No Choice Now but to Come-Over to A Wheel-Gun


August 28, 2011, 10:02 PM
Well, no more semi-auto's (not anytime soon) for this guy (certainly not for CCW-Self-Defense or Home Defense).

Can I call `em "plastic" now?? ha.

I'll be buying "second-hand" what will we call that; "pre-owned"..."Previously-owned"??

Unfortunately, my "budget is going to have to stay at about $400, because I will also need a holster, ammo, other accessories, etc.

Damn I'm uptight now. I thought I'd be "ok" (well-enough anyway) with what has turned-out to be a "low-end" Kel Tec.

Had always wanted a .357 Magnum, as a primary, and that certainly would have complimented the 9mm.

However, someone (in another forum) suggested a ".38 Special", and he also mentioned "+P".

Being rather uneducated in handguns (shot virtually all long guns my life - and have just been a handgun-owner (semi-autos) now short of two years, with not a great deal of experience in that time ("about 300" rounds, total, fired in all that time), I need to ask this question, please:

Is there a .38-Special that will fire +P rounds "continuously", please? :confused:

This Kel Tec is "rated for +P"..."but "not" for "continuous" use" ... whatever the hell that means...exactly...?

Thanks in advance,

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August 28, 2011, 10:06 PM
Nearly any steel framed .38 will eat all the +P you want to feed it.

Lucky Derby
August 28, 2011, 10:12 PM
On your budget you should be able to find a good used S&W M10, or other K frame .38 or .357. Or perhaps a Ruger Security/Service/Speed-Six series or GP100 revolver.
All good choices, mainly stick with brands know for quality-S&W, Ruger. Colt is good as well, but most likely out of your price range, and of suspicious condition if it is. Should be a revolver checkout at the top of the revolver section to help you look over any used ones you find.
Any of the steel framed guns will be fine with all the +P you want to shoot. If you get a .357, you can fire .357 as well as the .38 and .38 +P. But they do tend to cost a bit more than the .38 counterpart.

Old krow
August 28, 2011, 10:12 PM
Is there a .38-Special that will fire +P rounds "continuously", please?

A .357 will shoot them continuously just fine. You can probably find a Ruger SP101 or a used SW in .357 in your price range.

Bernie Lomax
August 28, 2011, 10:17 PM
Is there a .38-Special that will fire +P rounds "continuously", please?

Basically any .38 Special made by Ruger can digest a steady diet of +p .38 special rounds.

August 28, 2011, 11:36 PM
Take a look at J&G sales.. They have a boat load of S&W Model 64's that would fit your needs admirably.

August 28, 2011, 11:53 PM
Been shooting revolvers for nearly 50 years and auto's come and go but a nice, high quality, well built revolver lasts your life and your son's life. wouldn't have it any other way. Welcome to wheel guns- enjoy

August 29, 2011, 01:13 AM
One of the great things about choosing a quality .357 is that you can shoot +p .38 Special in it till the cows come home, and likely never wear it out. You'll always have option of shooting .357 if you want, but you certainly don't have to.

August 29, 2011, 01:26 AM
You should be able to find an old S&W model 10 with a heavey barrel for less than $350 easily. they will probably be old PD trade-ins but that makes them an exceptional deal. PD guns historically are "Often carried, seldom fired" The heavy barrel will eat all the +P ammo you'll ever be able to feed it with no neagtive consequences.
You should be able to find some S&W Model 19 .357 magnum wheelguns in the $50-$500 range if you keep your eyes open. They'll look rough, but they're still excellent shooters

Good luck in your search.

Steel Talon
August 29, 2011, 01:44 AM
Seek out a .357 magnum.And shoot .38's through it for practice. Carry .357 rpounds for defence

August 29, 2011, 02:26 AM
Any quality, modern .38 should handle +P loads with ease.

Finding a used .38 at $400 will probably be easier than finding a .357, but it can be done. After tax & fees tho....

August 29, 2011, 02:30 AM
One more vote for a S&W K in either 10 or 64 guise. in addition to any advantages noted above, a K frame will shoot, as one fellow THR member once noted, "like it was welded to your eyeballs".

Try a 3" round butt variation for carry, and load it with whatever stout +P you care to, in either 158 LSWCHP, or 129-135gr next gen duty ammo; you will like it. Plus, you can't wear a steel K out with .38 spec +P.

August 29, 2011, 09:44 AM
Some of what I have to say, I posted in a .38 Special ammunition thread yesterday.

