Short Barrel 357

This is a discussion on Short Barrel 357 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; You cannot go wrong with a Smith and Wesson 2.5" model 19(blued) or its stainless twin, the model 66. Much easier to carry and conceal ...

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Thread: Short Barrel 357

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    You cannot go wrong with a Smith and Wesson 2.5" model 19(blued) or its stainless twin, the model 66. Much easier to carry and conceal than a 686, extremely accurate, reliable, adjustable sights for different ammo and it will retain or gain in value over the years. Practice mainly with 38's and load it up with either .38 + P's of full magnums for SD and properly maintain it. Stick with 158 gr. bullets and you've got yourself a proven revolver that goes bang evertime. Do make sure you practice with your carry load as a full magnum load does recoil more than a .38 but it's nothing that can't be overcome. I load mine with 158 gr. Speer Gold Dots for carry.

    Rugers are great heavy duty revolvers but there is no comparison between the two revolvers triggers. The S&W is much better in both SA and DA mode. The Ruger trigger can be improved but I've owned many S&W's over 32 years and have NEVER had one not fire when I've pulled the trigger. JMO
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  3. #17
    Member Array chasbo00's Avatar
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    I have a S&W Model 360 M&P.

    Product: Model M&P 360 Revolver - Chiefs Special

    Weighing only 13.3 ounces, it's a dream to carry but a bear to shoot (recoil) with .357s. I do most of my range time using .38s with this revolver. It's not inexpensive either, but as a carry piece it's super.

    Good luck in your quest.

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Just some additional information, Smiths 686 is built on their L frame which is quite large. That is how they're able to make it hold 7 rds. It is not as large as their 44 N frame, but large nonetheless. I think your best bet would be a used model 66 or 19 as another poster suggested. It is built on the K frame, which is smaller than the L, but stll holds 6 rds. It is no longer in production, so a new gun would be hard to find.
    I have a 640 J frame, it's very compact, but holds only 5. Much easier to conceal than a L frame however.
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  5. #19
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    If you're getting a snubbie, check out the ballistics by the inch website. Seems like you may as well shoot .38's due to the loss of velocity in short barrels.

  6. #20
    Senior Member Array harley2007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasbo00 View Post
    I have a S&W Model 360 M&P.

    Product: Model M&P 360 Revolver - Chiefs Special

    Weighing only 13.3 ounces, it's a dream to carry but a bear to shoot (recoil) with .357s. I do most of my range time using .38s with this revolver. It's not inexpensive either, but as a carry piece it's super.

    Good luck in your quest.
    I looked at one last night. VERY light, VERY light....I htink it would be too much for me and I want a gun I can shoot 357's through.
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  7. #21
    Senior Member Array harley2007's Avatar
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    Yes, I do want to stay away from the L or anything larger frames. The store I went to last night did not have any used K frame Smiths. I felt a Taurus (605 I think), it was ok, the trigger was not bad, but again 5 shots and only 2".

    I really think I need a 3" gun, and a frame like a K rather than a J for recoil.
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  8. #22
    Senior Member Array harley2007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedrgr21 View Post
    If you're getting a snubbie, check out the ballistics by the inch website. Seems like you may as well shoot .38's due to the loss of velocity in short barrels.
    Yep. I looked, and you are right, that is why I am leaning towards a 3" gun opposed to 2". This makes it a bit harder in that most small frame 357's are in 2" only......and the K frames are hard to find used.
    "I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!" - Dorothy Parker

  9. #23
    Member Array JohnD13's Avatar
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    I would recommend a Ruger Security Six too. Around here they seem to go for $250 to $300. They will last your lifetime. I've put thousands of rounds through mine, still tight and accurate. I brought it new in 1982!

    John

  10. #24
    Member Array chasbo00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley2007 View Post
    Yep. I looked, and you are right, that is why I am leaning towards a 3" gun opposed to 2". This makes it a bit harder in that most small frame 357's are in 2" only......and the K frames are hard to find used.
    Using Speer's short barrel ammo for the .38 + P vs. 357 Mag (both cartridges use 135 grain gold dot bullets) and Speer's test data, the difference in muzzle velocity from a 2 inch barrel is 130 fps.

    860 fps vs. 990 fps

    Whether this 130 fps velocity difference is important or not is probably debatable, but there is a difference.

