Quantcast

Help me choose a new carry revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Cump, Feb 13, 2019 at 9:56 AM.

?

Which small revolver?

  1. Smith & Wesson 442 Performance Center (38 spl)

    27 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Smith & Wesson 360 (357)

    9 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. Ruger LCR (357)

    18 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. Cump

    Cump Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Utah
    I'm looking for a lighter carry revolver for pocket and iwb carry. I'm down to 3 -- SW 442 PC (38 spl, 15 oz), SW 360 Scandium with Stainless Cylinder (357, 15 oz), and Ruger LCR (357, 17 oz).

    They are all roughly the same size, with the Ruger seeming a little bulkier. And they all have positives -- Performance Center tuning on the 442, ability to shoot 357 in the scandium 360, and the stronger steel frame on the LCR.

    I have shot and found acceptable both triggers. A version of boot grips would go on whichever I choose, though I may choose to keep the factory finger-groove grips on the lcr.

    Help me choose.
     
  2. mcb

    mcb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,285
    Location:
    North Alabama
    Go rent or borrow each and fire them that will answer your question. Some people can tolerate the recoil of 357 Magnum in a lightweight snub nose revolver and some cannot. There is no point in buying the more expensive 357 Magnum if you can't tolorate the recoil. I borrowed a 340 PD (11.4 oz)when I was shopping for a snub nose revolver and one cylinder of 357 Magnum was all it took to realize I had no need for a 357 Magnum snubby. I have a fondness for moonclips so I bought a 442 Moonclip. Saved a lot of money over a 357 snubby. Its been a great pocket gun for me.

    hYayPs1l.jpg
     
  3. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,131
    Location:
    Buckeye Country
    Guns that light, and that small I have no interest in magnum chamberings.

    Alloy frames, boot grips, and 357magnum. Pick two.

    I voted for the 442PC. That's a real nice pocket gun, very well suited for the task.
     
    Armored farmer likes this.
  4. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Messages:
    5,000
    Location:
    TX
    Have you ever shot a 357 out of a light weight snubby? See if you can try it.
     
  5. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    SE Washington State
    I shoot .357 magnums out of my 2.25" Ruger SP-101 occasionally. I would have no interest in shooting .357 magnums out of anything lighter weight. So, I voted for the 442PC.
     
  6. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    15,925
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    I voted 360 because I like the option of .357, but as noted above, they're certainly not pleasant with magnum loads.

    I have a 360PD because I wanted to own an example of the lightest .357 magnum ever made, and I like exposed hammers, so I prefer it to the enclosed hammer 340PD. The new 360 without the PD moniker is a little heavier and a lot less expensive, but still a featherweight. However, if it's for carry, the exposed hammer may be a drawback. Since you mention pocket carry, out of the 3 listed, the 442 is probably the best choice, and a bit more economical than the 360. .357 mag from a snubby is still more potent than .38 +P, but the ballistic advantage is far less than in a 4"+ barrel.
     
  7. Thomas Mayberry

    Thomas Mayberry Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2018
    Messages:
    30
    442. I would have to be very desperate to shoot a magnum out of a gun as light as the 360.
     
  8. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,937
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I'm not going to vote, because I have no experience with either of the Smiths. That said, I've had an LCR for about 5 years & am very happy with it. The trigger is long but smooth, and recoil is very manageable. (On that note, bear in mind that I bought the .357 model, but shoot and carry .38s).
     
  9. Cump

    Cump Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Utah
    I am not recoil shy. 357 out of a mod 60 (22 oz) or taurus 605 is a piece of cake. I prefer it to 38 sp for accuracy in those. Also not a problem in Scandium n-frames I have shot. I imagine it wouldnt be an issue in the lcr.

    But i would be shooting mostly light reloads in these 357s, prob carrying with 357 rem golden sabers, which is a lighter load.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 11:32 AM
  10. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    824
    Armored farmer likes this.
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    24,648
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    I carry a M442 and have for many years now so you know what I voted for.

    IMO it's a very good choice.
     
