Looking for a Compact Revolver

Looking for a Compact Revolver

This is a discussion on Looking for a Compact Revolver within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey everyone. I would like to hear what you guys think would be the best compact .38 revolver for a first time carrier. My dad's ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array sioux565's Avatar
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    Looking for a Compact Revolver

    Hey everyone. I would like to hear what you guys think would be the best compact .38 revolver for a first time carrier. My dad's girlfriend is in the market for her first gun and we think a revolver would be her best choice. We are open to suggestions, so lets hear what you all think!


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    I disagree that a small revolver would be the best choice for a first-timer, but if you insist then a S&W 642 or a Ruger LCR are tough to beat in the category.
    sioux565 and Yetiman like this.
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    ^^^^^^^
    I agree with his choices.
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    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array sioux565's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad426 View Post
    I disagree that a small revolver would be the best choice for a first-timer, but if you insist then a S&W 642 or a Ruger LCR are tough to beat in the category.
    Would you recommend a semi-auto then? I guess I shouldn't have made it sound like we were only looking at revolvers. My first and only gun so far is my Ruger LCP and love it. I would definitely not have a problem recommending that to anyone.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    For someone's first gun I would recommend an LCP over an LCR. Of course I am the dentist that recommends his patients who chew gum not chew Trident...
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
    Clint Eastwood

    I love Tiberius/Maggie.

  6. #6
    Ex Member Array tooldawg99's Avatar
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    A revolver should always be the first gun for a new shooter. Period. No exceptions.

    A revolver allows the shooter to concentrate on trigger and sight control without worrying about safeties, decocking levers, FTE, FTF, magazines, etc. Simply acquire a good sight picture, control the front sight, and pull the trigger.

    Once a handgun is proven to be reliably and accurately fired, a new shooter can move on to an auto-loader, but many non-enthusiasts will stay with a revolver as it is a proven and simple platform. There is no way a new-shooter should be burdened with all of the intricasies/technicalities/potential problems associated with auto-loaders. Let them master basic shooting skills first, and that will ALWAYS be easier/faster/more effective with a revolver. Period.

    Come on... you guys know that!
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooldawg99 View Post
    A revolver should always be the first gun for a new shooter. Period. No exceptions.

    A revolver allows the shooter to concentrate on trigger and sight control without worrying about safeties, decocking levers, FTE, FTF, magazines, etc. Simply acquire a good sight picture, control the front sight, and pull the trigger.

    Once a handgun is proven to be reliably and accurately fired, a new shooter can move on to an auto-loader, but many non-enthusiasts will stay with a revolver as it is a proven and simple platform. There is no way a new-shooter should be burdened with all of the intricasies/technicalities/potential problems associated with auto-loaders. Let them master basic shooting skills first, and that will ALWAYS be easier/faster/more effective with a revolver. Period.

    Come on... you guys know that!
    Well, I'm not sure I agree, but what I said is I disagree that a small revolver should be her first gun. Lots of people (especially women) like the idea of a small gun but then can't believe how rough it is to shoot. I find that to be especially true with 2" revolvers with their long trigger pull and light weight. I would be find recommending a 4" revolver as someone's first gun, but not a snubbie.
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
    Clint Eastwood

    I love Tiberius/Maggie.

  8. #8
    Member Array MLittle's Avatar
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    Before you buy anything........go to the range and have her rent one of those small 38's first. They are compact and light, but if she has never fired one before I'd bet she will NOT like the recoil. There are lots of blog strings talking about buying a wife/girlfriend a small revolver.....then finding out they hate it. Spend some money and time at a range with her and have her try some revolvers and compact pistols before you buy anything.......it will save your Dad lots of grief.
    sensei2, Brad426 and bgusty like this.

  9. #9
    Member Array lowercase's Avatar
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    I got my wife a small revolver for her first gun. She (from a country with no private gun ownership) had never shot anything, and was intimidated by autos.

    I picked up a little Model 36 Chief's Special because I wanted the extra weight of a steel frame vs my Airweight Model 642.

    She was brand new to firearms, so I loaded it (actually started her off on my S&W Model 10 4") with very soft-recoiling wadcutter rounds and taught her to shoot single action to get the hang of the gun, and then stepped her up to double-action.

    I would NOT suggest starting a first-timer off with a something like a 642 or 442. They are quite snappy and a novice shooter won't want to practice with it. At worst, that leads to a gun, with which the owner is not proficient, being carried almost as a talisman to ward off evil and giving a very false sense of security.

    Here's a pic of my wife's Model 36.

    mod36flatlatch.jpg

    Oops, wrong pic. HERE's a pic of my wife's Model 36. That flat latch model above is MINE.

    newmodel36.jpg
    bmcgilvray and Brad426 like this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Hot Wing's Avatar
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    S&w 442

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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Ruger LCR. I have had REALLY bad luck with S&W j-frames recently.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Ruger LCR outstand option you can't go wrong.
    Another good option S&W BodyGuard 38 +P

  13. #13
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    Revolvers are simple to operate in comparison to semiautos. Even the lighter ones aren't bad with mild loads. No, I wouldn't suggest .38 +Ps the first time out. Best bet is to find a range that rents several models and styles. Plenty of women shoot calibers much more powerful than .38s. But they have to want to.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
    Ruger LCR. I have had REALLY bad luck with S&W j-frames recently.
    You've had bad luck with several guns recently, not just j-frames.

  15. #15
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    Go for a compact revolver if you like but make it an all-steel revolver. Light weight aluminum, titanium, and scandium alloys are so overrated and oversold as is plastic which is cheapo. Steel Smith & Wesson J-Frames, Colt Detective Specials, and Ruger SP 101s are so sensible and practical. Even the 2-inch, 2 1/2-inch, and 3-inch Smith & Wesson K-Frames are plenty compact and offer something one could actually use very well for gunfighting.
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