S&W Model 60 or Ruger SP101 in .357, 3" Barrel


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sigbear
August 15, 2008, 07:04 AM
S&W Model 60 or Ruger SP101 in .357, 3" Barrel?

Which would you pick and why?

Any comparison articles on these 2 fine guns?

Sigbear

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19-3Ben
August 15, 2008, 09:40 AM
Well, in my mind, the advantage of the J frame is that it's slightly smaller and lighter, which makes it better for pocket carry. If you are looking for the 3" model anyway, it's a belt gun no matter what. Therefore, you might as well go with the SP101 and gain the ability to really shoot .357 loads through it a lot, and with more comfort.
Once they are on the belt, there will be VERY little difference, if any, between the two.

GTSteve03
August 15, 2008, 09:52 AM
SP101.

Ben has some good points, and I will add that the SP101 is a stronger design that is also easier to field strip and clean. And it doesn't have that infernal lock! :evil:

wnycollector
August 15, 2008, 09:55 AM
Another vote of the Sp101 here.

Thaddeus Jones
August 15, 2008, 09:55 AM
Ruger SP101. If I really wanted a model 60, I would find one pre lock, LNIB.

Better revolver, for less money than the 60 with the idiotic key lock.

Evyl Robot
August 15, 2008, 10:02 AM
Smiths are better!
No they aren't! Rugers are!
But Smith's are forged!
Rugers are stronger!
Huh-uh!
Uh-huh!

See if you can get your hands on an example of each to shoot. A lot of ranges will have rentals. If you can handle/shoot them side by side, I'm sure one or the other will appeal to you more. Either one would be an excellent choice as they are both fine revolvers, as you stated. I would almost tell you to get one of each!:evil:

--Michael

harmonic
August 15, 2008, 10:19 AM
According to Ruger, the SP w/3 inch barrel weighs 28 oz. The M60 w/same barrel length weighs 24 oz. Not enough difference to matter, IMO.

It's doubtful you'll be shooting the Smith enough to "loosen" it, so I'd say durability will be acceptable for either.

I'd go to my local gun store and fondle each gun. I hate the stock grips on the 101, though. You might want/have to change them if that's the gun you choose.

19-3Ben
August 15, 2008, 10:54 AM
I hate the stock grips on the 101, though. You might want/have to change them if that's the gun you choose.

+1. I put on Hogue monogrips and haven't looked back. But then again, a lot of people really like the stock grips.

Matt-J2
August 15, 2008, 12:20 PM
It's doubtful you'll be shooting the Smith enough to "loosen" it, so I'd say durability will be acceptable for either.

Why say that? Is it because the Smith is strong in it's own right, or because folks just don't fire the 60s very often?

prescobd
August 15, 2008, 12:55 PM
With a SP101, the only option you have are fixed sights, on the other hand, with a S&W Model 60, you'll get adjustable sights. It depends probably on it's intended use and whether or not you want the sights to be adjustable or not.

I have both a 3" SP101 and a 3" Model 60 Pro. They are both excellent revolvers.

Water-Man
August 15, 2008, 01:05 PM
SP-101 if you're going to shoot .357mag.

Scoutsout2645
August 15, 2008, 03:07 PM
They're both good, reliable performers. Beyond that, see which one fits you better. My wife looked at both; the Ruger fit my hands better, the S&W fit hers better--we bought the S&W. No sense buying a "better" gun that you can't shoot as well because your hand doesn't match the grip comfortably.

ClemY
August 15, 2008, 04:29 PM
I have a 3" SP101 in .357 and a 3" S&W 60 Pro. I like both, but the 60 certainly has better sights. It is a little lighter, and with Pachmayr grips, very nice to shoot. The 101 is built like an anvil and comes from the factory a little rough, but after it is smoothed, it is just as good as the Smith.

Personal preference rules here.

Gary in Pennsylvania
August 15, 2008, 04:44 PM
I vote SP-101.

