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.357 revolvers with a 3" barrel

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by hnm201, Dec 14, 2003.

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  1. hnm201

    hnm201 Member

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    I am shopping for a a .357 revolver with a 3" barrel. Not a 4". Not a 2". But a three inch.


    - Man I wish that Taurus made it's 627 with a three inch barrel!

    Top on the list is a Ruger SP101. However, it's heavy for a 5 shot.

    Condsidering a S&W 60, but I am concerned that it won't hold up to moderate practice with magnum loads. Any opinions there?

    Any good six or seven shot revolvers out there with a 3" barrel. Is there much diff between a 2.5" and a 3.0" in terms of a muzzle velocity?

    A .357 out of a 2" just seems wrong to me. But maybe I am wrong.

    Yes, this is for a ccdw belt gun.
     
  2. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    THE 3"...a S&W 3" Mod 65.
     
  3. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

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    If you want to buy a gun tomorrow you may be limited to a Ruger SP101 or GP100, a S&W 65 or 60. However, it you shop around you will find various colts and s&w have also been made through the years in 3".
    In size and weight the S&W 60 is smallest, followed buy the Sp101, the Model 65 and GP100 in that order. All can be carried on the belt, but I thing the real choice is between the Ruger SP101 and S&W 65. The ruger is a few ounces lighter, a little smaller and a 5 shooter. The model 65 is slightly bigger, a 6 shooter, has the handling characteristics of a full size revolver (which it is). It also cost $75-100 more.

    The 3" .357 is a great choice of a CCW. Tell us which one you choose.


    David
     
  4. jdmb03

    jdmb03 Member

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    This is what I carry, Ruger GP100 3".
    [​IMG]
     
  5. tbeb

    tbeb Member

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    From what I've read the SP-101 is an excellent choice. I have a stainless Ruger Speed Six with a 2 3/4" barrel and it's very nice. I once owned a S&W Model 66 (stainless) with 2 1/2" barrel and I also liked it. Another good 3" choice is a S&W Model 13 (blue) or 65 (stainless). I may be wrong, but for self defense purposes I don't think there's enough difference between a 2 1/2" barrel and 3" barrel to matter.
     
  6. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    3" Model 65 or 13. Accept no substitutes. ;)

    An extra 1/2" of sight radius, plus a 2.5" gun doesn't have a full-length ejector rod stroke.
     
  7. Bob C

    Bob C Member

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    I've had two 3" S&W Model 66's, and still have one.

    They're great, IMHO. They're large enough for controllability with 125 grain HP's, but small enough for concealment.

    They're around, but are less common than other barrel lengths.

    I've also owned one 3" S&W Model 65, and I dearly wish I had it back!
     
  8. DennisE

    DennisE Member

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    I carry a current production 3" S&W Performance Center Model 66 F-Comp. It is 100% reliable, very accurate (in my hands out to 25 yards) and easily concealible in a Milt Sparks VersaMax2 IWB holster. Dennis
     
  9. Mark G.

    Mark G. Member

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    domzilla9,

    Ruger GP 100 has a 3 inch barrel, built like a tank and will take all 357 loads you feed. Ruger made a Speed Six with a 2 3/4 inch barrel, again built like a tank and will take the 357 loads as well as 38s. Ruger has the SP 101 in a 3 inch, 5 shot, but the grip was very uncomfortable for me.

    I have 3 Speed Sixes (2 357s and 1 9mm) and 1 GP 100. Get something that feels comfortable in your hand. I bought the GP 100 first and it felt ok, then I ran across a Speed Six and it felt great, big difference. Now my GP 100 is for sale and I wouldn't part with any of the Speed Sixes.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
     
  10. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    Unless you are truly exceptional and shoot a LOT you are not going to hurt the Model 60 with magnum loads. If it starts to get loose send it back and for less than $100 S&W will put it right back where it was and you can start over.

    All of the talk about "wearing out" or "hurting" a gun shooting loads it is chambered for is BUNK. It takes MANY THOUSANDS to even get started on loosening a J or a K frame up, and tens of thousands more to get it done. Overpressure handloads are another story, but even then it will take some real effort.

    The M60 would be my choice for a concealment gun. A 3" 13 would be my second choice, and the Ruger 3rd.
     
  11. jar

    jar Member

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    My K frames have always stood up to magnum abuse better than my hand.:p
     
  12. WT

    WT Member

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    3" Model 65.
     
