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Best .32 for small hands?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by telomerase, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. telomerase

    telomerase Well-Known Member

    I think we all agree that it would be better if more decent people owned defensive weapons, even if they aren't .454 Casulls. Some people can only handle smaller calibers at first. (Once they start shooting, they may well move up to to .454s anyway, but they have to actually start first...) If someone has ANY sort of gun their voting habits may improve as well.

    Rimfires aren't the best solution. .22 LR is very weak, I have had to shoot rats more than once. .22 mag is awfully loud and distracting. All rimfire revolvers have to have (OTBE) harder trigger pulls than centerfires. Even .32 Long is better than .22s if handloaded up a little, and .32 Mag is much better.

    So, what's the "best" .32 for an elderly, small, and/or weak person (i.e., which has the best trigger, shortest trigger reach, etc.)? Taurus 731? Old Smith 631? Ancient I-Frame and handloaded S&W Long? The recently-discontinued 331? I like SP-101s too, but they are a bit bigger and heavier.
  2. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Well-Known Member

    The field is getting a bit narrow on current production guns in .32 mag .

    If one can find the S&W 431 or 432 models I like them. They however have jumped a couple hundred dollars after production stopped ,putting them in the $500 range it seems.

    Just read that Ruger is dropping that chambering also . If that's true (and likely is) then one is left with the latest version of the Taurus 731 which is the aluminum frame stainless steel version. (airweight 17 oz)

    Mine is a Taurus Model 731 in Titanium ,which is also now out of production in that material. (13 oz ) , and I am very pleased with mine.

    So, I guess rather than pay high premiums on guns out of production I would recommend the Taurus 731 . May it live forever !
  3. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    http://www.naaminis.com/sandy1.html just a thought. A friend of mine has a Colt detective special in .32 S&W long, what a sweetie. If recoil is a issue I'd stick with steel. I would consider a S&W mod 36 loaded with target loads.
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    The current and recent crop of .32's have mostly been snubbies, that don't represent a very good platform to start off with. This of course is excluding Ruger's single actions built on the Single-Six frame.

    For your intended purpose I would look backwards to Colt's Police Positive with a 4" or longer barrel. Also the Pocket Positive with a 3 1/2" barrel

    Or Smith & Wesson's 1903 Hand ejector or Regulation Police with a 4 1/4" barrel. Or if you can find one a S&W model 30 or 31 with a 4" barrel.

    The S&W models 30 & 31 as well as the Colt Police Positive and Pocket Positive can be safely converted to .32 H&R Magnum.

    And a .32 S&W Long loaded with a full wadcutter bullet will beat any .22 RF without increasing the load. ;)
  5. 461

    461 Well-Known Member

    The recently discontinued Smiths are probably the best bet for a light little snubby. I've got a 3" SP-101 that has impressed me to no end though. It is heavier and bigger, but if the person can hold and manipulate it then you'd have a fine little weapon. The extra weight soaks up what little recoil there is and you get adjustable sights and a better sight picture. Can't praise that little SP enough. Good luck.
  6. wileyj

    wileyj Well-Known Member

    The Smith 431's have the worst trigger I have ever felt out of the box. I worked the springs in the hammer and trigger and it is better but my 80YOmother in law chose my Taurus 85SSUL with changed springs because the trigger was very nice.
    Check the trigger before you get one for an older person
  7. Lonestar

    Lonestar Well-Known Member

    If your looking for a new revolver right now, the Taurus 731 is the only thing being produced. It's probably the best thing going for the .32 H&R Mag right now. The possible future NAA mini revolver will hopefully put the .32 mag back on the map, however I don't think it would be a good choice for an elderly shooter, since it will probably be single action. Same with the discontinued S&W 431, Its ultra light weight (12oz) makes it a great piece for CCW, but makes the recoil similar to shooting an all steel standard pressure .38, so why bother. I love to see a Rugers SP101 in .32 Mag. A nice heavy double action would be perfect for an elderly shooter, but their are extremely hard to come by. Another options is to find old .32 S&W long revolvers but I get a little leary trusting my elderly relatives lives to old, outdated weapons.

    I mentioned this on the .22 wmr thread, .32 H&R Magnum might be becoming the Betamax of the gun world. It is a great caliber, but 5 years ago S&W, Ruger, and Taurus were making DA handguns in that caliber , now it is only Taurus. If Taurus stops making the 731, and the NAA .32 magnum never sees the light of day, you will see the caliber slowly fade away.

    My advice is get the Taurus 731, stock up on ammo and hope for the best.
  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    I beg to differ... :fire:

    I'm not one of your relatives, but I am elderly... :D

    Anyway, many of the older .32 S&W Long revolvers I mentioned aren't outdated. Their internal lockwork isn't much different then what's made today, and the fit and finishing is much better. They aren't too heavy, and can be found with longer-then-snubby barrels. They can often be found in very good to excellent shape for half the cost of a new gun.

    The smaller stocks (think J-frame S&W's and D-frame Colt's) are easier to hold on to, and the recoil is very manageable, even for those with disabled hands (ask me how I know... ).

