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Old 04-16-2012, 12:56   #1
Irelander
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.22MAG Revolver - Charter, S&W or Taurus

I have been looking around for a snubnose .22MAG revolver mostly for plinking but could be a decent pocket gun. I had my heart set on a S&W 351PD but besides not being able to find one anywhere, I've heard of some issues with them. I also have been looking at the Taurus 941SS2 or the Charter Pathfinder. Could any of you guys with experience with these 3 revolvers give me your comments and advice. I'm looking for owner experiences.

Please don't tell me that I should get a .38SP instead.
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Old 04-16-2012, 13:55   #2
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Based on the price of .22 Mag ammunition if I were in the market for a .22 mag revolver I would be looking for one with a .22 lr cylinder also.
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Old 04-16-2012, 14:14   #3
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Based on the price of .22 Mag ammunition if I were in the market for a .22 mag revolver I would be looking for one with a .22 lr cylinder also.
.22 mag is still about the same price or a little cheaper then 9mm and is still cheaper than every other caliber except .22lr.

In .22wmr DA revolver all have issues with heavy triggers. I don't know too much about the Charter arms, but that is a 6 shot, and the S&W 351C is a 7 shot while the Taurus 941 is a 8 shot. some 941 have issues with the cylinders locking up after heavy use. I would go with either the S&W 351C (the PD model is too expensive) or the Charter Arms.

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Old 04-16-2012, 14:21   #4
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I don't think this gun will get heavy use. Most likely it will end up being my wife's gun. I also want an exposed hammer so the 351C is out.
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Last edited by Irelander; 04-16-2012 at 14:32..
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Old 04-16-2012, 15:14   #5
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I agree .22WMR is less expensive than 9mm but to me at least, it is still not in the same price arena as .22lr. ANd I guess maybe part of it is because I have always thought one of these would be a nice addition

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Old 04-16-2012, 18:08   #6
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I almost bought a 317 snubby. It is only a .22lr, but why not? Also thought about the Beretta bobcat .22lr little semi.

Decided to go with the 63 stainless steel .22lr j frame 3" (don't have it yet). Also had thought about a larger 617, so the 63 seemed a compromise

No matter what you find, someone can surely order what you want. But none of those S&W are cheap.
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Old 04-16-2012, 20:18   #7
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Based on the price of .22 Mag ammunition if I were in the market for a .22 mag revolver I would be looking for one with a .22 lr cylinder also.
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Old 04-16-2012, 20:32   #8
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I had my heart set on a S&W 351PD but besides not being able to find one anywhere, I've heard of some issues with them.
What issues have you heard of them?

Any gun make/model ever made has more than a dozen guys with stories of them being defective or hunks of junk.

If you happen across what those guys say, it will taint your view of the product. Otherwise you might buy the gun and be happy as a clam with it.

What is lacking is any statistical perspective. Also lacking is the inside knowledge of older problems that the company has since fixed.

I gotta believe that anything Smith and Wesson keeps for sale, and not on recall, is worth the likelihood that it is a good gun. Especially revolvers

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Old 04-16-2012, 20:34   #9
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I've had a C-Arms Pathfinder for about 30 yrs. It's 22LR with a 3" bbl. Great little revolver. I don't know anything about the Smith or Taurus.
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Old 04-16-2012, 20:37   #10
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Ive own a s&w, taurus, and charter arms before.

S&w was the best, taurus was a good runner up except for the internal lock.

The charter arms pathfinder i had was an old school 3" gun and a descent shooter.

I can not risk my money on a new c.a. Gun without trying it out first.
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Old 04-16-2012, 21:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelander View Post
I have been looking around for a snubnose .22MAG revolver mostly for plinking but could be a decent pocket gun. I had my heart set on a S&W 351PD but besides not being able to find one anywhere, I've heard of some issues with them. I also have been looking at the Taurus 941SS2 or the Charter Pathfinder. Could any of you guys with experience with these 3 revolvers give me your comments and advice. I'm looking for owner experiences.