A Model 10 S&W will be ticking along, barring neglect or serious abuse, long after you are done. I have an M&P (the name the model 10 had before there were model numbers) that was made in 1930, and served with a state law enforcement agency until the late 1990's, when I bought it as surplus. It has a 4" barrel, and square butt.

It is still a fine, viable weapon, and has the best trigger on a K frame I've ever shot. Looks like heck, with little finish left on the right side, but shoots any sane load just fine. No telling how many thousands of loads have run through it.

I also currently own a Model 13 in .357 Magnum (3", round butt), and a 642 (2", round butt) in .38 Special.

I have no real preference in .38 Special carry loads, so long as they are not RNL or FMJ. SWCHP, SWC, WC, JHP, +p or not, all will do the job, so long as you put the pellet where it goes. The Model 10 is as accurate a service revolver as has been made, and will put the bullets where you point the weapon. I personally do not *like* to shoot a regular diet +p through light aluminum framed guns because I have an arthritic wrist that considers such behavior unacceptable, but there are plenty of them out there that will take it without problems, not just the medium-framed (K) .38 or .357 revolvers.

I suggest you examine the various S&W K frames: Models 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 64, 65 (all will shoot .38 Special, including +p, but some are .357 Magnums, to boot), with the Model 17/617 for a .22 understudy built on the same frame. For a pocket gun that is also +p rated in .38, get a 642, 637, or 638 (all aluminum framed), or a 640 or Ruger SP101 for a slightly larger .357 (both are made of steel). I do not suggest the .357 lightweights, unless you will treat them as if they are .38 revolvers, and forget that they shoot .357. I am not into masochism, and I'm afraid that most new handgunners would consider such a lightweight .357 to be self abuse at least as much as I do.

I have to wonder, what has caused you to say that you have no choice in this matter? I, at one time, owned a KelTec P11, but I much prefer my 642 as a pocket gun. I do not consider either of them as very much fun to shoot a couple hundred rounds through in one sitting, but my KT was always reliable. It wasn't the best or finest gun I've ever owned, by any stretch of the imagination, but if I had it back right now and had to carry it, I would without concern about its function or safety. The 642 has a better trigger, is more accurate, and gives more "warm fuzzies" and pride of ownership.

Lucky Derby
August 29, 2011, 10:56 AM
GConn: I answered above about revolvers, but I am curious about your Kel-Tec experience.
Many people own and like KT firearms. I own one of them (a rifle) and it has served me well. I knew when I bought it that it was not as fine a rifle as an AR or Garand. It was never meant to be. Just an inexpensive, functional arm.

As to rated for +P, just not continuous use: what they mean is you can shoot a mag or two every so often, to ensure proper function and familiarize yourself with how it shoots. Do most of your practicing with standard ammo. Load the +P in it to use as defensive ammo. This as opposed to putting 100 rounds of +P a week through it.

August 29, 2011, 11:21 AM
That J&G ling by Iggy looks like a SCREAMING good deal even given that used gun prices tend to be variabile with regions. At around $300 it's a superb way to get into wheelguns on a budget.

August 30, 2011, 11:44 AM
My apologies for the delay in getting back here men (and any ladies that may be here) - I apparently do not have the "Subscribe" setting, set, and had difficulty finding this thread...

"Folks" - QUIK REPLY (for now):

The reason I said "No Choice" was because I (currently) am not at all interested in doing any "psycho-analysis" on the only Self-Defense CCW that I own (presently). Please allow me to step-back, in the story here, for a minute...

I'm sure I am/was OVER-reacting a bit (and need to go on ahead and have the chuckle about it rather than blowing any gaskets) ... I was being impatient, and would be perfectly fine with this Kel-Tec "if" I was in possession - TODAY - of a 2nd CCW (well, maybe not "perfectly fine", but "good-enough", anyway).

When this pistol (the KT PF-9) got "picky" about ammo (brand) awhile back, I simply shrugged my shoulders and thought; 'ok...not a problem, I'd prefer to feed it cleaner, KNOWN-quality rounds anyway'.

Then, when it got goofy about differing "weights", I raised my eyebrows a bit, gave it a smug look, and figured; 'ok, I need to settle-down here, breathe, and just r~e~l~a~x...I'll simply go on back to the Federal 115-gr. FMJ that I "KNOW" it shoots "without fail", and get my calm back.

