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Old January 17, 2013, 10:08 PM   #1
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Suggestions for a Revolver

Due to the severe restrictions put upon me and other gun owners by my Governor and State Legislature, I guess it is time to think about getting into the world of revolvers. I thought I would check here for some expertise and suggestions. I know Smith and Wesson, Ruger, and Taurus are pretty popular. I currently own several S&W's, a Sig, and a Colt Combat Commander all 9mm semi's and a High Standard Mark IV .22 LR/.22 mag revolver. Unfortunately one of my Smith's has to go within the next year or I become an instant criminal. I hope to use the money to purchase a revolver.

I am thinking a .38 spl new or used for home defense and action shooting with a 3"-4" barrel is the way to go because it is similar in size, recoil,etc. to the 9mm. I am willing to consider other calibers like .357 and load .38's for range time, is that a common practice? I do reload and have dies for .45 acp and .44 mag (I bought the reloading equipment used and the dies/components were part of the deal). Ideally, I would like to find a .45 acp revolver to take advantage of my equipment, but from my limited research they are difficult to find and quite expensive $900 and up. I also have the option of selling my unused Dillon dies and related components to fund a .38 spl set up. I don't think a .44 mag is practical for my needs unless someone can convince me otherwise. Thanks.
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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I would trust a .357 magnum so much more than a .38 special for home defense. I think .357 magnum is the best compromise for the knock down power it has and how much recoil is taken by the shooter. I think that it seems like you have enough handgun experience that you won't have a problem with the recoil of the .357, its stout but nothing you can't handle.

After that woman from my state shot that guy in the face and neck 5 times with a .38 special and he survived, I just don't trust it to take down a threat efficiently. If she had put one .357 hollow point into his head it would have been lights out.

It is common practice with .357 magnums to shoot .38 special at the range because its cheaper to shoot, the recoil is softer, and more practice is always a good thing. If you get a .357 magnum, and you plan to keep it loaded with .357 magnum be sure to practice with it too.
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:03 AM   #3
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I 'm not a big fan of the .357 mag. I just never warmed up to it. I like calibers that start with .4 but........having said that, it's hard to beat the. 357 . You can look into the SP101 Rugers.
they come in 2 1/8", 3", and 4" barrel and hold five rounds.

If you want a little bigger you can step up to the Ruger GP100. It holds six rounds, and barrels start at 3" and go up from there. It will handle the .357 recoil a little better then the SP as it's heavier.

You can shoot. 38 Specials in a .357 but make sure you clean the cylinder well after shooting specials. The cartridge is a tenth of an inch shorter then the .357 and crud collects in the cylinder's head space. Get enough crud and you won't be able to insert a .357 cartridge.

Smith and Wesson is another good choice but someone else will have to chime in as I 'm not as familiar with the Smith models.

I personally stay away from Taurus I had one fail when I needed it.

And yes the .44 mag would be a good option. You already have reloading equipment for the .44, just load down to .44 Special velocities. The. 44 Special generally runs anywhere between 700 fps and 850 fps pretty much the same balistics as the .45ACP.
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Last edited by markallen; January 18, 2013 at 12:12 AM.
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:34 AM   #4
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I'm guessing this won't be for concealed carry?
For home defense, range fun, open carry etc... it's hard to beat a 4" .357, the ultimate do-it-all handgun for the lower 48 IMO.
I'm very satisfied with my new GP100. Very well built.

A .44 magnum would be fine also, but magnum ammo is over kill for most things and .44 special ammo is expensive and hard to find.
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:48 AM   #5
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How about a S&W 686+ which holds the magic seven rounds and can fire .38, .38+P and .357Mag.
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:53 AM   #6
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Pre-Lock Smith and Wesson 686+ 4 inch barrel .357
Ruger GP100 .357
Pre Lock Smith and Wesson 625 .45 ACP

I wouldn't feel the least bit unarmed with any of those guns or calibers. Hell with a 625 you not only can load it as fast if not faster then a mag fed semi auto, you can keep more ammo ready to go on moon clips much cheaper then you could with a mag fed semi.

Hell I have all the options in the world and I still choose a revolver in most instances. I am not an old curmudgeon either. Ok I am not old.
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:15 AM   #7
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My $.02

First off, I think you will enjoy the revolver most if you stick to the reputable names (Smith, Ruger, Colt, etc.). I personally keep a S&W Model 19 .357 4", and it is a freaking tack-driver. I love that thing loaded with 38 Specials, and so does my fiance (who shoots it better than I do) who is half my size.

