Roy, I assume by DAO, you're referring to a revolver without an external hammer in the normal sense. Some of the DAO Smiths have a 'button' instead of a hammer that still allows for single action use, but retains the clean lines and easy draw characteristics of a DAO. My daughter in law has both...we found her a 637 which she carried for over a year, and then our son found her a 640 (I think) which is easier to draw from a purse, (her normal carry position).
In talking with them both, I've found that drawing was never a problem with the 637 since she used a grip which allowed her thumb to cover the hammer as the gun was withdrawn. The 640? negates that method of draw, due to its cleaner lines. My only gripe, is that I've not seen one with adj. sights...and yep, I know that they're another "pocket liner" snag device but do allow a more precise sight in. And yep, too, at defense distances; say one to seven yards, precision is not a necessity.
All in all, the hammerless models make more sense, adj. sights or not, and the lack of a hammer, for the use they're intended, is no drawback...S&W's in that model can be had for way less than $400; but not in a 3" barrel as I understand it.
All the above notwithstanding, one of the Rugers might be just the ticket...enough weight for better control, a 3" tube for a longer sighting radius, and Ruger's warranty. They've got a good reputation, tho I've never owned a double action model, their single-actions have all been fine guns in my experience. I like their looks, and at least on the various forums, I've personally never heard an adverse comment.
Best Regards, Rod
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Last edited by rodfac; October 11, 2012 at 09:16 AM.