RG 38 special


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m0mof7
February 26, 2010, 05:46 PM
I recently purchased a RG 38 special revolver. Mechanically, it seems to be in good working order. I have now shot off around 25 rounds ... and after a bit am hitting well on target. Only thing I have experienced is that after firing off about 15 rounds, on the 6th round the hammer would catch, and I did not have the pull strength to squeeze off the round. I'm not a week female, so this didn't seem to be "right" to me. After cleaning, it worked fine. This is my first "owned" pistol, and after reading the attacks on the RG22 ... was wondering if you guys had anything good to say about this one. It was purchased for home protection seeing as I am a single mother of 7 kids living just outside one of the third most deadliest cities in the US.

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RKRCPA
February 26, 2010, 06:11 PM
I had an RG .38 Spl years ago. It was the medium size frame model. It was a piece of crap that I got rid of ASAP.

oldfool
February 26, 2010, 06:25 PM
hate to say it ma'm, but RG is famous for making handguns universally regarded as poorly made (to the point of being unsafe to shoot).. possibly the ONE and ONLY thing 99%+ people on gun forums agree on...

money real hard to come by these days, but please consider looking for a good, affordable deal on something else

jimmyraythomason
February 26, 2010, 06:35 PM
Well,I'm that 1% who thinks that for your purposes the RG-38 will probably work just fine. I have an RG-22 that has seen many years of (occassional)use on the trapline and it has held up well. Keep you loads to mid power(no +P) don't shoot hundreds of rounds just enough to stay in practice. If it starts to shave lead(out of time) or misfire THEN I would seriously consider getting something else.

m0mof7
February 26, 2010, 06:41 PM
The rounds I have fired where at 2 rates ... slow for target, and a little faster to see what I could do. With that the rounds being fired are simple lead reloads. All pin stricks are almost completely centered. The only thing I haven't been happy with are that a few of the rounds are hot load. That's what I get for picking them up at a gun show.

oldfool
February 26, 2010, 06:49 PM
sorry about that jimmyray
no woobie war implied, strictly honorable intentions
:o

(so.. make that 98%)

jimmyraythomason
February 26, 2010, 07:00 PM
No problem oldfool. Sometimes we can't be real choosy and have to make do with what we have. As I said for occassional use with mid-range loads an RG works as well as most any other handgun. The trouble starts if it gets out of time as it would with a Colt or S&W.

theotherwaldo
February 26, 2010, 07:16 PM
I'm a firm believer in enjoying a good, working RG (or any other junky gun) at the range. I've got four RGs right now, three of which I enjoy firing. The fourth is a worn out RG38, much like the one that m0mof7 describes. It cycles well, everything works, but the alloy frame is stretched and the barrel actually wobbles! I have used it for dog training, firing primers in drilled-out brass to try to acclimate my watch dogs to the sound and smell of guns.

I don't think that I would even use it for that purpose now, as it is just too rickety.

NCsmitty
February 26, 2010, 07:21 PM
I had one many years ago, and although I had no problems with it, in reality it was a rather chintzy made handgun. I gave it to my brother-in-law when I bought a 357 mag Blackhawk.




NCsmitty

jad0110
February 26, 2010, 08:02 PM
Only thing I have experienced is that after firing off about 15 rounds, on the 6th round the hammer would catch, and I did not have the pull strength to squeeze off the round.

Hmm, the action starts to bind on the same chamber each time around? Hopefully, that could simply be a bent ejector rod. Swing out the cylinder and set the gun down on a background that gives you a clear view of the ejector rod. Now, turn the cylinder and look for a wobble in the rod. If there is a wobble, you could try holding the crane/cylinder assembly steady with the fingers of one hand, while applying pressure to the rod ONLY with the other hand to bend it back straight. What you are trying to do is bend the rod ONLY by applying counter force to the crane area so that you don't bend that part.

This happened to me once. While removing the ejector rod on a S&W, I slipped and torqued the ejector rod a bit. The result was a harder/stiffer trigger pull every sixth shot. This technique straightened the ejector rod enough that the problem has been solved.

