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Seeking Advice on a Revolver Gift

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by .45 Cal, Aug 16, 2006.

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  1. .45 Cal

    .45 Cal Member

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    Here's the scenario: my best friend took a handgun safety course but didn't get to actually fire any guns in the process; I guess they had some sort of training pistol, but that was it. For his purposes (woods gun, home protection, plinking) he wants a revolver. So, I spent several hours orienting him to safe handling of my two: SP101 and Smith Mountain Gun in .45 Colt. Then we went to the range. He loved the Mountain Gun, but since he doesn't reload and is a new home owner, the cost of .45 Colt rounds is prohibitive for regular practice.

    I think a .357 magnum would suit him great. He didn't like the snubbie at the range, but fired a GP100 with success. However, he's a big Smith fan (stockholder!) and I'm therefore trying to decide which Smith to gift him of on his birthday.

    I've never fired any Smiths in .357, so I thought I'd see what folks' experience is here.

    Thanks in advance for your help...
     
  2. NailGun

    NailGun Member

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    .45 Cal, I have a Smith 686 6" 357 Mag. and I think it is a joy to shoot. I never figured that I would like a revolver, but my wife got a SA 357 Mag. and after shooting it, I had to get my own quick! I have found that the 357 Mag. is very easy to control, and the Smith, being a DA, is capable of very quick and accurate follow up shots. I practice with mine at 30 feet, and now can hit six 4" x 8" hanging steel plates with six shots, reasonably quickly. For home defense, I am thinking that a .357 Mag. would be very adequate. (and very loud indoors) Also, .38 specials can be used for practice. .38 specials are a bit cheeper, and at 30 feet or so, the point of impact is about the same as the .357 Mag. A 686 Smith is a rather large revolver to conceal. Smaller versions are available, but may have more recoil. Beware though.....357 Magnums multiply rather quickly.....first one...then another....before you know it, she gots a rifle in .357 and so do you. She gets a CCW...You get the picture. Did I mention that they are fun to reload.... Good Luck
    Regards, NailGun
     
  3. .45 Cal

    .45 Cal Member

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    Thanks, NailGun. The 686 might be the right one. I'd probably opt for a 4" version because he is interested in carrying during work (remote location in wilderness with potential critters, BGs, etc.). Plus I think a stainless revolver would be easier for him to maintain.
     
  4. Ichiro

    Ichiro Member

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    For carry -- an SP-101. He'll get used to it.
     
  5. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    Wow. You're going to give him a .357 for his birthday?

    Can I be your friend, too?

    Very nice gift.
     
  6. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    I like my model 620--7 shot, L-frame, .357, 4", adj. sights, SS. Might be big for CCW, but for just "carry"---out in woods or whatever, as listed, it'd be just about perfect. Very managable recoil with the .357 loads--comes with Hogue on there. And, if he's just getting started, I don't think he'll care about pre/post lock (personally, I don't--never had an issue). Just my opinon.
     
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I would suggest that he start out with a 22. Smith 617 (I believe). Learn shooting skills first.

    An alternative is to go with a 3" Ruger GP100 (357/38spl). I have one and like it a lot. Smith triggers are better. But, if you are not going to conceal the gun, it is a good choice. The 4" Smith 686 is hard to beat if you want to go S&W.
     
  8. Magnumite

    Magnumite Member

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    Small frame guns can be a turn off for some new shooters, at least as a pistol instructor, that has been my experience. I would stay with guns in the middle frame sizes...(ie: S&W K and L, Ruger Sec 6 and GP100 series, etc.). Your friend could do much more with those.

    You consider a K-22? Inexpensive practice there, but not best for home defense, of course.
     
  9. Striker

    Striker Member

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    45 Cal.

    Even though I like the SP101 (as you might remember :) ), if he's stuck on a Smith, I would look at a the 620 over the 686. The 620 doesn't have a full underlug barrel so weighs a bit less for toting.

