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Another one just like it!

I've done some buying and selling lately, some of it documented here, and while I refuse to pay exorbitant prices for the few Grail Guns that have eluded me thus far, I have no problem paying a fair price for something I already know I like. Most of my preferences are well known here.............Smith & Wesson revolvers, especially those made of stainless steel and wearing three-inch barrels. There are other characteristics I like, but those are certainly the favorites.

Despite all the modern ballistic wunderkinds available, I remain convinced that there is nothing wrong with the 38 Special as a defensive and recreational cartridge, and while I love my 45's, I shoot more 38's than anything else. I also use them for training purposes, people that can't stand the blast and recoil of a 357 Magnum do just fine with a 38, even in the warmer loadings. Since I have K-frames in both 38 and 357, it makes more sense to instruct people with the 38, and if they want to move up to the 357, that option remains.

As for the three-inch fetish............I just can't help myself, I think the three is a perfect compromise between size, shootability and power. I can shoot a 3" as well as a four-inch, yet it's lighter and easier to conceal. It's also a lot easier to hit with than a true snubbie, which to me is anything less than 3". I don't care for S&W's new crop of 2.5" revolvers, because the idiots compromised the gun by shortening the ejector stroke by about half. In other words, if you don't smack the ejector rod smartly, or if something sticks, your brass doesn't fall clear of the cylinder, and then you have to do it again. When reloading under stress, that makes a bad situation even worse.

Anyway, I've had a 3" S&W M-65 (dash two) for a dozen years, and consider it one of the finest guns they ever made, even though mine was a battered police trade-in. It had Road Rash in several places, the front sight was badly dinged, and there were scuffs all over it. Rode hard and put up wet, apparently pretty often. But it was mechanically fine, and it shot well for me. I did my all-time-best trigger job on it, neutered it to DA-only, and carried it for several years. I still love it, but I pamper it a lot more now these days, because it would cost me a fortune to replace it. Three-inch S&W prices have skyrocketed!

So what to do? Make another one! Since I have several K-frame 38's I picked one with a good trigger, bought a 3" barrel off GunBroker, and replaced the scuffed 4" one. Sometimes I have to open the cylinder to verify which is which, they look so much alike!



I swap grips fairly often, rubber feels better at the range (especially with stout loads in arthritic hands) but wood looks SO much better!



I find the resulting carry piece quite attractive, and it shoots like a dream, DA-only, like its predecessor. Since I "shortened" the barrel, I named it Bob. :flute:



Another carry gun I'm quite fond of is one I bought from a forum member, Dennis was kind enough to think of me when he finally decided to part with it, and it's been a favorite since it arrived. I like it so much I started looking for another, and I wound up finding two of them at fair prices. One quickly went to a favorite student, the other is now in the safe as a spare in case the first one is too dirty to carry around. At the moment they wear similar but slightly different grips, and the original gun has a belt-clip on it that alleviates the need for a holster, making it ideal for shorts-and-T-shirt carry.





Suffice it to say I have a serious fetish for three-inch 38's. Even Rugers are okay! Well..............one, anyway.





(Hey PJ-ABI, does that Red Oak pistol rack look familiar? I use it all the time!)

Beyond the three-inch revolver fetish, there are a few other guns that tickle my fancy enough to duplicate.......sort of. I was lucky enough (via yet another M-O co-conspirator) to find an EAA Witness Match when they could only be found in magazines. I loved the gun (and the incredible trigger) from the moment I got it, and it kept me from buying a 1911 for several years. I finally scratched that itch, but a couple months later in the same LGS they had a Witness Match in 40S&W, and I almost sprained my elbow getting my wallet out. It shoots as well as the 45, holds more rounds, and has a better rear sight. I don't carry the 45 off duty, but I do the 40!





I'm not crazy about the flashlight rail on the 40, and might even machine it off one of these days, it adds weight I don't need, and I'm not a fan of gun-mounted lights. But when it comes to shootability, these two are the beans, at least for me. There might be a reason I have bought SIX of the Witness guns. And one of them.............(wait for it!)...............is a three inch! Who would have guessed?

Anybody else here have a "matched pair"? Since I have several S&W M-64's I asked the boss if I could a wear a nice engraved two-gun rig to work, with a nice belt and a few silver conchos here and there, maybe even a nice "shady" hat. He apparently never heard me, because he never answered me. Never seen him leave the office that fast, either. He musta been having a bad day....................
 

