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  1. #1
    shawn32 is offline Junior Member
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    Highest accuracy 357s?

    Hey all, I'm relatively new to the shooting world - shot growing up with Dad and brothers, but have decided to enter the world of gun ownership and shoot reguarly. I bought a browning buckmark 22 several months ago and have been having a blast learning with it at the range.

    Been doing a lot of reading on this forum and have decided I'd like my next gun to be a revolver (357 / 38 special) due to the general reliability of revolvers. Was hoping to receive some help in coming up with a short list to rent and shoot - I realize that there's no best one gun and that different guns fit people differently. So I'm not after "the one" but rather some quality recommendations that I can narrow down by shooting them. What I'm after:

    1. Preferably a price tag of under $1,000 (I'd make an exception for a couple hundred more if someone thought it was worth it)
    2. High accuracy - primary use is target shooting at the range; not looking to carry
    3. A 357 / 38 special model

    Been trying to find threads on accuracy comparisons of revolver models but haven't had much luck. Any help you all can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    a couple

    colt python, 6-8 inch barrel....
    smith 586 ,6 shot, 6-8 inch barrel.....

    both are discontinued but are found in very good shape, reasonably priced and have a rep for being more accurate than the shooter.

    unless you want single action cowboy style....

  4. #3
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    Hunt down a used Dan Wesson 15-2. They are somewhat under the radar, so prices are quite reasonable. Accuracy wise, they are easily on par with any other .357 out there. I have a Python and it's not any more accurate than my Dan wesson. That said, the S&Ws and Colts are more refined and "prettier." Dan Wessons also have the advantage of barrel interchangeability, i.e. you can use barrels from 2 1/2" to 10".

  5. #4
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overkill0084 View Post
    Hunt down a used Dan Wesson 15-2. They are somewhat under the radar, so prices are quite reasonable. Accuracy wise, they are easily on par with any other .357 out there. I have a Python and it's not any more accurate than my Dan wesson. That said, the S&Ws and Colts are more refined and "prettier." Dan Wessons also have the advantage of barrel interchangeability, i.e. you can use barrels from 2 1/2" to 10".
    the python advantage is the buttery smooth trigger..... the smith trigger is not as good as the colt but better than the dan wesson..... learn to do a good trigger job and then its up to the shooter.....

  6. #5
    WVfishguy is offline Junior Member
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    I much prefer the 586 trigger to my wife's Python. Any good S&W is going to be more accurate than you are. I'd just look for any good used J or L frame S&W. A 'smith can slick up a Ruger where it's nearly as smooth as a S&W.

  7. #6
    8Eric6's Avatar
    8Eric6 is offline Member
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    im best with my smith 686 when I bought mine it was 600 bucks think they in the 700 range now tho

  8. #7
    shawn32 is offline Junior Member
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    Appreciate all the feedback.

    I did some searching for a colt python - they seem quite expensive. What should I expect to pay for a good used one? Everyone that I found was $1,500+.

    Agreed that just about any will be more accurate than me, but want to ensure that there's plenty of room for me to improve. On something like the S&W models mentioned, what's a decent expectation for groups for a "good" shooter from 25 yards?

  9. #8
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn32 View Post
    Agreed that just about any will be more accurate than me, but want to ensure that there's plenty of room for me to improve. On something like the S&W models mentioned, what's a decent expectation for groups for a "good" shooter from 25 yards?
    every one of my guns can out shoot me....i am not and never have been one to dwell on how tight my groups are since i am not shooting competitions. i own a 586 and along with all my other guns it is home defense/ self defense weapon..... if it puts 6 into the vitals of a bad guy, i am pleased since odds are i get to walk away from a situation where it has served its intended purpose.

    your accuracy will depend on ammo variations, shooting technique, training etc etc and cant be quantified by others results. your ability to improve is based upon your desire to practice and can always be improved.

    the 586 has been known in gun circles for years as "the poor mans python"

    i dont think you can go wrong with ANY of the revolvers mentioned here....

