PDA

View Full Version : New California revolver purchase - need help.


Samuel
08-12-2009, 4:41 AM
Hello, new to California/Calguns.
I own several target pistols and revolvers, (4" to 8" bbl) but I'm looking to purchase a revolver for my wife suitable for home defense. My criteria was fairly simple, or so I thought:
Stainless, 2" bbl, 6 or 7 rd, .38 or 38/.357. So far I've looked at Rossi and Charter Arms but the models I want are not part of the silly California roster.
I've looked around quite a bit but the roster makes selection very limited - seems like every one I look at isn't listed.

If anyone knows of a model that fits the description above and is listed on the CA. roster, please let me know. Since this is for an extra room and hopefully never used (except for an occasional function check at the range) I'd like to stay under $400.00, so that means no S & W, at least not new.

Thanks for any info!

B Strong
08-12-2009, 4:59 AM
I'd look for a good used J frame Smith.

A good one would probably be right at your price point in today's market, but imo the J frame .38 special is one of the best wheelguns ever in that class.

railroader
08-12-2009, 5:17 AM
Is there a reason you need a 2" since the gun is for home defense? A 4" would be much easier to shoot and might open up the possibilities for you. Mark

Big Jake
08-12-2009, 5:28 AM
Ruger and S & W both make great .38 Snubbies! S & W even makes a model caled the "Lady Smith" complete with pink grips for those ladies who have an affinity for such things.

Great little girly gun and because it is a revolver it is easy to maintain and shoot! As far as price goes I think a new one can be had for around $500.00 or so but I am not sure.

Check your local gun store and good luck!:rolleyes:

dfletcher
08-12-2009, 8:25 AM
Hello, new to California/Calguns.
I own several target pistols and revolvers, (4" to 8" bbl) but I'm looking to purchase a revolver for my wife suitable for home defense. My criteria was fairly simple, or so I thought:
Stainless, 2" bbl, 6 or 7 rd, .38 or 38/.357. So far I've looked at Rossi and Charter Arms but the models I want are not part of the silly California roster.
I've looked around quite a bit but the roster makes selection very limited - seems like every one I look at isn't listed.

If anyone knows of a model that fits the description above and is listed on the CA. roster, please let me know. Since this is for an extra room and hopefully never used (except for an occasional function check at the range) I'd like to stay under $400.00, so that means no S & W, at least not new.

Thanks for any info!

I went the "my wife wants a home defense gun, it MUST be a revolver" route with a friend and the best I could come up with was a 5" J frame Smith Model 60 with adjustable sights. I do think it's a pretty good choice.

Smaller grip for her smaller hands, a 5" bbl for a bit of balance and recoil reduction and the capability to do 38 Special and 357 Magnum. As an alternative, you could do the longer barreled Ruger SP101 - I think that can be had in an almost 4" bbl.

movie zombie
08-12-2009, 8:34 AM
step up to the plate with a few more hundred or try and find one used: Smith and Wesson Model 60 .38/.357 snubbie. i use it regularly at the range and love it. i love this model so much i'd buy it in all the barrel lengths available however for me i'm thinking the 5 inch barrel would be a hard balance in my hand. i found the ruger sp101 to be too big for my hand as it is larger than a j-frame but smaller than a k-frame. however, now that i'm more experienced shooting, i can actually do a k-frame.

please take her to a range and rent these suggestions so she can try them out for herself! do NOT let her try any of the light/air weight revolvers as they feel like they will rip one's hand off.

mz

rrr70
08-12-2009, 8:38 AM
Ruger SP 101.

Z ME FLY
08-12-2009, 8:38 AM
I would say, take her to the range and let her try some revolvers and semis. If it is a revolver for around $400 you are looking for...... it limits your choices. I can probably say you can look into a Gp100 or Security Six.

Rekrab
08-12-2009, 8:47 AM
$400 is definitely limiting.

A used Gp100 or S6 are probably what you're looking at.

However, I wouldn't slight Taurus either. My friend has a Taurus .38 special that is incredibly accurate and easy to shoot. Sure it's ugly and utilitarian, but it goes bang every time he pulls the trigger.

movie zombie
08-12-2009, 9:50 AM
gp100 was way to big for my hand.

you might find a used smith model 19 for your price range....i did. i also found an affordable model 66.........however, the model 66 is a k-frame and when i started out i couldn't handle a k-frame. a lot range time with the j-frames got me past that.

also, if she's not used to higher calibre shooting, you may want to start her off with a smaller calibre. i know the arguements against .22lr for self-defense, but a gun not taken to the range and fired regularly is going to be useless for self-defense. she's got to have something she will take to the range and practice with.

before buying it is important to fire these pistols and revolvers as i found that while a kahr semi-auto fit my hand nicely, i hated the thing because it ejected the casings into my face and hair.

mz

ps i'm sort of past the "i must fire one first" when i buy revolvers as i know what to expect.....unless i'm stepping up in calibre.

eta: am i the only woman responding to this thread?

