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Posted: 10/6/2016 2:09:45 AM EST
So I have been wanting a revolver now for a while, but I know absolutely nothing about them. I have been thinking about getting one for occasional concealed carry. What are the best revolvers I should look for? I would like the caliber to be .45 ACP but realize that there isn't many options for that caliber so I think .357 magnum would be good too (if these aren't good choices school me). Look forward to the discussion.
Link Posted: 10/6/2016 7:08:54 AM EST
ruger, smith and wesson are my favorites. taurus has a lifetime warranty but too many have to use that warranty.
Link Posted: 10/6/2016 7:20:42 AM EST
Smith & Wesson 325 Night Guard.  The issue with .45 revolvers is the cylinder is by necessity huge to hold 6 rounds of .45.  It's not going to be as concealable as the smaller .38/.357s.  I'd try to find an older 3" S&W 64/65 and keep it loaded with .38+p.

And yes, stay far away from Taurus.
Link Posted: 10/6/2016 7:37:01 AM EST
Originally Posted By nmguy23:
So I have been wanting a revolver now for a while, but I know absolutely nothing about them. I have been thinking about getting one for occasional concealed carry. What are the best revolvers I should look for? I would like the caliber to be .45 ACP but realize that there isn't many options for that caliber so I think .357 magnum would be good too (if these aren't good choices school me). Look forward to the discussion.
View Quote



357 is fine since you can shoot 38 Special also. It gets the job done. Smith and Wesson, IMHO, make the best CCW revolvers. Light and durable.
Link Posted: 10/6/2016 7:54:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2016 7:54:50 AM EST by lasnyder]
in 38spl/357mag...I think a 3" K frame heavy barrel round butt SW or similarly configured Ruger would be my choice... downsized to a 5 shot, a 3" Ruger SP101 or SW 3" M60 size
Link Posted: 10/6/2016 8:27:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2016 8:28:49 AM EST by VASCAR2]
I personally like K frame S&W best, I carried a Model 65 & 66 on duty but bought a used blued model 15 a few years ago. For shooting 357 Magnum it is really hard to beat a S&W L frame like a 4" 686 or Ruger GP 100. If you intend on trying to carry concealed the Ruger Speed Six or SP101. I really like the K frame 3" round butt however the J frames are easier to conceal but generally harder to shoot. My Daughter has a S&W 642 and it is a reliable 5 shot 38 Special that is easy to shoot for the size.

For a carry load in 38 Special I prefer the 158 grain lead SWCHP +P in K frames and in 357 Mangnum 145 grain Silvertip or 125 grain JHP.
Link Posted: 10/6/2016 8:44:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2016 8:45:53 AM EST by unknownhavoc]
Unless you're carrying OWB I would personally stick with a small framed revolver. A S&W J-frame, or maybe a Ruger SP101. I carried an SP101 for a long time, IWB appendix carry, it was never a comfortable set up, I was always readjusting the holster, this was with a high quality holster and belt. The SP101 is a nice revolver, but it's heavy.

If your soul intent is IWB CC, I would highly suggest an alloy framed revolver in .38 Spl. With short barreled revolver going up to .357 gives you negligible benefits, with an incredible amount of set backs.

I carry an Airlite chambered in .32 Magnum. I get 6 rounds in a caliber that outperforms most .38 and some .357 loads in the same barrel length, it also weighs in under 13oz loaded. I keep a 442 Pro in my car for when I am just running into a store and don't have a firearm on me (when going to/leaving work).

For .38 you can't beat Speer 135gr GDHP-SB.


ETA: Prior to carrying my SP101, I did carry a K Frame in .357 Magnum. Most of the time I would opt not to carry it, because of the considerable weight, and the fact that it was so much larger.
Link Posted: 10/6/2016 8:56:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2016 8:59:29 PM EST by BobCole]
Originally Posted By nmguy23:
So I have been wanting a revolver now for a while, but I know absolutely nothing about them. I have been thinking about getting one for occasional concealed carry. What are the best revolvers I should look for? I would like the caliber to be .45 ACP but realize that there isn't many options for that caliber so I think .357 magnum would be good too (if these aren't good choices school me). Look forward to the discussion.
View Quote



.357mag is an ideal choice for a revolver. Carrying .357's allows one to be ready for almost anything & shooting .38spl wadcutters allows one to really hone their skills & not be subject to hardly any recoil at all.

Now, for the BEST revolver(s), I would skip over brands Ruger, Taurus due to lack of refinement. (Save the outcries, folks.) Going with the best means an older S&W (no lock version) or an older model Colt (no longer made now, sadly). Both are perfect examples of old school American craftsmanship, quality & quality. (Yes, I know Colt had some bad years for the detractors.)

As others mentioned, the K-frame Smiths offer great balance between size & accuracy. The most common ones are in the 4 inch barrels, but many were made in the 2" size, which is perfect for carry. Offered both in blued & stainless, whichever floats your boat.

One thing *I* might do is TRY to find a 3" barrel Smith. They're not common, damn sure aren't cheap but may well be the most perfect handgun ever made.

In the Colt side, there's models King Cobra, Trooper & Python. All are .357 but Colt did make .38spl only models in the Agent & Detective Special. Most of the latter are in the 2" barrel size. The King Cobra, Trooper & Python models all were made from 2" to 8" (Pythons).

Pythons are insanely expensive right now, most going from $1550 & up. Are they worth it? Like land, they're not making 'em anymore, so there is that. They'd be more of an investment than a shooting purchase, IMO.

The King Cobra falls in between the Python & Trooper models in refinement & price. I would probably opt for one of these were I wanting to go the Colt route. They're usually in the $800-1000 range, depending upon condition & other things.

