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Old January 2, 2016, 06:24 PM   #1
Martowski
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.22 Double Action Revolver Ideas

Hi All,

Thinking of picking up a .22 revolver and want it to be double action, something smaller framed and easy for my 10 year old to hold. I am on the hunt for a nice k-frame Smith but getting into one under $500 might be a challenge, and I'd like to keep it at $400 or less.

Any suggestions? I had a Charter Arms Pathfinder for a small period of time awhile ago and got rid of it; I wasn't impressed.

Definitely want to stick with DA due to the slow process of loading and unloading a single action.

Would prefer something with adjustable sights, but have been looking at some used High Standard Sentinels online.

Any other thoughts for $300 - $400 or so? Thanks.
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Old January 2, 2016, 06:33 PM   #2
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Old January 2, 2016, 07:49 PM   #3
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There really aren't that many choices,,,

There really aren't that many choices,,,
Not for new revolvers anyways.

S&W has several J-frames
Ruger SP-101 & GP-100
Charter Arms Pathfinder
Rossi R98 in 4" or 6"
Alfa Proj revolvers
Taurus 970 & 990

I own a CA Pathfinder,,,
it's a nice revolver but I understand it's not hugely impressive.

I recently ordered a Rossi R98 4",,,
I've fired a friends gun and I liked it quite a bit,,,
It's comparable to the Pathfinder but with fiber optic sights.

I've never fired an Alfa Proj revolver,,,
I finally got to handle one at a large gun show.

I wasn't turned off by the gun at all,,,
But again, I wasn't overly impressed either.

All three of these guns are under your $400 maximum,,,
Rugers and S&W's will cost you quite a bit more.

The Ruger SP-101 is a nicely built gun,,,
But it's trigger leaves me cold.

Used S&W's (63, 34, 17, 18) are all great guns,,,
But they are going to be pricey as all heck.

In my not-so-humble opinion,,,
The perfect revolver for a 10 year old,,,
Would be either a S&W Model 34 or a Model 63.

They are both heirloom quality guns,,,
Your they will never outgrow.

But if the price is out of reason,,,
I say try and find a Rossi R98 to handle.

Happy hunting.

Aarond

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Old January 2, 2016, 08:01 PM   #4
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Even though it may not be in your price range, I going to recommend a S&W model 34 or 63, both of them being "J" frame 22's. I originally bought a model 34 for my wife. My 12 year old grandson has been shooting it for the past five years and is at the point that he is outshooting many of my co-workers.
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Old January 2, 2016, 08:21 PM   #5
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The High Standard Sentinel was the pass around gun of the small group of shooting friends of my youth many decades ago. It accounted for many blue land crabs in the Dade County mangrove swamps over the years. Sadly, those areas along the Intercoastal Waterway are now covered over with shopping malls and hi-rise condos.

It was reliable, reasonably accurate (minute of crab LOL), and well designed.

If you look for one, take a close look at overall condition; Unfortunately, aluminum wears out faster than steel, and I have seen a couple that must have had thousands of rounds put through them to the point where the internal surfaces of the frame were worn out. I had one that I actually inlaid a small piece of steel were one part rubbed, and continued to use it for many years after.

Also, try to locate a later version that incorporates the return spring for the ejector; Early versions, like the original R101s, didn't have one, and, as a result, scratches from the extended ejector are often found externally behind the recoil shield on the left side of the frame.

If you find one in decent used condition, you will have many good years of service from it at a reasonable price.

A couple other options would be one of the H&R .22s, such as a 999 top break, or one of the cheaper solid frames.

Taurus makes a .22, but I think you know about their spotty QC.
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Old January 2, 2016, 08:28 PM   #6
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I also would be on the hunt for a nice used S&W 34, I picked up two over the last 5-6 years and they were shooter grade not collector so the $350-$400 I paid each for them was ok for me. They are fun guns for their size. Remember just because they shoot a little 22LR does not mean they are any less to produce vs a centerfire revolver.

