Which caliber for first revolver?


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Mags
November 29, 2010, 05:11 PM
Ok this one is a little different, I think. Here is the rundown: I have shot revolvers chambered in 38spl, 357 mag, 44 mag, and 500 S&W mag all weren't to bad to shoot but the 44 mag was a lil' uncomfortable. I am kicking around the idea of jumping into the world of revolvers myself with a new purchase down the road.

On to the caliber question a little more background might help, I own plenty of autoloaders already in 22lr, 9mm, and 45 ACP. I had a 40 S&W but the snappy recoil in a light auto was not for me. What I want is a strictly revolver caliber as in the caliber is not commonly made for autos. All suggested calibers should be pretty common and readily available manstoppers are applicable for my use, and keep in mind I reload.

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Claude Clay
November 29, 2010, 05:17 PM
3" S&W M60

accurate for the range--4gr of 231 under a 158 swc is bulleye in mine.

small enough to carry with +p's or 357's.

have fun:D

rcmodel
November 29, 2010, 05:20 PM
S&W makes revolvers in .40S&W/10mm, and .45 ACP.

They are ideal for SD with very fast moon-clip reloads.
They are big N-Frame guns though, and not ideal for CCW use.

From there, and since you reload, I would suggest .38 Special/.357 Mag, .41 Mag, and .44 Special/.44 Mag.

No rule says you have to load them to the max ne-ultimate, balls-to-the-wall power levels all the time.

A .44 Mag is a very pleasent soft shooting gun with .44 Specials.
As is a .357 Mag with .38 Specials.

rc

Phoenix 6.0
November 29, 2010, 05:21 PM
I love my 6 GP100 357 mag. i can shoot more rounds than i care to $pend without it being uncomfortable. and i was suprised how accurate i am with it. i nearly exclusively shoot 357.

Bill B.
November 29, 2010, 05:27 PM
A S&W M19 2 3/4" or a Ruger Speed Six 2 3/4in in .357 mag. would sure be an excellent place to start. .38 wad cutters from either make for a pleasant day at the range.

thunder173
November 29, 2010, 05:27 PM
+1 .357

clang
November 29, 2010, 05:35 PM
.357 Mag is the obvious answer. Shoot .38 Special loads for lighter recoil. Guns are available from 5 shot to 8 shot, light alloy to blued steel, 2" to 8+" barrels. I would opt for a 4" S&W 686 (used, pre-lock, 6 shot or 7 shot), but if you are looking to carry, something lighter would be a better pick.

But if you only want one revolver, I would suggest a nice .22 - a S&W 17, 18 or 617. They are so much fun to plink with.

Coal Dragger
November 29, 2010, 06:18 PM
I would look into a 4" or 5" bbl .357, most likely a S&W K or N frame gun due to their superior out of the box triggers over say a Ruger.

For my own use (since I reload) I would buy a S&W N frame in .44 Magnum if a double action were what I was looking for, again with the 4" or 5" bbl for general use.

If there was no intention to use it as a carry gun I would ignore the double action and buy a Freedom Arms Model 83 in .454 Casull with a spare cylinder in .45ACP (since I have a progressive press set up for .45ACp). Specifically with a 7.5" bbl octagonal contour, and an adapter to mount a Trijicon RMR when it pleases me.

357 Terms
November 29, 2010, 06:37 PM
Soooo many great choices in 357 mag. Go with the 4inch to start,maybe a gp100 or six series Ruger or a mod 19,65,66 686 Smith and Wesson. Since you reload you will love the options you have for different loads, such a versatile cartrige.

hirundo82
November 29, 2010, 06:59 PM
My first revolver was a S&W 642 (.38) for carry, but when I went looking for a revolver for a shooter rather than a carry gun .357 mag was the only caliber that made sense to me to start with. I ended up with a 4" stainless GP100 and I'm very pleased with that.

.327 Federal is another interesting choice, but I excluded that due to ammo availability since I don't reload yet. In terms of ammo availability and selection, no other caliber comes close to .38 and .357.

sprice
November 29, 2010, 07:03 PM
.357

22-rimfire
November 29, 2010, 07:34 PM
22LR or 357mag/38spl would be my choice.

41 mag if you want something a bit more powerful but not as much recoil as a typical 44 mag. It is a good reloader's caliber.

Walkalong
November 29, 2010, 08:04 PM
.38 Spl or .357 Mag.

Then when you get the revolver bug you can get whichever one you didn't, plus a .44 Spl, .44 Mag, .45ACP, .45 Colt, etc, etc....

Dan-O
November 29, 2010, 08:15 PM
First of all, I would have to second what RC Model said.

If you reload, then i would say that the choices are endless. You didn't specify if you also wanted to use the gun for CC. If not, i would say that a 6" Ruger GP100 in .357 would be at the top of my list. Then in no particular order as follows:

Smith and Wesson 610-can shoot 10mm, or .40 S&W
Smith and Wesson 625-can shoot .45 ACP, .45 GAP, and some shoot .45 Super as well
Smith and Wesson 629-can shoot .44 mag, .44 Spcl
Ruger Redhawk in .45 Colt
Ruger Redhawk in .44 Mag

Mags
November 29, 2010, 09:37 PM
Wow great suggestions fellas. What do you guys think of the 3 inch Ruger SP101? Is it too light?

Snobal
November 29, 2010, 09:53 PM
The 3" SP101 in 357 Mag is my favorite "all round" revolver.

But....

I like a 6" .38 Special K-38 for target shooting and "bunnies in the briers," a 5 1/2" 44 Mag Redhawk for "deer catcher" and "T-Rex" defense ;), a 22 for plinking, a 4" 357 GP100 for nightstand, an "Air-weight" S&W snubby for CCW, etc., etc., etc.

