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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to wheel guns. I've always wanted one but wasn't at the top of my list of guns to buy until now. After reading a bit I decided on a LCR 357. Good to carry, can shoot both 357 & 38, great price, and sexy. But I've been reading where you won't be able to shoot much at range with it?! Though I'll carry it from time to time, it'll be a plinker for the most part. With that said, should I go with more of a full size revolver?

Thanks
 

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Well, if you're not going to conceal carry why get a light small gun? It won't be as much fun to shoot as a larger gun. If you have the budget a SW 686 is probably for the money the best revolver you can buy right now, figure mid 700's to low 800's. For a couple of hundred less you can get a Ruger GP100, figure around 600 for stainless, less for blue. The difference between the 2 is preference and a much better trigger on the Smith and Wesson, but either will last a lifetime and be reliable and accurate guns. If you have more to spend look at Smith and Wesson performance center or Pro series guns, I have 3 and they're the best revolvers you can find right now.

There's nothing wrong with the LCR you're looking at, and if carrying a revolver is your goal that's a good choice. But if you can go larger and spend a bit more you can get a much nicer gun that will be a range gem for as long as you shoot it.
 

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Let me start with a disclaimer: I don't have an LCR 357 and have never shot one.

Having said that, what is your tolerance to recoil and pain? Flinch resistance?

That LCR has to much snappier than shooting an S&W K-frame .357 mag, like my 4" Model 19. I don't really have an issue with recoil shooting standard .357 mag ammo with this handgun, but I'm glad it is as heavy as it is... your LCR would be significantly lighter.

Unless you get in range time with your carry gun, you're not going to be proficient. I imagine .38 spl and .38+P would allow you to get the necessary range time under your belt, and I don't see why .38+P wouldn't be good carry ammo for the LCR.

If you're looking for a (primarily) range gun... go full frame. Less hurt, more fun.
 

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I have a 4 inch stainless GP100, shooting 38's out of it feels like a 22. Once I did shoot a snubbie another range member had, pretty much sold me on never buying one. Wasn't terrible but definitely wasn't ideal.
 

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I own a LCR .357 and it is not a plinker or much fun to shoot at the range. I shoot it as much as I think I need to in order to be proficient. I do carry it quite often, but it's strictly a close range piece.

The .357 mag is my favorite revolver cartridge and I think you need a 4" to 6" barrel for comfortable target shooting. IMHO a 5" barrel for .357 is perfect and I don't know why manufacturers don't make more.

I've owned a S&W 586 and a Model 60 and both of those would serve you well as target pistols and not break the bank. If you want to save a few bills, you won't go wrong with a Ruger GP100.
 

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Shame on me, I almost forgot the Dan Wesson!

I just picked one of these up, they're fantastic (if hard to find and expensive) and when they come out with the new barrel lengths you can get pretty much any length you want.



But if I were starting out with a revolver and looking to not spend a fortune I'd start with the GP100.
 

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I would second the 686. I have a 586, which S&W started producing again a few years back. It the equivalent to the 686, but in blued steel rather than stainless. I just got one and it is a great gun.

If you are looking for a good middle of the road option, the Ruger SP101 is well liked by the people I know who own them. It is small enough to carry but is heavier than the LCR, which is a negative for carry but a positive for shooting at the range.
 

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Depends on what you're used to or your tolerance level.
I have 686 subby and yes, 357 full house rounds are not a joy to shoot..UNLESS..you just finished shooting a Model 29 44 mag or Desert Eagle 50AE. Then the 357 686 feels downright mild.

I use mine for a sub class in a weekly PPC league and shoot very light loads - 500fps types. A 6" version feels a lot like shooting a 22LR.

I shoot those loads in vaqueros and it's nearly like shooting a BB gun. Fun, cheap. But if I want or need a 'real gun' I can put in full house 357's and feel confident in what I can do with them.

Such a wide range of possibilities is why wheelguns are more fun than semi's.
 

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But if I were starting out with a revolver and looking to not spend a fortune I'd start with the GP100.
It's pretty hard to argue it. They don't really drop much resale value either. They hit a certain level and stay there or go up with inflation adjusting unless you butcher one.

Trigger, yeah, the Smith is better but you can get a pretty nice pull on the Ruger modular design.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used Ruger. With a used Smith and Wesson I'd probably be a bit more thorough checking it out.

For a 6 shot .357, the Ruger Six family, GP100 or a Smith 686 are the solid buys for an introduction.

If you want a 5 shot snub in .357, the SP101 is honestly the perfect option for all around awesome.

It's got enough heft to not punish you with full Magnum loads yet not heavy enough to be uncomfortable for most to carry all day.

If you want a .38, it's hard to beat an all steel J frame of whatever particular flavor you'd like.

I need to get myself a nice model 36 so I can dress like Joe Friday.
 

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a little off topic. What .357 load do all you wheelie guys carry I just picked up a sp101 and was curious. ps the sp101 is pretty sweet pretty mild with .38's.
 

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Mine currently sits with just green box Remington 125 gr. Jacketed hollowpoints. It's really loves them...I wanna try some Winchester PDX1 in it next time I can find some.
 

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I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used Ruger. With a used Smith and Wesson I'd probably be a bit more thorough checking it out.
Agree 100%.

I'm always on the prowl for a used GP100, I just don't see too many. Great guns.
 

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I have a 4 inch stainless GP100, shooting 38's out of it feels like a 22. Once I did shoot a snubbie another range member had, pretty much sold me on never buying one. Wasn't terrible but definitely wasn't ideal.
I picked up a 4" stainless GP100 a few months ago and fell in love with it. Built like a tank, and I like the trigger. Not a fan on the looks of the rubber grips but they feel great. I can find the 4" SS GP100 for exactly $500 sticker price at my LGS.

OP, if it's more of a range gun I go along with the vote of something a little bigger. Others have already stated why pretty well. There's a few options out there but I vote the GP...you can find them for decent prices and its a great wheel gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So look at a 686 and sp101? I don't really like the gp100.
 

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357's come in different 'sizes' - the 686 is smith's big frame 357. If you want to shoot hot loads all day this is the gun for you.
If you want to carry then they make (or made) a 66 and they make 5, 6 and 7 shot revolvers as well. 5 would of course be smaller.

If cost is an issue look for used. I got my 686 for $550 and saw a dan wesson (with only the 4" barrel) for $350 in the case.

As for what rounds to 'carry' - I have bulldog in my M&P but the liberty ammo is very very tempting. I know a few guys that now carry 380s w/ liberty in them. I've not shot liberty but did see a 9mm round go THROUGH an armored vest hung over a plastic barrel -it entered the barrel but didn't exit the other side.

You get penetration, stopping power and reduced recoil but the round doesn't travel for ever and ever like a JHP 357 may tend to do.
 

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Have you handled a GP?

They aren't the prettiest ill give them that....
They are very ergonomic IMO. And I think the blued ones are very good looking guns with the old wood insert grips.
 
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