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Old December 8, 2012, 12:56 PM   #1
gators52
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1st Gun: .22 but which one?

I'm looking to pick up my first gun and I would prefer that it is a .22 lr revolver. I'm not sure if I want SA or DA yet (this is where I need help). I want a .22 for cheap practice on my trigger pulls.

I would prefer to find something in the 400-500 dollar range.

My biggest concern is that it seems good DA revolvers are hard to find that aren't S&W (currently out of my price range). I'd rather save a few bucks on my .22 and use that towards the purchase of a very nice (most likely S&W revolver) home defense revolver in the next 6 months.

I know there are some great choices for SA revolvers. The single six and ten which i've shot many times and love them.

Does it make sense to get a DA revolver so I can also practice shooting in groups of 2 or 3. Seems like a skill worth knowing for a defense situation.

I tried the Ruger sp101 .22 yesterday at the range. While I liked the gun in SA the DA trigger pull was very heavy. I found myself just shooting SA the whole day because of it. I dont think I'd be willing to buy that gun over the single six/ten because of the price difference unless there are easy and cheap ways to reduce the DA trigger pull.

I guess the basic question is, is there any reason not to get the ruger single six/ten for purposes of fun shooting and using the gun to increase my skill that will translate to skill with my next home defense revolver.
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Old December 8, 2012, 01:56 PM   #2
MrBorland
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Quote:
is there any reason not to get the ruger single six/ten for purposes of fun shooting and using the gun to increase my skill that will translate to skill with my next home defense revolver.
3 reasons, IMO. First, even for fun shooting, SA guns are a PITA to load & unload.

Second, if you mean home defense revolver to be a DA revolver, you definitely want to become proficient with a DA trigger. Different animal than SA, and getting in the habit of cocking the hammer can lead to a ND (or worse) in a stressful situation.

Third - Gripping SA revolvers is very different than gripping a DA revolver.

Get the single six/ten if it really calls to you, but IMO there's not much to it that'll translate to HD (DA) revolver proficiency.
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Old December 8, 2012, 02:09 PM   #3
Hal
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Quote:
I tried the Ruger sp101 .22 yesterday at the range. While I liked the gun in SA the DA trigger pull was very heavy. I found myself just shooting SA the whole day because of it
First off welcome to TFL.
2nd,,,yeah,,,,that's a very common thing.
Sadly, all too common.
I fell into that trap once upon a time.
I bought an H&R Convertible (.22lr/.22mag) D/A to try to polish up the D/A skills.
That thing has a horrible heavy D/A trigger.

Thankfully, it resembles a S/A more than it does a D/A.

Bad D/A pull leads to frustration, which leads to shooting a D/A revolver S/A.

Since the idea is to sharpen up the defensive skills, all it does is burn ammo and build bad habits, since in a defensive situation you'll never use S/A on a D/A revolver.

Personally, I'd just as soon jump right into a good .38/.357 mag, get into reloading, and work on the D/A trigger that way.
That's how I learned and it worked out well for me.

An alternate would be a S/A .22 such as you mention since the gun is different, both in function and in feel.
Or another option would be a good .22 semi auto.

Both single six and a good semi auto are well within the price range you listed.


Used S&W D/A revolvers, such as the old Model 17 and 18 are in that ballpark also - but - they don't come easy. You'll have to really search for them.
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Old December 8, 2012, 02:48 PM   #4
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You can't beat a Single-Six for a first gun. Probably the safest way to get started whether adult or minor. Never start with a semi-auto. My dad never allowed them as kids and I didn't with my kids either whether rifle or handgun. Now, of course, they can shoot what they like as young adults .

