Opinions on the SW 637/657 PC Snubby?


September 26, 2010, 10:22 AM
Well, Ive pretty much narrowed it down to the .357 8 shot vs .41 6 shot. This will be a cold weather carry gun and HD gun which will revolve around my XD45C. I carried a K frame .38 4" for a few years as a duty gun. I know the grips will be alright for CC, but going to change them to full round butt grips for the range. Probably rubber Houges would have the least felt recoil.
Anyone own/shot either one? I know that .41 ammo is much more $ than .357, but this gun will not be shot that much. Thanks for any advice.



If you enjoyed reading about "Opinions on the SW 637/657 PC Snubby?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Lucky Derby
September 26, 2010, 10:39 AM
Both good cartridges. If you reload then go with the .41. If not go with the .357. It's not just the price of the ammo, but the availablity. Walmart and every gunshop stocks .38/.357. With the .41 you can forget Walmart and the like. Gunshops will be hit or miss. No pun intended.

September 26, 2010, 11:02 AM
No Walmart with ammo around metro NY, that's for sure. I would most likely have to order online and there seems to be a lot in stock, but pricey. I would not be going through more than 100 rds/yr though. I'm really a semi auto fan, but always wanted a magnum revolver.

Old Fuff
September 26, 2010, 03:42 PM
To get true Magnum performance from either requires enough barrel length to burn a full charge of powder inside the barrel. Otherwise you get a big ball of fire at the muzzle that does absolutely no good from a performance perspective.

For that reason I prefer large diameter bullets in large-frame snubbies. They're expanded when they leave the bore. In the role you have in mind I would suggest that cartridges such as the .44 Special, .45 ACP and .45 Colt would be a better choice then either the .357 or .41 Magnum.

September 26, 2010, 05:54 PM
Thanks, that makes sense, unfortunately I wanted a PC model for carry, so my options are limited. Maybe I'm better off with the .44 mag then the .41 mag. ?? This won't be for target shooting after-all.

Old Fuff
September 27, 2010, 09:51 AM
I don't know about you, but I can't fire .44 Magnum cartridges in a snubby of any kind, and make the bullets go where I want them to within a reasonable time frame after the first shot. Also all you do by going to the .44 Magnum over the .41, is make the negative factors worse. The only advantages of the .44 (and they are important) is that ammunition is easier to obtain in a wider range of chocies, and you can use .44 Special rounds if you want to.

Regardless of what revolver you pick, besides raw power you need to consider the importance of bullet placement and recovering from recoil to make additional accurate follow-up shots if necessary.

With your life (and perhaps others) at stake what you have too do is incapasitate the other party(s) so that they cannot continue to press an attack on you. A center-of-mass hit, even with a .44 Magnum, won't necessarily do this. It is not so much what you hit 'um with as it is where you hit 'um, and the ability to do it more then once - and do it quickly. In the kind of revolver you have in mind the best way to go is a big diameter bullet moving at middle-range velocity.

September 27, 2010, 11:39 AM
Thanks, no question about the fact that I would have better shot placement and more accurate/faster follow up shots with a .357. I also get a extra couple of rounds to go with that. I think I'm going to go with the 637PC. Thanks for your advice everyone.

EDIT Meant to say 627

General Geoff
September 27, 2010, 11:45 AM
You mean 627?

The 637 is a J-frame 5-shot snub. The 627 is an N-frame 8-shot.

September 27, 2010, 01:07 PM
Yes, typo 627 it is, thanks

Old Fuff
September 27, 2010, 07:16 PM
You're going to learn to hate me... :D

The proplem with any of the popular S&W Magnums (.357, .41 and .44) is that they were intended to be used in longer barrels. In snubbies they burn a lot of powder in front of the muzzle, which results in a high degree of muzzle flash (bad in low light) and blast, combined with reduced performance.

That's why I skipped the .357 Magnum when going up over the .38 Special, and instead bought a Taurus 445, which is a 5-shot/.44 Special made on a frame between the S&W K and L, with a 2" barrel. The lower velocity works better in a snubby-length barrel, and the larger diameter bullet doesn't have to expand to make a large hole. Recoil is quite controlable, with reasonable muzzle flash and blast.

I'm not anti-Magnum so long as the barrel length is at least 4-inches, because then you start getting the performance you're paying for. Also it's true that if you chose the .357 there are a lot of different loads to pick from, and ammunition availability isn't a problem.

If I was in your shoes, and since you have picked a particular make and model, I would either go for the .357, or more likely the .44 and use .44 Special cartridges in it. But keep in mind it is best to match the cartridge to the platform, and not the other way around. Generally too much cartridge in a too light revolver turns out to be a bad combination.

September 27, 2010, 07:31 PM
Find a 45 acp wheel gun if you want a N frame carry gun.

September 28, 2010, 05:56 AM
I have a S&W 296 - an AirLite Ti 5-shot .44 Special. Loaded with Speer 200 gr Gold Dots making just over 800 fps from it's 2.5" barrel, it should be an excellent stopper. Sadly, the hammerless L-frame fits 3/4 or less of my pants pockets. For 24/7 carry, I need a belt mounted holster. Now, step up to my 2 5/8" PC627 UDR, a real SS N-frame weighing nearly 2.5 lb, and you definitely need a holster - and that belt may need carbon fiber help! After a replacement set of Eagles fit no better than the original - and accepting the simple fact that grip comfort was important - I bought my PC627 UDR a set of Ahrends retro targets:


I think a near ideal marriage for carry - again, in a belt-mounted holster - exists either in the 327NG or 325NG. The former could carry moonclipped .38 Special +P 158gr LHPSWC's for effective short barrel protection. For .45 ACP, there are lots of choices - again, reloads are carried in moonclips for fast reloads. Of course, ammo for either is easy to find - try to find .41 Magnum - or .44 Special, for that matter.


PS My 24/7 carry? A 642 loaded with the same ammo shown above - in a pocket holster.

If you enjoyed reading about "Opinions on the SW 637/657 PC Snubby?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!