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“Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE-RGR) is proud to introduce two new revolvers,” the company’s presser proclaims. “The [$829 msrp] GP100® with a five-round cylinder chambered in .44 Special and the [$1079 msrp] Redhawk® with an eight-round cylinder chambered in .357 Magnum.” While Ruger revolvers are built like the proverbial brick outhouse, I prefer Smith & Wesson revolvers for their elegance and most excellent out-of-the-box triggers. Saying that, the platypusian Ruger LCR has the best factory-standard go-pedal of any revolver extent. Bonus! Unlike most Smith & Wesson wheelguns, Rugers don’t have cylinder locks, which can fail.

There are other brands, of course, including Taurus, Charter Arms (which made TTAG website non gratis after our one-star review or their .357 Target Mag Pug). While I only carry a revolver when I need deep concealment (a S&W 642 Airweight) — at least until I pick-up a Korth/Nighthawk — I couldn’t imagine not having several revolvers in my collection. If nothing else, dry-firing an empty, carefully-aimed revolver is the best way to improve trigger technique.

Do you have a revolver or two in your gun safe? Do you carry one? If you do, why not a semi-automatic pistol?


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  1. I already posted this yesterday on the .38 Special article. Too late.

    I am hoping this means there might be a .357 Redhawk eight shot coming with a longer barrel. There used to be a .357 six shot Redhawk.

    • Yes, I’m not looking for a CC revolver. When I do, I’ll get the LCRx. I like the 4″ variety for a truck/night stand gun and fun on the range. I like the GP100 Match champion but the S&W 627 Performance Center looks sweet and with an 8 round capacity in .357 Magnum, whats not to like? Except the North of a grand price tag.
      Gov. W.J. Lepetomane allerted me to the Redhawk 8 shot. But that small grip and short barrel doesn’t give me a chubby. Then I saw those 44Magnum Redhawks! That Talo 5.5″ made it move.

      • My farm gun is the 3 inch LCRx loaded with 38+p cartridges. I prefer it over my other revolvers because of the weight. It’s not really any smaller than my other 38/.357 revolvers, just a whole lot lighter. I just wish Ruger had made it a 4 inch or 5 inch. If they came out with a 5 inch, me and probably a bunch of others would buy it.

        Listening, Ruger ???

  2. Did you mean website non grata/gratus? Or was that a pun to suggest that Charter won’t loan you weapons for testing anymore?

    I’d like to buy a revolver, but as mentioned before, I’ve only got so much money and need to pick between .357 and .44. I thought I knew what I wanted, but now I don’t.

    • Probably more load selection in .38 Sp./.357 Mag.

      On average, muzzle energy for a .357 Mag defensive load will be comparable to or greater than for .44 Special. (depending on the specific rounds, of course.)

      For the same overall size of gun, the .357 is more likely to hold an extra round compared to the .44 Special. But the .44 is likely to be heavier and thus may give you less perceived recoil.

      Best advice? Go to a range that rents guns, and buy a box of both target and defense loads for both calibers, and see what you prefer.

    • .357 and .44 mag as well as .38 special and .44 are plenty fine as far as man stoppers go. I like the lower prices of .38 and .357, I like that most .357s have an extra round over .44s, and I like the greater selection of revolvers in .357. Not to poo-poo the .44, just my preference. =)

    • Katy,

      The most important question is why do you want to buy a revolver? For what purpose? The answer to that question will pretty much answer whether you want .357 Magnum, .44 Special, or .44 Magnum.

      • Why do I want it? Short answer is, “because.”

        Longer answer is that I’d like to pick up a lever action to go with it, and both 44 mag and 357 mag are two options that are broadly available. For the lever, I’d like something that will happily eat black or smokeless without concern, not sure what’s out there that won’t complain (older Marlin 336?).

        I’m happy carrying a semi, so there isn’t a specific use case where the revolver would be a must have. I mean, at some point an LCR or similar would be a nice BUG, but that is pretty low on the priority list.

        But, I’m a big fan of multi-purposing ammunition. If I had it to do over again, I might have opted for a Glock 32 instead of the 19. That would have also made my revolver and lever choice a little easier…

    • IMHO go with .44 mag.

      You can always run specials or reduced recoil in .44 if you want, but there is nothing you can do to a .357 to make it even come close to what the .44 remington magnum can achieve.

      just sayin

      • Hot .44 Magnum rounds definitely have a LOT more “stopping power” than hot .357 Magnum rounds. The down side is that .44 Magnum ammunition is quite a bit heavier and more expensive.

        If you are concerned about fending off LARGE animals such as moose and 500+ pound bears, the .44 Magnum is the way to go. If you are only interested in plinking and fending off predators that weigh less than 300 pounds, then .357 Magnum is quite nice.

