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.38 Special Wrangler?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Old Stumpy, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    All three of those are *enormous* chunks of cast stainless. Not cast Zamak
     
  2. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    All of the Ruger revolvers have investment cast frames. Even the .480 Ruger and the .44 magnum Super Blackhawks. Investment casting is what made the original .357 Magnum Blackhawk flat top in 1955 inexpensive enough to be a success. Investment casting is far superior to die casting, and 64 years of magnum Ruger revolvers has demonstrated how durable and long-lived that they are.

    As for shooters using +P loads in a revolver designed for standard loads, that may be a concern.
    A dedicated investment cast .38 Special frame would not let go however, anymore than a forged steel frame S&W Model 10 would. But, in either revolver a steady diet of +P loads would reduce their useful life due to shooting loose. Moreso in the S&W because of the swing-out cylinder.
    However, that doesn't seem to deter companies like Rock Island, Charter Arms, and Taurus from producing .38 Special only revolvers.

    Also, consider the fact that there are plenty of .45 Colt Italian Replicas built on the standard small sized Colt SAA frame and cylinder, as well as the same sized Ruger New Vaquero. Bubba could certainly run +P loads only suitable for a Blackhawk through these, but it has not stopped Uberti, Pietta, and Ruger from manufacturing these revolvers just the same.

    A .38 Special only version of the Blackhawk is certainly possible using the same Wrangler methods of cost cutting. And there are different grades of zinc-aluminum alloy out there. Some are very durable, and in a single action grip frame are not subject to heat or wear or even much recoil from a .38 Special.
    Lee Valley Tools uses ZA-12 alloy to make some of their woodworking vises from. And they have a sterling reputation for quality products.

    In the end though, it's about how much demand that there would be for a .38 Special budget six gun, and whether it could be sold cheaply enough to compete with Pietta and Heritage Single Actions in .357 magnum.
     
  3. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    "+P .38 Spl"... Heh. I'd I'd to think that a Mdl 10 couldn't run a lifetime of the same ammo that was bought with it. Stupid SAAMI, mucking about in ammo manufacturers business.
     
  4. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    Didn't know we were talking about zamak only, not the way it was written.
    Zamak is garbage in my opinion, i thought the wrangler was aluminum framed.
     
  5. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    Unfortunately he did not apply facts to his arguments. He implied that an investment cast frame would not be durable, and that somehow a zinc alloy grip frame would be damaged by .38 Special heat and pressures.
    All of which is untrue in a .38 Special SA revolver. Obviously if the LCR snubby can use a plastic grip frame, then a zinc alloy grip frame would be perfectly adequate in a .38 caliber western style single action.

    Also, comparing a western style single action revolver to the LCR snubby is like comparing apples and oranges.
    If you want a snubby for concealment, then that's what you will buy.
    If you want a western styled SA revolver, then that is what you will buy.

    Also, if the LCR aluminum cylinder frame is rated for +P loads, then an investment cast steel cylinder frame should have no problems with +P either.
     
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  6. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    1) In my original post I referred to an investment cast steel cylinder frame for my hypothetical .38 Special revolver.

    2) Zamac may have been a poor choice of words. I referred to ZA alloy for economy of manufacture of the grip frame only. Some ZA alloys are quite durable and strong. Lee Valley tools uses ZA-12 for lever caps in some of their hand planes and in some of their woodworking vises.
    But I also suggested that aluminum was another possibility.

    3) The Wrangler does have an aluminum cylinder frame. Nobody said that it didn't.
    The grip frame is ZA alloy however.
     
  7. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    I know. Wasn't referring to your orginal post but to the member who said cast can't hold up. Yes, i know zinc alloy has many good uses.
     
  8. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    So please consider that this post is from a guy who no longer owns nor desires to own single action revolvers... what would the draw be for this gun?

    The Wrangler is an inexpensive gun that shot inexpensive ammo. It wasn’t really a gun that can be efficiently used for much more than plinking and teaching basic shooting in arguably the safest manner possible (with a handgun). Sure, you can hunt small game and kill vermin with it, but I don’t think that will be the main buyer. Maybe as a “leave it in the garage/barn/tractor gun too.

    I have a friend who recently bought an inexpensive SA .22 (wasn’t a Ruger...can’t remember what it was..Heritage?). He brought it out on a range trip and complained he couldn’t hit anything with it and asked me to give it a go. I had several SA Rugers in my past so I loaded it and it took me a few rounds to get back zeroed in where I was hitting steel plates out to 25 yards. And after several cylinders of ammo, I gave it back to him and showed him how to “aim” it and he began to hit plates too.

    but honestly, while I was pretty excited to get shooting a SA “shootin’ iron” again at the start, by the time I’d gone through 24 rounds, I was done with it. Just not my cup of tea anymore. I love shooting .22 pistols, but I’ll keep my autoloaders, thanks.

    My friend had gotten his gun during a big sale where if you bought a certain gun, you got the .22 free. But in a .38? Other than concealed carry guns, the revolver market has become a much smaller market (Capt Obvious here) and I just can’t see the market supporting the tool up costs.

    I’m not knocking the OP’s idea, as I think it’s interesting, but I am doubting the market demand for the product beyond shrinking number of wheel gun aficionados.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
  9. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    "If the goal is a centerfire single action that Ruger can bring to market for the same price, maybe slightly more than the .22 Wrangler, the only answer is .32 S&W Long and it'd probably have to be limited to wadcutter only due to the length."

    The same thought struck me. I really like my Single Six in 32 H&R magnum. I haven't compared it to my 22lr version to see what the size differences are.

    It would be nice if the Wrangler frame could accommodate 32 S&W long. I see it at the big-box stores from time to time and feel that it's an underappreciated round (more oomph than a 22lr, but not much more recoil).

