Question for Old Fuff


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xy17
April 25, 2007, 08:19 PM
"The Old Fuff often carries .38 Special (standard load) Cowboy loads in his pocket snubby, with no worries about so-called stopping power. If an aggressor gets stopped it's because of bullet placement."

Old Fuff, Which model .38 Special pocket stubby do you carry or recommend?

I'm debating whether to get a S&W 642 .38 Special using mild loads, or the 17ounce Taurus Model 731 in .32 Magnum.

One of the problems I'm having with deciding on the Taurus 731 is the exposed hammer, which would have to be bobbed for pocket carry.

Side note: can a bobbed hammer be easily & inexpensively replaced with an original again for easier resale?

In my endless research on .32 magnum revolvers, I think the S&W 632 Centennial might be interesting to check out. Is it light enough for pocket carry? I haven't found out much about it yet, but I did see a picture of the S&W 631 Lady Smith and liked what I saw.

Many thanks!
XY17

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Old Fuff
April 25, 2007, 09:33 PM
The Old Fuff is like certain ladies ,who have a closet full of shoes… :D

I may be found with a 3rd. generation Detective Special, or a Taurus model 85 ultra-lite,(.38 Special, not .357 Magnum, thank you), or an elderly S&W model 60 with a de-spurred hammer, or a .44 Special Taurus 445, or a Taurus blued steel, .38 CIA. All of the above are not ported. With the exception of the ultra-lite and model 60 they are blued, high-carbon steel.

I am also seriously thinking about a .32 H&R Magnum, and am currently working on a old Colt Police Positive in .32 S&W Long that would make an excellent candidate for turning into a Fitz-Special in .32 Magnum.

In my book, the smallest snubbies are pocket guns, although an ankle holster is a possible option. The problem with the lightest ones is recoil control, and fast recovery for subsequent follow-up shots that are accurate. What will stop an attack fastest is not some trick bullet, but rather a solid hit in a vital area – the best being in the attacker’s central nervous system (CNS).

Side note: can a bobbed hammer be easily & inexpensively replaced with an original again for easier resale?

I think that either Taurus or Numrich - The Gun Parts Corp. (www.e-gunparts.com) might have a hammer that was already bobbed. In that case you could exchange hammers, and always be able to reverse the modification.

I think the S&W 632 Centennial might be interesting to check out. Is it light enough for pocket carry?

I don't find all-steel J-frame revolvers (S&W or Taurus) to be hard to pocket carry because of weight. The trick is to use a good pocket holster that distributes the weight, and be sure the pocket(s) are deep enough, and avoid tight styles.

One of the problems I'm having with deciding on the Taurus 731 is the exposed hammer, which would have to be bobbed for pocket carry.

Stangely, my little Taurus 85 ultra-lite is the only snubby I've ever carried (and I've gone through a lot of them) where the hammer spur hasn't yet snagged while making a pocket draw. I can offer no good reason as to why this is. If you get a Taurus I suggest that you experiment with the unloaded revolver, before you consider bobbing the hammer. Your mileage may be different.

xy17
April 26, 2007, 06:10 AM
Old Fuff, thank you for your response. There are a lot of shoes in your closet to choose from!

I looked at the Taurus selections. They do have a lot of good looking models. I also spent some more time on the Smith & Wesson website and I keep coming up with the Model 642.

I agree with you that the lightest snubbies will have the most recoil control problems, and that is why I've been considering the .32 H&R Magnum. I'd like to be able to have fast controlled follow-up shots with accuracy, but it seems that about 95% of the people on this forum prefer the .38 Specials over the .32 H&R Magnums.

I see that you like to use standard loads, cowboy loads. Which commercial brand loads do you recommend for the .38 Special?

All the best,
XY17

Old Fuff
April 26, 2007, 11:40 AM
The .38 Special will always be much more popular then any .32 because it is (1) bigger, and (2) it is easy available in almost any store that sells ammunition, and a wide range of different loads and bullet styles are stocked. The .32 H&R Magnum, like the .41 Magnum, are not particularly popular in an overview, but both appeal to certain users looking for a specific solution to an individual's needs.

