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Discussion Starter #1
OK revolver guys... I have a bud who's interested in a wheelgun. He's one-handed, his right. He only has gross motor skills in his left hand.

After talking with him and getting a feel for what he wants, he is leaning toward these as his generic set of requirements:

  • .38 Special
  • U.S. Made
  • Reliable (he mentioned this like 4 times)
  • NIB
  • short barrel

While he didn't specify it, I'm thinking "all steel" too. I don't think a scandium, titanium, aluminum, or poly frame would do him any favors and, because he mentioned that either a 6" bbl or a snub would be good, that the weight isn't a big factor. While he might CC it as some point, it would be more of a bed-side gun.

While he didn't say, "price is no object," he is OK with a U.S. made, NIB, gun being more expensive than a used import.

I know the big names, S&W, Colt, Ruger, etc. I'm looking for specific models.

Thanks.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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Is there any specific reason he wants a 38spl? I ask because Charter Arms makes the Pitbull in 40S&W and the Bulldog in 44spl. They are a bit larger that a typical J-frame but either is a superior cartridge. The Bulldog 44spl does come in a 4" target version as well. While Charter will not win any beauty contests they are American made and have a good track record from everything I've heard. They also offer plenty of options in caliber and weights. I plan to but either the 40 and/or the 9mm version when it hit the market.

I had good luck with a Taurus but I know you said made in America.
 

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I cannot speak to the newer Charter Arms models. BUT, I have a Charter Arms .38 Special 2" snubbie that I purchased over 30 years ago. It still functions perfectly. :D Only drawback is that it only contains 5 rounds in the cylinder.
 

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can he, or would he, be cocking the hammer or using it SA at all?

I would recommend a 357. If he wants to shoot a .38, he can. If he wants to go bigger, he can. Very versatile caliber --- and if you reload it, it can mimic everything from a .380 to a 9mm to a 38 and 357 as needed, with pretty good results (some underpowered or ultra light weight bullets can behave poorly but most do very well). A 38 only just limits options. Also, most 38s have been made to either be small, or are made for women's hands, or both. Many of them do not fit in my hands well at all, in other words.

Being a sucker for extra shots, I would point at a S&W 686 plus, 7 rounds of 357 in a 4 inch barrel. Its big, 9 inches total and a little heavy, but that tames the recoil and may be a good thing. There is a 3 and 6 inch barrel version at least, probably more variations.

Ruger gp100 is very nice. Typical 6 shot 357 in a variety of barrel lengths.

I like taurus revolvers pretty well, if he wants a lower priced piece (the above 2 are a little high, the S&W runs 700+ !!). Just be sure to get the all steel versions, they make both in many models and you have to specify and many dealers assume you want the lightweights unless you say otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I cannot speak to the newer Charter Arms models. BUT, I have a Charter Arms .38 Special 2" snubbie that I purchased over 30 years ago. It still functions perfectly. :D Only drawback is that it only contains 5 rounds in the cylinder.
I thought Charter wasn't all U.S. made. Is that not so?

I know that Charter has a little bit of a hit-or-miss rep. I'd probably buy one because I have plenty of handguns so I wouldn't be out a SD gun while tuning it or getting the kinks out. This would be his only.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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Discussion Starter #7
can he, or would he, be cocking the hammer or using it SA at all?
He could single hand cock the hammer or use the edge of his left, but I rather doubt he would.

I would recommend a 357. If he wants to shoot a .38, he can. If he wants to go bigger, he can. Very versatile caliber --- and if you reload it, it can mimic everything from a .380 to a 9mm to a 38 and 357 as needed, with pretty good results (some underpowered or ultra light weight bullets can behave poorly but most do very well). A 38 only just limits options. Also, most 38s have been made to either be small, or are made for women's hands, or both. Many of them do not fit in my hands well at all, in other words.

Being a sucker for extra shots, I would point at a S&W 686 plus, 7 rounds of 357 in a 4 inch barrel. Its big, 9 inches total and a little heavy, but that tames the recoil and may be a good thing. There is a 3 and 6 inch barrel version at least, probably more variations.

Ruger gp100 is very nice. Typical 6 shot 357 in a variety of barrel lengths.

I like taurus revolvers pretty well, if he wants a lower priced piece (the above 2 are a little high, the S&W runs 700+ !!). Just be sure to get the all steel versions, they make both in many models and you have to specify and many dealers assume you want the lightweights unless you say otherwise.
I doubt he'd be adverse to a .357 Mag. but I also doubt he'd ever shoot anything but .38's in it. I haven't priced anything so I don't know but is the .357 handguns currently more expensive than their .38 counterparts? No sense paying extra $$$ for a feature he'll not use.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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Today, Charter firearms are recognized for
•100% American made
•Simplicity of design
•Trouble-free operation
•Durability
•Superior Safety
•Affordable
From their web page.
 

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The crane on them charter revolvers is almost a joke. can't say i've held one of the charter, h&r guns that did'nt have at least one issue.
.
 

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My vote's for a Ruger GP100 or SP101. Like almost all other Rugers, they're built like Sherman tanks. They're all-steel, USA-made, quite accurate, endlessly reliable, and quite affordable for what they are (not quite as pricey as a lot of Smith & Wesson revolvers).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The crane on them charter revolvers is almost a joke.
How so? Can you be more specific?

can't say i've held one of the charter, h&r guns that did'nt have at least one issue..
So a general thumbs-down for you on the Charter brand.

I know you mentioned K-Frame S&W. Can you be a bit more specific on models there too, please?

Thanks.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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SW 686 Plus in 3" or 4" barrel or Deluxe (only comes in 3", has aftermarket grip). 7 shots, medium frame, and he can feed it everything from .38 wc up through .357 +p.

Not a good choice for CC, with the adjustable sights. For fixed sights, you are looking at any number of J or K frames, running from 6 rounds of .38 or 5 of .357.

My specific choice in the latter group would be the 64. 6 shots of .38 +p, which IMO does all you need and more. Fixed sights, 4". Again I'd like a shorter barrel and a J frame instead of K for CC, but you do have fixes sights not to snag/jab.

This is all tradeoffs between a bedroom gun and CCW. The 686 would be my choice for bedroom gun but no CCW. It would also be a helluva range gun.
 

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The cranes on charter pistols is just a LITTLE bar, got about a third of the mass as most ofher revolers.

Them pistols have timimg and lockup issues. The last one i bought i dryfired it da, cylinder turned just fine. on the way home i notcited it would not turn the cylinder for one hole while pulling the hammer back, damm thing woud never skip one while pulling the trigger.

The one i had before that the front sight fell off first time out, was very funny the pawn shop guy was talking about glue when i walked in with it.
My buddy that run a little shop wanted it but i would'nt sell it to him.
That pawn shop guy had sold my sks i had pawned to buy insulin right after i got out of the hospital. And the intrest had been paid!!!!!!!!!!! Haven't pawned one since!!!

My favorate k frames are in 357, the 19, and 66. you can still shoot 38, and their very smooth shooting.

Mostly though i think the charter revolvers are over priced for what that are. Have wanted one of the bulldogs in 44spc for awhile, just don't want to give that kind if money for one.
 

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well, the primary reason I said 357 really was that so many of the 38s are "smallified" in ways that I do not care for. If he likes those, that is great, certainly look at them. But so many are made of lighter metals and have smallish grips, etc. If he wants to DAO it, there are things like the ruger LCR but I am not sure what metal that thing is made of. Most of the hammerless 38s seem to be "not steel".

About the only thing I can think of in a 38 that I would recommend is an older S&W, but, you said new. If a gently used older gun is ok... there are a number of steel options in that case.
 

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My vote's for a Ruger GP100 or SP101. Like almost all other Rugers, they're built like Sherman tanks. They're all-steel, USA-made, quite accurate, endlessly reliable, and quite affordable for what they are (not quite as pricey as a lot of Smith & Wesson revolvers).
Looks like he beat me to it.
 

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SW 686 Plus in 3" or 4" barrel or Deluxe (only comes in 3", has aftermarket grip). 7 shots, medium frame, and he can feed it everything from .38 wc up through .357 +p...

...

... This is all tradeoffs between a bedroom gun and CCW. The 686 would be my choice for bedroom gun but no CCW. It would also be a helluva range gun.
Could not agree more with the above.

I own all sorts of revolvers and my medium-frame S&Ws remain my favorites... and I am not a fan of small-frame/snub-nosed revolvers at all unless needed for pocket carry (which I do own and use them for).
 

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I do not know how S&W is these days, but the 4" K-frame stainless Model #66 .357/.38 we bought 3 decades ago is still as perfect as the day we bought it. I don't know if they still make the Model #66. If they do, it would probably be in their "Classics" lineup. The Model #686 is similar (looking), except it's built on the larger and heavier L-frame and it has a full length underbarrel lug.

If your friend is not going for concealed carry, I see no reason to consider one of the smaller J-frame revolvers. The larger frames are more pleasurable to shoot. And I can't see why your friend would specify a "short barrel". There's no reason I can think of for a snubby unless you plan to carry it concealed. Longer barrels equal more accuracy and more shooting comfort.

Rugers are good by reputation, but I've never owned one of their revolvers personally, so I have no first hand experience with them. I've been wanting a Blackhawk for about forever now.

Of my revolvers, I am most accurate with the SA Uberti .45colt. They make a similar .357. Those are single action revolvers, and SA might possibly not to your friends liking. However, with your friends mandate of "US Made", the Ubertis would be out. If single action is a potential choice, I think the US made offerings boil down to a Ruger Blackhawk (or similar Vaquero).
 

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Last I checked, SW still makes a M10 38sp. with 4" barrel and round grip. Little pricey and large but can be CC'd with right rig.
 

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Last I checked, SW still makes a M10 38sp. with 4" barrel and round grip. Little pricey and large but can be CC'd with right rig.
I have an older one just like that -- great "compromise" size/weight IMHO, and I am quite partial to the round-butt S&Ws.



:)
 

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SP101 in .327 or .357. Can download to .32 or .38. Built like tanks. I have had a GP100 for probably close to 20 years and strongly considering sending it off in trade for the new SP101 with adjustable sights.

happy shooting, dv
 
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