    If not 32 S&W long, maybe 32 acp? It's commonly available in stores, even more than the S&W long. My uninformed hypothesis is that the semi-rimmed case might work okay with a single-action revolver. There might not be much demand for it, though: 32 caliber doesn't seem all that popular these days, and the 32acp crowd might be a very different group of folks than the SA revolver crowd.

    I also would like to see 25acp handguns with 4" or longer barrels and decent sights, if for not other reason than it's a more reliable round than 22lr. Can it be loaded significantly hotter? I personally have no idea. If so, it would be fun to put into a little rifle. I'm not Scottish, but I am cheap. (It has nothing to do with my hankering for new categories of 25acp and 32acp firearms, but it's fun to say.) :)

    Please forgive me for going OT, but the only 25acp pistol that I've fired that was reasonably accurate for me is my Mauser Model 1910. It has a 3" barrel and actual sights. (In case anyone else was looking for something like that.)

    If there are no pictures, it didn't happen:

     
  10. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I would love to see such a creation. Actually, I would say just make it a 5 shot gun and then you have plenty of beef for .38 Special. Plus Ruger durability and transfer bar. Offer 3 and 4-6 inch. Around $325 street price. Should sell like hotcakes.


    I just don't think Ruger would have a reason to do it the same way they did for the Wrangler. At least not without cutting fairly deeply into BH/Vaq .357 sales.
     
  11. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    Heritage Arms used produce a 32H&R on their 22LR/22mag frames
     
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  12. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Investment cast of high grade steel and heat treated. Not cast of aluminum or zamak. Yes, it would be hard to blow a Super but I have seen it done..or at least the results. (22 grains of a very fast pistol powder behind a 240 jhp did it for a guy I know in Wisconsin.)
     
  13. Olon

    Olon Member

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    I’d buy one for sure.
     
  14. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Obviously I'm talking about a cast Zamak frame vs a cast steel frame.
     
  15. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I said a Zamak cast frame would not be durable in a .38 because we were talking about the Wrangler that uses a Zamak frame, which is the major reason the cost for them is so low and I never said anything about a grip frame or its material, in fact I said that it's better to get an LCRx which as you know has a polymer grip frame, because it's lighter and made of better materials and costs about the same as what I think a .38 Wrangler would cost.

    If Zamak were capable of lasting in a .38 revolver, I'm sure we would have seen them made already. AFAIK, no one has ever made a revolver frame out of Zamak in a centerfire caliber.

    I can only imagine why.
     
  16. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Those frames are steel tho, not Zamak/Aluminum. I have a Heritage .32, it's a nice gun. Wish they'd make them again with adjustable sights.
     
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  17. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    The reason I didn't say .32 ACP is it's as high a pressure as .32 H&R Magnum is and is primarily loaded with FMJ bullets while .32 S&W is mostly in lead bullets. Shooting lead bullets means less stress on the frames.

    .32 is not popular and hasn't been in the US for a long time because .22 is cheaper and .38 is more bullet for about the same price.

    As for a .25 with a long barrel, few make a .25 anymore today and the only company that you have any chance of getting to make a long barrel .25 is Phoenix Arms. Send Phoenix Arms and email and request they make a 5 inch barrel for their .25 pistol. They make a 5 inch barrel for their .22, so it only makes sense to do the same for the .25.
     
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  18. laylow

    laylow Member

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    I'd buy one, but I don't think Ruger's going to make them.
     
  19. OneFreeTexan

    OneFreeTexan Member

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    What about Charter Arms?
     
  20. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Charter Arms already makes small light DA revolvers in 32 H&R magnum and 38 special. They've never made single action revolvers that I know of.
     
  21. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    I messed up , I could have picked up a Heritage 32 H&R with a 3.5 inch barrel with the birdshead grip for a song at a LGS a year or so ago .. But .... I hesitated and it was gone !!!
    Still have my eyes peeled....
    I think Ruger would sell a pile of'em .. In 32 H&R !!!
     
  22. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    Ruger and the other companies still keep on making revolvers though. And Ruger has even introduced some new plastic framed revolvers within the last few years. So the market must still be enough to make it worthwhile.
    And all of their SA and DA revolvers are still in production.
    And, there is the recreational shooting factor. People like to shoot all kinds of obsolete and surplus guns just for the fun of it.

    I figured that an investment cast steel frame would be necessary with a scaled down cylinder frame.
    But maybe not.
    If it was made from aluminum on the New Vaquero sized cylinder frame, it would probably be amply beefy for prolonged shooting of standard .38 Special loads I would think.
    After all, the steel frame handles .357 magnum perfectly, and .38 Special loads only develop 17,000 PSI, compared to .357 magnum loads which develop 35,000 PSI.
    Even the factory +P loads only reach 20,000 PSI.
    Surprisingly, .22 rim-fire high velocity loads reach 24,000 PSI.
    And the Ruger LCR and LCRx use aluminum alloy for much smaller .38 Special cylinder frames.

    So, a "Big Wrangler" with an aluminum alloy cylinder frame, steel cylinder, and a ZA-12 grip frame might work well, and might have an MSRP of $300.00 .

    Would it sell? I don't know.
     
  23. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    The grip frame is Zamak. The rest of the frame is aluminum.
     
  24. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    Still say I'd buy one. A Wrangler scaled up to 38 Spc size. Built to the same lower budget standards as the .22 version regardless of the materials needed and priced accordingly.
    Sign me up.
     
  25. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have a Single .38. A handy piece. I bet a production version would sell.
    How about a Single 9? Have to be built stouter but still plain finish and taking the most common and cheapest centerfire ammo.
    It won't have to be bigger, the custom Ruger plumbers have done it on Single Six frames.
     
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