The Trooper is Colt's "affordable" model line. Robust, smooth but not as elegant as its more expensive brethren. These are offered in blued only, IIRC.

I would urge you to skip the scandium-framed Smiths. While they're perfect for carrying, they're hell on the hand to shoot more than a cylinder or two at the range.

Now, if you're still wanting a big bore, S&W did make some in both .44spl & .44magnum in 2" (or 2-1/2") barrels, I can't remember which. *I* would not be in the practice of shooting magnums in a short barrel, but .44spl isn't that bad on recoil. They're also available in the scandium framed model.

Nose around on Gun Broker, IMO. Do a general search on ".357 magnum Smith & Wesson" or some such, see what pops up & peruse the listings. Do the same thing with Colt. Then you can have a background to do an educated search on what you want & how much it will cost.

Have fun & good luck!
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 12:04:18 AM EST
The 44spl's are hard to beat. The charter arms bulldog is a 5-shot 44spl with a 2 1/2" bbl that weighs 21oz's. Make no mistake about it a 44spl will put the smack on anything it hits. Some of my foavorite 44spl sd loads.



To get anything close to that kind of performance in a 357 you'd have to go with a 3" bbl which means larger/heavier/harder to cc.
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 1:30:24 AM EST
Thanks fellas! I'll start hitting gunbroker and the classifieds and see what I can find. I'm sure I will come back with more questions at some point!
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 5:48:14 AM EST
OP 357 is not a bad choice for CCW it offers good range out of a 4" barrel 100 yard CM hits are possible but my preference is the heavier bullets a 357 offers foe auto glass penetration.
my favorite is the 686-5 mountain gun it has a 4" half lug barrel (I really hate full lugs for carry ) and it has a 7 shot cylinder
a 3" 686 is far less expensive and easier to find than a 3" K frame . look for a 7shot 3" or 2.5" 686 for serious use or the j frame 357 if you plan to shoot little carry alot. a 180 grain 357mag out of a j frame 5 times isn't really fun. but 7 out of a L frame is a blast.

you may not want the 3" over the 2.5" the only advantage is the 3" offers an ejection rod long enough to fully eject 557 casings while the 2.5" will require a little more fumbling to get the spent casings out. 3" is very popular & therefore more expensive.

learn how to inspect a revolver for wear most 357 revolvers see very few 357s but alot of 38spc. but you will see many boo hooing the 357 Kf rame as too weak . it is partially true. Inspect the area above the gap between the cylinder & the bore for flame cutting I have a 66 that spent its life as a Seminole reservation police academy range gun It saw nothing but 38spc. that gun is cherry. I also have a SD sherrif marked 66 it has flame cutting

the trigger on a smith will smooth out with use so go put 250 rounds through a new pistol & you will notice by the end the trigger is much much smoother.


someone
more familiar with the new smiths are they safe to dry fire on an empty cylinder now&
I think they are but am not 100% sure
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 8:06:07 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BobCole:
The Trooper is Colt's "affordable" model line. Robust, smooth but not as elegant as its more expensive brethren. These are offered in blued only, IIRC.

View Quote


They had a nickel version as well.
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 8:41:09 AM EST
For concealed carry all you need is a 642/442 or similar 38 Special offering from Ruger. 357 mag from a short barrel while still a lot more gun ballistically then 38 Special from the same barrel length does not result in significantly more effective results against two legged critters. You get a lot more muzzle blast and recoil and limited increase in self defense effectiveness. I love my 442 moonclip for pocket carry. Even my woods gun is just an old Model 10 Heavy Barrel. If I am hunting then I step up to 357 (more often 10mm in a 610) but for social encounters 38 Special +P is just fine for me.







Link Posted: 10/7/2016 11:39:04 AM EST
There is some good information above, but a lot of it has to be put in the proper context.

1. A .38 Special or a .357 Magnum revolver is a good choice for self defense.

About 95% of all self defense shoots are over and done with less than 5 shots fired, in less than 5 seconds at ranges of 5 years or less. 75% of them are over in 3 shots or less at 3 yards or less. In other words, while you can arm yourself for the apocalypse or a multiple assailant mall shooter fantasy, the really is that those kinds of shoots are a low single digit percentage of the already very low occurrence self defense shoot.

2. Load wise, a good .38 +P load will get the job done in a 2" to 3" revolver.

A well chosen load will deliver good expansion and 12" penetration with one of the quality 125 gr XTP +P loads or with a 135 gr Gold Dot +P load. The advantage of a +P load is that it's easier for most people to shoot than a .357 Magnum load. Perhaps more importantly, most of the .357 Magnum loads designed for longer barrels won't generate much more velocity in a 2" or 3" barrel, and some of those loads will generate less but the large charge of slow burning powder weighs twice as much and generates significantly more recoil even with lower muzzle velocity.

3. Selecting a .38/.357 Mag revolver wil involve some compromises.

You have to balance the ability to conceal and carry it comfortably with the need to be able to shoot it often to develop and maintain the proficiency needed to shoot it well.

A light alloy frame S&W J Magnum frame .38 Special with a 2.125" barrel will be a joy to carry but a real handful to shoot with a .38 +P load load. It'll be sporty even with a standard pressure .38 self defense load. If you drop down to standard pressure .38 to get the comfort and controllability needed to shoot it often and shoot it well, you'll be saddled with sub optimal ballistics that won't deliver 1.5x expansion and 12" penetration. It's a poor choice all the way around if you ever really intend to use it, and despite their popularity I don't know many shooters who actually shoot them well - it's mostly spray and pray in an actual self defense situation and it's what had led to the reputation snub nose revolvers have for poor accuracy.

