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  #1  
Old 06-28-2010, 10:53 AM
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Default Handgun for my wife

My wife and I have been looking for a handgun for her birthday and she seems particularly interested in a hammerless .38 special revolver. She has been shooting my pistols and rifles for a few years now and has plenty of experience. Any advice or comments on prices or particular models that I should be looking for?
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:12 AM
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Make sure she has the hand/finger strength to cycle (and accurately shoot) whichever hammerless (DAO) revolver is chosen.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:38 AM
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You guys are definitely going in the right direction. A revolver is perfect. Perhaps a 357 so she can shoot both 38 spl and 357 mag. As for price, don't skimp. Get her a nice S&W or a Ruger. Hammerless in DAO is not bad. But perhaps one with an exposed or shrouded hammer is better since she'll have the option of going SA. And don't get her an airweight. She won't like shooting it. Get her something with some heft and a 3-4 in barrel.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C_1 View Post
You guys are definitely going in the right direction. A revolver is perfect. Perhaps a 357 so she can shoot both 38 spl and 357 mag. As for price, don't skimp. Get her a nice S&W or a Ruger. Hammerless in DAO is not bad. But perhaps one with an exposed or shrouded hammer is better since she'll have the option of going SA. And don't get her an airweight. She won't like shooting it. Get her something with some heft and a 3-4 in barrel.



Agreed !!!
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C_1 View Post
You guys are definitely going in the right direction. A revolver is perfect. Perhaps a 357 so she can shoot both 38 spl and 357 mag. As for price, don't skimp. Get her a nice S&W or a Ruger. Hammerless in DAO is not bad. But perhaps one with an exposed or shrouded hammer is better since she'll have the option of going SA. And don't get her an airweight. She won't like shooting it. Get her something with some heft and a 3-4 in barrel.
Agree on all parts with the above. "Hammerless", meaning no exposed hammer, DAO is just about optimal IMO. The problem is pretty much nothing above small frame guns are made that way. Bobbing the hammer on a gun with an exposed hammer is not a bad solution

I too would stay away from airweights. Those mixed with +P or magnum ammo are a recipe for not having a lot of fun.

If weight is not an issue an older S&W 10, 12, 13, 19, 66 would be ideal, IMO. My wife's personal gun is a 2.5 inch Model 19. A three inch 13 or 66, if you can find one would be the ultimate... but that's why they are so hard to find.

Ruger Speed Six or SP 101 stoked with +P is also an excellent choice. Both are rugged, will handle any ammo you can find that will fit them and are generally easy both on the wallet and to locate.

I'd stay away from Taurus (personal preference) and Charter Arms. The Charter guns are too small and light and the quality seems to vary greatly from unit to unit that I've seen.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:23 PM
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Aren't the hammer less revolvers illegal in California? I thought they were called Saturday Nigh Specials? Since they were used so they don't snag when you are pulling it out from your pants. I could be wrong.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by arose789 View Post
Aren't the hammer less revolvers illegal in California? I thought they were called Saturday Nigh Specials? Since they were used so they don't snag when you are pulling it out from your pants. I could be wrong.
I just saw like 4 different hammerless models at the gun store today. So I doubt it.

As for the OP, a S&W 638 seems really cool. I really like how it feels in my hand, balance is good, shrouded hammer but still capable of going SA if you want to. I haven't fired one though, I've been wanting one for a long time, but haven't been able to afford it.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:45 PM
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Just a word on the "she wont have fun" comments. You never know. My sister wanted to shoot a .45 so I took her to the range with my 1911. She loved it. A lot of pistol with a lot of recoil. At least that's what I'm getting from the comments, that the recoil of an airweight with a short barrel wouldn't be fun. Just a thought.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:59 PM
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Handgun for my wife

Straight up trade or do you want a little cash thrown it too??
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Old 06-28-2010, 1:07 PM
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S&W 642LS - .38Spl +P w/internal hammer (DAO)
S&W 60LS - .357Mag w/exposed hammer (DA)

Advantage: The "LS" in the model number stands for LadySmith. The revolvers are ergonomically designed to fit a woman's hand.

Disadvantage: The 642LS only has a 1.875" barrel, and the 60LS only has a 2.125" barrel (i.e. both are snubbies). Both are also 5-shot models. So while they may "fit" a woman's hand better, in practice they're probably too small and difficult to use--especially the 60LS with full-house magnums--unless she's specifically looking for a CCW piece.

Anyway, they may be worth checking out. And FWIW, even if she opts for the 60LS, I'd advise her to use .38Spl +P in it rather than .357Mag for better controllability; and if that's the case, getting the 60LS over the 642LS is a no-brainer (IMO) because it has a stronger frame, the option of going SA, and a .25" longer barrel (and hence sight radius).

