioned, the 642 - as fine as it is - just doesn't melt my butter in all cases at all times. So far, I can't hit crap with it beyond about 7 yds (which admittedly is most important, but still). And an extra inch on a barrel will add just bit more oomph to the trajectory of .38 spl, and a few more ounces will help with control.

I made the conscious and long deliberated decision to "get out of semi-autos", and move back to my roots with revolvers. (That's another story entirely, and I won't explore it here.) But I miss that 3" barrel that I gave up with my K9, which, while still very compact for carry, contributed to more accurate shooting. That's what I'm after here.

I'll confess right here and now to having already developed a fondness for the 64 :rolleyes: , even though I've not handled one yet (where as I have handled a 60, and liked the way it felt). There's something about the way the 64 looks, not to mention all the good arguments that have been offered so far in its favor.

Yet as appealing as the 64 is, its weight concerns me for the same reason that Ben mentioned above. The 64 is 33 oz; the 60 is only 24 oz (1 oz heavier than the K9 that I didn't like carrying as much, gun belt caveat mentioned again).

Thanks again to all expressing opinions here. As always in THR-assisted gun decisions, I'm learning a lot.

Nem

ugaarguy
March 19, 2007, 05:23 PM
Nem, my little SP101 has grown on me over the short time I've had it. At 27 oz a 3 & 1/16" 357 Mag SP101 splits the difference in weight and size between the two S&Ws. It's larger and easier to control than a J, yet thinner and lighter than a K. I know you're shying away from a Ruger, but the SP may be just the compromise you seek.

CZ.22
March 19, 2007, 05:29 PM
What S&W needs to do is reintroduce the M12 with 2'' and 3'' tubes.
I oted 'other'-somethin like a Ruger SP or a Taurus M817.

Nematocyst
March 19, 2007, 05:37 PM
I know you're shying away from a Ruger, but the SP may be just the compromise you seek.Uga, you make good points about weight there. And since several of you are rattling that Ruger cage, I'm going to reconsider it. Next time I'm at the gun shop, I'll have them pull that SP-101 out again for a look.

And for the record (even though I'm picking words here, I guess in an effort to honor Ruger and Ruger owners), it's not really so much that I'm "shying away" from Ruger as pulled towards Smith Wesson.

For example, for me, the difference between Ruger's GP100 and the 686 I wound up with could have been measured in microns. The difference in feel was so slight as to be almost imperceptible, but it was there.

Now, with this intermediate sized revolver, my main reason for sticking with SW is almost irrational: it's a desire to stay with the same maker as much as anything else. Both my rifles (336 and 39A) are Marlins, and someday I'm likely to add an 1895G in .45-70, also Marlin.

It's that kind of thinking here with revolvers. Once I go with a particular maker, I prefer to stay with it. For many, that's just bullheaded, and it may be, but on some level, it makes sense to me (even if I can't articulate it very well).

Anyway, bottom line: yes, I'll definitely reconsider the SP-101 in this decision.

I'm also open to advice about a used 3" SW that will fit that "intermediate weight" category.

Nem

Brian Williams
March 19, 2007, 05:45 PM
I didn't vote and I have close to the 2 choices, I have a 60-4 and a 13(blues brother to the 65) and a custom 4" pencil barrel 65(Maggie version of the 64)


I right now am carrying my 642 as a 642 and the 9mm cylinder is in my 60.I know how you feel and I often wonder if I should be carrying one of the other guns.

The 642, It just disappears on my hip, in a pocket or even in a shoulder bag.
With the 940 cylinder, the 642 is a real handful, close to a 357s punch along with the additional recoil.

The 60-4 as a 38 is a hoot and it is easy to fire and control, accurate and not a real problem to conceal. With the 9mm cylinder installed it really has some power, 147gr JHPs are sweet and the moonclips just jump out with the long ejector rod.

The 13(64 holding it's breath and on steroids) it is a great gun, carries well and delivers a great punch. What is not to like. it is a little muzzle heavy but that helps reduce muzzle climb. One of the best fighting guns ever made. The only way to best this one is to get a new cylinder specifically chambered for 9x23 and run moonclips.

The 65 with the pencil barrel, it is my all around gun. it would be a toss up whether I would take this 65 or the 60-4 as an only gun. The 65 was built to do a few things (for me that is) very well. Be as lightweight and corrosion resistant as possible while having a long enough barrel to get as much as easily carriable out of the 357 while being as accurate a possible. This may seem like a conundrum, but if you would have a chance to shoot this you would know just what I mean.

Charshooter
March 19, 2007, 08:41 PM
The most convenient weapon is seldom the most effective one


Now that is sure true! I picked the K frame mainly because I have large hands and have trouble shooting the small revolvers. The main problem is carrying in the summertime.

Nematocyst
March 19, 2007, 08:52 PM
The 60-4 as a 38 is a hoot and it is easy to fire and control, accurate and not a real problem to conceal. With the 9mm cylinder installed it really has some power...<comic sound of a cartoon car screeching to a halt, and backing up for another look>

Huh? Did you say a 9mm cylinder on a 60?

Now, I may be accused of being still wet behind the ears, but that's news to me:
that you can put a 9mm cylinder on a SW .38 spl.

Yeah, I know: caliber nearly identical, and I knew that Taurus made a .38/9mm revolver (I forget it's number).

But I didn't know - or just never considered - that it could be done with a SW.

I'm assuming that's something a gunsmith would do, though, rather than just popping out the stock cylinder yourself and popping the new one in.

Still, that's very interesting.

