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Old October 9, 2012, 09:45 AM   #30
Senior Member
Join Date: January 22, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,411
Any of the S&W K, L, or N frame revolvers add considerably to weight and bulk. You didn't mention the grips on your current S&W .38, so I"ll suggest that grips on any gun make a big difference in controlling recoil...and especially so with the hard kicking magnums. Both my wife and I have no problem with the J-framed Smiths, in .357 Magnum, provided they're suitably stocked.

Check the difference in the two pics below. Those BBQ "Boot" grips on my wife's 637 are pretty, but don't do anything for control when the chips are down. The heftier ones on my old and much loved M36 are better by far and allow comfort with all but the super heavy loads. Those are S&W grips on both guns, but I can't say whether Smith still offers the bulkier, hand filling model.

For general carry, open on the trail, or for concealed street use, the S&W M60 in .357 with a 3" barrel and adj. sights would be hard to beat. Those with really big hands might need the bigger frames, but that J-frame, stocked correctly, fits my medium sized hands with no worries. That stainless M60 is the same size as the 3" Chief's Special below, and offers the advantage of corrosion resistance and a better SD caliber.


Cherish our flag, honor it, defend what it stands for or get the hell out. Our Freedoms are not free, they've been paid for many times over by heros in uniform. Far better men than I, died that we could be FREE.

USAF FAC, 5th Spl Forces, An Loc, lll Corps, RVN, 69-70, Vietnam Vet '69-'73
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