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Looking for an inexpensive but reliable .38 revolver- recommendations?

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Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 03:05 PM
Original message
Looking for an inexpensive but reliable .38 revolver- recommendations?
Edited on Fri Apr-08-11 03:06 PM by Poll_Blind
I'm a gun owner and I'm going to sell off my small collection of firearms. I hardly ever fire it, but it's going to pain me to sell my 1976 Colt Trooper MK III the most. That thing is too big for my tastes but like almost all my firearms, it was inherited.

Still, it is an incredibly reliable pistol and it doesn't seem to have developed wrinkles or hair on its back over the decades, something I wish I could claim myself.

In the next year or two I'm probably going to be looking for a .38 pistol- a heavy one with a normal-length barrel. I've fired both .38 and .357 out of my Trooper MK III and the .357 rounds were just too much- though the basketball-sized flame that shot out of the end of the thing was always a nice reminder of exactly what I was holding in my hands. Speaking of, I've got regular-sized hands for a middle-aged man, and the Trooper MK III was just a little too big for my tastes. Not by much, but just a little.

Does anyone have any thoughts on a good replacement? I've got a few automatics and they're nice but there's something about a double-action revolver, with a good bit of weight. I've had loaded firearms pointed at me before (when I was a child, no less) and while I enjoy owning firearms I am extremely careful with them, both loaded and unloaded. Always felt a DA afforded a tiny bit more safety given the design.

I'd be looking to spend about $300-400, preferably new.

Thanks for the input!

PB
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virginia mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. I bet your could TRADE that .357 for just about any nice .38
Edited on Fri Apr-08-11 03:15 PM by virginia mountainman
At just about any reputable gun shop! It's value is more used, than most NEW .38's on the market.

If we where close I would like to have it myself!

EDIT to add...

Stick with the double actions, automatics are a good upgrade but they do take skill, and practice to master. If your not willing or able to practice with the auto, the double action is a much better option.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. Here's a recommendation for keeping expenses low: don't buy.
;-)
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Callisto32 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. Fuck that.
Firearms are far better stores of wealth than FRN's.
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rl6214 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. Why go down to a .38?
As you know, a .357 will fire .38 so just find a good medium frame .357 and shoot your lighter load easier to handle .38s out of it then if you want you still have the option of shooting .357s. I've got a nice Taurus that shot great out of the box and not quite as expensive as a Colt or Smith. I've seen them go as low as $300
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Maine_Nurse Donating Member (688 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. See how various ones feel to you...
If you aren't a frequent shooter, perhaps try to stick with something you are familiar with or just head to a shop and handle models from all the major manufacturers. It might seem like a little thing, but something as simple as how to release the cylinder to open it can make a difference in your comfort level with it. Also ask to dry fire them or have some snap-caps put in so you can get a feel for the triggers of each. You are not going to go too far wrong with any major firearms manufacturer if you find one that feels comfortable to you.

As previously mentioned, you should do quite nicely on a trade in or perhaps private sale yours and buy outright.
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. Most used handguns that have had any care are in like new condition ...
Most handgun owners don't fire their weapons enough to wear them out.

Even my revolvers which have been fired many thousands of times are still accurate and tight and look new.

Years ago,I bought a used S&W Model 64 .38 special, which had once been a police weapon, for a very reasonable price. The weapon had been checked over by a gun smith at the store I bought it from and was guaranteed to be in good condition. Somewhere along the way it had received a top notch trigger job and fellow shooters who handled it always comment on just how smooth the trigger pull is.



Many shooters prefer to buy used Smith and Wesson revolvers. The recent models have a key-operated safety lock which many handgun aficionados dislike intensely. There have been rumors that this lock has occasionally caused the revolver to lock up while shooting. I own several revolvers with this gimmick and have had no problems but I did unlock a revolver for a shooter on the range who said it locked up on him while he was firing.

Ruger also makes some very good and extremely tough revolvers which will easily outlast the first owner. I find the trigger pull on Smith & Wesson revolvers superior to the Rugers but many people don't find the difference that noticeable.

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one-eyed fat man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
6. Trooper
Was Colt's step down from the Python service pistol. It is roughly the same frame size as a the Smith & Wesson "L" frames, such as the 586.

You could probably find a nice Model 10 Smith or if you were looking for something a little less bulky the Colt Police Positive Special in .38 Special would be just the ticket.

Another option might be, swap the grips on the Trooper. If you like it otherwise, another set of grips that fit your hand better would do the trick. Plus you can feed it .38 specials all day long, and retain the option to use .357 if you ever wanted.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. See about getting slimmer grips on it instead
Even expensive grips (say, exotic hardwood) would be a lot cheaper than buying a new gun.

And any .357 Magnum revolver is backwards-compatible with the older .38 Special cartridge, so just use .38s or .38 +Ps in your Colt instead.

:-)
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oneshooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #7
8.  Ruger builds some nice revolvers, and can be found a a very reasonable
price on the used market.

Oneshooter
Armed and Livin in Texas
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
9. With those criteria, I recommend a used S&W or Ruger.

You can hit local gun stores and pawn shops for the used revolvers.

But you can get a new Ruger for close to your price range:



At Bud's Gun Shop: $464
Type Revolver
Action Single / Double
Caliber 38 Special
Barrel Length 2.25"
Capacity 5 rd
Safety Transfer Bar
Grips Rubber
Sights Fixed
Weight 25 oz
Finish Satin Stainless

I have a couple of Tauruses that have never let me down, but objectively I have to admit that S&Ws and Rugers are made with a little more love and care.

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DonP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
11. I've got 2 Tauris 605s and 2 Charter Arms Undercovers
All work very reliably. They are all snubbies though. Older Charter guns have a "maybe/maybe not" reputation but the newer models seem to have worked out any kinks.

Taurus has really stepped up their quality in the past decade. You will get recommendations to buy a used S&W which is a great idea ... if you can find one that's not as, or more, expensive as a new one. I looked in my local shops and at shows for a year and a half and finally bought the Taurus 605. Haven't been dissappointed with it yet. YMMV
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Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
12. Thanks for all the recommendations!
I've already seen a few in here I think would be a perfect match. Bookmarking for later, and thanks for the information!

PB
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cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
13. Locking
This post does not meet the content criteria for this forum, but could be reposted in the Outdoor Life Group is you wish.

cbayer
DU Moderator
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