S&W 60 3" vs Ruger SP101

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Styx, Feb 8, 2021.

  1. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Looking specially at the S&W 60 3" and the Ruger SP101 for carry. Anyone carry or have experience with both? Any one have side by side pictures? Will the SP101 fit Jframe leather holsters?
     
  2. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I carried a full-lug 3" J-frame .38SPC for a while, it carried well enough. Mine had target sights on it, so it did catch the clothing a little. I can't shoot a J-frame very well, different grips helped, but the problem was me... I retired it for a semiauto.

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  3. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    I have experience with both.

    I undertook a determined effort to become proficient with the J frame. My efforts were successful. Part of my practice and carry was with a S&W 3" 60. That revolver points easily and naturally for me Ease of pointing is everything , in my opinion and in my experience. A 2" J frame points reasonably well ; a 3" J frame points very well.

    I owned a SP101 in for about a year. During that time I ran at least 600 rounds (.38sp) through that revolver , trying to become proficient with it. It turned out to be a waste of ammunition. IMO , the Ruger SP101 points like a short section of 2x4. I did not adapt well to the trigger either. I tried different front sights , spent money on grips , worked on my hand grip - nothing worked for me. Maybe it's the grip angle , the trigger , sight picture ; probable a combination of all those things , but I could not put rounds on target worth a hoot. On top of all that , it seemed to me that a revolver of the bulk of that SP should hold 6 rounds. Sold the Ruger rather than waste more ammo.

    There are folks who swear by the Ruger SP101. I am sure that their accounts are credible. Me , I swore at it.
     
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  4. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Both are comparable quality guns. Like Waveski's experience, the main difference is going to be ergonomics. Both are snap enough to be easily carried and heavy enough to actually shoot 357s decently. IMO both really shine with 38s as the extra heft tames the already fairly mild recoil.
     
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  5. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I have the SP101.
    I fought it for a long time much like @Waveski . I was near the point of giving up more than once. It is hard to shoot accurately. I admit that I was not looking for minute of bad guy.....but more kill-shot accuracy. I felt like I was starting over.....but I got it. I am satisfied with the Sp101 accuracy.
    I feel like the ruger is the more rugged pistol, and the s&w is perhaps more refined.
    20210131_142147.jpg 20210131_142053.jpg
     
  6. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    I've never shot a M60, but I've owned both SA/DA and DAO j-frame Airweight snubbies and I also had an SP101 with the 2.25" barrel for a couple years. I spent a lot of time with the Ruger and carried it for a year but it always naturally pointed high, similar to how Glocks do for me. And I never could shoot the SP101 as accurately in single action as I could my little 442 in double action. I eventually sold it, I thought about getting a S&W 640 but for the price they are I decided I might as well spend a tad more and get the Kimber K6s with an extra round. I opted for the 3" barrel and I love that gun, it's my daily carry piece.
     
  7. Styx

    Styx Member

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    I had the same dilemma back in 2018. I even started a thread about it (SP101 vs 640 Pro vs K6s?). I ended up going with the Model 640 pro. I loved it and carried it up until last month when it was stolen.

    Back then, a 640 Pro was $750ish, and the k6s was around $200 more. In the current market, they cost about the same. The 640 Pro is going for around $900 now. Plus, I still have hopes that I might someday get my 640 back, so I don't want to buy another one just yet.

    Anyway, I was looking at the 3" Ks6, but my only issue with it is it seems like a boutique revolver. Does not seem as rugged or like a "go to war" type of revolver that can handle abuse or a study diet of 357. Then again, I never handled one in person. What's your opinion on that?

    I know the Smiths are smaller compared to Rugers. That's because Smiths are forged steel and the SP101 is cast steel thus needs the extra bulk to be as robust. Like the SP101, the Ks6 also has a casted frame, but it seems like a much smaller gun. Wish I could get my hands on one in person.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
  8. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    The SP101 just isn't a great gun IME. Rough action, brutal DA trigger, typical Ruger chunkiness, etc.

