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I have a S&W model 66 SS with 2 1/2 " barrel. It's small enough to conceal, but is a little heavy. I don't shoot it much, and when I do, it's usually .38 specials. However, it's handy in my nightstand. My wife actually shoots it pretty well, better than I do.



'
 

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Over 50yrs of carry in the woods or on horseback from old Ruger single 6 to Para Ordinance 45sub I now carry a Glock 27 in 40 and found the best deterrent from Cats to meth heads are my labs. They alert me to to trouble long before I would ever know.
A Belgium Malinois would be #1 pick
 

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Have had two 357's in my life. If I never shoot another factory round of 357 it will e to soon The Blackhawk would roll over in my hand and hurt to shoot The Colt Trooper simply recoiled to much and was awfully loud. Fixed the problem's with the Colt. Went to 148gr wadcutter's and 2 1/2grs Bullseye in 38 spec case's. really great then. Colt was in a high rise thumb break holster and hid away very well with a jacket or flannel shirt, 4" barrel. These days when I shoot my 38 spec it with 150gr Keith type cast bullet's and they are great to shoot also! For carry I much prefer auto loader's and I'm a revolver fan. But my S&W Shield c9 just dissappears on my side and I hardly know it's there 8 shot magazines with it. Ruger P-90 is quit a bit heavier and heavy but it has 16 rd magazines. I seldom carry it any more. Out and around I always have a gun with me and it's the S&W shield 9mm.
 

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One of my 2 common carry guns is a S&W M60 3" with adjustable sights. I swapped the factory rubber grips out for wood so it doesn't stick to my clothes and telegraph its presence quite so much. It is a *******' handful to shoot with full power 125 grain .357 ammo but it'll shoot 2" 5 shot 50 yard groups from the bench with it so ... handful or not, that's my preference.

As light as that thing is, it's still an ounce or so heavier than my 329PD .44 magnum. If you want to shoot a hurt maker that's my #1 candidate.

Prior to the M60 S&W I carried a 2-1/4" barreled SP-101. It was nasty as well. I swapped it for the S&W because I wanted adjustable sights. I used a variety of loads in the SP-101 and none of them shot to point of aim with the fixed sights. It was pretty accurate once you figured the hold-off for the particular load. A buddy and i used to compete shooting gopher mounds at 175 yards, me with the SP-101, him with either his Glock 19 or his HK squeeze cocker. I wouldn't have wanted to have been a gopher mound.
 

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When I was a young man shopping for my first gun, a man behind the counter told me, "...If I could have only one gun, it'd be a 4 inch stainless 357 magnum." The guy next to me on my side of the counter said, "If I could have only 2 guns, they'd be stainless 357 magnums!"
I'm a HUGE fan of the 357 and of Rugers. My go-to carry gun is the SP101. And I had a Security Six that I just gave to my brother as his first gun as he was one of the millions of new gun owners in the US. That is a great carry gun. I'm on the hunt for a new Sec-6 or one of the Wiley Clapp GP 100s as my next go-to 357.
 

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4” stainless security six with adjustable sights would be the cats meow for me.
Just the right weight and length in my opinion, finding one at a price I’m willing to pay seems to be my problem.
 

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You might use a reload with different powder for a short burn. I bought a Ruger Blackhawk.30 carbine pistol about 50 years ago. Not a real fun thing to shoot. I think they rated it the third noisiest handgun made. As my dad said, even if you miss the fireball from the barrel will. Cook them. Thought about reloads, but a buddy wanted it and I got a Colt Lawman 357 instead. Still a abusive shooter.
 

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Hey Steve,

I've a .357 Scandium Frame S&W with a 2 inch Snubbie.

Weighs 12 oz, light to pack all day, and shooting it is a memorable experience.
The shock and Awe factor from just the sound alone are enough to stop anybody, in case that doesn't work, then the 110 Grain Hollowpoint will knock a hole the size of a coffee can into just about anything you point it at.



I can target shoot with .38 Spcl rounds and they are much more forgiving.

Next time you are up my way, Blast me a call and I'll let you give it a go.
FWIW, I don’t think you are supposed to shoot less than 120gr out of those guns… the recoil unseats the bullet. I saw it happen one time.
 

