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Hello -

Want a smaller .38 revolver for night stand/defense for my wife and myself - I'm in MD, so a new gun must have an integral lock, unfortunately - pretty much limits me th the S & W family.

I've narrowed it down to the k-frame 65ls (Lady Smith) with a 3" barrel and a standard issue model 65 with a 4" barrel. I don't want a 686 for this purpose, want something a little smaller and handier with fixed siights. It will be for .38's and .38 +p's only, no full house .357 loads (my wife is not recoil tolerant, plus I think a full tilt magnum round used in the middle of the night indoors would blind and deafen you).

What are the primary differences between these two guns? This month's issue of Gun Tests had the Lady Smith one of their best guns of the year - however it is more expensive than a standard issue model 65. Is the difference mainly in the finish and rosewood grips? Or are there some other features which distinguish it?

Opinions appreciated, thanks -
 

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Other than the more expensive grips on the Lady Smith, and more expensive finish, one extra inch of barrel and its associated 3 ounces of weight on the standard model theres not really any difference. I'm guessing S&W doesn't sell as many of the Lady Smith's as the standard one, so they increase the price to make it profitable.
 

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If your shop will let you dry fire them both, I think you'll find that the current crop of Lady Smith's have a very good trigger pull.

Stay safe out there.
Ken
 

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Today's $.02

Mrs. MAG has her own 3" RB model 65 (which she selected and purchased with my complete blessings.)

Great trigger, and utterly reliable.

Other than the frosted finish and rosewood grips, the Ladysmith also has a shrouded ejector rod.

The standard 65 either in 3" or 4" persuasions would serve you just fine, and at a lesser cost.

We like 38+p 158 gr LSWC for home defense.

Remington does (did?) make a reduced-power 125gr .357 Golden Saber load for short-barrelled revolvers, but even those had a lot of muzzle flash and a VERY loud report.

MAG-63
 

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M60 is smaller and on the J-Frame with 5-shot capacity. M65 is medium in size and on the K-Frame and usually has 6-shot capacity.

The average man will probably enjoy the M65's grip better, while women prefer the M60 because they have a more difficult time reaching the trigger on the medium K-Frames.
 

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The major differences are that the LS has a trigger job before leaving the factory, the shrouded ejector rod, the frosting and fancy grips.
 

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Your statement suggests that ONLY S&W has revolvers with integral locks. That is not true. I have a new Taurus Model 85; a nice small 5 round .38 +P capable shooter. Taurus has had the integral lock for longer than a lot of other manufacturers.
If your preferences will only allow a S&W in your house, then your statement is totally understandable.
..wiley
Racing Miatas, Good Cigars adn Big guns
Houston, TX
 

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As a bedside gun, particularly for low-light situations, you might want to take a look at the 2" J-frame 642CT. The Crimson Trace grips make it exceptionally easy to keep your shots in the COM, and it's suprisingly easy to control, even with +P loads.
 
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