Snubby .357


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sprice
April 2, 2010, 08:22 PM
What's the best compromise between the best and cheapest for a snubby .357/38 revolver? Feel free to name a couple. :)

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LawofThirds
April 2, 2010, 08:46 PM
Ruger SP101
S&W J frames

Pick your poison. Both are comparable in cost and are arguably the best choices in small self defense .357's. And honestly, why skimp on a gun that's only designed purpose is going to be the defense of one's life?

jad0110
April 2, 2010, 08:57 PM
In addition to the Ruger SP101 and the S&W J Frames, used Ruger Six Series revolvers are another option. 2.75" Ruger Security and Police Service Sixes fetch high $300s to low $400s these days. Yes, 2.75" is borderline as far as being a snubby is concerned, but they are easy to carry with good gear.

Another option are S&W K Frames. If you are very patient, 2.5" 19s and 66s can still be found for under $450, but they are getting scarce at those prices. At least where I live. I found my Model 66 a couple of months ago for $430; great carry gun.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Model%2066%20357%20Magnum/DSC07800.jpg

MR.G
April 2, 2010, 09:10 PM
A good used S&W J frame .357. I have bought a couple of them, in like new condition, for a little over $300.00. Not an everyday find, you have to look for them.

Starter52
April 2, 2010, 09:32 PM
+1 to the Ruger SP101.

frankiestoys
April 2, 2010, 09:42 PM
No doubt, the SP101,
I own a 642 as well and while it is lighter and easy to carry, anything more than 50 rds through it are just plain painful .The Sp can be used as a range gun, it handels .357's better then the 642 handels .38's.
http://i942.photobucket.com/albums/ad261/frankiestoys68/HPIM4875.jpg

http://i942.photobucket.com/albums/ad261/frankiestoys68/HPIM2351.jpg

Youngrevolver
April 3, 2010, 03:33 PM
Another one for SP101

brockgl
April 3, 2010, 04:07 PM
Here are two pics of my new SP101 3" with badger grips.

http://www.bglz.net/images/sp101/sp101_badger1_nosn.jpg

http://www.bglz.net/images/sp101/sp101_badger2_nosn.jpg

Rexster
April 3, 2010, 04:49 PM
Price being no object for me, within reason, my favorite is the SP101. I would still own them at twice the price. My first two, both 2.25" .357s, came with spurless hammers. When I decided I wanted to use a horizontal shoulder rig part of the time, I acquired a third snubby, also .357, with a spur hammer. I later acquired a 4" version in .32 H&R, and most recently, anticipating retirement from policin' in the next few years, bought another .357, this time with the 3.06" barrel, as a "geezer gun." Life is good! :)

Coatofplates
April 3, 2010, 06:58 PM
I'm very happy with my SP101, light enough to carry, heavy enough that even hot .357 is reasonably comfortable.

The_Shootist
April 3, 2010, 07:18 PM
Yeah, an SP 101 isn't a pocket pistol (my 642 serves that role) but for being a solid and compact platform for .357 it rellay covers all the bases. Easy for CCW duty, comfortable for range time.

Nushif
April 3, 2010, 08:34 PM
someone earlier said a 101 was light enough to carry, but I don't know about that one. Mine was pretty damn heavy.

I'd look into a used J-Frame or one of the newer varieties like the LCR. Love my LCR.

[edit]

Oh yeah, it may not be a .357 but IMNSHO I don't think at the ranges you'll be using these the difference between a hot .38 and a 357 is anything but academic.

KingMedicine
April 3, 2010, 08:41 PM
I just picked up a older Dan Wesson 51-2 for 160, and if i switch out the barrel to a 2 inch, that would be perfect!

c919
April 3, 2010, 09:14 PM
Oh yeah, SP101 all the way. You'll never look back.

Stainz
April 3, 2010, 09:25 PM
I finally bought one... my new production S&W 'Bloodwork' 2 5/8" PC 627 is here - same SKU (170133) as the previous run nearly ten years earlier. Same gun, save one addition - the IL - which I couldn't care less about. Check out my thread specific to this snubby. At ~$1,185 MSRP, it's a bit pricey - and as a 37.6 oz N-frame, it's likely a bit much for a CCW... but it holds eight! I'm happy... until my sale goes through on what has to go to restock the missing sheckles in my piggy bank. Heck, it's only money...