    If you can steer him to a Ruger, then I agree with 22-rimfire on the 3" GP 100.

    Regardless of what you chose though, you're gonna have to talk to Rob, cause you can't give the gun without the leather :D !
     
  10. Magnumite

    Magnumite Member

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    Ever notice how a gun purchase one day isn't just buying a gun? When debating the purchase details you automatically think, "reloading dies, holster, cleaning jags and brushes, speed loaders, magazines, sights, ....".

    That's when you know you are a dyed in the wool firearms enthusiast!
     
  11. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Member

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    I'd suggest the Mountain Gun and a $65 Lee Classic single stage press.

    [​IMG]

    He'll love the gun, but will be forever gratefull for introducing him to the hobby of reloading.

    Good Luck...

    Joe
     
  12. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    Sweet. Someone agrees with me about a 620.

    Reloading would be something helpful to introduce him to, though---only reason I don't is because I'm on a student budget (i.e.--shoestring), can't afford the presses, and because they won't let me reload in my dorm room--so for the remaining years, reloading is out :( . But if you swamp him too much, it might push him away from shooting.
     
  13. .45 Cal

    .45 Cal Member

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    Thanks everyone for your helpful input. Yeah, he's my brother, albeit not biologically, so he gets a .357.:)

    And I really like the idea of getting him a press so he can start reloading: hell, he has a double garage! I don't have the room...

    Thanks again, and I'll seriously weigh all your advice before I decide on the final choice.

    Cal
     
  14. Hammerdown

    Hammerdown member

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    A Best Friend's First revolver Gift

    Hey Cal
    What a NICE thing to do for a Friend ! I see ammo expense is in question as he does not reload. I also take it this is his First revolver experience? I given these fact's would start him off with a K-22 as this was Why they were invented in the first place was to give revolver fan's a chance to practice and get sharp on their Ten ring skills before jumping up to larger calibers.The 617 is a great first revolver and curently available New, ammo can be bought cheap and is available every where, and he will quickly fall in love with the lower Non Existent recoil of the .22 Long rifle ammo showing him many ten ring hits as a beginner amplifying his revolver lust, and need for Larger caliber's. If he desires a used one, there are a ton of them out there being made since 1931 as well. I would go for one of these, and when you see he really has a big interest in revolver shooting, then bring him into the .357 or large caliber's. If revolver's are not his thing, a man can not have Too many K-22s and this would be a nice revolver to have him return to you if he chooses another style hand gun.;) Just a thought, Hammerdown
     
  15. tyesai

    tyesai Member

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    Does it have to be a Smith?

    I have a Taurus 608, 4inch stainless and love it. It is the same frame they use for the .44 mag so if he wants to get into reloading he could make some hot loads for it. That and I never feel under gunned with a shots of .357
     
  16. .45 Cal

    .45 Cal Member

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    I suppose is doesn't necessarily have to be a Smith. In fact, he fired a GP100 and liked it fine, and it'll leave me with a few bucks left over for ammo for him, or a press!
     
  17. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    Smith has excellent customer service--I sent in a broken 65, got my 620 in return. Nice folks.

    Besides, there's more avenues open for a "S&W collection" than a "ruger collection". Start him off right:D .
     
  18. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    find a nice used mod 10 and go with it from there, it is not a 357 but will work and be inexpensive to shoot to boot.
     
  19. Arcticfox

    Arcticfox Member

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    I've fired a 686 and it is a great gun! Smith is the best there is (IMHO). Considering the cost of ammo, how about a Smith 625? It fires the .45 ACP. That is a cost competitive round, and a large bore.
     
  20. .45 Cal

    .45 Cal Member

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    I'm liking the 686 idea. One reason I'm leaning .357 for him is that he can practice with little .38 WCs but have the feel of the same grip and frame weight for full .357 loads.

    However, *I* would like a 625 in .45 ACP! :D I already have a 1911 and really like the idea of the same ammo for a revolver.
     
