This is a discussion on S&W J Frame 357 for CCW within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by BikerRN I personally don't like anything less than a 3" Barrel when shooting .357 Magnum, but that's just me. Biker And me. ...
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I have two model 60s and a 19 in .357, and the 60s are not much fun with 357 loads. The Model 19 (similar to a 66) is pretty tame, but the recoil in a 60 with 357s is a bit much. Not painful by any means, but a quick follow-up shot is not going to happen, at least not by me. Try it and see for yourself, you may not be as wimpy as I am. I can't imagine one of the scandium framed guns with full .357 loads - they must hurt.
I practice with 357 and carry 357. Most off the time it's one of my 2" Snubs but, somtimes I use a 4". My practice rounds are not quit as hot as Factory 357 but, verry close. With Rubber Grips it is not a problem. I don't think I could do it with Wood Grips.
I've shot both my 642 and 60 side-by-side to make this comparison. Speer 135gr .38+P short barrel loads are fine and yes, I can do the "five-quick-shot-test". However, I then tried out 125gr .357's in the model 60 and those five were enough. I would need a lot of adrenaline to punch out five of those puppies real quick. I decided then and there to keep my magnum rounds in the L-frame.
Good rubber grips really take a lot of sting/pain out of the J-frame .357. I find the Pachmayer ? rubber grips to be great, and not very expensive. The only disadvantage is that some grips do not pemit using a reloader unless you trim the grip.
A .357 Airweight will be great CCW gun, because you will only be tempted to use it as A LAST RESORT. I carry .38 +P.
Try both .357 and .38+P. Try the 5x5x5 shot test. But whatever you decide, practice with what you're going to carry.
Last edited by Murexway; March 21st, 2008 at 12:13 PM.
I carry a 340 sc with 147gr .357 I practice with the same I shoot 50 rds about every other week. Don't let anyone say you cant get fast accurate followup shots. I do, with the lightest .357 on the market about 12 oz. Carry the largest caliber and most powerfull handgun you can hit what your aiming at with fast follow up shots. Just practice and do as Murexway with the 5X5 if you can do that relativly fast your good to go.
just my $.02 but it's probably not even worth half that good luck
I managed to get 5 shots out of my 340 before I returned the box! Then a couple of months later I was handed a box of 357's at the range and didn't look at the box till 5 hot 38's were shot. I practice with 38s and keep 38 speer +p's and still 50 rounds in a range session is punishing and causes a numb hand.
I've got a old S&W model 15 (.38 or +P38 only). Were I to do it again and I"m shopping around for one now, I'd have a 357. Not for the magnum ammo (have two .44's) but for the strength of the frame, and rely on shot placement for effectiveness. Not sure what the likelihood of a high velocity 357 mag round would be like going through your target, but if a .38 +p expands to the same dia. and placement for first round is similar, then to me, reduce velocity, let the bullet stay in the BG and be less of a threat coming out the other side and going somewhere, plus allow a faster follow up shot. To me, the stronger frame is a plus!
When using either my M60 3 inch or 640 .357 I practice with reduced loads. For factory you can go with cheap (if there is such a thing these days) factory .38 Spl loads.
Although heavier than the 642 the 640 with its 2 1/8 barrel is a good and potent carry gun.
I use .357 Win 145 gr Silvertips for carry.
As in another thread, soft rubber grips really help in the recoil dept.
Welcome to Pachmayr
rayjay, do not listen to the nay sayers; I say have at it. Buy 100 rounds of 125gr 357s and enjoy a day at the range. Further, do not even consider using shooting gloves or those sissy oversize rubber grips. Why? Real men do not need anything to tame recoil. Regards, Richard
PS see if you can find grips like these as they should make your trip to the range memorable: