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Went to Academy Sports yesterday. Well, with the excuse that I was going to get a couple of ball caps. Man, those weren't cheap either. like 14 bucks up to 25 at that place.

Looking at 5 shooters. Humpback, stainless Mod 651 with the semi- shrouded hammer. It is a bit heavy, kinda large with the big rubber grips they put on ithem now. Guess they have to due to the .357 cal. It is longer too cause of the longer round too. Just doesn't have the "amall gun" feel of my long gone Mod 38 S&W, a beater when I got it. This gun was just under 4 bills. A similar S&W was almost 2 more. No way.

Kinda heavy, bigger than I hoped, but o.k.

http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=271&category=Revolver&toggle=tr&breadcrumbseries=SF2

The bargain one of that model was the poly frame 651 at 329. It was light, but looked more like a mid-size frame gun also. Probably due to the magnum cal. and large grips. Didn't like the fiber optic sight that looked like the one on my nephew's pellet gun. Crane assembly was more like the Charter revolvers than the Taurus/S&W crane assembly. Not what I was expecting.

Didn't care for it.
http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=778&category=Revolver&toggle=tr&breadcrumbseries=SF2

I was kinda drawn to the one with the big .44 hole in the front. Charter Bulldog .44 spl. Always have wanted one. Had plenty of the .38 Undercovers and Off Duty models. Crane assembly and lockwork on these guns does not seem as strong as any of the others, but they always worked well for me. The gun was not much bigger than the others I had been looking at and priced at 369. I had on of the Rossi 720s in .44 spl, but it was kinda heavy in stainless. A good gun, but not light, much like a K frame S&W in size. It fit in the same holster and was 3" which was not easy for me to carry. More of a belt holster gun.

The Bulldog was really o.k.
http://www.charterfirearms.com/products/Charter_Crimson_Bulldog_74424.html

They did not have any Ruger LCRs that I could see and I did not get to the Rossi models cause the wife dragged me away. They were priced much better at 269 to around 3 bills. But they are not muhc different from my old, blue Taurus 85.
 

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I would avoid the stuff that is not steel. We got a S&W 22 mag last christmans, the mostly aluminum lightweight pocket gun, and by early march the cylinder had cracked. We talked to the guy that sold it to us and he said he had seen a lot of that with the lightweight 38s across several brands, but did not mention it because he thought a 22 mag would not have the problem. He normally does mention things like this, he is pretty honest for a guy trying to sell you something. He strongly recommended a steel frame unless the gun is to be carried without being shot very much, said the lightweights were not so good for people that shoot a lot. My wife was shooting hers twice a week, easily 50 a week, for reference.

So... we sold him the S&W (after sending it back and getting it rebuilt, of course) and moved to the steel framed taurus. After having it torn down and polished, its a nice gun --- but man that action is rough out of the box.
 

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A third for the SP-101. It is heavy enough to absorb some of the 357 sting while still being light enough to carry easily. ymmv
 

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...and I did not get to the Rossi models cause the wife dragged me away. They were priced much better at 269 to around 3 bills. But they are not muhc different from my old, blue Taurus 85.
Pancho, I think you are a veritable walking encyclopedia of guns. Still, I will throw out my impressions of a couple of Rossi revolvers just in case it will help you in your decision.

I had one of the two inch Rossi .38 +P models and I have also owned a couple of the two inch Rossi .357 models. Just FYI, the .357 Rossi is a six shot, not a five. As such, it is a little 'bigger' and it can be hard to find holsters for them. In fact, mine was the reason I first got into holster making - I got fed up looking for something that would have some retention 'off the shelf' and didn't want to pay the $$$ for a custom holster to carry a sub-$300 gun. The 'pro', of course, is that they carry one more round than many of the .357 snubs currently on the market. I ended up trading my last one for a S&W 642 because I wanted a revolver I could carry in my pocket. There is a good chance that I will own another Rossi .357 one of these days.

One day I shot my Rossi .357 side by side with a friend's Ruger SP101. The two 'felt' like they weighed pretty much the same, fully loaded. Like most Ruger revolvers, when the Earth finally blows up that SP101 will probably be found, intact, among the space debris. That said, I honestly liked shooting the Rossi better. Being a little bigger, it had a bit more to hang on to and absorbed the recoil of full-on .357 loads better. I also noticed that the Ruger was spitting debris all over my hand from the cylinder gap - not enough to do damage but enough to notice it and to be a little uncomfortable. The Rossi never spat anything on me from the gap. Honestly, even though it is smaller (being a five shot), I personally wouldn't really consider an SP101 to be a pocket gun either. In fact, I got permission to try pocket carrying that borrowed one but gave up the notion before I ever got out the front door - partly due to it being more 'bulky' than some others but largely due to the weight.

