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Old May 20, 2013, 11:41 PM   #1
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Best(less recoil) small revolver that can shoot .357 magnum

what would you consider the Best(least recoil/most reliable) small revolver that can shoot .357 magnum with great accuracy? thanks
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Old May 20, 2013, 11:49 PM   #2
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There ain't no such thing as a low recoil small .357. Unless you mean a short barreled L or N frame.

As far as J frames the 20 oz Model 60 is the lightest gun I've shot .357 out of without yelping like a stepped on puppy.
A lot depends on grip style, the draw back is grips that help absorb recoil tend to be big.

Oh just to be technically correct the "recoil" is the same no matter what gun you use. What changes is "felt recoil".
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Old May 21, 2013, 01:08 AM   #3
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Take a look at a Ruger SP 101, it's the small SIZE of the J Frame Smiths but SOLID steel, so more recoil-absorbing weight.

That said, I find .357 magnum a painful caliber to shoot generally--the only ones I find reasonably comfortable are the 110 grains and medium-velocity loads. I load the .38+P FBI round when I carry my .357s.
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Old May 21, 2013, 04:58 AM   #4
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+1 on the sp101

another is the Colt Lawman snub

practical accuracy is elusive with any snub revolver in my opinion
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Old May 21, 2013, 05:58 AM   #5
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Look up a 60-18 5" sometime for grins and snickers. Sorta rare-ish. Add grips to help felt recoil, holster, hit the range, make small groups.
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Old May 21, 2013, 07:27 AM   #6
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Rhino maybe?

I don't own one, but I hear they really tame recoil.
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Old May 21, 2013, 07:38 AM   #7
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Best(less recoil) small revolver that can shoot .357 magnum

Originally Posted by Wishoot View Post
Rhino maybe?

I don't own one, but I hear they really tame recoil.
My suggestion as well.
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Old May 21, 2013, 08:32 AM   #8
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Ruger SP101, heavier than other small snubs and better than other standard grips.
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Old May 21, 2013, 09:16 AM   #9
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It seems to me you have to really love recoil, and godawful flash and blast, to fire .357 Magnum in a snubby. I don't. The old "FBI/Metro" load suits me just fine in a steel J-frame. Among other things, since the already huge fireball from muzzle and cylinder gap is magnified in a short-barreled revolver, I'd be afraid if I had to use the .357 snub at night I'd be blinded by the first shot and unable to assess the developing situation or spot another assailant.
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Old May 21, 2013, 09:47 AM   #10
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Short bbl revolvers are as a rule very accurate. They are very hard to shoot accurately. I can shoot 2" groups off bags at 25 yds but can't put a round in the head of a snake at 15 feet shooting off hand. Any of the small 5 shooters is gonna have a heck of a recoil with .357 loads. The steel ones are pleasant with .38 Special.
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Old May 21, 2013, 10:02 AM   #11
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I have a j frame model 60 357, but I find my model 66 with 2 1/2" barrel a lot easier to shoot magnum loads with, and it's also accurate,as it has adjustable rear sight.
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Old May 21, 2013, 01:16 PM   #12
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If you go with the Chippa Rhino you will want a D model, DAO. Not the DS model as they have had some problems with their action.
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Old May 21, 2013, 01:28 PM   #13
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the sp101 is possible to handle with a full house 158gr 357 load, but it's solidly in the category of "use only if necessary" I will say the stock grips do a great job. my fingers and palm feel secure and solid after a cylinder full, but I can feel my hand and wrist has been working hard.

5 rounds of that, and while not in pain, I'm ready to put the pistol down for awhile.
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Old May 21, 2013, 01:37 PM   #14
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Small .357 with low recoil, for the most part that idea contradicts itself.

Get a SP101 worked over by the folks at Gemini Customs, have it ported. The porting won't really reduce recoil all that much but it will reduce the amount of muzzle rise. It will be louder, and with more muzzle flash.

S&W 627 might have enough mass to soak up a lot of the .357 recoil. They make them in a few different barrel lengths all the way down to 2.625" up to 5". It is an N-Frame 8 shot .357 which is pretty epic in its own right. Cyclinder is a bit large to comfortably concealed carry it.
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Old May 21, 2013, 04:07 PM   #15
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SP101 and recoil? My sister in law bought a SP for her first SD/HD gun and since day one has had no recoil related issues. She's even sent some of my hunting 180gr. XTP loads downrange with it.

