Wheelgunners! I seek guidance!

Wheelgunners! I seek guidance!

This is a discussion on Wheelgunners! I seek guidance! within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My New Year's Resolution will be to get me my first honest revolver. I can't afford a brand new one specially a Miculec-type gun so ...

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 35

Thread: Wheelgunners! I seek guidance!

  1. #1
    VIP Member
    Array Miggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Miami-Dade, FL

    Smile Wheelgunners! I seek guidance!

    My New Year's Resolution will be to get me my first honest revolver. I can't afford a brand new one specially a Miculec-type gun so I will be hunting for a "bargain." But since my knowledge of revolvers is almost nill, I seek your advice.

    My only experience with a revolver (Other than the NAA 22 rifle I have hidden somewhere in the house) is with a S&W Model 13 about 20 years ago when I was just shedding my liberal anti-gun ways. My roomate in college had one and let me shoot it as much as I could afford the ammo and kept it clean. I felt it was a great gun and I know it felt great in my hand. I do remember something about square butt and N frame, but that's it.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
    Signed: Me!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array razorblade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Alexandria, Va
    What exactly are you looking for? something for self-defense or for plinking? I really like Smith and Wesson revolvers (my personal taste) and probably the "funnest" revolver I've shot from them would have to be their trusty Model 10 in 38spl.

    I've shot various S&W models, up to and including the .500 (which I swear I'll never do again), however I always seem to gravitate towards the Model 10.
    I've heard good things from Ruger revolvers, and I've personally shot both the GP100 and the SP101. They are good revolvers, but they don't catch my eye like the S&W's do (I'm a gun snob, what can I say).

    I don't like borrowing material from other websites, but a few years ago, I found Jim March's Revolver Checklist pretty helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by JIM MARCH'S REVOLVER CHECKLIST
    So you're buying a revolver. New, used, doesn't matter, you want a good one, right?

    How do check one over without firing it, right at the dealer's counter or gun show table?

    This is how. All of this works with DA or SA wheelguns..."close the action" on most DAs means swing the cylinder in, on SA types, close the loading gate, on breakopens, close 'em. UNLOADED.

    WARNING: most of these tests require violation of the "finger off trigger" rule. Therefore, be extremely careful about safe muzzle direction and making sure the gun is unloaded ahead of time, PERSONALLY, as you begin handling it.

    Note: bring a small flashlight, something small and concentrated. A Photon or similar high-powered LED light is perfect. You also want feeler gauges if you're not used to eyeballing cylinder gaps; at a minimum, bring a .002", .004" and .006".

    Note2: no dry firing is required or desired at any point. It just pisses off the gun's current owner.

    Cylinder play.

    1) With the gun UNLOADED (check for yourself!), close the action.

    2) Thumb the hammer back, and while pulling the trigger, gently lower the hammer all the way down while keeping the trigger back - and KEEP holding the trigger once the hammer is down. (You've now put the gun in "full lockup" - keep it there for this and most other tests.)

    3) With the trigger still back all the way, check for cylinder wiggle. Front/back is particularly undesirable; a bit of side to side is OK but it's a bad thing if you can wiggle it one way, let go, and then spin it the other way a fraction of an inch and it stays there too. At the very least, it should "want" to stop in just one place (later, we'll see if that place is any good). The ultimate is a "welded to the frame" feeling.

    Cylinder gap

    4) Still holding the trigger at full lockup, look sideways through the barrel/cylinder gap. If you can get a credit card in there, that ain't good...velocity drops rapidly as the gap increases. Too tight isn't good either, because burnt powder crud will "fill the gap" and start making the cylinder spin funky. My personal .38snubbie is set at .002, usually considered the minimum...after about 40 shots at the range, I have to give the front of the cylinder a quick wipe so it spins free again. I consider that a reasonable tradeoff for the increased velocity because in a real fight, I ain't gonna crank 40 rounds out of a 5-shot snub .

    If you're eyeballing it, you'll have to hold it up sideways against an overhead light source.

    SAFETY WARNING: This step in particular is where you MUST watch your muzzle direction. Look, part of what's happening here is that you're convincing the seller you know your poop . It helps the haggling process. If you do anything unsafe, that impression comes completely unglued.


    5) You really, REALLY want an unloaded gun for this one. This is where the light comes in. With the gun STILL held in full lockup, trigger back after lowering the hammer by thumb, you want to shine a light right into the area at the rear of the cylinder near the firing pin. You then look down the barrel . You're looking to make sure the cylinder bore lines up with the barrel. Check every cylinder - that means putting the gun in full lockup for each cylinder before lighting it up.

