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640, 637 or 60?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by craig_o, Sep 11, 2007.

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  1. craig_o

    craig_o Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    I'm having a snubbie dilemma.

    The 640 is a pocket-carriable all-steel alternative to the 642 with the .357 option. The model 60 can be had in virtually the same dimensions and weight as the 640, so if there is any significant difference it eludes me.

    The 637 is the airweight .38 option; I like having a hammer in an ideal world, and 5 shots of .38 can get the job done.

    But, but but. The all-steel means faster follow ups with the .38 and maybe even a .357 reload.

    Help me think this through!!!
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    The M640 is all steel but is a Centennial frame whereas the M60 is all steel but is a Chief's Special frame. The M640 has a 1 7/8" barrel whereas the M60 sports a 2 1/8" barrel.

    It goes like this:

    Chief's Special frame:
    M360 12 oz Airlite .357 Magnum
    M637 15 oz Airweight .38 Special
    M36 21 oz .38 Special
    M60 23 oz .357 Magnum

    Centennial frame:
    M340 12 oz Airlite .357 Magnum
    M442 15 oz Airweight .38 Special (in Blue)
    M642 15 oz Airweight .38 Special
    M640 23 oz Steel .357 Magnum

    Bodyguard frame:
    M638 Airweight 15 oz .38 Special
    M649 23 oz Steel .357 Magnum
  3. Richmond

    Richmond Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    my choice

    I thought about the same options - I chose a 637, as I prefer the hammer, like the Airweight, etc. I later added Crimson Trace grips - like em!

    I picked up a 36 later, for the all-steel/dark color option. Like that one too, but tend to carry the 637 more.

    One of my students, who works for me as well as studies with me, got a 640 w/ Crimson Trace grips. That is really one heck of a nice package, and the .357 option is nice. I simply prefer exposed hammer - I practice pocket as well as holster draw and use the technique of laying my thumb over the hammer on draw to ensure no snag.
  4. mdao

    mdao Member

    May 9, 2006
    The difference is the 60 has a hammer. The 640 is hammerless, and the 649 has a shrouded hammer.

    I prefer the non J-magnum guns, as they're ever so slightly smaller than the new J-frames. My 60-14 pocket carries very well and is quite a bit easier to shoot than the Airweight/Airlite guns.
  5. miko

    miko Member

    Aug 10, 2005
    I did buy the scandium AirLite 340 snub to save three ounces compared to an AirWeight - it matters in some situations, like when you tuck it into your pyjama pants SOB-style and not worry about it pullinmg them down.

    Still, I tried to pocket-carry the all-steel 3-inch M60 and I believe it worked just fine in an improvised pocket holster, with a decent belt in khaki/cargo pants. Better have a grip with a closed backstrap so if someone gets a glimpse, he will not readily recognise it. With a 2-inch snub, even that problem would go away as well as holster selection.

    Couple of loads of ammo in quick-loaders or strips in the opposite pocket to feel more balanced and it's quite a non-irritating way of carrying.


    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    One advantage of the model 60 over the 640 is that the d/a trigger pull is usually better as there is less friction with the sideplate. That's an easy fix. All but one of my j frames are the "hamerless type".
  7. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement!

    If you are a very experienced and skilled, double action shooter, it doesn't matter . . . for you'll be shooting double action anyway in a defensive mode.

    If you are NOT a good double-action only shooter you might want one of the models that has a hammer to help you master the sights and the grip on any of the "wee-beasties."

    However, on any of the ones you chose, your goal should be to become a proficient double action only shooter with a j-frame.

    My druthers . . .

    1. A nickle-plated steel or stainless hammer type (Chief's Special or Bodyguard), carried in an IWB holster, plus

    2. An Airweight or Airlite hammerless Centenial type as a BUG (Back Up Gun).

    The slightly heavier steel j-frames with hammers can shoot amazingly well, cocked and shot single action, and are great if you need to take a longer shot . . . or want to have some REAL satisfying fun at the range.

    Here's what my nickleplated Model 36 does at 10 yards, single action, standing and unsupported. Frankly, I didn't expect this out of a J frame snubbie:


    Also, the heavier gun that can be cocked will really help you get used to shooting your lightweight j-frames more accurately . . . and with less grief on your hand.

    .38 special vs. .357? Either will get the job done with good shot placement. Neither will if you don't put the bullet(s) where they ALL need to go. Any deer hunter knows that a single heart shot on a deer does not always bring that deer right down. Two legged predators are the same . . . and accurate follow-up shots made before the once-shot BG can pop a cap or two into you may save your life.

    NO handgun bullet and/or caliber is exactly what I'd call a "powerful" round! Plan on needing multiple shots in any defensive situation and hope to be surprised if this is NOT the case, rather than visa-versa!

    1. Sure, a hot .357 will be more effective IF you put the first shot on the mark AND need no others. However, the massive recoil of a hot .357 round in a J-frame will truly slow down, and/or affect, your ability to get off additional accurate shots in a timely manner.

    2. However, the .38spl. rounds will be easier to shoot and MUCH EASIER to make fast, accurate multiple shots.

    The fight ain't over until the bad guy decides to give up . . . and I'd rather have .38 spl. in my J-frames due to better controlability and accuracy on shots #2-5. If it ain't over by then I'm either hightailing it outta there . . . or doing a "NY reload" (drawing the BUG!)

    Food for thought,

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