The best way to do it is to remove the ejector rod, lay it on a flat hard surface, find the high/bent spot and tap it with a brass or very small hammer (with a piece of scrap leather in between if you don't want to marr the surface) until it is straightened out.

bikerdoc
February 26, 2010, 08:13 PM
m0mo7,

Foe the time being, you got your first gun and it works. good for you. step up when and if you can. There are bargains out there.

COgunner
February 26, 2010, 10:14 PM
First gun I ever bought was a chromed RG38 when I was in college back in the '70s. I put a few hundred rounds through it with no problems at all. It was reasonably accurate too. I sold it to a friend a few years later who wanted it to shoot snakes with shot shells (probably still working if that's all he ever used it for). If you're on a strict budget, it's a hell of a lot better than nothing!! Just keep to lower-power loads and you should be OK.

w_houle
February 26, 2010, 10:28 PM
What I would do is place empty shall casing into the gun and dry fire with them in place. If it should happen again: Remove your finger from the trigger and pull the hammer back as far as it will go then attempt to fire it again. I had a problem similar to this with my RG-63, and it smoothed out after a bit of use. Does it happen when you shoot it double action?
Edit: Try what jad0110 suggested.
Oh, and a gratuitous pic
http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/3940/img083a.jpg

Kman
February 26, 2010, 11:52 PM
if it's having issues now, it will be next to useless very shortly. May be time to consider a different tool for the job.

oldfool
February 27, 2010, 03:46 AM
no fool like an old fool...
(make that 9 point 8 percent)

jimmyraythomason
February 27, 2010, 08:46 AM
if it's having issues now, it will be next to useless very shortly That is a silly assumption. RGs can be repaired just as any other firearm.

David E
February 27, 2010, 09:17 AM
Hmm, the action starts to bind on the same cylinder each time around?

Of course it's the same cylinder! There is only one, after all.

This is why proper nomenclature is important. The CYLINDER is the round thing that has CHAMBERS bored into it that hold the cartridges. If the gun binds as the same CHAMBER is aligning with the hammer, that would be helpful in determing the problem. Number the CHAMBERS (on the outside of the CYLINDER) with a Sharpie to see.

The fact that it works for 15 rds and THEN has a problem indicates that something runs afoul in those 15 rds. It might be powder under the extractor. Then again, the loads mentioned do not sound very consistent, so it might be a poor ammo problem. Buy some factory and see if it does the same thing.

That is a silly assumption. RGs can be repaired just as any other firearm.

Not necessarily. Some states have laws that do not even allow spare parts to be kept in stock for this gun, as it's considered a "Saturday Night Special" as defined by certain melting temps. Let's hope the problem is caused by poor reload quality.

jimmyraythomason
February 27, 2010, 09:25 AM
After cleaning, it worked fine. She has already fixed the problem as stated in the first post.Not necessarily. Some states have laws that do not even allow spare parts to be kept in stock for this gun, as it's considered a "Saturday Night Special" as defined by certain melting temps There are many more states that don't have silly "Saturday night special" laws than there are that do.

joe_security
February 27, 2010, 09:32 AM
Maybe consider saving up for a used S&W or Ruger, some time in the future ?

David E
February 27, 2010, 09:39 AM
There are many more states that don't have silly "Saturday night special" laws than there are that do.

Then you agree and understand that being able to fix an RG depends on where the owner lives. Therefore, it's not a "silly assumption" that it cannot be fixed like any other quality gun.

jad0110
February 27, 2010, 09:48 AM
Good catch on the terminology David, don't know how I did that.

Corrected.

jfh
February 27, 2010, 09:48 AM
You've come to the right place for help--THR is a forum where, most of the time you can get good advice on a shooting issue. As you can see, sometimes it's hard to sort out the advice from the opiniontary, or from the too-much-advice, or the too-detailed-advice, or whatever. Do the sorting out, and you ought to find your answer.

Here, you figured out the answer yourself. Keep the gun clean. Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeM8f0FFuJY&feature=related) is a link to a revolver-cleaning video. (A bit too talky, but someone else may have a better link)

Now, get some more of the light loads--that would be a target load, with a "148DEWC" bullet in them. Those will be fine for self-defense, and will be not too hard on your gun.

As finances permit, consider upgrading. There are used Smith and Wesson revolvers, traded in by cop shops--at prices well under $300.00. J&G sales is a good source for them, and there are others.

