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Can anyone recommend a .357 Mag Revolver?

5765 Views 56 Replies 48 Participants Last post by  kikr
Do not know much about the cartridge or revolvers........but I am interested in getting one.
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Well lets see im a Colt Ruger guy so i can recommend a

Ruger Police/security/speed six for a good used cheep wheelie

Or a gp100 or a sp101 all good guns..

For colt ya have to go used but the trooper or king cobra are nice now if ya got lots of $$$ a Python is as good as it gets

I know about squat about smith wheelies really so i cant off anything there but theres plenty of smith fans round here and they will pipe up and give you some ideals..

Then ya got the question of 2" 4" 6" i like a 6 inch for target shooting 4 inch if shooting 38's 2 inch for really concealed carry with 38's

Course i carry a 1911 most must this is just my 2$ worth
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Get a S&W you won't be sorry. It really depends on what you want it for. For carrying get a used 2 1/2 inch, these Models are great, Models 60,19 and 66. For target shooting, look for a Model 686 in four inch. It will outlast you.

I buy used all the time now. S&W wheelguns are a great buy.
Ridge Runner:
As much as the deal S&W struck with the Klinton Regime still sticks in my craw, if you want a carry .357, get S&W. Like everyone has said, go used. As to which one, that's up to you.

Any 3" Smith for CCW. 4 or 6" Ruger for home defense. Colt Python for pure shooting/viewing/all 'round looking at.
RR - can you be more specific - re carry, carry and plink - or just plink or hunt etc.

There are truly many options for this excellent cartridge.... and you'll get the full range of suggestions too I'll bet as we all have our faves!
S&W are fine pistols. But I must say I love my 357 Python snubby. However, this is not my primary ccw. :viking:
I have a S&W M 60 3", I find that it is about as easily concealed as the
2 1/8 inch gun. It is a little easier to shoot, and is not a bad wilderness carry gun.
Model 66's had the weak frame issues with .357 loads. Much better is a 686 or other Smith gun. Taurus seems to make a decent revo too.

RUGER Stainless Security whatever barrel length you like. That's a nice revolver.
It is a great wheel~gun & not too much money.
If you can find one in Stainless Steel it's a very low maintenance revolver.
Look at the 17 oz Taurus 651 "CIA" in Titanium for SA-DA capability and snag free shrouded hammer, assuming (I know, I know) you want to carry. S&W and Colts are great for more $. Ruger is value but heavy. I've got a picture of the Taurus at
I know in the past a poll was taken regarding how many carried a revolver as their primary ccw. Does anyone remenber a ball park figure on the response.
I love my GP100 4" stainless. Its on tough handgun. I like Smiths, too.

It is my prime carry for work. Although I do load it with .38spl non jacket, for legal reasons. When I punch out of work. I replace the .38's, with .357 Cor-Bon.
As I recall, in round numbers, over 80% of the poll responded that they carried autos, mostly 45acp and 40 s&w. They also indicated they use IWB holsters by a large margin. Here's my spin on this. I believe that most of those who knew enough to visit in the first place, and then took the time to vote, were likely our more proficient and knowing gunners. It is comforting to note that a majority of them carry more than casually. While we recommend that newbees get a revolver, who won't practice, carry, or clean, they're not the ones who were voting in the polls. When the student advances to the pistol, and it doesn't take long, the revolver is still a valuable resource as a back up or for home defense in the spouse's hands. The .38 Special cartridge in a short titanium .357 has the most versatility without blowing out your ears in a confined space. At the other end of the spectrum, see the 180 grain Federal Premium Cast Core .357 for braining anything on both continents.
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ruger gp100 . they have a 3" fixed sighted version to. with smaller grips stock. I highley recommend this peice. I also have a dao 2" sp101 and a 6 " gp100. the trigger pulls on these guns are very good contrary to some internet complaints by other's. for full sized go gp for small frame go sp.
Anyone use the S&W AirLite 38/357's?

Opinions of them? Do they hold up well? Gimmick?

How is the recoil on them?

Make a good pocket gun?
Dont own one but the Airweights are might exciting to shoot with 357's and still pretty intersting to shoot with 38+p's Recoil is stout i dotn care to shoot them much at all ..

Must people you see shooting them at the range dont seem to like shooting them either
Ridge Runner said:
Opinions of them? Do they hold up well? Gimmick?

