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View Full Version : .357 wheel guns: please share your opinions


liberty47
09-02-2012, 7:19 AM
I am looking for a reliable wheel gun, something with stopping power. I was thinking .357.

I am looking for something that I can count on but won't break the bank.

Thanks for your help!

psango
09-02-2012, 7:27 AM
S&W 686 or Ruger GP100

VAReact
09-02-2012, 7:30 AM
Well, I have a Ruger SP101 2 1/4 barrel, and its a fantastic gun. Its a tank. It can be a bit brisk on the recoil depending on the loads, but you get used to it. I load mine with .38+P inside the house, and .357 when carrying. I find it conceals well. I purchased mine primarily for carry, but you may prefer a longer barrel if you will have other primary uses for the gun. I'm sure you will get plenty of opinions on this subject...good luck!

kurac
09-02-2012, 7:36 AM
The .357 is a good place to start but a hot load with a 158gr bullet would give you about 1,250fps. If you think thats stopping power then you will be happy with that. Otherwise I would recommend a .44 magnum in the form of a S&W 29 or 629. With a hot 240gr load, you are looking at 1,450fps, and it feels more like stopping power when you set one off. The .357 has the muzzle blast but lacks a little in the energy department.

zippo
09-02-2012, 7:56 AM
Well, I have a Ruger SP101 2 1/4 barrel, and its a fantastic gun. Its a tank. It can be a bit brisk on the recoil depending on the loads, but you get used to it. I load mine with .38+P inside the house, and .357 when carrying. I find it conceals well. I purchased mine primarily for carry, but you may prefer a longer barrel if you will have other primary uses for the gun. I'm sure you will get plenty of opinions on this subject...good luck!



this is best asnwer so far...I like SP101 as well, good gun good price and never break your bank.

but if U fine use SW @ your price rang will be fine also, I like Ruger better is like Tank.

pyromensch
09-02-2012, 8:11 AM
The .357 is a good place to start but a hot load with a 158gr bullet would give you about 1,250fps. If you think thats stopping power then you will be happy with that. Otherwise I would recommend a .44 magnum in the form of a S&W 29 or 629. With a hot 240gr load, you are looking at 1,450fps, and it feels more like stopping power when you set one off. The .357 has the muzzle blast but lacks a little in the energy department.

by greg elfritz



.357 (both magnum and Sig)# of people shot - 105# of hits - 179% of hits that were fatal - 34%Average number of rounds until incapacitation - 1.7% of people who were not incapacitated - 9%One-shot-stop % - 44%Accuracy (head and torso hits) - 81%% actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 61%

.44 Magnum# of people shot - 24# of hits - 41% of hits that were fatal - 26%Average number of rounds until incapacitation - 1.71% of people who were not incapacitated - 13%One-shot-stop % - 59%Accuracy (head and torso hits) - 88%% actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 53%

and then there is recoil, and overpenetration.

ap3572001
09-02-2012, 8:25 AM
I would look for a used 4 inch pre lock Smith and Wesosn 686 or just buy a new Ruger GP100.

A four inch 357 magnum revolver with adjustable sights is STILL a perfect "all around" handgun to have.

kurac
09-02-2012, 8:43 AM
by greg elfritz



.357 (both magnum and Sig)# of people shot - 105# of hits - 179% of hits that were fatal - 34%Average number of rounds until incapacitation - 1.7% of people who were not incapacitated - 9%One-shot-stop % - 44%Accuracy (head and torso hits) - 81%% actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 61%

.44 Magnum# of people shot - 24# of hits - 41% of hits that were fatal - 26%Average number of rounds until incapacitation - 1.71% of people who were not incapacitated - 13%One-shot-stop % - 59%Accuracy (head and torso hits) - 88%% actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 53%

and then there is recoil, and overpenetration.

Since the OP didn't specify what he was looking to stop, I felt I should mention the .44, I just think its way more versitile.

As far as .357's go, you can't go wrong with the 586/686's, personally the trigger guard on the smaller framed S&W always bashes my middle finger joint so I try to stick with the N-frames, model 27's and 28's. Even though they are larger than the L-frames, the cylinder is slightly shorter which actually makes the L-frame potentially better for launching the 180gr or heavier projectiles.

scarville
09-02-2012, 8:52 AM
In no particular order

S&W model 66
S&W 686
Ruger SP-101
Ruger GP-100

If you have the hands for an N-frame, there is the Model 627, 327 TRR8 and the M&P R8.

Unless you need it for deep concealment don't get anything less than 2.5" bbl. Anything shorter and, IMO, the ejector rod is too short for reliable ejection of 357 cases. I like the 3" bbl for carrying but the 4" is almost as handy.

