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Thread: S&W Model 60

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    S&W Model 60

    I am getting ready to purchase a Model 60 for another carry gun. Does anyone have any experience with this gun? Do you have any suggestions as far as another gun? It must be a .357 DA/SA with about a 2" barrel.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    New S&W's use a lot of MIM parts. They are not that bad but the revolver is not S&W main product nowdays. My brother bought a M-686 and it had to go back to the factory for some rework before the gun could be fired.
    I am not bashing S&W, but I would make sure the gun was totally functional before I carried it for SD. I would go with a S&W revolver if I were buying.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeD7 View Post
    I am getting ready to purchase a Model 60 for another carry gun. Does anyone have any experience with this gun? Do you have any suggestions as far as another gun? It must be a .357 DA/SA with about a 2" barrel.

    Thanks!
    I have a 3" model 60 that is accurate, and absolutely dependable.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    IMO the holy grail M60 is the -10 .357; the prior revision was .38Spl-only; the later revision is post-lock.

    I do like my 60-10, but I thought all the M60 .357's were exposed hammer? If the OP is looking for a carry .357, don't those all have those odder 3-digit model #'s that I'm never able to recall ?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Lots of time with snubnose revolvers. I am strictly a DAO guy when it comes to snubnose revolvers. That precludes the model 60 for me but not necessarily for you.
    The S&W J-frame is one of the quintessential snubnose revolvers of all time. The S&W model 60 was Smith & Wesson's first stainless gun and it has a lot going for it.
    I've carried the same alloy framed DAO J-frame for over 20 years and have experience with many other small revolvers, including the 640.
    As for the current model 60, I don't think MIM parts are a deal breaker. (The hammer spur would be a deal breaker for me). I don't own any S&W revolvers with the Hillary Hole, but I could probably get beyond that if I removed the lock completely.
    I know a guy that has been shooting the same model 60 since the early 1970's and his had survived just fine. The design itself is good.

    If it was me, I'd switch to a 640 at the bare minimum. Maybe go with a alloy frame 442 to get the weight down a bit more.

    .357 mag in a snubnose isn't a lot of fun to practice with and practice with a snubnose is CRITICAL. If it must be .357 mag then a steel frame is a must. If you can tolerate a slightly bigger/heavier gun, the Ruger SP101 is a little more magnum friendly but the SP really isn't a pocket gun. The SP101 is an excellent snubnose in a OWB holster.
    The new Kimber looks promising. Stainless steel, really good sights, 6 rounds, DAO, chambered in .357 mag. However the Kimber isn't cheap.
    I'm too old and too set in my ways to offer much opinion on the Ruger LCR revolvers but a lot of folks seem to like them. I did fix one for a friend that the ejector rod backed out of and tied up the action.

    There are some other guns that fit the snubnose definition but are pushing the limit of "snubnose".
    The 2.5" Model 19 is a helluva a tool but too big to be a pocket gun or a ankle holster gun. Its carbon steel frame is also a problem unless you maintain it religiously. A 2.5" model 66 is better but good luck finding one. The old Model 12 is lighter but still a bit large.

    So, My advice would be: find a DAO with an internal hammer (S&W model 40, 42, 640, 442, Kimber, etc.) or an external hammer gun with a bobbed hammer (SP101).
    The 640 Pro looks nice - .357 mag, stainless, nice sights, snag-proof design ; what's not to love?
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 10-23-2017 at 10:51 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Just a few snubnose wheelguns

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have a 3" model 60 that is accurate, and absolutely dependable.
    I used to own a 3" barrel S&W M36. I think it was one of the best "snub nosed" revolvers I could ever hope to own. Back in the days when chronographs were rare, a friend who owned one and I worked up a "carry often shoot seldom" load that would break 1000 f/s with a 158gr. LWC. It was well ahead of anything that could be shot out of a small-frame .38 Special.

    Stupidly, I sold it to buy something trivial, like maybe food or rent, or something...
    For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. Ecclesiastes 1:18
    He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool become servant to the wise of heart. Proverbs 11:29
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  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    S&W Model 60

    I had a 2Ē Model 60-16 that I carried for a while. It was dependable and accurate. I ended up trading it for a S&W 340 M&P for the lighter weight and front night sight.

    The model 60 is a darn good gun. It just didnít fill the niche I was looking for.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    After having 3 sub nose 5 shot revolvers a Tarus 85 and S&W 360PD & 637 with 2" barrels & fixed sights all shot at least 2 to 5" inches low and about 1" to 2" to the left at 25' or less using bullets from 110 to 180 gr.
    all are gone as well as any handgun that I cant get to shoot to point of aim !

    IMO I would opt for the S&W model 60 chiefs special or model 60 pro series both are DA/SA in 38/357 with a 3" barrel and adj sights.
    Last edited by bobthenailer; 10-24-2017 at 07:32 AM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Mike, I have the old Model 60 and it is a great gun....as I have a 2-1/2" Model 66. Both are great guns but I dont believe that you will gain much from such a short barrel with the .357 Mag as much of the powder will not burn in the barrel....I would opt for the FBI/Dallas P.D. Winchester load that is super soft lead with a deep h.p. they shoot well and when we used them we NEVER had a single incident where the round failed to stop when in the center mass area of the suspect was introduced to one of them!
    When guns are outlawed only criminals and the government will have them and at that time I will see very little difference in either!

