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Guns & Quality

February 20th, 2015 at 07:40 am

I'm needing to buy a gun, but I'm having trouble deciding which one. I need it for home safety, scaring coyotes, and just plinking cans. We already have a gun in the house, but it is too big for me to shoot. I can't even cock it by myself!

I REALLY want the Smith and Wesson 317, but it will cost me $560.

Or I can get a Charter Arms Pathfinder for $300.

I can't make up my mind, because I hate spending that much money, but Charter Arms are known for their very poor quality. I hate to buy something that is just going to break. On the other hand, Smith and Wesson's 317 is one of the best on the market. And the resale value is great.

Is it worth nearly twice the price to get something of good quality? Or should I just get el cheapo since I won't be using it much anyway.

It should be noted that my husband works at a gun store, so I am getting either one at a very discounted price. A 317 sells for more than that used!

PS: Update on kitty. Still having up and down times. He keeps going to the potty on the floor, but I have been able to get him to start eating a little more slowly. Seeming to walk a little better, and he got to sleep in our bed for a couple hours which he loved. I don't think he was sleeping well by himself.

10 Responses to “Guns & Quality”

  1. laura/deacon's wife Says:


    Not knowing anything about guns, I would say go with what you want since it is quality and will still be discounted, I'd go with the Smith and Wesson. I'd say keep that kitty in bed with you! We still regularly wake up with our room strewn with kids (and they are all getting big: 17, 16, 13, 11, 10). Smile I imagine when they're out and off on their own, we'll let the fur kids in.

  2. klarose Says:

    Well the vet told me not to have him in bed anymore, because the risk of falling off. So I've just been letting him stay for a couple hours, and then putting him back.

  3. Bob B. Says:

    I still own the gun I bought when I was 14. Cared for properly, guns can last for generations. The cost of ownership per year, so to speak, is minimal. I'd suggest buying the highest quality gun you can reasonably afford.

  4. Another Reader Says:

    Don't waste your money on a cheap product. S&W is quality. However, that looks like a very short barrel on the website. My understanding is a longer barrel equals improved accuracy and less kick.

    I have heard a Ruger 22 caliber handgun (pistol with a clip not a revolver) is appropriate for emergencies. The handle works well for a smaller hand. It won't fit in your purse, but it's supposed to be high quality for the price.

  5. klarose Says:

    Another reader you are correct. Shorter barrels are less accurate. But I've always wanted a snub nose revolver. I've talked myself into going for a 3" instead of my original plan for a 1.5". But it's mostly just for fun. I don't need to be 100% accurate.

    Now another problem. They also have a S&W 63 which is the same as the 317 only heavier and better materials, the weight is suppose to make it have less kick too. But I'm not sure I can handle heavier. Arg. I need to go hold some again.

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    Do you have a shooting range that allows you to rent different guns to shoot? We have one, and I think it is a good way of trying them out before you buy one.

  7. Another Reader Says:

    I had a fair amount of gun education in my younger days but dislike the idea of having them myself. I can see they would be handy in a rural situation. Snub noses are supposed to kick hard, even with a smaller caliber. They are also very difficult to aim. Perhaps someone you know has one and you can try it at the range.

    My suggestion would to be to buy the appropriate ammunition and go to a range with someone that has several guns similar to what you think you want and who is willing to let you try them. It's kind of like test driving a car - what you think you like and is the most useful to you may not turn out that way. The couple of times I went to a range, I found out that a Smith and Wesson 357 with a six inch barrel shooting 38 special ammunition kicked less than just about anything else. That was well over 30 years ago, but I do remember the experience.

  8. Bluebird Says:

    My DH suggests a S&W M&P model, compact 9mm for what you're looking for. Better technology than the revolver, lighter, less recoil.

  9. Tabs Says:

    Wow, your hubby works at a gun store? I don't even know him but I already have a man-crush on him hahaha.

    Seriously though, there are tons to choose from for your needs (that you have listed), and I would not hesitate to go beyond revolvers. Despite the fact that they are mechanically dead simple (and are very commonly recommended because of that), they are not always the easiest to shoot. I've seen women who have trouble handling .38 revolvers do just fine with some kind of semi-auto (many of which offer more stopping power at the same time).

    I also would not rule out rifles or shotguns... unless it really has to be a handgun. Some long arms are user friendly and very easy to shoot. For example, 20 gauge shotguns offer enough firepower to stop humans and coyotes alike. At the same time, they are a bit smaller, lighter, and sometimes cheaper than their larger 12 gauge cousins. Shotguns like these also tend to be quite affordable.

    The only downside is that their ammo is not among the cheapest (from a fruggie standpoint) but you do gain greater choice in ammo flexibility (slugs, buckshots, birdshots etc.)

    Anyway, whatever you decide, I definitely recommend renting and trying as many as you can get your hands on. You won't always know what feels right for you until you hold it and shoot it.

  10. klarose Says:

    Bluebird my husband has the S&W M&P 9mm, That is the one that is too big for me to shoot! lol. I'm a wuss. It is way too loud, and has too much kick for me.

    Not to fear guys. I've shot plenty of guns. I WANT a short nosed revolver. It's my dream gun, it's not for 100% practicality.

    I've decided on the 317 after going to the gun store again and holding the different weights. Now just to figure out how to come up with the $500. :/

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