Range Report: S & W 360PD

Range Report: S & W 360PD

This is a discussion on Range Report: S & W 360PD within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; If you're not familiar with this gun, it's a Smith & Wesson 5-shot "J" frame revolver with a 1 7/8" barrel and an exposed hammer ...

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Thread: Range Report: S & W 360PD

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Range Report: S & W 360PD

    If you're not familiar with this gun, it's a Smith & Wesson 5-shot "J" frame revolver with a 1 7/8" barrel and an exposed hammer chambered in .357 magnum. What makes it unique is the exotic alloy in the frame and the titanium cylinder. Fully loaded and ready to go, mine tipped the scales at 14.3 ounces.

    Whether it's worth $800 for a gun like this is up to the individual. For me, if it's the gun that saves my life, it's priceless. In order for a gun to do that, it has to be carried and it has to be a caliber that's capable of getting the job done. Once again, for me, this gun fills the bill on both counts. It's easy to carry and conceal. It will ride comfortably all day in a belly band, a carry T-shirt, an ankle holster, a pocket holster, inside or outside the waistband...you name it. The gun that I left at home won't do me any good for self defense. I need something that I can carry every time that I leave the house. This little gun fills the bill perfectly.

    So how does it shoot? It can be a handful. Smith and Wesson recommends that you start with the smallest caliber and lightest bullet that the gun is capable of shooting and work your way up. I loaded up with 38 special (+P) 129 grain Federal Hydra-Shoks. Not exactly a light load or a target round but I like to cut right to the chase. Recoil was decent and accuracy was pretty good at 21 feet which is about what I would consider the operating distance for a gun this small. I got the best results manually cocking the hammer. It only takes a little over four pounds to pull the trigger shooting that way. That's why I went with the exposed hammer. Pulling the trigger all the way through in double action takes around fifteen pounds and my accuracy was lousy. With a little practice, drawing and flicking back the hammer with your thumb is as easy as flicking off the safety on a 1911.

    So after running through a half box of 38 special, I thought I'd give it a try with the PDX-1 .357 magnums. Holy macaroni!!! You've braced yourself for the increased recoil. What you don't expect is the concussion coming back in your face and the three fold increase in noise. I expected someone to come in and see who was shooting the howitzer on their range. After ten rounds with the magnums, I was done. Even with ear protection, my ears were ringing.

    In summation, it's definitely not a range gun. It is however accurate, reliable, and easy to carry and conceal. As uncomfortable as it is to shoot with a full load of .357 magnums, it's comforting to know that it will cause the bad guy greater discomfort. If nothing else, he'll be hard of hearing the rest of his life.

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    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Carry pepper spray that uses an alcohol carrier, spray the BG first. Then when you fire the muzzle flash will ignite the pepper spray.

    I had one of those for several years. After 2 trips back to S&W for frame replacement, I sold it and bought a steel j frame. They are not made for lots of magnums.

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    Carry pepper spray that uses an alcohol carrier, spray the BG first. Then when you fire the muzzle flash will ignite the pepper spray.

    I had one of those for several years. After 2 trips back to S&W for frame replacement, I sold it and bought a steel j frame. They are not made for lots of magnums.
    LOL. I don't plan to run a lot of magnums through it. It probably won't see a lot of ammo at all. I've got other stuff that's far more pleasant to shoot. This one, however, is a dream to carry and when number of hours of carry was weighed against number of hours of shooting, comfortable carry beat comfortable shooting by a long shot. It's not the perfect gun. It fills a niche. It's the gun you never really have an excuse (other than the law) for leaving the house without. With the tamer .38 special rounds, it's really not a bad little shooter, but you'll never make a target pistol out of it. That was never its purpose.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    the idea of cocking a revolver to single action while drawing in a self defense situation is dangerous and not recomended by anyone. for me I went with a 640 [hammerless] with a good trigger job, even with the ss frame its a handfull. for my defense load I use a Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 135grn 357 mag load, not quite so brutal.

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracker 1 View Post
    the idea of cocking a revolver to single action while drawing in a self defense situation is dangerous and not recomended by anyone. for me I went with a 640 [hammerless] with a good trigger job, even with the ss frame its a handfull. for my defense load I use a Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 135grn 357 mag load, not quite so brutal.
    Really? I've been doing it with snap caps and don't find it to be all that much of a problem. Why is it dangerous?
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    Member Array theheater905's Avatar
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    Gene83,
    Tracker mentioned the Speer Gold Dot 357 mag short barrel 135gr, its a great carry round, part# 23917. Its hotter than the 38+P and not as punishing as a full magnum load.