However, if you accept 7 ounces in additional weight and step up to up to a steel J-frame like the Model 36 or the J-Magnum frame Model 60 in .357 Magnum, and then add a good recoil absorbing grip like the Hogue Monogrip you'll find you can shoot .38+P loads well and you'll find you can probably tolerate .357 Mag loads in the Model 60.

The Ruger SP101 is very similar in size to the J-frame, but it's about 5 oz heavier than a Model 60, due to a slightly heavier top strap, forcing cone and full underdog barrel. That makes it just as concealable and the slight increase in weight isn't an issue if you use a good belt and a good IWB holster. That extra weight also makes them a legitimate choice for a good short barrel ,357 Magnum load, if you are willing to practice with it, and the SP101 is much more durable than the Model 60 when it comes to a steady diet of .357 Mag ammo.

The J-frame and the similar SP101 are smaller, lighter, and slightly easier to conceal, but don't over look a 2", 2.5" or 3" K frame revolver. They are a little larger and heavier but they offer 6 rounds as opposed to 5 and they are still easy to conceal in an IWB holster for most people. The extra weight also makes them much more controllable with a .357 Magnum load, and it's the point where the .357 Magnum really becomes practical in a concealed carry revolver for most shooters. I shoot a lot and I shoot both a 3" Model 60 and a 3" SP101 quite well with .357 self defense loads, but I shoot that load a lot better in my K-frame 3" Model 13, 2.5" Model 66 and in my 2 3/4" Speed SIx.

I've found my 3" Model 13 or 2.5" Model 66 to be comfortable to carry all day, just like a 3" Model 60 or 3" SP101, and the extra size isn't an issue in concealment in most cases.

The similar sized Ruger 2 3/4" Speed Six and Security Six revolvers are again about 5 oz heaver than a K-frame and they are as easy to conceal. However, for me the slightly heaver Rugers are also past the tipping point where I start to notice the weight carrying one all day long.

In that regard the L frame 686 and 686 Plus are just too large and heavy for effective concealed all day carry.

4. Barrel length matters.

The higher the pressure, the bigger the hit you'll take as barrel length decreases with a .38 or .357 revolver.

You won't notice much difference with standard pressure ammo, but in a +P load you'll lose about 80-100 fps with a 1 7/8" or 2" barrel compared to a 3" barrel. In a .357 Magnum that increases to around 150 fps.

In contrast, you won't really notice that extra inch of barrel in concealed carry. A 3" barrel is just as comfortable and concealable as a 2" barrel. At 4" however, the barrel is long enough that the muzzle is now too low when you sit and it causes problems.


5. Hammerless and shrouded hammer designs are popular, but offer no real practical advantage.

The only plus for these designs are in pocket carry, and in pocket carry you are limited to the alloy J-frame revolvers that are already hard to shoot well. Now you've added a DA only trigger to the mix. They are popular and people love to carry them and talk about them, but I have never met anyone who shoots one well - and that includes one of my Marine Recon friends who shoots everything else well but can't shoot his pocket carried 442 very well at all.

In actual real world use I have not found an exposed hammer to ever pose a problem in concealed when used with a good IWB holster.

-----


My recommendation is to find:

- a 2" or 3" Model 64 .38 Special (a stainless steel version the Model 10),
- a 3" Model 65 .357 Magnum (a fixed sight version of the Model 13 in stainless steel);
- a 3" Model 13 .357 Magnum (a fixed sight version of the Model 19); or
- a 2.5" Model 66 in .357 Magnum (an adjustable sight, stainless steel version the Model 19).

If you're one budget and don't mind a little extra weight you can find a nice 2 3/4" Speed Six for els money.


If you really want to go smaller:

I recommend the 3" SP101 or the 3" Model 60.

On a budget, you can still find a nice Model 36 for around $350-400, and you could still carry .38 +P loads in it.


Below is a picture for comparison of relative sizes. The blind revolver is a 3" Model 13, below it is a 2 3/4" Speed Six, and below it is a 2.5 " Model 66. On the right side at the top is a 3" Ruger SP 101, below it is a 3" Model 60, and below it is a 2 125" Model 60. All of the revolvers shown are chambered for .357 Magnum.


Link Posted: 10/7/2016 12:06:23 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:
There is some good information above, but a lot of it has to be put in the proper context.

1. A .38 Special or a .357 Magnum revolver is a good choice for self defense.

About 95% of all self defense shoots are over and done with less than 5 shots fired, in less than 5 seconds at ranges of 5 years or less. 75% of them are over in 3 shots or less at 3 yards or less. In other words, while you can arm yourself for the apocalypse or a multiple assailant mall shooter fantasy, the really is that those kinds of shoots are a low single digit percentage of the already very low occurrence self defense shoot.

2. Load wise, a good .38 +P load will get the job done in a 2" to 3" revolver.

A well chosen load will deliver good expansion and 12" penetration with one of the quality 125 gr XTP +P loads or with a 135 gr Gold Dot +P load. The advantage of a +P load is that it's easier for most people to shoot than a .357 Magnum load. Perhaps more importantly, most of the .357 Magnum loads designed for longer barrels won't generate much more velocity in a 2" or 3" barrel, and some of those loads will generate less but the large charge of slow burning powder weighs twice as much and generates significantly more recoil even with lower muzzle velocity.

3. Selecting a .38/.357 Mag revolver wil involve some compromises.

You have to balance the ability to conceal and carry it comfortably with the need to be able to shoot it often to develop and maintain the proficiency needed to shoot it well.

