lightest smallest thinnest .38 revolver


February 20, 2010, 02:31 PM
What is the lightest smallest thinnest .38 revolver?

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February 20, 2010, 02:37 PM
Ruger got the LCR 13 oz

February 20, 2010, 02:40 PM
the LCR... to my knowledge...

February 20, 2010, 02:58 PM
Isn't LCR bigger than a j-frame, although lighter?

February 20, 2010, 03:03 PM
only if you compare the laser grips of the LRC to the wood splinter stocks on a J-frame. with the same stocks, they are pretty much the same size.

the LCR is both lighter and thinner, plus it comes with a better trigger action out of the box

February 20, 2010, 04:39 PM
S&W 342 AirLite 11.3 oz

The Ruger might be a touch skinnier at the barrel, but the 342 is lighter, and probably better in a pocket with the more compact grips.

The aftermarket really needs to get on some kind of compact grip for the LCR IMO.

February 20, 2010, 04:42 PM
the LCR comes with a larger grip to make shooting more comfortable.. but it is lighter than most every offering and thinner than any that I know of.

February 20, 2010, 04:46 PM
S&W 342 AirLite 11.3 oz
i stand corrected

my personal bias is that the 300 series is too light to qualify as a practical gun...i like to get some reasonable amount of bearable practice in with what i carry. my personal carry is the M-642. i tried the 342 and found it's recoil too distracting

February 20, 2010, 04:54 PM
The 340PD also comes in at 12 oz.

The width of a J frame is 1.31"

The width of the LCR is 1.28"

Only skinnier by the smallest of margins.

I know I'm probalby in the minority here, but I really don't find 20-21 oz in a pocket revolver to be a problem.

February 20, 2010, 05:19 PM
Only skinnier by the smallest of margins.

I know I'm probalby in the minority here, but I really don't find 20-21 oz in a pocket revolver to be a problem.

"smallest of margins" reminds me of the joke about the traffic officer beating a stop sign violator asking if he wanted him to stop or slow down :D

20oz is 1.25lbs...maybe i'm just sensitive from wearing a belt full of gear for 12 hours a day for too many years

February 20, 2010, 06:54 PM
The absolutely lightest production .38 special I can think of is the discontinued S&W 337PD, at a hair under 10 ounces.


The Lone Haranguer
February 20, 2010, 07:04 PM
I would have to say one of the S&W AirLites.

It should be remembered that being the absolute lightest/smallest/thinnest is not necessarily a good thing. It still has to be actually shot.

February 20, 2010, 07:18 PM
These were made for many years prior to 1961, I believe in 32 S&W long and 38 S&W, but not 38 special. The later model 32s were made with the thicker J-frames and in 38 special. Also, the early Charter arms undercover that I have is smaller and thinner than the current J-frames as well , and are in 38 special. Mine was made in the 1970s and weighs 16 ounces but thin and of steel. You can find these little jewels on from time to time at a good price. In the current guns , I would think the new Ruger LCR, a little thinner than the J-frames S&W, but the grip is a little thicker than the J-frame. The model S&W 342 is the lightest .357/38 special with 11.3 ounces, but are not made anymore but are out there.

February 20, 2010, 08:04 PM
.030 difference in thickness between J frame and LCR? Holy crap, guys!! Why would anybody really care? the difference in thicknesses of holster materials more than makes up for the difference in "thickness"....

The real thing to consider is overall volumetric size, combined with weight.

In a gunfight, one's adrenalin causes a disregard of recoil, but, the muzzle flip that the recoil causes in a very light handgun can impact living or not due to time required for follow-up shots.

I'd much rather have a 15+ ounce .38 J frame (or even J magnum) than something that won't allow extremely quick follow-up shots.

Plus, with the requirement to practice, practice, practice with one's carry piece, the feather-weight revolvers are so unpleasant to shoot that most folks don't do the required range work or practice.

Just my opinion.....................

February 20, 2010, 09:24 PM
The 342 is not a .357/ 38, but rather a 38 special only. By the way according to my S&W book, the 337 PD is the lightest 38 special that was made. I stand corrected.

February 20, 2010, 09:52 PM
M&P 360 .357/.38 scandium is 13 ounces with a hammer and the M&P 340 has no hammer so it is lighter - 12 ounces as someone said.

February 20, 2010, 11:13 PM
This is a 38 revolver (38 S&W) and it is downright tiny. All steel so heavier than some of the alloy guns mentioned, but still pretty compact and light.

I worked up some 125 JHP loads to a clocked 975 FPS which is nearly 100 FPS faster than the much feared factory +P 38 Specials from a 2" barrel in my testing. I think a hammerless version would be a slick pocket pistol.

February 21, 2010, 12:45 AM
My old Taurus M85 Titanium (not the UL) was said to be 11oz when I bought it. Don't have a scale to check, and info on that gun is pretty scarce online...

February 21, 2010, 11:32 AM
Logan, I have the same one , I love it, and it weighs 11.5 ozs, I realy don't know it's there sometimes. And it's plus p rated. Can't beat it for ccw, my seacamp is near the same weight.

February 21, 2010, 12:03 PM
I like the Taurus Total Titanium revolvers. My .45 Colt +P rated model 450 weighs 19 ounces. That is an 11.48 mm hand-cannon at 19 ounces. As indicated, my M&P 360 .357 at 13 ounces has to be at the top of the power to weight ratio in handguns.

February 21, 2010, 12:39 PM
I had a 342 and still have a PM9 (@14oz). I put each gun in a variety of different pants and found the 342 printed the least. My wife tried it also and found the same result.

Unfortunately, with the mildest of loads, I found the 342 to be too difficult to shoot both from the enormously heavy trigger to the hellish recoil so I sold it at Cabela's for a good deal.

Still have the PM9 but I will sell that as soon as I find a buyer. I don't carry so it makes no sense to own a "carry gun."

February 21, 2010, 12:49 PM
but not as nice . Mine is an I-frame made about 1947, I think, and is smaller than the J-frame that replaced it in 38 special and lighter as well. I wish S&W could make a smaller frame than the J-frame again with modern metals to be lighter and in 32 H&R magnum. Around 10 ounces , it would be a real pocket gun for sure.

February 21, 2010, 01:58 PM
My 12 oz 340 (which is a .357 but in which I carry .38) is not my funnest gun to shoot by a long shot; but it is a gun that I can and will carry when I can't or won't carry a belt gun. Outstanding pocket gun.

February 21, 2010, 03:50 PM
I know one experienced shooter who bought one of the superlight Scandium revolvers. He was afraid to even test fire it!

When I want something light on my hip, I carry a 3" 5 shot all steel revolver. With rubber grips, I can comfortably shoot .357 ammo without problems. Yes, it's 21 oz or so, but it's not really noticeable!

If you have something very lightweight, you are more likely to flinch when firing it. If you are not comfortable shooting it, you are less likely to be on target. I don't have to worry about that with mine.

One more thing: my .357 with rubber grips is more comfortable to shoot than my wife's .38 special Ladysmith with the pretty wood grips.

February 21, 2010, 04:44 PM
a Scandium revolver chamber in .357Mag is another example of "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean it's a good idea"

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