What's a good deal in 38/357 used, under $300?


July 11, 2007, 01:36 PM
I'm in the market for another revolver. I already have a Taurus 605 as my CCW. I'd like something with a longer barrel, say 4" or 6". I aim for this to be a "shoot a lot for practice" gun. I practice frequently with my Taurus 605, but ~50 rounds or so is all I can take at a time. I'm thinking a little larger gun, for practice, would let me get in more practice with a revolver. By way of comparison, I can shoot my Taurus 9mm 24/7 all day long and never really tire of it. I'd like to be able to shoot 2 or 3 times as much with the revolver, when practicing, than I do with the snubbie.

I'd prefer a 357, but would consider a 38. I have no more than ~$300 to spend. I could get a new Taurus M65 for just a little bit above this, but would like to consider what I can get used. I'm just real ignorant of all the flavors of S&W's, or whatever else, that might be a good buy, used, given my budget.

FWIW, I'm in central AR. I stopped by a local pawn shop recently, and they had more new guns, than used guns, for sale. There are one or two good gunshops I might look into, but I'd like to be more informed about what to look for, and what is a reasonable price for something used. So I'm looking to be educated.


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July 11, 2007, 02:37 PM
Good used Rugers and Smiths can still be found for under 3 bills. Read the revolver checkout sticky at the top of the page and start looking.

July 11, 2007, 04:06 PM
Guy over at Arizonashooting.com selling a 10-7 for $225. I happen to know that gun, when I sold it about 6 months ago, was in excellent shape.

July 11, 2007, 07:26 PM
For not too much money, maybe two hundred, you can get a Colt Official Police, a good-sized sturdy .38 (that can handle some staggering overloads if you're inclined) with a slick action, really useable fixed sights, and really, really good accuracy.
It's what the Python evolved from, and with either a grip adapter, or even Hogue rubbers if you can stand the sight of them, it'll take care of just about any need you'd ever have.
There's literally a million of them out there, lightly shot but much carried by uncountable thousands of uniform coppers, like my father-in-law. They're tough and reliable (don't fall for that "out of time all the time" stuff- even beaters run almost forever without any significant trouble unless the guts are full of sticky old grease.) I shoot mine hundreds of rounds at a time and have to force myself to stop before I melt something or smoke every Berry's .358 I have.
Oh, did I mention the accuracy? You won't believe your results.
One more- if you're really lucky and can stumble onto a Colt .357 Model, later called the "Trooper", for that $300, you get the same gun jacked up for .357, and with excellent adjustable sights. I landed mine like that, by accident, and it might be the best sixgun I ever had.

July 11, 2007, 07:31 PM
You can't touch a smith around here for less than 3 bills worn out while I've bought two excellent M66 Taurus 357s, a 4" for $200, a 3" (older lockwork) for $180. Both are excellent guns, perfect timing, tight as a drum, and VERY accurate. I'd say look for a Taurus 66 used as a value and use the revolver check out thread to check it before buying, as with any gun, new or used IMHO. My 4" 66 is a gem, nickel finish with nary a blemish except for one slightly faded spot of holster wear on the cylinder that is barely noticeable. The trigger is smooth and light and the gun is accurate as any handgun I've ever fired excepting contenders and M52 and M41 smiths. I'd say, considering the slightly rougher trigger on the older gun, look for a 66 that has the transfer bar lockwork. The older gun has a hammer block rather than the transfer bar. The newer action is smoother.

I've owned a M19 Smith, and, frankly, my 4" Taurus 66 is a more accurate gun. Truth is in the shootin', sold the 19, keeping the 66.


July 11, 2007, 07:46 PM
The reality of used gun shopping is you have to be flexible.

If you go out looking for a used four inch Model 10-5, you will never see one. All you will see are Model 28's and 19's. It will drive you crazy.

Know what you want. You have stated a desire for a used 4 inch .357 magnum for under $300. They are out there, Smiths, Rugers, and others. Keep looking, and when you see one you like, buy it. I recommend a Smith & Wesson. Any Smith in decent shape for under $300 is a deal, you can count on that.

