Carry revolver ... not pocket

Carry revolver ... not pocket

This is a discussion on Carry revolver ... not pocket within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi there. I'm looking to add a revolver to my lineup and thought I'd poll the group. After some initial research here are some of ...

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Thread: Carry revolver ... not pocket

  1. #1
    Member Array alnitak's Avatar
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    Jan 2007

    Carry revolver ... not pocket

    Hi there. I'm looking to add a revolver to my lineup and thought I'd poll the group. After some initial research here are some of my thoughts:
    • I'm not looking for pocket carry, so super lightweight, small size is not an issue (although I don't want a 2 1/2# gun sitting on my waist all day either)
    • Looking for more of a general purpose gun, that could be carried in an IWB, or as my one and only bug out gun (so not just SD)
    • Prefer the option of shooting .38 and .357 (I could give up the .357, but must have at least .38+P capability)
    • I think I would like 3" with adjustable sights (option for night sights a plus), for the flexibility in non-SD situations (e.g., shooting; a 4" may be an option, but it has issues for ease of IWB carry
    • Hammer or not?
    • Prefer 6 (or 7) shots to 5
    • Would like a reasonable grip that I could get my hand around

    I have looked at a number of S&W models -- 60, 686, 386PD, 10, 642/442/342, etc. but can't decide. The airweights are limited to .38 and +P (thought the 386 shoots .357), and have 5 shots (as does the 60). I like the 686 Plus in 3", but it's 2.3 lbs in weight (unloaded). I also know Taurus and others make comparable models, and the Ruger SP101 has a good reputation. I'd like to spend under $500 for one, even if I have to buy it used. Also, not sure about the 6- vs. 7-shot cylinders. Any issues with strength over time of the 7-shot in .357?

    So, what are my options and which would you choose?

  2. #2
    Member Array Samson1's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    I don't know if you're interested in Ruger, but they make some fine revolvers IMO. They are 100% reliable and built to handle the .357 load. They are typically heavier than the S&W models but worth it because of their strength again IMO. The ruger SP101 is the smaller of the .357 ruger line and probably would conceal better, however I've heard nothing but good things about the GP100 which comes in 4, 5, 6" barrels I believe. The SP101 comes in 2" and 3" barrels. Anyway, food for thought and good luck finding your wheel gun

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Take a look at S&W mod 65 heavy 3'' barrel. It's 357 mag.

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  5. #4
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    Array archer51's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Take a look at the Taurus Tracker model 627. SS 4" model, 7 round .357 mag., 29 oz.

    Taurus International Manufacturing Inc

  6. #5
    Member Array Hamour's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Texas / Saudi
    Mod. 19 2.5 inch bbl

    This would be and is my choice.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array LeCalsey's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    2A Friendly State
    S&W is always a good wheeler but Taurus has been historically good and reliable. I own a 4" Rossi .357 in SS that has been nothing but flawless. If you can find one, mine ran about $250.00 but that was a few years ago. I think Taurus and Rossi merged awhile back.
    2A is not negotiable

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
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    I like the looks of the Perfromance center R8 form Smith. Its an 8 shot .357 on an N frame I believe. and very light wieght to boot. But for a solid revolver you cant go wrong with the 686v or model 19. or the gp100s from Ruger.
    Friends don't let friends be MALL NINJAS.

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  9. #8
    Member Array 18DAI's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    2.5" K-frame. I went with the pre lock model 66. No lock for increased reliability, and stainless for decreased maintenance in the hot and humid weather. Good luck with the search! Regards 18DAI.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Western Colorado
    I alternate between my S&W 686+ with 2-1/2" barrel and my Ruger SP101 with 2-1/4" barrel. I recommend either of these 2 for carry. Of course I like some weight to my revolvers.

  11. #10
    Member Array OM44's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Santa Teresa, NM, USA


    I, too, prefer a revolver for a carry weapon because I am tired of all
    the malfunctions that occurred with my semi-autos. I have never had
    a revolver malfunction, although I have to admit I have heard of

    Anyway, It is good that you are looking at snubbys for defensive
    purposes. If you must carry a Smith, take a look at the .44 special
    model 396. If you don't absolutely have to carry a S&W, take a look
    at other manufacturer's models. I carry a Charter Arms Bulldog, which
    is a great gun, and didn't cost me near as much as a Smith would

    Just make sure whatever you choose fits your hand and fires at least
    a .357 or larger diameter bullet.

    Good luck and Be Safe!

    The Second Amendment is NOT about hunting!

  12. #11
    Senior Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    May 2007
    I'm a big fan of the revolver for personal self defense. I'm still totin' and shootin' the same revolver since the mid 1970s. Spent some years occasionally carrying a 1911 Colt .45 and infrequently rely on a Kel Tec P3AT but prefer the Smith & Wesson K-Frame revolver above all. In my experience its record for dependability is second to none. I really like the S&W Model 10 in 2-inch or 4-inch guise so the 3-inch is bound to be a great choice. The Model 10 easily handles all the .38 Special +P ammunition you are willing to buy to feed it and it soaks up recoil well. My favorite Model 10 is still accurate and reliable after firing tens of thousands of rounds over the past 33 years with never any repairs required.

    For the option of .357 Magnum capability, Satcong's suggestion of the S&W Model 65 is best. It has simple and rugged fixed sights that won't snag on clothing and will hit at or near point of aim with most good self defense loads. It's blued counterpart is the Model 13. An elegant and effective choice for those who require adjustable sights is the 2 1/2-inch or 4-inch Models 19 and 66 (66 for those perferring stainless steel).

    For a .357 Magnum concealed carry revolver I'd pick a K-Frame Smith & Wesson over either their J-Frame or L-Frame .357 models because of K-Frame's unique dimensions, weight, and balance.

    All the K-Frame Smith & Wesson .357s are now only available on the used market but a clean one would represent the best .357 carry weapon.

    And it won't have a lock!

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Weeelll... for defensive carry, it's not quite as expansive as it would seem. The S&Ws are very good, my preference would be the 640, 65, or 686, with 3" barrels in the Js, and a 4" on the L frame, in that order. I've carried both the 640 and 686, and for general carry, the 640 is pretty much the last word. The 686 is significantly larger and heavier, with no significant increase in capacity, though you can pick up some velocity by getting the 4" barrel. The 2.5" 686 is fun, but not practical, nor an especially good platform for .357 mag.

    Ruger is much the same. I would prefer the 3" SP101 to the 4" GP-100.

    Charter, Taurus and S&W have, at times, all made fine guns. However, as much as I despise Ruger's corporate policies, I would have to say they have been the most consistent in turning out good guns.

    You can certainly carry a 6 shot, but for year round carry, the 5 shots are easier to fit in a variety of clothing styles.

    Bear in mind, a 5 shot 3" revo is only 1/2" shorter, and not much lighter than a 15 round Glock 19.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Another vote for the M65. Can't go wrong with a classic K-frame. In my experience the three inch barrels are harder to find and more expensive than the 4 inch.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Mt Airy, NC
    Smith's are my favorite wheel guns. Every gun collection should have at least one 686, in a proper holster you won't even know it is there after a couple weeks. My wife carries a model 60 in a Galco Speed master, nice high riding, close to the body pancake holster. Good luck.

    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
    Carry On!

  16. #15
    Member Array drs1457's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    SC & ATL
    Yesterday I was carrying my S&W 686P 6" in a Bianchi X15 shoulder rig under a heavy coat. Felt great.
    NRA, IDPA, GSSF & GSSA member
    Certified Glock Armorer

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