SAR Enters the Revolver Market

The New SR 38 revolver from SAR Firearms is a performer at a remarkable price point.

SAR Enters the Revolver Market

SAR Firearms has to be giving American gun makers at least a slight headache. That’s because SAR,  manufactured by Sarsilmaz in Turkey, keeps turning out quality pistols for concealed carry and home defense, as well as competition and just plinking, for retail prices at $200 less than their U.S. counterparts, and sometimes for even greater savings.

Having used a good number of SAR pistols, I was very interested when I discovered that SAR Firearms had recently entered the revolver market with a .357 Magnum named the SR 38. 

So, I wondered: Would the SR 38 carry on SAR’s lineage of admirable functionality and great accuracy, at prices noticeably lower than other gun makers?

I can’t speak for all the SR 38 revolvers SAR Firearms now offers. However, the SR 38 I recently evaluated was a damned accurate and very well-made revolver at a rather amazing price. It will be a fine choice for customers looking for a revolver for self-defense purposes and hunting.

The Design

The new SR 38 is a single-action/double-action revolver, available with either a 4- or 6-inch barrel. The cylinder holds the traditional six shots, and the SR 38 can use both .357 Magnum loads and the little brother .38 Specials. 

The revolver’s frame, barrel and cylinder are made of alloy-forged steel. The barrel has a full-length underlug that also shrouds the ejection rod. SR 38s are made with either a matte black or stainless finish.  

The SR 38s also feature tall, ramp-style, changeable front sights and rear sights that can be adjusted for elevation and windage. The hammer spurs are deeply checkered and easy to cock back into position for a crisp single-action pull, while the double action operation is smooth and consistent. 

The ergonomic, synthetic grip sports finger grooves to improve control and handling of the revolver. For added safety, the SR 38 employs a hammer block, which stops the hammer from striking the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled. In this way, dropping the revolver even onto the hammer should prevent accidental discharge. 

A Shooter 

For testing and evaluation, I received an SR 38 with a 6-inch barrel and a matte black finish.  

At my outdoor range, I first ran the revolver with .38 Special ammunition, in this case Remington Performance Wheelgun firing a round nose, 158-grain bullet. I initially shot at 10 yards from a rest.

My first shots hit a few inches low and somewhat left. Not a problem. Using a small standard screwdriver, I adjusted the rear sight for elevation first, then windage, and within a half dozen rounds was hitting bullseye.

I next shot this .38 Spl. load for accuracy in single action, and had no problem scoring groups well under 1.25 inches. Best groups with the Wheelgun .38 Spl. included five-shot groups at .90 inches and .83 inches, with the latter sporting three shots touching. 

Then I moved onto .357 Mag. rounds, including Black Hills Ammunition’s Honey Badger featuring a copper, 127-grain monolithic bullet, and Winchester Super X loaded with a 158-grain Personal Protection jacketed hollow point.

Once again, accuracy was first rate.  

My best five shot groups with the Black Hills scored 1.0 inches, plus I pegged a four-shot cluster at just .85 inches. 

Winchester Super X was a winner, too, pegging three groups at 1.0 inches. 

I then ran the SR 38 at 5 yards, shooting offhand and in double action. Not surprisingly, the longer and more substantial trigger pull in double action shooting produced larger groups. Yet, I still placed five shots at 1.5 to 1.75 inches with all three loads. No doubt, additional practice would’ve shrunk those groups.

Other Features 

In single action, the trigger pull on my SR 38 averaged 3 pounds, and snapped off very cleanly. The double-action pull came in at a surprisingly smooth 10 pounds.

I mentioned the rear sight adjustment. As noted, those adjustments were easily made with a standard flathead screwdriver. No need for a special Allen or hex wrench. A small-bladed flathead did the job. 

The SR 38 synthetic, wrap-around grips were, well, very grippy. It was early winter where I live and the temperature at my outdoor range that day was 27 degrees Fahrenheit, and the grips did not harden and become slippery. The finger grooves were also a real help in keeping the handgun secure and steady in hand, especially when I shot the .357 Mag. loads offhand.

The cylinder release and the hammer sported deep checkering for very tactile and positive engagement of both.

Weight Considerations 

The SR 38 is not a lightweight handgun, not at 46.9 ounces unloaded. Yes, that’s just shy of 3 pounds. The upside of the weight is that it helps to mitigate recoil somewhat, though you will still have no confusion about whether you’re shooting .357 Mag. loads or .38 Spls.

For me, the weight plus the 6-inch barrel made my evaluation revolver too long and too heavy for comfortable concealed carry.  At the same time, I am sure some people can and will use this hefty handgun for carry.   

For customers interested in concealed carry who are in the market for .357 Mag. power, the SR 38 models with the 4-inch barrel would be the more likely options.

A Workhorse Revolver

When showing the SR 38 to potential customers, Jacob Phair, vice president of sales for SAR Firearms, suggests pointing out the many uses of this revolver, from self defense and hunting to just plinking.

“The SA38 is a practical workhouse of a revolver for a great price,” he says. “With a six-shot cylinder in a steel frame, the revolver features a very ergonomic rubber grip that aids in comfort and shoot-ability. And, it is available with a 4-inch barrel, suitable for concealed carry and home defense, or a 6-inch barrel that certainly has hunting applications.”

He added that, for the FFL, “We do offer in-store sales and marketing materials and an informational website. We also have sales staff throughout the country to aid in sales and training, by zoom and other opportunities.”

The employees of SAR Firearms dealers qualify for an industry discount on the purchase of firearms for personal use.  

Phair noted, too, that SAR Firearms was also open to co-op advertising with its dealers on a case-by-case basis.

Direct or Distributor

SAR Firearms will sell direct to FFLs, and it also uses a larger and growing list of distributors. Those distributors include Amchar, Bill Hicks, Sport South and Zanders.

To become an SAR dealer, an FFL needs to contact SAR Firearms. At that point, the FFL will be contacted by an SAR sales representative who will then meet up with the dealer to go over SAR Firearms guidelines and to then set up the dealer to receive SAR products like the SR 38.

For its larger marketing of this particular firearm, Phair said that the SR 38 had been favorably featured in a half-dozen YouTube gun reviews and was reviewed or was slated to be reviewed in a good number of print publications. We have had six or more reviews on YouTube and continue to market the SR38 in magazine articles. Currently SR38 has been nominated for Ballistic’s Top Revolver award. 

“We have had very positive reviews,” Phair adds.

More to Come 

The introduction of the SR 38 promises to be only the start for SAR as a player in the revolver market. Phair noted that SAR was currently working on several other revolver designs and concepts, in a variety of calibers, and that some of these new options would be rolling out in the near future.

Revolver sales continue to be very strong, including among first-time gun owners who like the reliability and ease of use that are the hallmarks of revolvers. The SR 38 is a solid addition to six-gun offerings with a price point of under $700 for the model I used (stainless models are slightly more expensive). 

Given the gun maker’s innovative designs and use of technology, the SR 38 and future SAR revolvers could very well attract a solid customer base.    


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