Legendary or Hi-tech wheelguns?


Mr. Magnum
April 23, 2007, 12:01 PM
Its just another fun thread for me knowing opinions on why others prefer the ol' classic DA
over the new ones regardless of caliber and frame size.

For me I love both classic and modern sixguns.


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April 23, 2007, 12:37 PM
Sorry, that is just weird :(

How would you find a holster for that thing ?????

April 23, 2007, 12:59 PM
I've got a safe full of S&W revolvers and NONE of them is newer than the early '80s, if that.

1. I WON'T own a gun with a lock, PERIOD.
2. I don't like the absence of square butt grip frames. Too big, uncomfortable wooden grips, square at the bottom, are NOT the same thing as a square butt.
3. I don't like stainless steel. I only tolerate it when absolutely necessary, like when I couldn't find a 3" Model 13 but got a great deal on a Model 65.
4. A barrel shroud that's not part of an interchangeable barrel system (like Dan Wesson's) is pointless.
5. I don't get worked up about MIM parts, but I prefer forged.

Give me my 3" Model 13 or a 4" Model 29-2 any day.

April 23, 2007, 01:37 PM
I guess if someone gave me that "Buck Rogers 625 Optically Enhanced Eludium Intergalactic Blaster", I probably wouldn't turn it down. And I'd know what my next trade would be. joe

April 23, 2007, 01:39 PM
That's just wrong... :D If you're going to war, get a machine gun or a phazer!!:rolleyes:

Ok so I'm an opinionated old phart!!

I still ain't sure that caplocks will replace flintlocks!!!:evil:

April 23, 2007, 01:49 PM
With wheelguns, simple is better. The most advanced designs are actually found in the Security Six line and the GP-100 line. I don't think there are any high tech advancements that benefit wheelguns. Even the use of titanium and scandium are fads IMHO. Steel is better, because you need that weight to control recoil.

Deer Hunter
April 23, 2007, 01:56 PM
I love what S&W is doing with their wheelguns. Some people should really try to embrace change.

April 25, 2007, 07:20 AM
My personal opinion is; that revolver is absurd. Most "Ninja warriors" use autoloaders with lasers/optics (which I wouldn't own either).

April 25, 2007, 09:43 AM
I pretty much stick with the legendary, myself. But, to each his own. :)

April 25, 2007, 09:54 AM
I like to keep my feet in planted in both worlds. I see purpose in the revolver pictured, people often throw around the "Mall Ninja" moniker when they don't like of don't understand why....but I also like the classic lines of a Ruger Blackhawk....There's nothing wrong with embracing the past while accepting the present, (in fact it's healthy). I have a J-Frame Smith and Wesson 642CT. Classic looks with modern features. Awesome.

Old Fuff
April 25, 2007, 10:24 AM
The Old Fuff, who has been stuck in time since the '50s (that 1850's) :D

Tends to prefer the older stuff. Somehow a tactical revolver doesn't seem to equate what he uses a wheelgun for. I also believe that on average the classic revolvers represent better workmanship and quality - not because of the manufacturers, but because 21st century maufacturing economics require the cost-cutting steps if they are going to stay in business, and the anti-gunners have been able to force them to incorporate things like locks, through lawsuits and political activity. Be that as it may, I can avoid 21st century reality by going back to a better time.

But it's getting expensive. Last weekend www.armsbid.com held a big auction, with a lot of classic model 36, 37, 42, 48, 19, 28, 29, 58, etc. revolvers, some of which were like-new/in-box. The winning bids have just been posted, and for this old-timer some of them are a major shock! :eek:

It looks to me like some folks are voting with their pocketbooks. :uhoh:

April 25, 2007, 10:40 AM
a shrouded barrel on a revolver is easier to make, and represents a 10 to 25% cost reduction on that component.

Cutting something the length is drastically easier than timing two different threads within a few tenths.

Old Fuff
April 25, 2007, 11:44 AM
A shrouded barrel on a revolver is easier to make, and represents a 10 to 25% cost reduction on that component.

Absolutely true, especially if the shroud is made from an excrusion. And similar cost reductions can be associated with MIM lockwork, and matt-finished stainless steel or aluminum in place of highly polished, blued, carbon steel.

The thing is though, I still prefer revolvers that are blued, have one-piece barrels, and "real-steel" lockwork. I fully understand the economic realities that dictate current manufacturing methods, but I also know that I can still buy what I like, although it's starting to be more expensive. Also I'm not likely to find an older gun with a built-in accessory rail... oh darn! ;)

April 25, 2007, 03:15 PM
I love what S&W is doing with their wheelguns. Some people should really try to embrace change.

I don't. S&W is turning serious revolvers into fun guns. Their "tactical" wheelguns are about as impractical as you can imagine. They won't even fit in a holster. They also use a lot of plastic parts and alloys to reduce weight. A true tactical revolver would be a S&W Model 19 or a Security Six--simple, all-steel, rugged and pretty much bullet proof. The Rugers in particular are easy to field strip.

April 25, 2007, 05:33 PM
I really dislike all of the American revolver makers for different reasons.

