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Good revolvers? Expectations too high?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ezypikns, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. ezypikns

    ezypikns Participating Member

    Jul 16, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    One of the first handguns I purchased was a Taurus 605 revolver (.357 mag). I had a bad experience with it. I usually shoot 100 to 150 rounds a week at the range, and the Taurus just beat me up using .357. I thought I'd shoot .38 sp out of the gun to avoid the pounding, but it was no better. I sold the taurus shortly thereafter.
    I normally shoot .45 ACP in a Kimber Ultra Carry and a Kimber Custom TLE, so I am not bothered by recoil too much.
    I'm thinking about getting another revolver. Is there anything I can do to avoid my earlier mistake, or am I just destined to be a semi-auto guy?
  2. Jim March

    Jim March Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    A snubbie is tough to start out with. A snubbie 357 is a handful and a half, even in a fully steel (no TI/Al/Sc) gun.

    Still, that 605 should have been OK in 38Spl. If not, you maybe needed to swap grips. My own 38Snubbie is lighter than yours and is fine with 38+P; I run a Pakmeyer "Compac" rubber grip.
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    Your problem is one a lot of folks make - they want the most powerful cartridge in the smallest possible package. Of coure it's hard to do good shooting at the range when you have a short barrel (and sight radius), light frame, and a small handle to hold on to.

    You're doing better with the pistols because the barrel is at least 3 inches long, and even though it shortened the grip is big enough to give you something to hold on to.

    If you want a (relatively) small but controlable .357 Magnum, try a round butt / K- frame / 2 1/2 or 3 inch barreled Smith & Wesson, or a simialr revolver built on S&W's -86 frame, or a Ruger SP-101
  4. DragonFire

    DragonFire Active Member

    May 26, 2004
    I agree that a snubbie can be a little rougher on you than a larger revolver, and changing grips can make a huge difference in perceived recoil, but if you got a snubbie for CCW, a set of grips that are easier to shoot may make it harder to conceal.

    The smaller and lighter a snubbie is, the more percieved recoil there is and the less it's shot.

    Here's a couple of suggestions:
    If you're going to get another handgun anyway, I'd suggest another revolver in .357 that is larger than a snubbie, maybe another Taurus, or a Smith K frame. Your range sessions could then be several dozen rounds in the larger revolver, and then a couple dozen rounds of .38spl in the snubbie, followed by a few cylinders of .357 in the snubbie. Having a larger Taurus would (probably) keep the trigger pulls similar, and the whole feel of the two guns similar.

    If you're a reloader, you can download some .38spl and/or .357 rounds. Same basic idea as above, find a low(er) power recipe, shoot lots of them followed by fewer full power rounds.

    Finally, if you're not set on the .357, I just picked up a Taurus 905 in 9mm. It's five-shot and uses moon-clips. Of course, 9mm doesn't equal .357, and I'm not crazy about the small (and somewhat fragile) moon-clips, but it is a light reliable revolver, and shoots well without a ton of recoil. There's several models available.
  5. Tacoma

    Tacoma Member

    Nov 3, 2004
    New England
    Hi, New guy here and figured i'd chime in as i've been through it. I'm also not a fan of full 357 mag loads out of a K frame size revolvers ( Not a Taurus fan either but that's another story involving factory returns and a blown up 85.) I reserve my k frames for 38 spl only.

    Anyway, I think you would find an L or N frame 357 much more to your liking. Their size and weight help keepo them more comfortable to shoot.

    Having said that, I would highly recomend you look at a S&W 625 revolver. it's a N frame revolver that shoots (about ANY 45 acp load ) comfortably, reliably and accurately. It uses a moon clip system to hold all 6 rounds at once but can be shot without it. . VERY fast to reload and just a pleasure to shoot. It's one of my favorites of my significant revolver collection.
  6. SteelEye

    SteelEye New Member

    Jun 4, 2003
    SW ID
    I concur with Tacoma. My first revolver was a 625. I used 5 gr 231 with a 185 West Coast plated bullet. This load was very mild and very accurate. Then I began experimenting with 45 Super and Rowland loads until my loads were reaching 44 mag levels. At that point I decided to buy a bigger gun so I wouldn't wreck the 625. I ended up with a Freedom Arms 83 in 44 mag and a S&W 686 2" 357 mag. I load these guys very hot.

