Is a 5 Round Snubby Enough?


Fake Name
April 19, 2007, 05:26 PM
I need some help here.

I keep going back and forth about what is enough gun/rounds to have. I fully agree that the best gun to have when TSHF is the one you have with you.

As of late (past 6 months) I have been pocket carrying a S&W 442 and a speedstrip or two instead of belt carrying my g23. It's just easier. It fits into my work and casual attire and I dont have to worry about a cover garment. This is a big plus with summer in the Northeast on our doorstep.

And if I'm going to go 100% pocket carry, I am considering a S&W 640 in .357.
So what are your thoughts...Is a 5 round snub enough?

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April 19, 2007, 05:33 PM
Well if I had to face 1 person I would be feel ok with a snubby but if it was a Katrina type event I would want more rounds between reloads,

April 19, 2007, 05:34 PM
In the vast majority of self defensive uses of a handgun, yes your 5 round snubby is plenty.

Of course if you find you need it you'll wish it was something larger ... like a 12ga :D

Just Jim
April 19, 2007, 05:35 PM
In my opinion if you train hard with your five shooter there shouldn't be a problem. Most people won't spend the time and money to get confident and good both. I carry a five shooter and have for years and years, it's great cause it is light and handy so I don't leave it at home.

I like HKS speed loaders better than speed strips.


April 19, 2007, 05:36 PM
Only you can answer that question. There is a trade-off between convenience and firepower and you have to decide for yourself.

Consider that something like 95% of gun defenses don't even involve a shooting, but merely presenting the firearm to the threat. Also consider that most of the events where shots are fired are over in 2-3 shots. (Source: a guy on the internet)

Some people here carry a primary ccw, two spare mags, and a BUG. I am sure some carry 2-shot derringers. Some people don't carry at all, and some people wish they could conceal their AK. All are valid points of view, it just comes down to how much convenience do you need to spend to buy peace of mind.

Myself, I would be happy with a 6-shot revolver.

April 19, 2007, 05:40 PM
Me personally?

I packed P3AT in the pocket.

Now I pack P3AT in the pocket, and H&K P2000 .40S&W OWB with a longer polo shirts covering it :evil:

That trend started on Monday the 16th :uhoh:

EDIT: IN FACT, I'LL SHOW YOU HOW... PICS ATTACHED. This gives me 7x .380 + 13x .40 S&W

Vern Humphrey
April 19, 2007, 05:41 PM
When I carry a revolver concealed, it's a Colt Detective Special -- 6 shots. but usually I carry an M1911, with an 8-round magazine and one up the Spout, for 9 shots and at least one spare magazine.

I have had to use a firearm defensively as a civilian 3 times -- and didn't fire a shot. As a soldier, I used a handgun twice (a Colt M357, by the way) and each time fired only one shot.

April 19, 2007, 05:42 PM
Short answer: Yes

Long answer: Too many variables and situations to realistically ever answer your question. Is 10 enough? Is 20? Is even a pistol enough? You can play "what if's" all day long. In fact you could even go so far as to say that not carrying a firearm is "enough" since most never have a need in the first place. However, by carrying, you are allowing yourself a chance to stay in control a litte longer over the situation. I think 5 is plenty for most situations but there will be times where 100+ won't be enough.

You just can't plan for every situation. All you can do is try to mitigate the risk and strike a balance with practicality. I think you have struck that balance already based on what you have posted about your needs and situation.

Pistol Toter
April 19, 2007, 05:47 PM
99.99% of the time a 5 shot is plenty. The mere sight of a weapon and a defensive posture to a potential assailant often stops any further aggression. Most armed confrontations end with 3 shots fired in less than 5 seconds. Are there exceptions? YES! But the liklyhood that you will ever be required to even present a gun is fairly remote. I have two conceal carry guns. One is Ruger SP101 2 1/4" .357 loaded with Remington Gold Sabre 125 gr. .357's and is carried almost exclusively, the other gun is a GLOCK model 21 .45 acp loaded with 13+1 230 gr Remington Gold Sabre. The GLOCK is only carried if going out late at night or traveling through an area that would not normally be an acceptable route. At least one speedloader or magizine is always carried too. Back to the orginal question; YES a 5 shot is generally enough. It's not the gun, it's not the bullet, however can YOU under pressure deliver and deliver accurately? That you have to answer!

April 19, 2007, 05:48 PM
You must have been watching the Outdoor Channel last night.