Stainz

GRIZ22
April 3, 2010, 09:41 PM
I vote in smaller sizes the SP101 or S&W 640. I prefer to stick with +P or +P+ loads in J frame guns chambered for 357. Light guns are bears with magnums. They can be shot well but don't encourage a lot of practice with full loads. Next up you have the M19/66 S&W or Ruger Speed Six. Bigger, heavier but a better idea if you want to shoot a lot of magnums.

The best comprimise between size, weight, and shootability is the SP101.

Keep in mind that you don't gain a lot going from a 38 +P to a 357 in a 2".

357mag.
April 3, 2010, 10:03 PM
At hand-gun velocitys, 100-300fps more for the same weight bullet is alot in my mind.

Landric
April 3, 2010, 10:16 PM
Another vote for the SP101. I have three, a DA/SA 2 1/4" and DAO 2 1/4" and 3" guns, all in .357 Magnum. I carry the snubbie DAO in my pocket all the time, I don't find it either too bulky or too heavy for that duty. I guess if one wears emo jeans one is out of luck, but in my experience the SP with the right grip and pocket holster (I use Pachmayr Compacs & a DeSantis Nemesis) fits nicely in most pants pockets. Its heavier than an Airweight, no question, but its also a lot more shootable, especially with real magnum loads.

I've also done a lot of testing with .38 Special +P and .357 Magnum loads out of the snubbie SP101. In my experience the real magnums averaged about 400 fps more velocity and twice the muzzle energy of equal bullet weight .38 Special +P ammunition. I'd say that makes the magnum worth it, at least it does to me, I carry and practice with magnum ammunition in my SPs.

JimGnitecki
April 3, 2010, 10:23 PM
Just to clarify a bit on weight: a Ruger SP101 weighs 25 ounces. That's only 3 ounces more than a S&W J-frame Model 60, so I would expect the recoil to be comparable. By the way, my 8-shot S&W 327 PC 2" snubbie made of a combiantion of Scandium, Titanium, Aluminum, and steel weighs 21 ounces, and weighs only 3 ounces more than my Model 60 when both are fully loaded, and the 327 holds EIGHT rounds versus FIVE.

I'd encourage anyone looking at snubbies to alook at ALL dimensions of the comaprative specifications, including weight, number of rounds, size (particularly thickness of the cylinder and of the grips), and stopping power. That comparison can lead you to interesting places and solutions.

Jim G

Stainz
April 3, 2010, 11:08 PM
Now we are getting somewhere. My new 2.6" SS 627PC 'snubby' will be an easy shooter for anyone with my choice of Remington R38S12 +P 158gr LHPSWC. Of course, so stoked, the big old N-frame will weigh in at 2.5 lb plus. Not a likely carry, unless you like substantial shoulder or belt holsters. My 642 similarly fed is less than 20 oz - and a dimunitive J-frame - an easily hidden CCW. It will be carried a lot more - by me. My 'little' wife, at only 5'10", thinks the 642 is 'too much' for her pockets - she chose a Seecamp .32 (Bottom-feeder - yuck!) - in a pocket holster, it doesn't 'make her fanny look larger'. She likes my 2" 10 - with those +Ps - as her house/car gun. The mass helps, while not being necessarily a negative factor.

So, some won't need the extra energy 'capacity' of a .357M - a .38 +P is sufficient for most. Money saved. Effective and easily toted spell 'carry'. My 642 will continue to get a lot of carry - the new 627 snubby, not so much. Use common sense here. Also - let your spouse/significant other in on the decision-making process. If they don't like it, it's worse than being 'too big/heavy' to you. Don't cut too many corners - after all, what is your - and your loved ones - lives worth?

Stainz

230therapy
April 3, 2010, 11:54 PM
"Cheap" and "guns" should not go in the same sentence. If you want a "cheap" gun, get a used 22 caliber semi-auto.

I'm sorta in the middle here.

