The Snubnose Revolver for Contemporary Carry


PDA






rickram
July 11, 2008, 03:07 PM
Periodically, firearms magazines run articles proclaiming the wheelgun to be "dead" or "obsolete" (or questioning these same proclamations). While it's true that firearms technology (and personal defensive training and theory) have progressed since the revolver was de rigueur, the wheelgun, particularly in its snubnosed package, remains one of the most effective self-defense weapons one may carry. There are multiple reasons for this. While pocket automatics and slightly larger but still compact autoloaders have eclipsed snubby revolvers in the minds of many, thare are compelling reasons to make a snubnosed revolver your daily carry piece.

First, snubnosed revolvers are very reliable. This is a function of the technology used. A well-maintained, properly timed revolver is objectively less likely to jam than an automatic, because there are fewer moving components involved. The cylinder simply rotates the next round into position; there are no feeding or ejecting issues to consider. This also means that a snubby revolver can be fired repeatedly through a pocket or a coat in an emergency, whereas an autoloader would likely fail to cycle properly after the first shot in similar circumstances.

Second, a revolver allows the citizen to carry a variety of defensive loads, ranging from hollowpoints to wadcutters to a variety of other specialty ammunition, without worrying that changing ammunition types or bullet shapes might cause the weapon not to cycle. Again, because the rounds need not be fed from a magazine up a ramp into the chamber, the revolver offers much greater versatility. No automatic can be trusted with ammunition that has not been tested in it and cycled repeatedly through it, whereas almost any live round will fire through a revolver with each pull of the trigger.

Third, a revolver, if it is to be fired in double-action mode, can be carried loaded and ready without any sort of safety mechanism involved (other than the internal hammer block of modern revolver designs, of course). The long double-action trigger stroke provides plenty of resistance to prevent accidental firing of the weapon (vital when the operator is under stress). The cylinder can be carried fully loaded without concern for accidental discharge (unlike some pocket autoloaders, whose operators may be tempted to carry them with the chamber empty for added safety during pocket carry). This means that in a self-defense situation, the snubby revolver can be drawn and immediately fired without the need for disengaging safeties or other delays.

Fourth, and finally for our purposes, a snubnosed revolver offers considerable power in a relatively compact package. While the run-of-the-mill .38 Special cartridge may not be anything remarkable, it is at least adequate for personal defense. When you upgrade to +P defensive ammuntion, you've got an extremely effective round at your disposal (though it does kick like the proverbial mule when fired in so small and light a gun, particularly in the aluminum-framed snubbies). Five rounds of +P hollowpoint ammunition will be more than sufficient for most self-defense scenarios (though one can always "game out" doomsday confrontations in which five rounds are not enough -- there is no point in such defeatism, for we must prepare for <i>likely</i> scenarios within reasonable parameters).

Obviously for day to day personal defense, the more compact your handgun, the more able you will be to carry it concealed and to carry it comfortably. While the snubby revolver is a bit chunkier in cross-section than most compact or pocket automatics, the benefits it confers in firepower, reliablity, and versality of ammunition make it worth the extra thickness. To best take advantage of the snubby's draw-and-shoot design, its vital to avoid adding extra delays to your carry strategy. What this means is that the snubby is best carried in a holster, and that holster should be of the friction fit type.

A friction-fit holster is any holster -- Kydex, leather, even plastic -- that retains the weapon without any sort or retaining strap, snap, or other hinderance. A quality leather inside-the-waistband holster that retains the gun without a retention snap is a great choice, for example. If you can place the (empty) gun in the holster, turn the holster upside down (over your bed, just in case), and shake the holster from the barrel end without causing the gun to fall free, your weapon will be properly retained in daily carry (though you must test it out over a few days to be sure). Such a holster allows you to position the snubby on your belt line for a consistent draw that is free of obstructions. You can thus draw, point, and pull the double-action trigger, yielding the fastest possible response time to a self-defense situation.

