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Old September 26, 2012, 04:48 PM   #1
Wheellock
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First revolver purchase.

I'm preparing to purchase my first revolver for home protection and concealed carry. I'm leaning toward a Ruger LCR .357. Any thoughts?
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Old September 26, 2012, 04:56 PM   #2
aarondhgraham
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Shoot one before you buy it,,,

Shoot one before you buy it.

The Ruger LCR is proving to be a fine handgun.

But,,, .357 Mags from a lightweight pistol can be brutal on your hand.

You will of course always have the option of shooting .38 Special or .38 Special +P ammo from a revolver chambered for .357 Magnum.

The LCP is not a bad choice at all,,,
But it's not the only choice in snubbies.

Rent some different guns if you have the opportunity,,,
Handle lots of guns if you can't rent them.

Aarond

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Old September 26, 2012, 05:22 PM   #3
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For a first revolver, I'd recommend something a bit heavier to get used to .357 - it's...juicy...even from a big, heavy GP-100 or an S&W

+1 to aaron's recommendation to rent and try a few - sucks to drop a couple hundred dollars on a gun you can't bear or stand to shoot
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Old September 26, 2012, 05:32 PM   #4
Wheellock
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Thanks guys. Yes, I like "try before you buy" too and am lucky to have some rental options in my area.
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Old September 26, 2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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Yes i would say heavier gun for .357. Id say youd be happier with an sp101 if you want one in that size. LCR would not be a bad choice though if it is primarily for carry.
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Old September 26, 2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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I CC a LCR and think it's great for my pocket. When I'm at home I have a S&W 66 ready to go. My shotgun is always ready too.
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Old September 26, 2012, 08:50 PM   #7
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S&W model 64-2 or 64-4...........38 special, stainless steel, 2 inch barrel.
ammunition = DEWC @ 800 - 850 fps.
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:04 PM   #8
dyl
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And while you're at the range I'd suggest setting up labelled targets for each gun and keep a few groups to take home with you and examine. Being your first revolver and a short sight radius I'd expect the groups to be less pretty than you'd like (you WILL improve, don't worry). However if one gun just shoots horribly or fantastically well in comparison to the others that might help your decision. That may be a function of the ergonomics matching / not matching you, the trigger pull characteristics, or the sights that come with it.

Whatever factor you choose to give priority to is always up to you - I actually chose my last handgun because it felt better than another in my hand even though I shot better with the other gun. My current carry revolver has sights that are fast up close but difficult to make pinpoint shots at range with.

And whichever you choose, don't let yourself be overcome with buyer's remorse / doubt. Any time spent getting good with a snub nose revolver will help your fundamentals.
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Old September 26, 2012, 10:19 PM   #9
chaim
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A J-frame snubbie is not an easy revolver to start on.

Some people find even the steel frame .38spl versions to be too light for the chambering with defensive strength ammo. This can mean slower follow up shots and developing a flinch.

These guns are accurate themselves, but the short sight radius makes it harder for many shooters to shoot accurately. Just about any other gun will probably be easier.

If this is a first gun, avoid a snub. If you are experienced with guns and looking for a snub to fill a particular niche (there are few guns that CCW better, and few fit a pocket better than a lightweight snub), go for it.

If you really want a revolver, and it is your first gun (great choice to start with a revolver BTW), go with a medium frame revolver. They are simply more forgiving, and in 4" or shorter will just barely be small enough to consider carrying. Another option: get a used S&W K-frame or medium frame Taurus, and a used J-frame sized gun and for about the price of the Ruger LCR you'll have both a good range gun and HD gun with reasonable follow up shots, and a lighter and smaller gun for carry.
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Old September 26, 2012, 11:34 PM   #10
Frasier
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You will also need to practice more with a DAO revolver. My first time at the range with my LCR ended with shots all over the place. I was used to the pin point accuracy of my S&W Model 10-8. The key here is persistent practice.
Good luck
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Old September 27, 2012, 11:37 AM   #11
Edward429451
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I agree with a medium frame steel gun, perhaps in 4" if you intend to carry it. The sp101s are nice guns, but are no fun to shoot with SD loads and you would want to practice a lot, so I would caution you to stay away from the SPs, nice as they are. Stay with at least a K frame size gun and you will be happy.
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Old September 28, 2012, 10:58 AM   #12
coonbait
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any 357 revolver from colt, s&w or ruger with a 4'' bbl will serve your needs and as with any 357 you can always use 38s in it.
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Old September 28, 2012, 02:49 PM   #13
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Plus 1 on the something in a K frame S&W, lots of good used ones findable at reasonable prices.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:30 PM   #14
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It's good advice to suggest a larger K-frame as a first revolver - BUT - the op seems to need a dual-purpose revolver for both carry and home defense. Therefore, his own suggestion of the .357 LCR is a good one that meets all his criteria.

