.38 +P snubby vs. Pocket .380 and 9mm pistols


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stinger 327
September 12, 2013, 02:59 PM
In general are .38 snubbies with +P more powerful than pocket .380 and 9mm pistols?

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Driswalds
September 12, 2013, 03:06 PM
9mm will top the 38+p
The 380 and the 38 should be very close depending on what bullet is selected.

stinger 327
September 12, 2013, 03:12 PM
9mm will top the 38+p
The 380 and the 38 should be very close depending on what bullet is selected.
Buffalo Bore makes those powerful .38 HP loads as well as 9mm loads.

Barry the Bear
September 12, 2013, 03:37 PM
On paper the 9mm tops the .38 spl in both its standard and plus p variants.In reality either the .38 or 9mm will work well for their intended purpose, which was self defense and warfare. With the .38 spl offered as an improvement over the sub-par .38 Long Colt and used By the military well into Vietnam,also being chosen as the standard amongst most of the nations' police departments. Georg Luger developed the 919mm Parabellum cartridge from his earlier 7.6521mm Parabellum round,In 1902, Luger presented the new round to the British Small Arms Committee as well as three prototype versions to the U.S. Army for testing at Springfield Arsenal in mid-1903. The German Navy adopted the cartridge in 1904 and in 1906 the German Army adopted it as well.Starting in the 80s The 919mm Parabellum has become the most popular caliber for U.S. law enforcement agencies, primarily due to the availability of compact pistols with large magazine capacity that use this cartridge.From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, there was a sharp increase in the popularity of semiautomatic pistols which coincided with the adoption of the S&W Model 39 by the Illinois State Police in 1968, and the Beretta M9 (a military version of the Beretta Model 92) by the U.S. Army in 1985. Previously, most police departments issued .38 Special caliber revolvers with a six-shot capacity. The .38 Special was preferred to other weapons such as variants of the M1911 because it offered low recoil, was small and light enough to accommodate different shooters, and was relatively inexpensive.The .380 ACP has experienced widespread use in the years since its introduction. It was famously used by many German officers during World War II in the Walther PPK, as well as by Italian forces in the Beretta M1934. However, as a service pistol round, its power did not provide suitable penetration for combat. It did find use as a backup gun due to low recoil, and is popular in the civilian market as a personal defense round. The .380 ACP round is considered suitable for self-defense situations, and as a result, it has been a viable choice for concealed carry pistols. With that said all three cartridges would work well in a self defense situation, if using quality JHPs and proper shot placement, To put it short, I dont want to get shot with either one. Hope this helps, We are not really talking about major differences until we bring the magnums and several other automatic rounds like the 10mm into effect.

stinger 327
September 12, 2013, 03:44 PM
On paper the 9mm tops the .38 spl in both its standard and plus p variants.In reality either the .38 or 9mm will work well for their intended purpose, which was self defense and warfare. With the .38 spl offered as an improvement over the sub-par .38 Long Colt and used By the military well into Vietnam,also being chosen as the standard amongst most of the nations' police departments. Georg Luger developed the 919mm Parabellum cartridge from his earlier 7.6521mm Parabellum round,In 1902, Luger presented the new round to the British Small Arms Committee as well as three prototype versions to the U.S. Army for testing at Springfield Arsenal in mid-1903. The German Navy adopted the cartridge in 1904 and in 1906 the German Army adopted it as well.Starting in the 80s The 919mm Parabellum has become the most popular caliber for U.S. law enforcement agencies, primarily due to the availability of compact pistols with large magazine capacity that use this cartridge.From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, there was a sharp increase in the popularity of semiautomatic pistols which coincided with the adoption of the S&W Model 39 by the Illinois State Police in 1968, and the Beretta M9 (a military version of the Beretta Model 92) by the U.S. Army in 1985. Previously, most police departments issued .38 Special caliber revolvers with a six-shot capacity. The .38 Special was preferred to other weapons such as variants of the M1911 because it offered low recoil, was small and light enough to accommodate different shooters, and was relatively inexpensive.The .380 ACP has experienced widespread use in the years since its introduction. It was famously used by many German officers during World War II in the Walther PPK, as well as by Italian forces in the Beretta M1934. However, as a service pistol round, its power did not provide suitable penetration for combat. It did find use as a backup gun due to low recoil, and is popular in the civilian market as a personal defense round. The .380 ACP round is considered suitable for self-defense situations, and as a result, it has been a viable choice for concealed carry pistols. With that said all three cartridges would work well in a self defense situation, if using quality JHPs and proper shot placement, To put it short, I dont want to get shot with either one. Hope this helps, We are not really talking about major differences until we bring the magnums and several other automatic rounds like the 10mm into effect.
Thanks for that info and history. I do remember back in the 80's through the 90's the transition the police departments went through from revolvers to autos in 9mm then to .40 cal. I believe in 1985 the US Army switched over to the 9mm as the official side arm because most NATO countries used 9mm. Now is it true that 9mm was created for wounding in war time so that it will tie up soldiers having to contend with the injured?

Barry the Bear
September 12, 2013, 03:49 PM
I can not remember nor find anything that related the 9mm to that.

stinger 327
September 12, 2013, 04:10 PM
I can not remember nor find anything that related the 9mm to that.
Just curious just what I heard perhaps that's is all there is to that rumor..

chasu
September 12, 2013, 04:11 PM
I think it went more along the lines of those shot with the 9mm ended up marginally wounded more often than fatally. (during wartime) Now days ammo such as Lehigh Defense ME, Speer Gold Dot, Winchester Bonded HP, and so on are super effective in eliminating life threatening situations.

jrdolall
September 12, 2013, 04:15 PM
My experience has been that a 642 S&W shooting +P has much more recoil than my pocket 9s. That is purely my experience and I have no statistical data to back it up. I just know that I don't enjoy shooting the 38 with +P more than a few times so I find that I don't practice much with it. With "regular P" ammo I can shoot it 100 times without issues.
I also don't shoot much +P in my 9s.

stinger 327
September 12, 2013, 04:16 PM
My experience has been that a 642 S&W shooting +P has much more recoil than my pocket 9s. That is purely my experience and I have no statistical data to back it up. I just know that I don't enjoy shooting the 38 with +P more than a few times so I find that I don't practice much with it. With "regular P" ammo I can shoot it 100 times without issues.
I also don't shoot much +P in my 9s.
the recoil in the .38+P LCR is horrible. But it isn't for range for fun shooting mainly for personal protection.