With a snubnosed revolver in a friction-fit holster tucked into your waistband under a shirt, you are well-armed in even hot weather. Spare rounds can be carried in speedloaders or, for a more low-profile alternative, in flat, linear speed-strips. While it may not be as sexy or even as modern as any of several contemporary compact autoloaders or pocket pistols, the snubnosed revolver is a practical, reliable weapon of self-defense. You should consider seriously whether this concealed carry package can work for you. It does for many armed, responsible individuals just like you.



(Rick R. 07-11-08 at 10:58
You may reprint this article in your newsletter, magazine, or on your website for free with author's permission.)

If you like this article and you want more people to read it, please vote for it on digg. (click button below)
http://digg.com/img/badges/100x20-digg-button.gif (http://digg.com/other_sports/The_Snubnose_Revolver_for_Contemporary_Carry)

If you enjoyed reading about "The Snubnose Revolver for Contemporary Carry" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
doc540
July 11, 2008, 03:34 PM
thanks for posting that

Point by point, that sums up why it's my carry choice.

And now that I have the Jim Badger Colt DS boot grips I really enjoy shooting it at the range. I can shoot over 100 +P rounds with no problems whatsoever and my hands don't know it the day after.

simple
reliable
variety of ammo
safe
concealable
effective

stormspotter
July 11, 2008, 03:39 PM
Here is my Sunday -go anywhere gun.


http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k10/ema567/100_3313.jpg


Still not giving up my Glock 17, but I find my Model 19 a little easier to conceal at times.

M&PVolk
July 11, 2008, 03:41 PM
I really, really want a 442 for pocket carry and special attire situations.

glassman
July 11, 2008, 03:45 PM
Let me say welcome to the forum. Thanks for your concise and well written input. The thing that came home for me was the reliabilty and simplicity aspect of the revolver.

rickram
July 11, 2008, 03:54 PM
Thanks glassman!

indie
July 11, 2008, 03:56 PM
one heck of a first post. Welcome to THR.

Oro
July 11, 2008, 05:17 PM
Here is my Sunday -go anywhere gun.

You got to dress them a little prettier for "Sunday" carry: ;)

Seriously though, here's another good sight for snubbie discussions:

http://www.snubnose.info/

My "Sunday" gun, shockingly similar to stormspotters:

http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd275/kamerer/S-W/19-5/IMGP3117.jpg

Cosmoline
July 11, 2008, 05:19 PM
I still don't think there's a better CCW arm than the Colt DS.

loneviking
July 11, 2008, 05:29 PM
Kamerer, what is that little snubby of yours? I've found a snubby I'm considering buying but I can't identify it. It's very similar, in profile to yours. It has that odd addition to the grips (which are wood), a satin silver finish, made by Smith and Wesson---but it doesn't have 'airweight', or 'lady-smith', or 'chiefs special', no sort of extra markings on it. It does have adjustable rear sites. I've had no luck identifying the gun. It seems to be just a 38 special as I can't find a +P marking on it anywhere. Any ideas?

skoro
July 11, 2008, 06:36 PM
I like a .38 snubbie as a carry gun.

SAG0282
July 11, 2008, 07:13 PM
The .38 is for me the end-all be-all of versatile carry guns. I haven't carried anything else in ages. It's nice to have a potent CCW gun I don't have to worry about printing, etc. Can be carried comfortably in any climate too.

wnycollector
July 11, 2008, 08:12 PM
Excellent post! It pretty much sums up why most time's I carry either a .38 or .357 snub. I'm packing for vacation tomorrow, guess what's coming along??? Snubbie ruger security six with a couple extra speed loaders!

MCgunner
July 11, 2008, 08:19 PM
XLint post. Yup, if I go IWB, I go .357 most times. Oh, I have a .38 pocket carry, too. My autos works like my revolvers, DAO, so I can keep practice the same. The revolver is FAR from dead. :rolleyes:

Guillermo
July 11, 2008, 08:33 PM
Ditto on the excellent post.

Nice job.

I am buying all the older revolvers I can because there are no new wheelguns that are as good as the oldies. Such is not the case with pistols.

