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Thread: Thinking about getting a 4" Revolver in .357

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    I've never had a revolver before and I was thinking of getting one for home defense/target shooting. I'm not planning on using it for CC.

    I'm fairly sure I want a Stainless 4" Barrel in .357 so I can shoot .357 or drop in .38SP if the wife wants to shoot it. I was thinking about either:

    * 4" Ruger GP100 (6 Rounds)
    * 4" Taurus Model 66 (7 Rounds)

    Any other models I should consider? Anyone own either revolver?

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    soloban wrote:
    I've never had a revolver before and I was thinking of getting one for home defense/target shooting. I'm not planning on using it for CC.

    I'm fairly sure I want a Stainless 4" Barrel in .357 so I can shoot .357 or drop in .38SP if the wife wants to shoot it. I was thinking about either:

    * 4" Ruger GP100 (6 Rounds)
    * 4" Taurus Model 66 (7 Rounds)

    Any other models I should consider? Anyone own either revolver?
    Add Smith & Wesson and there isn't a whole lot more to consider. I don't know if Charter Arms makes one. Maybe Dan Wesson?

    The way the grip fit my hand was my first consideration. Ruger did it for me.

    I was also pleased with the way Ruger assembled it. The underside of the frame and trigger guardis a separate piece thatholds the trigger, sear, cylinder stop, and cylinder pawl mechanisms. It all comes out as one assembly. It makes cleaning the main parts quick and easy...Well, as quick and easy as a modern revolver can be.

    Plan on a little polishing and some reduced-strength springs. Ruger doesn't have the smooth trigger ofa Smith & Wesson, or so I've heard. I did this and got a noticeable difference in trigger pull and smoothness. Its now much easier to shoot accurately in double-action mode.

    Also, after a bit of shooting, your wife may be up for .357 Mag. A light bullet, say 110 grains, makes for modest recoil. In a 4" frame, she might find thatmanageable.
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  3. #3
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Consider S&W Models 66 and 67. (Medium frame)

    Also the S&W 686 (stainless) or 586 (blue). (Medium frame)

    I think the 686 is the overall best revo out there in .357. I own a bunch of these in various barrel lengths and love 'em. Just picked up a mint 586 a few weeks ago at a gun show. Lots of 686s out there in the secondary market.

    Actually, now that I think of it, the large frame S&W Model 27 (blue)is the best looking .357 revo out there. They are not made anymore but there are some floating around for private sale.

    The GP 100 is an excellent gun. A tank. I don't own one yet but it's a matter of time.

    Good luck with your purchase.

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    Can't hurt to look at a S&W but the stainless GP100 is nice.
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    I posted the question on another forum and they steered toward the Ruger GP100 and also recommended the S&W 686. Looks like there are a fair amount of either model on GunBroker.

    I'll have to get into a gun store and see how they feel in my hand or possibly rent one at a range.

    EDIT:

    ====RANGE REPORT====

    So I decided to head down to the range to try out a few revolvers.

    First I tried a Ruger SP101 in .38 Special since they didn't have GP100 to try. The SP101 had a 2" Barrel with a spurless hammer and looked fairly similar to the one below. The one I shot had a matte finish and was chambered in .38 with a molded grip. Felt good in my hand and I shot fairly well with it.



    Next I tried a S&W 686 with a 4" barrel and shot .357 Mag. Now that's was a manly gun! Nice and heavy. You can totally tell the difference between .357 and .38. Surprising what a few tenths of an inch of case length can make. I liked the sights better on the 686.



    Trigger wise I couldn't tell much difference between the Ruger and SW triggers but my revolver experience consists of the 100 rounds I just fired. I would assume that both revolvers triggers were well worn in since they were range guns.

    Afterwards I looked at the 4" GP100 and dry fired it a few times, still couldn't tell much of a difference from one trigger to the next. As far as weight wise and hand fit I couldn't tell much difference between the GP100 and S&W 686. I did like the grips on the GP100 better. I guess I don't care much for the finger molded grips.

    So I determined the following:

    1. If I ever want the Mrs. to shoot it, I'll have to get a smaller frame revolver like a S&W J Frame or maybe the SP101. No way she'll handle K Frame / L Frame sized revolver more than once. Either that or get a small .22 revolver just for her.

    2. Quality wise I couldn't tell a difference between Ruger and S&W.

    3. I want a revolver with a hammer so I can shoot SA.

    More research....:?

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    a 3" K frame/3" SP101 will recoil less then any J frame

    Ruger/Federalare releasing a new cartridge/gun this yr,a long version of the .32HR magnum more bang than .38spland .38spl+p, it allegedly borders .357mag range

    This gun/caliber allows the shooter to use .32 short, long, H&R Magnum and .327 Federal(new).

    There are also 9mm revolvers, Taurus currently produces one, Ruger and SW made them as well.

    here is the article:
    http://www.shootingtimes.com/ammunition/st327_110707/


    Snip from article:
    "The new .327 Federal Magnum offers muzzle energy twice that of .38 Special +P loads, and velocities comparable to a 125-grain .357 Magnum, with 20 percent less recoil in its hottest version. Designed specifically for use in lightweight small-frame revolvers, the .327 Federal Magnum allows a six-round cylinder compared to five-round capacity for similar-sized .38 Special and .357 Magnum guns, with the added benefit of chambering .32 S&W, .32 Special, and .32 H&R Magnum loads as well. "



    personally I think these small cartridges would benefit from Hornadys evolution technology
    Mid weight solid/semi solidcooper bullet with a polymer tip



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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    soloban wrote:
    4" Ruger GP100 (6 Rounds)
    I own and love this gun. Easy on the eyes andfun to shoot; overall, a great gun!

