Best small .357 for CC


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Varminthound
November 10, 2008, 11:41 AM
Although I fear creating a storm, I am interested in thoughts from THR about the best, small .357 to use for concealed carry.

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Ala Dan
November 10, 2008, 12:46 PM
Well, while not at all small; I prefer the 2.5" barrel Smith & Wesson model 66,
which is built on the K-frame~! ;) :D

LightningMan
November 10, 2008, 02:19 PM
My first pick is the S&W model 60 in .357, my next choice would be a Ruger SP101. LM

Bearhands
November 10, 2008, 02:32 PM
I'll have to concur with the 1st two replies and add:

2 3/4" Ruger Speed Six 357. Any of them are just plain good.

The Bushmaster
November 10, 2008, 02:56 PM
I carry a Mod 19-5 2 1/2" in the winter...

pps
November 10, 2008, 03:00 PM
My pick is the 340pd in a nemesis holster. Drop it in the front pocked and fugetaboutit.

jfh
November 10, 2008, 05:23 PM
IMO--

1. The best small 357 for CC is the S&W M&P340.

2. The best 357 for carry, possibly concealed carry, would be a scandium K-frame--for example the 386.

3. The best overall 357 for daily civilian carry is the 60-3"--or a K/L-frame 3".

pps has it about right for the j-frame 357 DAOs--once you've gained both the expertise and the hand strength to shoot it effectively.

Jim H.

krs
November 10, 2008, 06:49 PM
Although they increase the overall size of the gun Hogue wooden fingergrip round butt grips make a much more comfortable .357 J frame experience.

Even so, the little ones are at about the limit of usefulness so all steel pistols work best because of their heavier weight than the Scandium lightweights.

I like my M66 2 1/2" in the caliber and I REALLY like my new N frame Lew Horton 3" Model 27 in the caliber. Big guy can bark without biting.

langenc
November 10, 2008, 07:14 PM
Would like to try the Smith 649-shrouded hammer and clip-draw.

wnycollector
November 10, 2008, 07:26 PM
2 3/4" Ruger Speed Six 357.


I carry its adjustable sight cousin...the security six. I find this is as small as I can shoot well with full power .357's.

Bearhands
November 10, 2008, 07:43 PM
Wnycollector, .... Bingo.... the "6" series are sure to handle the 357 in a "good way" as compared to most.

pinkymingeo
November 10, 2008, 09:54 PM
Depends on your priorities. I live in a tropical climate, where clothing is light and weight critical. My daily carry rotates between a 340PD and 360PD with bobbed hammer, usually pocket carry. I've had a lot of practice with the guns, and find them fun to shoot. Guess if I lived in Moosejaw and dressed like a lumberjack 365 days a year that a steel gun would be OK, but I don't and steel isn't.

Mountie855
November 10, 2008, 09:57 PM
Might want to look at the S&W 640; same size/weight as the 60, but with enclosed hammer. I have no problem with pocket carry in a Nemesis holster, or IWB with a Mitch Rosen holster.

My wife prefers the 642 in 38Spl at 15 oz, when she isn't carrying her
KT P3AT.

loneviking
November 10, 2008, 10:20 PM
Another great choice are the Model 65's. No longer made, but very good guns in stainless steel with a grooved channel for a rear site, very good balance and nice triggers. I usually carry a 65-6 with a 3" barrel.

TAB
November 10, 2008, 10:25 PM
I don't think the bad guy will notice the diffrence between a 357 and a 38 +p but you will....

ashtxsniper
November 10, 2008, 10:26 PM
Best cc 357 would be the Ruger SP101 2 3/4" My favorite 357 would be the S&W 686.

madcratebuilder
November 11, 2008, 07:11 AM
M640 in a pocket holster. It seems the older i get the smaller my carry piece gets.

wheelgunslinger
November 11, 2008, 10:20 AM
sp101 in 327 magnum. :neener:

The 340pd is a good choice as is the scandium smith. I like the SP because it's about as small as I can get and still hold it.

Gary A
November 11, 2008, 10:45 AM
I'm surprised at no votes so far for my favorite small .357, Ruger SP101 2.25 inch barrel, DAO with bobbed hammer. Best with the now discontinued Uncle Mike's boot grips.

Dollar An Hour
November 11, 2008, 11:03 AM
Ruger SP101 on the belt, or M&P 340 in the pocket. ;)

Fat Boy
November 11, 2008, 11:38 AM
Depending on your ideas of a concealed carry weapon; some gun scribes years ago used to opine that a 4" barrel wasn't that much harder to conceal than a 2" in a revolver.

I would vote for the Ruger sp101; however this isn't in my opinion a pocket gun, in most applications, it would be a belt carry gun.

I wouldn't try to shoot a 357 out of a scandium frame, unless I wanted to experience pain...just my 2 cents

19-3Ben
November 11, 2008, 11:43 AM
Ruger SP101.