There is nobody that loves a wheelgun more than me. My favorite carry is a Colt Detective Special. Gave my daughter a S&W 19 for her 15th b day. Carry a 686 in a crossdraw when I hike.

Revolvers do have their limitations. Mostly it comes from their shape. My next purchase will probably be a Kahr PW9 for inside the waistband carry.

Of course if I come across a nice smith with a shrouded hammer like the model 49....hmmmm :evil:

doc540
July 11, 2008, 09:25 PM
My daily beater

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/Colt%20Detective%20Special/ds5-1.jpg

General Geoff
July 11, 2008, 09:41 PM
I dunno, I don't really like snubs for carry. I prefer the 6" barrel. :)

Elvishead
July 11, 2008, 11:13 PM
rickram

A well-maintained, properly timed revolver is objectively less likely to jam than an automatic, because there are fewer moving components involved.

You blew your cover when you wrote that.

That being said, I like revolvers, and prefer them most of the time.

SASD209
July 11, 2008, 11:19 PM
S&W 360 PD, my daily carry. I have absolute confidence with and in this weapon.

http://www.impactguns.com/store/media/smith_360pd_rr.jpg

machinisttx
July 11, 2008, 11:32 PM
Kamerer, what is that little snubby of yours? I've found a snubby I'm considering buying but I can't identify it. It's very similar, in profile to yours. It has that odd addition to the grips (which are wood), a satin silver finish, made by Smith and Wesson---but it doesn't have 'airweight', or 'lady-smith', or 'chiefs special', no sort of extra markings on it. It does have adjustable rear sites. I've had no luck identifying the gun. It seems to be just a 38 special as I can't find a +P marking on it anywhere. Any ideas?

His gun is a 2.5" S&W M19(.357 magnum). Note that it has an enclosed ejector rod. A very similar, but even more scarce S&W would be a 2" M14(.38 special). The M14 does not have an enclosed ejector rod. The M19 and M14 both had the option of nickel plating.

Another similar gun would be the 2.5" M66, which is the same gun as the M19, except in stainless. Mine, along with my 4" round butt M66, are pictured below(both have 9 pound DA triggers, the 2.5" has a two and a half pound SA trigger, the 4" is DAO).

All of the above is assuming it's a 6 shot gun. If it's only a five shot....it's a whole new can of worms, but possibly a M60.

The grip adapter is a Tyler T Grip, and snaps on or off by loosening the grips.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/gun%20stuff/100_0808.jpg

Catalina25
July 11, 2008, 11:47 PM
I too am a believer of a wheel in the pants. Mine being a dated 36 sq. butt with a speed strip of 6. 135 gold dot if you please. And rickram while I am out in the world preaching the gospel of the gun I would very much like to reference that most excellent post.

stormspotter, kamerer, 19's are so cool and that Colt doc540 is art. I can't believe you guys carry such nice guns mine, it looks like it was hit by a truck, a big truck.

And as kamerer said +1 on the Snubnose Files lots a good stuff.
Good Night all TKM

The_Shootist
July 12, 2008, 12:25 AM
My M85 slips in my front shorts pocket with no problems / no printng (in a Kramer pocket holster). Backed with 2 s/l on the left side and the carry ammo Buffalo Bore's standard pressure .38's I feel pretty confident. If that won't get me out of trouble, then either I should have stayed in bed that day or walked out of the house with my WASR slung over my shoulder.
:eek:

About the only downside (if it can be called that) is they require more practice. When I got my M85, I was all over the target. But a couple of hundred rounds later (and some High Road advice) I was grouping close to the center - good enough for a SD encounter at 7 yrds. Probably at a minimum every 2-3 weeks practice is required if the snubby will be your primary.

The comfort factor is also a big plus. Right now I'm carrying my 686+ IWB with my summer shorts/t-shirt uniform. I don't have any problem conealing it, but there is a marked "comfort factor" in play carrying a full size revolver vs a snubby. The snubby maybe feels like a heavier wallet in your front pocket whereas I'm always aware (not necessarily a bad thing) of the 686 on my right side, although I can't say its UNcomfortable. Still after I ger back from my trip to Corpus and Laredo next week I 'll probably go back to my snubby.

