So I bought another revolver… 2nd one this month! (very long)


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Cousin Mike
August 6, 2006, 09:21 PM
A while ago I bought my first revolver – the Colt in my sig line. I’ve been wanting another revolver recently. This Colt is almost as old as my mama – and while it has character and a hell of a story attached to it now, it just wasn’t “doing it” for me anymore… I knew I wanted another revolver, but I wanted something more like a dream gun – something that looked and felt like it was made for me – and that is definitely not this old Colt. I’ve been thinking about selling it, but I was also thinking that maybe I’ll just give it to my pops. I think my gun obsession is rubbing off on him somewhat ;)

Recently I graduated from school, and as a present my family sent me some money. Enough money to buy a gun. :D

I decided that the graduation money would be spent on another revolver, a .357 or .44 Magnum - and wanted to see what I could find for what price (as I often do). I walk into my favorite local gun store here in Columbus, take a number, and wait to be ignored like I always am when gun shopping.

While waiting, I get into a conversation with someone (a serial collector – very nice guy with over 100 guns) about Makarov’s. We’re having a few laughs, and my number comes up – the salesman reluctantly walks over and asks what he can help me with. Well, since I had only been lingering around the counter for 45 minutes before being helped, I already had several guns picked out that I wanted to look at. All were .357 Magnums. The .44 Mag’s that they did have were not to my liking for one reason or another.

First I ask to see a very pretty (but very plain) 6-shot Smith & Wesson (forgot the model #) with a nice nickel finish and some plain black rubber grips. It had fixed sights, and a 4” barrel – and when I dry fired, OH BOY! The trigger is MUCH nicer than the trigger on my Colt in SA, and DA trigger pull was really nice also. Lockup was tight, cylinders line up perfectly when cycling, and she’s only $289 OTD. Not much not to like here, and I tell him to set that aside. At that moment, I am almost sure I am going to take this gun home, but I still have to look at the other two I had selected.

Next up was a Rossi 6-shot .357Magnum with an incredible deep-blue finish (one of the prettiest revolvers I have ever seen, seriously) and a 2” barrel. It’s got fixed sights, which are just okay. I love the way it looks, and it feels nice in my hand as well. It’s dirt cheap, and I’ve always been curious about Rossi revolvers. This one holds my interest. I like the sights, and I give it a dry fire. Wow! Almost as nice as the Smithy, just not quite as light a pull in SA. DA pull was sort of gritty. OTD for $200, NIB. I’ll pay $90 more for the Smith if I don’t like my 3rd choice. I tell him he can put that one back for now. If I don’t buy it today, I’ll come back later for it.

I notice my new buddy is watching.

Next up is (IIRC) an RSA Commanche II (might’ve been a III, I don’t remember) with a nice, solid black finish. I love the looks of it – it has adjustable sights and I believe a 7 shot cylinder. It has a somewhat tactical look, but it’s not tacky. I like it. I REALLY like it. I line up the sights and give her a dry fire.

I hate it. Put it back. This thing had a horrible trigger. It felt like there was sand in it – and it felt like a 32lb. trigger pull in DA. SA felt like 10 lbs. The salesman and my new buddy give a little chuckle at my disgust in the gun, and I ask to see the Smithy again. While I’m holding the gun and weighing my options, my collector friend looks over out of nowhere, and says:

“You’re lookin’ at .357 Magnums, right?”

I answer, “Yep… Why, you see somethin’ I didn’t?”

“Hell, I know what you want… You want the gun I traded in last week. Hey, (clerks name), show him that gun I traded in last week… The .357… you’re gonna love this one.”

I’m intrigued… I swear I scoured every inch of their revolver selection, and I didn’t see anything I liked the looks of. They had NO Taurus Trackers (which is what I originally wanted), their Taurus selection was incredibly expensive, and their Ruger’s were also obscenely priced. Like $600-for-a-GP-100-obscene. I looked at S&W’s in various flavors, and even the Rossi’s. They didn’t have much else that fit what I was looking for. But, sure enough, he pulls out this Taurus from under the counter that neither me or my girlfriend had noticed in nearly an hour of studying the counter displays. And my goodness, this thing is beautiful!

It’s a Taurus 608 with a matte stainless steel finish. 4” ported barrel, adjustable sights, and 8 shots (yeah… you heard right, 8 shots) of .357 Magnum. I freak out. I have been looking at Taurus revolvers non-stop for months, and somehow I had never come across the 608 model. And this thing is gorgeous! My new friend tells me that he’s a compulsive buyer – has over 100 guns of all types, and tells me about how he and his recently deceased dad constantly bought, sold, and traded guns of all kinds. He said that his dad was a S&W guy, but for the last 10 years or so, his father had never bought any other brand of revolver – they loved Taurus guns, and had never had a problem with any of the models they bought.

