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OK,

I've been into S&W revolvers for almost 30 years. Pretty much had everyone of them that I wanted.


So I'm going out on the limb to say which one is the best. In the smallest configuration with the most potential....

For every use intended ~ be it personal defense, woods gun, CCW, or home defense gun....It has to be the 3" Model 66 in .357.

giz
 

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I would agree that the 3" 66 is pretty much the ideal do everything revolver.

I just picked up my second one yesterday. A 3" 66-2. I already have a 3" 66-4, which was my duty gun for a number of years.

I had retired it recently for sentimental reasons, but cleaned it last night and am carrying it today.

My second choice for "best" S&W would be a tie between the 3.5" model 27, and the 3" model 13. Great revolvers all. Regards 18DAI.
 

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I would have to agree with Giz, too!! ;) Don't own a 3", but the
M-66-1 2 1/2" has to be my finest S&W revolver. I keep in 98%+ condition, and it is a beauty!!! I do shoot it a little, because....that's what guns are for!!!! But....it's not for CCW.

For actual carry, I use an old nickeled M-36 2" around town, and an old blued M-10-8 4" when out in the woods. The .38 Spl. cartridge will handle anything that I run into....unless I get shot at in a drive-by...... with an UZI!!!! :eek: :-o Bob
 

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Yep, the M-66 probably wins the day, but a M-60 in .357 is even smaller and handier...

Both are a handful with full magnum loads - but do-able in either case. :)

xtm
 

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I agree Giz, the 66 would be a fine choice.
 

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Don't have one, but will agree. I do have a 3" 64-4, so that will be my personal pick.
 

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Well, I guess it might depend on what one means by a do-all gun and might also depend on how one lives (and where).

Retired, in Paradise, I rarely wear long pants except in January and February or at Church. A tucked in polo is the usual short for me. Once in a while, I wear a T-shirt not tucked in.

I carry all the time, outside the home or in.

So, it has to be any of Smith's J-frames, right?

I have a 638, a 442, my wife has a 317 and, just for grins, we have a Colt Cobra, too.

For Church, carry is in a Renegade Ankle Holster. Otherwise, in the front pocket in one of a couple or three pocket holster.

It's a do-all gun for my life and my life style.

Bob
 

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I'm in Bob K's shoes, my wife's 2 1/2" is the closest I can come up with, but if having the choice of only one and being dropped on a deserted island or any other scenario, it's very likely the one I'd choose. That's easier said than done because I'd first have to try and take it from the little lady and she can shoot pretty darned well with it! :)
 

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Giz,

I can't really fault your choice of a 3" K frame .357. But I think you gave too little emphasis to the aesthetics of the matter. A stainless gun is great if it is going to be bouncing around in the bed of a pickup or floating in the bilge of a scow. But since I spend more time holding and appreciating the beauty of a gun than I do actually shooting it, I would make that a M19 instead of a M66.

As an example, I spent the weekend in a deer blind. In my lap I was holding a beautiful blue steel and walnut rifle. I may have actually missed looking at a buck while I was stroking and admiring the classic lines of that "rifleman's rifle". My hunt would have been equally as productive if I had been using a fluted barrel stainless machine with a black plastic or laminated stock, but I would have enjoyed it much less.

Bob
 

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My main carry gun is a model 36, my wifes likes her 940. That being said ,If I think for a minute that I'm going into harms way I grab my colt 45 commander. ;)
 

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The M66 is an excellent revolver and 3" barrel is very nearly the ideal length in my view... with only 3.5" being preferable to me. The .357 Mag is in my top three choices for self defense.

As I get older, I am starting to appreciate the fixed sight revolver more and more... with proper square notch rear sight and 1/10" front sight they become very usable indeed...

So another good choice for self defense is a 3" M65 (or M13) .357 Mag... simple, rugged and reliable... reasonably powerful and accurate... plus no sights to catch on clothing... a great carry gun.

Somewhat larger another excellent choice is the M58 for those who like .41 Mag for a carry gun...

Of course as others have noted, a .357Mag M60 (or maybe better a M640)makes a wonderful carry gun too...

FWIW

Chuck
 

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cxm said:
So another good choice for self defense is a 3" M65 (or M13) .357 Mag... simple, rugged and reliable... reasonably powerful and accurate... plus no sights to catch on clothing... a great carry gun.
Chuck
I wondered how long it would be before the model 13 or 65 was mentioned...great choice! :ymapplause:
 

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Cush said:
cxm said:
So another good choice for self defense is a 3" M65 (or M13) .357 Mag... simple, rugged and reliable... reasonably powerful and accurate... plus no sights to catch on clothing... a great carry gun.
Chuck
I wondered how long it would be before the model 13 or 65 was mentioned...great choice! :ymapplause:
I agree! B-)
 

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I think Giz has it nailed with the 3" model 66 but since I don't have one yet I will humbly submit these two as my best all-around S&W's.
As mentioned by many above, the 3" 13 is hard to beat and seems to be the one I grab the most.

For lots of shooting and still not too heavy to do everything I submit the 3" CS-1.

I will trade me up a 3" model 66 this year!
WFR
 

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All the choices that have been posted are good ones. I like the J frame in .357. Model 649's are very nice. But if I can only have one .357 it would be a model 27 hands down that is the best. I don't count the RM's because those are collocter guns. I would not want to beat up a RM by carrying it around. If I had too I would. I keep those in my safe. This 649 in 357 makes for a nice small carry package.



 

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My choice is a 686-4 2.5", last revision before the MIM parts. With the recent talk of K frame 357s cracking their barrels at the throat when shooting 357 mags, I feel the extra beef in a 686 to be the best compromise. Yes the 686 is heavier than say a 66 2.5", but that translates into piece-of-mind for me...meaning not ever having to worry about shooting full house mags thru my 66...save them for my 686 which I know will handle a steady diet of them! ;)
 

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Gizamo - as a guy who owns two 3 inch model 66's, it would be hard to argue
your point. Particularly seeing I also own a 66-1 with a two and a half inch barrel; I must like the short barrel K-frame magnums. That said, if I'm afield
I do prefer my 5 screw three and a half inch N-frame. It doesn't conceal as well as the 66, but I feel the extra heft gives me a mite more control on fast follow up shots. I vaguely recall hearing that the N-frame 357 developed a cylinder momentum of it's own in rapid fire; this was proffered up by one of the gun writers. . .Still, I did carry that 66-1 when I had a real need to go about armed.
Of course three and a half inch N-frame 357's were scarce as hen's teeth then.
 

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Any of the models previously mentioned will do a great job for the purposes stated.

But.........

I won't say what's the best ............. that's subjective to your wants/needs.......but I really like the 3 in. Model-13's for a carry/defense revolver.

Don :)
 

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I think I would have to throw my 2345ll in with the Mod.65 3" with the Mod. 66 3" a very close second. You just can't beat a 3" bbl. K frame for all around portability and power.
Bob
 
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