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I think so. Almost everyone I've ever taught how to shoot I started out on a revolver. I think a .38 is a good caliber. As far as the brand and model, take your pick. Things to consider are size of the weapon (concealable, longer barrel for better sight),blued finish or stainless steel or part plastic, size of the grip vs your hand size (how does it feel in your hand), and whether you might want more power later (buy a .357 magnum, it shoots .38 also). Good luck.
 

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I personally would go .357, if the revolver excitement wears off and you put that thing away....at least you will have a great and most popular caliber for whatever you need.

Ruger GP100 is still one of my favorites!
 

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Generally speaking a full sized, striker-fired, modern semi-auto in 9mm from one of the major manufacturers is going to be the easiest handgun for a new shooter to use accurately and effectively for self defense and range use.

As others mentioned, go rent, or borrow a few different guns, and try for yourself.

Personally I love revolvers and own many nice examples, but they wouldn't be my first choice in a gunfight.
 

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If you do decide on a revolver then get it in .357 magnum and not .38 special. Even if the magnum load proves to be too heavy for you you can still shoot .38 special. The reverse is not true. You can't fire .357 out of a .38 special chamber.

The Ruger GP100 is a good choice but is also rather large framed about the same size as the S&W 586 and 686.
 

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For a First Time gun owner, a good revolver is IMHO without a doubt your best choice. A good Smith or Ruger is your best bet. If you can find a Colt for a good price buy it, hide it and treasure it. Then go get a Smith or Ruger to shoot. A Taurus or EAA or such is an option but your first should be one you pass on to a grandkid. Make it a Colt, Smith or Ruger. They work better. And you cannot buy a second First Gun. Reliability-wise a wheelgun is best. Safety wise, same. Ease of use, again.

I would also suggest going with a .357, so you can shoot heavy or light. Test various models as far as grip angle, size, weight and all that. Go at least a 4 inch barrel. 6 inch is also a good choice. Do not go 2 inch.

If you end up with an older S&W model 10 or 15 in just .38 or such make sure they are +P rated.

I am a wheelgun guy from way way way back. You are considering your best option and of all that are out there, my recommendation to you is the Smith and Wesson 686, 4 inch barrel.

Nemo

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/...57769_757767_757751_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y
 

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Member Georgia Carry
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7 and even 8 shot .357 revolvers are available. You can shoot cheap .38 target loads in them, and keep them loaded with magnum rounds for defense.
 

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A revolver can be a reasonable choice for a first-time gun owner.
If home defense will be its main role, rather than daily carry on your person, a medium-sized 6-shot .357 is good, IF it fits your hand, and IF the double-action trigger pull (when you shoot it without cocking it manually first) is not too heavy.

I would get one with a 3" to 6" barrel. 4" barrel models are most popular and easier to find.

As far at specific makes and models, there are many good options. As a starting point, try a S&W "K" or "L" frame gun like the model 19 (blued) or model 66 (stainless steel) or 686 (popular police revolver of the 1980s).

You asked about revolvers, so I'm replying to that inquiry, BUT I must add that a modern semi-auto pistol in 9mm with magazines that hold 14-18 rounds is probably a better weapon, easier to use, with much more ammo, and with a far shorter and lighter trigger pull. 9mm ammo costs 30 cents a round compared to 45-50 cents per shot for .38 special (or 60 cents for .357 magnum rounds) (all prices are for range ammo, not premium self-defense ammo). Cheaper ammo costs encourage more practice, which is key to developing good pistol handling skills.
 

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A revolver is a fine first gun, for any new gun owner. But...buy one with your eyes open. As was said above, semi autos generally have easier triggers, and revolvers, especially the smaller and lighter snubbies, may not be easy to shoot. If the revolver is hammerless, that is a difficult gun to shoot well, and it takes practice.

Rent guns, borrow guns, test fire several guns, before buying.
 

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For a First Time gun owner, a good revolver is IMHO without a doubt your best choice. A good Smith or Ruger is your best bet. If you can find a Colt for a good price buy it, hide it and treasure it. Then go get a Smith or Ruger to shoot. A Taurus or EAA or such is an option but your first should be one you pass on to a grandkid. Make it a Colt, Smith or Ruger. They work better. And you cannot buy a second First Gun. Reliability-wise a wheelgun is best. Safety wise, same. Ease of use, again.

I would also suggest going with a .357, so you can shoot heavy or light. Test various models as far as grip angle, size, weight and all that. Go at least a 4 inch barrel. 6 inch is also a good choice. Do not go 2 inch.

If you end up with an older S&W model 10 or 15 in just .38 or such make sure they are +P rated.

I am a wheelgun guy from way way way back. You are considering your best option and of all that are out there, my recommendation to you is the Smith and Wesson 686, 4 inch barrel.
Good advice here. Or if you want something smaller, a Ruger SP101 in .357, 3" barrel might be a good choice.

I strongly suggest avoiding Taurus, Rossi or other cheap makers for the first one. Those are ok for a second or third gun, or a knock about. But you want the first one to be solid.
 

