First Shots: S&W Model 64-3 w/4″ HB

Like so many within the shooting community, I find myself afflicted with “galloping gunorrhea”, a condition in which resistance to buying certain firearms fades to nothing and one’s backbone becomes mush. The ability to utter even a faint, “No”, becomes almost impossible…especially if the price is right.

The disease’s symptoms are similar but it is triggered by different firearms, depending upon the shooter. For some, it might be brought on by certain Garands for sale, or FAL’s, side x side shotguns or a myriad of handguns.

For me, intense flare-ups occur when I see certain specific handguns such as 9mm FN/Browning Hi Powers, certain 1911-pattern pistols and many pre-lock S&W revolvers. I am as fond of the S&W Model 10/64 family of K-frame .38 Specials as I am Hi Power pistols.

My most recent attack of galloping gunorrhea resulted in my buying a very clean S&W Model 64-3 with a 4″ heavy barrel. It had been carried a little and had a few shiny “rub marks” on the barrel and cylinder from rubbing against a holster. The right-side service grip panel showed a few dings, but not bad; the set can be cleaned up and refinished. The left-side panel was fine. This is typical of a handgun carried on a person’s right side.

The seller advised that the serial number indicated 1981 manufacture.
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Range Report: Ruger SP101, a Thousand Rounds Later

Four years ago, I purchased a NIB Ruger SP101 w/3 1/16” barrel. Primarily an S&W revolver shooter, I have to admit being very pleasantly surprised at the little Ruger’s performance as I mentioned in my first range report on this petite shooter, which was also used in a report on then-new Corbon 125-gr. DPX ammunition.

Prior to these reports I had not really put more than a few hundred rounds through the SP101. Some were .38 Specials but most were .357’s. Though while a police officer I fired thousands of 38’s through revolvers chambered for the magnum, it is a practice I’ve just never really liked. For the first report, I did include some .38 Special loads because they are frequently chosen and used in SP101’s chambered for the magnum; I believed some would be interested in that aspect of this revolver’s performance.

Since that time, I have not really shot this little thing all that much; just a box-or-two-here and a few rounds there sort of thing over the years. Checking over my ammo supplies and rather skimpy notes on this revolver, I’ve fired at least a thousand .357 Magnum loads since the last report. These would include factory as well as handloaded ammunition. Most were full-power but some were at midrange power levels.

By the time I did the original SP101 report, I’d pretty much decided to keep it. My SP101 remained stock as the proverbial stove, but recently it was lightly-personalized. I won’t use the term, “customized”, because alterations are quite minor.
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CZ-97 Review and Range Report:

I now understand the cult like following of CZ. I walked into my local shop and there was this beautiful large size CZ-97. I am a revolver fanatic but this semi auto caught my eye. The dealer acquired this through an estate auction. The CZ-97 did not have a scratch on it and according to the estates logbook, which was also acquired by the dealer was never fired.


The CZ-97 is a very large pistol but due to my massive hands the grip feels just right to me. To put this in perspective the grip of an S&W 686 feels a little small in my hands. CZ introduced the CZ-75 in 1975 hence the “75” as part of it’s model number. This pistol is a 9mm platform and has captured the hearts of many shooters around the world. Ceska Zbrojovka “CZ” introduced the CZ-97 in 1997 with the hopes of creating another cult like following like they had with the CZ-75. Unfortunately for CZ this never came to fruition. Though not a complete failure I attribute the lack of excitement and following of the CZ-97 to its size. This pistol holds 10 rounds staggered within the magazine, which contributes, to the size of the grip/frame. Though there is a positive side to the size of this pistol, it is a very soft shooter for 45ACP.

Comparing the CZ-97 to a Smith & Wesson 1911 there is not much of a weight difference.
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