If your a reloader keep an eye out for a nice 32 caliber revolver, the older S&W's 32Long revolvers can be found fairly cheap compared to others out there. I consider my 32's to be my reloadable 22's, low recoil and fun to shoot.

Good luck with the hunt.
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Old January 2, 2016, 08:43 PM   #7
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63s and 34s are really cute .22s and lots of fun, but extraction starts to become a problem, particularly in the 63.

I didn't have the problem so much with my 34, but the two 63s I had would require a piece of wood or the plastic handle of a screwdriver to hit the ejector rod to eject the empties after 3 or 4 cylinders had been shot. Polishing the chambers didn't help at all. I don't know if I had two lemons or if it is a problem with stainless steel.
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Old January 2, 2016, 11:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
In my not-so-humble opinion,,,
The perfect revolver for a 10 year old,,,
Would be either a S&W Model 34 or a Model 63.
That would be my thought as well. Model 18's are kind of pricey and typically have the smaller grips on them.
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Old January 2, 2016, 11:15 PM   #9
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Thanks all. I'm partial to Smiths and have a 67 and 686, so a 63 would be perfect if I can find one at a decent price. I'm trying not to let a "let's get a cheap plinker" turn into a $600 pistol, but I also know that a nice used Smith will hold its value and a used Charter Arms or Rossi will be almost impossible to sell.

We'll see though... I don't know much about the Rossis and would be interested to hear about the R98. Also, any thoughts on the older model 511?
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Old January 3, 2016, 05:45 AM   #10
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I'm another one who likes the High-Standard Sentinel. It's about the size of a S&W "K-frame", holds nine shots, has an aluminum frame so it's light to carry, fits in holsters made for "K-frame" Smiths, and is minute of pine cone at least.

I've owned a couple. I don't think I ever fired one in D/A though.

OLD Taurus 94's, and the seldom seen Taurus Model 96. I've never owned a current production Taurus revolver, but I've had a couple of the "old" ones from the 80's and early 90's, the ones with the wood grips. Those guns, especially the Model 96 I had were good guns. If you see one of those, look closely. You might like what you see.
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Old January 3, 2016, 10:02 AM   #11
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I have a Ruger Sp101. The triggers stinks. I also have a Taurus Model 94. Its trigger also stinks.

Other than my Single Six, my daughter's favorite 22 plinker is my old H&R (or maybe it's NEF, doesn't matter, same company). Its trigger is decent. If you keep your eyes open you can sometimes find the 4" or 6" versions. Some even have adjustable sights. I overpaid for mine - $199.

I would like to have a High Standard Sentinel. I have heard a lot of good things about them. I have sometimes seen them in the $200 price range.
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Old January 3, 2016, 10:20 AM   #12
Martowski
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There's a place close to me that has a Sentinel for $325. Seems a little steep, but it looks pretty much brand new. But, not sure I want to spend that much on one of these.
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Old January 3, 2016, 10:21 AM   #13
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H&R/NEF is the way I would go and not just swing out cylinder guns. There is nothing wrong with starting out learning how to use a loading gate. H&R made double/single action .22 revolvers with a loading gate and with capacities up to nine shots. You also might be able to find a H&R topbreak in decent shape.

I have an H&R six shot double/single action with loading gate with a twelve inch barrel that is a tack driver.
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Old January 3, 2016, 10:25 AM   #14
gyvel
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Quote:
There's a place close to me that has a Sentinel for $325. Seems a little steep, but it looks pretty much brand new. But, not sure I want to spend that much on one of these.

If that Sentinel looks close to brand new, $300.00 is a decent price for it.

Do you know which model it is? (I.e. R101, 102, 103, etc.?)

If I already didn't have a couple of them, I'd be interested in that one.
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Old January 3, 2016, 12:29 PM   #15
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About the Rossi 511,,,

Quote:
Also, any thoughts on the older model 511?
I own one and it' a fine fiery-arm,,,
It's as close to a model 63 clone as there is.



The feel (except for the grips) is virtually identical,,,
But it is an older gun so parts and people to fix them are scarce.

