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I need suggestions for a light 357

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by olypen, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. olypen

    olypen Olympic Peninsula New Member

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    I'm pretty new on this forum and though I've been doing some research on the subject I thought I might gain something from asking here.

    I'm looking for a snub 357 that can be fired single or double action to carry.

    The gun that's caught my eye is the S&W model 360 scandium in 357, this purchase is for a particular niche and keeping it as light as reasonable is a priority.

    The question is are there other similar choices that I might look for.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. batcat6

    batcat6 Vancouver, WA Member

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    You might want to look at the Ruger LCR in .357 mag. A little hard to come by but worth the look. Also the Taurus titanium .357 revolver.
     
  3. bumpkin

    bumpkin SW WA 98643 Member

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    I would stay away from the S&W 386, a 7-shot .357MAG aluminum-scandium revolver.

    These light alloy guns come from the factory with a clearcoat finish on the metal - mine also came from the factory with a wear mark through the clearcoat and into the frame - a shiny mark about 1/16" in diameter.

    After a couple of years, the clearcoat started to peel off my gun - not real pretty. The scandium-aluminum alloy doesn't seem to corrode or noticeably oxidize, but without the clearcoat it is very sensitive to abrasion and easily picks up scratches and nicks.

    The gun so so light that it kicks like a mule - it is unpleasant to shoot with anything except the lightest loads.

    And now the gun has developed a slight binding in cylinder rotation - there seems to be one 'high spot' on the cylinder and the cylinder noticeably drags for about 1/4 to 1/3 of it's rotation.

    On the plus side - the gun is very light and I like the idea of one extra round. And now I have an absolutely clear opinion about which gun I would prefer to lose to theft, har.

    I'd recommend that you get a S&W 686 (stainless steel, an older one without the lock) and just live with the weight difference.

    Bumpkin
     
  4. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    If you need a lightweight snub revolver, you really should stick with the .38+P round.

    The .357 mag round is a poor choice for use in an airweight snub. Most of the extra powder in the .357 casing is burned up in a fireball at the end of that short barrel, and does little to increase the velocity of the bullet. You wind up with brutal recoil, brutal muzzle blast, and blinding muzzle flash...all for very little ballistic gain.

    If you need the power of the .357, your money would be better spent on a quality holster and wardrobe that will allow you to comfortably carry a gun that the cartridge was meant to be used in.

    The .357 magnum was designed for use in steel-framed revolvers with 4" or longer barrels, and in that platform it is an excellent choice. But in the airweight snub guns, shooting Magnums is like dropping a 600 horsepower engine into a stock Dodge Caravan. It might go fast, but it wont handle or stop or hold together worth a darn.

    You should consider going to a range that rents guns and test-firing an airweight .357 before you spend a substantial amount of money on one. You will probably find...as many others have...that the recoil makes fast and accurate followup shots virtually impossible. I would bet that most of the people who have bought these guns wind up using .38+P's in them for that very reason....why spend the extra $$$ on a Magnum chambering that you probably wont use anyway?
     
  5. rufus

    rufus State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    I could not agree more. Been there, done that.

    My recommendation for a lightweight snub would have to be a Smith & Wesson Model 442 if you like black, or Model 642 if you like silver. Both are currently being made without the internal lock and qualify for the recently announced $50 rebate from S&W.

    Speer GoldDot for short barrel in .38spl +P makes a fine SD round.
     
  6. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Western Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I frequently carry a 2 1/2-inch Model 19 Smith with full-house .357s on the trail. Of course, I can hit what I'm shooting at, which is 90% of the equation, the other 10% being the knowledge when NOT to press the trigger.

    It has a set of Herrett stocks and I run a 125-grain JHP ahead of 19.0 grs of H110 or 17 grs of 2400, both loads clocking about the same muzzle velocity so the downrange performance is pretty similar.

    I have found that a titanium or scandium S&W in .357 with rubber grips is manageable, and it is lighter in weight than my Mod. 19, but one MUST keep in perspective the fact that very lightweight magnums have horrid recoil and some people simply cannot handle it.

    You may want to go with an all-steel gun and accept the weight so you don't drop the gun the first time it goes off.

    100_3567_1.JPG
     
  7. Tilos

    Tilos Idaho Active Member

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    I suggest you shoot one 1st as they are a handful.

    I bought a 340(?) 357, scandium, shrouded hammer, DA only.
    It came with an ittie bittie "boot grip" and was hard to control shooting 38s.
    I put on a bigger grip (now it's bigger) and had better control with 38 ammo.

    OK, load up 5 rounds of 357 and shoot one...ouch, shoot another...OUCH:eek:
    Unload the remaining 3, drive to the gun store, trade said gun and more money for a Kahr PM9.

    My take is the position of your hand so far below the barrel is what causes all that jump out of your hand recoil.

