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Invisiblenooneman
Male

Registered: 04/25/09
Posts: 12,139
Loc: Utah
What revolver should I get?
    #26854282 - 07/30/20 09:41 PM (14 days, 3 hours ago)

Looking for a revolver I can carry. I like revolvers, so I'm not looking at other kinds of handguns. I go hiking, so I'd like it to be able to kill a bear if it has to. But I'd also like to be able to shoot it at a range as much as possible, and for it to be fun and comfortable to shoot. So that eliminates the S&W 500.

I'm leaning towards either the S&W 629, the 686, or the 642.

The 642 probably isn't going to drop a bear, but it's super nice to carry given its small size and internal hammer. On the other hand, I don't care for its short barrel. I like long barrels both aesthetically, and because I like the increased accuracy.

But on the other hand, I'm not crazy about something that is going to do a lot of penetrating. I don't want to kill someone inside another house somewhere when the bullet shoots through what I'm shooting at.

So I was looking at the 629, with 44 special ammo. Less velocity, less penetration maybe? But I'm worried if I get it in like 6.5 inch barrel it might still penetrate a lot. But 44 special ammo is easier/nicer to fire vs. magnum ammo, but at 44 I feel like it'll still do some serious damage.

For the longest time, I had my eye on the 7 inch 686, but I feel like I want something with a little bit more power than the 38 special. And the 357 magnum I'm worried about in terms of penetration and accuracy compared to the 44 special. But if the 44 special is going to penetrate just as much as the 357, then I guess I might as well go for the 686 with 38 special ammo. But if I'm going for that, then why not get the 642 for easy carry? But on the other hand, I feel like 357 magnum ammo is maybe less useful against a bear than 44 magnum ammo, and I feel like the 642 might be useless against a bear, especially given it only has 5 rounds. So again, that takes me towards the 629.

Home defense is maybe less important because I'm planning on getting a Mossberg 88, but on the other hand it might be nice to have something that is much more immediately ready, accessible, and usable for home defense purposes like a revolver. I think it was Pris who always used to say that long guns aren't good for indoors situations, but all my other gun friends tell me that the shotgun is the ultimate home defense weapon.

Anyway, any thoughts and suggestions would be good. :thumbup:


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InvisibleHobbyist
Citizen


Registered: 08/15/10
Posts: 792
Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: nooneman] * 1
    #26854416 - 07/30/20 11:10 PM (14 days, 1 hour ago)

If you're using it for defense,  defensive ammo is a must.  If you're shooting defensive ammo it will mushroom out and so it won't go through as much, then shooting someone in the next house is less of a concern. 

In the same vein, if you're  shooting a shotgun in a house birdshot size 6 or better isn't likely to be lethal through 2 layers of drywall so you once again, wont have to worry about the neighbors wellbeing, or those in other rooms.

Then again, practice is essential so you hit what you're aiming for. :wink:


--------------------
Everything i say is completely hypothetical...



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OfflineCHeifM4sterDiezL
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Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13,682
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Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: Hobbyist]
    #26854788 - 07/31/20 03:52 AM (13 days, 20 hours ago)

642 Featherlite on the ankle


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Invisiblehummingbird
Registered: 06/30/14
Posts: 715
Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: CHeifM4sterDiezL]
    #26854832 - 07/31/20 05:24 AM (13 days, 19 hours ago)

My least favorite handgun I've ever shot was a snubnose .38. It was extra loud for its size, and pretty inaccurate. I would recommend a longer barrel on a revolver.

A 12g shotgun is probably the most versatile gun you can get though. Tons of options for ammo and upgrades.


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OfflineCHeifM4sterDiezL
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Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: hummingbird] * 1
    #26855225 - 07/31/20 12:13 PM (13 days, 12 hours ago)

I missed the part about it being a bear gun. Now the whole i want something bigger than a .38 makes alot more sense now. I think the best best gun is the rugar redhwak Alaskan. U have to remember in a bear attack situation ur not gonna want some dirty Harry gun getting snagged on the draw as the things barreling toward u. Ur not gonna fire more than one two three shots before the things mauling u. Ur not gonna need crazy long distance accuracy ur shooting when the things about to be on top of you. U dont own a snub .38 cuz its a pleasure to shoot all day at the range. U own it so u can have a quick shot that blows up someone's whole chest. Ur close range shooting one or two shots that drop the guy where he stands.