Unlike many, I don't get focused on a particular brand of ammunition, although I stay away for the inexpensive stuff sold in bulk packs for any serious purpose. Put bluntly, low cost usually means low quality. You get (or don't get) what you pay for.

If I was going to suggest a source I'd pick Black Hills Ammunition at www.black-hills.com. Be sure you get a 158 grain semi-wadcutter, not a round nose bullet. I believe that Winchester, Remington, and Federal also make similar ammunition.

Why pick a low velocity load with a 158 grain semi-wadcutter? Because it usually shoots to the point of aim, and this is important. If it doesn't in your revolver pick something else.

Another option is the old 148 grain mid-range .38 Special target load, but these are getting hard to find in a Winchester, Remington or Federal loading. Again avoid inexpensive reloads for anything but practice.

One other thing, regardless of what you buy to carry, after you get a box, dump the cartridges out and check each one, in one or more of the chambers to be sure they go in. On rare occasions you may find one that doesn't. :what:

Owners of autoloading pistols should do the same. :scrutiny:

A little later I'll attach a link to this post that you may find interesting.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=224327

xy17
April 27, 2007, 02:28 PM
Old Fuff, thank you for your suggestions!

In a previous post, I thought that your observations were most interesting
regarding .32 loads:

"But if one decides to stick to factory loads I would pick the wadcutter in most cases, because within the limits of the cartridge, this nose configuration is the one that is most likely to do maximum damage. I would follow that with the full-jacketed bullet, looking for maximum penetration. Unless handloaded, hollow points aren't going to do much in this round, and penetration might be too shallow."

Re: the .38 Special, I'll try the Black Hills Ammunition 158 grain semi-wadcutter and will check each one, in one or more of the chambers to be sure they go in. I don't want any surprises while attempting a quick reload.

Definition for "semi-wadcutter bullet" : (SWC) A type of bullet used for target and general shooting due to its ability to cut a very clean, distinct, and sharp hole in a paper target. It has a cylindrical body and heel, but with a flat-point conical nose.

Definition for "wadcutter bullet" : A bullet that has little to no curvature or angle at the nose. This type of bullet is often used for handgun target shooting due to its ability to create a large, even hole in paper targets.

Also, thanks for the adding the link about the Informal Test on Std. Pressure 38 Spec Ammo from Snub. I'm looking forward to study it.

XY17

bakert
April 27, 2007, 03:11 PM
Old Fuff, some of those young fellers that carry those big old revolvers in calibers big enough to stop armored trucks or pistols that hold enough ammo for a whole dang range session plus extra mags are going to have a shortness of breath, weakness of knees and heart flutters when they read your choices of guns and ammo in this post.:D

Old Fuff
April 27, 2007, 08:32 PM
I don't expect to win many converts..... ;)

Understand, more powerful loads and bigger bores are better, if you match them to a larger, heavier gun. But I prefer lighter loads in pocketable snubbies. No .32 or .38 bullet coming out of a 2" barrel is going to match a .45 coming out of a 4" or longer one. On the other hand a .32 is a better fight-stopper when it hits the attacker's central nervous system then a .45 that causes a shoulder wound and doesn't hit bone. I learned this from a Brit. Major who was assigned to the SAS. He didn't get his considerable experience sitting behind a computer monitor.

wcwhitey
April 27, 2007, 08:48 PM
Old Fluff, I have long subscribed to your manner of thinking. From years of experience responding to and investigating shootings and other deadly encounters I learned very quickly that the bullet fired is less important than where it strikes. I understand everyone trying to gain an edge by having the fastest, biggest, best expanding bullet around, this is human nature. The thing that I do not like is that 20 packs of the better bullets are close to $20 is some cases. Unless a person has substantial means he cannot practice with these bullets enough to ensure a precise hit. I believe this also applies to the super light .357 snubbies. In order to develope the skill needed to precisely place shots in the vitals of an advisary, all the time and under extreme pressure takes practice. A person is just not going to do this with expensive exotic ammo and extreme recoiling guns. Good Post, Bill

Old Fuff
April 27, 2007, 10:11 PM
I agree with your points. With a narrow focus on pocketable snubbies, I have no problem because practice ammunition duplicating my carry load is easy to obtain - and in fact often is "the" carry load.

