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  • First Revolver Advice?

    Good evening Hiders,

    I am looking for my first revolver and am looking for some advice. I am not a stranger to handguns and own a Kimber Super Carry Pro .45ACP and a S&W Model 410 in .40S&W. Previously owned a .44RM Desert Eagle (sold a few years ago to pay a mortgage note.. long story). I have shot many other caliber handguns and revolvers with some guys with whom I shoot almost every Monday night but no revolvers that really made me think I HAVE to own one. There are a few vague quasi-requirements that I have for my revolver. I would like it to be a .357 so I can also shoot .38, big enough to be comfortable shooting a box or two through it in one session, but maybe small enough to carry concealed. I currently carry the Kimber and have carried the .40 which I think are about as big as I want to go for a carry weapon. So I am thinking of the Ruger SP101 or similar, unless someone talks me out of it, or into something different. I know that isn't much to go on, but maybe it will start a nice discussion for this type of sidearm. I am really open here and not locked into anything so what do you have for suggestions?

    Semper Fidelis,
    Aaron

  • #2
    Long time revolver guy, but I am used to carrying heavy framed snub noses, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

    Good modern 357 - 3" barrel S&W 686+ (7 shot)

    Light and handy - S&W model 13 (the only FBI 357 magnum K frames) (6 shot)

    Thin but heavy enough to be a shooter - Ruger SP101 (5 shot), if you want to shoot for fun with it, I would opt for the 3" barrel model
    Former educator, current pizza jockey (and yes, they are ROUND).

    Comment


    • #3
      Have you looked into the S&W R8?
      Might suit your needs.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

      Comment


      • #4
        I hate, or at least have always hated, shooting revolvers, but I need a big bore one for a 10 day camping trip in bear country. Any suggestions as to the easiest to transition to for a semi auto handgun shooter?

        Comment


        • #5
          The Ruger SP-101s are nice, once someone works them over and smooths them out. I can't recommend them in .357 Magnum. The 3" barrel recommendation in .38 Special is where I'd be, which I think was a first-year-only model.
          S&W K-frames are fine. I have a chopped-down Model 65 Robar'ed stainless with a round butt and a 3" barrel that would fit that bill handily.
          Never had much use for the 3" L and N-frames. I did have a 2ĺ Ruger Six (Speed?) that I carried in a Berns-Martin-type shoulder holster back in the day. That was bad-ass.

          Choid: Look for a Ruger Redhawk, if you can live with buying Ruger, or drop some serious coin on a S&W 610 or some variant of the S&W 29.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Choid View Post
            I hate, or at least have always hated, shooting revolvers, but I need a big bore one for a 10 day camping trip in bear country. Any suggestions as to the easiest to transition to for a semi auto handgun shooter?
            Glock 20 10mm with hardcast lead loads or a shortish barreled 12ga with slugs, imo. Better yet, 22lr derringer to shoot one of your fellow campers in the knee so you can get away from the bear and he'll be preoccupied with said camper...ha

            I'd get bear spray too.
            Originally Posted By: InfiniteGrim
            it is nearly the same, less all the features.
            Originally Posted by: Skg_Mre_Lght
            I swear I need to start a magazine.... "Tactical Life - For those that live in Fallujah, Iowa".

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Spicerack View Post
              Good evening Hiders,

              I am looking for my first revolver and am looking for some advice. I am not a stranger to handguns and own a Kimber Super Carry Pro .45ACP and a S&W Model 410 in .40S&W. Previously owned a .44RM Desert Eagle (sold a few years ago to pay a mortgage note.. long story). I have shot many other caliber handguns and revolvers with some guys with whom I shoot almost every Monday night but no revolvers that really made me think I HAVE to own one. There are a few vague quasi-requirements that I have for my revolver. I would like it to be a .357 so I can also shoot .38, big enough to be comfortable shooting a box or two through it in one session, but maybe small enough to carry concealed. I currently carry the Kimber and have carried the .40 which I think are about as big as I want to go for a carry weapon. So I am thinking of the Ruger SP101 or similar, unless someone talks me out of it, or into something different. I know that isn't much to go on, but maybe it will start a nice discussion for this type of sidearm. I am really open here and not locked into anything so what do you have for suggestions?

