Value Revolver - 38SP or .22


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mcdonl
February 7, 2013, 08:04 AM
Hi folks... I am looking for a new revolver. I have narrowed my seach down to the following list:

Taurus 605 .357
Charter Arms Undercover Lite 38sp
Charter Arms Pathfinder .22LR
Taurus 941 .22MAG
Ruger LCR .22LR
Colt Detective Special

This list is my order of preference.

They are all priced between $350 - $450 (CA at one end, LCR at the other) so they are all in my price range.

I chose the 605 as my first choice because it will allow me .357 carry ammo, but 38SP for nightstand and target work (And I reload for it)

I have owned revolvers of all of these brands except Colt so I have no issues with the quality but maybe I was lucky? What are your thoughts?

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Poppaj78
February 7, 2013, 08:15 AM
My dad has a colt detective and he loves it my mom loves it and my wife shot it this weekened and she loves it. My wife and I are going to a gun show this weekened and will try to find her one. Smoth trigger. Have you priced the colt detective's yet. I havent seen one under 550$.

mcdonl
February 7, 2013, 08:19 AM
The Colt Detective (If still available) is $350....

Looks a little rough...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/mcdonl/colt1_zpsa6c52894.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/mcdonl/colt2_zpsd9445719.jpg

mcdonl
February 7, 2013, 10:14 AM
I just called the LGS and asked if the Colt is available. I never listen and even less go with quality over cost even if it is new vs old. I want to change my ways. I do. I swear.

22-rimfire
February 7, 2013, 10:37 AM
The Colt Detective Special has been discontinued for a long time. You may purchase one on the used or collector market. You find one where you find one; LGS, Gunbroker, gun shows, friends, etc. They are excellent revolvers.

All things being considered, I think you may be better off with the Ruger LCR in 357 mag.

mcdonl
February 7, 2013, 11:07 AM
22-rimfire... the one I posted I did find and it is available for $350.... They do not have the LCR in 375 available there.

I want to do business there as they have supported me in the past.

bannockburn
February 7, 2013, 11:22 AM
From the list my first choice would be one of the .38 Specials so I would go with the Colt Detective Special. After that probably the Taurus Model 605 and the Charter Arms Undercover. A .22LR or .22 Magnum revolver would not be my choice in the role of a home defense/concealed carry gun.

weblance
February 7, 2013, 11:25 AM
If you want a 605 so you can shoot 38s and 357s, why not consider the 357 Ruger LCR. I would buy any Ruger before a Charter Arms or Taurus revolver. I have both the LCR-357 and LCR-22 and they are both excellent.

weblance
February 7, 2013, 11:29 AM
22-rimfire... the one I posted I did find and it is available for $350.... They do not have the LCR in 375 available there.

I want to do business there as they have supported me in the past.

I understand your reasoning. I did the same last year with a Taurus model 94, and it was a huge mistake. Get the LCR 357 wherever you can. Dont buy a gun that could, may, probably will, be a problem, just because you want to help out a shop. I wont do that ever again.

22-rimfire
February 7, 2013, 11:44 AM
The Detective Special is a fine revolver and a classic. I have one that I bought to use as a "truck gun" in better condition (it has a sizable blemish on one side; I think from storage.). My regular carry revolver is a S&W 442 (38spl). It has served my nicely and is light and easily sides into my pants pockets. You won't have that luxury with the Det. Special. I know the S&W's cost more now and there is a 357 mag version. I suspect the recoil is rather punishing however and it would be a seldom shot revolver for me.

I have a LCR in 22. I like it a lot. I suspect I would love the LCR in 38spl too. I sometimes carry it for a little variety. But I generally don't recommend a 22LR for defensive purposes unless there are other considerations involved that push you towards less recoil.

My general suggestion is to stick with Ruger, S&W, or Colt. Skip Taurus and Charter Arms entirely. Yes, I know they cost more in most cases.

mcdonl
February 7, 2013, 01:17 PM
I own mostly cheapo guns. No problem with any of them... Shoot, my ATI 1911 is my best shooter but it is time for me to start adding some history to my collection. I went with the Colt... for $350 it is a good deal. I think.

