Recommend a .38 snub?


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raindog
September 18, 2012, 01:13 AM
I'm interested in getting a snub .38 for concealed carry. *I tried a Ruger LCR (the very first version a couple months after it was released). *I was favorably impressed, though it had a little rattle to it. *This was in the design, not the particular gun I tried. *Not a big deal.

So I could get an LCR for myself - they're $419 new here in Oregon. *But I'm wondering if there are other guns in the same price range I should consider? *I would like to stay roughly around that price.

I don't need .357 - I find it very uncomfortable to shoot in a snub and it's a capability I would never use.

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dprice3844444
September 18, 2012, 01:26 AM
i would find one that shoots 357 just in case you were somewhere,ran outa 38's,and 357 was all that was available.besides,357 is a better sale chance later.

Water-Man
September 18, 2012, 01:32 AM
I've got the LCR .38spl +P w/XS sights.

Good trigger, handles recoil well for its size and weight and made well.

I've been carrying a S&W snub for well over forty years.

firesky101
September 18, 2012, 01:55 AM
+1 for the lcr. I cannot speak for the .38 only version though. I went for the versatility and strength of the KCLR .357.

skt239
September 18, 2012, 05:51 AM
My personal preference is the S&W J-Frames but the Ruger is a great choice.

critter
September 18, 2012, 06:32 AM
I HAD a Ruger LCR that I liked a lot. Wife claimed it! Picked up a used S&W J-frame 337. Al frame .38 with a Ti cylinder. EASY to carry-recoil is NOTICABLE.

bikerdoc
September 18, 2012, 06:33 AM
My go to snub is a smith 649.

Skyshot
September 18, 2012, 07:18 AM
LCR with XS nightsights, by far the best trigger of any of the new subbies.

rodinal220
September 18, 2012, 08:33 AM
S&W J frames. I'm still partial to pre-1999 no-mim guns but my new 638 has been shooting well. The BG38 poly framed gun was plagued by misfires and poor accuracy. S&W gave me a new gun and so far 100% reliability,but favors 110/125gr jacketed ammo.
S&W makes so many variants,you have to go to a big gun shop to handle even a portion of the line.

DocRx
September 18, 2012, 08:39 AM
Another vote for the Ruger KLCR .357mag/.38spl. For the reasons mentioned above. The extra weight, albeit small-still advantageous with recoil, XS Sights (installed mine in 15 mins.), and multi caliber choices make it the better choice IMO. Added a Hogue Boot Grip and carry CorBon DPX .38spl.+P 115gr., with a Bianchi Speedstrip, never feel out gunned.
Enjoy.

bannockburn
September 18, 2012, 08:54 AM
I have always been a big fan of S&W J frame snubbies. My favorite lightweight is a Model 638 while my go to stainless steel gun is a Model 649.

powder
September 18, 2012, 09:02 AM
638 Airweight. It just disappears on you.

Kaeto
September 18, 2012, 10:36 AM
My vote is for the Charter Arms Undercover. I have the Undercover Southpaw.

http://i1156.photobucket.com/albums/p565/kaeto3/DCP00454.jpg

Certaindeaf
September 18, 2012, 10:44 AM
When you say that thing rattled, was the hammer dropped and the trigger held back firmly?
I've never had one of those new Ruger composites but have heard great good of them.

Brian Williams
September 18, 2012, 10:50 AM
I will always suggest a S&W 442 or 642.

FinalCountDn
September 18, 2012, 10:56 AM
Add another vote for the LCR.

CoRoMo
September 18, 2012, 11:03 AM
LCR and also get the LCR-22.

ColtPythonElite
September 18, 2012, 11:26 AM
Colt D frame...6 shots compared to the other guy's 5.

m21black
September 18, 2012, 11:36 AM
I like carrying my 337....

ArchAngelCD
September 18, 2012, 11:46 AM
I don't like how the LCR feels in my hand. I don't like the grip frame. I bought a S&W M442 for daily carry but if you want a polymer revolver take a look at the S&W Bodyguard 38. (not the M38, M438 or M638) It has a different grip frame and is more comfortable IMO.

Mr.Revolverguy
September 18, 2012, 11:54 AM
I can't believe no one has mentioned the S&W 642.

I believe it is the ultimate revolver for carry, I did a review of mine a while back after carrying it nearly everyday for a year.

