Older Smith .357


September 9, 2012, 12:48 AM
If you could purchase (or maybe already have) an older Smith .357 without the MIM parts, which model would you choose (or did you choose)? Why? Carry is not a consideration.

A friend of mine and I were discussing this earlier. His vote was for a Model 27, and I'm inclined to agree with him.

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September 9, 2012, 12:56 AM
27, 19, 65 are my besties

357 Terms
September 9, 2012, 03:59 AM

Registered Magnum.

September 9, 2012, 05:11 AM
I put more rounds down range with the Model 19 than any other handgun. Mostly my home cast semi wad cutter 160 grain slugs in 38 Spl. loading using Unique powder.

I generaly prefered the K or the L fame guns. Models 19 , 66 , and the 686
were my guns of choice .

tightgroup tiger
September 9, 2012, 07:34 AM
model 28's for me, I have a 4" and a 6". You used to be able to get them quite a bit cheaper than the 27s but that not the case any more.

Last gun show I went to (2 weeks ago) there was a really nice 27 in a box for $780.00 and a like new looking 28 beside it for $650.00. I should have bought the 27.

Last year I bought a 28-2 that was in almost un-fired condition or may have been unfired, for $498, and I thought I overpaid for it. But they keep going up.

September 9, 2012, 07:54 AM
My preference is the S&W "K" frame guns. My favorite shooter is a model 13, followed by my 19, then 66, then a 65 and lastly a "L" frame 686. To me the "N's" are a bit large. The smaller revolvers point better for me and I'm not recoil adverse. I shoot mostly .38 at the range but end each session with a couple of cylinders of 158 gr. .357 rounds. The 19 is a 6" barrel, the 65 is a 3" and the others 4".

To me models 19 & 66 win the best looking award as well.

September 9, 2012, 08:22 AM
For the best combination of durability, affordability, accuracy, and easy of carry. Then I'd go with a 586 (no dash) like mine below. I love K frames but the L frame is a tougher gun and for a 357 its perfect.


September 9, 2012, 08:31 AM
Early 70s Model 66 & late 60s Model 28 are what I have.

mesinge2's choice is a good one, although I would go with the -1 for better reliability.

September 9, 2012, 09:46 AM
Easy. A Model 27-2 in your choice of barrel length and finish.

Yes, the Registered Magnum is the granddaddy and the "Holy Grail" to many collectors, but that's the problem... too pricey.

The 19 is a great gun but the 27 is far more deluxe and sturdier.

The 28 is just as strong as the 27 but not nearly as nice or pretty and for some reason the prices on these have risen to very near 27 levels and that's nuts in my book. Spend another C note and get the far superior 27.

The L frames are OK, but that's it... only OK. The 27 is better. Period.

The M27 and the 27-1 were not made for long and collectors have driven the prices up. The 27-2 was made 1962-1981 in great numbers making it the best value among 27 variants. The 3.5" barrel version is very sexy and highly sought after. The 4" was only made for 3 years and is also popular. IMO the 5" is the best looking and best balanced version. The 6" is the most common and will be cheaper than the others. The 8" is the least popular but they are shooting machines and you get full benefit of the 357 Magnum performance.

A blue 27-2 with the 3.5" barrel:


A nickel 27-2 with a 5" barrel:


A nickel 27-2 with the 8&3/8" barrel:


September 9, 2012, 09:47 AM
Model 27, 28, 66, 65.





In that order. They all shoot great. Just pick the one you like the best.

Yea, Yea...I know the 65-5 has MIM parts and isn't P&Red. It's still a nice gun.

Driftwood Johnson
September 9, 2012, 09:52 AM

I'm not much of a fan of the new MIM guns. Almost all of my Smiths predate the MIM guns. There are plenty of used S&W 357s out there, I run into them all the time. Ya just have to be prepared to pay for them.

For shooting full power 357s all day I prefer the N frame. For just the occasional full power 357 but mostly for 38s I prefer the K frame.

Here is the difference. Don't be confused by the size of the grips, the N frame Model 27 at the top is a larger gun than the K frame Model 19 at the bottom.


Here is the difference where it really counts. Notice how much more metal there is around the Model 27's chambers than there is around the Model 19's chambers.


