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Old April 26, 2011, 07:38 PM   #1
nodule
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BEST bang for the buck in a .38 revolver?

Hi,

I am in NJ and just received my FID card and 2 handgun permits. I want to
purchase a .38 revolver to start out with and I am wondering which .38 would
offer the best bang for the buck??

How about the S&W Model 67??
Or any other suggestions??

Thanks!
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Old April 26, 2011, 07:46 PM   #2
spacecoast
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If a 4" barrel (standard police issue length) is OK, then you can't do much better than a S&W Model 10 or Model 64 (six shots, fixed sights). There are usually a lot of them on Gunbroker and they can usually be purchased for less than $250. Some will show holster wear but will be in good shape function-wise.
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Old April 26, 2011, 07:47 PM   #3
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Well any S&W K frame 38 special will be a good choice. That would a model 10,15,64 and 67. Difference is model 10 and 64 has fixed sights and 15 and 67 has adjustable rear sights.

Another suggestion. Ruger made a linited run of Security Sixes in 38 special and also a GP100. These are great reliable guns.

Any finally there are some Colt Police Positives still out in the used market. But they are rare.

Good luck with your decision.
Howard
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Old April 26, 2011, 07:50 PM   #4
Andy Taylor
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In addition to roaddog's suggestions I would like to add the Colt Official Police. Happy hunting.
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Old April 26, 2011, 07:53 PM   #5
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Hard to beat a used pre lock S&W model 15 (blue) or 67 (stainless) for bang for the buck. One of the nicest .38's out there, and they can be had at quite reasonable prices.
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Old April 26, 2011, 11:42 PM   #6
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Well the Taurus revolvers are very cheap, and having one blow up in your hand would be the biggest bang, so my vote goes to Taurus.
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Old April 27, 2011, 12:02 AM   #7
Jim March
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This:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=449167
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Old April 27, 2011, 01:48 AM   #8
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You might check out J&G sales http://www.jgsales.com/index.php/smi...ath/16_211_431 . They had, sold out, and now have again a number of Model 10s. I'd grab one of those in a heartbeat (actually, I did do that, from their last batch.)

For a longer barrel and adjustable sights, check out the K-38s (Model 14) at Summit Gunbrokers http://www.summitgunbroker.com/S_W_14-3.html . They're described as duty guns, but in their day the K-38 was THE centerfire match gun, back before many gunsmiths knew how to make a 1911 shoot bullseyes as well as a 38 Special shooting wadcutters.
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Old April 27, 2011, 01:52 AM   #9
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Armscor M206 $230
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Old April 27, 2011, 09:22 AM   #10
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Another vote for a nicely broken in Model 10. They are pretty much everywhere and are a great way to get a nice S&W at a reasonable price.
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Old April 27, 2011, 09:29 AM   #11
AirForceShooter
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What is the primary use of the gun?

Range, home protection?

There is only ONE primary use.

AFS
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Old April 27, 2011, 09:34 AM   #12
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Any reason a 357 Magnum that will shoot 38 Special ammunition just fine won't work for you in the Peoples Republic State you live in?

That would open up the list of Smith & Wessons Revolvers that will shoot the 38 Special considerably.

Common Smith & Wesson Models that will fire the 38 Special in K, L, and N Frame:
10 Fixed sight K frame 38 Special in Blued.
64 Same as above in Stainless Steel.
13 Fixed Sight K frame 357 in Blued.
65 Same as above in Stainless Steel.
15 Adjustable Sight K Frame 38 Special in Blued. Combat Masterpiece
67 Same as above in Stainless Steel. Combat Masterpiece Stainless
19 Adjustable Sight K Frame 357 in Blued. Combat Magnum
66 Same as above in Stainless Steel. Combat Magnum Stainless
581 Fixed Sight L Frame 357 in Blued.
681 Same as above in Stainless Steel.
586 Adjustable Sight L Frame 357 in Blued.
686 Same as above in Stainless Steel.
28 Adjustable Sight N Frame 357 in Blued or Matt Blued (Highway Patrolman)
27 Adjustable Sight N Frame 357 in Blued (Nicer finish than a 28)
627 Stainless version of the 27.