        • I might also add that hot .357 rounds rival mild .44 magnum loads. If you’re just going to load up the .44 with some of the mild stuff you might as well just stick with .357, regardless of the leg count on your intended target.

          But the .44 special/magnum combo is still a decent idea. I keep some Double Tap special loads in my magnum Blackhawk in the safe. It is a few weapons down in the arsenal order though.

        • To be specific, look at Buffalo Bore .357 loads. They have some really hot (but still on the safe side) stuff there, that actually approaches .30-30 performance out of 16″ carbines. A 200gr hard cast lead pill is nothing for any predator to sneeze at, short of grizzlies and similar huge things.

          • And HSM .357 Bear Loads with 180 gr hard cast gas check bullet are not only super effective from a GP100 4.2″ (rated @ 886’# ME from that gun), you should see what it does from a Ruger 77/357 rifle. rate this as the ultimate survival rifle. It with the GP100 are a great combo.

  3. I have a .454 Raging Judge just for the people who think the .50AE Desert Eagle is hard to handle. Otherwise, I stick with the firm belief that revolvers are about as relevant to 21st century combat and self-defense as matchlocks and arbalests.

      • He said “relevant as matchlocks to combat and arbalests to self-defense”. That pretty much covers the issue.

        • And he’d be wrong.

          Most civilian self-defense scenarios never involve firing the gun. Most times when the gun is fired, it takes far less than five shots to resolve the issue. If a tool is adequate for 99% of covered circumstances it’s not obsolete any more than your car’s lug wrench is obsolete because sometimes you need an impact wrench to knock a bolt loose.

          Also, you don’t put quotation marks around something that’s not an exact quotation,

        • @Cloudbuster

          By that logic, a flintlock pistol or black powder cap and ball revolver is “adequate” 99% of the time. I plan for a worst case scenario that I can still mitigate with reasonable precautions. 30 rounds of 9mm is more than adequate for any situation I will ever realistically be in. I can think of reasonable situations, hell even examples, where 6 rounds of .38 Special will not be / has not been.

        • @pwrserge

          “By that logic, a flintlock pistol or black powder cap and ball revolver is “adequate” 99% of the time.”

          Well, there are other factors. Carrying a primed flintlock is awkward and unreliable. Most cap and ball revolvers are pretty large, but there are a few small enough for concealed carry and, yeah, they probably would be “adequate” in most cases. The chamber wax or grease can really make a big mess, though. If someone hauled out a Remington Navy 1858 and pointed it in my direction, I don’t think I’d feel too comforted by the fact that it’s only an old single-action cap & ball revolver.

          You’re really arguing about “optimal” while I’m arguing about “obsolete.” There’s a lot of airspace between obsolete and optimal and modern revolvers fall somewhere on that spectrum between cap & ball revolvers and semiautomatics. I think we can both agree that a modern revolver is much better than a cap & ball and I believe a semiauto pistol is a better choice than a modern revolver for the worst self-defense situations. But, that said, that’s a long way from being the same as “obsolete.”

          I live a darn quiet, rural life and I don’t typically go to stupid places, with stupid people and do stupid things. If I think I’m going to need a gun, I don’t go, or I take a shotgun or rifle. If I must go to a more dangerous area, I’ll carry my Glock, but just tooling around in my very, safe, peaceful, rural community, a Ruger LCR does just fine.

      • In combat pulling your handgun is called having an ‘Oh Shit!’ moment. Civilian self defense is an entirely different animal.

        • I’d consider pulling a handgun as a civilian to be far more of an “oh shit” moment than pulling one in combat. In the civilian world, I don’t make a habit of running around in a wrap around 3A vest with level 4 plates.

        • Well in fairness they’re both ‘Oh shit!’ scenarios, but there’s a difference between ‘Oh shit, my position is being overrun by the enemy and my M4 just took a dump!’ and ‘Oh shit, this guy’s trying to rob me!’. The vast majority of (civilian) defensive gun uses do not result in any fatalities or even shots fired. Granted there’s always a chance you’ll encounter someone who’s only goal in life is to kill you so he can go to paradise and enjoy his 72 virgins, but it’s a lot more likely if you’re trouncing around somewhere in the Hindu Kush mountains.

  4. An 8-round .357 Mag is on my wish list. I shot a friend’s S&W and found I was more accurate with it (single action) than I could be with any semi-auto pistol. For some reason, I think any firearms enthusiast should own at least one nice revolver, but the little 5-shot snubbies aren’t for me.

    • That may be true on the range but you won’t be using it single action for self defense. Unless you practice a lot with a double action revolver you will suck when it counts. Any shooter will be able to send more rounds down range faster and more accurately with semi than a revolver. It takes near Jerry Miculek-like skills to narrow the difference to the point where there will be no difference in rate and accuracy of fire.