HowardW56
08-12-2009, 10:19 AM
Hello, new to California/Calguns.
I own several target pistols and revolvers, (4" to 8" bbl) but I'm looking to purchase a revolver for my wife suitable for home defense. My criteria was fairly simple, or so I thought:
Stainless, 2" bbl, 6 or 7 rd, .38 or 38/.357. So far I've looked at Rossi and Charter Arms but the models I want are not part of the silly California roster.
I've looked around quite a bit but the roster makes selection very limited - seems like every one I look at isn't listed.

If anyone knows of a model that fits the description above and is listed on the CA. roster, please let me know. Since this is for an extra room and hopefully never used (except for an occasional function check at the range) I'd like to stay under $400.00, so that means no S & W, at least not new.

Thanks for any info!

Why a snubby? If it's for home a 4" model 10 would work just fine.... Easier to hang on to , more accurate, 6 rounds instead of 5...

Any of the K frames would work, stainless or blue

bwiese
08-12-2009, 11:50 AM
You can find S&Ws for under $400 if you look around.

I picked up a snubby Model 10 for $300 in "fired just to see that it works" shape.

Also consider used Ruger SP101s or GP100s.

Z ME FLY
08-12-2009, 11:57 AM
gp100 was way to big for my hand.

you might find a used smith model 19 for your price range....i did. i also found an affordable model 66.........however, the model 66 is a k-frame and when i started out i couldn't handle a k-frame. a lot range time with the j-frames got me past that.

also, if she's not used to higher calibre shooting, you may want to start her off with a smaller calibre. i know the arguements against .22lr for self-defense, but a gun not taken to the range and fired regularly is going to be useless for self-defense. she's got to have something she will take to the range and practice with.

before buying it is important to fire these pistols and revolvers as i found that while a kahr semi-auto fit my hand nicely, i hated the thing because it ejected the casings into my face and hair.

mz

ps i'm sort of past the "i must fire one first" when i buy revolvers as i know what to expect.....unless i'm stepping up in calibre.

eta: am i the only woman responding to this thread?

How about the Sp101? I say try it before you buy it because of the grip. Some people may like the grip some may not like you said about the Gp100 being too big. The Kahr Semi is also a good option that you mentioned. How about a G26? you can get the .22 conversion kit too.

Black Majik
08-12-2009, 11:58 AM
Where are you located? If up north I'd buy rivviepop's model 64 and ask for the banana grips.

Very fair price and it's a pre-lock Smith! Way better than a Rossi or C.A.

trashman
08-12-2009, 1:36 PM
Where are you located? If up north I'd buy rivviepop's model 64 and ask for the banana grips.

Very fair price and it's a pre-lock Smith! Way better than a Rossi or C.A.

This exactly!!!

El Gato
08-12-2009, 1:49 PM
I went the "my wife wants a home defense gun, it MUST be a revolver" route with a friend and the best I could come up with was a 5" J frame Smith Model 60 with adjustable sights. I do think it's a pretty good choice.

Smaller grip for her smaller hands, a 5" bbl for a bit of balance and recoil reduction and the capability to do 38 Special and 357 Magnum. As an alternative, you could do the longer barreled Ruger SP101 - I think that can be had in an almost 4" bbl.

Not a bad choice....
However...
In our firearms training business I have lost count of the guns the "man" of the house has bought for the "little woman" only to find out she found the gun to be wholly inapproriate. Small hands a 5 in J frame would an appropriate fit make... maybe... you might find she would rather have a Glock 19 which is the number one choice of the women who train with my wife... followed by the XD 45 acp 5 in gun for home defense..:eek::eek:..big guns kick less and are more fun to shoot and if they are more fun to shoot... the "little woman" will shoot them more and a hit from a Glock 19 loaded with corbon hollow points beats 5 misses from the littel missus with a 2 in gun she hates... perhaps I'm ranting here... or not as the case may be... take her out with a QUALIFIED female instructor and have her shoot a variety of guns... it will save you money in the long run and if you are lucky the missus will become your lifetime shooting partner... which is what happened to me and now my wife of 22 years is a full time firearms instructor.. teaching a class whilst I sit here and type.... and she is carrying a Kahr PM 9 (will be putting her Kahr PM 45 on her permit once the works the bugs our) AND an XD 45acp 5 in tactical concealed about her 5-6 125 lb person....go figure...