Just wish I could find a decent .44 spl snubby. Probably hit the gun shows for those.

Mike Kerr
July 12, 2008, 12:47 AM
Thanks for the post. Seems very well thought out and organized.

Regards,

:):):)

loneviking
July 12, 2008, 12:48 AM
All of the above is assuming it's a 6 shot gun. If it's only a five shot....it's a whole new can of worms, but possibly a M60.

The grip adapter is a Tyler T Grip, and snaps on or off by loosening the grips.


This gun is a five shot, with a satin stainless finish and the Tyler T grips. It looks a lot like the 19 but the rear site is smaller and maybe aftermarket. The gun also doesn't have anything on it that indicates that it's '+P'. Those Tyler T Grips really add a good feel to the gun!

rdoggsilva
July 12, 2008, 03:43 AM
I enjoy carrying my Rossi 462 6 shot 357 inside my pocket during the summer. But I also like my 1911. Carry the speed loader in a old cell phone case. :eek:
http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg38/rdoggsilva/170.jpg

jon_in_wv
July 12, 2008, 12:41 PM
I used to like the snubby revolvers but I sold all of mine. I don't see the advantage anymore. The five shot snubs are only marginally smaller than my M&P 9C. If I can carry a cnub I can carry that and with a spare magazine I have 24 rounds of quality hollowpoints at my disposal. Its more accurate, easier to shoot quickly and well, and reloads are much easier. On occasions where my M&P is too big to carry, the revolver is also too big. I have to really step down to a small 380 like my LCP. It is much smaller and flatter than a snubby and I can also shoot it more quickly and accurately than a snubby. I can also carry 2 spare magazine in a mag carrier the that disappears inside my waist band.
The snubby is a good "all around" carry gun for those that can only have one. BUT I will think the small Glocks, M&Ps, Kahrs, and the PF-9 negate much of the advantages the snubbie used to have. But if you are comfortable and competant with a snubby it can serve you very well.

Glock Holiday
July 12, 2008, 01:37 PM
Preach it brother!
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x42/Glockholiday/M38-1-1.jpg
I love my snubbies!

gizamo
July 12, 2008, 01:41 PM
I like the bigger kind:uhoh:

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/Gizamo1/snubs001.jpg

Giz

rgs1975
July 12, 2008, 02:48 PM
Great article. Here's my contemporary pocket snub.

http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/5355/432twoax6.jpg

J642
July 12, 2008, 03:56 PM
The biggest advantage, in my eyes, is the ability to quickly, reliably, and effortlessly draw from a pocket. I really believe the centennial (and bodyguard) J-frames were built with this purpose in my mind.

Arrogant Bastard
July 12, 2008, 04:20 PM
I really, really want a 442 for pocket carry and special attire situations.

My first handgun was the S&W 640, with Crimson Trace grips.

I preferred it to the lighter airweight J-frames because, at 23 oz unloaded compared to the airweight's 15 oz, it's 50% heavier, which reduces felt recoil. It is also capable of handling .357, though I don't really have any intention of using .357. My carry ammo is Buffalo Bore 158-gr LSWCHP +P -- pretty much everything I've read says this is the round to beat in a .38 snubnose.

Kosh75287
July 12, 2008, 04:32 PM
I'm in agreement with the entire premise if, by "snubby", we mean the J-frame S&Ws, Colt Detective Specials and Ruger SPs. Larger revolvers, like the 2 1/2" M19s, are no less bulky than my .40 S&W Firestar, and considerably more difficult to shoot with .357magnum loads. Loading a K-frame with lighter ammunition seems much like taking 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. If less power than a full-house .357 is needed, then it can be had in a more portable package. Indeed, various of the "pocket nines" offer similar ballistics with a more rapid reload in a flatter package of little more size if anymore at all.
A j-frame S&W loaded with .357s, while obstreperous to say the least, delivers the power of the M19 and the concealability/portability of the J-frame. This is the best of both worlds.
Anything less powerful or larger is a compromise better answered by an automatic.

