which cheapie?


December 31, 2008, 07:17 PM
I have a question for you ladies and gentlemen. I'm looking for a snubnose revolver for my girlfriend, and I'd like to know which would you guys buy between the Taurus, Charter Arms, or Rossi revolvers. I'm looking at .38s now, but I'm not ruling out the .32 Mag. I know I'm going to get a few posts saying "Don't buy either one" but I'm pretty sure I will end up with one of these three brands. I bought her a KelTec PF9 and the recoil was a bit much for her, so I'm looking at revolvers Let me know what'cha think.

If you enjoyed reading about "which cheapie?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
December 31, 2008, 07:20 PM
If you're looking at getting a "cheapie" you might want to look at Armscor. I've never owned one but I hear that their reliability is great and the run about $180 NIB for a .38
I myself own a Taurus 905 which has been 100% reliable and BTW is a great revolver for women in 9mm. Whatever you get her make sure she gets a lot of trigger time in.

December 31, 2008, 07:22 PM
i am a big fan of taurus revolvers. got my eye on a taurus 627.

December 31, 2008, 07:24 PM
Of the choices you give I would say the Taurus. But don't take the cheap way out, save your money till you can get a S&W. Show her you care. orchidhunter

December 31, 2008, 07:37 PM
Stay away from the really light .38s if she is recoil shy. My wife hated the SW 442 she had because of the recoil. A steel snubby would work great though. Though I have never personally owned a Taurus, many people I know have and dont complain.

December 31, 2008, 07:40 PM
Taurus... if given only those choices.

December 31, 2008, 07:41 PM
I just bought a 442 and she's done some shooting with it. After a few cylinders, she can really feel the recoil.

December 31, 2008, 07:44 PM
The Taurus revolvers are "high quality" revolvers... just as good as any smith & wesson.

I've owned them all... I have a Taurus .357 that out shoots every smith and Ruger than I've shot against it.... I also have a model 85UL .38 for concealed carry... it's awesome... they have never missed a beat.

December 31, 2008, 08:48 PM
Buy her a 642 and shoot practise rounds until she is comfortable and then slowly step up the self defense rounds. Even with the 642 the recoil can be felt with +P ammo. I really don't think the difference in price is worth buying a cheapie over a Smith and if you are really concerned about recoil, look at a 2 in. SP 101, Ruger loaded with .38. Put Hogue grips on it and she should be able to handle it easily.
By the way I in no way mean to discredit the manufacturers you mentioned I just have no experience with their products.

December 31, 2008, 09:00 PM
I'm pretty sure I want something heavier than the 442 (or 642) for her to shoot. I traded around and I have a stainless Taurus M85 made before the lock on the hammer. We haven't had a chance to shoot it yet. If she likes it, I want to get her something really similar in a new gun. BTW ,you guys are awesome here!!

December 31, 2008, 09:33 PM
Do what I did years ago to save money . . . and by an RG in 38 spl.

That P.O.S. chunk of "Saturday Night Special" pot metal truly couldn't group a two foot pattern at ten feet.

That RG, more than anything else, convinced me of the need to invest in quality firearms . . . if you are going to have a firearm at all.

In wheelguns, look for a quality, vintage S&W revolver. You can sometimes find them for $300 or so . . . they are deadly accurate with great triggers . . . and they will ONLY go up in value through the years if you take care of it!


Get her some lessons with someone who knows the art of shooting handguns. She's obviously gripping weak and also gripping low. With the proper grip and stance, no woman should have a problem shooting a .38 special load out of a revolver . . . even a 15 oz. lightweight version.

Or . . . have her read "the cornered cat" website that a lady moderator emeritus on this site wrote. She will explain all her options clearly . . . and us guys learn a bunch too about how a woman should be introduced to a gun.

Best wishes on helping her find the gun that is right for her . . . but please, get her some solid instruction . . and get her a great, used Smith revolver. You'll both have better piece of mind.

December 31, 2008, 09:37 PM
Don't cheapen out when her life may depend on it.

December 31, 2008, 09:37 PM
I just bought a 442 and she's done some shooting with it. After a few cylinders, she can really feel the recoil.

A Taurus 85 is all steel and weighs more than a 442. I'd also add Pachmyr Compac grips which, although larger than standard, will help absorb the recoil. A Ruger SP101 or S&W 640 are also all steel but will cost more.

Have your girlfriend try shooting factory wadcutters as they are the least recoiling OTC round available and don't make a bad SD round.

Charters can be okay but are not as well built as a Taurus IMO. I've never owned a Rossi but every one I've seen that's been used a bit has had timing problems.

January 1, 2009, 02:43 AM
Welcome to the forum...

If you're looking for a good revolver that doesn't cost too much and one that's heavier than the 15oz S&W Airweights take a look at a used S&W M36. I found a really nice 21oz M36 about 6 months ago that was fired very little for only $300. IMO that would be a good choice. The extra weight does remove a lot of the felt recoil compared to my M638 or M642.

Of the choices you listed I would be a little afraid of Charter Arms because of their bad reputation although, they are under new management for the past few years. I also think the Taurus revolvers are now too expensive for what you get so that leaves the Rossi revolvers. They have several 5 Shot .38 Special +P (http://www.rossiusa.com/products/gunselector-results.cfm?series=R38&Category=REVOLVER) revolvers that weigh 24oz and several 6 Shot .357 Magnums (http://www.rossiusa.com/products/gunselector-results.cfm?series=R357&Category=REVOLVER) that weigh 26oz. If weight isn't an issue I would get the .357 Magnum because of the extra round. It's about the size of the Colt Detective Special.

Here's a shot of my M36:

January 1, 2009, 03:11 AM
Take her shopping. The revolver, or any handgun, has to fit and suit her, not you. You don't have to like her choice either. You won't be shooting or carrying it. If she even wants one.
Oh and if she does opt for it, don't get angry when you find she can shoot better than you can. Women are inherently better shots than men are.

January 1, 2009, 07:53 AM
I picked up a nice 1964 vintage S&W m36 last winter for $225. I agree take her to some gun shops ans see what she likes best and fits her best. Then you can search for the best deal on that particular model.

If I had to pick out of the three manufacturers listed I would try to find an older rossi 3" barreled .38. that extra 1" makes a huge difference with accuracy and velocity!
Here is an example http://www.gunsamerica.com/948212784/Guns/Pistols/Rossi-Revolvers/Rossi_38_special.htm

If you enjoyed reading about "which cheapie?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!