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Opinions on the S&W Model 60 Pro

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by chrisb507, Oct 24, 2010.

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  1. chrisb507

    chrisb507 Member

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    I'm looking for a revolver that's a compromise between something small enough to carry, and but something I'd be comfortable shooting somewhat regularly. It'd be my first revolver, so I'm looking for kind of a do-it-all in, .38 Special.

    So the S&W Model 60 Pro has caught my eye...love the night sights and wood. The Model 36 is another option. I like the idea of being able to move up to .357, but I'd be just fine with a .38. The 3" barrel seems to be right. I've shot a few K-frames, which I love, but seem a bit much to lug around.

    Of course, I'll handle it before buying and will be comparing/contrasting with an SP101. Any first-hand experience with the Model 60 Pro?
     
  2. exdetsgt

    exdetsgt Member

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    As a former LEO I carried a Model 36, which is, as far as I can tell, the same as a Model 60 except that the 60 is stainless. I still carry it almost daily. I'm not familiar with the Pro model, but you will find that a J-frame beats a K-frame for daily carry. You really can't go wrong with a J-frame Smith & Wesson. They are reliable. I might add that a J-frame requires more practice to shoot well than, say, a Combat Masterpiece, but where I worked (California) you had to qualify with your duty weapon once a month at 25 yards, and as mine was the Model 36, I managed it, although obviously short-barreled revolvers are not really intended for that distance. However, practice is the key. I might point out that steel frame snubbies are way easier on the hand than airweights.
     
  3. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    I carry a Model 60; it was called a 'Pro' when I bought it but I have no idea if there's any difference between a Pro and a regular Model 60.

    I'm very pleased with it as a carry gun. I carry strong side in an IWB pancake by Simply Rugged. I regularly practice with it at 10 yards and find I can reliably put 10 .357 magnum rounds into a 3 inch circle at that distance. My carry load is the Speer .357 magnum Gold Dot. Practice ammo is 50 rounds of reloaded .38 special wadcutters followed by 10 rounds of reloaded .357 magnum THJ's; once a month I fire an additional 5 rounds of my carry ammo.

    My gun has a set of Uncle Mike's rubber grips, which I much prefer over the Model 60 stocks.
    P7080021.jpg
     
  4. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    I've had my eye on the model 60 Pro for a while as well. Here's a list of my considerations; make of them what you will:

    -The 60 handles a lot better (IMO) than the Ruger SP101. The SP101 feels significantly heavier and less refined. I have shot magnums through the Ruger and it's possible, but it ain't no fun. I would imagine the S&W to be much less fun. I'd also imagine that if shooting full-house magnum loads is something you planned to do often, you wouldn't be shopping for a sub-compact revolver.

    -The S&W has an adjustable rear sight and a tritium front post. The sights on the Ruger are fixed and stainless steel...which are pretty much invisible both in bright sunlight due to glare, and at night due to their low profile and lack of illumination.

    -The S&W has a full-length ejector rod (3" and longer bbl lengths); the SP101 does not in any bbl length

    Basically, unless you plan shooting a lot of magnum loads, go with the S&W. IMO it is the nicer gun of the two and I have never been disappointed by S&W. The model 60 is a compromise between weight and shootability, but that's what makes it a good carry gun. The Ruger is not a bad way to go, but since they both fill the same role, why carry the extra weight?

    EDIT:
    mykeal, not sure what the specs on the Pro model were when you bought yours, but the current one has a different underlug than the gun you posted. It still shrouds the ejector rod but it tapers toward the muzzle. The gun also has a tritium front sight and some nice wood grips...possible some trigger work and chamfered charge holes as well but I'm not sure.
     
  5. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Using full house magnum loads in the Model 60:

    No, it's not my idea of fun. The Speer Gold Dot .357 magnum hits hard, very hard. However, with the Uncle Mike's grips it's not painful, and I'm actually more accurate shooting those rounds than my practice .38 sp releoads. I think that's because I unconsciously use a firmer grip. I've been practicing a bit with random chamberings - that is, loading .38's and .357's in a random way so I don't know what's in battery - in order to see if that's what's happening to make the harder hitting round more accurate. So far, no conclusions.

    I wouldn't be afraid to use full house magnums in this gun with some sort of compromise grips - Uncle Mike's or Pachmyers maybe - I suspect the wood grips would be very unpleasant, however.
     
  6. G27RR

    G27RR Member

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    I have a model 60-15 and love it. It does handle better than my SP101 as John Wayne :) mentioned. The night sights are nice and in my opinion full house .357 isn't a big deal with this gun and .38s are easy to handle. Mine has a very nice trigger even in DA.

    SWModel60-152.jpg
     
  7. BossHogg

    BossHogg Member

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    My 60-15 3 inch barrel is about as close to a do everything gun that I've found.

    Very easy with 38s and 125 Golden Sabors 357 (rem). Get it.
     