  13. tomthel

    tomthel Guest

    I think there were some 7 shot L frames in 3" made. Perhaps someone can confirm this. Close to 3" is the 2 3/4" Ruger Speed Six.
     
  14. Stonecove

    Stonecove Member

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    A friend of mine yesterday purchased a 586 Performance Center 3" with 7 shot capability. All black teflon, ported with cocobolo grips. Awesome gun!
     
  15. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    I think the 3" smiths are the best all around handgun for concealability and power.

    [​IMG]


    I also have a 3" S&W 60-4 that is only a 38 Spec this is a great camp/hiking/canoeing gun.
     

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  16. E=MC^2

    E=MC^2 Member

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    I have a 3-inch S&W M60 and a 3-inch Ruger SP101 out on loan right now. Both are excellant firearms. Can't go wrong with either.

    The big question with these two would be, "fixed-sights or adjustable?".

    The S&W M60 Cheifs Special 3-inch is sold with adjustable sights.
    The Ruger SP101 in 3-inch is sold with fixed sights.

    Both have fired thousands of rounds. Both are tight. I also have several 125gr defensive factroy loads chrono'd through these and can post the figures later. I'm currently away from my data.

    Funny thing is that 3-inch 5-shooters are my favorite revolvers, while I'm surrounded by 2" and 4"(6-shot) models. After passage of MN's Shall Issue I've been circulating these to friends and co-workers so they can complete the courses and receive their carry permit. This also becomes a permit-to-purchase. All shooters have found them very accurate while still being easy to conceal. I only wish the 3-inch versions were available in blued, as well.
     
  17. GunNut

    GunNut Member

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    Ruger SP-101 is my current 3" .357mag favorite.

    Mine wears Hogue grips, and is very controllable with the heaviest loads.

    Steve
     
  18. James Bondrock

    James Bondrock Member

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    Limited runs of the S&W M66 and Colt Python were produced with three-inch barrels.
     
  19. chaim

    chaim Member

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    I have several .38 and .357 revolvers (2" Taurus 85, 4" Colt PPS, 4" S&W M19, 6" S&W 586 and a 3" S&W 65LS). By far the most versatile and best overall would be the 3" K-frame.

    It is small enough to be easy to conceal, the 3" barrel is lighter than a 4", and it handles better than the others. However, it is heavy enough to handle magnum loads comfortably and the 3" barrel give you both a decent sight radius and a full-length ejector rod.
    If you want a 3" and you want a new gun you are limited to a S&W 65LS (six shot, K-frame), S&W 60 (five shot, J-frame), Ruger SP 101 (5 shot, a little bigger and heavier than a J-frame) or a Ruger GP 100 (6 shot, a little bigger and heavier than a K-frame). Out of those my vote is the K-frame 65LS. If you are willing to go used you also have the 65 (not the LS), 13, Taurus 65 and 66, and some short run S&W 686s and 66s.

    Probably not, but like Tamara pointed out, the 3" has a full length ejector rod and the 2 1/2" does not. The 2 1/2" with the shorter ejector rod can lead to ejection issues, especially under pressure when you most need it to work.
     
  20. Unisaw

    Unisaw Member

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    FYI, all SP-101s have a full-length ejector rod. The SP-101 is a great little gun.
     
  21. surfinUSA

    surfinUSA Member

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    I prefer the 3 inch 65. However, model 19/66s with their 2 1/2 inch barrel and shorter ejector rod, it is pretty much impossible to have a round drop under the star jamming the gun as is possible with a full length ejector rod, especially when using 38s.

    The shorter rod does not come out far enough for the case to get enough of an angle to slip under the star when poor ejection techniques are used.
     
  22. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    While the 6 inch is the best barrel lenth to get what a .357 can do, the 3" will do and is just about as good as a 4". 2" barrels suck in .357's!;)
     
  23. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    You can't go wrong with the S&W 65LS.

    I think it's the best balanced K-frame ever.

    [​IMG]

    as for poor extraction techniques... well there is just no excuse for that.
     
  24. Billy Sparks

    Billy Sparks Member

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    Did someone say 3" revolvers???

    I currently have a S&W Model 60, 65, 66, and 686+ in 3 inch.

    I have a Ruger SP101 in 9mm keep hoping I will find a GP100 when I have the money.

    I LOVE 3" revolvers.
     
  25. Albert Shear

    Albert Shear Member

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    Yup, best carry revolvers ever devised.
    [​IMG]
     
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