Need Advice On .357 Mag Revolver

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by Wonder Dog, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Wonder Dog

    Wonder Dog Guest

    I am considering buying a .357 mag revolver to be used by my wife & myself for home protection. We both have experience shooting semi-auto's but like the reliability of the revolver. My hands are meduim size & my wifes are small(but she is fairly strong). My concerns or questions are
    (1) how is the felt recoil
    (2) what model .357 mag handgun would you
    (3) what barrel lenght would you suggest using
    on your recommended .357 mag handgun?
    (4) any other suggestions you have on the .357
    mag handgun

    P.S. A shooter at our local range suggested my wife & I look at the Ruger SP- 101-.357mag revolver--any thoughts you have on this handgun/

    Thank-You for your time & attention to my thread
    Happy New Year! 2009!
  2. ScottG

    ScottG Active Member

    Of course many people will say Smith & Wesson is the premier name in .357 revolvers, and I'm not going to disagree. I bought a used '70s vintage Model 19 with a four inch barrel. Nice and reliable.

    Recoil is snappy, get a set of rubber replacement grips.

    Four inch barrel to help accuracy. For home defense you're not worried about concealing.

    Blued, stainless doesn't matter.

    I don't think there are any other choices, except for another Smith....

    /thread closed

    hee hee, sorry D :p

  3. greenjeans

    greenjeans New Member

    Ruger GP100 with 3" barrel. Virtually unbreakable and heavy enough to tame recoil.
  4. Bill of Ojai

    Bill of Ojai New Member

    You mentioned wife's small hands. Ruger SP101 is good for that, plus, the rubber grips will make it more comfortable to shoot.

    One of the nice things about .357's is that aftermarket grips abound and you can change the feel and size of the gun to suit.

    Buy a quality brand and you'll have a very versatile and useful piece.
  5. freefall

    freefall Well-Known Member

    I'm a big fan of the Ruger Security Six. No longer made, a bit more expensive than it ought to be, but perfect size, weight and grip size. Bought one for my daughter when she was 12, she shot it well.
  6. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

    Smith & Wesson model 586 or 686 or any Ruger. The SP101 is 5 shots, the GP100 is 6. You can get the above mentioned Smiths as 7 shooters.
  7. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

    The S & W 686 gets my vote. My daughter loves it also. H.J.
  8. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    I'll post my vote solidly in the side of Ruger. NOBODY can contest that Ruger double action revolvers are THE strongest made of ALL. Also the grip frame on the GP100 is much smaller, offering much more leeway on size of grips. I may be a Ruger freak-but if so, there's reason for it. Sure, the S&W are usually glass smooth and a VERY good revolver, but it don't take much to slick up any quality made revolver. NOW-having said that, the last new revolver I bought was an S&W. The reason was it was for wife and had to be as small and light as possible. It was a S&W model 442 airweight in .38special +P. Also the all steel frame of Rugers (S&W too) will weigh more to tame recoil better.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  9. mdw104

    mdw104 Member

    Ruger GP100 would be my choice. 3 or 4" barrel. I prefer stainless steel because it's more resistant to corrosion. It's a solid, very strong revolver, built like a tank. It's also hefty so recoil won't be bad.
  10. Recon 173

    Recon 173 New Member

    Rugers are very strong and decent revolvers. So are the old S&W Model 65s and their Model 19s. Colt Pythons are also very good revolvers. I've shot all of them over the years. For accuracy, you can't beat any of them with a 6 inch barrel. Colts though are a tab bit more accurate than the other two. The thing to remember is that a good 4 inch revolver was the basic backbone of many law enforcement agencies for many, many years. Avoid the snub nosed revolvers because they kick harder than the longer barreled models. Also remember that you can load .38 special target loads and use them in a .357 magnum revolver to your advantage.
  11. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    I've never noticed Colt revolvers as being more accurate than the other 2 brands unless perhaps you're talking about the king of .357s-the Colt Python.
    Even then perhaps not but pretty much of an non-issue as I don't see many 1st time .357 buyers springing for that kind of cash.

