Since late 2013 I have had the pleasure of being the proud owner of shotguns. Shotguns being my first real experience with genuine firearms. I obtained my shotgun license and out to the gun shows I went to load up on all my 12 bore goodies! I was aware that it was possible to obtain a firearms license but this is something I put on the back-burner for a few years as it sounded like too much of a pain when compared to the Shotgun Certificate process. But in 2016 I finally decided to join a gun club to prepare for a firearms license. One gun that stuck largely in my mind after seeing it was a long-barrelled revolver, which came as quite a surprise regarding the handgun ban.
For the longest time I have wanted to shoot and own a handgun and I was prepared to do whatever it took. Skip forward to obtaining my certificate, I informed one of my range guys that I was after a long barrel revolver and that I had put down for a .38/.357 calibre. This being my choice so I could alternate between stronger rounds and I mean… its a .357 magnum, enough said. I should mention that you can get a variety of calibres including .22 and .44 also.
When first handed it the first thing that hit me was the weight of the gun if you are looking at this particular gun make sure you have some decent upper body strength, if not maybe a gym membership is on the cards! I lovingly refer to it as the big iron (look to Marty Robbins for this reference) because that is exactly what it is. The stainless look works well and is very appealing although I must confess I was hoping for a black model due to the well known iconic black revolver that can be seen in Dirty Harry. Shame no such model was in stock as it would have made my day (I refuse to apologise for the reference).
I had the gun in my hand for maybe 45 seconds before I decided I was going to buy it. My local club was charging £700 for it. As you can imagine for someone who is on minimum wage, this made for a difficult month for me, but again I could now be an owner of a .357 revolver so I was more than happy to pay.I handed over my roll of paper and filled in all the necessary paperwork and onto the range, I did rush as I was about to shoot my first handgun! I purchased a box of 50 .38 bullets (Magtech) and another box to take home with me (I recommend this as it can be very handy for when you run low on money). With the Taurus .38/.357 you can load up to 7 bullets, a very welcome change to the common 6 shooter models you normally see with most revolvers, especially for us British folk across the pond.
I loaded my bullets into the cylinder, took aim and unleashed hell upon my unsuspecting paper target. The recoil was nowhere near as bad as I would have thought, although I do imagine the much longer barrel was helping with this. I cocked back the hammer took my first shot and the next 6 followed quickly! I love me a bit of rapid fire. I shot off 14 rounds then buzzed the paper target back my way with a big gun smile on my face. I should mention I was shooting down range at about 20 metres indoor.
As the target was getting closer I began to squint more and more thinking that these .38s don’t leave big holes, do they. Well, I wouldn’t know as I seemed to miss every shot! Eat your heart out storm troopers. After putting down the idea that I had just been sold blank bullets, I realised I should make the iron sights a little lower. Why lower? Because the peg that was holding up the target had been blown to bits indicating I was shooting a little high. I soon fixed the sights and was, sure enough, getting decent groupings. I’ve had plenty fun since with this 7 shooter, I have very little bad to say about this gun apart from the obvious things such as the large length and weight of the gun.
The arm brace does provide a nice counterweight and does somewhat stabilise the gun however it can get in the way, for me at least as I found it was forcing my arm upright and thus forcing me lean my head to aim just right. You can somewhat bend the arm brace if necessary but I recommend getting a professional to alter it in case you turn that bad boy into a section 5 gun! I have heard some people complain about the trigger being a bit too stiff for them but I don’t have any problems here. The cylinder cycles great, easy extraction of bullet casings. The cylinder can get quite dirty due to all the powder charge so make sure to keep it clean.
The gun is great fun and helps satisfy some of those handgun needs, the price, however, does leave something to be desired. Most places you find this gun you will be paying a hefty fee which will be out of a lot of peoples price range. I’ve seen this particular gun go anywhere from £550 to £800 on websites such as GunTrader and Gunstar so I recommend doing a good bit of shopping around until you find a price that you are happy with.
Overall I’m happy with the gun but I can’t seem to shake the frustration that the handgun ban has brought here. It leaves me thinking what could be a fantastic bit of kit if not for the overbearing restrictions. Here’s hoping the future is bright for us British gun owners. With a bit of luck, we may one day end up with the same policies on handguns as Northern Ireland, Isle of Wight and The Channel Islands. That would be a start!