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Old October 24, 2010, 10:49 PM   #1
Inscrutable
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Pick Me A Winner - S&W and Colt

I inherited 3 snub-nose .38 revolvers - S&W Model 37, S&W Model 60, and a Colt Cobra.
How would you rate the 3 revolvers for best overall and why?

Thank you.
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Old October 24, 2010, 11:15 PM   #2
SIGSHR
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Of the three you have I would choose the S&W M-60 as I prefer steel frames
and the stainless steel makes it more weather and corrosion proof. All are high quality revolvers of course.
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Old October 24, 2010, 11:34 PM   #3
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In function I doubt there is any difference in the three. The Model 60, as SIGSHR says, is corrosion resistant. I use EEZOX on my firearms. It protects against corrosion. There are similar products on the market that lube and proctect dry. I have no issues in carrying a firearm thus protected.
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Old October 25, 2010, 07:09 AM   #4
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I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. It really comes down to user choice on this one.
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Old October 25, 2010, 12:23 PM   #5
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5 shots, 5 shots, 6 shots.

Is the 60 a newer .357 frame/cylinder or the older .38? (not that it makes much difference but it does... or could to some)

Congrats on the inheritance. Too bad that someone in the family must typically pass on before that sort of transaction occurs. (note to self: give kids the dang guns before you go, hoping to see a smile on their faces and maybe some range time and general BSing time together to discuss the merits of each)

'Twere I to rank them, I'd put the one that isn't being made anymore at the top of the list, so I'd say the little COLT snake as most valuable. Who doesn't love those little Pony made snakes?

But as to best overall? Have to shoot them each and see how they felt and shot. Then I'd probably rotate them on some regular basis so as not to play favorites
koff 60 koff.
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Old October 25, 2010, 02:31 PM   #6
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All three are excellent revolvers, and with normal care should give years of service. I’ve owned the same M-60 for 36 years now and always felt well armed with it, within the limits of what it was designed to do.
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Old October 25, 2010, 07:56 PM   #7
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It depends on your purposes but if you intend to carry concealed, the Colt Cobra and the S&W 37 have the edge with lighter weight since they have aluminum frames. Between the two, I prefer the feel of the Cobra with Pachmayr rubber grips. The Cobra also has the edge since it's a six round gun versus five rounds in the Models 37 and 60. As long as you're shooting standard .38 Special and limited +P, you're all set.

The Model 60 would probably be the strongest but also the heaviest of the three with its steel frame and .357 magnum rating. The Model 60 would be preferred as a sporting or woods sidearm. You have inherited a good selection of carry guns right there.
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Old October 25, 2010, 11:51 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone, I appreciate all your comments. You all provided a good list of pros and cons for my 3 snubbies.

About 35 years ago I had a CCW and carried a 4" Colt Python for about 10 years. I've been thinking of getting a CCW again considering all the problems you hear in the news about violence against our senior citizens, 80 years and up. I still have about another 20 years before I reach that plateau and was thinking of downsizing to the snubbies. In comparison, the Python dwarfs the snubbies.

I also have a 9 mm Hi-Power that might be a good carry but it doesn't give me the confidence of a wheel gun as far as reliably firing. My concern with a pistol is leaving it loaded with a full clip and the spring in the clip taking a set enough to cause a feed problem. Do I have a legitimate concern? Is there a recommended maximum number of days to leave a magazine fully loaded? I've heard people say to minimize the magazine spring from taking a set that you should not max out the magazine and to leave a few rounds out, or, alternate regularly with a second clip. Seems a bit of an inconvenience.

What do you folks think for carry; one of the three .38 snubbies, the .357 Python, or, a 9 mm Hi Power? I also have a .45 Gold Cup (NIB) but that would only complicate matters.
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Old October 26, 2010, 09:46 AM   #9
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All three of you snubs are fine guns, but due to their aluminum frames +P ammo is best avoided in the M37 and Cobra. For these guns, I'd reccomend Hornady Critical Defense standard pressure. I'm assuming that you M60 is an older .38 Special only gun (the newer ones are chambered for .357 Magnum). If this is the case, you gun can probably handle limited amounts of +P ammunition (as in one box per year) but it wouldn't be a good idea to feed the gun a steady diet of it. In my M36 (the blue steel version of your M60) I use Speer 135grn +P Short Barrel Gold Dots as a carry load.
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Old October 26, 2010, 02:34 PM   #10
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You lucky man. All are excellant. The 5 shot are a little easier to carry in the pocket, and the colt has an extra shot, and might work well with outside the pocket carry.
Remember that the cylinder turns in opposite directions with the Colt as opposed to the S&Ws.
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Old October 26, 2010, 02:42 PM   #11
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Your choice on what to use. As for your Browning HP, the thing you have to worry about is compressing and decompressing the spring. I've heard stories of old WWII 1911 mags. loaded for years and still work just as if they were new. It wouldn't be bad to leave a few rounds out of the full mag, get a Mag-Gar 15 round and load it to 13 but still it will only ware with use. As for the choice on gun to carry again your choice, I would test them all out and see what fits best for what you think you'll need and go with it.
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Old October 26, 2010, 05:29 PM   #12
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I'd vote for the "snake" because, no matter how sad and stupid this fact is, but it is no longer made. It's a sort of "my precioussssss"
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Old October 27, 2010, 07:57 PM   #13
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Recommended Carry

Thank you all for your responses. I'm getting quite an education as well as a better appreciation of the guns I have. I didn't realize the newer S&W Model 60's were chambered for the .357; mine is an old .38. All 3 snubbies have approximately a 2" barrel.