I'm also assuming that it can be done with other .38 spls, like the 64. Right?

ugaarguy
March 19, 2007, 09:04 PM
S&W K Frame 9mm was the 547, J frame was the 940. Edit: oops

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-56673.html

Brian Williams
March 19, 2007, 10:29 PM
940 is a SS centennial very similar to your 642, and that is why I got my 642 to purchase a 940 cylinder and replace my heavy 940 with a self built 942. Before I sold my 940 I purchased my 642 and swapped the cylinders. It worked and wow what a handful. I have shot my 9(6)42 with full house loads only a few times. I practice with 38s or some real low pressure 9mms and know that the 9(6)42 will work as I need. My 642 is technically not +p rated, but if I need to it will do what I want and with power and accuracy.


Before I sold my 940 I also tried it's cylinder in my 60-4 and it fit and the charge holes all lined up fine. Sooooo.. When I got the 940 cylinder for my 9(6)42 I tried it in my 60-4 and it works great. With the 9mm cylinder installed my 60-4 gives me almost 357 capability and very fast unloads and reloads.

Fitting this cylinder is a gunsmith job.

Sorry if I confused the situation a bit. Get the 64 and get some +p 38 specials and shoot the rifling out of it (gonna take a looooonnnnnggggg time).
You have the 642 for hidey-hidey.

b

yongxingfreesty
March 19, 2007, 10:33 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v712/yongxingliang/smithwesson66/DSC00021.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v712/yongxingliang/smithwesson66/DSC00020.jpg

k frame for sure, i had a j frame model 36 that i sold for this.
not i want to sell this for a 4" gp100

Sun195
March 20, 2007, 01:20 AM
I have a Model 60 3". It's just a sweet gun to shoot. .357 rounds are a bit stout out of it, but .38's are just fantastic. The gun is way more accurate than I am. When it comes down to it, it just feels right in my hand. Good balance between size and concealability. If I could only keep one handgun, I'd keep this one.

Nematocyst
March 21, 2007, 12:55 PM
On the previous page, Arch wrote:

I just can’t seem to find a 3" K frame locally for over a year now. I've called every shop within an hour's drive of here. None of them have a Model 64.
Sportsman's Warehouse doesn't even have it on their list of "can get".

My local gun shop can order one, but they don't carry them regularly anymore.

ruthless
March 21, 2007, 10:07 PM
Almost any Smithaholic would end up with a heck of a DECISION headache from that one. :banghead:

Nematocyst
March 22, 2007, 03:59 AM
Here's an informative review of the Model 60. (http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/review/Model_60-15.htm)

As a 642 owner (which is a 637 without an exposed hammer)
who uses full grip Hogue Monogrips on the 642,
I found this comment thought provoking:

Comparing the Model 60 with a Model 637, everything lines up exactly, down to the smallest contour and detail of the frame: the frame, hammer, trigger, trigger guard, cylinder, and cylinder release are all identical. Where it differs is in the longer grip, longer extractor rod, and the beefier barrel. The longer extractor rod makes it considerably easier to knock the empties clear of the cylinder during a reload.I can't find a similar review for the 64.

Anyone?

Nematocyst
March 22, 2007, 04:18 AM
An interesting history (http://www.riflesnguns.com/revolver/sw/model64), even if short on "review".

only1asterisk
March 22, 2007, 04:38 AM
You may have a bit of trouble finding useful reviews of a K frame as they predate the internet by about 8 decades and about as much of a known quanity as a firearm can get. Did you have any specific questions?

David

Nematocyst
March 22, 2007, 04:53 AM
Did you have any specific questions?Hmm. Yes.

They may "predate the Internet by about 8 decades"
(actually more than that according to my reading {see below}),
but they are still being produced today.

So - specific question - why aren't there more reviews of their performance compared to - say - Model 60?

Just because they've been around since 1899 (*)
doesn't mean that a contemporary review of their performance isn't justified,
particularly compared with other contemporary .38 spl revolvers.

Does that help?

(*) Smith & Wesson's Model 64 revolvers are available in two versions.
The .38 with a 3" barrel ... and the .38 with a 4" .... Both were introduced in 1899... (http://www.riflesnguns.com/revolver/sw/model64)

only1asterisk
March 22, 2007, 05:13 AM
Your reading is incorrect there were no model 64's in 1899.
They are not currently in production.

Why aren't there more reviews of their performance compared to - say - Model 60?

I imagine the answer is that they are considered a known quantity with little new to be added to the extensive library of information about the type.

Just because they've been around since 1899 doesn't mean that a contemporary review of their performance isn't justified,
particularly compared with other contemporary .38 spl revolvers.

That may be true, but I think that you are likely to see such a comparison anytime soon. However, there are a multitude of people here on THR that have extensive experience with both 3" Model 60's and 3" K frames that could elaborate on any particular points of comparison that you might be interested in.

David

Nematocyst
March 22, 2007, 05:16 AM
Your reading is incorrect there were no model 64's in 1899.Source, please?

They are not currently in production.Description on Smith and Wesson's web page of Model 64. (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CatalogSearchResultView?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&pageSize=10&published=1&beginIndex=0&resultType=2&attributeName1=Model&attributeValue1=64&attributeValueType1=STRING&attributeValueOperator1=EQUAL&isFirearm=Y)

My local gun shop quotes the price for a new 64 = $510.

only1asterisk
March 22, 2007, 05:30 AM
My source is S&W's customer support line.

Call S&W and ask. That's what I did. A young lady came to in Jan. looking for advice on a first handgun. She ended up picking a 3" 64 and set out looking to buy one. A local shop owner (and S&W direct dealer) told her S&W wasn't making Model 64's anymore, but he would check distributors. She came back to me and I called S&W and spoke to a nice young lady that verified what the dealer had said.


David

Nematocyst
March 22, 2007, 05:38 AM
Very interesting.

I'll check with my local shop again tomorrow and ask them to verify availability. In the past, when they've checked availability with their distributors, and availability comes up "yes", they get it in.