    I'm a revolver guy but...ouch.
    YMMV

    Just sayin'
    Tilos
     
  8. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    Call the range at Bullseye or Marksmanand see if they rent the gun your are interested in.
    this may save you save bigg $$$ by buying what you don't need.

    If you want to shoot a S&W 686, they rock, drop me a line.
     
  9. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    you could also try the all steel (stainless) j frame 5 shot 357 smiths. I don't know all the model #'s. I have a 640-1? it's hammer-less. the weight helps with the recoil, the compactness is the same as the air-weights/air-lites.
     
  10. DeletedUser1

    DeletedUser1 Member

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    how about a Ruger SP101?
     
  11. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Western Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I don't think you read his specs very carefully.

    He wants a .357 with double- or single-action capability. Out goes any semi-auto, especially anything spelled "G-L-O-C-K"

    This sort of thing happens all the time in these threads. Somebody posts some specs and then peopel weigh in with a prejudice toward their own preferences.

    Let's help this guy find something that meets HIS preferences.
     
  12. Tactical SS

    Tactical SS Washington Member

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    I had a .38 in an airweight, it was a tiny little thing. Even the .38 had a good kick to the point that it was almost not fun to shoot. I can't imagine a .357 even if it weighed a little more.

    To each his own, I carried the .38 for over a year, but I have since sold it and now carry my USPc everywhere I go, even with a t-shirt on, and no one has noticed. A gun belt and a good holster make a world of difference!
     
  13. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    S&W 638 would meet your criteria.

    I had a Charter Arms Target Bulldog 357 for a while. 15 oz., 4" barrel. Really
    wasn't too bad.

    Have a Ruger Security Six with a 2"+ barrel--and it beat the heck out of
    me until I found a set of grips that worked. Pachmayr Compacs seem to
    fit my hands--the gun comes straight back with little flip.
     
  14. Bruce

    Bruce Jefferson County, Wa Member

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    Where I work you have to qualify with the ammo you will be carrying in your back up gun. You must also shoot unsupported strong hand and unsupported weak hand. I have seen several people with light weight .357s that find it painful to shoot their back up gun with both hands. I carry a S&W 642 in .38 Special and find it enjoyable to shoot and I am comfortable shooting both strong and weak handed which is plus since I keep my back up on my right side, accessible to my weak hand.

    If your gun is uncomfortable to shoot because it brings you pain you are less likely to practice with it.

    If you practice with light loads to compensate, you are most likely putting yourself at a huge disadvantage skill/control wise when it really counts.
     
  15. olypen

    olypen Olympic Peninsula New Member

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    Thank you guy's. It seems this was the right place to ask the question and I'm listening.

    I will look into the two ranges listed and see if I can get over that way for some hands on experience.

    The intended use is a very lightweight backpack gun more so than daily carry.
     
  16. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Western Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Where does he say this is a "back-up" gun?
     
  17. eddieb

    eddieb Tigard, OR Member

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    Look at the Ruger SP101. Love mine. It's light enough to pocket carry, which I do all the time, but it's built to take .357 magnum loads all day long without breaking your hand. And an added plus, it's a lot cheaper than a S&W. I know somebody will come back and say it's too heavy for pocket carry, but try one with a good pocket holster and you'll be surprised. For pete's sake, it's only 24 ounces. Heck, my wallet weighs almost that much with all the little scraps of paper I keep cramming into it.:D
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  18. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Western Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Ahhh, okay, that makes sense.

    At my age, I get confused rather easily.

    Heck, last night, I durned near said something nice about Patty Murray when I read her appeal to me for money. (I am certain her goobers got my mailing address off the wall at the Greyhound bus depot.)

    But within moments, self-control once again got the better of me
    :D
     
  19. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Western Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Actually, I'm rather fond of the SP101.
    I've fired them in .357 and .327 Federal Magnum and both were darned accurate and wholly reliable. Recoil felt about the same.

    I think the SP101 would make a marvelous choice in this discussion.
     
  20. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I sort of "stumbled" on my carry .38. I bought it with a 686 .357, neither of which I really needed, sold the .357, and kept the Smith M60 3". I kept it because at my age I learned something I should have learned a long time ago. There's a reason people like .38's.

    This gun's accuracy is nothing short of frightening (and educational). I had .357's for hunting guns, etc. and never really thought I needed a .38: I could feed my .357's that light meal if I wanted.

    My light carry gun was a Walther .380: biggest reason is because it is a gun that is hard to leave behind, and nearly no effort to conceal. (As opposed to something bulkier which is always easy to find an excuse to leave behind.)

    Then I figured I'd shoot this Smith 3" M60 before I got rid of it. It was like picking up a stray puppy and keeping him "just overnight". This gun shoots on par with my .22 automatics (Browning and Hi Standard) at 25 yards!

    Now the Walther has an unmatched "litter mate" to stare at me longingly when I leave the house. I try to distribute my attention equally, but the Smith is gaining ground.