Fiv3r
September 12, 2013, 04:27 PM
I don't shoot my .38 LCR very often anymore. I really love the weight of the gun and how comfortable it is to hold. However, I just can't get good groupings with it. Short of pulling it and firing 5 shots into a belly, I don't feel competent enough with it to carry it as a primary piece unless it really fits the bill (in my coat pocket). Shooting +P results in me firing some very effective bullets hitting some very ineffective parts of the paper. LSWC of standard pressure is my .38 special medicine of choice.

The LCP I actually shoot better. My groupings are actually pretty accurate and of combat sufficiency at 7-15 yards. I'm not really jazzed about .380 round. It's what I carry when I can't carry anything else (jeans back pocket with a tucked in shirt and no place to lose the bulk of a carry gun). I bounce back and forth between the penetrate/expand debate of the .380.

If I can conceal it, I much prefer a 9mm. Even non+p 9mm of the hollow point format is going to offer a lot of oomph and more firepower over the snubbie or pocket .380.

stinger 327
September 12, 2013, 04:30 PM
I don't shoot my .38 LCR very often anymore. I really love the weight of the gun and how comfortable it is to hold. However, I just can't get good groupings with it. Short of pulling it and firing 5 shots into a belly, I don't feel competent enough with it to carry it as a primary piece unless it really fits the bill (in my coat pocket). Shooting +P results in me firing some very effective bullets hitting some very ineffective parts of the paper. LSWC of standard pressure is my .38 special medicine of choice.

The LCP I actually shoot better. My groupings are actually pretty accurate and of combat sufficiency at 7-15 yards. I'm not really jazzed about .380 round. It's what I carry when I can't carry anything else (jeans back pocket with a tucked in shirt and no place to lose the bulk of a carry gun). I bounce back and forth between the penetrate/expand debate of the .380.

If I can conceal it, I much prefer a 9mm. Even non+p 9mm of the hollow point format is going to offer a lot of oomph and more firepower over the snubbie or pocket .380.
I would opt for a pocket 9mm if there is such a gun. Ruger LC-9? The LCP is a great size for carry . 9mm is also cheaper in cost than .380. I hate to have all of these different calibers

Barry the Bear
September 12, 2013, 04:35 PM
I can only say what I know and If what I know is wrong then please someone correct me so I and the others can learn. Ive heard and read of heavy for caliber bullets in .38 spl and .38 s&w caused a tumbling characteristic ( the 200 gr bullet) similar to the .223/556s' ability to yaw in a human sized target. In retrospect, I cant say the same for the 9mm but what can be said is regardless which is shot into you,you still have a .355-.357 hole in you.

pokersamurai
September 12, 2013, 04:47 PM
I have pocket pistols in 380 (LCP), 9mm (CM9), and .38 Special (642). I prefer the S&W 642, its weight-to-power ratio can't be beat by the others. Mine weighs 16.5oz fully loaded with five rounds of Buffalo Bore 158gr +p LSWCHP. The Buffalo Bore rounds chronograph at just over 1000fps from my snubby. I haven't been able to find a 9mm round that can match that power from my CM9.

Fiv3r
September 12, 2013, 05:03 PM
I would opt for a pocket 9mm if there is such a gun. Ruger LC-9? The LCP is a great size for carry . 9mm is also cheaper in cost than .380. I hate to have all of these different calibers
My problem with the LC9 is that I think it could have been just a little bit smaller. It's super thin so for IWB, it's probably pretty comfy. However, it's still a little too wide for me to consider it a pocket pistol.

For my money, I like the 10+1 Glock 26. I don't carry IWB, though. I don't like anything tucked into my belt line. The 26 either rides OWB under an over shirt, tucked up under my arm in a belly band, or in a custom back pocket holster for when I'm bumming around but not SITTING a lot:D

gym
September 12, 2013, 05:06 PM
At shot ranges "like defensive use" they are pretty much equal. The 9mm has more options, and pressures make the round more capable of doing more things than a 38 or 38+P.
But for all intensive purposes, the 380, 9mm and 38, are pretty much making the same size hole with FMJ ammo. The selections spreads apart when you start loading the 9mm under higher pressure. At 10 feet I doubt there is much difference, also with a 3 inch barrel vs a 6 inch revolver barrel it starts to even out a bit.
I think it's more the number of rounds you feel will do the job for you. And that we never know until it happens. Some say you will never need more than 5, others believe, 30 or 50 rounds are what they feel comfortable with. I like a minimum of 7, with at least one spare mag.Back in the 70's we felt that 5 rounds was sufficient, and it may have been back then. But that was before the Glock mania hit. I sure wouldn't want to be facing a couple of bangers with 9mm Tupperware guns with only 5 rounds, now a days.
Even with superior tactics and skills, they still have a lot of rounds to get lucky with.
http://www.ballistics101.com/9mm_vs_.38special.php

R.W.Dale
September 12, 2013, 06:19 PM
I've carried and shot em all. Even 9mm in snubby revolvers.

In my opinion. 380 falls a bit short in the penetration department. It will get there but only just with ball ammo, with JHP its pretty marginal.

38 tends to fall short on expansion from a snubby but not penetration. Very light bullets can get going well enough to expand reliably but then your knocking on the door that is 380's problem. But you can shoot a well designed 158g cast bullet and velocity becomes irrelevant with better than FMJ terminal ballistics.

