Suggestions wanted for my first revolver!


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storm shadow
May 7, 2007, 11:22 PM
I am thinking of getting a Smith and Wesson revolver for my first handgun. I like the versatility of the .38/.357 lineup in that you can shoot .38, .38+p, and even .357 Magnum loads all through the same gun (target practice with the .38 and then later put .38+p or .357 in it for personal defense).

I intend to keep the gun under my car seat for personal defense and for taking it the range for target practice.

For a guy, I have very small hands, wrists and arms (think of a woman's small hands, wrists and arms and you are about right).

Still, the J frames (small) seem kind of too small. And the K and L frames (medium) seem kind of too big to me. Doesn't somebody manufacture a revolver frame in between these two extremes?

Maybe I should split the difference and go with one of the heavier J frames or a lighter K or L frame. I know shooting a .357 cartridge has a vicious recoil to it. If I do this, what will the differences be in kick if both guns have a 3" barrel? Will there be that much difference or will they be about the same? Should I just go ahead and bite the bullet (no pun intended) and get a heavier K or L frame in the hopes that it's heavier frame weight will dampen the recoil for me? Or should I go with the J frame since it might be closer to my hand and wrist size and fit my hands better for better overall control? Should I get a 2", 3" or 4" barrel?

Any and all suggestions welcome.

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The Undertoad
May 7, 2007, 11:24 PM
Have you looked at a Ruger SP101?

ArchAngelCD
May 7, 2007, 11:28 PM
I also like S&W revolvers but in your case I think a 3 1/16" Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum might be just perfect for your needs. It is a little larger than a J frame but not as large as a K frame. It's also heavier than a J frame which will help you with recoil. I feel it would be a good choice for you. http://www.ruger-firearms.com/Firearms/FAProdView?model=5719&return=Y

EDIT:
LOL. I took too long to finish my post and The Undertoad beat me!!

Nomad, 2nd
May 7, 2007, 11:29 PM
K frame, barrel length of your choice.

Ala Dan
May 7, 2007, 11:38 PM
How 'bout an older (used, but not abused) Ruger Security-Six with a 4"
barrel, and the small factory wooden grips? It should fit you really well. ;)

BullfrogKen
May 7, 2007, 11:44 PM
Colt's Detective Special fell right in the middle between the J and K frames. Unfortunately, its no longer produced. And those who have them really aren't fond of giving them up. Colt did produce a Magnum Carry for a short time, and they demand a collector's premium to acquire.

I have J frames, K frames and now 2 Colt D frames. Of all, I like the Colts the most. Then again, that's just me and my preferences.

storm shadow
May 8, 2007, 01:12 AM
Great ideas so far. Thanks. The Ruger SP 101 is now in the running. I will have to go look at one.

What is the difference between the Ruger Security Six and the Ruger Police Service Six? Or are they the same guns? How much are these currently going for, any ideas?

ABCDE
May 8, 2007, 01:27 AM
I would go with a K or L frame Smith and swap the grips to fit your hand.

M92FS
May 8, 2007, 01:27 AM
quote by storm shadow : What is the difference between the Ruger Security Six and the Ruger Police Service Six? Or are they the same guns? How much are these currently going for, any ideas?


the Ruger Police Service Six is simply the Security Six with slightly modified grips and with a sighting groove in the backstrap instead of a separate rear sight, a modification intended for rapid combat firing at short range and avoid getting the sights deranged by careless insertion into the holster or other rough handling.It was widely adopted by L.E.O. in the past.

Cosmoline
May 8, 2007, 01:37 AM
Try a Ruger Security Six. They are K frame size, but have thinner stocks.

How much are these currently going for, any ideas?

$200 to $250 for the standard Security Sixes. Usually a bit more for Speed Sixes or Service Sixes. Prices are going up.

ugaarguy
May 8, 2007, 01:40 AM
I would go with a K or L frame Smith and swap the grips to fit your hand.
I agree. S&W has taken to shipping their Ks & Ls with big honkin Hogue monogrips of late. I find the Pachmayr Compac Professional to be a great grip that truly feels mid sized.

ArchAngelCD
May 8, 2007, 01:52 AM
Here are a few pictures of a Police Service-Six:

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/ArchAngelCD/service6-1.jpg

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/ArchAngelCD/service6-9.jpg

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/ArchAngelCD/service6-6.jpg

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/ArchAngelCD/service6-7.jpg

BusMaster007
May 8, 2007, 01:57 AM
Ruger GP-100 in either 3" or 4" bbl. would be a fine choice.
MediumLarge Frame with 6-shots and a strong design.
.357 is a great choice, too.
Have fun!:)

glockman19
May 8, 2007, 03:10 AM
For a first Revolver I'd get a Ruger GP100 or SP101 or S&W 686 all with a 4" or 5" barrel.

Ala Dan
May 8, 2007, 04:42 AM
The Ruger Security-Six had an adjustable rear sight, whereas the Speed Six
and Service Six did not~! :eek: ;) :D

Bezoar
May 8, 2007, 11:03 AM
go find a gun dealer that will let you shoot the revolvers, thats the best way to know if it will work for you or not.

1 LT MPC
May 8, 2007, 12:17 PM
First revolver--model 10 Smith.

wildfowl
May 8, 2007, 12:18 PM
Get a Smith and then get grips that you feel more comfortable with. They are not expensive and you will get a FINE gun with a Smith!

DogBonz
May 8, 2007, 01:14 PM
I agree. S&W has taken to shipping their Ks & Ls with big honkin Hogue monogrips of late. I find the Pachmayr Compac Professional to be a great grip that truly feels mid sized.

