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Ruger sp101 (.357) or Smith m60 (.357)??

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by LoganDub8388, May 6, 2009.

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  1. LoganDub8388

    LoganDub8388 Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    G-vegas, NC
    Looking at getting one of these wheelguns, brand new of course, b/c ive been looking for a smaller 357 for a while...

    this will be a carry gun or possibly BUG

    any info is welcome
  2. cortez kid

    cortez kid Member

    Mar 15, 2005
    Scranton, Pa
    All my Roogers are single action, so I really can't say about the 101. I do, however, carry a mod 60-14. Lock (sorry kitty) and all. Very happy and never feel under gunned. Carry it all day and it doesn't get heavy on my. I like the idea of the .357. If I were to do it again, I'd get a hammer-less, but at the time I wanted the single action capability.
  3. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    Pinal County, Arizona
  4. rmuzz

    rmuzz Member

    Jan 20, 2009
    "brand new of course"

    Gun shows in my area have had a lot of good Rugers and Smiths in good shape at fair prices, why this aversion to buying quality used goods?
  5. Oro

    Oro Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    WA state
    Both of these guns have a loyal following. You can't really go wrong either way. Handle both, if possible rent them at a range and shoot side by side.

    I will vote my favorite "pocket" snubby - pre-lock S&W 60 (or 36) 2" in .38 special. The newer ones have a slightly stretched frame for the .357 and are less concealable. I also don't think "J frame" and ".357" should appear in the same sentence, much less the same gun. I dig the all steel of the 60/36 over the airweights/alloys - it's not much more weight to carry and it makes a big difference in recoil when you pull the trigger.
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    I agree, handle both ans see which feels best in your hand. The SP101 is slightly larger and slightly heavier than the M60. I prefer the S&W J frame but there's nothing wrong with a Ruger, either will serve you well. I own a M640 and it's a great .357 Magnum J frame. (Centennial frame instead of a Chief's Special frame) I mostly carry a M642 in my pocket though. I feel a .38 Special +P is just fine for SD.
  7. sparkyguy66

    sparkyguy66 Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Whenever one of these threads pop-up, I gotta laugh. To ask which 357 mag snubby is like asking which latex glove gives best performance while an M80 goes off in your hand. I know I know the Rugers' are supposed to be built like tanks, but IMO, I am against shooting 357 magnumbs out of small frame gun. It is not an enjoyable experience, practice using full-house magnums will quickly diminish, and in a self-defence situation it could be disorienting and dangerous. Might as well just buy flash-bang grenades. The 38 special +p is plenty of power for self-defence and not as damaging to a shooters' wits. My suggestion is a steel j-frame, hammerless in the 38spl flavor, new or used.
  8. popeye
    • Contributing Member

    popeye Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    N.W. Indiana
    I must agree with the last 2 posts. .357 out of a J frame is craziness. A +P out of J is bad enough. I've got a 640, a 60, and a Taurus UL 85 with a bobbed hammer. All are .38 spec..
  9. glassman

    glassman Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    Springfield, Pennsylvania
    I recently bought an M60 w/ 3" barrel. I went to the range with 2 boxes of .357's and a box of .38's. Shooting the .357 was not a pleasant experience and I had to stop after the first fifty rounds. I expected a stiff recoil before I went and put a set of performance center grips on it, thinking that the larger grips would help with control...it didn't. It's a very nice gun and feels good in the hand but from now on, I'll be shooting .38's.
  10. defjon

    defjon Member

    Oct 22, 2005
    I have the SP101, for sale on this board actually...

    Anyway, I would say the ruger. Honestly, its a great little blaster. I can unload all five 357 cartridges in just seconds, it really soaks the recoil of that round, but it carries like a little 38 j-frame...

    Great guns! Triggers smooth out tons with dry firin'.
  11. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Pullman, WA
    First off, I'm a S&W guy, however, I have shot a Ruger GP100
    with a 6" Bbl. and it is an excellent & accurate .357 mag. So, if
    you chooose the SP101 I would think it would serve you as
    well as a S&W Model 60 Chiefs Special.

    I have a S&W MOdel 60 with a 3" Bbl. plain ramp front and
    Adjustable rear sight. I also have had a S&W 686P 4" bbl. I'm
    convinced the best platform for the .357 Mag with it's slow
    burning magnum powder is best used in a larger frame handgun
    as it was first introduced in 1935 on the N-frame platform.
    I tried a cylinder full of 158 gr. full house .357 mag in my 60
    and that was it for the day, brutal recoil for ME> My carry
    or personal defense load for my 60 is 125 gr. Speer
    Gold DOt .38 SPecial +P. Manageable recoil and quick followup
    with not too much muzzle blast. I really like the 60 with the
    3 inch barrel, and larger grip than the snubby versions in the
    J-frame platform. I guess the only one I'd consider with a shorter
    barrel in the J-frame line would be the enclosed hammer
    640 in .357 Mag/.38 Spcl +P MOdel 640 with the 2 1/8" barrel.