I also didn't know that the S&W Model 37 and Colt Cobra were made from aluminum and the Model 60 from steel. Then the Model 60 should withstand wear and tear better than the other two; along with being corrosion resistant?

In my previous post I mentioned that I carried a 4" Python for 10 years (35 years ago). Interestingly, nobody commented about carrying that over the three .38 snubbies. I wonder why.

I would also appreciate it if someone could recommend a web-site to check out and buy a holster for the snubbies, the 4" Python, and the 9mm Hi-Power. I'd be interested in a holster that clips to the belt of your pants and worn on the inside of the pants.

I have one more question for now. A friend is interested in buying one of my snubbies if I'm interested in selling. Which one of the 3 would you sell - the S&W Model 37, Model 60 or the Colt Cobra?

Thanks again for all of your comments.
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Old October 27, 2010, 08:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
I also didn't know that the S&W Model 37 and Colt Cobra were made from aluminum and the Model 60 from steel. Then the Model 60 should withstand wear and tear better than the other two; along with being corrosion resistant?
That is correct

Quote:
In my previous post I mentioned that I carried a 4" Python for 10 years (35 years ago). Interestingly, nobody commented about carrying that over the three .38 snubbies. I wonder why.
While fine guns, Pythons are a bit bigger and heavier than what most people care to carry, particularly in warmer weather. If you can comfortably conceal your Python, then it is by far the most formidable of your revolvers, but a .38 snub in your hand is better than a Python at home in the safe.

Quote:
I would also appreciate it if someone could recommend a web-site to check out and buy a holster for the snubbies, the 4" Python, and the 9mm Hi-Power. I'd be interested in a holster that clips to the belt of your pants and worn on the inside of the pants.
Most of the big name holster makers should make leather for all of those guns (while it may not be listed, your Cobra will take the same holster as a Detective Special). Here are just a few

http://www.usgalco.com

http://www.epsaddlery.com

http://www.desantisholster.com

http://kramergunleather.com

Quote:
I have one more question for now. A friend is interested in buying one of my snubbies if I'm interested in selling. Which one of the 3 would you sell - the S&W Model 37, Model 60 or the Colt Cobra?
That's a tough one. The M60 is probably the most common, and thus least valuable of the three, but it's also arguably the most practical (stainless, can handle limited +P). The Cobra is probably the least practical (dimensionally largest, cannot handle +P, difficult to find parts and gunsmiths should something break) but it's also probably the least common and thusly most valuable of the three. The M37 is not as practical as the M60 and not as valuable as the Cobra, but it is the smallest, lightest, and thus most easily carried of the three. If I was going to sell one (and that's a very big if) I would probably lean more towards the M60 because, if you later regretted it, it would be the most easily replaced of the three. However, I personally wouldn't be overly inclined to sell any of them and certainly wouldn't turn loose of them cheap.
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Old October 27, 2010, 10:23 PM   #15
Inscrutable
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Webleymkv, all your comments make a lot of sense and are very helpful. Thanks for the holster links. I found your comments about which gun to sell very interesting. I didn't think of looking at it from the standpoint of replacing one of the guns. Are there sites that give you some idea of the dollar value of a gun?

By the way, how do you insert the "Quote" box in your message?
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Old October 27, 2010, 10:43 PM   #16
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I'd carry the Model 37 (the newer ones are rated +P); because, it's lightweight. And, I'd trade it off in my carry rotation with the Model 60. I'd also keep the Colt around and put it in my gun safe.
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Last edited by Big Bill; October 27, 2010 at 10:48 PM.
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Old October 27, 2010, 11:09 PM   #17
Inscrutable
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Thanks Big Bill. Unfortunately, I have an older Model 37 which I don't think was built for the +P loads. Interestingly, you said you'd keep the Colt. Is that for its intrinsic value? Like a collector's piece?

I've received several worthwhile reasons and opinions on what to consider when trying to rate the 3 snubbies I have. Each one has it's merits and makes it difficult to decide on which one to carry and which one to sell (IF I was to sell one of them).

Anyway, I appreciate your comments. Any ideas where I can find how much the guns are worth?
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Old October 27, 2010, 11:14 PM   #18
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Know anyone out there who is interested in buying a S&W Model 25-5, 4" blue with the original wooden grips? It fires the .45 Long Colt, is in excellent condition, comes with a wooden presentation box and has had 100 rounds fired through it?
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Old October 28, 2010, 12:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Is that for its intrinsic value? Like a collector's piece?
Yes! They're getting harder and harder to find and the prices just keep going up. Someday they'll be all gone.
Quote:
Know anyone out there who is interested in buying a S&W Model 25-5, 4" blue with the original wooden grips?
You could advertize it here:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=14

Good luck my friend.
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:16 AM   #20
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I wouldn't sell the Cobra. I'd keep it. Who makes a small revolver of that quality today? No one, not even Colt.

