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Old June 20, 2012, 10:33 PM   #26
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My favorite isn't a lightweight, but the 23 oz steel 649 Bodyguard .357. I stoke it with .38 +P Speer Gold Dot ammo and it carries nicely in a IWB holster under a light shirt. I'd like to get a modern Model 49 in .38+P as a companion for it though. The 649 is a little bigger than I wanted, but I find its size fits me fine. I've found that 110-125 gr .357 ammo isn't too bad, but the 158gr is ferocious on my hand (and wrist).

My solution for a lightweight defensive gun is the discontinued Model 432PD. It's only 15.5 oz and chambered for the .32 H&R Magnum. While not something to stop an enraged NFL lineman, it's quite an effective little cartridge out to 15 yards.
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Old June 21, 2012, 05:18 PM   #27
Tom Matiska
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My 21oz Bulldog taught me a thing or two about crimps. 4th or 5th rounds sometimes grew. The 11.4oz S&W Titanium 357 must be a challenge to reload for.
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Old June 21, 2012, 06:11 PM   #28
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I traded my 640-1 for a 360 PD when they came out. I thought it was the 2nd coming. After a while I began to realize it was too much of a good thing.

After 2 trips to S&W for new frames, I spoke with one of the S&W engineers and learned it was really a very expensive 38 marketed as a 357 because "nobody shoots full house magnums in these"

Now I am back to the stainless 640 in the Pro model. I love it! On my short list is a 442 Pro which is the airweight 38 that takes moon clips.

For my money, If I am gonna have to use 38's I will buy the 38 at half the cost. I carry Corbon DPX in the 640 Pro.
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
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Old June 21, 2012, 09:53 PM   #29
Super Sneaky Steve
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The airweight will beat up your old hands real good. Go with a steel model like an SP101 or Model 60 Smith.
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Old June 22, 2012, 11:09 AM   #30
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Done it...hated it

I have a 637 power port, which has the steel cylinder and barrel. Previously, I had an airlight.357. I shot 25 rounds of .357 through it, and sold it. The little bit of extra weight doesn't hinder anything, but it improves shootability greatly. That little airlight even sucked with .38s. That's my opinion, though. You'd be well served by an airweight. If you don't know, the airlight is the one with titanium cylinders and a thin steel barrel liner, etc. The airweight has an aluminum frame, but everything else is steel. That's as light as I go. It's light enough for pocket carry, but heavy enough that I enjoy practice.
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Old June 24, 2012, 08:47 AM   #31
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My advice: Don't buy a real small/light revolver until you've shot it. That compactness and lightness is a double-edged sword, and downsides include trigger smoothness, recoil, flame, noise. I think if you try before you buy, you won't go with the smallest and lightest available. Some make the tradeoff better than others - like the .357 LCR, which is still half the weight (or less) of a steel medium frame revolver, and has an advanced trigger design.
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Last edited by CarbineCaleb; June 24, 2012 at 08:52 AM.
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