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As long as we’re beating up a thread from ‘06, I’ll toss in my 2 cents. I love Ruger SP-101s (and GP-100s). I have owned 4 of them over the years, and I’ll probably buy another by the end of the year. 3 have been the 3" barrel with a hammer, and one was a 2” hammerless (DAO). One had a crappy trigger (not Taurus crappy, but definitely not Smith / Colt smooth). The other 3 had decent but heavy triggers. For some reason, I don’t trust most smiths to not screw up revolvers, so I lube the trigger, shoot a million rounds through it, then keep it if I can live with the trigger pull. I gave my mom the 2” DAO, and I sold the others over the years because I always ended up carrying my Glock in the woods. I shoot a Glock better, it holds more rounds, and it weighs less than a stainless revolver. However, every couple of years, I miss having a cool wheel gun and buy another for sentimental reasons. The one modification I made to all of them was to add a Hogue grip; it seems to fit my big paws better than the factory grips.

I keep looking at the lightweight Smiths, but I don’t enjoy shooting them. Even though the triggers are usually better than a factory Ruger, the recoil is horrible. I also like a slightly longer barrel; even the difference between a 3” over a 2” improves my shooting (longer sight radius is better for accuracy). A friend had about a 4” gp-100 with Hogue grips that I loved to shoot, but I’ve never talked myself into buying one; if I’m going to carry something that heavy, it might as well be a 44-mag.


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While we are on the ‘06 thread. I don’t think you could get a SP101 in 4 inch or so in ‘06, but you can now for a little more power. I think either that or a S&W short barrel Model 60. The Model 60 is excellent.
 

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I use a LCR in .357 for more or less this purpose and I've tested several styles of ammo in it.
Accuracy is more or less equal with any ammo I've shot and well within my expectations of a "card-table" gun with no sights
plain ol' 38spl is no problem to shoot
38 +P has a noticeable but not significant difference in felt recoil
357, even the cheap stuff, gets your attention
I have some top shelf, hard cast Buffalo Bore (that jumps above the cheap .357 the same difference in fps as 38spl to 38 +P in my 4" GP100).
Based on the "shoot-ability" of other ammo out of the LCR, I see no practical reason to test, use or otherwise waste by shooting it in that little gun and has yet to be fired out of the LCR.
Even with my very large hands and the Hogue grips, it can be a lot to hang on to.
I've never personally shot one, but there seems to be a lot of support for the GP101 and based on my experience with the LCR, and GP100 that's the direction I would look if you were set on .357. My GP100 is more than I would want to add and regularly pack if I was doing anything hunting or fishing related in these parts. If you're more concerned with weight, size or "carry-ability" and the LCR catches your eye, I wouldn't bother spending the extra money for the .357 cylinder over the 38 spl
 

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My 5 shot J frame (S&W M60 3", adjustable sights) saved my ass friday. To make a long story short, I'd been out for my pre-dawn walk and was back in our yard. Still dark. Saw some deer. Picked up eyeshine that looked like deer but was acting funny so I went over by the fence to investigate. I couldn't make out body shape and identify what it was 'til I was at about 22-25 feet. Cougar. I drew, couldn't see my sights well, so I decided to back away. It came for me. It rounded the tree it'd been behind and straightened out coming my way in a gliding crouch. I aimed as best I could and shot twice. Broke it's back with one shot, the other went into the body somewhere. Since I couldn't see the sights well I chose not to close with it to finish the job, I went in the house and got a scoped rifle.

ODFW said "good shoot". I delivered the carcass to the field office and they examined it. Said 95 pound male, 4-6 years old, no visible health issues, so probably just too used to living among houses.

I've decided that little 5 shot .357 is my very best friend in the whole world.
 
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Hey Steve,

I've a .357 Scandium Frame S&W with a 2 inch Snubbie.

Weighs 12 oz, light to pack all day, and shooting it is a memorable experience.
The shock and Awe factor from just the sound alone are enough to stop anybody, in case that doesn't work, then the 110 Grain Hollowpoint will knock a hole the size of a coffee can into just about anything you point it at.



I can target shoot with .38 Spcl rounds and they are much more forgiving.

Next time you are up my way, Blast me a call and I'll let you give it a go.
I've shot that same gun and it is a firecracker when shooting the .357 shells!! 38 specials was much more enjoyable on my hands
 
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