PAKALO
09-02-2012, 8:57 AM
Ruger and Smiths are always great theyve been doing this for decades/centuries. There getting so popular its either harsh to find them or when you do sky rocketing high to buy. No doubt these will last longer than we will and shoot straighter than we do. BUT!!! ive always believed in having something the next guy doesnt. Go look around your local shops or see whats online. Honestly any 4" 357 is going to be an awesome gun and will be super super accurate. what makes revolvers so great is simplicity. the bullet has no other choice but hitting target all day

rromeo
09-02-2012, 9:06 AM
My nightstand gun is a 4" S&W M66. I believe it is the perfect size and weight for me.

CK_32
09-02-2012, 9:17 AM
If you want "stopping" power look into the 10mm or 45 ACP. Those are the big guns in my eyes.

357 is just classic revolver and to me a revolver is a good pack gun or range fun gun to mess around with or to keep in the droor for HD.. And when in bear country is still rather have a glock 20.. That being said...

I'm still waiting on picking up my GP100 I just purchased. My views ive researched both for a long while and also from shooting a couple GP/686's is this.. If you want a truck gun beast of a pretty revolver the GP100 is your gun. It's a great gun all around and for the price you get all of what you pay for. Yea it's not a show piece but again the price you can't beat for the ruggedness and great trigger and style. But the 686 is a SLIGHTLY slightly better gun due to it being a little smoother on the seams and paid just that little bit more attention and the trigger is smoother but very arguable to how much more (at least the 2 I've shot). But they are also $300 more expensive than the gp100 so when I see people compare the 2 it's like comparing a Glock to a sig.. Of course it's going to have a smoother trigger you paid almost half as much more for it.. It dam well better. But with a nice $50 to $100 trigger job on the ruger your just about in the same boat with $200 left for goodies..

Another reason I went gp100 is because the design is seen to be more reliable with the 686 having the side cover plate with internals and the GP having a solid frame. But honestly I doubt you'll find a way to have either fail unless your shooting in a mud glob and throw it off a clif.

IMO the GP is a way better value for the price of it. But the 686 is very nice as well. Again the GP being the bond of getting the job done with car chases and explosions then heading to a ball to pick up the hot chick in the end. While the 686 is the dos eques guy who's just classy and has the aquired taste of danger but can't be touched.

Not a fan of the SP101 or other frame smiths due to the light weight and muzzle flip due to weight.. But the ruger defender or what ever that small one juš for carry is is a pretty little beast i wouldn't mind having in my pocket just to pill it out of my pocket to put on the stand every night.

schneiderguy
09-02-2012, 9:22 AM
The .357 is a good place to start but a hot load with a 158gr bullet would give you about 1,250fps. If you think thats stopping power then you will be happy with that. Otherwise I would recommend a .44 magnum in the form of a S&W 29 or 629. With a hot 240gr load, you are looking at 1,450fps, and it feels more like stopping power when you set one off. The .357 has the muzzle blast but lacks a little in the energy department.

Full power .357 will hit almost 1500fps with a 158gr bullet :D 700+ ft/lbs is nothing to sneeze at.

DEPUTYBILL
09-02-2012, 9:24 AM
S&W 686 L frame
S&W 27 N frame
S&W 19/66 K frame

All pre-lock

CK_32
09-02-2012, 9:26 AM
And I forgot to add the 686/GP both hold value very well. Also something to keep in mind.

Jack L
09-02-2012, 9:26 AM
I am looking for a reliable wheel gun, something with stopping power. I was thinking .357.

I am looking for something that I can count on but won't break the bank.

Thanks for your help!

Unless this is your LTC rig, I'd go with at least a 4" barrel. Google around for velocity and barrel lengths.

"Yes, length of revolver barrel makes a difference in velocities. Below is one example of the same load being shot in four revolvers (three different barrel lengths) thru Oehler M34 chronograph. Velocities are averages of 5 shot strings. Revolvers 3 and 4 are identical models."
Load: 23 gr/H110/250 cast H&G bullet
Revolver 1: S&W M629, 4" barrel = 1131 fps
Revolver 2: S&W M629, 6" barrel = 1271 fps
Revolver 3: S&W M629 Classic, 6.5" barrel = 1296 fps
Revolver 4: S&W M629 Classic, 6.5" barrel = 1321 fps

rogervzv
09-02-2012, 9:34 AM
The Ruger GP100 and S&W 686 are both classic revolvers. I prefer a 6" barrel myself, although the 4" is nice as well. If you are not carrying on a daily basis you will appreciate the extra accuracy and recoil control of the 6" barrel.

In case you wanted something else to think about, the S&W 627 is very nice. But if it does not quite break the bank, it does give it a shake or two:

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a331/Roger54/Gun%20Stuff/DSC_1007.jpg

redcliff
09-02-2012, 9:37 AM
S&W 686 L frame
S&W 27 N frame
S&W 19/66 K frame

All pre-lock

Those are my favorites too, along with the Python :) I like the 4" barrel L frames also.

Gryff
09-02-2012, 9:48 AM
If you want to keep cost down, but still maintain quality, look at a used Ruger Security-Six.