Please don't tell me that I should get a .38SP instead.
I have a S&W Model 651 and 650. Both are in stainless steel J frame. The 651 is 4" with adjustable sights and 650 is 3" with fix sights.

The only issues I have is it get harder to eject the empties as you shoot. I take a cleaning brush with cleaner/lubricate and clean cylinder.

These two don't get shot that much because they are part of J frame collection. If I'm plinking I take the 22's. If I'm packing I take 38/357's.

Let us know how the 351PD works out. It is a J frame and I do collect them.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:09   #12
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Originally Posted by ithaca_deerslayer View Post
What issues have you heard of them?

Any gun make/model ever made has more than a dozen guys with stories of them being defective or hunks of junk.

If you happen across what those guys say, it will taint your view of the product. Otherwise you might buy the gun and be happy as a clam with it.

What is lacking is any statistical perspective. Also lacking is the inside knowledge of older problems that the company has since fixed.

I gotta believe that anything Smith and Wesson keeps for sale, and not on recall, is worth the likelihood that it is a good gun. Especially revolvers
Over on smith-wessonforum.com I read about a lot of guys having issues with flame cutting on the frame of the 351PD. The general consensus was that S&W "forgot" to put in a stainless steel bushing that protects the frame from flame cutting. There are also many reports of the 351PD having a less than enjoyable DA trigger pull and many reports of frequent trips back to S&W for service.

I agree that my experience may be different and S&W may have worked out some of these issues but I have not heard that they have. I am a Glock man and am not used to maintenance and repairs on my guns.

I'm pretty set on the 351PD but the all stainless Taurus 941 is tempting. I also like that it has adjustable sights.
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Last edited by Irelander; 04-17-2012 at 07:12..
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:53   #13
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I have shot the Taurus and the trigger is horrible, the Charter Arms is heavy, the S&W nice and light, but very pricey. I like the Smith, but can't justify paying thayt much for 22.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:02   #14
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I have shot the Taurus and the trigger is horrible, the Charter Arms is heavy, the S&W nice and light, but very pricey. I like the Smith, but can't justify paying thayt much for 22.
"Can't justify paying that much for a 22" statement always mystifies me. How can a manufacture cut cost on making a revolver? A 22 will get shot more and earn it's value.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:39   #15
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I've been reading a little about the S&W 317 (.22LR). This J-frame sounds pretty good too. I've also been reading about the lack of benefits of a .22MAG over the .22LR in such a short barrel. I'm going to research it some more but it looks like the ballistics aren't much different between the .22LR and .22MAG out of a 2" barrel. The .22MAG barks a lot more but overall power doesn't seem much different until you reach 5" of barrel length. Then the benefits of .22MAG start to show. At least that is what I am reading. I am starting to think that a 317 loaded with 8 CCI Stingers would be just as good as a 351PD loaded with .22MAG.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:42   #16
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"Can't justify paying that much for a 22" statement always mystifies me. How can a manufacture cut cost on making a revolver? A 22 will get shot more and earn it's value.
Ahh but look at the price of a S&W .38 revolver like the 642 and the 442, then look at the price of the S&W rimfire revolvers like the the 317, the 63 and the 617. The price is almost double, sometimes more.

I'm sorry but how can it be $300 more to make a 317, when the cylinder is not made of steel like the 642, but aluminum. Taurus, Ruger, Charter Arms (and others like Colt and Dan Wesson BACK IN THE DAY) have no problems making a .22lr revolver the same price as their centerfire counterparts. S&W does it because S&W can. They act like Sig Sauer sometimes.

I know $300 to $500 difference in price can be made up with ammo cost, but that will take awhile, and why should you be forced to justify that when its not an issue with every other revolver manufacture.

