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Old 03-31-2012, 12:11 AM
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Default Snub nose revolver only for carrying?

Hello S&W forums. i just purchased my first handgun, an M&P 9mm, and am in the 10 day waiting period....and i know its silly, but i am already looking forward to what my next gun purchase is going to be a year for now.

anyway, i am looking at revolvers and have a question.

is the only benefit of a snubbie over a standard revolver the ease of carry as a concealed weapon? i dont plan on getting a carry license, and i have a shotgun for home defense, so my pistols will just be for recreation/target shooting...considering that, is there any reason that i should consider snub nose revolvers over standard?
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:16 AM
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In my opinion, no. Get a 3" to 6" K-frame 38 special for fun at the range.



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Old 03-31-2012, 12:22 AM
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I love shooting snubbies at the range. I enjoy them more than full size revolvers, but they are harder to shoot well. More recoil, shorter sight radius, etc.

Try one out and see for yourself.
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:24 AM
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Easier handling and easier concealment are the advantages to a snubby. Snubbies do lose out in terms of velocity, vs. a revolver with a longer barrel. As well, the shorter sight radius of a snubby can make it more difficult to shoot accurately. However, a shorter barrel, provided the twist rate is correct for the cartridge and bullet weight to be used, is no less inherently accurate than any other barrel length.

As with all things, there are always trade-offs. If you never intend to conceal, then a snubby may not be the best choice for you. Also, if you intend to shoot your (future) revolver at longer distances, say past 25 yards, then a snubby won't be the best choice. They are best at self-defense distances.

Lots of people enjoy them, including myself, but the trade-offs must be considered.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:22 AM
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Dragon88 is right on - you'll have an enormous amount of fun with a K frame 38 Special. At least, that's been my experience with my under-$300 Model 10 with a 4" heavy barrel. Hundreds of rounds of 158g lead rounds at cowboy load velocities leave only soot, not lead, to clean up. And no hand or wrist pain on old joints, even if I throw in a dozen or two +P rounds just for grins.

That said, I probably shoot as many if not more rounds through my 2" 649 (all stainless.) It IS harder to knock down steel plates at 25 yards consistently with the snubbie than with the longer barrel, but it's a lot more satisfying when you do. The steel gun is heavy enough not to be particularly punishing with cowboy loads, but I find that an Airweight 442 snubbie starts to get old pretty quickly, even with light loads, unless I put a big cushy Pachmayr grip on it. YMMV on this point if your joints are younger and/or tougher than mine. But if it were me looking at a snubbie I'd go for an all stainless gun unless I absolutely knew I wanted to carry it in a jacket or pants pocket, were the much lighter weight DOES make a big difference.

You say you have a shotgun for home defense. I wouldn't argue against that choice, but you might also consider the "convenience" that a small but powerful handgun might offer over the long gun if you were to find yourself maneuvering in a confined space (hallway, curved staircase, etc.) With a laser grip on it, a snubbie revolver will put a round exactly where the red dot is (if you've adjusted the sight properly and practiced a bit) without your having to align sights in front of your eye. And there's very little for an attacker to grab in an attempt to disarm you, should things ever get to that close quarters. Just a thought.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:10 AM
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I agree with the other posts regarding the advantages of a snubbie, but given the OP's stated purpose for the revolver as a fun range gun, I would strongly recommend against starting with a snubbie as your first revolver. They are more difficult to shoot accurately, and IMO much less fun to shoot. My suggestion, for what it's worth, would be for a 4" K or L frame 357 mag. That way you have the versatility of shooting 357 mag or 38 special. Someday you'll probably want a snubbie too, but I would not recommend starting with one or you might get discouraged with revolvers!
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCDWYO View Post
...but given the OP's stated purpose for the revolver as a fun range gun, I would strongly recommend against starting with a snubbie as your first revolver. They are more difficult to shoot accurately, and IMO much less fun to shoot.
I agree with this. Get maybe a Model 10 with at least a four-inch barrel. It will be easier to shoot accurately at the range. You can always get the snubby down the road.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:58 AM
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thanks guys, i'm already looking at handgun #2 during my waiting period of # 1...so i know i'm not gonna stop at only 2, sounds like i should def go with a standard revolver for my first of that type
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:04 AM
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Yes, if it is only for range use, and possibly for use in the home then I would consider a 4 or even better a 6" revolver.

