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Old 02-28-2012, 12:44 AM
EddyTeddyFreddy EddyTeddyFreddy is offline
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.22lr Revolver -- Whaddaya Say?

Like I really need another gun, what with the Colt Woodsman Match Target semi-automatic pistol and the CZ Lux rifle I've already acquired since getting into target shooting back in the fall.

And yet.................... I sure do like the look of the classic six-shooter. It's what I'd had in mind to buy to begin with, but there wasn't anything suitable at the gun shop where I wound up with a Ruger Mark III as a first gun (later traded in on the CZ Lux).

Now, Googling around I see a fair number of revolvers, even when limiting the choices to .22lr, which is what I want. Higher calibers are too noisy, have too much recoil, to be fun for shooting, for this wimpy old woman. I want good accuracy since the gun will be used exclusively for target shooting.

The Colt Buntline and Police Positive look wicked elegant -- are they good choices? I've seen online discussions that speak well of Iver Johnson and H&R models also. I don't mind buying a used gun as long as it's in good order for shooting. Are there other candidates -- used or new -- I should consider?

I realize there's more to this than looks and caliber; if it doesn't fit my hand as sweetly as the Woodsman does, it won't be as satisfying to shoot; if it's a pain to maintain, ditto. A snubnose would suck for target shooting so it will need a good barrel length; but will a 10-inch be so muzzle-heavy that it negates the added accuracy?

And no doubt there are other considerations I don't know enough even to inquire about. So your advice is humbly solicited and gratefully accepted.
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2012, 03:16 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
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One thing you don't mention is that the Buntline is single action and the Police Positive is double action. Single action means you will have to pull the hammer back for every shot. Some target shooters don't like this because they have to re-aim after every trigger pull, but if you want to keep the barrel on target you can always pull the hammer back with your left hand (assuming you are right handed).

I'm not really familiar with the Police Positive (I just had to google to find out that it was double action) but I know the Buntline is kinda slow to load. You open a gate at the back of the revolver and eject the spent cartridge, insert another one, then rotate the cylinder and repeat the process. Some target shooters like revolvers with a swing out cylinder so that they can use a speed loader for fast reloading. Depends on the type of target shooting you are doing and personal preference.

I personally own two revolvers and they are both single action and both load one chamber at a time. Neither of these is an issue for me, but I don't do any fast target shooting either.

The Buntline is supposed to be pretty accurate. With that long of a barrel I would expect it to be. The longer barrel does add some weight, and I can't tell you over the internet whether or not that will be an issue for you. If you are choosing a .22 because you don't think you have the hand strength for a heavier caliber, then it would definitely be worth your while to go down to the gun shop and hold a long barreled .22 out for a while like you are going to target shoot it, and see if you start to get shaky after several minutes.

Another potential issue is a safety, or more specifically the lack of a safety on the Buntline. An accidental hammer pull could cause a discharge, so if you are carrying one around a lot of folks leave the hammer on an empty cylinder, reducing your revolver to a 5 shot. If you are loading up right before target shooting this may not be an issue for you.

Personally I don't think any modern revolvers are difficult to clean, but then I shoot black powder muskets and one of the revolvers I own is a replica 1851 Navy. Since it is black powder and a cap and ball type revolver, it has to be meticulously cleaned or you risk a chain fire (something you don't have to worry about with a modern revolver). Anything modern is easy to clean by comparison. Just make sure that you can remove the cylinder fairly easily.

Last edited by engineer_comp_geek; 02-28-2012 at 03:17 AM.. Reason: sentences work better when you put the right words in them
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  #3  
Old 02-28-2012, 03:28 AM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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I shot a Ruger Single Six. It was decently accurate and fun, but I did not like that the cylinder doesn't come out unlike many S&W revolvers (and like my Nagant). You gotta poke out each round, so reloading takes longer. You can also get .22 revolvers with more rounds, like 9 or something.

If you don't need another I'll take the Lux...
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2012, 09:31 AM
EddyTeddyFreddy EddyTeddyFreddy is offline
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I'm fine with single action. When I had my first live fire lesson I shot my teacher's double action and found that the longer trigger pull allowed my shaky old hand more scope to veer wildly off target; cocking the hammer first made me more accurate, not least because that improved my trigger pull from pull...pull...pull...JERK to something closer to a squeeze. I'd prefer a swing-out cylinder with the little piston that - ping - ejects all the spent cartridges together, but speedy reloading isn't a dealbreaker for me.

My instructor's revolver was (I forget the make) a ten-shot with a long barrel, too large and heavy for me, but then, he's a huge bear of a guy and what fit him right of course would be wrong for a 5'7" woman, even a 5'7" woman who routinely manhandles hay bales and manure-filled wheelbarrows. The shaky hand is from benign essential tremor rather than weakness per se, so there's only so much good that strengthening exercises, proper stance, correct gun choice, etc. can do to overcome it, sigh.*

The lack of a safety on the Buntline isn't an issue, in that my guns stay in their cases, unloaded, except at the range; as I say, I'm strictly into it for target shooting and don't carry. The Buntline does come with a 7.5-inch as well as a 10-inch barrel, so that might help with the weight.

I'll be going to the local gun shop in a couple of days and I'll check out what they have, heft a few, and talk to the owner about what I have in mind, see what he thinks. I hesitate to ask him directly "Can you get me a XXXX?" because what if I don't like it when it's actually in my little old paw? Buying the CZ Lux involved hefting every .22 rifle in the shop till I was cradling my Baby Bear.


