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I am in the process of getting my permitt after many years of talking about it. I have been thinking of a S & W (also read about dan wesson and wouldnt mind hearing opinions from you) I may go new, may go used, wherever i may find a "deal." I have done some reasearch on pistols and have heard many opinions, now im asking for yours. I do realize there is no right or wrong answer, and many opinions, and i hope to get many opinions. Here is my criteria:

My first purchase should be one i wont regret, I would like to keep it forever

I do a lot of deer hunting and wouldnt mind using it a few times in the stand or ground on a deer

My preference is a revolver

I do not want to go broke firing rounds

I have been around guns my hole life and have fired pistols periodically. I have a nice collection of rifles and shot guns, so i have some experience in guns, not just some idiot getting it thinking he will protect himself. Any insight you may have would be great. Thanks for reading and for your comments
 

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My favorite revolvers are Smith & Wesson revolvers.

If you are going to deer hunt with it, IMO that would mean the minimum caliber would be a .357 magnum and the minimum barrel length would be 4 inches.

I prefer stainless over blued. Adjustable sights over fixed sights.

Based on your needs and my preferences, I would suggest either the S&W model 66 or the 686.

You can shoot cheap .38 specials in it for practice and load it up with the .357 mags when hunting.

I buy most of my firearms on the used market, so don't be worried about buying used.
 

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I agree with what Pistolero said.
The .357 is fine for deer hunting as long as you keep it within bow hunting ranges. Before the .44 mag came out every game animal in North America had been taken with .357, especially deer.
Look up Robertson Trading Post on the internet. They have an excellent selection of used S&W revolvers at a very good price, and they don't gouge you with high shipping charges. My last purchase from them was a S&W model 65. It was a police trade in, and it's a real tack driver. I think it was $379 or something like that. Couldn't be happier. Even better would be a 686, but it's gonna cost more.
A 4" .357 is your basic "do almost anything" Plinking, hunting, self-defense, and you can always find ammo, be it .38, .38+P, and all kinds of .357 loads from mild to wild. The most versatile handgun out there.
 

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I would also recommend the S&W 66. Although a few people have had issues with S&W's current line of revolvers so you may want to actually go to a store and buy one instead of relying on pictures from the net. I've seen and heard so many horror stories about people getting a sub par pistol because they bought it sight unseen or based on crappy pictures and it had problems. You may also want to check out Ruger's line of pistols. I have a Ruger Blackhawk .41 magnum that's a blast to shoot and I'm sure would be fine for hunting if you really wanted to use it for that. I actually take it when I go camping with my brother in Alaska as bear protection.
 

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The recommendations that have been made are good, however I will second the idea of Ruger. S&W makes good guns, but so does Ruger with the double action GP-100 series and single action Blackhawks. For hunting I have used a Blackhawk or Super Blackhawk for years.

Depending on what you are hunting, .357 is minimum for deer. Anything larger, .44 or .45 is better. The .357 is cheaper to shoot because you can use 38 special, and if you get a Blackhawk with the convertible 9mm cylinder you can practice with cheap 9mm.
 

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The Blackhawk Convertibles are fun guns to shoot! I have one in both barrel lengths. Originally they were for CAS and the fact that I could practice with cheap Russian 9mm loads was great. I have found that plain lead, unjacketed 9mm bullets are more accurate in my guns. I guess the lead has a tendency to expand more and takes more advantage of the rifling since having a slightly smaller diameter. Extremely accurate with .357 loads! But beware. If you ever buy a single action revolver, you'll be bit by the bug, and you will always want another one in a different caliber -- just for fun!
 

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Good comments-I've hunted deer w/ pistols for many years and used a .44 mag. I've carried on the hip a SW Cylinder and Slide 4" .44 mag open sights and a Thompson contender .44 w/ scope on a shoulder sling.
Very good for hands free walking-and taking deer out to 150 yards no problem. The revolver comes in handy when we're walking and they come up close and bother to turn around.
 
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