While not a cartridge I want to shoot in any of the true lightweights the .357 is nothin to fear in most steel frame guns.
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Old May 21, 2013, 08:55 PM   #16
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Smith & Wesson Model 60.

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Old May 21, 2013, 09:53 PM   #17
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HK, that Model 60 is off the chart gorgeous! Really nice!
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Old May 26, 2013, 05:31 PM   #18
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Since recoil is subjective that's hard to answer, but the LCR is more comfortable to me than the SP101. The 101 beats my finger up against the trigger guard. Any full house 357 is going to sting in a snubbie but the LCR is the best I've experienced. Try BB reduced load, I think they call it "tactical"---works for me.
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Old May 26, 2013, 06:58 PM   #19
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It depends on what you consider small and how well you tolerate recoil. I personally don't find the recoil of full-power .357 Magnums from a medium-frame snub like my 2 1/2" S&W M66 or my brother's 2 3/4" Ruger Security Six to be unpleasant in the least and even a small frame gun isn't bad so long as it is of all steel construction like the Ruger SP101 or S&W M60, 640, or 649. While I've not shot one, I wouldn't expect the recoil of a medium or large frame lightweight revolver like the S&W 386 or 327 to be too bad either since such guns usually weigh as much or more than an all-steel small frame.

The only lightweight small frame that I've fired .357 Magnums through was my dad's .357 Ruger LCR. While not as bad as I expected, the recoil was substantial (noticeably more than full-power .44 Magnums through my 4" S&W 629) and two or three cylinders full is all I'd want in one sitting. The best analogy that I can give you is that the recoil was akin to catching a fastball without a glove.

Part of the equation for taming recoil lies in the grips. What you want is a grip with enough palmswell to distribute the force over the largest possible area of your hand without being so large as to force you to take an awkward or uncomfortable grip on the gun. Too small a grip will allow the gun to shift around in your hand and direct almost all of the impulse into the web of the hand while too large a grip will not allow you to get a sufficiently firm grasp on the gun and will direct the recoil into your thumb and fingers. While softer rubber grips cushion recoil somewhat, in my experience shape and fit is more important than material. Hogue or Uncle Mike's finger-groove grips tend to fit me well, but then again I have fairly large hands (I wear an XL sized glove) with long fingers.

Also, different people have different perceptions of recoil. I have been shooting .357 Magnum and larger caliber revolvers since I was 11 or 12 years old, so I'm accustomed to what many people would consider to be heavy recoil. What I find to be manageable or even pleasant may seem excessive to someone who is new to handgun shooting or has only ever shot lighter recoiling guns.
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Old May 26, 2013, 07:16 PM   #20
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Oh just to be technically correct the "recoil" is the same no matter what gun you use.

One of the major components in calculating recoil is the mass of the gun - a 15oz J frame will have substantially more recoil than a 6" N frame firing the same cartridge
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Old May 26, 2013, 07:22 PM   #21
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Best(less recoil) small revolver that can shoot .357 magnum

I've fired 357s through a S&W Performance Center 640. It handles recoil well. Awesome gun. Great accuracy.
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Old May 26, 2013, 07:48 PM   #22
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I've owned S&W, Taurus, and Ruger 357 in Scandium, and regular steel versions, and agree that the SP101 is the best choice. I especially like the 3in version.
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Old May 26, 2013, 08:37 PM   #23
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The Chiappa Rhino If you can stand the exceedingly ugly apperance, and overly complicated lock works. On second thought, that overly complicated lock works might negate the reliable factor in your original question.
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Old May 26, 2013, 08:39 PM   #24
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Hard to go wrong with the Ruger SP101.
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Old May 26, 2013, 09:06 PM   #25
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On page 11 of the "revolver checkout" (2011 edition linked in the sticky thread) there's a chart showing which weight class of gun will be controllable with which horsepower class of ammo.

Weight is a huge issue in controllability.

I think the Ruger SP101 (esp. the new 4" barrel variant) may be right at the sweet spot. It's able to handle "standard 357" (about 550ft/lbs energy, roughly on par with the best 40S&W loads) with "reasonable fomfort" and can fire the real monsters (700-800ft/lbs energy, Buffalo Bore/Underwood/Doubletap/Grizzly Cartridge) with some pain but doable in experienced hands.
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