    You're looking for the cylinder and barrel holes to line up perfectly, it's easy to eyeball if there's even a faint light source at the very rear of both bores. And with no rounds present, it's generally easy to get some light in past where the rims would be.


    (We're finally done with that "full lockup" crap, so rest your trigger finger. )

    6) Swing the cylinder open, or with most SAs pull the cylinder. Use the small flashlight to scope the bore out. This part's easy - you want to avoid pitting, worn-out rifling, bulges of any sort. You want more light on the subject than just what creeps in from the rear of the cylinder on the timing check.

    You also want to check each cylinder bore, in this case with the light coming in from the FRONT of each hole, you looking in from the back where the primers would be. You're looking for wear at the "restrictions" at the front of each cylinder bore. That's the "forcing cone" area and it can wear rapidly with some Magnum loads. (Special thanks to Salvo below for this bit!)


    7) To test a trigger without dry-firing it, use a plastic pen in front of the hammer to "catch" it with the off hand, especially if it's a "firing pin on the hammer" type. Or see if the seller has any snap-caps, that's the best solution. Flat-faced hammers as found in transfer-bar guns (Ruger, etc) can be caught with the off-hand without too much pain .

    SA triggers (or of course a DA with the hammer cocked) should feel "like a glass rod breaking". A tiny amount of take-up slack is tolerable, and is common on anything with a transfer bar or hammerblock safety.

    DA triggers are subjective. Some people like a dead-smooth feel from beginning of stroke to the end, with no "warning" that it's about to fire. Others (myself included) actually prefer a slight "hitch" right at the end, so we know when it's about to go. With that sort of trigger, you can actually "hold it" right at the "about to fire" point and do a short light stroke from there that rivals an SA shot for accuracy. Takes a lot of practice though. Either way, you don't want "grinding" through the length of the stroke, and the final stack-up at the end (if any) shouldn't be overly pronounced.

    Detecting Bad Gunsmithing:

    8) OK, so it's got a rock-solid cylinder, a .002" or .003" gap, and the trigger feels great. Odds are vastly in favor of it being tuned after leaving the factory.

    So was the gunsmith any good?

    First, cock it, then grab the hammer and "wiggle it around" a bit. Not too hard, don't bang on it, but give it a bit of up/down, left/right and circular action with finger off trigger and WATCH your muzzle direction.

    You don't want that hammer slipping off an overly polished sear. You REALLY don't want that . It can be fixed by installing factory parts but that'll take modest money (more for installation than hardware costs) and it'll be bigtime unsafe until you do.

    The other thing that commonly goes wrong is somebody will trim the spring, especially coil springs. You can spot that if you pull the grip panels, see if the spring was trimmed with wire cutters. If they get too wild with it, you'll get ignition failures on harder primers. But the good news is, replacement factory or Wolf springs are cheap both to buy and have installed.

    There's also the legal problems Ayoob frequently describes regarding light triggers. If that's a concern, you can either swap back to stock springs, or since you bought it used there's no way to prove you knew it was modified at all .

    In perspective:

    Timing (test #5) is very critical...if that's off, the gun may not even be safe to test-fire. And naturally, a crappy barrel means a relatively pricey fix.

    Cylinder gap is particularly critical on short-barreled and/or marginal caliber guns. If you need every possible ounce of energy, a tight gap helps. Some factory gaps will run as high as .006"; Taurus considers .007" "still in spec" (sigh). You'll be hard-pressed to find any new pieces under .004" - probably because the makers realize some people don't clean 'em often (or very well) and might complain about the cylinder binding up if they sell 'em at .002".

    The guns in a dealer's "used pile" are often of unknown origin, from estate sales or whatever. Dealers don't have time to check every piece, and often don't know their history. These tests, especially cyliner gap and play, can spot a gun that's been sent off for professional tuning...like my snubbie, the best $180 I ever spent .

    As long as the gun is otherwise sound (no cracks, etc) a gunsmith can fix any of this. So these tests can help you pick a particularly good new specimen, or find a good used gun, or help haggle the price down on something that'll need a bit of work.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I second the opinion of the S&W Model 10. I got my Dad's when he passed away, and both my wife and I enjoy shooting it. It's heavy enough that there's little recoil, and it shoots where you want it to shoot! It would serve very well as an inexpensive and quality "starter revolver".

    Another idea, especially if carry may be in the picture, is the S&W 642, a stainless 5-shot .38 Special +P that weighs just 15 ounces. New about $400.

