Llama Comanches may be one to stay away from. There have been hard triggers and some quality control problems per some of the gun magazine reviews. Recoil was harsh and hurt the writers hands with the 125 grain and 158 grain full power magnum loads.
Why not save up for a Rossi 971( which is part of Taurus, but seperate companies). Better trigger and quality control. We have some staff and members who have or had Rossis and like them. Have had good service from them too.
Or get a used Taurus 65 or 66. With the Rossi or the Taurus you get the warranty regardless of who owned the gun last.
Ditto on the Rossi idea....I bought a mod. 461(2" 357) for $150 used and it's great......handles ANY ammo so far(although I do shoot mostly .38 +p's)
I've only seen Llama autos(a 1911)and after some feed ramp work,it was ok......I'll defer to others on the Llama revolvers.
Llama autos are either sworn by or at by their owners. Llama semi-autos are a decent product for some of their brands. And there are users who will say that they have decent service from them. Kind of a get no respect kind of thing. Star and Llama get dumped on a lot, but do not deserve the criticism necessarily.
Spanish guns recieved a bad rep. This is due in part because during the early twentith century Spain gun makers did make copies or original design guns that were of poor quality in large numbers. There were decent Spanish designs to be sure, but there were also many poorly made or poor designs that got the bad rep started. After World War II or there abouts, Star and Llama started putting out good guns and were known for this. Fit and finish a times were rough or not compareable to other brands here in the states or elsewhere. But there are guns( Star BDM and some Llama 1911s) that garner laurels from gun writers that are into collecting or who are well known for their extensive knowledge and use of most ,if not all the worlds makes and models.
So like Taurus, Ruger, Kel-tec, Hi-point, and several other brands, these have a lot of prejudice and hurdles to overcome. As has been posted at this forum before, "Conventional Wisdom" is not alway wise.
Some of the early revolvers in the late 1960s and early 1970s actually were made decent and were gained good reports from the press with data to back up their claims. That kind of quality has not been maintained since then.
My son-in-law to be has a Llama built "Firestorm" .45, a 1911 look to it, but not a by the book 1911 pattern gun. It functions fine with ball or 200 grain cast lead SWC, all I've ever seen him feed it. It's decent accuracy and has a decent trigger considering what he gave for it, not that bad a gun. He's having it re-blued and it ain't all that old, so maybe the bluing is a little light on 'em.
I'm one that would go Rossi or used Taurus before I went with a Llama revolver, though. I've read those bad reviews, too. "Gun Tests" never had a kind thing to say about 'em, but did like the Rossi, or at least didn't dislike it. I bought a 971 after reading a review of it in Gun Tests. It was a good gun and I kinda wish I coulda kept it, but I used it in trade on another gun I wanted.
I just got my Rossi 461 last night... put about 100 rounds of mixed stuff through it (.38 wad-cutters, .38 spl, .38+p federals, and .357 mag) has a bit of a kick with the hotter loads but not unmanageable by any means. Of course I'm used to firing the .45's and am not bothered by recoil.
and, I like the little guy (fits nicely in my pocket)
In my experience, I have seen that some of the early ILama handguns had some metallurgy problems. Guns made from the 70's onward were better than the 1960's pistols, but I would be hesitant to trust them. Were I looking for an inexpensive .357 Magnum, I would look for a Ruger Security Six, Speed Six, Taurus M66, or one of the current Rossi Revolvers.
The Spanish Star or Astra Handguns on the other hand were always very well made, as were Eibar made Shotguns and Rifles. Unfortunately, the Spanish Gunmaking industry is not in good shape with Eibar (AyA) the only survivor and hanging on by a thread!
Speaking of pocket carry... there is a technique for drawing snubs wit hammers or abbreviated ones, from pocket or other holsters. The catch(pun intended) is snagging is reduced for those revolvers without a shroud.
One slips the thumb of the hand drawing the gun, over the hammer completely so the thumb covers the hammer. Do this all the way through the draw as the thumb acts as the shroud and is between the cloth, holster, and anything else that could snag or stop movement.
Put the thumb back where it should be on the grip after the gun clears the holster or pocket.
Takes many repetitions and some practice, but once gotten down it whould be second nature.
Stay away from the LLama, not so much because of QC issues, but because it will not hold it's value, and never will. There are too many naysayers out there who think LLama's are garbage. I had a decent IXA model LLama 1911 knockoff made in the 70's I picked up in a pawnshop. It was tight, fired fine, but couldn't print on paper consistently. I got tired of messing with it, and the fact that parts weren't really interchangeable with USGI parts, so I tried to sell it. And I tried, and I tried. I finally traded it towards my Taurus .357. Best trade I've done so far.
I never even pick them up at gun shows, they look like a kid dremmeled em out of a piece of pot metal in the garage if you know what I mean. That said I know a lot of people who buy guns because price is a factor, they may just get a box of shells and stick them in a drawer, those only need to fire once, because they are forgotten until they hear glass breaking.