As for others. Unless we are discussing some ultra-powerful specialty load, one can usually find (or handload) an equivalent using a semi-wadcutter lead bullet that matches the carry load in weight and velocity. The generated recoil should also be about the same. They should be obtainable at a cost that would make practice practical and affordable. You don’t have to practice with what you carry, just duplicate its ballistic performance.

ravencon
April 28, 2007, 10:37 AM
I concur with Old Fuff.

For a snubby I much prefer control and quick recovery over maximum power. Even in my Ruger SP101 I carry with .38 +P rather than .357 magnum. For my S&W 340 Sc I've come to prefer standard velocity .38s rather than +P or .357 magnums.

MICHAEL T
April 28, 2007, 09:26 PM
I like the 158LSWCHP+P load in my mod 49 carried the 148 wadcutter for a while. Heck been known to drop a little IverJohnson top break 38S&W in my pocket or a run to the store.

Old Fuff
April 28, 2007, 10:16 PM
Heck been known to drop a little IverJohnson top break 38S&W in my pocket or a run to the store.

Don't tell anyone, but the Old Fuff has been known too do that. :what:

But it was a Smith & Wessn Safety Hammerless... :evil:

CZ.22
April 28, 2007, 10:40 PM
Fuff- you gonna try the new Buffbore standard pressure?

floridaboy
April 28, 2007, 10:49 PM
Old Fuff, What's your opion of a S&W M37? I keep mine loaded with 158 gr swc's loaded over 3.7 grs of bullseye.

Old Fuff
April 28, 2007, 11:55 PM
Fuff- you gonna try the new Buffbore standard pressure?

Maybe... If or when I get around to it. But I would encourage others to try them because they seem to be a step in the right direction. The bottom line is, "how well can you control the recoil," and "can you make fast, but accurate, follow-up shots." Pick a bullet weight and load that shoots to the exact point of aim in your revolver.

sm
April 29, 2007, 12:06 AM
:D

Old Fuff shares so much truth.

Old Fuff
April 29, 2007, 12:10 AM
Old Fuff, What's your opion of a S&W M37? I keep mine loaded with 158 gr swc's loaded over 3.7 grs of bullseye.

I would expect the load to be giving you something around the middle 700 FPS out of a 2" (give or take) barrel. If you can control it, and it shoots to the exact point of aim, I'd say it was a good close-range load. Also if this is an older revolver the load will have little or no negative effect on the aluminum frame.

My only problem with the model 37 is that if you pocket carry, you'll need to do something about the hammer spur, which earned the nickname, "fishhook." It is sure to catch on something if you draw from deep cover.

xy17
April 29, 2007, 03:32 AM
Yesterday, I bought my first box of 50 Winchester 158 Grain Semi-Wadcutters in .38 Special.

The next thing I have to do is buy a gun. Is this known as putting the cart before the horse?

XY17

sm
April 29, 2007, 03:57 AM
No.
Just well stocked.
Never hurts to have great loadings.

Same reason somewhere I have a box of *nice* LSWC .44 specials, I do not personally own anything that will shoot .44, I do have a *nice* load just the same.

ArchAngelCD
April 29, 2007, 04:01 AM
I wish I had the money to buy ammo for guns I don't own.
I can barely afford to buy ammo for what I do own. :(

xy17
April 29, 2007, 04:31 AM
I'm thinking of buying a saddle next.

XY17

Old Fuff
April 29, 2007, 11:01 AM
I have a friend that buys old holsters... has quite a collection. :uhoh:

Once and awhile he tells his wife that he had to buy yet another gun, "because he had a holster that it fit... " :evil:

xy17
April 29, 2007, 01:42 PM
I have a friend that buys old holsters... has quite a collection.

Once and awhile he tells his wife that he had to buy yet another gun, "because he had a holster that it fit... "

LOL

One of my favorites is: "When I kick the bucket, I hope my wife doesn't sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them"

XY17

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