Currently I have a couple of S&W model 60’s, older vintage, one with a bobbed hammer and a Ruger SP 101, 2 1/4” barrel. I have been watching for an air weight S&W without the internal lock. [Revently] I ran across a S&W model 37 in very good shape.
I don’t feel that I can justify buying another snub yet I am not sure what might [be the wiser trade for] the model 37. I find that I most often prefer the model 60’s over the Ruger. [Your thoughts re:] dispose of the Ruger and go strictly with the model 60/37 J-frames? I know I would give up the option of .357 capability, but I normally only carry + P in the Ruger.
Dear Mr. R:
I hope this note finds you well.
Thank you for the great question.
Here is my thoughts … of course you’re getting what you’re paying for.
Option 1 – If I had two (?) model 60’s (offering me +P power for the cooler weather concealed behind slightly heavier cover clothing) and one SP101 (offering me .357 power for the cold weather/heavier cover clothing) and then along came the chance for an airweight model 37 (offering me .38 power for the warm weather/light cover clothing) I would A) Trade-off or B) Sell-off one of the 60’s – IF(!) I could get a good price – either through the dealer or in a private sale.
When ever you sell-off a gun you risk “seller’s regret” but in this case you would be trading one heavy J-frame for a light weight J-frame (so its more of a metamorphosis than a loss) while you still posses a heavy J-frame and a heavy (!) duty .357.
Option 2 – If I had one model 60’s (offering me +P power for the cooler weather with slightly heavier cover clothing) and one SP101 (offering me .357 power for the cold weather/heavier cover clothing … which gets loaded and shot with .357 ammo rarely, is expensive to shoot and is a BEAR to master) and then along came the chance for an airweight model 37 (offering me .38 power for the warm weather/light cover clothing) I would A) Trade-off or B) Sell-off the Ruger SP101 – IF(!) I could get a good price – either through the dealer or in a private sale.
Why sell off the SP101 and not the one (1) model 60? – Because the 60/37 team will let you mix and match; holsters, stocks, Laser (?) stocks, (some) ammo and give a lot of season concealment versatility. In fact 75% of the time you would lose nothing (Spring/Summer/Fall.) You are only “down powering” 25% of the time – and only if you were “up loading” for the Winter with .357.
Also, while I LOVE the SP101 your 60/37 set operates in the exactly the same faction, specifically the cylinder release – so there is 0% chance of fumbling the release – Something you can’t guarantee with a J-frame/Ruger match up.
Also (again) while I LOVE the SP101 I never got over the two-piece ejector rod design. I have always thought that that “feature” was the SP101’s “Achilles heel.”
Chew on it for a while and let me know what you go with.
I would love to get your feed back and thoughts too.
I hope that helped.
Thank you again for a great question.
Michael de Bethencourt