S&W or Ruger 38 or 357 for CC?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Huntolive, Apr 20, 2015.

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  1. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Hello Guys,

    I know you know your stuff, so here is my question:
    I am looking for a solid CC, and possible trail gun, maybe even slightly larger than CC for back up hunting pistol for deer. But primarily CC.

    Considering:
    Ruger LCR in both 38 +P and 357
    S&W 642 airweight 38+P
    S&W Bodyguard 38
    And in higher price range:
    S&W airlite 360 PD 357
    S&W Performance Center 8 shot 357 in either 2.6" brl or 5" brl

    Other thoughts? If for a trail gun, i would add GP 100 to list in 357
    or a 44 Mag both w/ 4-6" brls.

    Ideas?
     
  2. gun_with_a_view

    gun_with_a_view Member

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    The only gun that can cover all that ground is the Ruger SP101 in 357 MAG with the four-inch barrel.
     
  3. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Of all you have mentioned.

    All the air weights from Smith or Ruger will hurt too bad to shoot accurately for a trail gum.
    (Think getting hit in the palm every shot with a ball bat!)

    Your trail gun should be a medium frame .38/357 with a 4" barrel and adjustable sights.
    With a hammer spur, making accurate long range single action fire possible.

    Air-weight, DAO, snub-nose guns won't get it done for you much beyond bad breath SD distance.
    Which is what they are designed for.

    rc
     
  5. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    I have a 3" Ruger LCRx and am very pleased with it. It's very accurate on a practical level; that is to say, it's easy to shoot it well. The DA trigger is superb. The extra length improves the sight radius which helps, and I expect that it gets another 150 fps or so over the 1.87" version although I haven't chrono'd it.

    Right now they only offer it in .38 Special. I expect the same thing in .357 Mag is forthcoming and would appeal to lots of folks.

    Maybe an SP101 with a longer barrel or a GP100 or K- or L-frame Smith would be better for a backup to your hunting rifle, but not nearly so easy to carry as the 15.25 oz LCRx.
     
  6. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Member

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    My first choice would be a S&W K (or L) frame with a 3” barrel.
     
  7. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    If you can find one for a reasonable price, a 2 1/2 inch S&W 686 or Ruger 2 3/4 inch Security Six.

    [​IMG]

    Or even a 2 1/2 inch S&W Combat Magnum.

    I've got them all and any of them will fill the bill.

    Deaf
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Concealed carry:

    Ruger LCR
    S&W Model 442/642
    S&W Model 638

    Trail gun:

    Ruger LCRx
    S&W Model 60 3" barrel, adjustable sights
     
  9. Stormin.40

    Stormin.40 Member

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    I love my 642 (J Frame Snubnose) for CC but it never goes as my primary when out on the trail with the family. I also love my 586 (4" L Frame) and it often is carried as my primary when on the trail but never for CC.

    If I were to get 1 gun for both task I would be looking at the SP101 or S&W Model 60. Pick the barrel length that you feel comfortable with, about 3" is probably the perfect compromise. If Ruger comes out with the 357 version of the LCRx with 3" barrel that may be a good choice as well.
     
  10. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks for all the advice,
    I agree the best to cover all bases at a reasonable price is the SP101 w/ 4" brl.
    The question is, do I really want 2 carry all that steel daily for CC?
    So, if now I am talking about strictly CC defensive gun, but want sufficient knock down power for both humans and as an emergency only last ditch bail-out defensive trail gun, what do I get? Do I NEED 357? or will 38 fill the bill?

    I had a sp101 357 2"brl that I likled the feel of better than the LCR, but didn't carry much as it is a rock, and not very accurate (mine was DAO).
    I am leaning towards the LCRx 3" brl, but wish it came in 357...
    I would also consider the LCR 2" brl in 38+P strictly for CC: Thoughts?

    I could also get a S&W Bodyguard 38 w/ laser and night sights very cheap.

    Anyone know much about the S&W Performance Center 8 shot 357?
    I can get one in 2.6" or 5" (I am fallin in love w/ the both, but not sure i Need them, and they are about $1000 each) Maybe worth it to have 8 rounds of 357 at the hip, even if they are rocks to carry.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  11. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    I stress this to all of my CCW students: DON'T shoot magnum loads in an airweight revolver. Sure, the guns are designed to handle it (if duly rated), but it's an unpleasant experience at best. I have students fire various firearms (semi-auto, revolvers) in the fam fire portion to see for themselves.

    The most suitable firearm I use for magnum loads is my Ruger GP100 in 6", but it's not light by any standard. I would never carry this for concealed because it's way too big and heavy, but I do carry it in my car on frequent occasions.

    So, what firearm do my students choose in the long-run? It runs the gamut, but most women (and a few men) choose snub .38 Specials in all steel frames, while most men (and a few women) choose .380 autos. I educate my students on the merits and drawbacks of all firearms and ammunition, and ultimately they need to decide on what's best for them based on how and where they carry.

    I can't tell you how many women have come to my class with a firearm chosen for them by their husband/boyfriend/significant other only to be very frustrated and angry because they don't like the manual of arms and shooting characteristics of that gun. I haven't kept records, but I would say about 80% of them choose something else after the class is over and give the gun back to the husbands/BFs.