J-Frame: Pocket or a very small belt holster.
K-Frame: Handy belt gun
S&W 327: Appendix carry revolver when you have the ability in wardrobe

I just don't like the SP101. It's difficult to load due to the proximity of the cylinder to frame and the rubber grips. I'd love to see a six shot version of the gun in 357 Magnum and just a bit more length to the crane.

rmfnla
April 4, 2010, 12:07 AM
More length to the crane means a bigger frame; can't have one without the other.

wnycollector
April 4, 2010, 08:06 AM
If I was buying new, it would be a 3" SP101. The extra weight and 1" of barrel are both positives when it comes to shooting "real" .357 ammo.

If you want used, look for a bigger framed snubbie. Two great options are the 2.75" Ruger Six line-up (security and speed) or a 3" S&W Models 13/65 (the only difference is blue or SS).

jad0110
April 4, 2010, 08:42 AM
I just don't like the SP101. It's difficult to load due to the proximity of the cylinder to frame and the rubber grips. I'd love to see a six shot version of the gun in 357 Magnum and just a bit more length to the crane.

Sounds like a 2.75" or 3" Ruger Six Series revolver is right up your alley.

The Lone Haranguer
April 4, 2010, 08:44 AM
I assume this refers to small-frame revolvers. (There are numerous medium- and even large-frame revolvers with three-inch or less barrels as well.) In that case the Ruger SP101. It is the only one I've seen that is actually tolerable to shoot with magnum loads. I shudder to think of touching one off in a revolver weighing half as much.

JimGnitecki
April 4, 2010, 09:03 AM
I'm hard pressed to undertsand how an SP101 at 25 ounces unloaded weight is going to recoil much less than a S&W 327 scandium 8-shot that weighs 21 ounces unloaded, or a Model 60 Ladysmith that weighs 22 ounces . . . :)

Jim G

MCgunner
April 4, 2010, 09:05 AM
Price being no object for me

Wow, can I be your son?

MCgunner
April 4, 2010, 09:12 AM
I just don't like the SP101. It's difficult to load due to the proximity of the cylinder to frame and the rubber grips. I'd love to see a six shot version of the gun in 357 Magnum and just a bit more length to the crane.

I don't know if you've ever noticed, but there is a big industry out there in aftermarket grips. :rolleyes: Hogues feel great on the SP101 and allow easy use of a speed loader. SP101s are much tougher, stronger guns than J frames ever pretended to be. And, BTW, they're 27 ounces in 2.3" according to literature, never weighted one. They are not pocket guns, but carry well on the belt and the 5 shot cylinder is a major reason why.

I got a 3" Taurus 66 used at a gun show for 180 bucks a few years back. That thing is awesome, 1.5" 25 yard groups, shoots easy, carries only a little less comfortably on the belt than a SP101. I like the Hogue's round butt profile on the SP101, though, easier for concealment and that grip does feel good on that gun and attenuates recoil well.

You don't have to spend a fortune to defend yourself. If you can't find it used, a new SP101 is about $450 and it's one of the highest quality .357 carries on the market.

SaxonPig
April 4, 2010, 10:04 AM
People who have the SP101 seem to love it. I can't get past how horribly ugly it looks.

Charter Arms makes a decent revolver for the money.

The best remains the S&W J frame.

Brian Williams
April 4, 2010, 10:19 AM
Price no object, find a S&W 13 with a 3" barrel.

Guillermo
April 4, 2010, 10:29 AM
It is not often that I disagree with SaxonPig but I find the SP101 by far the most attractive Ruger. It does not have as much as of the faux cowboy-esqueness

As a huge fan of old Smiths I have to agree with them as being the best but admittedly I do not have a lot of SP101 experience

JimGnitecki
April 4, 2010, 10:45 AM
MCgunner: The 25 ounces I quoted was what a gun tester in a magazine actually found it weighed. He compared it to another firearm as I recall, and the other firearm's weight was what I expected, so I don't think he had an inaccurate scale. Just reporting what I read.

Mind you, the LOADED weight of all 357 or 38 special revolvers is going to be a couple ounces more than the unloaded weight. Perhaps some companies and writers quote loaded weights?

