S&W Model 60-4 38 Special

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  • Trapper Jim

    Rating - 100%
    19   0   0
    Dec 18, 2012
    I grew up on revolvers. They are my preferred carry choice. Strong dependable yet limited in round count, I never fear of being under protected with one close by. This review covers my Model 60-4 Smith and Wesson. As I have had many JFrames in my career, this Model 60 will more than likely be my last one I will be needing from here on out. I do swap between this one and my Model 36 https://www.indianagunowners.com/threads/smith-and-wesson-model-36-7-review.515461/ from time to time.

    While standing in line at the Carmel Post Office recently, I was crowded and bumped into by the lady behind me. She was carrying a larger parcel to be shipped and kept bumping it into my back. Now normally, I do not allow people to get that close to me as I consider myself to be cognizant/responsible of my CCW situation and prefer a little distance from the crowders. The line had reached the door of entry by now and a teller window became available. As a gentleman, I always wait until called up to the window (any service window) as a not so common common courtesy. Mrs. SnodGrass pushed her package once again into my ribs pointing to the open window where the teller was finishing up packages and mail left by the last customer. Having patience for rude people is growing thin in my old age. As I was called to the window and thanked by the clerk for waiting, the lady ran up to the other window that became vacant and had to wait until the clerk had cleared her desk. She gave me such a hateful look. One NEVER knows what could have escalated when people are in a hurry and only thinking of themselves.

    Now as the POST Office is a GFZ, I left my 60 in the car, but I sure did miss having it on my side when I am that close to the people of today.

    Born in 1990 this Model 60-4 sports a target Hammer, Target trigger, full lug. and improved yoke system. Now I know that they make this model in a .357 but I prefer 38 Special. The accuracy of this gun is fantastic and I can hit an 8 inch steel plate freestyle at 25 yards most everytime and an IPSC target at 100 yards 4 out of 5 times using single action. I do not bob my hammers, remove the single action sear, disconnect safeties, lighten the trigger pull, or any other modification that I see as useless for street carry.

    I keep this piece pretty stock as I do not want any help going to the prosecution should I end up there. The three inch barrel allows for a full inch of travel to help facilitate reloads. Something that takes a lot of practice to do it right. The added weight of the full lug barrel protects the ejector rod against damage should some one bump their head on the underneath side and at the same time makes recoil recovery quicker. If one will notice, the font used in the roll markings on the barrel are my favorite, unlike the larger laser etched markings today.

    I have been called a crossdresser from time to time as I tend to swap the grips around to fit my mood. While the service grips work, and the Altamont https://www.altamontco.com/pistol-grips/ grips are pretty, the two piece synthetic grips as supplied by S&W are very functional for shooting. One thing that I really like on my revolvers, is the pinned front sight blade. Now this gun shoots right down the middle and has perfect regulated sights so no change is needed for 158 Grain 38 Specials. However, one has the option to replace the front sight more easily should their gun be mis built for the ammo or they want to shoot a different load that changes POI.

    Weighing in at 25.2 ounces loaded with my favorite carry/shooting load https://winchester.com/Products/Ammunition/Handgun/W-Train-and-Defend these nickel plated brass quality rounds make for a nice package. When it comes to responsible gun carry, I only prefer quality leather. My presentation has to be quiet and clean, and at the same time secure my gun through everything I may endure. It also has to enable easy reholstering with one hand without looking. My Kydex holsters are for the gun games only but that's just me. Now regarding my favorite holster maker Galco, I am not happy about the sweat guard that comes on this Royal Guard. I have thought about cutting it off but haven't got around to it. In this authors opinion, sweat guards can get in the way and provide nothing to enhance the real use of the holster. They sell well however. Go figure. You can see by the picture how SG's tend to bend over with age. Not good. I have never complained about the weight of any gun I have or the unguided "discomfort" of the gun pressing against my body. And before one says, yes but just try wearing it all day. I do. The "discomfort" is very comforting to me.

    I think I bought my first shoulder holster made by Richard Gallagher in 1969. I got it through Indiana Arms and Ammo on Indiana Avenue in South Bend and the company was called the The Famous JackAss Leather Company. It was all quality but I soon ditched the shoulder holster idea. Too much TV with not enough experience. Another great holster is the ElPaso https://epsaddlery.com/ . It is also reenforced with smooth leather touching the gun. Very secure. And last is an old Safariland belt slide that works for many of my revolvers. To take notice that they are all suspended by my Galco SB6 1 3/4 inch reenforced double thick leather belt. https://www.galcogunleather.com/sb6-fancy-stitched-holster-belt-1-3-4-_8_253_1268.html This belt in the picture is over 30 years old with all most daily use.

    This Model 60 pictured has been a longtime companion and when I get asked about it being only a 5 round cylinder, I just say, "well who wants to be first."

    See you on the range


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    Trapper Jim

    Rating - 100%
    19   0   0
    Dec 18, 2012
    years ago I submitted an article to a well known publication depicting the engineering problems with the Model 29 through the 29 -4. It was my statement “that unless they make production changes the Model 29 is the best DA 44 Special ever made.”

    The editor did not want to scare off his full page advertiser. Two years later Smith enhanced the action with a transition starting with the -5 Model.

    I knew then that dead presidents control the editorial content.

    Those of us who shot thousands of 44 magnums in IHMSA through Model 29’s had to jury rig stronger bolt springs and such to keep them from reverse spin on recoil. But we were a very small crowd of real users that really knew. But Production numbers dictated no change from the factory as sales were good and the complaints were few.

    Finally, video proof showed up and went viral by yesteryear standards and an additional locking bolt, better yoke system and stronger springs fixed the problem.

    Of course, this is just my opinion

    See you on the range



    Site Supporter
    Rating - 100%
    8   0   0
    Jan 12, 2010
    I enjoyed your review of not just the model 60, but also the model 36-7 and the Ruger Single Six you completed a while back. Great writing and I hope to see more.


    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    May 22, 2022
    In the corn and beans
    Great gun, great pics, and a really fine write up. Really like the vintage magazines, been a while since I’ve seen a pocket size shooting times. Thank you for all your work.
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