My Model 27 is a bit of a safe queen, I don't take it out to shoot it too much, it is just too pretty and I don't want to scratch up the finish.


Probably my favorite 357 is this 6 inch Model 28. I like the heft of it and I like the smaller Magna grips. With the heavy N frame I can control the recoil of a 357 just fine with these smaller grips.


I have a 4" Model 28 too, but I don't seem to have a photo of it handy.

September 9, 2012, 10:29 AM
1950ties N frame with 8 and 3/8 inch barrel. Easy to hit with and is fun for long range. With a 200 gr bullet will throw up enough dust to show where you hit at a distance. Also one of the cheapest to load for as you can use 38 Spl brass.

September 9, 2012, 11:30 AM
My favorite would be a 5" Model 27. To me this is the perferct barrel length for balance and handling in an N frame.

September 9, 2012, 11:31 AM
Not cheap but here is my new favorite. My one singular point of contention is that stupid lock.

5" barrel 8-shot S&W model 627 PC:


September 9, 2012, 11:49 AM
Easy question. The triple lock .44 hand ejector "new century"!


Anyways, just noticed you said .357.

Not sure if its all MIM, but I'd go with the "bloodwork" UDR revolver 8 shot .357 short barrel for that (pre-lock). The model is 627pc.


September 9, 2012, 12:06 PM
Wow. Collectively, those guns are stunning. I'm jealous. Nice pics.

September 9, 2012, 01:11 PM
While my meager collection is nothing compared to many here (especially SaxonPig's) I would look to guns that I would shoot and are unlike what I have.

38-44 would be great
Model 29 from the 50's
m-frame .22 would be amazing...but an I-frame would be a close second

Model 27...great gun. The flagship. But it is pretty heavy. Would I be seduced by it's luxury? Probably :evil:

September 9, 2012, 05:32 PM
N-frame is the way to go. Model 27 or Model 28, your choice. My favorite is the 6" Model 28.

September 9, 2012, 05:43 PM
Currently if a Model 27 came along in a 5 or 6 inch barrel I would be all over it, assuming a fair price and very good to excellent condition. I would have to run with the Model 27 as I want one to replace one I had years ago.


Driftwood Johnson
September 9, 2012, 06:23 PM
Howdy Again

Just so you know, here is what you get with the Model 27 that you don't get with any other S&W revolver. The checkering on the top strap, rear sight, and barrel rib. No other Smith has these features. The top strap and barrel rib of my model 19 have a dull bead blasted type finish where they are not grooved. Both have that great old S&W deep blue mirror finish.


The Model 28, which was originally known as the Highway Patrol Model, then the Highway Patrolman, then finally became the Model 28, has a more utilitarian matte finish. They can actually vary from gun to gun, some are almost as highly polished as any other S&W. Dollar for dollar, the Model 28 is usually a better value, unless you find a Model 27 going for the same or almost the same dollars.

Flint Ridge
September 9, 2012, 06:27 PM
Hmmm.... picked up a 13-2 recently

66's are really nice in any barrel length

Work horses are the 28-2's.

Any for the next to ultimate the 27-2's (sorry Registered Magnum are not in my price range). Need some with shorter barrels!

I'd get them all personally.

September 9, 2012, 08:14 PM
I had a 5" M27 as my first "duty" gun. Wonderful handgun. Beautifully finished, the most accurate handgun I've ever fired.
However, the 5" barrel proved unsuited for police use; too long to sit in a squad car with the standard "border patrol" type holster. You needed a swivel holster. Also, quite heavy.
I traded it for an M19, which I carried for the next 15 years.
I put Herrett's "Jordan Trooper" stocks on it and had a light action job done... Very fine DA combat pistol; about as good as you could want back then.

September 9, 2012, 09:25 PM
about as good as you could want back then

back then?

that was as good as you could get.

you can't buy any revolver near as well made these days

September 9, 2012, 10:01 PM
Got one: S&W Model 28-2 Highway Patrolman


September 9, 2012, 10:12 PM
model 65 3 inch hb round butt.

September 9, 2012, 10:16 PM
No longer in my possesion :banghead:, but it was a great piece. 4" 66

Deaf Smith
September 9, 2012, 10:27 PM
Any S&W on this photo (Ruger or S&W.)


