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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to a gun show next weekend and would like some suggestions on what to buy. I have $500, but would prefer to spend around $300-400 (less is always better, i do know however sometimes that means quality is compromised, i just want a good gun for a decent price). I want to go home with at least one gun, a holster, and ammunition.
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I've been looking at 4" blued revolvers like the S&W M10 and Ruger Security Six...and the Ruger GP100 with 6" barrel in blued. If i get a revolver i'd like it to be in .357 mag, blued, with 2-piece wooden grips.
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Also looking at Walther P38.
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Not quite sure what kind of prices I'm looking at. Also looking at Taurus revolvers and pistols, and I've seen mixed reviews about their reliability.
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Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
 

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I am going to a gun show next weekend and would like some suggestions on what to buy. I have $500, but would prefer to spend around $300-400 (less is always better, i do know however sometimes that means quality is compromised, i just want a good gun for a decent price). I want to go home with at least one gun, a holster, and ammunition.
~
I've been looking at 4" blued revolvers like the S&W M10 and Ruger Security Six...and the Ruger GP100 with 6" barrel in blued. If i get a revolver i'd like it to be in .357 mag, blued, with 2-piece wooden grips.
~
Also looking at Walther P38.
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Not quite sure what kind of prices I'm looking at. Also looking at Taurus revolvers and pistols, and I've seen mixed reviews about their reliability.
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Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
You didn't say what your experience level with handguns is, or what you intend to use it for, both of which make it easier to offer quality recommendations.

For almost any use, the revolvers you listed are good solid choices. The S&W model 10 is a .38 Special, not .357, but they make a very similar weapon in .357 named the model 13. Other S&Ws that might fill the bill include model 64 (stainless version of the M10), the M65 (stainless version of the M13), and any of the same-size but adjustable-sight versions of these same guns (M15, M19, M67 and M66). The slightly-larger-frame S&W models 581 and 681 (fixed sight, blue and stainless) and M586/M686 (adjustable-sight versions) are also fine picks. The Rugers you mentioned are also great guns, but be sure to check the caliber markings on the side of the barrel, as some of these were made in .38 Special only (won't shoot magnums). The GP-100s usually have one-piece grips that slide on from the bottom of the frame, but there may be other styles available similar to what you mentioned. Also, I'd recommend staying away from the very early blue Security-Six guns (serial number prefix 150-, I think), as they use a different grip shape than any other Sec-Six models, which are darn near impossible to find. I currently own a S&W M15 and two GP-100s, but I have owned almost every other model listed above at some time in the last 30 years -- good guns, all.

The Walther P38 can be kind of picky about ammo, and if you feed it the wrong stuff it may not function reliably; I'd stay away from it for that reason alone. Parts and spare magazines can be a challenge to find and expensive once located, too.

I'd pass on the Taurus guns for the reason you cited.

Prices are hard to get a handle on, as they depend a great deal on the condition of the gun, and what the local supply and demand is for similar models. You should be able to find used, mechanically-sound-but-slightly-finish-worn examples of most of the revolvers above for less than $400, but that is not guaranteed, given today's volatile market for used guns. Ask the seller for a functioning guarantee (he may refuse; your call, if that's the case), and be sure to get a receipt that identifies the gun AND the seller.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Experience is a little more than beginner. I know how to handle them, so ease of use/cleaning isn't that big of a deal. I will mainly be using it for target shooting, and since I'm only 19, I can't carry, but plan on doing so when I turn 21. And I live in Tennessee, so I don't have to worry about it being concealed.

So I guess any revolver or autoloader up to $450. If it's a revolver I'd really prefer .357, since i can also shoot .38 special with it; and if it's an autoloader .45 ACP would be my preferred caliber.

Thanks for the feedback...more please!
 

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I would check out www.impactguns.com to look at new gun prices and check out www.gunbroker.com to check out new and used gun prices. Prices will vary a little between sites and sellers but these sites should at least give you a ballpark idea of what is market value for a gun. That being said because of the current demand for handguns and ammo you might find sellers asking for more and not willing to negotiate. I would say to go to the show with a list in hand of possible purchases with information about each one (new price,used price, specs,etc). I wouldn't let someone talk you into something you have no idea about. Chances are its going to be a better deal for them than you. Research and never assume that just because it is a gun show that you are going to find any deals. Good luck.
 

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I'd be real careful. Gun shows have a habbit of being over priced. A Smith & Wesson or Ruger would be the way to go. You should find better pricing on the Ruger. Look for a pistol that has very little or no movement rotationally when the hammer is cocked. Make sure the cylinder bore and barrel bore line up correctly and check the interior of the barrel for pitting, wear, or rust. Make sure that the cylinder timing is good and it lines up on all six chambers when cocked or fired double action. There are a lot of used pistols out there that look a little less than pristine but are in good physical condition. That is what you will need to look at in your price range. Carfully check the entire pistol over for signs of cracks or barrel bulging. Those are the basics to be careful of anyway. Happy shopping and I hope you find something priced fair and in good condition.
Oh! Don't be afraid to made an offer if you find something just a tad out of reach. The worst they can say is no.
 

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I would check out www.impactguns.com to look at new gun prices and check out www.gunbroker.com to check out new and used gun prices. Prices will vary a little between sites and sellers but these sites should at least give you a ballpark idea of what is market value for a gun. That being said because of the current demand for handguns and ammo you might find sellers asking for more and not willing to negotiate. I would say to go to the show with a list in hand of possible purchases with information about each one (new price,used price, specs,etc). I wouldn't let someone talk you into something you have no idea about. Chances are its going to be a better deal for them than you. Research and never assume that just because it is a gun show that you are going to find any deals. Good luck.
This is great advice. :smt023
 

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please check out the "FAQ for new shooters" at the top of this page. You can also do a search for how to check out a used revovler on google and there is a fantastic article (do not have link handy atm).
A good source for value guns I like is a company called CDNN investments. They do police buybacks, overstocks, discontinued models, etc.
 

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check around your local stores, I've found one local store that beats the show prices easy, you might too.
 

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My advice? Skip the gun show and find a local shop to buy from and to build a relationship with. The odds of finding a good deal at a gun show are slim to none.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Alright. Either way I go about it, I am getting a gun very soon. What should I keep an eye out for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alright, thanks. Anyone else? Any .357 revolver with a 4" barrel, or autoloader 9mm or bigger....suggestions?
 

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...would like some suggestions on what to buy.
Rob, along with the suggestions that have already been posted, I suggest you find a local gun range (Todd's suggestion) and get the feel for what handgun you might like to buy. Like everyone else, my preference for what you should buy may be 180 degrees different than what you like. Find a range where you can rent and fire as many as possible in different calibers and types (semi auto/ revolver). Or at a minimum find a shop or store that you can at least get the feel of the handgun before you buy it. Just my .02.:smt033
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I know pretty much what I want. My uncle has three .357 mag revolvers, two Rugers and one S&W, all with 4" barrels. I love the way they feel. He also has a 9mm and .45 ACP semi auto pistols. Love them too. When it comes to handguns, I'm easy to please. I've shot a lot, but I don't own any. I just can't make up my mind, I need to know what to buy, within my price range. (no more than $450)
 
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