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Best 4” 38 spl revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by SSBN617b, Jan 23, 2022.

  1. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    I have to say, I love my S&W 15-3 and my Pre-Model 10, both 4”. But the Revolver that gets serious use and carry is a 3” GP100 fixed sight.
     
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  2. UncleEd

    UncleEd Member

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    Regarding newer manufactured revolvers,
    I'm wondering if you might also find the
    S&W Model 66 with 2.75-inch barrel
    pleasing or possibly the S&W Model 586
    L Comp or even the S&W Model 19 Carry
    Comp. But they also do stray from the
    concept of a .38 only theme in this thread.
     
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  3. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    I'm not sure how being a S&W fan makes one an elitist. I have a dozen of them.
    A few are very nice, and the rest are shooter grade examples. Never paid over $620.00 for ANY gun in my collection. I just seek out the good deals. I'm definitely not an elitist.
    I don't think you or I will ever wear out our favorite revolvers in our lifetimes so we may never know which is the best. But we can sure try. Shoot in good health brother.
     
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  4. contender

    contender Member

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    West central Texas
    Smith model 64.
     
  5. Show Me

    Show Me Contributing Member

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    Best. Everyone has favorites. If you lay out a Rossi,charter,Smith,ruger which will allow you to better your self at the range or will look better as a picture on here or make you a proud owner. Fun to talk about but there is no best
     
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  6. Rubone

    Rubone Member

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    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
    The one you are proficient with and trust.
     
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  7. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    Well, I had a nickel 2.5" Model 19-3. I liked it, but it shot out of time fairly quickly. I had it fixed, but it started having some issues. It was also defaced with electro pencil evidence numbers, so I moved it on.
    While I liked it, I find I shoot the 3" GP100 much better. In fact, I shoot the GP better than the 4" 686 I also owned.
     
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  8. golden

    golden Member

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    JCooperfan.

    The problem is that RUGER does not make that model. Check their website. Also, I have one, a four inch, stainless steel model and while it is lighter, it is not as light as the model 15. It also does not handle like a model 15. Worst of all, it has a gritty trigger. I intend to send it off to be worked on, but it came that way from the factory.
    As for strength, I bought a 4 inch blue model GP-100 last year and it stopped working after 40 rounds. It was brand new! It was a job for the RUGER factory repair, but does not say anything for your claim that they are the best.

    As for the silly elitism claim, I picked a RUGER as my first choice, a Security Six. It is a better gun for a side arm. It is similar in size to the model 15 with similar handling and has the advantage of being stronger than the K-frame and heavier.

    By the way, you did not mention how many years you carried that GP-100 with all the other tools to work as an LEO. How many years was it?

    Jim
     
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  9. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    I will say that before I bought my 3" GP, I read a lot of comments that the trigger would need work. I even studied up on how to improve the GP trigger, which isn't too hard, since the GP is designed for ease of disassembly.
    Come to find out, my GP's trigger rivals my well used and broken in Model 15-3 right out of the box. It's certainly a little better than my Pre-Model 10.
     
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  10. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    Dry fire and a little oil leads to a very good trigger in most Ruger revolvers. They break in extremely smoothly.
     
  11. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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    Why do we as serious gun owners keep arguing,,,
    About which gun is "The Best" gun?

    Any argument along this vein is futile,,,
    There is no defined standard to measure a gun against.

    Instead we could (should) state which gun is our "Favorite",,,
    And happily explain the reasons behind your choice.

    Personally, my favorite 4" revolvers in .38 Special are,,,
    Pretty much any S&W K-frame with a tapered barrel.

    When I pick up a Model 10, 15, or 19,,,
    Or even the soules,,, eerr,,, stainless steel versions,,,
    I find in my hand a gun with balance and overall feel that makes me smile.

    But I won't even attempt to argue that they are the best,,,
    They are just my personal favorite is all.

    Why do we keep trying to argue a point that is essential meaningless?

    'nuff said?

    Aarond

    .
     
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  12. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I just wish we could could get back to what the OP asked for. He asked for 4" barreled 38 Special revolvers. NOT 357s that can fire 38s but just regular 38 special guns. With 4" barrels. Not your favorite 3" 357 revolver or any other variation. Why is this hard? :scrutiny:
     
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  13. UncleEd

    UncleEd Member

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    Off topic?

    Because ThomasT we're all
    "drifters" at heart with an
    attention span akin to a.....
    ;););););););););)

    Also because choices are
    limited for the most part
    to guns produced 50 years
    ago. So near suggestions
    are made.

    Manufacturers, with the exception
    of the J-frame sizes, don't want to
    run two lines of the same firearm,
    one with .38 and the other with
    .357 cylinders.
     
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  14. Show Me

    Show Me Contributing Member

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    You have already crowned the king so where do you want to go from here.
     
