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Old July 2, 2016, 01:45 PM   #1
BigMikey76
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First Wheel Gun... Thinking .22lr

I have decided that the time has come for me to get a revolver or two. The main element in my decision making process is that I want a companion gun to go with my 10-22 takedown. I have the bag it came with set up as a short term get home/24-48 hr bugout bag, and I want a .22lr pistol for the front pocket. That way it can share the 1000 rounds or so I already have in the bag for the rifle. I have decided that it should be a revolver to avoid as many reliability issues as possible in a potential life or death situation.

Here is where the problem begins. I know exactly what I want: 3" barrel, more than 6 shots, small frame, all steel. Those were my criteria before I started looking, and I found one that fits them perfectly - the S&W m63. Unfortunately, I am having problems justifying spending more than $600 for a gun in this particular role. I have found a few others that come close in lower price ranges, but none that hit on all the criteria.

So I bring it to you, my worldly wheelgun wielding compatriots. Have you any suggestions that will get me close to what I am looking for without breaking the bank? I'm hoping to come closer to the $300 mark.
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Old July 2, 2016, 02:39 PM   #2
T. O'Heir
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No guarantee that the ammo your Ruger shoots well will do so out of any revolver. A pocket isn't a good spot for any firearm ether.
You might find a used Smith 63. Stay away from the assorted auction sites though. Mostly dealers who think they have a bag of gold. Used priced on Gunbroker start at a bit under $600. Roughly $100 or so less than MSRP.
Mind you, I'd be rethinking the idea of a .22 at all. Same size revolver in .38 Special would be better. A .22 is like to just annoy a trouble maker. They're actually harder to shoot well too.
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Old July 2, 2016, 03:43 PM   #3
springer99
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Sorry, you really need to pick up a S&W 63. If you want to carry it in your front pocket, look around for a used Model 34 with a 2" barrel. It'll carry in your front pocket better. You might be lucky with this version for 450-500beans or so.
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Old July 2, 2016, 03:49 PM   #4
BigMikey76
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T. O'Heir - I appreciate the advice, but I think some clarification might be in order. First, the pocket I referred to is a zippered pocket on the 10/22 bag, not a pants pocket, and it would have a belt holster stored in the pocket with it. Second, I don't plan to count on it for self defense - my 9mm EDC will cover that.

I'm thinking more of something to serve similar roles as the 10/22, but in a smaller format, perhaps even working in conjunction with the rifle. Maybe I need to have something right away for popping a bunny for dinner, but the 10/22 is still taken down in the bag, and my 9mm is just a bit too much gun for the situation. Maybe I want to keep some snake shot in it for protection while I am using the rifle to hunt small game, etc.

I've been looking around some more, and the closest I can find in a price I would be willing to pay is a Charter Arms. It's an inch shorter than I want, and only holds 6 rounds. I can deal with the capacity, but do you think the 2" vs. 3" barrel will reduce performance enough that I should be concerned?
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Old July 2, 2016, 09:05 PM   #5
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People who own the Charter Arms double action 22 revolvers (Pathfinder) are generally pleased. They function okay, but they "are what they are". I think the perfect revolver to carry would be a 22LR version of the LCRX with the 3" barrel which to my knowledge does not exist (yet). The X has sights otherwise I would suggest the regular LCR which I doubt would be all that handy for potentially taking small game.

To me, the S&W M63 is the best revolver to choose. A older 4" would probably be "best". Pay once. Cry once.

Technically a 2" revolver is just as accurate as a 3" revolver. But from experience, the 2" is harder to shoot well. Practice practice.

A small single action might work as well.
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Old July 2, 2016, 09:18 PM   #6
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Gun Broker shows one at $350. Claims new.

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Old July 3, 2016, 07:24 AM   #7
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Look around. See if you can find an old High Standard Sentinel. Great revolvers. Nine shots, alloy frame, sights adjustable for windage, hand ejector styling. About the size of a Smith & Wesson K-frame, so they'll fit a lot of holsters made for K-frames. The one's I've owned are plenty accurate enough for pine cones, sticks, leaves, and probably a squirrel or two... They're DA/SA.

I've only got one now, a pink one with a nickle cylinder (chrome maybe?) and a 2 1/2" barrel, but you can find them with 4" and 6" barrels, in "blue" and nickle. I see them in the 200-300 range, depending on condition of course. I paid about $200.00 for this one.





Someone will ask. You pull the ejector rod forward to release the cylinder. On this model you have to push to eject the empties of course, then you have to pull the ejector rod forward. Later models had a spring loaded ejector return.

You can also find the same gun under the J.C. Higgins brand name, they were sold by Sears at one time.
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Old July 3, 2016, 08:13 AM   #8
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I'm hoping to come closer to the $300 mark.

BigMikey76, I understand most of us have a budget we should stay with, but if this revolver is for a possible emergency situation the best will not be to good, if needed.

