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Light weight .357

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by 4season, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. 4season

    4season Well-Known Member

    I have been thinking about getting a snubnose for carrying in dress clothes. Something small enough for pocket or ankle carry. At first I was thinking about a pocket 380 but I already have a Makarov in 380 and the smaller pocket 380's have horrible triggers and no sights. So I started looking at revolvers. I have handled both the Ruger LCR and Taurus polymer framed guns but they were both in 38 instead of 357. Of the 2 I liked the Taurus better because of the sights and also like the DA or SA option. I also would like to handle a S&W 360 but have yet to find one although they cost a bit more. I have handled several other 38's in both 5 and 6 round and find them either too bulky or with horrible grips and a total lack of sights. Am I missing a real good option out there?

    So what other guns are in this category? 5 shot 357 fully loaded under 2 lbs, good sights and preferably both DA/SA.
  2. J.R.W.

    J.R.W. Well-Known Member

    Smith 340pd. Brutal to shoot, a dream to carry.
  3. Naybor

    Naybor Well-Known Member

    At least take a look at a Ruger SP101
  4. critter

    critter Well-Known Member

    I have a S&W 337 in .38 special. Lil sucker weighs about 12 oz. Shooting +P in it is ALL I WANT. .357 out of something like that would be BRUTAL I'd suspect. Certainly follow-up shots would not be very close together time-wise I'd think. LOTS of practice would be needed.

    Something like a S&W 28 Highway Patrolman would be more comfortable.

    BTW, I'm used to my FA in .454. Different ball game.
  5. savit260

    savit260 Well-Known Member

    Do yourself a favor and shoot one with some mid range or better .357 Magnums before you buy a lightweight.

    They can be brutal to shoot.

    If you aren't going to ever put .357s in them, there are some very good choices in .38 Special.

    A group of experienced shooters all took turns shooting one of the Scandium S&W J frames with full house .357's at our local range, and we all decided that the word that best described them was "stupid". The recoil is fierce. No one really wanted to shoot it again.

    Haven't tried the 357 LCR yet, but it's got a good bit more weight to deal with the recoil than the lightest S&W's.
  6. jstein650

    jstein650 Well-Known Member

    This is just another affirmation, but... I've shot handguns from .22 to .44 to 45-70, and don't really consider myself 'recoil shy'. An airweight 2" S&W with +p 38's is the only gun I can say actually 'hurt'!
  7. kludge

    kludge Well-Known Member

    Yup. Brutal as in I'd rather shoot my .454 Casull. In fact, my actual words to my buddy after shooting the first two rounds were, "I don't like that at all."

    Then he said, "Those were the Specials."

    Then I shot the magnums. Never again.

    I can think of no better reason than the 340PD to own a Ruger SP101. Magnum loads are not a problem.
  8. J.R.W.

    J.R.W. Well-Known Member

    Truth. The one I had is LONG gone and the SP101 lives in the nightstand. For a small .357 I think the 3" SP is one of the best options around.
  9. 4season

    4season Well-Known Member

    I figured I would get a bunch of recoil related responses to this so let me be clear.

    I don't care about recoil. I have shot plenty of what most people consider "painful" guns and have never had a problem. I should also add that I roll my own ammo and can load down for practice. I plan on carrying full power 357 loads so I will shoot a few to check point of impact at the range, then practice with a low power load with the same POI. I know when I am hunting and there is fur in the scope I never feel recoil so I can imagine that in a self defense situation the adrenaline will be much higher so 5 shots that feel like a baseball bat impact to the palm of my hand will go unnoticed. I don't expect any handgun that weighs in under 24 oz to be fun to shoot, but I don't want to strap a 2lb weight to my ankle and walk around in dress pants either.
  10. beag_nut

    beag_nut Well-Known Member

    It's really easy to check out the websites of the makers to see how much a revolver weighs. If that's your criteria, then you need no further guidance.
    The SP101 snubby weighs just over 1 1/2 pounds.
  11. wheelyfun66

    wheelyfun66 Well-Known Member

    I am not an overly "tough" guy, don't have lumberjack hands, and am not a masochist.....BUT, my S&W 340 M&P feels FINE to me when shooting 158gr .357magnum loads....
    Granted, I will not shoot it more than 24 rounds at a time, but...it really and truly does NOT hurt me to shoot it.
    I grip the revolver really high, and induce adrenaline by jumping "off the X" and drawing from under concealment garment, shooting on the move, etc...

