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View Full Version : What revolver under $500 for a wheelgun noob


Gundam
09-04-2010, 3:39 PM
Having owned semi-auto pistols all of my life, I think it's time for me to try a wheel-gun. My only experience with a revolver was a smith and wesson .357 with the world's longest trigger pull. Let's just say it wasn't a very pleasant experience. Here is my criteria. If there is something I need to modify because such a combination doesn't exist, please let me know.

1. Around $500 or less new or used.
2. Relatively low trigger pull (yes I understand that revolvers trigger pulls are significantly higher then semi-autos)
3. I'm looking for accuracy @ 25 yards. This will be purely an indoor range gun. I don't plan to carry it, hunt with it, or participate in IDPA with it, etc. I just want to punch holes into paper. I am open to all barrel lengths.
4. 38 spl. I'm not looking to spend a dollar+ a bullet to punch said holes into paper. But I do want something with more oomph than a .22
5. I have smaller hands, so something that will be more accommodating for my dwarfish mitts.

Booshanky
09-04-2010, 3:41 PM
Most .357mag guns will shoot .38spl. You'll probably find more luck if you get a gun that's primarily chambered in .357, and it'll give you options. If you wanna have some real kick, you can go with mag, and if you just want cheap, lowered recoil shooting, you can go with .38spl.

Gundam
09-04-2010, 3:43 PM
Most .357mag guns will shoot .38spl. You'll probably find more luck if you get a gun that's primarily chambered in .357, and it'll give you options. If you wanna have some real kick, you can go with mag, and if you just want cheap, lowered recoil shooting, you can go with .38spl.

Awesome. Goes to show how much I know about revolvers :D Did I mention that I was a wheelgun noob yet?

OneSevenDeuce
09-04-2010, 3:44 PM
2. Relatively low trigger pull (yes I understand that revolvers trigger pulls are significantly higher then semi-autos)

If you want a "low" trigger pull why not try a DA/SA or SA revovler and fire it in single action? Perfect for punching paper.

scoot64
09-04-2010, 3:47 PM
Try a .357 Ruger Blackhawk gives multiple ammo availability, .357 and .38 or change cylinders and fire 9mm. It's single action and has great accuracy.

sevensix2x51
09-04-2010, 3:49 PM
yes, you can merely cock a revolver to get that "hair" trigger. lighter than any auto ive EVER shot. just dont buy a DAO revolver, and youll be g2g!

im a big ruger revolver fan, so if you can find a security six in .357, that is, imho, the best revolver ever, for the money. the new gp100 should do you just as well, you wont have as smooth and light a trigger, but you should be just fine. old revolvers have the advantage of their triggers being honed glass smooth by decades of use. :thumbsup:

redhemi
09-04-2010, 5:29 PM
+1 on Ruger revolvers. I have a GP100 4" stainless and really enjoy shooting this gun, you can shoot 357 and 38sp. I did a trigger job and changed the springs on it. The DA pull is now nice and smooth it's still long but it's a revolver and the SA pull is real light may be a little to much but I like it and that can always be changed. If you look around you can sometimes find one of these between 350-500 depending on condition and how much the seller wants. I also have some what small hands so it you check out a GP100 make sure it has the original wood rubber grips, the hogues some have are a bit big. I went from the hogues to the Rugers and liked the Rugers allot more. Redhemi

Greg-Dawg
09-04-2010, 5:43 PM
Get a used Ruger GP100 or S&W 686.

Oldnoob
09-04-2010, 6:23 PM
Hey buddy, I too am a semi pistol guy. And after all these years I realize I will never shoot revolver as well or enjoy revolver's trigger as much as I do to semi.
I finally set up my mind for single action revolver instead of DA revolver. Even th entry level SA revolver will put $1500 1911' trigger into shame.

Hunt
09-04-2010, 7:10 PM
oh yeah get a used single action from gunbroker some kind of cowboy gun might be a lot of fun

ElvenSoul
09-04-2010, 7:28 PM
Rossi and for around $500 you could own one with a 4" and one with a 2" barrel.