9mm strikes a very good balance between bullet weight, penetration and expansion. Make no mistake when fired from the same platform it's a great deal more powerful than 38. 20k psi vs 37

I will carry 38 or 9mm. I had a 9mm Taurus snubby and now my EDC is a 38lcr. 380 I'm less of a fan of. For a tiny FMJ only pocket pistol round I prefer the higher capacity and shoot ability of a .32auto

TonyDedo
September 12, 2013, 07:22 PM
I don't know if the power factor should really play a key roll in deciding between a .38 snubbie and a 9mm. I mean, can you really think of a situation where a shot fired from one would have a decisively different result than am identical shot from the other?

The difference is going to be YOU, and how well YOU shoot one vs the other. I know a lot of guys who cannot hit the broad side of a barn with a snubbie. I know others who swear by them. Go with what you shoot well

jimbo555
September 12, 2013, 09:24 PM
380fmj and Winchester truncated fmj penetrates over 20inches as tested by brassfetcher. That's out of a keltec p3at. More important to me is the platform. I prefer my beretta 84b with 14rounds of 380 to a 38 snubnose with 5 rounds or all the compact 9mm's out there I've tried.

ArchAngelCD
September 13, 2013, 01:43 AM
In general are .38 snubbies with +P more powerful than pocket .380 and 9mm pistols?
The numbers are the last thing you should consider when choosing a SD handgun. IMO the .38 Special is more effective than a 9mm round for round for stopping the bad guy. Shot placement is very important and the ability to deliver a second well placed shot is also very important. I would choose the gun you can fire most accurately and not worry about "power" when comparing the .38 Special against the 9mm. Also, with the new bullets on the market old data is useless especially when you are looking at data from the 60's and 70's. Bullet technology is advancing all the time so in turn the SD ammo constructed with those bullets is better too.

Any ammo can be pushed to insane velocities but that doesn't make it better. The best ammo in the world is useless unless you hit what you shoot at.

stinger 327
September 13, 2013, 01:24 PM
The numbers are the last thing you should consider when choosing a SD handgun. IMO the .38 Special is more effective than a 9mm round for round for stopping the bad guy. Shot placement is very important and the ability to deliver a second well placed shot is also very important. I would choose the gun you can fire most accurately and not worry about "power" when comparing the .38 Special against the 9mm. Also, with the new bullets on the market old data is useless especially when you are looking at data from the 60's and 70's. Bullet technology is advancing all the time so in turn the SD ammo constructed with those bullets is better too.

Any ammo can be pushed to insane velocities but that doesn't make it better. The best ammo in the world is useless unless you hit what you shoot at.
Lots of fatalities with the .25 ACP pistols. Saw one do lots of damage with a Magsafe load compared to a FMJ

golden
September 13, 2013, 05:19 PM
Stinger,

I would go with what you shoot well and have the most experience with.
For me, that is hands down a small auto. My largest everyday carry gun is a SIG 232 in .380ACP. I shoot it very well and the superior sights (they are nights sights too), excellent trigger and teriffic ergonomics leave a revovler far behind. Also, it is hard to compare 8 shots with a faster reload to 5 shots, in my mind.

That is me and I am a semi-auto guy for almost all my shooting.

If you have more experience with a revolver, then you may consider it a better choice.

I recomment you shoot them side by side. I shoot the SIG 232 and several compact 9m.m. better than any 5 shot .38 Special, so my choice was simple. The S&W model 38, CHARTER ARMS Undercover and TAURUS all went into the safe or were traded off.

RECOIL is one of the factors to consider. I found the heavy bullet +P .38 Special to be abusive to my hand and switched to standard pressure loads like the FEDERAL Nyclad 125 grain load. The recoil is very soft in a steel framed gun and not bad in a lightweight.

The most important thing is to get a gun you are confident and comfortabe in using so that you will be able to practice.

Good luck,

Jim

scbair
September 13, 2013, 07:03 PM
I don't think there's a lot of difference between .38 snubs and 9mm pocket pistols, power-wise. The deciding factor for me has been the lesser reliability of pocket pistols as opposed to snub revolvers.

Some have reported 100% reliability with their pocket autos, but I've seen several specimens experience stoppages at IDPA BUG matches. These were well-maintained pistols in the hands of experienced shooters. I've neither seen nor experienced such issues with top tier, well-maintained snubs.

I have no hesitation in carrying a service pistol (mostly a BHP), but the smaller pistols, with less slide mass, different tolerances, etc., just aren't as comforting to me.

stinger 327
September 14, 2013, 02:26 AM
My problem with the LC9 is that I think it could have been just a little bit smaller. It's super thin so for IWB, it's probably pretty comfy. However, it's still a little too wide for me to consider it a pocket pistol.

For my money, I like the 10+1 Glock 26. I don't carry IWB, though. I don't like anything tucked into my belt line. The 26 either rides OWB under an over shirt, tucked up under my arm in a belly band, or in a custom back pocket holster for when I'm bumming around but not SITTING a lot:D
I wish the LC9 was the size of the LCP but in 9mm and not .380.

hardluk1
September 14, 2013, 08:44 AM
I carried a snubby for 20 years, then a pf-9 for 2 years and now a cm9 for the last 3 1/2/ never will go back to a snubby. No reason too.

243winxb
September 14, 2013, 08:45 AM
9mm pistols more power, but they dont weigh 10 Ozs. http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/Saved%20stuff-private/th_CarryGuns.jpg (http://s338.photobucket.com/user/joe1944usa/media/Saved%20stuff-private/CarryGuns.jpg.html)

snakeman
September 14, 2013, 09:27 AM
if that small auto jammmed from limp wrist in a firefight you might go back to a snubby

R.W.Dale
September 14, 2013, 10:33 AM
if that small auto jammmed from limp wrist in a firefight you might go back to a snubby

Don't get me started on this. Sorry you already did.