He tells me that this particular gun, he hadn’t even fired a 50-box of ammunition through. He was the first owner, and he reminds me about Taurus’ warranty. I am scrutinizing every inch of this gun, and I can’t find a scratch, the ports are clean, the gun itself looks completely new… I almost don’t want to, but I give her a dry-fire. I hate the thought that it might have a terrible trigger pull, and I might not want it if I dry-fire and find that such is the case. But I cock her back anyway, aim at the floor, and click!

Very nice! - maybe .5 lbs heavier than the S&W, but just as crisp and clean on the break. Amazing… But then the realization hits me, I’m about to buy a Taurus over a Smith & Wesson! What am I doing!? I look at the Smith & Wesson again. The nickel finish is scratched all to hell compared to this Taurus, which is virtually spotless. I give the Taurus a DA pull. Just as nice as the Smith. I look at the price tag. $350 will get me out the door with her. I notice there’s another young brother standing around watching. He looks over, and unabashedly says, “Nice one bro… You put that down and I’m pickin’ her up for sure!”

I give him a snicker… “Not today buddy!”

I reach in my pocket, pull out my cash and tell the salesman to ring me up. My ‘opponent’ congratulates me on a clean victory and a nice purchase. :D He’s off to look for his own deal. I tell him I saw a H&K USP40 at the front counter for $550 – he goes to investigate.

My new friend tells me that if I didn’t buy it, he would have bought it back for a 2nd time. This was not a consignment gun, and this guy was so obviously wealthy – I knew he was sincere. Not many people are friendly to me in gun stores (it’s an appearance thing, I’m convinced), and this guy was just open and talkative from the get-go. He re-assures me that I will love my new gun. He’s already right.

I buy some ammo - Remington UMC 125gr JSP’s, and 2 boxes of CCI 158 JHP’s - for target practice at the range the next day, and ask what they have in terms of super-hot SD loads. Of course, not much… 110gr. Cor-bon JHP’s, and something else in a funny weight I’m not familiar with. No Winchester Rangers, no Federal or Cor-bon 125gr. loads, nothing. I figure the 158gr.’s will work if I need them to, and plan on buying some hot HD stuff later on from Gander Mountain or Wal-Mart.

I go home. I can’t sleep. I wake up super-early the next day, and wait for the range to open. I pack up some .38spl. I have sitting around, and my new .357 ammo, and head off to the range to fire my new weapon. I wonder if it’s going to be accurate for me, and I’m also nervous about firing .357 Magnum again after all these years… But I’m ready and my girlfriend is also very excited to fire her first .357 Mag. This looks to be a great day in the making if everything goes right.

We get to the range, and it’s crowded as hell… Great! And now there’s some FNG (F***in’ New Guy) at the counter, and I don’t like the way this guy is looking at me already. I say hello to the other gentleman who work at my range, and we start talking while I fill out their little release form. The FNG starts eye-balling my firearm case in some weird sort of way, he looks like he wants to tell me something… I politely ask him what he’s looking at. He asks what kind of ammo I’ll be shooting as a response.

“Three-fitty-seven magnum… is that cool buddy?”

His face changes…

‘Awww sh*t.. What is it NOW?!’ I can’t help but thinking…

“Um, sir, we have restrictions about firing full-house .357 Magnum on our range, due to the level of noise it creates. We also have a prohibition on hollow-points or copper-jacketed ammo in that caliber. You’re not going to be allowed to fire that thing here.”

I look at him shocked… “Ya’gotta be f****in’ kiddin me.”

“No, sir, I’m not,” he assures me. “We DO reload for the caliber if you like, you can buy a box of our reloads. They’re lead rounds, and they're toned down quite a bit though for the convenience of the other shooters.”

I’m disgusted. And pissed. On their website it said they had restrictions against super-hot reloads in .357, .44 and .41 Magnum, but they don’t say that you can’t fire anything other than THEIR reloads…

“I’m alright buddy, I’ve got some .38Spl, I’ll just shoot that for today since I’m already here.”

This range is about 20 minutes out of town to the north. I live way out on the east side of the city. That’s too far of a drive to turn around and go home, but now I’m pissed. I’ve got half a mind to go in and fire .357 regardless of what he said, but I quickly decide against that and settle for a nice Saturday at the range with my girlfriend instead.