....and that cute little 3" SP101 in 357 Mag does a fair job at each of those chores (especially the "T-Rex defense," it has never let me down.:D) and it is a hoot to shoot with wadcutter ammo at our Bullseye matches.

JMHO - YRMV

orionengnr
November 29, 2010, 09:56 PM
With a username like "Mags", this seems an odd question....

That said, I'd be looking at a 4" K- or L-frame .357 Magnum....specifically, an M19/66 or M586/686. I prefer the K but your mileage may vary. Regardless, you can't go too far wrong with any of them.

hcso617
November 29, 2010, 10:04 PM
.357 as stated before you can run .38 spl pretty cheap for practice and .357 is a great personal defense round.

Mags
November 29, 2010, 10:08 PM
With a username like "Mags", this seems an odd question....
Lol, it actually is what I have been called all my military career since I have a hard to pronounce last name that begins with the letters "Mag". But getting into magnum revolvers can be another reason...

Hoppes Love Potion
November 30, 2010, 04:46 AM
A used S&W K-frame .38Sp.

Norrick
November 30, 2010, 05:48 AM
357 if you are buying (can train cheaper with 38's). If you reload my experience has been that 45 colt is very versatile, and a whole lot of fun.

Xfire68
November 30, 2010, 06:15 AM
Personally I say .45 LC! It does the trick as a man stopper and has a great long history!

Being that your a reloader you don't have to pay the high prices for ammo so this caliber won't hurt your pocketbook.

19-3Ben
November 30, 2010, 07:31 AM
All suggested calibers should be pretty common and readily available manstoppers

.357magnum. very versatile in that it can use .38spl and .357 mag. Load "from mild to wild."
It's the most commonly available revolver round. .38spl is to revolvers what 9mm is to pistols.

BrocLuno
November 30, 2010, 09:09 AM
Sorry, I don't see comment in the OP about a carry gun? Sounds like he already has options there?

I vote for .357 for all the reasons stated above. But I also vote for a lovely used Colt Python in 4~6" blue. A tuned and timed Colt is an absolute joy to shoot. My Smiths are fine and a Taurus 66SS6 is a very nice range gun too. But there is just something about the Python that makes it unique :)

FCDeputy1911
November 30, 2010, 09:40 AM
If you go with a .357 you can shoot .38 in it and you cna shoot high power loads. But if it's a J frame or even an SP 101 of which I own both and love both I dont shhot too many .357's in them. Bit more kick than I like in a small gun. I say 38 FBI Load

oldbanjo
November 30, 2010, 09:56 AM
I don't consider a SP101 light, I have had a hammer less SP101 in my belt for near 10 years. I like the Gun but due to weight may go back to my MD36, I have bad knees and hips so the weight is important. The SP101 can be a house Gun with my GP100.

TexasBill
November 30, 2010, 12:55 PM
I personally like my Model 60 with the 3-inch barrel; it's on the brisk side of snappy with Magnum loads but it's fun to shoot with .38 Specials. It's definitely compact enough for CCW with a good belt and holster.

The Ruger SP-101 is another good choice; I liked the Smith's trigger better but there are some good aftermarket options for the Ruger and it is less expensive.

If you're serious about Magnums, I would strongly suggest a larger revolver. Some people have mentioned the the S&W Model 19 Combat Magnum, but one of the L-frames or the Ruger GP-100 might be a better choice. For a steady diet of Magnums, the Colt Python or S&W Model 27 reign supreme. Both are pricey but the S&W is still manufactured so you're not going to pay (too much) of a premium.

TexasBill
November 30, 2010, 01:22 PM
I don't consider a SP101 light, I have had a hammer less SP101 in my belt for near 10 years. I like the Gun but due to weight may go back to my MD36, I have bad knees and hips so the weight is important. The SP101 can be a house Gun with my GP100.

The SP101 with the bobbed hammer weighs 25 ounces. The Model 60 with the 2.125-inch barrel weighs 22.6 ounces (the 3-inch barrel versions weighs 24.5 ounces). The Model 36 with the 1.875-inch barrel comes in at 19.5 ounces. You're going to save a grand total of 5.5 ounces.

According to my handy-dandy digital scale, my Model 60 with five rounds of 158-grain ball ammo weighs 26.65 ounces.

If you're having trouble with the weight, consider a shoulder holster. There are some good ones out there and they will take the weight of the gun off your hips.

Confederate
November 30, 2010, 02:03 PM
The Ruger .357 in a 4-inch barrel would be the way I'd go. If I could locate a vintage Security-Six, I'd go for it. If not, the GP-100s are okay...certainly a better deal than the new S&W 686s. If, perchance, you can find an older 686, with wood grips and plated hammer and trigger, I'd go with one of those. They're beautiful guns and were produced to directly compete with the Colt Python. The early 686s were gorgeous, with phenomenal workmanship. The current ones are overpriced and primarily made by machine. S&W have cut a lot of corners and passed few, if any, savings on to the customer. At a gun store where I live, they are a good two hundred dollars more than the Ruger, plus, they looked like they were finished with sandpaper.

oldbear
November 30, 2010, 02:43 PM
For a new revolver shooter, not a new shooter, a quality .357 Magnum is hard to beat, if for now other reason tan the variety of ammo that can be safely used in one.

oldbanjo
December 1, 2010, 01:20 PM
TexasBill, your right, when I carried my MD36 it was always in a shoulder Holster. So that's why I always thought it was lighter. I've got three shoulder Holsters. I think one is for my GP100, I'll see if that will work. I've always carried my SP101 in my belt, thanks I'll try a Shoulder Holster.

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