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn32 View Post
    Appreciate all the feedback.

    I did some searching for a colt python - they seem quite expensive. What should I expect to pay for a good used one? Everyone that I found was $1,500+.

    Agreed that just about any will be more accurate than me, but want to ensure that there's plenty of room for me to improve. On something like the S&W models mentioned, what's a decent expectation for groups for a "good" shooter from 25 yards?
    At 25 yards, with good ammo that the gun likes, under an inch should be achieveable by the gun. The shooter, well that's another issue entirely.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those $1500 prices ARE used prices. The Python has been out of production for some time.

  11. #10
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    There are several factors that go into accuracy.

    1. Ergonomics. Smith and Wesson and Colt (and Ruger) have been making these weapons for a long time they pretty much have the ergonomics figured out.

    2. Trigger. I like the S & W trigger, and the Python's trigger was/is legendary. I have not shot a Ruger so I cannot comment on them.

    3. Sights. Factory sights that I've used from S & W were just so-so. You can judge them yourself by picking up the weapon and sighting with it.

    4. Sight radius. The longer the sight radius, the greater will be your accuracy.

    5. Barrels. I have not read anything anywhere saying that the barrels from one revolver were better than those of another. And they don't advertise "competition" revolver barrels like they do with autos.

    So the first four factors you can check yourself. Barrel accuracy ??? I don't know what to tell you. I will tell you that every revolver I've ever shot was a lot more accurate than I was. So for me, it was a moot point. I shot my 4" K-frame from S & W best. I liked the square butt and the barrel weight. I was shooting target .38s from it most of the time (it was a .38) so the recoil was not an issue.

  12. #11
    shawn32 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overkill0084 View Post
    At 25 yards, with good ammo that the gun likes, under an inch should be achieveable by the gun. The shooter, well that's another issue entirely.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those $1500 prices ARE used prices. The Python has been out of production for some time.
    Yeah, I'm aware those are used prices, was just wondering if I was missing something or if those prices are legit? If so, think I'd rather stick to something closer to $1k.

  13. #12
    shawn32 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Packard View Post
    There are several factors that go into accuracy.

    1. Ergonomics. Smith and Wesson and Colt (and Ruger) have been making these weapons for a long time they pretty much have the ergonomics figured out.

    2. Trigger. I like the S & W trigger, and the Python's trigger was/is legendary. I have not shot a Ruger so I cannot comment on them.

    3. Sights. Factory sights that I've used from S & W were just so-so. You can judge them yourself by picking up the weapon and sighting with it.

    4. Sight radius. The longer the sight radius, the greater will be your accuracy.

    5. Barrels. I have not read anything anywhere saying that the barrels from one revolver were better than those of another. And they don't advertise "competition" revolver barrels like they do with autos.

    So the first four factors you can check yourself. Barrel accuracy ??? I don't know what to tell you. I will tell you that every revolver I've ever shot was a lot more accurate than I was. So for me, it was a moot point. I shot my 4" K-frame from S & W best. I liked the square butt and the barrel weight. I was shooting target .38s from it most of the time (it was a .38) so the recoil was not an issue.
    Good info. Thanks.

    I feel a lot better about the S&W and Ruger and both are well within budget. I'll have to shoot both of them.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn32 View Post
    Yeah, I'm aware those are used prices, was just wondering if I was missing something or if those prices are legit? If so, think I'd rather stick to something closer to $1k.
    Well, if you want one just keep an eye out for them. All Pythons aren't worth $1500. Stay away from the safe queens and keep an eye out for a blued one with a bit of honest wear. $1000 +/- should get you there.
    Also, do a bit of research on the original Colt Troopers. They are the Python's blue collar cousin. A lot of the same goodness without the premium price.

  15. #14
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    I had a 6" Dan Wesson 15-2, and still have a 4" GP-100 and a Model 66 S&W. All are great revolvers and will shoot better than I am capable of, with hand loaded ammo.

