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Old July 12, 2018, 11:13 PM   #1
VW3
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Next Revolver Help?

I currently have only one revolver (Ruger SP101 in 9mm) and I’m looking to add another but in a bigger frame. I’ve shot S&W’s and I haven’t necessarily cared for them. I haven’t shot too many Rugers (other than my own) but I really like the looks of the GP100.

One of my biggest issues is ammo cost. I have quite a few 9mm autos and my SP101 and ammo is much cheaper for 9mm than .357 or .38 sp.

Here are my 9mm revolver options (that I know of) other than my SP101:

1. S&W 986 or 929. Both are very expensive but seem high quality.

2. Ruger Blackhawk convertible. Gives the option of shooting both but only single action.

3. New Taurus 692. Same idea as the Blackhawk convertible but DA/SA. Also 7 shot cylinders. This gun is so new I can’t find it anywhere. I would be willing to wait if it’s the best option though.

Thoughts? Should I just go for a .357 mag and pony up the cash for the ammo? Or are there other alternatives for 9mm?

Last edited by VW3; July 12, 2018 at 11:43 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old July 13, 2018, 04:56 AM   #2
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I'm not one who cares for revolvers in semi-auto cartridges. I've owned a couple and didn't keep them anytime. No particular reason I suppose, but I just can't get interested in them. IF I was going to have one, the Ruger Blackhawk convertible would be the one, but I probably would never use the 9mm cylinder. (I'm also not a big fan of S/A revolvers. I love the way they look, I love the way they feel in my hand. I love working the action. I just don't like shooting them for some reason.)

I am a big fan of 38/357 revolvers. I'm a Smith & Wesson guy myself, but if you like Rugers there's not a thing wrong with them.

The standard answer to expensive ammo problems is to take up reloading, but I'm sure you know that. I almost never fire a round of factory ammo anymore. Other than that the only advice I have is watch for ammo sales and order in bulk if you can.
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Old July 13, 2018, 05:03 AM   #3
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Next Revolver Help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CajunBass View Post

The standard answer to expensive ammo problems is to take up reloading, but I'm sure you know that.

Absolutely ... and with a jug of titegroup and a box of 500 coated pills for $40 you’re set for a while. If you don’t think this is in your plans for today save your brass .... it may be something you decide to do tomorrow.

Also, to answer your question ... the GP100 is a wonderful gun. I have a SS 6 shot, 4” GP100 and a 2 1/2” SS SP101 .... great combo ...

Last edited by TJB101; July 13, 2018 at 05:11 AM.
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Old July 13, 2018, 05:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by CajunBass View Post
The standard answer to expensive ammo problems is to take up reloading, but I'm sure you know that. I almost never fire a round of factory ammo anymore. Other than that the only advice I have is watch for ammo sales and order in bulk if you can.
^^^yep. Still, tho in the overall big picture, .357 is a relatively inexpensive factory round if one shops around. Reloading wise, it costs little or no more than 9mm.

I too am not a fan of auto cartridges in revolvers. Don't know why other than the revolver calibers do everything just fine. Also not a big fan of convertible guns, I believe those guns dedicated for one caliber do the best job.

Don't know what you're trying to do here. Iffin you just want another gun in 9mm, just buy a quality pistol. They are just as accurate(with 9mm parameters), and just as reliable. Otherwise, iffin you want to shoot magnum calibers for whatever reason, get a revolver.
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Old July 13, 2018, 05:47 AM   #5
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One of my biggest issues is ammo cost.
That makes you a perfect candidate for reloading. Reloading your own ammo opens up a lot of cartridge possibilities beyond the 9mm you appear to be stuck in due to cost.

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Old July 13, 2018, 06:06 AM   #6
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I’m open to reloading. I’ve heard that it does cost quite a bit up front and that it takes lots of time (which I don’t really have).

