3" Wheel Guns?

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Jul 5, 2006
Who Dat Nation
I have always liked small (J)frame revolvers with 3" barrels. It seems to balance right, just like a 4" on a K/L frame. I found I could CCW my 3" Rossi 68 just as well as (and in the same holster) my S&W 642. And I could shoot the Rossi much better, I believe due to the additional sight radius.

Right now, S&W has their Model 60 in a Pro series with beautiful wood grips and a three inch barrel;
Even the standard Model 60 3" is a beautiful piece;
For me, I would only own a SP101 in 3 1/3 barrel length.

That said, every once in a while, someone posts a pic of a M29 or M27 with a 3" tube and it looks great as well.

Why do ya'll think the 3" isn't more popular?

And how 'bout some pics of your 3" wheelies?:D
My entire collection of 3" wheelguns... a 696!


Fun .44 Russian and moderate .44 Special launcher - leave the Keith-level loads for other revolvers.

For me, it is a proportional thing. I agree, 3" J-frames are great looking. I also prefer 4" barrels on K/L frames and a 5" N frame is a pure thing of beauty.
I recently found a Colt Detective Special with an unusual three inch barrel. This makes for a very handy little revolver and I think much easier to shoot than the usual short version:
I like my little 3" Rossi 68, too, and agree as to balance and proportion. I mostly carry it as a kit gun on hikes, though. My Taurus 85UL is a better pocket gun. I also have a 3" Taurus 66 .357 magnum that carries well IWB. It's amazing how much better it carries and draws than a 4" gun. For IWB, I think the 3" barrel is optimum. If I get another SP101, it'll be a 3" gun. My old one was a 2.3". The extra inch doesn't hurt concealment and sure helps with the extra sight radius.

I like the adjustable sights on that M60. S&W markets (or did) a 5" model with adjustables in .357 I've always thought would make a great trail gun. The 3" wouldn't be bad, but a 5" would be great in a trail gun, light to carry, big punch if needed.
I like a 3" revolver -- in fact I bought a 3 1/16" SP 101 for my daughter and almost didn't give it to her I liked it so much.

But when I carry a revolver, it's always my old Colt DS.
I have two limited edition Smith's Mod 24-3s in 44 special. One is a shooter, one is still in the box never fired. Two of 5000. The one I shoot is great and goes where you want it to go. I still carry a 1911 most of the time but sometimes in the winter time, nostalgia hits me and I carry the Smith.
I have a S&W Model 60-15 .357 Mag. w/3' Bbl. - besides looks it has great
balance and pointability. A feature of the 3" 60 is the adjustable
rear sight - not available on the short 2 1/8" barreled 60s. ALso
an advantage to the 3" BBl. is the extractor is long enough for a full
stroke for extraction.

The Distributor LEw Horton has 3" Model 25 in .45 ACP and the 24
in .44 Special both of course Blued with the square butt frame. LW may
have others with 3" Bbl.

Ther's also the hard to find out of production K frame MOdel 13 with a
round butt frame that are prized.

I have a 686+ with 3 inch barrel and night sights and it rests beside me on my nightstand. I find a 3 incher to be a very versatile revolver...
Yes...there's something very appealing about 3 inchers

S & W Model 10-6 I'd shortened to 'three'...made some other small changes also...not quite done yet...

No camera but I have the following 3 inch barrelled wheeguns:
Colt DS-II
Ruger SP101 .357
Ruger SP101 9mm
Ruger Speed Six .38 (true 3", not 2 3/4")
S&W 65-7 Ladysmith
S&W 64-5
S&W 60-15 Pro
Taurus 85
Taurus 431
theres a S&W 3" 44 spl rb thats been sitting on a dealers shelf for almost a year now , prelock SS , looks nib for $699.00...saw it again about an hour ago...
V45c just put it on layway and get it or walk in with 550 cash and see what happens. You cant go wrong with a 3" I love my 65 Lady Smith and my fraken 64 with a 65 3" barrel.

Why do ya'll think the 3" isn't more popular?

I pocket-carry the slightly shorter 60. Not bad for a steel .357.

If I want something bigger, I like my 4" 686.

Don't get me wrong, I'd get a 3", but I'd only seek it out after having the other guns mentioned (642, 60 snubbie, 686).:)
For real "Pro's", S&W ought to offer it without the lock. They might try that to see if they sell more or less of them that way......
I think I may have posted this before. S&W 24 nickle, S&W Triple Lock .44 (3.5"), and S&W M65 Ladysmith w/ Bianchi 3" crossdraw
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