As to a .45 ACP revolver, my LGS has a Smith and Wesson for sale for about $600. I don't remember which model, but its a classic model. If you're interested, you can call him during business hours (Tue-Sat) at 812-725-1911.
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:51 AM   #8
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There are also revolvers chambered in 9mm. Taurus and Charter Arms have current models available, and Ruger and S&W have made them in the past.
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Old January 18, 2013, 03:26 AM   #9
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Just think of the issues the OP might have.
Is his semi now worth as much in NY?
Does he have to drive to another State?
what implications will that have? A long waiting
Will another state just ignore NY altogether
and refuse to do business there -ie.. California?
I hope for his sake, he has smooth sailing.

Me thinks the we're close to the last straw.
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Old January 18, 2013, 04:14 AM   #10
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buy a 6" stainless steel ruger 357 magnum revolver. you'll have a 6shot revolver that can take the weakest 38s to the most powerful 357 bullets. I have never met anyone or read about anyone who complained about this weapon.

if snubby go with a S&W stainless steel 5shot. I recommend 2" barrel(sometimes very slightly longer like 2 1/8")
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Old January 18, 2013, 07:51 AM   #11
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I carry a Taurus snubby fairly often, especially in the summer. .357 5-shot. It's been a great gun, and is surprisingly accurate.

If I was looking for something bigger, my next pick would be (as an above poster mentioned) a Ruger GP-100. They are fun to shoot (the small Taurus is not), comfortable in the hand, and made to last forever + one week. I loved mine, and plan on buying another one soon.
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Old January 18, 2013, 10:28 AM   #12
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I had not heard that revolvers were going to have capacity limits too.
I am sorry to hear you MIGHT have to sell one of your guns.

(I do suggest that you wait at least a month or two because I would be shocked if at least the "cannot be grandfathered in" part is not overturned by a court case. It seems extremely illegal to force citizens to get rid of already legally owned property with compensation.)

Anyway, it sounds like you already have a pretty decent selection of typical .38 and .357 revolvers. My thoughts would be to replace "volume" with "power". (If they say you can't have 8 rounds of .357 or .22lr....then you'll just have to settle for 6 rounds of something way more powerful.)

A nice RUGER .44 magnum is great option. The reason I stress Ruger is because they can handle the hottest commercial loads available like the Buffalo Bore 340gr LFN cartridges. And since you'll have reloading equipment you can duplicate or alter the loadings to your preferences and needs for the situation.
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Old January 18, 2013, 11:11 AM   #13
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I had not heard that revolvers were going to have capacity limits too.
Whether or how the new legislation will apply to 8-10 shot revolvers is unclear; there is currently a thread in L&CR about it.
There are also revolvers chambered in 9mm... Ruger and S&W have made them in the past.
It should be pointed out, however, that all the Ruger and S&W 9mm models have been discontinued for a decade or more, and none of them sold well when they were new. Their relative rarity has caused prices to go up due to collector interest. Most used .38/.357 Rugers and S&Ws- and even some new ones- will be cheaper or at least comparable in price.
As to a .45 ACP revolver, my LGS has a Smith and Wesson for sale for about $600. I don't remember which model, but its a classic model.
I too have seen .45ACP S&Ws for similar prices, but here's the key: DON'T shop for the fancy Model 625 variants like the IDPA guys use, or original M1917's / Model 22's. Those are the expensive ones. Look for one of the run-of-the-mill Model 25's or an "Indy Special"- a vintage M1917 that has been modified in a way that ruins its collector value but doesn't impair how it shoots. (The "Indy" name refers to a certain fedora-wearing, whip-wielding movie character who carried an M1917 with a shortened barrel. )

