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I'm starting to feel the revolver pull again.

I won't be able to afford both a revolver and 1911 or BHP right away. One or the other.

What would you go with and why?

Also, as to the make and model of the revolver: I prefer the .36 calibers. Here's the short list:

K-Frame in .38spl
L-Frame in .357mag (though I do not like the full underlugs)
N-Frame in .357mag though I'm open to larger calibers. I've always gotten a kick out of the .44 mag and could go more powerful.

I don't have experience with Ruger DA though the Blackhawk SA and Super Single Six impress me.

I need ideas. I had a Model 19-3 that I foolishly let go and have been regretting it ever since.

What do you prefer? I will say that I want a 4" barrel on anything I get.

Thank you,

Josh <><
 

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Nothing at all wrong with Ruger DA revolvers, though they're not as aesthetically pleasing as the S&Ws (older, pre-MIM, pre internal lock Smiths, that is).

I'm a big fan of N frame .357s like the 27 and 28, especially the rather egalitarian M28 "Highway Patrolman." It's one of my favorites of all time; while I like K frames, for shooting hot .357 ammo, nothing can beat that big frame for shooting comfort. I'm not as good with a 4" M28 in DA mode as with a Model 15 .38, but that's as much lack of practice with the larger gun as anything else.

A nice 4" Model 10 will set you back two bills. A 4" M28 will go for another hundred or a bit more. Personally I don't like L frames, but it's a personal tick, nothing inherently wrong with the guns. For the .357 caliber it's probably a nearly perfect frame size.

Me, I'd go with the 4" M28. Why? Cuz I already have one and love it. (I also have a Model 520 which I love for different reasons.)

Here's the M28...



I found a near mint condition nickelled M15-4 in a pawn shop, and the owner has stopped paying the vig, so it'll be hitting the counter very soon. The shop owner will call me the day it comes out, and I'll die happy. It shore is purty, and I like the way my other two M15s shoot.

To tell you the truth, I just like 4" Smiths. Period.
 
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I need ideas. I had a Model 19-3 that I foolishly let go and have been regretting it ever since.

<><
Looks like your answer might be in the question :)

I would have said a 357 K-frame (19 or 66) for a first one, then move up to the 27 or 28.

The old Ruger security six was also a good revolver and can be had very cheaply on the used market.
 

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Hi there Josh,

I owned many K, L and N frames over the years and eventually sold all of them for a variety reasons including finances, job moves and alway's looking for the "other handgun". If I had to do it all over again, I would pick the most accurate, handiest and prettiest one I could find and afford.

My preference is the old N-frame, blued, Highway Patrolman with the checkered top strap. I dearly hated parting with it, but got the 1911 bug.

Now I carry a S&W Model 642 revolver as it meets my requirements for legal concealed carry.

If you enjoyed the Model 19-3 so much, I would buy another without any regrets.

Chris
 

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how about an N frame in .44 spl.? i like the model 10 as well. i have an early 1960s vintage 2" that was a retired state trooper's back up. it has a superb DA/SA pull.
 

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I'm with Leland Ray here - my two favorite wheelguns are my 4" 624 and my 4" 28. These would be the last to go if ever required and I'll probably be buried with one or the other...


blake
 

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Hi there Josh,

My preference is the old N-frame, blued, Highway Patrolman with the checkered top strap.

Chris
The Highway Patrolman (Model 28 after 1957) didn't have a checkered topstrap, but the Model 27 did. The M27 was shinier and often had extra TLC at the factory; the ".357 Magnum" which debuted in 1935 became known as the M27 after S&W went to model numbers in 1957.
 

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Hi there Leland,

You are absolutely correct.


The Highway Patrolman (Model 28 after 1957) didn't have a checkered topstrap, but the Model 27 did. The M27 was shinier and often had extra TLC at the factory; the ".357 Magnum" which debuted in 1935 became known as the M27 after S&W went to model numbers in 1957.
Like a fool, I sold/traded it for a 1911 something (probably a 1991 Colt Commander or 1911 something).

Back in those days, I was trading, selling and buying guns as fast as I could. I never kept any records and opinined for something new every month.

The foolishness of my mispent youth.

Chris
 

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Hey Chris, what about a nice old 6" Highway Patrolman? Makes shooting full charge .357s a truly joyful experience. I picked this one up new in the box at the Tulsa Gun Show a couple of years back. And yes, the stocks are rosewood. I found them in a box of junk at my favorite shop. I think I paid $15 for them.