Jim G

SaxonPig
April 4, 2010, 12:01 PM
G- Aesthetics is purely subjective. I only know what I like and don't like and to me all Ruger DA revolvers are hideous.


These are my small "carry" revolvers. Well, the 64 is a house gun and really isn't carried much, and the 19 is pushing it in regards to being small.


http://www.fototime.com/DBFC973A234CC98/standard.jpg


http://www.fototime.com/7FD61899AF7FFCB/standard.jpg


http://www.fototime.com/1C758B07D0C2E58/standard.jpg


http://www.fototime.com/99EB2643272F9D9/standard.jpg


http://www.fototime.com/693003E3C5DD7B8/standard.jpg

gb6491
April 4, 2010, 12:01 PM
I have a S&W 60-9 that has given me many years of excellent service and never a reason to regret it's purchase:
http://i49.tinypic.com/1zpt8ci.jpg
Regards,
Greg

Weevil
April 4, 2010, 12:02 PM
Yet another vote for the SP101.


http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n200/srebough/100_0182.jpg

snooperman
April 4, 2010, 12:58 PM
for several reasons. It is a stronger design than any J frame. I have never seen any of my Ruger revolvers go out of timing , even with the hottest loads , and that includes the SP101 as well my speed six. One can not make that claim easily with a S&W J frame or even K frame in a .357 magnum.The Sp101 is light enough to carry IWB with ease or a sde holster as well.

SaxonPig
April 4, 2010, 02:02 PM
Um... I have never seen a J frame or K frame 357 Magnum go out of time so apparently that claim can be easily made.

Stainz
April 4, 2010, 04:17 PM
Let's really compare a S&W 3" 60, SKU #162434, with a Ruger 3" SP-101, Catalog #KSP-331X. From their catalogs, the S&W weighs 24.1 oz, and has an adjustable rear sight and Hi-Viz front sight and a full length lug under the barrel. The fixed sight SP-101, with it's bulky looking barrel shroud and fixed sights weighs 27 oz. Now couple the materials and manufacturing - the S&W is hammer-forged and heat-treated; the Ruger, as is their usual contruction, is cast SS - which takes more metal for the same strength. Price?" The S&W MSRP was $830 vs Ruger's $607. I'll do without more - and take S&W. Both will yield a long life with .38 Specials and 'regular', ie, not super-SAAMI spec'd, .357 Magnums. Both use helical (coil) springs to power the hammer.

A bit of info on their history. Both models started life as .38 Specials! Bill Ruger wanted his SP-101s to be .357 Magnum-capable - and they were - with shorter, like 125gr JHPs, .357 Magnum loads. They had to thin the front and rear frames, making room for a longer cylinder to accomodate the longer .357 Magnum loads. It also permitted a 3" & 4" .32 H&RM and .22 LR, both 6-shooters. My unshot LNIB 4" .32 H&RM was by far the worst QC revolver I've ever bought - simply terrible - but remediable, save the oversized cylinder chambers. The S&W 60 got a deeper reaming - and different heat-treat - voila, .357 Magnum!

I enjoyed Ruger SAs - always something 'crude' to take care of - but, my Redhawk and SP-101 were just really bad - I said goodbye to Rugers over them. My early 7.5" .454 SRH was the best Ruger I ever owned. Yeah, I like S&Ws - I'll always have fewer revolvers now, but they'll be S&W's! YMMV!

Stainz

PS Lengthened Ruger SP-101 frame hole/cylinders have carried the so signifying 'X' suffix in their catalog number for years.

Stainz
April 4, 2010, 06:18 PM
To give some scale to the S&Ws, here are, bottom LH CW:

1 7/8" J-frame 642-2 .38 Spcl +P x5 15.5 oz
2" K-frame 10-11 .38 Spcl +P x6 30.5 oz
2.5" L-frame 296 .44 Spcl x5 19.7 oz
2 5/8" N-frame 627-5 .357M x8 37.6 oz

http://s171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/IMG_4157.jpg

For a CCW with some probability of carrying frequently, I'll continue to go with the 642. A hefty .357M does you little good in the nightstand - at home - when you are attacked in a parking lot, etc. I don't need .357Ms for protection - I keep Remington R38S12 +P 158gr LHPSWC for HD, etc, in my .38s and .357Ms - even moonclips full for the 627. YMMV.

