I inherited a 2-inch Smith and Wesson 5-round J-frame in .38 special. It feels too small for my hand but my wife loves it. When it warms up we're going to take range safety classes and get some firing time. Thankfully, this is not an area where you have to carry a gun, although I respect those members of my church who do and I understand their concern.
I stand 6'2” at 185-195 pounds depending on the season. I need something practical.
I see where Ruger has introduced a Lightweight Commander Model, 28 ounces, and I am told it will fit, feed, fire and function with any ammunition you give it including handloads. They are at the top of my price range (800.00 by the time fees and taxes are paid). Remington's Commander model is even pricier and heavier (Closer to four figures). I am not finding many used models of these guns at Bud's Gun Shop, or Gunbroker. What I am finding are Para-ordnance commander-size midels -- church members who have experience told me they jammed with even Winchester White Box .45s. I also see Rangemaster Champion (4” barrel) by The Springfield Armory.
I find used Springfields and Paras listed quite a bit. I would be willing to get a used gun, and have a gunsmith tune it to make it reliable. Do any other members and fellow casters have experience with these guns and what can you guys tell me?
Is the grip size on a J-frame Smith an issue (This is the least expensive option)? Does the Ruger 1911 Lightweight commander really eat everything? What about the Remingtons? They seem heavy, and are the most expensive. Springfield Rangemaster champion and Para-ordnance -- can they take gunsmith tuning to make them reliable and what are the most common problems?
I know that's a lot, but I have time to choose.