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Thread: New gun for wife

  1. #1
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    New gun for wife

    My wife wants a .357 revolver. What are some brands and models that she should try out?



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  2. #2
    Regular Member skeith5's Avatar
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    Re: New gun for wife

    What is she looking to do with it? Do you want a small carry gun? Hunting? Target shooting? Budget?

    I'd stick with Colt or Smith and Wesson myself, maybe a ruger for single action.

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    S@W, Ruger, Colt are the top choice Taraus the next any thing from small to large is available one thing nice about the 357 is the being able to use 38 spl in them.

    I shoot 38s a 1000 to one 357 in mine. If I was buy one right now a for small a ruger sp101 a S@W model 60 3inch

    For med Ruger GP100 S@W L frames or K frames are just a bit smaller.

    For real big S@W N frames and there were some Ruger redhawks made in 357

    No longer made models if one can find them Ruger security six, colt troopers and Pythons are all good.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    There are a lot of factors to consider~barrel length, frame size, concealed or open carry, or no carry just home defense. A 357 with factory ammo from a 2 inch barrel is a flame thrower with not much more stopping power then a 2 inch 38+P using FBI load. Factory 357 are loaded with slow powders to obtain maximum safe velocity with pressures in the safe working range. This means most of it burns after the bullet has left the barrel. A 357 should at least have a 3 inch barrel unless the owner wishes to handload. JMHO
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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    There are a lot of factors to consider~ JMHO
    Spot on again WW.
    My Sweet Baboo loved her Ruger P85 until she picked up an S&W bodyguard revolver. Its a .38+. Her only consideration is how it fits in her hand. Take her to a couple three gunshops and just put a bunch of them in her hand. If they have a female behind the counter, that may be a plus. Eventually she will say "this is The One!" and then you get her a holster. Unless you are shooting more than fifteen or twenty feet, caliber may not be that important.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Try a Charter Arms Pink Lady. The room for the pinky on the grip was the selling point for my wife. With lite cowboy loads it is pleasant to shoot. Full power loads for carry.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carracer View Post
    Try a Charter Arms Pink Lady. The room for the pinky on the grip was the selling point for my wife. With lite cowboy loads it is pleasant to shoot. Full power loads for carry.
    Cowboy loads are actually a good load for a snubby, they are loaded with a fast burning powder, a heavy bullet, and pure lead. A good combination for a snub nose revolver. Fast powder with heavy bullet means more pressure is developed early in the bullet travel for more efficiency from the short barrel. Soft lead will deform upon hitting bone or heavier tissue, close range the load should make for enough penetration to reach organs. My cowboy loads will penetrate 14 inches of wet newspaper from a 2 inch 38. Probably would only be 10 or 12 inches in flesh. Waiting for Boston Butts to go on sale for a better testing medium. For a factory cowboy ammo look for either SWC or RNFP, round nose is not a good round from a 38 IMO. You want as much frontal on the bullet as possible. I load a Lee cast 158 gr FP over 4.5 grains of Universal Clays, it is a max load for 38 special. I don't use a chony unless I go to a range but it should be around 950fps from a 5 inch barrel. Probably around 600fps from a snub. Factory duplication is 4.0 grains, +P 4.7 grains.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    A good 158swc swaged lead hollow point is one of the best loads in a 38 next I would go with a good 125jhp.

    357 mag loads still retain a good 150 200 fps above 38spl +p in a 2inch barrel but do so with a lot more muzzle blast and flash.

    In my light weight 357 2 in I carry 38+ps 125gr rem jhps I just don't like the huge blast. flash and recoil from the 357 loads in it
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  9. #9
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    A good 158swc swaged lead hollow point is one of the best loads in a 38 next I would go with a good 125jhp.

    357 mag loads still retain a good 150 200 fps above 38spl +p in a 2inch barrel but do so with a lot more muzzle blast and flash.

    In my light weight 357 2 in I carry 38+ps 125gr rem jhps I just don't like the huge blast. flash and recoil from the 357 loads in it
    That is only if they are loaded with the same powder, H110 or 2400 would be very little advantage over a 38 loaded with unique or universal. If one is going the two inch 357 route they should be reloading. Then the 357 can loaded with the one of the faster powders giving true performance to fit the barrel and the longer case, without the massive blast and recoil. But as long as a 38+P revolver is built with the same steel it can be loaded much hotter by setting the bullet further out of the case. This is how the .357 was inspired by handloaders loading hot loads for the M-27. If I want I can load my bullets to a COL of 1.58 to gain more case capacity thus lowering pressure on +P loads as opposed to trying for higher velocity. I am concerned less by velocity, and more by accuracy and performance, within safe pressures.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 01-09-2013 at 05:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeith5 View Post
    What is she looking to do with it? Do you want a small carry gun? Hunting? Target shooting? Budget?

