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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife had a moment of clarity and stated she should have her own firearm. She had a S&W 4" 586 and we sold it 8 years ago (too heavy). She has shot my semi-autos in varying calibers and doesn't like any of them. Our local public (free) range closed so we're left with expensive clubs with membership/initiation and huge fees required. Frequent dry firing or practice won't happen (being realistic). Taxes are killing us this year, but given the BS from the crazies over the last many months, I applaud her decision to move forward with her own revolver.

Now for the request for input: for budget reasons, we are exploring the Armscor M200 (4") or the M206 (2"), the Taurus M85 ultra light and the Rossi M351 - all .38, +P rated. Please DO NOT tell me to save and buy a Ruger or a Smith (new or used). These 3 revolvers have price points below $300 and given our tax bill this year, even this purchase will be a stretch. Don't get me wrong, I love Ruger and S&W revolvers - would buy either in a heartbeat if we had the money. However, the budget is what it is. Plus, she'll likely be lucky to fire 20 rounds per year. She won't develop the muscle memory to learn how to safely and repetitively operate any semi-auto pistol (hence, the revolver route). Of these 3, which one and why? Thanks!
 

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Just my two cents - my budget was tight...I knew what gun I wanted and waited until I could afford the one I really wanted and felt could meet the need/desire. I would have been disappointed and maybe dissatisfied if I had compromised. If you really want the ruger or smith than perhaps you should wait and save up a bit more.

Also - what does she want? What guns feel good in her hands? What does she shoot well?

As for the ones you have listed, I do not have personal experience with and will let others share their more valuable input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Points well taken. She said she wants a revolver with configuration similar to what she had - the 586 without the weight. Hogue grips can be installed on all of them (I think) and she'll need them. Her hands are somewhat large for a woman. I had nothing but trouble with Taurus in the mid-2000s, but the company (according to the forums) has stepped up its game and is now delivering better quality. Armscor - I've had several Rock Island 1911s and they did well until modified. She was extremely accurate with the 586.
 
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An ultra-lite .38 any brand snubnose is very difficult to shoot well, especially with limited range time! I have recently seen some used but very serviceable S&W model 10's go for about $275 which would be in your budget. I don't recall the model # but Taurus has a Model 10 clone that would probably be a better choice than their Model 85 series. Charter Arms might be another budget option worth looking at. I am not familiar with the Armscor models, perhaps some of the other members can provide some input on them. Good luck with your quest!
 

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Points well taken. She said she wants a revolver with configuration similar to what she had - the 586 without the weight. Hogue grips can be installed on all of them (I think) and she'll need them. Her hands are somewhat large for a woman. I had nothing but trouble with Taurus in the mid-2000s, but the company (according to the forums) has stepped up its game and is now delivering better quality. Armscor - I've had several Rock Island 1911s and they did well until modified. She was extremely accurate with the 586.
She was accurate with a 41oz steel revolver. Moving to a lightweight revolver will be different. She might shoot it better...or not. Again, have her go shoot a bunch and figure out what will work well for her. If it's in price range awesome. If not, save a bit and then get what will work best for her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
She was accurate with a 41oz steel revolver. Moving to a lightweight revolver will be different. She might shoot it better...or not. Again, have her go shoot a bunch and figure out what will work well for her. If it's in price range awesome. If not, save a bit and then get what will work best for her.
I'd love to have her shoot many to find the one she really likes. Sadly, we have no ranges in our area, let alone those offering rentals. I agree the lighter weight is likely to be problematic.

I considered Charter, but read more negative than positive reviews on way too many forums (eyes started to bleed). Taurus Model 827 is archived - no longer in production. Will re-think the Charter option
 

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I have a Taurus 85 that is a smooth as my S&W 36 and just as accurate. Maybe I'm just luck but have never had a bad Taurus revolver. I am not a fan of the ultra lite models they seem jus to snappy on recoil. JMO
 

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Bear in mind that I haven't shot any of these. I'd probably be inclined towards the M85. I don't recall reading any bad reports about the metal-framed versions, and 17oz is a decent weight for a .38. I believe Taurus had been making them for many years, and for what it's worth, usually the PT92 and their metal-framed revolvers are the items Taurus-dislikers will grudgingly admit are okay.
 

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The M206 is listed on their web site as being .38 spcl, which is to say not +P rated, if that would make a difference to you. Considering the amount of use you are predicting, it would probably be OK to practice with the standard loads with the occasional cylinder or two of +P for proof of function/re-familiarization. Then load +P for defensive use.