S&W 642 After 1 year of carry (http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=68)

ArchAngel has already mentioned the 442

Certaindeaf
September 18, 2012, 12:01 PM
If you want a real fighting gun, get a model 13 or close to that.. S&W 3" with some hand-filling grips.

cpt-t
September 18, 2012, 12:43 PM
RAINDOG: I have had a SS 640-1 357 S7W for several years and I shoot it alot. I like it so much I put a CRIMSON TRACE LAZER GRIP on the gun. I do not feel that the recoil is all that unpleasent. I don`t consider my self a real good pistole shot, but my 640-1 shoots very well even for me. I use a pocket holster and a Fobus paddle holster, and as I said I do not think the weight or the recoil is bad at all. But using the 38 SPL`s it is a fun gun to shoot. GOOD LUCK TO YOU: ken

tomrkba
September 18, 2012, 12:51 PM
A new S&W Model 442 without THE LOCK rosts around $400-425.

gotboostvr
September 18, 2012, 01:10 PM
I'm gonna agree with certaineaf, stop me if you've heard me (well, read me) before, but I'm a big fan of the shorter barreled K frame variants. Find a 2-3 inch round butt with the finish, sights and caliber of your choice.
I can shoot my 2" 64-4 all day with hot .38's and not get tired or sore from it. Just a little bit more weight, just a hair bigger grip, makes a tremendous amount of difference. All that translates to extra practice, faster recovery time, a better trigger, and an extra round (6 v.5).
Only downside is I can't pocket carry, but I wear my jeans a bit on the slim side so that was out of the equation for me pretty much out of the gate. It still completely disappears with a inexpensive Don Hume IWB.

SwampWolf
September 18, 2012, 01:33 PM
I'd look for a nice Colt Cobra/Agent-20% more ammo in an Airweight-sized package.

460Kodiak
September 18, 2012, 01:35 PM
S&W 642 Airweight TALO. The trigger is nice and crisp, though the LCR fits in my hand a little better. Perhaps a change of grips.

Hoppes Love Potion
September 18, 2012, 05:14 PM
Standard answer is S&W 642 / 442 or the Ruger LCR. They are different but both get the job done and the prices are reasonable.

If you want a little more shootability you can go with a steel J-frame like the model 36, 60,640, or 649. They generally run 4 or 5 ounces heavier than the alloy models and are pricier.

The suggestions for a snub K-frame are valid if you can handle a bit more size and weight. They are really nice to shoot, have wonderful triggers and 1 more round in the cylinder.

KenW.
September 18, 2012, 08:53 PM
I really like my SW 36. Wish I could find a reasonably priced Colt Detective Special / Cobra /Agent.

colorado_handgunner
September 18, 2012, 09:05 PM
Another vote for the S&W 642. It is my 4th carry gun, and the only one I will carry 100 percent of the time I can. It just slips into my pocket and disappears. Love it.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

Deltaboy
September 18, 2012, 09:08 PM
Chiefs Special or Charter Under Cover !

Rob0321
September 18, 2012, 09:21 PM
The 642 is pretty darn nice.

Steve C
September 18, 2012, 09:28 PM
You should choose the gun based on the type of action and features you either like or can live with depending upon how you want to carry. Do you want something that's very light weight or not.

The Ruger LCR has a fine DA pull in the one I looked at and so do most S&W's. If I was in the market for a light weight .38 spl snub I would get a S&W 637 as it is a conventional DA with hammer and runs a bit less expensive than the LCR. Personally I prefer a standard type DA gun of steel construction with at least 5 but prefer 6 shots so I have the Colt Detective Special, a S&W M10 in 2" and 2 M36's one in 3" and one in 2" to carry. The 6 shot and 3" revolvers carry in a IWB holster rather than a pocket carry.

In general the heavier guns are more accurate for me, especially for follow up shots and all provide the option of using SA mode.

bbuddtec
September 18, 2012, 09:33 PM
Love my SW 60, never second guess it when carried.

AZ Desertrat
September 18, 2012, 09:33 PM
I have had a J frame for many years...current one is my Model 36...all steel, and still wears in a pocket holster just fine.

7thGenAustinite
September 18, 2012, 09:42 PM
LCR… that is all

spm
September 18, 2012, 10:11 PM
Colt Detective Special. I had a S&W model 37 and did not like it. With the Colt I get 6 shots vs. 5 and I shoot it better, which is the real answer.

ArchAngelCD
September 18, 2012, 10:27 PM
Colt Detective Special. I had a S&W model 37 and did not like it. With the Colt I get 6 shots vs. 5 and I shoot it better, which is the real answer.
What was wrong with the M37?

Bentonville
September 18, 2012, 10:59 PM
Model 37-2 with bobbed hammer. Great pocket gun. Also wear iwb.

palmettosunshine
September 18, 2012, 11:02 PM
Guess I have to be the first one here to mention the S&W M&P 340. At 13.3 ozs it really does disappear in my front pants pocket. I wear dress slacks or suits every day so this is important to me.

Is it much fun to shoot with factory .38 loads? Not so much. Factory .38 +p loads? Hurts a bit. Factory .357 loads? Are you freaking kidding me? Hand goes numb after 2-3.