  5. Other than the lock, why would you buy a 5 shot GP100 44 Special and not a 5 shot Smith & Wesson Model 69 44 Mag?

    • The two piece barrel? I had to have a 69 replaced under warranty because the outer shroud had about 1/4″ play side to side.

    • Not a Smith fan, but you do raise a good point. If that GP could handle the magnum that would probably push me over the top and I’d be counting the nickles in my change jar right now.

      • I have a feeling you could put some pretty hot specials in there and not sweat it. The kind of ammo that says “not for use in Charter Arms Bulldog”.

        As much as I wish I had never sold my old Anaconda, I have no practical use for a .44 magnum now that I don’t live in brown bear country. It’s overkill for two legged critters and I was never fast with follow up shots with that gun unless I loaded specials. I’m no Jerry Miculek. Anyway, I would have full confidence in a hot .44 special load being able to drop any black bear or homicidal hillbilly I run into in the Virginia woods.

  6. SQUEEEE!!!
    (little girl dance)
    .44 Special!!! My wants!!! New future EDC!
    Hey, Gov.William! What ya think?

    • So many revolvers, so little time…

      .44 special is an excellent carry round. Fits nicely between .38 special and .357 magnum power and recoil wise. I’ve thought about getting the Charter Bulldog. The Ruger’s way beefier, but right about the same as my Wiley Clapp. As long as you’ve got a halfway decent belt it should carry pretty well.

      Personally I’d probably be more interested in it if it had the 4.2″ barrel since the WC is a 3″. However my wife wants a revolver, so maybe. It would be an awesome purse gun for her.

      • One knock on the .44 GP – I just noticed it’s got the Novak fiber optic sight. When I bought the WC I compared the stainless with the same front-sight to the black with the Novak’s gold bead sight and that was the deciding factor for me. The Novak fiber optic is only open at the top to collect light and while I’m sure it shines quite bright in direct sunlight, it seemed pretty dull under the florescent lighting at the LGS compared to the reflective gold bead. When I bought the 6″ GP I bought a Hi-Viz fiber optic sight which is much more open than the Novak. Now on the standard GP sight, which appears to be the same as the 8 shot Red hawk, a monkey could change the sight in a couple of seconds flat. Not so much with the Novak. After about a year with the green fiber optic sight in the 6″ I tried out the white which is reflective and thought it was better in low light, so I’ve stuck with essentially a plain white dot front-sight ever since.

  7. I have 2- a Colt Police Postive in .38 and LCR in .357 mag. Don’t carry either one. The Colt was inherited and the LCR fits nicely in my work desk. I love revolvers because there’s just something about them. However for my defensive needs, I view them more so as a backup than anything else.

  8. “If nothing else, dry-firing an empty, carefully-aimed revolver is the best way to improve trigger technique.” A Ruger SP 101 with factory trigger is an excellent tool for this. Most homeowners using a double action Ruger wouldn’t hit their threat if over 10 feet away.

    It is universally believed the worst home defense handgun is a single action “cowboy” gun because it is slow to fire and slow to reload and has too few rounds.. But most home owners would be able to hit their target with them. It is a shame there are no after market hammers that are big and long and use leverage to make it easier to cock and defend home and hearth with single action accuracy.

    Revolvers are fun to shoot.

      • Yes, I’ve cocked a few hammers in the last week shopping for a revolver. The SP is heavy and the DA pull is too. The GP100 felt half the weight. The S&W felt sharp like the knurling created barbs. I could imagine shooting 30 or 40 rounds in single action with the S&W and needing to bandage my thumb to stop the bleeding. The cylinder release button on the Smiths are aggressively knurled and cuts my thumb during recoil. I have large hands but not fat fingers. It catches my knuckle almost every shot. The Rugers are smoother to the touch since they push in rather than slide to open the cylinder.

    • I’d think a proper cowboy gun (that is, one that is an “antique firearm” and not actually a firearm under the GCA) has its uses for defense, though all based in that legal holes.

      A bullseye .22 is easily a much worse choice

    • You better not come uninvited to my house if my wife is there alone, you are going to have FIVE holes in you from her SP101 & she will be reloading just in case. We have numerous Rugers of all descriptions & none of them ever had a trigger that was not great.

        • My wife’s CC gun is the LCR. Although she has shot guns all her life, she has little experience with semi-autos. With a revolver, no worry about limb wristing malfunctions and less chance of accidental discharges due to sensitive trigger in an emergency situation. She is very proficient with it, even though it is double action only. Before the LCR, her gun was a Ruger Security Six loaded with 38 +p ammo. Super reliable and as solid as a tank (and weighs about as much as one…guess it’s not really that heavy, but compared to the LCR…what a difference). The Security Six is now the glove compartment / horse trailer living quarters gun.