So, why did I shoot this thing better than any other gun I own? I shot better with this Taurus at 15 yards than I can with my Sig P220… And I am one HELL of a shot with my P220. This thing points almost effortlessly for me. The sighting is absolutely perfect! I’m just as good in DA with this thing as I am firing all my shots SA. I really can’t believe this is happening. I’m shooting a brand new gun better than a gun I’ve owned for almost a year now. Better than I’ve ever shot ANY gun, to be quite honest. At around 50ft., POI is about .75” high of POA – not bad at all if you ask me, but I’m no expert on these things. I know I could knock a fly off the wall with this thing one-handed with .38Spl loads.

The porting makes .38Spl MUCH softer than 9mm – I almost don’t know what to compare it to. I know that .357 will feel like .38 at best out of this thing, but I have yet to fire it – I’ll let you all know as soon as I do, but that crap at the range was completely unexpected. On the good side, I have 150 rounds of .357Mag ready to go to another range at some point this week. On the bad side, I still haven’t got to use it to it’s full potential yet, but the accuracy and function of this thing is amazing so far. I fired about 3 50-boxes of .38Spl, and have nothing to report in terms of failures, dud rounds, or anything else negative. This gun is a pleasure to fire. I think getting used to the porting is going to take a little while, but it obviously isn’t hindering my accuracy any.

I love every gun I’ve bought so far, but this is probably going to become my favorite gun VERY fast. My girlfriend loves it just as much. We can’t wait to fire some really hot .357 loads out of this thing, and I will make sure to let everyone know how that turns out. My groups were a consistent 2” at 15 yards – nice enough to earn me an invitation into someone’s shooting club! Very friendly guy I’ve seen at the range every once in a while complimented my group, and told me that I need to join his .22 pistol club. I told him I’d love to! This guy was SERIOUS, by the way – punching ragged holes in a 6” target at max distance, one handed… So I took an invitation from him as a serious compliment to my shooting. I’ll also let you guys know how that one turns out :D

Guess I can't get away without owning a .22 after all, huh? :D Anyways, back to the point...

All in all, the past couple of days have been very interesting, but I have a BEAUTIFUL new gun that I can’t put down. My arm is sore – not from shooting, but from handling it so much. It weighs about 44oz., very heavy weapon but I’m a big guy – big enough to carry this hogleg if I want to – and I’m sure I will. It functions perfectly. And 8 rounds of .357 Magnum is nothing to sneeze at!

However, finding a speedloader for this thing is proving to be virtually impossible. Anyone know where I can get one?! Anyways, this is already super long, so I’ll just thank you all for reading, and letting me share my gun buying experience with you good folks! Pictures coming soon! Anyone else own this model? How has it held up for you over the years?

Thanks again!

Mike

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Tiger05
August 6, 2006, 09:36 PM
Great story you held my attention all the way through!;)

Cousin Mike
August 6, 2006, 09:53 PM
Well thank you very much for the compliment on my writing, Tiger! And thanks again for reading, :)

I look forward to posting a nice update soon with some pics.

Tearlachblair
August 6, 2006, 10:03 PM
Cousin Mike,

Hail to a fellow revolver-lover! Way to go on your new purchase and it sounds like you got a great girlfriend ("likes to fire .357 revolvers" has to be high on the wishlist in girlfriend-hunting :D ) If I get any news of speedloaders for it I'll let you know.

Cousin Mike
August 7, 2006, 10:56 AM
Much appreciated, Tearlachblair. :)

And yeah, the girlfriend is wonderful - although when I met her she was a complete anti-gun-liberal college girl, and wouldn't even sit in the same room with my guns. Funny how almost anyone with some common sense and an open mind can be brought to our side of the fence. She's even gotten her mom into shooting!

My mom is another story... :evil:

As for speedloaders: I've been to a sporting goods store already today (Galyan's), and their gun-dept. folks looked at me like I was absolutely insane when I asked if they had 8-shot speedloaders for a .357 Magnum.

I love when people ask me "Are you ~SURE~ it's an 8-shot?"

Like I don't know what kind of gun I just bought. LOL.

Can't wait to get the same treatment at Gander Mountain later on today. :rolleyes:

Jim March
August 7, 2006, 05:40 PM
Speedloaders are available not sure where though...Buckeye Tool is apparantly out of biz. Your 608 takes the same speedloaders as the S&W 8-shot 357s.

Didn't know about those either, didja? :) They're way expensive though...mostly custom shop I think.

Ok, here's good news number one: your gun is built on a 44Mag-class frame. It's good'n'tough.