*Which is one reason I LOVE my CZ Lux, it's so much easier, even without a rest, to be accurate with it, and NO you can't have it, thelurkinghorror.
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2012, 09:53 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
Personally I don't think any modern revolvers are difficult to clean, but then I shoot black powder muskets and one of the revolvers I own is a replica 1851 Navy. Since it is black powder and a cap and ball type revolver, it has to be meticulously cleaned or you risk a chain fire (something you don't have to worry about with a modern revolver). Anything modern is easy to clean by comparison. Just make sure that you can remove the cylinder fairly easily.
Actually, the chain-fire happens when the seal isn't good at the muzzle end of the chambers. This can be prevented by applying Crisco (or BP-specific 'grease') to the ends of the chambers. Clean-up is easy, but very messy (as you know). I clean mine with scalding-hot water and dish soap, then dry them thoroughly and wipe them with oil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
I shot a Ruger Single Six. It was decently accurate and fun, but I did not like that the cylinder doesn't come out unlike many S&W revolvers (and like my Nagant). You gotta poke out each round, so reloading takes longer. You can also get .22 revolvers with more rounds, like 9 or something.
The Single Six is a 'six-shooter', as opposed to a 'revolver'. (It's a revolver of course, but different from modern ones.) It's a copy of the Colt Peacemaker, and so has the fixed cylinder that requires spent cases to be ejected individually through the gate. It may be inconvenient, but it's a 'feature' of the design.

[hijack]
I have a used three-screw Single Six that I haven't gotten round to firing yet. How can I tell by sight the difference between the .22LR cylinder and the .22 Magnum cylinder?
[/hijack]

I have an H&R 999 that I've fired only once, to kill a mouse that had only been maimed by the snap trap. I like the 9-round cylinder (though as I said, I haven't used its full capacity yet), and the break-top is nifty. I think what I like about it most is the idea of it: It's a 'kit gun'. It's a little .22 revolver that you can carry in your kit when you're out being woodsy. I wasn't alive in the '50s, but I think of the characters I see in films going about their business wearing wool trousers and red plaid shirts in a pine forest, starting camp fires, pitching tents, and enjoying nature. Of course carrying a firearm in a national forest is frowned upon nowadays (if no longer illegal for CCW permit holders), and when camping as a kid in the early-'70s there was no need to have a gun at a campground. The H&R 999 nevertheless conjures images of a simpler time. It's also 'different', in that it's not a 'cowboy six-shooter', nor an automatic, nor 'high-tech', nor a scaled-down S&W-type. (I think of it as a 'baby Webley'.) They don't make them anymore, and I don't know of any modern equivalent. It's a unique piece in my collection.

If you can find one, it will likely be expensive. But it will have nine shots instead of six, its six-inch barrel is long enough for accuracy and short enough to not be unwieldy, it can be used single-action or double-action, and the top-break design makes it easier to load and unload than a Colt cowboy-style 'six-shooter'.
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2012, 10:46 AM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
[hijack]
I have a used three-screw Single Six that I haven't gotten round to firing yet. How can I tell by sight the difference between the .22LR cylinder and the .22 Magnum cylinder?
[/hijack]
Ruger has changed this over the years. On my recent model they are clearly marked with engraved text, and the WMR cylinder has a line around it as well. In some cases I think the LR cylinder was fluted and the WMR cylinder not. The WMR won't chamber in the LR cylinder, so it is a pretty easy test to figure out which is which...just try dropping a WMR round in the cylinder that is out of the gun. If the rim goes all the way down to the cylinder, then the LR cylinder is in the gun.
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2012, 10:00 AM
ryan ryan is offline
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Are the Buntline or Police Positive even in production any more? Are you looking to buy a new revolver or a old/collectable one?
If you actually want a new one, consider those made by Taurus. Excellent value and one of the best warranties in the business. S&W revolvers are nice, but you'll pay a premium for them. Rugers are also very nice.
Nearly all double-action revolvers, except those with shrouded or bobbed hammers, can be fired as single-action giving better accuracy.
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2012, 11:19 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Mine is the three-screw model, which Ruger would like to have back so that they can convert it to the newer, safer, two-screw type. I've never noticed any markings engraved on the cylinders. I should look to see if there's a line. I agree it would be easy to figure out which is which by dropping a .22 WMR into one of the cylinders -- only I don't have any .22 WMR lying about. (As I said, I haven't taken it to the range yet -- and I've had it for at least eight years.)
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2012, 10:01 PM
ducati ducati is offline
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Long ago, in anticipation of teaching my cheerins to shoot, I purchased a Smith & Wesson model 317 Kit Gun in .22LR. I love it. It's got a 3 inch barrel, Hi-Vis front sight, light as a feather, and holds 8 rounds.

If we're out hiking, geocaching, or anything woodsy, I take it along loaded with 4 snake shot and people shot! I always have another 1 or 2 handguns on me, so it's not my sole protection in the woods, just the most convenient.

It's as simple as a revolver gets; it's not Old West if you're looking for that esthetic.
Just a classic S&W that's quite light, quite accurate, and quite handy IMHO.

The model 617 is a larger K frame and comes with a 4 or 6 inch barrel, and may get closer to the Old West look, but still a DA/SA instead of SAO

If you have your heart set on an old six-shooter, Ruger has some really nice choices; here's a nice Single Ten, not Six, but it won't be nearly as light as the Smith Airweight.
At 38 oz, it's a bit over 3 times as heavy as the S&W! That's why I chose it as an all-round introduction-to-shooting tool!

No matter what you choose, you'll have fun, I know.
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