Where are all the cheap (inexpensive) revolvers?

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Wait.
Your life is gonna depend on this.



And you want cheep?
I have plenty of handguns that are not what I would use for primary self defense. The first one that comes to mind is the Russian Nagant revolver. :)

A little off topic, and no offense intended to you or anyone else, but it reminds me a little of a friend of mine. When your focus for owning firearms is on one thing, there's a natural tendency to look at all firearms in that light. My friend is a hunter- a serious, life-long hunter. A rifle has one purpose in his mind: hunting. If it's not useful for hunting, then why even own it? I was showing him a nice condition old surplus rifle one day, and he was unimpressed. In his eyes, it was heavy, clunky, and had no scope mounts. So much scrap metal, as far as he was concerned. :)
 
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"You can pick up a Rock Island M200 .38 Special for around $200. Bimart has them. They're a decent budget revolver, for the money. I know an FFL nearby who has a couple old police surplus S&W Model 10s (38 spl) for $230 each. They're not pretty but they're mechanically excellent, and a heck of a deal for the money. I passed up an older Taurus (I know...) .357 Mag revolver a while back, for $250."

IMHO, of the ree-volvulators mentioned, the Mod.10 is the best choice. If something is req'd to bring it up to correct function, the gun is worth the effort because of the original build quality and the ease of working on it. I worked as a gunsmith in a S&W factory warranty shop, and I still think the old ones show superb innate quality in the fit and function. They were truly a gun the average shooter could expect to use for the rest of his/herr life (assuming one doesn't shoot in the quantities that Jerry Miculek does).
I agree, wholeheartedly. I bought the M200, then a couple months later ran across the old S&W for just a few dollars more. I've directly compared the two, and shot them side by side. The Rock Island is a decent, usable gun for the money, but it does not compare to the old S&W. It's just not in the same class. I liked the S&W so much that I went back and bought a second one. They are old surplus police guns that were re-imported from Europe, Model 10-5 from the '70s. The triggers on those old Smiths, even common cop guns like this, are amazing.

If you're interested I can tell you the dealer who has them. Last I knew he had one or two left. I have to warn you, they aren't pretty externally, obviously rode in a holster a lot, but the ones I have are mechanically excellent. I did cherry-pick the nicer ones. I cleaned mine up and used some WD40, 0000 steel wool and elbow grease, and they're not bad at all. The ones I have function perfectly and shoot fine. Lock up is good, timing is right, and cylinder gap is within spec. The ones I didn't buy felt the same to me; I just picked the ones that looked better.
 
I have plenty of handguns that are not what I would use for primary self defense. The first one that comes to mind is the Russian Nagant revolver. :)
I had one back when they were plentiful, but sold it when the wife went to graduate school. Wish I hadn't because it would have been quite wacky to run a silencer on it. That I remember when they could be had for less than a c-note and now they are many times that. Oh well.
 
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Old S&Ws are great if you know how to check for the most likely faults like DCU, end shake, free movement of the hand, Yoke alignment, etc.
It takes ~ 45-60 sec. and you know if it's good to go, requires a little work, or is best passed up.
 
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arakboss

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I agree, wholeheartedly. I bought the M200, then a couple months later ran across the old S&W for just a few dollars more. I've directly compared the two, and shot them side by side. The Rock Island is a decent, usable gun for the money, but it does not compare to the old S&W. I liked the S&W so much that I went back and bought a second one. The are old surplus police guns that were re imported from Europe, Model 10-5 from the '70s.

If you're interested I can tell you the dealer who has them. Last I knew he had one or two left. I have to warn you, they aren't pretty externally, obviously rode in a holster a lot, but the ones I have are mechanically excellent. I did cherry-pick the nicer ones. I cleaned mine up and used some WD40, 0000 steel wool and elbow grease, and they're not bad at all. The ones I have function perfectly and shoot fine. Lock up is good, timing is right, and cylinder gap is within spec. The ones I didn't buy felt the same to me; I just picked the ones that looked better.
Old S&Ws are great if you know how to check for the most likely faults like DCU, end shake, free movement of the hand, Yoke alignment, etc.
It takes ~ 45-60 sec. and you know if it's good to go, requires a little work, or is best passed up.
Any recommened videos that would demonstrate how to look for these potential problems and what is DCU?
 

jbett98

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Here's where I found what DCU stands for.

 
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arakboss

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Here's where I found what DCU stands for.

I found this description of test for DCU as well.

"Doesn't carry up or DCU is when the hand does not rotate the cylinder quite far enough to allow the cylinder stop to fully engage. To check for DCU, unload the revolver, triple check to make sure it is unloaded and close the cylinder. Make sure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction and slowly cock the hammer. When the hammer is at full cock,use the fingers of your other hand to gently rotate the cylinder. If you hear a click and feel the cylinder stop engaging your revolver has DCU. Perform this on all six chambers. The cylinder stop is supposed to fully engage when the hammer is back. Some recommend placing fired cases in the cylinder when testing for DCU but it will show up even with out the fired cases."
 
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The Model 10s that I got from the FFL that we discussed (who still has the one left), both had slight end-shake. I believe this is completely normal; nearly every S&W revolver I've ever had has had at least slight end-shake. I'm pretty sure that most of them come new with at least a little. The problem is excessive end-shake, and neither of mine has that.

It really doesn't bother me or hurt anything, but since I have some bearing shims anyhow, it's an easy fix. These two tightened up nicely, and cylinder gap is still excellent. Timing is perfect on mine, and as I recall was also excellent on the one that's left. As I mentioned, if it worked out timing-wise and you wanted to meet up at the range down the road from the gun shop, I have plenty of bearing shims. It's a five-minute job and I'd be glad to put one in to tighten it up if you want, no charge. :)
 
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When you check for DCU put a tiny bit of drag on the cylinder by gently pinching the back of it with finger tips on the recoil shield. Squeezing it too hard will cause DCU whether it was there in the 1st place or not.

End shake should be barely perceptible. None = binding up with any amount of material in the wrong place.
You can use shims or convert a tubing cutter to a yoke stretcher by by grinding or belt sanding the cutting wheel to a radius. Then put a mandrel in the yoke and apply the stretcher to the rear just like you were cutting it off, but instead of cutting you are squeezing the metal and displacing it to the rear. Go slow and check often. Stop when you have the end shake right. If you go too far you can use a file to adjust the fit.

Note that improper yoke alignment can affect timing. Fitting the hand is the last part of the procedure.
 
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I know that single actions are a little different, but if you ever want to feel the difference between how a revolver should be and how it shouldn't, find a gun shop or gun show that has both Ruger Wranglers and Heritage Rough Riders, and will let you play with them a little.

You will find that the Ruger cylinder will be definitively locked when the hammer is at full cock, and it will have no end shake. The Rough Rider, on the other hand, will have plenty of end shake, and if you carefully cock the hammer just until it cocks back, the cylinder won't be fully aligned or locked. The Rough Rider is designed so that you have to pull the hammer all the way back until it contacts the frame, past full cock, before the cylinder locks. This is directly from Heritage. I thought something was wrong with mine so I contacted them, and they said , "Oh, no, it's fine. That's the way they all are."
 

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