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Old February 8, 2013, 11:57 PM   #1
AL45
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Most versatile revolver

From shooting cans on a Sunday afternoon to protection against 2 legged bad guys to protection against 4 legged meat eaters, I would think a Ruger Alaskan .454 Casull would be one of the most versatile revolvers. You could load it with light .45 Colt loads all the way to full house .454 Casull loads and it presents itself in a relatively compact package. What are your ideas?
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Old February 9, 2013, 12:00 AM   #2
jason_iowa
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44mag for my money.
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Old February 9, 2013, 12:37 AM   #3
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I went with the GP-100 in .357 Magnum because of the ammo choices and the varrious uses that I could put it to. so far I am not disappointed.
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Old February 9, 2013, 12:42 AM   #4
Dragline45
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As far as versatility I would agree with you and say something chambered in .454. But unless you reload, or have a ton of disposable income, it probably would not be worth it. Pretty much anything you can do with a .454 you could also do with a .44 magnum.

Quote:
and it presents itself in a relatively compact package.
The .454 is certainly not compact. Correct me if I am wrong but S&W builds them on their X frames.

Also .327 Magnums are pretty versatile in that they can chamber the .327, .32 magnum, and .32 long.
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:26 AM   #5
Crazy88Fingers
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If shooting tin cans on Sunday afternoon is one of the uses, I'd have to say something in .357 magnum. Unless, as Dragline45 stated, you don't mind spending some extra dough on ammo.
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:31 AM   #6
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I have to vote for the Ruger Single Six! It shoots EVERYTHING in .22 and can double as a self defense weapon with the Mag Cylinder.
Not the optimum for manstopping but pretty good!
Still priced reasonably and many on the used market.
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Old February 9, 2013, 04:30 AM   #7
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Medusa Model 47. It'll fire anything between .380 auto and .357 magnum. That's at least 25 different calibers, even if most are obscure and obsolete.

Its designer used to post on this forum, iirc.
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Old February 9, 2013, 06:07 AM   #8
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If you like to plink cans with a 454, you're out of my league.

Since we're fresh out of T-Rexs and giant bears around here, I'll just stick with a 357 and shoot 38 wadcutters out of it most of the time.
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Old February 9, 2013, 06:56 AM   #9
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I'm liking my Dan Wesson SuperMag in .357 Maximum. The max loads are largely a handloading proposition but you can get close to 35 Remington ballistics. Also you can shoot std 357 mag, 38 spl, heck even 38 Long Colt if thats what you got.
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Old February 9, 2013, 07:15 AM   #10
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For a handloader, a .460 would probably be as versatile as could be, from full power .460 to .454 to .45LC in cowboy load form.

Heck, even for non-handloaders, that would be true.

The Medusa is also a good candidate for most versatile. I'm not sure how durable its extraction claws are, though.
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Old February 9, 2013, 07:38 AM   #11
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4"/6" M29 or 629. 5" Redhawk would work also.
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:03 AM   #12
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It has to be the .357mag revolver with a 4" barrel. The ammunition is plentiful and reasonably priced (got to be able to afford to practice every once in a while!) and if loaded with 38spl then most anyone can handle the recoil. The .357 round will stop most anything coming at you.
Another thing to consider is the extra ammo capacity available in modern revolvers with 7 or even 8 shot revolvers out there for you to purchase. I have a Smith and Wesson 686+, I like having the extra round just in case. If I load it with a good JHP hollow point, it is what I consider the ultimate house gun. It can be handled my 5'2" 120 lb wife as well as me and being a revolver you have to appreciate the simplicity of operation. Hand cannons are great but when you consider the cost, availability and massive recoil they just are not for the vast majority of shooters.
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:13 AM   #13
shafter
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Quote:
From shooting cans on a Sunday afternoon to protection against 2 legged bad guys to protection against 4 legged meat eaters, I would think a Ruger Alaskan .454 Casull would be one of the most versatile revolvers. You could load it with light .45 Colt loads all the way to full house .454 Casull loads and it presents itself in a relatively compact package. What are your ideas?
I would disagree. I really don't see the advantage to a light 45 Colt load unless its for cowboy action shooting. Even a light 45 is going to be pretty hefty for small game.


I would make a case for a 4'' 357 magnum revolver.

- Very light 38's are adequate for small game such as rabbits
- Will also take standard or plus p 38's for those that are recoil shy.
- Proven manstopper for self defense
- Adequate for woods protection from all but the largest bears.
- Adequate hunting round for medium sized game.
- Great for targets at the range
- With a proper holster it can also be CC without too much trouble