I am unsure of the shows title but Michael Bain is the host. He had an expert with revolvers on and they reviewed the snubby.

The expert stated that 5 rounds is enough and most fights are over in a shot or two, or something to that effect.

I believe 5 rounds is plenty. Of course there are always scenerios where mags and mags (or is it clips) may not be enough.

I vote for 5 rounds.

April 19, 2007, 05:50 PM
The GLOCK is only carried if going out late at night or traveling through an area that would not normally be an acceptable route. At least one speedloader or magizine is always carried too.

Like I said, that used to be the case last Sunday:uhoh:

Look few posts up :evil:

April 19, 2007, 06:00 PM
I just picked up a 442 and carry it my pocket in place of a steel framed Taurus 650 that has moved to car gun duty. A five shot .38 caliber snub has resolved many a confrontation favorably. Bernhard Goetz used one to fend off four attackers in the NYC subway and Lance Thomas used one to fend off two armed robbers in his shop during what was the first of four gun battles he would have.

That being said, a 442 might be in my pocket, but a Glock 19 is on my belt. Don't ever want to be killed for lack of shooting back ;)

The Amigo
April 19, 2007, 06:02 PM
I used to carry a taurus mod 85 and a speed loader and it got old after a while. So I switched to a Kel tec P3at with a +1 round extension and a spare mag making it a 15 round deal in a much lighter and easy to conceal kit. If you do your home work right there's .380 ammo out there in the hot range that will outdo some 38 special loads. Now someone will say well there's +p 38 out there that can perform better. And my answer is yes but can you hit the target with it? most crooks carry high capacity auto loaders nowadays so i like to tip the balance to my side. Hope this helps

April 19, 2007, 06:04 PM
I believe the answer is yes, and do own a S&W 642.

But I do feel that if I happened to be in a much larger incident, I would hate to have to reload it quickly........sure, a speedloader would be quickest, but harder to conceal. A speedstrip could be done, but still not as quick.

I have been thinking that for me a PM9 might be a better solution, as the standard magazine carries 6 rounds, and the extra 7 rounds. It's much easier to reload a semi-auto than a revolver.

April 19, 2007, 06:29 PM
No, not for me. I have a Mod 60 which I carry occasionally in a coat pocket. But I know from plenty of range practice how terrible inaccurate I am with it. Firing DA, I can barely hit a sheet of paper at 7 yards. I'm WAY more accurate with a subcompact semi-auto, plus I get more shots.

April 19, 2007, 06:32 PM
I like the 5 shot revolvers because they are easy to conceal. 38+357 is good enough for me

April 19, 2007, 06:36 PM
I do it every day.

The way I see it, if 5 rounds of .357 mag out of my SP101 3" aren't enough, I don't need another round. I need to call for close air support.

edit to add:
I do carry a speedloader with another 5 rounds though. But realisticaly, I don't think that i would have time to reload it in the vast majority of potential confrontations.

Sam Adams
April 19, 2007, 06:40 PM
The answer is probably yes (there can be NO definitive answer until after an event where you need your weapon). I have a 642, loaded with 5 of the Speer 135 grain .38 +P rounds that is designed to mushroom up at velocities typical of a 2 1/2" barrel. I also have Crimson Trace laser grips. The CTs are there for 2 reasons: First, to make any shots that I need to take more accurate, and second, to let some perp think for a fraction of a second about what that big red dot on his chest means (followed, hopefully, by him wetting his pants and running away).

The Lone Haranguer
April 19, 2007, 06:54 PM
Acceptable, but minimal if it is to be your only armament. For a single attacker, up close, it will do the job, certainly. Just hope there isn't more than one. :eek:

I'm more comfortable with a full-powered but still pocket-sized autoloader (Kahr PM9, seven shots total), although it is a little harder to draw from a pocket.

M2 Carbine
April 19, 2007, 06:56 PM
Is a 5 Round Snubby Enough?

Five rounds, in most cases should be enough, IF you can put the five rounds where they need to go.

Fifteen rounds isn't enough if you are a poor shot.

April 19, 2007, 06:58 PM
Yes. 'Nuff Said?

April 19, 2007, 07:50 PM
Yup. Mine holds five .45LCs which equals about 15 'nines' by my reckoning.:neener:
It oughta do.