Bite the bullet my friend,,,
I own several "2nd tier" handguns,,,
But if you truly want the best go for a 43 or a 63.

Aarond

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Old January 3, 2016, 12:44 PM   #16
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Lucky me!

Took my wife shopping last weekend, of course I chose a store that happens to have a gun department.
Not a huge fan of this store, mainly because they have very few used guns, and I like the oldies best.

I spotted a Taurus 94 in the case with a big used tag on it, and a 250 price.

Turned out to be BNIB, but preowned. Trigger was stiff, but other than that I could find no issues. Of course I snagged it.

Extensive dry firing with plastic wall anchors REALLY improved the trigger. I then detail stripped it, blasted it out with brakekleen, and lubed. I did polish the inside of the frame near the hammer.

Trigger got a little better, I shall try to get it out and shoot it today. SO far I am very pleased, this 94 was made in 2012.

I have read that small frame DA .22 revolvers generally have stiff triggers, due the the geometry of a small frame, and the healthy whack that .22 rimfire requires.

Good luck in your search.
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Old January 3, 2016, 12:53 PM   #17
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A 4" S&W Model 63 would be a good choice if you can find one. Should be close to your upper budget end.

Quote:
Bite the bullet my friend,,,
I own several "2nd tier" handguns,,,
But if you truly want the best go for a 43 or a 63.
I always used the "tier" ranking for companies and dominantly defined by their revolvers. Ruger was always 2nd Tier and Colt, S&W and Freedom Arms are 1st Tier. But I have since moved Ruger into the 1st Tier classification (but barely). Taurus is pretty much 2nd Tier now. The other companies.... High Standard, Charter, Rossi, H&R and some of the other similar brands were 3rd Tier. It is a bit simplistic as I considered High Standard target pistols borderline 1st Tier/2nd Tier like Ruger. In essence, you get what you pay for.

When I first started buying handguns, 22's in particular, I chose the 3rd Tier guns simply because of price and I didn't understand the difference. I learned. Now, it is 1st Tier only or I don't buy anything. I keep wanting to try out a Pathfinder, but I just don't see the value of spending the money just to try out when I have Colts and S&W DA 22's already.
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Old January 3, 2016, 01:46 PM   #18
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Take a look at this:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=534701614

you might be able to find one cheaper depending on how fast you want the revolver.
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Old January 3, 2016, 08:45 PM   #19
Bill DeShivs
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Don't use drywall anchors for dry-firing. They do absolutely no good. Use snap caps, or fired casings. If using fired casings rotate them so that the firing pin strikes a fresh spot every time.
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Old January 3, 2016, 09:15 PM   #20
tallball
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I have a Rossi Model 720. It's one of my favorite revolvers. Is the 511 on the same frame?
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Old January 4, 2016, 12:58 PM   #21
aarondhgraham
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A bit more about the Rossi 511 vs. the S&W 63.

A bit more about the Rossi 511 vs. the S&W 63.

In DA mode the S&W has it all over the Rossi,,,
Not that the Rossi has a bad trigger,,,
But that the S&W is smoother.

In SA mode I can't tell any difference between the two,,,
I don't have a scale so I can't measure the pull,,,
But they are both light and crisp in SA mode.

The grips of the guns are very different,,,
So I can't really compare one gun to the other,,,
Suffice it to say they are near identical in shape/weight.

The total action of the S&W is much smoother than the Rossi,,,
Spin the open cylinders and the S&W turns a lot longer.

I can't tell any major difference in their overall performance/accuracy,,,
I'm no Annie Oakley but I hit well enough with either gun.

If you find a 511 (or 518?) for a good price,,,
It will probably provide good service,,,
But it is definitely not a S&W 63.

These are completely subjective observations,,,
But I hope they answer your questions.

Aarond

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Old January 4, 2016, 09:26 PM   #22
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Thank you again for the detailed response Aarond... Very much appreciated as I look to figure out what my next "toy" will be.
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