SCMA-1
08-12-2009, 2:00 PM
Not a bad choice....
However...
In our firearms training business I have lost count of the guns the "man" of the house has bought for the "little woman" only to find out she found the gun to be wholly inapproriate. Small hands a 5 in J frame would an appropriate fit make... maybe... you might find she would rather have a Glock 19 which is the number one choice of the women who train with my wife... followed by the XD 45 acp 5 in gun for home defense..:eek::eek:..big guns kick less and are more fun to shoot and if they are more fun to shoot... the "little woman" will shoot them more and a hit from a Glock 19 loaded with corbon hollow points beats 5 misses from the littel missus with a 2 in gun she hates... perhaps I'm ranting here... or not as the case may be... take her out with a QUALIFIED female instructor and have her shoot a variety of guns... it will save you money in the long run and if you are lucky the missus will become your lifetime shooting partner... which is what happened to me and now my wife of 22 years is a full time firearms instructor.. teaching a class whilst I sit here and type.... and she is carrying a Kahr PM 9 (will be putting her Kahr PM 45 on her permit once the works the bugs our) AND an XD 45acp 5 in tactical concealed about her 5-6 125 lb person....go figure...

I know we have gone over this many times before but I have to say that I am also an instructor who has trained many women and I agree with what El Gato has said. The conventional "wisdom" regarding women and handguns just doesn't play out in real life. By all means, let her try many types of guns and not just revolvers. Double action revolvers should ONLY be fired in the double action mode for defense and practice because the single action pull is far too light risking an ND situation especially when the adrenaline is pumping. Double action revolvers are difficult to shoot well for men let alone smaller and weaker women. She should get the gun she is comfortable with and can handle and shoot effectively.

SCMA-1

dfletcher
08-12-2009, 2:41 PM
Not a bad choice....
However...
In our firearms training business I have lost count of the guns the "man" of the house has bought for the "little woman" only to find out she found the gun to be wholly inapproriate. Small hands a 5 in J frame would an appropriate fit make... maybe...



I agree - I've heard guys figure a small semi like the PPK would be good for the wife only to find that racking the slide is something they can not do and something they never considered. The end user of the gun definitely needs to be in on the buy.

Sky_DiveR
08-12-2009, 3:11 PM
Aha! There you are. Don't know where you're located but you might want to take a look if you're close-by.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=211905

Oops! Guess I missed acouple of posts.

movie zombie
08-12-2009, 7:44 PM
How about the Sp101? I say try it before you buy it because of the grip. Some people may like the grip some may not like you said about the Gp100 being too big. The Kahr Semi is also a good option that you mentioned. How about a G26? you can get the .22 conversion kit too.

the sp101 was too big for my hand when i rented it and used it....its bigger than a j-frame but smaller than a k-frame. however, that was when i first started out. the smith model 60 just fit my hand better.....which meant i went to the range with it a lot.

i have a male friend that bought a sp101 after i got my smith and he's always after me to try it. i may. what i've found is that i can handle a larger framed revolver now....depending on how the grip is formed. however, its also true i now have a lot more range time in and am more comfortable with handling different revolvers as well as pistols. i might be ok with the sp101 now but i wasn't then....and even being ok with it now is not the same as loving a revolver the way i love my smith model 60.

example: i have the smith model 19 in a snubbie but the round grip on it doesn't fit my had as well as the grips on my other revolvers.....so i don't fire it as often. i'm going to change them out once i find what i'm looking for and see if that helps. in the meantime i bought a model 66 which is a larger frame with a square grip. i love shooting this thing!!!!!!!!! so it goes to the range with me each and every time.

range time and trying the revolves/pistols is a must. i've now graduated to a colt mark iv series 80 officers' .45 acp which i'm also loving. but i wouldn't have started there.......some women might though.

buying a quality revolver and spending a bit more is actually worth it. if she's going to be firing it at the range, it needs to be fun, not just a chore. it needs to look good [i think revolvers are sexy], and it should be easy to clean. the more she handles whatever she gets, the more likely she'll use it properly should the need ever arise. think of it as investment and a safety issue....besides, she's worth it.

mz

ps i've never fired the G26.

jeffrice6
08-12-2009, 10:55 PM
+1 GP100 4" with hogue grips......Even fits my dainty hands :)

Quiet
08-13-2009, 3:10 AM
Armscor M206.
2" barrel 6 shot .38Special.
It's on the approved list and sells for under $300.

http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt271/garyronck/armscor38lft.jpg

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=136876938

Samuel
08-13-2009, 5:06 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions and replies.

This is a part necessity, partial preference purchase. She's not recoil sensitive and has used most of my pistols and revolvers (full size 1911s, 6" Python, 38 sp. 4" Diamondback etc.) fairly comfortably with good competency. (And wouldn't be caught dead with a PINK handgun :))

I want her have a gun she likes, and she likes SS revolvers. I also want her to have one that's suitable so that means a snub -- as a real estate agent who has already had an encounter with a criminal posing as a potential home buyer, (knife pulled, threatened, clients house ransacked for valuables) -- it "may" or may not need to take the place of my 4" 686 that currently "may" or may not reside part time in her purse or briefcase at work and double as a favorite house/room gun.

