Buying a revolver

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Post by Soupy44 on 7/2/2019, 10:49 am

Two parts, first what to look for in buying a revolver. What are the chances a new factory gun will shoot? 

Second, I'd love to end up with a set of revolvers for 22, 38, and 45. It would be nice if they all felt the same. Any suggestions on what to get for that set? 

I plan to buy a 38 near the end of this year. The 22 would likely be next, 45 last. 

Once I get my badges, I'd love to spend some time shooting revolver 2700s for fun a few times a year. 

Thanks!

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Post by james r chapman on 7/2/2019, 11:08 am

I'd suggest finding a model 14 s&w first, 6" probably from some retired LEO who shot distinguished revolver.

I'd skip new. I've got a 14-2, and a 14-7, they both shoot fantastic and are used.

Then you need a 25-2 in .45 ACP. 

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Post by Wobbley on 7/2/2019, 11:29 am

Like Jim...buy a good used 14. Then a 25-2 then a 17. The 25 will feel like your holding a hand cannon. A LOT of 17s do not have “Target” Triggers or Hammers but are still fine shooting revolvers.
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Post by messenger on 7/2/2019, 12:31 pm

I've had my 14 for a while. Got a good deal on the 17 a few years ago. Finally completed the set recently with the 25. After this season ends I plan on practicing more with the revolvers to give me a chance at DR. Maybe even getting brave enough to shoot a whole match with them.

Bill
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Post by Allgoodhits on 7/2/2019, 3:32 pm

S&W
6 inch options

.22
K22, Model 17, 617

.38
K38, Model 14, 19, 66, 586, 686, 27 or 28

Any of above would be good, probably others.
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Post by Jack H on 7/2/2019, 3:52 pm

Allgoodhits wrote:S&W
6 inch options

.22
K22, Model 17,  617

.38
K38, Model 14, 19, 66, 586, 686, 27 or 28

Any of above would be good, probably others.
I would not pass up a good Colt OMM
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Post by mikemyers on 7/2/2019, 4:27 pm

From all the stuff I'm reading, the one thing you want to avoid is buying a new gun from S&W.  Gun Broker is full of good revolvers from years ago, back when S&W cared about quality control.  You'll pay more than what it would cost for some of the new guns.

I bought a mostly like-new Model 17.  There's another fellow on the forum who also offered me a gun, but after I had mostly agreed to buy the first gun.  They don't seem to be hard to find (but I wanted to buy one from someone on the forum).  I bought a used Model 14 last year.  It cost more than I planned on spending, but I'm very pleased with it - it even came with all the "target options".  


Maybe I shouldn't be so negative about S&W, and maybe you'll get lucky....    Check out the S&W Forum, or even YouTube, find the things people are complaining about, and make sure you don't get stuck....    but even then, do you want a barrel where the grooves were machined, or burnt out with some kind of high-tech gizmo to save time and cost?  Do you want the barrel to be straight up and down, or canted?  

There's something special about good revolvers.  They're a work of art, and they function so smoothly.  .....especially the old ones!
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Post by inthebeech on 7/2/2019, 5:19 pm

My new 686+ absolutely shoots insane groups with either 38 or 357 brass (unsized) and Remington HBWC's.  Oddly enough, it does not lead nearly as bad as all of my 14-X guns.  Cylinder literally does not move in lock up though the timing is less than perfect but as long as the timing is off in the "OK'" way, it can be overlooked.  Cylinder gap and resulting gas cutting are also much less than any 14 I've owned.  They're just not blue.


Last edited by inthebeech on 7/4/2019, 7:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by bruce martindale on 7/2/2019, 5:42 pm

Older Smiths shoot very well. Triggers are variable in feel but many are "crunchy". This is fairly easy to resolve if you have training on doing them.

My experience has been that cast 158 swc need to be driven hard, and swaged, loaded lightly. Can't explain it.

HBWC are superb in light loads

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Post by joy2shoot on 7/2/2019, 6:09 pm

mikemyers wrote:Maybe I shouldn't be so negative about S&W,
Yes, you should.  Photo below is of a NIB Model 27.

p.s. The gunsmith at Triangle Shooting Academy is very knowledgeable and experienced with Smith revolvers.  He has worked on several of mine.
Buying a revolver Nibmod10

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Post by Soupy44 on 7/2/2019, 7:36 pm

Speaking of the Colts, I stumbled on one for $850 after seeing some for $1200-$1800.  What is a good price for one?

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Post by james r chapman on 7/2/2019, 8:24 pm

depends on what it is...
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Post by zanemoseley on 7/2/2019, 9:58 pm

How about pythons. I've always wanted one but not nearly enough to pay $3k for a nice one. That and Korth revolvers. We can all dream.

