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Under $300 .38 Snub?...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by GZOh, Jul 4, 2015.

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  1. GZOh

    GZOh Member

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    Looking for an inexpensive .38 spl snubbie...
    Have seen several... Armscor M206, Rossi, Charter 'Undercover, Taurus-85... all under $300...
    Wondering which is the 'best' of the group?
    Appreciate any input. Thanks
     
  2. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

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    Don't expect much for that price, unless you get lucky and buy a S&W from some person who doesn't know guns and is selling one they inherited.

    Of those you mentioned, the Rossi from the 1980's were reportedly the best, but are not warranted for Plus P ammo. I see a LOT of complaints about Taurus revolvers. The others have very limited recognition here.

    For that price, I'd look instead at certain .380 or 9mm autos, like the Star line, maybe a good used older Taurus 9mm PT-92. You might buy a Ruger Standard Model .22 pistol for that money, too.

    A good snub .38 in reasonable condition is usually a $400 Plus gun today. And that's on the low end of probable prices.
     
  3. Lord Teapot

    Lord Teapot Member

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    wont get anything good, save another $100 and get a smith, buy it used if you have to.
     
  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I have looked at Charter Arms and Taurus but have usually found them falling a bit short in terms of overall quality. Last snubbie I bought was a S&W Model 638 and while it was over $300, I feel that it was money well spent.

    guns2023_zps62f3c2af.gif
     
  5. UncleEd

    UncleEd Member

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    Come on, GZOh, your life is worth more than $300. :)
     
  6. GZOh

    GZOh Member

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    Uncle...
    Have a S&W 60 2"... great gun, love it.
    Just lookin for a 'beater/range' snub... and wondering what you can get 'quality' wise for $300...
    I know Armscor and Rossi make decent products.
    And for my 'life'... a couple SIGs, CZ P01 and my little Colt Commander.
     
  7. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Taurus M-85 is my choice.

    Taurus does have a deserved reputation for inconsistent quality control and a vocal group of bashers.

    Yet Smith & Wesson has the same inconsistent quality control problems which the same Taurus bashers are silent on. Google over clocked / canted barrels. The point is inspect any gun before you buy it,
     
  8. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I paid just over 300 for a NIB Rossi 44mag R44102.
    very cool little snub that mostly sees 44 specials.
    Very good shooting in DA too
     
  9. bdrift10

    bdrift10 Member

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  10. Crayfish

    Crayfish Member

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    I have carried a Rossi M88 since 1994 when I bought it new. Even though its not warrantied for +P it has had a lot fired through it and is still as tight as new. You can find the older (imported by Interarms) Rossi's for under $300 easily. The only thing new I have seen lately under $300 is the EAA Windicator 2" 357 for $299. Its a 6 shooter and I know nothing about that company.
     
  11. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    I'd try the Taurus snub.
     
  12. Evil-Twin

    Evil-Twin member

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    I fully understand trying to stay within a budget... the problem with that is you can sometime pass up or over look a really high quality gun that just outside your budget... eg... 300 dollars to many people is a lot of money... but 50 or 100 is not a lot of money.... AS an Old guy I can tell you that if you buy something cheap today you may regret it tomorrow, especially after you spent the 300 and then see something uch better for 50 dollars or 100 dollars more..

    Si what I would suggest you do. is keep your budget... looks at gund in that price range... then look at guns in the 350 and 400 range... you may find a significant increase in quality in a 400 dollar gun... Now all you have to do is think about buying a keeper, or keeping something that is just ok or something you might sell at a loss to get that 400.00 gun that maybe you should have bought in the first place...

    Just something to consider. If you are only looking at 300 dollars gun you wont look at guns just slightly out of your budget. and maybe miss a much better gun.
     
  13. goon

    goon Member

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    New S&W 442 and 642 go for $379 to just over $400 in my area. With that being the case, if you can squeeze just a little more, maybe consider one of them instead of a used "cheapie."

    I don't see a whole lot of snub-nose .38's or many DA revolvers at all for sale anymore, but I did see a used Charter Arms for sale last week for $225. If the timing and lock up checked out OK and the hammer didn't slip at full cock, you could probably have offered them $200 and taken it.

    And a few years ago, my brother picked up an older Rossi .38 for $279 used. It's a surprisingly quality gun and most people who try it are impressed with it.
     