Her favorite so far (of those on roster) is the Rossi R352, I like it also but want to make sure it's a markedly smaller and lighter frame than the L frame S & W 686 revolver. The only thing I don't like about it is it's only a five round revolver.

I've heard the R352 is more of a K frame. Anyone familiar with this model Rossi?

movie zombie
08-13-2009, 4:17 PM
samuel,

rivvie has a wonderful smith model 65 for sale in the private guns thread for a mere $375. i'd highly recommend considering it!

mz

Sky_DiveR
08-13-2009, 6:16 PM
Rossi R352 is a square-butt J-Frame Smith. Same frame size, grip size, and caliber.

Movie Zombie, The Smith Mod 66 is a S-Steel version of the mod 19. You can buy a square butt grip for the round butt frame but I can't seem to remember who sells it. You can switch your square butt grip with the 19's round butt and you'll see that it fits... just doesn't fill the back strap completely.

coop44
08-14-2009, 3:26 PM
there was a ladysmith m 60 on craigslist today for 400
the problem with a very light small frame revolver, is, you have to be at the least an experienced shooter to hit anything with it. the marketing @@$holes who put the small frames out there as ladies guns ought to be shot, right along with those who believe their BS. they were designed as back up or concealed carry guns for experienced professionals, hence the name CHIEFS SPECIAL

coop44
08-14-2009, 3:30 PM
spend the few extra bucks and stay away from the rossi. In my experience they are not worth it.

movie zombie
08-14-2009, 3:48 PM
Movie Zombie, The Smith Mod 66 is a S-Steel version of the mod 19. You can buy a square butt grip for the round butt frame but I can't seem to remember who sells it. You can switch your square butt grip with the 19's round butt and you'll see that it fits... just doesn't fill the back strap completely.

will give it a try! the 19 is round butt and the 66 square butt and i hadn't thought to try the square on the 19!

thanks!

mz

movie zombie
08-14-2009, 3:49 PM
spend the few extra bucks and stay away from the rossi. In my experience they are not worth it.

+1000.

seriously, save a few more dollars and buy a smith or a ruger. and if she's thinking about carrying on the job, i hope she's familiar with the laws regarding conceal carry.........

mz

beemaze
08-14-2009, 4:12 PM
Have you looked at a used S&W Model 10? Tried and true .38 Special revolvers used by police around the world. I've shot some of the lightweight snubbie revolvers (have a Ruger LCR) and yes they have some recoil, but the 4" revolver is easier to shoot with and a bit more inherently accurate.

There a bunch of these Model 10's around for reasonable prices used - $350-$450. I'm talking the pre-lock ones, not the current production 10-15. 4" barrels, available in nickel or blue with heavy or tapered barrels. I know where to get a 4" nickel finished 10-7 for $450. Let me know if you are interested and I can point you in the right direction.

railroader
08-14-2009, 5:50 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions and replies.

This is a part necessity, partial preference purchase. She's not recoil sensitive and has used most of my pistols and revolvers (full size 1911s, 6" Python, 38 sp. 4" Diamondback etc.) fairly comfortably with good competency. (And wouldn't be caught dead with a PINK handgun :))

I want her have a gun she likes, and she likes SS revolvers. I also want her to have one that's suitable so that means a snub -- as a real estate agent who has already had an encounter with a criminal posing as a potential home buyer, (knife pulled, threatened, clients house ransacked for valuables) -- it "may" or may not need to take the place of my 4" 686 that currently "may" or may not reside part time in her purse or briefcase at work and double as a favorite house/room gun.

Her favorite so far (of those on roster) is the Rossi R352, I like it also but want to make sure it's a markedly smaller and lighter frame than the L frame S & W 686 revolver. The only thing I don't like about it is it's only a five round revolver.

I've heard the R352 is more of a K frame. Anyone familiar with this model Rossi?

I had 2 rossi revolvers in the past. One was a 5 shot 38 that was similar to a "J". The other was a 971 which was a 6 shot 357. It was similar in size to a "K" frame. Both revolvers I had were well made shot fine and had decent triggers. I think the R352 would work for what you want but if I had to choose I would go with the 971. Mark

http://www.braztech-rossi.com/DisplayPic.aspx?PIC=25813

Samuel
08-16-2009, 7:35 AM
Did some shopping yesterday. Found a 98, 99% S&W model 36. It's not stainless but it's near new, can't have more than a couple dozen rounds through it. A safe queen. Most importantly it fits the bill - good size, weight and American made quality.

On a side note, buying a firearm in CA is a brain numbing experience. A fee for this, a fee for that...fill out this, that, shows us this and that, thumb print here, have you ever littered or been late for church? etc. etc.
Was waiting for them to ask for our first born...

Thanks to all.

Now to join the support group. :)