    A .32 S&W Long cartridge loaded with a full wadcutter is a lot better "stopper" then a .32 ACP and far ahead of a .22 R.F. or WRM. This is especially true if it's fired out of a four, rather then two inch barrel.

    If I show some of my "senior" friends any of these outdated revolvers I often have to fight to keep it. :what: :D
  9. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    .32 S&W Long

    I agree with my my friend Old Fuff, as a used but not abused
    Smith & Wesson model 30-1 would make an excellent find. Guess
    what? I have one; but its not for sale, as it was my deceased dads
    CCW piece. I bought it, NIB during the summer of 1971 for the grand
    total of $92.00.
  10. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    BUT... but, it's old and outdated and not very popular. :uhoh:

    Hardly worth the $50.00 (cash) that I was going to offer ... :rolleyes:

    But if you insist on keeping it... :(

    Oh darn... :evil: :D
  11. Essex County

    Essex County Well-Known Member

    A nice I frame is a work that came from an era when pride and quality were foremost. It would be my first choice..........Essex
  12. Lonestar

    Lonestar Well-Known Member

    Granted old S&W and Colts are very well build, but with .32 S&W Long revolvers your talking about a handgun that can easily be 30 to 50 year old or older. I like classic cars, but If I bought a used Ford Fairline to drive cross country, I would definately have a good mechanic give the car a good lookover and replace a lot of important part. I would have a good gunsmith (not the guy you bought the gun off of ) give it a good inspection and fix anything that looks like it needs to be replaced. It's one thing to have an old handgun in your collection, I own a few myself, but it is another thing to depend on an old handgun for protection.
  13. cyanide

    cyanide Well-Known Member

  14. Kymasabe

    Kymasabe Well-Known Member

    Well, I know this is the revolver forum but have to throw in the Kel-Tec .32 auto...I own one and is a great little gun. Light, reliable, 7+1.

    Now, onto revolvers. I'm a BIG fan of the S&W 431PD and 432PD, both were .32H&R Mags, very light recoil, balistics close to .38 special, and some 432's came with Crimson Trace laser grips.

    I've owned a few Taurus's and a Taurus-built Rossi revolver, and recently bought a really beat-up S&W model 36 snub.38. The Taurus trigger doesn't even come close to the Smith...the S&W is much smoother, breaks more cleanly and staging the trigger is easier. For occasional use, a Taurus 731 would probably be fine...but I like to shoot my carry guns alot and "good enough"...well, just isn't good enough.
  15. wileyj

    wileyj Well-Known Member

    I understand that SW made wonderful pistols with unbelievably good triggers and the model 36 you got is one.
    But new, made in the last 24 months, out of the box, J-frames have terrible triggers. Well maybe SW only put a bad trigger on my 431PD but I doubt that they picked on just me.
    All I know right now is that a Taurus J frame type revolver will slick up nicer than the SW real J frame.
    The triggers have been called lawyer triggers, just like the funky locking mechanisms that SW has put on their guns.
  16. telomerase

    telomerase Well-Known Member

    People who rarely shoot are less likely to make mistakes with a revolver (or those who often shoot... a cop just shot through a wall in a hotel around here while he was "practicing his draw", narrowly missing a woman in the next room... he forgot to empty the chamber). Also less likely to limpwrist etc. For an old enthusiast, autos do have advantages. But .32 mag is more powerful than .32 ACP, which makes up for capacity issues.

    Can Taurus triggers be fixed? (I once owned a 94 for a short time, and have no good memories of the DA pull). Maybe I should hunt down a 431 or 432PD, though non-stainless finishes scare me.
  17. popeye

    popeye Well-Known Member

    Well I've got a S&W .32 hand ejector I frame, and an I frame Terrier in .38 S&W. I recently got a 632 that I really like. All are carried occasionionally. I know .... so what.
  18. wileyj

    wileyj Well-Known Member

    I ordered hammer and trigger springs from Brownells for both the 431PD and the M85UL. I did not go to thelightest springs so as not to hurt reliability. The hammer spring install is simple and the trigger spring is not bad. I had to put on my reading glasses to do it (to see it and of course, eye protection). the spring is small.
    I like the 431PD. I have a High Noon Split Decision tuckable holster and it reides very nicely at my 3 to 4 o'clock. I really have not used the tuckable but have tried it. the holster rides low enough to be comfortable and not print with a shirt tail out.
    But non the less, the trigger on the 431PD is still harsh. My wife (with some arthritis in her hands) will not use it, preferring her PT111 for carry.
  19. Lonestar

    Lonestar Well-Known Member

    I agree with that. While I like the Tomcat and the P-32, there are too may possiblies that a person with limited firearms training can make a major mistake with a semi auto when they need it the most. I hate to see grandmom get hurt or killed by a badguy because she forgot to turn off the safety or the gun jammed and she forgot or did not know who to tap/rack. With a revolver you can see that it is loaded and all you need to do it pull the trigger.

    You can probably get a Centerfire Taurus's trigger smoothed by a good gunsmith. Rimfires like your 94 need to strike hard so the triggers are allways going to stink, smoothing it out might cause more light strikes.
  20. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

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