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Posted: 9/4/2003 11:27:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2003 11:29:11 AM EDT by Zoub]
Any semi-autos for her are now out of the question. She knows how to shoot most of my guns but does not have her own. Due to illness and some of her medications, there are times where I can see her with anything but a revolver not being a good idea.

I want a 357 so she can practice with 38 at first. Primary use is for her at home, maybe in her purse or car so weight may not be an issue. I will NEVER use this. It will be hers only.

What are some of the differences between a 3" and the shorter barrels in terms of performance and handling? It seems the 3" may eject empties better?

I am back and forth on the idea of a bobbed hammer. Of course if it is bobbed then she is shooting double action all the time and that is an additional safety factor. Plus she does not have to mess with letting the hammer down after she has cocked it.

Do the new lightweight revolvers have much more muzzle flip?

In my mind a heavy 3" with an excellent trigger job done on it and bobbed hammer could be good. I have access to an indoor range so once I know what to focus on I can take her for a trial run on some guns. In the back of my mind I think .44 special would be good too.
Link Posted: 9/4/2003 12:32:36 PM EDT
S&W 686 with a 2 1/2 inch barrel seems to be what you've already decided on by what you've said. When I had one I just shot .38's. Anything lighter than that is primarily for ease of carry. Yes, the light models kick like a bear. I personally wouldn't consider a light weight model for myself and I'm an avid shooter.

I hate to say this but if she can't operate an auto due to medication, maybe she shouldn't be using a firearm. If that's not the case then see above.
Link Posted: 9/4/2003 12:49:28 PM EDT
ruger sp 101. mcole
Link Posted: 9/4/2003 12:56:44 PM EDT
yea most of those cute little revolvers have heavy triggers so have her try before she buys. even then i would buy a double action and have someone bob the hammer later if she feels she doesn't need it.

good luck and i hope she gets better.
Link Posted: 9/4/2003 3:08:12 PM EDT
Gun in purse is usually not a good idea, even in a holster in a purse. There are simply way too many things in there designed to get in the trigger guard, barrel, cylinders...
Link Posted: 9/4/2003 4:04:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2003 4:04:40 PM EDT by Zoub]
Thanks for the input guys. There is no perfect answer, but when a person is not a "gun nut" simple needs to come first.

From what I am seeing with my wife and her "meds", she is either up all night or passes out. So worst case scenario is she does wake up but is groggy. The less she has to remember to due under stress the better.

The other issue is pain, so shouldered fired guns are out. I figure as little recoil as possible in a handgun. If I rule out the purse, I suppose going up to a 4" is not a bad idea. If she ever really wanted to carry I could invest in a different gun for her. Let her decide.

Just FYI what she has is Fibromyalgia. If your wife lives in pain, and can not get a good diagnosis and the doctor treats her like she is nuts, then look into Fibromyalgia. 90% of the people with it are women.

So I have Ruger and S&W on the list so far.
Link Posted: 9/4/2003 5:42:34 PM EDT
Actually, S&W builds exactly what you are looking for. The 65LS is a K frame 357 with a 3" barrel, so the ejector rod is long enough to fully eject magnum cases. The "LS" designation is for Lady Smith. The springs are slightly lighter, so take less force to overcome. The trigger is also set slightly to the rear, so the pull is shorter. If you want DA only, Smith will bob the hammer and remove the cocking notch making it DA only, or if you want a single action optin, have a local gunsmith reduce the hammer spur, but leave enough for cocking.

The model 65 is a great handling revolver. A little less sturdy than a 686, but balances extremely well. You also said you would primarily use .38 special loads, so you son't really need the extra heft of the 686.
Link Posted: 9/4/2003 7:48:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2003 7:49:26 PM EDT by Zoub]
Good suggestion, I did not even think about the ladysmith, but I have never really looked at it.

Link Posted: 9/4/2003 9:55:56 PM EDT
If I may point out the obvious here: have her go to a range & try several different types of revolvers. What feels good in the gun shop may be entirely different at the range with recoil.

As for recoil, there's no free lunch. What you lose in weight with alloy frames you gain in recoil. What you lose in recoil you gain in weight with steel frames.

A snubbie with a 2" with .38s shouldn't be any problem for her to shoot provided she learns how to hold the gun, etc.