    The natural weight of the 625 will offer you a very pleasant shooting experience with hand loads for factory rounds. You may want to change the grip. The stock rubber grip is good for light to medium loads but transfers too much shock for heavy loads.

    When I am tired I shoot the light loaded 625. When I am awake or have had too much coffee I shoot the mags.

    The fun thing about revolvers is some can be loaded nuclear and all can be loaded bunny-fart.
  7. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Participating Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    A 3" barreled Ruger SP101 is concealable AND controllable. It's a five shot gun a bit bigger than the Taurus 605.

    A S&W Model 19, 66, 65, 13, or the Ruger GP100, or the S&W L-frames (586, 686) in .357 are very controllable, easy to shoot and accurate.

    I always put a Hogue Monogrip (rubber) on any wheelgun that's not going to be concealed as they really soak up recoil. Noticeable difference. The Pachmayr Decelerators also work well and aren't as "sticky" so they don't grab on to clothing (I'd recommend these for concealment work, or smooth wood with some light checkering).
  8. rblack

    rblack New Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Southwest Florida
    I'd have to concur with MrMurphy on the 3" barreled Ruger SP101. It is without a doubt my favorite revolver. I've also got a S&W 686 with a 4" tube and the SP101 is still my favorite.
  9. Plinkerton

    Plinkerton Member

    Apr 27, 2004
    I have a 4" 686, and I actually get quite bored shooting only .38s with it. They are just much too mild. .357s are right on the money.
  10. Majic

    Majic Mentor

    May 3, 2003
    You also say you shoot compact .45acp and you are not recoil sensitive, but there is a world of difference in the recoil of a .357mag and a .45acp. The .45acp will never in any loading begin to approach the recoil of a .357mag. Then add to it being in a light weight short barrel revolver and the recoil has multiplied.
    Old Fluff has nailed it and I have seen it many times at the ranges. The first time these people touch off a round out of their brand new mini, light weight handcannon the look on their face is priceless. A lot of the times the damage is done and confidence has been lost in the revolver no matter the load.
  11. stans

    stans Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    central Virginia
    My first handgun was a 357. It was a Dan Wesson 15-2 with an eight inch barrel and rubber Pachmayer stocks. This was an almost no recoil set up with 38 Special's, especially 148 grain target wadcutter loads. It also handled full power magnum loads well. I expect if I had started with a small 357 (the smallest at the time would have been the S&W 19 with a 2-1/2 inch barrel) I would have immediately grown to hate the 357 and revolvers in general.

    If you want a real sweet shooting 357, look at a Ruger GP-100 with a six inch barrel. I have one with a full underlug barrel, bought it after I stupidly traded away my Dan Wesson. The rubber stocks fit me well and absorb the recoil from full power loads very nicely.
  12. Bullet

    Bullet Participating Member

    Jan 20, 2003
    I would recommend either a 6 inch GP100 or a older Smith 686 (before the lock). Either of these would be fine for 357 Mags. I also like Hogue rubber grips. If the recoil is to much for you from either of them then you better stay with a sem-auto.
  13. m60a3

    m60a3 New Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    it always amazes me how many people think a .357 magnum is just a +p 9mm. Most of the factory 357 loads are light anyway because of the light guns in the caliber. When you get hold of some real 158 gr full pressure loads you realize why Smith brought the gun out in an N frame. I shoot an 8 3/8's 27, a 4" 19, and a 2 1/2" 66. The 19 is my favorite carry gun for country, and the 66 is my favorite for city ccw use. I think the 357 is probably the most under rated of all revolver cartridges.
  14. joab

    joab Senior Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    Ocoee, Fla
    That could be the problem. Revolver recoil is different it seems to hit me more in the small bones of my arthritic wrist.
    I grew up with revolvers and never noticed it until I made the switch to 1911 .45s when I went back to my .38 snubby I found that I could not shoot as well because of the high handed grip I was taking and the damn thing hurt after about 25 rounds and I would have to switch back to the auto for some relief.
  15. chaim

    chaim Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    As others have said, recoil in an auto is very different from recoil in a revolver. In addition to .45acp being no where near the .357mag in recoil, the action of the auto helps absorb some of the recoil energy while the revolver transfers it all into your hand.