A light alloy frame S&W J Magnum frame .38 Special with a 2.125" barrel will be a joy to carry but a real handful to shoot with a .38 +P load load. It'll be sporty even with a standard pressure .38 self defense load. If you drop down to standard pressure .38 to get the comfort and controllability needed to shoot it often and shoot it well, you'll be saddled with sub optimal ballistics that won't deliver 1.5x expansion and 12" penetration. It's a poor choice all the way around if you ever really intend to use it, and despite their popularity I don't know many shooters who actually shoot them well - it's mostly spray and pray in an actual self defense situation and it's what had led to the reputation snub nose revolvers have for poor accuracy.

However, if you accept 7 ounces in additional weight and step up to up to a steel J-frame like the Model 36 or the J-Magnum frame Model 60 in .357 Magnum, and then add a good recoil absorbing grip like the Hogue Monogrip you'll find you can shoot .38+P loads well and you'll find you can probably tolerate .357 Mag loads in the Model 60.

The Ruger SP101 is very similar in size to the J-frame, but it's about 5 oz heavier than a Model 60, due to a slightly heavier top strap, forcing cone and full underdog barrel. That makes it just as concealable and the slight increase in weight isn't an issue if you use a good belt and a good IWB holster. That extra weight also makes them a legitimate choice for a good short barrel ,357 Magnum load, if you are willing to practice with it, and the SP101 is much more durable than the Model 60 when it comes to a steady diet of .357 Mag ammo.

The J-frame and the similar SP101 are smaller, lighter, and slightly easier to conceal, but don't over look a 2", 2.5" or 3" K frame revolver. They are a little larger and heavier but they offer 6 rounds as opposed to 5 and they are still easy to conceal in an IWB holster for most people. The extra weight also makes them much more controllable with a .357 Magnum load, and it's the point where the .357 Magnum really becomes practical in a concealed carry revolver for most shooters. I shoot a lot and I shoot both a 3" Model 60 and a 3" SP101 quite well with .357 self defense loads, but I shoot that load a lot better in my K-frame 3" Model 13, 2.5" Model 66 and in my 2 3/4" Speed SIx.

I've found my 3" Model 13 or 2.5" Model 66 to be comfortable to carry all day, just like a 3" Model 60 or 3" SP101, and the extra size isn't an issue in concealment in most cases.

The similar sized Ruger 2 3/4" Speed Six and Security Six revolvers are again about 5 oz heaver than a K-frame and they are as easy to conceal. However, for me the slightly heaver Rugers are also past the tipping point where I start to notice the weight carrying one all day long.

In that regard the L frame 686 and 686 Plus are just too large and heavy for effective concealed all day carry.

4. Barrel length matters.

The higher the pressure, the bigger the hit you'll take as barrel length decreases with a .38 or .357 revolver.

You won't notice much difference with standard pressure ammo, but in a +P load you'll lose about 80-100 fps with a 1 7/8" or 2" barrel compared to a 3" barrel. In a .357 Magnum that increases to around 150 fps.

In contrast, you won't really notice that extra inch of barrel in concealed carry. A 3" barrel is just as comfortable and concealable as a 2" barrel. At 4" however, the barrel is long enough that the muzzle is now too low when you sit and it causes problems.


5. Hammerless and shrouded hammer designs are popular, but offer no real practical advantage.

The only plus for these designs are in pocket carry, and in pocket carry you are limited to the alloy J-frame revolvers that are already hard to shoot well. Now you've added a DA only trigger to the mix. They are popular and people love to carry them and talk about them, but I have never met anyone who shoots one well - and that includes one of my Marine Recon friends who shoots everything else well but can't shoot his pocket carried 442 very well at all.

In actual real world use I have not found an exposed hammer to ever pose a problem in concealed when used with a good IWB holster.

-----


My recommendation is to find:

- a 2" or 3" Model 64 .38 Special (a stainless steel version the Model 10),
- a 3" Model 65 .357 Magnum (a fixed sight version of the Model 13 in stainless steel);
- a 3" Model 13 .357 Magnum (a fixed sight version of the Model 19); or
- a 2.5" Model 66 in .357 Magnum (an adjustable sight, stainless steel version the Model 19).

If you're one budget and don't mind a little extra weight you can find a nice 2 3/4" Speed Six for els money.


If you really want to go smaller:

I recommend the 3" SP101 or the 3" Model 60.

On a budget, you can still find a nice Model 36 for around $350-400, and you could still carry .38 +P loads in it.


Below is a picture for comparison of relative sizes. The blind revolver is a 3" Model 13, below it is a 2 3/4" Speed Six, and below it is a 2.5 " Model 66. On the right side at the top is a 3" Ruger SP 101, below it is a 3" Model 60, and below it is a 2 125" Model 60. All of the revolvers shown are chambered for .357 Magnum.


http://i1111.photobucket.com/albums/h470/SDBB57/revolvers/BA8F0CC5-98CA-42CA-A378-79B9EBF6F7CC_zpso1kxswmc.jpg
View Quote


This is why we come here OP. Not for the news, not for the LOTR memes and not for the BOTD threads. For posts like this. I also like the distinct lack of ignorant Ruger revolver bashing.

