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Heading to my LGS this weekend to buy my first revolver. I'm going to purchase a Ruger Single Six with two cylinders for 22lr and 22wmr. I've shot revolvers before but never owned one. It got me thinking, what do people generally prefer? A 22 is a plinker. But, eventually I want to get a .357. Given that I have limited experience with revolvers, what do all you experienced revolver owners prefer? Single or Double Action? And why? Thanks.
 

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The single action I have my eye out for currently is the Ruger Blackhawk with interchangeable cylinders 1) .38/357 2) 9mm. Found one but they wanted it more than I did.
Interesting. I'll have to do some research on that model. I like the idea of a cylinder for 9mm. I'm getting a Rossi .357 Lever soon and I want a revolver to pair it up with.
 

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Interesting. I'll have to do some research on that model. I like the idea of a cylinder for 9mm. I'm getting a Rossi .357 Lever soon and I want a revolver to pair it up with.
I have a few .38/357 revolvers a lever action .38/357 rifle and a reloading press are part of my game plan.
 

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I love SA revolvers, LOVE them! But for practicality, Double Action is the way to go. Unless you train a lot, and I mean 1000's of rounds, and use "powered-down" loads, a DA is much faster than a SA. DA's have the swing open cylinder which makes reloading much faster, especially when practiced with a good Speed-Loader. SA's are typically stronger and can take much more punishment (hot loads) than a DA.

I bought a used Model 29 (.44 Mag) and I took it back as the frame had been rattled and the cylinder knocked out of time, which was so slight, you couldn't tell until you went to shoot it. Had the same thing with a Taurus. Guys will try to run super hot loads through these things and they just can't handle it, so they dump them at the pawn and gun shops. In the mid 90's, if you bought a .44 mag, you had to assume that somebody ran a 300 Grain "Elk Load" through it. I was fortunate that when I went back to these places, they said "no problem".

A good SA revolver (like the Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk) will take just about whatever you can come up with, and be used as a hammer to drive tent stakes at night. And that's not to say there aren't "bomb proof" DA's out there, but they're designed for hunting and those hot loads. And they'll cost you. They're not something you would have as EDC. And again, even though "bomb proof", will fold long before a good SA.

I guess the biggest question is; What do you plan to use it for? Concealed carry? Camping or hiking? SHTF? Each choice has its application. Can you use a SA for self defense? Absolutely, but it has "Speed Limitations" and you better make those first six count because there is no such thing as a "tactical reload" with one. It one out, one in. 12 distinct motions to get your gun back in full battery.

If you are planning on working your way up to a .357, just go buy one and shoot .38 Specials until you're proficient with the revolver. Depending on what you're using it for, I would highly recommend the Ruger GP-100. It's a fine looking gun and tough as nails. If you're looking for a carry gun, Smith, Ruger and others make fine snubbies that will easily slide into the pocket.

I took my mom shopping and picked her up a S&W Bodyguard 38 (+P rated) for less than $500 at Cabelas. It is DA Only (hammerless) and comes with a built in laser. Nice, lightweight and with Hornady Critical Defense, you're good to go.

Ruger has the LCR in .357, but it seems a little much for that EXTREMELY light weight gun. They also have the SP101 Series, which I had purchased as a back-up gun when they first came out (a fine shooter but was a little heavy on the trigger). If you head the SP direction, just keep on going and pay a little more for the GP-100.
 
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For the better part of 3 years I carried on horseback or on foot in the back country a lever Rossi 357 and S&W Model 27 in 5 inch which is a 38/357. Both are still with me but I've switched to carrying an AR-15 M4, RIA 1911 9mm and I often keep it in 22LR with a conversion kit so I never run out of ammo.

The only Single Actions I have are not guns I shoot, they are black powder old timers and were my grand parents. I have a Tauras "Tracker 357" 7 shot 4 inch that I enjoy, its ported and a nice gun for the money; it came in a trade I couldn't resist some time back. One of my favorite guns is a Dan Wesson Model 15-22LR I've owned since the early 80's. This is thing is a nice little tank, feels just like a 357 and is a 22 of course. I wish they still made that - I'd buy a new one. I'm not kidding when I say I have more than 5k rounds through that DW. I dont' find any modern 22LR revolvers having a solid frame and feel of a 38/357. Ruger recently tried with an SP? Its a little light though compared to a 38/357.
 

