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Posted: 10/8/2008 5:59:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2008 4:34:19 PM EST by MEH]
I am thinking about getting a .22 revolver for fun, hiking, bug-out-bag, etc.

Which one of these would be best i.e. quality, reliability, durability?

S&W 317 2"

Ruger Bearcat

Taurus 94 2"



Link Posted: 10/8/2008 6:13:48 AM EST
I like Ruger revolvers but the only gun on your list I have direct experience with is the 317. My 82-y-o mom has finally caved to my decades of lecturing and has taken up shooting so I bought her the longer-barrel (3", IIRC) version with hi-vis front sight and adjustable express rear. Reduced the power a little on the trigger return spring but left it as-is otherwise and she does great with it.

I really didn't care for it myself at first - too used to a traditional sight picture - but I got used to it in a hurry while working with her. At distances where I could shoot dime-sized groups with my Buckmark, I was shooting quarter-sized ones using DA only. With practice, I think it could make a good bunny/squirrel-getter - lighter than most semis, holds 8 rounds, handy. Might add one to the stable myself.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 6:16:09 AM EST
i don't know about the Bearcat... but the Single Six can handle both .22 lr and .22 magnum... just by changing the cylinder.

AND it is a sweetheart to shoot!
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 6:57:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2008 6:59:05 AM EST by MEH]
I like the look and feel of the S&W 317 2" the best, but I'm worried about the durability of the aluminum cylinder.

Does anyone have experience with aluminum cylinders?

The Taurus on the other hand is all steel but I've heard and read lots of bad things about their reliability.

I'd really like a fixed sight 2" barrel S&W model 63.

I don't suppose it would be possible to convert?



Link Posted: 10/8/2008 7:03:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By MEH:
I like the look and feel of the S&W 317 2" the best, but I'm worried about the durability of the aluminum cylinder.

Does anyone have experience with aluminum cylinders?

The Taurus on the other hand is all steel but I've heard and read lots of bad things about their reliability.




I'd think that for a 'hiking/BOB 22' you'd want light. Which is where the 317 would shine.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 7:23:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By ASUsax:

Originally Posted By MEH:
I like the look and feel of the S&W 317 2" the best, but I'm worried about the durability of the aluminum cylinder.

Does anyone have experience with aluminum cylinders?

The Taurus on the other hand is all steel but I've heard and read lots of bad things about their reliability.




I'd think that for a 'hiking/BOB 22' you'd want light. Which is where the 317 would shine.


Maybe, but I won't mind a little more weight if it means the gun will last longer and be less likely to break.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 12:01:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By MEH:
I like the look and feel of the S&W 317 2" the best, but I'm worried about the durability of the aluminum cylinder.

Does anyone have experience with aluminum cylinders?



I have a 3" 317 22lr Jframe with adjustable sights that makes a great trail gun. I have run it for many years without any problems. It is light enough that it does not get in the way of the 1911 I also carry for social needs. I think the 3" version makes more sense as a trail gun.

Link Posted: 10/8/2008 12:25:32 PM EST

I had a taurus 940 the grip was kinda small for me but other wise it was ok.I sold it
I still have a single six with houge grip, it is heavy but acurate, single action is
fine by me for it's intended use.

I also like the high standard nine shot [steel frame], with a little cutting you can put a single six houge grip on it and make an acurate shooter out of it, they lock up good and tight and come in dual caliber models, and they are cheap.
I like the previous three better than the k22, never had a 317
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 12:32:41 PM EST
I have shot the 2" airweight. The DA triggers on them absolutely suck. Single action is ok. The factory wood grips are way too small- it was much easier to shoot with aftermarket boot grips, but even then, DA was tough (Had to aim several inchest low and left to hit). They will stand up to a lot of shooting, though extracting the empties from the cylinder can be difficult with some brands or after extended shooting sessions. There is a reason why Smith stopped making 617s with aluminum cylnders. The sights are sort of crude.The older steel-frame Smith snub-nose .22s are way more enjoyable to shoot, especially in double action. With a double action, I like adustable sights- I wouldn't want to try 'n kentucky windage a squirrel when I NEED to eat.

