Holy Smokes!! My wife wants a revolver! Help pick.....


Gary in Pennsylvania
August 3, 2008, 10:07 PM
Of all the people to express that they would like their own firearm for carry or when I'm away on travel......My wife.

She's a dainty gal with no tough 'Tom Boy' in her at all.

I know I've got to get her to a shop to 'feel test' some out.....but I'm thinking a 2" SP-101 with .38spl. The SP is still fanny-pack or ourse size....but heft enough to tame felt recoil.

Please share.....do your wives carry revolvers?? What types? Orrrrrr....THR Gals...what are you carrying? What feels good for you??


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August 3, 2008, 10:51 PM
Gary, the SP-101 is an excellent revolver. The primary concern here would be the weight of the beast. Even a 2" SP-101 is a hefty piece.

My wife is a small gal - and she expressed that even a steel J-frame (weighing a meager 17oz) would be too much for her to carry - so I picked up a S&W Model 37. Weighing in at 14oz, it's a super carry gun. Of course, the problem you run into is recoil. The first time I ran the gun I tried shooting 158gr metal casing non +P cartridges. NOT FUN. Painful, in fact.

After much thought and a long conversation with Old Fuff, I decided to try some .38 148-gr wadcutters. What a difference! The gun is superbly controllable now. I'm not worried about my wife carrying 'just' wadcutters, as she is starting to spend a lot more time practicing. Plus, anything that is going to expand coming out of a 2" barrel is going to have to be pretty high pressure, so a small steel J-frame isn't going to be much better.

That said, if this is going to be your wife's gun and she is going to actually carry it, I would highly suggest you take her and let her hold the gun - ask her how she will carry it. If she is ok with the weight, then there really isn't much reason to stray from the SP-101 - it will be a fine choice. My choice would be a DAO .38, maybe a .327.

August 3, 2008, 11:01 PM
The weight of an SP101 is an overrated factor. It weighs a little more than a comparable Smith, but it's not like it's a boat anchor or anything like that.

A 2" SP101 .357 (which of course can be used like it's a .38) would be a superb choice.

Evyl Robot
August 3, 2008, 11:02 PM
My wife packs a S&W 640 EVERYWHERE SHE GOES. I can't take my 586 into work, but her employer has no such restrictions. She has an old carpal-tunnel injury that flared up with too much recoil, and that's why she went with stainless. She carries .38 +p Hydroshoks in it, and you can be assured that she will kill you if you assault her with deadly force! She is very accurate, and so is the gun! :eek:

Then again, although a pretty little girly-girl, she is a bit butch once you get down to it. If your wife has no toughness whatsoever, you might get her a semiauto of some sort. Women are better at multitasking than we are, and that would be a major difference between wheelies and bottom-feeders. A compact or sub- 9-mm or .45 might be just the ticket for your bride. --IMHO, of course.


August 3, 2008, 11:06 PM
How about a lighter revolver in .32 H&R Magnum? Less recoil than a .38 but an effective round.

August 3, 2008, 11:20 PM
The thing about the .32 magnum is that ammo is harder to find and WAY more expensive than .38 ammo, which, unless you're rich or a reloader, will hurt how much you can afford to practice with it.

August 3, 2008, 11:26 PM
It can be difficult to find S&W in .32 H&R Mag. They're out there, but are pretty expensive - you could of course opt for a Taurus or Charter Arms... but... not me.

August 3, 2008, 11:37 PM
The SP-101 should be good with .38 special.

Ideally I think a S&W Model 60 in .357 - but more $$$

For a diminutive shooter, "just wadcutters" isn't ideal, but if I got shot in the head with one,
I might change my mind.

August 3, 2008, 11:39 PM
You won't need wadcutters; +p .38 from a .357 SP101 is tame.

August 3, 2008, 11:41 PM
For the record, I wasn't espousing the use of 'just wadcutters' in anything capable of handling more. Wadcutters are all I will load in the Model 37. However, the Model 37 weighs a good 10oz less than a Ruger SP101 2", which I would not hesitate to run +P ammo through.

August 3, 2008, 11:48 PM
That's too funny! My wife also carries a 640, after trying many different guns including many semi-autos she loves the feel of the 640. The heft absorbs recoil well and she has no problem with 180 gr .357 Ranger SXT

August 4, 2008, 12:55 AM
can it be an revolver?i would go with the smaller 9mm autos,best thing to do is get her to the range and rent a few different ones,

Gary in Pennsylvania
August 4, 2008, 06:36 AM
can it be an revolver?i would go with the smaller 9mm autos,best thing to do is get her to the range and rent a few different ones,

We're looking at the 'simplicity factor'.
Revolver = no safety, no magazines, no FTF/FTF/FTE etc corrective actions.

Now granted, I already own a 3" SP-101....but it's been out to a custom gunsmith (for many months now :scrutiny: ) getting work done. One of the customizations will reduce weight.
I'm prolly looking at a 2" model just for an excuse to buy another handgun. :rolleyes:

My wife is a 'domestic engineer, child phychiatrist, medical doctor, crisis prevention advocate, peace talk agent, art specialist, and chef'........she's a stay-at-home Mom. She doesn't go out alone pretty much ever (even with kids).
When we're together, I am the arms carrier - 5" XD45.

The SP-101 would be the 'hers' side of 'His & Hers revolvers. He HD gun when I'm on travel.

A quality Tactical Flashlight will compliment as well.

August 4, 2008, 07:31 AM
My wife, all 5'-3" and 110 lbs of her, prefers her Blackhawk, but makes do with a Taurus 605 in 3" in the purse.

