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  #1  
Old 10-16-2011, 2:03 PM
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Question cheap .38 revolver charter arms VS taurus

at the moment i do not own any revolvers and have been thinking about picking up one of the cheap .38 snub's for a while now. if i like it then maybe i will invest more money into higher end revolvers. i figured i would start off cheap that way if i decide revolvers are just not my thing i will not have a $500-600 gun that i dont want or like. right now i am looking at the taurus 85 (not the ultra light) and the charter arms undercover. what i want is a cheap revolver with a exposed hammer that can be fired in both double action and single action. also please do not tell me to get a .44 mag i hate that round and firing my friends .44 mag revolver turned me off of revolvers for a long time.
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2011, 2:19 PM
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Get the Armscor M206. It's a modified copy of the Colt Detective Special. Which means 6 shots not 5.
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Old 10-16-2011, 2:20 PM
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BTW I have one and really like it.
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Old 10-16-2011, 2:23 PM
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Either in good shape will work fine.

Allot of folks gatemouth them but not me. They''re not target guns and meant to be used at short distances. Keep the +p ammo to a minimum. I've own both and they're a good value in 38 spl.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-16-2011, 2:26 PM
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I've got an 85 I've had for several years now and no problems. I'm happy with it.
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Old 10-16-2011, 2:38 PM
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If you aren't sure if you will like revolvers, then I wouldn't get a snubby. I would look for a 4 or 6 inch. Much more comfortable & fun to shoot.

BTW - you should try 44 special loads in a 44 mag gun - those are much more fun! I love shooting 44 special wadcutters in paper targets. They make such BIG pretty holes - and the 44 specials are MUCH lighter recoil than 44 Mag.
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Old 10-16-2011, 2:43 PM
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Looks like Billybob beat me to the punch.

Is there any reason you are buying a small frame, short barrel gun? For your first revolver, why not get a standard size frame (K frame, six rounds) and a four inch barrel? You might find the Charter 85 an unpleasant gun to shoot; small frame revolvers are great for concealment but they are not good, fun range guns.

Spend a little more and get a more practical gun that you won't have to sell at a loss three months later. If you want new, Taurus makes K frame guns that are knock offs of S&W. In the used gun market, S&W and Rugers are great gun.
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2011, 2:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post
If you aren't sure if you will like revolvers, then I wouldn't get a snubby. I would look for a 4 or 6 inch. Much more comfortable & fun to shoot.
Agreed. My first revolver was a S&W 642. I sold that and bought a 4" model 10, which is with me on every range trip.
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  #9  
Old 10-16-2011, 4:25 PM
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I would suggest a Used Smith and Wesson k frame in 38 special , they can be had for around $300 for a nice blued one from the private firearms sale forum here . I have 2 k frame smiths one in 357 and the other is a 38 and they both are great for the intended purpose , I use the 357 as my home defense and use both for target/plinking and are each great fun . Since these days everyone seems to think you need a semi auto and the 38 special is underpowered the revolvers sell at what i consider bargin prices .
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  #10  
Old 10-16-2011, 4:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anothergunnut View Post

Is there any reason you are buying a small frame, short barrel gun?
all my gun buying life i have only bought full size guns (1911, glock 17/17C, CZ 97B and so on) so now i am starting to get into smaller handguns with a glock 19 and bersa thunder. i just don't feel like getting another full size
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  #11  
Old 10-16-2011, 4:36 PM
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used s&w for around $350
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  #12  
Old 10-16-2011, 4:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mossy View Post
all my gun buying life i have only bought full size guns (1911, glock 17/17C, CZ 97B and so on) so now i am starting to get into smaller handguns with a glock 19 and bersa thunder. i just don't feel like getting another full size
I understand what you mean but with revolvers it really can ruin your opinion of them to start with a snubby, they are not fun to shoot. If you don't want to spend S&W/Colt $$$ then look for a good deal on a ruger. If you don't like it you can turn around and get what you paid most likely. The SP101's are physically small but have some heft because they are built like a tank to handle continuous .357 abuse.
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  #13  
Old 10-16-2011, 4:43 PM
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Quote:
right now i am looking at the taurus 85 (not the ultra light) and the charter arms undercover.
I have to assume looking at doesn't mean touching, because there is a big difference between the two.
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Old 10-16-2011, 4:43 PM
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Eaa Windacator 6shoot 2" barrel $300 new it has been a good gun 400+?rds got it a couple year ago.I jumped on it over the Taurus.GL
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  #15  
Old 10-16-2011, 5:01 PM
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if it has to be between charter or taurus id go charter
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  #16  
Old 10-16-2011, 5:03 PM
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We can do the Taurus 605 for $371.38 plus DROS. If you need it shipped to your FFL it's a bit more.
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  #17  
Old 10-16-2011, 5:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8804 View Post
if it has to be between charter or taurus id go charter
I have the opposite opinion. Taurus is a pretty good clone of sw. CA looks like I could have made it in my garage.

