S&W Model 60 .357 or Ruger SP101 357 for IWB Carry

This is a discussion on S&W Model 60 .357 or Ruger SP101 357 for IWB Carry within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello from West Virginia! This is my first post here, and I figured this is as good a topic as any to begin with. I ...

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Thread: S&W Model 60 .357 or Ruger SP101 357 for IWB Carry

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    Member Array jelliott24's Avatar
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    S&W Model 60 .357 or Ruger SP101 357 for IWB Carry

    Hello from West Virginia! This is my first post here, and I figured this is as good a topic as any to begin with.

    I recently submitted my CC paperwork to the powers that be, and according to them should be able to CC in "4-6 weeks". In the meantime, I figured I'd rethink my plans to carry. I planned on carrying my Ruger LCP .380, but after reading many posts about the age old debate between revolvers and semi-auto's, I'm starting to think a wheel gun might be the way to go. With that said, my question is, which do you prefer for IWB carry? The S&W Model 60 .357 or the Ruger SP101 .357? In addition, for practicality and all around performance, do you like a 2" or 3" barrel? Some say the 2" barrel effects velocities, some say it has no bearing on velocities at all, and truthfully since I'll be carrying the revolver IWB it really doesn't make that much difference to me.

    I've already read a post about the differences between the two for pocket carry with 2" barrels, but couldn't find much about differences with IWB carry. I know the SP101 is a little less expensive and has gained the reputation as "the tank" for its durability, both of which appeal to me. However, the Model 60 is said to have better trigger pull.

    Just to note, I'll probably be shooting .38spcl's in whichever I decide on 99% of the time, and with that said, maybe I should just get a .38spcl instead.

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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Welcome from another West Virginian. This is a great forum, and you will learn a lot if you stick around enough. I pocket carry a Smith and Wesson 340 when the conditions call for it. Most of the time it is a Glock 23 IWB in a HBE Com III. the great thing about your guns you have listed is that any of the three with a good quality holster will disappear IWB. Good luck and don't be a stranger.
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    Senior Member Array 1911luver's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome I've owned a S&W model 60 and a Ruger SP101 and still have the Ruger. Yes the S&W has a better trigger out of the box but the Ruger trigger will smooth out with use and you can even add wolff springs or just have a gunsmith polish the surfaces and have a great trigger on the Ruger. I just got some snap caps and dry fired mine a lot and it smoothed up nicely,I really do prefer the Ruger from a durability stand point alone. But then again I love to shoot a lot of .357's as well.

    As to carrying IWB I never noticed much difference between the two they are about the same overall size but the Ruger is beefier or thicker if you will in some areas. you will notice that the Ruger weighs a tad bit more than the model 60 as well. Both are great gun and I don't think you can go wrong with either.
    Snub nose revolvers,the original concealed carry guns.

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    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    I have various J-frames and both a 2 1/4" and a 3" SP101. For strictly IWB, I would suggest the 3" SP, I see significant velocity increases from the 2" to the 3" gun, and hiding the 3" IWB is no problem. I mostly carry the 2 1/4" gun because I also pocket carry it, and I have a great IWB that doesn't fit the 3" version. Starting from scratch, I'd get the IWB for the 3" version so I could use it for both, but I got the 2 1/4" gun long before the 3" one.

    I think the various J-frames are better for pocket and ankle carry, but for a belt gun the SP is more shootable IMO, and current production SPs often have better out of the box triggers than current production S&Ws. S&Ws are probably easier to tune.
    -Landric

    "The Engine could still smile...it seemed to scare them" -Felix

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    You've posed a question on two subjects near and dear to me. One is the weapon platform and the other is which weapon. I will give you my opinion, take it for what's it's worth.

    I love revolvers and tend to gravitate back to them every couple of years or so. Then I switch to something else for a time, and then back to the wheelie. Yes, Virginia not only is there a Santa Claus, but the world is round too.

    Of the two weapons you have to choose from, the Model 60 and the SP101, I do not want to fire any Magnum round out of any handgun lighter and smaller than the SP101. I feel that the Model 60 is best at serving 38 Special projectiles over it's Magnum brothers. Besides, IIRC, the J-Frame was originally designed for the .32 caliber round. Why would I want to push the envelope that much.

    For me the SP101 and the .357 magnum is a good match. The same cannot be said of the J-Frame Model 60 and the .357 Magnum caliber. I like my J-Frames to fire the 38 Special. If you are going to load the 38 Special load, the the J-Frame is acceptable, but the SP101will still be easier to shoot.

    The J-Frame excells at Ankle and Pocket carry. Any other location or mode of carry is better served by a bigger and heavier gun IMHO.