I used the word "adequate" alot but that's about all you will get from a firearm that's expected to do it all. A K frame Smith and Wesson such as a 66 or 19 or one of the Ruger Six series would be a fine choice for a do it all handgun.
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:28 AM   #14
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Model 19 S&W, preferably pinned and recessed, 4" barrel. The availability of .38 special brass and 148 grain wadcutters almost makes a .22 rimfire for plinking redundant. Full house .357 loads will handle everything except the big bears. My mid-range (hotter than .38 sp +p, but lighter than full house .357) loads are more than adequate for self defense. Much smaller, handier, easier to carry package. Ammo less bulky. Unsurpassed quality in a production revolver. There are reasons the Combat Magnum is one of the most popular revolvers ever produced. Versatility is one of those reasons.
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:27 AM   #15
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Don't know if there is just one.... I like my .22LR for plinking and lots of practice shooting and for small varmints. My .22s such as the Single Six gets shoot the most. I like my .45 Colt for most everything else from mild to wild as I reload. The peanut .357/.38 fit in there somewhere too but can't think of exactly where. Of course the preferred platform is a Single Action for all the calibers. So ... must say ... I can't pin down the 'most' versatile revolver other than for me it is the simple SA in at least 5 1/2" barrel length.... Each caliber has a use which overlaps some of the others.
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:41 AM   #16
Glenn Dee
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Another vote for the S&W model 19 .357... with a four inch tube. For all the reasons already stated.
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:24 PM   #17
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I'll kind echo the others here, if you don't yet have a revolver, a 357 is probably the way to go. Ammo is much cheaper, full house 357 loads are still fun to shoot, and you can shoot 38s forever without any problems. Not so much with the 454. I have a Super Redhawk in 454(not Alaskan though) and with full power loads, it's fun to shoot, for about 3 or 4 shots, then it's work and it's painful. The recoil of a 44 mag is pretty tame compared to the 454. But yes you can shoot 45 Colts out of it, and those are fun plinkers.

I also have a BFR in 460, and that's another step beyond the 454. Lots of fun, and due to the mass of the revolver, it is actually less painfull than the Redhawk. It pushes you harder, but it doesn't have the quick snap of the Redhawk.

So if you already have a 357, and you really want that Redhawk, I say go for it. Especially if you reload. It really is a great round, but it's not for everyone.
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:28 PM   #18
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All responses are good ones. My most versatile revolver would be my Ruger Black hawk 357/9mm. Three ammo choices. Plus the large frame Black hawk can have any full power load.
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Old February 9, 2013, 04:22 PM   #19
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I'd say a .357 in either a 3" or 4" barrel. Potent enough for most anything I would be likely to encounter; common and affordable ammo; easy to carry.

Given the guns I actually own, I'd stick with my 625MG in 45LC cut to accept Acps. Gives me some variety of potentially hot loads and more common ammo.
One of these days I'll get around to actually buying one of those .357's.
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Old February 9, 2013, 04:32 PM   #20
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A good .44 mag can also eat .44 Special and Russian ammo. It will do anything I will need with currently available ammo. As I handload, the .41 mag can fill the bill.
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Old February 9, 2013, 08:02 PM   #21
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i would say 6 inch. gp 100 357
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Old February 9, 2013, 08:07 PM   #22
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If you roll your own, 454/45 Colt, 460/454/45Colt, or 44 Magnum/44Spcl
If you only buy your ammo 357/38 Spcl.
Versatility also includes ammo cost.
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:04 PM   #23
AL45
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Looks like .357/.38 is the majority pick. And perhaps for good reason. I would, however, rather face a grizzly with a .454 than a .357, though the end result in me becoming bear food might be the same either way. I can load the light .45 Colt loads to shoot tin cans and experience similar recoil to the .38, and no, a Super Redhawk in .454 is not compact, but a Ruger Alaskan is reasonably compact considering the caliber, though certainly not an ideal ccw gun.. You are correct in that you would definitely want to reload if you chose to own such a gun.
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:02 PM   #24
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I vote for the 357 as well . . . .

I'm not anywhere that there a ten foot Grizzlies and I'm afraid that if I were looking for "versatility", the 454 might be a little bit too much for gophers . . .

But, now if there were some ten foot gophers, that might be another story!
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Old February 12, 2013, 09:39 AM   #25
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If you plan to cover all the bases mentioned in your post with a single revolver, a 3" or 4" S&W 629 would be at the top of my list.

A Super RedHawk 454 has some serious down sides. Barrel Lengths 2.5" is way short for accuracy. It is made for Bear Get Off Me use. In a 7-1/2" it is very large, and heavy.

You need to prioritize your needs, and purchase atleast 3 Revolvers to meet your needs.

You need a 22 for Plinking, and practice. Cheap to shoot all you want. And just plan fun to shoot. Semi Auto or Revolver

Next would be a 357 Magnum. You can practice with 38 Special's and Carry 357 Magnum for 2 legged vermin. GP100 and 686 come in barrel lengths of 2-1/2", 3" and 4" between them. A 65, 66, 19, 13, Security Six, etc will all work also.

For Bear Country 44 Magnum, 45 Colt in a Ruger, 454, or 480 Ruger. A short barrel to beat a bear off you. A long barrel to hunt with.
I hunt with my Big Boy. I have a Ruger Super RedHawk in 480 Ruger with 9" Barrel. The 480 Ruger is a Reloaders Revolver, but in my opinion as good as it gets for a big bore. All the power you will ever need, with tolerable recoil.

If you enjoy shooting, you need a battery of handguns, not just one. If you took Bear out of the requirements, and got a reloader you could live with a 357 Revolver. You can reload 38 Special for around 15 Cents a shot with lead bullets.

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