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Old January 17, 2013, 09:28 PM   #1
hoopster3
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1st revolver help

Gentlemen- I started my gun owning experience about 6 months ago by purchasing a Walther PPQ 40. I absolutely love this firearm and have gotten fairly profiecient with it in the short amount of time I have had it. I live in Iowa and do have a CC permit but I have not felt comfortable doing so with such a large gun. I would like to purchase a revolver that would mainly be kept in my vehilce but also used for CC. At my place of employement I'm not allowed to carry a weapon but can keep a weapon unloaded in my vehicle.

Here is where the help comes in:

I am wanting a small revolver, 2" preferably but 3" barrel could work, chambered in either 38 special +p or 357 magnum.

Am I correct in thinking that a 357 magnum chambered gun can also fire 38 special +p ammo? But a 38 special +p gun can NOT fire 357 mag ammo? If this is the case I see no reason why I wouldn't get a 357.

I'm looking for something that is reliable, easy to conceal, has an external hammer and....is priced close to $400. Any suggestions? Please keep in mind availability as it seems many guns are sold out in stores and on-line.

If you need any additional information please let me know. Thank you in advance for help help you can lend.
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:03 PM   #2
ckpj99
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You basically have three main choices. A used Smith and Wesson J-Frame or a Ruger SP101 or a Ruger LCR.

I'd head to your local gun store and see what they have.

Yes, you can shoot any .38 special ammo out of a .357 revolver, including +p. In fact, most people I know who carry revolvers carry .38 +p in a .357 revolver. Shooting actual .357 out of a small gun is really unpleasant and for most people doesn't make sense. That being said, .357 revolvers are strong enough to handle a lot of shooting, so it still makes sense to get one.

There are about a million different j-frame variations out there. Get what works for you. Most j-frames have 2" barrels, although some have 3". You shouldn't have too much trouble having finding something in your price range. Look for a used model 60, a model 640, a model 360.

There are just a few different version of the SP101, different sights and hammers. They pretty much all have a 2 1/2 inch barrel. A new or good condition SP101 will be close to $500, but you may be able to find one that's "shooter grade" or your price.

The LCR is a polymer-framed small revolver. It's cool, too, but it's the type of gun people either love or hate. It's worth noting that Smith and Wesson makes a polymer-framed revolver called the Bodyguard, but it's a really similar style to their metal j-frames.

Good luck with the hunt. Other's on here might mention Charter Arms or Taurus. I don't have any experience with them, but they do not have the same reputation for quality and strength that Smith or Ruger have. They are options, but you won't go wrong with two major brands.
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:18 PM   #3
Noreaster
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S&W J frames are a prized possession and very handsome firearm. But if you going to get a "truck" gun then a Ruger SP101 is very hard to beat. Take your pick 2 or 3 inch, 38spl or 357 mag.
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Old January 19, 2013, 01:56 PM   #4
hoopster3
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Thank you for the responses. I believe I will have a very difficult time finding somewhere that I can get my hands on many of the revolvers I'm pondering. The places I have gone around here are out of about every revolver with a less than 5" barrel. Even finding them on-line is difficult as the prices are fairly inflated.

I guess my search will continue....
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Old January 19, 2013, 02:21 PM   #5
SgtLumpy
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Quote:
The places I have gone around here are out of about every revolver with a less than 5" barrel. Even finding them on-line is difficult as the prices are fairly inflated.
It will all ease in a few short months at the longest. Evening news watching Americans are quick to adopt, quick to abandon emotional issues. The current "I've got to have a gun" is one of those issues.

[end polit rant...sorry]

I'm a revolver guy. I own both autos and wheelies but it's the revolvers I dig the most. Short, long, small, large, doesn't matter much to me. IF - I was starting out experimenting with revolvers, I'd seek out a S&W Model 19 or 66. That's an either blue or stainless, medium frame 357 magnum. I'd seek a 4" bbl unless I specifically wanted, and was already convinced, I wanted a snubbie. The snubs are cooler than heck and I dig mine. I'm really good with mine - I've shot it a LOT. But some people don't think they shoot well with a shorter barrel. If you're new to short guns, it might be easy to get discouraged if you're not yet up to speed.

The hundred $ or two that you might save buying a Llama or Taurus over a S&W will be insignificant very quickly. A hundred bucks in one year is only about $8 a month. After that, the higher price is amortized and you'll have a work of art pistol vs a workhorse pistol.

I've never shot a Taurus or Llama that I liked.
I've never shot a Ruger that I DIDN'T like.
I've never shot a S&W that I wouldn't pick up FIRST over the Rugers or anything else.
I'm absent of opinions on Colt revolvers. I've shot only two, maybe 100 rounds total. Their cyl release seems "backwards" to a S&W oriented guy, like me. But I would guess they are fine guns. Colt isn't known for making junk.