Always take my Ruger Single-six to the range..... You can't go wrong with the SA. As for unloading/loading.... I don't see the problem. Not a pita at all! There is no reason for 'speed' when having fun, point shooting, and target shooting. Been doing it this way since I was knee high... well hip high anyway . As for DA ... never found a need for it. Not a LEO or Military. Always SA for hunting, hiking, fishing, target shooting, long range shooting, can shooting, etc.. Nothing like burning lots of .22 to sharpen the skills. In fact, I like to start shooting my .22 when I get to the range. Then shoot some big bore and then back to more .22. Good cheap practice. And with a Single-Six you'll be passing the gun onto your kids, and their kids...

Also, this won't be your 'only' handgun.... Everyone here can attest that they just seem to 'multiple' over time .
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Old December 8, 2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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If you plan on using a revolver for self defense (SD), than a 22lr revolver makes sense. I would buy a gun that closely matches your SD revolver (e.g. get a ruger SP101 if you plan on carrying a ruger for SD).

Re: the SP101's double action trigger is terrible. However, you could have a good gunsmith perform a trigger job on it. Typically, rimfire revolvers need heavier springs to consistently ignite the primer, so you may never quite match what your SD revolver's trigger feels like.

Personally, I use an automatic for SD, and have a 22lr upper that I put on it to save money on training. It's not quite the same thing, but it is very close.

22 revolvers are awful fun; I've had many, and still have six of them in my safe. I got a lead on a S&W model 18 for $475 this week and had to talk myself out of driving 100 miles to check it out.
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Old December 8, 2012, 03:58 PM   #6
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Check out the ruger lcr.

Its a good feeling revolver. RR
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Old December 8, 2012, 04:07 PM   #7
gators52
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Thanks for the replies.

I'm set on a revolver because that's what I like to shoot and until I'm around semi autos for many years I just don't believe that me or my GF would feel comfortable in a stressful situation using a semi automatic. We both also just love revolvers.

I want the .22 to be fun but also have the skills translate into SD.

Regarding the SP101 trigger. If I were to buy that and get a trigger job (not sure the price on that) I might just be better off getting a S&W. Unless trigger jobs are cheaper than I'm assuming this could be an option.

I guess I could get the Ruger single six/ten for fun and trigger practice.
I could then use my eventual home defense gun for practice with grouping and reloading a cylinder that swings out. Will using the different grip of a SA revolver really hurt me when it comes to firing a DA revolver.

Are there any other options i'm missing?
Used S&W in my price range I hear are hard to come by. Tarurus, Charter Arms, H&R, etc seem to be crap shoots. Some work great some don't. Not sure I want to risk having that hassle.
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Old December 8, 2012, 04:13 PM   #8
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The LCR-22 is the only .22 revolver I would consider under $400. The others in this price range have reliability issues or extremely heavy triggers, The LCR is a good choice if you want to learn how to shoot a lightweight DA revolver, and especially if you are considering a centerfire LCR for carry or home defense.

If you want to stick to S&W, there are the Models 317 and 43c, both lightweight 8-shot .22 revolvers. The 317 has a hammer, the 43c is "hammerless" and DAO. But they will likely cost $500 or more. The good news is there are centerfire J-frames for around $350 when you get ready to compliment the rimfire model.
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Old December 8, 2012, 04:30 PM   #9
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An alternative to a .22 revolver for use as a trainer to develop good double action shooting technique is the GAMO P-23 CO2 pistol. Though styled after an autoloader the shape of the grip and the revolver like double action pull feels much like that of my I frame .32 Hand Ejector.
This little piece will also work well for getting the feel of double action pocket autos.
Since it uses standard BBs with around 65 shots per CO2 cylinder practice is dirt cheap.
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Old December 8, 2012, 05:00 PM   #10
Hal
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Quote:
Will using the different grip of a SA revolver really hurt me when it comes to firing a DA revolver.
Maybe - maybe not. Probably not since the S/A is a totally different gun.

BTW - what do you mean by "grouping"?

Also - when it comes to a swing out cylinder and reloading, the D/A can use speed loaders.
W/a S/A, you have to open a loading gate and eject the empty shells out one by one.

