Revolver Recommendation for Newbie's Application
44 and never owned a gun but I have been to the range twice in my life and shot a few. Actually ended up liking the Dirty Harry 44 Magnum just because I was most accurate with it and the power was a rush. But in general I'm not a gun enthusiast.
So why am I here? We have a very large vacation home pretty deep into the woods. There are bears, cougars, and coyotes on the land. Although they of course stay clear of humans if they can (it's a golf resort community so we aren't the only ones around.) In most cases just carrying a bell on your belt is probably better protection than packing a gun and accidentally surprising a bear or a cougar. BUT, at times I would feel 'safer' if carrying something, 'just in case'
I've done my homework and although I was first drawn to the cool looking semi-auto pistols, thinking revolvers are too 'old school' looking, I then recalled Dirty Harry used the revolver (not that that is my main decision factor, lol) and other gun enthusiasts recommended for a infrequent shooter like myself, the revolver is definitely the way to go due to the simpler, less problematic operation.
I want something small enough that will fit in a parka jacket, doesn't have to be small enough to fit in pants pocket. In the summer, I would wear it on a belt holster while wearing shorts.
I like the idea of being able to shoot single action for maximum accuracy when target shooting but I'm also wondering how big of an issue an non-shrouded hammer is from a safety perspective. I know Tauraus has a transfer bar to prevent accidental firing without pulling the trigger and of course I should always remember to engage the trigger lock.
Next issue is size. Since this isn't going to be for a daily conceal and carry application, I am thinking I should probably go with something in the 2.25"-4" barrel length. I think I'd put a weight limit at 32 ounces (2 lbs) max, hopefully something more in the mid 20's. I have a little smaller than average size man's hands.
It seems some of the reviews I've read is that although the value is great and the selection is huge, the Tauraus revolvers are a 'half step' down from the Rugers and S&Ws and tend, on average to be a little more susceptible to having issues. For me it probably won't matter as I'll rarely use this gun.
Here's the model's I'm eyeballing. Any guidance/insight/suggestions is much appreciated.
S&W 686 Plus (okay, this goes a little over my 32 ounce limit - but at 2.5" barrel, it should fit jacket pocket okay?) Pretty pricey. For someone that isn't going to shoot and gawk at their gun every week, I should probably try no to spend a lot. (under $500? not this gun.)
S&W 649 - 2.125" barrel. My gut tells me this is probably "the one" Shrouded hammer. But still pretty pricey and I'd like a barrel closer to 3" than 2".
S&W Model 60 - 3" barrel seems perfect compromise for my application (not too bulky yet good accuracy and comfort) Unfortunately, exposed hammer though.
Ruger SP101 3" or 2.25" Barrel. Sounds like a better value than S&W but looks like pretty good sized exposed hammers. The S&W 60 hammer looks pretty small and so less likely to snag?
Taurus 627 - Ported so louder which is good for scaring wildlife off. Adjustable rear sight. 4" barrel but only 29 oz. and 7-shots. Exposed hammer. From a spec/price standpoint, a really good value?
Right now I'm leaning towards the S&W 686 3" barrel(assuming the snagging risk isn't a significant issue for me) or the Taurus 627 for best value for an infrequent user.
I'm mainly wondering if the S&W doesn't also have some sort of transfer bar like the Taurus that prevents the gun from going off by snagging the hammer if the safety is off.