Stainz

snooperman
April 4, 2010, 06:39 PM
The reason Smith & Wesson came out with the L frame guns and quit making many K frame guns is because of timing issues in those revolvers. Call S & W and they will fill you in. I have been shooting hot loads in my K frame model 19 for about 45 years and it has been back to the factory at least 3 times . So has my model 65. I have shot the hottest loads while hunting wild boar on my farm for at least 40 years with a Ruger blackhawk and never had a problem with timing. The Rugers that I have are all well built guns.

MCgunner
April 4, 2010, 06:54 PM
As a huge fan of old Smiths I have to agree with them as being the best but admittedly I do not have a lot of SP101 experience

Well, JMHO, but I'm not a big fan of new Smiths especially considering what they cost and the SP101 is a far stronger, more capable revolver. IMHO, it's the best snub .357 magnum ever made, period, case closed, regardless of price. And, I happen to think it looks better than a J frame, tougher, in a body builder masculine kind of way. The Smiths need lip stick. They're girl's guns. :neener:

J/K except about the SP101 being a far stronger gun. I really don't care about looks. I don't buy a defensive sidearm as art work. It'll get leather worn if it's a carry, anyway, and I ain't going to carry it exposed, that being illegal in Texas.

MCgunner
April 4, 2010, 07:07 PM
Stainz, if I was getting a trail gun, adjustable sights would be valuable to me. My SP101 shot square to POA, though, with my carry loads. 3 ounces difference is going to break the bank? That Smith is forged steel, but it only has one side of a frame from strength and lock up is via a detent ball on either end of the ejector rod. The design of the SP101, no side plate, crane lock up, gives it the strength of an L frame for a lousy 3 ounces more weight. You're telling me you ain't strong enough to carry 3 more ounces? :rolleyes:

I've shot rounds through that SP101 that I'd never shoot in a K frame, not any volume, anyway, let alone a J. Full bore 180 grain XTP in front of 13.8 grains AA#9. That SP101 can take it. I'm not sure how long it'd take that J frame to loosen up, but it'd be way before that SP101 ever did. That load produced 1302 fps out of that 2.3" barrel and with the Hogue grip, wasn't hard to control. The gun shot easier than my Security Six ever did with equivalent loads. Sweet shootin' gun and there is no stronger five shot .357 Snub. Perhaps a 2" barrel M27, maybe, but no J frame. Besides, I'd be afraid the lock would turn itself on with a load like that. :rolleyes:

surfinUSA
April 4, 2010, 07:38 PM
The reason Smith & Wesson came out with the L frame guns and quit making many K frame guns is because of timing issues in those revolvers. Call S & W and they will fill you in. I have been shooting hot loads in my K frame model 19 for about 45 years and it has been back to the factory at least 3 times . So has my model 65.

The S&W k frame magnums were made for 50 years. 25 before the introduction of the L frame, then 25 years after the introduction of the L frame.

Regardless of internet BS and even that of the company, you don't make a series of guns that long if there is a problem with it.

The K frame magnums were dumped to simplify the S&W line (no need for two medium frame magnum lines) plus S&W was expanding the L frame line with the 620 and 619.

Guillermo
April 4, 2010, 07:43 PM
I'm not a big fan of new Smiths

as far as I am concerned Smith went out of business in March of 2000

JamesKelly
April 4, 2010, 09:18 PM
I'd say, based on limited experience, choice of snubby depends upon how you intend to carry it, and your tolerance for pain. I am, personally, set on pocket carry, but do not claim it superior than inside or outside the belt, shoulder holster, &c.

About 9 yrs ago bought a S&W 342, titanium cylinder, scandium aluminum alloy frame & barrel, stainless liner in barrel 13 ounces. Great for pocket carry. When I first got it, practice was painful after about 40 rounds (one handed). The date on my driver's license has caught up with me, and shooting one handed is painful after one round. So much for practice.