    Armored farmer likes this.
  12. Cump

    Cump Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Utah
    Good question. Though I haven't pocketed an lcr, my sense is that the 442 would be slightly less bulky in the pocket. The main appeal for me to the lcr would be the steel frame in a somewhat lighter 357 ...
     
    WrongHanded likes this.
  13. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    304
    I live deep in the hills and hollers of the Missouri Ozarks. A woman friend of ours is a tiny little thing, you'd have to put weights in her pockets for her to weigh 100 lbs. She was widowed about a year ago. She is a real Earth Momma, she hunts and fishes in sometimes nasty weather. She processes what she kills and told me deer is her families main meat. She has two small boys.
    She also packs heat, a S&W .38 DA only poly revolver. I didn't pay attention to the model number but I did unload it and worked the action, very smooth. I really like her gun. Far better in DA than my Taurus 85UL

    I just checked with her. Its a .38 S&W Bodyguard... great revolver
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 2:03 PM
    2ndtimer and Armored farmer like this.
  14. westernrover

    westernrover Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2018
    Messages:
    76
    There are two current 442's with the Performance Center branding. One is the "Performance Center Pro Series" Model 442. This does not have a tuned action. It is just cut for moon clips and is otherwise a standard 442. The other is the "PERFORMANCE CENTER MODEL 442 CRIMSON TRACE LG-105 LASERGRIPS" This one is advertised as having a tuned action and comes with laser grips. It is twice the price though.

    My standard 442 and 340PD (which is like a 360 without the hammer spur and with a Ti cylinder) are light to carry and good for ankle or pocket. The lightest is the 340PD and it is .357, but you do not have to shoot factory .357 in this gun to get a very substantial benefit from the chambering. With a nominally 2" barrel, you can load a 125-grain JHP at .38 Special +P pressures to go 870 fps and not much more. With .357 you can load it to go anywhere from 880 fps to at least 1425 fps from a 2" barrel. This a very wide range within which you can set the level of recoil you want, but if you only shoot factory ammunition, it's most likely to be only on the upper end. The reason it is could be very meaningful to go over .38 +P 125 gr at 870 fps is that at that velocity, many hollowpoints will have poor expansion or poor penetration. With the .38 +P, you may even be better off shooting 158-grain bullets to get sufficient penetration and not even expect expansion. But with a suitable 125 gr JHP, you can load .357 Magnum to 1050 or 1100 fps from a 2" barrel and get the same kind of ballistic performance as popular 9mm loads like Federal HST from a Glock19 or M&P9C, but out of a much smaller and lighter gun without the extremely punishing recoil of a full-house .357 Magnum in that little gun.

    But that's not my recommendation. Instead, I recommend the S&W Model 66 Combat Magnum or the Model 19 Carry Comp. These two, which are very similar to one another (one is stainless and the other black with some bells and whistles), are much easier to shoot well and give you a better chance of a good result in the worst of circumstances. The aluminum/scandium/polymer tiny pocket/ankle revolvers give you a very thin margin for success in so many variables - too little mass, too much recoil, too small grip, too short reach to trigger, too short sight radius, too short barrel, 20% lower capacity. The 66/19 are probably too heavy for ankle carry unless you wear very stiff boots, but they are good for both the pocket and IWB carry you mentioned. Don't think the gun has to be a tiny "pocket" gun to carry it in a pocket.
     
    gotboostvr and SharpDog like this.
  15. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    5,480
    I voted the Ruger. I'd carry it with 38s.

    You only gain a little in velocity from a 357 in a short barrel. You pay for that with increased recoil, muzzle flash, and a slower recovery time between shots.

    My favorite carry ammo for a J frame size revolver is factory 148 HBWC.
     
  16. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    430
    Location:
    northeast
    Ditto. Shooting 357s are tolerable in my SP101 2.25" DAO(26 oz) with Pachmayr Diamond Pro or Hogue monogrip but 38SPL +P is what I carry in it. Muzzle flash, slower to get back on target and possible over penetration negate any advantage with 357 out of a 2.25" barrel IMO. There's some good performing 38 spl+P options out there. Federal HST micro 130 grain 38+P JHP is made for short barrels and expands to the size of a dime with good penetration from what I've read. I voted for the 442PC.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 4:15 PM
    2ndtimer and Armored farmer like this.
  17. bassjam

    bassjam Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Messages:
    997
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    I vote 442, partially because I own a regular 442.