One other thing to keep in mind is that the Rossi .357 revolvers that Academy stocks are 3 inch models. Some stores may stock the 2 inch instead/as well but in the three, different Academy locations that are somewhat 'local' to me I have only ever seen the three inch models - and, IIRC, those Academy locations are the only places I have ever seen the three inch models. I have seriously considered getting one as the price is pretty good. In my area, Academy has some of the best gun prices, in general, on most things. If I get another Rossi .357 - since the overall size of the .357 Rossi makes it a belt gun and not a pocket gun even in a two inch configuration - I really see no reason not to go with the extra inch of tube for better velocity, etc.

The Rossi .38 I had was a blued model and was a lot like a Taurus 85. In fact, they use the same model of FOBUS molded holster (although I did have to lightly sand the inside of the FOBUS because it was initially too tight on the Rossi.) The Rossi .38, for me, was also not really a pocket gun. It was a little big - especially with the factory grips (and I liked those grips) and the hammer snagged when drawing from a pocket. Mine went KABOOM when I was at the range attached to my LGS shooting reloads I had bought from the LGS. The cylinder split into two or three pieces and the top strap buckled but, to the credit of the little fellah, I wasn't injured. The LGS owner was more shaken up over it than I was (he is a good guy and we have done a lot of business over the years - to the point that we usually jaw for a few minutes when I am in there.) We honestly weren't sure if it was a fault with the gun or with the reloads. I will say that the reloads were supposed to be standard pressure .38 and the Rossi model I had was +P rated so if it was the revolver that failed there was something seriously wrong.. To his credit, the LGS owner erred on the side of it being the reloads and took responsibility (I had bought the .38 from his store, anyhow.) He didn't have any Rossi .38 Specials in stock at the time so he gave me a blued Rossi .357 (the one I eventually traded back to him for the S&W) to make up for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yep, I have considered the Sp101. Just haven't come across a sued one at a good price. Not so much to carry, but just to have one. Even in 2", it is a heavy gun to pack around. Probably o.k. in a holster for field carry. Anyway, Saw one at the last gunshow on a table. Used, like 389 and it was the longer one.Hardly see any of these "floating" around at the gunshows here.

I already have a 2 3'4" Sevice Six witht he Houge rubber on it and a Bianchi Hi Ride hip holster to carry as a backup to a rifle. The holster was for a S&W Mod 66 that a friend had. He sold the gun and I got the holster to carry the 3" Rossi .44 spl when I had it. A bit tight, but it worked. Works fine with the Ruger. Would have kept the Rossi .44 spl, but it was hopelessly inaccurate for some reason. Shot all over the paper with lead or JHPs. Hate a gun that doesn't shoot where you airm it.

I had a couple of the Rossi .38s. No problems with them One was an old model 68 b.ue, 3" witha funky looking long wood grip. It had one of the so called adjustable sights that were required after the 1968 gun control act. Made it into a "target model" to meet import specs. Very accurate, grip needed help. It was a roud but frame, so I cut and rounded the grip shorter and added a T grip adapter. It was o.k. that way.

The other was a later Model 88 2" stainless. Very much like aTaurus 85 stainless I had at the time.Both were very accurate and reliable. After I got my S&W Mod 60, I sold the Rossi.

All they had were blue Rossi revolvers at Academy. I could swear I saw a 2" one but unsure if it was actually a Rossi or not. Not even sure if any were .357s cause I had to leave before I looked at them. The others were 3" guns for sure. That is usually what they have. I was back over there today, but did not get to the store to look some more. .
 

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I've owned several Rossis in the past. All were excellent guns, and very accurate. I sold my 671 (I think) 357 mag 4inch barrel about 5 years ago and I've regretted it ever since. I've had a M68 I bought in 1983 and it's a tack driver. Got the 357 bug recently and bought a SS 462 2inch 6 shot. I love that gun, although my wrist was a bit sore after 50 rounds of 357. And it is very accurate. I shot the 10 ring out of the target at 25 feet. I carry my P11 at the 1:00 (I think it's called appendix carry) with the belt clip - very comfortable. I carry the Rossi 462 in an Uncle Mike's Sidekick size 0. It fits perfect and it's also very comfortable in appendix carry. I'm 5-10, 188 so my build may make it easy to carry that way. It is a bit heavier than the P11 but it's not really objectionable. And six rounds of 357 should get any BG's attention. I also like the versitility of having four different cartridges to fire (38spl.; 38 spl +P; 38spl +P+; and 357mags.)
 

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You can't go wrong with a Smith if you plan to keep it for life and want something that will never let you down. I picked up a Model 13-3, it was the last 357 revolver the FBI used before going with the autos. It has a bull barrel, fixed sights and solid as you can get.
 