There's a slew of used .38s with 4" barrels that are police trade-ins. Most are in the $200 range, sometimes a bit less. KY Imports has a good web site for these.

Personally, I would suggest you not get her a .357mag due to the extra weight in a steel gun.

My .o2
Link Posted: 9/5/2003 4:21:33 PM EDT
Well, the 3 I think would do the job are:
S&W model 66, S&W ladysmith, and the Ruger SP101.......Taurus also makes a couple of lightweight revolvers that she might like...
Link Posted: 9/6/2003 4:01:03 AM EDT
Smith and Wesson 65, 66, 686 or Ruger SP101 would be my top choices (not necessarily in that order). I would stick with something in the 2 1/2 to 3" barrel range, preferably the 3" if you can find one. This will still give her a more compact gun but not cost her as much velocity as a 2" or 2.5" would. If it is going to be used mainly as a house gun or carried in a manner where it would not be susceptible to "snagging", I would just leave the hammer alone. Should she need to make a longer range, highly accurate shot, this would improve her odds of connecting. Having the single action mode available for training may also have it's benefits. Just make sure she doesn't become dependent on the single action mode and make her shoot DA too.

For ammo, I would give her the 145 gr Winchester Silvertips for defense. They seem to offer the best expansion of all the .357 options while not having the punishing recoil of the hot but over-hyped 125 gr JHP's. And, if the barrel is 3" or more, the 158 gr LSWCHP +P's will offer acceptable performance as well. This might make a good training load as well.

Oh, and don't forget the speedloaders. Safariland and the HKS would be my recommendation here. Hope this helps.

-Charging Handle
Link Posted: 9/6/2003 8:24:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2003 8:25:36 AM EDT by Aimless]
Link Posted: 9/6/2003 8:50:18 AM EDT
Zoub, FWIW, I just went through this with my wife. She has small hands and I really thought that she would gravitate towards something like the Ruger SP101. Much to my surprise, after handling several revolvers, including some of the LadySmiths, she selected a S&W Model 66. I put a Hogue grip on it for her and she loves it. She can hit what she aims at and keeps it loaded with 158 gr LSWCHP +P's. They offer excellent performance and the recoil is very comfortable for her, meaning she will shoot with me and practice.
Link Posted: 9/6/2003 6:42:27 PM EDT
Any Smith and Wesson or Ruger is what I would recommend. I have had bad experiences with Taurus through the years and would say "Stay away from Taurus". Don't depend your life on cheaper prices. Buy quality and you will never be sorry!!! Costs more at first but reliability is worth the money. I've had three (3) bad weapons from Taurus and had to send them back to the factory or sold them or traded them in for something else.
thedr
Link Posted: 9/7/2003 8:12:57 AM EDT
Thanks for all the posts. One thing I picked up here is I am going to look at the recoil versus weight of a .38 only versus a heavier .357 frame.

3" barrel

I will probably look at a used gun.

A hogue grip may be a good idea too.

Link Posted: 9/8/2003 4:17:46 PM EDT
I have to echo the Ruger SP101 with the 3" barrel. The grips are comfortable and help absorb recoil. I also think the 3" barrel is the perfect compromise between concealability and shootability.
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 7:36:29 PM EDT
I bought my wife one of those bobbed lightweight 2" 38s, and she loved it. Until she shot it. The recoil hurt her hand, and the trigger was so heavy that she could not shoot it well and therefore had no confidence.

I'd get something steel with a 4" barrel and a hammer.
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 8:08:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2003 8:08:41 PM EDT by kpel308]
Get one of the steel Model 85 Taurus or S&W revolvers. My choice for a snubby for someone who is not a "gun person" for concealment is:


SKU: 162420
Type: Revolver
Model: 60
Caliber: .357 Magnum®/.38 S&W Special +P
Barrel Length: 2-1/8"
Capacity: 5 Rounds
Action: Single , Double
External Safety: N/A
Hammer: .240" Semi-Target
Trigger: .312" Smooth Combat 2-1/8"
Grip: Uncle Mike's Boot Firing System: N/A
Front Sight: Pinned Black Serrated Ramp Rear Sight: Fixed Notch
Frame: Small Finish: Satin Stainless
Over all length: 6-9/16" Weight: 22.5 ounces
Material: Stainless Steel


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