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Need recommendations for first [and last (hah!)] revolver...

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

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  1. grndslm

    grndslm member

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    The reason I'm asking for the be-all, end-all revolver is just because they seem too damn expensive. But I want one, and I want THE ONE that's a perfect fit for me.

    Now, why am I asking you all?? Because you guys helped me discover the Bersa line of autoloaders (which I adore)... so I'm wondering if there's anything out there like that for revolvers. S&W and Ruger seems to be about my only options as far as I can tell... so that's where you guys come in.

    Just wanna mention that one of the two guns in this video will most likely fit me best -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgl8VuX0LuY

    From the video blurb...

    Requirements
    ....................
    - 1.5" to 3" barrel
    - .38 or .357 (leaning toward .357 for versatility)
    - DAO or DA (but I'll more than likely grind off the hammer spur, just like the guy did in the video above)
    - less than $700
     
  2. ceadermtnboy

    ceadermtnboy Member

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    With your requirements the best option would be the ruger SP101 357 with three inch smoke stack.
     
  3. Robert Wilson

    Robert Wilson Member

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    The 642 is hard to beat given the requirements you've laid out. I would not grind off the spur if I were you. If you are going DAO you might as well buy a gun with an internal hammer, as they are less susceptible to dirt, pocket lint, etc.
     
  4. Guy de Loimbard

    Guy de Loimbard Member

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    If you think revolvers are expensive, you aren't looking in the right places. I paid $350, $300 and $250 for two Rugers and a Pietta.
     
  5. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Member

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    If I had to pick just one revolver and it had to be 3" or less, it would be a Ruger GP100 with some custom compact wood grips. This would be packable in a pinch, but still very shootable.

    Small, light guns like the Smith 642 and Ruger SP101/LCR are great for packing, but are uncomfortable for shooting. Most people who like revolvers own at least two: one steel, long-barreled one for shooting, and one compact & light one for daily carry.
     
  6. buckeye8

    buckeye8 Member

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    If I were to be limited to only one (reasonably priced) revolver, it would be the 3 inch SP101. Fantastic all-around gun. I don't "get" the Airweight craze, and my bigger revolvers, while great guns, don't spend much time on my hip. The SP101 is one of those guns that I always felt I got my money's worth with, because I used it so often at the range, at home and for carry.

    Note: I traded my SP101 for a Sig P220 (because how often does that deal come along?) but I'll have another by summer's end. I feel lost without that little gun!

    EDIT: I strongly disagree with the above poster. The SP101 is in a different class than the 642/LCR when it comes to shooting comfort. I shot heavy .357 loads out of it all the time and enjoyed it very much. So did my wife, for that matter. It is the perfect compromise between the little revolvers and the big ones IMO.
     
  7. inthelineofire

    inthelineofire Member

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    Check out the new Smith and Wesson J Frames with the Shrouded Hammers. A friend of mine recently purchased one and is very happy with it.
     
  8. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

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    I agree with buckeye8; I think the SP's handle .357 Mags almost like a GP100.
    I would go with a new 3" SP101 or a pre-lock 4" S&W 686.
     
  9. grndslm

    grndslm member

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    3" SP101 seems to be in the lead.

    There's a 3" GP100 that looks good as well, but would prolly be harder to find.


    What say ye about frame sizes and composite metals (alloys, titanium, stainless steel, etc.)?? I've heard that shooting a ton of .357 out of the K-frames isn't that great... which is why they stopped making the S&W Model 65, right? .... moving to the L-frame? Or something like that...

    And is stainless the obvious way to go? If titanium = more expensive *and* lighter weight... then I'd think so. Lighter weigh gun = more recoil that I don't need.
     
  10. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    S&W Model 65 3" barrel. Stainless steel k-frame goodness. 6 shots rather than 5. Heavy enough to shoot decently & excellent fixed sights. There is little real world difference in concealing a 3" or 4" barrel but you requested 3" so you can get a 3" barrel for the extra coin they bring.

    Honestly, though, the S&W Model 64 4" .38 Special is, to me, an even better choice but the 65 fits your requirements to a "T".

    William
     
  11. sonier

    sonier Member

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    Sp-101 or gp-100, if your want to grind the spur off, then you are looking at pocket carry which means the SP-101 would be the best choice of all. grinding the spur off a GP-100 just ruins the medium frame design use, if you get a med fram 357 magnum then you would be not carrying in a pocket and you would enjoy single actions hooting.
     
  12. TwoNiner

    TwoNiner Member

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    I respectfully disagree with Wolfeye--I have a 2.25" SP101 and it is a breeze to shoot. Even 357s in this gun aren't that big of a deal.

    The only beef I have with SP101s is there are too many sharp edges on them by the time they reach the counter. They don't get much hand polishing attention, but then again they are dirt cheap. If you do get an SP101 find a good gunsmith to work it over for you and your index finger will be much happier at the end of a shooting session.
     