But the S&W 686 is, to me, the epitome of rugged, reliable, and great-shooting .357s.

w55
09-02-2012, 9:55 AM
I'm a fan of 586...they feel great. Keep eye out sometimes deal pops up.

CK_32
09-02-2012, 10:16 AM
Those are my favorites too, along with the Python :) I like the 4" barrel L frames also.

Pythons only downfall is their wheel release.

spetsnaz
09-02-2012, 10:18 AM
SW or Ruger both good platoforms i prefer ruger sp101/gp100

rromeo
09-02-2012, 10:19 AM
Python's downfall is that you can buy a 686 and a GP100 for the the price of one.

sephy
09-02-2012, 10:40 AM
I like my S&W 640. If you're looking for single action I can also recommend a Smoke Wagon. (http://www.longhunt.com/taylor/smokewagon.htm) I like my Smoke Wagon quite a bit.

Roland Deschain
09-02-2012, 10:50 AM
S&W 686 or Ruger GP100

Love my Ruger GP-100 (GP-141 to be exact)

JTROKS
09-02-2012, 10:54 AM
Python's downfall is that you can buy a 686 and a GP100 for the the price of one.

If the python is in excellent condition then you can throw in the Ruger SP101 in there too. Rugers are hard to beat with your requirement. Cheaper, durable, reliable and accurate. They downfall is they don't hold value like a Colt or S&W.

Gryff
09-02-2012, 11:03 AM
If the python is in excellent condition then you can throw in the Ruger SP101 in there too. Rugers are hard to beat with your requirement. Cheaper, durable, reliable and accurate. They downfall is they don't hold value like a Colt or S&W.

Right, but Rugers and modern S&Ws really are just tools. A Python is a work of art, but a GP100 or 686 is a gun that you can shoot the crap out of for years and years, and you won't cry about scratches on the finish or wear to the weapon.

My Dad gave my 14 year old son his 4" Python from the 1970s. My son loves it, but he doesn't drive his guns as hard as I do. The Python is a fabuloous gun, but I would much rather have my 686 for the type of everyday shooting that I do (including competition).

chingdaotze
09-02-2012, 11:06 AM
IMO, when it comes to wheel guns it's either S&W or Ruger. Taurus and Charter are sometimes hit-or-miss. I came upon the same question years ago when I was considering my first handgun, and I went with S&W. Here's a comparison list, and why I decided on S&W:

1) Frame. It's a common misconception that Ruger frames are stronger than S&W. S&W frames seem lighter and weaker simply because they use a forged process (more expensive) while Ruger uses a cast process (cheaper). This means that S&W's are just as strong, but lighter. In a realistic situation, you'd have to try VERY hard to break either. +1 S&W.

2) Triggers on S&W's are better, especially out of the box. I believe it's because of the leaf spring vs coil spring for the hammer mainspring. That being said, a gun smith can tune the triggers on each. It's just the upper limit of what a S&W can do is higher than the upper limit of what a Ruger can do. +1 S&W.

3) Timing and lockup. Ruger has triple lockup on their revolvers, and they rarely go out of time. I've shot one of my S&W's out of time, and had to send it back to the factory. Also, S&W's tend to experience increasing endshake over time. For long-term durability, Ruger wins. +1 Ruger.

4) Weight. 686>GP100>66. At 42 oz, 40 oz, and 36 oz and 7, 6, and 6 shots respectively. For any given capacity, S&W wins in terms of Capacity/Weight. +1 S&W.

5) Cost. Ruger is definitely cheaper upfront. However, S&W will retain its resale value much better. I bought a used Model 66 three years ago, and since then it's appreciated by about $100 (looking at Gunbroker prices). It depends on if you're willing to spend more in the short term to spend less in the long term. Draw, but generally people pay more attention to upfront cost. +1 Ruger.

6) Safe queen factor. I would feel bad about beating up a S&W. Not so much a Ruger. +1 Ruger.

7) Capacity. 7 shots (686) vs 6 (GP100). 66 vs GP100 is a draw. +1 S&W.

8) Numbers. S&W also sells about 60% more revolvers than Ruger, despite being more expensive: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/vprp/pdf/man&denied.pdf (caveat: data is from 1999). Logically, we would also assume that spare parts and aftermarket accessories would be more for S&W, assuming their markets scale linearly. +1 S&W.

These are all the talking points I could think of. I went with the S&W because I value accuracy and the trigger over long-term durability. Cost wasn't so much an issue because I bought used. If I were to buy a gun for the woods, it would be Ruger. If I were to buy a gun for HD and urban carry, it would be S&W. Either way, you can't go wrong.

P.S. I've also handled a Ruger LCR, and the trigger is just as nice as my custom-tuned K-frame... If they were to make a 4-inch version with their new cam system and 6-shot, I'd be all over it.

Whiterabbit
09-02-2012, 11:10 AM
Check out the ruger blackhawk. Built like a tank.

FYI for stopping power, plinker, fun to shoot, easy to find ammo, and a classic, a modern blackhawk in 45 colt is said by many to be the only wheelgun needed. Ever.