Since we are posting pictures, I'll do the same. Each of these Highway Patrolmen cost under $250. They were purchased a year apart at the same pawn shop.


July 11, 2007, 07:56 PM
It's easy.

I found one for a low price and it took several minutes before I noticed that the police trade-in 66-2 had the right / bottom of the shroud kissed with what I would guess was a 32-grit norton on an industrial grinder. T'weren't a dremel - a dremel would have been a kindness.

I think the right side of the frame/barrel junction was used as a breaching tool.

It shoots like a champ.

I like the forum, so will spare you any pics. I think it was 199.00 Probably overpriced by a C-note at that.

July 11, 2007, 08:26 PM
Ruger security sixes are buildt like tanks and can be found used for around $300.

July 12, 2007, 09:38 AM
Thanks for the replies. I'm going shooting today, and while out, will see what I can find for $300 at the gunshop.

July 12, 2007, 11:03 AM
Searchin's half the fun. :D

July 12, 2007, 11:55 PM
Ruger Speed Sixes and Security Sixes in great condition can be found for under $300. For S&W, good shooter Models 10, 15, 65, 66 & 67. Don't bother looking for Colts, they are all priced by the US Military Procurement Office................

July 13, 2007, 06:17 AM
Don't bother looking for Colts, they are all priced by the US Military Procurement Office................You're kidding, right?

July 13, 2007, 10:31 AM
Stopped at the gunshop where I shoot. They have one of the most extensive selections of used guns around, but I've always thought they were a little overpriced. The only thing they had that was like what I'm looking for was a S&W 65 for $400, and the dealer wasn't interested in a counter offer when I said all I wanted to spend was $300.

Maybe the S&W 65 was worth $400. That's still more than I have.

As for Ruger Security Six's, I've never seen any of these used hereabouts. I think I'm in a pretty bad market, locally, for good deals on used guns. The market seems thin, and everybody seems to want a premium price. That's even true of what I see in the want ads, though if I watch them long enough, and am patient enough, I might find a good deal.

July 13, 2007, 04:17 PM
I would definately attend as many gunshows as you can. I was at one about 6 months ago and there was a booth with 6 Model 65 S&W fo less that $300 used. They were used Police Tradeins. You might find something similar.

July 13, 2007, 11:34 PM
Don't bother looking for Colts, they are all priced by the US Military Procurement Office................
You're kidding, right?

XAVIER Not kidding - serious as a heart attack. Maybe it's a regional thing, but around here heavy-barrelled Colts command a premium compared to Smiths and Rugers. Don't know about the older "pencil" barrels..........

July 13, 2007, 11:58 PM
You're carrying a Taurus as your CCW? Thats like driving a Yugo as a get away car!

July 14, 2007, 08:30 AM
You're carrying a Taurus as your CCW? Thats like driving a Yugo as a get away car!Since this is the high road, no comment.

July 14, 2007, 02:02 PM
a used revolver for under $300...a rusty ole' Taurus that would be a good door stop :evil::D

just joshing...I wish that such an animal could be found in my neck of the woods...Rugers are high 3's and low 4's depending on fit and finish; I don't even look at Smiths...the older they are, the higher the price they bring

eg: last year got a used Ruger stainless 6" GP-100 circa 1996...$400; yesterday got a used Ruger stainless 4" GP-100 circa 2001...$400; same shop @ 1 year apart...the 4" had more cosmetic flaws; mentioned about condition vs price to the owner (a good aqauintence) and he stated market conditions changing and prices going up...he threw in a box of ammo at no extra charge

at least I got some lead to shoot out of it

July 14, 2007, 03:54 PM
I agree with the posters that say $300 357 magnums are out there but they are not as common as they were even a year ago. Buying used revolvers at a good price is a matter of being in the right gun shop at the right time with the money. My list of guns to consider: Ruger Security six usually found with 4" barrels fixed sights but 6" and adjustables on occasion. They are generally blued and some people only want stainless so they can be had for the right price on occasion. Colt Trooper Mk V can on occasion be found in that price range. People look at the pythons and King Cobras around here and occasionaly don't notice the blue Mk V which are the same action as the King Cobra. Dan Wesson 357s can be found in blue and stainless for that kind of money. They are quality, durable revolvers with adjustable sights, but are often overlooked because they went out of business for a while. Their main claim to fame was they are easy to switch barrels on and you will find most of them with 6" barrels though they made barrels from 14" to 2".