If the 64 is not currently available, then, poll over: I'll go with a 60.
(Which I'm leaning towards at the moment for other reasons, anyway...)

Let's see how far down this rabbit hole goes...

only1asterisk
March 22, 2007, 05:47 AM
Neither is really a bad choice. I have a hard time with J frames of any sort (my hands are abnormally large) so I have a distinct preference for the K frames. If you donít mind buying used, CDNN has trade in 3Ē model 64ís for just over $300 last I heard. If you decided you didnít like it, you could always sell it for around what you paid for it.

David

Nematocyst
March 22, 2007, 05:54 AM
I have a hard time with J frames of any sort (my hands are abnormally large) so I have a distinct preference for the K frames.Interesting.

We are on opposite ends of the size spectrum:
I've got abnormally small hands.
My 642 with full grip Hogues is just about perfect.

Admittedly, I find my 686 L-frame just fine
for what it is: a large wilderness handgun.

But for city life, I may prefer the J's instead of K's.

I never buy a gun unless I can handle it first.
Fit and feel is everything to me.

I've handled a 60. It felt just about perfect: great balance, great feel.

Not to mention that it'll eat .357M if pressed,
even if not a steady diet,
but will eat them in a pinch.

Not to mention that the 60 3" is 24 oz,
the 64 3" is 33 oz. (Yes, that matters...to me...)

I've yet to handle a 64.

If I can't handle one first, the 60 wins by default.

only1asterisk
March 22, 2007, 06:07 AM
The 64's grip will not feel any different than that of any other K frame wearing the same grips. Directly comparing the 3" HB K frame to a model 60 there is a good deal more weight farther foward in the K frame giving it the feel of a a full sized gun. The trigger reach is a good bit longer on the K frame, a huge plus for me, for you maybe not so much.

David

Nematocyst
March 22, 2007, 06:16 AM
...there is a good deal more weight farther forward in the K frame giving it the feel of a a full sized gun.I hear that, and understand its relevance.

In this case, for me,
I think I'm more concerned with
lighter carry weight (comfort over, say, 4 - 8 hours)
than that "feel of a full sized gun".

My 686 has that "feel of a full sized gun" covered.

only1asterisk
March 22, 2007, 06:42 AM
I think you may have already made a decision and are now trying to resolve some dissonance.

David

Nematocyst
March 22, 2007, 07:14 AM
I think you may have already made a decision and are now trying to resolve some dissonance (http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3A+dissonance&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a).I think I am exploring 2 similar revolvers, one J, one K,
one of which "I'm leaning towards at the moment" (quote from post 50),
where "leaning towards" does not equal "decision".

:neener:

;)

:cool:

Nematocyst
March 22, 2007, 09:15 PM
They are not currently in production.

Description on Smith and Wesson's web page of Model 64.

My local gun shop quotes the price for a new 64 = $510.Well, it turns out that we are both right. (I like it when that happens. ;) )

Smith Wesson no longer makes model 64 with 3" barrels (they quit in 2005 according to their customer service department that I spoke with earlier today), but they still make 4" ones. (Of course, I'm not interested in a 4" barrel on a 64.)

I double checked with my gun store, and they double checked:
their distributor still has several 3" 64s, price as quoted above.

Hmmm.

Z_Infidel
March 23, 2007, 11:57 AM
You will find that a good quality gun belt will make all the difference in carrying a heavier gun comfortably. That "distracting" effect you mentioned will be lessened a great deal by a good belt.

I've been thinking of adding a K frame .38 Spl revolver for carry in warm weather as a supplement to my 1911 and N frame .45ACP revolver. Right now I'm leaning toward a new production Model 10 4" bbl on which will be installed Ahrends round butt Cocobolo grips. It won't be too heavy with the right gear and even the harder LSWC+P rounds will perform nicely, especially with a 4" barrel.

Plus, think of how nice it will look sitting next to my 336! :D

I should probably add that I prefer some heft in my guns, and your needs are likely different than mine. Of the choices you listed, I'd go with the Model 64 and not look back.

tomkatz
March 23, 2007, 01:47 PM
I double checked with my gun store, and they double checked:
their distributor still has several 3" 64s, price as quoted above.

Hmmm.

Hey Nema, sounds like a get em while ya can situation to me;) .
Says the guy who's been pushing the k-frame all along:D .

lawboy
March 23, 2007, 01:53 PM
I have a 2-inch 64 that I would not hesitate to carry and a 3-inch would be fine too, maybe better.
Having said that, I also have a 2.5-inch 19-3 that I carry daily and absolutely love. I carry magnums in it. I also have a 66-2 with 3-inch barrel that is superb but is not carried. Cannot go wrong with a K frame.

orionengnr
March 23, 2007, 03:17 PM
Having said that, I also have a 22.5-inch 19-3 that I carry daily and absolutely love.

Can we assume Open Carry? :)

Poohgyrr
March 23, 2007, 03:34 PM
I want (and have) one of each. Two favorites, a J and a K, wearing grips that help me put rounds on target.

http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/8505/fitzgrips001op3.jpg

ugaarguy
March 24, 2007, 12:58 AM
Your reading is incorrect there were no model 64's in 1899.
I think what they're saying in the article Nem links that the M64 is a stainless M10, which was introduced in 1899 as the M&P. So no there were no M64s in 1899, but you guys get the idea ;) .

Nem, I'd also not worry about having to get a new M64. An early M64 with case hardened lock work and hammer mounted firing pin will be worth the search. Talk to Old Fuff - he can explain the difference in craftsmanship far better than I.

