Thinkin' of gettin' a S&W PERFORMANCE CENTER PRO SERIES MODEL 60 - Pistolsmith

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Old 05-19-2017, 07:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: FL
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Now admittedly I'll rarely use .357s at the range BUT I'd certainly like the option of using them in self defense. So the question is does this pup offer good performance with that choice?

Sometimes I wonder if .357 and carry are conflicting choices?
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,801
A 3 inch barreled revolver is arguably the best CCW revolver of them all.
You get full length extraction and less muzzle blast, but it still conceals well.
Also, the 3 inch seems to offer better "shootability".

The down side is the full charge .357 Magnum round does a really good impersonation of a SWAT stun grenade in an enclosed area like a room or car.
The blast is a literally ear-splitting CRACK.
You'd almost certainly have at least a little hearing loss.
However, if you ever need to actually use it, a little hearing loss will be the least of your problems.

The best of the .357 rounds are the hot 125 grain loads. In the days when cops carried the .357 revolver the 125 grain loads had the best of all actual performance.
The down side is the 125 grain loads are hard on forcing cones and there's a possibility of cracked or eroded cones if you use more then a little of them in a small frame S&W.
For that reason, it's suggested that you do the bulk of shooting with .38 Special +P ammo and load the Magnums for "business" use.
Fire enough to maintain the feel of the Magnum.

Other choices are the excellent Ruger SP-101 with the 3 inch barrel and an older S&W Model 64 or 65 with the 3 inch.

On ammo, another option is the Buffalo Bore HOT .38 Special +P load with the 158 grain lead, semi-wadcutter hollow point bullet.
This is loaded with a soft lead bullet with a gas check to prevent leading and is loaded to near Magnum velocities.
This is essentially what the +P load was originally before ammo companies started down loading the +P.
It was this load that ended the police problems with failures to stop with .38 Special ammo.
The street cops called it the ".38 SPLAT" for the sound it supposedly made when it hit.
This offers low Magnum performance with a lot less noise.

I still occasionally carry my 2 1/2 inch S&W Model 66 Combat Magnum, or my limited production 1980's S&W 3 inch Model 66.
These are larger, heavier guns, but offer 6 shots, better sights, better trigger, and much better control with Magnum loads.
S&W is now offering a new Model 66 with a 2 3/4 inch barrel. As above, bigger and heavier but possibly the best of them all.
This is very close to my 3 inch.

Last, no matter what some people think the 357 Magnum in a 2 to 3 inch offers better performance than any .38 Special load in the same length.
You just need to practice enough to master the recoil and blast.
A small frame like the S&W "J" is so abusive most people fire a few cylinders and never shoot Magnums again. In that case, you'd be just as well off buying a .38 Special.

Last edited by dfariswheel; 05-19-2017 at 04:17 PM.

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