New to revolvers, .357 question(s)

New to revolvers, .357 question(s)

This is a discussion on New to revolvers, .357 question(s) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I know this is heresy to many of you here, but I've never owned a revolver. My introduction to firearms as an adolescent was with ...

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Thread: New to revolvers, .357 question(s)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array GoPackman's Avatar
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    Smile New to revolvers, .357 question(s)

    I know this is heresy to many of you here, but I've never owned a revolver. My introduction to firearms as an adolescent was with a .22 cal rifle (can't remember the make). I was primarily into rifles and shotguns until I got my CCW in 12/2011. I've since bought a couple of semi-autos, including my EDC, a FS M&P 40.

    I have been doing a bunch of reading/researching and have pretty much decided on picking up a 4 or 6" GP-100 as HD and woods gun. It will NOT be used for CC. Any preferences in barrel length for those uses? Is the longer barrel front-heavy? Does the longer barrel make much of a difference velocity-wise? I have shot a buddy's 6" .44 mag Colt Anaconda with some pretty stout handloads. I could handle it but it wasn't what I would call fun. That's why I'm looking at the .357. BTW, I shoot that same .44 mag load in my Model 94 Trapper with excellent results on deer.

    Also, I thought I read somewhere that there were some kind of issues shooting a bunch of .38 special rounds out of a .357 mag cylinder. What are they, if any? Thanks for your help.

    Bill
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Re: New to revolvers, .357 question(s)

    The only issues that you might have shooting 38s is the buildup of powder residue in the cylinder, which could cause problems with the longer 357s.

    Just keep an eye on it and clean it, and there should be no problems.

    I used to have a S&W 586 that I shot 38s in all the time with no problems whatsoever when I reverted back to 357.

    Regarding barrel length, I think it's just a matter of preference. I'm sure there will be a slight velocity gain with a 6", but I don't know how much.

    I do know that some places have a minimum barrel length of 6" for hunting.



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    Senior Member Array revldm's Avatar
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    I don't know of any issues about shooting 38 in the 357. I have had a S&W 686 for years and I love it. It is what I like to call my first real gun. ( had a Rossi snub nose 38 before that) The GP is a good gun as well. I prefer the 4" barrel. It seems to be just right for HD.My late wife loved shooting 38s in that gun.

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    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    I usually shoot .38's in my .357's, with only a few rounds of Magnum JHP per session at the range.
    As for cleaning, the advice given above is good advice, and should be followed for all guns.
    I'm in favor of gun control -- I think every citizen should have control of a gun.
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    I shot a lot of .38s in my .357 Blackhawk, and it wasn't a problem. Just use a slightly oversize brass brush, like a .40/.41 size and it will scub the chamber clean. It takes a lot of .38s and neglect to build up a ring. Using .38s makes the .357 all the more versatile.
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    Shooting .38 through a .357 is not going to be a problem, you'd have to run a ton of really dirty ammo without cleaning before you might encounter enough build up in the chamber to cause difficulty loading .357 rounds. As to barrel length, for the purpose your looking at for the gun, a 4" barrel is good. The velocity difference between 4 and 6 inch barrel isn't enough to worry about for a defensive gun at defensive distances.
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    Senior Member Array GoPackman's Avatar
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    Although I don't see myself hunting with it, you did bring up an excellent point zacii. I just checked the WI DNR site on barrel length, needs to be 5 1/2 " min. measured from the firing pin to the muzzle with a closed action.

    I did read on the Ruger site that some shooters felt the 6" barrel was a little front-heavy. If I can find both, I'll just have to get them in hand before I make up my mind.

    Thanks for the info gentlemen.
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    VIP Member Array Eric357's Avatar
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    There is always the 5inch gp100 if your not going to hunt with it. I bought one off of gallery of guns a few years back when I was looking. I like the balance of it better for me than the 6 inch. Here in Illinois I can hunt with one over 4 inch but really liked the 5. If you want a 6 inch so you can hunt every once in awhile a half lug will pop up that is not as front heavy.Lots of choices.
    Last edited by Eric357; February 12th, 2013 at 09:28 AM. Reason: spelling

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    As a person who ONLY had revolvers for 20 years and just really got into semi-autos the last 4 years, the thought has never occurred to me that there are gun people out there who have never owned a wheel gun.

    I should forewarn you...once you get a long barrel revolver the thought will creep into the back of your mind "What about a snubbie?" Then you'll have to get one...then another one...and then 5 snubnose revolvers later you'll wonder how you went so long without revolvers.
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    New to revolvers, .357 question(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    As a person who ONLY had revolvers for 20 years and just really got into semi-autos the last 4 years, the thought has never occurred to me that there are gun people out there who have never owned a wheel gun.

    I should forewarn you...once you get a long barrel revolver the thought will creep into the back of your mind "What about a snubbie?" Then you'll have to get one...then another one...and then 5 snubnose revolvers later you'll wonder how you went so long without revolvers.
    I couldn't agree more!

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    Back during the "Y2K" frenzy a shooting buddy shamed me into getting a .357. My only wheelgun at the time was a .38 snub. I found a stainless Ruger Security Six with a 6-inch barrel for a decent price, and I've never regretted it. The ejector rod is shrouded but it doesn't have a full-length under-lug like the S&W 686, and compared to a 4" K-frame I would not describe it as muzzle-heavy. The GP100 has a slightly bigger frame than the Security Six but it's still a well-balanced gun. Probably if you only shot it at the range you might call it muzzle-heavy, but for home defense or a woods gun, you won't know the difference. In light of your game laws, I'd say go for the 6-incher without hesitation.
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    Member Array DaveInEdmonds's Avatar
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    My 686+ Performance Center with a 6" barrell is my favorite shooter. Incredibly accurate, very easy to handle and the best DA trigger I have ever pulled.


  13. #13
    Senior Member Array USM1976's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Back during the "Y2K" frenzy a shooting buddy shamed me into getting a .357. My only wheelgun at the time was a .38 snub. I found a stainless Ruger Security Six with a 6-inch barrel for a decent price, and I've never regretted it. The ejector rod is shrouded but it doesn't have a full-length under-lug like the S&W 686, and compared to a 4" K-frame I would not describe it as muzzle-heavy. The GP100 has a slightly bigger frame than the Security Six but it's still a well-balanced gun. Probably if you only shot it at the range you might call it muzzle-heavy, but for home defense or a woods gun, you won't know the difference. In light of your game laws, I'd say go for the 6-incher without hesitation.
    The Ruger Security Six and the SP 101 with a three inch barrel rock...excellent concealed carry handguns. Personally, I like the SP 101 better...

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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...I don't like adj. sights...so, for me, the ultimate revolver was the Speed Six...had a bobbed hammer 4" in SS that was like a Swiss watch...innards polished by one of the best...looking for another...or a 2 3/4"...
    ...they issued us S&W 66s 4"...issued the parish deputies Security Sixes...over 300 guns per order...we had about a 30% failure rate over the first year...the Deputies had 0%...that made me a Ruger lover...

    Quote Originally Posted by USM1976 View Post
    The Ruger Security Six and the SP 101 with a three inch barrel rock...excellent concealed carry handguns. Personally, I like the SP 101 better...
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    I've got an old Ruger Police Service Six blued .357 Mag 4" bbl. Still looks minty mint. I picked it up dirt cheap 16 years ago (only had 3 rounds through it when I bought it). It is a very fine revolver for most any purpose. Built like a tank and shoots like a dream. It was the predecessor of the GP100. You can still pick them up relatively inexpensively.
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