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    If you like the GP100 but don't like the size/weight, see if you can find a used (discontinued) Ruger Security Six (or Service Six or Speed Six). They're built just as rugged as the GP100 but are a little bit smaller/lighter, but not as small as the SP101.

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    I have both the GP100 and the SP101, and recommend them without hesitation. Excellent guns. Experiment with the ammo and find something with a lower muzzle flash if you can, especially with the SP101. The little gun can have a heck of a fireball coming out of it.
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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    I normally shoot 38 specials, but when I switch over to .357 every once in awhile, you sure can feel the difference. It puts a nice big flash on top of the punch the .357 packs.

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    I think I am going with the GP100. I liked the S&W 686 but its just a tad too pricey. The GP100 felt good in my hand and the trigger felt good from what I can tell. I've got a couple eBay auctions going to raise some fundage for the new six-shooter.

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    FWIW, I own a Taurus 4" and am very happy with it.

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    dngreer wrote:
    soloban wrote:
    4" Ruger GP100 (6 Rounds)
    I own and love this gun. Easy on the eyes andfun to shoot; overall, a great gun!
    Well, I see my intended contribution has been covered. I got mine after shooting my dad's, and have loved it. One of the nice things about it is while it is a slightly smaller gun than some of the large frame models, it is still designed beefy enough to handle any hot .357 loads you want to run through it.
    As for the SP101 you mentioned, I don't have any personal experience with it, but I can tell it's the only gun my dad has bought and immediately taken back to a gun show not caring what he got for it. And that's coming from a guy who is a huge Ruger fan.

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    Here is an extensive article regarding the .327 mag and rumor has it that Charter Arms is going to release a gun in the caliber as well.

    http://www.10mmtalk.com/index.php?showtopic=7315

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    I own a Ruger GP100 4" and it an excellent weapon. Never had any problems with it. I'm partial to my semi-autos but I love this gun. It feels much better in my hand than a Smith. Not knocking Smith. They are an outright amazing company. I just prefer the grip on my Ruger. I also like the fact that the firing pin is not on the hammer. Instead when you pull the trigger a ramp rises up that the hammer strikes which pushes into the firing pin. If you pull the hammer back and your finger slips on the hammer, the ramp will drop back down and not allow the firing pin to engage. Just my $.02.

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    nova wrote:
    If you like the GP100 but don't like the size/weight, see if you can find a used (discontinued) Ruger Security Six (or Service Six or Speed Six). They're built just as rugged as the GP100 but are a little bit smaller/lighter, but not as small as the SP101.
    My friend has a Security Six and it's a great revolver. Nice trigger and easy to shoot.

    Soloban, which range did you go that had the SP101 for rental? I've been looking at getting the SP101 and I've fondled it at various gun shows. I want to shoot one before I commit though.

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    check out the 2008 Custom Combat Handguns magazine. The gun of your dreams is on the cover: S&W M327 TRR8 .257 MAG. Probably not practical or affordable at 1300 bucks, but you should definitely look out this piece. 8 shots of .357 mag, plus two tactical rails mounted on the bottom and top of the barrel shroud. I don't even like revolvers and I drooled over this thing.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Anyone know how much the GP100 costs, ballpark? Haven't been able to find approx. pricing. Also interested in a revolver for OC when I don't feel like carrying the 45. Would like something with similar feel in terms of stopping power and kick. Is a 4" .357 the right thing to look at?

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    vmathis12019 wrote:
    check out the 2008 Custom Combat Handguns magazine. The gun of your dreams is on the cover: S&W M327 TRR8 .257 MAG. Probably not practical or affordable at 1300 bucks, but you should definitely look out this piece. 8 shots of .357 mag, plus two tactical rails mounted on the bottom and top of the barrel shroud. I don't even like revolvers and I drooled over this thing.
    personally I'd avoid any new caliber until it can stand the test of time. I wouldn't want to invest in a firearm and then in 2 years no one is making the cartridge any longer. I'm no expert, but that seems to be the story on the 45GAP cartridge. Springfield Armory even stopped making the XD in 45GAP. If I want a 45, it's going to be ACP. If I want a Magnum round, it's going to be 357, 44, etc.

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    The pistol I posted about does not use a new cartridge, it shoots the traditional .357 magnum cartridge.

    I see why you thought that though... definitely a typo. It is .357 not .257...lol.

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    vmathis12019 wrote:
    The pistol I posted about does not use a new cartridge, it shoots the traditional .357 magnum cartridge.

    I see why you thought that though... definitely a typo. It is .357 not .257...lol.
    Actually there is a new .327 cartridge. I thought that was the one you were referencing (OOOPS!)

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    Having owned the 4" GP100 in .357 and S&W mod. 66 in .357, and now evolved to the Taurus 605 in stainless, I say either one of the two that you mentioned. Enjoy!

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    S&W 686 there is no other answer for this question.

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    One advantage that the ruger does have over the S&W:

    Much easier field-stripping and maintinence.



    Having owned and shot all of the above mentioned guns over the years, my advice is to go with the gp100.



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    For a home defense weapon you couldn't beat the 686 Smith. I had a 586 and traded it. Wish I had it back.

    I gave my wife a 3" S&W model 65 .357. She usually uses +P .38 Special ammo, but can shoot .357 in it. S&W has discontinued the K frame .357s, but you can find them everywhere on the used market.

    I have friend who was SF A-team commander. He carried a Ruger GP-100 extensively in El Salvador and had no problems with it.

    I think any of those would serve you well.

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