I have a 4" Smith and Wesson model 18, which is a six round .22 caliber on a mid-sized K frame. These are excellent revolvers, accurate, and fun to shoot. One of these should be an easy fit in your 10/22 bag. The only downside(?) is the price. These generally are in the $600.00 + price range.

Best of luck.
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Old July 3, 2016, 08:21 AM   #9
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While many bash Rossi firearms, I have had great luck over the last three years with my 4" R98 8 shot 22 revolver. I have put a couple thousand rounds through it with zero issues. Its accurate and easy to shoot for a sub $300 revolver. Recently, I ran across a stainless 2" version of the R98...ohhh so tempting!

After posting about the little Rossi, I ran across this review of the 2" version.

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Old July 3, 2016, 10:18 AM   #10
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High quality .22 LR DA revolvers are a niche market, and are as, or more expensive than essentially the same gun in a centerfire caliber.

Other than your size requirement I would suggest a used Single Six. Perhaps getting one (close to your budget requirement) and having the barrel shortened?

Dead nuts simple and reliable SA. For sport use, it simply doesn't get better than that, on an affordable level.

I have a Super Single Six convertible, which has adjustable sights and the .22WMR cylinder. I think adjustable sights on a .22 are a necessity for sporting use, even if you never need to adjust them, they're good to have, simply because you can easily adjust them to any ammo you happen to use, if you need to. I've had mine for over 30 years, and haven't even put two boxes of WMR through it, because I simply don't have a need to, but for a survival gun, the extra cylinder and a couple boxes of shells don't take up much room, and give you a larger range of options, should you need them.

Mine has a 6.5" barrel longer than you are talking about, but again, a good gunsmith can change that for you.
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Old July 3, 2016, 10:27 AM   #11
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a .22 revolver for the pocket has to be a LCR. snag free profile, and the best D/A trigger pull on a rimfire I've even felt. not great compared to my centerfires, but better than the model 63 or pathfinder.
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Old July 3, 2016, 10:43 AM   #12
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Stay away from Taurus. Taurus transfer bars break and if you can get a replacement, that will probably break too. I don't think they heat threat it to relieve the stress created when they bend it. I'd rather have investment casted than Taurus stamped.

As for revolvers, I'd look for a used Ruger, S&W or Colt (ha ha ha - they expensive ),
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Old July 4, 2016, 08:49 AM   #13
BigMikey76
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44 AMP - I had not even thought about a single six, but your comments make a lot of sense. I usually am not drawn toward single action revolvers simply because I prefer the more modern style over the old western look, but, since I would likely be using single action most of the time anyway, considering my intended uses for the gun, it seems like a good idea, especially in the convertible .22lr/.22mag version - who doesn't like versatility, right? You have definitely given me some food for thought, sir. Thank you.
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Old July 4, 2016, 09:35 AM   #14
SaxonPig
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Are there any 22 revolvers with a 3" barrel? Seems your choices will be very limited by this criterion. Lots of 4" guns around, 2" as well. But 3"?

Matching a 10/22 then how about the SP101? I hate Ruger DA revolvers but maybe you don't.
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Old July 4, 2016, 09:44 AM   #15
gyvel
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Bud's Gun has S&W M317 Kit Gun 8RD 22LR 3" for sale right now at a "cash discount price" of $590.00 and free shipping. That means you save not only the shipping, but local sales tax, and only pay what your greedy local FFL charges for receiving the gun.

And here's a hint: Make an offer on it using some other distributor's name and FFL and put in a much lesser offer and see what Bud's REAL lowest price is.

Unless you stumble across a really sweetheart deal, $300.00 in this day and age is only going to get you junk in a new gun.
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Old July 4, 2016, 10:47 AM   #16
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I agree with 44amp, a nice Ruger Single Six or Single Ten would be a good option. When it comes to bugout actions, simple, reliable and light come to mind. Also don't count out the Ruger Sp101, with its swing out cylinder it is closer to the DA your looking for and it has 8 rounds and is fast to reload with adj sights.

I don't understand why everyone thinks a 22 revolver should cost less then a center fire model, the guns are still made and machined the same and require the same amount of labor. It just has a little less material removed from the cylinder and barrel?
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Old July 4, 2016, 11:35 AM   #17
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My first choice would be a Ruger Bearcat in either fixed or adjustable sights. My 1960 fixed sight is lite as feather with it's aluminum frame and ejector housing and pretty accurate for it's size


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Old July 4, 2016, 01:07 PM   #18
BigMikey76
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Quote:
.
I don't understand why everyone thinks a 22 revolver should cost less then a center fire model, the guns are still made and machined the same and require the same amount of labor. It just has a little less material removed from the cylinder and barrel?
This is a fair statement, and it's not that I really think they ought to be cheaper, just that I had no idea they would be in $500-$600 range. As I stated in the thread title, I have never owned a revolver, and I have not really priced them out before this. I'm used to shopping for semi-autos, and you can pick up some quality .22lr semis in the $200-$300 range. I just don't want a semi for this role because of the well known reliability benefits of a revolver when it comes to rimfire ammo.
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Old July 4, 2016, 02:08 PM   #19
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My most recent purchase was the 3" S&W Model 63 and I feel it's worth the extra cost over the lesser brands. It's a nice size and weight, feels solid and balances well. It feels like quality. The cylinder spins smoothly and silently. I have not had any issues with sticky chambers using a wide variety of ammo, and ejection is very reliable with the full length ejector rod.