 

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Let's see, how about a 4" Model 28 and a Model 520? The 520 is the only N frame .357 S&W ever made with fixed sights, a special consignment of 3,000 guns for the New York State Police back in 1980. Very few were ever issued, as the NYSP decided to go with an L frame gun instead.

 
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Josh,

If I read you right, your question was whether or not to go with a pistol or a revolver. Part of the answer, of course, depends on what you plan to do with the gun. Unless you intend a specific purpose that absolutely favors one type over the other, though, it mainly comes down to personal preference.

As for me, I much prefer revolvers, so much so that I'm down to just one semi-auto and am contemplating getting rid of it. I shoot revolvers more accurately. I also appreciate their flexibility with ammo: .38/.357; 40/10mm; .45 acp/.45 Super; .44sp/.44mag. That's eight calibers in four guns. They're also flexible within calibers; revolvers seldom choke on ammo.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not down on semi-autos. It's just that there's nothing I want to do with a handgun that a revolver won't do as well as a pistol. In fact, as I've already said, in my case a revolver serves my needs better because I shoot wheelguns better.
 

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If you're going to carry the thing, the N frame .44 doesn't really weigh any more than the .357, what, three or four ounces? Find a 29-2 through 29-5, or a stainless 629. Anything one can do with a .357, one can do with a .44...in spades. Loaded down, just about as pleasant to shoot as .38 Special, loaded up, reasonable protection from all sorts of critters. Plus, shot loads...just a more versatile field piece.
 

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Unless I'm mistaken, a 4" Model 29 might weigh a bit less than a 4" N frame .357 due to the extra metal in the cylinder and/or barrel. I seem to remember comparing weights years ago and coming to that conclusion. A 29's barrel is probably as heavy or heavier, though, since both the M27 and M28 had tapered barrels, whereas the 29 did not. I'll go find an old copy of Gun Digest and check this out.

Followup: I was wrong, but not by much. Dave, the difference is even less than your guess, unless you're talking weight loaded, when your figure is probably very, very close. According to info published in 1972, the 4" M29 weighed in at 43 ounces, while the 4" M28 Highway Patrolman tipped the scales at 41 3/4 ounces. I expect the difference in weight of the loaded rounds would make the difference go to no more than four ounces, and probably more like three.
 

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Joshua,

I would have to recommend (from experience) a K-frame S&W. I could only recommend one in blue. The K-frame fits my hand well.

I had a S&W L-frame 686 2-1/2" barrel. Barrel really too short, was a Lew Horton special I think. I had a bad experience with it. At a shooting range using reloads from a local reloader, I had the cylinder bolt stud break off, sending it and the thumbpiece and thumbpiece nut flying! I think it is entirely possible that I had a double charge in that particular round, I just don't know. Anyway, my faith in stainless steel S&W revolvers has been shaken.

I don't know how the GP100 Ruger compares in frame size to the S&W's, but I certainly would look long and hard at the Ruger. As I'm sure you're aware, Mr. Camp's excellent articles on S&W revolvers and the GP100 range article on his website are chock full of good advice and experiences.

Mr. Camp admits to shooting alot, and that goes a long way with me. If there's a problem to be found with a particular gun, only lots of shooting will bring it out. My first handgun was a square-butt S&W Model 10 2". I shot the stew out of it, and single-action shooting at 50 yds. was no problem, actually quite a joy! I foolishly let that one go to my brother, but I get to shoot it from time to time. ;)

I have found the L-frame S&W too big for my hand to shoot effectively.

[EDIT] By their very design, I would trust the stainless steel Rugers. I am literally saving up my pennies for a Ruger, quite possibly a 3" SP101. I would have to compare it size wise with the GP100 3".

Regards.
 
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Of course, the 629MG I bought last week beats both, tipping the scales at 39.5 oz. I haven' tried it with magnums yet. Might be painful. It's a wonderfully balanced gun, though, and .44.sp's surely are fun.
 
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Of all the J's, K's, L's, and N's I've got (a bunch!), these two just look and feel incredible, so right in size, weight, balance, and shooting comfort.





THAT SAID, I really love each of my guns for their individual merits...

And yes, the GP-100 is a very fine revo as well...





 
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