New guy looking at revolvers

This is a discussion on New guy looking at revolvers within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello! I'm a new member to your group, and also decently new to handguns. I've put range time in with quite a few, and ended ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array ForsakenDrunk's Avatar
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    New guy looking at revolvers

    Hello!

    I'm a new member to your group, and also decently new to handguns. I've put range time in with quite a few, and ended up buying a Sig sp2022 9mm. I love this gun, and it works well for me. I got a theis IWB holster for it and am very comfortable with shooting and carrying it.

    Now, i'm looking at revolvers. I've tried the airweight s&w ones in .38, but i think i want something with a little longer of a barrel and is a bit meatier in the weight department. I doubt i will carry .357, probably just .38 +p.

    What can you experts sell me on? (Oh, the more economical the deal the better...so used would be fine)

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  3. #2
    Member Array Pearl's Avatar
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    Ruger SP101 comes to mind. Not a pocket revolver though, carries great IWB and OWB. Snubby version is 2.25" barrel, also available is a 3.15" barrel which IMO is the minimum ideal if you want to shoot magnums efficiently although a .357 capable snubby will do it. Everyone says it and it is true; "built like a tank". Solid and reliable. There is a hammer and a spurless hammer version BUT there is no shrouded or otherwise 'hidden' hammer version.

    If pocket carry you are best served by a smith J-frame like you looked at, the model 640 is all stainless, slightly longer barrel, and a couple hundred more in cost than the airweight or the Ruger LCR's come to mind. They are pretty awesome also and serve the same role as smiths J frame. Comes in aluminum alloy framed .38spl and .357 capable steel frame, in truth shooting magnum loads thru snubbies are horrible adventures. The heavier the gun and the longer the barrel the more controllable the recoil energy. It's just a matter of finding the balance and appropriate application for your wants and needs.

    All this of course is presuming you still wish a smaller framed revolver

  4. #3
    Member Array CPO 15's Avatar
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    Let me recommend this book, it helped me shoot my revolvers much better:


    Amazon.com: Gun Digest Book of the Revolver [Paperback]: Grant Cunningham: Books
    marcclarke and Brady like this.

  5. #4
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    I would suggest that you start here Selecting a Handgun for Defense: Part 2. Revolvers
    marcclarke likes this.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    you should easily be able to find used all-steel S&W revolvers in .38, with a 3" or 4" barrel.

    blue will probably be cheaper than stainless, and fixed sights probably cheaper than adjustable, but look around. you may be able to find a stainless, adjustable sight gun for the same amount or less than a blue, fixed sight gun.

    a used Ruger would be just as good, but harder to find. i recommend you stay with one of these two brands. Ruger has an excellent reputation for customer service, even on their older guns.

    learn how to check out a DA revolver prior to buying. you might not catch everything, but it will help you avoid an obvious lemon. a gun store or reputable mail-order dealer will probably stand behind their offerings, but ask first.
    bmcgilvray and LouisianaMan like this.

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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    Another vote for the SP101 or LCR if you pocket carry.
    "Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?"

    Revolvers, “more elegant weapons for a more civilized age.”

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    New Member Array ForsakenDrunk's Avatar
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    I just read that revolver sticky thread...good info. I didnt notice it up there before. I am probably not looking to pocket carry, most likely an IWB carry for the revolver. It seems the ruger SP101 looks pretty close to what i would like to use. I'll have to see if my LGS has one to rent. Which is more common to carry between a .357 and a .38? What do you guys prefer? I'm guessing the .38 is noticeably more easy to hit what youre aiming at, and is cheaper to practice with as well?

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I will definitely have to check out that book on amazon you linked

  9. #8
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    They both are easy to hit what you aim at, but a .38spl is easier to get back on target. Most people with a .357 snubnose shoot .38spl +p's out of it.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array DocT65's Avatar
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    In the medium weight revolver department, my preference is a S&W 686. This is a time-proven weapon and there are many available in great used condition if cost is a big concern.
    "Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6"

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  11. #10
    Member Array detindebt's Avatar
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    I have the LCR .357 and generally carry 38 +p's, but it has been my favorite J frame to date. It is easy to carry and has a nice out of the box trigger.

  12. #11
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    I'll second the SP101. I'd also recommend getting it in .357 Magnum. While you may elect to carry with 38 +P loads, you have the option of carrying .357 loads in it. If you go with a .38 you lose that option.
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    Member Array LouisianaMan's Avatar
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    Lots of good tips so far. Plus, I think you're on the right track with the idea of trying to rent before you decide, if at all possible. Frankly, I've always underestimated the importance of that--in part because I used to be enamored of "paper ballistics," and in part because I used a pistol like a mini-rifle for almost 4 decades. In other words, 2-hand hold, sight, breathe, squeeze, etc. And if you do that well, you can shoot any decent handgun pretty effectively.

    My epiphany came about over the last 5-7 years. First, I made a horrible mistake in buying two beautiful lightweight J frames for my wife and daughters, with the (erroneous) assumption that "low recoil defense ammo" would make for comfortable shooting. Big mistake. Perfect fit for them, but laws of physics combined with slick advertising to make it a disaster for my wife & daughters. Just too hot for them to hold & want to practice. Little fun for me either, a lifetime shooter.

    Second, I read a very old book whose title says a lot: "Shooting to Live with the One-Hand Gun." Shooting quickly and accurately using that method places a premium on how the gun fits your hand. The better the fit, the faster and straighter you shoot.

    So, look first at steel J frames, K frames, or Ruger LCR, SP-101 or an older Speed- or Service-Six. Barrels for OWB or IWB will range from 2-4", practically speaking, and depend on your build, clothing, hand size, holster, grips, etc. 357's give you many great ammo options, as do 38+P's, and DON'T write off the idea that a number of standard-pressure 38's merit consideration. Try a few combinations and you'll quickly get a feel for "shootability" of gun and load, especially if you shoot fast & up close. That way you'll really get a feel for your personal comfort zone, i.e. muzzle blast, flash, felt recoil, and recovery time between shots.

    Honestly, I think any of the aforementioned handguns are potentially great choices; after fit of the gun in your hand, the next biggest variable will be ammo selection. The difference between a 38 target wadcutter and a full-house 125g 357 Mag is enormous. You be the judge of speed vs. power; opinions vary widely, but what really counts is how well you personally handle the combo you choose. If you're fast & accurate, you're a real handful for a BG.
    bmcgilvray, MrsHB and gasmitty like this.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForsakenDrunk View Post
    Hello!

    I'm a new member to your group, and also decently new to handguns. I've put range time in with quite a few, and ended up buying a Sig sp2022 9mm. I love this gun, and it works well for me. I got a theis IWB holster for it and am very comfortable with shooting and carrying it.

    Now, i'm looking at revolvers. I've tried the airweight s&w ones in .38, but i think i want something with a little longer of a barrel and is a bit meatier in the weight department. I doubt i will carry .357, probably just .38 +p.

    What can you experts sell me on? (Oh, the more economical the deal the better...so used would be fine)
    A used SW model 19 (blue) or model 66 (stainless) 4 inch barrel.

    You can usually find a LNIB for under $600
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  15. #14
    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    Ruger all the way! Either an SP101 or 3" GP100.

  16. #15
    Member Array Sikiguya's Avatar
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    This thread made me wonder...if S&W built a 442 in alloy with a 3" barrel and a full ejector rod, would anyone want one?


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