    I'm a revolver guy, and I love .357mag (I also love my .41mag) and I found .357mag and even .38+P painful out of the 605 I had (interestingly, I find .38+P out of my M85 more comfortable than I remember them being out of my heavier 605).

    Give revolvers another try, but some suggestions:

    -Go bigger. Get at least a K-frame (S&W M10, 13, 15, 19, 64, 65, 66, Taurus 82, 65, 66) with a 3" or 4" barrel. Great size, good handling, large and heavy enough to handle heavier loads relatively comfortably, light and small enough to carry. This is the minimum size I'd go with in a .357mag, and even so I usually shoot .38spl and .38+P out of my K-frames.

    -Go even bigger. The L-frame S&W (581, 586, 681 and 686), Taurus Tracker, and the Ruger GP100 are bigger and heavier and should handle .357mag well.

    -Try different grips. Hard to believe the difference they make. Some prefer rubber because they absorb some recoil. I prefer wood because it allows more movement and it seems more comfortable to me. Shape and size also makes a difference.

    -Try a different caliber. Start with a K-frame in .38spl (S&W M10, 15, 64 or similar sized Taurus 82) until you can comfortably shoot .38+P, then get a .357mag.

    -If you must have a snub, consider a .38spl (like the Taurus 85 or S&W 36) and maybe buy a second in .22lr for easier practice for most of your practice.
  16. Trumpet

    Trumpet New Member

    May 19, 2003
    Unless you have a LOT of money DON't get the 625.

    They're ADDICTIVE. Seriously though, I'd highly recommend the 625. Extremely versatile. If you reload you can make some burnin' .45AR loads or use .45acp in moonclips. I have a 4" 625 and it's probably my favorite revolver.

  17. First Person Shooter

    First Person Shooter New Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    Just like a high horsepower v-8 in a little car can be a handful, so is a 357 snub. It's something that you have to master and will take time to do so. I would advise a slightly larger 357 ( I know the 686 can be had in 2.5 inch barrel lengths ). Also take your time to move up the power level sarting with 38 +p. A nice set of rubber grips really make a difference too.

    My very first handgun was a 6 inch Mdl 29 in 44mag. It took a bit of time to master but it was well worth the effort.
  18. Parker Dean

    Parker Dean Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Corpus Christi, TX
    I'd also be interested in knowing a bit more detail on what exactly "beat me up" entails.

    Years ago I had a DW 15-2 4in Heavy Barrel that I'd fire Remington 125gr JHP's through and I could only stand a couple of cylinders before the pain in my hand got to be more than I cared to endure.

    A couple of years ago I got back into firearms (1911's specifically) and with the inof on the net I learned how to grip a 1911 properly. This in turn brought realization that I was not gripping the revolver properly at the time. I was just picking the gun up and placing my trigger finger with the first pad on the trigger. Sounds right? Well, not exactly. I have small hands such that a 1911 with a long trigger is a stretch so a revolver is a problem most times. With the grip I was using on that 15-2 the gun was rotated a bit in my hand to the right. This in turn placed the "backstrap" (not that a DW has one) right across the bottom knuckle of my thumb and it was getting the majority of the recoil resulting in pain.

    In retrospect, I needed to make sure I held the gun with the barrel such that it forms a straight line with my forearm, which would then place the backstrap in the web of my hand. Of course I'm not likely to be able to reach a DA trigger that way...
  19. ducktapehero

    ducktapehero Active Member

    Mar 18, 2004
    Missouri Ozarks
    I've noticed that a lot of people are suggesting the Smith 625. A cheaper alternative is the Taurus 455. It's their Tracker in 45acp. It uses 5 shot moonclips. I had one and it is a SWEET!!!! gun. My Dad fell in love with it so I gave it to him. I sure miss it.
  20. Sean85746

    Sean85746 Member

    Nov 7, 2004
    Mesa, Arizona
    Good Grips Are Key

    Get a set of Hogue Monogrips. I don't care if you go on the cheap and get the soft rubber, or go the wood route like I do (Pau Ferro is my fave)...the Hogues make a magnum wheelie, downright pleasant.

    I have Hogues on my 3" Ruger SP-101, and it feels like I am shooting .38's when I am shooting 125gr jhp magnum rounds.

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