They are, in my mind, the perfect blend of power, size, and flexibility.

http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii131/geminifan/custom%20revolver/101_0570.jpg

jbm555
November 11, 2008, 12:08 PM
A lot of folks will probably disagree but I carry a Taurus Model 605 with a 2" barrel. And I'm very pleased with it. I put about 50 rounds or so a month through it. It's a 5 shot .357 but I carry and shoot .38's in it (Fiocchi 140gr). I do on occasion put a few .357's down the pipe but, in my opinion, they're BRUTAL in such a small revolver. I carry it in one of those cheap nylon holsters that I removed all of the snaps and clips off of. I just drop it in my front pocket.

One thing I liked about it was that it has a lock at the base of the hammer. It comes with 2 keys and when I travel to relatives that have children I can "lock" it with a little extra peace of mind.

Katana8869
November 11, 2008, 07:21 PM
Best cc 357 would be the Ruger SP101 2 3/4"
I concur. Especially if you want one that you can actually shoot .357 ammo out of with a reasonable amount of comfort.

Houge wood grips
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f201/katana8869/013.jpg

3" with Houge rubber Monogrip, 2 1/4" with Crimson Trace laser grip
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f201/katana8869/003-1.jpg

With my Kel-Tec .380 wearing factory rubber grip with wood inserts
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f201/katana8869/006small.jpg

Brian Williams
November 11, 2008, 07:26 PM
A S&W 13, but the Ruger's -six's are very close.
A Ruger SP-101 is darn near close, but heavy for it's size.

Fat Boy
November 11, 2008, 08:15 PM
Following up on my earlier comment; I was in the local Sportsmans Warehouse today and got to place a S&W 60 alongside, and "on top of" a Ruger sp101 with the shorter barrel; I couldn't tell much difference at all for overall size. I know the Smith 60 isn't the same as the 442, 642, etc. but I hadn't realized previously how close the model 60 and sp101 were in overall size. AND, the Smith had the better trigger, in my opinion. It was, not surprisingly, priced about $110 higher than the Ruger

ArchAngelCD
November 13, 2008, 03:14 AM
I'm a big fan of the Bodyguard frame so my suggestion would be a S&W M649.

S&Wfan
November 13, 2008, 08:35 PM
TAB wrote: "I don't think the bad guy will notice the difference between a 357 and a 38 +p but you will...."

IMHO, this is the best advice you've received, yet cloaked in wisdom and simplicity.


I WISH EVERYONE WHO WAS GOING TO CARRY CONCEALED WAS FORCED TO SHOOT A FEW BOWLING PIN MATCHES, or shoot some IDPA or ICORE matches!

1. You'll learn immediately that you're gonna get waxed BAD, if you thumb-cock every round. It is better to learn it here than learn OJT with a thug who is trying really hard to kill you before you can kill him!!!

2. You'll learn to shoot as fast as you can, but with utter accuracy (pins approximate the vital heart lung area of a person, and are set chest high at TEN YARDS).

3. You'll learn to shoot double action (long, full stroke) only . . . just like you'll instinctively do if you ever have to shoot it out with someone who is also firing fast to kill you!

4. You'll learn to properly handle a handgun under stress, and do it smoothly at speed!


MOST IMPORTANTLY . . .

5. You'll learn that too powerful a load in a handgun that's too light will make you LOSE when you go up against other competitors . . . or against thugs too.


BACK TO TAB'S COMMENTS . . .

Those flame-throwing, hard-kicking .357 snubbies are gonna twist the gun to weird angles in your grip, causing the remaining shots to be off target due to improper grip. They'll also kick hard and hurt your hand like hell, and take MUCH longer between rounds to get the subsequent shots off! And yes, you'll have a much poorer chance to walk away from a real fight because of your chosen gun (a super-light snubbie) and too stout-kicking of a load!


YOU DO NOT NEED A .357 TO DO THE JOB!

With a lightweight snubbie, make mine a .38 Special. Easy to draw, faster followup times, and just as deadly when those bullets go where they should go!

--My 15 oz. Model 37 Airweight goes with me in my front pocket. Right now it is loaded with "weak" 148 grain flat-nose "Wadcutters." These rounds are soft-kicking, super accurate . . . and cut an incredible .357" diameter blood channel.

My 23 oz. steel Model 36 sometimes rides in a pocket holster too, other times in a belt holster. However . . .


IF I CAN CARRY MORE GUN, it will be in a belt or shoulder holster, in either .357 or .45ACP. It will be a heavier, more substantial gun too such as this 40 oz. chopped barrel .45ACP revolver:

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/363/363373/folders/282194/2328602IMG0125e.JPG

All three give me 1 inch, 5-shot groups with dead-on accuracy (10 yards standing and unsupported).


Get a common-sense CCW revolver, and then practice and learn to use it well . . . for one day you may encounter an inexperienced, unpracticed thug with a superlight .357 who doesn't realize what is about to happen . . . and you'll live to tell about it!

bflobill_69
November 14, 2008, 11:22 AM
I am sure ALOT of people will disagree with me on this, but is WEIGHT such a big issue?

I speak only for myself here, but I PREFER a heavier gun, even for CCW.

Weight and accuracy have always been akin for me.

Bflobill69

ArchAngelCD
November 14, 2008, 11:27 AM
Weight is a big issue for those who think it's a big issue.
While it's easier to control recoil with a 21oz .38 Special I would rather carry a 15oz .38 Special. (and do) With practice you learn to control the recoil from a lighter revolver without too much trouble. For me it's a non-issue.

