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Old January 20, 2013, 08:53 AM   #1
redneck
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Entry Level/budget Revolvers?

I am mainly a pistol guy for whatever reason. I have a heritage rough rider convertible that is fun to shoot but I never really got hooked. I'm starting to think I would like to get a DA revolver. I did a search and read a lot of threads but figured I would try to get some up to date suggestions.

The kicker is I am leaning towards .22mag. I don't care if it is convertible, I have a rifle in .22wmr and I am a fan of the round. Would like to give it a whirl in a 4" gun or something in that neighborhood. Not really interested in a snub nose. My mom has shown some interest in shooting and I'm thinking this would be something good to start her on. She has shot a .22 buckmark and did well, and tried a PK.380 and did ok but has a lot of difficulty racking the slide on either. I'm thinking a wheel gun might be a better option and the .22mag would expose her to a little more power than a .22 without a lot of recoil, and I wouldn't have to add a new caliber to my ammo buying.

I handled a taurus tracker at a gun show and like the size/feel but didn't get to try the trigger. It was zip tied and the booth was so busy I didn't want to bother the guy when I wasn't ready to buy. Do these typically have a horribly heavy trigger? Can it be improved at all? I don't need competition quality but don't want a super heavy trigger, think ruger LCP as a bare minimum.

Haven't got to handle a charter arms pathfinder, whats the story on them? Are they an improvement over the taurus?

Does anyone else make a 4"-6" .22mag in DA? I'd like to stay under $400

If there is nothing good in that category I will consider a .38 but want to consider all .22wmr possibilities first.
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Old January 20, 2013, 09:04 AM   #2
MSD Mike
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S&W makes the gun you want but not at the price you want . On the other hand you mentioned you might consider a 38 special . You should be able to find a very nice used S&W model 10 with a 4" barrel in your price range . Hard to beat a K frame for a double action revolver and 38 isn't much more expensive than 22 Mag, cheaper if you reload .

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Old January 20, 2013, 09:07 AM   #3
shafter
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Mike beat me to it. To me, a Smith and Wesson Model 10 makes a perfect entry level handgun after a 22lr. They can be found in the $250-$350 range fairly often. What other firearms offer the quality and class at that kind of price?
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Old January 20, 2013, 09:44 AM   #4
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with the cost of .22 mag ammo near that of CF ammo, I'd get a used S&W model 10. Everything you need, and nothing you don't!



(original Mid 50's S&W M&P in .38spec. that later became known as the Model 10)

Yes, it was nickled at some point of its life.

Last edited by model18; January 22, 2013 at 03:23 PM.
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Old January 20, 2013, 03:08 PM   #5
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My ex wife had a FIE 22 combo snubbie, I would not have wanted to be in front of her in a fight she was a great shot with it.
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Old January 20, 2013, 03:14 PM   #6
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I'm very happy with the trigger on my Taurus (Mod 66, 357). I put Wolff springs in there, but after a while it smoothed to the point where I put the standard springs back in (It's my IDPA and carry gun, don't want it too light).
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Old January 20, 2013, 03:27 PM   #7
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Note - the pre-Model 10 shown above is likely nickel, normally they are blued. The SS version of the Model 10 is the Model 64, highly recommended.

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Old January 20, 2013, 11:36 PM   #8
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Those smiths are pretty good looking even to a pistol guy I will have to look around and see what I come across. I've gotten the impression that .22mag isn't very well thought of around here. I really like it in a rifle and have several hundred rounds on hand already. Don't have any .38 or .357 and hate to start from scratch with the market where it is but it may be necessary.


No comments on the charter arms pathfinder at all? My LGS had a few in the past but are sold out right now. I've seen them at gun shows too, but they were never on my radar until now so I haven't handled them.
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Old January 21, 2013, 01:51 PM   #9
iblong
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Rossi and taurus sell 4" models in the Middle 300"s,have not owned one myself.
I am a fan of the 22mag myself,I think it is an under rated round.
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Old January 21, 2013, 01:55 PM   #10
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S&W K-frame (#10, #14, #15, etc), or a Ruger Security Six. The S&W has a nicer trigger, the Ruger is the same size and built like a tank.
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Old January 21, 2013, 02:02 PM   #11
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I suggest that there may be a bit of a problem when thinking of an "Entry Level" gun, revolver or any type. Guns don't wear out like other "entry level" objects do. If you buy a cheap car for your teenager, for example, it wears out. Then they (or you) buy something better. Same with lots of things like tools, running shoes, whatever. But at the end of a lifetime, that entry level revolver will still be in the same "entry level" condition it was at day one.