      • If weight is no problem, a cartridge shooting Walker Colt 45 or similar model can be very effective as a defense gun. Their are reports of bad guys changing their minds when one was pulled out just because of intimidation due to their size. What in the h… is that thing…a canon? If you run out of ammo, you can always bludgeon the bad guy with it. If you are proficient with a single action revolver, they can be deadly. They also tend to be very accurate.

  9. I own 2, a GP100 .357 and S&W 17-8 .22. The Smith is my go to training/ introduction gun, Soft shooting and good weight with out a lot of extraneous movements. Then I move them up to my GP100 in .38/ .357 and finally my .40 semi.

    It’s a nice evolution. I also like the idea that if ever i need to let someone use one of mine for common defense the revolver is dirt simple to operate and instruct. Point – Pull – When it clicks open this – Put bullets here. NO safety.

  10. I have an sp101 Wiley Clapp that I really enjoy. It was intended to be a carry gun for when I’m lucky enough to be outside of Maryland, but I really haven’t done much traveling this year. It’s nice enough that it convinced me to pick up a 6″ gp100 to try and get myself back into hunting though

    • Have you carried the Wiley Clapp? My wife is shopping for a revolver, and likes the SP101. I’d like to get her a Wiley Clapp for the better sites.

  11. Just bought a .44 Magnum Ruger Redhawk with the 5.5″ barrel. It’s a beautiful gun, especially with the wooden grips although I do still have a blister on my thumb having just put 70 rounds through it at the range!

    Now I’m saving up for a lever action rifle in .44 to go with it. Am leaning towards the Henry Big Boy steel, not sure whether to go for the carbine 16.5″ barrel or the regular 20″ one, decisions, decisions…….

  12. I have 1 or 2 or 27 revolvers. I like their shooting aesthetic. I am seeing more and more people bringing them out to the range lately.

  13. Sadly too few.
    I have at least 4 years to safely divert funds from EBR’s and EBP’s so that number should grow.

  14. bout time the .44 special makes a come back, use a 230 Gr hollow point about 900 FPS, mild shooting powerhouse! accutate out to 25 yards in a 3 inch

    • Yep. The .44 Special has a lot to recommend it. You can load it up for a pretty stout load, or keep it calmer and not have too terribly much room left over in the case. Your choice. You have an excellent range of bullet weights. The reason why I’d carry a .44 Special over a .45 Colt is that the .45 needs a longer cylinder for a case that’s far larger than needs to be in this day and age, and (to my knowledge) no one makes a .45 Colt CCW piece. They’re all six-chambered cylinders on the .45 Colt DA revolvers.

      I might spring for a GP100 in .44 Spl, altho the older S&W .44 Spl’s (eg, a 696) are about the same price used as the GP100 is new, maybe less if heavily used.

  15. If you could only have one gun it should be a Ruger GP 100.

    Hmmm… typing that on my phone I hit the zero once too many, which got me thinking – GP 1000? In 3.57 magnum? Now that would be the one revolver to rule them all (just don’t get your thumb too close to the cylinder gap).

    • Had my 5 in. Davidson’s for a few years now. Great gun. There it was just laying in the case at my old range/ lgs. After a bit of research I went back and bought it PDQ before it went home with someone else.
      The lil’ lady loves it with .38+p. So do I when indoor work may need done. When outdoors I like 158 SJSP.
      The factory sights leave some to be desired. That’s a very easy fix.

      • Almost bought that same one but went with the 6″ stainless. Front-sight takes about 2 seconds to remove and replace. That and the Hogue finger groove grips suck. Got Altamont grips (old style rubber with wood panels) and Hi-Viz front-sight. This is the gun that sits on the couch next to me when I’m sitting up late at night dithering on the inter-webs.

  16. Five revolvers, all Rugers. Did, sometimes still do, carry the LCR .357 with Rem 38+P JHP. The SP101 SN is my snake & critter gun carried on property; also carry Single Ten. Wife uses a SP101 3″. GP100 4.2″ when I want to launch really big, heavy loads. Made a switch to semi auto carry this year for capacity using a Ruger SR9C, LC9S, or LCP Custom; always 2 as a rule. Nothing like variety (these are just some of my Rugers).

  17. I have six revolvers, all single actions, three in .36 (1851, 1861 and 1862 Colt clones), one in .44 (1860 Colt Army clone), an 1873 in .38/.357 with a 7.5″ barrel, and one in .45 Colt with a 4.75″ barrel. None are carried, obviously, and none are loaded for home defense, but the .45 would definitely put a hurt on anyone who broke in.

  18. I love revolvers. I shoot revolvers. I’m more confident with a revolver. I’m not in the military or law enforcement. I’m old and hard headed. And the streets are not littered with dead guys with empty revolvers in their hands.