April 19, 2007, 08:02 PM
IMO, yes a 5 shot revolver has enough shots to enable you to fight back in MOST situations and it'll give you a pretty good measure of protection. Will it always be enough for every defensive situation? Probably not. But in most situations where pulling a gun out on somebody is necessary, most criminals usually decide that it isn't worth their trouble to keep bothering you and they usually take off before you have to shoot them. In the vast majority of cases where people use a gun to defend themselves, merely showing it is enough.

Say that they don't take off though and say that there's three or four criminals attacking you instead of just one. Would five shots be enough then? Maybe or maybe not. Just shooting one or two of them might send the rest into flight and you may not have to shoot the rest of them/shoot at them. Say these three or four guys have guns themselves though, what does that do to your chances?

If you had a compact semi-auto like a Kahr 9mm or .40 S&W, you'd have basically the same number of shots (actually it's +2 rds for the Kahr, 1 in the mag and 1 in the chamber, but it isn't a big difference), but you'd be able to reload much quicker. I don't think that the semi-auto is any more accurate or shoots any quicker than the revolver does mechanically, but it does have two advantages in actual performance.

1) It's much quicker to reload and it's definately much quicker and easier to reload under stress. When your adrenalines going, your heart is racing and your hands are shaking, which would you rather do? Try and fit a mag in the butt of a semi-auto pistol and hit the slide stop? Or try and fit five different bullets into five different chambers at the same time, twist the speedloader, tilt the revolver forward and then snap the cylinder closed?

Your fine motor skills degrade under stress, so something you do twenty times every shooting trip may not be as easy if your getting shot at or if you just shot somebody and you have to reload immediately.

2) A semi-auto pistol usually also holds at least a couple more rounds in the mag when fully loaded, even the compact models usually hold more than the revolver does. This gives you an advantage, especially when you're facing multiple opponents. It allows you to stay in the fight longer before reloading.

Most of the time though, you're not going to be getting attacked by one guy, much less by three or four. If you do have any problems at all, it's likely to just be one guy by himself. For situations like this, the revolver is perfect. Even in the situations where you're facing multiple opponents, it still might be enough if you shoot the armed opponents that represent the biggest threat and then you could retreat in a big hurry (which is what you should be doing anyway).

If I was going to carry a revolver as my regular carry gun, I might think about also buying a small .32 ACP or .380 ACP pistol as backup, just so if it was really needed then I could put out more rounds than what was in my revolver. Plus you may need a back up pistol, for whatever reason you may not be able to use your revolver (maybe your right hand is wounded and you can't get it out of your right pants pocket, or maybe you got blindsided earlier and they took it out of your hand).

However, if I was going to just carry a revolver all by itself, I'd pratice reloading ALOT with speedloaders. Two hand reloads, one handed reloads, weak handed draws, reloading weak handed with single rounds and with speed loaders etc. Because you may really need that skill one day.

Know in advance that you probably won't need it as far as the statistics go, you're more likely to get into a automobile accident than you are to get into a shootout with multiple assailants. But I'd rather have the skill to reload and draw the revolver weak handed and maybe have the smaller extra pistol as back up than need them both and not have either.

That's just my two cents though. In most scenarios the revolver by itself does fine.

April 19, 2007, 08:03 PM
Come to think of it, one or two Virginia Tech students or faculty members carrying a S&W 642, and proficient in its use, could have changed the odds considerably the other day.

Brian Williams
April 19, 2007, 08:11 PM
642 for me is sufficient.

Old Fuff
April 19, 2007, 08:40 PM
Is a five-round snubby enough?

The answer to that depends on the circumstances and your ability.

If you are a law enforcement officer you have responsibilities that a civilian with a CCL doesn’t. A license or permit holder has no police powers and can evade trouble that an officer might not be able to do. If I were a lawman I would carry a more effective handgun and relegate the snubby to a backup…

The next question is, how good a shot are you? Can you double-action 5 shots into a 4-inch circle at 5 yards and do it in 4 seconds or less? If not you need to reassess the weapon, your choice of ammunition, or both. This is a hard standard to meet, but it is a realistic one if you intend to survive an unexpected close quarter’s fight where all of the advantages lie with the aggressor. Always remember you cannot legally use deadly force unless you are responding to an attack, and that puts you at a considerable disadvantage right off the bat.

April 19, 2007, 08:52 PM
I'm not sure about you, but for me it is plenty. I'm just an average white-collar worker who lives in the suburbs. Nobody is out to get me, and I don't carry large sums of money or valuables. Now, if you spend a lot of time in ghetto-ville, or carry lots of cash, you might want something more than a snub.