I wouldn't recommend the Taurus. Braztech CS sucks. I bought a Rossi accessory from them, and not only did they recommend me an item not compatible with my particular model (which I later found out was a known problem) but they were slow as can be in crediting my account. That said, their quality has improved in the last several years. I believe CDNN does have a really good deal going on their .17 rimfire revolvers right now.

I don't have any personal experience with the Ruger Bercat, but I do with the Single Six. The Single Six is very shootable and well made. While some people has problems with their politics, they make a great product and have great CS.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 12:50:35 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 12:57:04 PM EST
taurus shouldn't even be mentioned with the other 2 choices
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 1:38:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By JAD:
I have shot the 2" airweight. The DA triggers on them absolutely suck.


Don't know if you just shot it or if you own it but replacing the spring kit with the RP from Wilson's helped a bit. Felt great with the reduced mainspring and trigger spring but started getting a lot of light strikes. Put the factory mainspring back in and only got one or two every few cylinders - for just plinking that wasn't too terrible but I went up to the middle weight TR spring, which made reliability 100% (so far) and gave a little relief to your trigger finger. FWIW.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 3:04:36 PM EST
Single six is what your looking for. 22WMR and 22lr/l/s. Last forever and a joy to shoot.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 4:33:52 PM EST
Okay so the S&W and Ruger are good and the Taurus is bad...

How well will the aluminum cylinder on the S&W hold up?
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 5:41:57 PM EST
The Single Six might make a better trail gun if it came in a 4 5/8 barrel length. I have a 6 1/2 inch stainless that I use for hiking, but the pistol feels like a Blackhawk not a .22 cal. With the coyote population around here, I feel I am better armed with the .22 magnum cylinder in the revolver. The trigger pull was terrible from the factory, but probably the standard legal dept. issue. It took a Wolfe spring kit and some grinding on the hammer sear notch to get it shooting well. The new Bearcat is much lighter and smaller than the Single Six if weight is an overriding concern.

RS
Link Posted: 10/9/2008 3:39:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/9/2008 3:41:42 AM EST by BankerBilly]
My vote is for the S&W 317. Wifey has the three inch model -- which has adjustable sights. Been thur 3 or 4 thousand trouble free rounds so far. You'll never notice the one inch increase in barrel length.

Not cheap, but you're buying quality.

I have a 2 inch Taurus and it's O-K, but did not work out of the box -- had to be "tweeked" at little. Not the quality that the S&W is.

Buy the Smith ! !



Link Posted: 10/9/2008 6:28:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/18/2008 5:47:21 AM EST by Quarterbore]
I have a Bearcat as well as a SP101 in 22lr and the single six but I have no experience with that Smith. For a hiking gun, I would want something more then a 22lr (my hiking gun is a 4 5/8-inch 45 Colt Ruger Blackhawk) but if I was to only carry a 22lr I would want a double action so I can reload quickly if needed. I would take my 4-inch SP101 in 22lr over either my Bearcat or Single six if I was hihing in a serious way.

For a short trip, the bearcat is a lot of fun to carry and shoot but it feals like a toy IMHO so I never really developed a trust for counting on it. The single six would be great for hunting over the others however.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 2:07:43 PM EST
I've had a Taurus M94SS 6" version as my trapline pistol for a few years now. I love it. Stainless, double action, adjustable sights and 9 shots of LR, L, or S. It's been dunked in the creek several times, been rained and snowed on. It's still running like a top. As far as accuracy goes it does the job I need it to for dispatching caught animals. At 15 yds. (longer than dispatching range) it'll keep all 9 rounds in a group you can cover with a nickel.

I'll admit that brand new, it has a nasty double action trigger pull, but a quick trip to my buddy the gunsmith for a polish job and it's now crisp and clean. It's a hell of a gun for the price in my experience.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 2:53:29 PM EST
I have been using Smith & Wesson .22 revolvers for years. Currently I have a Model 34 and a Model 63. Both are 4 inch, adjustible sight revolvers.
Both are exellent trail/ survival choices.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 3:21:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By FrankSymptoms:
i don't know about the Bearcat... but the Single Six can handle both .22 lr and .22 magnum... just by changing the cylinder.