I have no intention of refinishing it or anything else. Just getting a nice leather holster (Also want to move away from the $15 toy gun holsters I have been buying) and have something my kids can sell when I am dead :)

22-rimfire
February 7, 2013, 01:32 PM
Congratulations. I would have also purchased the Detective Special based on your list and rationale.

el Godfather
February 7, 2013, 03:49 PM
Colt Detective Special- no contest.

Arizonagunrunner
February 7, 2013, 04:51 PM
Colt Detective Special is old, weak and not that reliable. Go with a better weapons. Everyone hears Colt or S&W and they think they are holding gold.

silicosys4
February 7, 2013, 05:19 PM
The detective special is a fine revolver. If they were indeed "weak and unreliable" they would not have a 50+ year old reputation of being a solid gun, and would not be sought after and climbing in value like they are.

BTW, if you've been watching the values of older colt revolvers...I can only think of a few things that have quintupled in value the last 15 years...gold and colt pythons. The old colts kind of do appreciate in value similarly to gold, and are almost as easy to sell.

mcdonl
February 7, 2013, 05:52 PM
The shop I am getting it from has a smith and I asked him to just go over it. The fact it has the exposed ejector indicates it is old... And it is not within driving distance.

I really want the colt.


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CajunBass
February 8, 2013, 07:16 AM
I really want the colt.

Then get the Colt.

Always get what YOU want. That way, if you're not happy with it, you got nobody to blame but yourself. You won't have to around kicking yourself for letting someone else talk you into it.

mcdonl
February 8, 2013, 07:21 AM
Cajun, you have NO IDEA the inner termoil I am going through!! LOL

CajunBass
February 8, 2013, 07:31 AM
Sure I do. I've been there myself, many a time.

I look at it this way. What do you have to lose, really? If you buy something you don't like, sell it, and get something else. Big deal. I've done it dozens of times.

mcdonl
February 8, 2013, 07:33 AM
Im learning. I want this to be the first gun I buy to add to my collection. Not just because it is something I can afford.

22-rimfire
February 8, 2013, 10:43 AM
Mcdonl, You seem to be just stating out.... my advice is to buy qualitiy firearms. That is so easy to say and smple, right? I bought the less expensive guns in my early years. I didn't understand the difference between a Colt or S&W revolver and a Charter or H&R revolver. The names change, but there have always been a Tier III gun market. I considered Ruger to be Tier II and S&W and Colt guns being Tier I. Today, Ruger has probably earned a Tier I status, and there are few Tier II companies; Taurus and High Points come to mind.

If you are like me, you want good stuff, but there is this tremendous turmoil going on inside your head due to your own responsibilities, your sense of value, your sense of what is appropriate for you relative to firearms, and so forth. You also don't want to make a mistake. Nobody does. But you will.

My advice is to buy fewer guns but buy good stuff when you do. The Colt Detective Special is a good gun. After you develop a working gun philosophy, when the guy at work comes to you wanting you to buy his gun because he needs the money.... if it fits and the price is right, you buy. No polls or asking everyone's approval; You buy and in the process you may have helped out a friend having a rough time.

Hope you enjoy shooting your Detective Special.

mcdonl
February 8, 2013, 10:49 AM
22-rimfire... sorta... I have been buying cheap guns my whole life... over the past few years I have tried to get better.

This would be my first purchase of a quality used gun. I seem to think that buying cheap new is a better value.

The good thing is, I need another revolver like I need a hole in the head so if my colt turns into some smith work to make it perfect, I have the time if not the money to make it right.

22-rimfire
February 8, 2013, 11:49 AM
I also need another revolver like a hole in the head. I just realized you have 3000 posts, so you certainly aren't "new". I have always had reservations buying a used gun because I didn't want to buy some one else's cast off. But people buy and sell guns so much that there are few cast offs due to mechanical issues. Yeah, Taurus revolvers are one that I would be very suspicious of "used".

I also wrote this for other thread readers as advice. So, don't take my assumptions personally. Enjoy.