I like the 8 shot cylinder and the ability to shoot any kind of ammo in .22 short / long / long rifle. I like the stainless steel construction. There's no recoil so I ditched the rubber grips for some nice looking wood. For a bugout or SHTF scenario the Model 63 would be a useful companion.
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Old July 4, 2016, 02:21 PM   #20
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I believe Ruger has a custom special "Shop Keeper's" model out now.

Might be worth a look OP. It's a single action revolving belt pistol of rimfire caliber.
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Old July 4, 2016, 03:23 PM   #21
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What a great topic. I've done this once and just re-did it this weekend. Originally I bought the 10/22 takedown set up the pack and a seperate Type 1 diabetic survival kit to see me through four days I did replace the synth stock with wood. My EDC is a Shield 9. This spring on a budget I put the Walther P22 in the upper pocket. My revolver of choice is the Single 10. Recently, I ran into a grampa at the range with the grandchild shooting the Heritage 6 shot 22 he purchased as a teenager at the local hardware store for 8 bucks. Later he pulled out a tube feed Springfield lever action he said was fifty's vintage. It looked newer than off the shelf. So I seriously looked at the Heritage of today for under 2 bills. Feel in love with the Browning Black Label 22. So frickin light. and the trigger acceptable. So like any almost sane gun owner...... I walked out with Tacticle Solutions SB-X with suppressor for a takedown, and Ruger's BX trigger upgrade for 120 off on sale.
My solution to your questions is what I did. Put the original TD synth stock on the 10/22 Charger reciever, drop in the BX trigger assembly, and slap on the SB-X barrel and a TruGlo Reddot Optics. Take the wood stocked takedown with the 4x32 scope and line it up in the safe between the Golden Boy and the Big
Boy. Stick the P22 into the pack pocket of the TD, and save, cut corners, etc for the Single Ten or the Black Label, or (whatever else is tripping my trigger when the funds are there.)
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Old July 4, 2016, 04:21 PM   #22
Cousin Pat
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Smith 63-5

Agree above re Smith 63 with 3" bbl -- very accurate for me. I put Hogue one-piece wood grips on it. Note: Get a Speed Beez loader set for this 8-shot - makes reloading fast and easy.
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Old July 4, 2016, 06:57 PM   #23
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A hearty thank you to all who have made suggestions. I think my answer is going to be to spend some time saving up and just wait until I can afford the one I want - the S&W m63 3". Otherwise, I know I'll just end up spending more in the long run, and I'll eventually have the m63 along with probably a couple of others that I would no longer want. The "buy once, cry once" logic seems to be winning this time. Maybe I'm finally getting wiser instead of just older...

As for the suggestion of red dots and tactical doo-dads to "upgrade" my 10-22TD, not likely. It just seems like more stuff that might break and make my life more difficult in the kind of situation I'm trying to be prepared for. Iron sights and no frills is the way for me. Just my $.02.

Thanks again, folks. I'll let you know when I get the m63 and give a full range report, but don't expect it until some time next year
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Old July 5, 2016, 02:59 PM   #24
Obambulate
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That's a sensible approach. If you really want quality and reliability it usually costs extra. I looked at the Model 63 for a long time - years. I bought a Ruger LCR-22 and didn't like it. I considered an older 4" Model 63 but the price of the older ones was about the same as the current 3" 63-5.

In the end the 8-shot cylinder, 3" barrel and lifetime warranty of the 63-5 were strong factors. The 3" J-frames always hold their value well - not that I'd ever sell it. And the serial number started with "CYA" which I thought was worth a chuckle.

You could get 2 Charters or Rossis for the price of a Model 63, and that wouldn't actually be a bad strategy for SHTF (two is one and one is none). You'd have an extra one to share, or to replace the loss of the first one. You could even get one in .22 lr and one in .22 mag.

But I have no regrets buying the 63-5. It fills the kit gun role superbly and can also be used for plinking, cheap practice at the range, and even for self defense in a pinch.
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Old July 6, 2016, 12:20 PM   #25
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I'll second wnycollector,,,

I'll second wnycollector,,,
My little Rossi R98 is becoming a nice shooter.

When I first purchased it 8 months ago,,,
Everything about it was a little stiff.

But after 500 rounds or so downrange,,,
It's breaking in very nicely.

I am becoming enamored with fiber-optic sights,,,
I hit as well with this Rossi as I do with my S&W 34, 63, 18.

I have the 4" model,,,
I paid $278.00 for it at budsgunshop.com.

Aarond

.
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