The whole notion of "limpwristing" is just an excuse to not fix a broken malfunctioning autoloader. ANY pistol that requires a perfect textbook grip to properly function is not suitable for defensive use and is in need of repair. Almost by definition civilian ccw defensive shootings are going to occur at "on top of you" ranges where getting a solid locked two handed grip isn't going to be terribly likely to happen.

Now before you counter with "all autoloaders" require a firm grip I can say that's simply not true. I have taken a good running p32 smallest lightest of the small pistols and emptied magazine after magazine holding the gun in 3 fingertips (including trigger finger) just firm enough to actually manipulate the trigger.

Now having said this I think a very underplayed issue with civilian ccw firearm choices vs police is the likelyhood of having to make a contact shot. In many locations the burden of what constitutes the justification of deadly force naturally puts the distance that a ccw encounter much closer in than as with Leo. Combined with the fact that unlike with police the assailant likely won't know your armed and therefore may engage in a course of action putting himself much closer in than he would with a known armed police officer. IMO this raises the chances of making a possible out of battery inducing contact shot a great deal adding to the revolvers appeal for the average ccw.

I carry a LCR for many of the reasons I state above as well as some connivence factors

pokersamurai
September 14, 2013, 04:06 PM
Actually "Limpwristing" is a legitimate tactical concern. As a matter of fact a majority of semi-auto pistols are susceptible to it (especially polymer semi-autos chambered in service calibers) and while training can help to alleviate your chance of "limpwristing" when firing at close ranges or in awkward positions, it can still become an issue if you become injured in the course of the fight and cannot grip the pistol at full strength.

This YouTube shows just how easy it it to "limpwrist" a firearm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1t4WMcs_7c


Yet another reason why I prefer the revolver for civilian carry.

moxie
September 14, 2013, 04:51 PM
Not all of the "military" carried .38 Spl. revolvers in Vietnam. They were issued to Air Police, aircrew, and others in the Air Force. Unfortunately, the standard load was the 130FMJ which ran at around 700fps and was woefully underpowered.

Most of the rest of the "military" in Vietnam that did have handguns issued were from the Army and Marine Corps, and those were .45ACP Government Models. Standard load was 230FMJ.

stinger 327
September 15, 2013, 04:01 AM
Actually "Limpwristing" is a legitimate tactical concern. As a matter of fact a majority of semi-auto pistols are susceptible to it (especially polymer semi-autos chambered in service calibers) and while training can help to alleviate your chance of "limpwristing" when firing at close ranges or in awkward positions, it can still become an issue if you become injured in the course of the fight and cannot grip the pistol at full strength.

This YouTube shows just how easy it it to "limpwrist" a firearm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1t4WMcs_7c


Yet another reason why I prefer the revolver for civilian carry.
I know someone who jammed a Glock 17 continously with that limp wrist.

hardluk1
September 15, 2013, 12:11 PM
snakeman And if you revolver breaks you may want a stick!! About the same likelihood to me. Well in 6 years of semi-autos for carry guns and many many thousands of rounds fired not one issue of any kind except with .22 rimefires . HA

For the rest of the revolver only guys.

Guess some of you guy have had limp wrist problems !! ??

With the recoil springs used by kahr a contact shot would really take some major pushing or punching for it to unlock and not fire. Mine still goes right back into battery ready to fire if I make it unlock. I have tried that too.

If some of you want to use a revolver then use it. Don't try to convience someone your choice is so special. I CC'd a revolver for 20 years. I know all the plus's and minus's . They can break or jamb like ever other type. Just another option for some. A revolver does make for a better first choice for a starter carry handgun.

Revolver shooters can have a bad grip to when using the micro 2 finger grips that come on many snubbys today and it will still go bang , atleast for that first shot before having to adjust and re-grip cause if your using ammo that's pushing a 125gr bullet close to 1100fps from a snubby you are re-gripping and that maybe your issues with semi-autos. I have less recoil in my micro pistol with hotter +P ammo than a comparable load in a snubby . And extensions are avalible for those that need a little more grip area on them just like a larger 3 fingered grip for snubby owners. Not a big deal for many . Oh yea more ammo before reloading with a pistol with quicker reloads if ever needed.

Both revolvers and pistols are just a choice for a CC'r to have to pick from.

skoro
September 15, 2013, 12:43 PM
In general are .38 snubbies with +P more powerful than pocket .380 and 9mm pistols?

I pocket carry all three calibers in mouse guns. The 38+P has the most painful recoil, but that doesn't necessarily translate into the most powerful. I like the fact that the 38spl can pack heavier projectiles than the other two, though.

fastbolt
September 15, 2013, 02:08 PM
I pocket carry all three calibers in mouse guns. The 38+P has the most painful recoil, but that doesn't necessarily translate into the most powerful. I like the fact that the 38spl can pack heavier projectiles than the other two, though.
I also carry all 3 calibers in 5-shot snubs or subcompact pistols, using pocket holsters (although my 9's will often become belt guns, depending on clothing choices).

I don't find the felt recoil to be excessive in the snubs rated for +P, even in my various alloy models. (Now, shooting Magnum loads in my M&P 340's is more than a little unpleasant, so I typically save the magnum loads for my SP101 DAO. ;) )

I do find the felt recoil to become a bit more unpleasant in my LCP after a few mag loads, but that's only a "problem" for extended range sessions.

Personally, I stopped paying attention to Muzzle Energy numbers some years ago for my dedicated defensive hadnguns.

I still pay attention to Muzzle Velocity numbers, but only from the perspective of being able to occasionally confirm that velocities may remain within the manufacturer's stated specs (hoping for intended expansion to occur under optimal conditions within the designed velocity window).

I like the middle-to-heavy bullet weights of the better designed .38's & 9's.

I like that some of the newer .380 hollowpoint bullets offer good feeding & function in my LCP, and the newer hollowpoint designs have benefited from some attention by the manufacturers.

I also agree with much of the comments made by ArchAngelCD in post #20. Ammunition developments during the last couple of decades have made the .38 Spl +P a pretty decent defensive caliber.

