Posted: 5/28/2002 8:31:44 AM EST
A friends daughter is looking for a revolver. She will use it to keep in her car while traveling and at her residence. She likes a barrel lenght at least 2 1/4 inches. She was looking at .357 or .38. She likes S&W Lady Smith and Taurus.
She has not actually fired one and I told her to go to a place and actually fire one before purchasing.
Any adice as to what she should try in her selection process?
Also, she is headed for Arlington or Alexandria Virginia. Any good places to shoot nearby?
I have a Taurus Ultralite Titanium model 85 and would highly recommend it. It only weights 15.5oz, which makes it easy to carry and has a ported barrel so you can shoot hot 38 special and control recoil. It’s a real nice pistol and a lot cheaper than an S&W. A 38 snub nose is a very good carry pistol for a woman, especially one new to concealed carry. I believe that a double action revolver is a better choice for a lot of people not very familiar with firearms (safer). You might consider getting the hammerless model and teaching her to shoot double action only.
You really can't go wrong with any of the snubs on the market today--looks and ergonomics is what she should look for. I suppose cost would factor in somewhere too. Whatever she feels comfortable with, take her to a gunstore and let her handle different models
Depends on her size, but a S&W 686 is the perfect weapon. It is heavy though, so a lady Smith in 38+P might be better. Also take a look at the S&W Mod 649 bodyguard .38+p. If cost is a part of the problem Taurus make a nice selection of dependable .38/357 revolvers.
Look at the mod 85, or 605. Now you might still be able to find A Rossi Mod 68...5 shot .38...inexpensive but works very well. Last as an inexpensive hand gun look at the Charter Arms Bull Dog Pug .44(.44 spec) about the same specs as the .45 ACP or the "Pit Bull" in 9mm/.38 or .357
As far as places to shoot in the Arlington/Alexandria area there are several good choices.
The NRA-HQ range in Fairfax, Va.- 50yd. indoor range, daily rate and annual passes available. MUST be an NRA member.
The Arlington-Fairfax Chapter of IWLA in Centreville, VA - 100yd outdoor pistol/rifle range and other rec. facilities. Annual membership required.
Bull Run Shooting Center - Trap/Skeet/Clays and indoor archery.
Also, about a half-dozen area gun shops with various on-site shooting facilities open to the public for a hourly rate. I have NOT been impressed with any of these.
Hope this helps.
Taurus M605 which is available blued or stainless- 5 shot .357 mag with 2" barrel. Have had one for 3 years and love it. Hundreds of rounds through it with no problems whatsoever. With full house 125gr ammo it is a little handfull to shoot but not punishing at all. Just my .02--- it works.
If you do buy a Taurus, just pray that you never have to send it into the factory for service. I had a nightmare of a time with Taurus. S&W has a better service program.
She sounds smart.
The K-frame M65 Ladysmith is probably a great gun for her. J-frame snubbies are small and hard to shoot well. L-frame 686 guns may be just a little too big for a female. There is a reason why the Ladysmiths are popular.
Plus it comes in a beautiful frosted finish!
With regards to shooting ranges in NoVA. Remember the Mecca of shooting: the NRA range in Fairfax (near intersection of route 50 & 66). Great range, clean and cheap.
Take them to a shooting range that rents many different weapons.
The stubbie 38s are very hard to shoot accurately for an unexperience shooter.
I would recommend a .357 with a 3" barrel and use .38 loads.
This will be a heavier weapon with limited recoil.
I agree w/ taurus 605. I've got a SS605. I'm a big fan of taurus. I've owned a 66, 85, 99, &605. They've all been perfect. BTW, the 605 is my wifes favorite. She likes grips and overll balance. She's not a big fan of .357 125gr HPs. .38s are fine though. ZT
I just want to thank all of you for your input and the location of ranges in Virginia. I wanted to add that this girl can probably handle a gun better than most and cost is not a factor. The main factor is how it fits in hand, how it is when it goes "Bang" and the company's customer service and ease of maintenance.
Again, you guys and gals are terrific.
P.S. Any more comments?
Would like other input if there is any. My appreciation in advance. Ralph
Buzzgunner beat me to it. I would recommend a S&W model 65 with 3 inch barrel. Its stainless, not too big, but not too little and can be had for a decent price. Both my wife and daughter have chosen Ruger SP101s for their personal defense guns. They feel that the Ruger fits their hands better. I still prefer the model 65. Watch-Six
Ok, if she isn't going to be using this as a gun to carry, just to keep at home and in the car, let's get something with a 4" barrel to give added accuracy and velocity. Snubbies are cool if you plan to pack concealed or something, but in this case I think the 4" model would be much better.
If she can handle a bit of recoil, I would go with a 686 Smith and Wesson with rubber grips. Use Federal 125 gr HP's as this is a very good self-defense load and kicks less than the heavier bullets. And the stainless finish is a little easier to care for.
If the .357 is a bit too much for her, then use of 38 special +p rounds in the 686 or the Smith and Wesson model 15 in 38 special would be a good choice. The 15 has adjustable sights and is a pretty nice revolver. Some SEAL's carried this revolver as their side arm in Nam. That's a pretty good endorsement in my opinion.
Just about any of the S&W, Taurus or Ruger revolvers would be a good choice, assuming she’s comfortable with it.
If she’s going to be buying it in Northern Virginia, she needs to be careful - we seem to have our share of dishonest gun store sales people.
It’s pretty easy to get a concealed carry permit here (assuming she would be a VA resident). So she might want to look at the lighter – but harder kicking – aluminum or titanium revolvers.
While a little larger and heavier than most snubbies, I think the S&W Model 60 .357 Magnum with 3 inch barrel is a nice little car gun. Don’t care too much for the grips, but they can be easily changed. Photo below:
I have a Model 60LS which is a great little revolver. The new Rosewood grips they are using are really nice looking and work great for people with small hands (which is why I own one). Heavy slug .357 loads are downright vicious in this revolver, even though it is 20+ ounces. If she gets a snubbie (which is what I would recommend just out of utility), get a .357 and load it with 110-grain .357s or .38 Special +P. A snub can be disturbingly accurate out to ungodly ranges. My little revolver shoots a little left and the sight aren't adjustable, but if I hold way left I can hit an FBI silhouette at 150 yards consistently with my model 60.
Buy a Smith or a Ruger. The Taurus revolvers I've seen (which is more than a few, and includes new ones) are nowhere close in quality to anything made in America, including Colt.
I'd suggest she look at some older S&W service revolvers with at least a 3" barrel, in .38 or .357. The '70s and '80s era .38's can be had around here for a little of nothing, the quality of them is usually at least as good as today's, and you don't have to worry about breaking the S&W boycott.
The Ruger GP100 is also a good choice, but it wouldn't be my first choice.
Lots of guys used to tell me I should try a revolver because I'd have a hard time "handling" an automatic.
Tell that girl to go try a H&K P7M8.
If she doesn't plan to carry concealed, then have her get a full size revolver. The snubs and lightweight ones are harder to control and kick more than a full size all-steel one.
Of course, you and this girl may not be on the same playing field. For somebody with no experience (regardless of sex) the revolver is simply foolproof. They can be loaded forever with no worries about springs wearing out, don't need to be cleaned as often (ever) to function reliably, and tend to be much less expensive than equivalent quality autoloaders.
Even for experienced pistoleros the revolver is a viable weapon. My .357 686 is more accurate and far more powerful than your H&K wondernine. I only lose 3 shots of firepower and with speedloaders can reload just as quickly as you can.
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