What do I carry in mine? Factory .357 in 125 gr HP's. Why? In a true SHTF moment I really won't notice the recoil and if I've resorted to pulling this out it's because my primary weapon is A) out of ammo B) not within my grasp or C) failed to stop the threat. This is a contact, rammed into my attacker's side, holy sheep I'm about to die, Back Up Gun (BUG)

Doubt seriously I'll notice the recoil when stoked with full house .357 loads. May we never have to find out.

Guillermo
September 19, 2012, 12:21 AM
If you want to go new, Ruger is the way to go.
excellent trigger

if you don't mind going used, Colt D frame is the finest snub made. Detective Special if steel frame is desired, Cobra if low weight is desired.

An Old K-Frame S&W snub is second best. Good trigger, nice balance. Perfect size.

J Frames have 5 rounds and crappy triggers. New ones have Cold-War Russia build Quality, Injection Molded internal parts and many have a storage lock that locks itself.

If you just HAVE to buy a J-Frame, buy an old one. Mid 90's earliest. Late 60s or before is better...much better.

Taurus 85 is a better gun than the S&W and cheaper. Unlike most Tauruses, they have few problems. While better than a new J frame, your life is worth more.

So to recap
If new, buy a Ruger LCR
If you have to a Taurus

Not a new J Frame

If used

Old DS
Old Cobra
Old K Frame

Happy hunting

spm
September 19, 2012, 09:27 AM
May have been the weight. It was a pleasure to carry, I almost forgot it was there. But it was not fun to shoot. May have been my poor technique but the trigger guard would bump my trigger finger for every shot right on the knuckle. That hurt. It may also have been the older model, because I tried a new 637 at my range and it was fine. In looking at them, I could tell the older M37 had a smaller space inside the trigger guard. I guess I could have bought a newer airweight, but by that time I was in love ...with the DS.

Fred Fuller
September 19, 2012, 10:52 AM
Love my S&W 642CT... and Safariland speedloaders.

Franco2shoot
September 19, 2012, 01:23 PM
Save your money and get a nice Walther P99... If you just have to have a belly gun, EAA makes a nice S&W copy in .357mag. Mine goes bang every time and, I'm actually fairly accurate with it. I just don't have the same warm feeling I get from my .45 1911 or the smoothness and light weight of the .40 Walther.


KKKKFL

ArchAngelCD
September 19, 2012, 01:25 PM
May have been the weight. It was a pleasure to carry, I almost forgot it was there. But it was not fun to shoot. May have been my poor technique but the trigger guard would bump my trigger finger for every shot right on the knuckle. That hurt. It may also have been the older model, because I tried a new 637 at my range and it was fine. In looking at them, I could tell the older M37 had a smaller space inside the trigger guard. I guess I could have bought a newer airweight, but by that time I was in love ...with the DS.
I thought it might have been the weight, it is a very light gun being an Airweight. I carry a M442 which is the same weight as the M37 and I agree it's not fun at the range.

I asked because if you liked the M37 but for the light weight you will probably really like the M36 which is the same revolver but in all Steel. It weighs a little more but enough to take the bit out of shooting it...

I also have a Colt DS and while it is easier on the hand when shooting it is just large enough to make pocket carry a little uncomfortable for me. It is a great shooter though and a really accurate revolver.

spm
September 19, 2012, 09:30 PM
I thought it might have been the weight, it is a very light gun being an Airweight. I carry a M442 which is the same weight as the M37 and I agree it's not fun at the range.

I asked because if you liked the M37 but for the light weight you will probably really like the M36 which is the same revolver but in all Steel. It weighs a little more but enough to take the bit out of shooting it...

I also have a Colt DS and while it is easier on the hand when shooting it is just large enough to make pocket carry a little uncomfortable for me. It is a great shooter though and a really accurate revolver.
ArchAngelCD,
You're right, the DS is a little bulky for pocket carry. I probably would like the M36 better with the added weight. I'll have to see if my range has one on the rental shelf. I have always been a S&W fan. This is my first non-Smith revolver.

Meanwhile, I carry my DS in a OWB leather holster.

Remllez
September 20, 2012, 10:49 AM
I agree with G on this one....I own all 3 and carry them all, the best trigger is hands down the LCR. I would buy the .357 model and you can shoot from puffer .38 loads to hand whacking .357 for grins.

mdauben
September 20, 2012, 11:17 AM
If you want to shoot .38spl, I think either an Airweight S&W J-Frame or a polymer Ruger LCR will serve you well. Both are good guns and it just comes down to personal preference. Chose whichever you like.

On the other hand, if you want to shoot .357 I'm not wild about the previous choices (although they are both available in .357). I really don't like anything smaller/lighter than a 2.25-inch Ruger SP101 for magnum rounds, or maybe an all-steel S&W 60. They are a little heavier than their alloy/polymer brothers, but because of that much more controlable and comfortable to shoot. Now, lots of people may disagree but that's my preference.

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