First revolver, DAO for CC


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93PT92
June 27, 2010, 09:26 PM
Greetings all!

After a ton of very helpful responses to my thread in the general forum, I've decided to go with a DAO 357 revolver for my first revolver and first carry piece.

I'm coming from a Taurus PT92 and haven't fired a revolver yet. I plan to remedy this shortly, and to try out a bunch of revolvers myself. However, I would like to consult the members of THR to narrow my search as much as possible in advance.

My criteria are as follows:

Major, reputable manufacturer: Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Colt, something along those lines. I know Taurus and Rossi and Charter can do well in revolvers, and I know that any manufacturer can put out a lemon, but I'd feel better and can afford to save up for a "better" brand.

2" Barrel - I could possibly deal with a 3", but I'm going to be carrying it OWB in a high rise holster to start, and the less length the more comfortable it will be.

DAO - EDIT: A bobbed hammer is ok, just not a humpback like Smith's "Bodyguards." (I think I have that right)

Good to learn on - I do fire my first shot of my 92 double action most of the time, but other than that don't have a lot of time working on my DAO trigger control. I've been steered away from J frames to start with, and even the SP101 I've been thinking about. I think I'd probably be OK with a SP101, but the recommendations so far have been for K-frame sized revolvers.

5 shot - probably. The thinner the better, and if I'm getting a bigger gun I'd like the cylinder to be as thin as possible.

Stainless - Preferable for carry and I prefer the look. Nickel would be fine too, unless someone can correct me on that.

EDIT: 357 OR 38special

$400-500 range

So far I'm looking at:

SP101 - seems like an ideal carry size, but like I mentioned, have been told will be hard to learn on.

GP100 - carryable, but I'm worried it would be a bit big. 6 shot and 3" barrel is as small as they go, if I can trust the Ruger site. Doable, but a stretch.

S&W K Frame - Not sure which exact models to look for. If I'm not mistaken the 357 K frames have been discontinued. I'm not opposed to a used gun, but new would be nice. The smith site happens to be down or something right now, so I can't check on what they're offering these days.

I dunno what else to look for, so I'm looking forward to any feedback I can get. Thanks in advance to a great community!

Original Thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=530173)

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93PT92
June 27, 2010, 09:30 PM
OK, major fail. Unless I'm mistaken, the GP100 doesn't offer a DAO model, and I can't seem to find a DAO K frame.

This may either more difficult than I thought, or the SP101 is my only option...but that can't be...

Help!

hiram2005
June 27, 2010, 09:40 PM
Smith and Wesson J frame, smaller than the k and 5 shot. Can get 2 and 3 inch barrels and 357 if you want.

gallo
June 27, 2010, 09:41 PM
I think the SP101 with a 2.25" barrel and a shrouded hammer is the closest to what you are looking for.

93PT92
June 27, 2010, 09:43 PM
Like I said, I've been steered away from J frames for a first DAO. Not a whole lot of description why, however. If anyone has any stories about starting out on a J or an SP101 that would make me a whole heck of a lot more comfortable going down that road.

If I do go the J frame route I think I'd jump up to the SP101, which is bigger, but I think that would be a good thing. It's going in a holster anyway, so I'll take the extra heft for more comfort in shooting 357s and still able to train on 38s.

I guess I won't know until I shoot one.

9mmepiphany
June 27, 2010, 09:46 PM
you've added more requirements since the original thread. you've really narrowed the field with the "concealed" hammer...the SP-101's hammer isn't concealed, it is bobbed

i think you're back to the Ruger LCR because of it's better grip and trigger than the S&W M-642

93PT92
June 27, 2010, 09:47 PM
Hrm, I guess I'd have to be OK with bobbed then. As long as there's nothing to snag, and not the "humpback" design of some Smiths I've seen.

gallo
June 27, 2010, 09:50 PM
OK the SP101 is heavier than the J frame so recoil will be more manageable when shooting .357. However, you should be the one making the decision based on what you like most. Rent both and shoot them. Also, reconsider the reason why you want a 357 in a such a small frame. With proper shot placement and good ammo, a 38 should be plenty for self defense.

93PT92
June 27, 2010, 09:52 PM
Excellent feedback, I should revise this to take into account 38s. Mainly I'm looking for something to learn DAO on that I could also carry comfortably.

GojuBrian
June 27, 2010, 09:58 PM
http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv360/sanchin31/czphotos378.jpg

Problem solved.

Lucky Derby
June 27, 2010, 10:15 PM
Any of the the K frames (all S&Ws in fact) can be had or converted to DAO. I believe the same is true of the Rugers.
The only "concealed" hammer S&Ws are the J frame "Centennial" revolvers and a couple of limited run L frames. Those L frames even though mechanically closer to the Centennial J frames actually look more like the "Bodyguard" J frames (the Humpbacks you refered to).
FWIW I have found that in a proper belt holster a 4" barrel is no more difficult to conceal than a 2" or 3" barrrel. They also tend to be easier to shoot well and will deliver higher velocity with the same load. (All else being equal-which it seldom is).

