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Old November 12, 2012, 09:49 PM   #1
bk688
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Need help picking a revolver.

Alright, due to some of my department's policies and my administrations lack of updating our firearms policy since 1996 I am a little restricted as to what I can choose as a backup weapon. (16 freaking years. Maybe if we didn’t play gulf so much for political purposes we could actually get the department up to par!)

I want a backup weapon, a revolver to be specific. Since we have no policy dictating backup weapon parameters, I am stuck using the policy that was written for primary weapons. This means I need a 4 inch barrel for a revolver and it must be a .38 special or .357 magnums.

Remember that this is a backup weapon, so frame size is a big factor, along with capacity. I want something along the lines of 5 rounds of .357. The only option I’ve found so far is the Ruger SP101. That’s merely due to barrel length. Does anyone have any other suggestions?
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Old November 12, 2012, 09:58 PM   #2
CDR_Glock
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S&W Model 60, 640, 649 in 357.

442 in 38 +P.

The Ruger also carries a LCR 357 but at 17 ounces, it's a bit feisty.

I carry a S&W Model 586 L-Comp 357 with a 7 round barrel. It's heavy at 38 oz.
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Old November 12, 2012, 09:59 PM   #3
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I don't think you could improve on the SP101 based on what you describe.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:14 PM   #4
Super Sneaky Steve
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A 4" barrel is pretty long for a back up gun. How are you going to hide it?
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:29 PM   #5
bk688
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Yup

Yeah thats another problem. If it were shorter I'd do with an ankle or pocket option but due to the leingth, I'll probably have to go with a shoulder option under the uniform. I already have some uniform shirts that have snaps on them so retrieving it shouldnt be any harder than if I were wearing a jacket. This is one more reason I'm dead set on a small frame and grip. My small stomach and larger shoulders might help this being hidden.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:35 PM   #6
JC57
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So what exactly is your primary gun?
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:36 PM   #7
bk688
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Dont fix what aint broken

1911, had to go cheap at the time so its a taurus.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:37 PM   #8
Jim March
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The new 4" barrel variant SP101 is worth looking at.
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:37 PM   #9
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I agree with the above poster

4" barrel for a backup isn't exactly that easy to conceal for a revolver. You might want to go to you CO and try to get some kind of written authorization to dispense with that barrel requirement.
Iv'e got a .38 SP-101 and it is great. A tad heavy, but makes for a very controllable weapons.
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Old November 13, 2012, 07:07 PM   #10
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Ease of concealment is certainly a big deal ....at the same time it becomes a question of what you shoot well ..or what fits your hands the best...

I have big hands...so a J frame S&W is not my best option.../ I'd probably consider a K frame S&W like a 2" snubbie in a model 66 ( .357 mag )....a model 66 or 19 ( K frames )is about as small as I'd want to go.
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Old November 13, 2012, 07:25 PM   #11
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The Six Series are not to hard to find. 34 ounces and they carry really nice, especially the 4" Police Service Six.


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Old November 13, 2012, 08:01 PM   #12
old bear
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Sorry to be a maverick here, but. If I had to make a decision as to a back up given your options; I would go with a Smith and Wesson M-60 2' barrel in 38 special. If I ever needed it for real, carrying an weapon that was not approved would be the least of my worries.
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Old November 13, 2012, 08:06 PM   #13
Super Sneaky Steve
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If it had to be 4" take a look at the K frame model 67 or 64. They are slightly smaller than the L frame magnums.
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Old November 13, 2012, 09:51 PM   #14
JC57
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Round-butt light-barrel model 10 or 64 would be about the only thing (or model 12 if you want airweight and can find one), other than the 4" Ruger Sp-101 you already mentioned.

In the S&W J-frames, they offer a number of 3" barreled models but no 4".

To me it seems unworkable but you gotta make your own decisions. Assuming you are new to law enforcement, after you get past the first few months of "gee whiz" it kinda settles down to just being your job, and the firearm is just a heavy tool you have to carry around with you, along with the radio, cuffs, baton, flashlight, vest, etc. Trust me, after a while you'll be thinking more about how to carry LESS crap rather than more.
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Old November 14, 2012, 02:33 AM   #15
maclords
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4 inch model 12. Round butt if you fancy. Load it with +p if you want. Maybe only standard p on the range.
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
The only option I’ve found so far is the Ruger SP101. That’s merely due to barrel length. Does anyone have any other suggestions?
Nope, no matter what else is out there, that, would be my number one pick hands down, and that not just because I own one. One of the best choices I ever made. And yes i do carry it.