    I'd stick with Colt or Smith and Wesson myself, maybe a ruger for single action.

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2
    Self defense, home defense, open carry, target shooting, and on a budget. She is comfortable with the .357 revolver as that is what she learned to shoot with and my Glock 30 has too much "kick" for her, but she shoots it as well (or better) than me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    There are a lot of factors to consider~barrel length, frame size, concealed or open carry, or no carry just home defense. A 357 with factory ammo from a 2 inch barrel is a flame thrower with not much more stopping power then a 2 inch 38+P using FBI load. Factory 357 are loaded with slow powders to obtain maximum safe velocity with pressures in the safe working range. This means most of it burns after the bullet has left the barrel. A 357 should at least have a 3 inch barrel unless the owner wishes to handload. JMHO
    From what she has told me, she prefers a 4" barrel, mid sized frame. She wants to open carry or conceal, as she chooses.

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    True handloaders have the advantage of tayloring there loads for the barrel length.

    Having loaded tens of thousands rounds for many differant Cailber handguns with dozens of differant bullets and powder combinations it is very possible to find one that gives you the best performance in a certain handgun

    The only problem is with loading the smaller case to hotter then normal is then haveing someone else use them in a hand gun not designed for the that level.

    They see 38 spl but do not realize it is 38spl+P+.

    Other then that tayloring ones loads for your hand gun is very useful and fun. I have done for many decades
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCrawford View Post
    From what she has told me, she prefers a 4" barrel, mid sized frame. She wants to open carry or conceal, as she chooses.
    S@W L or K frames Ruger GP100 are great guns for that.
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  14. #14
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    S@W L or K frames Ruger GP100 are great guns for that.
    Ruger makes a very strong revolver, but I still prefer the action on a Smith or Colt. Four inch is a great length for open and concealed carry, five inches is even better. I don't know if Colt or Smith make 5 inch models anymore though they do have 6 inch.
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    I too am a fan of the 5" barrel, IMO it's probably my favorite all around barrel length at least for a .38//357 as it gives you a good combination of balance of the firearm and portability. The extra inch of barrel over a 4" can make a big difference in velocity for a .357 load, too. Not that this is a big consideration, but I also find it to be the most aesthetically pleasing length on K and N frame S&Ws.

    For your wife, I think that an S&W Model 19 or its stainless equivalent the Model 66 would be a good choice, based on her preference for a midsize frame. Just avoid the 125gr .357mags in these, as that particular loading has been known to cause cracked forcing cones. 158gr .357mags are fine, as are any bullet weight in 38 special or 38 special +P. The 19s and 66s are fairly available and relatively inexpensive. I very nearly bought a nice 4" 19 this past weekend for $400, and still regret passing on it. For a little bit less money, the model 13 and its stainless equivalent the model 65 are basically the same thing but have fixed sights rather than the adjustable rear sight of the 19/66. Unfortunately, none of the K-frame .357s are still in production, although they are all relatively plentiful on the used market. I've never shot an L frame(586/686) but have handled them at shows and don't much for the extra "up front" weight that the rib and underlug add, although I may be in the minority on this opinion.

    On the Colt side of things, although I don't own one I've found the original Model 357 to be an all around great handling gun. These are built on the same frame size as the Python and have the same action, but lack the barrel rib and underlug(they resemble the Official Police, from which they were developed). More importantly, they don't come with the same crazy price tag as even worn out Pythons now seem to have. Colt also made some later .357 Magnum guns which were a step down from the Python(I think in the Trooper line) and had a different action. I have no opinion on these as I've never handled one.
    Last edited by bunnspecial; 01-09-2013 at 11:07 PM.

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    The only I have against the S@W K frames is they can't stand up to a steady diet of full house 357 mag loads. If one is going to carry one a lot and mainly shoot 38s they well go for a long time. They are a very nice size gun to carry.

    If plan on shooting a lot of magums go with the L frame or Rugers GP100.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    The only I have against the S@W K frames is they can't stand up to a steady diet of full house 357 mag loads. If one is going to carry one a lot and mainly shoot 38s they well go for a long time. They are a very nice size gun to carry.

    If plan on shooting a lot of magums go with the L frame or Rugers GP100.
    Anybody IMO who shoots a 357 should be a handloader, then a whole world opens up for the revolver shooter. I owned a lot of Smith revolvers when young, I sold all of them when I needed to fund a move.