The LCR was designed first and foremost to be a carry gun. So, it's much easier to integrate into a carry routine than a larger and heavier revolver that may be nicer to shoot, but bulkier to carry.

It's true that shooting hot .357 Magnums from a lightweight snub nose involves a lot of recoil, noise, flash, muzzle flip, and slow follow-up shots. It may be too painful for many shooters and in an enclosed space such as a home defense situation, the noise and flash can blind and deafen you at a critical moment.

Still, that does not mean the OP has to carry hot Magnums in his LCR. There is enough variety of power levels in both .38 Special and .357 that everyone should be able to find effective loads for practice, carry, and home defense. You could do a lot worse than 148gr .38 Special wadcutters for practice and Speer Gold Dot .38 Special+P for carry and home defense.

The ability to shoot .357 is still always there if you happen to wander into bear country or maybe you just want a little more thrill at the range.

The LCR is also reasonably priced, widely available, and unlike the suggested used K-frames, you don't have to worry about the history and condition.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:36 PM   #15
aarondhgraham
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Obambulate made a lot of sense,,,

Every point he brought up is extremely valid,,,
And elegantly put I might add.

Aarond

.
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Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:22 PM   #16
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The smallest I would get in a 357 would be the sp101. If you decide on the LCR get the 38. The 38 +p is plenty for the LCR. Shoot a couple you will know why.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:39 PM   #17
BigJimP
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It really depends on what fits your hands the best...

Personally I would favor a S&W K frame in .357 mag ( like a model 19 or 66 ) in a 4" ....( and there are no frame issues if you're shooting a standard 158 gr bullet in a K frame S&W ). A J frame S&W to me ...is too small in my hands for me to manipulate it effectively.

Personally I find a snubbie ( 2 1/2" ) is difficult to shoot well beyond 21 feet or so ...especially quickly for double taps out of a holster.../ where the 4" in my hands ..is just more stable...and way more effective.

I also like the L or N frame ....357 mag's ( mod 686 or mod 27's ) but they're a little too big and heavy to carry ..even in a 4" ( and I'm a big guy )... lots of good choices.
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Old September 29, 2012, 06:17 AM   #18
mollymomo
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What do you'll think? I honestly am not an expert on this.
But isn't .357 "overkill" for in home defense and quite dangerous to others on the street? And a round dangerous to fire in a home surrounded by other homes - not to mention it may deafen you and your child/children in the vicinity for life.
That's a great round for long distance outdoors and may to stop a Kodiak bear before he gets up the hill to you.
Should you be involved in a self defense incident, I understand you will probably have to defend your choice of ammunition to a jury.
And I understand a jury will want to know why you need to use ammunition more powerful than is common among police.
Just saying. Stuff I've heard.
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Old September 29, 2012, 06:46 AM   #19
Chuckusaret
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My wife's weapon of choice is the LCR-CT .38 carries with +P but she uses wadcutters at the range. Yes, as someone stated, the DAO does take some getting use to. I have fired the LCR .357 and it is rather snappy but what would the jury think, more powerful than what the police use? I have a .12 ga. shot gun loaded with OO buck for HD, and at ranges within the average home is more deadly than a .357. We have the Castle Law here in Florida and 99% of the true home defense incidents don't go beyond the investigation phase regardless of the caliber or gauge of the gun used, but this is the Gunshine state and could be different then other states. Just my opinion.
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Old September 29, 2012, 01:36 PM   #20
BigJimP
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No, mollymomo, a .357 mag is not that big a deal to overpenetration...or deafening to shooter or others in the vicinity...

every caliber round has penetration issues / and you need to be sure of your target and what's beyond it...