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Post by Jack H on 7/3/2019, 12:32 am

zanemoseley wrote:How about pythons. I've always wanted one but not nearly enough to pay $3k for a nice one. That and Korth revolvers. We can all dream.

Or an OMM Colt.

The best offhand shooting I ever did was with a 38 OMM.  I have two.  I should Ransom them, and the other OMM, a 22.
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Post by mikemyers on 7/3/2019, 1:25 am

zanemoseley wrote:How about pythons. I've always wanted one but not nearly enough to pay $3k for a nice one. That and Korth revolvers. We can all dream.
I used to want a Python, but then I was told there are very few gunsmiths left who really understand that gun.  Not sure how true it is now, but five years or so ago, I lost interest.  Definitely a beautiful gun, but at over $3k, I dunno....   For 1/3 of that one can find a beautiful S&W, which can be serviced by lots of gunsmiths.  

In addition to my 44 magnums, I have recently bought a Model 14 target gun, and now a Model 17-5.  I can't (yet) shoot them as well as my Model 41, but I need to get used to them again.  Beautiful guns, to me as perfect as a revolver can be.  Never heard of "Korth".  Yet more guns to dream about..........     :-)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJZwhrxokGA
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Post by bruce martindale on 7/3/2019, 8:02 am

Manuhrin! In 32 S&W

Just sold a 1937 Colt OMM in museum condition...it was a case of shoot it or sell it. As Red Skelton used to say about Guzzlers Gin " SmooooooootH!"

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Post by oldsalt444 on 7/3/2019, 12:05 pm

+1 on getting an older S&W.  The new ones are definitely lacking in quality control.  I have a K38 made in 1954 and I shoot it better than my 52.  I bought a model 25 made in 1960.  A real good shooter.  The triggers are sooooo sweet.  Clean, crisp break.  The new guns have creepy, glitchy triggers that suck.  Absolutely get one with target sights, target hammer and target trigger.  You won't be disappointed.
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Post by LenV on 7/3/2019, 5:04 pm

I'm partial to the older Smith's. I do have some  of the new ones that worked out nice. An Xframe that just needed a trigger job and a 29-8? that didn't need anything. I gave up trying to get a 14-8 trigger to work and just replaced all the internals I could with older parts. Not everything swaps out. The older ones can have problems also. I had to have a crane straightened on a 27 and cylinders reamed on a 19 and a 14-6. They all shoot great now.

Len

17, 14-6 and 25-2 I can't bring myself to drill and tap that 17 no dash but I probably will someday.
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Post by troystaten on 7/3/2019, 8:59 pm

I have a 17-4 and a 27-2 both have had trigger work done and are delight to shoot.  While I am partial to older S&W's I handled a newer K or L frame one that had been worked over by a good gunsmith and it had an amazing trigger.

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Post by Soupy44 on 7/3/2019, 9:03 pm

Thanks for the input. Going to go with a 14, 17, and 25. Any advice about the -numbers? And what exactly is a target hammer as mentioned above? 

Also, what is a decent price for a model 14?

Thanks again!

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Post by mikemyers on 7/3/2019, 9:13 pm

"target" parts are a little wider than the standard parts.  If you have a standard gun, and a target gun, and you put them side by side, you'll notice the hammer is "thicker" (wider) than the standard.  This also applies to the triggers.

(Looks nice, but I don't know if it does anything "better" than the standard part.)

Are you planning on getting one at a time, or all three immediately?
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Post by Soupy44 on 7/3/2019, 9:35 pm

One at a time, budget constraints, 8mo old at home. Mainly want a gun to shoot DR with so I can stop borrowing and start loaning. 

The 22 would be next to practice for DR on a cheaper basis. The 45 is pretty much a pipe dream at this point, well down the road.

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Post by VNK971 on 7/3/2019, 11:21 pm

14 and 17 are both K frames, - numbers basically the same for both. All just engineering changes, sometimes to reduce production costs. K-38/K-22 until 1957, then numbering started. 1959, -1, ejector rod threads changed from right hand to left hand. 1961, -2, trigger guard screw deleted. 1967, -3, little screw on front of rear leaf assembly moved from over the B/C gap to over the forcing cone. 1977, -4, gas ring moved. In 1982 production of the 14 ceased until 1991. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea. And, yes, I collect them. PM me if you really want more.

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Post by mikemyers on 7/4/2019, 6:25 am

'VNK971', can you confirm what the differences were between the "target" version and the standard version?  I know about the trigger and hammer width - was anything else changed?  In terms of accuracy and so on, are both versions the same, or was anything special done for the "target" version?
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Post by james r chapman on 7/4/2019, 7:13 am

Generally there were no separate classes. Within the 16,17,14,25 model guns. They were all intended for target shooting  although many were used for LEO EDC.

Some special offered modifications were offered like a smooth faced trigger for D/A shooters like PPC, target grips.

That’s why they had “target sights”
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