It is light. It is strong enough for its intended purpose, which is carrying in case "the moment of truth" arises. You can practice with it and not wear it out. It has an excellent smooth DA and SA action. It has 6 instead of 5 shots.

Use the standard velocity load and it will serve you fine.
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Old October 28, 2010, 12:43 PM   #21
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You are getting great advise. The Colt is the most collectible...the 37 easisiest to carry and the 60 (in my humble opinion) the single best of the bunch as a carry gun. Then again, I can rust carbon steel in 4 hours in my waistband in August in Texas, so, I am very partial to stainless steel handguns.

As far as carrying, take a look at the Barami Hip Grip or the Collins Grips "Lip Grip". Its a nifty set of grips with a little hook on the right side that hooks over your belt or waistband. Negating the need of a holster particularly if you are considering the old style soft suede clip holsters.

The Browning HP and the Python are also dandy guns. I think you have the same problem I do at times, I am blessed with too many good choices. Realize, whatever you carry, you are heads and shoulders above the rest that don't have anything.

And, get ready for the ineveitable post telling you, in high brow manner, what the difference is between a clip and a magazine. I think its silly since everyone knows what you are talking about anyway....
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:15 PM   #22
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Thanks everyone. I'm really amazed with all the excellent responses I've been getting from you folks. I've been struggling for the past 4 months trying to decide whether or not to sell one of my 3 snubbies to this friend of mine who is anxious to buy one of them. From all your comments I've decided to keep them all. You've helped give me a better understanding and appreciation of some of the guns I have.

Sgt127, as you suggested, I checked out both the Barami Hip Grip and the Collins Grips "Lip Grip" on the web. When I saw the Barami I just realized that's what is on my S&W Model 60. Since I don't have a CCW at the moment, I haven't tried carrying it yet. From the comments on another forum, TheHighRoad.org, the Barami may be better than the "Lip Grip" and be a good choice for my Model 37 and Colt Cobra. Since the Model 60 is stainless steel, body moisture should be less an issue than with the other two snubbies; right? Then again maybe I should look at a holster - decisions, decisions - lol.
Seems like Hip and Lip Grips are meant for smaller guns like my snubbies. Do you have any experience using one with a 4" Python? Right now, I have an old (35 years old) plain suede type holster with a metal clip for IWB carry. I don't know if I should replace it or not. Any suggestions where to look for a holster (IWB) for the Python and my Browning Hi Power?
As of now, I haven't seen any messages trying to educate me on the differences between a magazine and a clip - obviously I'm not up with all the lingo. I appreciate the sincerity and helpfulness though of everyone here.

Pythagorean and Big Bill, your comments regarding my Cobra were most welcomed. Both of you, along with Sgt127 have helped me in the decision to keep my guns. Had I sold any of them I think I would have regretted it.

Also Big Bill, thanks for the link to advertise the sale of my S&W Model 25-5.

One more thing, can one of you explain how do you insert the "Quote" box in these messages?

Again, a big THANK YOU.
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:34 PM   #23
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As far as selling the M25-5, I have sold two in the last six months--a 4" and a 6". Here on TFL, or THR, or S&W Forum are all good spots.

If you have a state CHL forum like we do (TXCHL.com) that is another great resource, because you can often meet face to face (if legal in your state) and allow the prospective buyer to "test drive". Also, if you are dealing with a fellow CHL holder, the background check has already been done.

Do I need to mention that both of you save on shipping/FFL fees?

As far as holsters go, things have advanced a bit in 25-30 years. For a larger pistol such as the Hi-Power, look at designs such as the Milt Sparks Versa-Max II and similar. It is amazing how a good design can mitigate the size/weight of a full sized pistol. I have also had good luck with Nate's UBG Holsters (www.ubg.com).
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Old October 28, 2010, 09:18 PM   #24
Inscrutable
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Orionengnr, thanks for the info for selling my Model 25 and for the holster info. I don't know what state CHL means.

Any idea how much my Model 25-5 might be worth? It has a 4" barrel and has 100 rounds through it. Other than that, it's been sitting in it's original wooden box that it came in.
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Old October 28, 2010, 11:29 PM   #25
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Quote:
One more thing, can one of you explain how do you insert the "Quote" box in these messages?
First copy the text you want to quote from the post you are looking at. Then open the "Post Reply" button at the top of the thread. When the "Post New Thread " dialogue box opens, look at the top of the "Message" box. There are a number of Icons, click the one that says "Wrap [Quote] tags around selected text" (third from the right). Then copy the text you copied earlier in between the two QUOTE /QUOTEs. Or, you can just type quote boxes into your post and paste the copied text in between, and you will accomplish the same thing.
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