I'd like to take the Colt's executives up to a monitor with Gunbroker auctions on it and rub their faces into it until they totally get how much pristine Detective's Specials, Agents and Cobras fetch. When they get that, rub their faces in it again when we see what Magnum Carry examples, King Cobras and Anacondas in great shape can fetch. Some of those models were "redesigned" to make them less expensive to produce and I cannot help but to think that if they'd only totally commit to modern manufacturing that they could do pretty well for themselves.

As to S&W, the locks on the M&P autos are entirely optional. How hard could it be to run California model revolvers and non-California models sans lock? I am not an engineer, but it seems that if one makes a program that omits the hole and a MIM form for the locking work that omits the tab that actually locks the piece, one could make internally identical revolvers that only lock in runs with the correct hole and tab in them.

The other thing about S&W is exemplified by the post modern revolver pictured above: They Buck Rodgered the look but it's still the same old tired sideplated revolver. It's cosmetic engineering. With all of the experience and all of the computer power and manufacturing ability on hand at S&W they are seriously telling the world that they can create a sooper-dooper world class duty pistol from a more or less clean sheet design, but they cannot ACTUALLY improve upon a dawn of the 20th Century DA revo design?

I would think that a truly postmodern "combat revolver" would be a cleverly designed piece that had gone through multiple stages of developmental teething, that produced something groundbreaking. How about a thoroughly modern solid frame top break auto ejector? Impossible? Then how about something remarkable like a solid frame, crane operated auto ejector? Not enough imagination is going on when the mock-ups can all be analyzed in software.

A lack of imagination and market responsiveness is the calling card at Ruger too. They still won't sell parts. The GP-100 and the SP-101 have been essentially unchanged since the 80s. Ruger has the clean sheet revolver design and don't have to be wedded to something like S&W's flat main spring. They also have the very facilities and capabilities to produce items we will likely never see.

I'd carry a titanium SP-101 tomorrow if I could buy one. Heck, if that is too tough, Scandium alloy is not a trade secret. People have been clamoring for a five shot GP-100 in .41 Magnum or .44 Special for years. Nothing.

I realize that revolver buyers are usually traditionalists, but still, if there is going to be some innovation, make it some real innovation and not a coat of paint and a 1913 rail or two for crying out loud.

Taurus and Charter have had their moments of innovation, but their execution is too lacking for me to care.

April 25, 2007, 06:42 PM
The GP-100 and the SP-101 have been essentially unchanged since the 80s.
Well, maybe that's because they are good designs and people are happy with them ;)

One thing that I would like to see Ruger make is a "Super" Single Six in .357 magnum (well I guess the "anniversary" Blackhawk fit that description but they only made it for one year, right...?)

April 25, 2007, 06:53 PM
Well, I have one of those GP-100s and am well satisfied with it. I did remove the safety paragraph though, which didn't seem to harm anything.;)

That said, there really isn't anything stopping Ruger from offering the SP-101 in exotic metal flavorings other than corporate inertia.

April 25, 2007, 07:01 PM
I don't want to derail the thread, so first let me give my take on Ruger, and then I will get to the OP's question.

Ruger is way behind it filling niche markets. They need a lighter model of the SP101, as well as one with an internal hammer like the S&W 640. I would love to see that. If they brought out shrouded hammer models it would not kill them either. You wanna say that they are built to be super tough so lighter models won't work? fine. But at least internal/shrouded hammers! C'mon!!! You are supposed to be catering to the CCW crowd with that gun!!!
Why don't they have the option of night sights on ANY of their revolvers?eh?
People went gaga for their target grey finish that they did the special run on with their GP's and SP's. WHY NOT CONTINUE?!?!? And while they are at it, why not bring back the 9mm SP-101's that people loved so much and are now paying a $150 premium over the .38/.357 models?
I've got a whole bunch more problems with the limitations of their product line, but they are not revolver related, so I'll shut up.

That being said, I love the grace of the older revolvers. I don't like pencil barrels. They feel flimsy, don't point nicely for me, and don't look right (all purely subjective). But I do love the look of my 1973 S&W 19-3. What a beautiful gun. It points perfectly, is magnificently built, and overall, a wheel-gun lover's wet dream.
On the other hand, I LOVE the ruggedness of my SP-101 3". Perfect little gun. I like the modern gun's more rugged designs.
Over-all, i think i like the older guns better, and i like shooting them better. but I take more comfort in putting lots of rounds through newer guns.

Nomad, 2nd
April 25, 2007, 07:17 PM
If you want a .41 GP-100 and are willing to pay the price, talk to this guy:

I've got a couple examples of his work... I'm impressed.

tasco 74
April 26, 2007, 02:56 AM
that smith is fugly and wierd........ i'll keep my 1968 vintage s&w model 27-2 6" classic thank you......... that is a beautiful revolver!!

April 26, 2007, 03:03 AM
The only thing I want Ruger to do is start making the Six line again. A titanium SP101 completely misses the point.