Be aware, however, that the M25 and M625 were also available in .45 Colt. You may also find a few WWI-era S&Ws that were originally built for the British military in .455 Webley and then modified to take .45ACP; hallmarks of these guns are .455 barrel markings, British military and/or commercial export proof marks, and obvious machining marks and/or lack of finish on the rear face of the cylinder. Some experts do not consider the rechambered .455 guns to be safe to shoot with full-power .45ACP, so they are considered relatively undesirable as a result.
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Last edited by carguychris; January 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM. Reason: info added...
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Old January 18, 2013, 11:29 AM   #14
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Taurus 605. It's a .357 which means it shoots .38's as well. It's easy to conceal and a quality revolver.
A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .44
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Old January 18, 2013, 03:33 PM   #15
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Your first move should to be joining the NRA. Then seek out other gun owners who intend on protesting or suing over their loss of Rights.
Now go look for a revolver. A nice .357 with a 4" barrel would be a good choice.
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Old January 19, 2013, 12:09 AM   #16
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Suggestions for a Revolver

Since you already reload for .45 acp, I suggest you find either a S and W M1917, which was calibered in .45 acp, and uses moon clips. There are newer S and W revolvers, that can accomodate .45 auto-rim, or so I've heard.

There many good .357 Magnum revolvers out there, and yes, you can use .38 Specials in them, too. I do not own any .357's, because of my hands. I know that they are chambering some revolvers to be eight-shot cylinders, now.

I would suggest you look at Charter Arms, because they have some revolvers that are chambered for .44 Special, that might suit your fancy.

For .38 Special's, I own S and W Model 15's, and a Taurus Model 82 with the full underlug, and a Model 850CIA - similar to the S and W 442. 158 grain lead semi-wadcutters, non-plus p, non-hollow points work just great.

I, too, own semi-auto pistols, but have been moving to revolvers, both short-barrel and four inchers, because all the 'murphys' with semis, I can't trust them, for that 3 a.m. door knock.

I wish you well.
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Old January 19, 2013, 02:46 AM   #17
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If I could only own one handgun to do anything with it would be a 357 mag or 44 mag. 4in stainless double action. A quality one should last at least a lifetime.
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Old January 19, 2013, 03:44 AM   #18
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I, too, own semi-auto pistols, but have been moving to revolvers, both short-barrel and four inchers, because all the 'murphys' with semis, I can't trust them, for that 3 a.m. door knock.

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Old January 19, 2013, 08:18 AM   #19
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Get a S&W Governor. You can shoot 45LC, 45acp, 000buck. I went from a Judge to a Governer and the Gov accuracy was outstanding. Every thing is either more accurate or has a tighter pattern. 1" groups of 45LC at 20 yards with Winchester 225jhp Silver Tips. I can also put all the 4 36caliber Fedral 000buck shot balls in a soda can at 7 yards.
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Last edited by Mystro; January 19, 2013 at 08:27 AM.
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Old January 20, 2013, 09:12 AM   #20
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Thank you for all of your responses. At least now I have a starting point. You've given me some options to consider. I am in no hurry, as my Governor hasn't taken away all my guns yet. I have until April 15th, 2014 to sell/trade my high capacity pistol, out of state of course. I appreciate your time and will not hesitate to consult this forum in the future with any questions.
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Old January 20, 2013, 08:34 PM   #21
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Here's another 4" .357 magnum recommendation....

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Old January 20, 2013, 10:48 PM   #22
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If you are not carrying the gun I would recommend at least a four inch tube for home defense and range use. I would get a .357-much more versatile and usually no more expensive than a comparable .38.

A Smith or a Ruger will serve well; pick the one that you like. S&W has made lots of good .357 wheelguns over the years; the L framed guns are hard to beat and they are available new or used; the smaller K frame .357 was a bread and butter gun back in its day.

Ruger's GP100 would be my pick of the current line but don't overlook the slightly lighter but still tough Security Six which can sometimes be found at a reasonable price on the used market.
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Old January 22, 2013, 09:16 PM   #23
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4" .357 Magnum. Either S&W 686 (my first choice) or Ruger GP100. You really cant go wrong with either.
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Old January 22, 2013, 11:10 PM   #24
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i see you have some .40 autos and are set up to reload them, Charter Arms builds a 5 shot revolver called the pitbull in a .40 so you dont have to add to your ammo list and from what i have read and a few i have had my paws on thier workmanship and relabilty are much improved over the older Charters and at around $350 to $380 they are at least worth looking at.
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Old January 23, 2013, 12:02 AM   #25
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I am not privy to any info on this, but I think we'll see a Charter Pitbull in .45 Auto sometime in the not too distant future. I know I'll be getting one should they decide to send it out the door.
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