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Nice collection, I'm not big on short barreled pistolas, I can't hit with long barrels! Short barrels sure don't do me any favors. I've always been a rifle kind of guy, pistols have always been a secondary type firearm, secondary in serval different ways. If I was to really get involved with short weapons, it would be S&W's, they are IMHO a small part of firearm heaven, here on Earth!
 

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Nice bunch of pistola's!!
 

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Pj you got quite a collection there buddy but a dang nice one!!!!
 

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Great collection!

I read the Thread Title and kinda figured it out!

Pistols are cool. How long the barrel is certainly a matter of "application" as well as capability.

If you like S&W hand guns, I would try to stick with older models, same thing with buying JM marked Marlins.



Cheers!


Mike T.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did I mention (in my typical rambling diatribe above) my predilection for three inch guns? Probably. Not all are 38's or 357's, and not all are stainless, but I have a few others that don't fit those criteria. There's a 44 Special (that I COMPLETELY forgot to photograph) and a 22, and a blued 38..........plus the aforementioned 45 Witness Compact.

I have a T-shirt I got at the NRA Convention last year that says "If you know how many guns you own, you don't have enough!" I can't even keep track of all my favorites, but here's the latest group pic, minus the 44 Special that does "kitchen duty". You never know when you might get attacked by a feisty chikkin! :ahhhhh:



(If you've been reading my ramblings for long, you already know what that 44 looks like anyway.)

Selling off some hardware has left me with a wad of cash burning a hole in my pocket, but sadly, there is very little on my Grail List these days, and Shel won't let me pay what those guns are going for lately. I guess I'll buy a few more tubes of primers and look for more guns I already know I love!
 
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They sure are beauties! A 65-1 was my first handgun, she's a dream to shoot and really not too bad to carry out in the woods.
 

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Very nice collection!

I actually found a pistol I am in love with, and plan to buy a second. An FNS-9. Fantastic handgun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
awesome pics i would like to see 44 special i have fondness for them again great pics
As it happens, I currently have three 44 Specials, each one a different animal. The "Hawgleg" is a 6-1/2" S&W Model 24 I love dearly but rarely shoot, it's just huge in my hands, and I'm more a fan of shorter barrels. Below that is one of the Queens of the Stable, a rare 4" 624 No-dash that I paid WAY too much for, but I wanted it that bad, and no longer care about the price I paid, it's my favorite N-frame. And the bottom gun is my oft-mentioned Rossi 720 I snagged several years ago from a guy who listened to the price I offered, then sold it to me for about HALF that much. The grip fits like it was designed with me in mind, and I actually hit three clay pigeons in a row at 50 yards with it the first day I tried it out.......not just one handed but left-handed. It was so ridiculous I giggled for an hour. I like it a lot.

Some say Rossi's aren't worth what they cost, but this older gun shoots like a laser for me, and saved my bacon one day when I was carrying it off duty. Long story short, when I backtracked and surprised the guy who was following me, he saw that big hole in the barrel and nearly pi$$ed himself. I had the chance to buy another one a few years ago for $300, and I'm still kicking myself for not snagging it.



I don't shoot the big one very often, but with a Skeeter Load, heads turn when it goes off. I don't need magnum power, and there's a certain romance involved with shooting the vintage calibers. Truth be told, a warm 44 Special was good enough for Elmer, and it's also plenty good enough for me! This was a 250-grain bullet at about 1140 fps.





I haven't shot the 4-incher that much, I tend to coddle it a bit, lead bullet loads at 850 fps are what it sees most of the time, and they shoot plenty good. But it shore is purty! Just fondling it is almost as good as shooting it.



Then there's "Big Shorty", the Rossi. I tend to keep loads fairly mild because it gets kinda snappy with hot ammo, but with 180-grain bullets at 800 fps it's like shooting a hot 38. My carry load is usually the Winchester Silvertip, a 200-grain JHP that churns up 732 feet a second from that stubby barrel, but it expands well and generates a lot of confidence. I also have a few Gold Dots on hand for it, a load I've tested in barrel lengths from 3" to 20", and it never fails to expand and impress whatever it hits.



I hope that's enough Gun Porn to tide you over........I like showing off my babies almost as much as I love shooting them!
 