The disadvantages of revolvers are often two-fold. First, they're typically harder for many folks to use nowadays. Seemingly not as many foundation skillsets being built around DA revolvers anymore.

The other is that most folks find the capacity of the average "full-size" pistol to be a perceived advantage over that of a similarly sized 6-rd revolver (and the 6 to 8-rd smallish 9mm's to have an advantage over 5-shot snub revolvers, which are often even harder for most folks to shoot).

So ... whenever one of our folks asks me for advice about choosing a small off-duty/secondary weapon, especially one that can be carried in a pocket holster, and their choices seem to be running toward 9, .38 Spl & .380, I usually try to steer them to trying representative samples of each out on the firing line, and then decide which suits their experience and skillset best. They're the ones who are going to be carrying and relying upon their choice.

Naturally, sometimes someone's "choice" may change over time (and circumstances), especially if they invest some additional time and thought to improving their skills and abilities to handle & shoot the different guns.

The 9's often work better for folks who have difficulties shooting snub revolvers and really diminutive .380's, but for reasons not really involving "caliber power".

The "power" of either 9 or .38 Spl +P? I look more at hopeful "effectiveness", balancing bullet weight & design against hoped-for sufficient penetration and expansion.

A balanced compromise, arrived at via an informed decision, is pretty much up to each person, isn't it?

Probably why I still own all 3 of the small calibers being discussed, I suppose. ;)

huskybiker
September 19, 2013, 08:21 PM
For me, a "pocket gun" has always been a light weight snubbie. When I have to pocket carry, it's a Taurus 85CH. Usually though, I just wear my Shield IWB. Either way, I don't feel under gunned.

gym
September 19, 2013, 08:57 PM
Most people who started with an auto pistol just can't transition to a snubby. It is a whole different way of shooting, from grip to trigger control, and the double action firing of a stock snub nose revolver is a great deal different as far as length and distance needed to fire accurately and quickly.
It's not a normal feel for someone who shoots semi auto pistols with 3-5 lb triggers, unless they are cocking the gun first, like a single action. That's the main reason why people who have taken up shooting in the past 20 years and started with a pistol, can't or don't find a revolver appealing. It is awkward to shoot, and shoot accurately, for a person not used to it.
There is also more time to make mistakes with the longer trigger pull and short barrel.
They are just harder to shoot well, if you didn't start with one. imo.

stinger 327
September 19, 2013, 11:17 PM
Kahr PM9 looks like a winner. Or Kahr CM9

easyg
September 20, 2013, 03:06 AM
In general are .38 snubbies with +P more powerful than pocket .380 and 9mm pistols?
Yes, .38 Special+P can be more powerful that the 380 Auto.

BUT....

Is 5 rounds of .38+P better than 8-9 rounds of 380 Auto?

stinger 327
September 20, 2013, 03:16 AM
:confused::confused:Yes, .38 Special+P can be more powerful that the 380 Auto.

BUT....

Is 5 rounds of .38+P better than 8-9 rounds of 380 Auto?

:confused::confused::confused::confused:

AK103K
September 21, 2013, 12:05 PM
Is 5 rounds of .38+P better than 8-9 rounds of 380 Auto?
That all depends on the complexity of the situation and how well its going for you at the moment.

Most people who started with an auto pistol just can't transition to a snubby. It is a whole different way of shooting, from grip to trigger control, and the double action firing of a stock snub nose revolver is a great deal different as far as length and distance needed to fire accurately and quickly.
It's not a normal feel for someone who shoots semi auto pistols with 3-5 lb triggers, unless they are cocking the gun first, like a single action. That's the main reason why people who have taken up shooting in the past 20 years and started with a pistol, can't or don't find a revolver appealing. It is awkward to shoot, and shoot accurately, for a person not used to it.
There is also more time to make mistakes with the longer trigger pull and short barrel.
They are just harder to shoot well, if you didn't start with one. imo.
Good points here.

I also carry all 3 calibers in 5-shot snubs or subcompact pistols, using pocket holsters (although my 9's will often become belt guns, depending on clothing choices).

I don't find the felt recoil to be excessive in the snubs rated for +P, even in my various alloy models. (Now, shooting Magnum loads in my M&P 340's is more than a little unpleasant, so I typically save the magnum loads for my SP101 DAO. )

I do find the felt recoil to become a bit more unpleasant in my LCP after a few mag loads, but that's only a "problem" for extended range sessions.

Off and on (mostly on for my Glock 26), I carry all three as well, mostly as a backup to a full sized pistol. To me, they are a BUG, with maybe the exception of the 26, which can be more than it seems with a different mag.

Of all of them, I can shoot the 26 with full power ammo, all day long with no problem. I also have no troubles shooting it as well as its larger siblings.

My 642's, Im lucky to make it through a box of 50. I just now got back from my weekly range trip, and only made 30 rounds before saying that was enough. My hand is still sore as I type.

My LCP, Seecamps (.32's), and the other pocket type .380's Ive owned, I never seem to notice that they were beating me up when I shoot them.

Actually "Limpwristing" is a legitimate tactical concern. As a matter of fact a majority of semi-auto pistols are susceptible to it (especially polymer semi-autos chambered in service calibers) and while training can help to alleviate your chance of "limpwristing" when firing at close ranges or in awkward positions, it can still become an issue if you become injured in the course of the fight and cannot grip the pistol at full strength.
Limp wristing isnt a gun issue, its a shooter issue. It really has nothing to do with "grip" either, it has to do with having mass behind the gun, and not allowing the gun to move rearwards under recoil.

As far as becoming injured and not being able to grip the gun. Ive always wondered why you just wouldnt switch hands and carry on.

Shot placement is very important and the ability to deliver a second well placed shot is also very important. I would choose the gun you can fire most accurately and not worry about "power" when comparing the .38 Special against the 9mm.
While I agree 100% with what was said here, I would add, "what you can shoot can shoot accurately and fastest with, under duress".

What you really need to do, is shoot all that youre looking at, and find what works best for you.