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Old 04-17-2012, 09:33   #17
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I've been reading a little about the S&W 317 (.22LR). This J-frame sounds pretty good too. I've also been reading about the lack of benefits of a .22MAG over the .22LR in such a short barrel. I'm going to research it some more but it looks like the ballistics aren't much different between the .22LR and .22MAG out of a 2" barrel. The .22MAG barks a lot more but overall power doesn't seem much different until you reach 5" of barrel length. Then the benefits of .22MAG start to show. At least that is what I am reading. I am starting to think that a 317 loaded with 8 CCI Stingers would be just as good as a 351PD loaded with .22MAG.
I haven't done the backyard tests myself, but that is my conclusion as well

So for my own personal choice, I prefer to have the .22lr in a short barreled handgun instead of a .22mag.

And for the record, I do have a plenty of .22mag ammo on hand. I have a Ruger 96/.22mag lever action carbine that I absolutely love. I have tested that against the .22lr in rifles, and it is far superior

One thing I notice about the .22mag pistols at the range is that they are LOUD! Louder than a 9mm it seems (don't know if empirically true, but sure seems that way).

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Old 04-17-2012, 09:37   #18
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...others like Colt and Dan Wesson have no problems making a .22lr revolver the same price as their centerfire counterparts.
Cool, I'm going to look up the manufacturer's websites for some available new Colt and Dan Wesson revolvers!

I'm optimistic on what I'll find. I love my Dan Wesson .44 mag, so it will be great to get a new one in .22!

And I've always wanted a new Colt .22 revolver. Now is the time!

Thanks for the tips
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:40   #19
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Just got through shooting my new Taurus 991 4" .22 mag I got from Bud's on sale for $273.00. Double action is a little stiff. Single action is great. One chamber is a little rough which makes ejection of the empties a little stiff. I can clean that up pretty quick with a drill and bore brush. Fits my hand well, sights are very good, grip is nice. Overall, I am pretty happy with it for the price.
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Old 04-17-2012, 14:09   #20
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Thanks for the input Frog1.

I am leaning towards the 317 (found one new for $564 shipped to my dealer, $594 when all said and done) but the Taurus 94 price point cannot be ignored.
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Old 04-17-2012, 14:55   #21
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Thanks for the input Frog1.

I am leaning towards the 317 (found one new for $564 shipped to my dealer, $594 when all said and done) but the Taurus 94 price point cannot be ignored.
I would defiantly go with the 317 or the 351.
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Old 04-17-2012, 20:29   #22
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Thanks for the input Frog1.

I am leaning towards the 317 (found one new for $564 shipped to my dealer, $594 when all said and done) but the Taurus 94 price point cannot be ignored.
If it means anything I bought a 317 over 10 years ago that my wife really likes. It is before fiber optic front sight and it has been trouble free. I also have one of the first S&W Model 63 (I bought it new in late 1970's) that also been trouble free. That one has been shot a lot by several different people and never a complaint.

I never got around to chronographing my 22 magnums it was/is common knowledge that you get about the same velocity of 22 rifle but from a 4" revolver.

That would be an easy thing for me to check this summer and get back to you.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:27   #23
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Cool, I'm going to look up the manufacturer's websites for some available new Colt and Dan Wesson revolvers!

I'm optimistic on what I'll find. I love my Dan Wesson .44 mag, so it will be great to get a new one in .22!

And I've always wanted a new Colt .22 revolver. Now is the time!

Thanks for the tips
Smarty pants, you know I meant Colt and Dan Wesson in the past tense

Now I got to edit.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:40   #24
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Yea I have heard a lot of guys say that they really enjoy the 317 as to their wives. Pretty sure I'm going with the 317. I ordered a 629 that should be in tomorrow, it is my first dip into revolvers. From what I've heard, I may be setting myself up for a new addiction.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:01   #25
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Smarty pants, you know I meant Colt and Dan Wesson in the past tense

Now I got to edit.
Good sport. Yeah, I don't know why the .22s are so expensive. Maybe it is a supply vs demand thing.

When I went looking in gun stores just these past couple weeks for a .22 double action revolver, there were very few Smith and Wessons, no Colts, and a lot of Taurus.

I'd say the Taurus outnumbered the Smith and Wesson by 10 to 1. But if you were looking for a .38, then there were a lot of Smith and Wesson to choose from, and even some Colts.
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