158 grain bullets are nothing when you are slinging 325 grain cast lead slugs.

CK_32
09-02-2012, 11:16 AM
They downfall is they don't hold value like a Colt or S&W.

Last I checked Rugers were still being sold at or just under MSRP. Smiths usually lose about $100 from MSRP but after then they hold their value very well. Colts and smiths are so sought after because of the name mostly and the older crowd who grew up with them being the only revolver and cant cope with times of change that those aren't the only guns around anymore.

CessnaDriver
09-02-2012, 11:18 AM
I'll just add you can believe the hype on S&W triggers.

mls343
09-02-2012, 11:20 AM
I have an early Ruger Blackhawk. Love the feel of the action. Not sure on all your requirements, but for a single action .357, it works well for me.

Gryff
09-02-2012, 11:23 AM
Colts and smiths are so sought after because of the name mostly and the older crowd who grew up with them being the only revolver and can cope with times of change that those aren't the only guns around anymore.

In terms of Colt DA revolvers and the older S&Ws, they are sought after because of the quality of work that went into their manufacture. One of the reasons that you will never see a re-issue of the Python that rivals the original was that the hand finishing today would necessitate a $3000+ price tag.

CK_32
09-02-2012, 11:48 AM
In terms of Colt DA revolvers and the older S&Ws, they are sought after because of the quality of work that went into their manufacture. One of the reasons that you will never see a re-issue of the Python that rivals the original was that the hand finishing today would necessitate a $3000+ price tag.

Exactly times changed and things aren't the same. And some guys get lost in the name than the actual product it self and pay top dollar for it. The older one were amazing. But now they are equivalent or slightly better but guys swear it's the only way to be because how you "use to" be. To not get lost in this post they are fine firearms but the name is the only reason why some guys swear by them..


As in Colt 1911s where there are several other 1911s out there for less and could be debatable for being better than now a days standard colts.

And same for the M4 type rifles it's a cold or bush it then the best.. Not the case anymore but some people still live in the past.

gti_20ae
09-02-2012, 1:10 PM
Exactly times changed and things aren't the same. And some guys get lost in the name than the actual product it self and pay top dollar for it. The older one were amazing. But now they are equivalent or slightly better but guys swear it's the only way to be because how you "use to" be. To not get lost in this post they are fine firearms but the name is the only reason why some guys swear by them..


As in Colt 1911s where there are several other 1911s out there for less and could be debatable for being better than now a days standard colts.

And same for the M4 type rifles it's a cold or bush it then the best.. Not the case anymore but some people still live in the past.

Time might have change, but in the world of revolver, nothing have change much. They are still base on the same old technology, unless you refer to transfer bar and frame lock as technological upgrade. As for the price, most older pre lock Smith doesn't cost that much more, you can find model 66 586 for $550-$650 all the time, and they always hold their value. You can at least sell it for how much you paid for them, if not more in the future.

TripleThreat
09-02-2012, 1:17 PM
Python's downfall is that you can buy a 686 and a GP100 for the the price of one.

And two SP101 as well.

Python are collector guns, not for someone that just wants a HD gun, we'll unless your don't mind spending $3,000 for Python.
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm276/Vffr1/Pythons.jpg

As many have mentioned the Ruger SP101 is a wonderful gun, hope to get another one as I sold mine.
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm276/Vffr1/LG-303_CLASSIC_42.jpg

Triple

RedFord150
09-02-2012, 2:03 PM
If you want to keep cost down, but still maintain quality, look at a used Ruger Security-Six...

^^^^ Excellent suggestion.
The Ruger Police Service Six and Speed Six are same frame, but fixed sights.
I owned and sold a 4" Security Six a long time ago and now regret it. Luckily, I kept my 2 3/4" Speed Six and it has been my 'nightstand gun' (loaded with .38 + JHP's) for over 2 decades.
Good luck.

Mofo-Kang
09-02-2012, 2:31 PM
I really think you need a 4"+ barrel to get the potential out of the .357 round. The snubbies pretty much leave you with a big blast and recoil, but the ballistics of a 9mm. Not that the snubbies aren't good guns in their own right, but you'd probably be better off loading them with .38s or .38 +P and get about the same performance without the blast and recoil.

scarville
09-02-2012, 3:18 PM
I really think you need a 4"+ barrel to get the potential out of the .357 round. The snubbies pretty much leave you with a big blast and recoil, but the ballistics of a 9mm. Not that the snubbies aren't good guns in their own right, but you'd probably be better off loading them with .38s or .38 +P and get about the same performance without the blast and recoil.

I agree with reservations. All other things being equal, a 357 will still outperform a 38 spl. I checked my chronograph logs and the 158 gr Hydrashok I tested last year was doing about 1000 fps from a 2" bbl which is well above expected 38 spl performance. The same load turned in 1250 fps from a 3" bbl and 1350 from the 4". From the 6" bbl they clocked right at 1500 fps.

