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Guys,

At some point in the near future I'd like to pick up a basic revolver so that I can get something comfortable for both me and my wife to shoot and for her to possibly carry at some point if she decides.

I hardly know anything about revolvers. Here is what I DO know: we want a medium recoil caliber - nothing sharp, snappy, hard, or huge. Moderate would describe it well. From the little research I've done, that would indicate that an 'airweight' or lightweight revolver wouldn't be the best choice.

We'd be looking for a small-medium frame, short-medium barrel. Hammer or hammerless. I've heard all kinds of bad about the child locks on some of the S&Ws, so I want to avoid those particular models. Blued or stainless, doesn't matter. Used or new okay, and used might be the way to go if I can get one easier without the child lock deal.

I don't know much about the revolver brands either...S&W, Taurus...can you guys help me find what I'm looking for? Maybe something older...a classic. Something that feels good in the hand, manageable, not a chunk of lead but not a feather either, in a moderate-recoil caliber, something that goes bang everytime.

Oh yea, and price...would like it to be between $300-$500 if possible.

Any suggestions from the revolver experts? What should I be looking at here?

Thanks a bunch!
 

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From your description, I'd look for a used 4" S&W M19 or M66 in .357, and shoot .38 special out of it.

You should be able to find one sans lock in the $300-350 range easy.

Edit--I figured I should give some reasons on my recommendation...

First off, when comparing revolvers, you're mainly going to be looking at S&W, Ruger, and Taurus. I'm a big fan of the Ruger GP100...but, there's no getting around the fact that it's a brick. That's not what you're looking for, so...it wasn't worth mentioning. And when it comes down to comparing a S&W and a Taurus...as someone who has owned both, there is no comparison--S&W makes a much nicer (and, I'd say better) revolver, hands down. Add in that all new Taurus revolvers also come with a built-in lock (which you say you want to avoid)...that leave us with used S&W's.

For a moderate-recoil revolver cartridge, it's hard to top .38 special. Actually, I can't think of anything better.

The reason I recommend a 4" barrel is that they are fun to shoot; in my experience, short-barreled revolvers aren't the best for beginners; the short sight radius can make accuracy a bit iffy, and when you can't hit your target, it's not fun.

Why a Model 19 or 66(basically, they are the same pistol--the only major difference being the 19 is blued, and the 66 is stainless)? It's a medium-frame 6 shot revolver with enough weight to keep recoil down, but not so heavy as to be a brick. It's chambered in .357 magnum, which means you it can shoot .38's out of it all day long to begin with...but can step up to .357's as experience & comfort with shooting grows. Add in that I picked up a used M19 for $300 last year, and I know that the LGS has a M66 for $325, it should fit right in the low end of your price range, leaving you with plenty of cash for ammo...

Hope this helps.
 

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S&W is making some of their subby's without locks again. I have an airweight and its not bad with longer wooden figer groove grips. Check out Rugers SP101. Also look for a steel frame S&W J-frame.
 

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+1 for the Ruger SP101 in .357. With .38 standard-loads, it's fun at the range, there are some good .38+P self-defense rounds that up the power but still keep the recoil manageable, and you still have the option of .357s if needed.

My wife loves hers and prefers it to her 9mm pistol. We have a matching pair with 3" barrels. Medium-sized and well-balanced, rugged but sleek, great factory grip but other options available. Got hers used-exc. condition for well under $400 a year and a half ago, got mine new last spring for $425.
 

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I recomend the ruger only because it will help my bonus check out. Just kidding the SP101 is a great little revolver its stout and rugged. I have nothing against s&w, there trigger is defenitly smoother out of the box but for the price i think your better off with the ruger. Taurus in my opinion compares to neither companys. Thats only my opinion.
 

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Smaller frame Ruger SP101, Medium frame Ruger GP100 with 4 inch barrel
 

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I'm planning to head to my shop this week and get the paperwork started for a Ruger SP101 in .357, although I still haven't decided on barrel length yet. I know the 3" would be a little more fun to shoot, be easier to sight in shots with, and have less recoil. But I don't shoot for fun, so it doesn't need to be a fun gun to shoot, and the 2" barrel would fit the intended purpose better (concealment if needed, backup/pocket gun). Hopefully they'll have both barrel lengths in stock to compare.
 

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+1 for the advice others have already given here, an SP-101 .357 with .38 loads sounds like exactly what you're looking for. Good luck.
 

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I'm planning to head to my shop this week and get the paperwork started for a Ruger SP101 in .357, although I still haven't decided on barrel length yet. I know the 3" would be a little more fun to shoot, be easier to sight in shots with, and have less recoil. But I don't shoot for fun, so it doesn't need to be a fun gun to shoot, and the 2" barrel would fit the intended purpose better (concealment if needed, backup/pocket gun). Hopefully they'll have both barrel lengths in stock to compare.
If you're really lucky, they'll have one with a bobbed hammer, which will be very helpful for pocket carry. If I come across one of those, in either 2" or 3" barrel, I'll have a hard time not adding it to my collection.
 

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people turn their noses up at Rossi but they are made by taurus. i love mine. i shoot regular 38sp at the range and carry +P but forget the grain. compared to carrying my xd45, this is a feather. recoil is more than manageable even with the +P. i traded a six inch taurus for one just like this one. i am pleased with mine. only thing i would do differently is get a blued version. maybe...
 

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If you can't find a spurless hammer send it in to ruger and we will fit one to it. Just give customer service a call.
 

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Doesn't that defeat my ability to justify getting another gun? :mrgreen:

But, yeah, good idea!
 

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If you're really lucky, they'll have one with a bobbed hammer, which will be very helpful for pocket carry. If I come across one of those, in either 2" or 3" barrel, I'll have a hard time not adding it to my collection.
Bobbing hammers is easy. I did my S&W M36 last year. Just buy an extra hammer and do it yourself.
 

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If you're really lucky, they'll have one with a bobbed hammer, which will be very helpful for pocket carry. If I come across one of those, in either 2" or 3" barrel, I'll have a hard time not adding it to my collection.
If you can't find a spurless hammer send it in to ruger and we will fit one to it. Just give customer service a call.
Bobbing hammers is easy. <snip> Just buy an extra hammer and do it yourself.
Every one of us has our own individual hammer shroud for pocket carry.

It's called 'your thumb'.



danp, Ruger won't sell hammers. Not sure if aftermarket hammers exist or not for the SP101.
 

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Every one of us has our own individual hammer shroud for pocket carry.

It's called 'your thumb'.



danp, Ruger won't sell hammers. Not sure if aftermarket hammers exist or not for the SP101.
They're sold out right now, but... RUGER | SP101 | ITEM#289380 | e-GunParts.com Numrich buys used guns, then sells off the parts. You can sometimes find parts that the factory won't sell.
 

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I'm planning to head to my shop this week and get the paperwork started for a Ruger SP101 in .357, although I still haven't decided on barrel length yet.
Decided to go with the 3". And I just got my Christmas bonus (tough times so we weren't sure if we were getting them this year), so now I just need to find one. :mrgreen:

Concealment and compactness is a secondary consideration. The 3" should be small enough, on top of being easier to shoot, less recoil, and another factor I hadn't considered, easier to train new shooters with. My wife is going to learn to shoot next year, and if any of our kids ever want to shoot this would be a pretty good starter gun. Start out with standard pressure .38 special, and then move up to .38 +P or .357 magnum loads, or my 45 ACP as they progress.
 
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