July 14, 2007, 04:10 PM

Hmmm.....available....need some work... Xavier Breath, 5 inch 10-5.

July 14, 2007, 05:32 PM
A local dealer had new blued 4" Taurus 66's (7-shot .357M) for $319 last year. Oddly, especially from me, an S&W-lover of the first order, the one a friend bought - against my advice - is great. It broke in well - and responded quite well to a couple of Wolff springs - very reliable. Admittedly, the old friend uses it for .38's - plinking and home defense - but it has been very reliable. Gasp, I offer a Taurus 66 as a good example of an affordable revolver.


PS A decent used S&W 10/64/67 can be had in that $300 range, too.

Vern Humphrey
July 14, 2007, 05:45 PM
From www.gunsamerica.com

COLT OFFICIAL POLICE (Gun Number: 976677484) Classified Ad
Colt Double Action Revolvers- Modern

Seller: Bromleys Gun Shop (FFL Dealer) $289.
Mark III Metropolitan 38 $250 (Gun Number: 976741255) Classified Ad
Colt Double Action Revolvers- Modern
This is a Colt Metropolitan Mark III in .38 Special. It has Beautiful Blueing (colse to 99%)but some wear at the muzzle, and most of the case hardenin ...(read more)

Seller: Tim@JBA (FFL Dealer) $250.00

Police Positive (Gun Number: 976793082) Classified Ad
Colt Double Action Revolvers- Modern
38 S&W,same as new police except for poitive lock feature,with holster,80%

Seller: Freemans sport shop (FFL Dealer) $300.00

Pocket Positive (Gun Number: 976803358) Classified Ad
Colt Double Action Revolvers- Modern
Colt Pocket Positive .32 revolver. Round-butt frame/grips, 2 1/2" barrel. Finish is well worn/patina and grips have been re-finished. There i ...(read more)

Seller: Mike Bailey (FFL Dealer) $175.00
(I know you said .38 Special or .357, but this is a really good deal.)
Police positive (Gun Number: 976806869) Classified Ad
Colt Double Action Revolvers- Modern
38 spl.4",90% sn 280XXX

Seller: Freemans sport shop (FFL Dealer) $250.00
POLICE POSITIVE (Gun Number: 976810353) Classified Ad
Colt Double Action Revolvers- Modern
Seller: traderritch (FFL Dealer) $275.00
My local FFL here in Mountain View charges $10 for doing a transfer for me.

July 15, 2007, 10:10 AM
I saw two reasonably decent 4" m-13s at the gunshow in Norcross, GA yesterday. They were DAO police trade-ins and were marked at $269. The place was packed, so they will probably get what they're asking.

July 15, 2007, 02:35 PM
I just sold a 13 (same as the 65 but in blue) for $275. I think your dealer is overpriced by about $100 at least.

A used Colt or S&W 38 for 3Cs is a snap. A Magnum is a little tougher.

Let's see, I got this 1968 Colt Trooper 357 at a show about 6 months ago for $210 so I guess it can be done.


Don't forget to check the Internet auction sites GunBroker.com and AuctionArms.com. I buy most of my guns from GB. All you need is a local dealer willing to do the transfer for a reasonable fee ($20-$25) and keep shipping and transfer cost in mind when bidding. The home pages for both sites have lists of local FFLs who will do the deal for you. I suspect your dealer with the $400 M65 won't transfer or will want too much if he will.

Last year I bought a Model 28 with a 4" barrel for $260. Came to around $305 with shipping and transfer fees added.

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