The short ejector rod makes for a less positive ejection with 357 cases. In truth, I think the 2" bbl ejector rods are too short for 38 spl cases but 38's rarely stick. That may be a factor in deciding to carry 38 versus 357.

pyromensch
09-02-2012, 8:48 PM
Since the OP didn't specify what he was looking to stop, I felt I should mention the .44, I just think its way more versitile.

As far as .357's go, you can't go wrong with the 586/686's, personally the trigger guard on the smaller framed S&W always bashes my middle finger joint so I try to stick with the N-frames, model 27's and 28's. Even though they are larger than the L-frames, the cylinder is slightly shorter which actually makes the L-frame potentially better for launching the 180gr or heavier projectiles.

versitlie? maybe, cheaper, and "useful" not really. getting into the market of revolvers, a 357, is the best choice. it allows you to use downloaded, (available), 38spl ammo. since it is built for a 357, (nowadays), it is a little larger, and makes a 38, "almost" feel, like a 22. as you mentioned, a larger frame, is a benefit, but you have to look at the stature, and hand size, of the owner.
down, to "brass tacks", if the world ended tomorrow, (just a point), the revolver, i would have, would be a 357mag. ammo availability, and versitility.

but that's just me. :)
"

BajaJames83
09-02-2012, 8:51 PM
I love my 4" 586 if you can try to find a prelock 686 or 586

pyromensch
09-02-2012, 8:52 PM
Pythons only downfall is their wheel release.

not if you are used to it. i have 2 troopers, (mk3, and mk5), and a recently aquired python, and a M28. i have no issues, with any.

pyromensch
09-02-2012, 8:57 PM
Python's downfall is that you can buy a 686 and a GP100 for the the price of one.

true....but they aren't "pythons"

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=167629&stc=1&d=1346648221

Grumpyoldretiredcop
09-02-2012, 8:58 PM
If you aren't going to feed it a constant diet of hot .357 loads, S&W K-frames occasionally pop up in the sales forum. If you intend to use mostly or all .357, though, you will eventually stretch the frame of a K-frame revolver. In that case,go with the L-frame, Ruger GP100 or Security Six. I've owned both a Security Six (my first revolver, wish I still had it) and a S&W 581 (it was my Academy gun). Both were good gear.

If you can find one and afford it, though, it's hard to beat the Python trigger!

pyromensch
09-02-2012, 9:01 PM
IMO, when it comes to wheel guns it's either S&W or Ruger. Taurus and Charter are sometimes hit-or-miss. I came upon the same question years ago when I was considering my first handgun, and I went with S&W. Here's a comparison list, and why I decided on S&W:

1) Frame. It's a common misconception that Ruger frames are stronger than S&W. S&W frames seem lighter and weaker simply because they use a forged process (more expensive) while Ruger uses a cast process (cheaper). This means that S&W's are just as strong, but lighter. In a realistic situation, you'd have to try VERY hard to break either. +1 S&W.

2) Triggers on S&W's are better, especially out of the box. I believe it's because of the leaf spring vs coil spring for the hammer mainspring. That being said, a gun smith can tune the triggers on each. It's just the upper limit of what a S&W can do is higher than the upper limit of what a Ruger can do. +1 S&W.

3) Timing and lockup. Ruger has triple lockup on their revolvers, and they rarely go out of time. I've shot one of my S&W's out of time, and had to send it back to the factory. Also, S&W's tend to experience increasing endshake over time. For long-term durability, Ruger wins. +1 Ruger.

4) Weight. 686>GP100>66. At 42 oz, 40 oz, and 36 oz and 7, 6, and 6 shots respectively. For any given capacity, S&W wins in terms of Capacity/Weight. +1 S&W.

5) Cost. Ruger is definitely cheaper upfront. However, S&W will retain its resale value much better. I bought a used Model 66 three years ago, and since then it's appreciated by about $100 (looking at Gunbroker prices). It depends on if you're willing to spend more in the short term to spend less in the long term. Draw, but generally people pay more attention to upfront cost. +1 Ruger.

6) Safe queen factor. I would feel bad about beating up a S&W. Not so much a Ruger. +1 Ruger.

7) Capacity. 7 shots (686) vs 6 (GP100). 66 vs GP100 is a draw. +1 S&W.

8) Numbers. S&W also sells about 60% more revolvers than Ruger, despite being more expensive: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/vprp/pdf/man&denied.pdf (caveat: data is from 1999). Logically, we would also assume that spare parts and aftermarket accessories would be more for S&W, assuming their markets scale linearly. +1 S&W.

These are all the talking points I could think of. I went with the S&W because I value accuracy and the trigger over long-term durability. Cost wasn't so much an issue because I bought used. If I were to buy a gun for the woods, it would be Ruger. If I were to buy a gun for HD and urban carry, it would be S&W. Either way, you can't go wrong.