FoMoGo
November 14, 2008, 11:33 AM
SP101, put a little work into the trigger and be a happy man.


Jim

The Bushmaster
November 14, 2008, 12:50 PM
Heavy for it's size? Brian. I'm 5' 7" 145 lbs and will be 66 in a month. I find a quality K frame not heavy at all. I would not feel under guned with one of the "small" light alloy framed revolvers, but I want some weight to my carry revolver. I guess it's like wanting a heavy blanket on me at night. I feel much more secure...My 2 1/2" Mod 19 round butt fits my needs quite well and I don't miss...Of course I do practice a lot with it and other handguns...

rhoggman
November 14, 2008, 12:55 PM
I have a J frame S&W Model 60 with 3" barrel. I am 5'7" and I can comfortably conceal it with a JPB inside/outside holster. I am stocky so it is not super noticable under my shirt; however, if you are a skinny little guy wearing a metrosexual skin tight florecent shirt you are proabably going to have a hard time concealing a weapon of this size. My reccomendation for this situtation would be lift some weights, eat some red meat, and quit dressing like you are about to go salsa dancing all the time.

Alternativley, you could just buy something other than a .357, and then you could still be quasi gay, and yet still pack some punch in smaller calliber. Hell if you get one of those NAA revolvers you could use it to pad the the groin area, and you could go play battle of the bulge at the local pasillo de danza.

Kleanbore
November 14, 2008, 02:23 PM
I strongly recommend that you read and heed TAB, post 15, and S&Wfan, post 28.

The .357 magnum was introduced in the Smith N-frame and Colt followed up with the larger Shooting Master and the SAA, for serious work.

Skipping the Colt D-frames, the next major development involved chambering the K frame for the magnum, and that was for law enforcement officers who carried a gun a lot but fired it rarely.

A lot of the small frame magnums have been sold but I'm not sure why. I have a 642, and it's a handful with .38 +Ps.

Some people are proud of the fact that they can "handle" a magnum in an Airlight but I'd be interested in how they would do on pins. I've heard suggestions that the tingling sensation in the hand afterwards may be attributable to nerve damage.

After you have read S&Wfan post 28, read it again a few times.



You'll learn that too powerful a load in a handgun that's too light will make you LOSE when you go up against other competitors . . . or against thugs too.

Those flame-throwing, hard-kicking .357 snubbies are gonna twist the gun to weird angles in your grip, causing the remaining shots to be off target due to improper grip.

They'll also kick hard and hurt your hand like hell, and take MUCH longer between rounds to get the subsequent shots off!

And yes, you'll have a much poorer chance to walk away from a real fight because of your chosen gun (a super-light snubbie) and too stout-kicking of a load!

YOU DO NOT NEED A .357 TO DO THE JOB!

With a lightweight snubbie, make mine a .38 Special. Easy to draw, faster followup times, and just as deadly when those bullets go where they should go!




Better advice I have not read.

alistaire
November 14, 2008, 02:34 PM
I WISH EVERYONE WHO WAS GOING TO CARRY CONCEALED WAS FORCED TO SHOOT A FEW BOWLING PIN MATCHES, or shoot some IDPA or ICORE matches!

Good advice, when bowling pins start robbing people on the street. :-)

goon
November 14, 2008, 06:14 PM
Ruger SP-101.
Load it with .38+P's or a lighter .357 load and be a well armed, happy man.
Get a good holster and a stiff belt and you won't be at all concerned by the extra few ounces of weight.

If you absolutely must go lighter you should probably consider sticking with .38 Special ammo, which isn't a bad round when loaded with half-decent ammo.

loneviking
November 14, 2008, 06:19 PM
Alistaire, take in a monthly IDPA club shoot sometime, and follow that up by actually going to a bowling pin match. I bet you'll change your mind!

As for 'best', I guess a lot depends on you. I just got back from my first range trip with a 'new to me' S&W mod. 65 with a 3" barrel. The gun, when I bought it, just didn't feel and act right when I was dry firing it. The cylinder release locked up from time to time, finally locking closed after the fourth or fifth dryfiring session. Long story short, someone had abused the gun and my gunsmith had to do quite bit of trigger and pawl repair.

The 65 now has the smoothest, fastest trigger I've ever felt on any gun. I fired everything from factory .38's to handloaded .357/125 gr. JHP loaded with 8.0 gr. of Unique and I had no problem handling any of these loads. The guns weight helps to soak up the recoil and it's very comfortable to shoot. I'm carrying it in a holster from simplyrugged.com, and the 34 oz. (approx)weight is not tiring for me.

Don't be that afraid of the smaller barreled .357's, it's the lightweight ones I'd worry about!

Willy G.
November 14, 2008, 06:41 PM
I'd say this.
http://www.tactical-life.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/smithwesson.gif
S&W 340 M&P

wnycollector
November 14, 2008, 07:51 PM
Don't be that afraid of the smaller barreled .357's, it's the lightweight ones I'd worry about!


I agree totally, I LOVE the 32oz's of my snubbie security six!

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