Best .32 for small hands?


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telomerase
August 7, 2006, 10:49 PM
I think we all agree that it would be better if more decent people owned defensive weapons, even if they aren't .454 Casulls. Some people can only handle smaller calibers at first. (Once they start shooting, they may well move up to to .454s anyway, but they have to actually start first...) If someone has ANY sort of gun their voting habits may improve as well.

Rimfires aren't the best solution. .22 LR is very weak, I have had to shoot rats more than once. .22 mag is awfully loud and distracting. All rimfire revolvers have to have (OTBE) harder trigger pulls than centerfires. Even .32 Long is better than .22s if handloaded up a little, and .32 Mag is much better.

So, what's the "best" .32 for an elderly, small, and/or weak person (i.e., which has the best trigger, shortest trigger reach, etc.)? Taurus 731? Old Smith 631? Ancient I-Frame and handloaded S&W Long? The recently-discontinued 331? I like SP-101s too, but they are a bit bigger and heavier.

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mnrivrat
August 8, 2006, 12:12 AM
The field is getting a bit narrow on current production guns in .32 mag .

If one can find the S&W 431 or 432 models I like them. They however have jumped a couple hundred dollars after production stopped ,putting them in the $500 range it seems.

Just read that Ruger is dropping that chambering also . If that's true (and likely is) then one is left with the latest version of the Taurus 731 which is the aluminum frame stainless steel version. (airweight 17 oz)

Mine is a Taurus Model 731 in Titanium ,which is also now out of production in that material. (13 oz ) , and I am very pleased with mine.

So, I guess rather than pay high premiums on guns out of production I would recommend the Taurus 731 . May it live forever !

joneb
August 8, 2006, 12:28 AM
http://www.naaminis.com/sandy1.html just a thought. A friend of mine has a Colt detective special in .32 S&W long, what a sweetie. If recoil is a issue I'd stick with steel. I would consider a S&W mod 36 loaded with target loads.

Old Fuff
August 8, 2006, 12:41 AM
The current and recent crop of .32's have mostly been snubbies, that don't represent a very good platform to start off with. This of course is excluding Ruger's single actions built on the Single-Six frame.

For your intended purpose I would look backwards to Colt's Police Positive with a 4" or longer barrel. Also the Pocket Positive with a 3 1/2" barrel

Or Smith & Wesson's 1903 Hand ejector or Regulation Police with a 4 1/4" barrel. Or if you can find one a S&W model 30 or 31 with a 4" barrel.

The S&W models 30 & 31 as well as the Colt Police Positive and Pocket Positive can be safely converted to .32 H&R Magnum.

And a .32 S&W Long loaded with a full wadcutter bullet will beat any .22 RF without increasing the load. ;)

461
August 8, 2006, 11:41 AM
The recently discontinued Smiths are probably the best bet for a light little snubby. I've got a 3" SP-101 that has impressed me to no end though. It is heavier and bigger, but if the person can hold and manipulate it then you'd have a fine little weapon. The extra weight soaks up what little recoil there is and you get adjustable sights and a better sight picture. Can't praise that little SP enough. Good luck.

wileyj
August 8, 2006, 12:26 PM
The Smith 431's have the worst trigger I have ever felt out of the box. I worked the springs in the hammer and trigger and it is better but my 80YOmother in law chose my Taurus 85SSUL with changed springs because the trigger was very nice.
Check the trigger before you get one for an older person

Lonestar
August 8, 2006, 12:37 PM
If your looking for a new revolver right now, the Taurus 731 is the only thing being produced. It's probably the best thing going for the .32 H&R Mag right now. The possible future NAA mini revolver will hopefully put the .32 mag back on the map, however I don't think it would be a good choice for an elderly shooter, since it will probably be single action. Same with the discontinued S&W 431, Its ultra light weight (12oz) makes it a great piece for CCW, but makes the recoil similar to shooting an all steel standard pressure .38, so why bother. I love to see a Rugers SP101 in .32 Mag. A nice heavy double action would be perfect for an elderly shooter, but their are extremely hard to come by. Another options is to find old .32 S&W long revolvers but I get a little leary trusting my elderly relatives lives to old, outdated weapons.

I mentioned this on the .22 wmr thread, .32 H&R Magnum might be becoming the Betamax of the gun world. It is a great caliber, but 5 years ago S&W, Ruger, and Taurus were making DA handguns in that caliber , now it is only Taurus. If Taurus stops making the 731, and the NAA .32 magnum never sees the light of day, you will see the caliber slowly fade away.

My advice is get the Taurus 731, stock up on ammo and hope for the best.

Old Fuff
August 8, 2006, 02:17 PM
Another options is to find old .32 S&W long revolvers but I get a little leary trusting my elderly relatives lives to old, outdated weapons.