Last edited by Bullwinkle; 06-28-2010 at 1:11 PM..
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Old 06-28-2010, 1:14 PM
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Thanks for the tips, I was thinking that Taurus and Charter Arms seemed a little too cheap compared to the S&W or Ruger. I am going to go look at Turner's this week. She actually liked the 2" barrel, she has shot a 357 snub and can handle my .45's recoil quite well so I dont think that will be an issue. Would i be looking at better prices at Turner's, Bass Pro or any other place local to ontario?
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Old 06-28-2010, 1:30 PM
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The very most important thing... don't surprise her. Include her in ALL the thinking, looking trying, comparing and especially buying. Let it be HER choice and she will be MUCH more likely to shoot with you.... instead of AT you LOL. Really, help her with all kids of info, but let it be her choice.
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Old 06-28-2010, 1:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCSnyder View Post
Thanks for the tips, I was thinking that Taurus and Charter Arms seemed a little too cheap compared to the S&W or Ruger. I am going to go look at Turner's this week. She actually liked the 2" barrel, she has shot a 357 snub and can handle my .45's recoil quite well so I dont think that will be an issue. Would i be looking at better prices at Turner's, Bass Pro or any other place local to ontario?
I would vote for a 4 inch barrel. The recoil difference in my opinion is significant compare to a 2". My wife (5'8 130lbs) can shoot 357 magnum rounds very well on our S&W 686P revolver (4" barrel). It has a 7 shot capacity, and has been an excellent firearm. She is extremely comfortable with it and can shoot about 50 rounds in 357 before she is asking to go back to the 38 special. My wife found my friends Kimber 1911 45 ACP comfortable to shoot as well. She also thinks it is a lot more intimidating than my HK USP.

If you can get to a range, I think that would be best though. She may be able to handle the snub nose, but she may enjoy a longer barrel and be able to shoot better with it. my 2 cents.
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Old 06-28-2010, 3:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogatPlay View Post
...Ruger Speed Six or SP 101 stoked with +P is also an excellent choice. Both are rugged, will handle any ammo you can find that will fit them and are generally easy both on the wallet and to locate.

I'd stay away from Taurus (personal preference) and Charter Arms. The Charter guns are too small and light and the quality seems to vary greatly from unit to unit that I've seen.
+1000 for me. I agree with everything BigDog says.
FTR, I have a Speed Six (S6) .38 special with a 2 3/4" barrel. It resides in the nightstand safe next to my bed. My GP100 (4" barrel) .357 mag lives in the big safe with both my .45's and a few other assorted HG's. The reason the S6 is my 'Go to' gun is because my wife and I both shoot it equally well. It has fixed sights and a Hogue Rubber Grip. Nothing to go wrong on it.

Keep in mind that smaller and lighter guns are heavier on recoil. Those lightweight snubbies you are looking at are not always fun to shoot. The heavy frame makes it a lot nicer.
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Old 06-28-2010, 4:35 PM
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Smith&Wesson 442
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  #16  
Old 06-29-2010, 1:01 AM
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Take her to the range and rent different guns to see what she likes. That's what my wife and I been doing for the last few weeks.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:26 AM
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Bring her to the gun store and let HER pick out the piece of her choice not yours. I have seen so many men bringing in their woman to the store and buying them something that the woman doesn't like.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:32 AM
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+1 on letting her choose
+1 on renting a few guns to let her try them.

Note: most of the S&W steel framed .38/.357's will be within an ounce or so of each other. Shooting an exposed hammer Model 60 Chiefs Special will be similar to shooting a 36/640/649, for instance. The same applies for the standard "Airweight" guns (nominally 15-16 oz). The Airlite guns are closer to 12oz.

My suggestions for a "hammerless" gun...

S&W Model 649 .357

5-shot, .38/.357, 2.125" barrel, 23oz, shrouded hammer

The older Model 49 and early 649's in .38 special only are also nice carry guns. Just enough weight to dampen the recoil. Small enough to go almost anywhere. If purely DAO is more desireable, the go with the Model 640.

Alternative:
A round-butt K-frame snubbie like this 2.5" Model 19 equipped with the old Bianch "Lightning" rubber grips. Shrouds the hammer on the larger gun to prevent snagging from a coat/purse draw.

(And I just happen to have a spare set...)
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Old 06-30-2010, 9:37 AM
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Don't see how you could go wrong with a j frame sized revolver.. there are a lot of other choices that could be a disaster tho.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:27 PM
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Revolvers with hammers are more fun.

I've shot the Ruger SP101 and the S&W Model 60 Lady smith.

My favorite of the the two was the Ruger by far. The stock grips are very good with the recoil. The pull is hard no doubt but ample aftermarket support will allow you to tune it to your liking.

The Model 60 LS was great feeling in the hand but the stock wood grips provide no recoil absorption. After a full box of 38 specials my hand felt like it had gotten beaten up a little bit. Also the hammer is much easier to cock on the Lady smith than on the ruger, but it looks and feels like a cheaper part.

Considering the lady smith sells for a considerably higher price than the Ruger I don't think there is much comparison for my buck.
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