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Old October 6, 2012, 09:18 AM   #26
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A little pricey but excellent, S&W M&P 360, always keep .357mag in mine for home SD.
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:53 AM   #27
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That model 65 with round butt and 3" barrel is just about perfect.

One of those has been on my wish list for a while now.
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Old October 6, 2012, 04:53 PM   #28
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At present I carry either a model 60 3" barrel or a 686 3" barrel. Yesterday I ordered a 686 2.5" barrel for concealed carry. The J frame model 60 is a bit snappy with full power 357 loads, not as snappy with +p loads and a ***** cat with .38 full load rounds. WHile the 686 is a bit heavy to carry it handles all flavors of self defense round well, I think the weight and the grips help. I like the 686 a lot, this time next week I will have 3 of them 4", 3", 2.5 ".
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:11 PM   #29
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SP 101 with Gemini Custom job. IF you run out of ammo you could beat a b.g. unconscious with it.
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Old October 9, 2012, 09:45 AM   #30
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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.


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Old October 9, 2012, 10:04 PM   #31
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Both very nice. I have a bodyguard. 38 w/laser and what I do that for. The laser is mounted in such a way that you can't change grips without taking the laser off which I may do. Somebody may make grips for it now I haven't checked lately. With that said I handle the. 38 even +p well overall I like it enough.

I was just about to get the Sp101 in 2"dao then I got a lot of good feedback about the 3" which doesn't come dao which I was will to work with. Then somebody posted a link to charter arms pitbull .40 and I checked it out a shop and I really like the piece, so now I'm all over the place. I know it wont likely be a S&W they cost too much new right now and I wont buy a used gun a big no no in my area. I gotta fire both if I can and then decide.
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Old October 10, 2012, 07:30 AM   #32
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I'd at least glance at the Taurus 617 ... it's a steel snubbie, 7 rds of .357 or .38Spcl, plenty of weight to absorb recoil but not hard to carry ... I didn't care for the trigger and had a 'smith clean it up, but it has otherwise been a perfect gun for me, accurate and fun to shoot ... it is single/double ...
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Old October 10, 2012, 06:04 PM   #33
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Did you look at ?

Out of seven models only one is DAO. They have a 2.25" 38 spl. 2.25" 357, 3" 357, and 3" 327 if one of those will scratch that itch.

I've shot a good friend's 2.25" 357 and it's surprisingly pleasant with 357. In fact, it's much nicer than my 642 with 38 +p.
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Old October 10, 2012, 06:55 PM   #34
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My 2 Cents.

Current Production:
S&W 686-6 with 2.5" Barrel, 6 Shot
Ruger GP100 3" Barrel, 6 Shot

Both Take the 6 Shot Safariland Comp 2, and Comp 3 Speedloaders. I normally carry either 1 or 2 reloads in Safariland Comp II Speedloaders held in Safariland CD-2 Spring Steel Carriers when I Conceal Carry my K and L Frame revolvers. For a holster, I would pick a Lobo Enhanced Pancake with Optional Inner Hammer Shield.

Used Market:
S&W 686 with 3" Barrel in a 6 shot version. ( A little hard to find)
S&W 686 with 2.5" Barrel in a 6 shot version.
S&W 66 with 3" Barrel (a little Pricey, and hard to find)
S&W 66 with 2.5" Barrel
S&W 65 with 3" Barrel
S&W 64 with 3" Barrel
S&W 19 with 2.5" Barrel
S&W 13 with 3" Barrel
S&W 315 Night Guard 2.5" Barrel (K Frame 38 Special +P, 6 Shooter)
Ruger GP100 with 3" Barrel

I would not take a 2" Model 64's or 65's off your list completely till you shoot one either.
All the above will also use either the Safariland Comp II, or Comp III Speedloaders for the K or L Frame, and CD-2 Carriers.
I would also carry all the above in a Lobo Enhanced Pancake holster.
I would also add a set of Wood Boot Grips to any Round Butt K or L Frame. I like Altamont Grips pretty well in Checkered Super Rosewood. Now available with S&W Medallions for an extra $10.

I shoot my Concealed Carry revolvers in Defensive Pistol Matches to stay sharp with them. I use Comp III Speedloaders in matches, and Conceal Carry Comp II Speedloaders. I find the Safariland Speedloaders to be the quickest reload available for a K or L Frame revolver. The CD-2 Speedloader Carriers are also the least bulky Carrier I have found. As Safariland does not make a 7 shot 686Plus Speedloader, I will stick with my 6 shot revolvers. To me a Fast and Dependable Reload is of more importance than a 7th round.

A Steel J Frame may also scratch your itch just fine with a 3" barrel.
The SP101 with 3" barrel is also a good choice.

Just My 2 Cents


Last edited by Viper225; October 10, 2012 at 07:03 PM.
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:42 PM   #35
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I really like my S&W 640 SS with magnaporting, like this:

I really like this, but would prefer a longer barrel and dark finish in a main EDC CCW.

Maybe a 13 or 65 like:
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Old October 11, 2012, 09:07 AM   #36
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Roy, I assume by DAO, you're referring to a revolver without an external hammer in the normal sense. Some of the DAO Smiths have a 'button' instead of a hammer that still allows for single action use, but retains the clean lines and easy draw characteristics of a DAO. My daughter in law has both...we found her a 637 which she carried for over a year, and then our son found her a 640 (I think) which is easier to draw from a purse, (her normal carry position).

In talking with them both, I've found that drawing was never a problem with the 637 since she used a grip which allowed her thumb to cover the hammer as the gun was withdrawn. The 640? negates that method of draw, due to its cleaner lines. My only gripe, is that I've not seen one with adj. sights...and yep, I know that they're another "pocket liner" snag device but do allow a more precise sight in. And yep, too, at defense distances; say one to seven yards, precision is not a necessity.

All in all, the hammerless models make more sense, adj. sights or not, and the lack of a hammer, for the use they're intended, is no drawback...S&W's in that model can be had for way less than $400; but not in a 3" barrel as I understand it.

All the above notwithstanding, one of the Rugers might be just the ticket...enough weight for better control, a 3" tube for a longer sighting radius, and Ruger's warranty. They've got a good reputation, tho I've never owned a double action model, their single-actions have all been fine guns in my experience. I like their looks, and at least on the various forums, I've personally never heard an adverse comment.

Best Regards, Rod
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.

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Last edited by rodfac; October 11, 2012 at 09:16 AM.
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