You also have to shoot them "realistically" when making the comparisons. Just shooting for accuracy alone really doesnt give you the whole picture. What you do well with, from deployment, under speed and stress, is what youre looking for.

Into that mix, you also want to choose a gun/caliber combo youre willing to "constantly" practice with, using full power loads. More than probably anything, this will quickly weed out the ones you dont want.

stinger 327
September 21, 2013, 03:24 PM
Target sights or expensive sights aren't necessary since these types of guns end up being used for SD with point shooting as things happen too fast to acquire proper target acquisition.

AK103K
September 21, 2013, 04:35 PM
Target sights or expensive sights aren't necessary since these types of guns end up being used for SD with point shooting as things happen too fast to acquire proper target acquisition.
Ill take a good set of sights on anything I carry, regardless of what distance I "think" they might be used.

If all you carry is one of these smaller weapons, whats your plan for a needed 15+ yard "precision" shot?

Good sights make a big a difference, even on a little gun.

stinger 327
September 21, 2013, 11:51 PM
Ill take a good set of sights on anything I carry, regardless of what distance I "think" they might be used.

If all you carry is one of these smaller weapons, whats your plan for a needed 15+ yard "precision" shot?

Good sights make a big a difference, even on a little gun.
You may not get the chance to use sights.

AK103K
September 22, 2013, 07:11 AM
You may not get the chance to use sights.
Very True. But then again, you very well might, you just never know. As the distance opens up, so does time, and if I have them, I still get to use them. Are you still planning on point shooting at 15+ yards?

.38 and 9mm are easily capable of making good hits at extended distances, even with the smaller guns. My Glock 26 at 25 yards, with its standard three dot night sights, does that much better than my 642 with its minimal, and aggravatingly hard to see sights. Now if I use my 2.5" model 19, which has standard sights, it actually shoots better than the Glock, from a pure accuracy standpoint.

If all youre going to carry is one of these small guns, shouldnt it be one that gives you options for as many scenarios as possible? You can point shoot with "anything", sighted shooting at longer distances becomes problematic, especially with guns with minimal or no sights.

moxie
September 22, 2013, 07:58 AM
The Ruger LCR has a better set of sights than the S&W J frames like the 442/642, which is one reason I prefer it. The others are a better trigger and a better grip.

fastbolt
September 22, 2013, 01:06 PM
You may not get the chance to use sights.
Being able to see and effectively use handgun sights may be the critical difference in any given set of circumstances and conditions. Why restrict and limit your options and potential ability to survive?

Having listened to a fair number of cops who have been involved in shootings, it's not uncommon to hear that aimed fire, even at "close" distances, is still something to be encouraged & practiced.

I remember attending a training conference where some cops were discussing their experiences from having been seriously wounded in shootings.

One of them had been in a shooting inside a small jewelry store. After the armed suspect had been hit a few times by police officers, but was still standing and shooting, the cop said he realized he needed to try to make carefully aimed head shots. He did, and the suspect stopped shooting (deceased).

Another cop was also seriously wounded during an exchange of gunfire with a single armed suspect. He said that as he realized he was seriously wounded but the gunman wasn't, and he was loading his 3rd (and last) magazine into his service pistol (.40), he needed to stop shooting instinctively and start aiming. He did, hitting the gunman, who was seriously injured and stopped shooting. The distances involved were later determined to be 5-100 feet.

As a firearms instructor who has worked with mostly LE, but also with private citizens in classes I used to volunteer to help teach, a lot of people are astounded and dismayed by how easily they can miss a regular "threat target" on a training/qual range under even minimal stress. Introduce some further stress and increased difficulty, and it's understandably harder.

... But then again, you very well might, you just never know. As the distance opens up, so does time, and if I have them, I still get to use them.
Yep, seeing & using sights can be really helpful and effective, even at relatively shorter distances ... especially if it's practiced. Having the time to effectively use them in any given situation can't be predicted, but it's prudent to have effective options available (and be practiced in their usage).

Sights are still good. Good sights are better.

I can shoot my M&P 340's a bit faster during aimed fire than I can typically shoot my other J-frames that just have notch/ramp post sights (both old & new style sights, even painted a couple of different colors). Why? Because the XS front night sight, with its bright white plastic ring, is much more easily & quickly acquired. It's also much easier to align within the generous U-notch machined into the topstrap.

My LCP is early last year's production model, not having the improved sights. Acquiring them under conditions ranging from bright sunlight to variable shadow/night reduced light conditions is a bit slower. Reminds me of using a couple of my older J's with their narrow notch/ramped posts. Once I do acquire them, however, even for a flash picture, the little gun is amazingly accurate. I finally had to apply some bright neon yellow color to the front & rear sights to make them easier to see and align.

runlevelsix
September 22, 2013, 07:07 PM
For what it's worth here's my 2 cents.

.380 is from what I have seen a marginal round with anything but FMJ which then gets the required penetration. Doesn't mean it's an ineffective round, just one you have to understand the drawbacks on. More expensive than a 9mm as a rule, but it is usually available.

9mm has been hailed as the gold standard to which everything is compared. Relatively balanced between size and speed the 9mm round does well with FMJ and JHP and you can usually carry just as many in a magazine for any given gun as a 380. Usually ammo cost and availability is cited but that has been it's achilles heel the last scare as everyone owns a 9mm thus everyone wanted the ammo.

.38SPL is a lower pressure round that throws a slightly heavier bullet at slightly slower speeds than a 9. Slightly more expensive than a 9 and about the same as a 380 give or take. It's major pro is that it fires from a revolver which are about as reliable as you're going to get. +P speeds it up to get a bit faster and maybe even helps with HP expansion, but out of a snubbie expansion shouldn't be counted on. Upside is at least it's a heavier slug so less concern about getting enough penetration.

Perceived recoil is just that; perceived. I find my 38 +P snubbie to be no worse than a small 9mm but others say it's terrible and can't stand it. I have yet however met a person who said 380 was bad even out of a small frame handgun. Try as many as you can and make your decision on which you can control best.

