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  1. #1
    L8models's Avatar
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    Need Some Advice

    I have been thinking on a small revolver. Either a Smith & Wesson or Taurus. I am somewhat stuck on a .38 special over a 357. I know a can get a Taurus for around 3-4 verses a SW for 5-6. IMO, Smith and Wesson makes the best revolvers on the market. However, I am impressed at the overall quality of the Taurus revolvers. I may just shop around at some pawn shops and local gun stores and see if I can get a used SW cheap. What do you guys think?

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  3. #2
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    I would go w/ Ruger or S&W over Taurus. I know everyone has a different story, but I have read some terrible stories of people having issues w/ Taurus guns. And, their experiences w/ the customer service to get the issues fixed are just deplorable.

    There is 1 thread on Glocktalk that has gone on for months... 1 guys story.. He is still trying to get the gun fixed.

    Get the Smith...

  4. #3
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    Take a good look at Ruger.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  5. #4
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    Take a good look at Ruger.

    WM
    Yes. I am not a revolver guy, but every once in a while, I am tempted - just to add to my collection. I looked at all the revolvers a few months back, and decided that the Ruger GP100 4" stainless was my fav, should I ever want to buy one.

  6. #5
    gene is offline Member
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    Thumbs up

    Go with s-w i have 2 of them i have shot for yrs. no problems.

  7. #6
    DWARREN123's Avatar
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    I have 4 Rugers and 1 S&W. I like the Rugers best. I have handle Taurus and Rossi revolvers and they just did not feel right to me. Some had problems and they would have had to go back to the factory to be fixed.

  8. #7
    Baldy's Avatar
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    L8 go with a S&W 637 list $450 or a Ruger SP-101 list $530. Don't let them prices scare you as you can get them a lot cheaper than that on sale, and at gun shows. I had the Sp-101 and it is like a tank. I don't think you could wear it out. I had a model 37 by Smith that I carried for 15yrs great gun.

  9. #8
    Charlie's Avatar
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    Although I really lilke Smiths, I'd love to find a SP-101 in 9mm. But probably so would everyone else. I think that would be the ultimate hideout revolver.

  10. #9
    Baldy's Avatar
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    I don't remember them making a 9mm. The .357 weights 26oz and thats heavy for a stub nose. Get a Galco IWB holster with the belt hook, and you forget about it. You will not know it's there after a half hour. I just checked there site and they only make it in .357 and .38+p. They used to make a .22 but I guess they dropped that one this year.

  11. #10
    Charlie's Avatar
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    They haven't mad a 9mm in a while but I've seen some way back at gun shows. Quite expensive.

  12. #11
    SuckLead's Avatar
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    Yeah, I wouldn't forget to look into Ruger. They make some excellent quality revolvers for really good prices. I like the SP101 for a smaller revolver, although it is a 357 and I know you said you wanted a 38. But check them out. You might be impressed.

  13. #12
    Richard's Avatar
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    This is the best small revolver I have ever owned. Regards, Richard

    S&W M60-10 with Alessi Hard Shell Talon:


  14. #13
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Whatever U do - skip the Rossie and Taurus lines...

  15. #14
    Hal8000's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Rugers are like Toyota's and the S&W's are like BMW's, at least to my way of thinking...
    I drive a Tacoma and my better half drives a 4Runner.

    I won't comment on the others...

  16. #15
    Baldy's Avatar
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    There you go again Richard. I love that eye candy. Man That's a beauty. L8 always buy a .357. You can shoot .38s for the range, and pack .357s for defence. Good Luck.

  17. #16
    john doe. is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldy View Post
    There you go again Richard. I love that eye candy. Man That's a beauty. L8 always buy a .357. You can shoot .38s for the range, and pack .357s for defence. Good Luck.
    You said what I was thinking. Buy a .357 amd shoot .38. More options.

  18. #17
    John Fox is offline Junior Member
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    Thumbs up Ruger

    Buy one in 357 and shoot 38's. Love them Rugers.

  19. #18
    Revolver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal8000 View Post
    Rugers are like Toyota's and the S&W's are like BMW's, at least to my way of thinking...
    I drive a Tacoma and my better half drives a 4Runner.

    I won't comment on the others...
    I get what you're saying but I wouldn't compare these fine American arms to foreign products. Though I prefer S&W's above all else, I can't say a lot against Ruger's revolvers. They're also easier to disassemble. Something often overlooked.

    And a Taurus is like a Kia.

  20. #19
    Flashbang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shipwreck View Post
    Whatever U do - skip the Rossie and Taurus lines...
    Don't dismiss the Taurus revolvers out of hand. I have three that have been great ( see avatar ), and I bought all mine on-line ( virtually sight unseen ). If you shop "in person", just look it over well!!!

  21. #20
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    I have the SP101 357, the S&W 638 & a Taurus 94UL. All good guns for their purposes. SP101 built like a tank. Heavy for carry. Love the 638. Nice & light & will shoot +p. My current favorite carry gun. The Taurus is a 9 shot 22LR. Heavy trigger pull, but never a "function" problem. One of the windage adjustment screws for the rear sight backed out and I lost both the screw & the sight blade. Sights are not covered by the Taurus warranty, but they replaced it anyway. Took 1 week. Not a true repair, but I can't complain about the service. If carry is something your going to be using this for, I'd recommend the S&W. I see new 638s & 640s at gunshows in TX. for around $340.