  12. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Well-Known Member

    I must confess that I don't see the appeal of DA/SA on a pocket revolver. The exposed hammer can snag on the draw and defensive shooting with such a weapon is most likely going to be in DA anyway. I suppose some folks might want to do slow-fire target shooting or plinking with their snub, but longer barrels are better suited to that task. Besides, the DA trigger on my .357 LCR is pretty good - better than on my SP101 or GP100 (which I do use for both DA and SA shooting.)
  13. Clippers

    Clippers Well-Known Member

    I really enjoy shooting my SP101 snubnose 357, don't overlook it.
  14. VA27

    VA27 Well-Known Member

    The airweight Smiths are fun to carry. The SP101 is fun to shoot. For HD/CC get the Smith and load it with factory wadcutter. For all around use (HD/CC or trail) get the 4" SP101.
  15. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member

    I've got the 3" SP 101 in .357, shoot .38's mostly. I had a smith polish and de-burr the insides, polish the trigger, lighten the hammer strut spring from factory #14 to #12 lb., now the smoothest revolver action I have, other than my #15 and my Python. Give the SP 101 a look.
  16. firesky101

    firesky101 Well-Known Member

    I have shot quite a few snub nosed .357's. The most tolerable one to me is the KLCR. Maybe the polymer frame flexes and spreads out the impulse, I don't have the high speed camera to see. But it is certainly more enjoyable to shoot then I thought it would be. And yes as others have said the 340PD is brutal. I put one cylinder through a friends, my hand ached for nearly a week, and I had some nasty bruising in the web of my hand.
  17. Bob79

    Bob79 Well-Known Member

    I have previously owned, and shot a S&W Airlite with 357 mag rounds. And like others have stated, it truly is BRUTAL. I also am not "recoil shy", and this is the only gun/ammo combo that actually hurt my hand after shooting only a few rounds.

    Then if you look at the ballistics of a 357 round out of a 2" barrel vs a good 38+P round, there isn't all that much difference. Yes I know 357 will be faster and have more energy. But it isn't that much, and when you factor in recoil, its not a good trade off. Most of the 357 guns cost more as well.

    The Ruger LCR in 357 may be OK because I believe its something like 17+ ounces, and the grip is pretty good on that gun. But the 12-13 ounce S&W Airlites/M&P guns are just nasty.

    In my experience, the S&W Airweight line is an extremely good set up. The cost is relatively lower, and the weight of the gun with Hogue Bantams is about 14.5 ozs. They are chambered for 38 +P, and the Speer 135 +P short barrel is one excellent, and hard hitting 38 round. The CorBon 38 +P ammo is also pretty hard hitting, and of course there is Buffalo Bore.

    If at all possible I would HIGHLY suggest you try and find someone with a lightweight 357 you can actually shoot at the range and see how it goes.
  18. CZ223

    CZ223 Well-Known Member

    I just bought

    S&W Ladysmith model 60 for a backup gun. It is not what I would consider heavy though I doubt I could carry it in a pants pocket. I could definitely carry it in a jacket pocket. I have only put 5 rounds of 357 through it so far but it didn't bother me at all. Shooting dollar a round ammo did, however.:eek: I have had a model 36, a 637-2 38 special and a Ruger SP101 in 357 and they were all worse to shoot than this. The only fault that could be found with it is that the double action trigger was stagey while the single action pull was great. I dropped it at my local gunsmith yesterday and will have it back in a week.:D
  19. kludge

    kludge Well-Known Member

    Still, this is one of those guns that you truly should "try before you buy."
  20. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    Well, go right ahead and buy that Airlite. If the .357 hurts (it probably will, but some people do it anyway), you can just forget that it has chambers long enough for the manly man .357 and load it with .38 Specials.

    Or you can save some money and buy a 642, or a 637 if you really want an exposed hammer on it. To me, they have a better balance of power/weight/recoil. My .357 is a heavy barreled K-frame.

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