    Good luck, and enjoy whatever wheelgun you choose!
    "It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it outĒ Ė Clint Smith

  4. Remove Advertisements

  5. #4
    Member Array mike11b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Wilmington, DE
    As a cop, I carry and shoot a semi auto regularly, but I'm partial to revolvers (S&W 642 .38 +p and S&W 325PD 2.5 inch .45 ACP) for off duty carry, especially in the summer time. As a note, while the J frame S&W in it's many styles (mods. 36, 60, 640, 642/442, 340/342) are popular for their small size and weight, they require dutiful practice to shoot well because of their size and weight. You can buy a brand new hammerless centennial model (442/642) for about $350-375, with Taurus revolvers of the same size and quality (mods. 85, or their C.I.A.) running $25-50 less.
    You can go up a bit in size and weight to the K Frame S&W (mod. 10 in .38 or mod. 66 in .357, with brings you 6 rounds in the cylinder, and barrel lengths from 2 - 4 inches. These are are steel, but not hard to carry with the right rig,and more forgiving with regards to size of sigths and sight radius - and you can find good deals on gunbroker.com, gunsamerica.com, or auctionarms.com if you look. If it's just a house gun, with some range shooting in between, you can find a good quality S&W mod. 65 in .357 with fixed sights and 4" barrel with a bit of research. Aboutthe only thing a "used" revolver needs is some good grips and some TLC if it's in the fair to good condition category.
    As a personal note, i found the model 625 in .45 ACP to be the best revolver for my purposes, and while Ihad to save up a bit to get my first used one (for about $500) I never looked back....and then got the325 PD (with shorter barrel and lightwieght frame)...just start yourself a "gun fund". augment it with a bit of OT money and aome tax return money, and you'll be there.
    Stay Safe...and always check your six!

  6. #5
    Member Array 18DAI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    The model 13 is an excellent choice. It's a K-frame, and balances perfectly in the hand. Light weight to carry too. They can be had for cheap on the auction sites. Stay with the 13 no dash, -1, -2, and -3. At the -4 mark the cheapening, or cost cutting depending on your point of view, began. The Model 19 is another excellent choice, same as the 13 with adjustable sights. There are still LNIB examples out there. Be advised, as more people see the current production revolvers from Safety Hammer, the price on the good ones is climbing. Hope this helps. Regards 18DAI.

  7. #6
    VIP Member
    Array CopperKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Spokane area, WA
    I have very little experience with SW revolvers. My regular carry gun is a Ruger SP101 .357.

    The pluses- It's built like a tank, solid as it can be. It has a great natural point of aim for my hand and the recoil has almost no muzzle flip for a quick follow up shot. Can fire .357 or .38 spl. The grip is a compact rubber and feels better (to me anyway) than the SW grips.

    The minuses- It is only a 5 shot. It is heavier than most of the SW carry guns.

    In my opinion, it's worth an eval shoot if you can live with the minuses.
    eschew obfuscation

    The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006

    I assume this is for carry

    The S&W model 13 you mentioned is a blued, K frame .357 magnum revolver (you didn't mention the barrel length).

    Since you are posting here, I would assume that the revolver you are looking for would be for concealed carry, and that you probably want a short barrel, in the 2 to 3 inch range. I like revolvers myself, and have often carried one. Their simplicity and reliability appeal to me, they are surprisingly easy to conceal, and they can be shot very accurately with a little practice.

    I think the best caliber for a CCW revolver is probably .357 magnum. The track record of this caliber in stopping a threat is excellent, and there are lots of choices for guns and ammo in this caliber. The old .38 special is a bit underpowered in my opinion, and the larger .44 and .45 caliber revolvers tend to be rather wide in the cylinder for easy concealment.

    The revolver I use most for CCW is a 15 year old S&W model 66 with 2.5 inch barrel, a stainless K frame clone of the blued model 13 you used to shoot. The model 66 is all steel and fairly heavy at 32 ounces, but pretty small in dimensions with a slender barrel and grip area. The weight of the gun makes shooting .357 magnum ammo very easy, as it handles the recoil quite well. I have the Hogue "Bantam" grips on the gun, and with its round butt it conceals much better than the grip on any semiauto I have in similar size. It simply does not print, even under a T shirt. The best thing is that the gun only cost about $300 used a year ago, when I bought it from a local police detective who carried it on duty (he was switching to a semiauto).

    After practicing with the gun for a while, I am confident that I can shoot it fairly rapidly in double action about as well at short range as I can shoot most semiautos in single action. The trigger is smooth and easy to use, once you are accustomed to it. I carry it in an OWB leather holster from PWL.

    Last edited by pogo2; December 30th, 2006 at 09:24 AM.

  9. #8
    VIP Member
    Array nn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Smiths are good, rugers are tough also

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Parts Unknown
    i would look for a model 19 and/or model 66 in four inch barrel. you can pickup a good use one these days. this gun will work as a range gun and carry gun. also you could look for a model 36 and/or 60 in 38sp. thisws guns work well as a carry gun. they are not as fun on the range as the m19/66. but shooting any gun on the range is better that a day at work.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

    Red State State of Mind

  11. #10
    Member Array BexSoCal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    I have a Taurus 605 2" .357 Magnum and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! It has a wonderful trigger in both DA & SA. Of course, you don't have to add the Pink Grips.

