Can anyone recommend a .357 Mag Revolver?

This is a discussion on Can anyone recommend a .357 Mag Revolver? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Opinions of them? Do they hold up well? Gimmick? How is the recoil on them? Make a good pocket gun?...

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Thread: Can anyone recommend a .357 Mag Revolver?

  1. #16
    Member Array Ridge Runner's Avatar
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    Anyone use the S&W AirLite 38/357's?

    Opinions of them? Do they hold up well? Gimmick?

    How is the recoil on them?

    Make a good pocket gun?

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Dont own one but the Airweights are might exciting to shoot with 357's and still pretty intersting to shoot with 38+p's Recoil is stout i dotn care to shoot them much at all ..

    Must people you see shooting them at the range dont seem to like shooting them either

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridge Runner
    Opinions of them? Do they hold up well? Gimmick?

    How is the recoil on them?

    Make a good pocket gun?
    I have the 642, and the only reason I have the 642 and not the 637 is that it was only 310 bucks. I feel however I can make a good comparison.

    First of all, the only reason I bought this gun was for size factor and the fact it's not super expensive. I don't particularly enjoy shooting it because I don't like the short radius, I don't like the short barrel, and I don't trust the caliber out of such a short barrel.

    Shooting it is both fun and not fun. It's fun because it's a challenge and it will improve your skills. It's also "fun" from the perspective that in extreme close quarters where someone may be hacking at you with a knife, it has a lot of advantages in that situation and is probably better than most full size handguns would be in that situation. It also point shoots very well at shorter distances.

    It's not fun because I personally find it difficult to use very effectively past 10 yards and even then I normally practice at 10 yards and less. Now there are guys and gals who can cut a neat and pretty hole in a target with one of these but that's not me. I can put it in the black part of a bull's eye target at this range sans sights and that's about as good as I personally get with it. I could qualify for a permit with it if I had to but I sure would not enjoy it and I'd probably shoot not so well.

    This is my personal skill level however. There are guys who can hit a soda can 50 yards out with these things.

    Now what's funny is that I get about the same accuracy whether I am shooting fast or slow, or using the sights or not, etc. etc. While I'm not what I would consider to be very accurate with it, I am getting better and I am very conistent with it. I know that it's not in vogue for someone to admit they're not 100% ninja black belt with a given self defense tool and need some more work, but there you go.

    I can tell you right now my full size revolvers are a blast and my XDs are pretty darn accurate too with a little practice, but the gun I shoot the worst is the 642. I do have a Colt Agent that's much much better in the accuracy department and I can shave an inch off my groupings with it, but this gun isn't +P rated so it's not shot a whole lot.

    Throw the idea of quickly reloading it out the window because the short extractor rod just doesn't quite get the casings out.

    I still carry it a lot because I have great confidence I could put two in the COM and one in the head with it at typical ******** and elbows distances. The gun does handle well for its size and I much prefer the small revolver over the small semiauto because I hate tiny little controls and tiny little magazines.

    Now if you want to do something about the trigger, get the 642 because the internals in the DAO model are a little bit different and can be slicked up more. My gun is bone stock. I actually prefer the somewhat heavier trigger as a passive safety feature.

    Firing it still feels like holding an Altoids tin with firecrackers exploding inside of it. I don't sweat .44 Magnum but I don't like this little thing. Switching grips helps greatly.

    Now quality wise I can't knock it beyond the sprayed on finish. Mine has finish issues, but the sprayed on finish is almost all peeled off now and it looks fine. I did have to scrub it down with some steel wool to take the rough texture off of it for fear it would snag or drag in a draw.

    But mechanically it's been perfect. No timing issues, no cylinder gap problems, nothing like that.

    Get a good pocket holster to keep it constantly oriented and also to fluff your pocket out for easy access. You'll have to clean it for lint at least once a week even if you don't shoot it. I use a Q tip with a slightly moistened tip.

    Overall, I value it, I practice with it, and I use it when nothing else foots the bill. I feel that with my Gold Dots, it's actually a worthy defense tool if I can do my part to place the shot in the old 5 point zone.

    I know the in vogue thing to say is "Spend the $300 on a better holster for a full size gun" but there's times the full size handgun just doesn't work... I do try to use my full size gun as often as possible FYI. I think slicking mine up would make it considerably better. I just have to find some way to justify the expense to myself.

    For a guy who actually hates to use a small handgun, it's my pick for a small handgun. I think the Colt .38 snubs are significantly better but they have a longer profile and don't fit in most of my pockets, not +P rated, no longer available from Colt, etc.

    I've had about 800 rounds through mine and it hasn't missed a beat.

  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euc
    Firing it still feels like holding an Altoids tin with firecrackers exploding inside of it.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  6. #20
    Member Array joe/OH's Avatar
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    After having owned the Ruger SP101 2 1/4" for several weeks now, I would definitely recommend it. The trigger isn't as nice as S&W but it's not horrible either. It's not a light gun and not nearly as small as a J frame but that also means that firing hot .357 loads isn't uncomfortable. And in baggy loose pants I can still conceal it in a pocket - sorta. But I think it is definitely a belt holster kind of gun.

  7. #21
    Member Array Greymoor's Avatar
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    Do you want to CCW this weapon or just have a nice 357 mag revolver?