April 26, 2007, 03:05 AM
S&W Model 19, pinned and recessed in Nickel.. My father the gunsmith did a forcing cone job on the barrel, worked the trigger over a bit and it's one fast shootin, metal plate killing machine.

April 26, 2007, 09:27 AM
Don't know if I would call them ledgendary but this old nicked and dinged model 10 is still one of my favorites.


And I've even got one of those new fangled stainless guns.


Old Fuff
April 26, 2007, 10:05 AM

I don't like pencil barrels. They feel flimsy, don't point nicely for me, and don't look right

The advantage of the old "pencil barrels" isn't the barrel so much as the front sight. On fixed-sight guns it allows the shooter to hold up the front sight in the rear sight notch and make effective long range shots. (I define long range to mean 100 yards and more.)

Now days long range to many shooters seems to be 15 yards and sometimes less. Under those circumstances the pencil barrel/high front sight combination doesn't matter. Be that as it may, old-time shooters were a different breed. ;)

April 26, 2007, 10:20 AM
The revolver pictured in the OP was written up about in one of the gun rags recently although I don't remember which. They were saying how some of the NY City Emergency Response Teams (or w/e special name they call their SWAT teams so as not to scare the sheaple) has adopted this revolver for its CQB use. Basicly they were saying that 8 shots of .357 would be enough for anyone that well trained and that the revolver was more dependable yada yada yada, couldn't come out of battery and perps would not be able to hold the slide in order to disable the handgun. I guess that makes sense. They were saying that the low tech stuff was the most reliable but needed to be meshed with high tech things like lights and lasers. Still makes good sense I suppose.
How would you find a holster for that thing ?????
The article talked about that too. Evidently their is a holster being used for exactly this model weapon and all of it's toys.

April 26, 2007, 10:20 AM
It is hard to beat a blued model 14 for pure beauty. All the old Smiths and Colts with their deep blues were things of beauty. That new fangled S&W does look kind of cool in a way, not particularly functional, but cool. :)

Sans the light and with this non bulky Ultra Dot L/T (http://www.ultradotwest.com/ultra_dot_west_web_site_2006_006.htm) it would be more functional.

April 26, 2007, 10:29 AM
I previously owned both a S&W 1911 and .45ACP revolver with scandium frames. They were both well made guns that performed exactly like they should have IMO. I have replaced them with an all-steel SW1911 and all-steel .45ACP revolver and am much happier. Steel just works better for me because of the heft. Plus, I really prefer the looks of steel guns.

April 26, 2007, 12:31 PM
Old Fuff- I wasn't doubting the accuracy of pencil barrels. Just remarking that they don't balance or look right to me. Simply subjective. I just like the balance of the heavier barrel like i have on my 19-3.

Cosmoline- I didn't say titanium SP-101. Just a little lighter on one of the hammerless models, so that it could be better for pocket carry. OTOH, i realize that it defeats the "tank" purpose of the SP-101. I wouldn't get one, nor even like the idea. I just figured it's a niche market they haven't tapped. Kinda like a striker-fired high-cap semi-auto.

The other thing Ruger needs to make again is a semi-underlug 6" GP-100.
But at least I saw on their website earlier today that they have brought out the SP101 with crimson trace grips. So perhaps they are learning.

April 26, 2007, 01:07 PM
The only thing I want Ruger to do is start making the Six line again. A titanium SP101 completely misses the point.

Completely misses the point of what exactly? The SP-101 is not terribly larger than a J-Frame, a Colt DS, or a Charter Undercover, but is heavier. The SP-101 is great for shooting full house magnums, but there is not any reason why it could not also be made in a variant more difficult to shoot punishing loads with but be able to pocket carry the piece far more easily than the all steel model.

Ruger lost money on every Security Six ever made because the design required too much hand fitting. What should they do about reintroducing it profitably?

April 26, 2007, 01:26 PM
The weight and balance of the SP are the point. It's the smallest size revolver you can still blast out proper magnums with. It was never intended for pocket carry, unless we're talking about the pocket of a big winter coat. When you start making 16 oz pocket magnums you're entering the realm of fun guns for people who aren't serious shooters. Ruger won't go there, and I respect them for that. Their revolvers are still made for shooting.

Old Fuff
April 26, 2007, 03:22 PM
Of all the handgun companies, Ruger had, and probably still has, more experience in fabricating Titanium then any other - not because they built guns out of the stuff, but because of the many other products they made out of this material.

And Bill Ruger Sr. decided that Titanium handguns represented a direction he didn't want to go. He foresaw problems that he didn't want to get into.

The company's culture is such that they don't feel the need to match every competitor's products, model by model. They make what they see as being right for what they do. This of course is going to make some folks unhappy.

Ruger is also one of the few companies left that doesn't have substantial debt - which is to say they don't run on borrowed money. They expand when the feel ready to do so, and can do it out of their own pocket.

They are also not completely focused on handguns because they build rifles and shotguns as well.

Both the GP-100 and SP-101 were designed to do a certain thing, and do it well. I think it’s unlikely we’ll see any radical changes or expansion of material options in either model. But I could be wrong… Bill Sr. is no longer around. Those that knew him will understand what I’m saying.

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