In the market for a new/used .357


Johnny Lightning
February 1, 2011, 06:28 PM
I am looking to purchase a new or lightly used .357 mag. :) My question is which one should I be looking at? I can spend up to $700 but wouldn't mind spending less. I would use the .357 for target mostly, hunting deer, and possibly competition. I am not sure of what barrel length to get considering I like to shoot off the bench and would use for hunting...thinking the 6" would be nice but then would that be too long for competition? Looking for some advice from the people that know what to look for!

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February 1, 2011, 07:54 PM
Look to the laws of your state but in Ohio for deer you need at least a six inch barrel. And other seasons have other restrictions. 700 dollar range puts you in the new GP100 market, and should beable to find real good S&W and Dan Wesson's. Have to look for Dan Wesson's but the one I shot makes me want to look for one.

February 1, 2011, 08:13 PM
Here is a list to consider.
1. Ruger GP 100 6 inch. (I like the half lug version)
2. S&W 686 6 inch (great revolver but muzzle heavy do to a full lug design)
3. Ruger Security Six 6 inch. (Excellent revolver that is underrated)
4. S&W model 28 6 inch. (One of the best for shooting 357s
5. S&W model 27 6 inch. ( Fancy version of the model 28)

These are all great revolvers that will fit your needs based on what you posted. Your budget is $700. The only revolver that might be more than $700 is the model 27.

Good luck,

February 1, 2011, 09:26 PM
You should be able to find a Dan Wesson pistol pack in that price range if you keep your eyes open.

February 1, 2011, 11:31 PM
Colt King Cobra....One of mine has seen no less than 20k rounds and is still tight as new. They are stout revolvers and will take all the full power loads you want to feed them.

February 2, 2011, 12:28 AM
I agree, a 6" M686 or GP110 is probably your best bet. See which feels best in your hand and buy it!

A competition gun is a whole different story.

February 2, 2011, 03:55 AM
Your best bet, if you can find a nice one, would be a Dan Wesson pistol pack with all the barrels.

You'll want/need the longest for hunting but the shorter two for competition to aid in speed of draw from the holster for the important first shot.

Frankly I'd suggest that a better option would be a long barrel .44Mag gun for hunting and a 3 to 4 inch barrel for competition. A Ruger Super Redhawk or Super Blackhawk that accepts a pistol scope would be ideal so you have options depending on your area. And the shorter 3 to 4 inch barrel gun would be great for IPSC or IDPA revolver classes. The 3 giving really good holster draw speeds but the 4 inch being a tad better at the whole sight baseline length issue. Frankly I'd opt for a 4 inch barrel.

As for which brand that's a toughy. From what I've read S&W makes the better "out of the box" trigger but with a bit of tuning and spring kitting out you can get the triggers of either Ruger or S&W down to the minimum needed by the rules. So by all means pick the guns based on what you like the feel of.

And if you have not shot a single action gun, such as the Blackhawk or Super Blackhawk, they really are much different from the DA grip shape of the Ruger or S&W guns. I'm finding that it takes a bit of a mental shift to jump back and forth and still shoot well to POA.

Johnny Lightning
February 2, 2011, 05:56 AM
So for hunting I should definately have a 6" barrel and for competition a 4" would be nice but a 6" is ok. I had a Dan Wesson .44 mag years ago but sold it :( I did like the design itself but did not like the recoil of the .44...not fun to shoot in my opinion. I can't seem to find any Dan Wessons on Gun Broker w/ a 4" and 6" barrel but will keep looking. I do like the price tag on the gp 100 and from what I hear you get alot of gun at the price. Is a .357 mag big enough to take down PA deer?

Johnny Lightning
February 2, 2011, 06:01 AM
Just went on gun broker there is a blued Dan Wesson w/ a 2", 4", and 6" barrel for a little over $400. Looks to be in good shape is this a good deal?

Johnny Lightning
February 2, 2011, 06:12 AM
The .357 is a 15vh...does anyone know what the vh stands for?

February 2, 2011, 06:42 PM
Vented, Heavy shrould.

Gaucho Gringo
February 2, 2011, 09:28 PM
There is one on Gunsamerica with 4 barrels for $750.00. Here it is

February 2, 2011, 09:29 PM
If you don't know what you're looking for,exactly, and going by your OP, you don't ( not being critical here), then your best bet is to just buy new, and these days,unfortunatley,that means your best bet is a Ruger over a S&W.
"...for target mostly, hunting deer, and possibly competition", you are correct, go with at least a 6". You can get a stainless GP100 for under $600 out the door, and you'll have a hard time finding a bad word about these pistols (especially from me :) )

February 2, 2011, 10:05 PM
You could probably find a good used S&W 686 for under that price, or you could consider any of a number of Taurus offerings: a Model 65 or 66, or a Tracker, Model 627. I have several Taurus revolvers and they are all excellent performers. You would also have enough change left over to buy lots of bullets and practice with your new sidearm. Good luck.

February 3, 2011, 01:36 AM
Don't go with a Taurus especially if it's used. Stick with Ruger or S&W.

February 3, 2011, 06:53 AM
Any Smith & Wesson or Ruger (Colt or Dan Wesson also, but they're not seen as often). Find the one you like and have at it.

But first you have to decide what you want it for. When you say "competition" what kind? Shooting combat type matches or some type of Bullseye or just "I bet I can hit that" with your buddies? For hunting are you talking about hunting WITH the revolver, or just as a tag along gun "just in case".

Personally the only revolvers I like with more than a 4-5" barrel are pretty much 22's, but that's just a personal quirk.

March 8, 2011, 04:04 AM
I was bouncing back and forth over a S&W 686 and a Ruger GP-100. I stumbled on a good deal with a barely used S&W 686-4 6 Inch. I wouldn't trade it for a new GP-100.

Ala Dan
March 8, 2011, 05:29 PM
Our shop just sold a very minty 4" Smith & Wesson model 586 (blued model)
with NO visible signs of use or wear, for $499 OTD. I drooled over it myself;
but needed the funds for other adventures~! :eek: :uhoh: :(

March 10, 2011, 12:52 AM
I've owned a few Smith and Wessons and a few Rugers in .357.
I've had issues with both brands.
Ruger fixed those issues to my total satisfaction and then some and the result is a Ruger GP-100 that rivals many vintage Smiths for smoothness and quality. I much prefer it to any other.

March 10, 2011, 02:56 PM
I picked up a Dan Wesson at the local gun shop for $225 and love it. It came with a 4 inch barrel only (no box or other barrels) but that's okay because it allows me to build my own package as I want it. I'm currently shopping for barrels and hope to find one someday that won't double the cost of the gun!:what:

March 10, 2011, 07:59 PM
I bought my Dan Wesson 15-2 6VH brand new in 1979. I've put a couple thousand rounds down the tube and it still functions fine and is more accurate than I am. I got rid of the wood grip and put on a Pachmayr weeks after buying it and some time later a lightened spring kit and an Austin Behlert rear sight were added. It's shot everything from light 148gr wadcutters to some Blue Dot loads that were way too hot. Nowadays it eats 158gr SWCs on top of 13.5gr of 2400, a classic combination that is fun to shoot.

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