S&W Model 38


September 5, 2008, 10:05 PM
Welcome Model 38 owners and on lookers. This is a place to talk and brag about your model 38. Feel free to show your pictures and/or tell your strories. I would like to hear how you like yours and why you bought it over the other revolvers out there.

I am a new owner of one that I got from my father, which I carry. I don't have any stories or pics to share YET.

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September 5, 2008, 11:04 PM
I have a model 38-3, pre-lock that I sometimes pair up with my 642. It's a great little gun and one of my favorites.

I don't have any pictures of this gun but I once spilled some chicken soup on it.

dan :)

September 6, 2008, 10:41 PM


September 7, 2008, 12:21 PM
I had rather hoped this Model 38 thread/club would take off better than it has.

Much ado has been made about the SA capability of the gun as enabled by the partially exposed hammer. Some view the SA option as an asset, some as a liability.

I think the model 38s are great little guns. I see their primary "use" as being a J-frame with SA capabilities relegated to pocket carry duty. While some praise the SA capability, others have stated they would never want or need that option. Someone, on another forum as I recall, dubbed the Bodyguards the "thinking man's J-frame" and I tend to agree. He/she was extolling the virtues of the SA feature.

Carrying and using any ANY handgun for personal defense applications is all about compromises and options. We all make these compromises in an effort to select the best handgun for our personal situation. I think the SA capability is just another option of which we can take advantage.

Now, having said all that, my primary J-frame is a Model 642. It has perhaps the best action I've ever seen on a J-frame, much better than my Model 38 or 49, ergo it's the primary J-frame. The 642 is often paired or supplemented with the Model 38 however.

To summarize.......long live the Bodyguards.

Is there actually that much color difference between the sideplate and frame of your gun or is that a photo/lighting thing? Taking into consideration your user name, I would suspect the former. :D

dan :)

September 7, 2008, 03:33 PM
I love my nickel mod. 38. I have hogue bantam grips and wood with a tyler t grip for when I'm in the mood. I likes it's mika pocket holster alot. It also likes it's galco owb and it's shoulder holster.

September 7, 2008, 08:19 PM
There is quite a bit of difference due to the different metals used but it is compounded by the harsh light.

That's one of my famous point-and-shoot tabletop gun photos. :)

September 8, 2008, 05:52 AM
Picked this S&W model 38 Airweight up last week.
It was found in a box full of model 36, 60, 38's, Colt Detective Special/Agent.
The mod. 38 look trashed. It was full grunge & gunk. It cleaned up nicely.
It's a Police trade in from Roscommon County Sheriff dept.
Manufactured 1956.

September 8, 2008, 09:56 PM
I own and carry both a model 38 and a 49. I've owned a bodyguard since I was in High school. My Model 38 traveled with me on deployments for 21 years in the army. I called it my ruck gun. I almost lost it during a shake down inspection at the end of the Gulf war.

September 9, 2008, 03:19 PM
Hey Chef, I also have a nickel with t-grip, but mine came with white (plastic?) grips. Pics to come.

Don't worry, Purple. I have the feeling this thread will grow as long as the 642 and other snub threads. The 38 and 638s are sweet, especially pre-lock.

So, the burning question... Plus P? Sometimes?

September 9, 2008, 05:31 PM
I own a 638 Airweight and love it!!! It's my discover card, I never leave home without it. Great little CCW gun. Usually have it and speed strips stuffed with Gold Dot +P's and have some Pow'R Balls in the speedloaders.

Sorry no pics right now (where's that camera?)

September 9, 2008, 05:59 PM
I love j-frames. I'm sure the M38 is a reliable pocket pistol. But...if there is an uglier snubby made - I can't think of it.

September 9, 2008, 11:45 PM
...if there is an uglier snubby made - I can't think of it.

Gee...I was just havin' some fun with ya - I didn't mean to kill the thread.

Come on all you M38 lovers - convince me I'm wrong!

September 10, 2008, 12:43 AM
I passed up a Model 38 a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I couldn't afford it at the time; wish I could've. They sure are ugly, but I certainly could've found a place to store it. There are a few nice pictures of 38s/49s in the revolver picture thread. XavierBreath swears by 'em.

September 10, 2008, 08:14 PM
I wish I could find a nice nickel model .38. It's tough here in CA and I have a list of S&W's I wish I never sold and that's at the top of it.

At one time I paid to much for a pony model 38 from an estate sale back east.There was a run of them made for a PD in the north east, nickle barrel and cylinder, dark blue annodized frame. It was not the prettiest thing but I got used to it.

Always thought though that an all nickel 38 would be sweet.

September 28, 2008, 08:21 PM
Currently running 110gr Fed Hydrashock. Testing 135gr Gold Dot "short Barrel" +P and 158gr LSWCHP +P. Also considering non +P 158gr LSWCHP from Buffalo Bore.

SO much easier to handle with the t-grip.

September 28, 2008, 11:14 PM
Here's my 638.

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