That slow reloading process is one reason I don't care for a S/A, either as a beginner gun or a fun range gun.
Kicking out empties get old quick and does zip to enhance shooting skills.
I pay range fees by the hour to shoot, not to waste time reloading.
It sort of takes a lot of the fun out of it....
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Old December 8, 2012, 05:22 PM   #11
gators52
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I'm not great on gun terminology. By grouping I just meant to be able to fire 2-3 shots in a rapid succession to possibly emulate a HD situation. Obviously cant do that in SA.

Yeah I understand DA revolvers can use speed loaders. However I assume there is a lot of merit in being able to practice the technique of using a speed loader after you discharge all of the rounds in the cylinder.

Obambulate: you mentioned a used S&W model 317. How much are good used 317's. Being relatively new to guns I don't know how comfortable I would be purchasing a used revolver. I know there are cheat sheets out there on things to look for. Is it advisable to be more knowledgeable about guns before buying used? I dont want to become a sucker.

I dont have to pay hourly range fees so the SA may not bother me as much as some. But I do agree that ejecting each round from a Single six/ten can get annoying after a while.
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Old December 8, 2012, 05:36 PM   #12
Zhillsauditor
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Quote:
By grouping I just meant to be able to fire 2-3 shots in a rapid succession to possibly emulate a HD situation. Obviously cant do that in SA.
Well, yes you can, it just takes more practice.

Shooting any gun is going to help with some basics. However, shooting a 22lr is never going to simulate shooting 357mag. You will still have to spend money on your defensive ammo of choice, probably a lot of money.
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Old December 8, 2012, 06:11 PM   #13
Hal
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By grouping I just meant to be able to fire 2-3 shots in a rapid succession to possibly emulate a HD situation
Gotcha..
Concentrate on accuracy - hitting the X on the target, then worry about speed.
Cadence and or rhythm is more critical to learn/get down than actual rate of fire.
In D/A shooting you want the time between each shot to be as even as possible. Once you get to that point, the rest (actual speed) just falls into place.
Don't try to rush things.

Work first on timing your individual shots and making them go exactly where you want them to go.

I asked because usualy tthe terms "group" or "grouping" refer to the size of the pattern your shots make in the target.
My advice there is to forget all about that for the time being.
Just concentrate on hitting the X in the target.
The "groups" - the size of the spread of shots in the target - will take care of themself.
The better you get, the closer together the individual shots are going to be.

Re; rapid fire (what you called "grouping") with a S/A.
Yes - it's possible. I'm honestly 50/50 on whether to go into it in detail or not.
Part of me says i may confuse you, but, another part of me says it may be better if you learn it from scratch w/out having anything to compare it to.

The technique is called slipping the trigger. .
It's not "fanning" where the trigger is held back and the hammer "fanned" with the palm, ala the old cowboy movies.
(please - do your gun a favor and never do that.)
(while were at it, don't ever flip the cylinder closed on a D/A revolver either)
There's a few threads here that go into it - slipping the trigger.

Jim March (the guy that wrote the revolver checkout that pinned to the top of the forum) is the go to guy for that technique.

Re: speed loaders - yes, there is somewhat of a learning process.
Personally, I don't like or use a speedloader.
I was taught what most would consider an outdated method.
I load two loose rounds at a time. I don't recommend that method.
Speedloaders are the way to go.
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Old December 8, 2012, 07:47 PM   #14
gators52
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Thanks Hal!

Being relatively new to guns (had about 10-15 range session in my life). I think it will take a while to master the skills to operate a SA as accurately as many of you guys do on this forum. I guess I should put the need to be proficient at shooting 2-3 shots DA at a time on the back burner and focus on the basics.

Looks like you have leaned me towards a Ruger SA revolver.