RUGER Revolvers:
SP101 Not a bad choice at all in a smaller size all steel gun. I would go with a longer barrel version.
Security Six/Speed Six Fixed & Adjustable Sights Blued & Stainless
GP100 Fixed & Adjustable Sights Blued or Stainless

No problem with owning a Ruger. They are built tough as an anvil.

NOTE: Most of the S&W guns listed as Blued also come in a Nickel version.

NOTE: Some of the above are available in Performance Center versions that are possibly nicer. Some could also be ported, or have some features you do not really want, so make sure what you are getting if you order one you cannot handle in person.

Another possible consideration is what will your second purchase be? If you are thinking about a Smith & Wesson 22 revolver like a 17 or 617 which are K Frame. You might want to get your 38/357 in the same frame and barrel length. That way they match and use the same holsters.

If you are limited on what you can own, get a good one.

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCKS:
Probably a Police/Guard trade in 64 or 65 would be on the top of my best buy list. My last purchase was a clean 64-3 off Gun Broker for $290 Plus shipping.
CAUTION Better to be able to check the gun out in person, than buy a lemon you are stuck with on line. Some Police Trade Ins are pretty beat up.
A Ruger would probably be next in line as a best buy. Any of the 3 listed should work fine.

You asked about a Model 67 Combat Masterpiece Stainless K Frame. That would be a very good choice also. An adjustable sight K Frame 38 is hard to beat for all round use.

Bob

Last edited by Viper225; April 27, 2011 at 10:39 AM.
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Old April 27, 2011, 10:14 AM   #13
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I had a police trade-in S&W 64. It was bad. The cylinder release didn't work properly, so it was very hard to get open. It was also not accurate with any ammo I tried. I don't blame the gun, really, just pointing out that you should be very careful buying used guns sight unseen. They are such a controlled commodity that it is hard to get after-sale support from other than a local shop.

If you can carry it, the best deal going on a new 38 is the Ruger SP-101, 3", either 357, 38, or 327.

For range use, I prefer a Ruger Redhawk, and if you want smaller caliber, GP-100. Rugers, you can pretty much buy used ones with confidence, as their construction is more durable overall. Solid frames, front/rear cylinder lock-up, and they rarely go out of time. My local shop has a beautiful blued, used, 6" GP-100 for sale. It took all my self control not to buy it in addition to the S&W 625.

I'd have been nervous about the used 625, but the shop includes a 30-day warranty on used guns.

I've been seeing Colt Troopers in 357, 4" for sale for around $500. Not an especially good price compared to a new Ruger, but the triggers are usually better, and Colts tend to go up more in value over time. The ones at my local shop are clunky and ugly guns, like Rugers, but I bet some nicer grips would go a long way toward remedying that.

An old S&W Model 10 would be OK, but I don't like the idea of fixed sights. Most of the time, it will be a range gun, and I want it to shoot to point of aim. The Model 15 is the same, but with an adjustable rear sight.
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Old April 27, 2011, 11:55 AM   #14
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Taurus CIA line.... flame suit on
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Old April 27, 2011, 12:28 PM   #15
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My .02$

As you may have guessed by now, the list for suitable .38's is almost endless.

I pretty much agree with most of the reat of the posters, except for the snark about Taurus quality. while I do consider them to be of lower quality than most of the other guns mentioned, And I do not prsonaly own one, I seriously doubt one will "Blow up in your had".

These are three that I currently own that I can reccomend;

S&W Model Ten, 4", everyone should own one, IMHO

Ruger "Six" series, a very tough, overbuilt gun that will last until, well, forever.
They made a dedicated .38 in the Police Service Six model.

Colt Official Police, very well made and very classy, if you can find one.

