Review of the S&W model 60-15 3" revolver. Still one of the best compact revolvers
Last year was supposedly the year of the revolver according to Gun Talk. With many fine specimens being released in 3 inch barrel sizes and multiple calibers. Well I am usually a little slow to jump on a bandwagon ( usually I try and fall off ). So I am making it official "2018 is the true year of the revolver" For us Arkansas chicken farmers. Not that Chicken farmers are slow - you should see how fast the Chicken trucks fly down my dirt road. So to start my own trend I purchased two of Smith & Wesson's best 3" barrel revolvers. This review is for the J frame model 60-15 in 357 magnum.
I replaced the uncle mikes combat grip with my favorite revolver grip, the Pachmayr Diamond Pro. This grip series is a must upgrade for me on any revolver, it keeps me from getting the dreaded knuckle knock when shooting powerful rounds. I snatched this up from Grab a Gun for $579. The revolver came in slightly tarnished from being in storage, and the action felt a little gritty. The exterior cleaned up nice with a little Hoppes , but the action needed some work to make it an accurate shooter for me.
As you can see the S&W action hasn't changed in this J frame from the older versions. Which is exactly why I like this kind of internal beauty. Each part is perfectly fitted and very well made. I've worked on several revolvers and the S&W action is the best in my opinion. So to smooth this one out ( remember I am picky - a normal user would not have noticed any issues ), I ordered an Apex tactical duty kit and installed. Also did my normal revolver fluff an buff - polishing the rebound slide and frame where it resides. Polished any friction surfaces. I do not polish or stone the sear engagement surfaces - that is not a good idea for normal use.
This beauty weighs in at 24.2 oz's unloaded, is 7 3/4 inches long, 5 1/8 inch tall, and just under 1 1/2 inches wide with the Pachmayr grip. Prior to my work on the action the DA pull was a little over 14lbs and the SA pull was 3.5 lbs. After my work the DA pull is a smooth, easy to stage 10 lbs. The SA is immediate and measures 1 3/4 lbs. Which is not a problem for me as I only shoot DA anyway.
The cylinder star is well cut and nearly perfect in function, this had a tight lockup on all 5 cylinders, with almost no play side to side or up and down. The bores are polished from the factory and allow plenty of 38 shooting followed by 357. In some revolvers switching from 38 to 357 when shooting 38 first can cause some cartridge seating issues for 357. That is not an issue with this gun.
With a 3" barrel the balance is perfect for this 5 shot J frame. What was surprising was how the sights were setup for 357 magnum, at least they were for me. 38 special would print a little high and to the right, but 357 magnum went right to the center of target every time. I used several different types of ammunition in both 38 special and 357 magnum. It shot a consistent POI with all brands and weights. This 8 inch sticky target was my best run of the day from 15 yards. With the upgraded grip I could shoot this all day with no fatigue. Smith and Wesson did a great job on this little revolver. Next up is a review of this little guy's big brother, the 686 3 inch plus deluxe in 357 magnum. Oh boy what an amazing revolver..