  8. dex58

    dex58 Member

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    There is a very good review of this particular model on gunblast website.

    http://www.gunblast.com/SW-60Pro.htm

    I have often considered this model myself. However, I already have 2 SP101's. It is much more refined than the SP101.
     
  9. chrisb507

    chrisb507 Member

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    Thanks guys...I'm going to take a look at one of these in my local store next week. Glad to hear ya'll's take on it...
     
  10. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    I'v had this little Taurus for years wife has put a total of 10 rds thru it, double action only, would make a great carry gun, sights are plain jane though.
    392901591.gif
     
  11. rhoggman

    rhoggman Member

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    60-15 w/ Hi-Viz front sight

    I have a model 60-15. Great gun, and I'm not trying to dog it, but I seriously doubt it is something you will want to shoot stout .357s through on a regular basis.

    All my friends have shot mine, and no one seems super impressed by shooting it with stout loads. Big, little, macho, or maneater I'm pretty positive you won't make a hobby out of running magnum loads down the pipe.

    Once again.... great gun. Accurate, compact, solid, and versatile self defense piece. Smooth shooting it is not. I changed out the factory grip with a Hogue Monogrip. Not sure that really helped much.

    Also the rear sight screw forward of the chamber constantly comes loose on mine if I shoot .357 out of it. Lok-tite did not help if that gives you any clue.

    686 Plus is the way to go if you are gonna be a magnum shooter IMO.
     
  12. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    Keep in mind it also depends on what your definition of "full house" loads are--a lot of factory .357 ammo is currently running 1200-1250 fps with a 158 gr. bullet, but 1500 fps with the same bullet weight is easily achievable.
     
  13. watson

    watson Member

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    I tend to agree with the general consensus, that model 60 with at least a 3" barrel would not be a bad choice. I have a buddy of mine that carries an sp101 3" and loves it, he mostly carries .38's but says it handles, .357 just fine it just has a little more oomph. :)

    Yea I help out In my buddies gun shop from time to time and try and steer people away when they come in and want the Sub-2 inch J frame chief special's that have aluminum frames. I tell em if its what they want fine but in that barrel length all .357 does is give em more bark and kick for not much added gain, but some people gotta have what they want so I guess that's that, :banghead:.
     
  14. TexasBill

    TexasBill Member

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    SWM60-15small.jpg

    I am very partial to my Model 60-15 even though I don't carry Magnum rounds in it (.38 Special +P works fine for me). I like the extra weight and extra inch of barrel. Great trigger, too.

    I ordered the grips for the Model 60 Pro from Smith & Wesson and really like how they make the gun feel in my hand. The original grips for the Model 60 replaced the Uncle Mike's Boot grips on my Model 637 Airweight.

    Massad Ayoob also likes the Model 60 Pro.
     
  15. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    I like my 3" model 60 very much.

    The one disadvantage? Your thumb may end up pretty close to that cylinder latch, and if it is, you'll feel it under recoil.

    One big advantage? There are a huge variety of grips available for these guns, in all shapes and sizes. Fit matters.

    Holsters can be a little tricky to find, though. Search THR for earlier threads.
     
  16. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    I have noticed the thumb hitting the cylinder latch problem when shooting Airweight revolvers. I'd imagine that's why they originally came with flat latches...though they're not made any more, the cylinder latch is a relatively simple piece and if you wanted a flat latch, I'm sure it would not be hard to get one made.
     
  17. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

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    The 60Pro is a gorgeous gun. I have one and have carried it IWB when I wanted something very concealable.
     
  18. vaa

    vaa Member

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    Oct 24, 2010
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    I'm about to buy a new 2.25" Model 60 before the rebate runs out. The fit in hand vs the SP101 is night and day. The M60 fits my hand like a glove. I want it as a carry and range revolver. How much better is the 3" version as a range gun? I'll be carrying the M60 about 5-15% of the time.

    What's the deal with the $600 price tag? SS is supposed to be cheaper than aluminum. Airweight Smiths are going for $400 before rebate.
     
  19. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

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    The 3" is a lot better as a range gun. It has slightly less recoil and muzzle blast, more velocity, and has a full-length ejector rod (the 2 1/4" version does not). The only reason to go with the ~2" barreled guns is if you plan to carry it in your pocket. The model 60 has an exposed hammer and adjustable sights; it's not well-suited for pocket carry anyway so you might as well get the 3".

    Couldn't tell you why the price is what it is. My guess is that's it's a lot easier to mill aluminum than steel. Ruger SS revolvers are cheaper because they're cast and not machined.

    Keep in mind the Pro model has wooden one-piece grips ($50-75), a tritium front sight ($50), adjustable rear sight ($30?), trigger work and a different underlug...whereas the Airweights are fixed sight guns with rubber grips. Even at that, I have not seen them below $430 or so new.

    The 60 Pro is such a beautiful gun...it really is a shame they don't offer it without the lock.
     
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