In the market for a revolver

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Thread: In the market for a revolver

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    Senior Member Array Fausty's Avatar
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    In the market for a revolver

    What are my options on a .38/.357? I want the ability to shoot both rounds. .38 if the wife wants to carry it, and .357 if I use it as a "run to the store in my sweatpants" gun.

    On another note I prefer non-ferrous metals. Stainless, titanium, or aluminum are a plus.
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    I just got a Taurus Poly Pro in 357 mag. I was skeptical when I first saw it at the gun store. It feel good in the hand and has proven to be a good shooter. It was my first snubbie and it didn't take long to get respectable groups at 25ft. It has a good kick, but the gun is well designed and seems to absorb the recoil well. Good luck, there are lots of great revolvers to choose from.

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    Ruger SP101...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fausty View Post
    What are my options on a .38/.357? I want the ability to shoot both rounds. .38 if the wife wants to carry it, and .357 if I use it as a "run to the store in my sweatpants" gun.

    On another note I prefer non-ferrous metals. Stainless, titanium, or aluminum are a plus.
    Stainless steel is ferrous. Stainless steel is the way to go if you want .357 Magnum capabilities in my view. A stainless steel revolver would offer some weight to soak up recoil. I like the 2 1/2-inch Smith & Wesson Model 66 myself but that revolver is now discontinued. It's about as small and light as I want to go with a .357 Magnum. It still holds six shots rather than the five shots most small .357 Magnums hold. The Smith & Wesson Model 60 and Model 649 look good if a person really wants a 5-shot, J-Frame type of .357 Magnum snub.
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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    The Ruger SP101 meets your specs above, but if I tried to carry it in sweatpants they'd be around my ankles within 3 steps. It's a heavy gun. The S&W Airweight j-frame variants are great for the purpose you state, but mostly come in .38. The S&W 340PD is an Airweight j-frame in .357, but that's a handful of light weight gun to hang on to shooting .357. You can always get it and decide to shoot .38s if the .357 is a bit stout. It at least gives you the option.
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    S&W Model 60.
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    The S&W 642 aluminum body is the biggest seller of all the Smith's but is .38 spl only. I also had a .357 360PD (340 has covered hammer) which was scandium and titanium but would not recommend it as it is just too light to enjoy shooting even plain .38's in. Your wife would hate it and it is the only gun I ever shot in my life that took skin off of my hand. Great to carry but not to shoot. I have used, carried and owned snub nose revolvers for over 4 decades with my first being a Colt Detective Special back in 71. Right now I carry a .357 LCR. Polymer frame and not too light or heavy. Just the right weight for carry and making shooting .357 not painful. The .38 LCR is only 13 oz. and a dream to carry with got .38 spl +P ammo. In my opinion it has a better trigger than any S&W out of the box and is polymer with a SS steel cylinder and barrel. The price is under $500, has great recoil absorbing Hogue grips or as I have, thinner and just as comfortable CT laser grips. I carry mine in my pocket or on my belt. I have taught a few elderly ladies to shoot the LCR and they like it a lot. There are lots of great snub nose guns out there made by S&W but their .357 models are either heavy or too light. Frankly most of us carry .38 spl +P instead of .357. More controllable and easier/faster to get back on target for follow up shots. Plus they will not make your ears ring if shot indoors. I use both ear plugs and muffs when I shoot .357's but I understand that young men like to carry .357 magnums around as I once did. However after a lot of training and experience it is Speer short barrel 135 gr. .28 Spl +P for me. More practical and pretty effective. My snub noses have been so good that the only two civilian encounters I had involved just showing them to scare off the multiple bad guys. Mine were so powerful that they had no shot stops. :)
    Last edited by Old_Dog; April 11th, 2013 at 09:47 AM.
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    Senior Member Array Fausty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Stainless steel is ferrous.
    Yes you are right. SS is made of Iron (FE), Nickel, and Chromium. However it does not rust, and is not magnetic which causes it to sometimes be classified as non-ferrous. I guess what I meant to say was "I prefer a metal that won't rust".
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    Senior Member Array Fausty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Dog View Post
    The S&W 642 aluminum body is the biggest seller of all the Smith's but is .38 spl only. I also had a .357 360PD (340 has covered hammer) which was scandium and titanium but would not recommend it as it is just too light to enjoy shooting even plain .38's in. Your wife would hate it and it is the only gun I ever shot in my life that took skin off of my hand. Great to carry but not to shoot. I have used, carried and owned snub nose revolvers for over 4 decades with my first being a Colt Detective Special back in 71. Right now I carry a .357 LCR. Polymer frame and not too light or heavy. Just the right weight for carry and making shooting .357. In my opinion it has a better trigger than any S&W out of the box and is polymer with a SS steel cylinder and barrel. The price is under $500, has great recoil absorbing Hogue grips or as I have, thinner and just as comfortable CT laser grips. I carry mine in my pocket or on my belt. I have taught a few elderly ladies to shoot the LCR and they like it a lot. There are lots of great snub nose guns out there made by S&W but their .357 models are either heavy or too light. Frankly most of us carry .38 spl +P instead of .357. More controllable and easier/faster to get back on target for follow up shots. Plus they will not make your ears ring if shot indoors. I use both ear plugs and muffs when I shoot .357's but I understand that young men like to carry .357 magnums around as I once did. However after a lot of training and experience it is Speer short barrel 135 gr. .28 Spl +P for me. More practical and pretty effective. My snub noses have been so good that the only two civilian encounters I had involved just showing them to scare off the multiple bad guys. Mine were so powerful that they had no shot stops. :)
    I am not opposed to +P in .38 if it is going to have roughly the same energy as a magnum. .38 is just a weak round for me since I have the physical capability to shoot larger ones.
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    A S&W 642 (.38+P) sounds like the way to go for your intended purpose. And the terminal ballistics difference between the .38+P and .357 both out of a 1 and 7/8 inch barrel is negligible. Judicious marksmanship and the ability to put follow-up rounds on target quickly will mean more than the difference between the two rounds out of a similar weapon. JMO.
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    Senior Member Array Fausty's Avatar
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    Is the barrel stainless on that too?
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    Senior Member Array Dandyone's Avatar
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    My understanding is that snubbies don't have a long enough barrel to get the benefits if the 357... Much of the powder burns and expands after the bullet has left the barrel. An ancillary downside is that the muzzle flash from a 357 in a snubbie will leave you flash blind in darker light conditions.

