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Thread: New to the Gun World. Advice on What Gun to Carry?

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    New to the Gun World. Advice on What Gun to Carry?

    Hi everyone, new here. Hoping to tap into the experience and knowledge of people here. Just started getting interest in firearms more and more and finding myself wanting to carry one for personal safety and protection. I already own a Glock that is only used for home protection, but I feel it is too big to carry around. I know that I would prefer a revolver over semi-automatic, so I am hoping to get a revolver to own both types of guns. What do you guys recommend for a carry that is small and lightweight for a woman with smaller hands, but good enough to pack a punch? What stores have the best prices? I am in Colorado if it makes a difference. Thanks for any recommendations!

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO.

    Being a newbie to the Wide, Wonderful World of Guns, you probably do not have any idea of the [stuff]-storm that you have opened up by asking "What gun for a woman with small-ish hands?"

    Before every Local Gun Store (LGS) clerk wannabe gets a chance to open their pie-hole and insult you with every "This would be perfect for the Little Lady" comment ever made (and usually to the male you had to drag there for a repeat visit after you were ignored when you went there alone) I want to suggest that you read http://www.corneredcat.com/Contents/ - read it "from cover to cover" but pay especial attention to the section on choosing a handgun.

    In the interests of full disclosure, I am a "revolver guy" myself. That being said, there are some drawbacks to carrying a revolver as opposed to carrying a bottom-feeding pistol. You need to see and feel the differences, and through experience gain an understanding of the difference in shooting small revolvers as opposed to shooting small-frame pistols before you make your decision on what to buy/carry for self defence.

    (And then you get to enter the Wide, Wonderful World of Holsters. If you are lucky you will end up with only one Box of Holsters. )

    If you can find a range near you that allows you to rent firearms, go there and try pretty much everything they have available. Lots of folks - of both genders - with small hands have found happiness and bliss with a full-sized 1911, while those with hams for hands have decided that J-frame revolvers are the bee's knees for them.

    Stick around and become a regular reader/contributor to OCDO. Get involved in RKBA activities in CO - for the love of the Second Amendment and all else that is holy, get involved! You have some vehemently anti gun rights folks out there, but are blessed with some folks who will not let them easily take your guns away.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfish View Post
    Hi everyone, new here. Hoping to tap into the experience and knowledge of people here. Just started getting interest in firearms more and more and finding myself wanting to carry one for personal safety and protection. I already own a Glock that is only used for home protection, but I feel it is too big to carry around. I know that I would prefer a revolver over semi-automatic, so I am hoping to get a revolver to own both types of guns. What do you guys recommend for a carry that is small and lightweight for a woman with smaller hands, but good enough to pack a punch? What stores have the best prices? I am in Colorado if it makes a difference. Thanks for any recommendations!
    There are a zillion to choose from. I like the XDS45 for a small, light weight, gun. It's nice for small hands due to it's single stack mag. OF course it's a .45 so you get the big punch.
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    goldfish,

    Welcome to the Realm of the Enlightened -- as you have decided YOU should be carrying a handgun (the ultimate "tool" for self-defense) in order to look out after your own personal safety/protection, rather than depend on/call someone else to help you! After all, no one is more interested in YOUR safety than YOU are (or your loved ones of course), so YOU are the one ultimately responsible, not someone else.

    If possible, besides getting answers from experienced members here in this Forum as you have and will be getting, also try to attend one of our (Colorado) Open Carry (OC) Get-Together Events where you can get plenty of such info in-person from people who carry every day...although we usually OC since CO is an OC state (although most of us also have a Colorado Conceal Carry (CC) permit, we almost always OC anyway -- for a number of reasons).

    Among other things, at our OC Events we also help "newbies" get started carrying and offer moral support/encouragement, so they feel more comfortable carrying however they wish to do so -- OC or CC.

    So, look for the "States" area here in the Forum's main page, then scroll-down to find the "Colorado" sub-forum -- this is where the get-togethers are posted, in the "Colorado Events" thread at the top.


