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Old July 26, 2014, 12:52 AM   #1
zdc1775
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Good cheap revolvers suitable for SD/HD

Before I ask this question let be give you some background information. I have a 62 year old female employee who recently left her husband due to physiological and threatened physical abuse. A bad situation all around. Anyway he has been making what could best be described as threatening comments and has even attempted to gain entry to our place of work, an open campus with secured buildings, to try and confront her. After this occurred she did go to the police and get a temporary restraining order, but we all know how well those work.

She came to be today asking if I would be willing to help her find a handgun and teach her how to use it in case he tried to do something while she was not at work. I spent the next few hours going over legalities with her and feel that she has a good understanding of that side, and she filled out and dropped off her CCW application this afternoon.

Here is the issue, in her present situation money is obviously tight. So I need some suggestions of good quality, reliable revolvers that don't cost too much, ~$200 or less. Right now selling her one of mine is most likely a no-go as all of them are currently large frame, or magnum calibers. However, I know several of the LGS owners and employees around here so if I go with her they will most likely make a reasonable deal.

Honestly I really only know about S&W and Colt revolvers as that is all I have ever dealt with but know that there are several other brands that are well regarded and usually cost less on the used market especially if the company is no longer in business.

Obviously I am going to let her find one she is comfortable with, but I already know a good amount about semi-autos so mostly just wanting to know about revolvers in this thread.

So what brands/types does THR suggest that we look for or that we avoid.
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Old July 26, 2014, 12:57 AM   #2
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Getting in under $200 is gonna be tough these days. You might, and I mean maybe, find a used Taurus .38 for that, but anything S&W or Ruger is gonna be at least 50% more than her budget.
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Old July 26, 2014, 12:59 AM   #3
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I have recently become a fan of charter arms. Might be closer to $300. But this one is on gunbroker right now for 200, it is pink though. http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=431395768
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Old July 26, 2014, 01:26 AM   #4
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In that price range, a 20 gauge pump action shotgun like the H&R Pardner Pump would be a good bet for home defense, but of course that leaves out carry.
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Old July 26, 2014, 01:35 AM   #5
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http://www.allans-armory.com/aaresult.php?PageId=58

Taurus 82, ugly condition but functional and cheap from a good vendor. Put as strong a .38 load as she can handle in it. I like the BB FBI load myself.
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Old July 26, 2014, 02:09 AM   #6
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I can personally vouch for the Taurus 82's as I bought a pair of them from Century Int'l. They're are indeed a bit rough on the outside, but function well and are surprisingly accurate.



They can pretty easily be had for <$200.

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Old July 26, 2014, 03:41 AM   #7
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i think pepper spray would be a real good idea now until she can get proficient with a handgun. the handgun thing is going to take a while. sounds like she needs something right away.

cost is less than 200 dollars and you could teach her how to use it correctly.

murf
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Old July 26, 2014, 03:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
~$200 or less.
I think I'd try to help her get a more expensive revolver. You won't find many worth betting your life on in that price range IMO. I don't mean to be insulting. I just don't think you can find a good revolver for that price. You can get a used Taurus but with them you are risking getting a bad one. Their quality is often hit or miss. I have a great Taurus. Many people have examples that are not great. I'd loan her some money to get a better revolver like a police trade S&W Model 10. You can find those for around $300 like the one on this page. It would be better to buy locally though IMO so you can check the gun for any quality issues. If it's been shot 100,000 rounds you probably don't want it and I have seen some I thought might exceed that round count. I've seen Smiths with absolutely not rifling left in the barrel at all. Generally a police trade in hasn't been shot that much. I have a Sig P220 that was a police trade in and it had a lot of life left in it.

That Model 10 might be pretty big for concealed carry. But I would think large purse to carry it in.

BTW many states have laws that allow emergency CCW's just for situations like this one. The process is almost instant here in Ohio. You go into the sheriff's office and you can legally carry the same day pretty much. No classes, fees, whatever. Too many women get hurt by angry ex's. Sad but true. You may want to see if Alabama has a similar setup.
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Old July 26, 2014, 04:33 AM   #9
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Everyone- Thank you for your quick responses.

Loaning her money isn't out of the question on my end but I am not sure she would take it to be honest.

Also our sheriff here is really good about issuing permits quickly under normal circumstances, usually 1 week or less, but he does issue permits quicker to people who have had to get a restraining order so I will be surprised if she doesn't have it Monday or Tuesday at the latest.

Already told her to buy some pepper spray for the time being but unfortunately it does not always stop someone and you have the risk of it blowing back and getting on her.