/EDC is a S&W 7 round .38 +P snub.
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 12:14:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/7/2016 12:15:24 PM EST by familyman357]
^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Great post. Lots of good information. To piggyback on that a bit, I used to CCW a 3" Ruger SP101 in a IWB holster with no problem. The SP101 lost a little of its luster for me when I compared it side-by-side to a S&W Model 10 (a K frame) and found that the SP101's cylinder was almost as wide as the K frame's but held only five rounds to the S&W's six. Since I use .38 Special in my snubbies anyway.... Well, long story short, I just picked up a 2" S&W Model 10 for CCW. We'll see how that goes.
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 1:06:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/7/2016 1:08:26 PM EST by dbd870]
2.5-3" K Frame for me. I have had J's K's and L's; and an SP101. Found I shot the snub K's and L's MUCH better than the J's and the ergonomics on the SP101 did not work for me at all even after trying a set of aftermarket grips - it just beat the crap out of the lower thumb joint in my gun hand. I find the K far more comfortable to carry than the L and I shoot them both about the same. I've put pictures of my 2.5" 19 on here before; my favorite carry gun.
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 2:00:41 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gacksnabbit:
/EDC is a S&W 7 round .38 +P snub.
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242?
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 2:01:21 PM EST
I don't carry a revolver for EDC but I do have two ready in the event I change my mind. My first is a S&W model 657 "4 barrel stainless steel .41 magnum. My second is my S&W 386 PD Scandium/Titanium .357 magnum. Most any other lesser calibers are backup guns to your primary carry and I don't carry a backup. I usually carry a 10mm 1911 pistol and the model 657 has similar ballistics so I wouldn't feel shortchanged by carrying it. I prefer the 657 due to the longer barrel.
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 2:19:19 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:[snip]
In contrast, you won't really notice that extra inch of barrel in concealed carry. A 3" barrel is just as comfortable and concealable as a 2" barrel. At 4" however, the barrel is long enough that the muzzle is now too low when you sit and it causes problems. [snip]
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I have to disagree here. Going from a 2-1/4" SP101, to a 3-1/16" J-frame was a huge difference for me. The SP101 was decently comfortable AIWB, 3" was incredibly uncomfortable, so much so when I drove I had to unholster the firearm. Going down to 1-7/8" was a huge difference, not so much from the 2-1/4" SP101, but night and day from the 3-1/16" J frame.
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 2:42:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/7/2016 2:43:39 PM EST by Bucket-Back]
I'm not afraid of bashing Ruger's
I got rid of a Security Six, and bought a Bulldog and a LCR

Got rid of a Hawkeye Compact 243 and got a Kahr PM9 in return
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 4:17:32 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:

5. Hammerless and shrouded hammer designs are popular, but offer no real practical advantage.

The only plus for these designs are in pocket carry, and in pocket carry you are limited to the alloy J-frame revolvers that are already hard to shoot well. Now you've added a DA only trigger to the mix. They are popular and people love to carry them and talk about them, but I have never met anyone who shoots one well - and that includes one of my Marine Recon friends who shoots everything else well but can't shoot his pocket carried 442 very well at all.

In actual real world use I have not found an exposed hammer to ever pose a problem in concealed when used with a good IWB holster.
View Quote

I have another take on hammerless.

IMHO if it's a self defense revolver then I would never want the exposed hammer. Double action is the only way to go. In a self defense situation you do not want to be messing around with thumbing a hammer. Its slow, and in the stress of the situation likely to cause problems. If you need it for self-defense your going to draw and pull the trigger double action. A shrouded hammer removes any temptation of thumb the hammer. It also removes the snag issue especially if you're going to pocket carry. It does require you do put extra effort into being proficient with it and that will take time and lots of practice.

I honestly can't remember the last time I fired a double action revolver single action by thumbing the hammer back. I shoot a lot of USPSA and IDPA matches with my revolvers and even out to 30-35 yards I will be shooting double actions. Practice practice practice. At this point short of shooting long range >50 yards and doing so over a sand bag or similar rest I am more accurate double action than single action if I am standing, shooting freestyle, but that has taken years of practice. Revolvers are not for someone that is not going to practice.

Practice reloads too. Reload will make or break you both competitively and sometime in the real world too.
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 9:16:56 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mcb:


I have another take on hammerless.
IMHO if it's a self defense revolver then I would never want the exposed hammer. Double action is the only way to go. In a self defense situation you do not want to be messing around with thumbing a hammer. Its slow, and in the stress of the situation likely to cause problems. If you need it for self-defense your going to draw and pull the trigger double action. A shrouded hammer removes any temptation of thumb the hammer. It also removes the snag issue especially if you're going to pocket carry. It does require you do put extra effort into being proficient with it and that will take time and lots of practice.


I honestly can't remember the last time I fired a double action revolver single action by thumbing the hammer back. I shoot a lot of USPSA and IDPA matches with my revolvers and even out to 30-35 yards I will be shooting double actions. Practice practice practice. At this point short of shooting long range >50 yards and doing so over a sand bag or similar rest I am more accurate double action than single action if I am standing, shooting freestyle, but that has taken years of practice. Revolvers are not for someone that is not going to practice.


Practice reloads too. Reload will make or break you both competitively and sometime in the real world too.

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Originally Posted By mcb:
Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:

5. Hammerless and shrouded hammer designs are popular, but offer no real practical advantage.

The only plus for these designs are in pocket carry, and in pocket carry you are limited to the alloy J-frame revolvers that are already hard to shoot well. Now you've added a DA only trigger to the mix. They are popular and people love to carry them and talk about them, but I have never met anyone who shoots one well - and that includes one of my Marine Recon friends who shoots everything else well but can't shoot his pocket carried 442 very well at all.

In actual real world use I have not found an exposed hammer to ever pose a problem in concealed when used with a good IWB holster.