    P.S. You might also want to indicate what Colorado city/town you are in by editing your "Profile" to include that info, as most of us here do (as seen to the left below one's Forum member-name/ID). As you can see in my case, I'm in Colorado Springs.
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 08-28-2014 at 01:21 PM.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Welcome to OCDO. snip..stay safe.
    well said skidmark, especially the corner cat direction, quite informative.

    Firing Line is a good business to start with if you are in the Denver area.

    welcome to OC'g

    ipse
    Last edited by solus; 08-28-2014 at 01:55 PM.
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    Regular Member Kopis's Avatar
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    Like others have said, there is a HUGE selection of firearms. I encourage you to take ammo price into account. Shooting regularly is part of being a responsible gun owner/carrier i feel like. For a person new to guns, also recommend finding a local shooting range where you can rent firearms. Just let the staff know what you think you want and they'll let you handle a bunch of weapons to see what feels good to you. Then you can rent a few and see how you do shooting them. This way youll be confident you made the right decision, like test driving a car.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    ....

    Couple this with the inherent inaccuracy of short barrels and the difficulty of shooting smaller guns well (more recoil + shorter sight radius), and many users will never see satisfactory results with such a firearm. ....
    LGS clerk wannabe in action^^.

    Short barrels are no more "inherently inaccurate" than ultra-long barrels. The shorter sight radius does mean the shooter has to concentrate a bit more to aquire proper sight alignment/sight picture.

    Smaller guns do have more preceived recoil (and actual recoil) due to the lower mass to counter the recoil force. But it's the "perceived" recoil that matters most. Some shooters of big, heavy guns shy away from hot or magnum loads while other shooters can and do regularly shoot heavy/magnum loads out of Airweight or short-barreled large-bore handguns. It's not just the firearm - most of it is the shooter behind the firearm.

    Shooting newbies (except those in the military where they get no choice) should try as many different calibers and styles as possible before they commit several hundreds of dollars on a handgun purchase. Being told "You should get X because it's what I have" reduces your chances of finding the style/model/caliber that best suits you,

    Cloudcroft's suggestion of attending OC events is double-plus good - you may find someone you trust enough to go to the range with who has a selection of different guns you can try, thus saving rental fees. (Good manners would be to pay for the ammo - or at least offer to, since some misogynistic chauvanists may offer to pay for the ammo. Watch out for them - they probably have ulterior notions like getting a new shooter "hooked" on the sport.)

    stay safe.
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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    LGS clerk wannabe in action^^.
    When exactly did you decide you don't like me, anyway? It's one thing to correct an error in fact, but I don't think I'm a deserving recipient of such blatant disregard, disrespect, or general snark.

    The ridiculous part is I've seen countless LGS push small-framed revolvers on small-framed women, simply to get an easy sale.

    Being told "You should get X because it's what I have" reduces your chances of finding the style/model/caliber that best suits you.
    First of all, I provided numerous reasons based on her circumstance, so it was hardly "get x because it's what I have."

    Secondly, I disagree. Nobody yet provided her with a concrete suggestion. To a man you have each said "go to a store and try everything!" This is not bad advice, but given the overwhelming quantity of firearms on the market, and without specific suggestions, she's most likely to focus on her original thought (a small-framed revolver), try two or three, and get one of those without being given a compelling reason to second-guess this choice and try the larger assortment of guns. I provided her with a specific alternative and specific reasons so that she might broaden her search criteria. If you think my suggestion is a poor one, you might contribute by making an alternative.

    Plus, I stand by my assessment that, generally speaking, small-framed revolvers are not ideal for small-framed individuals.

    See, now I thought making a specific suggestion and providing decent reasons to support it would be an asset to the discussion. But clearly, as a "LGS clerk wannabe" my input is worthy only of derision. For this reason, I withdraw it.

    So let me join the choir: "Try all the guns."

    Well, that was contributory, wasn't it?
    Last edited by marshaul; 08-28-2014 at 04:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    LGS clerk wannabe in action^^.

