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Discussion Starter #1
I never thought this would happen, after many years of asking my parents to have something at home for self-defense, my Dad just asked me to take him next Saturday to buy a revolver.

My problem, I don’t know much about revolvers. He is in his 80s and mostly wants something to have at home. What can you all recommend for us to look at that won’t break the bank?

He used to own a couple .357 magnum revolvers when he was a business owner in Cuba. That was before I was born, so it was a LONG time ago! He wants a .357, I know that can have a bit of a kick but I can just get him 38 special ammo.

He even wants to get his carry license, he says he is not planning to carry outside the house. He just wants to have it, in case something happens and he needs to. The fact he’s doing this tells me I should help him pick a revolver that serves both well, home & carry.

(I still can’t believe he finally came around!)
 

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This will probably result in scorn but Taurus (yes, I said it!) makes a nice revolver. I own(ed) 2 model 605 snubnose (2") models (gave the better one to my daughter recently). It shoots .38spl AND .357 if you so desire. Surprisingly not a bad kick with the 357's for a small gun but I like and carry, occasionally, .38spl +P. I believe it was around $3-400 range and is a good gun. WITH a lifetime warranty. I bought the first one USED and abused. Couldn't get it right, hammer pivot was broken from frame. Sent it back and they sent me a BRAND NEW SS REVOLVER! $0 Recommended.
 

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I would also suggest any of the 4" Ruger offerings if on a tight budget. Based upon my own experience, I think the QC is much better than anything from Taurus. If he is open to purchasing a used gun, take a look atthe SW 686 or 642 airweight. The 642 is only a 38 however.
 

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How is his dexterity? If he is in pretty good shape a .357 might not be out of the question. As robhic suggested, Taurus makes some good revolvers that can be had at a reasonable cost. The model 85 is a compact 2.5" .38Spl. that is available for just over $200. My choice would be a nice used S&W model 10 heavy barrel. It is a "K" frame .38 Spl. that has been the choice of police depts. worldwide in various forms since the early 20th century. It's a great revolver that is tough as nails that can be found on the used market at fair prices. S&W also makes some nice "J" frame snubbies that might also work for him. I have nothing against Ruger, in fact, I own several, but the GP series is a heavy piece that may be a bit much for your father. Some revolvers have stiff actions, so be certain that he is able to easily cycle the revolver double action.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This will probably result in scorn but Taurus (yes, I said it!) makes a nice revolver. I own(ed) 2 model 605 snubnose (2") models (gave the better one to my daughter recently). It shoots .38spl AND .357 if you so desire. Surprisingly not a bad kick with the 357's for a small gun but I like and carry, occasionally, .38spl +P. I believe it was around $3-400 range and is a good gun. WITH a lifetime warranty. I bought the first one USED and abused. Couldn't get it right, hammer pivot was broken from frame. Sent it back and they sent me a BRAND NEW SS REVOLVER! $0 Recommended.
There are a few 605 models here, which one is the one you have and like? I'm making him a spreadsheet with the particulars, the URLs will give him more info. This way he'll better informed when we go Saturday.

Thank you! :)

ETA - oops, forgot the link: http://www.taurususa.com/gun-selector-results.cfm?series=CC2&toggle=tr
 

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What's the price range?
He has $300, I told him that would be enough (he doesn't know I'm putting whatever is missing).

ETA: I'll like to keep my contribution toward the revolver at around $100 since I'll also be getting him the holster, ammo and his first class.
 
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I never thought this would happen...
While I'm not necessarily trying to move you away from a firearm, would you/he consider a Taser?

I am a Taser instructor and can tell you the civilian version of the Taser can be very effective without the lethal force concerns.

Just a suggestion...
 

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This will probably result in scorn but Taurus (yes, I said it!) makes a nice revolver. I own(ed) 2 model 605 snubnose (2") models (gave the better one to my daughter recently).
Not a bad idea. SWMBO has a Taurus (along with her S&W). It's been flawless and a very good value (< $300). I have an 8" Taurus 8 shot 357Mag with ported barrel. I can shoot the knees offa bees with it.

Once had the Taurus at the range, when I was told no pistols on the rifle range by the RO. I pointed to my target and those on either side of me. My groups were tighter. He left me alone.

If on a budget, not a bad way to go.
 

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In that price range, I'd go Taurus. I've got two of their revolvers, and have had no problems, and I shoot them regularly.
 

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A lightweight snub in .38 makes the most sense IMO.

The elderly tend to have pretty slow reaction times, so the likelihood of an incident becoming a close-quarter scenario is high. A snub revolver offers excellent weapon retention and allows muzzle contact shots.

I also would recommend it being DAO(double action only). No hammer to accidently cock(hair trigger/unintentional discharge) and/or have to be uncocked which requires a bit of manual dexterity. An enclosed hammer models has no hammer to snag, become entangled in clothing or get blocked during a defense situation. It could even be fired from inside a jacket pocket and it's extremely simple-just point and shoot.