P.S. I've also handled a Ruger LCR, and the trigger is just as nice as my custom-tuned K-frame... If they were to make a 4-inch version with their new cam system and 6-shot, I'd be all over it.

you forgot, "rossi". a gun store in sacto, recently advertised, "agency trade ins", for $299. there were also agency trade ins, for rugers at $399. i just want to know, "which agency" had their people, carrying rossi's?

cindynles
09-02-2012, 9:03 PM
I love my 4" 586 if you can try to find a prelock 686 or 586

I too am a sucker for a 4", Pre-lock S&W L-Frame. I love shooting my no dash, no M 586.

http://i557.photobucket.com/albums/ss20/cindynles/IMG_1197.jpg

BradleyAbrams
09-02-2012, 9:10 PM
My opinion..

Phyton: Best factory Trigger. Less-than-Ideal ejector design ( takes both hands to work it ).

S&W: OK Trigger . BEST ejector design ( one hand activated. Frees the other hand to work the Speed Loader )

You can get trigger work done to equal the Colt. But you cannot get the Colt to equal the S&W ejector.

Thus, it was an easy choice for me.

And because I am not a fan of SS, I went with the S&W 586:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/blndyhb/357001.jpg


=-

gti_20ae
09-02-2012, 9:14 PM
I too am a sucker for a 4", Pre-lock S&W L-Frame. I love shooting my no dash, no M 586.

http://i557.photobucket.com/albums/ss20/cindynles/IMG_1197.jpg

Nice 586, is that blue or midnight black?

cindynles
09-02-2012, 9:21 PM
Nice 586, is that blue or midnight black?

Thanks. Its blue, the really dark blue/black that Smith was using in the 80's. Mine was made in 1986 based on the date stamp in the original wood grips.

It's a little easier to see in this picture.

http://i557.photobucket.com/albums/ss20/cindynles/IMG_1188-1.jpg

BradleyAbrams
09-02-2012, 9:32 PM
Thanks. Its blue, the really dark blue/black that Smith was using in the 80's. Mine was made in 1986 based on the date stamp in the original wood grips.

It's a little easier to see in this picture.

< snip >

Very Nice..!

My 586 is a 1986 vintage also..


http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/blndyhb/357005.jpg



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Q619
09-02-2012, 9:36 PM
Get a smith or a ruger. I frequently carry a .357 smith snub. I trust my life to the gun and the round. Both very well proven/established. Ruger is a great gun as well. I own guns from both and am very happy with them all.

pyromensch
09-02-2012, 9:45 PM
My opinion..

Phyton: Best factory Trigger. Less-than-Ideal ejector design ( takes both hands to work it ).

S&W: OK Trigger . BEST ejector design ( one hand activated. Frees the other hand to work the Speed Loader )

You can get trigger work done to equal the Colt. But you cannot get the Colt to equal the S&W ejector.

Thus, it was an easy choice for me.

And because I am not a fan of SS, I went with the S&W 586:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/blndyhb/357001.jpg


=-

curious....how do you do a one hand "activation"?
as i learned, you press/pull, the cylinder release, (if right handed), with the right thumb, use your left hand, grasp the firearm, push the cylinder out, and with the left thumb, eject the cases, by depressing the ejector rod, while reaching, with your right hand, for your speedloader, and then reloading, pushing the cylinder back in, (with your left thumb), and regrasping the grip with your right hand, and bringing the firearm back up.

of course, this isn't the procedure, for TV people, that whip the cylinder out, after pressing the cylinder release. :)

however, s&w triggers can be real nice...very few "rugers", can claim this.

BigDogatPlay
09-02-2012, 9:46 PM
If the intent is to have a general purpose revolver that can handle a steady diet of .357 Magnum ammo then the best solutions likely have four inch barrels and are....

L frame S&W (581 / 681 / 586 / 686) pre-lock always preferable
N frame S&W (Model 27 or 28... the newer guns that hold more than six and have locks are okay, but not what I'd buy)
Large frame Ruger (GP-100)
Medium frame Ruger (Six series)

If you don't intend to shoot a lot of magnum ammo, but mostly .38 +P and magnum stuff once in a while, then a K frame S&W with a four inch barrel is better all around. Weighs a bit less and just seems to fit the hand better. Models 13, 19, 65 and 66.

Full disclosure, I've owned K frame revolvers for over 30 years and carried them on the street as a LEO. If I had to roll out tomorrow there is a 4 inch Model 19 that would go with me, and my wife has a 2.5 inch 19 as her personal protection.

darkwater
09-02-2012, 11:03 PM
IMO, when it comes to wheel guns it's either S&W or Ruger. Taurus and Charter are sometimes hit-or-miss. I came upon the same question years ago when I was considering my first handgun, and I went with S&W. Here's a comparison list, and why I decided on S&W:

1) Frame. It's a common misconception that Ruger frames are stronger than S&W. S&W frames seem lighter and weaker simply because they use a forged process (more expensive) while Ruger uses a cast process (cheaper). This means that S&W's are just as strong, but lighter. In a realistic situation, you'd have to try VERY hard to break either. +1 S&W.