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I carry a 5-shot small frame .38 snubby (barrel just under 2") most of the time.
In the hands of a novice, it's a belly gun. Good for wildly inaccurate shooting across the card table.
A "get off me" gun.
I'm very experienced with it, and I used to train regularly with such small-frame revolvers. I've owned several of them over the last 30 years. I'm pretty good with it.
So for me, and people like me, it's not a bad choice. It certainly has a lot of power for its small size and weight. Its easy to conceal.
But they're hard to shoot.
I can grab just about any 9mm self-loading pistol, even a gun that I've never handled or shot before, and shoot faster and with tighter groups (yes, BOTH faster AND more accurately) with a subcompact (3.2" to 3.4" barrel) 9mm. The main disadvantage is the thickness and length of the grip on the autopistol; it's not as concealable as a frame-hugging "boot grip" on my snubby revolver.
The sights on small frame revolvers are awful and take a LOT of getting used to-- or a lot of practice to just learn to glance across the top of them without actually lining up the front sight post in the rear notch. You can get pretty good results with pointing, rather than aiming, if you put in the training time at the range and dry fire practice.

If you want a small-frame revolver that is suitable for carry AND still accurate enough to be satisfying at the range, consider the newest version of Ruger's popular LCR--
the LCR-X with a 3" barrel and adjustable sights. Because this is a polymer-frame gun, it's going to be lighter than other 3" barreled small frame revolvers like the Model 60.
The trigger is supposed to be better than most other small frame revolvers, and you can see the sights are big. That makes quick target acquisition easier.

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/11/daniel-zimmerman/new-sturm-ruger-lcrx-3-barrel/

It's not a .357 magnum, but there's nothing wrong with .38 special +P for defense. It's close enough to 9mm performance for me, which means with the right ammo, I'd trust my life with it.
Real .357 mag ammo fired from a small-frame, light weight gun is painful, and not conducive to accuracy. It can induce a serious flinch (squint your eyes, stiffen all the muscles in your upper body, and jerk the trigger suddenly while expecting the equivalent of a slap to the face). I have had .357 snubby revolvers before, and I normally carry them with .38 +P ammo anyway. Their ability to shoot magnums is just a bonus, in case I want to splatter an over-ripe watermelon out in the woods or something. Or in case I decide to pack that gun while hiking in bear country. (unlikely-- I usually bring a bigger .357 mag, or a .44 mag, or a high capacity 9mm or .40 pistol).
 

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Most modern semi-auto striker-fired pistols have an accessory rail to mount a tactical flashlight or laser. These may be useful in a home defense situation.

For revolvers, you generally can't mount a light on them, but you can buy replacement grips that have a laser built into them, and a little button on the front of the grip activates the laser when you squeeze the grip in anticipation of shooting it.

I have these on some of my small-frame .38 revolvers, and I can shoot much faster and with better accuracy using the laser IF I'm shooting indoors, or in dim lighting outdoors. During the daytime, outside, or even on a very well-lit indoor range, the laser dot isn't easily visible and therefore using the factory sights is a better plan.

http://www.crimsontrace.com/products/type/lasergrips/01-4330
 

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For novice gun owners who just want something around the house for self defense I generally recommend a revolver with a 3 to 6 inch barrel. Mainly because of the simpler manual of arms. Twenty years ago most of them took that advice, now day most times they look at me like I fell off a turnip truck. They just have to have a (insert gun of the week). So I start asking questions and most of the time I figure they just want a talisman, and I tell them if they are going to lock it in a box unloaded it doesn't matter what they buy.
 

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Many weaker shooters have trouble pulling the Super-heavy-ass™ triggers of revolvers. I have personally witnessed two women that were unable to pull a revolver trigger without first cocking the hammer. After changing to Glocks, they had no issues with the trigger. Another benefit for weaker shooters, with a pistol, the recoil buffer spring helps cut recoil. Revolvers have no recoil spring and typically have higher recoil.
 

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Many weaker shooters have trouble pulling the Super-heavy-assâ„¢ triggers of revolvers. I have personally witnessed two women that were unable to pull a revolver trigger without first cocking the hammer. After changing to Glocks, they had no issues with the trigger. Another benefit for weaker shooters, with a pistol, the recoil buffer spring helps cut recoil. Revolvers have no recoil spring and typically have higher recoil.
Do you happen to know the make or model of the revolvers the women were having trouble with? I've shot mostly (read: only) S&W, Charter Arms, and Ruger and have never had a trigger so resistant to make it impossible to pull. I also shoot with my petite wife rather frequently and her carry and preferred FA is a revolver. Not all models are created equally. Also, shooting .38's out of my 4" 686 is like shooting a .22. Recoil and target acquisition is no problem.

I'm in the camp of getting a .357, especially if you plan on leaving the gun fully loaded for long periods of time without having to worry whether or not it will shoot if/when you need it. We may need some additional information from the OP before deciding which weapon(s) to suggest.
 
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