Good news two: if you really wanna get sick with that thing, somewhere there's a gunsmith modifying the cylinders such that it takes moonclips, for ridiculously fast reloads.

TK has the clips:

https://www.moonclips.com/cart/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=145&cat=+%2E357+Magnum+%2D+Taurus

...and Clark does the machining:

http://www.moonclips.com/faq.htm

http://www.clarkcustomguns.com/

Check with Clark's first.

Also note one glitch: moonclips for your gun are available in .025" thick which isn't compatible with Winchester brass. No big deal. See the faq above. Note that a moonclip-modified gun will still take rounds "the old fashioned way" (or a speedloader) no problem.

For speedloaders, the Maxfire is available from Brownell's but I don't recommend it for MOST guns, too likely to bend the crane over time. But your gun is tough enough that you *might* get away with it if you're gentle in usage:

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?P=1461

Maxfires are weird because you pull the speedloader away "sideways" rather than drop rounds in. It's a "rubbery thing". Google "maxfire" for more info. Me, I'd rather do moonclips any day of the week!

Oh, one more moonclip conversion shop:

http://www.pinnacle-guns.com/revolver.asp

Check with them on what thickness moonclips they have, if you're concerned about the .025" variant. Best case you can score .022s from Pinnacle, .025s from TK, moon everything :).

tyesai
August 8, 2006, 02:50 PM
I have a 608 and love it. It bucks a little with .357 in it but it isn't bad at all. I love to go to the indoor range and let 8 of them fly. It doesn't stop things but alot of people wonder what the hell was that.

As far as speed loaders go this is one of the few places I have found.

http://dillonprecision.com/template/p.cfm?maj=52&min=0&dyn=1&

I guess 10 bucks isn't to bad.

DWARREN123
August 8, 2006, 10:47 PM
Nothing better than a revolver, that's why I got 3 new ones last month!!!!

Cousin Mike
August 9, 2006, 12:33 AM
Jim and tyesai, thanks a lot for the links to the speedloaders. These are a big help. I still have not had any luck finding them locally, so it looks like I’ll be ordering a set of those Maxfire’s for sure.

Thanks again, Jim, for the extra info about my gun, and the proper way to use a Maxfire. I didn’t know this thing was built on a .44 frame, but that’s funny… I always thought this thing looked like a .44, and have slipped and called it that once or twice.

As for those Maxfire’s, they look interesting – and the thought of bending the crane is pretty scary, so I’ll be sure to use them gently at the range. I’m interested in these moonclips as well, although I’m not sure I like the idea of someone doing something to my gun to make them fit correctly. It also looks like that might be an expensive process – any idea how long it usually takes to have this done?

I’m not worried too much about the width of the moonclips – this safety they gave me to put on the back of my cylinder is about 1/16” (.0625”) thick… The cylinder still rotates fine when it’s in the gun. I’m sure something .025” or .022” will be almost un-noticeable.

And oh yeah, I did know about the S&W 627, thanks to the good folks of THR and a little search or two. :)

This whole revolver infatuation I’ve found myself going through is kind of ironic. I can remember my girlfriend saying not even 3 months ago that she didn’t think she would ever want a revolver. I didn’t want anything that carried less than 10 rounds. I had been looking at them in local shops and admiring them, but not really wanting one – just looking and wondering when I might be able to shoot one again.

Then it hits me. I’m really SD oriented when it comes to guns. I love them, I think they’re interesting, and I’d love to learn some gunsmithing – but I buy them –primarily- for self defense. I enjoy practice and range shooting, I like guns for just about every reason one can – but I won’t buy anything I consider impractical for SD. I found the Colt .38 and I just couldn’t pass it up. The more I got to thinking about it, although I think the .38 Spl Is fine for SD, I wanted something built for the ultimate SD round – the .357 Magnum.

My girlfriend is officially converted, and looking forward to purchasing a Ladysmith of her own – and she’s looking at .357 Magnums. This girl moves fast! I don’t try to discourage her though. Every gun she gets her hands on, she seems to shoot well. I guess that’s what I get for starting her out on a 1911. ;)

As for this Taurus 608, I have never been so in awe of a gun that I actually own. I don’t know why I find this thing so amazing, maybe because it’s ported, maybe because it’s huge, maybe because it’s the only gun I currently have in a stainless finish. It’s built like an Abrams tank as well. All I know is that I love this gun. It’s definitely the best looking gun I own by far IMO. I’ve got a trip set up to go out to the country with some friends and let her sing on a few soda cans – although knowing my crazy buddies they’ll probably want me to shoot a prairie dog or two... The instant I come home, I’ll be posting my experience with (finally) shooting the big bad .357 Magnum again.