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Old January 20, 2013, 12:27 AM   #6
hoopster3
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I am definitely in the market for a snub 357. This will be the firearm I will CC as well so I'm looking at a somewhere between a 2" and 3" barrel. With everything being so difficult to find now I might just take your advice and save up some more cash and look again in a few months. I do like the S&W's but am hesitant to purchase used online and the new ones can be quite expensive....at least for me.
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Old January 20, 2013, 04:14 AM   #7
SgtLumpy
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Quote:
I might just take your advice and save up some more cash and look again in a few months. I do like the S&W's but am hesitant to purchase used online and the new ones can be quite expensive....at least for me.
Your dilemma is simplified by the fact that they are essentially UN-available right now. They won't be that way for too long. That few months that you save may reveal the relax point in current gun buying. You'll find the gun that's right for you. And then you'll have it forever.


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Old January 20, 2013, 10:49 AM   #8
Dan-O
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How about a 3" Ruger GP100? Tough as nails. Heavy enough to shoot all day long, yet you could still CC it in the future with a good holster and belt. Also, with the compact Lett style grips it is pretty easy to conceal as opposed to the ugly bulky Hogues that now come standard on it. Here is a pic of mine with compact grips:



And here is an awesome vid of Hickok45 putting one through it's paces.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq3UdULuqt8

And if the GP100 3" is too big, then I would def. suggest a 3" or 2.25" Ruger SP101 in .357.

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Old January 20, 2013, 01:34 PM   #9
g.willikers
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How about a new Charter Arms.
During the in between years, after the original owners and before the present ones, their reputation got tarnished, and maybe they're easier to find, especially for the price you mentioned.
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Old January 20, 2013, 03:32 PM   #10
hoopster3
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I do like the looks of the Rugers. I think finding them in my price range will be the most difficult part. I wouldn't mind buying used but I have a hard time doing that online, when I can't get my hands on them. Nice set of revolvers you have there!
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Old January 20, 2013, 03:33 PM   #11
hoopster3
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I'm not opposed to Charter Arms, I've just never fired one. I would be a little skeptical of the quality.
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Old January 20, 2013, 07:49 PM   #12
SonOtheSouth
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Ruger Sp101 .357
If your only gonna have 1 revolver, it should always be a 357, for the simple fact that, as you stated, it will fire 357, 38 special and 38 +P.
Finding ammo can be a tough task these days, and a .357 puts you at a serious advantage.
There are other revolvers you can buy that can shoot multiple types of ammo, such as the Judge which can handle .45 Long colt / 410 shot shells. But I would'nt recommend them.

Just MHO

Last edited by SonOtheSouth; January 20, 2013 at 08:03 PM.
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Old January 21, 2013, 03:42 PM   #13
Obambulate
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Ruger SP-101 in 2" or 3" seems the ideal choice for the OP.
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Old January 22, 2013, 01:34 AM   #14
Hook686
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Quote:
I would like to purchase a revolver that would mainly be kept in my vehilce but also used for CC.
You do not say where you would like to carry the revolver when you do CC it. I think that is a very important consideration. A J-Frame in the pocket is great. A K-Frame is not quite so great.
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Old January 22, 2013, 08:32 AM   #15
bigghoss
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When looking at revolvers stick with a Ruger, Smith & Wesson, or colt. For your budget Colt is probably off the table. You can probably find a used S&W but a ruger is probably what you're going to find. The Ruger LCR can be had new for around $450 or a used SP101 in that rough price range. The SP101 is built like a tank but that extra strength means it weighs more.

You can fire .38 special in a .357 but it's advisable that you pay extra attention to the cylinder when cleaning because fouling builds up in the space left by by the shorter .38 case in the .357 cylinder. Something to remember, but not to be overly concerned about.
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Old January 26, 2013, 03:22 PM   #16
CSHammond
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my 2 cents

I know you said you would probably stick with .357, but have you considered a smith & wesson 642 airweight. With 38 special +P rounds, and weighing 15 ounces, it might be wise to look into it. I am not a revolver guy, but it would be one I would buy to carry. I have handled one and it is very nice.
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File Type: jpg airweight.jpg (50.5 KB, 4 views)
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Old January 26, 2013, 04:38 PM   #17
hoopster3
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I had not considered getting a 38 special. I had planned on a 357 and mostly using 38 in it, but still giving me the option for something more. Something to think about I guess.
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Old January 26, 2013, 09:11 PM   #18
Garybock
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consider this

Take a look at the Smith & Wesson model 340. My wife and each carry one.
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