    Seriously, unless you are gonna burn a ton of ammo practicing, a Ruger or S&W with a nice trigger, good gripstocks, and good sights will get you into the 2" realm, or maybe less, at 25 yards, and I have only seen a few people who can consistently shoot better than that, and they practiced a lot.

    Of the three I mentioned, I favor the S&W for best accuracy, because of a sweet single action trigger. However, I do most of my practice in DA mode, and my DA-only GP-100 is the equal of the S&W, in that mode.

  16. #15
    johna91374 is offline Junior Member
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    I'm going to recommend the Ruger GP100. I've shot a couple of different guns with different length barrels and decided on the 5in for myself. I've been shooting for about 15 yrs and owned a few revolvers over the years and the GP100 is my overall favorite. It doesn't have the best double action trigger pull but single is about an nice and crisp as it gets right out of the box. Mine took just a couple of adjustments to the sights to make it perfect. Seated with the factory sights I can shoot a 3 inch group at 50ft. I'm also a fan of the weight. The4in was not enough while the 6 inch was too much. The 5 is perfect for me and it's built like a tank..

  17. #16
    buck-boost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Packard View Post
    There are several factors that go into accuracy.

    1. Ergonomics. Smith and Wesson and Colt (and Ruger) have been making these weapons for a long time they pretty much have the ergonomics figured out.

    2. Trigger. I like the S & W trigger, and the Python's trigger was/is legendary. I have not shot a Ruger so I cannot comment on them.

    3. Sights. Factory sights that I've used from S & W were just so-so. You can judge them yourself by picking up the weapon and sighting with it.

    4. Sight radius. The longer the sight radius, the greater will be your accuracy.

    5. Barrels. I have not read anything anywhere saying that the barrels from one revolver were better than those of another. And they don't advertise "competition" revolver barrels like they do with autos.

    So the first four factors you can check yourself. Barrel accuracy ??? I don't know what to tell you. I will tell you that every revolver I've ever shot was a lot more accurate than I was. So for me, it was a moot point. I shot my 4" K-frame from S & W best. I liked the square butt and the barrel weight. I was shooting target .38s from it most of the time (it was a .38) so the recoil was not an issue.

    Mechanical repeat-ability is different than user friendly-ness.

    1. Ergonomics: The gun has no idea how it fits your hand or feels, or if it is a ransom rest.
    2. Trigger: A lighter trigger helps the shooter harness the guns accuracy, but it has no bearing on the mechanical accuracy.
    3. Sights: The gun does not know/care if sights are even on it. One must pick out sights they can use the best.


    Try to pick out a revolver that has a tight lock-up, good timing, and a nice trigger and fits your hand well. You will have a good shooter. Don't be afraid to experiment with grips as well.

    Some of the best groups I have fired free hand were out of a smith 686 6". It had a super light single action pull, and I was having a good day. I was shooting free hand at 25 yards with 4-5 inch 6 shot groups. I could keep all of them touching sandbagged.

    I have also seen guys hit a 12" steel plate 6 out of 6 times at 100 yards with 4" model 29s and 629s. Off a rest I can do that with my single six, but not free hand with my model 29.

  18. #17
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    Desertrat is offline Member
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    If you like SA revolvers, I find Blackhawks to be THE most accurate....I have 4 of them...and they all outshoot any DA
    revolver I own....especially my .41 Mag....I would say that is the most accurate handgun I own.

  19. #18
    FNISHR is offline Member
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    In your price range, with a little hunting around you could find a well kept, long barreled S&W Model 27. Beautiful guns, with nice triggers and nice sights.

  20. #19
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    45Sidekick is offline Member
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    I have an old 357 ruger blackhawk with a 6 1/2" barrel and buddy that thing is a tack-driver. Very accurate but Sao so if your just looking for accuracy and not devastating things with a da then I would strongly recommend the blackhawk

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