W.E.G.
August 15, 2008, 04:48 PM
I have a S&W Model 60 in .357

If you do shoot .357's in it enough to "loosen it up," the nerve between your thumb and index finger will NOT enjoy the experience.

don95sml
August 15, 2008, 07:25 PM
I vote for the model 60 because of the adjustable sights. Mine is a joy to shoot at the range, since the accuracy is amazing when the sights are set up to complement the ammo being used.

bestseller92
August 15, 2008, 07:45 PM
Sp101

Virginian
August 15, 2008, 09:25 PM
The S&W for carrying, the Ruger for shooting.

Sun195
August 15, 2008, 10:45 PM
I went with the Smith simply because I like the way it handles better. I can shoot this gun well. I feel comfortable with it. Doesn't make it a better gun; just one I like better.

The Ruger appears to be stouter, so I can imagine it might hold up to .357's better over time. However, I'm not crazy about shooting .357's out of this size of gun, so I'm not sure that would matter to me. I like having the .357 option, but I shoot mostly .38's out of mine.

I have a pre-lock 60. While I'm not a big fan of the new lock (I'd rather they didn't have one), I also have a locked 686 and it shoots fine. If I was looking for a new 60 today, I personally wouldn't let the lock steer me towards the Ruger instead. YMMV and all of that...

Huddog
August 15, 2008, 10:52 PM
I went with the SP-101 because I got a great deal on it. If I get a similiar deal I'll get the 60. Both are exellent imho.

ArchAngelCD
August 16, 2008, 02:59 AM
I would buy the Smith...

TexasShooter59
August 16, 2008, 12:18 PM
I have the 2 1/4 inch SP101 from when they first came out. I have shot 110, 125 and 158 grain .357 ammo in it. The 110 and 125 are no problem; the 158 starts to pound your hand somewhat.

FWIW... the Kel-Tec P11 9mm recoils more than the SP101 with the 110 grain, from my experience shooting them back to back.

MCgunner
August 16, 2008, 01:32 PM
Hands down SP101 because it handles better, no question, just the way it is. Okay, well, it's also a LOT stronger, very accurate, easy to carry IWB, is tough enough for powerful loads, is a better built and designed gun, has no locks (I hope, not yet, no holes in the frame, anyway) and easy to shoot with a Hogue grip which dramatically improves it both on the handling front and the ability to handle recoil. I want a 3" version next time. I had a 2.3" model.

I have a P11. I never fired a 110 magnum load in the SP101, didn't even like the 125s. I wasn't even getting more than 455 ft lbs out of the 125 grain load, forget velocities, have 'em written down in my load testing book. But, I got 550 ft lbs out of the 140 from the 2.3" barrel. I think the heavier bullet has more time in the barrel, accelerates slow enough to let more of the powder burn. 125 grainers and down need faster powders which just don't perform as well. 140s seemed to work better, but they were a little heftier in recoil than any load out of my P11. A 3" barrel should perform better with 125s, but I just don't like the light bullets in .357, too hard on forcing cones if nothing else and I like the 140, gives the bullet a bit more meat in the caliber and a good bit more accurate than any 125 grainer I've ever fired in any of my .357s.

I prefer Ruger to new Smith and Wesson any day of the week and twice on Sunday anymore. Actually, I have ALWAYS preferred Ruger's toughness and design to Smith and Wesson, locks or no locks. The SP101 offers N frame comparable strength in a gun only slightly larger than a J frame. The strength is in the design.

texas bulldog
August 16, 2008, 01:45 PM
i bought the ruger and have never regretted the decision. i guess that tells you which one i'd pick.

but...i also like pre-lock smiths and wouldn't have a problem buying one of those as well. i'm just not a fan of the adjustable sights (on the 3" M60) on a carry piece. i wish they made a fixed sight 3" version like they once did on the M36 (example (http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=106912787))

i will not buy a post-lock smith.

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