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Old October 17, 2015, 09:15 PM   #1
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Revolver For Wife in .22LR

Wife has arthritis in both hands so is limited to a small revolver in a caliber that is virtually recoil free. She can handle a S&W J frame model 36 but the .38 Special is too much for her.

Partial to S&W so checked new line but the .22 LR/Magnum is made of aluminum and very pricey. Did S&W ever make a J frame in .22 LR made of steel?

If so ,what is the model number , year(s) of manufacture and approximate price range ? This would be her carry gun. She does not have the dexterity to handle a semi automatic. Appreciate any information. Thank You : Buckley
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Old October 17, 2015, 09:21 PM   #2
Bill DeShivs
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The S&W model number would be 34.
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Old October 17, 2015, 09:24 PM   #3
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Model 34 blue, 63 stainless.

BUT: .22 rimfire needs a harder hammer blow to fire and these guns have stronger mainsprings and heavier trigger pulls.

I assume you have tried her on the various light .38 loads like midrange wadcutters, "cowboy loads," and even the 130 gr Walmart econoball.

I trust you have concluded that she can't handle a K frame which weighs more and therefore kicks less.

If so, I suggest looking for a .32. There are many clean old .32 Hand Ejectors out there, up through models 30 and 31.
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Old October 17, 2015, 09:46 PM   #4
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The Ruger LCR isn't a bad little close quarters 22 revolver. Other than for plinking, I really don't shoot beyond about 30 feet at pop can sized targets.
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Old October 17, 2015, 09:54 PM   #5
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Be sure to let her handle and dryfire the revolver (ask permission before dryfiring). The DA trigger on small, rimfire revolvers can be pretty stiff. My wife, who also has trouble with her hands, can't pull the DA trigger on my .22LR SP101 unless she uses two fingers--and then only with significant difficulty.
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Old October 17, 2015, 10:01 PM   #6
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Ruger also just came out with a new LCR model in .327 Federal Magnum. It will also shoot 32 S&W, 32 S&W Long, and 32 H&R Magnum. The 32 S&W Long has very light recoil and might be an alternative to .22LR for her.
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Old October 18, 2015, 07:28 AM   #7
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Maybe a change in technique would help her to be able to shoot something stronger.
There's lots of ways to help folks with grip and joint problems deal with recoil.
A good instructor would surely help with that.
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Old October 18, 2015, 12:47 PM   #8
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The newer S&W's hold more rounds,,,

The newer S&W's hold more rounds,,,
A friend has one of the 3" model 317 Kit guns,,,
It, as well as the 3" Model 63, each hold eight rounds.

If you want a true snub-nose look at the 11 ounce eight round Model 43C.

The 317 is a very lightweight pistol at only 12.5 ounces,,,
The stainless Model 63 is heavier at 26 ounces.

Those guns are all somewhat pricey,,,
But they are also both well worth the money.

If you find a used 6-shot Model 34 or it lightweight cousin the 43,,,
It will probably run you close to what a new pistol would.

The extra money might be offset by the additional two rounds.

Just my thoughts,,,
Hope they help.


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Old October 18, 2015, 12:50 PM   #9
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The problem you will encounter with S&W Models 34 and 63 is that, after about three or four cylindersful of ammo, the ejection will almost require a hammer. Chambers need to be squeaky clean.
As always, YMMV.

Last edited by gyvel; October 18, 2015 at 08:28 PM.
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Old October 18, 2015, 01:44 PM   #10
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Ruger SP101 is available in an 8-shot .22 LR, 4.2" barrel. Ruger LCR if you want a lightweight snub-nose.