Or this photo...


Or this photo..


And yes, they are all mine. Still I pack a Glock.


September 10, 2012, 12:14 PM
I just picked up an old 19-3 ex-police gun for $350. Holster and carry wear, but excellent mechanically.


September 10, 2012, 06:58 PM
Model 19 4 screw with pinned frame and recessed cylinder.

September 10, 2012, 07:01 PM
Deaf Smith, what are the two in your last photo?

Deaf Smith
September 10, 2012, 10:03 PM
Deaf Smith, what are the two in your last photo?
S&W 66-1 with pinned barrel and recessed chambers, 2 1/2 bbl Combat Magnum and a Ruger Security Six, 2 3/4 inch barrel, I turned into a round butt version (sort of like a Speed Six with adjustable sights.)

Both wearing Secret Service stocks. Both Zero-Zero (that is tight with no shake.) The 66 uses 145gr Silvertip .357s and the Security Six Federal 125gr JHP .357s.

But sadly they sleep in the safe... and happily I have other snub S&Ws and Rugers I can, and do, shoot.

I pack a Glock but my heart is with wheelguns.


September 11, 2012, 12:37 AM
Either a 3" round butt 65 DAO loaded with some mild .357's or a 3" 64 round butt DAO loaded with some hot .38's

Ideal carry revolver IMHO, I guess I'll just managed to make do with my 2" 64-4.

As far as bigger range/plinking guns go, I run my P&R 19-3 in IDPA and absolutely freakin' love it. I get alot of comments on it at the matches, even from the Glock guys!

September 11, 2012, 06:05 AM

Registered Magnum.


September 11, 2012, 06:13 AM
I bought a 1948 M&P and a M686-2 but I guess if I could buy any older Smith it would be the holy grail, a Registered Magnum...

September 11, 2012, 08:33 PM
S&W 66-1 with pinned barrel and recessed chambers, 2 1/2 bbl Combat Magnum

I've never seen a 66 with that short of a barrel. Cool.

September 11, 2012, 09:32 PM

Model 27's 3 1/2 and 5"
Picked them both up the same day.. I've got 3 Model 19's but these two are hard to beat.
There's the Marryin' and Buryin' version too.

Old Dog
September 12, 2012, 12:02 AM
Ks all the way ... My 4" 19-4 and my 2 1/2" 66-4 ... One for total coolness factor and the other for carry ...

captain awesome
September 12, 2012, 12:14 AM
wow, didn't expect so much gunporn when I opened this thread.
I have a 27-2 that came with a set a magnas that didn't feel good when I fired it. I swapped them for some larger aftermarket grips, and now it feels great. That was the model I was after and lucked into a really good deal on it. That being said I have recently seen some nearly flawless pre 27 N frames for around the $900 mark, if I can find one for less I will probably snatch it up.

Brian Williams
September 12, 2012, 02:24 AM
I would go with another 3" 13, would like a 13-2 that is P&R but just about any 3" 13 will do. I wish that S&W made a few 581s with 3" barrels and round grip frames. That would be what I would pick then.

September 12, 2012, 07:25 AM
Hello friends and neighbors // Lets say MIM parts started showing up in the 1990s (some say 92,96,97...)

That includes a lot of territory.
No MIM parts, carry not necessary:

I agree with the OP, other than the Reg. Magnum a Model 27 is a fine S&W.

The Model 19 is also a fantastic representitive.

The one "do all" S&W, .357 I trust and use more than any other is a 1983, 6", Model 586no dash.( It has been back to S&W for the recall work.):scrutiny:

So... Even with the recall, picking one Older S&W, it is the 6" 586.
Because of them all it remains my "go to " .357.
I'd be lying if I did not choose it.:D

If that can't get er done you need a long gun.

September 12, 2012, 06:50 PM
Going backwards in time:





"357 Magnum."


"Registered Magnum."


Old Dog
September 12, 2012, 08:13 PM
Heh ... found pics of my 19-3
This one is mint ... tightest lock-up of all my magnums ...

September 13, 2012, 04:50 PM
SaxonPig,,,, nice time line of the .357 Nframe.

What type of hammer is on the ,,fantastic,,,Registered Magnum?

Looks like a short Humpback.

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