April 19, 2007, 09:47 PM
I will be getting a hammerless .38 in a few weeks so I love this thread. My policy on reloads is as follows. I always have an extra magazine for my P99 on my person or locked in my vehicle. I never anticipate having to actually use all 11 of my initial rounds (chamber + MA legal mags) but what if just maybe...and I mean MAYBE two people tried to rob me one day. I would hate to have no backup from the first magazine or if there was a feed problem I would need to swap mags. I always just remember a saying that an state trooper friend told me years ago..."I carry two guns and two sets of cuffs because bad guys come in pairs".

April 19, 2007, 09:51 PM
Yes, if you need more than 5 shots, then you should be moving towards a rifle or shotgun! And if you can't hit anything with a j-frame, then you need to practice more with one!


Ops Officer
April 19, 2007, 10:03 PM
I'll join the chorus. Yes! You traded capacity for concealment. But five are enough to survive a short, livesaving confrontation unless you plan to attend a protracted gun battle. You carry to defend yourself and get away to safety. Five should do it most anywhere, but perhaps not in Baghdad.
April 19, 2007, 10:32 PM
Well I pack a 5 shot .44spl which is 16% more deadly than a .38 !:neener:
That being said, my main carry gun is a SIG P220 with a P32 riding BUG.

April 19, 2007, 10:38 PM
Two things. First, small gun for carry, big gun for car, home, etc. That's pretty standard if you are anything like me and will almost certainly never need one, but just want one handy anyway. Second, make the first two rounds fired count, period. Whether it is a single wild animal or an entire terrorist network, the first two down the pipe count as much as all the others combined in most situations. Don't fret, just get GOOD ammo and practice.


April 19, 2007, 10:39 PM
5 rounds is more than adequate for 99% of SD situations I would imagine

April 20, 2007, 01:56 AM
The snub worked for Rico Tubbs on Miami Vice and he was in a lot of shoot outs:D
Will work and has for a long time

April 20, 2007, 02:05 AM
5 rounds in a revolver are adequate. When the metal hits the meat, you are gonna run out of time before you run out of ammo. The same argument was made when the "wondernine" craze hit about the 1911. Folks said that 7 rounds were not enough. I know the scenarios about confronting multiple armed assailants. If this happens, you better pick something to fight with that deals out injury and death better than a pistol (like a 12 gauge shotgun). In these circumstances, your odds of survival are slim regardless of what you are armed with.

April 20, 2007, 07:39 AM
I believe a snub is sufficient. I train with my snub at least once a week to maintain proficiency. I feel comfortable that I can essentially put 5 rounds where I want them.

In terms of total carry time, I probably carry my snub more than any single autoloader. This is mostly because I am forbidden to carry at work, and strapping an IWB on and off in my car isn't really an option. So I pocket carry to, and from, work. When I get home and take off my work attire, I typically carry an autoloader for the rest of the evening. I shoot them a little better, and I like them, so they're really my first choice.

But I'm often running errands on the way home from work, so the net result is my snub is most often my protector in the world, on weekdays at least.

April 20, 2007, 08:11 AM
My CCW for years has been a 296 5-shot .44 Special Airweight in a OWB holster. Now it, or it's new sibling, finally a 642, ride in Mika's pocket holsters in my pocket(s) - with a spare speedloader full. I also have a vehicle tag-along - a 625MG in .45 Colt - with a pair of speedloaders full - 255gr LSWC's and Speer 250gr Gold Dots. When I am 'out and about', five shots are plenty... if I need more, I'll just get something crew-served - like an M60. Seriously, for even a trio of bg's, five will keep you alive - just know when to present it, keep it accessible, know how to use it, and where to put the shots. Of course, if it's more than three bg's, get the leaders...


April 20, 2007, 08:13 AM
I carry 10 rounds. Five in a Taurus 651 and five in a S&W 49. If you don't feel comfortable with just a snub, then carry two for that super cool NY Reload.

Double Naught Spy
April 20, 2007, 08:35 AM
A five round snubby is sufficient, except when it isn't. Is carrying a speed loader with another five rounds going to inconvenience you so badly that you are trying to determine if the 5 rounds loaded in the snubby are enough?