Out of a pocket pistol I personally favor a revolver as they have a simple point and click interface. Autoloaders are great for higher capacity, but this is largely negated in a small pistol anyway, and a revolver has less moving parts thus less chance of something failing at the worst time. I also find a slightly heavier metal revolver even an airweight helps control rapid firing at point blank range. The crappy part is reloading them even with a speed loader. Then again most SD scenarios don't require a reload so there's that.

In a nutshell at self-defense ranges especially out of a CCW handgun the main things I worry about is will it work as I am desperately trying to bring it to bear while under an adrenaline dump, and is the round known for being able to get enough penetration out of a short barrel. IMHO a 38 special snubbie does both without some of the worrisome problems that can come with an autoloader.

That said pocket carry is my last resort only if I can't pull off carrying a larger pistol. Handguns are notoriously poor at 'stopping power' anyway even the larger heavier rounds so the rest is just finding what works for the situation you're going to need it for.

hardluk1
September 23, 2013, 10:06 AM
fastbolt Most leos are barley proficient with the handguns they carry. I would not expect one to be worth a darn point shooting so good that your example finally aimed !!

There are time to use sights and time to not. You do have to practice both aimed fire and point shooting for sure.

For others, IF you can't see your sights and can't upgrade them use a contrasting brite paint colors to paint your sites with. It does help and its simple to do.

SDGlock23
September 23, 2013, 03:40 PM
For size, I'll take something like an LCP or CM9 any day over a snubby. I used to carry Jframes but they're a good bit bigger with less capacity and much slower reloads. Nothing against snubbies or the 38 for that matter, but for the size, can't beat a small 380, 9mm or .40.

MCgunner
September 23, 2013, 03:51 PM
My results....

90 grain JHP .380 .... about 200 ft lbs.

158 grain JHP .38 +P from 2" snub....273 ft lbs

115 grain 9x19 +P from 3" barrel .....410 ft lbs

9mm wins. That said, I mostly carry my snubby .38. I like the penetration of the heavy bullets and it works better as a back up for a belt carried .357 magnum (38s from a speed strip will work in a .357 or the .38). I do like a pocket 9, though, more firepower and more power. My Kel Tec carries 11 rounds, 13 with available magazines. Unloaded, it's only 14 ounces and a front pocket of a pair of Wrangler Cargos swallows it.

I never carry my .380. I still have it, but I never carry it. The .38 and the 9 are just better carry guns in better calibers.

MCgunner
September 23, 2013, 04:02 PM
I have another gun I'd carry more, but it's all steel and heavy in a pocket. It's unbelievably accurate and point shoots as naturally as any pistol I've ever fired. It's a Radom P64 in 9x18. I like this caliber better than .380, but it's still no .38 special. That gun, though, is so bloomin' accurate, though. One gripe I have, though, is the transition from DA to SA. I had to put a Wolff spring kit in it to get the DA usable and not the SA is so light, I get double taps almost automatically with it.

Anyway, I rarely carry that gun as it's kinda heavy for a pocket. 9x18 is a good pocket pistol caliber, though, just not much choice in guns other than the eastern bloc stuff.

Monster Zero
September 23, 2013, 08:05 PM
"Now is it true that 9mm was created for wounding in war time so that it will tie up soldiers having to contend with the injured? "

No. And whoever told you that "wasn't looking out for your best interest".

The 9mm was the solution to the problem faced by Herr Luger - What's the biggest cartridge I can design to work in my newfangled semiauto pistol that I couldn't sell to the American Army because the original 7.65mm cartridge just wasn't powerful enough, and the American cavalrymen kept going back to their officers saying "We want our Colts back."

MartinS
September 23, 2013, 08:48 PM
I don't buy the intentional wounding, in 9 or 556. Quite moronic to equip troops in a non slave army with guns designed not to stop completely. The morale thing don't you know.

SFsc616171
September 24, 2013, 12:30 PM
In using a .38 snubby, why are you using a Plus-P?

The snubby is designed, and 'zeroed' for a 158-grain bullet.

I use a commercial hard-cast factory load, and NOT "buffawobow", 158-grain solid semiwadcutter. Lower recoil, better second shot, less noise in the night in the house, and just as accurate.

The .380's are mostly from what I have seen and read, maybe a 95-grain bullet, mostly full metal jacket.

In doing the 'paper chase' in the world of ballistics, there is often a factor not realized. That factor is how that particular firearm feels in your hand when you fire it.

Good luck.

Godsgunman
September 24, 2013, 01:09 PM
My main IWB carry rotates between my XD SC 9mm and my M65 3" .357 depending on how I feel. I usually favor my 9mm though. I recently picked up a Taurus TCP .380 for weak side pocket carry. I have never been a .380 fan due to things already mentioned such as it being a marginal round and more expensive than the 9. However I really do like the pocketability and ease of concealment and I believe it is good enough a round to do the job in real SHTF situations. It will never be my first grab unless my strong side is injured or tied up but I do now believe a pocketable .380 can be a very useful tool. I would prefer a .38 spl over the .380 but none of the 38s are as small and pocketable as the TCP.

DBR
September 25, 2013, 01:08 AM
Here is my conclusion after wrestling with this problem for several decades:

It takes quite a bit of energy to expand a bullet and what you get for it is increased recoil, a rounded bullet nose, reduced penetration and an unpredictable bullet path.

Based on real world, scientific wound studies, the best bullet shape is a sharp edged cylinder. Such a bullet shape can only be fired from a revolver. It does not need to expand, it penetrates very well and it tracks straight so it can be fired at lower velocity resulting in less recoil and muzzle blast as well as faster follow up shots.

My choice is a light weight 38spl revolver ie S&W 642 loaded with either 148gr WC or Buffalo Bore 150gr hard cast WC depending on summer or winter weather.

Recoil with the 148gr loads is equal or lighter than the semi autos and in general the revolvers are more reliable especially under stress.