However, then it immediately started balking at the 115 FMJ Federal's ... well, that was it. I haven't got the time, nor the money, to "figure this pistol out" right now.

I do not "limp-wrist" the pistol (not since the first mag or two, and then, having read to be careful NOT to do that, well, it was a simple-enough "fix" for that. "SNUG (TIGHTEN) MY GRIP". If I hear one more feller cry-out; "are ya SURE you're not "limp-wristing it"? (at any of the other couple forums that I visit - or anywhere else for that matter), what I WILL be "sure" to do, is PUKE. Please accept my apologize for anyone who may be eating whilst readin' this...

In hindsight, things "got better", when I tightened the extractor-spring screw. But things did not return back to "normal".

I also FAILED to mention here, that the slide, AND the only two mags I own, just got back from Jack F. in TX...the Nickel-Plating Specialist (someone please remind me to mention more RE: Good-ol' Jack really seems to be having some trouble(s) - God Bless him...but that's another story, for another time).

"One" of the mags seems to have had a thicker spot (area) of nickel-plate, judging only by the fact that I had some trouble getting it to "pop" into place as per normal. And then, me being "me", I suppose I "forced it"...a bit

Now, I didn't exactly take a pile-driver or a jack-hammer to it (no pun intended) - not even a manual, hand tool-type hammer, but I did sort of cram it in, in a rush, impatient, and, well, I don't know if i caused a problem by doing this or not, but it had gouged the hell out of it when I dropped it back out (in fact, it did not "drop" ... I had to PULL it out) I think I still have some pics that I'll attach.

Anyway, and again, to really show my ignorance, I suppose I'm used to looser tolerances, etc. (mostly shootin' a 1958 Model 12 Winchester over the years), and though I cleaned-up the slide when I got it back, I did not do so with the mags, and they were indeed "gritty", and I used them with out being patient and taking the time and thinking (was upset with some of the nickel plating that has been done), so........?

I dunno if I've screwed-up "bad" (my gut says; "naaaa"), but even AFTER a THOROUGH cleaning and very light "lube" of the mags, inside and out (basically wiped all the innards of the mags with an oiled cloth after a good cleaning).

I am continuing to have trouble, and not just with the 147-gr. Gold Dot HP and 147 HST's (HP), but also, now, with the old stand-by, 115 Federal FMJ's (as well as some 124 GDHP +P).

What to do what to do?? ...?

This just all hit at a very bad time for me personally, and otherwise, and I got ... "miffed" ... ha.

Yeah I ran long here - sue me (NO!!! PLEASE! Kidding...ONLY kidding ~ PLEASE do NOT sue!!!).

August 30, 2011, 11:55 AM
Would an older Speed Six in .38SP handle +P?

August 30, 2011, 11:56 AM
my amigo CPE pretty much said it all when he posted Nearly any steel framed .38 will eat all the +P you want to feed it

An older S&W (such as the model 10's that have been recommended) are great guns.

Be sure to check out the sticky on the top of this section on how to evaluate a revolver.

August 30, 2011, 11:57 AM
Would an older Speed Six in .38SP handle +P?


August 30, 2011, 12:15 PM
I forgot to add: The main reason I'm thinking ".38" rather than .357 is I would MUCH prefer Stainless Steel (or SOME sort of low-maintenance piece, something other than BLUE).

I figured the money I'd save picking a .38 over a .357 would assure me of getting the stainless. Frankly, I WOULD much prefer the .357, for the versatility and stopping power.

Unfortunately, money/price is an issue (reality) for me being being on a fixed-income (currently anyway - and for some time to come, it seems).

August 30, 2011, 12:17 PM
You can easily find a steel frame .38 Special for well under $400 most places. The difficulty is finding one shorter than a 4" barrel. For most (but not all) people, there's a big difference concealing a 4" revolver vs. a 3" or a 2 1/2" That extra inch just seems to cause trouble.

I'd suggest you look for a 3" or 2 3/4" barrel Speed/Security Six or K frame of similar length. You will not be disappointed.

The only accessories I've used for these are Tyler T Grips, but you can find Hogues more easily. And you may prefer the factory wood alone. Revolvers need few accessories.

I've found great holsters in the bargain bins most gun stores seem to have. There's a lot of great vintage leather for wheelguns laying around out there.

August 30, 2011, 12:39 PM

Good to know. All I've got sitting around are +P for my .357, so I haven't even fired my Speed Six yet.