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My Taurus .357 with 6" bbl is more fun than you can imagine. I highly recommend a large or med frame .357 with a 4" or larger bbl.
DOUBLE action.
 

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Interesting. I'll have to do some research on that model. I like the idea of a cylinder for 9mm. I'm getting a Rossi .357 Lever soon and I want a revolver to pair it up with.
It's called a "convertable" just go on Rugers website and check them out. I bought a Blackhawk .357/9mm convertable a few months ago. It is very nice, went with the short 4&5/8 inch barrel so it's just a fun shooting gun. Don't forget with the .357 you can run 38special in them as we'll so the convertable gives you 3 ammo choices! As to the original question single vs double action, I prefer shooting single but double action is faster to shoot and reload. In a high stress situation this could be very important. Best regards, Mike
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I vote double action. Speed loaders are AWWWWWEFUL nice to have when you need them!

AND .44 Magnum! There's PLENTY of revolvers out there in every shape and size. If you ever decide to hand load, it's the most customizable round in existence I think! You can load it to shoot any way you want, and to be the ideal round for about any situation you may ever get into (under 150 yards). Plus there are some GREAT rifles out there in the caliber. Most companies offer VERY NICE .44 Mag. bolt actions, lever actions, etc..

If your a patient man, or just LUCKY, the old semi-auto Ruger .44 carbines are still pretty common to find in great shape. Their light weight and short little carbine length make the the perfect deer rifle for heavy woods IMO. Plus they carry and handle exactly like the 10/22's most of us use for squirrel season... With a little more BANG when you pull the trigger!

One nice thing to is that modern fiber optic sights made for 10/22's fit right in place on the .44 carbine. Given the rounds maximum range I personally prefer iron sights opposed to a scope, though the receivers are drilled and tapped from the factory.
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Single action revolvers have their place but a double action expands on those places and allows you to fire without cocking the hammer.
The 357 Magnum is enough gun for any job you want from a pistol. A 44 mag is a better gun when facing large dangerous game but it isn't much (if any) better under normal circumstances. The 357 has less recoil, muzzle blast and muzzle flash than the bigger 44 and that may be the difference in a low light level second shot.
 

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I love SA revolvers, LOVE them! But for practicality, Double Action is the way to go. Unless you train a lot, and I mean 1000's of rounds, and use "powered-down" loads, a DA is much faster than a SA. DA's have the swing open cylinder which makes reloading much faster, especially when practiced with a good Speed-Loader. SA's are typically stronger and can take much more punishment (hot loads) than a DA.

I bought a used Model 29 (.44 Mag) and I took it back as the frame had been rattled and the cylinder knocked out of time, which was so slight, you couldn't tell until you went to shoot it. Had the same thing with a Taurus. Guys will try to run super hot loads through these things and they just can't handle it, so they dump them at the pawn and gun shops. In the mid 90's, if you bought a .44 mag, you had to assume that somebody ran a 300 Grain "Elk Load" through it. I was fortunate that when I went back to these places, they said "no problem".

A good SA revolver (like the Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk) will take just about whatever you can come up with, and be used as a hammer to drive tent stakes at night. And that's not to say there aren't "bomb proof" DA's out there, but they're designed for hunting and those hot loads. And they'll cost you. They're not something you would have as EDC. And again, even though "bomb proof", will fold long before a good SA.

I guess the biggest question is; What do you plan to use it for? Concealed carry? Camping or hiking? SHTF? Each choice has its application. Can you use a SA for self defense? Absolutely, but it has "Speed Limitations" and you better make those first six count because there is no such thing as a "tactical reload" with one. It one out, one in. 12 distinct motions to get your gun back in full battery.