    In the full size department I recommend a used S&W 586 if you can find one. Very nice revolver.

    For a small CCW I can only say that you need to find a place to rent one and try them out. Firing some of the lighter ones with 357 loads can be an enlightening experience. Try before you buy if possible.
    Shoot well and be safe

    -Don



    "The trouble with our liberal friends are not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

  8. #22
    New Member Array Ozarker's Avatar
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    I like the .357...

    I have a Ruger Stainless Speed Six that I bought back in the early 80's. The Speed Six went out of production but was replaced by the SP101.

    My wife commandeered my Speed Six and uses it as her carry piece. I have it loaded with .38 sp for her because she really doesn't like the kick of full powered .357.

  9. #23
    Member Array Slide Lock Satch's Avatar
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    Generally I would recommend a stainless frame in 357 snubbies. The S&W 340 PD is very light and concealable but lacks in my ability to shoot it accurately in 38+P and 357 loads with much dry fire and range practice.

    Purchased a S&W 649 with stainless frame and full boot grip. Accuracy at 10 yds is very good and the gun is pretty much as concealble in the appendix carry position inside the waste band.

    I have owned Rugers, Taurus, and S&W. I very much prefer the Smith.

    I would also recommend an XS standard size tritium front sight. With a decent vise, punch, and small drill you can install these sites at the kitchen table.

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Having had, carried, and loved more than a few Smiths, I'd still have to recommend a 3-4" Ruger SP or GP, and get the action smoothed a tad. Bottom line- built like a tank, and they make better clubs. Colts are really nice, but much too expensive for the average guy to consider having tossed in the evidence locker until Heaven knows when.

    Go Airweight, only if its going to be a back up or pocket carry. Ti, only if you plan to carry regularly in swimming trunks, or the "not-really-there" running trunks- too expensive to justify otherwise.

    If you just want a wheelie, any of the above are good; I can't have a Smith preference any longer, with the lock and MIM BS. Taurus is strong in the running, if you take the time to do some serious revolver research (more than web-board ), and can seriously evaluate a particular piece, in-hand.

    Blued will be cheaper, but if you even THINK you may carry, spend for stainless, or plan on a coating of some sort, down the road. (Stainless will be cheaper, long-term, even though a couple of bills more, up-front.)

  11. #25
    Member Array NEtracker's Avatar
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    This ones been kickin' around a bit.
    .357's are great Tools.
    For range use, a nice 4 inch 686.
    For carry, a nice J-frame Stainless.
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  12. #26
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Exclamation Use is critical for good advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Ridge Runner
    Make a good pocket gun?
    See that's KEY. Do you want a superbly accurate target revolver, something you can kill medium sized game with or do you want a pocket rocket that can handle +P or magnum loads?

    If you've not owned a revolver before, I'd advise against a 357 pocket rocket, because it is just NOT pleasant to shoot except with ultra light 38 loads and what's the use of that? You'll need to practice often with full house loads if you want it for defense. I'd start with a nice M19 S&W or M66 (SS version) for a nice shooter. I carried one of these for years in a hi-rise hip holster as well as a shoulder rig. I also killed some deer with it while I was in college at BAMA. It was my first handgun ever, of my own.

    Another excellent choice for defense is the Ruger SP101 with the 3" barrel. You'll need a holster 'cause it's not designed as a pocket gun, but shooting full house loads is fairly comfortable. Enough to practice often.

    If you do decide on a true snubbie, don't think you'll do better with a 357 over a simple 38+P because you'll lose a ton of velocity due to the short barrel and the nighttime muzzle flash will look like a flamethrower. Oh and it'll kick worse than Tennessee white lightnin.'

    Were I going to pick up a snubbie today, I might well get a .22WMR with a 9rd cylinder. I think Taurus makes one. Either that, or the OTHER extreme in a Charter Bulldog 44sp. Believe it or not, the 44sp probably kicks less than the CRACKENFLASH 357.

    That's a "Cooperism." Jeff Cooper calls the 9mm a Crutchenticker and the 357 a crackenflash. Break it down and you'll get it.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  13. #27
    Member Array NEtracker's Avatar
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    Well, for pocket carry for me, it's a 642, 38 Spcl +P.
    Airweights are very manageable in this caliber.
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  14. #28
    Member Array jrad38's Avatar
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    For ccw , look at a Ruger sp 101.

  15. #29
    Member Array NaturalSelection's Avatar
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    i think the 4" smith 686 is about the best .357 wheelgun you can find for the money. i dont carry it often, but its the favorite of all my .357s.

  16. #30
    Senior Member Array tex45acp's Avatar
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    Ridge runner,

    There is a great deal of usefull information here and ultimately you will have to make a choice yourself. I was recently at a medium sized gunshow here in Texas and there was a myriad of sizes, styles, grip configurations, 5 shot, 6 shot, 7 shot and I believe there is even an 8 shot .357 out there. There is just as many finishes available. 99% of modern day revolvers shoot true, are accurate and reliable. Go to a gunshow and look for YOUR gun. Dont be afraid to handle and dryfire it.....of course with permission of the seller. Get a couple of boxes of shells and have a great time breaking it in. Above all make sure the gun you buy will suit your primary reason for having the gun in the first place.
    The only thing needed for evil to exist is for good men to stand by and do nothing!!!

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