I would look at a S&W 642. You should be able to find one within his budget. If the trigger is too stiff, a gunsmith can do a trigger job making it easier to pull. Another option might be the Ruger LCR which has a little lighter factory trigger pull.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I would also suggest any of the 4" Ruger offerings if on a tight budget. Based upon my own experience, I think the QC is much better than anything from Taurus. If he is open to purchasing a used gun, take a look atthe SW 686 or 642 airweight. The 642 is only a 38 however.

Pardon my ignorance, what is QC?

I looked at the S&W. OUCH! The price is steep.

We have a Ruger Security 6 (6 inch barrel) we bought a while ago from an officer’s widow that my husband loved! My dad said that one is tad too big, so I think a 4 inch or so barrel will be up his alley. He said he didn’t want something tiny or light, he wants full weight steel gun. He also said he didn't trust a used revolver.

(I keep calling him for additional info, obviously I had not asked all the questions I should have)
 

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Pardon my ignorance, what is QC?

I looked at the S&W. OUCH! The price is steep.

We have a Ruger Security 6 (6 inch barrel) we bought a while ago from an officer’s widow that my husband loved! My dad said that one is tad too big, so I think a 4 inch or so barrel will be up his alley. He said he didn’t want something tiny or light, he wants full weight steel gun. He also said he didn't trust a used revolver.

(I keep calling him for additional info, obviously I had not asked all the questions I should have)
No problem. "QC" means "quality control". It sounds like your father is a man who knows what he wants! I respect that.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
How is his dexterity? If he is in pretty good shape a .357 might not be out of the question. As robhic suggested, Taurus makes some good revolvers that can be had at a reasonable cost. The model 85 is a compact 2.5" .38Spl. that is available for just over $200. My choice would be a nice used S&W model 10 heavy barrel. It is a "K" frame .38 Spl. that has been the choice of police depts. worldwide in various forms since the early 20th century. It's a great revolver that is tough as nails that can be found on the used market at fair prices. S&W also makes some nice "J" frame snubbies that might also work for him. I have nothing against Ruger, in fact, I own several, but the GP series is a heavy piece that may be a bit much for your father. Some revolvers have stiff actions, so be certain that he is able to easily cycle the revolver double action.

He is not fast, but his coordination of movement is perfect. My son was saying the same thing about the .357, especially since he wants a full weight.

Does S&W and Ruger have life time warranties that would extend to someone that is not the original owner?

Just on the phone with my son he has one revolver that the timing went off and the cylinder didn’t line up, it only fires properly when used single action and he pulls the hammer back. That is one reason he won’t discourage his grandfather from wanting to go new.

We have just distributed the remainder of the cost between him and me. I’ll get the first $100 over what he has, the holster, speed loader, ammo and CCW class. My son will pay for the CCW license and the second $100 excess. So we’re up to $500 for the cost of revolver. Things are looking up! :)
 

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If you know how to inspect whatever revolver you're looking at before buying, definitely consider a Taurus if the price is good.
I'd probably lean toward a medium to medium small gun like the ruger sp101 with the 3" barrel. Pretty manageable with defense loaded +p .38sp ammo or mid velocity (aka 'short barrel') .357 loads. Its a five shooter and has good heft without being overly weighty like the gp100 or L frame S&W guns.
If you're trying to stay around $400 it'll be tough to find anything new in S&W or Rugers besides the small airweight guns with will likely be difficult to shoot.
Used guns might get you the medium frame .38sp fixed sight guns like the S&W model 10,15 etc...known as 'K' frames. These are very good options and will still offer plenty of power from .38sp defense ammo and the typical 4" bbl.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
While I'm not necessarily trying to move you away from a firearm, would you/he consider a Taser?

I am a Taser instructor and can tell you the civilian version of the Taser can be very effective without the lethal force concerns.

Just a suggestion...
Thank you, Joe. There have been several robberies/burglaries in their general vicinity with multiple criminals involved. They don’t go out much so it would be to be used if anyone actually breaks in the house.

I got them a taser & OC Spray back in 2008. They have shown no interest in it at all, it’s just sitting in a cabinet. :(
 

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There are a few 605 models here, which one is the one you have and like? I'm making him a spreadsheet with the particulars, the URLs will give him more info. This way he'll better informed when we go Saturday.

Thank you! :)

ETA - oops, forgot the link: http://www.taurususa.com/gun-selector-results.cfm?series=CC2&toggle=tr
Looked at the site, mine was a 38/357. Looks like the new are 38 OR 357 but getting a 357 and shooting 38+P in it would work. I had a 605SS (that I kept just cuz) and gave the 605B (blued finish) in better shape to my daughter. Both shot well, well made and cost me less than $400 IIRC. I like the lifetime warranty. They DO stand behind their products. Guns were light enough to be easy to manage but not TOO light to make recoil unpleasant (even with 357). 2" barrel, rubber grip also helps grip and recoil. I just wanted a revolver when I bought the first (SS) one. Liked it so much I got the 2nd one (blued finish) just to keep it company in the safe! :supergrin: They shot well and my baby girl is NOT a shooter but she does well with this gun and +P. Recommended. Good luck.
 
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