Vacaville
09-04-2010, 7:31 PM
If you want quality, get a used Ruger GP100 or an S&W Model 10. Both run around $600 new.

If you want new, you can get a Taurus or a Rossi for $500 or less, but quality seems to be hit or miss. I've got a Taurus 85 (.38 spl snubbie) that I'm happy with, but many people have had issues with the cylinder locking up on the same model.

Also, your choice of .38 spl is a great one. It's a great plinking and target round, not too much recoil; plus you can get .38 +P ammo with a little more punch for self defense. Probably my favorite round for frequent trips to the range.

ironman5669
09-04-2010, 7:33 PM
Taurus tracker im 357 looks cool!

wellfedirishman
09-04-2010, 7:49 PM
Get a used Smith 38/357 for great trigger pull and high quality. OR get a Ruger (GP100 4"or 6") for a very strong durable revolver that is decent quality and accurate, but the Ruger trigger is not quite as smooth as a Smith. Both are great, solid guns. The Ruger will eat hot 357 loads all day without loosening up.

I have examples of both and like each immensely.

nn3453
09-04-2010, 8:21 PM
Used Smith & Wesson in 38.

For example, this one: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=339119

Seller is local to you as well.

Zonie
09-04-2010, 8:41 PM
Another vote for Ruger. They're very affordable and, IMO, they're the best value in guns today.

dennab
09-04-2010, 8:47 PM
Used "new" Vaquero......awesome!!!

G-forceJunkie
09-04-2010, 8:50 PM
Keep an eye out for a used S&W model 66. They were dime a dozen in the 90's as police departments traded them in for semi autos. ShotGun News had them for under $200...I should have bought a dozen.

SDM44
09-04-2010, 8:54 PM
Why do you guys recommend the Ruger GP100 over the SP101? Aren't they pretty much the same thing, except the GP100 holds 6 rounds and the SP101 holds 5 rounds? I'm talking about about a snub nose, 2" barrel length.

Not arguing about it, but just wanting to get some opinions since I've been looking at and considering picking up a SP101 (I haven't seen a GP100 in person yet as the stores around me don't carry it).

robcoe
09-04-2010, 9:03 PM
Ruger or S&W, in a smaller gun the SP101 is a nice .357, for something a bit bigger a 686 or GP100(I have the 6 inch stainless model and its the only gun I will never even consider selling). They cost a bit more than something like a Taurus but both manufacturers make much better guns.

sevensix2x51
09-04-2010, 9:03 PM
Why do you guys recommend the Ruger GP100 over the SP101? Aren't they pretty much the same thing, except the GP100 holds 6 rounds and the SP101 holds 5 rounds? I'm talking about about a snub nose, 2" barrel length.

Not arguing about it, but just wanting to get some opinions since I've been looking at and considering picking up a SP101 (I haven't seen a GP100 in person yet as the stores around me don't carry it).

because the OP wasnt asking about a snubby. i think the sp101 is out of place in a 25 yard target shooting role.

robcoe
09-04-2010, 9:06 PM
Why do you guys recommend the Ruger GP100 over the SP101? Aren't they pretty much the same thing, except the GP100 holds 6 rounds and the SP101 holds 5 rounds? I'm talking about about a snub nose, 2" barrel length.

Not arguing about it, but just wanting to get some opinions since I've been looking at and considering picking up a SP101 (I haven't seen a GP100 in person yet as the stores around me don't carry it).

SP101 is much smaller than a GP100(the SP101 is about 25oz my GP100 is about 45oz), that said they look very much alike. Overall for a first revolver the larger ones tend to be a bit easier to handle, which is why I would recomend a SP101 or GP100 sized gun for a first revolver.

bjl333
09-04-2010, 9:10 PM
Ruger or S&W, in a smaller gun the SP101 is a nice .357, for something a bit bigger a 686 or GP100(I have the 6 inch stainless model and its the only gun I will never even consider selling). They cost a bit more than something like a Taurus but both manufacturers make much better guns.

