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Need a tough revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by wulfhart, Jul 1, 2010.

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  1. wulfhart

    wulfhart Member

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    Hopefully I am not too much of a noobchuck with this question, I did try and search past posts.

    I am planning on getting a revolver for open carry while I backpack or camp. The thing is, I am very hard on things I own and tend to gravitate toward more hostile environments. I always clean after shooting, but when I am hiking around the desert I suspect there will be many a time that it will get quite dusty or even sandy.

    Basically I would like other people's opinions on finding a durable and reliable revolver.

    1. Any brands/models to avoid or recommend? (Please don't start a flame-war, stick to facts or experience)

    2. Should I go with Blued, Stainless steel, or something else? Which will be easiest to clean dirt out of when I get home? I am leaning toward stainless after looking at a few stainless revolvers.

    3. As for Caliber I am thinking something large enough to stop large predators. Sadly, I am not too familiar with hand gun rounds and how effective they are against different animals. :pI would prefer something a bit smaller than a .500 S&W:p Seriously maybe a .44 or near there, unless that is more than needed.

    4. May be an odd question, but what is the coolest way to carry it. I am not a fan of heavy, and potentially hot metal riding around on my person in a way that is more uncomfortable than needed.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    A stainless steel SA Ruger Blackhawk or Vaquero is about as indestructible as it gets.

    As long as you still have the cylinder, you can probably make it fire by holding the trigger back and hitting the hammer with a stick.

    As for caliber?
    There is probably nothing in New Mexico a .357 Magnum wouldn't stop.
    Probably the most dangerous animal you will encounter is a rattlesnake, or a drug smuggler.

    Don't pick a huge magnum caliber as your first gun as recoil, muzzle blast, and very expensive ammo will make learning to shoot it well nearly impossible.

    Comfortable carry is best done in a well fitted belt holster with a wide stiff gun-belt.

    A GI style nylon pistol belt and a Uncle Mikes nylon holster is as good a place to start as any for the little amount of money invested.

    rc
     
  3. Haifisch

    Haifisch member

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  4. Steve_NEPhila

    Steve_NEPhila Member

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    A used SMith and Wesson model 66 in .357 Mag or Ruger GP 100 also in .357 Mag will do the job you seek. The most dangerous predator is the two legged type. You may occasionally see snakes, but you can usually avoid them and they are not a serious threat.

    As for holsters, stay away from cheap holsters. Check out:
    www.simplyrugged.com

    Their sourdough pancake holster is stylish, strong, comfortable and a bargain at about 60 USD. I have a number of these holsters and love them. Get a great used revolver, pick up a case of ammo and learn how to shoot it well. Good luck.
     
  5. DesmoDucRob

    DesmoDucRob Member

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    I vote for a stainless ruger sp101 in .357 mag; More tough than you'll need, yet light enough for practical long-distance carry. As rc said, I don't think you'll "need" anything much larger than a .357 Magnum. Double action is also a nice feature to have tucked away if there is any potential for you to rely on this for defensive carry.

    Good luck with your choice.
     
  6. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    Ruger GP100. Perhaps a Blackhawk or Vaquero if you prefer SA. .357 is the best all around caliber for your situation. Can use light/inexpensive loads for general shooting/learning purposes and then up the ante to the heavy .357 loads when needed/desired.
    If small/easy to carry is a serious concern, get a 3" SP101.
     
  7. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    My gun for the situations you describe is a stainless Ruger Speed Six (no longer made, but available if you look) .357, 2 3/4" barrel. The SP 101 or a stainless Blackhawk in .357are also good choices.
     
  8. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    From an old Wyoming rancher, Steve_NEPhila gave you as good advice as will come down the pike.
     
  9. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

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    Ruger , BFR, Freedom arms,

    The levels of envy you endure vary by exposure.

    I'd give marrow for a nice, spartan Freedom in .454. Shoot mostly .45 Colt for fun, load .454 for those pesky dangers.

    Likely getting a Super Redhawk tho. Being realistic.

    .357 a fine caliber too, shoot .38 cheaply, but the Muzzle blast and noise are punishing to some of us.

    I prefer Matte or dark finishes, but I'm not big on flashy.

    Big revolvers go well in leather Shoulder rigs, Cartridge belts etc that can be hidden under a polar zip up.

    +1 on the uncle mikes as a good cheapie holster, my M&P is in one now till I find the right IWB.
     
  10. wulfhart

    wulfhart Member

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    Thank you for all the responses so quickly.

    I am quite inexperienced with handguns obviously. I noticed that the some of the guns recommended have relatively shorter barrels compared to others.

    My understanding is that it is mainly the muzzle velocity that is lesser in shorter barrels. I wouldn't attempt to kill something unless it was a threat meaning my range will be relatively close. Is there any other reason to go with a longer barrel? I can deal with the recoil in lighter guns, so that isn't too concerning.
     
  11. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

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    Longer barrel uses more of the pressure, more accuracy, (barring the Grizzled smart aleck who can keyhole his snubby .38 at 200 yards while laughing at you)

    I like more weight, keeps me more stable in general.
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I certainly would not go less then a 4" barrel for best compromise in performance and accuracy.