2) Triggers on S&W's are better, especially out of the box. I believe it's because of the leaf spring vs coil spring for the hammer mainspring. That being said, a gun smith can tune the triggers on each. It's just the upper limit of what a S&W can do is higher than the upper limit of what a Ruger can do. +1 S&W.

3) Timing and lockup. Ruger has triple lockup on their revolvers, and they rarely go out of time. I've shot one of my S&W's out of time, and had to send it back to the factory. Also, S&W's tend to experience increasing endshake over time. For long-term durability, Ruger wins. +1 Ruger.

4) Weight. 686>GP100>66. At 42 oz, 40 oz, and 36 oz and 7, 6, and 6 shots respectively. For any given capacity, S&W wins in terms of Capacity/Weight. +1 S&W.

5) Cost. Ruger is definitely cheaper upfront. However, S&W will retain its resale value much better. I bought a used Model 66 three years ago, and since then it's appreciated by about $100 (looking at Gunbroker prices). It depends on if you're willing to spend more in the short term to spend less in the long term. Draw, but generally people pay more attention to upfront cost. +1 Ruger.

6) Safe queen factor. I would feel bad about beating up a S&W. Not so much a Ruger. +1 Ruger.

7) Capacity. 7 shots (686) vs 6 (GP100). 66 vs GP100 is a draw. +1 S&W.

8) Numbers. S&W also sells about 60% more revolvers than Ruger, despite being more expensive: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/vprp/pdf/man&denied.pdf (caveat: data is from 1999). Logically, we would also assume that spare parts and aftermarket accessories would be more for S&W, assuming their markets scale linearly. +1 S&W.

These are all the talking points I could think of. I went with the S&W because I value accuracy and the trigger over long-term durability. Cost wasn't so much an issue because I bought used. If I were to buy a gun for the woods, it would be Ruger. If I were to buy a gun for HD and urban carry, it would be S&W. Either way, you can't go wrong.

P.S. I've also handled a Ruger LCR, and the trigger is just as nice as my custom-tuned K-frame... If they were to make a 4-inch version with their new cam system and 6-shot, I'd be all over it.

#9 Ability to shoot the hottest "Ruger Only" loads. +1 Ruger :D

JTROKS
09-02-2012, 11:20 PM
Work on getting one of each that will solve your problem.
I don't have a Python (yet :rolleyes:) but hopefully will in the near future - a 6" SS, of course to join the crowd.
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh257/joshuatroy/DSC04356.jpg

kurac
09-02-2012, 11:45 PM
did I mention I like N-frames, seriously, if you can find one, a .357 magnum with a 5" barrel is probably the ideal length.

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b197/KuracBoban/P1010072.jpg

scarville
09-03-2012, 7:05 AM
#9 Ability to shoot the hottest "Ruger Only" loads. +1 Ruger :D

I think the OP said he wanted 357 not 45 LC.

darkwater
09-03-2012, 11:06 AM
I think the OP said he wanted 357 not 45 LC.

Thanks, you're right...forgot the caliber being entertained by the OP...

chingdaotze
09-03-2012, 11:38 AM
you forgot, "rossi". a gun store in sacto, recently advertised, "agency trade ins", for $299. there were also agency trade ins, for rugers at $399. i just want to know, "which agency" had their people, carrying rossi's?

This I don't know O_o. Perhaps an LEO bought a Rossi as a BUG, and then sold it? Then the particular gun store went on a nation-wide scavenger hunt for LEO Rossi's? Purely speculation here. Perhaps you can call the gun store and ask?

With respect to OP's question, Rossi is Taurus' budget line and if Taurus is hit-or-miss Rossi can't be much better.

And yes used Rugers are decently priced. If I were on a budget that would be my first choice, either a used GP100 or Security Six. 5 shots is a bit too little for a general purpose revolver.

G-Solutions
09-03-2012, 7:24 PM
I am looking for a reliable wheel gun, something with stopping power. I was thinking .357.

I am looking for something that I can count on but won't break the bank.

Thanks for your help!

I know I'm going to repeat some things that others said... didn't have time to read everything that was posted up to this point.

My personal favorite is the Ruger GP100 with 4" barrel. It's a bit on the heavy side compared to others, but the weight eats up some of the recoil.
I bought mine used through Gunbroker and it runs flawlessly with .357 or .38, which makes it a great handgun to go along with a lever action rifle such as the Marlin 1894c.

I've logged mine around in a Shado Sable holster.

Cheers,

Fishslayer
09-03-2012, 11:18 PM
If $$$ are a concern look for a used Dan Wesson 15-2. They can sometimes be found for a bargain price but the secret is getting out. ;)

You won't go wrong with a S&W 686 or a Ruger GP100 either.