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theheater905 View Post
    Gene83,
    Tracker mentioned the Speer Gold Dot 357 mag short barrel 135gr, its a great carry round, part# 23917. Its hotter than the 38+P and not as punishing as a full magnum load.
    Thanks for the information. I'm still interested in that cocking the hammer while drawing thing though. I understand that if the threat disappears, you are faced with decocking a revolver. But where's the danger in cocking the hammer vs pulling the trigger through a double action cycle?
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    Senior Member Array Dandyone's Avatar
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    I'm curious as to what happens if you fire less than a 120-grain bullet through the gun.

    Why the warning label?

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandyone View Post
    I'm curious as to what happens if you fire less than a 120-grain bullet through the gun.

    Why the warning label?
    Good question. Supposedly this statement refers to .357 magnum rds only. Magnum bullets weighing less than 120 grains will exit their cartridge before the cartridge charge has a chance to completely burn. This charge will leak out onto the cylinder and frame while still burning, causing damaging oxidation to the gun's exotic materials over time. This was my source for this information.

    Genitron.com: Handgun Reviews-Smith & Wesson 360PD Revolver
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    Ya, sounds like a real handful to shoot. I really want a j frame, but a 357 is not for me. But congrats on a new gun, if you like it thats all that counts. It looks sweet btw. I was at the range the other day and pretty sure someone broke out a 357 mag. IT WAS LOUD!!!
    The stupidity of some people NEVER ceases to amaze me.

    G19 AIWB

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miller_man View Post
    Ya, sounds like a real handful to shoot. I really want a j frame, but a 357 is not for me. But congrats on a new gun, if you like it thats all that counts. It looks sweet btw. I was at the range the other day and pretty sure someone broke out a 357 mag. IT WAS LOUD!!!
    Thanks. The .357 mags really do go KABOOM when you shoot them. But, like I said, it's mainly about having a gun that you can carry while playing tennis. Stick it in a white belly band and nobody, including yourself, will notice that you are carrying. It just disappears until you need it. That's the niche that this gun fills. There are times when I can carry everything that I own. But, the only gun that I can carry all the time and count on it to be there for me is this one. There are no failures to feed, failures to eject, carrying a spare magazine in case there's a problem with the first one. Just pull the trigger.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    I pocket carry a 340PD (same gun but hammer-less) for the same reasons above. If your snub has a hammer spur, I recommend placing your thumb behind, not on top of the spur during the draw. If something snags the cylinder, you won't be inadvertently cocking the piece. Defensive shooting is not target shooting, so I suggest you practice the faster DA stroke at the end of the thrust. Accurate SA shooting takes less trigger time, and it may be preferred against claws and teeth in the woods, but the time spent cocking the trigger, disrupting the grip, may be better spent shooting and scooting.

    I carry Federal Premium Cast Core 180 grain solids in the woods. Recoil is stout. I lean my head to cover an ear with my raised shoulder, and use the off hand to cover the other ear. Make sure your companions know to protect their hearing when you shout that prearranged word.
    Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776

    Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
    -Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 95

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunthorp View Post
    I pocket carry a 340PD (same gun but hammer-less) for the same reasons above. If your snub has a hammer spur, I recommend placing your thumb behind, not on top of the spur during the draw. If something snags the cylinder, you won't be inadvertently cocking the piece. Defensive shooting is not target shooting, so I suggest you practice the faster DA stroke at the end of the thrust. Accurate SA shooting takes less trigger time, and it may be preferred against claws and teeth in the woods, but the time spent cocking the trigger, disrupting the grip, may be better spent shooting and scooting.

    I carry Federal Premium Cast Core 180 grain solids in the woods. Recoil is stout. I lean my head to cover an ear with my raised shoulder, and use the off hand to cover the other ear. Make sure your companions know to protect their hearing when you shout that prearranged word.
    Thanks for the advice.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Glad you like it Gene. Thanks for posting.
    Vietnam Vets, WELCOME HOME

    Crossman 760 BB/Pellet, Daisy Red Ryder, Crossman Wrist Rocket, 14 Steak Knives, 3 Fillet Knives, Rolling Pin-14", Various Hunting Knives, 2 Baseball Bats, 3 Big Dogs and a big American Flag flying in the yard. I have no firearms; Try the next house.

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mprp View Post
    Glad you like it Gene. Thanks for posting.
    Thank you.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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