Looking for a good revolver, need advice


September 20, 2005, 08:18 PM
Hello everyone, I have recently sold my HK USP-T (which I still regret, but I had to). I have around 300 to 400$ to spend on a firearm, and I figured I would try a wheel gun out. I can't afford another HK, or a good 1911, but I figure 300 to 400$ ought to be enough to get a decent revolver. I don't know a whole lot about wheel guns, 95% of my knoledge of firearms is with semi-automatic pistols.

This is what I am looking for:

Its going to be used for range use, and home defense
I would perfer something that has a decent size to it (I have big hands) and CCW is not an issue because my state does not have a CCW law.
I am willing to go used or new, either is fine
I would perfer something in the .357 mag caliber, that way I can shoot both the 38 and 357 rounds

I have shot a couple of revolvers already, including .357s, 44mag, 500 S&W, and some sort of .22 (I think it was a 22). As far as brands, most of the revolvers I have tested have been S&W, almost all were well above 600$ (not exactly in my price range).

So what would you recommend for me to look at? I would perfer to stick to quality, made in the USA firearms, but I am open to suggestions.. -Greg

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September 20, 2005, 08:46 PM
Hoplite Inc., advertises in Shotgun News . They have Smith & Wesson M66s in your price range.

Southern Ohio Gun (SOG) has Ruger GP100s and Smith 681s at a good price.

If you go on GunsAmerica and type .357 Magnum in the search there are about seven pages of them to check over. Not all will be in your range, but there were a bunch in it last Saturday.

If you find one you like on any of those places a dealer will probably order it for you for a fee.

September 20, 2005, 09:00 PM
4 or 6 inch, fixed or adjustable sights, Ruger GP100...virtually indestructible, good standard grips...easy to find...example, should be able to do almost as well locally (tax vs shipping, ffl transfer)


Jim March
September 20, 2005, 09:06 PM
A GP100 would be one my top choices too. Extremely reliable, which makes them unusually safe to buy used. Even if it's broke Ruger will fix it for free without requiring that you be the original owner.

There are two grip sizes on GP100s. The adjustable-sight guns come with the bigger ones, the fixed-sight come with smaller...but the frame underneath is the same and you can swap in either direction. The bigger GP100 grip is the same as the Ruger SuperRedHawk grip.

Eskimo Jim
September 20, 2005, 09:08 PM
I'd suggest the following:
S&W 66 with either a 4" or 6" barrel. This is a K frame. Pretty middle of the road for size. Typically very good trigger. S&W model 19 is the blued version which is no longer made

S&W 686 or 586. the 686 is stainless while the 586 is blued. You can't get the 586 new from the factory. 686 is still being made. This is an L frame, slightly larger than the K frame but the same sized grip frame.

S&W 619 or 620 this is the same size frame as the 686 but holds seven rounds. They are new this year. Speed loaders for the 7 shooters might be tough to find.

All of the above are adjustable sighted except the 619.

I've heard good things about the GP-100 from Ruger (comparable to the 686). I've heard that you shouldn't shoot lots of heavy 357magnums through the S&W 19 or 66. My 66 hasn't had a problem.

Ruger also made a Security Six in the 70s that might be good for you too.

I've heard mixed reviews on Rossi and Taurus.
Good luck


September 20, 2005, 09:23 PM
I have to agree with the S&W Stainless steel Model 686 choice.
You can find a nice used one in that $400 range.
They are built to last, smoother trigger than the Ruger's, and plenty accurate.
They come with 2.5, 4 & 6 inch tubes.
For all around use, I'd go to the 4 inch. Still small enough for a holster, small enough for home protection & long enough for good target shooting.
It's an "L" frame gun and will hold up to tons of use. It shares the "K" frame grips, so you will be able to find tons of different grips to your liking. You won't have nealy as many choices if you go to a Ruger.
The 686 comes with adjustable target sights.
The .357 magnum has plenty of stopping power and also you can shoot .38 specials for economical target shooting.
If you wanted more, you can find a 686 plus. It's the 7 shot version.
I find though that if you are used to shooting 6 rounds, you tend to shoot 6 then dump 6 empty shells & one live one.
It will take some time getting used to.
The 686 is a great performer right out of the box.

Good luck , Jeff (GUNKWAZY)

September 21, 2005, 09:27 AM
Another vote for either a S&W K or L frame.

September 21, 2005, 09:59 AM
4" .357 from any name brand company.

Reliable, accurate and nice to shoot. Takes .357 or .38.
Lasts like forever.


Brian Williams
September 21, 2005, 11:15 AM
S&W and Ruger top my list.

September 21, 2005, 11:25 AM
I had a Ruger Security Six with a 4" barrel, which I unwisely traded in. Excellent revolver. I just picked up a Smith 66 with a 4" in very nice condition. I spent a very few bucks on lighter hammer and trigger rebound springs, and it's an absolute honey. Tight, comfy, and very accurate.


September 21, 2005, 11:41 AM
My recommendation is for a Ruger GP100. Used ones in excellent condition sell here for $300-$350. I also have a S & W 686, but actually prefer to shoot the GP100.

September 21, 2005, 12:15 PM
I have a new Rossi 971, 357 mag w/ 4 inch barrel. It has a very nice SA trigger and was dead on accurate out of the box. Nothing fancy to it, but it has given me no problems and has a lifetime warranty. I know older Rossi's have mixed reviews but I think Taurus/Rossi is trying hard to get established in the US. I'm very pleased with mine.

Working Man
September 21, 2005, 01:42 PM
Another for the Ruger GP100.

4" or 6" either is great and I have both.
I shoot mine almost every time I go to the range.

September 21, 2005, 03:44 PM
You could get a good Ruger Security or Service Six in 357 magnum for around $300 or a little less. Or a Colt Trooper for between the $300 or $400. I love mine!!!!

September 22, 2005, 05:40 AM
Look around for a good used S&W 686 with a 4" barrel. I just picked one up for a great price at Gander Mountain, good deals are out there, they just have to be found.

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