I have another take on hammerless.
IMHO if it's a self defense revolver then I would never want the exposed hammer. Double action is the only way to go. In a self defense situation you do not want to be messing around with thumbing a hammer. Its slow, and in the stress of the situation likely to cause problems. If you need it for self-defense your going to draw and pull the trigger double action. A shrouded hammer removes any temptation of thumb the hammer. It also removes the snag issue especially if you're going to pocket carry. It does require you do put extra effort into being proficient with it and that will take time and lots of practice.


I honestly can't remember the last time I fired a double action revolver single action by thumbing the hammer back. I shoot a lot of USPSA and IDPA matches with my revolvers and even out to 30-35 yards I will be shooting double actions. Practice practice practice. At this point short of shooting long range >50 yards and doing so over a sand bag or similar rest I am more accurate double action than single action if I am standing, shooting freestyle, but that has taken years of practice. Revolvers are not for someone that is not going to practice.


Practice reloads too. Reload will make or break you both competitively and sometime in the real world too.



I agree with you on the DA mode for SD purposes.

I also agree with you about the potential with a DA trigger. With a decent revolver with a nicely done trigger, and lots of practice, you get very attuned to the feel and the clicks that precede the hammer reaching full cock. At that point you can stage the trigger just short of where it falls and shoot it as accurately as you could in SA mode, with just as much control.

Of course that also leads to the temptation to start staging the trigger in an armed confrontation, a problem many PDs had even with DA only revolvers. Staging a trigger in a recreational situaion is entirely different than staging it under extreme stress.

On the other hand, I also like having a shooter be able to concentrate on accurate shooting, to develop an idea of what the revolver is capable of, even a short barrel revolver. Over time, it's nice to be able to have a shooter shoot a group SA and then DA and note the difference, After awhile, with plenty of practice, that difference gets pretty small.

I also agree with you on the reload practice.

I have not done an administrative reload in years. Every reload is a chance to practice a tactical reload.

With a revolver I'm open to the classic FBI reload, the Universal reload or the Stress Fire reload, as long as it works well for the shooter, the revolver and the load.
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 9:18:58 PM EST
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Originally Posted By unknownhavoc:



I have to disagree here. Going from a 2-1/4" SP101, to a 3-1/16" J-frame was a huge difference for me. The SP101 was decently comfortable AIWB, 3" was incredibly uncomfortable, so much so when I drove I had to unholster the firearm. Going down to 1-7/8" was a huge difference, not so much from the 2-1/4" SP101, but night and day from the 3-1/16" J frame.
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Originally Posted By unknownhavoc:
Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:[snip]
In contrast, you won't really notice that extra inch of barrel in concealed carry. A 3" barrel is just as comfortable and concealable as a 2" barrel. At 4" however, the barrel is long enough that the muzzle is now too low when you sit and it causes problems. [snip]



I have to disagree here. Going from a 2-1/4" SP101, to a 3-1/16" J-frame was a huge difference for me. The SP101 was decently comfortable AIWB, 3" was incredibly uncomfortable, so much so when I drove I had to unholster the firearm. Going down to 1-7/8" was a huge difference, not so much from the 2-1/4" SP101, but night and day from the 3-1/16" J frame.


You're ahead of me. I've found appendix carry to be incredibly uncomfortable period.

I should have specified IWB carry on the hip anywhere from 2:30 to 4:30.
Link Posted: 10/8/2016 5:57:27 AM EST
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Originally Posted By unknownhavoc:



242?
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Originally Posted By unknownhavoc:
Originally Posted By Gacksnabbit:
/EDC is a S&W 7 round .38 +P snub.



242?



Very good. The hidden gem.
Link Posted: 10/9/2016 3:03:47 PM EST
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Originally Posted By unknownhavoc:



I have to disagree here. Going from a 2-1/4" SP101, to a 3-1/16" J-frame was a huge difference for me. The SP101 was decently comfortable AIWB, 3" was incredibly uncomfortable, so much so when I drove I had to unholster the firearm. Going down to 1-7/8" was a huge difference, not so much from the 2-1/4" SP101, but night and day from the 3-1/16" J frame.
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Originally Posted By unknownhavoc:
Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:[snip]
In contrast, you won't really notice that extra inch of barrel in concealed carry. A 3" barrel is just as comfortable and concealable as a 2" barrel. At 4" however, the barrel is long enough that the muzzle is now too low when you sit and it causes problems. [snip]



I have to disagree here. Going from a 2-1/4" SP101, to a 3-1/16" J-frame was a huge difference for me. The SP101 was decently comfortable AIWB, 3" was incredibly uncomfortable, so much so when I drove I had to unholster the firearm. Going down to 1-7/8" was a huge difference, not so much from the 2-1/4" SP101, but night and day from the 3-1/16" J frame.


If you're doing appendix carry, that's no surprise. In a conventional strong-side IWB carry, the 3" barrel is generally no problem for most people.
Link Posted: 10/9/2016 6:38:47 PM EST
I carried a 3" SP101 IWB at the 4 o'clock position for about 11 or 12 years. I've switched to a grip-chopped G22 now but I still love revolvers. I'm not sure how to embed code from my tablet, so when you get a minute OP, Google Masaad Ayoob revolver reload. Good stuff to know. Also, I read this link a few years ago for buying a used revolver without firing it: http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=19

Even if you decide not to carry one, revolvers can be a lot of fun. I always loved doing annual whale with the SP101 and hearing the other guys mention how they could really feel my muzzle concussion in their chest.
Link Posted: 10/10/2016 5:18:14 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Gacksnabbit:



Very good. The hidden gem.
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Originally Posted By Gacksnabbit:
Originally Posted By unknownhavoc:
Originally Posted By Gacksnabbit:
/EDC is a S&W 7 round .38 +P snub.



