I recently acquired (thanks, Redhawk41!) a Redhawk, 5.5", in 41 mag. This was my introduction to this wonderful, versatile caliber, and it leaves me wanting more. I want a 657 to shoot with moderate loads (lots of them), and open sights; the Redhawk is, or so it feels to me, for shooting megaloads at things far away--i.e., with optics. Thus it is set up, and thus I'd like it to stay. But that means I crave a four or five inch 657 (or 57, I suppose, though I prefer stainless generally), and these do not, for all I can see, exist. Am I wrong? Did S&W make short(er) barreled .41s, and how many, and when? And more importantly, what vital organs must I promise away to get one? Anyone have any experience with this revolver of myth and song? Care to share?
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July 22, 2003, 05:08 PM
I have a 657 hunter 7 1/2" of 2000 manufacture.
It's as good as any n-frame smith ever made.
Even the old ones.
I haven't shot a 4", but I've been lusting after one for years.
I saw a 6" M57 in a glass case at a gun show, is was in VG condition, and they wanted $650.
It might as well have been $2000, because I didn't have a purchase permit at the time, and the sheriff's dept. isn't open on saturdays.
I have faith that someday I will find a 4" 657 for sale, and it will prolly happen when I have no folding money.
'Till then I guess I'll have to lust from afar.
I'll have to pacify myself with a 4" 610, pre-lock, if I can find that.
July 22, 2003, 09:19 PM
CG, know what you mean - I started my adventuring into the .41 Mag world with a 4 5/8" Ruger Blackhawk, that one is gone, but now I have a 6 1/2" Blackhawk and a 3" M657. I really like the 3" (I was told it was a Lew Horton special run a few years back). It handles my favorite reload just great (16.0 grains of 2400 and a 215 lead SWC and WLP primers - I use R-P, W-W and Starline cases. My M657 has the round butt and I just put some Ahrends RB Cocobolo wood fingergroove grips on it - talk about good looking and functional to boot. I just added one of the new Marlin M1894FG rifles in .41 Mag to my collection - I just about don't ever shoot my .45 Colts anymore. Keep looking, the shorter M657's are out there - I even had one of the .41 Mag Mountain Guns last year, but sold it to a buddy to buy the 3". Odessa
July 22, 2003, 10:10 PM
I'm looking for a model 57, but might settle for a 657 if I could find one in tip-top condition at a reasonable price.
July 24, 2003, 07:04 PM
The 4" heavy barrel 657 was only made 86-88, so it's probably the rarest of the 657's. The Mountain Gun 657 has the light tapered 4" barrel, but can also be difficult to find and has the MIM hammer and trigger. The Lew Horton 657 has a 3" heavy barrel, and is probably the most numerous of the short-barrel 657's. With full power loads the recoil of all of these short barreled guns can be nasty - the 3" especially (it spins in your hand, not fun when you have a hard hold on a rubber or checkered wood grip). Long barrel 657's came in 6" half-lug, 6" full-lug, 6" slab-side full-lug, 7.5" full-lug and 8 3/8" half-lug. Some 6" barrels had removable muzzle brakes, some had a single integral top port. Any of the longer barreled guns are more pleasant to shoot with full-powered loads.
I have a Mountain Gun and a 3" 657 - and I stick to my CAS loads for them and they are a joy to shoot.
July 24, 2003, 08:26 PM
Thanks for the rundown, all. In view of the short supply of these short guns, let me ask another question. How hard would it be to get one of the longer barrelled 657s cut down? Would someone like Clark down in LA do it (they list a couple of cut-and-crown jobs, but only on SA Blackhawks/Bisleys), or anyone else you could name, and for around how much? Thanks--
PS--I already called S&W to see if they had any old 4" barrels of any type lying around, and they don't.