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Which budget .357 magnum to get?

  

42 members have voted

  1. 1. Which budget 357 to get?

    • EAA Windicator
      7
    • Taurus 65/66
      11
    • Which ever is cheaper
      0
    • Both are garbage
      11
    • Other
      13


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I'm looking to get a low-end 357 magnum as my first, and likely my ownly, revolver. It will be basically a range toy, and I'd be surprised if I put as much as 50 rounds/month through it (if that). It won't be carried and while it won't be a primary HD weapon, I'd like to be reasonably sure it'll go bang when I need it too. Barrel should be either 3" or 4" (not interested in snub-nose or really long barrels). Short trigger reach is also important given my small hands. Ideally, I'd like to get the Wiley Clapp Ruger GP100, but that's a lot of coin for a gun that I'm barely going to use. I'm hoping to spend no more than $300, and I realize that puts me in used territory.

 

Any preference between the Windicator or Taurus?

 

Edit: Also, other suggestions are welcome

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I own a Taurus 605 with a 3 inch barrel. More a belly gun than a range toy but even after 800+ rounds it 's still tight,runs like a clock and a blast to shoot.

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I admit I have never owned both brands. But I have heard that Taurus is better then they used to be 5 years ago. To me I would feel better owning a used rugger or smith instead. That is just me! The others are probably just fine but to me will always be a sub brand with low QC in the factory.

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Buy a used Ruger or S&W revolver - much better quality and for around the same price.  I was able to pick up a nice S&W M28 .357 for $450 last year from an estate sale, that thing will outlast any of the revolvers you listed.

 

Additionally, are you stuck on getting a .357? If it's only a range toy, a .38 special will do just fine punch paper and will be cheaper to purchase and cheaper to feed. J&G Sales has a bunch of pretty nice S&W 64 DAO revolvers (.38 spl, stainless, 4" barrels) for about $370.

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If you have a tight budget, used Ruger Security-Six, GP100, etc.  If a little more funds available anything in the S&W line.

I have seen used Rugers in gun cases that were definitely diamonds in the ruff for cheap.  A little TLC and you have one tough wheelie.

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Thanks all for the comments (and thanks for the offer Baby Finster). I'm pretty set on 357, not that I have any ballistic or penetration requirements, but all my current handguns are 9mm and I just want something that will make a bigger bang when I feel like it, lol (and .44 mag and larger seems like overkill). I'm seeing a preference for Taurus between the two, but I think I'll take my time and keep an eye out for used S&W and Rugers that might be available.

 

PS: and thanks for the tip on the Model 19, but it's gone :(

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I have bought more revolvers than I can remember over the last 45 years. I only now buy S&W and Ruger revolvers. I used to also buy Colt and Dan Wesson before. My only bad revolvers (screws and extractor rods coming loose, horrible triggers, sharp edges due to bad milling, etc.) were Taurus and Charter Arms. Taurus President always seems to be apologizing for bad quality control in the past. A good Ruger .357 is worth the extra money and much less than a S&W. The GP100 is a very fine gun with a good price.

 

Quality guns are even more important in magnum calibers. You can get away with a less expensive gun if you only plan to shoot .38 spl non +P ammo. Once you get into the calibers that are going to make your gun rock and roll, you need quality or little shooting, to make them last. Plus the triggers are better on Rugers and S&W's than the cheaper ones and that affects accuracy.

 

I rather wait to save more money, than buy a less expensive gun. In the long run it ends up costing me more for the cheaper gun because I end up selling it at a loss, to buy a better gun. BTW, less expensive guns do not hold their value well. Try to think of Classic Guns made by the two manufacturers in this survey. Can you think of any? Now do so with S&W and Ruger and many classic guns come to mind.

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There are plenty of deals on used S&W revolvers. While the 686 seems to draw a bit of a premium, the Model 19 and Model 28 are both great pistols that can be had inexpensively (especially the Model 19). 

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The best new guns also make the best used ones.  I would hold out for a S&W or Ruger in your price range.  They are out there.  And don't believe you won't shoot it much.  I bought a GP100 just to have  a revolver and now I found myself with that and three others - Ruger Super Redhawk, S&W 29 and S&W 629, all in .44 magnum.  They are addictive in their beauty and simplicity... 

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I say this not because I sell them (which I do) but because I believe in them.

The EAA Windicator is made by Hermann Weihrauch in Germany.

 

They are well made, good Fit & Finish and a very good value in their price range.

That being said, yes there are better revolvers, and there are more expensive revolvers,

but every NJGF member I have sold a Windicator to has been very happy both with performance

and accuracy.

 

The EAA Windicator is a much better built revolver than the the comparable Taurus with a much

smoother trigger in both SA & DA.

 

I really don't understand the nay sayers on  a Windicator - it is a very nice gun for the money.............

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Look for a nice used S&W model 19. These could be found if you visit a few shops. Saw a real nice one the other day, a 19-3 that went for $349 while I was there. Around 90% cond. Also seen a used 686 pretty clean for around $499.

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I'll bite - I'm not a fan of EAA, because I don't like the re-seller-importer business model. When it breaks (all firearms will, eventually), I'm not confident I'll be able to find parts or a gunsmith. This happened to me with a "best value for the money" import shotgun. If I had bought the one I wanted - the one I own now - well, I learned my lesson.

 

chimed in because OP is using the same key words we all use to talk ourselves into being cheap: first and only, range toy, not gonna shoot it a lot, just need something reliable, budget revolver, on and on... There is a specific make and model you want; buy it the first time and be done with it.

