Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Infrequent Shooters Reviewing Revolvers

Not everyone reading this blog visits the range as frequently as they desire. For a change of pace, my significant other and I took another couple to the range. I figured you would enjoy hearing other shooters' thoughts on the revolvers discussed in previous entries after several weeks of my opinions. My significant other, BK, doesn't like to shoot revolvers. Surprising, right? For a long time, she preferred plastic fantastics but has recently moved to steel frame 1911s. Maybe I'll be able to sway her down the line...but I doubt it. 

Mr. and Mrs. B Go to the Range

A bit further down the page, you will get the chance to read Mr. and Mrs. B's perspectives on shooting three revolvers: the Smith & Wesson 686, the Chiappa Rhino 200DS, and the Smith & Wesson 617. I think it is important to note that just because Mr. and Mrs. B are infrequent shooters that does not mean they are unskilled shooters. Both were raised around firearms and both are licensed to carry. Based upon their current careers, they each selected pistols chambered in .380 ACP. She carries a Ruger LC380 (with longer trigger pull than a double action revolver!), while he carries a Sig P238.  

Mr. B did not shoot this at the range.

In addition to taking our friends out for a fun trip to the local range, I was excited for the chance to work with shooters who prefer auto-loading pistols over revolvers. (I also thought it would be a great idea for a post.) Not long ago, I was the shooter who chose to ignore revolvers in favor of autos. At this point, I regret my initial choice and wanted to see if a good experience at the range with revolvers would increase interest in the revolver from either one of our friends. Spoiler alert: it did not. 

His and Hers Reviews

Smith & Wesson 617


Mr. B's reaction to this one was surprising. He only said one word, "Fun." Notice the choice in punctuation. While he seemed to enjoy shooting the 617, it certainly didn't wow him. He thinks the barrel is too long and makes the revolver feel front heavy. I thought it might just be the caliber; however, when he drew his favorite .22 pistol, a Browning Buck Mark 5.5 Field, he was very excited to be shooting .22lr. To be fair, that little .22 is pretty nice. I told him it needs a dot because it has a rail. 

Her trigger control was on point.


This was Mrs. B's first real experience with revolvers other than a couple shots through her dad's duty weapon. She had a hard time opening the cylinder at first but quickly found a technique that worked for her. Mrs. B did not like the balance of the revolver, even with the larger grips,  and thought that the barrel was too long. There were no issues with the trigger, as it is around nine pounds. Although the shooting went well, she was ready to put it down because it was "so heavy."

Chiappa Rhino 200DS


When I pointed out the 6 o'clock barrel position, he looked mildly interested. Mr. B was pleasantly surprised by the Rhino, even saying "Fun!" after shooting it. He noticed that the .38s recoiled differently, so I loaded up some .357 Magnums. Mr. B was actually impressed! I've only seen this happen a few times. Compared to the .357 Magnum revolvers he has fired before, this was entirely different. He determined that if you need to shoot several quickly, especially magnums, then the position of the barrel would allow for quick follow up shots. I think he genuinely enjoyed shooting this one!


I really expected Mrs. B to enjoy the Rhino. It is light with comfortable grips. Unfortunately, she encountered the same problem other small frame shooters have shooting the Rhino: many cannot fire the weapon in double action. Mrs. B was able to cock this wheel gun to single action, but it required some effort. After a few shots in single action, she also remarked on the felt recoil as compared to other revolvers. The heavy DA pull was a deal breaker. If Chiappa's trigger kit wasn't $250 installed, she would be taking one home. As is, it was her least favorite.

Smith & Wesson 686

I forgot to take a picture of him shooting it.


Mr. B does have a bit of shooting experience with revolvers. I'm pretty sure he has owned a duty sized revolver at some point in his life or at least fired one. After shooting the 686, he said that this one is definitely the best. He thinks the heft helps with the recoil. He isn't about to carry something like this all day but might get one down the road. If you can't already tell, this was Mr. B's favorite.


When she picked up this revolver, Mrs. B said something like, "Why is this so heavy?" She handled the 686 very well and was shooting good groups at 10 yards. She only fired .38 specials, but I'm sure she could handle .38 +Ps just fine. After comparing the three revolvers shot on this trip, this was definitely Mrs. B's favorite. A 686 or 686+ with a three inch barrel might be the perfect revolver for her...well, maybe after a trigger job resulting in an eight pound pull.


Overall, it was a great trip to the range. Everyone shot a good amount of lead through a variety of firearms. In addition to the revolvers, there was also an assortment of autos in both 9mm and .380 ACP. Mr. and Mrs. B are more comfortable with magazine-fed pistols, but I think they enjoyed the features of the wheel gun at the very least.

After firing almost everything present, Mrs. B wanted to update her carry. Unfortunately, she did not want to switch to a revolver but instead has decided the Glock 42 is a better choice than her Ruger LC380. I can't blame her, as that is a reasonable choice. I apologized to Mr. B since he must purchase a new gun. (I think he'll survive.)

I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. B for coming out to the range with us. I really appreciate their willingness to participate in my experiment and for making this post possible. 

Have you taken shooters to the range recently? Please comment below with your tales of range trips with friends. 

As always, if you have any suggestions for future posts or would like to share your experience on the current topic please post below!   

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