I am saving my money for a gun show in august. I could really use some advice on buying a used revolver. What should I look for when considering a gun and what should I avoid. I've only bought new up to this point.
What I've found about gun shows is there are only one or two tables with reasonable prices. If you find the honey hole, usually all the stuff on the table is priced reasonable. A few months ago I found a stainless Service Six for $329 in excellent condition, and didn't even try to barter. This table was good across the board and he was selling guns like crazy.
Until you actually shoot it, you won't know how good it is.
Bring a light and a small mirror with you (like a dentist's mirror) so you can at least examine the bore to see if it is clean and shiny with no pitting or rust.
Handguns (pistols and revolvers) are primarily defense weapons, always have been, always will be.
If you actually live in grizzly country, then a 45-70 or a 500 makes perfect sense.
If you want to try hunting with one, then a 454 or 44 makes sense instead. The 454 and the 44 are extremely accurate, moreso than the 45-70 and the 500. But the 45-70 and the 500 pack a walloping punch at closer range.
For any other handgun applications, non-hunting or non-grizzly, the 10mm or the 45ACP are much better choices, for defense against people. I know one guy who is so paranoid that he owns a 357 Desert Eagle. For me, the 45ACP is fine though.
If a single action revolver is OK, you might try a Ruger Super Blackhawk, .44 Mag, they make 'em with 7.5" and 10.5" barrels. Another good Ruger is .45 Colt ("Long Colt") Blackhawk with 7.5" barrel, especially if you reload or handload. I've done hogs and deer with the .45 using some fairly stout handloads with 250-grain semiwadcutters at about 1200 fps. That'll go in one side of a hog's chest, break a rib, penetrate both lungs and the heart, break a rib on the far side and exit. A hog'll stumble around for a few seconds then drop. But you need a medium-heavy slug at a pretty good velocity. If you don't load yer own, then the Super Blackhawk in .44 Mag is a good piece. And it takes a lot of determined effort to wear out a Ruger, like 100,000 hefty loads. So a used one is a pretty safe bet.