How is the recoil on them?

Make a good pocket gun?
I have the 642, and the only reason I have the 642 and not the 637 is that it was only 310 bucks. I feel however I can make a good comparison.

First of all, the only reason I bought this gun was for size factor and the fact it's not super expensive. I don't particularly enjoy shooting it because I don't like the short radius, I don't like the short barrel, and I don't trust the caliber out of such a short barrel.

Shooting it is both fun and not fun. It's fun because it's a challenge and it will improve your skills. It's also "fun" from the perspective that in extreme close quarters where someone may be hacking at you with a knife, it has a lot of advantages in that situation and is probably better than most full size handguns would be in that situation. It also point shoots very well at shorter distances.

It's not fun because I personally find it difficult to use very effectively past 10 yards and even then I normally practice at 10 yards and less. Now there are guys and gals who can cut a neat and pretty hole in a target with one of these but that's not me. I can put it in the black part of a bull's eye target at this range sans sights and that's about as good as I personally get with it. I could qualify for a permit with it if I had to but I sure would not enjoy it and I'd probably shoot not so well.

This is my personal skill level however. There are guys who can hit a soda can 50 yards out with these things.

Now what's funny is that I get about the same accuracy whether I am shooting fast or slow, or using the sights or not, etc. etc. While I'm not what I would consider to be very accurate with it, I am getting better and I am very conistent with it. I know that it's not in vogue for someone to admit they're not 100% ninja black belt with a given self defense tool and need some more work, but there you go.

I can tell you right now my full size revolvers are a blast and my XDs are pretty darn accurate too with a little practice, but the gun I shoot the worst is the 642. I do have a Colt Agent that's much much better in the accuracy department and I can shave an inch off my groupings with it, but this gun isn't +P rated so it's not shot a whole lot.

Throw the idea of quickly reloading it out the window because the short extractor rod just doesn't quite get the casings out.

I still carry it a lot because I have great confidence I could put two in the COM and one in the head with it at typical assholes and elbows distances. The gun does handle well for its size and I much prefer the small revolver over the small semiauto because I hate tiny little controls and tiny little magazines.

Now if you want to do something about the trigger, get the 642 because the internals in the DAO model are a little bit different and can be slicked up more. My gun is bone stock. I actually prefer the somewhat heavier trigger as a passive safety feature.

Firing it still feels like holding an Altoids tin with firecrackers exploding inside of it. I don't sweat .44 Magnum but I don't like this little thing. Switching grips helps greatly.

Now quality wise I can't knock it beyond the sprayed on finish. Mine has finish issues, but the sprayed on finish is almost all peeled off now and it looks fine. I did have to scrub it down with some steel wool to take the rough texture off of it for fear it would snag or drag in a draw.

But mechanically it's been perfect. No timing issues, no cylinder gap problems, nothing like that.

Get a good pocket holster to keep it constantly oriented and also to fluff your pocket out for easy access. You'll have to clean it for lint at least once a week even if you don't shoot it. I use a Q tip with a slightly moistened tip.

Overall, I value it, I practice with it, and I use it when nothing else foots the bill. I feel that with my Gold Dots, it's actually a worthy defense tool if I can do my part to place the shot in the old 5 point zone.

I know the in vogue thing to say is "Spend the $300 on a better holster for a full size gun" but there's times the full size handgun just doesn't work... I do try to use my full size gun as often as possible FYI. I think slicking mine up would make it considerably better. I just have to find some way to justify the expense to myself.

For a guy who actually hates to use a small handgun, it's my pick for a small handgun. I think the Colt .38 snubs are significantly better but they have a longer profile and don't fit in most of my pockets, not +P rated, no longer available from Colt, etc.

I've had about 800 rounds through mine and it hasn't missed a beat.
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Euc said:
Firing it still feels like holding an Altoids tin with firecrackers exploding inside of it.
After having owned the Ruger SP101 2 1/4" for several weeks now, I would definitely recommend it. The trigger isn't as nice as S&W but it's not horrible either. It's not a light gun and not nearly as small as a J frame but that also means that firing hot .357 loads isn't uncomfortable. And in baggy loose pants I can still conceal it in a pocket - sorta. But I think it is definitely a belt holster kind of gun.
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