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Old July 1, 2009, 10:36 PM   #1
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My first revolver....

I've never owned a revolver before. I'm kind of a shotgun guy, but I recently had the opportunity to buy a Ruger P345 semi auto, and I've since bought a S&W 22A target pistol. I'm thinking I want a wheelgun. For me, it has to be a 357. With the storied reputation of the 357, and the versatility to shoot 38 spl, I don't think I can go wrong. I want to buy a nice one, so I'm looking pretty seriously at S&W 19's, MAYBE a 27 if the price was right, and also the Colt Trooper Mk III. I'm also on the fence about 4" or 6". It seems like a 4" would be a little lighter and easier to handle, while a 6" would be more accurate, and to me seems a bit more "classic". Just looking for some opinions from some people who have been around the block a few times.
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:44 PM   #2
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Look at Ruger Gp 100's and Smith 686's. Both are nice and very popular revolvers.
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Old July 1, 2009, 10:51 PM   #3
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+ 1 on the Gp100, I love my 4" stainless.
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Old July 1, 2009, 11:38 PM   #4
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I've looked at and handled several revolvers...

And I think I'm pretty well set on the ones in my original post. Not a fan of the full underlug barrels. I'm really just trying to decide between the classic S&W models (19&27) and the Colt Trooper, and between a 4" or 6" barrel
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Old July 2, 2009, 10:27 AM   #5
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Don't discount the Ruger Security Six's. Classic style and a real work horse. Best dollar for dollar .357 going IMO. As good or better than the 2 you listed and cheaper. My local smith says the Security/Service/Speed Six's is the one line of guns that he has NEVER had to repair. I know why Ruger made the switch (cost) to the GP100 but I still think it was a mistake.
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Old July 2, 2009, 10:57 AM   #6
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You may be able to shoot a 6-incher more accurately, but there's nothing inherently more accurate in a 6-inch barrel over a 4-inch. What you do get is a longer sight plane which can help quite a bit when it comes to hitting your target. But the barrel length is not a factor in each guns inherent ability to throw bullets consistently.

I've got 3 six inchers, one 7.5 and one 4 incher. The 6 inch barrels, IMO, look "exactly right" for a revolver, where the 4 looks a bit short. But the 4 incher handles very, very nicely where the 6-inchers seem a bit long at times.

If it's going to be a home defense gun and a toy for the range for the pure enjoyment of shooting, either would be perfectly fine. If you intend to hunt with it, 6-incher is probably a better choice. If you intend to holster carry it for service duty or even utility use in the outdoors, a 4-incher would be more carry friendly.

Seems to me that if you bought one or the other, you'd soon want the other!
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Old July 2, 2009, 04:27 PM   #7
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I really like the triggers on the Colts but understand they can be finicky at times. Sort of like a quadra jet when they work they're the best but do require a little more tuning sometimes to make them work. Just my $.02.
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Old July 2, 2009, 04:33 PM   #8
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Take a look at the Ruger "Six Series" revolvers...reliable and true classics.
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Old July 2, 2009, 06:41 PM   #9
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My wife has a S&W 686 4", she took her ccw test with it and now shoots it regulary with .38 sp reloads. I have a Colt lll Trooper in a 4", its been a favorite carry in the hunting field loaded with Win 158g jsp ammo. I will tell you that there is a lot less felt recoil in a 240g .44 mag jhp in a 6" than in the 4" colt in .357. I now carry a Ruger Redhawk 5.5" loaded with 240g 44 sp in the field, a great target shooter also. Go to the .44
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Old July 2, 2009, 07:25 PM   #10
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M-19s and M-27s are awesome, but two different animals. Nice to have one of each...and a 66 while you're at it. And a 586 or 686 too.

That gives you the opportunity to have a mix of 4" and 6" barrels, and figure out what you really like. And stimulate the economy at the same time.
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Old July 3, 2009, 12:57 AM   #11
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Any of the three you mention would be great.
I'd like an M 27.

I also like longer barrels, they're just easier to aim.
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Old July 3, 2009, 01:41 AM   #12
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Id take a 4" Gp100 over any other revolver in the world. Try one today!
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Old July 3, 2009, 01:44 AM   #13
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I really like the GP100s and have really liked my SP101's. If you're shooting double action the Wilson spring kit is well worth it, too.. They're tough little revolvers and do what needs to be done.
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Old July 3, 2009, 02:44 AM   #14
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What do you plan to do?

If you are going to hunt or target shoot, the 6 inch barrel is good. I can hit 2 liter bottles with my 686 at 50 yards. It's a bit heavy to carry, but I like the extra velocity and accuracy to make is useful for hunting should the opportunity arise. The 4 inch guns I've handled felt more balanced and I regret not picking up a pre lock one a couple of years ago for under $400.
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Old July 3, 2009, 02:48 AM   #15
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IMHO, I don't think you can go wrong with a S&W mod. 19. That said, my other fave is my dad's 620. It's nicknamed 'butter', cause that's what the trigger is like... butter!

The Ruger GP100 or SP 101 would also be great choices, I'm gonna add them to my collection someday, haha.
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Old July 3, 2009, 10:29 AM   #16
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I own a 66 (the stainless version of the 19), a 686, and a 27. Each of them has unique characteristics. They also have some things in common. Each gun is extremely accurate. The triggers on my three .357s range from very good (my 27) to outstanding (the 66) to better than outstanding (my 686).

Now, as to the differences. The 19/66 is a 4" gun. It's llight (36 ounces), points easily, and would be a good gun to carry. Among my three, I think of it as the sports car. The only drawback that I find with the gun is that shooting the hotter .357s (125 gr.) is not a pleasant experience. More like "barely tolerable", I'd say.

The 686, with its 6" barrel, is a pretty heavy chunk o'metal, weighing about 45 ounces. It's also quite front end heavy. Not a good gun for all day carry except, maybe, in a hunting rig. But, it shoots wonderfully.

The 27 is a true brontosaur. If the 66 is a sports car, the 27 is a semi-truck. It weighs about as much as the 686, but it has a 4", half-lugged barrel, so nearly all of the steel is in the frame and cylinder. It is much bigger than the 686 and the 66 and is quite a handful. However, it handles magnum rounds, even the heavy stuff, easily, and appears to be virtually indestructible. As a carry gun, I'd say that's a pretty heavy chunk of metal to tote around all day.
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Old July 3, 2009, 11:11 PM   #17
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for all the responses. I always appreciate a wide variety of opinions. I've been looking at a lot of guns on GB, but I just went to my favorite dealer today and he had a very nice, lightly used model 19 in 4". Only thing is, it had the ugly Pachmayer grips on it, no originals. He didn't even have a price on it. I'm going to start looking around for some grips, and if I have luck, I think I'll be purchasing that 19.
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Old July 3, 2009, 11:36 PM   #18
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One thing to consider is how easy it is to strip down and clean. I have a S&W and a Ruger Security Six. The Ruger is hands down easier to detail strip and clean than the Smith. That would be a big deciding factor for me.

Another factor to think about is whether you want a stainless or blued. I like the look of both, but I think the stainless is much easier to clean, is easier to conceal scratches and won't scratch up as much as a blued.

Just something to think about.

Before you make your final decision, look at the manuals online at the guns you're considering. It gives you a bit of insight as to cleaning and how to take the guns apart.

My vote goes to the Ruger.
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