    Been waiting for the 44 special Ruger for 20 years.

  19. S&W 686 -4 (Pre-Lock) ‘Distinguished Combat Magnum’ with a 4″ barrel, chambered in .357 Mag. She’s a gem. One of the most desired S&W’s.

    I’d gladly take one of those new Ruger GP 100’s in .44 though. Sharp looking gun!

  20. Had a Taurus 85 and now the wife wants one again. So we’re getting one. As for me a big 357 is on my wish list(as well as a 357 lever gun). And they will probably be Taurus/Rossi…unless I make more $ LOL

  21. LCR 22 Mag….only pistol that, after 100 rounds put a blister on my booger hook. Excellent flamethrower. Still own it.

  22. One, exactly one, revolver, a GP 100 6 inch I bought on Xmas last year (started the process on 24 Dec but the CBI check didn’t finish before closing so I got to pick it up on 26 Dec; that averages out to being Xmas).

    DA pull is so smooth I don’t bother cocking it.

  23. I carried a 3 inch gp100 for years. Still do sometimes. It’s a great car gun. Fits perfectly into my car’s tiny console.

  24. My EDC is a GP100. When I can’t dress around the big Ruger, I carry a 442 in my front pocket. Stuffed in a hidden spot in my basement is a Ruger Security 6. In the safe is a Model 19-3, a 642 and a SP101 in .22LR. I have autoloaders and have carried them in the past. Kimber Custom Classic, CZ-75, etc. There’s just something about a double action revolver.

    • I LOVE my CZ 75B. When I OC (which is rare) it’s my choice. I need to send it in for a trigger job though to remove some of the slack and creep.

  25. I sometimes carry my Dan Wesson 715 with a shoulder holster when I’m wearing a jacket. I had a suit tailored just for shoulder carry and in a winter coat, the thing disappears under my arm. I like that it’s impossible for a revolver to have a failure to feed or eject. I like that I’m more accurate with my revolver. And finally I like that a dud primer is cleared simply by pulling the trigger again vs clearing the action.

    I carry a semi-auto always. It’s a little Bersa Thunder CC version. My accuracy is mediocre with it, but I can do the 5X5 challenge in my sleep. I like the size of my semi auto, the extra rounds, and the ease of reloading.

    They each have their advantages and I loves them both.

    • I have one of the original Dan Wesson 715 8inch revolvers with the heavy barrel shroud. Very accurate is an understatement…target shooting at 50 yds, 75 yds and even 100 yds. My dad passed away and now I have his 6 inch version as well. Probably, along with the Colt Python, the best out-of-the-box pistol made. Of course, I’m slightly biased.

  26. Yep. A Ruger GP-100, 4.2″ barrel, brushed stainless was my first handgun. Not allowed to carry, though… (Canada)

  27. Two here:
    Enfield 38 S+W not special, one of my favorite shooters and I reload for it.
    Webley 455, bought it with modified cylinder for 45 ACP, paid way too much to convert back and now pay way to much on ammo to shoot it.

  28. Not counting my collection of top-break revolvers (specializing in S&W), the answer would be “A revolver or two? Are you nuts? What’s with this single-digit business in a revolver count?”

    Actually, my EDC is now a Ruger LCR in .327 Federal. Light, compact 6-shot, highly effective round, and the recoil does not mangle my arthritic right hand. With a CT laser grip, very easy to shoot even in low-light conditions. Add an IHL slim-line belt pouch for an 8-round Tuff-Strip reload, and I do not feel under-gunned. (Of course, I live in a small Idaho town, and the biggest city I visit is Boise. My preference would be far different if I had to deal with some place like Chicago or Detroit.)

  29. Yes, I have some revolvers.

    The only time I carry a revolver while “out and about” is when I am camping, hiking, fishing, or hunting. Then I carry a huge .44 Magnum revolver to ensure that I can put down any 2-legged or 4-legged attacker in short order.

    In terms of plinking, any revolver is fine.

    I do not carry a revolver normally because they are too bulky and hold too little ammunition compared to a nice semi-auto pistol.

  30. I carry a revolver because due to my MS, I cannot count an a semi auto cycling correctly if I am forced to fire one handed. If I need more than six rounds, I made a mistake somewhere in planning my day.

  31. Hey Ruger, if your reading this,(you know you are). Puleese make a modern double action Lemat, 8 or 9 .357 mags around a 20 gauge. Include a drop in .410/45LC adapter. Wouldn’t be legal in my state but I’d move to a free state just to have one.