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I've owned the Rossi (decent), the Charter (not impressed), and the Taurus 85 Ultralite. I've been carrying and shooting that Taurus for 19 years now. Hands down the Taurus. It sports a better trigger than I've EVER found on a Smith and Wesson unless worked over by a smith. It is 3" at 25 yards accurate with 158 JHP +Ps. I carry mine constantly in my strong side pocket. I wouldn't traded it for two Smith and Wessons except that I could make money off that trade, enough to buy another 85 and buy a lot of reloading supplies. :D
     
  15. gazpacho

    gazpacho Member

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    I have a Taurus M-85 and an M-850. Both have proven to be completely reliable. I also have a 2" M-94 (22lr) which required a warrantee trip before it became reliable.

    I would not hesitate to buy another Taurus 38 if I needed it.
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    BTW, I have a 3" Rossi 68 I bought for my step dad in 1981. It's WAY higher quality fit and finish than current Smith and Wessons. It shoots lights out, too. I owned a few Rossis in the late 80s/early 90s bought new and the fit and finish was pretty miserable on 'em. I think Rossi has improved that now days, though. I had a few issues on a 971 and an 88 with snapping firing pins on those early 90s guns, too. The fix was to fit a S&W K frame firing pin to 'em. The Taurus uses a Ruger style transfer bar/frame mounted firing pin. I have 4 Taurus revolvers and have had no issues with any of 'em, though the 605 Poly is pretty new. My older 66 3" had the older hammer block action, but still has a frame mounted firing pin. The newer mid 90s 66 has the transfer bar system and a better trigger to go with it.

    I own one Smith now, an early 60s M10. You know the saying, don't make 'em like they used to. I've owned others, older ones, good guns. I've owned DA Rugers, great guns for the money. The LCR is a good gun, great trigger, but they're $400+. Lots of choices in the 400 dollar range. Frankly, a $300 M85 would be below MSRP, even the steel frame, I believe. Haven't looked in a while. Maybe could get a blued one that cheap.
     
  17. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I'd look for a used Taurus 85, or Charter Arms Undercover. I'd check them out same as I would any other gun but that goes without saying.

    I've owned both, and liked both. Never owned a Rossi, but if I had a chance to check it out, it would probably work. Same for an Armscore. The one's I've looked at seemed OK.
     
  18. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Taurus-85
     
  19. Evil-Twin

    Evil-Twin member

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    AS I was saying earlier that maybe a little push in your budget could yield a gun that you wont be disappointed with after you purchase it... how about a stainless Smith and Wesson 5 shot for 381 dollars and free shipping




    S&W M637 5RD 38SP +P 1.87" Model: 163050
    Condition: Factory New
    Bud's Item Number: 26309
    UPC: 022188630503
    MFG: Smith & Wesson

    - See more at: http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/26309#sthash.EoWWi5Aj.dpuf

    26309_2.jpg
     
  20. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Taurus gets a lot of stuff wrong and justifiably catches flack for it.

    But they have manufacturing a quality inexpensive J-frame facsimile down pat. Buy an 85 or similar with confidence.

    And if it happens to say Titanium on the side try not to smile while buying it for under $300 if the seller knows no better

    24AAD7A6-FFDB-4F89-889B-ADB05F9597BA_zpsbpsmadwh.jpg
     
  21. GZOh

    GZOh Member

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    Thanks Guys... appreciate all the input.
     
  22. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Taurus seems to get a few things very, very right and other model lines have their own issues.

    The Tracker and Raging Bull line, as well as their Beretta clones and the 85 model line all seem to be slam dunks.

    I picked up my aforementioned Rossi, which is just a variation of the Tracker line and am highly impressed.
    Same with my 92' rifle. Very well made firearm.

    I actually would prefer a Taurus over a Beretta due to my dislike of slide mounted safeties.

    Pick up a 85, 85UL or one of the titanium models and buy with confidence.
     
  23. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I have owned two Taurus Model 85's. They have both been excellent.

    I own a Charter Arms 32 snub and a Charter Arms 44 snub. I don't like the way that they feel, but I must admit I have had no problems with either one.
     
  24. BLB68

    BLB68 Member

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    Speaking as someone who has had a bad Taurus revolver, I'd go with the Model 85 out of those choices. Taurus seems to have a much better track record with certain product lines, and the 85s seem to be one of those lines. The Armscor and Charter Arms both get very mixed reviews. I haven't any first hand knowledge of either, though.

    I'll also agree with others who pointed out that if you raise your budget to just under 400 or so, you can get a S&W. I think they're still making the 642 without the goofy/ugly key lock, too. (Just checked: Bud's has the no lock 642 listed for $381 currently.)
     
  25. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I know locally I can find the whole basic airweight line up 642, 638, 627 new in a few stores at 369.99

    Used, they're all 400 though. Weird.

    I did pick up a 637 though too
     
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