  21. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    Well since he's a stockholder, a S&W is a very good choice.
    But why a new one?
    Why not a classic so he'll know what made S&W great?


    My suggestion would be to find a nice Model 19 or stainless Model 66
    - Four inch barrel, K-frame
    - .357 which also shoots cheaper .38 Specials
    - Light enough to carry around the woods (or the asphalt jungle)
    - Big enough to absorb recoil
    - Extremely accurate - adjustable sights
    - Powerful enough for Home/Self defense
    - Dozens of grip styles are available

    A true classic in every aspect.

    And they are still somewhat affordable.

    Or you could go with a Model 586 or Stainless 686.
    Smith & Wesson's answer to the Python.
    Same features as the 19/66 except built on the only slightly larger L-Frame with a full underlugged barrel.

    With only minimal care either will outlast several generations and provide untold hours of enjoyment and peace of mind.
     
  22. Arcticfox

    Arcticfox Member

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    +1 to Bluesbear. Model 19 is also a great choice. look on Guns America to find a good deal.
     
  23. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

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    Hi,

    A .357 is NICE . . . but I'd strongly recommend you give your brother instead, the LOVE of shooting!

    Specifically, give him a "K frame" 617 S&W .22 revolver with a 6" barrel and a ten shot capacity. Also, give him a packet of targets and a "brick" of 500 rounds or more of .22 ammo and a set of muffs and eye protection.

    The .22 won't kick, and he won't have to reload the cylinder as often. What he WILL do is quickly learn to love the hours of cheap shooting afforded by the .22!!!

    He'll also develop flinch-free shooting skills . . . and his excellent marksmanship will carry over to his later, centerfire S&W revolvers.

    IF YOU GIVE HIM A .357 . . .

    1. The darn thing will "kick like a mule" to a novice shooter. He will probably develop flinching and poor shooting habits.

    2. The costs of shooting many rounds will be prohibitive and he'll probably never become an avid shooting sports fan.

    3. He'll thus probably not enjoy shooting the revolver much . . . and end up having an un-used revolver locked in a box somewhere that he never masters. He'll also never become a great marksman.

    Yep . . . give him a 6" K frame .22. They are cheap to shoot and "funner" than a barrel of monkies!!!

    He'll fall in love with it . . . and will soon be bitten with the "centerfire bug" that all of us who love to shoot handguns develop!!!

    Food for thought!
     
  24. Majic

    Majic Member

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    Sage old advice, take him shopping. Go to all the local gun stores and look at all the new and used models. See what catches his eye and fits him. Then determine if it's worth the price or not.
    You really can't pick out a gun for someone else. While you think a 4 incher may be better he may find the 6 inchers balance better for him. Stainless may be more practical, but he may prefer the look of a blued model. The bottom line is the gun isn't for you so he should be the one making the choices. You just provide pertinent information about his choices so he can make up his mind. Guns are personal and the more he is pleased with his choice the better the chances of him shooting it more and becoming proficient with it.

    I do agree with the others as the .22lr revolver is the best route for a new shooter to take. Here's an idea since you also don't have a .22 is to get him to go in with you on getting a nice .22lr DA revolver. Everyone should have a .22 as they have a lot of uses and qualities that many shooters just don't think about.
     
  25. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    POPPYCOCK!

    For one thing look at what he's already fired;
    Hell's Bells™, he LIKED the .45 Colt so he can dang sure stand .357 recoil in a K-frame. YOu can always sttart him out on light .38 Special loads. And unless you live in Bumflax, Egyptina you can probably find remanufactured .38 ammo for $5-6 per box/50.

    Remember he also wants it for home protection.
    Sorry but, in my book, that eliminates the .22.

    As an NRA instructor I have taught a LOT of people to shoot.
    And yes, I usually start them out on a .22 when I'm teaching them to shoot for the very first time. But usually by the time they buy their own guns they're ready for something bigger.
     
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