For that reason, I suggest allowing the "upgrade" to happen before you buy the thing at all. Buy the Smith instead of the Rossi. At the end of a lifetime you'll have a Smith.

Something like that.


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Old January 21, 2013, 03:45 PM   #12
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Ruger makes the LCR in .22 Magnum now. That might be a good self defense gun for Mom. Six shots with low recoil. Around $400.
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Old January 21, 2013, 04:55 PM   #13
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In the price range you stated if you are looking for new, and are dead set unyielding in the demand for .22 WMR then you are in the price range of a Rossi/Taurus. I have seen several people shooting the .22 mag Tauri at the range, all were more accurate than the owners, none had any problems.

That said if you are not just dead set on .22 mag then a used S&W can be found in that price range if you look around. I bught a .38 Special Mod 67-1 4 inch that was priced at $325 a year ago Christmas. This weekend I picked up a Model 28-2 6 inch (.357 Mag that was police officer's gun, finish wear from the holster, and not many rounds fired out of it.) For that I paid $300.


Here is a pic of them. The Mod 67 is the stanless one.

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Old January 21, 2013, 05:33 PM   #14
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Lumpy
I look at guns with a minimum quality level, there is alot of stuff I would never buy. When I say entry level, I mean I'm looking for a basic solid platform without alot of bells and whistles. I have hand built guns of my own, and customized several others, it doesn't fit my budget or really even interest me to get a custom or collector grade piece. I'm not trying to find the absolute cheapest though either.


It looks like choices are slim in a .22mag. I really do like the round and could see it being a decent option for small game in addition to plinking. I will have to try and rent a 4" .38 or .357. I don't believe I have ever shot one. The last DA revolver I shot was when someone handed me a very hot loaded .357 snubbie at the range. I have my CCW choices all worked out already and would have no use for something like that.
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Old January 21, 2013, 06:42 PM   #15
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Old January 21, 2013, 10:04 PM   #16
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The picture of the stainless gun I posted cost me $325 out the door price for the gun. It was lightly used. It is a pre lock model so no worries over the lock. The trigger is butter smooth in double action. Single action is light, and breaks clean. Recoil is a non factor the gun is solid stainless steel. It has enough weight and heft to soak up any .38 spcl recoil without being uncomfortable.

They can be found for $400 give or take a small bit.
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Old January 21, 2013, 10:47 PM   #17
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not sure if they still have them, but i bought a police trade-in smith and wesson model 10 4 inch .38 special from buds gun shop. not a collector piece by any means, but it is an excellent shooter. recoil isnt bad and its deadly accurate
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Old January 22, 2013, 12:05 AM   #18
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I bought a 4" Charter Pathfinder a couple of years ago. Mine is the combo, with both 22lr and 22mag cylinders. It shoots just fine. I will say that the trigger has some stacking in it, more than any of my other revolvers. I can't compare it to the Taurus which I've never handled, except to say that charter's customer service is miles ahead of Taurus at the moment.
I would feel pretty comfortable recommending a Charter 22 mag, especially if you can handle it to test the trigger first. They are relatively inexpensive, made right here where we live, and the lifetime warranty means something to the manufacturer.
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Old January 22, 2013, 01:28 AM   #19
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Unless one plans on never shooting the thing, the difference in price between "cheap guns" and "expensive guns" is nil. Just shooting 1000 rounds is going to cost maybe 300 absolute minimum, maybe 1000 or more max. That's for non .22 ammo. And that's not trying to figure in current "buy scare" prices or what they might be like in the future. At that price, saving 200-300 dollars buying a Rossi or something instead of a Smith/Ruger or whatever, is a lot less of a difference.

But, of course, you should ALWAYS buy what makes you feel comfortable, regardless of initial price. The life of a gun is LONG. The difference in initial cost amortizes quickly.


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Old January 22, 2013, 03:34 AM   #20
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I would agree that the idea of an entry level revolver is a fallacy. You will spend more money on ammo than the gun.
If you decide you don't like what you buy, and from what you are describing, that is a real possibility, then a brand name revolver from Ruger or S&W will hold more of its resale value, and thus be cheaper.
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Old January 22, 2013, 03:54 AM   #21
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One thing to note with rimfire revolvers is that they need stiffer springs than their centerfire counterparts. It makes the double action pull pretty stiff on any rimfire revolver.

