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Thread: Which revolver for a woods/bumming gun?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Which revolver for a woods/bumming gun?

    Ok fellas,
    Looking for some help deciding on a 38/357 woods gun. I'm looking for a 5 shot revolver with adjustable sights and trying to decide between between the S&W model 60, 3" or the Ruger 4" SP101.
    I'm thinking Kit Gun, shooting 38 wadcutters 90% of the time but able to shot 357 mags if needed. Lighter weight than my 4" GP100, 4" Smith 69 or New vaquero 45.
    Between the M60 or Sp which would you choose?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Man mpkunz's Avatar
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    Adjustable sights on a 3" barrel ? What for ?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    stubshaft's Avatar
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    Mdl. 60! Adjustable sights are great when the fixed sights don't hit point of aim!
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    marlin39a's Avatar
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    I'll vote for the S&W 60, 3". I have a 60-4 with full lug, and adjustable sights. Light, easy to pack. I carry 100 gr wadcutters afield for rabbits.

  5. #5
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    Depending on what you may run into either a 4” 629 or 69 or a 4” 686. The 329 is also a fine piece but brutal to shoot hot loads out of

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Those are both good choices for a "Kit Gun" type revolver.

    The S&W Model 60 with a 3" barrel is 7.5" overall and weighs 23.2 oz per S&W.
    The Ruger SP101 with a 4.2" barrel is 9.12" overall and weighs 29.5 oz per Ruger.

    Both guns are stainless, both guns have adjustable sights, both guns are chambered in .357mag, both guns have DA actions.
    I like the Ruger but the heavy full under lug makes that 4.2" barrel heavier than it needs to be.
    The S&W gives up a bit of sight radius with the 3" barrel but it also gives up some weight. The S&W has the internal lock but that's not a deal breaker.

    The SP101 will probably tolerate magnum loads a bit better over the long run but for a gun that will primarily be used with 38 wadcutters, that may not be an issue.

    As much as I like the Ruger, the S&W has a 6 ounce weight advantage. If Ruger would trim that barrel down, I would go with the Ruger no question.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    For exactly the same purpose I purchased a Ruger LCRx-3 in 38sp.+P. Unless you are dead set on .357 mag. it is worth a look. 3"bbl. adjustable sights and weighs next to nothing. I am still working up loads for it, but is seems reasonably accurate with a decent trigger.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    LUCKYDAWG13's Avatar
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    I would pick the SP I have the 3" mine will shoot to POA with some reloads
    Last edited by LUCKYDAWG13; 03-03-2018 at 03:54 PM.
    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    I have had a 60-4 since they were first offered. At the time, and for a long time after, I did a LOT of woods walking and bird hunting. When grouse hunting (with a shotgun) in both Eastern Ohio and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I carried my 60-4 with full charge wadcutters (3.5 grs. Of Bullseye behind an H&G #251 dbl.ended W/C). I took many a sitting cottontail or snowshoe rabbit as well as the occasional sitting or wounded grouse.

    I was, frankly, amazed how well I could shoot that 60-4. The heavy dbl underlug barrel actually holds better than my Model 631 (4 target sighted .32 Magnum) and it is no slouch. I regularly shot in the nineties at 25 yards with that piece.

    So, I can reccommend the 60-4 without reservations. The target sights are not only adjustable, but give a DANDY sight picture that translates to HITS! A full charge wadcutter is not only a FINE small game load but is also an effective self defense load.

    Dale53

  10. #10
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    If your going to carry it with 38 WC ammo it doesn't make sense to have the extra heavy pistol. I like the Ruger but that is because except for plinking it would be loaded with 357 mag loads, not wrist breakers but +P range.

    Really depends on what you are going to carry it for. Accidental wondering into a woodland meth lab or bunny thumper for the pot? Bear or feral hogs. Some places that last one is an ever present possibility and I'm think that warrants the .357 but not sure what you have in WV. Here in lower Michigan bears are possible but not all that common, coyotes but they leave no matter what you shoot at them with. Leaving boneheads who think your campsite is the free table at a garage sale if you go out to scrounge a bit of firewood. WC are ok with camp thieves because having to shoot them twice is probably going to just be twice the satisfaction.

    Really like any tool it comes down to what job do you have for it.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I am old school dinosaur, but would opt for something with a minimum 3" barrel, preferably a 4" barrel, which makes a BIG difference in both sight radius and ballistics. If you plan to shoot standard pressure .38 Special loads and not +P then seek out an airweight S&W Model 12 with 4" barrel or a Colt Cobra with same and you get a light gun which is accurate and shoots well.