While a 38 Special would work just fine you might think about a 357 Mag.

You can shoot 38's, and 357 Mags.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:49 AM
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For the stated purposes, range/recreation, my suggestion would be a 6" K22. 500 rounds of 22 for the price of 50 38 spec. Just as much fun.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:26 AM
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Consider looking at a Model 17 K22 revolver. It has a six inch barrel.
Then when you decide you need another gun and you will. Look at a Model 14 K38.
These two guns are of the same configuration and weight. Cheap to shoot and accurate as any made.

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Old 03-31-2012, 10:51 AM
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Here are a few k frames I enjoy shooting. Police trade-ins, bought on the net. Snubs are great for carry, and you will probably end up with one, but for fun at the range, start out with a K.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&Patrick View Post
Hello S&W forums. i just purchased my first handgun, an M&P 9mm, and am in the 10 day waiting period....and i know its silly, but i am already looking forward to what my next gun purchase is going to be a year for now.

anyway, i am looking at revolvers and have a question.

is the only benefit of a snubbie over a standard revolver the ease of carry as a concealed weapon? i dont plan on getting a carry license, and i have a shotgun for home defense, so my pistols will just be for recreation/target shooting...considering that, is there any reason that i should consider snub nose revolvers over standard?
I CARRY and SHOOT my S&W revolvers.

I would strongly recommend 2.5"-4" K/L frame 38/357 models.

You can : Have plenty of fun at the range. Carry it, if and when You will carry. Home protection . ETC.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:04 PM
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3" K frame covers all the bases.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:05 PM
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Check YouTube for videos of Bob Munden. There's at least one of him popping a gallon jug at a hundred yards with a 2' M36!
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:19 PM
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3" K frame covers all the bases.
Yes it does. +1!
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:26 PM
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Yes it does. +1!
+ 1 for me also. My 10-5 with 3" barrell is my favorite smith and wesson.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:45 PM
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If you're that serious get 2 revolvers, a .38 (some previously mentioned) and a .22. I have 2 favorites, a 617 4" and a 14-3 (6"). Both shoot better than I ever will, the 617 likes (cheap) bulk ammo and the 14-3 reloaded HBWC. And if you want SS, I'd consider a 67. It's my 3rd choice for the range. Then there's......Oh forget it - buying guns is like eating potato chips, you can't have just one.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:49 PM
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Model 13/65 and 10/64 with three inch barrel (assuming they shoot close to the point of aim ) are some of the very best revolvers to carry .

They are also big enough to enjoy them at the range out to 25 yards and beyond .
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:50 PM
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Default Iggy beat me to it...

for pure fun...a 22lr. The money you save is untold. Your bank account will love you for it. You can spend $23 for WW white box for 100 rounds or get 500 plus rounds of 22lr for under $20. It will improve your shooting for sure. Most women love a low recoil handgun. And you can use them at steel match's. Also a lot of fun. What you save in ammo will pay for your revolver!
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:20 PM
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22's are fun. I've had this one for years. My second gun was a model 17, gone now ((((((. My first gun was a model 14, gone too((((((((((( DON'T EVER SELL YOUR FIRST GUN!
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:29 PM
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If you arent going to get a ccw permit there isnt much advantage to a snub except maybe to throw it in your robe pocket to answer the door. Kind of like buying a car without a drivers license.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:36 AM
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In my opinion, the best are the K frame S&W revolvers for this use,consider Model 10, Model 15, Model 17, Model 19 and Model 66 with 2" to 6" barrels, but also the J frame Model 36 or Model 60 5 shot snubbies are very nice to shoot!!!!, and with proper ammo very accurate up to 25yds.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:43 AM
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The 2" K Frame doesn't give up anything in the accuracy department, it is just that the sights on the longer barrels are easier to shoot more accurately. For a change of pace and great fun, a 2" Mod 15 is hard to beat.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCDWYO View Post
I agree with the other posts regarding the advantages of a snubbie, but given the OP's stated purpose for the revolver as a fun range gun, I would strongly recommend against starting with a snubbie as your first revolver. They are more difficult to shoot accurately, and IMO much less fun to shoot. My suggestion, for what it's worth, would be for a 4" K or L frame 357 mag. That way you have the versatility of shooting 357 mag or 38 special. Someday you'll probably want a snubbie too, but I would not recommend starting with one or you might get discouraged with revolvers!
General wisdom would say you are correct. However, having a snub as a first gun is not always a negative. My wife's first gun was a Ruger LCR with a Crimson Trace Laser. She learned on it and loves it. What did it for her was the unique and easy trigger action. She has used the laser as a training aid, learning how to hold the red dot on the target while dry firing. This has helped her to learn to shoot accurately even without the laser. I believe a snub as a first gun is fine, as long as it is the right snub and a person has correct training. Also, our "range guns" are snubs. That is what we love to shoot even when we just want to enjoy time at the range. As a matter of fact, my first handgun was a snub and a snub is what I still conceal carry today.