  12. Shooter

    Shooter Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    I've owned a Taurus 605 which is a 2" barrel. Loved the gun, great CCW sidearm.
  13. Mark F

    Mark F Active Member Supporter

    You need to take your wife to a gun range that RENTS handguns. Let her try out whatever .357's they have available. Personally, I use a Colt King Cobra and a S&W 686. My wife MUCH prefers the Colt...

    REDTAIL Member

    ruger security six gun

    I tend to aggree with FREEFALL on the security six I personally carried that gun for over 25 yrs & it has never failed or malfunction once it was made just as good or even better than a lot of S & W at the time no brag just fact ;)
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  15. Clem

    Clem Member


    (1) Recoil with full power loads can be a little snappy. For home defense, consider the slightly reduced power loads. They won't light up a dark room like a magnesium flare.

    (2) The most cost effective suitable gun is probably the Ruger GP-100. Built like a tank. They usually require a little action smoothing and perhaps reduced power springs to maximize their performance.

    (3) Four inches is probably the optimum barrel length for an all around gun to be used for home defense.

    (4) The SP-101 is very similar to the GP-100, but it is smaller, has fixed sights and only 5 shots. It is a little more specialized then the GP-100. The GP-100 is just a little bigger, 6 shots, adjustable sights.

    If you decide money isn't a problem, then you might consider the S&W 686 series. My 686SSR is a terrific revo, but more expensive then a GP-100. If you want to consider a larger revo, the 627PC is even better. It is an 8 shot, 5" barreled N frame Smith. It is my best revo.
  16. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

  17. 741512th

    741512th Guest

    That's one of the reasons I am so impressed with the S&W model 327. The recoil feels like a heavier gun. Very nice on the hand. At least it felt good to me. Plus - an eight round cylinder and a rounded butt which may be better for the wife's hand. Also, the dealers in my area usually sell them for less than the website's listed MSRP.

  18. Recon 173

    Recon 173 New Member

    When I was much younger, I checked out a number of local shooting teams. This was back in the early 1970s. The overwhelming majority of the shots on the teams were all master shooters. Just about every one of the master shooters had a 6 inch Colt Python revolver. When I could get an individual master shooter alone I would ask them about their choice of Colt Python over another brand of revolver like a 6 inch Smith & Wesson or Ruger. All of the shooters impressed me with the amount of research that they had done before getting their Pythons. All but one of them told me that the Python was made to slightly tighter tolerances than any other revolver. I would have talked to a total of about 18 people given 6 per team and at least 16 of the shooters were using Pythons. Since those days and the invention of the internet, I keep finding out that Pythons were, or maybe still are, made with slightly tighter tolerances. Understand that tighter tolerances can work for and against you. In the majority of the cases, not most of the shooting distances any of us would do, the tighter tolerances can enhance some people's shooting just a tad bit more but not enough to really matter. So, the tighter tolerances thing is okay but its more of a psychological boost than anything except when you have a bad load of some kind. In the case of a tighter tolerance meeting a badly loaded cartridge an explosion can occur which could ruin a guy's day. So you've got to look at things carefully and think out what you want to do with your guns.

    Oh and also notice where the cylinder rotation notch is situated on a Colt compared to a Smith. The Smith has the rotation notch over the cylinder itself. With a Colt, the notch is offset and not above the actual cylinder. It's over a thicker metal wall area which makes the Colt slightly more stronger than other revolvers.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  19. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    In the 70's a Python was more accurate than comparable Smiths. This is no longer the 70's. A 586/686 is every bit the equal of the Colt in the Accuracy department.

    The cylinder of a Python is definately NOT stronger than a Smith. Smith and Wesson uses FAR BETTER steel on their blued guns than the Python. Python frames are very prone to stretching when frd a steady diet of Mags. The Python was made to be shot w/spls and caried with mags.

    There is no doubt the Python is the sexiest revolver ever made. I would never trust my life on one if I had a Smith available.