    Short barrels are no more "inherently inaccurate" than ultra-long barrels. The shorter sight radius does mean the shooter has to concentrate a bit more to aquire proper sight alignment/sight picture.

    Smaller guns do have more preceived recoil (and actual recoil) due to the lower mass to counter the recoil force. But it's the "perceived" recoil that matters most. Some shooters of big, heavy guns shy away from hot or magnum loads while other shooters can and do regularly shoot heavy/magnum loads out of Airweight or short-barreled large-bore handguns. It's not just the firearm - most of it is the shooter behind the firearm.

    Shooting newbies (except those in the military where they get no choice) should try as many different calibers and styles as possible before they commit several hundreds of dollars on a handgun purchase. Being told "You should get X because it's what I have" reduces your chances of finding the style/model/caliber that best suits you,

    Cloudcroft's suggestion of attending OC events is double-plus good - you may find someone you trust enough to go to the range with who has a selection of different guns you can try, thus saving rental fees. (Good manners would be to pay for the ammo - or at least offer to, since some misogynistic chauvanists may offer to pay for the ammo. Watch out for them - they probably have ulterior notions like getting a new shooter "hooked" on the sport.)

    stay safe.
    Curmudgeon? Nope, grumpy, crotchety etc.

    My wife likes the .38 special +P caliber revolvers. Price is always a consideration as well.

    Here is a starting place. (not a endorsement of the retailer)

    http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/brows...&WTz_stype=GNU

    My wife does not like revolvers with a hammer because it catches on the stuff in her purse.

    The internet is a valuable resource, couple that with Youtube video reviews and you may be able to narrow down your choices. The recommendation regarding range rentals is sound advice. Narrow down your choices, call around to check for availability, then go give them a test drive.
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    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    Since you feel your Glock is too big for you to carry comfortably, I'd say we can eliminate the 1911 as a choice, even though as skidmark said above, you will likely enjoy shooting it.

    First, decide what size frame you want (sub-compact, compact, medium, full size) and whether you want a revolver or a semi-auto, then decide what level of recoil you are comfortable with and what level of stopping power you feel you need so that you can choose your caliber. Other than that, it's all about personal preference and ergonomics.

    I would suggest a sub-compact .380 or a .38 special revolver but a .22 (smaller than the aforementioned calibers) or a 9mm (largest of these 4 calibers) will work. Barrel length is really not an issue if you're just carrying for personal protection. Personally I like a 4 inch barrel or longer, but as long as you practice with your choice you will become proficient over time no matter which one you choose. A snubnose is great for Concealing, not quite as accurate as a longer barrel at a distance though, so you'll want to make your choice based on your actual application and PRACTICE A LOT!

    My .02
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Secondly, I disagree. Nobody yet provided her with a concrete suggestion. To a man you have each said "go to a store and try everything!"
    dafuq! Your got my post on ignore or something.

    Also I agree with you. Not sure what is up with Skidmark but his post was rude and nearly useless. Perhaps he just enjoys going back and reading it and that is it's purpose.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    So let's see how that all works, OK?

    I select a very specific part of a much longer post, quote it, and comment on the very specific portion quoted. I guess I missed the memo that said that quoting and commenting on a specific portion of a post is commenting on the total post.

    Sorry your feelings got all hurted.

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Truth View Post
    Since you feel your Glock is too big for you to carry comfortably, I'd say we can eliminate the 1911 as a choice, even though as skidmark said above, you will likely enjoy shooting it.

    <SNIP>

    My .02
    Oh, but I disagree... I'm a big guy with medium-sized hands, and I've been shooting the 1911 platform since boot camp at age 17. (Let's just say it's... more than 30 years.) The single-stack grip frame fits my hand like a glove, which is the main reason it's my ED-OC gun.

    Glocks, OTOH... while I do find them fun to shoot, when I pick one up it literally feels like a brick in my hand - albeit a brick with rounded corners! So for some of us, there is a world of difference between these two, and who knows? she might find that she loves the feel of the 1911 as much as I do.