Be sure to handle both, or save and get a Ruger.
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Old 10-16-2011, 5:07 PM
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I'd also get a pre-owned Ruger or S&W K frame. Snubbies are hard to shoot well, without practice.
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Old 10-16-2011, 5:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul0660 View Post
I have the opposite opinion. Taurus is a pretty good clone of sw. CA looks like I could have made it in my garage.

Be sure to handle both, or save and get a Ruger.
I would go ruger if I were him too.
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  #20  
Old 10-16-2011, 5:53 PM
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I own several revolvers from various makers in various sizes. I have owned a Taurus M85 since 1987 and it's a good small snubbie. But I rarely fire it when compared to my other S&Ws, Colts and Rugers. The only Charter Arms revolver I ever owned was a Bulldog that I sold. I regret letting that one go but at the time I needed to pay unexpected bills. Between Taurus and CA, I have a slight preference to the M85.

My suggestion would be to borrow or rent a snubbie and spend some range time with it.
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Old 10-16-2011, 6:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mossy View Post
at the moment i do not own any revolvers and have been thinking about picking up one of the cheap .38 snub's for a while now. if i like it then maybe i will invest more money into higher end revolvers. i figured i would start off cheap that way if i decide revolvers are just not my thing i will not have a $500-600 gun that i dont want or like. right now i am looking at the taurus 85 (not the ultra light) and the charter arms undercover. what i want is a cheap revolver with a exposed hammer that can be fired in both double action and single action. also please do not tell me to get a .44 mag i hate that round and firing my friends .44 mag revolver turned me off of revolvers for a long time.
I would look in the for sale section and get a used Ruger SP101 or GP100. Neither of them are very expensive and either of them will work for years to come, they are not the smallest or lightest, but they are easy to shoot with either .357 magnum or .38 special rounds.
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  #22  
Old 10-16-2011, 9:41 PM
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I have a Charter Arms Undercover. The first couple of times reloading it's still comfortable to shoot...by the time I get to 40-50 rounds, its time to switch guns. Still enjoy it.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:43 AM
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Ruger SP101. Less than a Smith but more than the Taurus or Charter. Built to last and shoots nice too. .357 Mags are a bit much after a while but certainly not as bad as .44mag! I mostly shoot .38spc. out of mine and its a very well made gun. Good luck.
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  #24  
Old 10-17-2011, 4:46 AM
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I never recommend a small frame snubbie for a first revolver. They are a special purpose gun and do not work as a range toy for most people. I have a S&W 442 and M36 which I shoot regularly and both are examples of what Clint Smith calls comforting but not comfortable.

That said...

Between the two you mentioned, I'd say you have a little bit better chance of getting a decent quality gun in the Taurus over the Charter. I've owned both over the years and, if you get a good example of either, you will have a nice gun. The problem I've found with both Charter and Taurus is not so much bad quality as inconsistent quality -- they can vary a lot. The good ones are good but the bad ones could try the patience of Job. OTOH, I've read that both companies have improved their quality control in the past few years.

OTGH, I know a fellow who still carries a Charter undercover he bought over 30 years ago. It only gets about 100 rounds a year through it but he tells me it always works for him.
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Old 10-17-2011, 5:23 AM
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i just put a snub nose revolver on layaway; older (1979) lnib S&W Model 60. the $400.00 price tag is one i can live with for this nice example. this is not a range gun; a larger revolver would be best suited for that role.

i very much like the older S&W K frame revolvers. shooting .38 Special through a Model 19 or Model 66 would not be an unpleasant experience. .357 could be used as needed. i'd also suggest you check out some of the offerings from Ruger.