Also, it seems a lot of people don’t care for auto cartridge revolvers. Maybe that’s the reason there are so few on today’s market.
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Old July 13, 2018, 06:30 AM   #7
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The reason most don’t care for semi auto cartridges in a revolver is because for every semi auto cartridge there’s a more powerful or equal equivalent revolver cartridge. If .38 special is too expensive for ammo then you’re going to have to reload, 38 special is probably the cheapest factory ammo for a revolver cartridge. For reloading, if you’re careful and get the bare essentials you can have what you need equipment wise for under $200. Or get a lee loader. For about $40 you get what you need, if you want a scale instead of a dipper then add another $30.
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Old July 13, 2018, 06:39 AM   #8
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As a long time reloader who rarely shoots factory ammo, I recommend that you not go that way. It is time consuming, and if saving money is your only goal, you won't save enough to warrant the commitment.

To your original question, while there are not that many revolvers firing autoloader cartridges, they are moderately popular. Ruger now has a 10mm model. Of the revolvers you mentioned, it's hard to beat the good 'ole Blackhawk for relatively inexpensive fun. That said, my vote goes to the GP-100 in .357 Magnum. You can find .357 or .38 Special ammo most everywhere, not as cheap as 9x19, but not outrageous either. Good ammo, too. My .357 handloads don't outrun good commercial fodder.

Final note: Reloading is addictive. Beware!
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Old July 13, 2018, 10:53 AM   #9
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I should also say that I’m interested in .44 mag too. That may be a ways off in the future, but I’m pretty sure the factory loads for those are pretty expensive.
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Old July 13, 2018, 12:01 PM   #10
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I think from the stand point of practicality and enjoyability/satisfaction, a 357 magnum is the way to go.

It's such a classic chambering, so much so that when your average person thinks double action revolver, they are probably thinking 357! So there is a real nostalgia that goes along with owning one in my opinion.

The option to fire 357 or less expensive and more moderate 38 specials is a very real benefit.

Just the simple act of loading a 357 double action revolver is something that I find extremely satisfying.

The performance of a 357 magnum is no joke and shooting one can be quite thrilling all things considered. 38 special is also plenty capable in its own right, and shooting them from a full sized steel revolver is incredibly comfortable and pleasurable.

The only reason I would consider not getting a 357 is because ammo prices for 357 and 38s are indeed more expensive than 9mm. But 38s are not THAT much more. 9mm might be .20 cents a shot or less, while 38 special might be .30 cents a shot or less.

If you do like suggested above and search out the best deal you can find online and buy in bulk, you can manage to keep things in the realm of affordable.

I like the GP100. I have one. It's a 6" with a blued finish. Sometimes I wish I bought it as a 4", but then I would still probably want one with a 6" barrel, so I guess I've made my choice. It's a nice shooting gun and it can handle anything I want to load it with. There are a lot of nice double action 357s and picking one model to own would be much harder than deciding to go with a revolver in 357 in my opinion.

Also, you've already got a 9mm revolver, so I would use that as a good reason to get something different.
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Old July 13, 2018, 12:07 PM   #11
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44 mag is great too, and a lot of fun!!! But then, ammo does get quite expensive. To the point where most people would only shoot it occasionally, or would otherwise be reloading for it.
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Old July 13, 2018, 12:49 PM   #12
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I'd love a 9mm 8 shot N frame with 1 7/8" bbl, scandic frame, night sights, and a light rail. Would make an ideal concealed and carry piece.
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Old July 13, 2018, 03:46 PM   #13
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OP - my suggestion would be to get a .357 something like a GP100 and start saving the brass. You can always reload down the road. I picked up a good used GP100 with a 3” barrel for $400 and been shooting the [email protected] out of it lately. .38 shoots easy in it and you can throw a few .357 down range for just the rush of it.

Another suggestion is to pick up a used S&W model 10. Gunbroker is full of them and a good shooter grade can be picked up in the 200-300 range. I have seen some go in the 180 range but it’s not often. It’s only a .38 but they are good range guns. I picked up a model 10-11 last December and I was all in at $240. It’s a solid shooter with some holster wear but it’s a blast.

