Went to Cabela's over the weekend just because, and wound up (as usual) staring at the guns. Since I've been dreaming about (or lusting over, depending on your point of view) revolvers lately, I decided to, you know, actually HOLD one. On hand, they had a S&W 642 Ladysmith, several SP101's, lots of LCR's, and one Taurus that was styled much like the S&W.
The salesman was very impressed with the LCR, and tried in vain to sell one to me. There's something in that design that just doesn't speak to me (it's ugly, dagnabbit... says the person who carries around a plastic fantastic pistol...). I guess I want my revolvers to have soul, which is just hard to do with this one. It was almost too light. While I get the reason for that, again, it just doesn't inspire confidence in me. Irrational, I know. Another nitpick, I don't like the look of black revolvers, for some reason. Liked the trigger on it, though.
The SP101 is heavy enough that I might even consider shooting .357 out of it, and if I was going to be buying a pure range gun (out of this selection), I would probably go more for it. As it is, I'm not sure what I want, and so this feature wasn't such a consideration. I mean, it weighs almost the same as my XD, which, by the way, can hold 13+1 in the short magazine. Harder to justify to myself, at least. This particular gun had lasergrips, which were pretty slick. And expensive. Also, I'm not sure that I liked the ejection rod, in that it didn't rotate like the other guns. Little things...
The Taurus I looked at mostly because it was there--seemed like a fine little gun, though the trigger was the hardest out of all the ones I looked at. Painted black, though. Cheapest gun out of the bunch, price-wise. Even though it had the same profile as the Smith, the hammer was exposed--I don't get why you would have an exposed hammer and not be able to manually cock it, seems like the worst of both worlds.
The 642 seemed like the one I liked the most out of this crop. It seemed just heavy enough, no exposed hammer, nice trigger, nice feel in the hand. I'm not entirely sure what the Ladysmith moniker means--smaller grip perhaps? Fancy name on the side to bump the price up? I think I would buy a 642 over any of the other designs here.
I wish they had had a Charter Arms revolver in there to compare with--you hear a lot about how bad or good they are, and it would've been nice to see one in person.
The problem, now, is, I already have a perfectly serviceable weapon that is arguably more suited to my "small, carry around-able gun" category in the XD. The only thing about the XD is that it won't be as easy in the summer--though with the clothes I wear it won't really be much of an issue. It would be kinda nice to have a real pocket gun, a role for which I think the small revolver fits into nicely; while I have a pocket holster for the XD, it still doesn't fit into the "easily pocketable" category.
If I were, instead, to begin considering larger-framed guns, something for which I have no semi-automatic of similar niche, I would probably want something in the "Bear Gun" or "Hunting Gun" category, more for hiking in the woods with. Besides, you know that without the .44 magnum Clint Eastwood would be nowhere near his popularity level, right?
I need to go to some more shops around town and see what they've got, I guess. Not that I have any money to spend, or anything, but I sure have the time...