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  1. #1
    Braddubya is offline Junior Member
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    My First Revolver - Wanting to Do it Right

    Hello, im new here hailing from Minnesota

    Im in the market for a revolver. Ive been mainly a rife/shotgun guy all my life but always enjoy shooting my friends Sigma. The only handgun I own is a .22 so I dont know a whole lot about pistols, although I have been researching them.

    Im setting a maximum budget of about $500 however I would be very happy spending around $300 too. Im looking for a revolver because I know they tend to be more reliable and look much better than semis in my opinion, especially the full size revolvers. Its use will be for recreational shooting and home protection. Some level of accuracy would be nice but it doesnt need to be a target gun.

    My main dilemma is what caliber to go with. I want it to have some kick and be a powerful gun but I also need to be able to afford to shoot the ammo, so the best bang for the buck is key. (pun intended)

    Then I need to pick a brand and model so any suggestions there would be great as well.

    Thanks all in advance

  2. #2
    hberttmank's Avatar
    hberttmank is offline Member
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    S&W 19, 66, 586, 686, 627 or 27 .
    Ruger Security Six or GP100.
    All of these are in 357 magnum, it is by far the most versatile handgun caliber because you can shoot 38 specials or the magnum loads.

  3. #3
    jeb21 is offline Member
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    I agree with a good Ruger or Smith revolver in 38/357. I just purchased a Ruger Security Six for under $300. Used Smith Revolvers can also be found for under $350. A new revolver will cost you between $500-600.

  4. #4
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
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    Smith & Wesson or Ruger .357 Magnum. I prefer the Smith & Wesson over the Ruger as I feel the trigger pull is much smoother, but the Rugers are very solid guns. I really don't think you can go wrong with either.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    I find this a little amusing since in most of my cases, the handgun is chosen first and the caliber later. Your case seems to be quite the opposite in my opinion.

    Using 38 special for target practice is economical and using 357 magnum for home defense is about as good as you can get. I don't think there's any question this is the way to go, based on my personal experiences and the above forum members' opinions.

    The real trick now is deciding two things:
    -Ruger or S&W?
    -New or used?

    Considering your cap of $500, that pretty much regulates your purchase to a used weapon, which is fine! Just do your due diligence when inspecting potential buys and you should be fine. Both manufacturers make quality products.

    As far as choosing the manufacturers themselves, well, as I said they both pump out awesome products. I tend to find the S&Ws are a bit more polished and "smoother" while the Rugers are more like rough reliable tanks. You'll probably notice this as you window-shop.

    Just off the top of my head, I'd say Ruger GP-100 or one of the S&W Model 27 or Model 68x lines.

  6. #6
    Braddubya is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks guys this is already really helpful.

    .357 is what I was actually leaning towards so thats perfect.

    Now I just need a model. I have always heard good things about S&W. I will definitely look into both the ruger and Smith.

    On another note. I know they are considered in a class below S&W but what do you guyss think of taurus? I only ask because they are well within my price range and seem to be a popular brand. I also like the look of some of them.

    Please let me know what you think and suggest any other make/models that would fit the bill.

  7. #7
    Braddubya is offline Junior Member
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    I actually really like the ruger kgp & gp-161 and the S&W 686
    how much do these usually sell for used in decent condition?

    It seems new the ruger is about $100-$200 cheaper

  8. #8
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    A used revolver might be a good way to go. It was all that I could afford at the time I got mine. I also agree with your choice of .357 mag / .38 Special. I think I got a pretty good deal on my Dan Wesson. Try to purchase from a gun shop. They'll want you to come back, and most likely will be your best source. Here is an article about what to look for when purchasing a used revolver. I keep it in my Favorites File. Good luck in your search. http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=19

  9. #9
    Buffal0's Avatar
    Buffal0 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braddubya View Post
    Thanks guys this is already really helpful.

    .357 is what I was actually leaning towards so thats perfect.

    Now I just need a model. I have always heard good things about S&W. I will definitely look into both the ruger and Smith.

    On another note. I know they are considered in a class below S&W but what do you guyss think of taurus? I only ask because they are well within my price range and seem to be a popular brand. I also like the look of some of them.

    Please let me know what you think and suggest any other make/models that would fit the bill.
    I have heard good and bad about Taurus. I wouldn't want to chance it either. If it were me I would get a stainless 6" GP100 in .357. Just me though

  10. #10
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    I recently bought a stainless steel 4" GP-100 in excellent condition, for $350. Minor holster wear, but perfect bore, and everything tight. It is the best bargain I have ever found, considering the quality of the workmanship and the accuracy. It is a legitimate 25 yard handgun, in double-action mode, and if you are lucky enough (as I was) to find one with a sweet trigger, you will likely never get rid of it.

  11. #11
    jeb21 is offline Member
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    Rugers have a reputation for being extremely solid, even overbuilt. They also tend to be a bit heavier/larger and a bit less expensive than the the Smiths. Most Rugers do not have as nice of a trigger as Smiths - but experiences vary on that point.

    I have a Ruger gp-100 with a 4" barrel and adjustable sights. From my standpoint, it is one of the few hanguns that is comfortable for me to shoot with magnums. It is also very accurate.

    I have owned a Smith 686 and found it to be accurate but not nearly as pleasant to shoot with magnums (understanding that recoil is a very subjective experience). I normally shot .38s out of this gun.

    I believe that you would be happy with either model. Especially if you will not be carrying it too often.

    If you are looking for a carry gun that you will not shoot too many magnums out of, then you may want to look at some used Smith model 19 or 66. Ruger also used to make a Service Six that was about the same size and weight as the smith Model 19 /66. The Ruger Service six should be available for under $350. A used Smith Model 19 or 66 may be a bit more expensive.

    BTW the Ruger Sp101 with a 3" barrel is a wonderful 5 shot carry magnum. Smith makes some nice 5 shot magnums - the model 60 and the model 640. I have the Model 60 and really like it as a carry weapon but typically only shoot .38 out of it.

  12. #12
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
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    My first choice would probably be a Smith & Wesson model 686. With regards to Taurus, I have a friend who shoots a .357 Magnum (not sure what model) and he really likes it. I shot it and it was very nice. very similar to my Smith & Wesson model 15-3. I liked the trigger pull on the Taurus better than the Ruger I used to own.

  13. #13
    Braddubya is offline Junior Member
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    Well that pretty much settles it. Im going to start looking for a used gp100 or S&W 686.

    I just got done calling a local shop and the guy told me that he doesnt have any used gp100s and that right now no one can even get any new ones. He sounded genuinely amazed and said he has never seen anything like whats happening with them. Anyone have an idea as to why this is happening?

  14. #14
    Gad's Avatar
    Gad
    Gad is offline Banned
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    Charter Arms Undercover. I just bought the 44 Bulldog today, but they had the undercover with laser grip so I'm going back for it tomorrow. Already have a S&W 9mm and 38 special airweight.

  15. #15
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    A four inch .357 would suit you well. There would be no need to go larger in caliber or longer in barrel unless you hunt. Besides the Rugers and Smiths already mentioned, you should also consider a used Colt MKIII Trooper (I think the MKIV's are kinda ugly). One can often find very good used ones within your price range. There's a pic of mine below.

    One can often find used Smith's such as the model 19 in your price range as well. In fact, you can find a few on the Fugate website. Since they are a sponsor of this site, you can find a link here. I would prefer a Smith 19 or 27/28 (or a Trooper) over a Ruger any day of the week.

    Let us know what you end up with....



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