Check out the Taurus Model 941. 8 shot .22 magnum with a 4" barrel. Available in black or stainless finish. Probably a little bit harder to find than a tracker but I don't think its anything that couldn't be found.

If you just want a 4" barreled tracker. they make one of those too. Its called the 991.

I have a Taurus Tracker in .17 HMR. I find the double action pull smooth but it takes more effort than I like, doable but I shoot much more accurately if I pull the hammer back before shooting it. I hated the grips that came on the tracker so I put Houge monogrips on mine and havent looked back.
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Old January 22, 2013, 07:15 PM   #22
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Well I don't know much about 22mag revolvers, but I spent a lot of time looking for a decent budget 22lr DA revolver the past few years. I would suggest against getting a Taurus 941. If it's anything like its brother the 94 (same frame, but 22lr) it has the worst DA trigger pull I've ever tried in any revolver period. While still not the best trigger ever, the Charter Pathfinder (which I decided on in the 22lr version and have absolutely no regrets) has a significantly better trigger than the small frame Taurus not to mention great customer service. The Charter would definitely be my recommendation for a new DA 22mag for around $400 or so.

If you're willing to buy used and get a 38 instead of 22mag, the model 10 and 64 previously mentioned are also good if one can be found for the desired price. I don't agree that it'll keep its resale value that much better than a Charter, but rather will sell faster if you decide you don't want to keep it.

You'll just have to choose whether you prefer a better quality gun but in a caliber you don't stock yet and with no warranty (the S&W models 10/64) or a 22mag, being a caliber you already shoot but of lesser quality (although still good IMHO) and that comes with a lifetime warranty that the manufacturer actually takes seriously (the Charter 22mag Pathfinder).
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Old January 23, 2013, 09:21 AM   #23
redneck
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Sounds like I need to find a charter to handle before I do anything else. If I don't like it I will move on to used .38's.
I really don't have need for another centerfire gun at the moment, already having a half dozen .380's, 9mm's and .45's. I deer hunt over a beanfield so getting a .357 or .44 still doesn't interest me much. The idea is for a plinking gun that occasionally could see use for pest control or small game, I probably won't shoot over 100 rounds a year from it.
If my mom likes it and shows interest in shooting more we can find her a good .38 or whatever she picks. If she handles it ok and wants to leave it at that I will probably just give it to her and it will be a nightstand gun. It may not be the best but its a far better choice than an auto she can't load.

Thanks to everyone for all the advice and feedback
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Old January 23, 2013, 09:51 AM   #24
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Quote:
I deer hunt over a beanfield so getting a .357 or .44 still doesn't interest me much.
...


Quote:
The idea is for a plinking gun that occasionally could see use for pest control or small game, I probably won't shoot over 100 rounds a year from it.
Shooting 100 rounds a year and "a plinking gun" are opposing concepts..

If you're not going to shoot the thing then it really doesn't matter what you buy.


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Old January 23, 2013, 09:58 AM   #25
aarondhgraham
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I recently purchased a Charter Arms Target Pathfinder.

Quote:
Haven't got to handle a charter arms pathfinder, whats the story on them? Are they an improvement over the taurus?

I recently purchased a Charter Arms Pathfinder in .22 LR,,,
Overall I am really likeing the little shooter,,,
It's almost identical to a S&W J-frame.



The above image is the 4" Pathfinder beside my 4" Model 34,,,
You can see the similarity in size and overall shape,,,
The full lug barrel is the one big difference.

The DA trigger was very stiff when it was brand new,,,
I'm approaching the bottom of a 550 round bulk pack of ammo,,,
It seems to be smoothing out as I shoot it so that might be a non-issue.

The only thing I do not like is the front sight blade,,,
It's the same matte stainless as the frame,,,
It needs some sight paint to highlight it.

Quote:
Are they an improvement over the taurus?
I have owned two Taurus rimfire revolvers,,,
A 970 Tracker and a 990 Tracker,,,
I disliked and sold them both.

I do not see myself selling this little Charter revolver,,,
I might gift it to an upcoming college graduate,,,
But if not I'll definitely keep and shoot it.

Hope this helps,,,

Aarond

.
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