    I started my career with a model 28 that eventually ended up being a converted to a 44 spl. I carried it until I was forced to carry a issued gun, a model 64, and then later the model 65. I owned two model 19's at one time and shot a lot of 357 loads through them. Neither got loose, but then most loads were moderate that I handloaded. A person would really have to shoot a LOT of full house loads to wear out a 19. My full house loads in a Marlin 1894 kick, they would be extremely uncomfortable in a handgun. I handloaded from day one when I moved to centerfire revolvers in my youth, it is my yoga. When limited to the 38 spl K frame I pulled the bullets on the issued ammo, loaded moderate 357 loads, and backed out seating the hollow points to near 357 COL. But I concur the Ruger is a very strong gun with a rugged reputation. They just do not, or did not have the smooth action of a Colt or a Smith.
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    Regular Member davegran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    .... But I concur the Ruger is a very strong gun with a rugged reputation. They just do not, or did not have the smooth action of a Colt or a Smith.
    Can a good gunsmith bring them up to snuff or are they beyond help?
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davegran View Post
    Can a good gunsmith bring them up to snuff or are they beyond help?
    Probably so, almost all guns can be improved by a professional gunsmith. Smiths used to cost more because IMO there was more attention to detail. Finer polish of internals, IMO the pull on a Ruger feels progressive I don't like that, and no polishing will get rid of it. There is nothing that will compare to the feel and pull of a Colt, not even a Smith, again IMO. If you are not accustomed to a Smith or Colt you would probably never know though.
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    I find that I prefer the DA trigger on a Smith over that on a Colt, or at least the from-the-factory trigger. The Colt trigger "stacks"(meaning the pull weight increases) right before it breaks and the hammer drops. By contrast, the S&W is perfectly linear across the entire pull(except for J frames, which have a slight drop-off right before the break)/ When I first bought my Colt, I couldn't hit anything with it in DA. Dry firing showed me that I was jerking it off target. I can shoot it accurately now in DA, but have to "stage" the trigger and verify the sight picture before pulling it all the way back. YMMV. I do think, however, that a Colt trigger is probably has a smoother feel at least from the factory than an S&W, although the difference to me is slight.

    The Rugers I've tried stack to about the middle of the stroke, and then the pull weight falls until the trigger breaks. I don't have one and haven't practiced with them all that much, but I've found that my double action accuracy with a Ruger is much worse than it was with a Colt before I learned to shoot it well. Someone who practices enough with a Ruger could probably get use to it. The trigger on them is at least better than it is on my dad's 9mm S&W Sigma

  21. #21
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    I find that I prefer the DA trigger on a Smith over that on a Colt, or at least the from-the-factory trigger. The Colt trigger "stacks"(meaning the pull weight increases) right before it breaks and the hammer drops. By contrast, the S&W is perfectly linear across the entire pull(except for J frames, which have a slight drop-off right before the break)/ When I first bought my Colt, I couldn't hit anything with it in DA. Dry firing showed me that I was jerking it off target. I can shoot it accurately now in DA, but have to "stage" the trigger and verify the sight picture before pulling it all the way back. YMMV. I do think, however, that a Colt trigger is probably has a smoother feel at least from the factory than an S&W, although the difference to me is slight.

    The Rugers I've tried stack to about the middle of the stroke, and then the pull weight falls until the trigger breaks. I don't have one and haven't practiced with them all that much, but I've found that my double action accuracy with a Ruger is much worse than it was with a Colt before I learned to shoot it well. Someone who practices enough with a Ruger could probably get use to it. The trigger on them is at least better than it is on my dad's 9mm S&W Sigma
    I prefer if a trigger stacks to get a tad stiffer towards the end of the stroke, to me the Rugers feel like hitting a patch of ice just before the end. I owned one, and could shoot it fine, just didn't like it. I traded it for the conversion of my model 28 to 44 spl. a good trade.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
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    I carried a model 28 for a frist duty gun that was issued to be. I soon brought a stainless securtiy six just for the weight saveing it did a smoothing job on the action and went on to win some matchs with it.

    Not a great S@W or Colt trigger but very useable. Some of the S@W triggers I used are unbeliveale Colt triggers even more so.

    I carried the ruger for 8 years then we went to semi autos. I have owned the ruger now for over 30 years and have well over 50000 rounds through it 90% target loads.

    I own several K frames and a couple of L frames nothing wrong with them at all.

    I also have a marlin carbine in 357 1830fps with a 158 remsp works well not my main deer gun but have taken several deer with it. A nice compact rifle for roaming the woods.

    I always tell all the auto shooters if you learn to shoot a double action revolver accurately useing the double action you can shoot any handgun.

    They are really surprized when I shoot the 500S@W double action and out shoot them when they are using the single action mode.

    But after who knows how many over one hundred thousand rounds I have fired double action.

    Not to mention the millons of times I dry fired them learning good double action Technique for every round I shot live I dry fired a 100 times.

    Good practice makes for good accurate live fire.
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    Regular Member Lurchiron's Avatar
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    I don't know... it would have to be a VERY high-end gun your trading, for me to consider; after all my wife is 5' 11", blonde & consistently out-shoots her brother at the range...


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