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  1. #1
    Plinker erichardy's Avatar
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    What is the best revolver (Caliber, barrel length, brand) for range and carry?

    I was wondering what everyone thought might be the best revolver for carry and for the range. Barrel length, caliber, brand, etc. I am looking to buy one and wanted some opinions, also if anyone has one to sell they could tell me about it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Shooter
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    For a revolver that is meant to cover a variety of uses, including carry for personal defense, target shooting, sitting on the hip while fishing & hiking, etc., I am a big fan of a 3" barrel. It is easier to conceal and carry than a 4" barrel, and MUCH easier to shoot well than a 2 1/2" or shorter barrel, as well as providing more power from your chosen round than the shorter barrels. I think the 3" barrel length is an excellent compromise in a "jack of all trades" gun.

    As for caliber, I prefer a revolver chambered for .357 Magnum, though I usually carry .38 Special +Ps, and most of my target shooting is with .38 Specials or a light .357 Magnum load. It's nice to have the option to use the more powerful ammo when I want, or the more easily controlled +P .38s or light target .38s for most social work and target shooting.

    I'm not gonna get into brand, so much. Ruger and Smith & Wesson make excellent .357s in various sizes and flavors. There are other brands, some of the quite good, but these are honestly the only two current revolver manufacturers I'd buy from.

    BTW, my current carry gun and all time favorite handgun is my Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum, with a (you guessed it!) 3" barrel A review I wrote about mine can be found here:
    Ruger SP101 w/ 3 1/6" Barrel Review

  3. #3
    Grandmaster 42769vette's Avatar
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    my shot at it would be a smith model 29 its alittle big on the carry side but the accuacy is great

  4. #4
    Expert mospeada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Williams View Post
    For a revolver that is meant to cover a variety of uses, including carry for personal defense, target shooting, sitting on the hip while fishing & hiking, etc., I am a big fan of a 3" barrel. It is easier to conceal and carry than a 4" barrel, and MUCH easier to shoot well than a 2 1/2" or shorter barrel, as well as providing more power from your chosen round than the shorter barrels. I think the 3" barrel length is an excellent compromise in a "jack of all trades" gun.

    As for caliber, I prefer a revolver chambered for .357 Magnum, though I usually carry .38 Special +Ps, and most of my target shooting is with .38 Specials or a light .357 Magnum load. It's nice to have the option to use the more powerful ammo when I want, or the more easily controlled +P .38s or light target .38s for most social work and target shooting.

    I'm not gonna get into brand, so much. Ruger and Smith & Wesson make excellent .357s in various sizes and flavors. There are other brands, some of the quite good, but these are honestly the only two current revolver manufacturers I'd buy from.

    BTW, my current carry gun and all time favorite handgun is my Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum, with a (you guessed it!) 3" barrel A review I wrote about mine can be found here:
    Ruger SP101 w/ 3 1/6" Barrel Review
    I agree 99% (I carry full boat .357Mag loads). That said, my current carry revolver is the 2" SP101 (pocket carry). I'd love to find a S&W K-Frame in stainless with 3" barrel. That's the sweet spot right there.

  5. #5
    Expert Slow Hand's Avatar
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    I won't say it's the BEST, but It's my favorite carry revolver.





    Honestly, for a carry and range gun that would also work well in the hunting field, I doubt you can do better than a 4" S&W .357 with adjustible sights. I think my 3" is the best for carry, but not for target and not legal for hunting deer (under 4" barrel). Everything is a trade off. i carried a 4" Model 15 (blued, adjustible sighted .38 special) for year sand as far as a carry gun goes, the 65 cures all complaints of the Model 15.

    Doug K
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  6. #6
    Patriot, Pater, Plinker obijohn's Avatar
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    i'll agree with most of what's here, but i think the 4" is going to be more versatile barrel length. yes the 3" might carry better, but that silly little extra inch will allow you to hunt deer in addition to being a truly all around gun. i think the med frame 4"bbl .357 mag is one of the most versatile handguns you can own.
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  7. #7
    Master
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    Caliber: I would definitely choose a .357 over all other calibers. The barrel length arguments have already been made, so I'll not comment.

    Specific guns I would look at:

    Ruger - Security/Speed/Service Six, GP100, SP101

    Smith and Wesson - Model 13, 15, 19, 28, 60, 65, 66, 586, 686, 619, 620

    Colt - Python ($$$), Trooper, Lawman

    My favorites are the Ruger Security/Speed/Service Six and the S&W Model 19, and I'd probably never sell either one, though I shot a new GP100, and I'd have to say the trigger is nicer than my Service Six, but not has good as the Model 19 with target hammer and trigger.

    I can easily hit paper plates (not every time) at 50 yards with the 4" Model 19.
    Last edited by kludge; 01-05-2009 at 16:25.
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  8. #8
    Expert dice dealer's Avatar
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    4 inch S&W or ruger either one ..
    But i would go with .357 simply for the fact you can plink with .38 and defend with .357

  9. #9
    Expert gglass's Avatar
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    The best all around wheel gun for carry and range would have to be the following:

    S&W Model 66 / 4" barrel .357 magnum - Stainless

    S&W Model 67 / 4" barrel . 38Spl - Stainless (looks almost the same)

    If buying new, look at one of these:
    S&W Model 686 Plus Revolver - 4", 7-Shot - .357MAG/.38+P

    Made on the smaller and lighter K Frame, these are some of the best all around revolvers ever made.
    Last edited by gglass; 01-05-2009 at 17:20.
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  10. #10
    Shooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Hand View Post
    I won't say it's the BEST, but It's my favorite carry revolver.




    Honestly, for a carry and range gun that would also work well in the hunting field, I doubt you can do better than a 4" S&W .357 with adjustible sights. I think my 3" is the best for carry, but not for target and not legal for hunting deer (under 4" barrel). Everything is a trade off. i carried a 4" Model 15 (blued, adjustible sighted .38 special) for year sand as far as a carry gun goes, the 65 cures all complaints of the Model 15.

    Doug K
    I really like those grips!! Makes for a beautiful gun. What kind are they?

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