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Want a pistol and need some suggestions

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by ChicagoTom9, Apr 23, 2014.

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  1. ChicagoTom9

    ChicagoTom9 Member

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    Hi everyone this is my first post so if I am in the wrong forum just let me know. I am looking to expand my collection with a pistol. I have only long guns right now and don't know much about the pistol market. I have some loose requirements and could use some suggestions to help me start my search.

    Type: I am leaning towards a revolver but I am up for anything. Would like it to have at least a 4” barrel.

    Price: Under 500 but would like to stay in the 300-400 range.

    Caliber: trying to stay away from .22lr but really anything, including center-fire, as long as the ammo is cheap.

    Finally I would like something with low recoil. My wife really enjoys pistol shooting but hasn’t shot anything other than a Ruger MKIII hunter (enjoyed) and a LC9 (hated) and I would like this to be something she will enjoy shooting as well.
    Shooting would mostly be target and plinking and maybe some varmint hunting.

    Thanks for the help in advance.
     
  2. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    If you can find a used 4" S&W m10 you will meet all those requirements for $300ish (perhaps $200ish if you get lucky).

    If you are looking for a new gun, there are quite a few good options at thehigh end of your price range but $300 ain't what it was even 5 years ago.
     
  3. Strahley

    Strahley Member

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    If you reload, I'd suggest a revolver in .357. That way you can reload cheap .38s that she will probably enjoy shooting, and still have the option for more powerful rounds if you so desire. You could get a new Taurus or something good used in your price range
     
  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Start out shooting light target loads (.38 Special wadcutters), in a K frame S&W revolver and you'll do just fine in the low recoil department. You can always work your way up from there in terms of more powerful rounds but know that this will come at the price of more felt recoil.
     
  5. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    My 2 bits.....

    Hi;
    If a wheel gun or "Rooney Gun" is in your near future, you have a few solid picks. First if you can save a few more $$$ or can expand your budget, Id suggest the new Wiley Clapp Ruger GP revolver. It offers good sights & it's powerful(.357magnum). You can shoot lower recoil .38spl or .38spl +P too. They can be purchased with the Davidson's Lifetime Warranty offer thru some FFL holders/retail locations.
    Other great revolver picks include the Ruger SP101 line, the GP100 4"(stainless), the Charter Arms Bulldog Pug .44spl(stainless), the S&W 686+ .357magnum 4", the S&W model 66 .357, the Ruger LCR.

    I'd buy a stainless steel revolver over a blue or alloy type. It's easy to clean & prevents rust/corrosion. Ruger SP101s & GP100s are great. They are robust and able to handle 1000s of rounds with proper care.

    Id suggest only using factory rounds for defense. No reloaded ammunition or hand-loads. Some gun owners & hunters use them but for legal/civil liability reasons, Id buy high quality LE type rounds.
    Keep your new firearm clean & learn the gun-use of force laws in your metro area.

    Rusty
    www.nra.org www.gunsamerica.com www.sgammo.com www.brownells.com www.mpro7.com www.shopcorbon.com www.slickguns.com www.gunsinternational.com www.gunzilla.us www.seal1.net www.handgunlaw.us www.policehq.com www.natchezss.com www.deltapress.com
     
  6. Hometeached1

    Hometeached1 Member

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    Welcome to THR! :)

    A used S&W k-frame or if you want new a Ruger GP100. Although any steel frame revolver from either S&W or Ruger in .38 or .357 (just don't shoot .357) will serve you well.
     
  7. ChicagoTom9

    ChicagoTom9 Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. I think I am going to go with a .357 for the dual caliber capability. Hopefully I can find a used Ruger or S&W at the next gun show.
     
  8. PBR Streetgang

    PBR Streetgang Member

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    Unfortunately .38spl and .357 ammo has jumped thru the roof in the last few months.......But a quality wheelgun in this caliber will last you forever with minimal maintenance............
     
  9. PistolPete45

    PistolPete45 Member

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    I picked up a Ruger SP 101 for the wife She just got her CC permit. For a first pistol the GP100 357/38 with a barrel of about 4 inches would be a good choice , Low recoil with a 38 . aims well and for SD you can load a 357 .
     
  10. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    If you're going with a center fire gun I heartily suggest you divvy off a bit of money into a slush fund to set up a reloading rig.

    Reloading in your case with your recoil sensitive wife will let you load anything from mild to wild to suit your needs. And the cost can be kept well under control at the same time.

    For example, look at .38Spl vs .357Mag for cost of factory ammo. Yet when you reload the difference in cost is literally about 1 to 3 cents for the powder. The bullet and primer are both the same. I don't count the brass since it's re-useable for so long.

    Reloading will literally allow you to load mouse like rounds that recoil like a .22 for your wife yet you can reload and shoot hellish fireball magnums right afterwards. This is the freedom you get when you reload your own.

    Anyhow, it sounds like you're well on your way to a nice revolver. Enjoy it and have fun.
     
  11. moxie

    moxie Member

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    The Charter Arms Bulldog Pug and the Ruger LCR are great guns but NOT light recoiling. I own both.

    Good choices are the S&W Models 10 and 15 and 19. The Models 65 and 66 are smaller and lighter and recoil more. The Ruger Security/Speed/Service Six guns are great too.
     
  12. vamo

    vamo Member

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    I think a .38/.357 is probably the way to go. You can probably find a used ruger within your range if you search hard enough (though between 400 and 500 is more common). If you don't mind going taurus you can probably find that in your range a little bit easier.


    A word of caution the recoil is going to be closer to the LC9 than the MKIII even with the lightest 38spl loads. A heavier gun will reduce the recoil so stay away from snubbies designed for conceal carry.
     