August 30, 2011, 04:11 PM
If the gun isn't reliable, it isn't reliable, and it doesn't matter what anyone else's opinion of that particular weapon is. That is, after all, one of the primary requirements of an acceptable defense weapon.

August 30, 2011, 04:22 PM
All I've got sitting around are +P for my .357

with regards to +P...they are marketing hype.

back in the 60's regular pressure 38s were about the same pressure as the +Ps of today.

I do not know if this is true for other calibers but 100% positive concerning 38 special.

But you have got to give the marketing weenies their due. They have people convinced that +P 38s are mini nuclear weapons. One guy informed me that he would not shoot +P 38s in anything but a .357. (unbelievable). I was expecting some of the "+P will destroy your gun!!!" people to chime in. Maybe they got a clue.

F-111 John
August 30, 2011, 05:21 PM
Kel-Tec has a lifetime guarantee on all of its guns. Why not let them sort out the problem for you on their dime? The problems you are describing are not typical of PF-9s. Send it back home and let them look at it.

It's possible that your nickel plating guy plated the slide grooves and made them too tight, just like your magazines no longer fit in the frame properly. You could be flaking nickel flakes into the guides, or into the fire control system.

At worse you may have to buy a new slide from Kel Tec for $83, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than a new gun.

August 30, 2011, 05:51 PM
One guy informed me that he would not shoot +P 38s in anything but a .357. (unbelievable). I was expecting some of the "+P will destroy your gun!!!" people to chime in. Maybe they got a clue.

Actually, the shop guy told me I shouldn't put +P through anything but a +P rated .38 or .357. That's why I asked.

August 30, 2011, 06:46 PM
the shop guy told me I shouldn't put +P through anything but a +P rated .38

*head in hands...weeping quietly*

August 30, 2011, 09:49 PM
Don't worry, Guillermo, I'm sure that your guns will continue to function just fine, in spite of everyone else being too scared to shoot +P. LOL.

August 30, 2011, 10:29 PM
I'm sure that your guns will continue to function just fine, in spite of everyone else being too scared to shoot +P

Thank you for the kind words.

I just hate misinformation.

*wiping tears now*

August 30, 2011, 10:44 PM
Do yourself a big favor before you buy... check out the LCR .357 mag. It's 17.5 ozs and has a Gel Pad on backstrap that works amazingly well to absorb recoil. Whichever you choose purchasing a 357 makes a lot of sense because you can like others have said shoot .38 special at the range and carry .357 which will give you (ballistically) one of the top pistols for bad guys.

I have the LCR... shooting this pistol after shooting other 357 mags through the years gave me a whole new appreciation for the gun. Yes it's a little over your budget but maybe you could save in other areas. I bought my pocket holster for $15.00

good luck

August 30, 2011, 11:36 PM
Is this it, with the HogueŽ Tamer™ grip ?

I do really want .357... and love the idea of the bibbed-hammer...but was also thinking stainless, or some such...

Seems to get a bit confusing with all the "numbers" (model numbers)...between all the Smiths and the Rugers.

And oh, a couple of folks mentioned the "Blue LocTite" for the extractor spring screw (on my Kel Tec)...I saw this today (attached), and, since I only need a drop or two, grabbed it.

Should work, correct?

August 31, 2011, 01:03 AM
yep thats it... you should be able to get it for around $450.00 It does have a stainless steel frame whereas the LCR 38 has an aluminum frame. I carry mine in my pocket everyday.

Lucky Derby
August 31, 2011, 01:22 AM
"Actually, the shop guy told me I shouldn't put +P through anything but a +P rated .38 or .357."

Sounds like a lawyer wrote that.

December 1, 2011, 11:09 PM
Actually you can still find some .38 Special Colt double action revolvers within the vicinity of $400.00. I picked up a Colt Trooper 4" last Saturday for $375.00. But it takes some shopping/patience and it also helps if you can pay in cash. It's been my experience that dealers will drop the price some if you have cash. The Trooper that I picked up was made in 1960 and is very clean. It will handle +P 38 with no trouble. But I'll probably shoot standard 38 Spl through it most of the time.

December 2, 2011, 08:23 AM
Just to kibbitz on this thread -- I picked up a used but absolutely pristine S&W 65 (K-frame .357, 3" barrel, stainless steel) last year at a gun show for $475 (pretty good price for this area). I'm thinking even better deals can be had on somewhat more "used" ones, if one shops around...


December 3, 2011, 01:13 AM
deals come to he who waits

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