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Old 06-01-2012, 06:16 AM
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There is one other reason to have a snub: convenience of carry. Even if you are in a rural area its convenient to have your handgun in your pocket instead of in a holster. You might stop at a gas station and want to go into the store but then you have to remove your holster first.

If you get injured and need to signal a buddy to come help, you can fire your gun off to alert him to come help you. Handy to finish off a deer or boar as well. I always have a .357 and/or a .22 in my jeans pocket when I'm afield.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:36 AM
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Below are two 'fun' snubbies that can be left loaded as 'home/car protection', if you need a rationale to purchase one. Their forte, in my opinion, is to be used as plinkers, the rearward balance they possess making them great extensions of your hand. Can you reliably hit a 16" steel plate at 110 yd with them with .38 plinker loads while hand holding them? Probably not - except with practice. I guess therein is the fun. The benefit is simple - your marksmanship at shorter range - even your shooting stance - will improve.



The 2 5/8" PC627 UDR is a .357 Magnum, so you can launch some potent lead with it. It's an eight shot N-frame - from S&W's 'Performance Center' and currently available new at a decent discount for ~$900 new. The blued 2" 10 was the last production run of the venerable 10 and was made 12/02. They are scarce - and pricey.

A .22 LR (rimfire) revolver can be a great deal of fun. A J-frame, the smaller frame, like the current 3" 63, an 8-shot, can be a great plinker, yet be carried in a jacket pocket or holstered. Very frugal to shoot, even if the ~$630 initial price is a tad dear. New S&Ws have a lifetime warranty, too - the call and s/h are on S&W, too. Good luck!

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Old 06-01-2012, 08:09 AM
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You're getting lots of good advice here. Since you have excluded concealed carry I'll jump on the bandwagon and also recommend a 4 - 6 inch K frame .22 or .38 for your next gun. In your setting the only recommendation I would give in favor of a 2" J frame .38 would be for a gun to tuck in your hip pocket when you answer an unexpected knock at the door.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:21 AM
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I enjoy the challenge of shooting a short barrel revolver. They wouldn't be what I would recommend for a first revolver though. Get a 4" K frame for that.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:27 AM
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If concealed carry was never an option, the only revolvers I'd own would have, at minimum, 6 inch barrels.

I had a 6 inch 686 that was sheer joy at the range.

I'm not a very good shot and I'm better with larger, long barreled guns.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:55 AM
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4" M10's are dirt-cheap and abundant. The cop gun for a century and 1/2 the price of some of the .22's mentioned. You can't go wrong.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
Consider looking at a Model 17 K22 revolver. It has a six inch barrel.
Then when you decide you need another gun and you will. Look at a Model 14 K38.
These two guns are of the same configuration and weight. Cheap to shoot and accurate as any made.

If you love to shoot and practice your skills Iggy is right on about getting a 22LR revolver as you can shoot to your hearts content for less then $20. This also lets you practice all the essential shooting skills like sight alignment, trigger control and stance for just a little bit of money. It's also a great tool to teach new shooters these basic skills. Everyone should have a 22LR revolver in their collection for this purpose. Iggy's also right in that after that you can buy a Model 14 with 6 inch barrel or a Model 15 with 4 inch barrel if you like revolvers with adjustable sights.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:50 AM
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Your four inch and longer barrel guns usually will provide for better accuracy in your target shooting.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&Patrick View Post
Hello S&W forums. i just purchased my first handgun, an M&P 9mm, and am in the 10 day waiting period....and i know its silly, but i am already looking forward to what my next gun purchase is going to be a year for now.

anyway, i am looking at revolvers and have a question.

