Help me choose a revolver for my father


March 21, 2007, 01:58 PM
My dad has only owned one firearm in his life, I know that it was a S&W... thats it. He sold it upon the birth of my older brother.

Fast forward... I have convinced him to purchase another firearm, he is set on a revolver, I only know autos. Of course it would be wise to tell you, he is the cheapest person ever. :neener: I tried to get across to him that a tool which could very well save your life warrants some money being spent. No go. Anyhow, it will be used for home defense, hiking, and camping... I consider him purchasing a gun a victory in itself so I'm not going to push him to get an XD or something I know a little better. I just need some suggestions. Less than $300 would be great, no caliber preference at this point, not too harsh though... can this be had?

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March 21, 2007, 02:43 PM
How about a S&W K frame? I picked up a model 15 for $239 and it shoots so accurate that it's scary.

March 21, 2007, 02:59 PM
Police surplus K frames and K frame magnums are one of the best deals going now.

March 21, 2007, 03:35 PM
So I have concluded from the S&W site that K frame is medium size frame. OK.

Now, is the model 15 discontinued? Because I see nothing of the sort on the website, and all of the K frames are $600 and up.

March 21, 2007, 03:44 PM
For that kind of money look for a Ruger Security or Service or Speed Six in good shape. The Securitys have adjustable sights, the Speeds don't. Usual barrrel length is 4", some longer, but the Speeds can be had in ~3". Some of the Services have heavy barrels. Lots of variety out there. Some are blue, some are SS. Doesn't matter if in good shape. Great guns, all models. Shoot .357 mag, practice with .38 Special. Check out gun Shops, pawn shops, and gun shows.
Here's an article on them:

March 21, 2007, 04:22 PM
First thing is to find a revolver that your father is comfortable with by renting them at gun ranges and then narrow it down by price if that is going to be the ultimate requirement. Besides the aforementioned places also check out the auction sites like and

March 21, 2007, 06:01 PM
Take your dad to at least check out some guns at a shop/range, even if you don't plan on buying there, to see what fits him.

I imagine a K-frame would work out nice, or a Ruger Security six. You said in your first post you wanted something that won't recoil too much either, so don't worry about it being a .357 mag. A .38 special K-frame sized gun with a 3-4" barrel that's made of steel, will have little recoil with most +P rated .38 ammo.

You will also be able to find this gun for $300 or less if you look just a little. Here are some examples below, good luck...

March 21, 2007, 06:23 PM
Thanks for all the help guys! I'm going to take all the suggestions and we are going to take a look at them in person. If you have any more, feel free to add, as we won't go look until the weekend.


March 21, 2007, 09:11 PM
+1 to what applekev and Cosmoline said. The .38 Special S&W Model 15 is ideal. Yes, they are only available as used guns, but the quality is top-notch. They are worth shopping for.

I consider the Model 15 the best revolver ever made for the casual gun owner.

March 21, 2007, 10:03 PM
Hun, It's hard to pick a gun out for someone else. Peoples likes and dislikes are as varied as the different types, sizes, colors and calibers available. Consider taking your dad out so he can pick his own. Make a day of it. It's always neat when our family unit goes and shares their likes and dislikes in a few sporting good stores. :)

March 21, 2007, 10:48 PM
I, too, would suggest a used S&W K frame.

March 21, 2007, 11:26 PM
Ruger stainless Speed-Six w/2.75-inch barrel and Pachmayr round butt grips. No better gun for the money. It's cheaper than the K-frame Smiths, better, and it has the round butt, which makes it easier to shoot and to pack.

March 22, 2007, 12:01 AM
Keep in mind that in factory configuration, many people find K-frame stocks too small. But don't let that be a barrier. You can't put small stocks on a big frame revolver, but you can put larger stocks on a K-Frame or Security Six. I like the Hogue combat grips for shooting magnum loads. There are also special grip extenders to give more surface area to grab. Or even big "Coke bottle" grips.

March 22, 2007, 12:04 AM
I see S&W police trade-ins at the $240-ish range...some holster wear but functionally fine.

March 22, 2007, 12:29 AM
get him a lil snub nose .38 special

March 22, 2007, 05:10 PM
Any used S&W K frame or Ruger Service/Speed/Security-Six will serve him well and a reasonable price too. (don't forget to do the checks before you buy)

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