What is 5 rounds sufficient for? It is sufficient for a conflict requiring 5 rounds or less. To say that it is sufficient means determining that your conflict will require 5 rounds or less. Several folks have used historic precedent of gun battles to justify the 5 round magic number as being sufficient. This is a statistical consideration. Historical data is just that, historical. Using historic data to predict future events that occur is mutually exclusive circumstances, in particular a specific event (involving you) at some unknown time in the future involving unknown circumstances (to you) is a statistical no-no.

Based on historical statistics, the chance of needing to defend oneself with a firearm against a crazed gunman killing lots of people on a gun-free college campus is virtually nil. So obviously, you don't need a gun, right? This is an anti-gun argument we would all probably agree is a very bad argument. So why would one agree to the argument that having the capability of such a limited response of 5 rounds is sufficient?

The bottom line is that it isn't about the historic data and predicuting what happens in the future as much as it is about what the consequences are if you are incapable of handling the now unknown threat when it is presented to you at some unknown time in the future. In the historic events I of read about, I have seen a couple of trends that speak to this. First, if people complain about ballistic issues they complain about not having enough ammo and not having enough firepower. The one thing they never complain about is having ammo left over.

So I ask again, is carrying a speed loader with another five rounds going to inconvenience you so badly that you are trying to determine if the 5 rounds loaded in the snubby are enough?

Take what you think you may need and double it. It still may not be enough, but being twice as much as you place to need will put you in a much better situation if you need it.

April 20, 2007, 10:02 AM
I think it was mentioned earlier in this forum, but I will reiterate that the ability to place the "first" shot, in the spot you are aiming at, is more important than caliber, barrel length or number of rounds. A 16 round 9mm is useless if you can't hit the target where you are aiming at.

It is not uncommon for a LEO to carry a 5 shot revolver, as their primary service weapon and most are proficient to the point of being able to place their "first" shot in the spot they are aiming at. That says a lot for the 5 shot snubby.

I personally carry my Ruger 2" SP-101 from time to time, depending on my wardrobe, and have never felt undergunned. I also carry one speedloader.


April 20, 2007, 10:03 AM
I carry a 642 w/ 1 reload(usually,sometimes 2)....if things were different(see the show Jerico)I'd carry a much larger gun w/ more rounds and use the 642 for bug.
Although I do like the idea of the NY reload,and have been thinking about getting a small 9mm for my other pocket......
We're not all Jack Bauer,saving the world,we're just trying to make it home to the wife and kids in 1 piece.;)

April 20, 2007, 10:21 AM
I pocket carry a 642 w/ 1 speed strip and I'm good with that.

April 20, 2007, 10:51 AM
All of the above is true and good observations. Primarily you are most likely to carry a J frame where you will probably be less likely to carry something else with more weight and or bulk.
Something perhaps larger for the car and home. ie 686 or your favorite .45 for the truck and a shotgun for home use. I like the Bennelli Nova for price and benefits if you haven't purchased a 12ga yet.

If you think 5 is not enough carry two. :rolleyes:

If you think .38+P is not enough oomph, get a M&P 340 and get good with .357 rounds. This is not for the feint of heart but it may work for you.

Lastly add a set of Crimson Trace grips for that extra edge. Then, practice your azz off.

My primary pocket carry is a 642 with CT grips in a DeSantis Nemsis holster.
I sometimes pocket carry a Kahr PM9. It doesn't conceal as well as the 642.

Living in FL we are in shorts 75% of the time which drives the CC MO.

April 20, 2007, 11:00 AM
One in the left eye, one in the right eye, one in the forehead and two in the heart.Yup...that should be enough. Chuck.

April 20, 2007, 11:16 AM
Yes, with propper bullet placement. If you have problems with like me, get a laser. I got a CT LG-105 and I think 5 rounds of 110 gr. Corbon DPX + P should be sufficient. I remember reading the below quote somewhere and kep it...:)

Time: The time you take to position yourself on the range is probably longer than most gunfights last. Confrontations are sudden affairs, over in 2 to 3 seconds, in the majority of cases. Almost never is there time to cock your gun, stand in profile, and take careful aim at your target. You and the suspect together are not likely to fire more than 3 shots, whether the situation is an ambush, armed robbery, or family fight. In the majority of cases, the initial exchange of fire will determine the outcome. The speed in which you can react to danger, therefore, is likely to be a more critical commodity than the amount of ammunition you have at your disposal. You probably carry more ammunition than you will ever need, but time is almost always in short supply.