  32. Ruger single six .22 LR/.22 WRM, High Standard sentinel 9 shot .22, Ruger LCRX .38+p, Ruger GP100 Wiley Clapp .357, Ruger Redhawk .41 mag, Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 mag, Ruger Blackhawk (3 screw) .45 colt and a Raging Judge Magnum in .410/45 colt/.454. Love me some wheel guns

  33. S&W should produce the J-Frame in 6 shot, .327 Federal Magnum configuration, IMHO. If it can handle .357 Magnum loads it should be just fine with the smaller version.

  34. I am extremely happy the the 4.2″ .327 SP101 I got for my wife. It is very good looking and easy to shoot well. She is trained up to confidently shoot 500ft-lb rounds now. The little Lehighs also go through IIIA panels quite handily. Ordered a Mongoose three months ago and Last week Nighthawk said they have possession of them now but are still doing some paperwork. I am not really wealthy enough to comfortably buy such a gun but did it anyway.

  35. No collection is complete without one so my collection remains incomplete. I just can’t shoot them well enough to one effectively so I keep putting off buying one. The revolver I would like is a S&W 525 Thunder Ranch which is chambered in 45 ACP. That way I would not have to spend money another caliber of ammunition.

  36. 4″ Smith 686 (my first duty pistol). Smith 640 – backup for the 686, Uberti Cattleman in .38/.357, 8″ Ruger Super Redhawk, old 3″ Charter Arms Pathfinder .22 mag – surprisingly accurate and smooth, and a newish Charter .44 Bulldog. I even qualified with the Bulldog this year on our backup weapon course for days when I want to go a little old school. I’ll have to check out the Ruger. A guy can never have too many guns with bores that start with 4.

  37. 2-3/4″ barrel, really? if Ruger made that eight shot Redhawk with a 4/5/6″ barrel I’d be more interested.

    Common Ruger, give it a longer barrel!

  38. Next up: 10 shot in .327 Federal.

    That might get me to start stocking the caliber, which frankly, I’m just looking for a good excuse to do. It seems like a good round that ticks off a lot of boxes.

  39. I currently own three S&W revolvers. A plain vanilla 686 ( .357 ), a Performance Center 629 V-Comp, 5″ ( 44 mag ), a Performance Center 500, 6.5″ ( 50 mag ).

    Been thinking about a nice Ruger single action in 45LC for some variety, though.

    • I wish. I’ve been tempted to buy a Bulldog for years, but I always get cold feet and tell myself I’ll probably regret it and not see my gun for weeks at a time when shit goes wrong. If only it was a Ruger or Smith…

      For me, the GP-100 is going to be too heavy for daily carry in any configuration. What would really be the cat’s meow is a scaled-up LCRx in .44 special with low-profile novak sights and a barrel length between 2.5 and 3 inches. One that doesn’t weigh much more than the Bulldog. That might be the last handgun I buy for a long time, if they would make it.

      • Exactly. Charters rep is so spotty. I owned a charter .38 back in the 80’s. It simply wasn’t up to the standards of a Smith or Colt. My 85 Taurus functioned at least as well and looked better in the process.

        I haven’t bought a gun in a couple of years. A 3 inch bulldog style Smith or Ruger would certainly tempt me.

      • I’d love a .44 Sp., but it might be more practical to go with .45 ACP and clips. I can’t imagine those wouldn’t sell like hotcakes.

  40. Currently carrying a S&W 649 in my left pocket and a P225 OWB on my right hip.

    Got Buffalo Bore .38 Special +P ( specifically designed for the snubby) in the wheel gun.

  41. Yeah I have a few. As I said yesterday, a .38 makes a decent backup gun but won’t carry a wheel gun as my primary unless something really strange happens and it’s my only choice.

    Why? Logic and bad experiences.

    Of the two .38 revolvers I own both suffered a serious failure within 100 rounds of my purchasing them. These failures took the gun out of action until it could be sent back for warranty repairs. 2/2 on NIB revolvers. The wheel gun Gods hate me and the feeling is now mutual.

    That could happen to a semi-auto, but in my case, owning nearly two dozen semi-autos none of them that I would actually carry, even the old Star BM built in ’76 has ever given me that kind of problem. The one that did have an issue was a Ruger MKII .22 Target pistol and it had it’s problem thousands of rounds into it’s life. It’s problem was actually field serviceable but I didn’t know that due to Ruger’s oddball design for that pistol and I didn’t want to yank on it and really damage it. Simply put, as reliable as revolvers are there is a difference between a semi-auto and a revolver: most mechanical problems with a revolver take it completely out of action. Most problems with a semi-auto require a tap,rack,roll and the gun is back up and running. That’s not to say a spring can’t break on a semi-auto pistol or that it’s common on revolvers but after my personal experiences I don’t trust the wheel guns.