The spurless model is dbl action only. I don't know if that is true for the spur model or not.
 

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To stick close to your parameters, I have a little experience with Taurus. They always went "bang". DA trigger quality varied a lot. The Ribber grips do soak up recoil better than anything including Pachmayr Decelerators.

But please dispense with the "ultra light" criteria. This is as light as practical for a modicum of shooting comfort: Taurus 85SS2FS Revolver | .38 Special +P 5 Rounds Matte Stainless
 

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First - I agree that airweight .38s are brutal to shoot. Unless she is the hardest woman I've ever heard of, she'll shoot one or two rounds and put it down. So I'd avoid the Taurus M85.

Second - I personally really want to fondle a snubnose Rock Island (M206). I've been impressed with the Rock Islands I've seen so far, and at that price they are very tempting. The weight looks just about perfect on these - not heavy, but with enough mass to absorb some recoil. I could see myself buying one of these and selling my airweight j-frame if just because it's so incredibly unpleasant to shoot.

Third - As stated above, S&W Model 10s are showing up for cheap right now, as is the 640, but it's out of your price range. It might be worth stretching a bit because IMO .357 guns hold their value better than .38s.

Yes, this is also likely out of your price range, but if you want a light revolver that isn't TOO light and are ok with a 4" barrel, I highly recommend the eternal classic - Colt Police Positive Special. They are very common, shoot great, and aren't too heavy.
 

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My wife loves her LCR .38. She put a combat grip on it, so she can grip it with her whole hand and wears a weight lifting glove when she practices.

She's a petite woman who is a bit recoil shy and loves to shoot her snubby. You just never know until you try.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

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My Taurus revolvers were great. Foolishly sold them. M85 light weight ver. was easy carry. Shooting these little guns takes practice. What about a 4" Tracker. They are light but easier to shoot well?
 

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An ultra-lite .38 any brand snubnose is very difficult to shoot well, especially with limited range time! I have recently seen some used but very serviceable S&W model 10's go for about $275 which would be in your budget. I don't recall the model # but Taurus has a Model 10 clone that would probably be a better choice than their Model 85 series. Charter Arms might be another budget option worth looking at. I am not familiar with the Armscor models, perhaps some of the other members can provide some input on them. Good luck with your quest!
If you can come upon a good used S&W Model 10 or 15 4" at these prices of near, I think it would be hard to beat. These are rock solid revolvers that additionally are easy to support ie. parts, holsters, refinish etc.
 

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I get the big bore reasoning but....why not a .22 like a Walther P22 or the Ruger LCR (wheel gun) 22 LR? Price is right considering ammo cost for practice. Light, minimal recoil and a practiced shot with the right ammo is lethal. Lots said about a .22 for PD and...it's better than a sharp stick!

Just thoughts...

Decon
 

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I get the big bore reasoning but....why not a .22 like a Walther P22 or the Ruger LCR (wheel gun) 22 LR? Price is right considering ammo cost for practice. Light, minimal recoil and a practiced shot with the right ammo is lethal. Lots said about a .22 for PD and...it's better than a sharp stick!

Just thoughts...

Decon
It's an option to consider, but many DA .22 revolvers have wickedly heavy trigger pulls, and autos can be finicky. A relative has a P22 that's been solid so far, while ours usually gets through a full magazine of Mini-Mags without a FTFeed, and never has with any other type of ammo.
 
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I get the big bore reasoning but....why not a .22 like a Walther P22 or the Ruger LCR (wheel gun) 22 LR? Price is right considering ammo cost for practice. Light, minimal recoil and a practiced shot with the right ammo is lethal. Lots said about a .22 for PD and...it's better than a sharp stick!

Just thoughts...

Decon
One thing I don't see people talk about is the trigger pull on the .22 LCR is pounds heavier than the .38 version. I found a .22 LCR for a good price and passed because the trigger pull was so heavy.

EDIT: Maxwell beat me to it!
 

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Yikes your wife was carrying a 41oz steel revolver. My LCR .38 weighs 14.9oz fully loaded with liberty civil defense ammo. Sticking to your budget I would get the Taurus M85. I have no experience with one but from what I read they work ok. Get some 148gr wadcutters for the range they have a mild recoil. Hornady makes a 90gr critical defense round that has a mild recoil too.
 
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