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  15. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    My favorite is the S&W Model 15. I bought this 15-3 in 1996. I think it came with Magnas but it wore Pachmayr Gripper Pros for most of the past 25 years, until I swiped these target stocks from RON in PA*. They fit my small hands better and even with the wear, look a heck of a lot better.

    SW15-3.jpg

    I have a 4" fixed sight Ruger GP-100 in .39 Special and the neither the action nor balance compare with the S&W. I prefer my Police Service Six .357 (loaded with .38s) but even that doesn't have an action nearly as nice as a K-Frame.



    * AKA "Dad."
     
  16. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    You are correct. There is nowhere to go but down from here. :D Naw, there have been a bunch of good 4" 38s made over the years. S&W has pretty much ruled this thread but Colt made some excellent 38s also. The small Police Positive would be a great 38 to own. The Taurus miodel 82 I mentioned earlier is a good choice. I have owned 3 of them over the years and regret selling them. They were almost as good as a model 10. And better factory triggers than any Rugers I have owned except for maybe the 4" Security Six sitting in my safe. But its a 357 so doesn't count. And a brand new Taurus model 82 will run you around $400.
     
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  17. Bob Meyer

    Bob Meyer Member

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    I agree with Hso, a Dan Wesson pistol pack. Great accuracy in 38 special, and versatile as can be.
     
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  18. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

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    I like Smiths and Rugers myself... I remember back when the GP100 was introduced... I remember an article that had pictures of a Ruger rep I think at a LE school or event of some sort where the ruger rep threw the GP far and it landed on pavement or cement and encouraged other people there to do so...it was still working after quite a bit of abuse. ..I bit uglier but it was and is impressive. I never saw a sS&W do that. Rugers can be tuned to decent triggers and frankly the Smiths all benefit from trigger work also. I would not feel badwith either even though I own more Smiths than ruger revolvers.... I think...:p
     
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  19. Show Me

    Show Me Contributing Member

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    Ok, I say a Comanche is better than everything you have mentioned. Because the gun shop where I eat lunch has one and no other 38's. So I say a bird in the hand beats anything on THR
     
  20. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    OK. But if its so great then why is it still in the gunshop? Why haven't you bought it yet? And is it a 4"38 Special like the OP asked about or is it a 357?

    Is this the gun? It says its an alloy frame and not approved for +P. That may be a deal breaker for some. At least the price is right. Good find. I hadn't heard of it. But I think I would rather have the steel framed Armscor 200 over the Comanche.

    https://www.sportsmans.com/shooting...ns/comanche-ii-a-38-special-revolver/p/p58283
     
  21. SeanSw

    SeanSw Member

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    I wish my 3" gp100 had been like yours. I loved how it looked and felt with compact grips but I never could shoot it well in spite of all the usual Ruger trigger polishing tricks. I experienced the same thing with a number of sp101s. They just don't get along well with in my hands. One of them was in operable straight out of the box, though easily remedied. I won't own another without the complete expectation that it will need to be sent off for professional work before being satisfied.

    My 80's manufacture 6" gp100 is "okay", LCR is great (for a snub), low back security six 2.5" is great, as was my 6" security six. Sorta regret selling that one.
     
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  22. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    The Six series are a better comparison to the K frames than the GP100 is. Those former two are virtually the same size, while the latter is carrying a lot of extra chonk.

    Not sure I would call Smith vs Ruger a snob appeal either. Ruger doesn't make a K frame type revolver any more, but a stainless GP100 was about $700 in the time of people and a 686 was about $800. To use an analogous fanboy war, it's more Colt vs BCM than Colt vs Del-Ton.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
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  23. NeroM

    NeroM Member

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    Not sure what a Comanche 38 Spl is, but I do have an Armscor M200.
    The M200 is functional, keep it in the side pocket of my easy chair/recliner- once in a while I doze off in this chair - I guess the M200 is sort of bedside.
    It works, shoots fairly close to sights - but is rough - clearly not an M10. Every few months, use it to shoot a couple water filled milk jugs - at 10 steps.
    Doubt M200 would stand up to a lot of use, but fine for the current application and has been reliable.
     
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  24. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

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    I agree my SS Service Six 4" DAO 38spl is very similar in size to my Model 64. I think my "best" made 38spl revolver is my S&W 15-2 but I shoot my Model 10s, Model 64 and Service Six more often. Which is my favorite is hard to say. IMG_2044.JPG View attachment 1055776 IMG_1827 (3).JPG
     
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  25. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    Good looking guns. I had a blued Service Six and stupidly sold it. I didn't really know what I had. I sure wish I had it back. And I got it for a measly $200 when I bought it. A brute strong gun made to last forever. But I do have a Security Six and its not going anywhere. I put a slightly lighter main spring in it and what a difference that made on the trigger pull. Easiest trigger job I've ever done.

    I was bidding on a Speed Six with 3" barrel but it has gotten to a price I will no longer pay. Oh well. I have enough guns. I think.
     
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