Shot a revolver for the first time.


November 21, 2006, 03:48 AM
I just shot a revolver for the first time the other day. I rented it from the range and it was a S&W 38 special (not sure what model). Anyway to make a long story short, it was fun.

So now I am interested in getting one. I plan to use it only at the range so I don't want a short barrel. I also want something that can shoot a cheaper load ie 38spl. Can someone recommend a good revolver to start off with? Are the S&W 686 with 6" barrel any good?


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November 21, 2006, 04:58 AM
Yes. Buy a 4" or longer Smith and Wesson or Taurus revolver chambered in .357 magnum. Plenty of used Smiths around for cheap, or you can get a brand new taurus for a little bit more. 4" is plenty of fun.

Jim Reaves
November 21, 2006, 08:00 AM
If I could only have one handgun, it would be my S&W 686+. I think that says it all. I have dozens of handguns but the 686 does it all and very well.

Revolver fanatic
November 21, 2006, 08:19 AM
The S&W 686's are nice, but if you enjoy shooting the .38 speacial round the Bargains out there used right now are the model 15's, and these too will see a sharp increase in the future like other vintage S&W revolver's have, but currently they can be had for an average of $250.00 and are an excellent target revolver with super balance. These are .38 special caliber only, and are the shorter version of the famous 6" model 14s called the Target masterpiece. The shorter barrel and baughman front sight are the only differences between the two models and the model 15 is called the combat masterpiece. Revolver Fanatic

November 21, 2006, 08:22 AM
.38/.357 revolvers are addictive. At last count, I have six of them.

November 21, 2006, 09:02 AM
I'm going to go a different route here. I too love a revolver, but the way Sam Colt wanted them to be. I vote for a Single Acton Army. Check out the Ruger Vaqueros, good old cowboy guns. Now if your going to keep it around for home defense, go with a newer design until your more familiar with revolvers. Nothing like that good old slow reload of the SAA

November 21, 2006, 09:11 AM
You noted that it would be a range revolver. I'd rule out .357 as you won't need the power.
What you want is a used K Frame .38 spl. All out of print but available.
A old PPC modified revolver would be nice also.
Look at S&W M-14 or the M-15 in 6" or longer. I have a M-14 8 3/8"
I use it for single action range target shooting only. A great target gun.
A Colt Diamondback would be more expensive but might be just fine.

November 21, 2006, 09:26 AM
Hi F1...

Plan B.... get a good .22 caliber revolver. It will pay for itself in a matter of months if you shoot with any regularity at all and it will allow you to build the mechanical control that produces good shooting and commit it to rote before you add the variable of recoil control.

Just my 2 cents wurff... local opinions may vary. :)

November 21, 2006, 01:28 PM
I like the idea that I can use both 38spl and 357mag on the 686. But I heard that using the 38spl in the 686 is not as accurate due to the shorter casing. Is this true?

November 21, 2006, 05:19 PM
This is where I'd look around for a good used M10 Smith in good shooting shape.

If you want magnum capability, sure, M686/586 or a K frame M66 or M19 or a Taurus equivalent. The Ruger GP100 is another option. I'd want adjustable sights on a .357 range gun so you can regulate it easily for a light .38 or heavy .357 load. Really, no gun collection is complete IMHO without a good .357 4" or 6" DA revolver. they are just so useful as well as fun and accurate.

Yeah, I went through three .357s before I found on a fourth try one that would shoot .38s to my liking. I wouldn't call 'em inaccurate, though. Most any .357 can put good .38 loads into 2.5-3", just that getting 'em down under 2" is hard to do. For some, that's plenty accurate. Me, I wanted better. My M10, a .38 chambered gun built for the .38 on a K frame, puts wadcutters into 1.5" and a good 158 grain SWC into 2" at 25 yards. The bullet has to jump less space out of a .38 case to do its job. I guess since I handload, I could have tried loading light loads in .357 cases, but that can get confusing with two loads using the same bullet and I have .38s to load for, rather be able to shoot my .38 loads well in the .357. I have a Blackhawk that shoots well with both, 6.5" barrel single action and my Taurus M66. I cannot tell you that if you buy a Taurus M66 it will be accurate with .38s, though. It's a gun to gun thing and I got lucky with that little jewel. I really don't know what makes it accurate with wadcutters and my Ruger Security Six, Smith M19, and Rossi M971 all mediocre with .38s. I figure it must be mojo or something. But, there are .357s out there that shoot very well with .38s, just that most don't in my experience. Like I say, it depends on your wants. 3" at 25 yards is plenty good enough groups for practice and self defense. I wanted my .357 to do better, though.

November 21, 2006, 07:35 PM
Shooting a .22LR revolver is fun, but it gets old pretty quickly. You mentioned a Smith 686 and that's a good choice. I personally prefer the older ones with the flash chromed hammers and triggers, but the new ones are okay. I also recommend the Rugers highly.

November 21, 2006, 07:44 PM
I like the idea that I can use both 38spl and 357mag on the 686. But I heard that using the 38spl in the 686 is not as accurate due to the shorter casing. Is this true?

Not in any discernible way. Maybe if you shot it scoped from a bench rest or a vise at 200 yards, you would see a difference. Any revolver that is not broken (misaligned chamber, etc.) shoots any ammo at any distance better than a human that is holding it could aim and pull the trigger. It's not a scoped rifle.

Also, get a 4" barrel 686. For a target range, you do not need the extra power of 6 inches. But it will be much more versatile if your requirements ever change.


November 21, 2006, 07:52 PM
Look for a pre-owned S&W...perhaps something in a 4" model 19 - load, shoot, repeat :cool: Enjoy!

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