Eightball
March 24, 2007, 02:23 AM
Voted the 64. Why? Looks like it'd be better streamlined--that, and if I'm firing a revo, I automatically expect it to have 6 rounds--that one less would be :uhoh: . YMMV.

gunnie
March 24, 2007, 03:22 AM
you said you wanted some model specifics on "other" suggestions.....

my wife is very happy with her 2 1/2" mdl 66-4 round butt. she is also tall and thin, and weighs less than 140lbs. the grip helps with concealability, and pushes more directly straight back, rather than rolling upward like a square butt. this helps with muzzle flip for a fast follow up shot. she even likes it with hot-rod 125gr 357 loads. i feel the round butt is a big aid for double action shooting any way.

don't worry about recoil, or slowed reload times from the short extractor. practice is the key to both. the muzzle blast, flip and recoil only bother you at first. didja like the first time you shot yer 870? don't bother you now though, right?

if the six chance cylinder doesn't save yer assets, then you shouldn't have gotten yerself engaged in a fire fight with a basketball team. i believe the military term that applies here is "advance to the rear".

the mythical average shooting happens at less than 20 feet. (90+%) and of those, many at bad breath ranges. if, at the longer 20 foot range range, you fail to drop the perp with six shoots, chances are that six extra trys will just create more permanent hearing damage for yerself.

she out shot all of the men in her CCW class in alaska. the key IS practice. with her kimber pro carry in 45. i won't bother to try to getcha headed that way, as you didn't bother to say why you no longer like semi's. if you do go up to AK, all you need for CCW now is a valid driver's liscense, and a clean record.

Nematocyst
March 24, 2007, 03:36 AM
Z, I hear you re the gun belt. Mine is on order from Galco. (Expected to get it by now ... :uhoh: )

Gunnie, welcome to THR.

...you didn't bother to say why you no longer like semi's.Just a word about that, without opening up a whole discussion about it.

In short, I had both revolvers and one semi. I am striving to create for myself a minimalist toolkit of guns that cover my needs. Minimalist because I'm semi-nomadic, and don't want to haul around a lot of guns, and I'd rather have a few that I'm very familiar with and efficient with rather than a lot that I don't shoot often and am not proficient with. (My time to spend with each is limited because I'm extremely busy professionally.)

So, for handguns, I decided to go all revolver for consistency in action. It really boiled down to simplicity for me: simple to shoot (relative to semi's; no worries about jams) and simple to clean.

Nothing more than that.

Nem

gunnie
March 24, 2007, 06:00 AM
i am not a semi only promoter, i just have 40 years and 30K+ rounds invested in learning the 1911 system. it is second nature to me now, and with ammo prices what they are these daze, i don't feel like starting over again.

aside from that, the 45ACP is nearly a perfect self defence load. back before we became so politically correct, the army spent some seven years developing same. this included shooting dead animals. live animals. dead prisoners. live prisoners, convicted of capital crimes. it is just enough to get the job done. i feel this a more effective multi use round than any .35 caliber load, as it starts at the diameter a hollow point .357 would like to get to. it is also a much milder recoiling round.

in hard ball configuration, they penetrate quite deeply, and are effective on large animals one may encounter strolling through the alders at lastfrontier.com. i had to cap a 600lb or so young cow moose with one on a deep snow trail leading to a buddy's cabin when i still lived in the alaskan interior. it had been a very snowy winter, and the moose were scrapping among themselves a long time that spring down in the river valleys they moved to for easier traveling and food. they get very bad attitudes at these times, and she was not pleased to see me in HER way on the shoulder deep snow trail. her head went down, and the hair on her neck and back came up.

keep in mind that moose kill more people in AK than bears.

the first round out of my colt commander was a JHP that bounced off of her head, between her eyes. it hit the porch overhang roof rafters, and landed by his front door. looking at it later, it resembled a cup cake placed upside down on a pancake, and had hair and bone shards inbedded in the lead. the rest were hardball, and the second or third went into her right eye, or i may not have been able to write this to you.

i have a 4" round butt 625 in this caliber also. they are nice for a quick* reload in full moon clips. smith and wesson used to make a scandium framed 5 shot snubbie for this caliber, but i can't find it at their web site now. the price was near 1K$, when it was listed (ouch).

you said you place a high emphasis on how a handgun feels in yer hands. yer onto something there. a wise man once told me the way to pick a handgun for a newbie shooter was to get them to a user friendly store and let them handle every gun in their desired caliber range. tell them to pick a target on the wall somewhere, close their eyes and then point the firearm at it. which ever comes closest to sight alignment when they open their eyes is the one they should learn to shoot. in this drill, different grips can change the outcome, even with the same gun.

if you plan to carry the .357M in AK whence hiking, get a very hard specialty bullet for it. something similar to a "barnes" solid copper offering, in 170 or so grains.

stay outta the alders, and stay off of the ice.

*slightly faster than mighty slow.

Nematocyst
March 24, 2007, 04:41 PM
if you plan to carry the .357M in AK whence hiking, get a very hard specialty bullet for it. something similar to a "barnes" solid copper offering, in 170 or so grains.Gunnie, this revolver (60, 64 or something similar) is mainly intended for more substantive carry in town, and will probably get fed a diet of mainly .38 spl +P.

My 686 is my wilderness camp/trail handgun, but for where I am now (Pacific NW), not AK. I'm looking in the direction of AK over the next few years (won't make it for at least four or five years though; pretty committed here professionally for a while).

I understand the limitations of the .357 Mag for AK wilderness carry. If/when I go up there, my "hiking gun" would more likely be either my 870P with slugs, an 1895G in .45/70 or - if hand gun - a Ruger Alaskan in .454C. ;)

Nematocyst
March 24, 2007, 06:58 PM
Well, I confess, I'm not necessarily thinking straight yet. :scrutiny:

I chilled last night while sharing just a bit too much food and drink :evil: with a bunch of friends and colleagues. Now, it's Saturday "morning" (at least in my twisted night-worker world),
and I haven't had coffee yet. (Water is heating now.)