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Invisiblenooneman
Male

Registered: 04/25/09
Posts: 12,139
Loc: Utah
Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: CHeifM4sterDiezL]
    #26855764 - 07/31/20 06:05 PM (13 days, 6 hours ago)

Those are good points. I guess part of the problem is that I'm trying to find a one size fits all for different situations that conflict. Like, I'd like it to be a pleasure to shoot at the range all day, but then also useful in a bear attack type situation, and also good for carrying, but all those things are totally different scenarios. Like you're saying, a shorter barrel is probably better for a bear attack, and the 642 is probably best for carrying.

There are some snub nose 629s that S&W makes, the performance center model 629 which is just 7.6 inches overall with a 2.6 inch barrel. That would cover 2 of the 3 scenarios, you could carry it pretty easily, and it'd drop a bear. The only downside being that it wouldn't be that great to shoot at a range.

I guess ideally, I'd own like 3, the 642 for carrying, a snub nose 629 for hiking, and then maybe a 686 for shooting at the range, but unfortunately I don't have that kind of money to spend. I had been leaning towards the 629, but you're right that in a bear attack situation the barrel might be an issue. But on the other hand, I really love those long barrel revolvers, but it's not about what I love as much as what will keep me from getting killed by a bear... It's a tough decision. I really want the long barrel, but they might be impractical. And I feel like compromising with a 5 inch barrel or something is maybe just the worst of both worlds, long enough to be a problem still but not quite long enough for my taste.

You know, the funny thing is that I didn't even realize the 629 was a variant of the 29 which is what Dirty Harry carries until last night when I was watching some dirty harry movies and realized it was the 29 he's using and then realized the 629 is naturally the stainless steel variant of the 29 :lol:


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Invisiblehummingbird
Registered: 06/30/14
Posts: 715
Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: nooneman]
    #26856155 - 07/31/20 10:06 PM (13 days, 2 hours ago)

Yeah, a .38 snubnose revolver is basically just for concealing easily and shooting someone a few feet away. They're not fun to shoot at the range imo, and a bigger caliber would probably be worse with a short barrel. You might like it though, idk. A .44mag would definitely work for a bear. I would pick a longer barrel for bears personally, so I could hit it from a ways away if it was charging me or whatever. There's a lot of bears where I live, and I hear quite a few people talking about 10mm being a good caliber for that. Most bears would back off just hearing a gunshot I would imagine, but you never know...


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Invisiblenooneman
Male

Registered: 04/25/09
Posts: 12,139
Loc: Utah
Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: hummingbird]
    #26856298 - 07/31/20 11:34 PM (13 days, 1 hour ago)

Yeah, I'm currently leaning slightly towards the 629 with 6.5 inch barrel. It might have more issues snagging during the draw, but I feel like it'd be a lot more fun at the range. Plus, I think I'd probably see the bear coming at least a little before it charged me (hopefully), maybe long enough to get the gun out before it starts charging. But I've never actually been charged by a bear, so it's tough to say how that would play out. Maybe I should be considering the 5 inch or something, maybe there is something to be said for that middle ground barrel length.

My current top 2 choices are the 6.5 inch 629 and the snub nose 629 in that order. It is a tough choice though, I keep going back and forth about it. There is something to be said for a weapon that is as easy and fast to draw as possible in the case of a bear attack. God knows I would hate to get stuck on the draw with a bear charging me, or in any other life threatening situation. Plus, I've seen some people on youtube use the shorter barrels with surprisingly good accuracy at least at relatively short range.

I'm also slightly vaguely considering the 686 just because it might be even more fun to shoot at a range, but I'm concerned about the 357 not being enough to stop a bear. I've read a number of stories where a bear took multiple shots from 357 magnum ammo, including one where the bear took some shots and ended up ontop of the guy mauling him before the guy finally killed it. Ideally, it'd be great if the bear was scared away by the gun, but if not, I really want to make sure I can drop it.