    Secondly, I’ve seen screwy shit happen with revolvers. A friend of mine dropped the hammer on what turned out to be a slow primer. He did what you’re supposed to and kept the gun pointed in a safe direction until it went off. No biggie. I’ve also seen someone advance the cylinder before the “bad” round decided to fire. That was entertaining in a “Hahahahaha you need clean underwear” sort of way. In a DGU this isn’t just a problem. It’s a problem of massive fucking proportions. Unlike a semi-auto, a wheel gun keeps the questionable round encased in the cylinder after it’s failed to fire. Well, in a DGU you’ve got a serious problem here. You can’t just stop shooting and remove that cartridge from the gun. So you advance the cylinder. Great, now you’ve got a potential slow burner that’s still encased by the cylinder but is out of alignment with the barrel. If/when it goes who knows where the hell that thing is going? The shooter sure as shit doesn’t. Even further, at some point advancing through your cylinder that round is going to be encased and lined up with the frame of the gun. If it goes off at that point it will blow the gun apart in your hand.

    The easy solution? Rock a semi-auto pistol. Bad round? Eject and continue firing. If it’s a slow burner the casing will rupture and the threat to those in the immediate vicinity of the rupturing case is minimal.

    Now some will argue that the statistical chances of these things happening when it matters are slim. They’re right. The chances are slim but in my experience that asshole named Murphy tends to show up when it’s least convenient. On top of that logic dictates that when you know you might have a problem, even if the chances are slim, you take steps to mitigate that problem so that you’ve minimized the chances of stacking failures creating a problem you basically can’t deal with.

    I won’t tell people not to carry a wheel gun. That’s a personal choice and it’s none of my business. For me, I simply won’t do it unless the only gun available to me is a revolver.

      • One was a Taurus. I figured it was just a cheaply made gun problem until the the other one took a shit ~60 rounds out of the box. That was a S&W.

      • Exactly what I was thinking. I have personally seen and/or experienced Taurus’ of EVERY description fail. Shoot with a a lot of people & we sometimes trade guns off. Had a Judge malfunction, that if I would not have realized what happened, would have been catastrophic. I can not bring myself to trust any Taurus, even though they supposedly fixed their lack of quality control. My 2nd guess would have been a Scrap & Worthless. Yea, I know them is fight’n words.

    • Personal experience. For you it’s the revolver. For me it’s the ar15/m16 family. In our own personal experience our concerns are valid.

    • I never considered a slow-primer in a revolver in a defensive gun use. You would almost certainly keep pulling the trigger when that slow primer failed to fire. And that would be REALLY bad since that round would turn your revolver into a fragmentation grenade which detonates in your hand.

      Make sure to purchase high-quality ammunition? And make sure that your revolver’s hammer strikes hard enough to consistently detonate primers?

  42. “…and the [$1079 msrp] Redhawk® with an eight-round cylinder chambered in .357 Magnum.””

    Better late than never, I suppose. – Smith & Wesson

  43. So Ruger decided to make a stronger, more reliable, and uglier Bulldog? I’m kind of excited. Now if we could just have a less dangly rear sight…

  44. first handgun, .44mag supblkhwk 3screw magnaported 7 1/2″. still my favorite of all. the vee flames thrown out of the ports at night are a giggle. since ’80.
    a retired des plaines motorcycle cop gave me a colt detective in .38special about ’95. no underlug. i never fired it. sits in a bedside drawer at an ex’s house.
    security six stainless 2 3/4″ .357 given to me when an old friend died. lent that to an old teacher to train his daughter. got it back when he died, lent it to a korean war vet for his carry qualification. he got stupid with someone and it’s now over at homan square. i never fired that one either.
    write down your serial numbers.
    black powder .31cal pocket pistol copy. never fired it. yet.
    i want a ruger convertible in .22/ .22wmr. i’d shoot that.

  45. My next purchase will be a .44 Mag M629. I’d prefer a M29 just because I like Smith’s blue (although it doesn’t compare to Colt’s Royal Blue). No collection should be without a M1911 and a .44 Mag revolver.

    • I’ve bought a bunch of the “New Classics” (so they keep making blue/walnut revolvers) and they all have pretty nice finishes. The Hillary hole is really no big deal to me, though I am in Cali where nice older Smiths all cost a grand anyway.

  46. I have a Taurus M380 with a lock. I pulled out the lock mechanism and filled the remaining void with molten lead. Looks nice and works well.

  47. Wow. I have to say I am greatly impressed with the Ruger showing in the comments. I have owned 8 Ruger revolvers. I still possess 2 of them, both LCR’s .22 &.357. They were all dead reliable, no problems whatsoever. But over time, I was shooting my S&W’s more and more and my Rugers less and less. For me there is just something more aesthetically pleasing about the lines of Smith revolvers and they fit my hand better. That is no knock on Ruger, just my opinion.