    When it comes to concealed carry, the gun you choose has to be right for YOU. This is a very personal decision and one that cannot be prescribed by some formula. These are not safe queens that you take out to plink on a Saturday afternoon. If you carry every day, you'll quickly learn what you like and don't like about your carry piece.
     
  12. SFsc616171

    SFsc616171 Member

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    For CCW, I carry a '642' design in .38 Special, loaded with either full standard pressure wadcutters, or standard pressure non-hollow point semi-wadcutters.

    I would suggest, for a trail gun, a plus-p rated four-inch barreled .38 Special revolver. Why? There are a myriad of standard pressure and souped-up factory loadings, that when paired with a four-inch K-frame, will not hammer your hand, but will deliver adequate performance at distances better suited for that frame.
     
  13. PRM

    PRM Member

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    I've always like the J frame S&Ws. I picked up a 3 inch Model 36 sometime back and have found it pretty much meets my CC and other needs. Everything is a trade off. The J frame is one of the time tested offerings and the 3 inch barrel, at least for me, gives a better balance and the extra weight makes for faster follow up shots and easier sight acquisition. You can still find these vintage revolvers on Gun Broker in the $400-$450 range. S&W also offers the new Model 60 Pro Series with a 3 inch barrel.
     

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  14. Stumper

    Stumper Member

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    The guns that we shoot best are seldom the easiest to carry-especially concealed. That being said I have gravitated toward ease of carry in a trail gun over ease of shooting.(I do want a shootable carry piece but I don't want to tote a target gun). One upon a time I packed a 4 5/8" .45 Colt Blackhawk. Then I carried a 4" Security Six .357......then I downsized to a 3" .38 spl J frame. That is really just about perfect except for theoretical "power". Now I often carry an LCR.357 or a 3"Airlite 360 M&P .357. They carry great but a steel frame 3"J frame is more fun/easier to shoot well.
     
  15. gun_with_a_view

    gun_with_a_view Member

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    Methinks the OP is best advised to sever the CC weapon from the hunting firearm, as the two are simply different animals. Yes, this means owning two guns. :D
     
  16. highpower

    highpower Member

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    If you try to make one gun do too many things you must be willing to make some compromises. The things that make a good trail gun aren't necessarily going to make a good CC gun.

    I CC either my Shield or one of my snubbie revolvers. For trail walking, I prefer my 4" M29 S&W.
     
  17. red rick

    red rick Member

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    I would get 3" .357 at the least if you want some Va. black bear protection . I carry a SP101 .357 , 3" a lot .
     
  18. fiftybmg

    fiftybmg member

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    All the revolvers originally listed are too light [ except the 8-shot ] , the recoil is not manageable with factory ammo, they become unpleasant to shoot.

    The perfect choice for carry and trail is a Security Six with 4" barrel. You should find a good used one quite easily. It carries better IWB than a 2" model [ with the right holster ]. You can carry .38 special +P in it, and load it with hard cast .357 for outdoors.

    The GP100 is bulky for CC, it is almost the same size as the model 29 S&W.
     
  19. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

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    These fat Pachmahrs make my 101 ok even with full loads.
     

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  20. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    I also concur with the recommendations for the 3-4" SP101. It's on the petite side (comparitively), and maybe a little snappy, but it ain't like letting firecrackers go off in your hand or anything, and a large synthetic grip ( Pachmayrs,Hogues) fixes up the ergos and recoil nicely. Plus, you can always shoot .38's in a .357, but you can't do the opposite. That versatility makes the .357 the better choice over the .38,especially in a woods gun.
     
  21. boom boom

    boom boom Member

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    My advice is try to find a gun that fits your hand for ccw and then dress around that gun. Ammo type then should be tailored that gun to what you can fire accurately and with speed with perfect reliability. Whether that gun is a semi-automatic or revolver is probably less important unless you have specific requirements. Take your time, find out what you like if you are around a range that rents firearms, or if some friends allow you to.

    I probably carry a J-Frame Model 60 more than any other, but it fits my small hands like a glove, shoots to its poa, and I can shoot very accurately with that particular weapon. It is also easily concealed. The recoil is tolerable from +p ammo and I usually fire about 50 rounds or so per range trip. I have also trained in reloading the wee beastie with speedloaders to make up for its limited capacity. I have other revolvers and semis that I remain acquainted with but I always shoot the guns that fit my hand most accurately. Thus, I still keep a BHP, but it fits my hands, I shoot it well, and I have tailored the ammunition to that gun (no +p and it likes rounded ogives in hollowpoints--no xtps).


    Imho, Hunting and trail guns would need to meet different requirements depending on which state you are in and what game that you are trying to hunt If I was in grizzly country, even the really big bores would be on the table.
     
  22. jdavis123

    jdavis123 Member

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    Originally posted by Gun-With-A-View:Methinks the OP is best advised to sever the CC weapon from the hunting firearm, as the two are simply different animals. Yes, this means owning two guns.
    This is the correct answer. Any gun that is light and small enough for to be an EDC weapon is going to be lacking for use as an effective trail or back up gun for medium game animals. The closest gun that I know of that would be a decent compromise is the S&W model 19 with a 4" barrel. The 2.5" barrel would be a second choice. These are good middle weight .357 magnums that offer the best balance between power and weight. However, no handgun is an ideal do all weapon. The OP will be better served with two distinct handguns.
     
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