    I also have an S&W 500 Magnum 4", but I only carry that when I visit Jurassic Park.

  12. #11
    Lead Moderator
    Array rstickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Laurel, MD
    Quote Originally Posted by BexSoCal View Post
    Of course, you don't have to add the Pink Grips.
    That is so......... Well, SoCal!!!!

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  13. #12
    Member Array BexSoCal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by rstickle View Post
    That is so......... Well, SoCal!!!!
    LMAO You are so right!

    But there's a story behind those grips and the guys made me put them on.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    The info I find on this board never ceases to amaze me. These are great, knowledgeable, informative responses.

    While I own a couple of wheelies, this thread has shown me (again) how little I know.

    And I am having fun learning.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    If budget is an issue, I can recommend the Rossi Model 462. I got mine for 275.00 brand new. It shoots well, is made tight and has a decent finish for the price. It's a 2" .357, but heavy enough that shooting .357 rounds isn't painful. They also come with a lifetime warranty and have an overall positive review online.

    I pocket carry it some, but picked it up mostly for a hiking gun that I could carry some of the shotshell rounds in.
    ...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Fitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    So. Central PA

    What is it for?

    I'm not clear on what the purpose of the revolver is. I have several, none of them for CCW. Revolvers come in essentially two major categories: Single Action (which look more or less like the old Colt Single Action Peacemaker cowboy gun), and double action, which there are a number of pictures of in earlier posts. Both are fun to shoot.

    Single actions require cocking the hammer before shooting. These two are Ruger Hunter models, the top one is a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44magnum Bisley Hunter, the other one (with darker grips) is a Ruger Single Six Hunter in .22LR/.22Magnum convertible (two cylinders).

    Their main purpose is hunting game animals and plinking with the .22. Single Action .22's are a lot of fun to shoot. When I take these two to the range (which I did yesterday) I usually shoot a dozen or so .44mag, couple dozen .44Spl, and between 100 and 200 .22LR. I shoot a few .22Magnums as well because that is what is used for Gopher elimination.

    Double actions can be fired by pulling the trigger (double action) or single action by cocking the hammer, then pulling the trigger. DA is the usual combat mode, single action is the usual target or game hunting mode. Double action revolvers are commonly available in every caliber and barrel length from 2" .22's to 9" or longer barreled S&W .500. What you get depends on what you want it for. These two are my wife's guns.

    The Stainless one is an S&W 6" barrel Model 686 in .357 magnum. It currently has Crimson Trace Laser Grips on it (not shown). The blued one is a S&W Model 17 in .22LR which she bought because it is about the same size and weight as the 686 but a lot cheaper to shoot and fun to practice with. When she drags me to the range (about once a week) she usually shoots 18 .38Spl +P and 150 or so .22LR.

    There were a lot of pictures of CCW types, I figured that, maybe, you might consider a revolver for some other purpose.

    Possibly the best HD revolver made is the S&W Model 327 TRR8. It is an 8 shot Titanium Framed .357 Magnum, steel cylinder, 5" barrel, removable rail on the front for a light, takes CT laser grips, and comes with a removable top rail suitable for a red dot sight or other optical sight. Nedra preferred the 686 because it was 10 oz heavier, had an inch longer barrel, and she just loved how it shot for her. She can do a 2" group at 50' with that gun firing single action.

    My HD gun is a Glock 19 with Lasermax and rail light. My CCW gun is a PPK/S. My fun guns are revolvers.


Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Similar Threads

  1. Too much to put into title, but looking for guidance
    By AllAbtSlfDef in forum Defensive Knives & Other Weapons
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: April 6th, 2010, 11:04 AM
  2. Need some guidance
    By Strokin99 in forum Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: August 6th, 2008, 08:50 PM
  3. Your opinion and guidance please
    By tns0038 in forum Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: May 28th, 2008, 09:32 PM
  4. Guidance for G26 holster
    By tns0038 in forum Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: February 27th, 2008, 05:46 PM
  5. In need of technological guidance
    By BigJon in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: March 31st, 2007, 12:17 AM

Search tags for this page

38 gun


38 spl handgun for small game


38 super smith wesson revolver spl

hammerless s&w model 10
hogue bantam model 10

revolver 38 spl smith and wesson

revolver smith & wesson 38spl

s&w model 10 for sale


s&w model 10 hogue


smith & wesson 38 spl


smith & wesson model 10 for sale



Click on a term to search for related topics.