She does have the fact that she is working most of the time behind key carded, bullet proof doors in her favor right now. And the apartments she moved into have very good security (gated parking lot, key card entry into building, and armed security 24/7) but that doesn't help when she is driving to and from work or doing the necessary shopping.
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Old July 26, 2014, 04:37 AM   #10
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Also I think I know the answer to this but what is the legality of buying something like a S&W model 10 and loaning it to her until she can afford something better be? FTF transfers are legal here with no background so long as you have no reason to believe they are a prohibited person, and I know she isn't. But it's the buying it just to loan it to her part that I'm not 100% about.
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Old July 26, 2014, 04:46 AM   #11
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wait until Academy runs a special on the Rossi 5 shot 3" barrel .38 Special. You can get them for like $190.00, and they are decent for HD/SD.
The people I know that shoot them love them, and can hit what they are shooting at.

Good Luck finding what you are looking for.
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Old July 26, 2014, 06:48 AM   #12
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In that price range I would look for a well used (but not abused), S&W Model 10 or a Ruger Service Six. It's okay if it's cosmetically challenged just as long as it works properly. If the price is over $200, I would buy in for the difference. The other option I would suggest would be a used Taurus or Rossi, but subject to a thorough function check prior to purchasing.
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Old July 26, 2014, 06:48 AM   #13
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Weapons.....

First, Id suggest she look over Pax's Cornered Cat site.
It helps women learn about self defense & protection issues.
2nd, I suggest in the interim of buying a small handgun/obtaining a valid CCW, I suggest she consider a good non lethal weapon for basic defense(if local laws or ordinances permit it).
A C2 Taser can work, . It's powerful, marks the attacker(s) with tiny ID tags & easy to hold/carry/train with. A basic new C2 runs around $299.00. Id suggest a bright color too so any security or LE who respond don't think it's a gun.
OC sprays or pepper cans might help but they aren't as effective in a critical incident as a C2 Taser or firearm.
If she wants to buy some chemical spray, get the fog or cone type. It displaces agent in a wider area & gets more on the attacker. I like Mean Green(Fox Labs) & Zarc/Vexor. I carry both types on security details sometimes.

As for cheaper handguns, Id suggest a simple, no frills police trade in .38spl K frame or maybe a off brand like a Rossi, Charter Arms or Taurus. I looked into a EAA revolver but the low cost/poor design kept me from buying it.
A good condition used snub .38spl 5/6 shot can be okay for now, but Id advise the woman to save up for & buy a new S&W J frame, K frame or maybe a semi auto DA only SD9/SD40 later on when she can.
DA only & DA 3/4" police revolvers are now rarer & rarer.
She might get a decent snub or K frame but even those would be $300-400.00 in some places.
Make sure she learns the gun & lethal force laws of your area. She should take a few training & safety classes too with a certified instructor so she can be prepared. Have her learn how to clean, load & unload the weapon too. Use only factory made, high quality loads for defense or CCW. No reloads or hand loads.

Rusty
EDIT; I checked the JGsales.com website. They have a few S&W stainless 4" barrel K frame DA only(no spur/DA only) model 64 .38spl revolvers for $299.00 USD. The revolvers are police trade ins. They quality looks decent & if she purchased one, it would be safe, good for entry level training.

www.nra.org www.jgsales.com www.gunsamerica.com www.slickguns.com www.brownells.com www.handgunlaw.us www.taser.com www.qmuniforms.com www.policehq.com www.sgammo.com www.midwayusa.com www.froglube.com
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Last edited by RustyShackelford; July 26, 2014 at 06:58 AM.
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Old July 26, 2014, 07:20 AM   #14
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The last old model 10 smith I got was about $200, but that was many moons ago.
They're now in the $400 range. If a person were to have bought a bunch of those old wheelguns, they could have doubled their money.
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Old July 26, 2014, 07:48 AM   #15
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Take her to Academy and get her a Rossi .38, sometimes on sale for $250 and always under 300 I believe. That's as "cheap" as it gets for a new revolver and they're accurate, reliable firearms. There are some autos, but she probably would be better off with a decent revolver than a Hi Point or something.
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Old July 26, 2014, 08:24 AM   #16
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I would be hesitant to trust my wellbeing to a gun as old and beat up as those old LEO carried (South American , probably) Taurus 82's. Unless , that is , it were checked out by a good smith , but that is not practical with internet purchases. $200 self defense may not be realistic. As to Taurus/Rossi , I have one real keeper and have had 2 lemons. I WOULD trust an old Smith J-frame.
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Old July 26, 2014, 09:09 AM   #17
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Right now selling her one of mine is most likely a no-go as all of them are currently large frame, or magnum calibers.

