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1st Revolver...I need help!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by D_Burchfield, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. D_Burchfield

    D_Burchfield Well-Known Member

    Well... I've been bitten! I am hoping to purchase a revolver soon. It will be my first wheelgun. What I am looking for is something for HD that my wife can shoot without being afraid of excessive recoil. Under consideration are SW (K-frame) or Taurus in .357. It should be a small or medium frame as both of us have smaller hands. This will be my first revolver purchase so I have no real experience with them. I've shot several belonging to friends but don't know much about the ins and outs(SA vs. DA, good barrel length, etc.)
    I've looked at a few in the shops but would like some EXPERT input before making a final choice. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    A few factors here .. size .. will it ''fit'' a lady's hand! So, a ''K'' frame Smith could be pretty OK ... tho personally I prefer an ''L'' frame ... stronger gun IMO.

    I have a Taurus Mod 66 ... which is ''L'' frame sorta weight, and 4" tube . suits me well, tho I wish I still had my old .686 and Mod 27 (''N'' frame). If you put 38 spl loads thru this sorta piece, recoil is pretty modest . but teach her about grip techniques etc ..... get her comfortable with gun well before ''going live'' .. some dry snapping etc.

    So .... maybe overall for size reasons,. a ''K'' will do well ... but, for my money . don't go putting too much hot .357 thru it .. not tough enough IMO ..... but .38's no prob.

    Just an 0.02
  3. Albert Shear

    Albert Shear Well-Known Member

    For first timers I would recommend a S&W K frame like a model 66 or 65Ladysmith. Both are great for smaller hands, are chambered in 357 mag. but can shoot 38special also. You can tailor the loads to your recoil sensitivity. The L & N frames are heavier and do control recoil more but this is a tradeoff some do not like.
  4. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Well-Known Member

    I won't be the last to suggest that you owe it to yourself to handle a S&W 686 with a 4" barrel. It--along with its Ruger doppelganger, the GP100--is the most recommended first revolver, and probably first handgun, period. A beautifully balanced gun. My wife loves to shoot mine.

  5. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    S&W over Taurus. Superior lockwork with internal safetys built into the design. I would prefer the K frames (lighter than L so it's easier for wifey). For durability, Ruger DA revolvers. The older Security Six/Speed Six/Service Six all work well and if you can find a 4" bbl or 2" bbl for $200-250, buy it (don't know the prices in your area).
  6. Dienekes

    Dienekes Well-Known Member

    S&W, without a doubt. Depending on your exact preferences as to size, consider these two basic pieces: A Model 60 (J frame) 3" full lug with adj. sights, and a K frame 4" with adustables. You may find that one or the other really suits you, so at least handle each. Remember that grips make quite a difference, and that revolvers allow a lot more latitude in this department than semiautos. The .357 chambering is more versatile, but .38 Spl only will suffice.

    There are some very good police trade-ins floating around yet. Consider a nice Model 15 if you can find one--they are jewels and a pleasure to shoot anytime. $225 or so should buy a decent one.

    The truth of the matter is that a nice gun of this type is probably all the gun you NEED for a long time to come.
  7. frankie357

    frankie357 Member

    I agree with 4v50 Gary. You can't go wrong with S&W or Ruger. The 4" bbl best overall, and with 357mag you can also shoot 38sp. The older Ruger Security Six and Speed Six are great guns, also. Very strong. Good luck
  8. Bullet

    Bullet Well-Known Member

    I don't claim to be an expert but here is my 2 cents worth.

    You asked about single action vs. double action. This has to do with the mechanics. With single action revolvers you cannot fire just by pulling the trigger. You have to manually cock the hammer before pulling the trigger every time. Single action revolvers will not fire double action.
    With double action revolvers you just pull the trigger and the gun will fire. The hammer is cocked automatically by pulling the trigger.
    Some revolvers are referred to as double action only and will not fire single action (manually cocking). Some don't have exposed hammers at all.
    Some revolvers are both single and double action and may be fired either way. These are usually referred to as double action (not double action only).
    Single action revolvers have a loading gate and must be loaded and unloaded one at a time. Double action and double action only revolvers have cylinders that swing out from the frame and can be loaded one at a time or all chambers loaded at once.
    Barrel length is a personal preference depending on what you're wanting to do and balance. Most people shoot better with a longer barrel - sight radius (longer distance between sights). You can see your movement easier.
    For home defense I would recommend a four inch barrel or less. A .357 would be good. Smith or Ruger. You can shoot 38 specials or 38 specials +Ps. Make sure you can hit what you're aiming at or none of this will matter (PRACTICE).
    My personal choice is a four inch Ruger GP100 357 stainless.
    Hope this helps.
  9. Quantrill