But it's OK, cause it's the first day of a two-week "vacation" (where vacation means mostly stay here and get projects done that I can't at other times because I'm too fr'kin busy :what: and maybe get a few days hiking in the mountains if I'm good and get every thing else done ...).

At least, I don't have to do the normal routine for two weeks. Life is good.

So, all this as prelude to the proposition that I'm adding here.

While the coffee water is heating, I've been dry firing (with snap caps) my 686+ 4". I don't mention often enough how much I adore that revolver. It feels good. It fits me, even if it is on the large side of appropriate fit. I like it's heft for shooting (even if less so for longer carry, which I haven't done yet. Still working on carry system for wilderness carry with and without a backpack with waist belt).

It's got the smoothest trigger of any revolver I've ever handled. (Admittedly, I am a relative novice compared to many of you, so that numbers in the dozens. Still...)

It's double action is smooth as clean glass, and so intuitive (those two nearly equally space felt clicks just before hammer fall takes out all the guess work...I KNOW when it's going to drop...).

SA ... Whew! All I gotta do is think about it and "Bang!". I'm not sure there's really any movement in my trigger finger, just a thought manifest through my finger. (Yeah, I'm using hyperbole there; just a metaphor for how easy it is.)

So, anyway, while I'm dry firing this beautiful machine, practicing my Bill Jordan draw/fire routine (with and without aiming), and my Jerrry Miculek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giSaNiQ-Wb4) drills ( :what: ), I had a thought.

<thought> "Wait a minute ... If I'm considering buying a model 64 that weighs 33 oz, why not just go with another 686+ 3" which is only 3.5 oz more. Even though its main function would be .38 spl duty, it does have a better digestive system for full house .357 mag than the 60 does, and is actually 5/8" shorter than a 60 to boot, so it's concealability would thus be no more challenging than a model 64." </thought>

Admittedly, it's an L-frame. But my main criterion is shorter than my 4", longer than my snubbie, and .38 spl capable. The 60 still appeals greatly due to its lighter weight, but still ...

Hmmmm. :scrutiny:

Any thoughts? Opinions are welcomed.
______

Oh, by the way: current poll results:

60: 26
64: 42
other: 7

I guess "other" now includes 686+ 3" ... :rolleyes:
_________

OK, coffee water is hot ...

ugaarguy
March 25, 2007, 02:13 AM
<thought> "Wait a minute ... If I'm considering buying a model 64 that weighs 33 oz, why not just go with another 686+ 3" which is only 3.5 oz more. Even though its main function would be .38 spl duty, it does have a better digestive system for full house .357 mag than the 60 does, and is actually 5/8" shorter than a 60 to boot, so it's concealability would thus be no more challenging than a model 64." </thought>
64 has a narrower cylinder, 60 is narrower still; the width is a bigger concern than 5/8" length when talking concealability. K Frames have a balance that has to be fondled to be understood.

Another thought:
Perhaps you should stick with a 4" revolver. A 620 is an L frame but the lighter bbl taper and partial underlug may be make it a more practical option than either 686.

Nematocyst
March 25, 2007, 02:15 AM
64 has a narrower cylinder, 60 is narrower still; the width is a bigger concern than 5/8" length when talking concealability. K Frames have a balance that has to be fondled to be understood.And all this wise advice offered from some motel room on the road somewhere during a move.

Where you at, Uga? There yet? Tired of the highway, no doubt, checking into THR for some diversion...
____

My problem so far with "fondling" a 64 is that
no one in these parts has one in stock.
The 60's are all over the place; but no 64's.

Nematocyst
March 25, 2007, 10:05 PM
Current results:

Mod 60: 27
Mod 64: 42
Other: 8

I was greatly influenced by an article that I read last night.
Right now, I'm leaning strongly in one direction
(of those three).

Which one?

I ain't sayin'. :rolleyes:

Don't want to bias the voting.

I could still change my mind.

:D

Blade37db
March 25, 2007, 10:22 PM
I had a 3" Model 64 which I unfortunately traded for a 3" 60. The 64 was a great shooter and nightstand gun, but too heavy for me to carry (I'm 5'10, 160). I had problems finding IWB holsters for the 3" 60 (which had the lock) so I traded it for a 2" Model 60 (no lock) in .357 which, in my opinion, is a perfect carry piece.

Nematocyst
March 25, 2007, 10:28 PM
I traded it for a 2" Model 60 (no lock) in .357 which, in my opinion, is a perfect carry piece.Blade, would you be willing to offer more about why it seems the perfect carry piece for you, please?

Nematocyst
March 26, 2007, 02:58 AM
Mod 60: 27
Mod 64: 43
Other: 10

Nematocyst
March 28, 2007, 06:35 AM
http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/164192_large.jpg

But with a set of full Hogue Monogrips (http://www.getgrip.com/main/overview/softrubber.html),
like the ones on this 642 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=138658).

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=55579&stc=1&d=1175075355

aguyindallas
March 28, 2007, 02:27 PM
642

BigHawken54
March 28, 2007, 11:25 PM
If your primary purpose for the gun is civilian concealed carry and you are concerned about bulk and weight go with the M-60 3". I am a full-time law enforcement officer with a large federal agency. I am one of the few folks left that carries a revolver daily. My choice, a 3" Model 60 and a smaller, lighter weight j-frame for a back-up. We are allowed to carry 5-shots on duty although we must still qualify with an agency issued semi-auto each quarter. We are no longer authorized to carry full-size revolvers. I like revolvers and the 3" Model 60 is small and light enough to remain easily concealed in a plainclothes environment. It is much easier to carry then the agency issued weapon and more reliable. The 3" gives me a longer sight radius, more control with magnums, and is incredibly accurate. I am not the only guy carrying a 3" 60 either. The 3" gun gives enough of an edge that I do not feel undergunned.