Blue Brick
June 27, 2010, 10:47 PM
Ruger has previously produced special order DAO with in the Security Six line and with in the GP100 line. There were “38 Special only” and 357 Magnum models.

betes
June 27, 2010, 11:00 PM
Check out the LCR. It shoots very well. The grip is more comfortable to me than most of the J frame options that easily conceal. The trigger on the LCR is also better in my experience.

93PT92
June 28, 2010, 12:04 AM
LCR was what I was leaning towards to start. Any recommendations on LCR vs SP101 for OWB carry and a first revolver. I keep hearing the LCR trigger is sweet, but to me it seems the opposite of the sp101, in that the 101 is proven and over-engineered, and heavy and the LCR is light and new. Haven't heard any bugs with the LCR, and two of my buddies have LCPs (which were recalled before they got them), and are very happy with them.

Back to the original thought, this is for LEARNING and then carrying (I want to put about a year into training before carrying), and previous forum feedback has been negative towards starting on a smaller revolver. Still no conclusive feedback on WHY that is.

sp101 v LCR seems to be the trickle down. Seeing as the LCR was one of my first choices that could be the way to go, but sp101 seems like a worthy contender. Everyone that owns either seems very happy, anybody got both?

EDIT:

Oh, and 357 vs 38:

I'd be fine with 38, but it seems that using 38 in a 357 would be the most comfortable. LCR seems to be the one exception to this rule, from what I've read the poly frame makes 38s seem like nothing. Nice to have the option of 357s though. Then again, there is a 357 LCR coming out (out?) that has a heavier frame and would probably impart similar benefits.

Seems like I should hit the range and rent one of each and a couple boxes of 38.

kludge
June 28, 2010, 02:20 PM
I'll take the SP-101 DAO. I have the non-DAO version in 2.25". The extra weight makes it much more comfortable to shoot .357 loads. I generally carry it with .38 +P though, but if I need it, it will handle any sane load without being painful, or any worry about longevity of the gun. I carry both IWB and OWB and the extra weight is not an issue - however you don't "forget it's there" like an Airweight.

I have not shot the LCR, but I have pulled the trigger; it's pretty decent. My SP-101 has had a bit of work done on the trigger, and it is perfect for carry and range; it's not as smooth or light as my Model 19 with the target trigger, but there are no light stikes either.

RyanM
June 28, 2010, 04:36 PM
I'd say it depends on how much .357 mag vs. .38 spl you plan on shooting. And whether you've you shot any .357 snubbies before. I'm definitely of the opinion that a .357 snub is something you must try before you buy. Recoil is very subjective, and personally, a Ruger SP-101 with fullhouse .357s hurts my hand much worse than a Serbu Super Shorty (http://www.serbu.com/top/superShorty.php) with 3" magnum 12 gauge slugs! (even when shooting it one-handed) I can't imagine how painful it'd be to shoot an scandium-frame, titanium cylinder j-frame with fullhouse .357s, ouch!

See if you can't find a THR member in your area who's willing to meet you at a nearby range and let you shoot their SP-101 with some .357s, and with some .38s. I'd say that, for the purposes of trying before you buy, an SP-101 is ideal. You'll know after a cylinder of each, which caliber you prefer, and whether you'd rather have a bigger gun, smaller gun, or another SP-101.

RatDrall
June 28, 2010, 05:35 PM
LCR was what I was leaning towards to start. Any recommendations on LCR vs SP101 for OWB carry and a first revolver. I keep hearing the LCR trigger is sweet, but to me it seems the opposite of the sp101, in that the 101 is proven and over-engineered, and heavy and the LCR is light and new. Haven't heard any bugs with the LCR, and two of my buddies have LCPs (which were recalled before they got them), and are very happy with them.

The LCR has a really nice trigger, but it looks and feels rediculous to most traditional revolver shooters. Hold one and see if you like it.

The SP101 is over engineered like you said, it is a bit bigger than the LCR, but the wider handle and heavier frame helps with recoil a lot.

The SP101 is much easier to shoot and would carry very well on your belt.

S&W K Frame - Not sure which exact models to look for. If I'm not mistaken the 357 K frames have been discontinued. I'm not opposed to a used gun, but new would be nice. The smith site happens to be down or something right now, so I can't check on what they're offering these days.

K-frames are great for carry, they are light and slim enough to carry inside the waistband, but big enough to make fantastic shooters. If all I had left was one gun, for carry and home defense, it would be a K-frame (and it was for a while!).

K-Frames, in decent condition, are getting harder and harder to find. I picked one up last year and it was in amazing condition:

http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/smith-wesson/revolver/p/smith-wesson-model-64-38spl-4in-stainless%2C-round-butt-w-bobbed-hammer-very-good-plus-condition/cPath/16_211_431/products_id/3104

The only place that .38 special isn't good enough is the internet...

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