If you are planning on working your way up to a .357, just go buy one and shoot .38 Specials until you're proficient with the revolver. Depending on what you're using it for, I would highly recommend the Ruger GP-100. It's a fine looking gun and tough as nails. If you're looking for a carry gun, Smith, Ruger and others make fine snubbies that will easily slide into the pocket.

I took my mom shopping and picked her up a S&W Bodyguard 38 (+P rated) for less than $500 at Cabelas. It is DA Only (hammerless) and comes with a built in laser. Nice, lightweight and with Hornady Critical Defense, you're good to go.

Ruger has the LCR in .357, but it seems a little much for that EXTREMELY light weight gun. They also have the SP101 Series, which I had purchased as a back-up gun when they first came out (a fine shooter but was a little heavy on the trigger). If you head the SP direction, just keep on going and pay a little more for the GP-100.
Single action revolver is not the optimal tool for defense but if you feel you might need to press one into this role Ruger has a video made by a Gunsite Ranch instructor of how to optimize the platform. Only so many hours in a day and many demands on our time prioritize accordingly.
 

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I have a Colt King Cobra in .357 which I like a lot. It is a very comfortable gun to shoot and very accurate. Although it is a big large for CC.
 

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Something that slips a lot of people attention until it may be to late is the sound level of what their shooting. MOVIES LIE! I'll never forget in one of the Terminator movies they were firing off .357 mag. rounds inside a stainless steel walled elevator! O.O WHO's worried about the bad guy when you've just blown everyone's ear drums out where blood would be pouring out of them!?!

Anybody who's ever fired a full load .357 or .44 inside any building without ear protection will happily tell you its a mistake. After you write it down for them so they know what your talking about.

My point is if your going to be using ANY kind of magnum round for CCW, you'd better either be hand loading it LIGHT for both less noise & less / more appropriate muzzle velocity, buying reduced load rounds, or be fully aware you'll be taking yourself out of the fight after you pop off the first shot.

If your looking for something you can shoot heavy loads in (deer / bear hunting & such). Ruger Super Redhawk. Built like a brick you know what, specifically for the purpose of heavy loads, and personally proven to take dozens of hot 2,000 fps loads without a hiccup. A MONSTER for CCW though!
 

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Just remember unless you buy a Double action revolver from Ruger or Charter Arms, All Double action revolvers have a cut out in the frame to access the lock work. All single actions (even those made by RG in the 60's) have solid frames where all the internal parts go in either thru the to or the bottom.
 

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Speed load a single action?? We are not in the age of cowboy's an indians any longer. 100 year old plus design with the single action. Does it even have a place any longer with all the new guns.

For all those that "think" the Ruger Redhawk is a strong gun, when will they come out with a 500 S&W??
 

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They come in three calibers; 44 mag, 454 Casull and the 480 Ruger. If you can't kill it with one of those cartridges then use a rifle. I mean I have fired a Casull before and the muzzle blast hitting you in the chest can cause a flinch. The flash at dusk can blind you and in the right gun the recoil is manageable. If you must have the worlds most powerful handgun in a revolver then there is a specialty gun for you at BFG arms. You can shoot 444 marlin or 45-70 or even a 500 NE.
 
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I have owned and shot both SA and DA revolvers for several decades now. Started with a Ruger Single Six .22 (great weapon), moved through multiple variations of the .357, then up to the .44 Mag. I have liked them all. As to the question of SA vs. DA it depends on it's intended use. While it is true that a DA is faster to shoot and faster to reload, I can only think of a few instances were six well placed shots did not terminate the threat. A SA is inherently stronger and more reliable than a DA revolver. Whether the difference is enough to matter is up to you. A man who can operate and shoot a SA revolver well is much better prepared than a man who can shoot his DA (or auto) like a gangster and not hit his target.
 

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There must be a reason my reloading manuals have separate loads specifically for Rugers and Thompson centers (45colt)... Wonder why that is. :wink:
 
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Don't use those Ruger loads on the new Ruger Vaquero! It is not made to take the 45 Colt +P loads.
The Blackhawk is fine as is the Redhawk but that new model is just a bit light for the hot loads.
 

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Sorry should have specified, Ruger Blackhawk and TC Contender. Best regards, Mike
 
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