Granted, if I were allowed to carry a full-size revolver as a duty weapon I would. A 3" 686 would be my choice hands down but would not feel undergunned with a 64 or 65. As I mentioned, however, we are limited to j-frames. The best j-frame for dealing with potential societal situations if the 3" 60. For true concealment, you can't go wrong with a 640 or 642.

sm
March 28, 2007, 11:47 PM
Model 64.

3" K frames are simply "A is A".

Old Fuff - Post #2 and Marko's Post #7 , say for me what needs saying.

Nematocyst
March 29, 2007, 02:55 AM
Mod 60: 30
Mod 64: 47
Other: 12

Aguy, Hawken and Steve, thanks for chiming in.

I agree, Steve: Fuff and Marko made some good points.

Hawken, welcome to THR. Great place, fine people. Please stay awhile. Note also, if you're into it, there's a "New members: introduce here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=233018)" sticky in General Gun Discussions. No problem posting here and else where first, but it's just a good place to say a few things about yourself, and get a sense of some of the other new members, as well.

I like revolvers and the 3" Model 60 is small and light enough to remain easily concealed in a plainclothes environment. That's my main motivation for looking at all of these: something with a bit more oomph than my beloved 642 (which I'll keep regardless), but light and small enough to carry, so that I will carry it. In the weight regard, the 60 still has the edge over the 64 though.

But I have one question, if I may.

Granted, if I were allowed to carry a full-size revolver as a duty weapon I would. A 3" 686 would be my choice hands down but would not feel undergunned with a 64 or 65.If you don't feel under-gunned with a 60, and wouldn't with a 64,
why would you choose to carry a 686 if you had the choice?

Nem

BigHawken54
March 29, 2007, 11:04 PM
It just goes back to what you are comfortable with. The 686 is the Cadillac of currently available revolvers. The gun feels good and balances well and it can withstand a steady diet of 357 magnum ammo. Besides, I have always had a fondness for the S&W Performance Center L-Comp. It won't conceal as well if that is it's purpose but it will deliver the goods.

I am an anomoly in law enforcement these days as I still prefer revolvers. I consider myself to be very tactically sound, I serve on one of our national tactical teams (where I am required to carry a full size semi-auto pistol...however a J-frame still rides shotgun), and I am not an "old timer". I am 37 years old. I started my career with a revolver though and am very comfortable with its power, performance, accuracy and reliability. I am realist and although I am prepared for whatever may happen, law enforcement is not like episodes of 24.

By the way, I cannot remember if I mentioned it or not but we are required to qualify with our revolvers as far back as 25 yards, regardless of whether the barrel is 1 7/8", 2 1/8", or 3". I know for a fact that the 3" J-frame, with a little practice can make hits on tin pie plates out to 50 yards.

Nematocyst
March 29, 2007, 11:40 PM
Hawken, that all makes sense. Thanks.

sm
March 30, 2007, 05:36 AM
Nem,

Your original post was in regard to the Model 60 and Model 64 - dedicated .38spl guns.

Now me, being me and you and I having had discussions before in PMs, allow me to post some personal thoughts.

I like blued guns, in J, K, and L , and N sizes as well. I simply prefer OLDer guns because of my personal quirks in regard to metallurgy, craftsmanship, getting a good buy on Police Trade -Ins and so on.

Model 19, blued K frame is a very fine .357 revolver. The Model 66 is the stainless version. The Model 65 , Ladysmith, I really like as well, just to give a few examples of .357 that can also shoot .38spl.

I believe in the .44 special and .44 magnum, that can also shoot the .44spl.
Personally, I feel a 3" .44 special gun would be a great CCW gun!

Here is why I have NO problem and do recommend dedicated .38spl guns made of blue steel, or stainless steel.
Proven History as evidenced by S&W M&P [Model 10] and Similar offering by Colt and Ruger.
A lot of folks actually shoot .38spl out of a .357, and have to deal with the "burn ring" which means if not taken care of, they cannot get a .357 to chamber easy fix, just file teeth in a spent .357 case and "punch out" or reload .38spl loads in .357 cases...

Price.
As you know I deal with folks on a budget often times, and since the .357 is the more popular caliber, these folks can get a quality dedicated .38spl such as a Police Trade-In , for less money.
These folks often times do not reload, so the .38spl is more affordable allowing them quality practice.
Same reason I have no problem and do recommend 9mm for many folks. They shoot the platforms best, and bulk packs of 9mm, even Blazer aluminum cased ammunition affords a lot of quality practice, lessons and training.

I personally never got into metallic reloading, I was busy with reloading shotshells. Folks I trusted, and they me, we reloaded and swapped out shot gun shells for metallic,and the 38spl loads were a breeze and inexpensive to reload, especially in a mild load to teach a new shooter.
Speer Plastic training bullets in 38spl are great, just primer fired.

Price, affordable trigger time, quality of a proven platform - is why I have no problem and often recommend a dedicated .38spl in a medium revolver such as the Model 10.

I still believe, and always will, if one learns to shoot a revolver in double action only, they will be a better shooter no matter if they stay with the revolver, or move onto another platform.
Learn on a .22 revolver then move up to a Model 10 or similar med frame dedicated 38spl with mild loads and work up.
No .22 revolver? I have used a lot of primer only cases, these Speer training bullets, and really mild load to do the same thing.

Get in a rut, as we all do, nice to get back to basics with a med frame dedicated .38spl, mild loads and get the basics down pat.

Ditto for being injured and needing something to shoot, easy to use milder loads if need.

Like a number 2 pencil - dedicated .38 spls like the Model 10/64 are Proven- have been around a long time, have taught a lot of folks the basics, still the preferred tool by many for daily tasks, and will continue to be.

Akin to a 30-30 lever action and 12 ga pump shotgun.