I reload and yes to get setup takes some money but when you get into .357 and even .38 the saving adds up quick. It’s not all about saving. When you reload you end up shooting more and building up loads that shoot best for your and your gun. It adds to the fun of the sport.

Good luck. Half the fun sometimes is finding the next one that work best for you.
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Old July 13, 2018, 05:49 PM   #14
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Sure is a lot easier to gather revolver brass than digging around on my concrete slab for 9mm brass.

A fellow could pick up some Lee reloading gear and load cheaply. And a pound of Unique will load a lot of ammo. Load when you have a little time and don’t go nuts buying more and better loading gear like some of us did.
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Old July 13, 2018, 07:10 PM   #15
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I reload every handgun caliber except the 9mm. What you have to do now is figure out if you want another gun or reloading equipment.

Tough decision!
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Old July 13, 2018, 07:31 PM   #16
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Don't sell the Convertible Blackhawk short. One revolver that can shoot 9mm for econmy, 38 special for range , tin can and target and 357 magnum that can take deer and hogs in a hunting situation.
Man that's a lot of ground for one gun to cover.
Back in the day when the 45 acp was in use by the military , surplus ammo was dirt cheap , a buddy had one in 45 acp / 45 Colt at the time that was a great fun/hunting combo. Today the 9mm/38 special/ 357 magnum would be even better.
I have a 38/357 magnum (no extra 9mm cylinder) but I reload so I don't really need it.

My choice today ...the Ruger 9mm/ 38 special / 357 magnum.
A little practice with a single action and you will be well armed.
There's just something cool about shooting a SA revolver...like driving a 1960's Muscle Car...nostalgic ! And collecting the brass is easy.

I reload all my handgun ammo on a Lee Hand Press , sitting inside the house at the computer table.....check that little gem of a tool out , they rock.

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Old July 13, 2018, 07:55 PM   #17
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You would probably enjoy the addition of another handgun caliber. It appears you are open to a single action. The new Flattop Blackhawk convertible is available with a 357/38 clyinder and a 9mm cylinder. They are nice, and available with either 4 5/8" or 5 1/2" barrel (I think).
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Old July 14, 2018, 02:06 AM   #18
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If you really want to enjoy shooting revolvers you have to learn how to shoot them in double action. That takes a lot of rounds. Why not get a quality .22 in a larger frame and have a trigger job done by a competent revolver smith to smooth it out and lighten the pull a little. Then you can shoot thousands of rounds for cheap. Otherwise the 357 is very versatile and you could order some ammo like this that will be very accurate and reasonably priced.
http://www.precisiondelta.com/produc...ed-ammunition/

Check out what Zero charges also for their loaded ammo. Save the brass since it will be high quality and valuable. I think you can even return used brass for a credit or discount.
Revolvers are a joy to shoot.
Good luck.
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Old July 14, 2018, 08:09 AM   #19
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Fully random thoughts, worth what you've paid for them:

1) You like the looks of the GP-100? Save up and get one! You can be shooting it the rest of your life instead of wishing you had gotten one. I'm a S&W fan, my father is a Ruger guy and I can say nothing bad about the GP-100. They're solid, great shooting revolvers. Just make sure you buy one you can inspect in person first. Ruger has been letting a few duds through QC the last couple of years, based on what I've seen with my own eyes.

2) Get your new GP-100 in .357 Magnum and save your brass. If you want to reload, the .38 Special and the .357 Magnum are just about the most straight-forward cartridges to work with. Both are very easy to develop accurate loads for. They work very well with a wide range of powders and bullet weights.

3) A .357 doesn't always have to be used with .357 Magnum ammo. You'll probably shoot mostly .38 Specials in it.