April 20, 2007, 11:44 AM
Five shots is enough. When you stop and think about what you can achieve with five shots in an average gunfight, you realize that 5 is sooooo much better than nothing, and that more than five is usually not any better than five.
HAVING A GUN is the overwhelming majority of the "gun" problem. The rest is a decision making problem that has little to do with round count. I carry a K frame magnum, six shots. I carry one speedloader in my pocket. It is more than enough.
P.S. I do not understand people saying concealment of speedloaders is difficult. I is a complete non issue in my opinion. just dedicate your right front pocket for the speedloaders only and have done with it.

April 20, 2007, 11:45 AM
642 is enough for me.

April 20, 2007, 11:56 AM
Yes, a 5 round snub should be enough.

April 20, 2007, 01:52 PM
Depends. On a lot of things.

Some good observations in this thread.

The awareness, skills and abilities of the user are going to be very, very critical.

When I carried an issued revolver I only had 6 rounds until I needed to reload, meaning only 1 more round than in a 5-shot revolver. I did a lot of ordinary police work armed in that manner.

When I trained with revolvers I thought it was simple common sense that my first round always impacted my intended POA, followed by the remaining rounds. Carried over to my pistol training.

Granted, since I'm issued a semiauto pistol nowadays I feel comfortable carrying a weapon with 8-9 round magazine capacity (although I've previously been issued ones with higher capacity, as well).

I've known of LE shootings that involved anywhere from one to a lot of rounds fired. I've known of shootings that involved hits of the intended target (and a couple of complete penetrations), 'grazing hits' and misses.

I happen to think Old Fuff's cautionary question, Can you double-action 5 shots into a 4-inch circle at 5 yards and do it in 4 seconds or less? is a good one. Tough, granted. But who really wants to 'fool' or 'cheat' themselves when it comes to potentially life-saving skills, anyway?

I've seen far too many revolver users in CCW classes feel they must thumb cock their hammers to engage the target at 2-3 yards. That takes time, and introduces a fine motor skill into a time/distance compressed situation which is likely going to be highly stressful both physically and mentally. (Not to mention the other potential disadvantages a cocked revolver may introduce into a highly stressful, dynamic, evolving situation involving an imminent deadly threat.)

DA/DAO revolver skills require some training and maintenance. The same skills with one of the smaller revolver platforms, especially one of the lighter models, can require even more of the user/shooter.

I spent a lot of time renewing, dusting off and refining my revolver skills once I became serious about carrying an Airweight J-frame. I wasn't satisfied until I could run my 642 through the same pistol qualification courses-of-fire designed for our service pistols, and maintain my in-house Master pin rating for my off-duty Airweight when it came to accuracy. Fortunately reloading time limits are considered a bit differently when revolvers are used as off-duty weapons.;)

Didn't mean I didn't spend the same amount of attention when it came to my former speedloader & speedstrip skills, either. (I used to use speedstrips with my issued 6-round double dump pouches, in addition to my authorized optional speedloader carriers.) Like riding a bicycle, though.

Finally, being lawfully armed with a handgun is pretty much a study in compromise in many ways.

There are still times and circumstances in which I still choose to carry a pistol off-duty ... if only because I may feel like doing so.

There are more times and circumstances, however, in which I feel comfortable carrying one or another S&W 5-shot J-frame, along with speedloaders and/or speedstrips. I don't plan on making enforcement stops of vehicles filled with a number of people on my own time, armed with a 5-shot revolver.

Although, FWIW, I did so many, many times while working uniformed patrol when armed with only a 6-shot revolver.

A 5-shot revolver in the hands of a skilled owner/user is likely to be preferable to having left a larger, heaver weapon at home (or in the locker at work).

I've known an increasing number of LE firearms instructors, both currently working and retired, who have chosen one or another of the increasing number of 5-shot revolvers as their off-duty/retirement weapons. Mostly it has to do with the smaller revolvers better suiting their desired lifestyles and activities on their own time, still permitting them to be armed with a weapon that has shown itself to be potentially reasonably effective ... 'reasonably effective' meaning at least it's not a .22LR, .25 ACP or .32 ACP, if you prefer.

I don't think anyone would presume to suggest they they're suitable for everyone or all circumstances (but what handgun really is, for that matter?) ... or should even be considered preferable by everyone ... but I think they have their place in the realm of lawfully concealed weapons.

Whenever one of our folks asks what I think about them choosing a small-framed revolver as an off-duty weapon I offer them the opportunity to shoot mine, or one of the ones we keep in our training inventory, and let them decide for themselves if they have the requisite skills, or have the interest in developing those skills. Some folks choose them, and more folks don’t. People need to make honest, informed decisions for themselves in matters like this ...

