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S&W 60LS vs. 60 vs. SP101?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Joe Mamma, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Joe Mamma

    Joe Mamma Well-Known Member

    What are the differences between the Ladysmith (60LS) and the standard Model 60 which it is based on? What about the model 65 and 65LS? I know the Ladysmith has fancy writing on it and wood grips, but, are there any other differences? I am specifically concerned with the size of the grips. Are the 60LS (and 65LS) and standard Model 60 (65) grips the same size or are the Ladysmith grips smaller? I see some LS guns with finger groove woods grips and some with what appears to be very small standard grips (not finger grooved). Is one an older version of the other or do you get one with the 357 and one with the 38?

    Also, which has a smaller grip: a 60LS (or standard Model 60) or a Ruger SP101?

    I am specifically wondering which of these guns has a "better" grip for a woman. Thanks

    Joe Mamma
  2. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    I will take on the S&W model 60 challenge. First, back
    in 1965 Smith & Wesson introduced the first of many,
    stainless steel handguns with the introduction
    of its "Chief's Special" model 60; which is a variation
    of teh original S&W model 36. It came with a 2 inch
    pinned barrel, and the standard J-frame walnut grips.
    Chambered for 5 rounds of .38 Special, it can handle
    +P loading's. After some unnoticed modifications, the
    serial numbering was preceded by a letter "R" prefix.

    Much later, the powers to be decided to introduce
    a model 60 in .357 magnum; based on the magnum
    J-frame. Its a little larger, has a slightly longer barrel
    and comes with Hogue finger grooved Monogrips.

    In my way of thinking, snub nose revolvers need to
    remain in the smallest package possible? With that
    said, I favor the original .38 Special S&W model 60
    over the latter version. Good rule of the thumb, is
    to practice with .38 Special target loads (wadcutters)
    and carry 5 rounds of .38 Special +P JHP's; backed
    up by 5 more rounds in a John Bianchi "speed strip",
    which you can carry in your front pants pocket.

    Also, I would like to defer the rest of your questions
    to my fellow THR brotherhood, who are far more
    experienced with those particular models than I.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
  3. Coot

    Coot Well-Known Member


    The above picture is the M60LS- my wife has one and loves it. the LS differs from the standard M60 in 3 areas: the LS comes in a really nice leatherette box, has nice wood laminate grips, and has a softer finish (glassbead as opposed to satin).

    The M60 has the Uncle Mikes soft rubber combat grips. The LS grips are nice- lots to hold onto, and a big area to spread the recoil; the Uncle Mikes, while similar in size, are more comfortable with heavier loads.

    In either case, you may well consider carrying .38Spl +P in the gun, as .357 Magnum loads are, to say the least, a handfull in these small-frame revolvers. The picture below is the M60.


    The M65/ 65LS will show similar differences: the LS has the pretty laminate grips, finish, and jewelry box, the M65 has rubber grips to better handle the heavier loads. The M65/65LS is a medium frame revolver: substantially larger and heavier (21.5oz vs. 32oz), and with a longer barrel.

    The grips on the small-frame .38 Spl (M642/642LS for example) are different (smaller) than the grips on the .357 revolvers: the .38Spl has less recoil to absorb, and tends to be much more concealable and lighter (15 oz vs 21.5 oz) for say, pocket carry, while the .357 small frame is just a little too heavy and large for pocket carry.

    The grips of the SP101 are a tad bit larger- fatter, than the M60LS. For the SP101, 2 1/4" revolver, I'd recommend Hogue Monogrips (#81000) which are a great size for both you and your wife, and can absorb the most punishing recoil.

    Good luck in your purchase!
  4. chaim

    chaim Well-Known Member

    In addition to the points already addressed, let me address one last question- the difference between the LS models and non-LS models.

    In addition to the different grips and bead blasted matte finish in the stainless models there is one other significant difference in the LS models. They get lighter springs than the regular models. This gives you a slightly smoother action and smoother and lighter trigger- kind of like getting a minor action and trigger job right from the factory.

    Between the springs, the matte finish and the nice grips I love S&W's LadySmith models.

    Oh, as for the size of the grips, while Coot addressed it nicely, I wouldn't worry about them too much. There are so many revolver grips out there, in all sizes and price ranges, that you won't have too much trouble customizing the grip size and feel of any revolver you pick. Pick the one that you like best.
  5. Coot

    Coot Well-Known Member

    Chaim, I had also heard that the LS came with lighter springs, but in the case of my wife's M60LS, it isn't so.

    Perhaps this is only true on the older M60LS?

    In either case, the double action pull is acceptable, and the single action pull extraordinary.
  6. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Um :confused: Looks like I was wrong in regards to
    the new model 60's grip's. Insert the words Uncle
    Mike's ; instead of Hogue Mon-o-grips. :uhoh: :rolleyes:

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
  7. Captain Bligh

    Captain Bligh Well-Known Member

    I have a Model 60 and I like everything about the gun except for the Uncle Mike's grips. They just never feel comfortable in my hand. Does anybody know who makes the Lady Smith grip and if they are available commercially to anyone beside S&W?

  8. GunNut

    GunNut Well-Known Member

    I've never tried the Smith's, but absolutely love my SP101. So much so, that I picked up a 2" to go along with the 3" today.

    Add a Hogue grip and the gun feel like an extension of my arm.

    You would be well served with the SP101.

  9. Coot

    Coot Well-Known Member

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