  13. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Find a gunshop that has a very wide selection of handguns. Read up on what defines handgun fit. Buy something of decent quality, an available caliber and fits your hands.

    An accomplished handgunner can make anything work, someone learning to shoot handguns will be behind the eight-ball trying to run something that they have to fight with just to operate.
     
  14. skoro

    skoro Member

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    You're looking in the right direction.

    A S&W Model 10 with a 4" barrel is an easy handling, accurate, and highly reliable handgun. It'll handle 38+P ammo all day long. I have several and really like them all. They're available in fine condition at very reasonable prices on the used market.
     
  15. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    I find that it will be very difficult to get a high quality (Ruger, Smith & Wesson or Colt) .357 "service revolver" (full size frame, 4" bbl.) in good condition for less than $ 500.00. It is also capable of more recoil than you describe as being your goal. You may be able to do so locally by patiently watching pawn shops or (less likely mom and pop gunshops of good repute). Forget the national chains, your chances at that price are not good.

    I would advise resisting the impulse for Taurus, Rossi and such (serviceable but of lesser quality and durability) in favor of saving for a longer period for the "gold standard" brands. In the end you will likely end up losing a bit of money on them and gravitating to one of the big three. You should also educate yourself for inspecting and grading for condition used revolvers. The "sticky" posts available in the forum are excellent and you can get any questions you have about them answered here.

    Your prospects for a .38 special such as the Model 10 in your range are far better and after 37 years of experience are among my favorite revolvers. Down the road it would be likely that you would add a .357, but I will never be without at least one of my Smith and Wesson K-frame .38s. For true quality which costs less to acquire in the long run, and at your price point the K-frame Smith's (model 10 the chief example) simply dominate, and for decades and for good reason. Ruger is not known for .38 special, Colts are no longer produced and speculators have pushed their prices through the roof. That leaves the industry (.38 special) dominating Smith and Wessons.

    Later, a Ruger Speed or Sevice Six could be your introduction to .357 (or a GP-100, or a few others). Don't expect the market for them to suffer any deflation though.

    Be of good cheer however, as recent technology makes currently available .38 special ammunition pretty interesting and fitting of your requirements perfectly!:D
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  16. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    Alternately,

    Because of the affordability of 9mm ammo, to be thorough you should consider some of the excellent new polymer framed 9mm's. The manual of arms for semi-auto's is not as intuitive, and your price point will be challenged but it is close and might for you be an excellent choice. Again currently available ammunition would make this choice fit your requirements handsomely.

    We would be talking Springfield Armory XD 9, Smith & Wesson M&P 9, Glock 17 (Glock police trade in's are currently available at attractive prices) and a couple of Rugers. I don't advise Kel-Tek, Kahr, SIG, HK for varying reasons. Used CZ maybe, an outside chance of an FEG Browning Hi-Power clone (the only metal frame suggestions here).

    My .02.

    Regards and good hunting!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  17. bigride

    bigride Member

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    $300 to $400? Realistically...maybe a used smith and wesson model 10 .38 special with some holster wear. I seriously doubt you will find any .357's in that range. .38 special will generally run at least $100 less than .357. Be patient but know that generally prices only go up. Watch websites for police trade-in revolvers. Knowledge is your friend. I read all this on the internet so it must be true.
     
  18. JimB0347

    JimB0347 Member

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    There are some good deals out there you just have to look around. I found a pristine S&W 15-3 for $250. Check the gun shows, pawn shops and used gun counters. Good guns are out there for less than $500.
     
  19. allin

    allin Member

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    Hi
    I'd go along with the suggestions about a 357 4" revolver and shooting 38 wadcutter target loads. My wife has one of these and a 3" 38 special, (both stainless) she really enjoys shooting both, and does very well. (Mostly better than me).
    Of course later on your going to need a 1911, a good 9mm (Glock or XDM), a 6" 357, a 2" 38, a small 380 pocket auto, a 22lr revolver & rifle, a full size Beretta 92 (way cool design), good all around shotgun, a SAA revolver, and something totally ridiculous such as a 45ACP Double Tap a 44 mag derringer, a giant sized Judge, and possible an Alaskan 44 2". always good to have something that is "out there".
    Just my .02
     
  20. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    That was the choice I made for my first handgun years ago. In my case a GP100 with 6" barrel. I still have it, but if I had to do it again I would have gotten a 4" barrel version. :)
     
  21. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

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    Ruger GP100 shoot .38s with the wife and .357s for hunting. The most versatile Handgun IMHO is a medium framed 4in 357 revolver. The Model 65, 66, or the larger 586 or 686 S&W the Ruger GP100.
     
  22. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    Before you get all set up to reload, make sure you can find some pistol powder. I haven't seen anything useful for mild .38 loads in over a year.
     
  23. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Certainly the issues with reloading supplies is sad at the moment. Hopefully the panic hoarding will die down within the next year.
     
  24. wally

    wally Member

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    If you are not already reloading and have a suitable pistol powder on hand, you've picked about the worst time ever to try and start reloading!

    So if you are not already a reloader, I'll go against the revolver and suggest a 9mm pistol, the S&W SD9. Brand new, with the best warranty support you'll find, and priced well within your budget.


    9mm ammo is currently the lowest priced centerfire round and its availability has been OK and getting better.
     
  25. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    Revolver... [email protected] 10 or similar. Cheap ($250-400) used ones are everywhere and these are uncomplicated robust pistols that are meant to last. The .38 is easy on recoil and easy to reload if you go in that direction some day.

    Semi Auto... High Standard Field King or Sport King (.22LR). These are high quality pistols that are made to last. Magazines can be expensive but the pistols only run $375 to 500. Accurate, easy to take down and clean and the ladies in my family really like the ergonomics.
     
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