I beg to differ... :fire:

I'm not one of your relatives, but I am elderly... :D

Anyway, many of the older .32 S&W Long revolvers I mentioned aren't outdated. Their internal lockwork isn't much different then what's made today, and the fit and finishing is much better. They aren't too heavy, and can be found with longer-then-snubby barrels. They can often be found in very good to excellent shape for half the cost of a new gun.

The smaller stocks (think J-frame S&W's and D-frame Colt's) are easier to hold on to, and the recoil is very manageable, even for those with disabled hands (ask me how I know... ).

A .32 S&W Long cartridge loaded with a full wadcutter is a lot better "stopper" then a .32 ACP and far ahead of a .22 R.F. or WRM. This is especially true if it's fired out of a four, rather then two inch barrel.

If I show some of my "senior" friends any of these outdated revolvers I often have to fight to keep it. :what: :D

Ala Dan
August 8, 2006, 03:42 PM
I agree with my my friend Old Fuff, as a used but not abused
Smith & Wesson model 30-1 would make an excellent find. Guess
what? I have one; but its not for sale, as it was my deceased dads
CCW piece. I bought it, NIB during the summer of 1971 for the grand
total of $92.00.

Old Fuff
August 8, 2006, 04:46 PM
BUT... but, it's old and outdated and not very popular. :uhoh:

Hardly worth the $50.00 (cash) that I was going to offer ... :rolleyes:

But if you insist on keeping it... :(

Oh darn... :evil: :D

Essex County
August 9, 2006, 03:04 PM
A nice I frame is a work that came from an era when pride and quality were foremost. It would be my first choice..........Essex

Lonestar
August 9, 2006, 03:06 PM
Granted old S&W and Colts are very well build, but with .32 S&W Long revolvers your talking about a handgun that can easily be 30 to 50 year old or older. I like classic cars, but If I bought a used Ford Fairline to drive cross country, I would definately have a good mechanic give the car a good lookover and replace a lot of important part. I would have a good gunsmith (not the guy you bought the gun off of ) give it a good inspection and fix anything that looks like it needs to be replaced. It's one thing to have an old handgun in your collection, I own a few myself, but it is another thing to depend on an old handgun for protection.

cyanide
August 9, 2006, 08:32 PM
Tomcat

Kymasabe
August 9, 2006, 09:01 PM
Well, I know this is the revolver forum but have to throw in the Kel-Tec .32 auto...I own one and is a great little gun. Light, reliable, 7+1.

Now, onto revolvers. I'm a BIG fan of the S&W 431PD and 432PD, both were .32H&R Mags, very light recoil, balistics close to .38 special, and some 432's came with Crimson Trace laser grips.

I've owned a few Taurus's and a Taurus-built Rossi revolver, and recently bought a really beat-up S&W model 36 snub.38. The Taurus trigger doesn't even come close to the Smith...the S&W is much smoother, breaks more cleanly and staging the trigger is easier. For occasional use, a Taurus 731 would probably be fine...but I like to shoot my carry guns alot and "good enough"...well, just isn't good enough.

wileyj
August 9, 2006, 10:02 PM
Kymasabe,
I understand that SW made wonderful pistols with unbelievably good triggers and the model 36 you got is one.
But new, made in the last 24 months, out of the box, J-frames have terrible triggers. Well maybe SW only put a bad trigger on my 431PD but I doubt that they picked on just me.
All I know right now is that a Taurus J frame type revolver will slick up nicer than the SW real J frame.
The triggers have been called lawyer triggers, just like the funky locking mechanisms that SW has put on their guns.

telomerase
August 9, 2006, 10:02 PM
Tomcat
Kel-Tec

People who rarely shoot are less likely to make mistakes with a revolver (or those who often shoot... a cop just shot through a wall in a hotel around here while he was "practicing his draw", narrowly missing a woman in the next room... he forgot to empty the chamber). Also less likely to limpwrist etc. For an old enthusiast, autos do have advantages. But .32 mag is more powerful than .32 ACP, which makes up for capacity issues.

Can Taurus triggers be fixed? (I once owned a 94 for a short time, and have no good memories of the DA pull). Maybe I should hunt down a 431 or 432PD, though non-stainless finishes scare me.

popeye
August 9, 2006, 11:07 PM
Well I've got a S&W .32 hand ejector I frame, and an I frame Terrier in .38 S&W. I recently got a 632 that I really like. All are carried occasionionally. I know .... so what.

wileyj
August 10, 2006, 11:35 AM
I ordered hammer and trigger springs from Brownells for both the 431PD and the M85UL. I did not go to thelightest springs so as not to hurt reliability. The hammer spring install is simple and the trigger spring is not bad. I had to put on my reading glasses to do it (to see it and of course, eye protection). the spring is small.
I like the 431PD. I have a High Noon Split Decision tuckable holster and it reides very nicely at my 3 to 4 o'clock. I really have not used the tuckable but have tried it. the holster rides low enough to be comfortable and not print with a shirt tail out.
But non the less, the trigger on the 431PD is still harsh. My wife (with some arthritis in her hands) will not use it, preferring her PT111 for carry.