    Among the current production .38s and .357s all of them run on the heavy side, but an SP101 with 4" barrel would do it, or maybe an LCR with 3".

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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I carry a ruger security-six stainless 4inch barrel loaded with 358429 in .38 cases and a heavy dose of unique.

    I will say this if you are carrying for self-defense against large animals both 2 and 4 leg. carry with the hot stuff, if needed you will not have time to unload and reload.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    OK, if we're going to deviate from the two choices offered by the OP..........

    A 4" pencil barrel S&W model 67 would be an excellent choice.
    OR how about a pencil barreled S&W model 10 with a Robar NP3 finish? You really don't need the adjustable sights and that thin model 10 barrel is light weight.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks for your insight so far fellas.
    RogerDat,
    We have black bears and coyotes but not seeing them as a problem. Methlabs, yep, but a fella never knows. I want a light, small game/plinker to carry here on my place while out and about. I pack a shooter while bush hogging on my tractor for the occasional target of opportunity.
    I carried a 5 1/2, 44mag SB for years but the older I get the more my hips and back start screaming at me when I pack a larger gun. I picked up a Smith model 69 a while back and really like it. I shoot Skeeters load in it but it's a bit much for small game. I've been having fun shooting wadcutters in my GP but it's heavier than I want to pack all day. I like my 4 5/8 Ruger SSM in 32 HR mag but thought a 38, shooting WCs with the ability to shoot 357s in it would make a better all around revolver.
    Of course, I'm probably just looking for an excuse to pick up another shooter

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Living in a Constitutional Carry state like WV you absolutely need to have another gun, I understand!

    A compact .38 Special makes a suitable church gun carried with shot loads if too many hot blooded ladies get to the rattler on Sundays before it's your turn and because maybe you had a bad night and your faith isn't as strong as you might like it to be. I feel your pain, Brother and will pray for ya!
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Brad - a lightweight, weather proof gun that is chambered is 38 Special will fill the criteria of a "Kit Gun" fairly well. If we start talking about lions and tigers and bears and meth labs..... we're wandering off the reservation a bit.

    A good DA revolver chambered in 38 Special and loaded with a good full wadcutter will get the "Kit Gun" job done nicely.

    If weight is the main consideration, I have to agree with Outpost75; a 4" S&W model 12 or a 4" Colt Cobra is the way to go.

    If a little more weight is OK, then one of the pencil barreled stainless K-frames will work and again, I find myself in agreement with Outpost; the 4" barrel gives you a bit more sight radius. I don't see a real need for .357 Magnum in that application.

    I'm also a fan of fixed sights. They don't get "out of adjustment", they are generally more durable, they are less prone to snagging and a good standard load can usually be found that will shoot to the point of aim.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Make mine the Ruger for that role.

    Either are narrow for the carry role, and the extra length won't matter much.

    I WANT the extra weight when I start touching off .357's.

    I have always preferred the non-finger groove grips of the SP and the older GP to just about everything.

    The key lock on the Smith IS a deal breaker for me; until they get their head out of Appeasement Mode, I'm perfectly happy to buy their product used.
    WWJMBD?

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  18. #18
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Living in a Constitutional Carry state like WV you absolutely need to have another gun, I understand!

    A compact .38 Special makes a suitable church gun carried with shot loads if too many hot blooded ladies get to the rattler on Sundays before it's your turn and because maybe you had a bad night and your faith isn't as strong as you might like it to be. I feel your pain, Brother and will pray for ya!
    Outpost, I didn't realize you were at church last Sunday. Must have been too busy with those snakes to notice a new member. .

    I've been stopping buy the local pawnshops the last few months looking for a model 10 or something light in 38 but have come up dry. That's why I thought I'd bite the bullet and go new. May just cool my heels a little and keep looking.

    Thanks Fellas

  19. #19
    Thumb bore guy for woods carry, so not much help in the mini-me category. Of the two, for ME, I would up it to the SP100 44 SPC 3".

    My typical woods carry's are all 44 SPC/44-40/45 Colt - all 4 3/4" bbls. Having said that, I must admit I got a Charter Undercover 38 Snub 5 shot on a lark, and it will very probably find its way on fishing trips (snake shot!!!) and game cam retrievals,etc. Prob as turkey hunting companion too.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Cayton View Post
    Outpost, I didn't realize you were at church last Sunday. Must have been too busy with those snakes to notice a new member. ....
    I was singin' base with the Praise Band and ticklin' the little gal with the tamborine! The fat bald guy with the BIG smile
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

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