My dual approach was first, do the obvious & shoot 2-handed like everyone else, and use target wadcutters. I like nice clean holes.

Second, got a Model 640 stainless, about 24 ounces. Practice is now comfortable with wadcutters & can get off 5 rounds of .357 mag without tears. I will stay with standard .38 Spl ammunition for all practice & perhaps for carry. The reputation of .357 as a one-shot stopper can not be ignored, but one must still actually be able to hit the target under stress. I'll get in a hell of a lot more practice w 38Spl loads.

If you choose to carry in a holster, then by all means get a stainless steel revolver, and not aluminum (the weight makes shooting more pleasant = more practice).

Blued steel guns may run smoother if you don't mind looking at the holster wear & effects of sweat. Specifically, carbon steel (well, chrome-moly steel really) against steel runs smooth, stainless against stainless tends to gall. You may check this yourself by working the slides of a stainless 1911 vs a carbon steel 1911 of comparable quality. Stainless guns are popular because of appearance and not at all because of superior function or mechanical toughness (metallurgist speaking here, can y'tell?).

Personally I'd check a lot of internet reviews, along with past issues of Gun Test magazine, to aid in decision amongst various models of Ruger and S&W. So far as I know there are no other current makes of double-action revolvers upon which I'd care to depend. As in, forget Charter Arms.

snooperman
April 4, 2010, 09:42 PM
Smith and Wesson wanted to simplify the line of medium size guns but the K frame problems brought that on. The K frame has been around more than 50 years and those older guns , especially around the forcing cone were too weak to take a steady diet of magnum loads. Hence, the beefed up L frame around the frame where the barrel is attached. Use a micromiter and you will see the difference between these two frames at that point. I will concede that better steel in the later made K frames helped but S&W had a better design in the 586-686 etc and went with that for good reason.

MCgunner
April 4, 2010, 10:15 PM
As I recall, mostly, it was in the 60s and 70s, the Super Vel era, when LE agencies were using K frames and shooting lots of hot rounds, that issues with the K frames turned up. Unless you compete and burn LOTS of hot ammo in a K frame, I doubt th average shooter would have a problem. Though, keep the bore and forcing cone clean of lead build up. I think that's what caused the forcing cone to crack on my M10 once. Had to rebarrel it.

A J frame will last a long time if you don't cycle much magnum ammo in it, just shoot .38 in it and be easy on it, carry what you want in magnum fodder and fire a few occasionally in the gun. But, you can fire Buffalo Bore in a SP101 till the cows come home and won't bother it any worse than an L frame. And, the OP did say "inexpensive" or less expensive or somthing like that, IIRC. I haven't priced a new M60 in a while, but I'm thinkin' the SP101 is quite a bit more affordable all the while being a far stronger design.

MCgunner
April 4, 2010, 10:31 PM
BTW, Bill Ruger brought out the stronger, beefier GP100 to replace the Six series. That probably had something to do with the L frame intro, too. Now, The Six didn't really need beefing up, but I guess in ol' Bill's mind, he could improve strength. He didn't have to lug that thing around on HIS belt, after all. He could have just redesign the lock system, didn't have to make the thing 40 ounces IMHO, but oh, well. Equal barrel lengths, I guess it ain't all THAT much heavier, about 6 ounces.

I think the best DA Ruger ever built is the SP101, for self defense, anyway. The Redhawk has other uses.

Cocked & Locked
April 5, 2010, 12:11 AM
What's the best compromise between the best and cheapest for a snubby .357/38 revolver?

Back to the original topic of Snubby .357 ...I think the answer for me falls between a Rossi/Taurus and a S&W/Colt. You are asking about .357's only like the topic states, correct?

That would put it right in the middle for me with the Ruger SP101 .357 as the best compromise.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6263277/384771599.jpg

Other .357 snubs I own that I would put in the best grouping would be the S&W's...19, 66, and 627-PC. I don't have a Rossi or Taurus.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486421/382504092.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486421/299351744.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/366701640.jpg
http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/366701644.jpg

Voodoo1951
April 5, 2010, 08:35 AM
Heres my choice...It's a vintage Taurus model 606 w/ a factory ported barrel...

