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What are the most popular CCW revolvers?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by The Unknown User, May 8, 2007.

  1. The Unknown User

    The Unknown User Well-Known Member

    I've been looking at different things, but there are like, 4362751643 different S&W j-frame models, whereas the Ruger only has one small-frame model, and then Taurus, which I'm told makes good revolvers, has quite a few, as well.

    So, I'm curious: what are the more popular CCW revolvers?
  2. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Colt D-frame Detective Specials, Cobras, and Agent's. S&W model 10's,15's 19's,36's,37's,38's,40's,42's,60's (old model .38 Special),66's,442's, 637's,642's,
  3. MassMark

    MassMark Well-Known Member

    In my book, (which isn't a very big book), the Smith and Wesson 642/642CT appears to be a favorite...
  4. Fumbler

    Fumbler Well-Known Member

    The Taurus 85 seems to be a popular choice for those who can't afford a new Smith.
  5. M92FS

    M92FS Well-Known Member

  6. ARTiger

    ARTiger Well-Known Member

    S&W leads in total number of revolvers out there (by far) and the Model 642 is presently their #1 selling firearm overall. Colt's Detective Special also has a loyal following as does the SP101. All are VERY good guns. No experience with Taurus snubs so far, but their other stuff has really improved in quality as of late.

    To select a snub revolver handgun system that fits you, there's a bit of deductive reasoning that'll help some. . . .First choice would be to decide between (a) Exposed Hammer (b) bobbed hammer (c) shrouded hammer or (d) internal hammer. That should narrow it down considerably. Then decide on carry method (IWB, OWB, SOB, Pocket, etc.), weight you are comfortable with then caliber. Plan on spending at least as much as you did on the gun for ammo to begin practicing enough to get competent with the snub revolver system you choose.

    Good luck and I (for one) would be interested in hearing about your experiences as you go through the process.

  7. cslinger

    cslinger Well-Known Member

    Smith and Wesson 638. Look no futher. Sure she's a little homely but she's great in action. :D

    The shroaded hammer gives you all the benefits of hammerless with the ability to still cock that hammer back for a beautiful single action pull.
  8. The Unknown User

    The Unknown User Well-Known Member

    I've heard about the Taurus 85, the S&W 642, and the Ruger SP101 a lot. I'm guessing those are some good ones to look at?

    What about the S&W 60? It seems to be pretty close to the SP101.
  9. cslinger

    cslinger Well-Known Member

    SP101 vs. M60.

    The 60 is pocketable and a bit lighter. It is however a bit less robust for a steady diet of three fitty seven.

    The SP101 is not really a pocket gun. It is beefier, a bit heavier but designed for a lifetime a crazy buttstomping three fitty seven rounds.

    Neither is a bad gun they just have different strengths. For me personally I would prefer the model 60 as a CCW piece because I am a big fan of pocket carry because it means you are very likely to carry any time you can. The SP101 moves you into holster carry which means you have to "suit up" so to speak and means you are more likely to just say ahhh the hell with it I am just running down the street.

    I have both. Both shoot great. The SP101 absorbs recoild better and would make a great hammer. The model 60 carries much better.

  10. The Unknown User

    The Unknown User Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Chris. :)

    I have annoying OCD about things like this, and I probably won't consider a model that isn't "tried and true." I downloaded the S&W .pdf catalog, and I'm overwhelmed by all of the revolver models. It seems like there's every combination possible of caliber, frame size, barrel length, etc., and so I don't know which models are the most popular for carry.
  11. cslinger

    cslinger Well-Known Member

    Really it comes down to a few factors IMO.

    1-How do you plan to carry? If you plan on using a good holster and belt then you allow for bigger guns and the choices become a bit different.

    2-Do you plan to run lots of full house .357 magnum through the gun. Smith and Wesson J frames really are not designed for a steady diet of this. They are not fragile by any means but they really are not meant for round after round of pounding .357, especially the hot 125 grain stuff.

    3-Do you want the option of a single action trigger pull? Liability law probably dictates you stick with a good double action only gun, ie no hammer. I however , like having the option of a double action pull. Therefore I usually carry a 638.

    4-Do you want 5 for sure, 6 for sure, 7 for sure or 8 for sure. There are guns that hold any of those capacities and all come in models that would work for CCW although the more ammo the thicker/bigger the gun.

    For shear bang for your buck it is hard to go wrong with a Smith 642 or 442. They make a butload of 642s so they are cheap, they are double action only, are generally abuse resistent and shoot pretty well. They will have a pretty heavy trigger out of the box though so prepare to shoot or dryfire alot.

    Me personally I think that the best CCW gun is the one you will carry all the time you legally can. To me this means ease of grabbing and going and therefore pocket carry. For that reason I think an aluminum framed .38+P revo is the best compromise between caliber, weight, durability, recoil and cost that meets my needs. I don't like those super light, very expensive unobtanium guns and I don't think a bit heavy gun makes alot of sense for an EDC piece. That puts me right in the 642, 442, 637, 638 Smith camp. I have been known to pocket my model 60 as well.