Read below ...

because the OP wasnt asking about a snubby. i think the sp101 is out of place in a 25 yard target shooting role.

I would recommand a Ruger GP100 too, but I love the S&W 586/686 revolvers. Can go wrong with either. Get the one that feels good in your hand. The 4" or 6" barrel should be good for your 25yds paper punching.

Gundam
09-04-2010, 9:15 PM
SP101 is much smaller than a GP100(the SP101 is about 25oz my GP100 is about 45oz), that said they look very much alike. Overall for a first revolver the larger ones tend to be a bit easier to handle, which is why I would recomend a SP101 or GP100 sized gun for a first revolver.

I have really small baby fingers so the GP100 is probably out of the running. I use the small strap on my M&P, and I can't even hold Glocks comfortably. 1911's with thin grips are perfect for me.

G-forceJunkie
09-04-2010, 9:20 PM
Revolvers are totally different. You need to grip a few and see what feels good to you. There are also alot of different wood grips available. A revolver grip frame is about 1/2" wide...everything else is grip, and that can be changed.

robcoe
09-04-2010, 9:22 PM
I have really small baby fingers so the GP100 is probably out of the running. I use the small strap on my M&P, and I can't even hold Glocks comfortably. 1911's with thin grips are perfect for me.

The GP does not have very large grips, the stock hogue ones might be a bit big, but GP100s have a ton of aftermarket grips that just slip right on in place of the stock ones(you just have to undo one screw to replace them, and its part of the cleaning procedure anyway). This is the mainspring houseing on the frame of a GP100, the only part that is non negotable in the grip size.

http://www.realguns.com/images/strutpnretn.jpg



My best advice would be to hit a range and try some out, see what you like shooting.

Fishslayer
09-04-2010, 11:25 PM
Get a used Ruger GP100 or S&W 686.

There's a nice 6" pre-lock 686 in my local shop for $500. Or at least it was there last week. S&W go pretty quick.

rideanddive
09-05-2010, 5:20 AM
I own both, the 4" stainless GP100 and the 3 1/16" SP101. The GP will better suit your purposes. The rear sight on the SP101 is a simple groove machined in the top of the revolver, the front sight is a fixed blade. If you want to shoot for accuracy the GP100 will give you much better results. If you decide to shoot stout loads through the gun the GP100 will handle the recoil much easier.

Flouncer
09-05-2010, 7:49 AM
Purely an indoor range gun.......

Look try one of these ......

http://www.uberti.com/firearms/images/1873_cattleman_callahan_steel_target.jpg

.357/.38 4 or 6-inch barrel. Under $500 with target sights.

PatriotnMore
09-05-2010, 8:08 AM
Another vote for Ruger. They're very affordable and, IMO, they're the best value in guns today.


I have to agree.

I owned a S&W 586 in .357 and it was the most accurate hand gun (wish I never sold it), and I owned the Red Hawk in .44.

The Rugers are built like tanks, and pricing is a good value. IMO, Ruger is not as pretty as some of the S&W wheel guns, but they were built to last.

dagerk
09-05-2010, 8:51 AM
I have really small baby fingers so the GP100 is probably out of the running. I use the small strap on my M&P, and I can't even hold Glocks comfortably. 1911's with thin grips are perfect for me.

Sounds like you and I have similar sized hands. My trigger finger isn't long enough to get the pad out onto the Glock trigger and safety, and I had to put the biggest mag release on my 1911 to be able to drop mags without completely shifting my grip....

But I have a GP100 6" stainless and I can shoot that well. I agree that the factory wood and rubber grips are a good fit for smaller hands. Even DA is no problem.

Give it a try before you decide it's too big.

Jim

Gundam
09-05-2010, 9:02 AM
Sounds like you and I have similar sized hands. My trigger finger isn't long enough to get the pad out onto the Glock trigger and safety, and I had to put the biggest mag release on my 1911 to be able to drop mags without completely shifting my grip....