    Tuckerdog1

  22. #21
    Baldy's Avatar
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    I think I paid $376 for my Ruger SP 101 .357. I paid $269 for the C/T lazer grips. Now I got to sell them as the gun is gone. They are about as tough a little gun as you will find out there.

  23. #22
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    Hello. I believe that sage advice has been given, but will offer my observations as well.

    I have owned a few Taurus revolvers but currently own but one. It is a Model 431 in .44 Special. The others were .38 Specials. I honestly do not know how long the Taurus revolvers hold up in terms of handling large amounts of ammunition. I didn't keep the Taurus 38's long enough to know and I've not shot the Model 431 nearly so much as other revolvers. Therefore, I cannot give any honest feedback based on actual observation or experiences.

    Were I personally going to buy a NIB revolver right now for serious purposes, it would be either a Ruger GP-100 if size is not an issue or their SP-101 if it is. As most have said, my suggestion is also to get it in .357 magnum.

    If you opt to go with a lightweight revolver, I'd go with .38 Special, and look around for a clean, used S&W 442, 642, 37, 638, etc w/o the lock. I have utterly no doubt that the majority of revolvers equipped with them work fine, but I have personally seen two different S&W's with the locks "self-engage" when firing. Both revolvers were chambered for 357 magnum and both were "AirLight" or whatever S&W calls this line that is not the aluminum alloy "AirWeight" line. I find the aluminum frame revolvers plenty light, but they are heavy enough that there is no provision against using lead bullets in them. These can unseat themselves during recoil in the super lightweight revolvers. I tried that on for size too and it does happen. I was using an S&W Model 296 and even with the old 246-gr. LRN, the bullets would unseat themselves in this super lightweight revolver.


    This particular Model 642 has been fired roughly 4K shots and is still going strong, in-time with the cylinder, and no parts breakage. It's a little rougher for wear, but this would be true of any heavily-carried aluminum-frame handguns, I believe.


    My normal carry rig for this 642 has been the Galco pocket hoster. If you look carefully, you will see shiney worn spots on the cylinder and frame, but the gun runs fine. Speaking only for myself, it has been the most successful pocket gun I've tried out of several.


    This is the gun that the Model 642 replaced. This Model 042 is not +P-rated, but it has fired more than a few of them with no frame-stretching or other problems. The reason I went with the 642 was the more rust-resistant qualities of stainless over the blued steel bbl and cylinder on the 042. On hot, sweaty days, I'd find light rust spots here and there on the gun even though I'd cleaned it the day...or night before! Blued vs stainless may not even be an issue depending upon climate, but for me it was so I went with the stainless even though I prefer blue.

    In my opinion, the SP-101 is a bit heavy for pocket carry, but keep in mind this is just my opinion. Others do carry via pocket holsters and report no problems. For me, the SP-101 is a very good revolver that is heavy enough to shoot well but conceal easily in a proper belt holster, be it IWB or OWB, depending upon the individual and how willing they are or are not to "dress around the gun.

    With regard to the SP-101 in .357, there's nothing wrong with using 38 Special +P in them for serious purposes and I believe that the gun is well up to probably a near-infinite amount of shooting them, but there is another option...and the one I prefer in this all-steel revolver: mid-range .357's. Two that spring to mind immediately are the two that I've tested and used: Corbon 125-gr. DPX or Remington's 125-gr. Golden Saber. I've found these easy to handle in rapid, accurate fire, but they do have a bit more recoil than do the +P, 38's.


    Now and again, I tote the SP-101 in a belt holster and the Model 642 via the pocket. (I chose the 3 1/16" bbl as I did not intend to do pocket carry with the Ruger.) The SP is loaded with Corbon DPX while the 38 is fed Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P. Though it would be "only 38's", both guns use the same HKS J-frame speedloader so either could be reloaded with the Remington 38 Specials. To me, this is a nice bonus.


    Here you can see the differences in size between the GP-100 and the SP-101.

    My GP-100 is a 3" version and it is loaded with full-power Winchester 145-gr. STHP .357's. It is large and heavy enough that handling this load is not difficult in that revolver, while its recoil does slow me down noticeably with the SP-101.

    Out of the boxes, my Rugers did not have so nice of trigger pulls as did the S&W's, but with a tiny bit of stoning and a LOT of shooting, the triggers are now more than useable; they are quite nice and I find no differences in group size between them and my S&W revolvers.

    I reckon boiling it down, my suggestions are to go with a clean used S&W Airweight 38 special (w/o the lock if at all possible) if opting for a pocket carry gun or an SP-101 if going for a concealed belt gun and buying NIB. Going with the GP-100 would be my choice for a "house gun" or a belt gun for which concealed carry was not a primary concern.

    If I have not yet prattled on enough to bore you to death, here are some articles that might be of interest or use:

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/38vs357snub.htm

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/M...ame%20Work.htm

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/R...1%20Report.htm

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/R...er%20GP100.htm

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/C...DPX%20Ammo.htm

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/3...mmo%20Test.htm

    Best and good luck.

  24. #23
    Richard's Avatar
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    SAC, where does my 3" S&W M60-10 fall short in your appraisal? It is a lot more comfortable to shoot 38s in than my M37; it is not bad with 357s using the grips I have on it. Regards, Richard

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    It doesn't fall short.

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