    Just don't rule it out, is all I'm saying. My $0.02!
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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    dafuq! Your got my post on ignore or something.
    My bad, you did make an excellent suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Sorry your feelings got all hurted.
    You called me a "LGS clerk wannabe". Talk about hitting below the belt. Why don't you just throw some nasty stuff about my mom in for good measure?
    Last edited by marshaul; 08-28-2014 at 07:51 PM.

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    Glock 42

    Since you mentioned that you own a Glock, allow me to explain why the Glock 42 is what you will want.

    I am 5'8" tall, 145lbs and lugging a full size Glock 17 around all day sucks. It is to large for my build and at 32oz loaded, it's just not practicle. I have tried several firearms looking for that perfect one in size and weight for all day carry, open or concealed. The Glock 42 is a. 380 and the best way to describe it is, take a Glock 17 and reduce it by 50% in size and weight. purchase the pierce pinky extension from Amazon, this will allow for all three fingers to fit on the grip. I find that at 15oz loaded its like carrying a cell phone, hardly notice it at all.

    Check out Youtube for glock 42 videos and you will find a lot of em.

    My wife And I have shot many types of handguns and the 42 is her favorite. I and her agree it's very soft shooting, just a pleasure to shoot, and it fits the bill for carry comfort.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Have Gun - Will Carry View Post
    Oh, but I disagree... I'm a big guy with medium-sized hands, and I've been shooting the 1911 platform since boot camp at age 17. (Let's just say it's... more than 30 years.) The single-stack grip frame fits my hand like a glove, which is the main reason it's my ED-OC gun.

    Glocks, OTOH... while I do find them fun to shoot, when I pick one up it literally feels like a brick in my hand - albeit a brick with rounded corners! So for some of us, there is a world of difference between these two, and who knows? she might find that she loves the feel of the 1911 as much as I do.

    Just don't rule it out, is all I'm saying. My $0.02!
    The 1911 was my first suggestion. Something about slimness being more important than shortness, but I deleted all that.

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    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Have Gun - Will Carry View Post
    Oh, but I disagree... I'm a big guy with medium-sized hands, and I've been shooting the 1911 platform since boot camp at age 17. (Let's just say it's... more than 30 years.) The single-stack grip frame fits my hand like a glove, which is the main reason it's my ED-OC gun.

    Glocks, OTOH... while I do find them fun to shoot, when I pick one up it literally feels like a brick in my hand - albeit a brick with rounded corners! So for some of us, there is a world of difference between these two, and who knows? she might find that she loves the feel of the 1911 as much as I do.

    Just don't rule it out, is all I'm saying. My $0.02!
    All solid points! I have big ol' gorilla hands so listen to this guy in regards to grip!

    I shoot a Sig P229 .40 (double stack for the unknowing) and love it! OC all day err' day!
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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    You say you'd rather have a revolver... and you want it small enough to carry...

    For a carry revolver, I'd look at Ruger LCR (5 shot, 38sp, or 357 magnum versions)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ...and the Chiappa Rhino... (6 shot, 357 magnum version)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    or just about any J Frame Smith and Wesson, which are 5 shot and around the same size.

    You can get a little semi-auto that is smaller and easier to conceal than a revolver though, but I prefer revolvers. The Rhino isn't cheap, but I love them (I have 2). They are unique in how they shoot, because they shoot from the bottom of the cylinder vs the top like other revolvers. This makes them a bit easier to control (as in muzzle flip and staying on target), but they do have heavy triggers, at least around 10 pounds....but unlike the Ruger and J Frames, it actually holds 6 rounds instead of 5.
    Last edited by cjohnson44546; 08-28-2014 at 09:16 PM.

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    Agree with the crowd - go to a gun range and try a good variety of guns.
    I think you'd like the 9mm Beretta Px4 Storm - nice size and the fit & finish is great.
    I like that it carries 15 bullets - makes the grip a little wider than say the Smith & Wesson M&P shield.

    Also something that you might have noticed here are none of the guys have commented
    on what great clothes and accessories Beretta sells that completes your outfit.
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    New to the Gun World. Advice on What Gun to Carry?