  48. Ruger LCR .357, with full size Hogue Tamer grips to replace the boot grip it came with. Tritium front sight is next. My CCW, after my XDS .45 started light-striking primers after 1000 rounds or so and gave me trust issues. Love it. So does my wife.

  49. Until the “Aloha Snackbar” dummies got really active on this side of the pond, I used to carry a 2″ Smith 36 every day. I used a leather pocket holster I made myself.

    I’ve also carried a 3″ Smith 65 (only because I couldn’t find a 3″ 13), probably the ideal .38/.357 self-defense revolver bigger than pocket size.

    After Obama started the Stabby McStabface Club for “immigrants”, I started carrying first a Glock 19, then a 3 1/2″ Citadel M1911.

    The revolvers were medicine enough for the average crack or meth head stickup man. Now that we’ve got animals who not only don’t care if they die, but actually WANT to, like the twit at OSU and the Tsarnaevs, I don’t think five rounds of .38 Special is enough.

    I do like the idea of five rounds of .44 Special though, especially at Ruger levels of QC.

  50. It bears mention Smith & Wesson came out with the Model 69, an L-framed .44 Magnum a few years back.
    One sits collecting dust on the shelf of the large gunstore we instruct at since day one.
    69s had 5″ barrels as I recall, a better length for power if not portability.
    Many of us shoot the L-frame better than most any other revo, and .44 Magnum chambering is more useful than .44 Special.
    Meanwhile, the one Ruger I’d be interested in is a Clements Custom 10mm GP100. How he does that, I don’t know, but certainly a wide-ranging app: .40 S&Ws on range day, Big Tens for the bad days. Too bad it’s two years to get one done.

  51. I regularly carry a 4 inch heavy barrel S&W Model 10 or 686 SSR. The model 10 in particular carries exceptionally well IWB in an Alien Gear holster (one of the few companies I’ve been able to find that makes Kydex hybrid IWB holsters for revolvers). I will only buy S&W or Ruger reolvers after many issues with Taurus and others, but I prefer S&W for their more trim builds and better triggers. I have carried a 4 inch GP100 though, and I carried a GP100 Match Champion for awhile, but sold it to get the 686 SSR. I will fully admit that revolvers are lacking in capacity to most modern handguns, but training can mitigate the reloading speed. With the right speed loaders (particularly Safari Land Comp II’s) and practice I’ve found that I can reload a revolver just as quickly as a semi auto. I don’t pretend that I’m something I’m not, but after many thousands of rounds through revolvers I’ve found that they can be exceptionally accurate and quick to fire in double action (I only ever shoot my revolvers DA). If I could only have one gun for an all purpose carry/defense/target gun, I would probably go with a 4 inch heavy barrel S&W Model 10 with a round butt.

    • Never saw where a Smith trigger was better than any of my many Rugers. The Smiths I have used (not mine) were not as good as my Rugers.

      • *Shrug* to each their own, triggers are an exceptionally opinionated topic. I’d say that most Ruger triggers are “different”, but not necessarily “worse” than S&W triggers. The GP100’s Ive had have been very nice, as was the Match Champion, but the 686ssr feels better to me. From my experience I can typically shoot an S&W better, whether thats a result of a “better” trigger or different form factor is anyone’s guess. The LCR’s DA trigger pull is undoubtedly miles ahead of most stock S&W J frame airweight DA triggers though!

  52. I was never a revolver guy, but then my friend offered me his Ruger Super Redhawk 7.5″ .44 magnum for price too low to refuse. It became my favorite hand gun and now I shoot it more than both 9 mm and .40 together. If I didn’t reload and cast bullets it would ruin me.
    Now I’m thinking about getting a .357 to keep it company. So far I’ve proactively loaded couple hundred of.357 mag. and couple thousand of .38 spl.

  53. I have a 1976 Ruger Super Blackhawk and I love taking it to the range. My son (once he’s old enough) has inherited a Ruger Bearcat, and you can bet that’s what he’ll learn to shoot handguns with. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Sigs, Glock, and 1911s, but there is something about a big bore revolver that is just tons of fun.

  54. I have a few, and carry S&W 340PD in a pocket holster, loaded with Lehigh .357 Xtreme Cavitator. The thing is so light (11.5 oz!), it’s literally a pain to shoot with .357, but I can manage it well enough to keep the rounds on the target at any reasonable self-defense distance. On the other hand, it is very comfortable to carry (I hate IWB carry, and carrying in the pocket requires a light gun), and the muzzle energy is enough to handle any human attacker, and pretty much any predator I could run into around here (Western WA).

    There’s nothing wrong with revolvers, and they aren’t outdated. They offer a different set of compromises compared to semi-auto pistols, is all. Depending on your needs, they may well be more suitable.

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