    Biker

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    Member Array colt's Avatar
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    Greeting from a fellow new member.
    I have carried a 2" SP101 IWB for over decade. It's a great shooter and easy to conceal. I recently purchased a Ruger LCP that I carry in my strong side front pocket. I've never carried more then one gun and have always had the mindset that small guns are best for concealed carry but after reading posts on here for a while, I'm leaning towards getting a crossdraw holster for a larger pistol and using the LCP as a BUG. Any thoughts on crossdraw holsters for concealed carry?

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    New Member Array 1911a1's Avatar
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    Jelliot,
    Welcome to the forum.
    I have a S&W model 60 and a Ruger Sp101 2-1/4 inch
    Any revolver will seem to bulge your belt more than a pistol.
    The barrel hides in the holster so 3" is better than 2".
    IWB/owb is locked in by the car's seat belt and longer barrels are pushed up by the seat and jab the butt into your ribs.
    When I carry the Smith it disappears in my right front pocket but my EDC (every day carry) is the SP101 in a Miami classic with thumb break. Secure, comfortable, disappears and doesn't bang the door frame if I am not careful.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    Welcome!

    You've posed a question on two subjects near and dear to me. One is the weapon platform and the other is which weapon. I will give you my opinion, take it for what's it's worth.

    I love revolvers and tend to gravitate back to them every couple of years or so. Then I switch to something else for a time, and then back to the wheelie. Yes, Virginia not only is there a Santa Claus, but the world is round too.

    Of the two weapons you have to choose from, the Model 60 and the SP101, I do not want to fire any Magnum round out of any handgun lighter and smaller than the SP101. I feel that the Model 60 is best at serving 38 Special projectiles over it's Magnum brothers. Besides, IIRC, the J-Frame was originally designed for the .32 caliber round. Why would I want to push the envelope that much.

    For me the SP101 and the .357 magnum is a good match. The same cannot be said of the J-Frame Model 60 and the .357 Magnum caliber. I like my J-Frames to fire the 38 Special. If you are going to load the 38 Special load, the the J-Frame is acceptable, but the SP101will still be easier to shoot.

    The J-Frame excells at Ankle and Pocket carry. Any other location or mode of carry is better served by a bigger and heavier gun IMHO.

    Biker
    I tend to agree with BikerRN regarding the two revolvers mentioned.

    I will talk about barrel length.

    While I do not own a J-frame or S&W mod 60 in particular I do have 3 Ruger Revolvers. I have two SP-101 DAO 2 1/4" snubbies (5 shot) and a Stainless Ruger Speed Six with a 3" barrel. (6 shot)

    Unless you are going to pocket carry, I think the 3" barrel is just about perfect. That extra 3/4" length of stainless steel does help tame the recoil even further and the extra sight radius is a big plus when it come to accuracy. If there is an issue in regards to bullet performance, the extra length will help out there as well.

    I do not like a 4" barrel unless I was open carrying in a duty type setting.

    For concealment, I think 3" is awesome and if you are going to do any pocket carry at all, go for the 2 1/4" snubby. Also, a 5 shot will be slightly easier to conceal than a 6 shot, but not by much!
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Bark'n brought up a good point about the 3" guns.

    Right now, when I carry a revolver it's a 3" .357 Magnum as a primary. Bear in mind though, when I carry a revolver off duty I carry three of them. Two are .357 magnum, and the third is a 38 Special. The second gun is a 2 1/4" SP101.

    I do this for a few reasons. One is ammo capacity. While I most likely will not need all the rounds in one gun, it would behoove me to be able to accomodate attackers that may come in groups, or require a lot of bullets to stop. The second reason is accessability to a gun.

    I find that when I carry revolvers I have an easier time locating guns at various points on my body, thus allowing me to be able to grab a defensive tool no matter what anatomical position I may find myself in.

    I don't think you can go wrong with the SP101 but you may want to take a look at the GP100 with a 3" Barrel. It's easy to hide and I carry mine in a Milt Sparks Summer Special II. That holster, with a good belt has even allowed me to carry a 4" N-Frame in a "non-permissive" environment.

    Just some more food for thought. Take care, stay safe and welcome to the forum.

    Biker

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    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    Most ammunition test results are based on being fired from a gun with a 4 inch barrel. For every inch shorter you barrel is the lesser the velocity and usually the accuracy as well.
    Carrying a snubbie is a bit of a trade off, but there is some good ammo available for them. For a .38 round in standard pressure the Federal Nyclad rounds are what I carry. The CorBon DPX rounds are rated good as well for a short barreled gun like my S&W Model 36 with the 1.875" barrel. Stepping up to my S&W 686+ with the 3" barrel I carry either Federal .357 Magnum ammo or a .38 spl in a +P. The big heavy frame of the 686 tames the recoil of the Magnum ammo pretty well, but the trade off is the weight at 36.8 oz empty.
    The Ruger does have a stronger frame and tames the recoil a bit more than the Smith, either the Model 36 or the Model 60.
    I have a bad case of Galloping Gunorrea, that is easily aggrivated by any revolver wearing a S&W logo, and for that reason alone I tend to recommend the Smith. Either gun will serve you well. If you have an opportunity to rent both and compare them go for it, actually firing them will tell you which one if right for you.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