242?



Very good. The hidden gem.



The ugly rhino! I have been looking for one (at a reasonable price) for a long time, I also want it's brother the 296. I'm pretty jealous.
Link Posted: 10/10/2016 11:17:51 PM EST
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Originally Posted By unknownhavoc:



The ugly rhino! I have been looking for one (at a reasonable price) for a long time, I also want it's brother the 296. I'm pretty jealous.
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Originally Posted By unknownhavoc:
Originally Posted By Gacksnabbit:
Originally Posted By unknownhavoc:
Originally Posted By Gacksnabbit:
/EDC is a S&W 7 round .38 +P snub.



242?



Very good. The hidden gem.



The ugly rhino! I have been looking for one (at a reasonable price) for a long time, I also want it's brother the 296. I'm pretty jealous.


It is a great gun isn't it? The 296 is pretty nice too but I like the .38+P myself. They seem to be even harder to find.


Link Posted: 12/14/2016 12:06:05 AM EST
I see there are some .44 Special fans on here...

Recently I managed to stumble across a 624 snub, one of the 1980s Lew Horton Specials. Definitely not going to ever be an IWB or AIWB gun, it's like a J frame that's 50% bigger in every direction, but is an amazing revolver.

Someone mentioned the 242. That or the 296ti just might be the ultimate CCW revolver.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 9:19:53 AM EST
Dakota has some excellent points as do others.
If you want the options of pocket or ankle carry a j frame is the way to go
Strictly belt carry can move to the 6 shot k or l or equivalent ruger if that is your cup of tea.
I don't typically say this but would stay away from Colt. Pricey and have not been made for over 20 years.
The Colt
Lock work is far more delicate than smith or ruger and once they are out of time finding parts and more importantly a gunsmith who knows how to fix colts is very difficult
Even for pocket or ankle carry I still suggest an all steel j over the lightweights mine shoots very well even at near 50 years old, and while the extra ounces are not a carry issue ( at least for me) they make the gun much easier to shoot and with snubs you need all the help
You can get- they are hard to shoot well.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 10:11:09 AM EST
I believe my revolver stash is somewhere north of twenty. In no particular order.

Smith: The three inch K frame was the best carry revolver Smith ever made. So of course they don't make it anymore. Used ones are hard to find and it's even harder to swallow the price tag. People that have them just never sell them. There are short barreled L frames out there but they are even harder to locate. J frames are nice carry guns, they are not nice shooting guns. Have owned a number over the years, I usually end up selling them.

Ruger: A three inch Wiley Clapp GP 100 has been in my carry rotation for some time now. A bit heavy and bulky for a carry piece but with the right holster and BELT it's quite doable. Get the Ruger compact grips for it, they're selling them again. The SP 101 will save some bulk and a little bit of weight (but not much) and cost you one round. Both excellent choices are easy to find.

Colt: Mostly in collector's realm these days. Nice stuff but the price tag just doesn't make sense for a daily carry gun.

Charter Arms: I've gotten on an old Charter kick recently. Picked up an early Undercover in 38 and a Bulldog in 44. Both have been excellent. Current production guns have a spotty reputation. Look for Stratford marked pistols.

Taurus: Gets flamed a lot. Personally I've had good luck with them. Not my preferred brand by any means but I'm not afraid of them. Examine closely, most of the problems are easy to spot.

Rossi: Another less than premium brand but they can put out a decent product. Again, examine carefully.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 10:51:34 AM EST
I have a 3" HB round butt 64-3 and it carries appendix just fine. Overall it's very similar in size to a G19.

I also have a 442-1 and it's been riding in a pocket but am looking for a good AIWB holster.

I know it's everyone's favorite but the 2" J frames are way too big to carry in a pocket with my Nemesis. BDUS, jeans etc the grip of the pistol damn near hangs out the top of my pocket.

Truth be told it carries like shit compared to my LCP but I love wheel guns and 158gr LSWCHP makes me feel better than 90gr XTP.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 2:58:51 PM EST
I own a 3" S&W Model 60 that I carry in the summer. They come in .38 Special and .357 Magnum, I opted for .38 Special.

You can shoot .38 Special through a .357 Magnum, but if you use lead bullets you'll get built up lead deposits that will be hard work to get rid of and make it virtually impossible to load .357 ammo if you don't. If you buy a .357 simply shoot jacketed .38 Special ammo and you won't have any problems.

It's fun to shoot .38 Special and you can do it for hours without any flinching. Full power .357 Magnum loads from small frame revolvers have a kick.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 4:37:28 PM EST
I've been finding that my recent purchase of a 642 airweight isn't as easy to carry as everyone says.

It doesn't fit in my jeans pocket and is to big in scrubs too.

It does work in the pocket of the shorts I run in so I guess there's that.

So besides running in the woods it's a hard to shoot, slow to reload, and bulky for the capacity gun. Not really impressed.

If you are looking for a belt gun a 4” k frame could work. I used to have a 4" 19 clone (taures) that carried very well.

I'd love to get a s&w 19. Just practice those DA shots and reloads. I've seen guys shoot and reload efficiently enough that ide be comfortable. A problem is that speed loaders are bulkier than spare mags and take more practice to use as efficiently.