Thanks for the help, and i'm still open to hearing more opinions on this subject
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Old December 8, 2012, 07:53 PM   #15
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Find a good used S&W revolver. You may have to really look for one but there is nothing else that I know of to do what you want to do. Model 17 or 18. I don't know if anything can be done on the Ruger or not. The larger Rugers can be made OK with some works but I'm not familiar with the SP101 guns. The .38 is the only one I've fired and D/ A on it was very hard. It's still on my list tho, the d/a only with the bobbed hammer is beautiful.
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Old December 8, 2012, 07:59 PM   #16
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I bought the LCR-22 this summer. Great little gun, DAO though.. 500 rounds no problems. I used it for new shooters in my family, easy trigger pulls.
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Old December 8, 2012, 10:14 PM   #17
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my opinion..worth exactly what you paid for it...

Since my first "real" (quality) revolver was an S&W M66, my first .22 revolver was an S&W M18. I still own and shoot both.

I am not as familiar with Rugers, but if I owned a Single/Security Six (or equivalent) I would be looking for something similar in .22LR to practice with.

Doesn't have to be identical, but (IMHO) a single action revolver is not an acceptable training alternative. A .22 LCR, while a good bit different from the Single Six, is at least a double-action .22LR...
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Old December 9, 2012, 12:40 AM   #18
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Ruger Super Single 6 is a gem. I also had an H&R 939. Bother were great plinkers.
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Old December 9, 2012, 03:37 AM   #19
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My first revolver was a Ruger Single Six and I can highly recommend it.
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Old December 9, 2012, 06:38 AM   #20
Zhillsauditor
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I picked up a nice rossi 511 (S&W 63 clone) for under $200 at my LGS a few months ago. It functioned as well as my S&W 63, and looked nice with a little bit of polishing.
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Old December 9, 2012, 12:10 PM   #21
gators52
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It looks like the Single Six or Single Ten is the way I'm leaning. I also love that it will be a gun I can pass down for generations and eventually use to teach some of the younger kids in the family (when it's time) with that gun.
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Old December 9, 2012, 02:17 PM   #22
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For an heirloom or to teach others, I'd suggest a S&W63, but it's not in your price range.

Quote:
The LCR-22 is the only .22 revolver I would consider under $400. The others in this price range have reliability issues or extremely heavy triggers
Quote:
bought the LCR-22 this summer. Great little gun, DAO though.. 500 rounds no problems. I used it for new shooters in my family, easy trigger pulls.
You guys must have bought a different LCR-22 than I did; mine had a terrible trigger with an extremely hard pull. I couldn't keep it on paper for the lousy pull and traded it within a week after around 300 rounds.
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Old December 9, 2012, 02:24 PM   #23
Zhillsauditor
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For an heirloom or to teach others, I'd suggest a S&W63, but it's not in your price range.
Maybe, but if you keep your eyes open, you can find them sometimes. I paid $410 for mine two years ago. A friend of mine found one at a gun show for $325 that same year.
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Old December 9, 2012, 02:36 PM   #24
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Like it or not, I think you should be looking at a S&W DA revolver. The M617 will have the best trigger for DA shooting and I recommend the 4" for overall use. Obviously you could choose a M17 or M18 if you found one. They are both classics and high quality.

The 5" M63 or an older 4" M63 might be of interest, but you will have to look for one. They will have a heavier trigger than the M617, but I think still pretty tolerable as they are pretty smooth.

Yes, I know, this is not what you want to hear.

The new Ruger SP101 is probably the closest revolver to your budget. You shot that one. The Charter Arms Pathfinder might be another but both will have heavy triggers and generally a little gritty.

An alternative is to find a Colt Trooper Mark III in 22 which has a slightly heavy but slick trigger in DA. It is a fine medium framed revolver and feels about like the S&W M617. Keeps your eyes open and you might find an old Trooper (original trooper) or Officers Model Target or Match, or Official Police in worn but very good shooting condition.
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:05 PM   #25
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Do consider the CA Pathfinder. They are not the smoothest machine ever made, but they do have a lifetime warranty and don't cost much. I just saw a 5" target model online for $340 (brand new).
I have had one for almost two years and it shoots just fine.
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