    Quantrill Well-Known Member

    S&W "K" Frame with .38 loads for a beginning lady. Quantrill
  10. Kahr carrier

    Kahr carrier Well-Known Member

  11. Frenchy

    Frenchy Well-Known Member

    Both my wife & daughter started out with the 4" K-Frame Mod. 10. It's still their favorite.
  12. Thirties

    Thirties Well-Known Member

    S&W model 10 or 15 -- buy used

    Ruger GP100 is a fine revolver, but not for people with small hands. The double action trigger pull requires your finger to reach way out in front (like a short fingered player trying to play a difficult chord on a piano).

    Smith & Wesson model 10 or 15 are excellent pistols for what you are talking about. They are .38 special not .367 magnum. Their double action trigger pull is smoother and noticably shorter than the GP100 (I own both), and their single action pull is the smoothest in the business

    The .357 magnum is _much_ too harsh in recoil and sound for a new woman or man shooter. In fact, shooting almost any gun inside a house is a devastating experience in every way imaginable -- not at all like it seems on television.

    The S&W model 10 or 15 (used) will set you back in the low to mid $200s. The model 15 has adjustable rear sights and is one of the finest revolvers ever made. Used ones are every bit as good as new (unless you get gyped and get a malfunctioning gun). Get a 4" barrel -- best length for easy pointing, balance and accuracy.

    I would bet this gun will get used by you two in a "sporting" or "hobby" manner. You and your wife will take it to a shooting range to practice and learn. Then you will probably start to enjoy shooting at things (plinking, targets). That is what you will be using the gun for.

    Home defense is really only something that occurs in dire emergency. Maybe never if you are lucky. Statistically, probably never encountered in your lifetime.

    My 2 cents.

    Also important you both use double hearing protection: ear plugs and headphones.
  13. jar

    jar Well-Known Member

    Another vote for the S&W M10, 19, 66 etc. The K framed Smiths are simply a joy to shoot. One thing to remember is that the 38Special revolvers tend to be cheaper and easier to get since more people want the 357s. The fact that most 357Magnum revolvers will spend their lives shooting 38 special somehow gets forgotten. look around for a nice model 10 and I think you'll find just what you want.
  14. dairycreek

    dairycreek Well-Known Member

    I would recommend a S&W Model 65 or 66!

    These are well made, refined revolvers in .357/38 spcl. They offer a wide variety of ammo options from very mild to very hot. On the other hand I would absolutely not recommend a Taurus. Based on my experience with them (and, sorry to say it has been substantial) they are not well made. I have had more than one that has had to be sent back to the factory even though I purchased it NIB. I have never had a problem with any S&W revolver that I have owned. FWIW. Good shooting:)
  15. Bainx

    Bainx member

    J-frame S&W snubby for sure!
  16. Bainx

    Bainx member

    J-frame S&W snubby for sure!

    I got a 38 Chief's Special, circa 1954 and it is a wonderfull BUG for me or primary for most anybody else.
  17. alamo

    alamo Well-Known Member

    The S&W Model 65 LS as previously mentioned is a great choice. Bought one for my wife. Love that 3" barrel. The regular model 65 or 66 would be great choices too. All are K frames. If you decide you want a J frame. Get the Model 60 with a 3" barrel. It's is a bit heavier & helps with recoil.
  18. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Well-Known Member

    Has anyone recommended the Ruger SP101 in .38+P? I would go with the 3 inch barrel. This is a true ladies gun. It has a small grip. Recoil is managable because the gun is relatively heavy. It is controlable and accurate. It will do the job with modern .38 ammo.
  19. Slow

    Slow Well-Known Member

    I would go with a 3" or 4" GP100 and load it with some 158grain Lead Semi Wad Cutters or some 158grain Nyclads. Recoil would be minor (in the adrenaline rush you wouldn't notice anyway)Very durable and accurate (although at HD range not a big factor)
  20. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam


    I think you ought to go with one of the Model 19's Al was telling you about. As far as grip size goes...neither of you find the double stack grip of that FEG with Pachymar's to be too unwieldy, do you? Barrel size is really personal preference. I like six inch revolvers for shooting and four inch for carry. And except for my K frame 17's and pre 17's I prefer N frames.

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