Last edited by JC57; October 18, 2015 at 01:52 PM.
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Old October 18, 2015, 06:24 PM   #11
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Locate a High Standard Sentinel 22 revolver. They are no longer produced but can be found on the used gun market. Their action is smooth and fairly light. Just right for a person with reduced hand strength.
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Old October 18, 2015, 06:51 PM   #12
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I will also throw a vote at the Ruger LCR in eith 22LR or 22mag, they are verry popular for people with hand problems. The ladies also like them due to the lighter feel of the trigger. I haven heard of the new 327 LCR but if it out then I would also vote for that, a nice 32 long would be great for a recoil sensitive person and would likly have a better chance of not getting a dud round with center fire vs a rim fire.
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Old October 18, 2015, 09:28 PM   #13
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I shoot a lot of 32 S&W long for fun. It has no more recoil than a 22lr, but slings a much bigger chunk of lead. The trigger and hammer are typically stiffer on a 22. The demand for 32 S&W long revolvers is weak - you can easily find nice used ones for cheap on Gunbroker.
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Old October 19, 2015, 08:30 PM   #14
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Way back when, I replaced my blue Ruger Single Six with a S&W model 63 for backpacking. I was doing more canoeing in those days and decided that I needed a stainless gun around water. I made the mistake of lending it to my buddy to teach his new wife to shoot. She fell in love with it and he hounded me relentlessly until I sold it to him. Well balanced, accurate and fun to shoot, it was my favorite .22 revolver of all time. I'm keeping an eye out for another one.
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Old October 19, 2015, 08:46 PM   #15
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If your not adverse to Single Actions, there is the Ruger Single Six or the little Bearcat. My wife really likes her Bearcat. I like the Single Six. You can even get the Bearcat with adjustable sights now if that is factor.

Oh, I see this is for carry ... well there is the Ruger LCR...
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Old October 20, 2015, 06:23 PM   #16
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My wife got the LCR 357 because it was a better balance for her than the 38 special model and she could shoot 4 or 5 different easy to get loads. I also changed out the grip for a Hogue which also helped to absorb the recoil. That said, Ruger makes a great 22. for even better recoil control. Try out both and then let her make up her mind. A well placed 22 does what it's supposed to do.
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Old October 21, 2015, 01:58 AM   #17
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While it is completely understandable that price can be an issue, don't forget the most important things: (1) You are entrusting your life to the gun and (2) You get what you pay for.
As always, YMMV.

Last edited by gyvel; October 21, 2015 at 09:17 PM.
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Old October 21, 2015, 03:11 AM   #18
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If I didn't already have more guns then I really need I get a Ruger BearCat in stainless. It's just a really nice revolver and a nice size handgun for your wife.
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Old October 21, 2015, 06:10 AM   #19
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Taurus hasn't been mentioned, so I'll just toss out there that the Taurus Model 94 has a truly horrible trigger. The double action pull on mine was around 18 pounds, and the single action was (IIRC) around 10 pounds.

Take a look at Charter Arms. That's what I should have bought, but I thought I was saving a few bucks buying the Taurus. Any money I saved was spent on parts and gunsmithing.
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Old October 21, 2015, 07:46 AM   #20
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LCR-22 is a good little .22lr if you have to count on such a caliber for defense.
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Old October 21, 2015, 08:18 AM   #21
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+1 to the Ruger LCR in 22LR.

I recently purchased the Ruger SP-101 with the intent of having that as the first handgun to teach my kids.
The trigger in DA is VERY heavy and even the effort to thumb back the hammer for SA mode would be too much for my kids. The effort for both DA and SA is easily 2-3x that of my S&W 686.

Given that this is to be your wife's carry gun, then it's more about shorter distances than longer distances. If it must be a .22LR, then I would recommend the Ruger LCR 22LR. Easy DAO trigger.
(Or an LCR in .22Mag if that is possible.)

You mentioned dexterity challenges, but just a suggestion - have you considered the Ruger LC380?
I have one, and the claims about the slide being easy to manipulate (i.e. effort to pull back and release) are true. MUCH easier than most .380 pistols and the .380 would be a more potent cartridge for a carry pistol than .22LR.
And, the recoil is very mild for a .380.

Definitely bring your wife to a local gun shop and have her try out a few and do not limit yourselves to a revolver.

Hope that helps...
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Old October 21, 2015, 09:33 AM   #22
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Another vote for the Ruger LCR.
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