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Old 09-20-2009, 04:49 PM   #1
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Default Novice Revolver Questions...

Hello all. I was thinking about buying a revolver because I have heard they are easy to use for a novice such as myself. Here is a little background. I am 22 and live near Los Angeles, CA. I have never owned any kind of firearm, but have shot them at a firing range...I had a lot of fun. I am debating on either a .45 or a .357 magnum. Here is a short list of questions I was wondering the answers to:

1.) I want a revolver with stopping power and also good at target practice. What brand, make or model should I get that has these features?

2.) I have heard of single action, double action and single/double action. Which one is better and how exactly does single/double action combo work?

3.) When I buy the revolver, should I buy it new or used, and what are some decent prices for the model you recommended me? Any tips on when buying the revolver?

If there is a complete idiots guide, it would help if this is too much to answer. Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-20-2009, 05:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by EffinPirate View Post
Hello all. I was thinking about buying a revolver because I have heard they are easy to use for a novice such as myself. Here is a little background. I am 22 and live near Los Angeles, CA. I have never owned any kind of firearm, but have shot them at a firing range...I had a lot of fun. I am debating on either a .45 or a .357 magnum. Here is a short list of questions I was wondering the answers to:

1.) I want a revolver with stopping power and also good at target practice. What brand, make or model should I get that has these features?

2.) I have heard of single action, double action and single/double action. Which one is better and how exactly does single/double action combo work?

3.) When I buy the revolver, should I buy it new or used, and what are some decent prices for the model you recommended me? Any tips on when buying the revolver?

If there is a complete idiots guide, it would help if this is too much to answer. Thanks in advance!
If it is for concealed carry read this:

First Concealed Carry Handgun - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com

This will also explain the single/double action


Personally, I am partial to Smith and Wesson when it comes to revolvers. Their price ranges vary depending on size caliber etc.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip. I will read up on it right now. It won't be concealed though. =)

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Old 09-20-2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tip. I will read up on it right now. It won't be concealed though. =)

The article will also give you some insight on gun ownership etc. You are very welcome I hope it helps.

Oh and please visit the introductions page and introduce yourself!
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:27 PM   #5
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well by no means am I an expert, but I can answer some things for you here. A revolver is a good first gun. It is far more reliable than a semi-automatic and much easier to maintain. Don't get me wrong I have both and love them equally.

Well the first thing I can advise you with is selecting a caliber 357 or 45. I think anyone can agree both are good man stopping calibers. I have both. Each to his own. However I will have to say that the 357 will be more accurate if you are looking to do some target shooting as well. It shoots flatter and faster. Also you have more choice of ammo and you can shoot the less expensive .38 caliber. The 45 is slower much bigger bullet, but just as effective for self defense.

I assume you know there is a 45acp bullet and a 45 colt bullet. These are two different rounds and they are both available now for revolvers. You will have to decide if you are going with the 45 acp bullet or the 45 colt. Most revolvers take the 45 colt, but there are a few manufacturers that make a revolver like Smith and Wesson that shoots a 45 acp out of a revolver, but you must have moon clips to shoot them. Moon clips prevent the 45 acp bullet from passing through the chamber since there isn't a lip on the end of the bullet like most revolver rounds. Otherwise the 45 acp bullet will slide through the cylinder and fall on the ground. Just so you know the cost of 45 acp bullets are not too far off from the 38. The 45 colts are much more expensive. Might want to take a note of this if you plan on shooting a lot.

A single action refers to a gun that can only be fired by pulling the hammer of the gun prior to pressing the trigger. If the hammer is down, you squeeze the trigger nothing happens.

A double action refers to a gun that can be fired only by squeezing the trigger. You cannot manually pull back the hammer of gun prior to shooting. Typically if a gun is just double action there will be no visible / external hammer.

A single and double action can be fired by either cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger or just pulling the trigger.

I would assume you would probably like the single and double combo. Especially if you plan on using the gun for self defense and target shooting as well.

It is totally your choice of manufacturers and brands. I personally like the smith and wessons. It will be a bit more pricey than other. Some like Tauras and so on. Just tailor it to your price point and what you can afford.

Word of advise, hold as many revolvers as you can. It is important that it feels good in your hands. It should feel like an extension of your arm, not a hunk of metal you are trying to hold straight.

Also pull the trigger of the revolvers. You will see a definate differences in trigger pulls from different manufactures. To not piss people off I will not mention brands. But first " Always, always check and see the gun is empty. Don't ever assume it is even if someone hads it to you.

You can always find a bargain for used guns, especially revolvers since there probably is less demand for revolvers than semi-autos, not because it is any way better just because of preference and some people view them as old school. Anyways if you are looking for a used gun, I suggest you tae someone with you that knows what to look for in a good maintained revolver. You'll have to look closley for gaps, cracks, loose cylinders, barrels, and just extra wear and tear before you buy a useed gun.

Additional advise if this is going to be your first hand gun, you might want to stay with at least a 4" barrel. Anything shorter makes it that much harder to see your progress when target shooting. Always a good idea to take some lessons on sight alighnment, stance, hold and trigger pull. hope this helps.