April 20, 2007, 01:57 PM
I think a 442/642 is fine for daily carry..

As far as SHTF... Remember your handgun is merely the means to get to your rifle.

April 20, 2007, 02:07 PM
I feel confident with my 642/442. Whateve one I'm carrying at the time will go the job. It's all about shot placement.

R.H. Lee
April 20, 2007, 02:22 PM
For most of us most of the time......probably. My problem is that I can't hit much beyond +- 7yards with my 642. And it would be worse under pressure. Then again, if it's over 7 yards away is it really a threat requiring the use of deadly force?

M2 Carbine
April 20, 2007, 02:57 PM
R.H. Lee
Then again, if it's over 7 yards away is it really a threat requiring the use of deadly force?

Heck yes.
There's not some rule that the bad guys can't shoot at you if you are over seven yards away.

The BG will decide on the shooting distance and you need to better him, no matter what distance it is.

M2 Carbine
April 20, 2007, 04:11 PM
Old Fuff
...........Can you double-action 5 shots into a 4-inch circle at 5 yards and do it in 4 seconds or less?................

That's not as easy as it sounds.

Speed is easy. Accuracy is easy.
Putting both together isn't easy (for me).:D

April 20, 2007, 04:15 PM
1 round would be good enough...As long as you can place it where it will do the most good in the least amount of time ...Practice,practice,practice.

April 20, 2007, 06:35 PM
M2 Carbine - I belive If I were that target I might get the Idea you didn't like me!

Good shooting. I think it will suffice.

April 20, 2007, 06:42 PM
I think it is, but if you have any doubts, get another snubby.

Matt Almeda
April 20, 2007, 06:46 PM
I carry a S&W Model 640 daily at work.
I think the most important thing is to be good with what you plan to carry.
However, I would not recommend only carrying the base load of 5 rounds. I always have at least 1 extra speedloader in my pocket or in a pouch.
The reason I went with the 640 was because it would handle the magnum loads and the 5 shot cylinder is not too bulkly to limit concealment.

If you have any questions about the 640, feel free to write.

Have a great day!

Old Fuff
April 20, 2007, 08:23 PM
M2 Carbine:

That's not as easy as it sounds.

No it isn't, and that's the point. :uhoh:

Just for grins, get some 148 grain mid-range wadcutters that try again. See if you can shorten your time. The time limit brings recoil control into focus. ;)

April 20, 2007, 09:29 PM
You need 1 shot perhaps two, only more in a war zone, then I don’t know how many you need, I have lived in a kinder world.

M2 Carbine
April 20, 2007, 09:42 PM
I tried the laser. Figured it might shorten the time about a second but it's just taking too long to get back on target. I'm using 160gr SWC full loads.

Just for grins, get some 148 grain mid-range wadcutters that try again.

I've got some light loads, but no, that's cheating.:D

April 20, 2007, 10:05 PM
In most circumstances and if you do your job, YES....

April 21, 2007, 09:15 AM
M2Carbine, how do you time your strings?

I'd like to try my hand at that.

Old Fuff
April 21, 2007, 10:52 AM
I've got some light loads, but no, that's cheating.

No, that’s not cheating – it’s a bit of education. ;)

To many people suffer under illusions about cartridge power. Their security blanket is the most powerful cartridge in the smallest, lightest handgun. “Hit ‘um in the little finger,” they say, “and my super ultra-banger multi-tactical magnum will knock them down.” The fact of the matter is that nothing short of a direct hit on the assailant’s central nervous system is likely to insure a one stop instant stop, and if you are already under attack any delay will not work in your favor. In short, bullet placement will serve you better that that ultra-banger you’re depending on, and while that super load looks great in jelly it doesn’t always work that way in human beings or other anti-social critters. :uhoh:

The lighter loads will more then do the job at the distances under consideration, particularly with the right bullet shape. The flatter the front the better, and on this thread you don’t have to worry about feeding problems.

Frankly, you are doing very well, but I suspect that half-second you’d like to get rid of will go away if or when you experiment with the lighter load. When the shooting’s started a second – or fraction thereof – can make the difference between a longer life and an abbreviated one.

You want a goal? Try this one.