              Semper Fidelis,
              Aaron
              7 shot S&W 686 with a 642 as backup on the weak side. If you hand load look at the 105 gr Lehigh for 38's and the 148's in the 357, either loaded to +p+ will punch barriers an leave a wound canal that far exceeds most all other ammo.
              Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying,...
              but,....
              Which Ever You Choose, Make A Difference,....


              Sometimes doing the right thing is the wrong thing to many, but once you become a felon by your hand or theirs, be the best you can be.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for all the replies... lots of fodder to look over. That R8 looks like a might sweet shooter but a bit long in the barrel for carry (maybe?). The other one that piqued my interest was the Model 610 that Veer suggested for Choid because of the size and the fact that I wouldn't need to add another caliber to the arsenal. I think the 686 might be on the large side for my wants, but I'd have to fondle one for a while to be sure. The choosing process and saving up may take a few months but I will try to keep this thread updated for anyone else that may go through the same conundrum.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'll mention the Ruger GP-100. Mines a 4" and I got the trigger worked over. It's a shooter. It's a medium frame so it's on the larger side, but you can shoot it all day with full house loads.

                  Occasionally I'll carry it concealed in a Bianchi pancake holster when it's jacket/coat weather. It'll print under a T shirt. Some body types can hide it better than others.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The 610s are built on the N-frame, so they are larger than the 686. They are also out of production and when nice examples pop up they tend to go in the 1200-1500 range. But they are nice. =)

                    *edit* N-frames are not horrible to carry, but you need a good holster and be used to carrying wheelguns. The besides the physical size or weight of a revolver, they carry differently in that all of the weight seems to concentrate on the fat cylinder pressing into your side. Not horrible, just different.
                    Former educator, current pizza jockey (and yes, they are ROUND).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree on taking a look at the GP100. I think mine is 3"+. It's the only 357 I have that I'll carry concealed due to it's smaller size.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        personally ide skip the SP101....i had one, and it honestly wasnt a bad gun........it just didnt know what it wanted to be......i mean, its not really a range gun (short sight radius makes its tricky to shoot)......and honestly its not really a CCW gun either ( its bulkier than it appears, and is REALLY heavy....it weighs as much as a fully loaded Glock 17)......

                        if i were to buy a new revolver....it would either be a SW686, or a Ruger GP100......

                        S&W has hands down better fit and finish......it is genuinely a much higher quality gun.

                        the Ruger has a much better trigger IMO......doing a basic trigger job makes that trigger feel sublime.....and its built like a tank.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As others have suggested, II would look at the GP100 with 4 or 6" barrel. Older 686s are nice but harder to find. G20/G40 is not a bad choice if you are used to glocks and dont mind the large frame grip

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here's a few I carry, either on the hip OTW or front pocket. Not mandatory, however those with lasers can be handy at times. The Ruger LCR 9mm has surprisingly good terminal ballistics out of a very short barrel and easier to shoot than the larger calibers. The chrome is a S&W 640-1 ported .357 mag; the S&W MP is a scandium framed .357 /.38 both with Crimson lasers. Lots of holster choices; Safariland #25 front holster designed specifically for the Ruger LCR shown; some Safariland Level 2 for the J-frames shown. It takes thousands of rounds to present a snub nose from concealment to consistently get on target at 7-12 yards; I don't carry any J-frame size unless I have at least 1,000 rounds of experience from the holster on the range with a specific gun; double action triggers still run 8-9 pounds; the LCR has a double cam sear to smooth out the force of the trigger pull just before it breaks. I use the XS Big Dot sights on some shown.

                            Many good indoor shooting ranges have a selection of revolvers to "rent" and get a feel for them; probably the best manner to select one you like before purchasing; "feeling them" at the counter and shooting them on the range are usually two quite different impressions.









                            Elite Survival holster on top; Safariland #25 on the bottom.








                            Secured / non-secured holster choices.


