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Rock island .38 Special revolver, any good?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by dmlehto, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. dmlehto

    dmlehto Active Member

    So i was looking to add a revolver to my modest collection and i found a NIB Rock island .38 Special w/ 4" barrel for $180. so anyone had one of these?
  2. ddtaylor

    ddtaylor Active Member

    I saw a armscor revolver today at a gunshow it is the same size as a colt detective special I was wondering how they are too if they are the same as their 1911 I would buy one
  3. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    The first time I saw one, I thought it was a Colt Agent.
  4. ulflyer

    ulflyer Well-Known Member

    Saw one of the Armscor 38's at LGS and the cylinder didn't lock up very well. Too sloppy for my taste.
  5. Arms Corporation of the Philippines(No relation to the government, private company) revolver is JUNK. My friend had his for 3 years. One time, he fired 33 rounds or so. After pulling the trigger for the 34th shot, the cylinder of his revolver won't turn. It got stuck! Armscor ordinance steel expanded. Low Quality. After an hour when his gun cooled off, it functioned again. Then he immediately sold off.

    Cheap life? Get a cheap gun. Cheap guns means cheap quality and this can get you killed. It's an investment, your life depends on it. Go for S&W, Colt, Charter Arms, Rossi, or even Taurus.

    Armscor revolver is not worth your penny. No one buys it here in the Philippines except for Security companies who doesn't use it. We buy American revolvers for personal protection. It's Tried and tested.
  6. NMBrian

    NMBrian Well-Known Member

    If the quality is the same as their 1911's (dunno why it would be any different) then they are probably a very good bargain.
  7. il_10

    il_10 Well-Known Member

    Filipinashooter: Sounds like your friend's revolver was built to tighter than usual tolerances, likely at the barrel gap. This can, and does, happen with Colts, s&w, etc. The cheapness or quality of the steel has nothing to do with the expansion rate; all metal expands when it gets hot. Five minutes at the gunsmith or a call to armscor would have likely solved the problem with that gun.

    I've been looking at these for a while, and will likely buy one, but I'm going to get the real colt first. One thing I'm hesitant about regarding these guns is the lockup isn't colt tight. The ones I've handled have the same amount of wiggle at full lockup, or only slightly less, than when they're not in full lockup, reminiscent of a Smith & Wesson. I don't know if this is by design, or a function of cheaper production. However, I have seen some fairly good evidence suggesting that they are built based on Colt specs, so I'm unsure as to why they wouldn't lock up as tight. If anyone has any insight there, please let me know.

    The biggest reason I haven't jumped at the armscor, other than being a bigger fan of Colts than of Colt clones, is that they use a transfer bar system. My primary motivation with the armscor would be to make a Fitz special without harming a colt (they aren't making any more of 'em), but with the transfer bar there isn't much hammer sticking out once it's been bobbed.
  8. seattledave

    seattledave Active Member

    I have the Armscor M206 snubby and while it won't win any beauty contests, it is a serviceable gun. I replaced the shoddy wooden grips with Pachmayr gripper grips and now enjoy shooting the gun a lot. The gun is cast with minimal finish work and the parkerized finish is just ok. That said, mine is dead on accurate and the DA trigger pull is smooth with a nice clean break that makes it easy to shoot accurately. Combine that with a cheap price and the Colt detective look and it's a fun little gun. I've fired a few thousand rounds through mine with no problems, and in fact rely on it as my CCW in the Fall/Winter seasons.
  9. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Well-Known Member

    I would shop for a used M10 S&W instead.
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Bingo. At one time, Ruger revolvers had small B/C gaps, and I've had a few cylinders tighten up if they got hot or with lead build-up after firing a couple hundred cast bullets.

    I'll second that! Lotta very good Model 10s in the pipeline. A good many weren't fired very much, and even some that were never fired and spent the last 3-4 decades in a nightstand drawer. Last year, I picked up a heavy barrel model for 150 bucks that...judging from the finish...looked ready for the scrap heap. The gun had been carried, and rarely shot. Nice and tight, with as near zero endshake as I've ever seen on a used revolver. The action is smooth as glass and the ugly thing will literally tie holes together at 25 yards.
  11. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Well-Known Member

    I picked up a used Model 10 Smith a month ago off of GBroker for $230 total. I think the difference in quality is well worth the $50.

    The Armscor 1911 is a good 1911. The 200-series revolvers, I think, fall far short of their 1911. I have not fired one, but the two that I held and dry-fired seemed cheap.

  12. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Well-Known Member

    I agree. Lots of good used S&W model 10s out there. S&W made well over a million of them and have one of the best track records of any revolver ever made. Also another good one is a Ruger Security/Service/Speed Six. You can find them in either 357 magnum or 38 special.

    There are much better options. Explore them.

  13. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine has an Armscor snubbie. At about 7-8 yards, I shot it a bit and its groups were 3-4 times larger in diameter than from any of my S&Ws or my old Colt using the exact same ammo. The shots weren't off to one side or anything specific but were randomly spaced in a much larger area. I even tried shooting single action with a rest and couldn't do much better. However, it did work reliably.
  14. billybob44

    billybob44 Well-Known Member

    Q, I just sent a money order for the exact same deal--ONLY--mine was $234.00 total..HA HA...Bill.

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