 

"The poor man always pays twice."

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Cliff Notes:

-Get a used S&W or Ruger.

-.38s are a good choice too.

-Know what to look for in a used gun.

 

Sorry about the wall of text below, lol, The cliffs really cover the what. The rest is the "how come".

 

I would recommend, as others have, that you shop around for a used S&W or Ruger.

 

In addition to the reasons listed above, the resale value on those guns is excellent. If you ever wanted or had to sell it, you'd probably get what you paid for it, if not more.

 

Additionally, at the price point you set, and as NJluger mentioned, a gun chambered in .38, like the S&W Model 10, is an excellent choice.

 

While I'm a big proponent of "everyone should own a .357 magnum" and I enjoy shooting .357s, .38 special +P will do most things you need it to. In fact, that's what's loaded in every revolver I have at home.

 

But for a carry gun, I'd *probably* go w/ magnums. Though maybe not even then. However, that's not one of your purposes for this purchase, so not an issue.

 

Inside your home, without hearing protection, setting off a full house magnum or two = permanent damage/hearing loss.

 

Used Model 10s pop up all the time as police/security trade-ins and are usually priced right at or even below $300.

 

Those trade-ins are probably a better value than a used gun from a private seller would be.

Service revolvers like those may have a rougher finish (from holster carry and the fact that the one carrying it is not the actual owner), but will have likely been shot sparingly and almost exclusively with agency issued ammo.

 

A gun from a private seller might have a more well cared-for appearance, but may have seen thousands of rounds down the tube of various quality and powder charge.

 

Of course with a Smith or Ruger, round count should not be a big deal, but nonetheless, you're probably going to get a 'newer' gun from a service trade-in.

 

Lastly, if buying a used wheel gun, this is indispensible: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57816

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while it won't be a primary HD weapon, I'd like to be reasonably sure it'll go bang when I need it too.

 

I'll just add this here:

Primary HD should def be a long gun (AR or shotgun)

But as a back up, revolvers are an excellent choice

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Thanks again to everyone on your advice. I stopped by a few stores today (Lucianos, Meltzers, Caso's) and 357 magnums seemed to actually be scarce. Luciano's offered to order me a Taurus, but doesn't think too highly of them. He was of the thought that one should either buy quality (i.e, Ruger or S&W) or don't bother. And on a non-wheel gun note, he has a used Sig Sauer SP2022 in 40s&w for $299 if anyone is interested. At Caso's I have to admit I was intrigued by a Chiappa Rhino, but it's well out of my price range. After handling some guns, now I'm not so sure if I want to get a revolver or a 1911 next. I guess I should get to starting a Tisas vs Rock Island thread :)

 

Effingers in Bound Brook has a very nice S&W 686 stainless for $499. (As of 12:15 today).
Its a good deal for a great revolver. I would have bought it myself if I didn't just order one.

 

Thanks for the tip. I would have loved to check it out, but it's a bit out of the way for me and didn't have time to go. From an aesthetic standpoint, I absolutely love the 686, but I find the trigger reach in DA to be a bit long for me. Although for $499, I might learn to adjust. I just don't know when I'm going to be in the area (and if the gun will still be there when I am). 

 

...
Inside your home, without hearing protection, setting off a full house magnum or two = permanent damage/hearing loss.
...

 

This isn't something I would have thought of. I had planned on loading it with .357 mag for home use, so good to know.

 

...
Lastly, if buying a used wheel gun, this is indispensible: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57816

...

 

Very useful, thanks!

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I say this not because I sell them (which I do) but because I believe in them.

The EAA Windicator is made by Hermann Weihrauch in Germany.

 

They are well made, good Fit & Finish and a very good value in their price range.

That being said, yes there are better revolvers, and there are more expensive revolvers,

but every NJGF member I have sold a Windicator to has been very happy both with performance

and accuracy.

 

The EAA Windicator is a much better built revolver than the the comparable Taurus with a much

smoother trigger in both SA & DA.

 

I really don't understand the nay sayers on  a Windicator - it is a very nice gun for the money.............

Hmmm interesting...  Sent you an PM for a price check on this EAA Windicator...  Thx

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Inside your home, without hearing protection, setting off a full house magnum or two = permanent damage/hearing loss.

 

I wouldn't factor this into your buying decision. Truth is, the discharge of any caliber gun, without hearing protection may result in permanent damage - but hopefully to the bad guy.

 

Depending on the "fight or flight" scenario, you may experience auditory exclusion, in which your hearing shuts down as a reaction to stress and loud noises. This phenomena is related to tunnel vision and time compression (things appear to be happening in slow motion) and is a defense mechanism.

 

The body has some amazing responses to stress in a lethal situation - the body's primary goal, consciously or unconsciously, is to remain alive - all other considerations are secondary.

 

JMHO

 

Adios,

 

Pizza Bob

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I admit I have never owned both brands. But I have heard that Taurus is better then they used to be 5 years ago. To me I would feel better owning a used rugger or smith instead. That is just me! The others are probably just fine but to me will always be a sub brand with low QC in the factory.

+1.  Having owned a Taurus in the past and currently owing S&W, Ruger, Dan Wesson, and Colt revolvers.  Any of them used over the Taurus or EAA. Just my opinion.

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I had a Taurus 608 with a ported barrel was a fine gun. Nothing wrong with it and fit and finish was good. Just don't enjoy revolvers so I sold it. Threw some nice fireballs. Wouldn't hesitate to but a Taurus again.

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