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OfflineAncient Mariner
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Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: nooneman]
    #26856346 - 08/01/20 12:00 AM (13 days, 50 minutes ago)

I know you want a gun for the range, but bear spray seems to be the most effective. From what I've read, bears are actually pretty predictable as far as their body language. Didn't know brown bears extended down to Utah. If they were to attack when food's abundant, fighting back doesn't seem like a great idea. Might just piss em off further with bullets. Often they'll just leave you alone once you're injured but if you appear more threatening, they'll fight to the death. If it's black bears you're worried about surprising, act reassuring and back away. They might bluff charge. In rare cases, they'll act aggressive and in these cases, a bullet will tell them that it isn't worth it and they'll leave.

But really, animals in the US rarely kill people. Even rattlesnakes is only like 5 a year. Doesn't stop me from carrying a big buck knife when I'm camping alone because holy shit, getting eaten alive by a bear would be a bad way to go. Especially a kodiak taking their time with you. Best watch out for trees falling in the winter. I almost got pierced by a doug fir branch. Also, people are prone to killing other people.

I don't know anything about guns. I would make throwing spears/trekking poles. Good for any animal and good for the knees.


--------------------
"Smooth the Edges,
Loosen the Tangles,
Soften the Light,
Merge with the Dust"
-The Tao, Minford Translation

Mushroom brain - Sparassis


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Invisiblehummingbird
Registered: 06/30/14
Posts: 715
Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: Ancient Mariner]
    #26856604 - 08/01/20 05:25 AM (12 days, 19 hours ago)

It really is pretty rare for a bear to attack a human. They are usually fairly scared of us. They don't like dogs either. A dog with a piercing bark will make most bears run away. The risk of some rouge bear deciding to charge and maul you is minimal, but yeah, it would really suck if it happened...especially a brown bear...but a big enough pistol round will definitely take one of those down if you had to.

I have to say a Dirty Harry gun would be pretty badass. Whatever you get, just practice drawing and shooting it accurately and it will work for you. A snubnose .44 would take a bit of getting used to. They make a 4" barrel too, which might be worth looking into...


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OfflineAncient Mariner
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Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: hummingbird]
    #26857022 - 08/01/20 12:25 PM (12 days, 12 hours ago)

That's if you hit it in a spot of their brain that controls motor skills. A bear's adrenaline is immune to pain. A brown bear would likely just ravage the shooter worse. And even when you got the bear problem handled, what about the extremely rare hungry mountain lion that lurks above and pounces in silence. It doesn't really matter though, there's a higher risk of tripping over a rock and falling down a cliff or getting struck by lightning.


--------------------
"Smooth the Edges,
Loosen the Tangles,
Soften the Light,
Merge with the Dust"
-The Tao, Minford Translation

Mushroom brain - Sparassis


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Invisiblenooneman
Male

Registered: 04/25/09
Posts: 12,139
Loc: Utah
Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: Ancient Mariner]
    #26858059 - 08/02/20 02:23 AM (11 days, 22 hours ago)

I bet the right 44 magnum ammo would put down a bear if you shot it in its body. The head might actually be less than ideal. There are plenty of accounts of people taking down bears with 44s. True, it probably doesn't have the stopping power of a S&W 500, or the rugar redhawk alaskan, but I'm also balancing sheer power against other factors, like shooting it for fun at the range or for self defense at home. 44 is already a bit more powerful than I need in some ways, so I'm a bit iffy about going even higher.

The rugar redhawk alaskan that chief mentioned is famous for taking down bears, and a 454 isn't that much more powerful than a 44 magnum (it is more powerful, but both are plenty powerful). Even the 357 has been known to take down bears occasionally, just not reliably and quickly enough for me. A 44 is a seriously powerful weapon. There are more powerful, but I'm also balancing that against the fact that I don't want something too powerful/with too much recoil, etc. Something that's still nice to shoot and doesn't hurt too bad.