"A is A".

Nematocyst
March 30, 2007, 05:40 AM
...allow me to post some personal thoughtsSteve,

The more the merrier.

Reading with interest.

Best,

Nem

telkontar
March 30, 2007, 02:15 PM
Nem,

Your original post was in regard to the Model 60 and Model 64 - dedicated .38spl guns [Posted by SM]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my S&W Model 60 is a .357 magnum, capable of firing .38 special ammo. [3" J-frame fits me best.] I understand the 60 was originally only available as a .38.

Nematocyst
March 30, 2007, 05:25 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but my S&W Model 60 is a .357 magnum, capable of firing .38 special ammo. [3" J-frame fits me best.] I understand the 60 was originally only available as a .38.

Telkontar, correct. I can't speak to the history of the 60 - I'll leave that to others. But yes, of course 60's now are .357M "lite" (it's not recommended to feed them a steady diet of full house loads, and those hot 125 gr. .357M).

But, in my original post to this thread, I did say I was more interested in .38 spl for this revolver, and less so .357M.

However, in the evolution of the thread and others I'm participating in, I confess I'm starting to reconsider that. I'm starting to thing that maybe the .357M option isn't so bad after all.

The 64 is a fine and beautiful revolver, and I actually like the way it looks better than the 60, even though I can't find one to handle. :( But with all due respect to the 64, and to the participants of this thread that are voting strongly in favor of the 64 over the 60, I confess I'm leaning more now towards the 60. It's lighter weight (24 oz) combined with that ability to eat the more powerful .357M (even if not full house) is appealing.

After shooting my friend's 686 2.5" at the range this week, and just totally loving the look and feel of it, and the fact that it WILL eat the full house loads,I'm even starting to consider one of those, even though: 1) I really would prefer a 3" for the sight radius/accuracy issue, and 2) it's weight is right back up there with the 64. (Actually slightly heavier.)

So, all that to say, I still haven't made up my mind. But that's OK, I'm so poor right now (unexpected studio repair issues), it'll be months before I have enough cash to make this purchase happen. :(

But that gives me lots of time to think through this and get opinions.

Nematocyst
March 31, 2007, 02:36 AM
Total votes: 96

Mod 60: 33 (34.38%)
Mod 64: 50 (52.08%)
Other: 13 (13.54%)

Looked at that 60 again today.
Feels mighty good to me.

Handled the 686+ 2.5", as well.
Feels like an epitome of power.

Still no 64 to be handled anywhere around.

Still undecided ... :scrutiny: ... but enjoying the decision making process ... ;)

jad0110
April 5, 2007, 10:31 PM
Hey Nem, I'll throw another one there for ya. This sweetheart would make one cool belt gun! You have a J and an L Frame. So you are missing a K frame and ...

An N Frame! How about 3" S&W Model 24 in 44 Special. It'd be a convenient excuse to get into handloading too! I'd love to have one of these myself for IWB one day :D !

Really wish this one was mine :( .



http://www.handloads.com/images/s_w_m24_lg.jpg

22LongRifle
April 5, 2007, 11:21 PM
I like the thinner M60, and since you are carrying it on a belt, I would get some filling grips (but not too big) and be done with it.

Now, if I was going to shoot 357mags out of it, then i would go with the SP101 with a 3" barrel. I dropped a deer last year with one, 30 yards frontal shot, and a 170ish grain gas checked pure lead bullet. It was a hand full, but not uncontrolable.

Jerry

10-Ring
April 6, 2007, 11:25 PM
The model 60 is the winner in my book

Nematocyst
April 12, 2007, 08:45 PM
Now, if I was going to shoot 357mags out of it, then i would go with the SP101 with a 3" barrel.Well, I said in the first post that I was most interested in SW, but I'm open.

OK, you've got my attention about this SP101. Let's explore that a bit in comparison to the SW 60.

The 60 is 24 oz, and reportedly won't take a steady diet of .357M, especially the hot rnds.

The SP101 3" .357M (http://www.ruger-firearms.com/Firearms/FAProdView?model=5719&return=Y) is 27 oz. What do those extra 3 oz get me? Will it take .357M better than the 60?

glockman19
April 12, 2007, 09:21 PM
Nem,

I too carry the 642/686 combo and have a 442 on the way. In your poll I picked the Model 60 because of the .357 capability. While the recoil will certianly be more than the .38+p the size and weight over the Model 64 is the deciding factor for me.

Also since you already have a K-frame 686 the 60 being a little more capable ,(.357) than the 642 and able to fire both rounds is the bet of both worlds to me. Also I believe it's a little smaller.

Nematocyst
April 12, 2007, 09:33 PM
G'man, the 686 is actually an L-frame, as you probably know, but I understand your points.

How much of a .357M diet do you feed your 60 (assuming you own one; not sure from your post), and in what loads?

srtboise
April 13, 2007, 09:02 PM
The 60 is 24 oz, and reportedly won't take a steady diet of .357M, especially the hot rnds.

