S&W model 60 why no love?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Propforce, Sep 29, 2016.

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  1. Propforce

    Propforce Member

    Sep 19, 2011

    Nice photo! The 649 looks like a viable option esp. for pocket carry. Who makes those holsters? They are good looking holsters. Also, what model is the gun on the right? I had thought it's a 686 Talo exclusive but not sure about the 8 shot moon clip next to it.
  2. bsms

    bsms Member

    May 22, 2010
    Southern Arizona
    I've got a 60 and a 649. I prefer the 60, although the 649 has a great SA trigger. I shoot 357 rounds with it at times at the range, using wood Altamont grips. Concentrate on sight picture and trigger pull and let the bang surprise you.

    For concealed carry, I prefer 38+P. I think I'd get a faster, more accurate follow-up shot, and a 2" barrel is minimal for 357. The increase in power isn't worth the increase in recoil and flash. I've been known to carry both, which gives me 10 rounds and balances the weight on my hips. I find them easier to conceal than a Shield, harder than an LCP. I'm considering getting the 3" Model 60.
  3. shootniron

    shootniron Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    No love here for the 60...never wanted a snub with an exposed hammer. Been carrying a gun for 38yrs and have never had any use for a snub with exposed hammer...just don't like it. Only reason that I carry a snub is self defense...so,I don't need the hammer and I shoot all of my DA revolvers more double action, anyway. Nowadays, my .357mag snub is a LCR...which is a much better magnum to shoot than the mod 60. YMMV
  4. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

    Aug 20, 2009
    Great Northwest - Idaho!
    I carried a 60 (no dash; .38 Special) for years as a federal Special Agent. I still have that revolver, as well as a number of Model 36s in 2" and 3". They're fine guns - nothing wrong with them at all. I don't actively carry the 60 anymore as there are easier things to carry these days. I do however, sometimes stash it alongside the seat in the car or in the door pocket. It's a bit heavy to carry around compared to today's choices. GREAT little guns though. I have a M36 hanging off a magnet on the underside of a living room table, as a matter of fact. They're even better if you know a gunsmith qualified to lighten and smooth the action a tiny little bit.

    Edit: when I carried the 60, it was in a paddle holster and under a suit jacket... didn't really matter if anyone saw it. It would be a bit harder to totally conceal, with the fairly sharp edges of the hammer. I agree with that issue.
  5. Vanguard.45

    Vanguard.45 Member

    Sep 21, 2005
    NW Indiana
    Model 60s are expensive compared with other options

    With Airweights and LCRs being able to be found for about half the price of the 60, it seems that there are better options from an economic standpoint.

    I LOVE the Model 60 I had for a while. May get another one eventually, but the price alone makes it further down the list of must-haves right now.
  6. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    A 60 was my first non-hunting revolver purchase, bought it at a farm sale for $100 when I was 15.

    I'm probably biased, as I have a deep love for all steel, small frame 357magnums - started by that 60. My EDC throughout the winter is a steel revolver in 357mag, usually an SP101.
  7. 200Apples
    • Contributing Member

    200Apples Member

    Jul 6, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Well, there are those who worship the plastic pistol and then there are those who don't. :D
    Kidding, kind of. Additionally, Airweights are not half the price and if you like modern Ruger wheelguns, then, there you go.

    I purchased my Model 60-15 because of it's svelt size, and though this one is indeed a J-Magnum framed 60 and chambered in .357, to shoot the pile of .38 Special my Marlin 1894 isn't yet tuned to feed.

    The Model 60 also bears the distinction of being the first all-stainless steel revolver of large-scale manufacture.

    Turns out it was the gateway drug for my current chronic wheely-gun condition. I am still quite fond of this diminutive piece and .38 Special +P is a near-perfect load for it.


  8. PRM

    PRM Member

    Apr 14, 2008
    I don't care for the .357 over the .38 Special. I have owned a Model 60-9 in .357 since 1997. It is one of my favorite guns, but, has only had .38 Specials shot through it. Just personal preference.
  9. Cemo

    Cemo Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    Mod 60 3" .357 and Ruger SP101 3" .357

    Attached Files:

  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Apr 24, 2007
    All of my early J frames had exposed hammers, mostly Model 36s with 2 and 3 inch barrels. Would have gone with a Model 60 but they were in very short supply back then and cost a small fortune (to me at least), when you did find one. Then I came across a nickel plated Model 38 and it was love at first sight. A true pocket revolver it was perfect for that type of carry and weighed so much less than an steel model like the Model 60 that I was hooked on the nearly hammerless design. Current J frames are a Model 649 and Model 638.


  11. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

    Dec 13, 2012
    I carried a M36 3" for nearly twenty years, almost daily and liked it a lot. I found that the grip length, not necessarily the barrel length was the deciding factor in conceal-ability. I eventually bought a M60, in the same barrel length and found it equally good. I use an OWB holster of my own, open top design that's good throughout the year... a long t-shirt covers it adequately in summer and, of course, winter is no problem. IIRC, I've never had a hang-up from the hammer, while drawing...and yes, I cover the hammer with my thumb on the rare occasions when I pocket carry.

    A J-frame's cylinder is just a bit thicker than a single stack 9mm auto's width, and I've found that if you can carry one, the other is just as concealable. The choice is really about the capacity of the 9mm and the gun's controls, (safety or not, magazine release, slide stop, and feeding); vs. the revolver's lower round count & simplicity (pull the trigger, if it goes click, pull the trigger again). For me, the simplicity is the factor, especially in the heat and confusion of a close in defensive encounter. I'll not denigrate those who choose an auto, as each of us must make that determination based on locality, training regimen, and personal physical characteristics.

    As to the recoil issues with .357 ammunition, I've found that practice with a lighter load, to learn the gun, practice presentation techniques etc., works just fine. I carry Hornady 125 gr JHP's for SD use, practice with them from time to time and do just fine. Btw, I'm 70 yo now and use Skelton's old favorite .357 load for practice, (a 158 gr LSWC at 1150 fps). It's doable in a light, all steel J-frame, and does a nice job of emulating the SD load's recoil.

    I live on a farm, here in KY and make daily trips to town, and I maintain and use a range, behind the barn just about every day...for that reason, I don't feel the need to go through 200-300 rounds for a good practice session. Two or three cylinders of loads do the trick nicely, and are not punishing even with full house .357's. For those that need to use a public range, once a month, a higher round count is necessary to cover all defensive drills, and that would punish even the most hardened of shooting hands.

    All in all, the .357 is a good choice for defensive use, and the Smith J-frame a fine choice on its own. A heavier gun (don't know if Ruger's offering is heavier but suspect that it is), is a bigger drag on the belt, but would make practice sessions with higher round counts more comfortable.

    HTH's Rod
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