JMHO, and as always, YMMV

Willy
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Old April 27, 2011, 01:06 PM   #16
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Something in .357, for versatility.
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Old April 27, 2011, 01:12 PM   #17
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I have several S&W revolvers. Of those, three have adjustable sights, and three have fixed sights.

I think I've adjusted the sights on my Model 18 once.

I haven't adjusted my 29-8 or 629-3. They are right there with 240gr and 255gr loads, and the 29-8 isn't low enough with 200gr specials for me to bother.

I haven't had trouble hitting POA with my 442 or 13; 65 arrives today or tomorrow, and I'll let you know if that has issues.

I find that with 158gr loads, S&W fixed sights in .357/.38 are right on. Also, I could adjust loads if need be, to find one that hits POA - except that hasn't been necessary.

Edit: Musician in NYC comment was in reference to another thread, sorry about that.

Last edited by MLeake; April 27, 2011 at 04:55 PM.
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Old April 27, 2011, 02:05 PM   #18
94bluerat
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I have a 10-5 snub. It shoots great, everyone that shoots it is very impressed. It is from the mid sixties, but looks and feels brand new.

If I could wave the magic wand it would be the exact gun and chambered for the .357. That way I could shoot both types of ammo.

Not to hi-jack your thread, but what is the S&W model # equivalent of a 10-5 snub, but chambered for .357?

Thanks!
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Old April 27, 2011, 02:13 PM   #19
aarondhgraham
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Quote:
what is the S&W model # equivalent of a 10-5 snub, but chambered for .357?
Would that be the Model 13 maybe?

From the 2010 Standard Catalog of Firearms.

Quote:
Model 13 (.357 Military & Police)
This is simply the Model 10 M&P chambered for the .357 Magnum
and fitted with a heavy barrel. It was introduced in 1974.
Exc. V.G. Good Fair Poor
525 350 275 175 125
Also, here's a Wikipedia page on the Model 13

Hope his helped,,,

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Old April 27, 2011, 02:20 PM   #20
MLeake
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I believe that prior to 1974, when the Model 13 was introduced, there was a limited run of Model 10's that were chambered for .357. Just saw a post about one of those being up for sale on GB the other day.

But I have a Model 13 in 3", and it's outstanding, but again, wasn't introduced until 1974.

I think the Model 65 predated it (stainless version), but I think the M65 was introduced in 1972.

So pretty sure if he wants his character to have a .357 snubbie Smith in 1970, he's best off going with the M19 in 2.5" format.
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Old April 27, 2011, 04:46 PM   #21
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I pretty much agree with what most said. I would keep my eyes open and buy when the opportunity presents itself. Wach for something like a Smith Model 10 or 15 or a 67. Generally the short barreled revolvers will have higher prices as there is more demand and they are less common in say a Model 10 or whatever. Unless you intend to carry concealed, I would think in terms of 4" barrels or longer. You will generally get the better buys with the longer barreled revolvers (used).

All that said, you might consider buying a good 22 revolver and a 38spl revolver. You'll shoot the 22 more.

In the past, I always chose adjustable sighted revolvers over their fixed sight counterparts. But being honest, I seldom even adjust the sights. Now I'm much more open to fixed sight revolvers knowing that even if I could adjust the sights, I seldom do.
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Old April 27, 2011, 06:31 PM   #22
nodule
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Ok

The primary use of the gun will be for fun, recreational range shooting.
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Old April 27, 2011, 07:13 PM   #23
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My S&W model 10-8 is the most accurate handgun I own. Got it used at a pawn shop for $250 and have no regrets.
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Old April 27, 2011, 07:27 PM   #24
EdInk
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YOU NEED A SIMPLE SMITH&WESSON J-FRAME SNUBNOSE REVOLVER.

You can get the aluminum Airweight models (which I prefer because you don't need a heavy steel frame for .38) for about $360ish. No fuss or useless flash just a good working man's revolver that will last forever.
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Old April 27, 2011, 08:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
The primary use of the gun will be for fun, recreational range shooting.
Definitely consider a good 22 revolver in addition to a 38spl.
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