Kosh75287
July 12, 2008, 04:49 PM
I'm in agreement with the entire premise if, by "snubby", we mean the J-frame S&Ws, Colt Detective Specials and Ruger SPs. Larger revolvers, like the 2 1/2" M19s, are no less bulky than my .40 S&W Firestar, and considerably more difficult to shoot with .357magnum loads. Loading a K-frame with lighter ammunition seems much like taking 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. If less power than a full-house .357 is needed, then it can be had in a more portable package. Indeed, various of the "pocket nines" offer similar ballistics with a more rapid reload in a flatter package of little more size if anymore at all.
A j-frame S&W loaded with .357s, while obstreperous to say the least, delivers the power of the M19 and the concealability/portability of the J-frame. This is the best of both worlds.
Anything less powerful or larger is a compromise better answered by an automatic.

deanodog
July 12, 2008, 06:34 PM
Heavy to carry but you have to love the 66-1 P&R 2 1/2 barrel

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c375/deanodog/000_0555.jpg

Maddock
July 12, 2008, 08:26 PM
Welcome to The High Road, rickram. Excellent post, cogent and reality based.

Katana8869
July 13, 2008, 02:29 AM
I have several autoloaders in my collection, but I often carry what I started out with, which is a Ruger SP101. For reliability, simplicity and performance, the SP offers a combination that is hard to beat IMO. Not to mention, the SP is just plain fun to shoot.

As far as it just being a 5 shooter, that problem is easily solved by adding a easily hidden BUG, like my P3AT or a speedloader dropped in a pocket.

I just spent the week out of town on vacation and this is what I packed around the whole trip. The SP rode IWB at 3 o'clock, the P3AT rode in my left front pocket in a pocket holster.

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f201/katana8869/006small.jpg

sparkyguy
July 13, 2008, 07:14 AM
My thoughts exactly. The j-frame snubby is near perfect for cc and it's simplicity. Unfortunately, my wife agreed whole-heartedly and kept it for her own.:mad:
http://a646.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/106/l_1b16acf4fbd0e16d5ba577d46af71f9d.jpg

moph759fl
July 13, 2008, 09:25 AM
My favorite carry is the Taurus model 605, all Titanium, .357 snub W/125GR GDHP. In the cooler months here, I can, at times, carry my Taurus model 44C (.44MAG snub) W/200GR .44SPL GDHP.

Frizzman
July 13, 2008, 11:29 AM
That was a very well written essay. I found it to be succinct and it made the points of argument very clear. it was a good read. You should be writing for one of the gun magazines.

I agree with your thoughts. I carry some form of short barreled revolver 95% of the time. Mine range from S&W N frames to a Colt Detective Special/Agent or a J frame S&W, all steel or Airweight. I really like the fact that they all operate the same way and under stress do not require much complicated manipulation. I always recommend such guns to new carriers. Unfortunately, it seems that most of the younger people I talk to seem to think that carrying a revolver is little better than a flintlock...Thanks for the good writing. I will copy that and give it to some people I know...Thanks

kmbrman
July 13, 2008, 04:39 PM
All of us in the shooting sports probably have revolvers as well as autos. My regret is not buying one of the 66's or model 19 Smiths when they were still plentiful in the gun shows, some with the popular 3" barrels fitted. Well ,we live and learn. Long live the snubs and I will always have one for CC.

ev239
July 17, 2008, 12:50 PM
Wow, some gorgeous snubs out there. Here's my wife's which I end up carrying more than she does.
http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/4410/img6267fn0.jpg
http://img390.imageshack.us/img390/1281/img6271pb8.jpg

Yes, it's a Charter Arms, but it's always worked and has a decent trigger. Since it's a CA I don't worry about shining her up.

In case you're wondering, I bought T grips for a K frame S&W and then trimmed/filed/sanded up the bottom to match up to the Charter then coated it with PlastiDip spray.

If you enjoyed reading about "The Snubnose Revolver for Contemporary Carry" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!