Smith & Wesson revamped its line of CCWs and one of those is the 360 in .357. It is rated +P. This compact piece is what you’d expect from S&W’s line of lightweight snubbies, with a few changes.
Specifications of the S&W M360 .357 Airweight
The changes are slimline grips with earth tone rubber. You will appreciate this when shooting hot .357 rounds. The cylinder is not fluted. It has a PVD (Physical vapor deposition) finish. Learn more about PVD here.
The frame is a scandium aluminum alloy. Adding scandium in minute amounts makes the aluminum much tougher. It has a steel 1.88-inch barrel covered in the alloy. Sights are just a step above rudimentary with a red polymer insert in the front blade.
The hammer is exposed. So, this is not a pocket pistol. It would do very well as an ankle carry.
It has an integral gun lock and two keys in the box. The lock raises a sliver of steel, with LOCKED stamped on it, that blocks the hammer from being drawn back and the trigger from being pulled. A cable lock is also included for an added measure of security.
It is a direct hammer strike on the firing pin.
It weighs 14.9 ounces unloaded.
Trigger Work on the S&W M360 .357 Airweight
The S&W M360 .357 Airweight is single action, but you have to draw the hammer all the way back to the frame to get it to lock. At first, I thought it was double action only because the hammer had to go so far back. Capt. Purvis pulled the hammer all the way to show that it can be fired single action.
When drawing the hammer it does have a click halfway, but that is the cylinder advancing. There’s a noticeable click when it looks into place. It does not have a half cock.
In single action, the trigger is crisp and exactly the way I like it, just enough to know you have to pull something. Hair triggers on CCWs make me nervous. In double action, it has one of the lightest pulls of snub revolvers I’ve ever shot. It’s certainly a LOT lighter than the pull on the Cobra hammerless I pack.
At the Range with the S&W M360 .357 Airweight
For the range work, I invited an assistant chief of police from one town and the chief of police in the town where the range is located. I find getting people with plenty of firearms experience to come and shoot gives me a much better review.
The starting load was 110-grain JHPs in .357 loaded hot. My thinking is, if you are shooting .357 then you want some knockdown power. For range work in a .357, shoot .38s.
Recoil was stout but manageable with the .357s. As this is a backup carry, if you have to draw and use it during an emergency, you should not notice the kick. Adrenaline will take care of that. On the range, it was obvious. The rubber grips helped take some of the shock off. Put hard plastic or wood on the grip and I’ll bet you the recoil will turn into a stinging slap instead of the solid punch.
The pressure wave was surprising when shooting the .357s. It was enough to jar my sinuses, something I usually only get when shooting .50 BMG rifles. Ashburn Police Department Capt. Richard Purvis noted the same thing. It was not bad, but shooting few hundred rounds of the .357s would leave me with a hurting hand and a headache. Again, in an emergency, I’d never know it.
Capt. Purvis said he was not comfortable shooting the .357s but the .38s were enjoyable. Sycamore Police Chief Bill Ryder said if he was going to carry the 360 – he liked it so much, he’s going to get one – he would carry .357 rounds. The difference in recoil, to him, was not as significant as it was for me and Capt. Purvis.
Thus, the reason for having more than one shooter help with the test drive.
Read more about the S&W M360 .357 Airweight here.