    It does do a good job of setting what the lower bound of size should be for a 357 though. A 3" barrel and Ruger factory grips are as compact as I'd care to go in that caliber, anything less is a 38-only proposition. Heck, if you decided the SP101 was a 38-only proposition, I wouldn't disagree with you.

    Never shot a Smith model 60.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
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  9. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    Looks like I posted in that thread too, good to know the memory of my experience with the SP101 hasn't changed much.

    I think if you want to "go to war" with a revolver you're better off stepping up to at least a medium frame GP100 or 686. That being said, I don't see any reason the Kimber wouldn't last as long as a 640 or SP101. I've only put maybe 350 rounds of .38's and 100 rounds of .357 mags through mine since I got it at the end of April, with closer to a thousand or more dry-fires, but I fully expect it would hold up to a lifetime of normal use just as the other two will. Now if you like to abuse them bycreating super hot .357 loads I don't know how it would last, but I didn't have any experience with doing that to my SP101 either. While these small frame steel guns soak up recoil better than Airweights, I still don't necessarily enjoy shooting .357 mag through them like I do my k-frame.

    Also, I'm pretty sure the Kimber's frame is forged, at least that's what these two articles claim:
    http://guntoters.com/blog/2018/05/06/kimber-k6s-357-magnum-revolver/
    https://www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/kimber-k6s-dasa-combat-revolver-stopping-power-unrivaled-concealability/383359

    If I had a complaint it's just that the 3" version isn't as common so it was difficult to find a holster I liked. I started out with a universal leather holster, which understandably sucked. I soon found a kydex from Etsy which seemed to be built OK, it just wasn't comfortable since I carry AIWB and the plastic dug into my thigh, even when I covered the back with moleskin. Eventually I discovered that Tucker leather makes one for a 3", it took most of the summer to wait for it to come in but it's made well and is comfortable.

    I know the current market is unpredictable, but I was able to get mine for $700 new back in April 2020, total was $750 after shipping and FFL fee.

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  10. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Well I maybe should have said "duty grade" revolver. IDK, K6s just appears to be less robust, but that might just be because they made it look more pretty and less utilitarian than the 640 Pro and SP101.

    I don't think the had the 3" version back in 2018 when I was in the market, and at time time, the K6s was only readily available in the wild for about a year and a half. Seems like prices must have dropped some later on. You're right. The frame is forged from what I could find. I could have sworn that I read somewhere that it was cast like Ruger back when I was researching them. Matter of fact, I'm sure I read that somewhere.

    I'm leaning towards the K6s. The only issue now is finding one. One last question. Does your 3" K6s not fit in 3" jframe leather holsters securely?
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Put both on a scale. Go with lightest one for 24/7 carry.

    Have M60 2" & 337PD. The PD @ 10 oz weight empty is a dream to carry. But recoil is not for the inexperienced.
     
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  12. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    I don't know how robust the Kimber is , but I would be giving that one some consideration given the fact that if provides 6 rounds.
    As far as robust is concerned , I doubt you would wear out a kimber. Planning on 10,000 rounds? Probably not.
    As to weight , a snub revolver that weighs less than 20 some ounces for shooting 357 magnum? You maybe , not me. But that is a whole different discussion.
     
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  13. camsdaddy

    camsdaddy Member

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    I have a 2" 60 and a 642. I really love j frames and shooting them. If I came across a 3" with fixed sights I would probably grab it. J frames are a great size and with boot grips point like a laser for me.

    I have owned several SP101's. I find the Rugers feel awkward and when shooting 357 they cut my finger.
     
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  14. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I have a J-frame and have had several Taurus equivalents (Model 85).

    I decided to give SP101's another chance and bought my third one used just recently.

    The J-frames are much easier to carry. The aluminum-framed ones are a nice light weight and the recoil doesn't bother me.

    SP101's are heavier and chunkier than J-frames. I would carry one OWB with a good belt, but that would be a real brick in cargo shorts or something like that.

    J-frames point well for me and fit my hands decently. I can shoot them as well as any other small CC handgun.