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    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite75 View Post
    Welcome from another West Virginian. This is a great forum, and you will learn a lot if you stick around enough. I pocket carry a Smith and Wesson 340 when the conditions call for it. Most of the time it is a Glock 23 IWB in a HBE Com III. the great thing about your guns you have listed is that any of the three with a good quality holster will disappear IWB. Good luck and don't be a stranger.
    Welcome from Virginina
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
    -Tony Soprano

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    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colt View Post
    Greeting from a fellow new member.
    I have carried a 2" SP101 IWB for over decade. It's a great shooter and easy to conceal. I recently purchased a Ruger LCP that I carry in my strong side front pocket. I've never carried more then one gun and have always had the mindset that small guns are best for concealed carry but after reading posts on here for a while, I'm leaning towards getting a crossdraw holster for a larger pistol and using the LCP as a BUG. Any thoughts on crossdraw holsters for concealed carry?
    Welcome from Virginia
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
    -Tony Soprano

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    Senior Member Array Rob P.'s Avatar
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    Well, I just HAVE to jump into this one.

    I normally carry a S&W 6906 semi-auto IWB. However, due to some recent stupidity on my part I needed to start to carry my 3" SP101.

    IMO, forget about a blue gun for daily carry. SS is the ONLY way to go. Even the lightweight alloys have problems with corrosion while the stainless ones don't.

    The Ruger trigger can be worked on to produce something that is so awesome even my firearms instructor was impressed. It makes the S&W trigger feel raspy by comparison. A Wolffe spring kit is essential (I used the lightest hammer spring and replaced the trigger/latch spring with the one that comes in the kit.) The Iowegian Book of Knowledge (IBOK) is available online and goes through how to polish the trigger bits. It works and is easy enough even a dumbkopf like me can do it successfully.

    The 3" barrel is better for velocity and recoil. However, finding a holster for the 3" is difficult and the choices are very limited. DeSantis has one IIRC. Hogue grips should be a factory item instead of an aftermarket accessory. The factory grips are way too small.

    You can get speedloaders for the SP from Brownells and other places.


    Da bad things:

    The gunbutt with the Hogues is sticky and will print easily if you're not careful.

    The SP has a "problem" with getting dirty around/under the star extractor and "binding" the cylinder. Keep it clean when shooting multiple cylinder loads and NEVER shoot with any of the chambers empty of brass.

    The front sight is awful. Meprolight has a front nightsight for it - buy it.

  15. #14
    Member Array glock45's Avatar
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    SP101 is one of the best guns I have ever had. It takes a bit to become accurate with it and with full house .357 loads it really kicks, making recovery a bit slow for quick double taps (this would happen with any .357 snubbie).
    It is built like a tank. I love to carry my SP101 and it is my deep concealment gun. With Double Tap .357 Bonded Defense 125 or 135 grainers it definitely packs a MEAN punch!
    G21SF, G30, G36, Ruger SP101 DAO, S&W 642

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    Member Array RugerSP101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jelliott24 View Post
    Hello from West Virginia! This is my first post here, and I figured this is as good a topic as any to begin with.

    I recently submitted my CC paperwork to the powers that be, and according to them should be able to CC in "4-6 weeks". In the meantime, I figured I'd rethink my plans to carry. I planned on carrying my Ruger LCP .380, but after reading many posts about the age old debate between revolvers and semi-auto's, I'm starting to think a wheel gun might be the way to go. With that said, my question is, which do you prefer for IWB carry? The S&W Model 60 .357 or the Ruger SP101 .357? In addition, for practicality and all around performance, do you like a 2" or 3" barrel? Some say the 2" barrel effects velocities, some say it has no bearing on velocities at all, and truthfully since I'll be carrying the revolver IWB it really doesn't make that much difference to me.

    I've already read a post about the differences between the two for pocket carry with 2" barrels, but couldn't find much about differences with IWB carry. I know the SP101 is a little less expensive and has gained the reputation as "the tank" for its durability, both of which appeal to me. However, the Model 60 is said to have better trigger pull.

    Just to note, I'll probably be shooting .38spcl's in whichever I decide on 99% of the time, and with that said, maybe I should just get a .38spcl instead.
    Get the 357. That way you have the option of using 38sp, 38+p and 357's as you see fit. No reason to buy a 38sp and limit yourself, know what i mean ? :)

    I have the Ruger SP101 and frankly its the best revolver Ive owned...including my S&W's.

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