    I'd put the LCR as a close second. The LCR is nice, but even the .357 version has a polymer frame and for some reason that just doesn't sit well with me. Plus, .357 is still going to be quite a handful in that gun.

    Same applies to the 360, I'm not sure how useful having a .357 in a light gun like that is. I used to have an SP101 and it was pretty darned snappy with .357. Also used to have a super light 337 Airlite, and that had some decent recoil with .38 +p's in it.
     
  18. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,465
    Location:
    South Eastern Illinois
    I voted LCR
    I was just shoot 38s in it though.
     
  19. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,131
    Location:
    Buckeye Country
    If you've got big pockets, or don't plan to pocket carry often, the 66 is not recommendation too. Just enough grip, and weight to handle recoil and a better trigger to boot. A carry gun, well mannered enough to be a good range toy too. But definitely not the premiere pocket gun.

    If you can swing it, the 66 and a 442 would cover just about all your bases.
     
    SharpDog likes this.
  20. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    753
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Personally, to add to what @westernrover said I would pick the Performance Center model 60 with 3" bbl for $800. I didn't post earlier because it doesn't look to fit your requirements. While I have several snubs (I really enjoy my older Taurus .357 full stainless ported snubs and my Model 29 snub) I'm over them for EDC purposes. Anyhooo, just ignore this as you're wanting a pocket/ankle gun. Gonna post anyways because it's just a great gun :)

    178013_01_lg_0_0_0.jpg

    https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/performance-center-pro-series-model-60
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 4:10 PM
    JFrame likes this.
  21. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    18,192
    Another vote for the Model 442 Performance Center version (though I would be equally happy with a Model 638).
     
  22. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    602
    Location:
    NW PA
    I voted for the 442. I carry a 638 daily. Have shot it with Plus P ammo. I don't think I would ever shoot a gun that size with 357 magnums ammo. Even my steel, 3 inch M60 Pro at 22oz is a handful with full power magnum ammo.
    My 2.25 inch SP101 at I believe 26oz is where you start getting into a weight that allows you to comfortably fire 50 or more rounds in a range session
     
  23. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    U S A
    I own and carry the Ruger 357 as my EDC. I purchased it in .357 without any intention of ever shooting full load .357's. I bought the .357 because it offered 3.6 ounce weight advantage over the .38 special that helps in absorbing recoil. It has a glass smooth trigger pull that is substantially shorter than my SP101. It's built heavier with a stainless steel frame that is designed to take the punishment of the heavier loads. Even though I bought it with no intention of shooting .357 loads...I could... if I ever so desire. With bullet technology advancing almost daily they're offering some interesting loads that show superior results in short barrels. So I like keeping that option on the table.

    I practice with with Remington .38+P 125 grain SJHP and carry ARX .38 Special 77 grain copper polymer matrix. (the 77 grain in .38 Special has a velocity out of the LCR @ 1050 fps...I'm guessing the 86 grain .357 travels at around 1600 fps out of that short barrel) that's wicked fast for a 1-7/8 " barrel....a good reason to keep that .357 option open.
     
  24. Tallball

    Tallball Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Messages:
    2,950
    "If you're willing to get a 442 in .38spl, why not the lighter weight LCR in .38spl?"

    Mine weighs something like 13 ounces. I carry nasty HP 38 special +P in it. The trigger is terrific. I could carry any snubby revolver, have tried most of them, and it's what I prefer to carry.
     
  25. Cump

    Cump Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Utah
    After work, I went to the range a friend, and was able to shoot the 340pd he just inherited. 38s fun. 158 gr federal sp a jolt but on paper. 130 gr Golden Sabers controllable and had some potential.

    Considering the 360 is 4 oz heavier, I'm considering it. I would like the option of shooting the 357 wadcutters I load, and I could always choose between mild 357s and 38 +p for carry.

    It looks like I might ignore my poll, or if you combine the j-frame results, maybe I'm not.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice