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  #1  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:07 AM
rfd rfd is offline
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doing homework for a first revolver, seeking assistance




long time rifleman that's new to handguns, got some semi autos (browning .22, remington 1911 .45acp), would like to get a revolver for fun shooting/"target", with a good 6" or longer barrel length, iron sights only. as to caliber, it'll mostly be .38spl but i know most .357 revolvers allow shooting .38spl as well. i like single action, but not adverse to both sa/da revolvers. the low price point looks good for a ruger blackhawk, but since i dunno much about wheelguns, perhaps i should be looking at s&w or .... ?

your comments, please. much obliged.

Last edited by rfd; 03-17-2012 at 07:19 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:14 AM
Jeff in Colorado Jeff in Colorado is offline
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I shoot my Smith 686 more accurately than my 1911s, it's a four inch barrel and lots of fun.
However, .357 doesn't work in a .38 revolver, not sure you are aware of that.
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:18 AM
rfd rfd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff in Colorado View Post
I shoot my Smith 686 more accurately than my 1911s, it's a four inch barrel and lots of fun.
However, .357 doesn't work in a .38 revolver, not sure you are aware of that.
what i meant is that most .357's revolvers allow .38spl as well.
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:19 AM
DeltaShooter DeltaShooter is offline
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+1 to Jeff in Colorado.
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:28 AM
lt7d101 lt7d101 is offline
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Rugers are good, S&W are too. I would handle both and see what fits you the best for weight and balance. For me, if I had only one wheel gun, I would not go single action only. Look on Gunbroker to get an idea of what you like. Then go to your FLGS and handle them. You could get a S&W in 45acp, Model 25, then you won't need to lay in so many calibers of ammo. Big hole with wheel gun dependability.
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:32 AM
Houser Houser is offline
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I own several double action revolvers from Colt and S&W, and I have owned a couple of Ruger Blackhawks, not to mention the 1911's and other semi-autos.

If I was new to revolvers today and did not want to hunt some discontinued model used, which requires being able to determine condition to a degree, I would no doubt look to Ruger for the best bang-for-the-buck revolver. For single action revolvers, the choices might be a little more diverse depending upon what you are looking for, but for most purposes nothing is going to be stronger than a Ruger Blackhawk.

You are correct that the revolvers chambered for .357mag will also fire .38spcl, and indeed most folks I know shoot more .38spcl in their magnums. It may be the most versatile chambering for a handgun, and my personal preference.

The Ruger Blackhawk is available in a variety of barrel lengths and finishes to suit your tastes, simple to operate and quality built. Stainless is a bit easier to maintain and more carefree.

Double action shooting is a bit different on the trigger and in the grip, and a little better suited if it is to be used for defensive purposes. A Ruger GP100 would be a good place to start for a revolver newbie if that is the way you want to travel.

Good luck with your revolver shooting. They are a lot of fun and still very functional for a variety of uses.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:55 AM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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IMO, it depends on whether you want a single action or double action revolver. A DA revolver can be fired in single action, but not vice-versa. Also, SA revolvers have to be loaded and unloaded one round at a time.

My preference is double action revolvers because they can also be fired single action when wanted, and because they are much quicker to load & unload. In a DA revolver, I prefer S&W unless I could have a Python.

A 4" barrel is much more versatile than 6", and accuracy really doesn't suffer that much.
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:58 AM
Kamerer Kamerer is offline
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Best intro revolver imho is the S&W 15/67 (15 is blued, 67 is stainless model). You can buy cheaper ones, but not ones you want to keep a lifetime/

Eye friendly adustable sights, great accuracy for satisfaction. 4" is as accurate as 6", (tested and proven!), and more available and practical. The model 10 or "pre-model" M&P is just as good, just lacks adjustable sights and widely available in great condition for $300. Hold out for a pre-war model if you are patient, and insist on original grips.

I have hand-built Caspian and Colt .45s, but at 15 yards my gritty war-finished .38 Victory from '42 holds a better group when loaded with target rounds, crude sights and al, and fired DA (with practice, though).

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  #9  
Old 03-17-2012, 08:02 AM
rfd rfd is offline
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i've shot my club member's revolvers, both ruger and s&w - .38spl, .357m, .45colt, .44spl, .41mag - they all seem to feel fine in my newbie handgun hand, and all shoot well enuf for me. i'm not looking for a carry gun or hunting, just indoor range plinking/target at up to 25 yards, outdoors to 50 yards and maybe longer distances. i'm liking the blackhawk based on the much lower cost - dunno if the price tag alone is a good enuf reason in terms of quality as compared to an s&w 686 ... ?
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  #10  
Old 03-17-2012, 09:33 AM
Damann Damann is offline
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Single action Rugers offer a good low price starting point for sure. The loading and unloading gets old very fast when you're burning through a lot of rounds.

The 357 isn't what I consider a fun plinking round, just to stout for me when I'm wanting to shoot 200-300 rounds. Plus you will over pay for the 357 when you just end up shooting 38 spl most of the time anyway.

There's a ton of service sized used Double action revolvers in 38 spl out there. I found a Ruger GP 100 in 38 spl only, a security guard trade in for $250, not long ago. All kinds of S&W trade in out there too.

For what you're wanting just find a good double action 38 spl and get ready to shoot all day with no pain. Good Luck, and be sure to let us know what you found.
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  #11  
Old 03-17-2012, 09:58 AM
Houser Houser is offline
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I have no shortage of nice double action revolvers from Colt and S&W which get shot often.



Comparing them to a single action Blackhawk is apples and oranges.

Personally, I would consider buying a new Blackhawk but would not be interested in the current crop of S&W's. Nice vintage Colts and S&W's are not always easy to buy inexpensively, and most police trade-ins are not 6-inch barrels like you want.

The Ruger Blackhawk is a solid quality built revolver which will serve you well, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that gun for the purposes you intend. Good luck and have fun!
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2012, 10:44 AM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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Like this poster said!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamerer View Post
Best intro revolver imho is the S&W 15/67 (15 is blued, 67 is stainless model). You can buy cheaper ones, but not ones you want to keep a lifetime/

Eye friendly adustable sights, great accuracy for satisfaction. 4" is as accurate as 6", (tested and proven!), and more available and practical. The model 10 or "pre-model" M&P is just as good, just lacks adjustable sights and widely available in great condition for $300. Hold out for a pre-war model if you are patient, and insist on original grips.

I have hand-built Caspian and Colt .45s, but at 15 yards my gritty war-finished .38 Victory from '42 holds a better group when loaded with target rounds, crude sights and al, and fired DA (with practice, though).

This is a very good way to go for a beginner. If you are going to hunt or use it for personal protection. Then I would tell you to go with the .357. But for most purposes, including personal protection .38 Special will work fine.
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  #13  
Old 03-17-2012, 03:59 PM
roaddog28 roaddog28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfd View Post
long time rifleman that's new to handguns, got some semi autos (browning .22, remington 1911 .45acp), would like to get a revolver for fun shooting/"target", with a good 6" or longer barrel length, iron sights only. as to caliber, it'll mostly be .38spl but i know most .357 revolvers allow shooting .38spl as well. i like single action, but not adverse to both sa/da revolvers. the low price point looks good for a ruger blackhawk, but since i dunno much about wheelguns, perhaps i should be looking at s&w or .... ?

your comments, please. much obliged.
Here is one suggestion that won't cost you a lot. A Ruger Security Six 6 inch 357 magnum revolver. Well balanced accurate and best of all you can find one used for about $350 to $400.
Regards,
Howard
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  #14  
Old 03-17-2012, 04:17 PM
rfd rfd is offline
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thanx for all your suggestions so far. i have a month before i'm allowed to add another handgun to my safe - thank you, new jersey ... NOT! - so i'm taking all your suggestions to heart. right now i'm still leaning towards the ruger blackhawk .357 and can get a new one for less than $450/delivered to my ffl - of course it's another $50 for the papers and NICS. plus. i'll be reloading for it so will need dies and cartidge components. anyhoo, i liked the way the ruger felt and shot for me (a .44spl and .41mag), and i actually prefer the single action. someone wanna talk me outta the ruger and on to .... ?
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  #15  
Old 03-17-2012, 04:44 PM
musc musc is offline
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Rugers are great and if you can get one for a good price, then I am sure you'll be happy with it. I am a bit partial to N-frame S&Ws myself. Great target guns, and with a 38 special load, there is virtually no recoil because of the nice weight of the gun. I shoot mine mostly single action for good accurate and fun target plinking. Example of one is my 27-2 .357 in 6 inch. Good luck!

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  #16  
Old 03-17-2012, 05:00 PM
rfd rfd is offline
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NICE gun, musc - me like! that grip looks really great, too!
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  #17  
Old 03-17-2012, 05:09 PM
BYJO4 BYJO4 is offline
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My preference has always been the 357 Mag and I like the S&W model 686. It is an excellent range gun and allows a lot of flexability in loads.
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  #18  
Old 03-17-2012, 05:20 PM
musc musc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfd View Post
NICE gun, musc - me like! that grip looks really great, too!
Thanks rfd! The grips aren't as fancy as some of the classic wood grips, but they are very functional and make shooting a lot of rounds very comfortable. They are Hogue's.
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  #19  
Old 03-17-2012, 05:35 PM
FN in MT FN in MT is offline
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S&W K-38 the Model 14. Superbly accurate and well balanced. EVERY Pistolero should own both a K-38 and it's .22 LR counterpart the M-17 or K-22.

The Herrett stocked gun is my 35 yr old shooter, the other is a NIB 1966 gun.

FN in MT
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  #20  
Old 03-17-2012, 05:56 PM
rfd rfd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FN in MT View Post


S&W K-38 the Model 14. Superbly accurate and well balanced. EVERY Pistolero should own both a K-38 and it's .22 LR counterpart the M-17 or K-22.

The Herrett stocked gun is my 35 yr old shooter, the other is a NIB 1966 gun.

FN in MT
wow, those are just beautiful!
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  #21  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:32 PM
mark2734 mark2734 is offline
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One thing to consider if your going with the Ruger. They make the Blackhawk in a convertible line. That is you can get a .357 with an extra cylinder fitted to shoot 9mm, or a .45 with a cylinder in ACP and another in Long Colt.

Either way your able to shoot bulk ammo cheaper then the other caliber.

http://www.ruger.com/products/newMod...le/models.html
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  #22  
Old 03-18-2012, 09:04 AM
TN HP TN HP is offline
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Smith & Wesson K, L or N frame. You pick the finish. Any Colt double or single action. Ruger Security Six or similar model or a single action. It is really that simple and get ready but, one probably won't be enough.
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  #23  
Old 03-18-2012, 09:58 AM
scubadad scubadad is offline
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get the blackhawk you wont regret it. i had one years ago that my ex wife made me sell. my new wife got me another for christmas and its like having an old friend back. i have the 4 5/8 barrel stainless 357 . alot of revolver shooters always go into sa mode when target shooting so if it is just for plinking why not get a sa only. if you want a revolver for home defense as well then the gp100 or a smith would do you better. yes loading and unloading a sa is more work but when you are shooting expensive 357 do you really want to burn thru them as fast as you would a 9mm. the other side benefit on the blackhawk is the removable cylinder the caliber conversions are great but also cleaning is alot easier compared to a swing out cylinder. not a big deal but i am excessive about cleaning my guns.
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  #24  
Old 03-18-2012, 11:03 AM
b00stinGTP b00stinGTP is offline
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My first revolver choice was a Taurus 66 .357 magnum. Now why ruger and SW are better choices, there is nothing wrong with taurus IMO. It really comes down to budget. At the time I bought my taurus it was all I could afford, and I do not regret it. Infact, my 66 is one of my favorite guns to take to the range because I can shoot the crap out of it and not really worry about if something goes wrong because if it breaks... hey it didnt cost alot, plus it has a lifetime warranty. It is hit or miss with taurus revolvers, but I own 2 of them, and I have put alot of rounds through my 66 without any issues. With rubber and wood grips:

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...yfan88/357.jpg

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...-09-52_206.jpg
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  #25  
Old 03-18-2012, 02:21 PM
Ron H. Ron H. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfd View Post
thanx for all your suggestions so far. i have a month before i'm allowed to add another handgun to my safe - thank you, new jersey ... NOT! - so i'm taking all your suggestions to heart. right now i'm still leaning towards the ruger blackhawk .357 and can get a new one for less than $450/delivered to my ffl - of course it's another $50 for the papers and NICS. plus. i'll be reloading for it so will need dies and cartidge components. anyhoo, i liked the way the ruger felt and shot for me (a .44spl and .41mag), and i actually prefer the single action. someone wanna talk me outta the ruger and on to .... ?
Sir, FWIW, I've had a bunch of Ruger single-actions over the years, including Single-Sixes, Blackhawks, Super Blackhawks, and one early Vaquero. They're good guns--there's just not much to go wrong with them. As a rule, their triggers aren't as nice out of the box as the single-action trigger on a Smith & Wesson, but that's relatively easy to correct.

Hope this helps, and Semper Fi.

Ron H.
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