    SP101's don't fit my hands well, but that's just my hands. I haven't shot them well in the past, but I will try harder this time. :)

    The triggers on most of the SP101's I've owned or shot or fondled haven't been that good, but one of my friends does own one with a decent trigger, and my recent one is decent, too.

    On average, I would expect the J-frame trigger to be much better, but you might get particularly lucky or unlucky with either.
     
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  15. camsdaddy

    camsdaddy Member

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    SP101's don't fit my hands well, but that's just my hands. I haven't shot them well in the past, but I will try harder this time. :)

    Aren't your hands the only hands that matter? I totally get it. Sometimes I'm just determined to make something work. It a large part of the fun.
     
  16. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    I’ve owned several SP101’s a couple were fantastic.. fit finish spot on .. I was into leverguns.. ended up trading them .. I have tried 3X to replace them .. none worked out ... canted barrels .. crane frame fit horrible...
    My small 357 is a LCR .....
    A6E99333-FCFC-4CC3-912A-41F396A53C41.jpeg

    Size wise the SP101 os bigger than a J frame
    The SP101 is basically the size of a Colt D frame and Charter Bulldog frame

    Now if I was getting a SP101 .. it would receive a close inspection...I would not rule out one

    Another option would be a Taurus 605 basically a J frame size , or a Charter Mag Pug in 357
    Which is 4oz lighter than a SP101
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
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  17. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    What's that 1911 platform on the bottom right ?
     
  18. Drail

    Drail Member

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    A Ruger SP 101 is a very serviceable revolver. Good solid design and I have worked on and competed with both Rugers and S&Ws. But even a tuned Ruger will never even come close to the feel and smoothness of a S&W. Totally different parts geometry. But for close in speed work the SP 101 will get the job done with high reliability.
     
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  19. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    that is a Colts Government .380! ...the full sized one, not the Mustang, etc. I parked the model 60 and started carrying that.
     
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  20. Cump

    Cump Member

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    People are often hard on the sp101 trigger. Jframe triggers aren't great either. Both can be worked on.

    I've had both and jframe triggers probably feel better, but I undoubtedly shoot my sp101 better. And its not just the weight because that's with 357, mild 357 and light wadcutters. (The grip is probably an important factor too.)
     
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  21. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Yea, even with all the usual raving and good reviews for the SP101, for some reason something or another kept me from buying one. I honestly think Ruger should make a stainless frame LCR and offer it in different barrel lengths. It would be a hit.

    If the SP101 doesn't fit your hand well, I know it probably won't fit my hand well either. I'm rrally a S&W revolver guy at heart, but I'm leaning towards trying a Kimber K6s 3" without ever holding, shooting, or seeing on in person.
     
  22. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    I have shot both the SP-101 and the 60-4, both great guns. The SP with 357 is a handful. The 60-4 with a fitted 9mm cylinder is one also. Loaded with 38 specials they are a decision based on mechanical fit, how does the trigger feel, how does the grip feel, I went with S&W. I have owned a 642, 60-4, 942, 940, 36 (3 inch), and a 442.
     
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  23. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    [​IMG]

    3 inch S&W model 60-4
     
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  24. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    "I honestly think Ruger should make a stainless frame LCR..."

    My 38 special LCR is my preferred carry piece. It's 13.5 ounces and has the best trigger of any of my snubbies.

    A stainless steel version would be very interesting... maybe an LCRx, too.
     
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  25. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    The concept of a stainless LCR does not make sense. The proportions of the various components of the gun would vary greatly do to the widely different properties of polymer and stainless steel.The LCR is all about the "L" part.
    One might speculate that Ruger should jump into the J frame size ss market with an entirely new design , but if I were in marketing at Ruger I would ask why venture a fortune in engineering & tooling only to jump into a limited and flooded market?

    To OP opened with a S&W 60 vs SP101 comparison. So far Ruger lcr , Charter, Kimber and Taurus have been thrown into the mix , along with a variety of other Smith models.
    What does the OP think at this point?
     
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