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m180/voodoo1951/taurus606012-1.jpg

MCgunner
April 5, 2010, 09:04 AM
My Taurus has a 3" barrel, so I guess it's not a snub. It's a very fine shooting weapon, though. I think the SP101 is a stronger gun and no more expensive new than the various Tauri. Taurus is an option in lighter guns, but I kinda prefer a little more weight in a magnum handgun, anyway. Like the Smith J frames, the Taurus is only a few ounces lighter, too. For the strength, I'll pick Ruger. I do have an ultralite Taurus .38, but we're talkin' .357s here.

Rossi has a very reasonable price, but until they do something about the firing pins on those things, (they've been snapping for over 20 years, long running problem) I'll take a pass as far as self defense revolvers go. I had the firing pin snap on a 971 20 years ago and I STILL hear about this with frequency. Otherwise, the guns are REALLY decent expecially considering the price.

snooperman
April 5, 2010, 09:36 AM
as many reloaders like myself are primarily the ones having issues with them. I like the N-frame model 27 much better for that reason. Bill Jordan convinced S&W to make the K frame 357 magnum in 1955 . The ruger guns are a great buy and will take the most punishment for sure. I have several and I am glad to see Ruger produce the new guns since old Bill has passed on. The Sp101 is a dandy little 357 magnum for the money and is one of their best sellers.

griz1
April 5, 2010, 12:50 PM
Another vote for 3 inch Sp-101. My favorite gun of all time. I shot 180 and 200 grain corbons in mine. Not fun but what you need for a small carry gun here in the wilds of Alaska. I have had for years a S&W model 65 in 3 inch that I really like.

jkulysses
April 5, 2010, 12:55 PM
The ruger sp101 is a great gun and built like a tank but can get up there in price. I just ordered a Rossi stainless 2" 357 brand new for $305.

surfinUSA
April 5, 2010, 07:42 PM
Your answer is partially correct...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Smith and Wesson wanted to simplify the line of medium size guns but the K frame problems brought that on. The K frame has been around more than 50 years and those older guns , especially around the forcing cone were too weak to take a steady diet of magnum loads. Hence, the beefed up L frame around the frame where the barrel is attached. Use a micromiter and you will see the difference between these two frames at that point. I will concede that better steel in the later made K frames helped but S&W had a better design in the 586-686 etc and went with that for good reason.


I will partially agree with you. However, your explanation, nor anyone elses for that matter, explains why S&W continued to offer the K frame magnums for 25 years after the introduction of the L frames.

The 686 is a great gun, but I'm not getting rid of my 3 inch 65 for one.

chg
April 5, 2010, 08:15 PM
I'd go with the SP101, they carry just fine in the right holster. Definately NOT a pocket revolver - at least not for me but they fit all other needs for a .357 carry gun. We're debating the merits of revolvers that weigh within a few ounces of each other here. Look at what a full size auto weighs empty. Cocked and Locked - could you please tell me where you got the front sight in the photo of the SP101. I've been looking for some aftermarket front sights for mine.

Cocked & Locked
April 5, 2010, 09:26 PM
Cocked and Locked - could you please tell me where you got the front sight in the photo of the SP101. I've been looking for some aftermarket front sights for mine.

The front sight is a Mepro Light Tru Dot Tritium Night Sight. I got this one from Gun Broker. Top Gun Supply, Midway, and Optics Planet usually have them listed. Brownells also shows them but they have the highest price.

Tap the roll pin out, clamp the new sight firmly in place, drill a new pin hole in the new sight (use barrel pin hole as a guide), do the Loctite thing and put the pin back in.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6263277/384771601.jpg

MCgunner
April 5, 2010, 10:26 PM
However, your explanation, nor anyone elses for that matter, explains why S&W continued to offer the K frame magnums for 25 years after the introduction of the L frames.

Because they were selling. Civilian sales were near 100 percent of the revolver market by the 80s when the L frame came along. The police agencies weren't buying revolvers anymore. Most civilians don't shoot enough high pressure stuff to wear out a revolver, even a J or K frame. As long as the gun was selling, why not market it?