But I have a GP100 6" stainless and I can shoot that well. I agree that the factory wood and rubber grips are a good fit for smaller hands. Even DA is no problem.

Give it a try before you decide it's too big.

Jim

Thanks Jim, your fingers actually sound slightly smaller than mines *gasp* so I if the GP100 works for you, then I should be good to go. I'll still try out that and a few of the others mentioned above before making my final decision. Thanks for all the help guys!

Zonie
09-05-2010, 9:03 AM
the Ruger trigger is not quite as smooth as a Smith.

True enough. In fact, the DA trigger pull on my Speed Six downright sucks. However, any good gunsmith can slick up a Ruger trigger to the point where it's almost as good as a S&W.

maddoggie13
09-05-2010, 10:08 AM
Ruger GP, SP or LCR...

Rob454
09-05-2010, 10:34 AM
I just got my wife a 357 snubbie by Taurus. She can shoot 38s out of it and its a 5 shot small frame handgun. Lifetime warranty also. I had a taurus before and had no problems with it. Its a little too small for my hands but i have monkey hands

Oh and the cost was 475 tax and DROS included

Offthehook
09-05-2010, 11:59 AM
I love the feel of the smith and wesson 686 and you can probably get one used for under 500. They are solid guns for sure

Mute
09-05-2010, 1:18 PM
I personally would look for a used pre-lock S&W Model 19.

Gundam
09-05-2010, 11:05 PM
I personally would look for a used pre-lock S&W Model 19.

Sorry but what does prelock mean?

Fishslayer
09-06-2010, 6:19 AM
Sorry but what does prelock mean?

Grrrr.... AKA the Klinton lock AKA many other...ummm... not very flaterring names. It's a "feature" with which you can disable your revolver using a key.

During the Komrad Slikwilly administration S&W caved to the anti-gun people & started installing the ILS. Internal Locking Somethingorother.

That's "The hole" you see cleverly trying to hide under the cylinder latch. They have been known to spontaneously lock up the gun, sometimes at VERY inconvenient times.:eek:

To me, "the hole" represents everything that's gone wrong with our country and I will never EVER own a S&W that has one.

Oh... "Pre lock" means a S&W that doesn't have one. You could look up the exact year...

den888
09-06-2010, 6:50 AM
Agreed that a pre-owned Ruger or S&W would be a good choice here.

oghl888
09-06-2010, 6:51 AM
S&W, older models hopefully.
6" preferred for target shooting,
get a 25 yard barrel if you want best accuracy at 25 yards :)

Revoman
09-06-2010, 8:10 AM
While I agree that the S&W 686 is a very fine handgun, the OP wants something smaller, a 686 is a medium/large 'L' frame. A 'K' frame would be a smaller frame and that means that the Model 19 and 66 fall into that catagory. Both are mirror images of each other, one blued (19), the other stainless (66). They both have a shrouded ejector which gives a little more weight for less recoil.
Both can shoot 357 or 38. Yes, 6" barrel is the choice for target although a 4" is very good too.
Using the revolver in single action (SA), the pull will probably be in the 3-4 # area. This can easily be brought down to the 2-3 # area with a spring kit from Wolff. Even the "long pull" double action (DA) as you stated can become easier with a spring kit.
Trouble is that S&W holds value pretty well and a less than $500 gun in good shape may not be attainable. Though a rougher, shooter grade may be.
There are many stock configurations out there to help with your grip, the standard stocks on a non-target Model 19 or 66 would be a good choice as the target stocks are much larger. Don't let the stocks scare you off of a decent gun, they are easily replaced with something more acceptable.

bombadillo
09-06-2010, 8:44 AM
I'd go with the GP100 ruger for $486 at budsgunshop.com. Great gun for the money, and the Hogue grips are great. They're built like a tank and if you ever want to resell it, you can likely get all or most of your money back out if its something you decide you didn't like.