    "Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems man faces." President Ronald Reagan

    "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the law breaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is acoutable for his actions." Presdent Ronald Reagan

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckwheatpaul View Post
    Mike, I have the old Model 60 and it is a great gun....as I have a 2-1/2" Model 66. Both are great guns but I dont believe that you will gain much from such a short barrel with the .357 Mag as much of the powder will not burn in the barrel....I would opt for the FBI/Dallas P.D. Winchester load that is super soft lead with a deep h.p. they shoot well and when we used them we NEVER had a single incident where the round failed to stop when in the center mass area of the suspect was introduced to one of them!
    /\ WHAT HE SAID /\

    (from another fan of the FBI load in short barreled revolvers)

  12. #12
    Boolit Master




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    Any quality J Frame Smith in good shape will serve you well.
    You can miss fast & you can miss a lot, but only hits count.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    I am not a fan of small frame snubbies in 357 mag. Touch off a shot and everybody around will be blind and deaf. The recoil is significant and the magnum round looses too much in such a short barrel.

    IMHO the 38 Special is just the huckleberry for such guns. There are factory and hand loads than will do an excellent job for social work in such handguns.

    I have a 3" Chief's Special, a 3" Colt Detective Special and a 2" Smith and Wesson 64. Of the three the 64 is the easiest to control, holds six rounds and is +P tolerant. While not as light as a J frame, in a proper holster it disappears under a shirt and does not pull your pants down to half mast.
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    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    If your gonna carry it concealed ... I would also suggest a DAO, internal hammer model ...

    We have both the S&W 640, and 357 LCR ... the LCR is smaller in all dimensions ... while it weighs 5 oz less, with the same load, and aftermarket grips (Pachmayr Diamond Pro) the recoil is the same ... both guns have XS night sights installed too ...

    I'll be the first to admit that the LCR is UGLY! And furthermore it feels like a cheap toy ... but it is rugged and so far has been a very reliable gun ... and needed nothing out of the box, other than we chose to change the sights and grips ... just add ammo!

    The S&W 640 was more expensive, but needed alot of smoothing up ... it now has a better action, and lighter trigger pull than the LCR, but I took over three hours "de-horning" it, smoothing up the insides, so I could put lighter springs in ...

    In my opinion ... the S&W will have a longer service life than the LCR ... as the LCR feels cheap, almost "disposable" ... but, many have over 5k rounds through them though ... Time will tell ... Neither of these are "shoot alot" type guns ... 25-50 rounds of 38 Special +P's is plenty, 2-3 if they are MAGNUMS!

    We quickly found out that full power Magnum loads were about as much fun as slamming your hand in the car door!

    158 gr boolits running abut 800-900 fps is about all I want to shoot more than one cylinder worth of!

    The 640 "Pro" model has bigger front and rear sights, and are already "night sights" ...

    If you want adjustable sights ... the 60 in a 3" version is the way to go ...
    Last edited by Three-Fifty-Seven; 10-24-2017 at 06:03 PM. Reason: Added word "concealed"
    Shawn


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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Like everyone else here I have my own totally biased opinion, so here goes... First, I like 38 Spl +P loads for a J-frame. I have some of the old blue colored nickel cased FBI loads from back in the '70s and '80s and they serve as my "factory" loads for "social work." I can load down or up to the same power using Lyman/Ideal 357156 cast bullets for practice. As to the revolver they emanate from, I settled on the Model 60-4. Everything I like in a S&W except a pinned barrel, and it came from the factory with a 3" full under lug barrel and adjustable sights. If I had to pick just one of my several many Smiths for all around use, this would be a strong contender. The 357 chambering is neat and looks good on paper, but in truth, the 38 +P is all I really want to shoot out of a J-frame. JMHO, of course and YMMV!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Think about the following:

    Claiming "no real worthwhile increase in performance" with a snubby 357" while complaining about "horrendous blast and recoil" from a snubby 357 is nonsensical.

    It kicks a lot harder because the bullet is going a lot faster. With comparable bullet weights the difference twixt 38 and 357 approximates or exceeds 300 fos.

    Calculate the numbers and tell me how that's trivial again? It may not be worthwhile for
    you for other reasons, but pooh-poohing the velocity differences is not a valid argument.

    No, I do not like snubby 357s either, but I know better than to claim the power difference is somehow smaller than it really is.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    To add to .35Rem's insightful post, there are also those that insist that no .38Spl ammo will expand when shot from a 2" bbl ...
    Let's just say that I have never heard of that objection from a 2" bbl 357 lol.

    And this is from someone who carries a 2" bbl 38Spl, lol - my 3" .357 is for the wilderness.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    I have owned around a dozen J frames in all calibers including .357. Barrel lengths from 1 7/8 to 4 inches.
    I have nothing to add to the above. It is all good info.
    I would reiterated practice is critical.
    I loved them all. You will too.
    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    I own a Model 60-4 with a 3 inch barrel and adjustable sights. It is 38 special only.
    I can shoot it very nearly as well as my model 15 or model 14. I am quite comfortable using it for concealed carry or whatever else I might use a handgun for.
    I make no claims about the 38 special cartridge other than it is easily controlled and accurate in my particular pistol. I would rather have a slow hit than a fast miss.
    With the bullet in the right spot, it doesn't matter if it expands.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I can't cheer lead for stub nose revolvers but I can for S&W revolvers, they are the most fool
    proof, dependable and accurate revolvers you can buy. I own around 3 dozen from 22lr to 45cal.
    Most of mine are 6", a few 4s & 8 3/8". I get stubs all the time on trades but have no use for them. Like someone said they take a lot of practice to shoot well. I can't shoot them but off a
    rest they shoot, so it's me not the gun. If I was going to buy a CCW it would be a S&W. I have
    a S&W that is 100yrs old this year, sound as a dollar. Several that are 75yrs old in same shape.Click image for larger version. 

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check