The Pachmayr grips make a world of difference.

Also, check out the SP101.

storm shadow
May 8, 2007, 01:46 PM
Thanks for the pictures of that nice Police Service Six. I did some research and checked the dimensions on that gun. It seems like it was just made for my hand (smaller than the Smith K or L's but bigger than the J's). Perfect! That's just what I had in mind. Your pictures appears to be a 3" barrel blued model but every picture I've seen so far is of a 4" stainless steel model. For my application, a 3" barrel would be ideal if I could find it in stainless steel. Is there even such a thing? If not, I would have to settle on a 4" model.

What are some other makes and models in a police service revolvers that I can check and compare the dimensions on? The market seems to be chock full of these police turn-ins since every cop in the land foolishly traded in these fine He-Man revolvers for a small black plastic toy gun several years ago. ;)

colt1911fan
May 8, 2007, 01:58 PM
i know this is kind of weird but you mentioned that you have smaller hands and wrists than usual, if you like smith and wesson alot, you should go with a lady smith, they're lighter and smaller than the regular ones, just a suggestion, also look at taurus and rossi thay have some decent ones

ArchAngelCD
May 8, 2007, 05:00 PM
storm shadow,
I figured the pictures would be better than trying to tell you the difference in size compared to a J and K/L frame.

Actually, Ruger made their short barrel revolver in 2.75", just long enough for a full length ejector rod. I think they did make the 2.75" in Stainless but I'm not totally sure. I wasn't looking for another revoilver when I found that one but couldn't resist. I know they made the Speed-Six in 2.75" Stainless and here is an example: http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=71473855 That model happens to be a .38 Special, my revolver is a .357 Magnum. I'm sure if you look around you can find one in .357 Magnum.

The Speed-Six is the same exact gun as the Service-Six except it has a round butt where as the Service-Six has a square butt.

The Lone Haranguer
May 8, 2007, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by storm shadow:
And the K and L frames (medium) seem kind of too big to me. Doesn't somebody manufacture a revolver frame in between these two extremes?

No. When talking about K and L frames, the grip size and trigger reach is the same; only the frames, cylinders and barrels are different. Virtually all of these revolvers produced in about the last dozen years or so have the "round" butt. Select a grip that doesn't cover the backstrap of the frame (but does fill in the area of the front of the frame under the trigger guard) and you will have a comfortable reach to the trigger. Such grips include (but are not limited to) the Uncle Mike's/Butler Creek "boot grips," Pachmayr Compac Professional, etc.

Unless it is to be used strictly for training with nothing but 125-grain magnums, I would be happy with an adjustable sighted K-frame.

crebralfix
May 8, 2007, 09:13 PM
sheesh...K frame *too big*??!?!

And just think, I was going to suggest an N-frame!

Sistema1927
May 8, 2007, 09:49 PM
Base upon what you said about grip size, I would suggest that you see if you can handle a square butt J frame. You won't find a new gun with one, but there are some nice older ones out there. I picked up a mint square butt 37 a couple of years ago for $200, and it is just about perfect with the stock magna grips and a Tyler T-Grip.

Gideon
May 8, 2007, 10:17 PM
a BIG plus one on the Ruger SP101. I have exactly the hands you describe. I can actually curl up my grip and get everything on a J frame. The next size up is "okay" and I could make it work but the trigger reach just isn't ideal.

Then I tried the Ruger SP101. When trying to decide between the 2" vs 3" barrel vs I went with the 3" barrel because I was going to use this for home defense or even a knocking around the woods gun.

At the range, regular .38's a pure pleasure to shoot, almost no recoil at all. Even .38+ P Speer Gold Dots aren't bad at all and are an ideal defensive round. With regular .357's it's stout and I found the frame and trigger guard to be a bit short. The gun benefits from a "melt" job. It is something you can do or give to a gunsmith to accomplish.

Mine is very accurate, now for one more thought...

Ruger used to make the SP101 in 9mm. If I could ever find one of those, I'd definitely want that one. Recoil would be nominal to non-existent and it would be the cheapest round for lot's of range/woods fun while still being a good defensive round.

Anyway, I think for the money and for the type of use you're talking about they're just about perfect. They can be carried IWB or OWB if you ever want to. I'd recommend a K&D Eagle Defender for OWB carry at the range or in the woods. I haven't settled on the right IWB yet.

Some will recommend the 2" but for a truck/woods/OWB/range type gun the extra inch does make a difference and it looks good.

God Bless
Gideon

jod78
May 9, 2007, 11:05 PM
i have a stainless Ruger GP100 with a 6" barrel. I wouldn't say my hands are small, but they are definitely not large. i have a hogue rubber grip on it. very comfortable to shoot, a lot of fun to shoot as well. as far as recoil...it doesn't matter what I shoot out of it, even the hotter .357 rounds are very comfortable to shoot. shooting 38's out of this gun is just child's play as far as recoil goes. that is why I like the full size model.

don95sml
May 10, 2007, 06:22 PM
From reading your post, I believe my hands are about the same size as yours. My recommendation would be a S&W model 60 (J-frame). Mine is stainless steel with a 3" barrel and adjustable sights. Since the model 60 is relatively heavy as small revolvers go, the recoil of stout .38 +P rounds is not bothersome. Although chambered for .357 Magnum, I haven't yet tried that round because I feel that I don't need it for self defense. And at the range, adjustable sights are a real benefit. This gun is my constant companion in the door pocket of my car.

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