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Old 09-20-2009, 06:47 PM   #6
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well by no means am I an expert, but I can answer some things for you here. A revolver is a good first gun. It is far more reliable than a semi-automatic and much easier to maintain. Don't get me wrong I have both and love them equally. It is not FAR more reliable than a semi automatic (unless its a cheap semi automatic) and is not easier to maintain. It is slightly more reliable and that is only because of the fact that semi autos can jam and can have miss feeds yet again this isn't likely if you dont get a cheap semi auto.

Well the first thing I can advise you with is selecting a caliber 357 or 45. I think anyone can agree both are good man stopping calibers. I have both. Each to his own. However I will have to say that the 357 will be more accurate if you are looking to do some target shooting as well. It shoots flatter and faster. Also you have more choice of ammo and you can shoot the less expensive .38 caliber. The 45 is slower much bigger bullet, but just as effective for self defense.

I assume you know there is a 45acp bullet and a 45 colt bullet. These are two different rounds and they are both available now for revolvers. You will have to decide if you are going with the 45 acp bullet or the 45 colt. Most revolvers take the 45 colt, but there are a few manufacturers that make a revolver like Smith and Wesson that shoots a 45 acp out of a revolver, but you must have moon clips to shoot them. Moon clips prevent the 45 acp bullet from passing through the chamber since there isn't a lip on the end of the bullet like most revolver rounds. Otherwise the 45 acp bullet will slide through the cylinder and fall on the ground. Just so you know the cost of 45 acp bullets are not too far off from the 38. The 45 colts are much more expensive. Might want to take a note of this if you plan on shooting a lot.

A single action refers to a gun that can only be fired by pulling the hammer of the gun prior to pressing the trigger. If the hammer is down, you squeeze the trigger nothing happens.

A double action refers to a gun that can be fired only by squeezing the trigger. You cannot manually pull back the hammer of gun prior to shooting. Typically if a gun is just double action there will be no visible / external hammer.

A single and double action can be fired by either cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger or just pulling the trigger.

I would assume you would probably like the single and double combo. Especially if you plan on using the gun for self defense and target shooting as well.

It is totally your choice of manufacturers and brands. I personally like the smith and wessons. It will be a bit more pricey than other. Some like Tauras and so on. Just tailor it to your price point and what you can afford. Do not tailor it to the price you do not want a cheaply made handgun if you have to save up for it then so be it.

Word of advise, hold as many revolvers as you can. It is important that it feels good in your hands. It should feel like an extension of your arm, not a hunk of metal you are trying to hold straight.

Also pull the trigger of the revolvers. You will see a definate differences in trigger pulls from different manufactures. To not piss people off I will not mention brands. But first " Always, always check and see the gun is empty. Don't ever assume it is even if someone hads it to you. DO NOT PULL THE TRIGGER OF THE REVOLVER! NEVER DRY FIRE A REVOLVER YOU CAN HARM THE GUN!

You can always find a bargain for used guns, especially revolvers since there probably is less demand for revolvers than semi-autos, not because it is any way better just because of preference and some people view them as old school. Anyways if you are looking for a used gun, I suggest you tae someone with you that knows what to look for in a good maintained revolver. You'll have to look closley for gaps, cracks, loose cylinders, barrels, and just extra wear and tear before you buy a useed gun. Revolvers are in as high of demand as semi automatics.

Additional advise if this is going to be your first hand gun, you might want to stay with at least a 4" barrel. Anything shorter makes it that much harder to see your progress when target shooting. Always a good idea to take some lessons on sight alighnment, stance, hold and trigger pull. hope this helps.
My notes are in red.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:54 PM   #7
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Gadrooning, you posted the perfect answer! I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out. This forum rocks!

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Old 09-20-2009, 07:25 PM   #8
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I will not disagree with samples.32. These are very good points. I guess I should be a little more specific. Reliability, meaning not only is there a higher percent chance of feed problems in a semi auto, but also revolvers are not picky on ammo it feeds. Also there is the issue of missfires. You just have to pull the trigger again on a revolver and the next round will chamber, unlike a semi-auto where you have to clear the missfired round. Don't get me wrong my favorite handgun I own is a 1911 kimber II followed closely by the 586 Smith and Wesson.

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Old 09-20-2009, 07:33 PM   #9
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I will not disagree with samples.32. These are very good points. I guess I should be a little more specific. Reliability, meaning not only is there a higher percent chance of feed problems in a semi auto, but also revolvers are not picky on ammo it feeds. Also there is the issue of missfires. You just have to pull the trigger again on a revolver and the next round will chamber, unlike a semi-auto where you have to clear the missfired round. Don't get me wrong my favorite handgun I own is a 1911 kimber II followed closely by the 586 Smith and Wesson.
I think me and you are going to get along just fine.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:18 AM   #10
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Another thing - should you decide on a Smith & Wesson revolver, there are a multitude of aftermarket grip manufacturers that will allow you to help the gun fit your hand. All the best...

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