I have a 4" .45 Redhawk that isn't that bad to carry which I have in the past. They make them now that accept moon clips for. 45 acp. I know I can make hits on deer out to 50 yards with it
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 4:59:55 PM EST
I am a Smith and Wesson guy and have been shooting and collecting revolvers since 1985. Have had over a dozen K Frames and still have a few. Also have a 442 and Model 25 in the stable. Also had some Colts, Rugers and Taurus revolvers. That being said my recommendation would be to forego a used revolver for know and look for a new S&W 686 or a Ruger GP-100. If you know how to check end shake, timing, cylinder gap, take off the side plate, and look for bent cranes then go for it with used S&W revolvers, though I think the hay day of police turn ins is long gone.
A GP can easily be found for less than $600, a 686 will be hundreds more. I would suggest a GP-100 357 magnum for the first revolver. These are the F-150/Chevy 1500/Dodge Ram daily driver of the revolver world. You can shoot from anything from bunny puff 38 target loads to HD/SD/Duty loads to 180 gran 357 magnum beast stoppers. If you really like revolvers (what real American wouldn't) then you can add to the collection.

Summary: for now forget used and get a new GP-100 357 Magnum
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 11:14:29 AM EST
Give 'em three inches and make it hurt!

696 (no dash)


657


64 and 65
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 11:37:21 AM EST
I will make your decision easy for you and you can thank me later.
Get a model 19 with a 2 1/2 barrel. Spend the time and money to find a nice one.
There is a lot of good info in this thread. I am carrying one in a shoulder holster as I type this and can forget I even have it on. Plus I do not know why but the two M19,s I have are "super accurate". I also have a 627 that I love.
Good hunting!
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 7:50:12 PM EST
I got a used Taurus Total Titanium .45 colt that I really like for $400.00 used. I also picked up the same thing in .44 special caliber. The .45 colt shoots sweet with the 225 grain HP bullets. The .44 special needs a bit of a touch up on the trigger. Both weigh next to nothing.
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 8:46:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/19/2016 7:53:53 PM EST by heirmossy]
I have a Model 60 in .357 3" and like it very much. It does have the lock if you don't mind that.

If you're looking for older and .38 Sp. this is my little J frame M-36.
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 10:26:02 PM EST
Without a doubt the best revolver that will cover all your wants and needs is the model @#$% made by %^& !
What you need to do is get your hands on as many revolvers as you can...Gun stores,,gun shows,,, friends ,,even shooting ranges are filled with people that would be more than happy to let you check out their guns..
After handling the different makes and models you will have a better idea on which you want..and what gun will suit your needs.
FWIW,,I carry a model 65 with bobbed hammer and 4" barrel,,but that's just me!,,,
Link Posted: 12/18/2016 6:13:30 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:
There is some good information.......

A well chosen load will deliver good expansion and 12" penetration with one of the quality 125 gr XTP +P loads or with a.......
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Just chirping in to expand on the XTP's. I use them in all my revolver reloadings. The above 125 grains I use for 38 specials and 158 grains for 357's. XTP's will expand properly over a wide range of velocities, which is their selling point. Thought I'd post a link to Hornady's page which I refer to when I'm working up something new to check min and max. Just scroll down a bit for the chart.

XTP Chart
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 10:19:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2016 10:20:26 AM EST by Longhorn1986]
I own and regularly carry a 60-9 in 2 1/4". I've been shooting .357 rounds since I bought it in 1997 with no adverse effects. I did go with the Hogue monogrips as they fit my large hands better. I use a 140 gr bullet which seems to give better ballistics from the snubby than a 125 gr. I bought my wife a 3" SP101. It's a nice shooting revolver, but the original trigger was quite poor. It was stiff, heavy and rough. Despite over 1K dry fires, it barely improved. We took it to the local gunsmith, and he was able to improve it, but it is still not as nice as the Smith. That said, I would now carry either revolver without hesitation.
Link Posted: 12/21/2016 9:35:55 AM EST
K Frames - A I said in my post above, I am a big S&W revolver fan. I would love to own (another) Python and dream of owning a real Korth someday, but I always liked the K frames. I like other frame sizes, I dearly love my 1955 Model 25. For a while I was collecting K frames and have had a couple dozen come and go over the years. I agree with most of what is said above and any dissention is just personal preference (I like to stay at 4" and 3" barrels. Shorter, then I go for a J Frame).
My question is this; are you guys still finding a good supply of K Frame revolvers out there? Last time I was in the market $300 seemed to be a fair price for Excellent example of a used model 13. I paid $340 for my last 3" model 65 and that was a police trade in from a gun show and I got to pick through all the examples. Now it seems demand is greatly exceeding supply, when I do see them it is usually $600 for a less than stellar model that someone has goobered up (screw heads dorked up, slide plates pried off....). My perspective is that all the police trade ins, even the imports are gone. I really hope there is still a good supply of K frames out there so new revolver shooters can enjoy them, I am just not seeing them. I used to always tell new revolver shooters to get a K frame, now I have to recommend a Ruger GP100 or a 686.


4" DA 357 magnum FTW

Link Posted: 12/21/2016 8:01:16 PM EST
Pick something (used) that looks like a fit and buy it. If it turns out not perfect then buy another one and if need be sell the first one. They will hold their value long enough for you decide if it's the thing for you.

Everbody is different, way different. So what ends up working out for you might get blasted in interweb land.

I carry everyday either a 4" L frame (586 no dash) in .357, or a 329PD (4" lightweight .44mag) and those would be considered some of the stupidest carry options on the planet by many keyboard posters. So be it, I love 'em.

My back up is a officers size 1911. Find that works for you, just my take on it.

But a 4" 357 is a really good starting (and maybe ending) place, and it will resale easily if you don't dig it. K or L frame most common, J & N frame a little less.
You can pound a stupid amount of rounds down a .357 L Frame's throat.
People who consider a .380 carry gun as an annoyance will not want to carry an L or N frame of course, but others do.

Happy hunting : )
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