( and a .357 mag is not the preferred caliber to put down a charging Grizzly - let alone a Brown Bear..../it may be ok - but its on the light side even for a North American Grizzly ...and its puny if you're in Big Brown Bear country....)
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Old September 29, 2012, 03:26 PM   #21
Zhillsauditor
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A grizzly bear is another name for the North American Brown Bear. I think you meant Black Bear.
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Old September 29, 2012, 08:20 PM   #22
BigJimP
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No, I meant north american Grizzly ....vs Alaskan Brown Bear ....not the Black Bear - 3 very different animals.../ I'm not trying to be a biologist ...but the Grizzly is very different from a typical Brown Bear in Alazka. I've lived and hiked and hunted big game in both Montana and Alaska a lot ...and killed lots of Black Bear...and only one Montana Grizzly ...and never an Alaskan Brown bear....( all with rifles .30-40 Krag or a .30-06 ..)...and while I did carry
a .357 handgun in Montana for protection in the woods / I'd want a .44 mag in Alaska...( fishing, or hunting ).

In my opinion:

Yes, a .357 mag is a decent weapon on a Black Bear (maybe 300 lbs)...

marginal on a Grizzly ( as in Nortwestern Montana - maybe 600 lbs )...

and puny on an Alaskan Brown Bear..( like in Kodiak, AK - where a lot of them are over 1,000 lbs ) where the Alaskan Brown bear are significantly bigger than a typical Northwestern Montana Grizzly...

Last edited by BigJimP; September 29, 2012 at 08:30 PM.
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Old September 29, 2012, 09:05 PM   #23
Lost Sheep
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Bear talk is not on the agenda

Defense against bears is way off-thread.

But just for clarity
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae.

Black bears are species Ursus Americanus and found almost everywhere.

Brown bears are species Ursus Arctos and found across Eurasia and North America

Subspecies of the Brown Bear
are:
Ursus Arctos horribilis
also known as the silvertip bear, the grizzly, or the North American brown bear. Commonly found in the Alaskan interior and across Canada and the U.S.

Ursus Arctos middendorffi), also known as the Kodiak brown bear or the Alaskan grizzly bear or American brown bear and Coastal Brown Bears. These are the big ones. Largely because they are so well fed on salmon. Interior bears have to work harder for their protein.

They are ALL very hard to stop with any handgun. 12 gauge with Brennekke slugs or 300 Winchester Magnum is considered to be minimal. But remember, STOPPING one who has decided to hurt you is a far different task than HUNTING one.

Now, back to the original thread.

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Old September 30, 2012, 06:14 AM   #24
mollymomo
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Yes, back to the original thread. I write this for the OP and again out of concern for the OP:

The OP is considering a .357 Magnum for home and carry defense.
It is not clear if the OP is strong and very well-practiced using this round.
I shoot .357 mag and .38 special ( not +) in my Python. I do not feel sufficiently capable of .357 for self defense situations and I probably never will be up to it (I'm over 60 and not that quick or strong, and not of great eyesight).

But I have read so many remarks against .357 for self defense that it struck me as a bold choice for the OP's first defense weapon even if the OP is quick, strong and can see. And from what I have read, its a bad choice for anyone.

Here are two quotes from just one source:

"The sound of a .357 going off is really tremendously loud, even when wearing ear protection. Setting off a .357 indoors without ear protection would most certainly do damage to ones hearing which could be permanent."

"A normal 158g .357 hollow point can penetrate about a yard in ballistic gelatin." So I guess it will pass through a human (yes of course you have to be aware of what's behind - but a lapse of awareness can happen.

"Control is a concern with the .357 Magnum... Follow-up shots could be difficult or at least slower as the shooter struggles to regain control of the gun after the recoil."