is the only benefit of a snubbie over a standard revolver the ease of carry as a concealed weapon? i dont plan on getting a carry license, and i have a shotgun for home defense, so my pistols will just be for recreation/target shooting...considering that, is there any reason that i should consider snub nose revolvers over standard?
For your situation snub nose really wouldnt matter unless you wanted to hide it in a tight/small discrete location somewhere in your home. Other then that for recreation/target/range work the snub nose in any caliber, altho in some calibers its minimal, will be harder to shoot. Via recoil/sight radius/weight/grip size/etc etc. I recommend looking at the Model 60's, 640(snub but with more weight then the 642/442), 686/P's, 617's (.22). As those could if need be be used in your home again if need be. Obviously with the 617 the shot placement is alot more detremental. That is not saying that with the others or any other caliber that shot placement isnt key.

Revolvers are like 1911's its a wonderful sickness.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:25 AM
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A .357/38 spl revolver with a 4" barrel is probably the best compromise for fun and service. It is long enough to shoot accurately and short enough to carry if the need arises.

A 6" barrel is hard to carry without a service or western style holster. It is the length of choice for serious paper punching or hunting, however. A 3" or shorter barrel is very easy to conceal, and more than accurate enough for self defense.

I've gone down the 6" route, but my current favorites are 3" S& W in .357 or .44 magnum for self defense on the trail and sometimes in town (for variety, with adequate cover wear). I get 6" groups at 10 yards, or better.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:05 AM
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get a nice 4-8" barreled .22 or 357/38.......they are the ultimate range guns.

heres one of my favorite range guns....617 8 3/8"


and a new to me 686-3 snub i just picked up...should be a fun gun
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:40 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

No, there's no advantage to a snubbie other than concealability.

Don't get me wrong - I love them and have 2 (or three depending on your definition).

They are harder to shoot well than, say, a 4" or longer handgun.

That's my 2 cents anyway.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:38 PM
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Why wouldn't you get a Lic To Carry if you could or required to if you wanted to carry???
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
If you arent going to get a ccw permit there isnt much advantage to a snub except maybe to throw it in your robe pocket to answer the door. Kind of like buying a car without a drivers license.
You bring up a good point. I feel that I need 2 guns for home defense. If I hear someone breaking in--shotgun. Stranger knocking on the door--snubby in my pocket. I have an assortment of revolvers with various barrel lengths--K frames, Troopers, D frame Colts, J frames. I shoot the snubbies the most--usually at silhouettes. It's personal preference like a lot of things. If the writer has a thing for snubbies (as I do from watching too much 'Dragnet' as a small child) he should get one. I'd only suggest he go with a steel frame since he's not going to be carrying and they're more pleasant to shoot than alloy. The Colt D specials are classic, and my Model 10 2" is a great, easy-shooting revolver. A 3" would be good too, and more versatile as someone pointed out.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:07 AM
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Neumann has it right, I think.

Some years ago the gun writers were promoting the all round gun. That would be a 357, four inch, adjustable sights, double action, stainless. Like some others said here = short enough to carry, long enough to be accurate. Shoot 38 for practice/fun and have the option of magnum when needed. I still believe it would be hard to beat for an all around gun. Just an opinion.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:16 AM
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22's are fun. I've had this one for years. My second gun was a model 17, gone now ((((((. My first gun was a model 14, gone too((((((((((( DON'T EVER SELL YOUR FIRST GUN!
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:12 AM
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Default BAHAHAHA!!!!

I remember my first purchase 9mm followed by the decision to buy a snubbie because I needed it for concealed carry (which I bought), followed by the decision that I needed a larger caliber to take with me hunting for wild animals (which I bought).....Followed by the need for a shorter barrel large caliber for prolonged hunting and camping trips, more convenient (which I bought).....followed by a 45 acp for more round capacity than the large caliber handguns & more power than the 9mm I originally owned (still love that 45 I went out and bought)........Welcome to the club my friend. You have taken the first steps on a long journey, and it is just getting started.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
Consider looking at a Model 17 K22 revolver. It has a six inch barrel.
Then when you decide you need another gun and you will. Look at a Model 14 K38.
These two guns are of the same configuration and weight. Cheap to shoot and accurate as any made.

Iggy-your post is like giving crack to a kid on the street.
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