The SP101 3" .357M is 27 oz. What do those extra 3 oz get me? Will it take .357M better than the 60?

i own a 3" m60 and love it. shooting 38's out of it all day long is alot of fun. however, one box of 357s is about as much as i can handle in one shooting session and i have never tried anything that you would consider 'hot'. so, imho, whether the m60 can handle a steady diet of 357mag or not is a moot issue. my gun will never be fed a steady diet of 357s because *i* cant handle it.

i have never shot the sp101 but i cannot imagine those 3 oz would make enough difference for me to feel like shooting 357s all day long. i dont suspect i would want to shoot any more 357s from an sp101 than i do from the m60. i do, however, believe those 3 oz make for a more robust gun but, for me, the point is moot because of the reason stated above.

if you can handle the beating you will receive from a steady diet of hot 357s out of one of these little guns then i would recommend the sp101. if you are like me and will be shooting 95+% 38s then i suggest you compare how they each feel in your hand and, if you have the opportunity, take each for a test drive to see which you like. i wouldnt worry about wearing out the m60.

i almost purchased the sp101 but chose the m60 for the adjustable sights. i do use the m60 as a ccw piece frequently (it carries so very very nice) but wanted it mainly as a field/hiking/trail gun without the weight of a larger frame revolver.

steve

CZ.22
April 13, 2007, 11:08 PM
According to SW's website, the 3'' K-frame has been discontinued! A, tis a trajedy!
So, it'll probably be easier to get the 60 (I really like the feel of this gun).
What SW needs to do is re-introduce the Model 12, in stainless steel (612) with a three inch and a two inch barrel (and maybe a four inch, and maybe an adjustable sight model, like an Airweight M56) That would seem to solve this dillema. The popularity of 642s and 686s is high. A compromise, a six-shot .38 Airweight, would seem to be a good solution.
Also, I think that they would be less expensive than the all-steel Ks (M36 price compared to M637 price)
The three inch model would have the 3'' 60 grip, ideally, the 4'' the standard K grip, the 2'', for optimal concealment, the J-frame boot.
Maybe they could be offered in Bodyguard frame, or maybe Centennial. Yeah, that would be sweet. A great concealed carry revolver. 3 or 4'' for primary, 2'' for backup, and J-frame for BUG to BUG.
But that'll never happen.
I say get the 3'' 60.
But still, an Airweight K would be sweeeeet!
On an Airweight K-frame, would you prefer Chief's Special, Bodyguard, or Centennial body hammer frame?

BullfrogKen
April 13, 2007, 11:54 PM
I have a 3" model 60. I also have a 4" model 66. The reason I don't have a 3" model 66 is because I can't ever find one. Seen 'em for sale on here, but by the time I see it, it says "Sold" at the end of the post.

I hear you about the weight. I know you don't want to hear this . . . But I looked for 2 years, and wound up getting a Colt Cobra. I'm now completely sold on the D frames for revolver carry. The aluminum framed (6 shot) version of Colt's classic Detective Special just have that "specialness" to them only the D.S. family has. They're midway in frame size between the J and K frame, and in fact still accept the K-frame speedloaders. Those are small guns that feel and shoot like a mid size.


Anyway . . . its your decision based on your criteria. I just think you'd be a whole lot happier with a 3" K frame than another J, even if it is an inch longer than the one you have now.


Good luck . . .

ARTiger
April 14, 2007, 05:26 AM
I had a chance to shoot one of these not long ago. Not bad in the recoil department and excellent sight picture. . . . May be something for you to look at . . . It's basically a 2.5" 686 plus on a diet. Has a scandium frame with stainless steel cylinder. 21.2 oz. and 7 round .357 capacity:eek:

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/163169_large.jpg

papajohn
December 6, 2007, 12:25 AM
Hi Al! Just a couple random thoughts.........The K-frame 3-inch is one of the all-time classic carry guns, for all the reasons already mentioned. I'd recommend the M-65 over the M-64, so you could shoot 357 if you WANTED to. It might not be fun to shoot, but if you actually needed it, I doubt you'd notice the difference.

Finding a 3" M-65 isn't that tough, I see them in the CDNN catalogs all the time, and the prices are very fair. I got mine through them several years ago, a police trade-in, some carry wear but shot very little. I did an action job on it, shaved off the hammer spur (I only shoot revolvers DA) and put the smallest grip I could find on it, a Pachmayr Compac. It disappears in a good IWB holster, and is the PERFECT compromise between the 642 and a 686. In fact, those are the two guns I plan on getting to supplement the 65, they all have special niches to fill!

PJ

BikerRN
December 6, 2007, 02:12 AM
The S&W Model 65 with a 3" Barrel is an excellant choice, but I would opt for the 3" Ruger GP100.

It is slightly heavier than the K-Frame, but will handle the .357 Magnum rounds better. I will be getting one from my wife for Christmas and it will be my new off duty carry gun after the New Year.

Right now I carry a 4" N-Frame Revolver as my off duty EDC. I love the gun, but it has the "Clinton Lock" and I don't trust it. It did lock up on me and while S&W was real promt in getting it fixed and back in my hands, with over 1,000 trouble-free rounds through it, I still have that "nagging" doubt in the back of my mind.

If you go with the S&W I would urge you to get the .357 Magnum. You can always load 38 Specials in your Magnum, but you can't load Magnums in your 38 Special.

Biker

Nematocyst
December 6, 2007, 04:43 AM
I'd recommend the M-65 over the M-64...Well, leave it to a lever gun guy to crack open a six month old thread. :rolleyes:

Welcome to THR, PJ.

I left a more formal greeting for you over in <ahem> a lever gun club. :D

PS: couldn't agree more about the 65. It's what I wound up with.

(Although, I admit: I want a 3" 686 next ...)

Nematocyst
December 6, 2007, 05:46 AM
#101
... a 3" 686 ...

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/164300_large.jpg

papajohn
December 6, 2007, 01:35 PM
That IS a sweet looking piece, but I still think a 4" 686 is the ultimate All-Purpose Handgun. I got mine back in '87, my department had issued 66's a few years before, and the Chief saw my 686 and almost ordered them to replace our 66's. The City Manager controlled the purse strings so it never happened, but I let him shoot mine and he was sold on it. To me, the 4-inch 686 balances as well as the Python, weighs enough to moderate heavy loads, and has the right combination of beef and portability.

Having said that, if I could get a set of 686's in 3, 4, 5 and 6 inch versions, I'd happily do it!

BTW, everyone who handles or shoots my M-65 wants one.....especially my female shooters!

PJ

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