                            Last edited by strikeeagle1; 02-17-2017, 08:48 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Choid View Post
                              I hate, or at least have always hated, shooting revolvers, but I need a big bore one for a 10 day camping trip in bear country. Any suggestions as to the easiest to transition to for a semi auto handgun shooter?
                              There's 3 in my stable I consider; I usually take the .44 in a nice holster on the hip; for cross-decking from a semi-auto I'd take the 10 mm all day long. Love the Desert Eagle, just too big even with the correct cross-chest holster.


                              Last edited by strikeeagle1; 02-17-2017, 08:47 PM.

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                              • #16
                                Check out the new Smith & Wesson Model 66 (it is stainless), I am still waiting for the blued version to come back out (Model 19). The ergonomics are hard to beat and it has a classic look.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  With MSG duty the State Dept issued us S&W Model 19s (.357 chambering) and we carried Nyclad .38 Special.

                                  Revolvers are bulkier but great shooters and reliable. I see shelves of older bed stand Smith and Wesson revolvers in absolutely fantastic shape. No safety lock mechanism, beautiful bluing and comfortable shooting steel construction. Sights on a S&W are fantastic.

                                  For comfortable shooting I like steel frames. The carry weight penalty is worth the shootability.

                                  I load up 148 hollow base wad cutters for a S&W 52-2 and use them for practice in my revolvers. Cheap and accurate. Shoot all day long.

                                  Good on you going wheel gun. It will make you a better shooter.

                                  K frames tend to be more svelte than N frames. If you go N choose an appropriate barrel to cut back on size.

                                  Love my classic S&Ws fun to shoot

                                  A K-22 for practice/fun




                                  Smith 27-2, Pinned Barrel, recessed chambers, fully checkered top. Similar to Pattons registered magnum "Killing Gun". A big piece of steel, not really a concealed carry gun for my body type.


                                  Thought I had pics of the 5 shot .38 Chiefs special and the .38 Colt Police Positive but I guess not.
                                  Last edited by pmclaine; 02-19-2017, 08:44 AM.
                                  "...But they would never find anything to beat the old Springfield ...the long sleek streamline, very slim but with potent bulges, all in the just exactly right places to give it that pugnaciously forward-leaning, eager look that marked the Springfield. Beside it, the M1 looked like a fat old man puffing with a lack of training...the two most beautiful things made in America were the ax-handle and the clipper ship? ...they should have added one more thing: The Springfield '03 rifle..."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I went to the LGS and got to put my meathooks around a few of the suggestions. Both Rugers, SP101 and GP100, were bigger than I thought. For me, the SP101 seemed barely small enough to carry, right on the verge of being to big or bulky which would be perfect. But the GP100 sure was nice with the adjustable sights and not being obnoxiously huge. The rosewood inlaid rubber gripped model was particularly handsome to my eye. The S&W performance center models did have better fit and finish like was mentioned and the triggers were nicer than the Rugers. They seemed a bit bulky for carry with the eight round cylinders. The 627 wasn't too bad but the one they had in the shop had a longish (6"?) barrel. I suppose now it is up to me to decide if I really want to carry one around. I am leaning toward the GP100 right now, for price point and entry into the wheel gun arena. That 27-2 sure looks like it would fit in my safe just fine! Good looking piece right there. Maybe I will get lucky and find one at a gun show or something.

                                    Thanks to all for the solid advice and suggestions... Will follow up in a few weeks when I go to make the purchase.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The 27-2 is a beast of a gun. Fun as hell to shoot and accurate. Its capacity is low but if hits are what counts Id rely on it.

                                      For most carry I switch between two Colt Commanders - one light weight from 1968 the other a 70s steel Commander.

                                      In the summer I can carry a S&W model 36 in a pocket holster in the front pocket of my cargo shorts or on an outside the waist band belt holster. 5 rounds of .38 special that I can easily forget is even there.

                                      The 36 is not a target gun but I don't feel exposed with it in easy reach.

                                      Its all about last ditch anyway. I consider myself a runner and a living witness.
                                      Last edited by pmclaine; 02-19-2017, 04:25 PM.
                                      "...But they would never find anything to beat the old Springfield ...the long sleek streamline, very slim but with potent bulges, all in the just exactly right places to give it that pugnaciously forward-leaning, eager look that marked the Springfield. Beside it, the M1 looked like a fat old man puffing with a lack of training...the two most beautiful things made in America were the ax-handle and the clipper ship? ...they should have added one more thing: The Springfield '03 rifle..."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by pmclaine View Post
                                        The 27-2 is a beast of a gun. Fun as hell to shoot and accurate. Its capacity is low but if hits are what counts Id rely on it.

