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Colt Lawman vs SW 60

tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
edited January 2012 in Ask the Experts
Im looking for a compact 357mag.

Considering either an older 2inch Colt Lawman,new 2inch S&W model 60,or older S&W 3inch model 65.

I would appreciate comments regarding these models and or other model suggestions.Thank you.

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    Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,373 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The Lawman is on the 1969 Mk III coil spring development of the ".41 frame" Colts. Even with the short barrel it is kind of a big gun.
    But then it will kick less with Magnums.
    A J-Smith Magnum is just nasty to shoot.
    A Model 65 would be a good compromise.
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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Love my 2" 60 in 38. Had a 2" python that made my hand bleed.
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    tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Look for yourself a 2 1/2" model 66 S&W, round butt. I have a 66-1, in said configuration, and LOVE IT. Warning though...they are very collectable, and although, like the model 19, they are chambered for 357 magnum, if fed a steady diet of full house 357's, they will loosen up. When they do this, they need to be sent in and tightened up.

    I practice a lot with 38's, shoot a few 357's to make sure I am comfortable with them, and carry 357's in it.

    Best
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    62fuelie62fuelie Member Posts: 1,069 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    +1 on TSR's advice. The 2 1/2" S&W K-frame .357s are great carry pistols. I have carried and used both the M-19 and M-66 versions and could shoot both a accurately as my 4" versions. Another option, if you can find one, is the 2 1/2" version of the 686. This will give you a little more weight on the muzzle to damp recoil, but won't be as bulky as the Lawman. Practice with .38's and carry 110-125 grain JHPs for social purposes.
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    HerschelHerschel Member Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    +another 1 on TSR's advice.

    The agency I worked for issued 2 1/2" model 66's. With 110 grain .357 ammo recoil was not bad. One shot at night with your eyes open would ruin your night vision for a few minutes. The muzzle flash is unbelievable.

    I agree with Charliemeyer007 on the .38 model 60. I carried one for years as a sidearm and loved it.
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    Riomouse911Riomouse911 Member Posts: 3,492 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Tone, if you can, try to rent a few at a range and shoot them before you buy.

    I have a S&W M-19 2.5 inch and a Dan Wesson M-15 with a 2" barrel in the kit. Both make magnum loads more shootable than any J frame with magnum loads. The 65 is comparable to both the M-19 and M-15 (basically fixed sights vs adjustable), and would be my choice of the three you list if I was looking for a magnum carry gun.

    The 60 will be more concealable, though it is 5 vs 6 shots. If using .38's, it will be great. Magnums? Not so much.

    The Colt, while really cool, will be a headache if something breaks or it goes out of time. Since they aren't made anymore, if it was me I'd relegate that to a safe queen or "look at a lot-shoot a little" type gun.
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    TWalkerTWalker Member Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have the three handguns you described. While all are quality revolvers, my favorite is the 2 inch Lawman with full power .357 magnum hollowpoints. The 3 inch stainless M65 is a great all-around handgun and the M60 is ideal for concealed carry. The bottom line is there isn't a bad choice between the three. I like the M66 as well, in both 2 1/2 and 3 inch versions, but rarely carry or shoot them any more.
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by tone59
    Im looking for a compact 357mag.

    Considering either an older 2inch Colt Lawman,new 2inch S&W model 60,or older S&W 3inch model 65.

    I would appreciate comments regarding these models and or other model suggestions.Thank you.


    First of all, consider skipping the compact 357 for a .38+P instead.

    The reason is that the .357 is already a highly inefficient cartridge. When you fire it out of a short 2" barrel, most of the powder that should be used to propel the bullet ends up being burned outside the barrel, creating a massive fireball that looks like this:

    mb1.jpg

    Not only will this ruin your night vision, but more importantly, the short barrel SEVERELY gimps the .357 ballistics. A .357 will still outperform a .38 at any barrel length, but at 2 inches and below, the ballistic difference between the two is pretty small. In my opinion, another 50 feet per second with a .357 isn't worth the extra flash, ammo and gun costs.

    Next issue, if you're still fixated on a snubby 357, at least consider frame size. The J-frame 5-shot compact guns like the Smith model 60 are quite a bit smaller than the medium frame 6-shot ones like the model 65, and the smaller guns are much more amenable to concealed carry.

    For me, the decision would be simple. If I'm carrying it concealed, the Smith 60, otherwise the Smith 65.

    Other gun to look at is the Ruger SP101 in .357. Its generally similar to the Smith 60, only maybe a bit less refined, and a bit less expensive.
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    tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you all for sharing your knowledge.

    Any opinions regarding the Rossi 461 or 462?
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    317wc317wc Member Posts: 924 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Its true that .357 is an ineffecient round, moreso out of a short barrel. I had a Smith 36 which is the blue version of the Model 60, in .38 Special, it was great for a carry gun and contrary to popular belief a .38 isn't something to sneeze at, I prefer a keith style lead bullet, 158 grain, if you can get it to around 900FPS it is quite effective. I sold my Smith but if I was to buy another it would have a 3 inch barrel, I don't think the longer barrel would hurt as I preferred to carry mine IWB style. Good luck with the choice and have fun.
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