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Another vote for the .357.
It will shoot .357, .38 +p, .38 shot ctgs., and can be hand loaded up and down the power spectrum. Many brands are very similar in price between the two calibers. Several .357 favorites are: s&w models 65,66,13,19 and Ruger SP101, security six.
Buy used if you have a reputable person to buy from. All are well made and will last your lifetime. Another thing that is advisable is to buy a few spare parts like hands, frame screws, etc. from Brownells, Midway, or Numrich.

Good luck,

ezra
 

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Yes, I read it: quote...So what i'm really asking is, do I really need to save up the extra money for a .357? Or would a .38 Special suit my needs? Well actually, it'll probably end up being a Christmas gift, but since my family's kinda broke, money is still an object.

The answer is yes; save up for it. It is that much more versatile than a .38. To get out of the pickle you are in, put off buying now, save a bit more, get more info for your dad and convince him.

ezra
 
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