Just saying. Sounds to me like a bad choice for a first defense weapon. Of course, it can be loaded with .38 special hollow points.
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Old September 30, 2012, 01:39 PM   #25
chaim
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Quote:
Yes, back to the original thread. I write this for the OP and again out of concern for the OP:

The OP is considering a .357 Magnum for home and carry defense.
It is not clear if the OP is strong and very well-practiced using this round.
I shoot .357 mag and .38 special ( not +) in my Python. I do not feel sufficiently capable of .357 for self defense situations and I probably never will be up to it (I'm over 60 and not that quick or strong, and not of great eyesight).

But I have read so many remarks against .357 for self defense that it struck me as a bold choice for the OP's first defense weapon even if the OP is quick, strong and can see. And from what I have read, its a bad choice for anyone.

Here are two quotes from just one source:

"The sound of a .357 going off is really tremendously loud, even when wearing ear protection. Setting off a .357 indoors without ear protection would most certainly do damage to ones hearing which could be permanent."

"A normal 158g .357 hollow point can penetrate about a yard in ballistic gelatin." So I guess it will pass through a human (yes of course you have to be aware of what's behind - but a lapse of awareness can happen.

"Control is a concern with the .357 Magnum... Follow-up shots could be difficult or at least slower as the shooter struggles to regain control of the gun after the recoil."

Just saying. Sounds to me like a bad choice for a first defense weapon. Of course, it can be loaded with .38 special hollow points.
While I do use .38+P in my .357mag revolvers for CCW or home defense, there is quite a bit here that needs a response. If you said that .38+P was a better round for self-defense, I'd probably agree with you. However, saying that .357mag is a bad choice, I have to disagree.

Sure, the sound levels of the .357mag indoors can cause hearing damage. However, any handgun shot indoors is sufficiently loud to cause permanent hearing damage. .357mag is among the loudest self defense calibers, and this is among the reasons I choose .38+P, don't believe for a second that this issue is limited to .357mag (and if I'm in a self-defense situation, risking some hearing damage is secondary to having "enough gun").

Control and follow-up shots in a small framed revolver is one of the reasons I go .38 in most of my J-frame sized revolvers (the smallest I'd go in a .357mag that I plan to shoot magnums out of is my 26oz Rossi 461 which is sized about halfway between a J-frame and K-frame). However, out of a medium framed revolver, I'd have few concerns with follow-up shot speed with moderately loaded .357mag rounds (i.e. most rounds made for the range and self-defense), though I would generally avoid hunting rounds.

As for over penetration potential, that is there with any round. I saw a ballistic test on YouTube where a FMJ and flat nose .380ACP exited the ballistic gelatin. One reason I do go with .38+P for home defense is over penetration potential, however, with careful ammo selection I wouldn't worry too much about it.

If you look at the chart of FBI test results at the link, you'll see in unclothed gelatin, most of the tested loads were in the 15-16" range, and clothed most ranged from 12-20". When you consider that the FBI considers the minimum acceptable penetration to be 12", if you consider the possibility that you'll need a side shot, and you consider the chances you may hit bone which can stop a bullet or change its direction, I wouldn't worry about most of these rounds over penetrating (in the clothed gelatin tests, the only tested load that would concern me is the 158gr HydraShok). Further, with .38spl and +P you need to carefully select your ammo for another reason- the potential for under penetration, and if you use a 2" barrel snub, the possibility that the hollowpoint won't expand.

http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/357magnum.htm

While, all that said above is about the .357mag round, the fact that you are talking about .357mag handguns makes me disagree even more strongly. The fact that a .357mag can shoot .38spl makes a medium frame .357mag revolver just about the perfect gun for someone to start on. That way, they can shoot everything from low recoiling .38spl wadcutters and other target rounds at the range while learning, through full power 180gr+ .357mag hunting rounds once they are used to it should they need them. A K-frame might be a bit uncomfortable with the hunting rounds, but once the owner has some experience, they can handle .357mag rounds made for defensive use quite well.

Finally, you mention strength several times in your posts, but I don't understand why. Strength has virtually nothing to do with ability to handle recoil.
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