CraigC
February 8, 2013, 11:51 AM
I'd pay $350 for that Colt in a heartbeat! ;)

mcdonl
February 9, 2013, 11:37 AM
I was able to get it for 325 and it is on the way to my FFL. I am probably more excited about this than any other purchase.


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CraigC
February 9, 2013, 01:04 PM
Awesome! I think you made the right choice. ;)

urbaneruralite
February 9, 2013, 08:20 PM
I carry a Charter Southpaw, so...

greenmtnguy
February 9, 2013, 10:12 PM
Even if you were to decide a year from now that you didn't want the Colt anymore - you could easily sell it for what you paid for it, or more. Then, you can buy the Taurus if that is what you'd prefer - can't really lose money on a good condition, functioning Colt in most cases.

mcdonl
February 10, 2013, 06:11 AM
I am interested in the LCR .22 as my next revolver. This particular dealer will let me do lay-away and is very flexible with terms and most prices are good.

Thanks for the advice guys.


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mcdonl
February 12, 2013, 12:38 PM
My FFL (Who is also a gunsmith) has my Colt!!

He indicated it showed some wear and has a little surface rust, but that is locks up nice seems to be near perfectly timed (Not sure what that means other than something to do with lining up the cylinder with the barrel) and he ran it through the it's paces in SA and DA and says other than some TLC it is good to go!!

I cant wait to see him Thursday to pick it up!!

He said it looks like it is so old it did not have a serial number from the factory and one was "hand stamped" into at some point. He probably said it was done when it was sent back to the factory to be re-issued as a service revolver.

Not sure what that means either but I am excited to get it!!

CraigC
February 12, 2013, 01:44 PM
Colt never made a firearm without a serial number. Hopefully this one did not have its number removed and the one it has is usable. Be sure this won't present a problem before taking it home.

mcdonl
February 12, 2013, 02:27 PM
I hope so too. Although, wouldnt the dealer have needed to deal with this before it was sent to my FFL? It was not a private sale.

But, it is completley believable that he just thought it looked different because of the age. I am not sure.

CraigC
February 12, 2013, 02:33 PM
You would think. Back before Christmas I had a dealer in NY send me a sporterized Mauser 98 that had had its serial number removed. They used the number on the bolt. None which is legal and nothing was disclosed in the listing. I don't want to scare you but hopefully you don't have the issues I did. The NFA of 1934 made it illegal to obliterate the serial number on any firearm. The GCA of 1968 made it illegal to own such a firearm. Hopefully the serial number is legitimate.

mcdonl
February 12, 2013, 02:34 PM
Will the FFL know if the serial number is not legit at the time of the NICS check?

CraigC
February 12, 2013, 02:36 PM
If he'll transfer it to you and the serial is on the receiver, you should be okay.

mcdonl
February 12, 2013, 02:40 PM
And if not, well... he can send it back to the other FFL (or dispose of it however his rules indicate) and I will move on. Sadly.

mcdonl
February 12, 2013, 03:51 PM
I wonder if the way serial numbers were done were different in the early years?

Hoppes Love Potion
February 12, 2013, 09:10 PM
For a new revolver, the LCR is about as good as it gets for under $400. If you expand your search to include used, the 3 magic words are Smith. And. Wesson.

mcdonl
February 12, 2013, 10:45 PM
Thanks hoppes but I already made my decision.


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mcdonl
February 15, 2013, 09:58 AM
I got it and it is great! But not perfect.

So doing the revolver test it passes pretty well. The two things I found are as follows.

When you very slowly bring the hammer back there is the initial click but the cylinder is not quite lined up and locked in place. (Although when you simply pull the trigger in DA mode or even cock the hammer in a normal fashion the cylinder rotates properly into place.) I am not sure why the slow speed makes a difference but it does.

No left/right or forward/back movement when locked. The cylinder faces are all symmetrical and smooth and under close inspection there are no stress cracks.

The other problem is when looking at the business end of the gun there is a small gap where the crane meets the frame.

The sellers gunsmith and mine said it would be fine and that for the price I paid it is a great deal.

It is a 1965 model 1 best I can tell from the serial number and physical descriptions (long exposed ejector rod and frame size).

Either way it is a great addition to my collection. My two best guns are my Colt and Ruger SBH.


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