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Posted: 4/3/2002 5:37:26 AM EDT
I'm trying to decide which kind I'd like to get. I have it narrowed down to either a new Ruger SP101 .357 or a used (but good condition) S&W .357. Any suggestions? Any other brands I should consider? The S&W seems to have the smothest action, with the SP101 not far behind.

Thanks,
Chimborazo
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 6:18:33 AM EDT
If only two guns are indicative of what the majority are like, my friends have one of each, and both shoot really nice. But with hot loads, the Smith had trouble extracting fired shells. If you have the option of trying both out, I think it would help you decide. Its hard to choose until they "come to life", then, even grips become an issue. Both shot to point of aim at around 25 feet.
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 6:44:14 AM EDT
Depends on what you want to do with it. For carry alot / shoot a little, the new S&W Scandium .357 cannot be beat. Of course, at 12oz or so, it hurts on both ends!

The Ruger is a very strong, reasonably-sized gun that will hold up to shooting with magnums much better than the S&W although it is a little larger. I shoot very little with .38/.357 snubguns, so I prefer the lightweight and use it for pocket carry. Between the two guns in steel frame versions, there is no choice...take the Ruger and don't look back!
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 7:49:26 AM EDT
Awesome...thanks for the advice guys. I'm going to go to the range tomorrow night and see what revolvers they have to rent. Hopefully they'll at least have a SP101. I've never shot one, and have very limited experience with revolvers. I just can't always carry my Glock or Kimber.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 10:42:13 AM EDT
I will first admit that I am an S&W fan. That said, when I went snubby .357 shopping I ended up with an SP 101. I liked the grips better, and I would have just bought new grips for the Smith if that was the only factor, but I really liked the sights better. For my eyes, Rugers have better fixed sights. I guess that's why I own four Vaqueros.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 12:51:54 PM EDT
The model 60 S&W 357 or the Centinnial S&W 357, use the Uncle Mike's grips provided and you will be very happy. I carry mine cross draw with a jacket and also in an older Safariland upside down sholder rig. Love it, shoot it. Nothing against Ruger, but hold each and look at each.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 6:42:00 PM EDT
If you are dead set on a snub .357, I'd say the S&W 640 Centennial.
But personally, for the compromise of size, weight, power, comfort of carry and of recoil control, I much perfer the S&W Model 642 Airweight. Just my .02 worth.
Link Posted: 4/14/2002 6:33:08 PM EDT
I am a "dyed-in-the-wool" S&W K-Frame man myself...therefore like the Model 19 and 66 with the 2.5" barrels. However, the J-Frame 60 is really nice too. There's just something about pinned and recessed Smiths I love...

HOWEVER, probably the only other snub-nosed .357mag I would think about purchasing would be the Ruger SP101. They are build VERY SOLID, and are smaller than the K-Frame Smiths (but not the J-Frame). In fact, they will handle the magnums better than the Smiths...I just prefer the S&W action.

You won't be disappointed with a Ruger SP101.
Link Posted: 4/14/2002 6:55:20 PM EDT
Sturdy = Heavy = More Comfortable to Shoot = Harder to Pack

Smaller = Lighter = A Pain to Shoot = Easier to Pack

A stubby is something to pack rather than target shoot so I wanted the smallest and lightest one I could find and afford. I ended up with a Taurus Ultra-Light .38 SPL which are rated for +P rounds (even if my hand isn't). It feels like the ammo weighs more than the revolver! Since the Ultra-lights came out there are even lighter ones made like the S&W.

In the last five years I've run a few hundred rounds though the thing including a bunch of full power +P rounds which are not at all pleasant to shoot even with the nice rubber grips.

If you're going to be shooting boxes of .357 Magnums though a stubby then you're a sick sick man and we're wasting our time with you as the stubbies ought to have tiny little non-adjustable sights and little painful grips to match. These are suppose to be revolvers that you shoot a bit a year not something you run boxes of ammo though a month. They should spend more time in your pocket than the range.

Form follows function - focus on the mission for the pistol and the form will follow.
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 9:25:04 AM EDT
Notwithstanding your 2 preferred guns, I offer the following opinion: on the scale between shooting and carrying, snubbies are almost all the way on the "carrying" side. Light weight is a foregone conclusion, so something in Al or Ti is the best choice here.

I feel the Federal 124 grain Nyclad .38 Special ammo is going to be sufficient for self defense; a bigger caliber is going to be very unpleasant to shoot, which means a more difficult time shooting accurately.

Snag-free and corrosion resistance are also important concerns, since the gun will likely find itself in a pocket of some sort due to its small size.

When you add all these up, they come out to S&W 442 or 642: shrouded hammer, aluminum frame, 5-shot, +P capable, with black polymer coating or stainless steel.

And in a nod to the other thread, "do you wheelgunners feel outgunned?" I would respond, "the J-frame that's always in my pocket beats the 1911 you left at home."
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