AND it is a sweetheart to shoot!


I have both of the Rugers. No comparison between the single six and the bearcat. Bearcat is way small for my hands for me to take seriously. I never shoot it. I LOVE the Single 6. Don't overlook what Frank said about the .22 Mags. That's a big, big plus for me. Rock simple, reliable, accurate, all that good stuff.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 3:24:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 5:37:41 AM EST
I'll second the recommendation for the SP101. Great little gun, indestructible, and a great trainer for the SP in .357. The short barrel version is handy but the 4" version makes a better varmint gun. Add some Traush grips and it is about perfect.
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 6:09:58 AM EST
Some guy on here that is a mechanical engineer made up a table to figure out which of his hanguns was the most efficent to hike with. the Glock 17 came out the winner.
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 7:33:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By wesmerc:
Some guy on here that is a mechanical engineer made up a table to figure out which of his hanguns was the most efficent to hike with. the Glock 17 came out the winner.


Id love to see that, but i really like the glock/ advantage arms kit combo. defense gun + .22, small space and weight, 1 holster and mag carrier, etc.

Link Posted: 10/19/2008 2:12:37 AM EST
You really need to consider what the mission is for your .22. If it is food gathering with small game animals, both the Bearcat and 2” 317 may not be optimum. Light weight is great, but the ability to hit is very important, too. Both have pretty poor sights. I prefer adjustable sights to dial the gun in for the ammo I prefer.

The 317 weighs about 12 oz. The Bearcat weighs more like 24 oz. If that is a reasonable weight range, then there are a few more candidates for your consideration. The 3” 317 weighs just a little more, but has much better sights and should be easier to hit with. I personally favor the 63. I like stainless and I like the 5” barrel. It weighs in at 30 oz. with heavy Pacymayr grips, but it has much better sights and a nice sight radius to make it a little easier to get hits at somewhat longer range.

If you want a .22 handgun to be able to perform like a short rifle, then you are getting into an entirely different category. The Army calls these Race Dragons. They are .22 target pistols with optical sights, either a scope or a red dot. Good ones are as accurate as small rifles, but weigh less and require more shooter skill to use to maximum advantage.

http://www.sererescuesog.addr.com/USRSOG-Firearm.htm
Link Posted: 10/19/2008 4:13:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/19/2008 4:14:02 AM EST by ROCK6]
For weight, the S&W (I would get the 3" version) is the way to go. I have the Taurus with a 2" barrel...it's been reliable but needs the trigger weight decreased (it's a bear to shoot for long); accruacy is what you expect from a 2" barrel...minute-of-squirrel at about 25 feet (but that's about it).

Yeah, I know they're not revolvers, but a Ruger MkX, 22/45 or Buckmark would be more than ideal with a red-dot mounted sight. My Buckmark (the Aimpoint is too big, need a smaller variety) will put 10 rounds inside the size of a half-dollar from 25 yards.









ROCK6
Link Posted: 10/19/2008 5:00:28 AM EST
It's a semi but I think my Buckmark would be excellent, even with open sights.
I keep a $100 Heritage Arms .22 revolver in my fishing bag though since I consider it more "disposable".

Neither of these are on your list so feel free to ignore this post.
Link Posted: 10/19/2008 5:16:46 AM EST
IMHO, the Ruger single six convertable is the only choice! It is the toughest of all the choices and the most versitile. I did have one with a 4 5/8 barrel. I wish I still had it.
Link Posted: 10/19/2008 6:01:57 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/19/2008 7:45:52 AM EST
How bout a Berreta 21?
Link Posted: 10/19/2008 11:28:36 AM EST
What about a Ruger sp101 .22. It is a tad heavy, but built like a bulldozer.

I am partial to the Smith kit gun as well. I own these two and a Ruger single six. I like the single six, but it is sloooooow to reload. It has shot a ton of small varmints though. It is very accurate.
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