BradleyAbrams
09-04-2012, 3:18 AM
curious....how do you do a one hand "activation"?as i learned, you press/pull, the cylinder release, (if right handed), with the right thumb, use your left hand, grasp the firearm, push the cylinder out, and with the left thumb, eject the cases, by depressing the ejector rod, while reaching, with your right hand, for your speedloader, and then reloading, pushing the cylinder back in, (with your left thumb), and regrasping the grip with your right hand, and bringing the firearm back up.

of course, this isn't the procedure, for TV people, that whip the cylinder out, after pressing the cylinder release. :)

however, s&w triggers can be real nice...very few "rugers", can claim this.

Sure, I don't mind telling you how I do it..

I'm self-taught, so this may sound a bit convoluted at first, but it works for me... :)

I'm Right-handed. I hold the Revolver in my Right Hand and the Speed Loader in my Left Hand.

I press the cylinder release with my Right Thumb, and almost simultaneously, I press on the right side of the Cylinder with my Right Index Finger, and OUT swings the Cylinder.

Now here comes the "Trick" part...

I tilt the revolver slightly LEFT, so the Cylinder stays deployed, and point the barrel slightly upward, say about 20 - 30 degrees from horizontal, while at the same time I push down on the Ejector Rod with the INSIDE part of my Left Wrist, all the while still holding the Speed Loader in my Left hand.

The empty cases fall out, I remove my wrist from the ejector rod and bring the muzzle down, now about 30 degrees Below Horizontal.

I rotate my Left hand as I pull it back in order to line up the rounds with the cyclinder; then I push on the Speed loader, inserting the rounds.

As soon as the new rounds are seated, I close the cyclinder securely home with my Left Wrist.

At this point, I let glide my Left hand Down and Back, following the general contour of my right hand on the Gun's grip until I reach the Bottom of the Grip.

I slide my left had Under my Revolver's Butt so that I can cradle the Butt on my Left Palm / Wrist area as I use both hands to bring the gun Up to bear and to steady my aim. And that's it.



It may sound complicated, but it's not. It is actually pretty smooth. The last part, especially, is very intuitive, as the "Wrist seeks Wrist."

Try it - Place your hands appart from each other, as far away as you want.. Close your eyes. Now Bring your wrists together - Works every time..;)

I've been doing this reload drill for so long now that it just flows in one continuous motion.

I could do the entire deal with my eyes closed, except for the part where I need to coincide the bullets with the Cyclinder....:)


Funny thing, I had to really think of the separate steps in my mind just now in order to write it down.

I guess that when you come to do something automatically after a long time, you take it for granted and forget how to describe it...sorta like trying to explain the steps necessary for Manual Shifting in a car to a new driver unfamiliar with the Third Pedal... :D



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The War Wagon
09-04-2012, 4:29 AM
Taurus 605.

http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc305/The_War_Wagon/100_7599.jpg

J-frame size, reliable, and great for pocket carry - even in shorts in warm weather. :cool:

sergtjim
09-04-2012, 6:53 AM
My nightstand gun is an old Security Six 4"bbl. Bought used at least ten years ago, I've put 1500+ rounds of .38 and .357 through it. Still locks up tight, still as accurate as the day I bought it for $100. I have done some work on the springs to lighten the trigger a bit and put Hogue grips on it. Other than that it's stock.

Not the best looking gun in the world, but if I could have one and only one handgun for the rest of my life, this would be it. I think it'll last for ever.

Renaissance Redneck
09-04-2012, 7:02 AM
^^^ Like he said. You could probably find a nice, inexpensive, used Ruger Security Six in. 357 mag (they are no longer manufactured, but there are TONS of them out there.)

I have two; they are great guns.

liberty47
09-04-2012, 7:25 AM
Thanks to everyone who has offered their opinions! Definitely a lot to research but my like minded friends here at CG have pointed me in the right direction.

Ever since joining CG I find myself wanting all the guns!!!!!!!

Echidin
09-04-2012, 10:10 AM
If you want "stopping" power look into the 10mm or 45 ACP. Those are the big guns in my eyes.

357 is just classic revolver and to me a revolver is a good pack gun or range fun gun to mess around with or to keep in the droor for HD.. And when in bear country is still rather have a glock 20.. That being said...


Off topic, but is it safe to assume you are referring to being in black bear country?

IMO the GP is a way better value for the price of it. But the 686 is very nice as well. Again the GP being the bond of getting the job done with car chases and explosions then heading to a ball to pick up the hot chick in the end. While the 686 is the dos eques guy who's just classy and has the aquired taste of danger but can't be touched.

I'll agree with this. Which ever way the OP decides, he/she will be getting a quality wheel gun that has been proven reliable. If cost is a factor, then I would suggest going for the Ruger. You won't be disappointed. If you are like me and willing to spend a little more money for something that looks a little nicer, but that will do the exact same thing as the Ruger, then consider the 686. You may even find a pre-lock 686 in the for sale section for around the same price as a new GP100. I would also look into finding a used Ruger Security Six as another option.