4) If ammo cost is keeping you away from the .357 Magnum, forget the .44 Magnum. Until you take up reloading. Then add a .44 Magnum.

5) Rimless semi-automatic cartridges aren't popular in revolvers because they require moon clips to function properly. It's another piece to keep track of. And as a bonus, a moon clip loading and unloading tool are almost essential to making the most of a moon clip revolver. Did we mention more pieces to keep track of? In contrast, conventional rimmed revolver rounds require none of the above to function properly.

6) If you want to truly minimize ammo cost, maximize fun and get a really useful tool for learning to shoot with, consider a .22LR double-action revolver. Again, I'm a S&W fan and will vote for an older, used Model 18 or 17 6-shot for this purpose. And again, my father is a Ruger-guy and has one of the new 10-shot GP-100 models. Which truly is 67% more fun against a steel-plate rack than my 6-shot revolvers.
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Old July 14, 2018, 10:07 AM   #20
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Stay away from Taurus. Their hammer blocks always break and they know it but won't do any heat treatment or change the material.
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Old July 14, 2018, 10:32 AM   #21
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Some straight answers.

The smith is expensive but worth it, it is designed to use the caliber and has the L frame. Can use moon clips for loading, that is an advantage. It isn't convertible, you will be stuck using nine mm forever, with no versatility of larger rounds. that is probably okay, if you intend to buy another one in larger rounds.

Whoever believes that either .38 or .357 can be purchased for an equivalent price of 9mm should just spend some time looking at real world, rather than digging around at discount outlets to cherry pick. Are you going to be more likely to pick it up at a local store, or go online and get it at fred's or another of the mass market places? Getting those through traditional sources in common lot sizes the nine can sell for maybe half the price of either of the rimmed calibers.

I can't in conscience recommend the taurus, and wouldn't, the savings may be tempting, but I just won't do that.

If you like the blackhawk, it's probably the best choice ,IMO. Convertible from high to lower power, superb quality, can run either one in a matter of seconds. Adjustable sights allow you to dial in for either caliber. Nice looking and handles well. about $3-400 less than the smith and available in many options, barrel length, metal, wood.

I can't honestly tell you which I would choose. Either of those two are high performing lifetime investments.
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Old July 14, 2018, 10:42 AM   #22
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It seems your major concern over any legitimate revolver cartridge is cost of ammo. My advice is, if you can't afford to feed it, you can't afford the gun in the first place. As others have said, while reloading will bring down the cost per round, you are still going to spend the same "X" amount of dollars on ammo.....cause odds are, like all the rest of us, you will just shoot more. Lots of folks claim it's the recoil that makes for so many big bore revolvers being in the "used" gun case with so few rounds thru them. I believe it's also 'cause folks didn't get enough satisfaction from shooting them to justify what they had to spend for factory ammo. The reason the 9mm is so popular has little to do with how effective it is. While modern projectile designs and construction have made it much more effective, it became highly popular before that, 'cause ammo was cheap. The availability of plentiful and cheap ammo, lead to the wide variety of handguns available for it nowadays, whereas once they were limited. Ain't the accuracy or knockdown power that led to 9mm revolvers....it was the desire to have a revolver that shot cheap ammo. Same as your desire. I see no reason you think you need a large frame 9mm. The bulk and weight will negate any reduction of recoil. Odds are, if shooting factory ammo only, you will not shoot enough to see any recoil reduction benefits anyway. The large frames are for magnum pressures and recoil, not there in 9mm. If you are drawn to the revolver platform, then you need to be drawn to it's calibers too. Otherwise, like I said before, spend the monies on a quality bottom feeder to shoot the cheap ammo.
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Old July 14, 2018, 11:50 AM   #23
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It seems your major concern over any legitimate revolver cartridge is cost of ammo. My advice is, if you can't afford to feed it, you can't afford the gun in the first place. As others have said, while reloading will bring down the cost per round, you are still going to spend the same "X" amount of dollars on ammo.....cause odds are, like all the rest of us, you will just shoot more. Lots of folks claim it's the recoil that makes for so many big bore revolvers being in the "used" gun case with so few rounds thru them. I believe it's also 'cause folks didn't get enough satisfaction from shooting them to justify what they had to spend for factory ammo. The reason the 9mm is so popular has little to do with how effective it is. While modern projectile designs and construction have made it much more effective, it became highly popular before that, 'cause ammo was cheap. The availability of plentiful and cheap ammo, lead to the wide variety of handguns available for it nowadays, whereas once they were limited. Ain't the accuracy or knockdown power that led to 9mm revolvers....it was the desire to have a revolver that shot cheap ammo. Same as your desire. I see no reason you think you need a large frame 9mm. The bulk and weight will negate any reduction of recoil. Odds are, if shooting factory ammo only, you will not shoot enough to see any recoil reduction benefits anyway. The large frames are for magnum pressures and recoil, not there in 9mm. If you are drawn to the revolver platform, then you need to be drawn to it's calibers too. Otherwise, like I said before, spend the monies on a quality bottom feeder to shoot the cheap ammo.
I have plenty of bottom feeders. The rationale was that if I had $100, that would get me 500 or so rounds of 9mm, and 250-350 rounds of .38/.357. More rounds sounds better to me.