  13. duns

    duns Member

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    I have the S&W M&P 340 CT (i.e. a snubby with Crimson Trace laser). For me, it's a perfect pocket gun though mousegun fans would claim it's too large. It is very well made and I enjoy shooting it though there is a lot of recoil. After about 50 rounds of 38 special or as few as 5 rounds of 357 magnum, I find it has rubbed the skin off the side of my thumb. Cleaning this gun involves removing my blood from it after an extensive range session! I accept this trade-off but it is something to be aware of if you are thinking about a snubby.
     
  14. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I recently bought a 3" GP100 and it's a great revolver. I have a 4" GP100 but prefer the 3" version.

    :)
     
  15. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    Also check out the S&W 638 with 2.5" barrel. It's .38 spl +P and a great balance between a lot of the considerations in snubnose-class revolvers. You can still cock it, but it's snag-free. The extra barrel length aids in cartridge ejection and accuracy. Unlike some firearms that make compromises, this design just solves problems.

    The real issue with a carry revolver is weight. You can go too light, but you can go too heavy, too. I was very interested in the SP101, given all the great reviews I've read and seen. Then I handled one at the gun shop. Only needed to hold it for 5 seconds to realize that 6 months or a year down the road, I'd be wanting something more around the 15-22 oz. range.

    Far as I can tell, there's revolvers built for comfortable shooting, and revolvers for comfortable carry.
     
  16. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    +1 on the 2.5-inch S&W 638. Though, for some reason, it seems to get little love on the High Road.
    Well put.

    Have a 3-inch SP101, love it, but it is a little heavy for pocket carry.
     
  17. buckeye8

    buckeye8 Member

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    shockwave, the only time the SP101 carries differently than the 642s/638s of the world is when it comes to pocket carry. The SP101 is heavy enough to "swing" in a pants pocket. But, on the hip, I forget about them all just the same.
     
  18. grndslm

    grndslm member

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    Which would you think has more recoil?


    2" & .38 Airweight 638/642

    -OR-

    3" & .357 GP101

    ???

    I'm thinking the Airweight.
     
  19. LWYM425

    LWYM425 Member

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    whatever model you decide to go with do your best to get some rounds through it first.

    I'd hate for you to have your one and only revolver to be a regret cause of recoil/grip feel/sights/concealability... I just really like revolvers- they're fun to shoot and fun to carry.

    Hope you get the right one!!
     
  20. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    ignore the guns in the new case. Smiths have gone WAY downhill and new Rugers are arguably as good or better but much more expensive.

    Unless you want some something with the weight of styrofoam the new case holds nothing worthy.

    I might look for a 3 inch j frame or a 3 inch SP101. The shrouded hammer J frame, bodyguard, is also a cool gun.

    My daily carry is a 2.5 inch Colt Diamondback. Not a 357 but otherwise fits your criteria. That said, if you took a hacksaw to it I would think that you life might be in danger from the Colt Kool-Aid drinkers :D

    I agree that it is better to buy a j frame with the internal hammer than saw an external hammer off. You can hold the gun higher and control the recoil better
     
  21. grndslm

    grndslm member

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    Hmm.... Now I'm going outside of my requirements. I think that the S&W Model 317 "Kit Gun" is the one for me. :)

    I'm very fond of .22s.

    Even lighter than the Airweights. So light, it's called the Airlite!! Well... I think the snubbie is called the Airlite, and the 3" barrel is the "Kit Gun".

    And the only other difference is the fixed (airlite) -vs- adjustable sights (kit gun).

    Shouldn't the kit gun have the fixed sights, since it'd get tossed around a lot?? :scrutiny:

    Think I'll get a .357 later on down the line, so this won't be my last. ;)
     
  22. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

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    Good for you! Always, always, always it is best to learn to master handguns using .22LR versions!!! There's virtually no kick or muzzle blast to make people flinch and turn them into horrible flinchers that shoot really bad.

    Best of all . . . .22 ammo is cheap so you can practice hundreds of times more for less money! You'll see very few S&W .22 revolvers for sale used. This is because no one ever sells 'em . . . unless their owner finally dies and no one in the family shoots!!!

    As far as "Kit" guns, they were designed to fit in the sportsman's old tackle box or "kit" to take with them into the woods and wild. The adjustable sights and the longer barrels (3" or so) made them ideal little hunting revolvers, and also gave their owners hundreds of hours of plinking fun through their lifetimes!

    I'd recommend you also begin lurking on the good ol' "smith-wessonforum.com" site and start learning about revolvers there. You'll start learning what to look for in quality used revolvers which will be just as good, cheaper AND more valuable in the long run!

    The money you'll save in a few months of active shooting of your .22 will PAY for your first quality centerfire revolver!!! By then, you'll know which revolvers are truly the best for YOU.
     
  23. gordy

    gordy Member

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    I would say to find a k or l framed S&W. You can't go wrong with eather one.
     
  24. lebowski

    lebowski Member

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    Is this for concealed carry?

    The 642 is a great carry piece, but it's not a super fun gun to shoot (stout recoil and the sights aren't very good). If it's for CCW, I'd recommend the 642. If it's just something to enjoy at the range, I'd get something bigger, like a 686p with a 4" barrel.
     
  25. desmo21

    desmo21 Member

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    Ruger LCR.. Try the trigger..
     
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