Finally, feel free to ask any other questions you have--the members of this forum will give an answer.

Jim H.

jimmyraythomason
February 27, 2010, 09:52 AM
David E,No I do not agree with that statement. Many parts can be made if necessary. Repairs dont always require replacement of parts as the OP proved by cleaning her revolver. It may COST more to repair one than to replace it but that is another question.

jad0110
February 27, 2010, 09:54 AM
Quote:
After cleaning, it worked fine.

She has already fixed the problem as stated in the first post.

Burnt powder under the extractor? Possible, though that usually causes binding for every chamber, not just one.

It could well be that the cylinder face is way out of spec, which would result in it being "out of square" with the forcing cone. If it is out of spec enough, it could be that on one chamber the B/C gap is only .001" or so, so after firing a few rounds and heating the metal a bit (and laying down a thin layer of lead on the cylinder face/forcing cone area), causing the metals to expand and rub that single chamber on the forcing cone. This problem would be aggravated more if the gun is a little out of time and shaving lead, possibly creating more lead build up in the B/C gap.

Just conjecture on my part, but it could be another possibility.

No I do not agree with that statement. Many parts can be made if necessary. Repairs dont always require replacement of parts. It may COST more to repair one than to replace it but that is another question.

Of course, one would need to be careful about making parts in a state with laws prohibiting the sale of parts for saturday night specials. It would be wise to assume that those states probably also prohibit the manufacture of parts, until confirmed otherwise.

jimmyraythomason
February 27, 2010, 09:58 AM
It would be wise to assume that those states probably also prohibit the manufacture of parts until confirmed otherwise.
That would be a safe assumption. Not being able to repair any thing because of a law is a problem with the law not the firearm.

shockwave
February 27, 2010, 10:02 AM
m0mo7: You should be OK with this gun. It does not seem to be the case that you are planning on going to the range once or twice a week to run hundreds of shots through the RG. It only has to hold 6 and deliver them if needed. Buy some good hollowpoints for HD like the Hornady (http://www.hornady.com/store/38-Special/)or the CorBon DPX (http://www.cor-bon.com/).

Keep the gun cleaned and oiled and it should do the job. Of course, as everyone here would agree, if your resources allow, start to save a bit when you can and look to upgrade. The Armscor M200 can be purchased new for around $200, and used revolvers can be found in that range. Stay safe and be well.

RevolvingGarbage
February 27, 2010, 05:36 PM
I have a very similar gun, the RG40, and it has worked very well for me. Try and find some Federal 125gr Nyclad hollowpoints. They are a standard pressure load with a nice soft lead hollowpoint load, and they will clock a very respectable ~800 FPS out of even a short revolver barrel. If you do need to replace parts, they are certainly available and quite cheap.

David E
February 27, 2010, 08:52 PM
David E,No I do not agree with that statement. Many parts can be made if necessary.

Is it possible to fix an RG when parts cannot be found, and/or find a gunsmith willing to do the job? Of course it's possible.......but it's also possible to reload .22 rimfire. It just ain't economically feasible or practical.

Confederate
February 27, 2010, 09:41 PM
Welcome to the forum.

The RG will do the job if you keep it clean and don't shoot it too often. The gun is rather poorly constructed and isn't meant to be a shooter.

Investing in a decent gun is one of the most important things you can do. You'll also have a lot of fun shooting one. You might ask friends if they have any guns they want to get rid of and see if you can get one for a good price. Another thing you can do is buy some Cold Steel Inferno pepper spray (http://www.coldsteel.com/pepper-spray.html). There's also a product called Sabre Red. The Inferno uses both black and red peppers -- the black to make you inhale and the red to make you sorry you did. This pepper spray is amazingly effective, even against aggressive bears and dogs.

As for revolvers, there are many decent used guns available. See the sticky messages to see how to buy them. A good .22LR auto also may be the way to go.


http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/RugerMarkII_11.jpg

This Ruger .22LR Mark II auto is one of the only .22LR pistols I'd ever
bet my life on. It puts a lot of lead in the air in a very short period of time
and does so very effectively. The ammo is cheap and the gun is easy and
fun to shoot.

.

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