I’m leaning towards the Blackhawk but I’ll have to see what prices are locally.
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Old July 14, 2018, 01:23 PM   #24
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I have plenty of bottom feeders. The rationale was that if I had $100, that would get me 500 or so rounds of 9mm, and 250-350 rounds of .38/.357. More rounds sounds better to me.
That's kinda like sayin' I have $100, that will get me 25#s of chuck steak or 8# of Rib-eye. More is not always better. I shoot a passel of revolvers in multiple calibers. I get as much enjoyment from shooting 25 rounds from my .460 as I do from shooting 100 rounds from my .357s. This even tho 100 rounds of .357 costs me less to reload than those 25 rounds of .460. Sometimes shooting, like steak, whiskey and women, at least to me, quality prevails over quantity. Also, for the time it takes me shoot 100 rounds from my 1911, I can only get off about maybe a third from my big bore magnum revolvers. This is with double action revolvers.......I tend to think from a SA it would be even less. So one has to consider what enjoyment is received by cost per hour vs cost per round. One reason I enjoy my revolvers is their accuracy. One thing that always comes up when folks start talking about convertible revolvers is the accuracy of the secondary cartridge. Is one looking for performance or just making as much noise as they think they can reasonably afford.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VW3 View Post
I’m leaning towards the Blackhawk but I’ll have to see what prices are locally.
Again, making a choice in a substantial investment on initial cost. The Blackhawk is the cheapest route so that's the one I'll take. Lot more to it than price. Iffin' you're gonna get a revolver to shoot 9mm, spend the monies to get one dedicated to that caliber, don't get something that will only perform sub-par with the caliber you are going to shot the majority of the time, because you think you might shoot a few .357s outta it. I can shoot .45ACP, .45 colt and .454 Casull outta my X-Frame. Didn't buy it for that. While I can shoot specials outta my 686s and 629s, I didn't buy 'em for that, even tho they do it much better and without the convertible cylinder. I do have some .38 special only revolvers tho..........

Quote:
Originally Posted by VW3 View Post
Thoughts? Should I just go for a .357 mag and pony up the cash for the ammo?
.......yes.
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Old July 14, 2018, 02:28 PM   #25
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Buck460XVR, I understand what your saying. Perhaps my decision will be based on what’s available locally. I don’t recall seeing a convertible Blackhawk or the 9mm S&W’s at my LGS. I definitely want to get a GP100 someday, regardless of cost. And who knows, maybe reloading is in my future.

For GP100’s in .357, is there anything to look for when I handle it? Issues? I’ve heard the 7 shot ones have had some problems but that was through the grapevine.
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