If you have to keep looking, well, "you'll be back"!
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Old November 14, 2012, 07:23 AM   #17
youngunz4life
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38 backup is nothing to laugh at(but I mention 357 out of my likes & your preference)

listen to redhawk, but the S&W 649 mentioned above is a good choice too with the shrouded(hidden) hammer. I'm guessing your backup in an emergency can go on your vest which is nice? I would go with the 38 if size is gonna be any issue. I guess 4" is requirement but if the requirement is "no more than 4 inches"(double check), get the 2" or 2 1/8"(that is size of .357 S&W 649)
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Old November 14, 2012, 09:33 AM   #18
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If I was restricted to a 4 inch barrel I think I'd pass on the BUG idea for everyday carry.
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Old November 14, 2012, 09:40 AM   #19
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I would forego the back-up since it has to be a 4" barrel. You stated that a Taurus 1911 is your primary weapon. The 1911 is a platform that "even Taurus" can't screw up (except for a few proprietary parts). Regardless, you don't sound like you absolutely love it. My suggestion would be to take the money (you planned to use on a BUG) and add it to the Taurus 1911 for trade-in on another gun (like a nicer 1911) you actually would prefer to own.
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Old November 14, 2012, 09:38 PM   #20
Super Sneaky Steve
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My PT1911 has needed warrenty work three times. The extractor hook is prone to breaking.
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Old November 15, 2012, 05:02 PM   #21
mhuxtable
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If it HAS to be 4" and no shorter, then I'd say yes look for the 4" SP101...I love my 2" version. If you can do a 3 or 2" barrel, it be much easier to conceal. That or one of the Service/Security 6 models.

There's also a smaller version of the S&W 686 with that sizing...the model number escapes me.

Either way, .357 is the way to go, as you have the option of what caliber to shoot.
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Old November 15, 2012, 05:18 PM   #22
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OK... so your department allows you to carry a 1911 on duty, and is concerned with your second gun?....

Are you allowed to carry a firearm off duty?... What is/was the criteria for off duty carry guns?

I'm not getting something here.

Could you be confusing service revolver specs of days gone by?

I do remember one department (NYS Corrections) that for a while would only allow their officers to carry the same weapon off duty that they used as service revolvers. (S&W Model 10 4"bbl)

I think I'm missing something, or there us information being left out.
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Old November 15, 2012, 05:25 PM   #23
Elmer
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Quote:
OK... so your department allows you to carry a 1911 on duty, and is concerned with your second gun?....
What I don't get is that this supposed antiquated policy allows a Taurus 1911, but not a 2" or 3" hideout gun?

I've heard of weird policies, (like my own department's in the 70's and 80's), but that one makes no sense.

Somehow I'm not buying it....
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Old November 15, 2012, 05:32 PM   #24
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I don't want to stir the pot, but I just have to say it. Since it's YOUR LIFE on the line, can't you pack whatever the hell you want on your ankle? If it ends up saving your life one day, I highly doubt anyone is going to quibble over your non-department approved firearm.
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:43 AM   #25
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The peace officer has to qualify with the gun, so unless he's going to get himself a 4" barrel gun for that and another shorter barrel gun to carry - thats what he's dealing with.
If it were me I'd do some research and get the specs on back up gun (BUG) requirements from a number of agencies - I wouldnt be surprised if this might
be one of the few departments in the country with such a 4" barrel requirement. Bring the information to your agency administration so they can update the regs.

As for the gun itself - - - -I've heard that a number of agencies like the no lock S&W J frame. (Some have said, but I haven't researched it deeply, - - - that the no lock gun was produced to comply with police agency back up gun specifications).

On of the best places on the net to research info on back up guns from professionals is the Terminal Ballistics sub-forum found at M4carbine.net. Many military and police folks go there. It would be interesting to post your question with the 4" barrel requirement there & read the response:

http://www.m4carbine.net/forumdisplay.php?f=91
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