Ummm.... why does that discount them? Just because something is chambered in magnum caliber doesn't mean you HAVE to use it. Ie. if you had a S&W model 28, that would be an awesome HD gun. It is BOTH large frame and a magnum caliber.
So load it up with a .38spl, and that big frame will soak up the recoil beautifully.
Same if you had something like a Ruger Redhawk but loaded with .44spl.

Large frame revolvers make lousy carry guns for many people (although some will actually do quite well with them. Just not me!), but they make fantastic HD guns!

Why would anyone want a smaller frame gun unless they are carrying? Low recoil and fast followup shots are the name of the game with the larger frames!
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Old July 26, 2014, 09:22 AM   #18
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Lawyers, guns & $$$....

I'd add that in some places(check with your local DA's office or LE agency crime prevention unit) your female employee might be able to get a expedited CCW carry license or concealed permit.
I once heard of a domestic violence victim who got a restraining order/PFA then got a county judge to sign a "temporary carry permit" which allowed her to carry a concealed gun. She got the documents in about 48hrs.
I would suggest the woman consider a legal defense plan like www.CCWsafe.com too. It's about $99.00 but she can get legal help if she has a lethal force event. The plan offers lawyers, court assistance, private investigators, etc.

As many say, if you can avoid the US criminal justice system, do it.
But if you find yourself in a jam, plans & being informed can help you in the stressful situation.
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Old July 26, 2014, 10:16 AM   #19
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The honorable thing to do is give your employee a raise so she can go buy decent handgun and ammunition to defend herself with.
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Old July 26, 2014, 10:51 AM   #20
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Why do you assume money is tight because the OP is underpaying her? Maybe she spends $100 per month on her smartphone. Or eats out for lunch every day. Or just has no clue what a decent quality gun costs so she thinks $200 is enough.
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Old July 26, 2014, 11:26 AM   #21
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Last answer....

I think the last part is the correct answer.
If you went to a large metro area & asked 1000 people in the general public what a decent, high quality handgun round costs, Id bet at least 60-70% would say; oh, I'm not sure,$ 0.20-0.25.
Many people have little or no clue what things in the shooting sports industry cost(in 2014 #s).

It a bit off topic but it's a good example. In the mid 2000s, I had a on call/temp job working for a DoD/military contractor. I would drive a 1999 Ford E350 van(with about 390,000mi on it) around transporting new service applicants & recruits. I had a dispute with a company driver on a different route who said; "oh, you should be able to get from __ to __ in 10min."
I informed him that he's way off & based his time/distance data on driving in the early 1970s.
Traffic, new roads, population increases etc all had a effect.

It's the same with the US firearms industry. You can't base prices or logistics on the early 1990s or what you paid in 1986.
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Old July 26, 2014, 11:35 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by gun_with_a_view View Post
The honorable thing to do is give your employee a raise so she can go buy decent handgun and ammunition to defend herself with.
Uncalled for post. MYOB
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Old July 26, 2014, 11:36 AM   #23
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Most of us are gun snobs or we wouldn't be here. Rossis I've owned, some of 'em, had finish issues, tool marks and such, but they all worked and worked rather well. The bad guy isn't going to inspect the gun for tool marks and pass judgement on your taste in firearms as that JHP opens a hole in his thorax.
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Old July 26, 2014, 11:43 AM   #24
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Look, folks such as this poor lady don't know and probably don't care if a S&W is better than a Ruger, a Colt better than a Taurus, etc. She wants/needs something she can point, pull the trigger and have it go "bang". We all know that any firearm of any reasonable quality will do just that without spending a weeks paycheck on it.

Sometimes we here get so wrapped up what we know and understand and forget that most people who want/need a handgun don't know or understand which brand is best, nor do they really care.

It's sort of like me ranting that my Klein screwdrivers, at $20 apiece, will do a MUCH better job of mounting that towel bar in the bathroom than would one from a $10 set purchased from Harbor Freight.

35W
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Old July 26, 2014, 11:44 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by MCgunner View Post
Most of us are gun snobs or we wouldn't be here. Rossis I've owned, some of 'em, had finish issues, tool marks and such, but they all worked and worked rather well. The bad guy isn't going to inspect the gun for tool marks and pass judgement on your taste in firearms as that JHP opens a hole in his thorax.
Exactly what I was trying to say...
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