Lonestar
August 11, 2006, 09:53 AM
People who rarely shoot are less likely to make mistakes with a revolver

I agree with that. While I like the Tomcat and the P-32, there are too may possiblies that a person with limited firearms training can make a major mistake with a semi auto when they need it the most. I hate to see grandmom get hurt or killed by a badguy because she forgot to turn off the safety or the gun jammed and she forgot or did not know who to tap/rack. With a revolver you can see that it is loaded and all you need to do it pull the trigger.

You can probably get a Centerfire Taurus's trigger smoothed by a good gunsmith. Rimfires like your 94 need to strike hard so the triggers are allways going to stink, smoothing it out might cause more light strikes.

joneb
August 19, 2006, 12:22 PM
http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976764243.htm

S&Wfan
August 19, 2006, 02:17 PM
My love of shooting centerfire handguns began with a .32 long. It was a single action Colt . . . cheap to shoot, very low recoil, and a real tackdriver! Today, of course, I'm a "S&Wfan!"

I STILL think it is the perfect centerfire round to introduce shooters to centerfire shooting! It is also a PERFECT fit for a small hand and the recoil is low.

Here's my S&W 31-1, with a 4" barrel . . . PERFECT for the shooter in question. Yes, it is an older gun . . . so it is economical . . . and yes, it IS a tackdriver!!!

I'm picturing it alongside my "N" framed Model 25-2 with it's barrel chopped to 3 1/2" for contrast, so you can show the size difference to your friend.

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/246/246167/folders/233364/19748222b.JPG

PS: I also have a Kel-Tec .32. It has 6" accuracy at six feet. That little Model 31-1 easily puts six within an inch at 10 YARDS . . . and a whole lot more dependable and easy for a novice to get into action!

jjohnson
August 19, 2006, 05:58 PM
Something to consider with Grandma.... folks with weak hands often have a hard time cycling an auto to see if there's anything in the chamber.... kind of asking for trouble there. I think I'd get Grandma (if I'd already decided it was going to be a .32) the revolver. I wouldn't worry a lot about concealability, either, if it were going to sit by the nightstand, so maybe a 3 or 4 inch old K-frame or something would be dandy. Make sure you take the old gal out to shoot, though, so she can handle it with a little confidence... it'll probably make her day! :D

telomerase
August 19, 2006, 06:56 PM
maybe a 3 or 4 inch old K-frame or something would be dandy.

K frames can have nice triggers. But they're heavier, and I think the trigger reach is longer than I or J frames, for people with really small hands.

Old Fuff
August 19, 2006, 08:24 PM
K frames can have nice triggers. But they're heavier, and I think the trigger reach is longer than I or J frames, for people with really small hands.

Smith & Wesson K and L frames have identical trigger reach and grip sizes. The I and J-frames are smaller so far as both dimensions are concerned.

The I-frame is almost identical to the "J" but its cylinder is only 1 1/4" long, which makes the revolver seem to be much smaller and lighter.

The difference between the K and L frames is that the L-frame has a larger cylinder window so the top strap is higher when measured from the trigger guard. Of course the "L" has a larger diameter cylinder.

The stocks on pre-war Military & Police revolvers (that became the model 10) were much smaller then the magna-service ones that followed World War Two, and offer an alternative for those with a later version gun and small hands who might consider a K or L frame revolver.

In terms of size and weight, the I-frame with a 3 1/4 to 4 1/4 inch barrel is ideal if the .32 S&W Long/.38S&W chambering is acceptable, and unlike the later J-frame the earlier ones have a leaf mainspring that like the K-frame can be adjusted to offer a lighter, but reliable trigger pull.

In my experience, if grandma gets ahold of a 1903 Hand Ejector you'll have a hard time getting it away from her. :evil:

telomerase
August 19, 2006, 11:10 PM
unlike the later J-frame the earlier ones have a leaf mainspring that like the K-frame can be adjusted to offer a lighter, but reliable trigger pull.

OK, but can't the later I-frames be fitted with replacement coil springs for a lighter pull (and still fire because modern primers are softer)? Is there an advantage to leaf springs?

Old Fuff
August 20, 2006, 01:32 AM
OK, but can't the later I-frames be fitted with replacement coil springs for a lighter pull (and still fire because modern primers are softer)?
The "Improved" I-frame was introduced in 1953 and used a coil mainspring. Those made from 1903 to 1942 and postwar to 1952 had a leaf mainspring. In 1961 the Improved I-frame was discontinued and production continued on the J-frame. As you can see, Improved I-frame's with coil mainsprings are scarce to say the least. Yes, you can change the springs, but first you have to find a revolver... ;)

Is there an advantage to leaf springs?
You bet! Because of the way the spring flexes the weight of the trigger pull increases over about 3/4 of the hammer's travel, and thereafter slightly decreases. Coil springs don't do that.

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