Shoot a .38 Special revolver at a distance of about 5 yards. Make a 5-shot group that is less than 3 inches, and do it in slightly less then ½ of 1 second. :what:

And no, the Old Fuff wasn’t the one who did it. :D

Oh, and as a side note: During my lifetime I’ve had the interesting experience of knowing a small number of individuals who were honest-to-goodness gunfighters. One was Col. Charles Askins, who was a Border Patrolman and professional army officer. Over time his personal gunsmoke confrontations exceeded some 40 incidents. He survived to die of old age. When the shooting started I can assure you that he would willingly and without hesitation, cheat anyway he could. So I’m sure, would any of the rest.

M2 Carbine
April 21, 2007, 11:12 AM
M2Carbine, how do you time your strings?

I have a CED7000 timer.
It's so small I just drop it in a shirt pocket after I push the Start button.

I thought it would be interesting throwing in time with my shooting, so I started searching and asking questions. For the features and apparent quality the CED7000 seemed to be a good one.

What I do mostly is time the whole string or time each shot.

To time the string, like above, I set the timer to buz Start in two seconds from the time I push the start button. Then it will continue to time between shots and total time, as long as it "hears" shots.

To time each shot, I set a two second Start buzzer and two second Stop buzzer. And then I set how many shots I'm are going to fire. So it gives me a Start and Stop buzzer every two seconds with a two second "rest" between shots.

It's been pretty interesting. I think people underestimate the time they are taking to shoot.
For instance the above. If asked how long it was taking me to shoot those five rounds I'd say no more than five seconds and probably under four seconds. After all we can all shoot a shot a second, right.:)

April 21, 2007, 11:21 AM
For me, yes: 360PD with CT 405 Lasergrip.

M2 Carbine
April 21, 2007, 11:35 AM
Old Fuff
You want a goal? Try this one.

Shoot a .38 Special revolver at a distance of about 5 yards. Make a 5-shot group that is less than 3 inches, and do it in slightly less then ½ of 1 second.

No, I don't think that will ever happen.
I'm about 70 now and getting slower and less accurate instead of faster and more accurate.:D

Back in 57, in the USMC, a friend was into cowboy quick draw. We would have a contest in which he started with a holstered six gun and I held a aimed handgun.
If I waited until he started to move he could draw and fire before I could pull the trigger.
Some buddies couldn't believe that they couldn't pull the trigger faster than a man could draw a sixgun and fire. I never saw anyone beat him though.
I kept trying to get a signal from his eyes or something when he was going to move but I never did.:D

April 21, 2007, 11:39 AM
M2 thanks for the recommendation. That seems like a fun ingredient to add to the range arsenal. It of course won't help me at the indoor range (unless it's empty!) so I'll have to visit some outdoor ranges this summer.

I like the idea. I suspect I am much slower with followup shots with my SIG P239 than my Hk P2000. Both are my "carry pistols" at the moment. I'd like to quantify that.

I'd also like to get some shot strings with my snub, 38 practice loads, 38 +P vs 357. It sure feels like it takes me a long time to drop back to target with the 357. Although "feelings" can be deceiving, the timer won't lie.

TN Trapper
April 21, 2007, 11:40 AM
5 rounds of LRN? Absolutely NOT!!
5 rounds of Buffalo Bore ? Yea, I can deal with that. A 158 grain LHP at over 1,000 fps. out of a 2" j frame ain't nothin' to sneeze at.

April 21, 2007, 11:42 AM
What're your splits like with that load?
Sounds awful stout to me.


April 21, 2007, 05:16 PM
For the avg person 5 round and 2 feet is enough - first use the rounds and second use those feet to get out of there.

Or maybe it should be stated first use those 2 feet to get out of there and if that fails use those 5 rounds.

It would be different for folks that have "risky" occupations or live in Beruit.

April 23, 2007, 02:43 PM
There will be times when any given weapon will be inadequate for the task, whether it's a 5-shot snubby or a Glock 20 or a .50 BMG. Each individual must pick his level of preparation. My comfort level when not working is generally two SP101 .357snubbies, minimum, but then I wear a badge, and that influences my decision. I have noticed that there have been some recent street robberies in my "nice" patrol area with multiple armed bad guys who are communicating with each other to close in on the intended victim. The SP101 fits my not-so-large hands well enough to behave more like a service weapon than a pocket pistol, and I have always liked a little heft in a handgun, so the weight is OK. Get me away from the big city, and I after a while I just might find one handgun loaded with five or six to be comforting enough.

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