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PJ... question for you: Is/was the trigger and action on the 2nd 3" J-frame as good as the one on your first one? I always thought it had a hell of an action for a stainless J and often wondered if it wasn't some sort of hand-fitted pre-production pistol. I know you mentioned it was 'pretty good' when you got it, if not a little heavy. Just curious. :)



Hey, Roe...

...but sadly, there is very little on my Grail List these days, and Shel won't let me pay what those guns are going for lately.
...you going to put up with that? It looks like your Enabler's Spell is waning. Best be conjuring up a new Enabler Potion #9 or something... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dennis, I had them both out today comparing the triggers side-by-side, double action on both is very good, I think the one I got from you is a little smoother, but the difference isn't much. Single action on the newer gun is a little grittier, I don't think it's been shot much, but I remain convinced these guns were made when quality control at S&W was at a peak, early to mid 90's. Several of my K-frame 38's are from the same era, and the triggers are amazingly good for production guns S&W made by the millions. The main reason I love stainless K-frames is because my work-issued M-64 has one of the best triggers I've ever pulled, so I bought several more just like it, but neutered to DAO.

I consider myself a pretty shrewd judge of revolver triggers, have done action jobs on at least 150 S&W's, and IMHO, the S&W guns are hard to beat, especially for reasonably priced production guns. I have a 686 I sent back to the factory for a bit of warranty work on a timing issue, and they apparently felt bad enough about it to work over the trigger while they had it, when I got it back it was glass-smooth all the way through, and the timing was perfection itself. It's become the standard by which I judge all revolvers, and darn few come close.

As for E1C (Enabler-First-Class) Roe, he's busy this week with preparations at the Castille de Barenjager, and quite frankly, he's pretty much in the same boat, there's just not that much out there that gets our blood pumping, and the ones we would consider buying are priced at twice what they're worth. I want a S&W 610 in the worst way, but I'll be dipped in snake manure before I'll "Shel out" $1300 for one.

Not sure if you saw it, but His Herr-ness recently ponied-up for a S&W MP-15.......his best Enabler's Potion these days might just be a frosty-cold Pabst Blue Ribbon! :bandit:
 
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I have shot a good number of Taurus s and i have never found a bad one but i have herd there out there. great looking pistols ,theirs no such thing as to much gun porn
 

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...there's just not that much out there that gets our blood pumping...
Yeah...he says that here...all the while feverishly searching the auction sites for a Model 63...or a Model 18...or...or...or.... Mouse in one hand, beer in the other...pausing occasionally, with trembling hands, to wipe the beads of sweat from his brow, with a fistfull of that cash that's "burning a hole", as the bids go higher and higher...while he keeps me close at hand on speed dial, calls coming at all hours of the day and night...questions fired in such rapid succession, I have to remind him to breath occasionally......

Yeah...just not much out there....


Roe
 

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Yeah...he says that here...all the while feverishly searching the auction sites for a Model 63...or a Model 18...or...or...or.... Mouse in one hand, beer in the other...pausing occasionally, with trembling hands, to wipe the beads of sweat from his brow, with a fistfull of that cash that's "burning a hole", as the bids go higher and higher...while he keeps me close at hand on speed dial, calls coming at all hours of the day and night...questions fired in such rapid succession, I have to remind him to breath occasionally......

Yeah...just not much out there....


Roe
....and so very considerate of you to be so helpful.
You really could have noted that he didn't include a single windowsill shot, give the old boy a bit of credit.
Awful nice bunch of fine S&W's there, hard to believe such a discerning collector doesn't have a Model 57.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I got the mail today and all my dreams of future S&W's evaporated...................the IRS is after me big time. Time to move to Antarctica, maybe New Zealand. Do they have internet service in Iceland? Considering my options..............Yeeks.
 

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I got the mail today and all my dreams of future S&W's evaporated...................the IRS is after me big time. Time to move to Antarctica, maybe New Zealand. Do they have internet service in Iceland? Considering my options..............Yeeks.
Been there, done that. Good luck. :(
 

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...the IRS is after me big time.
Thought they called them revenooers down in your neck-o-the-woods.

Nothing to fear. Brush up on your Spanish...wear your sombrero...and tell them you're an illegal alien who votes Democratic. Not only will they leave you alone, you'll probably get food stamps, free health care, and an Obama phone.

Give them an address south of the border and they may even run some guns down to you.

Roe
 
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