    Goldfish - the OP may never be seen here again? On the off chance she returns I offer this. Would you ask someone what car to drive? Maybe not that way? So I think your question needs to be refined. What will the guns role be? Concealed carry? If so where will you carry it on your person? Same holds true for open carry. If you have curves, then that too will matter in your choice. Some mentioned purse carry, this is akin to a man saying he carries his pistol in his brief case, not the most efficient way to produce a pistol under pressure of attack, unless using specialized (read as expensive) gear, even then, it is slower to draw from than a well placed holster on the body. Not to mention purse snatchers love getting a nice pistol as a bonus .


    Handle as many pistols as possible, if you can - rent & fire the ones that fit your hand. Then if possible, see if the range or gun show has holsters, and try holding them in the place you plan to carry, to get a idea of how they will function when you bend, sit, ride in a car etc...

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by FreeInAZ; 08-28-2014 at 10:43 PM.
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    Hey everyone, I am here, just had a crazy busy week. The good news is I took my gun conceal carry class in the last week. I am hoping to open carry where allowed and conceal otherwise. I like the idea of both options in order to be armed the most amount of time. I appreciate everyone's input. I have been researching a lot and will use all the info given. I have a Glock 23 so far and love it (only used for home protection so far), but I wanted something smaller and lighter for daily carrying. Glad to have this community. "See" you all around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudcroft View Post
    goldfish,

    Welcome to the Realm of the Enlightened -- as you have decided YOU should be carrying a handgun (the ultimate "tool" for self-defense) in order to look out after your own personal safety/protection, rather than depend on/call someone else to help you! After all, no one is more interested in YOUR safety than YOU are (or your loved ones of course), so YOU are the one ultimately responsible, not someone else.

    If possible, besides getting answers from experienced members here in this Forum as you have and will be getting, also try to attend one of our (Colorado) Open Carry (OC) Get-Together Events where you can get plenty of such info in-person from people who carry every day...although we usually OC since CO is an OC state (although most of us also have a Colorado Conceal Carry (CC) permit, we almost always OC anyway -- for a number of reasons).

    Among other things, at our OC Events we also help "newbies" get started carrying and offer moral support/encouragement, so they feel more comfortable carrying however they wish to do so -- OC or CC.

    So, look for the "States" area here in the Forum's main page, then scroll-down to find the "Colorado" sub-forum -- this is where the get-togethers are posted, in the "Colorado Events" thread at the top.


    P.S. You might also want to indicate what Colorado city/town you are in by editing your "Profile" to include that info, as most of us here do (as seen to the left below one's Forum member-name/ID). As you can see in my case, I'm in Colorado Springs.
    Thanks! I will check them out. I'm in the Denver Metro area (not in Denver itself though, boo to them for obvious reason), so I'm sure there's some kind of event nearby.

  23. #23
    Regular Member mobiushky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfish View Post
    Hey everyone, I am here, just had a crazy busy week. The good news is I took my gun conceal carry class in the last week. I am hoping to open carry where allowed and conceal otherwise. I like the idea of both options in order to be armed the most amount of time. I appreciate everyone's input. I have been researching a lot and will use all the info given. I have a Glock 23 so far and love it (only used for home protection so far), but I wanted something smaller and lighter for daily carrying. Glad to have this community. "See" you all around.
    Just a thought, if you like the Glock 23 you could look at a Glock 27 for carry. I know you said you wanted a revolver and that's perfectly fine. If you aren't completely satisfied with one, the 27 might be the way to go. It's the same caliber, but it's the sub-compact version of the 23. Which means you can share ammo and magazines. If you intend to vastly broaden your collection of firearms, it's not a big deal. If your goal is to only have one or two, minimizing the differences between them helps in a lot of ways. You're already familiar with the operation, you can use G23 magazines in the G27, you only need to stock one caliber of ammo, etc, etc. But like I said, if you really want a revolver then by all means, find one you like. Enjoy!

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