August 4, 2008, 07:52 AM
My wife like my K-frame revolvers (6 shot) and I'm looking for a 2" variety for her because she is darn good with my 4" version.

Other J-frame size guns are good choices like 640 or 60 or 37 or 638 from Smith or 605 Taurus.

August 4, 2008, 08:10 AM
Here you go, sir. Found it the other day and AFAIK it's still available. 2" .357 SP101, $299.

FYI, I paid $350 + shipping, transfer, etc. to get mine.



August 4, 2008, 08:14 AM
Try to find a S&W 431 or 432, light easy on the wrist and will be easier on the gal. There are several available through gunbroker or THR. I love the 32 H&R and use the 32 long as well. My daughter in law has carpal tunnel syndrome and 38's are hard on her to handle but the 32 is just right!!

August 4, 2008, 08:44 AM
If you want a simple get-off-me gun, .32 Longs are plentiful. Yes, unless you're very lucky, reasonably priced ammo is a mail order thing. But, it's really not a range gun and shouldn't burn up piles of ammo. I have a P3AT for carry & I shoot it infrequently, just to keep proficient. I hardly use up any ammo.

I have a hammerless DA H&R 5 shot. The thing is small, really small, and is very pleasant to shoot. There are tons of old .32 Long revolvers available used, from many different makers. All of them have minimal recoil. Federal makes a 130 ft lb (from 2.5" barrel, I believe) wadcutter. That's about the limit unless you reload. It's a very easy caliber to shoot very well. A pawn shop owner told me that older folks like .32 Longs & .38 Shorts because they're mellow on the hands. If you get a .38 Short, you're in the 150 ft lb area. Lots of folks poo-poo .38 S&W as too weak of a round. I have a few of those guns and they'll all do job on someone. They sail through a wet, new 2x4, easy.

August 4, 2008, 10:22 AM
My wife's favorite CCW is MY Ruger Security Six snubbie! Whe she 1st got her CCW I picked up a S&W 638 for her...BIG MISTAKE! SHe like the size and weight but HATED the recoil! Next I got a great deal on a 1964 M36. My wife liked it WAY more than the 638, but she was still not 100% comfortable with it. We were at the range together one day and I made the mistake of saying "why dont you try out the Six". Suffice to say, she loved it! She travels out of town alone once a month for work and every time she takes the ruger with her loaded with a mid power .357 (Speer 135-gr. Gold Dot Short Barrel)!

+1 on the .32 H&R mag suggestion since it also allows you to practice with cheaper .32 long ammo. I would suggest that you look for an NEF R73 snubbie like this http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=106325562 This seller's price is a bit high, you should pay no more than $150 for one! I have an NEF R92 (same gun just .22lr) it is a no nonsense reliable shooter that I have put ~3000 rounds through.

August 4, 2008, 11:18 AM
I would say you are in for a long haul but the best thing you can do is let her find her own weapon.
I would recommend my S&W 10-4 3". There are alot of good used Model 10s running around. Hogue makes a really nice grip for them. My '62 is a personal favorite. She wont win any BBQ contests but performance is where she puts her mark down.
The SP 101 in 32 H&R is a well balanced weapon system. Blackhills also makes a load for them that is my personal pick.

August 4, 2008, 11:51 AM
Take her to a gun shop to look and feel the different pistols. I bought my wife, 5'3", a Smith 686 with a 4" barrel. We went to the range for her to shoot it, she hated it. She said that it did not fit her hand and did not "feel right" to her. She tried some of my other guns and now the Blackhawk is her's. It should be her choice since it is going to be her gun.

August 4, 2008, 11:52 AM
I bought my wife a S&W lady smith, it's a nice little gun. I got hers in .357 but we just run .38spl through it.

August 4, 2008, 11:59 AM
I know I've got to get her to a shop to 'feel test' some out.....but I'm thinking a 2" SP-101 with .38spl. The SP is still fanny-pack or ourse size....but heft enough to tame felt recoil.
...the three-inch SP101, so long as she likes the platform? Most people learn more easily with the three-inch-barrel revolver than the two-inch version. The added weight will further dampen recoil as well as further stabilize the gun against a hurried trigger stroke.

The main caveat about the SP 101 is that the trigger stroke is way too heavy and the edges of the trigger face are too sharp. A few years back I purchased a three-inch SP101 as a teaching gun and found that I had to go all the way to Wollf's nine-pound main spring (http://gunsprings.com/Revolver/Ruger_RvNF.html#SP101) to get a gun that I felt would be usable by a new female shooter. I also rounded the edges of the trigger face and carefully deburred the stamped parts - the main-spring strut and the trigger link. I strongly advise against reducing the poundage of the trigger-return spring and of doing any of the filing and polishing yourself if you are not skilled in this area.

August 4, 2008, 06:02 PM
Nobody doesn't like a 2" Model 15. This is a nickel -3. They're easy to find, and great shooters.

August 4, 2008, 06:31 PM
I'm with Gibbles on this one...LadySmith:)

August 4, 2008, 07:29 PM
I would also second the 3 inch Sp101, GP100, Security Six option in 357 mag--you can alway use 38 special loads, but give her as much flexibility as possible. Going a bit heavier would probably be better than going real light--just so long as she is comfortable carrying it (my Redhawk is more pleasant to shoot that my model29)

August 4, 2008, 07:36 PM
got to agree with Gibbles and BamaHoosier try and find her a Lady Smith a co worker has one my wifes not a gun person but she loves that lady smith

August 4, 2008, 11:22 PM
Here's some options:

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