                                        For most carry I switch between two Colt Commanders - one light weight from 1968 the other a 70s steel Commander.

                                        In the summer I can carry a S&W model 36 in a pocket holster in the front pocket of my cargo shorts or on an outside the waist band belt holster. 5 rounds of .38 special that I can easily forget is even there.

                                        The 36 is not a target gun but I don't feel exposed with it in easy reach.

                                        Its all about last ditch anyway. I consider myself a runner and a living witness.

                                        OK OK, I am convinced I need to get two revolvers (at least). One to carry and one to shoot. ('up to no good' smily face thing here)
                                        That makes it much easier: a 686 and a 637 maybe.

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          I live in a conflicted area - anti gun yet all the manufacturers were or are here.

                                          I am spoiled because I have my pick of two digit Smiths, lightly if at all used and likely to be hand fitted by some hunched over Italian Artisan.

                                          Don't overlook the used gems that unthinking family members let go after granpa passed.

                                          My kids will suffer the fate of never getting a Glock handed down when I give up the ghost. Im just too untacticool.
                                          Last edited by pmclaine; 02-20-2017, 04:09 AM.
                                          "...But they would never find anything to beat the old Springfield ...the long sleek streamline, very slim but with potent bulges, all in the just exactly right places to give it that pugnaciously forward-leaning, eager look that marked the Springfield. Beside it, the M1 looked like a fat old man puffing with a lack of training...the two most beautiful things made in America were the ax-handle and the clipper ship? ...they should have added one more thing: The Springfield '03 rifle..."

                                          Comment


                                          • #22



                                            OK OK, I am convinced I need to get two revolvers (at least). One to carry and one to shoot. ('up to no good' smily face thing here)
                                            That makes it much easier: a 686 and a 637 maybe.[/QUOTE]

                                            When you included the "at least" qualifier your statement became completely accurate. The most versatile revolvers in .357 are the bigger mid-frames like Smith L frame, Colt Python and Colt Trooper. They are concealable in 4" or less guns but not ideal. As a belt holster gun they are stout enough enough to take lot's of .357 and are absolute pussycats with .38 loads.

                                            The K frame guns come the closest to your original description. They are a little on the light side for continuous use with .357 loads either in terms of longevity or comfort. They are perfect with .38 loads. In a four inch barrel either a 19 or 66 would be great. My favorites are the 2 1/2" guns and they are easily carried concealed.

                                            Give some thought to pmclaines' recommendation, the man has superb taste, about some of the earlier guns. Blued steel guns are a bit harder to care for but if you give them the same care you should with a stainless they will serve you forever. Take a 19 or 586. put Spegel grips on it http://www.craigspegel.com/. , buy a Tom Threepersons holster with some carving from somebody like El Paso Saddlery and what was a duty weapon becomes a "barbecue gun". If your friends don't envy you, well................

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                                            • #23
                                              Ruger LCR 357 mag!

                                              Comment


                                              • #24
                                                Originally posted by 2c1fr View Post
                                                Ruger LCR 357 mag!
                                                While I enjoy my LCR in 357 as a carry gun, there is no way I could recommend it to someone as their first and only revolver. It's just a harsh little bastard and not that pleasant to shoot very much.
                                                "That's weapons grade stupid."

                                                Originally posted by OH58DViper;n6284476

                                                The best part about banging a tranny is when you reach around it feels like you went all the way through.

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                                                • #25
                                                  I just picked up a GP100. I "needed" it to fill a caliber void. I love everything about it however It is not something that I am planning on carrying. It is a range toy and a fun one at that. It is the brushed stainless with rubber grips and fits my hand nicely. I compared it to the 686 and preferred the looks and feel and the trigger of the GP100. Good luck with whatever you decide as others here have provided excellent options as well.
                                                  You can run but you'll only die tired

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