Jim March
August 9, 2006, 01:28 PM
The moonclip mod is less than $100 and shouldn't take too long. You've got the URLs for two of the shops doing the machine work, call 'em up :).

You're missing the point on the moonclip thickness. It's not about headspacing or anything. Hmmmm...look, hold up a bullet. Just in front of the rim is a groove. The moonclips fit in that groove. Different shells have different thicknesses of rim groove. You need the moonclip thickness appropriate for the type of shell. .025" will fit most but a few shells need thinner.

The Maxfires shouldn't be too much trouble though. You've got a tough gun. Be somewhat gentle on the range, less so in an actual fight, should be fine.

Moonclips will be faster though.

DIXIEKIMBER
August 9, 2006, 01:34 PM
Cousin Mke -
I have several of the Maxfire speedloaders that I use with my Colt Python for IDPA and USPSA. They work quite well but they are made of a hard rubber and can be rather stiff when new. I lubricate them often during a match so that the rounds slide out easily. I use a non petroleum lubricant (vegetable based) so as not to damage the rubber. Once you get used to them they make reloads pretty fast. :)

Cousin Mike
August 10, 2006, 02:35 AM
I'll go ahead and give these guys a call about the mod for the moonclips. As for the way the moonclip itself functions, thanks for setting me straight. For now I think I'll be going with the speedloaders, and doing moonclips maybe when the "newness" wears off. I don't want to send this gun away to anyone yet. :D

Dixie - I appreciate the tip on taking some of the stiffness out of the Maxfire speedloader. It's also encouraging to hear from someone who uses them in competition. Also, thanks for the tip on what type of lubrication to use. How do you lubricate the speedloader w/o getting lubrication in the primer? What areas, how light of a coat, etc.?

Or am I worrying too much? :)

Thanks again everyone.

Cousin Mike
August 15, 2006, 03:13 AM
And wow! fun has a new meaning :D

First of all, I have found my new range! Friendly staff and crowd - very nice facilities. They've changed things quite a bit since the year or so since I had been there, and I like the changes they made.

I only shot about 125 rounds today for the .357 Magnum. I took a buddy, who brought his Ruger P-90 (.45ACP) and a Colt .22 he had, and I also had about 200 rounds of .38 Spl as well... We were busy. I lost count of rounds, but I am TIRED! :D That's usually how I know I've had a good range day.

Apparently my Taurus' sights are sensitive, and I've moved them slightly over this past week or so. Last range session, I was dead-on accurate. This trip with the new taurus, POI was about consistently 1-2" to the left of POA at 10-15 yards. The sights are adjustable, so no problem.... And I know it's the sights, and not me, because I was still shooting very tight groups with it, they were just about 2" to the left of my sight picture.

Shooting a friends .22 colt pistol, and .38spl in my tank of a .357 are almost identical in terms of recoil. My friend, who is a new pistol shooter (but experienced with rifles) agreed completely. I didn't want to make that comparison last time, thinking that might sound like an exaggerated claim. That's actually a very accurate statement. I NEED a .22, by the way! And I need a Ruger pistol too, but that's beside the point...

The .357 Magnum loads I had were the same from last week. CCI 158gr. JHP's, and Remington UMC 125gr. JSP's.

CCI Blazer 158gr.:

Surprisingly (to me, anyway) not very flashy. Sends a nice gas trail in the air from the ported barrel, but almost no fire. Very heavy feel to shoot - I now know why it's called a heavy load. You really feel that big bullet being pushed out of the barrel. Loud as hell, more bassy and percussive (is that a word? lol)... :D Also found it to be very accurate.

Remington UMC 125gr.:

Damn! :D

The entire package. Incredibly loud - the sound almost feels like it physically smacks you in the face. Flash from hell. Explosive rather than percussive. Just as accurate as the CCI stuff, but in a more explosive package it seemed.

Opinions of the .357 Magnum overall:

I love it. I wonder how I ever lived without one. My new favorite cartridge, hands down. Nothing beats it. This Taurus is amazing. 300 more rounds today, give or take, without incident. I shoot .357 Magnum very well too. I found accurate double tapping not a problem once I got accustomed to what was coming out of the other end. My friend, who had never fired one before, and had also never fired his .45 before, had a blast. He also loved the .357 Magnum, and shot unexpectedly well with it. Recoil is very stiff, but definitely not massive. I don't see this as being a gun anyone should be scared of...

Unless you're firing it indoors without hearing protection! :what:

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