    See bottom of page, click on detail...

    http://www.speer-ammo.com/ballistics/ammo.aspx

  11. #25
    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley2007 View Post
    Yep. I looked, and you are right, that is why I am leaning towards a 3" gun opposed to 2". This makes it a bit harder in that most small frame 357's are in 2" only......and the K frames are hard to find used.
    Below is my all time favorite S&W. It's a 3" model 66 that was a limited run back in 85 that cost 275.00. Now worth 700.00+ and climbing. They are now pricey but it's the best all round revolver I own and is just plain crazy accurate. I've also included a shot of my motorcycle piece, a S&W nickel model 19. It's a 2.5" but 10 "C" notes says a bad guy shot to center mass hit with either revolver loaded with 158 gr. Speer Gold Dots to the vitals will not know the difference between the 2.

    A plus with the 3" revolver is you'll have higher velocities and being a "K" frame handles .357's very well due to it's extra weight which by the way is a breeze to carry all day. Another plus is both of these revolvers WILL appreciate in value if you don't abuse them. Can't say the same with the Ruger. They are harder to find but worth every penny IMO for a weapon you're relying on to protect your life with!

    A "J" frame .357 is a hard piece to hit with and kicks like a little mule. You really have to practice with it for shots past the 7 yard line. My "K" frames are just as easy to conceal as a "J" frame in a IWB holster as I do not pocket carry due to wearing nothing but Levi jeans and shorts. They are also way easier to hit what your aiming at. Yea I'm a non fashional kinda guy set in my ways.

    Let's go back to the Ruger SP101. It can be had in a 3" barrel with adjustable sights (Gives you the ability to change up loads and adjust for their different point of impact, VERY important IMO as it allows you to use any good SD rounds) and will handle a .357 mag diet forever. It is however limited to 5 rounds IMS in .357 mag. With a mainspring change from Wolff and a visit to a COMPETENT gunsmith the trigger can be greatly improved thereby greatly increasing your chances of hitting what you are aiming at. It is a great revolver, just not as refined as an older S&W which are my all time favorites revolvers.

    My vote still goes to the S&W 19 or 66. Here is one on Gun Broker that has a pretty darn good price on it.

    Smith & Wesson Model 19 with 2.5 inch barrel : Revolvers at GunBroker.com

    Here are my 2 K frames which are wearing Ahrends grips. I'm pitching S&W's as I truly believe the older pre lock models were and are the best revolvers ever made. I'm not a snob, just appreciate finely maufactured handguns.

    Happy shopping!

    SG

    66 3" Now a house weapon


    19 nickel motorcycle revolver in an Alessi shoulder holster
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  12. #26
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Another thumbs-up for a Ruger Security/Speed/Service Six, if you can find one with a good trigger. Later-production Sixes tend to have MUCH better actions, and one quick way to tell is that older ones will have vertically grooved trigger faces, and later ones will have smooth, rounded trigger faces, though, of course, older ones could have been altered.

    It would literally take an offer of several thousand dollars to tempt me to sell my Speed Six! With its factory spurless hammer, which I added after I bought it, it is a truly great carry sixgun, though mine is 4", my actual preference for any .357 larger than an SP101 in frame size.

    Edited to add: I love that pooch in your avatar!

    OTOH, do not dismiss the SP101 so easily. When I carry revolvers, I carry two or more. I never worried about that sixth shot in the cylinder, knowing I had five more in the second weapon. Moreover, I figure that anytime I need more than two or three shots, I will need a LOT more, so the difference between five and six just did not bother me.

  13. #27
    Senior Member Array ErikGr7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley2007 View Post
    My first thought was to get a S&W since I like my wife's 642 so much and since I was unhappy with the trigger on my Taurus revolver but I have not tried Rossi's or Charter Arms and maybe I should because I know they are good values......i will look at them too, thanks.
    I was going to recommend this one too but, someone beat me
    too it. The Rossi is a decent price and holds 6 rounds. I like the
    ss finish as well.

  14. #28
    Member Array DAtrigger's Avatar
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    Security Seven? The seven-shot SW 686.

    Here is what I prefer, with a 3-inch barrel.
    Attached Images

  15. #29
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    Smile

    I have the S&W 649. This model has the shrouded hammer which allows control over the hammer without the spur to catch on clothing. It is not light, but with the 357 load the weight absorbs more of the energy making it a tad bit easier to shoot. The lighter guns can really be a pain to shoot in the 357 load. And if I just want to shoot 38's I can do that too. I carry mine almost daily in a Smart Carry holster or in an ankle holster.

    Armydad

  16. #30
    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    I have several snubs but if I'm going to load up with 125 gr 357 Magnums I'm going to use my 2-1/2" 686+.

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