    A 4" is short enough to carry easily, but long enough to give a decent sight radius for good shooting.
    The longer barrel also cuts down on muzzle blast with magnum calibers.

    BTW:
    I should have mentioned full flap holsters in my earlier post.
    Nothing else comes close to them for protecting the gun from adverse conditions.
    Thats why they are universally used by the military all over the world.

    http://www.bianchi-intl.com/product/Prod.php?TxtModelID=UM84R

    You won't win any fast draw matches, but the gun will be reasonably clean and working when you get it out and need it.

    rc
     
  13. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

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    The biggest benefits of the longer barrel are increased velocity and sight radius.

    Rcmodel mentioned it, but I want to reinforce it. The comfort of a large revolver has a lot to do with the belt. A good holster is a must of course, but people will often put a good holster on a crappy belt and the result is not as good as they expected. With my Simply Rugged sourdough holster on a decent belt I forget I'm even carrying my 5" GP100.
     
  14. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I agree with remodel and some others, but would point out that Rugers GP-100 and SP-101 revolvers are designed to be taken apart into modules without special tools, that makes them easier to clean under primitive conditions, as you can wash them out with water, let dry (if stainless), relubricate, and reassemble. Other revolvers are more complicated, and require (in some cases) more tools and expertise. All Ruger revolvers are overbuilt, rugged pieces of machinery intended for heavy-duty use.
     
  15. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    My second centerfire handgun was a brand new Ruger Blackhawk Flattop .357 bought for under a hundred bucks in about 1967. I choose the 6.5 inch barrel because I was so dissatisfied with the performance of .38 specials in a 4" S&W Combat Masterpiece. I never carried the Ruger as much as I had the S&W because it was so awkard on and off a horse and in and out of a pickup. Now I'm built for light loads and quick trips, say 5'7" on a good day, so YMMV. For convenience, I'd opt for a 4" in a double action Ruger or S&S, or the 4 5/8" in a Blackhawk. +1 for the full flap holster in tough country.
     
  16. kludge

    kludge Member

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    Stainless and .357Magnum. You can buff out the scratches, or if you don't care about looks save the money and go blue.

    Ruger Security Six, SP101, GP100, or a Smith Model 66 or 686. I would prefer one with adjustable sights... Of the ones on my list the Security Six would top my list.
     
  17. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    4 inch Redhawk 44 Mag or 45 Colt for DA revolvers or in SA ruger Super Blackhawk wit a 4 5/8 " barrel. What some here have negleted to mention in 44 mag you can fire 44 spl and if you handload you've an even bigger choice in bullet weight etc. Another good choice is a Ruger Bisley a bit big but the grip shape makes it a very comfortable gun to shoot. Available in 44 mag or 45 colt.
     
  18. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    Smith and Wesson Stainless Steel model 686 preferably in a 6" barrel.
     
  19. wulfhart

    wulfhart Member

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    Alright so what I am thinking I will look for is either a Ruger GP100 either 4.2" or 6" in .357. If in my searching I find a SW 66 or 686 in similar size I will take a good look at it. The only reason I was considering less would be if I ever wanted to conceal, but I think I will get something better suited for concealed carry later when I start thinking more seriously about it.
     
  20. Bearhands

    Bearhands Member

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    4" GP100 will fill the bill more than adequately.
     
  21. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    A stainless steel Ruger Blackhawk.
     
  22. MovedWest

    MovedWest Member

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    Most of these guys already said it. A Ruger Super Blackhawk in 44mag with a 7.5" barrel will stop most anything in North America. I own 3 in that configuration - 2 old models and 1 new model.

    If you run out of bullets, you can use it as a club. Those guns are built like a brick outhouse - and VERY affordable.

    -MW
     
  23. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Hopefully I am not too much of a noobchuck with this question,

    I would prefer something a bit smaller than a .500 S&W Seriously maybe a .44 or near there, unless that is more than needed.


    This is mostly a repetition of Steve NEPhila's advice. Based on the two comments I quoted a 357 should suffice for your needs. Being a new shooter a full bore 357 will be intiminating enough. There are plenty of 500 S&Ws amd even 44 mags for sell used that have only fired 6 rds. You can start shooting wadcutters in a 357 and work your way up in power through std loads, +P, +P+, OTC Magnums and the "custom loaded" magnums (which I have never had any use for). My specific advice would be a 4" GP100 or L frame S&W. Either of these in 357 is about a do it all handgun you can get. For an outdoors gun I suggest stainless.
     
  24. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    I'd think any stainless production revolver would do, I'm sure there's some finer differences but they escape me. 8)
     
  25. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    My choice would probably be a 4" Stainless Ruger GP-100 (357 mag). They carry pretty easy in a belt holster. A flap holster would protect the gun quite well. I doubt you need a 44 mag or larger revolver. Of course, there is always the chance.... but for the most part, the 357 IS the most versatile caliber in a medium sized steel framed revolver for your intended purpose.
     
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