don't forget there are some good deals on revolvers here on the forum. whatever you do... don't buy a gun that you will dislike before you even get it home from wherever you buy it from.
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  #26  
Old 10-17-2011, 6:44 AM
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Check out rossi revolvers as well.
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  #27  
Old 10-17-2011, 7:15 PM
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ive owned 3 taurus snubs. two malfunctioned before round one was fired. the last was about 250 rounds before malfunctioned. fwiw in my opinion, junk. They do have a good warranty tho. I got a video i took of the guns jammin...i should track it down so I can post it.....hmmm.
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Old 10-17-2011, 7:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morrcarr67 View Post
Get the Armscor M206. It's a modified copy of the Colt Detective Special. Which means 6 shots not 5.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bronco1500 View Post
ive owned 3 taurus snubs. two malfunctioned before round one was fired. the last was about 250 rounds before malfunctioned. fwiw in my opinion, junk. They do have a good warranty tho. I got a video i took of the guns jammin...i should track it down so I can post it.....hmmm.
Weird. I bought my wife a Armscor M206. i went to pick it up and the thing locked up IN the store. i refused to accept it. I ended up getting my wife a Taurus SS snub nose. 605? cant remember for sure. its a 5 shot snub nose small frame. Replaced the factory grips with a set of pink grips that are longer to fit the whole palm and its been a great gun every time at the range. pretty accurate to 10-15 yards even for a snubbie.
None of the other Taurus pistols I had were ever problematic at all. never had to use their warranty .
I wouldn't want a Armscor revolver if you gave it to me for free.
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Old 10-17-2011, 9:17 PM
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i have a bulldog, that i bought used in 90 for $150, and i bought 2 undercover's, new for $100, each, in 95, one for my mom, and the other for my best friend's mom. at 7yds, my mom held them in the "stop zone", double action, (which is the only way, IMO, to shoot them, cocking a hammer, might lead to a discharge, you didn't intend).
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:52 PM
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One of my favorite snubs is a Charter Arms Police Undercover .38 spcl six shot, it's an unshrouded ejector model from the early 80's. It's not as refined as my S&W model 36, but its accurate and pleasant to shoot. My favorite range toy is a 44 mag that's also a snub! It's a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan, the thing is so heavy and the grips are so comfy, it's remarkable how pleasant shooting it is for a 2.5" 44 magnum.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:59 PM
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LOL - anyone with the forum name "snubby" just *might* have a slightly skewed view on how "pleasant shooting" a 2.5" 44 Mag would be...
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Old 10-18-2011, 3:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morrcarr67 View Post
Get the Armscor M206. It's a modified copy of the Colt Detective Special. Which means 6 shots not 5.
Not sure if you're by him, but this guy has one on the marketplace.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=485150

Haven't seen too many in the WTS section. Think that must say something, people that own these are keeping them. Price is pretty good too for a brand new gun. I have an Armscor semi auto, and they are certainly well made and good deals for the price. I would take an Armscor gun any day over a Charter or Taurus (not that those are that bad brands, but I trust Armscor/RIA a little more).
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Old 10-18-2011, 8:44 AM
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I had bad luck with a Taurus .38 snubbie and will not buy another Taurus product. If you must go cheap, try the Armscor or the Charter Arms.
If you were to spend your $ on an S&W, Ruger, or Colt, you will probably never have to sell it. If you go cheap, the odds are real good that you will eventually trade up to a better brand.
BTW, I am not a 'Gun Snob'. I own both a Bersa Thunder .380 and a Heritage Rough Rider .22LR/.22 mag. If I think the gun is decent, I will buy it. The Bersa is one of my favorites too shoot.
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Old 10-18-2011, 9:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mossy View Post
at the moment i do not own any revolvers and have been thinking about picking up one of the cheap .38 snub's for a while now. if i like it then maybe i will invest more money into higher end revolvers. i figured i would start off cheap that way if i decide revolvers are just not my thing i will not have a $500-600 gun that i dont want or like. right now i am looking at the taurus 85 (not the ultra light) and the charter arms undercover. what i want is a cheap revolver with a exposed hammer that can be fired in both double action and single action. also please do not tell me to get a .44 mag i hate that round and firing my friends .44 mag revolver turned me off of revolvers for a long time.
Take a look at the Smith 642 or 442 if stainless isnt your flavor. There 400 flat MSRP right now.

If your really set on those two brands Taurus I find is better quality although I haven't shot a Charter in some time.
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Old 12-10-2011, 9:32 AM
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Found the videos. New in box taurus. ZERO rounds fired.



and



Now that I see that video again it reminds me of how disapointed I was. I had to special order the gun too. I shot the videos so that I could burn them to a disc and put the disc in the box when I returned it for warranty repair. The description of repair was "replaced" not sure if that means the whole gun or just a piece. Anyways the one I got back had similar issues. Again with out any rounds fired....sold it to a buddy, who didnt care, for just a song....maybe I should start a thread with the video and a warning about Taurus.

Last edited by bronco1500; 12-10-2011 at 1:01 PM..
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  #36  
Old 12-10-2011, 1:18 PM
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GO RUGER SP101 if ya want a snub thats reasonable to shoot an not GARBAGE! My only taurus revo had to go back to the factory an I sold it CHEEP! All S&W an Ruger's run GOOD most of the time!
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  #37  
Old 12-10-2011, 2:34 PM
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I shot a friend's charter arms once- the threaded knob on the ejector loosened (and I retightened it), but otherwise it shot fine (no catastrophic malfunctions). He had the undercover model.

I'm more of an S&W guy myself.

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