    Give me a good 5 shot .38+P and an extra speedstrip or two and I am good to go.


  12. The Unknown User

    The Unknown User Well-Known Member

    Well, see I've never owned or fired a firearm before. I intend to get a license to carry a concealed weapon, and so I'm just trying to narrow down my options. I know nothing about ammunition, so when you say .38+P and all that, all I know is the stuff that's on paper. :p

    I have no idea how I plan to carry, but I like the idea of a belt holster. I also have to say I don't like the idea of carrying a pistol that doesn't have enough room for all of the fingers on my strong hand. I mean, those revolvers you posted only have room for two fingers in addition to the trigger. I just wonder where my pinky will lodge itself. :p

    Edit: To be honest, I was thinking more along the lines of a .357, so it could take .38 special (right?) ammo, too. I read that handgun self-defense loads are compared against the .357 magnum for revolvers and the .45 ACP for autos. (I'm assuming hollowpoints for each, as well.)

    So, when I was looking at revolvers, I was looking more at .357's, with .38's as a "second choice." Someone on another forum I post at (not gun related) carries a Taurus 85 and has said good things about it, but then I hear spotty things about their quality control and customer service, and it makes me wonder.

    That's why I was looking at S&W, but they have so many models...

    Ruger I've never heard a single bad thing about, to be honest. That's why I figured an SP101 might be good, but I figured I should give S&W's a chance. Which is more popular/has a better reputation?
  13. bigmike45

    bigmike45 Well-Known Member

    I'll take a Ruger any day. They may not have the best triggers, but with a little work that can be smoth as glass. They are built like tanks and can digest heavy loads regularly without excessive wear. My favorites are:

    2" & 3" SP-101's
    3" GP-100
    and yes even my 4" Redhawk.
  14. Iggy

    Iggy Well-Known Member

    A light weight snub nosed handgun is not what I would suggest as a first handgun.
    At least find a way to try one before buying one.

    I would suggest looking into a basic firearms course. The instructor's will probably have a selection of handguns for you to handle and get a feel for size and weight . The course will also give you some insights into the various aspects of target vs carry etc.

    They will more than likely have samples of the various modes of carry for you to explore too.

    A .22 revolver is a great learning tool. Learn to shoot, then learn to fight.
    When you have mastered the basics of handgun shooting, a medium frame revolver in .38/357 is a great next step.
    From there the world's your limit.

    Good luck.
  15. ronto

    ronto Well-Known Member

    Ruger 357 DAO SP101.

    If you want to show it off to your friends...Get a Colt.

    If you want to sip tea with one hand and shoot with the other...Get a S&W.

    If you own stock in UPS or FEDEX...Get a Taurus or Rossi.

    If you are going to hell and plan on comming back...Get a Ruger.
  16. DawgFvr

    DawgFvr Well-Known Member

    :rolleyes: My exact sentiments...if you buy a Ruger you are more than likley going to Hell.:neener: S&W 642 is the real deal...nothing comes close.
  17. MassMark

    MassMark Well-Known Member

    Rob - I notice you're in Massachusetts. If you can, go to Smith and Wesson. They have an excellent range and rentals available. I have been carrying for a long time, (always autos). I started carrying my 642CT, (my second revolver) over a month ago. I love it and haven't looked back. I do however think you're contemplating buying a first handgun that will require a lot of training to use proficiently. With +P defensive ammunition, (in my case Speer GDHP 135 +P), the gun has bark to go with the bite. If you can't be convinced otherwise to starting off with a larger and more forgiving weapon, then at least start off with standard pressure loads and work your way up to the GDHP's or Buffalo Bores etc...I would also recommend a pistol class to go along with it. Make a trip out to Smith and Wesson - you'll be glad you did....

    Ronto - loved your post - even though I don't sip tea with my 642CT, your post made me chuckle...Thanks... :)
  18. Glockman17366

    Glockman17366 Well-Known Member

    "The Taurus 85 seems to be a popular choice for those who can't afford a new Smith."

    You shouldn't assume we bought Taurus because we couldn't afford S&W. The Taurus is the better gun...for me.
  19. Crow61

    Crow61 Well-Known Member

    I have owned several .38 special revolvers over the years. My first one was a Charter Arms 3" undercover. My dad still has it. I would consider it very reliable as there have been many rounds put through it. It was made by the old CA company and not the Charco, current Charter Arms, etc...

    I have also owned a Rossi .38 and Rossi .357. When I got the Rossi .38 I had originally ordered a Charco .38. The dealer got two in and neither one made it through five rounds without failing. I took the Rossi instead and it served me well, but was very heavy.

    I currently own two .38 SP's. A 3" Taurus 85 and a S&W model 10 snubby. I will probably always own at least one .38 special because they are special.

    I almost forgot the S&W 442 that I used to own. It was a handful, but I will always regret getting rid of it.

  20. Jkwas

    Jkwas Well-Known Member

    Any of the "Big Three" or "Big Four" if you count colt make a good snub. They're all good when they're working, but when they stop, Smith/Wesson apparently has the best Customer Service. But, that's what you're paying a premium for IMO. FWIW, I carry Taurus.

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