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It's nickel, I started to reload because of the price and traded a 9mm for it. Trouble with autos are that you have to chase the empties from the ground if you plan to reload. I got the 357 down to under $3 a box and am shooting better. What I love about the revolver is it's simplicity,,pull the trigger and it fires. I am on the lookout now for a J frame for a pocket gun as well. Same dies, bullet and powder. There is just something about a revolver..brings out the Dragnet in you....cheers.
 

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You can't go wrong with a Smith if you plan to keep it for life and want something that will never let you down. I picked up a Model 13-3, it was the last 357 revolver the FBI used before going with the autos. It has a bull barrel, fixed sights and solid as you can get.
This, or a model 65, in 3" is the gun i am looking for. Sweet gun Ruger_94!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's nickel, I started to reload because of the price and traded a 9mm for it. Trouble with autos are that you have to chase the empties from the ground if you plan to reload. I got the 357 down to under $3 a box and am shooting better. What I love about the revolver is it's simplicity,,pull the trigger and it fires. I am on the lookout now for a J frame for a pocket gun as well. Same dies, bullet and powder. There is just something about a revolver..brings out the Dragnet in you....cheers.
Talk about Bragnet. I cut my teeth on a S&W Mod 28 back in the late 60s. Well, I was in 1st or second grade then. El Jefe, (the chief) was a Chief LEO in the local small dept. He had an old Colt Police Postive in .38 spl. that he had carried since the 50s and they had traded them. Moved up to the .357 mag. No Ed Mcgivern or Bill Jordan with the revolver, he mostly fired the old standard way in SA mode. The other 2 officers still had the old, loose, lead spitting Police Positives. I think they were still driving the 55 Chevy Bel Aire cruiser till then too. Real Andy of Mayberry and Barney Fife stuff. Then they moved up to Chevy Impalas. Good for them cause the local hot rodders at the Chevy place had the same cars and they had to keep pace with them and for assisting with smugglers running the border partol checkpoint south of thown.

When we went to go sight in hunting rifles, he would let me shoot the Mod 28 Highway Patrolman with .38 spl. wadcutters and old ammo he had in drawers all over the house. He hardly ever carried the gun with the full rig cause it was heavy. I started sneaking it off to the range when I was in Jr. High. I would gather up all the old loose ammo and go shoot. Got a big surprise when I hit the first .357 mag. Most of the stuff he carried was all .38s. I didn't know there was a difference at the time.

When he retired in 81, he was presented with a 4" Colt Trooper in .22 cal. The dept. kept the Mod. 28 for some years cause AI saw a guy using it when I started working for the probation dept. in 84. I had gone along to a dept. qualification shoot and I recognized it. Guy asked how I knew which gun it was? Told him to open the cylinder and look at the metal around the chambers. It would be dented with firing pin marks and file marks. It was.I told him my did never carried it much. When It was sent to be nickled, it came back out of time. The bolt would not properly lock the cylinder. I found out when I started sneaaking it off and repaired the cylinder stop spring which was out of place. Had to file all the dents from the edges of the ratchet to get it to extractr right also. Told the officer that it gave El Jefe an excuse not to carry it cause it misfired and wouldnot extract when it did fire. He would sometimes carry a Colt hammerless .25 in a coat pocket, which was everntuall stolen. Or sometimes a beater Iver Johnson .38 hammerless top break that he had fished out of a water filled ditch. A battered wife had thrown it there to keep a husband from using it on her. I had that gun for a long while and wore the ratchet out twice on it. Anyway, I talked to the 2 Chiefs than took over after him and I never could talk them into checking their old storage vault to see if the 28 was still there. I think it was traded in when the dept finally started getting some autos in the mid 80s. Not sure about it.

Dad had wanted a mid frame .357 for some years and a snub .38 Chiefs spl. but the dept. only got the heavy N frames at the time. So after he retired, I got him a new 4" Colt Troper .357 to go with his Tropper .22. He passed on it 92, so I have them now. But the old smoooooth 3.5" Mod 28 comes to mind when we are out shooting the magnum revolvers like my buddy and I were today.

But one of the old patrol guys got hired as Chief now and I am gonna ask about the old 28 again when I see him.
 

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Great Story Pancho. That was history in your hands....cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Your 65 is a great gun, i had a blue Mod 10 and a 13 with the heavy tube. Very accurate guns. And a few others RB mod 64 two inch, a 15 in 4", a 17 four inch, and a couple of 19s and 66s. They were all smooth DA shooters. Had to get rid of a bunch of them due to a job loss in 05. Just kept a Mod 60 and a 629.
 
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