    FWIW - Speer's 135 gr. Short Barrel Gold DOt load has on thier website
    performance of approx. from my memory,
    1 6/8" Bbl = 880 FPS
    2 1/8" Bbbl. 910 FPS
    3" Bbl. 965 FPS

    To me with the snubbies and .357 mag the only thing
    you gain is a heck of a lot more recoil and BIG MUZZLE
    FLASH! from the unburned powder.

  12. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Pullman, WA
    Forgot to mention an acquaintance is shopping for a snubbie and
    looking at a Taurus 851 - I did a google two days ago and
    found Buds Guns currently prices
    Taurus 851 @ $385
    Ruger SP101 @ $445
    S&W MOdel 60 @ $515

    Now, say 20 years down the road, which one is going to
    retain the value better in your opinion?

  13. Noxx

    Noxx Member

    Jun 8, 2007
    I agree and I don't... while I agree that .357 on a J frame is a real handful, I'm very comfortable with +p in my 642.

    That being said, get the S&W!
  14. jfh

    jfh Member

    Aug 28, 2003
    Maple Plain, MN
    An observation:

    The issue of "crazy recoil," "(lightweight) j-frames," and "357 Magnum" is largely a matter of the amount of shooting you do and hand conditioning. Once your hand is well-conditioned and appropriately calloused, you can shoot any .357 magnum round--at least a cylinder full.

    Since I don't particularly care for abusive recoil--even with well-conditioned hands, I carry a lightweight j-frame and typically stoke it with the "fbi load"--e.g., a soft-shooting 158-gr LSWC-HP round running around 800 fps in manufactured ammo.

    My preferred carry round would be a 357 158 gr. LSWC-HP running about 900 fps.--I build that for practice, but AFAIK such a load is not commercially available.

    These ballistics are for the nominal 2" barrels; the same round from a 3" M60 is noticably stronger but equally shootable.

    As for the OP questions--I've owned--and carried both a 2" SP101 and various j-frames. IMO, the 101 weighs enough that it needs to be carried in a holster--it's nominally twice and heavy as the lightweight j-frames, which can be carried in a front pocket (and, inside a pocket holster). This factor would, I think be a realistic one if you are considering its role as a BUG.

    Jim H.
  15. S&W-Keeper

    S&W-Keeper Member

    Feb 6, 2009
    My name says it all.
  16. dougwx12

    dougwx12 Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    Boise, ID
    I have both, plus a s&w 360. S&W is definitely more refined, and lacks the sharp edges of the ruger that can make it hurt under recoil (easily fixed, but you will have to fix it.)

    - 360 is the most pleasant to carry; magnums suck in it.
    - 60 looks the best, feels the best, and shoots nice.
    - sp101 is a frigging tank. heaviest of the bunch, hell for stout, and takes abuse that I would never subject the S&W's to.

    If it'll get a lot of range time, the Ruger is the best bet IMO.
  17. Marvin KNox

    Marvin KNox Member

    Feb 13, 2008
    While I agree that the recoil of .357's is a bit much in a light weight like the 340, I can't agree that they are not doable in an all steel model.

    I have a 340M&P for back up and use the reduced powered .357 ammo - specifically the DPX. I don't shoot it much and it is used for back up and not likely to be reached for. I feel that the recoil will not be felt much with the adrenaline pumping after firing all the ammo I had in my heavier model 60 and going for the BUG. Besides, I'm used to .357's by now.

    For a model 60 or the even heavier Ruger revolver, the .357's may be worth going to for a little extra performance and they are quite managable as well. No reason to go "full house" though. You get all the performance you need with one of the reduced power .357 ammo choices IMO.

    While I've chosen to up the ante a little over the .38's with the .357 DPX - I certainly wouldn't argue at all with anyone who stays with a well chosen .38+p - better recovery time and all that.
  18. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I prefer the Smith -- IMO nicer trigger nicer fit & finish.
  19. dairycreek

    dairycreek Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    North Plains, Oregon
    Like others posters I have both the S&W M60 with a 3" barrell

    and the Ruger SP-101 hammerless with a 2-1/4" barrel


    With no other comment or explanation my EDC gun is the Ruger. Love 'em both; both are shooters; just prefer the Ruger!
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