I have no source for this, it's just logic.

Ala Dan
April 5, 2010, 10:49 PM
Not cheap [or inexpensive], but I prefer the Smith & Wesson 2.5" model 66;
and they are gett'in scarce as hens teeth~! :uhoh: :eek:

snooperman
April 6, 2010, 07:41 AM
were more popular than the new , full lug 586-686. Many people , still today like the looks of the K frame 357 and its heft far more than the 686. I would bet that S&W sold far more K frames in 357 in the early years after the introduction of the L frame , than they did the newer L frame guns. The K frames are a nice looking gun and they balance well too.

Voodoo1951
April 6, 2010, 07:43 AM
Here is a pic of my S&W 65-3...Not a snubby but a nice Vintage Piece.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m180/voodoo1951/65-3001-1.jpg

snooperman
April 6, 2010, 07:53 AM
model 13, and 65, even though I know their weaknesses, I just do not load them up as hot anymore. They are good guns and I like the feel of them better than the newer L frame guns. I do have a model 27 N frame that will take very hot loads, but that is a different story.Like MCGUNNER said , the vast majority of shooters will not wear out a K frame gun.

Stainz
April 6, 2010, 08:16 AM
You are right, Ala Dan - that 2.5" 66 is a keeper! I guess, with my Saturday purchase of a new 2 5/8" PC 627, my snubby .357M hunt is over - for a while! The 2.5" K-frame is one natural pointer, however.

For the K-frame detractors, the front strap did not allow a large enough OD barrel end/forcing cone. The L-frame's front strap is .040" thicker, permitting a forcing cone .025" larger in OD. This fixed the imagined Achille's heel of the K-frame. It was hypothesized that with the move towards lighter bullets, ie, <125 gr, the attendant higher velocity and hotter gases would eventually cause thermal stress cracks on the thin edge of the forcing cone, Of course 'eventually' was not specified - 20k rounds or 50k rounds, no one knew. The replacement forcing cone was on the end of a new barrel, certainly not an unheard of replacement item for an older revolver. I have a 66 - and I know of folks who have owned 19 & 66 models for lots longer than I have had mine - I have never met someone who 'shot one out of timing' or had a cracked forcing cone. Of course, my friends - like me - use 140+ gr .357Magnums. My usage is minimal - I load mild Magnums - really glorified .38s.

Oh - the L-frame's cylinder opening is taller, permitting a 7-shot cylinder. Then, in the later nineties, they had to fit a five shot .44 Special cylinder & barrel - with an even thinner edged forcing cone. Not a problem - that .44 Special round is mild - low pressure - low gas velocities. Normal SAAMI spec'd ammo is fine. The K & L frames take the same sized grip, too.

Fear not a K-frame snubby - just stoke it with 140+ gr .357 Magnums. I'm happy with the FBI loads - the +P 158 gr LHPSWCs - they'll meet my great grandkids one day if I stick with such a diet. See my earlier picture of a J, K, L, & N frame snubby for size comparison.

Stainz

MCgunner
April 6, 2010, 08:31 AM
This fixed the imagined Achille's heel of the K-frame.

As one who has had a K frame forcing cone crack, I can tell you, I didn't imagine it....:rolleyes:

surfinUSA
April 6, 2010, 08:44 AM
I've always used factory 158 grain JSP in my 65 and maybe thats why I've never had a problem with any K frame I've ever owned. Although my wife's cousin has a M19 that has seen a lot of handloads over the years that would make any gun cringe (I wouldn't use them in my gun even if I did use reloads, which I don't) and its still working fine.

I'm a big fan of the old Metro load (38+P, 158gr LSWCHP) in my 642 which is a great little snubby.

chg
April 6, 2010, 08:56 AM
Thanks C&L! I'm on my 2nd replacement sight now, looks like another is in store. The originals get shined up quite easily. Do they offer different heights or just the standard? Thinking of my wife's 2" SP101, she uses .38s and needs a higher sight.

silverking
April 6, 2010, 01:25 PM
119132


Can't go wrong with the SP101
I particularily like the Sack Peterson stag grip inserts.

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