If a 44 isn't going to work, then bear spray isn't going to work either. I really doubt a bear could survive 6 44 magnum rounds to the chest (or even 1-2 rounds), but you never know, maybe I should go higher... I'm just trying to balance that against the other needs I have and things I want out of it. Part of me wants to go down to the 686, so if I balance that against the desire to go to the rugar 454, then the 44 maybe a lot of sense as a compromise between those two.

On the other hand, I'm doing that thing that I hate when other people do, where I'm arguing for the thing that I came in here wanting to buy after people have offered other suggestions. I should probably take a much more serious look at the rugar 454.

Bear attacks are relatively rare, but if you do a bunch of hiking and camping, it's one of those things that happens and that you're always aware of even though it's rare. I camp all over the place, in many different states, and in certain places there are a bunch of signs that warn about the bears. Some places just have a lot of bears, and it's a real thing that can and does happen.


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OfflineCHeifM4sterDiezL
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Registered: 07/28/10
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Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: nooneman]
    #26858251 - 08/02/20 09:11 AM (11 days, 15 hours ago)

Its really about personal preference what u feel comfortable handling and shooting. If you think u can get more rounds and accuracy on target with the smaller caliber than go with that. This isnt a target gun or even anything besides an absolute last resort. Yelling banging metal shit standing ur ground, mace and other shit are all very effective for 99% of bear interactions. U need a gun for that 1% deadly combo of situations that cause u to find urself right on top of a pissed off or hungery bear that just pops out of the brush. You both startle each other and the bear chooses fight rather than flight. Personally I dont have any fear of bears at all but a great deal of respect for them. Black bears are like big scaredy cats. But I also hear the way people in Alaska talk about bear country up there and it seems like everyone who has spent any considerable time in the back country warns you to always carry a bear gun and take all the precautions to protect against bear. As uncommon as i think bear attacks are they always seem to be speaking in the yeah we used to no someone who didn't type tone.


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OfflineAncient Mariner
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Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: CHeifM4sterDiezL]
    #26858647 - 08/02/20 01:16 PM (11 days, 11 hours ago)

I don't really understand bears all that well and personally think the best way to deal with them is to be fearless and peaceful, but don't take shit from them either. But between bear spray and firearms, I side a little towards spray in its efficacy, although I'd feel more comfortable with a .44 or a spear. Here is what I found on it, and this by no means settles the debate:

Bear spray was able to stop the behavior of aggressive behavior brown bears in 94% of 66 close-range encounters (Stephen Herrero and Andrew Higgins).https://www.jstor.org/stable/3873165?seq=1
It's a small sample but it shows that bear spray can be very effective.

In a review of "269 incidents of bear–human conflict involving firearms that occurred in Alaska...firearm bearers suffered the same injury rates in close encounters with bears whether they used their firearms or not" (Journal of Wildlife Management).
https://wildlife.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jwmg.342
They still recommend carrying firearms if you are proficient with them.

I know this is a only a small portion of the information about bear encounters and does not attribute every factor. Still, I wanted to share this because I found it interesting.

btw, I realize the OP wanted a revolver regardless; I'm not trying to say you shouldn't get one, although it may sound that way.
Happy shootin' :samus:


--------------------
"Smooth the Edges,
Loosen the Tangles,
Soften the Light,
Merge with the Dust"
-The Tao, Minford Translation

Mushroom brain - Sparassis


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OfflineSurfiingbird
Stranger

Registered: 06/23/16
Posts: 50
Last seen: 2 days, 1 hour
Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: Ancient Mariner]
    #26873968 - 08/10/20 09:41 PM (3 days, 3 hours ago)

Get the sw sp101 match champion 357 or the Ruger sp101


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OfflineSurfiingbird
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Registered: 06/23/16
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Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: Surfiingbird]
    #26873970 - 08/10/20 09:41 PM (3 days, 3 hours ago)

Or if you can afford it of course the python is the nicest


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OfflineSurfiingbird
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Re: What revolver should I get? [Re: Surfiingbird]
    #26873973 - 08/10/20 09:42 PM (3 days, 3 hours ago)

Now days you can get a brand new AR15 for cheaper than most nice revolvers I’d look into that


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