    Is this true? And if so, how much barrel do you need before 357 starts making sense?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fausty View Post
    Is the barrel stainless on that too?
    On a 642 both the cylinder and barrel are stainless steel. The frame is an aluminum allow. 38+P is a hefty round out of it, and your wife can shoot standard pressure 38s out of it to tame it down a little bit. Great all around gun in my opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandyone View Post
    My understanding is that snubbies don't have a long enough barrel to get the benefits if the 357... Much of the powder burns and expands after the bullet has left the barrel. An ancillary downside is that the muzzle flash from a 357 in a snubbie will leave you flash blind in darker light conditions.

    Is this true? And if so, how much barrel do you need before 357 starts making sense?

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    This is true and not true. You ofcourse are not going to get as much velocity from the shorter barrels as you are going to from a longer barrel , but there is stll a significant more power over a standard 38 (nothing wrong with a 38 either). As far as muzzle flas I dont know, I've never had to shoot my .357 in pitch dark conditions. To me a .357 in anything just makes sense. I wouldnt trade my .357 for any caliber or gun in the world. But I'm partial to the .357. Its been a love affair since I was a kid.

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    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    The air weight Smiths can actually damage your hand shooting full power magnum loads. I know two people, one man (who works at a gun store), one woman, who couldn't shoot anything with their strong hand for nearly a year after two rounds out of one. They work for some people, not for others. Definitely not a gun you want to practice with shooting defense ammo. I'm a huge fan of the .357 magnum round, but only in an all steel framed gun. Fitch
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