Another real world issue is gun retention. The bad guys do know about disarming techniques. The small revolver is one of the hardest guns to disarm someone without getting shot.

In a typical street encounter it will all be over in 3-5 seconds. Weapon capacity doesn't matter. If there are multiple attackers you are most likely screwed if they don't retreat after the first shot.

Home defense is a another matter entirely.

Most legal self defense shootings are at very close range so I don't buy into how well a gun can be shot much beyond 3yds. If I thought I would need 9mm, 17 rd service semi auto to be safe some where, I would not go there. If I had to go there I would in fact carry my Glock 17 loaded with CCI 124gr +P Gold Dots.

AK103K
September 25, 2013, 05:34 AM
In a typical street encounter it will all be over in 3-5 seconds. Weapon capacity doesn't matter. If there are multiple attackers you are most likely screwed if they don't retreat after the first shot.

Most legal self defense shootings are at very close range so I don't buy into how well a gun can be shot much beyond 3yds.

Ahh...the "Rule of threes".

I think if you base your choice and level of necessary skills on that, your deceiving yourself.

DBR
September 25, 2013, 07:49 PM
My post was only in reference to "street" encounters. Not home invasions or other possible threats. IMO this is where a small carry piece is most likely to be the weapon that is available.

If you are in the mall when a mass shooting is going down obviously other factors need to be considered.

I suggest, for the average citizen, a mugging or robbery or car jacking is more likely than a mall encounter - at least it has been.

AK103K
September 25, 2013, 09:03 PM
IMO this is where a small carry piece is most likely to be the weapon that is available.
I suppose this might be where the differences in mentality on these guns comes in.

Some of us consider, and use them as back ups, where others look at them as their "only" gun.

ZVP
September 25, 2013, 10:33 PM
Personal preerance is the real answer in this string.
The 9mm in a small short barreled pistol looses a LOT! People quote statistics of full sized guns and try and apply em to a "Compact 9". Don't forget that point!
The Snubbie already has lost it so you know what you have there.
The 380 is a little less Ft/LB than .38 Special Snubbie.
Take your preferred action, pratice with it and your preferred load and become proficent with the gun as you can.
THe real proof is a scenerio none of us want to face but withthe 9mm you are likely ahead just a bit, the standard 38 Special +P is next, the Standard .38 Special HP is next and the .380 last.
This opnion is from my shooting various inatamate objects, reading spec's i gun books and discussing the topic with other shooters.
Personally, I carry a Mocel 36 Chief Special with Horniday HP's. I like the revopver, consider it totally reliable and shoot it fairly well thanks to pratice.
These small handguns can only preform so well. Their size allows for heavy recoil and they are harder to learn to shoot well , this plus the loss of power with shorter barrels make the absolute necessity of pratice a MUST!
JMHO,
BPDave

stinger 327
September 26, 2013, 01:20 AM
Personal preerance is the real answer in this string.
The 9mm in a small short barreled pistol looses a LOT! People quote statistics of full sized guns and try and apply em to a "Compact 9". Don't forget that point!
The Snubbie already has lost it so you know what you have there.
The 380 is a little less Ft/LB than .38 Special Snubbie.
Take your preferred action, pratice with it and your preferred load and become proficent with the gun as you can.
THe real proof is a scenerio none of us want to face but withthe 9mm you are likely ahead just a bit, the standard 38 Special +P is next, the Standard .38 Special HP is next and the .380 last.
This opnion is from my shooting various inatamate objects, reading spec's i gun books and discussing the topic with other shooters.
Personally, I carry a Mocel 36 Chief Special with Horniday HP's. I like the revopver, consider it totally reliable and shoot it fairly well thanks to pratice.
These small handguns can only preform so well. Their size allows for heavy recoil and they are harder to learn to shoot well , this plus the loss of power with shorter barrels make the absolute necessity of pratice a MUST!
JMHO,
BPDave
Take the Kahr PM 9 with a 3 inch barrel using +P+

DBR
September 26, 2013, 02:04 AM
Actually, the 9mm loses less than most other calibers out of a 3-3.5" barrel. My issue is with the small guns that fire it.

IMO a small revolver like the S&W J frame losses less reliability than any small frame semi-auto. It doesn't matter what the ballistics are if the gun doesn't work 100%. As I said before, I would rather have a bullet design that has very good intrinsic wounding ability than a more exotic design that "may work". When the gun gets small, I'll always bet on the revolver.

AK103K: I completely agree that a small gun is best carried as a backup to something more potent. How many armed citizens will actually carry a service size gun and a BUG in everyday life? Carrying at all every waking moment is a commitment few actually make. I suggest that absent LEO or other similar training the idea probably doesn't even come to mind. The most convenient gun to carry (small, light) is what will likely be available when the worst happens.

OrangePwrx9
September 26, 2013, 08:07 AM
posted by stinger 327:
"I know someone who jammed a Glock 17 continously with that limp wrist. "

Same here, except it was a Glock 19 and then an XD...and she was a Frontsight graduate. Could clear a jam faster than I could figure out what it was.

Finally handed her a revolver. After shooting 20 or 30 rounds, the response was, "Hey, I like that gun. It doesn't jam."

OrangePwrx9
September 26, 2013, 08:23 AM
Posted by DBR:
"Based on real world, scientific wound studies, the best bullet shape is a sharp edged cylinder. Such a bullet shape can only be fired from a revolver. It does not need to expand, it penetrates very well and it tracks straight so it can be fired at lower velocity resulting in less recoil and muzzle blast as well as faster follow up shots.

My choice is a light weight 38spl revolver ie S&W 642 loaded with either 148gr WC or Buffalo Bore 150gr hard cast WC depending on summer or winter weather.

Recoil with the 148gr loads is equal or lighter than the semi autos and in general the revolvers are more reliable especially under stress.

Another real world issue is gun retention. The bad guys do know about disarming techniques. The small revolver is one of the hardest guns to disarm someone without getting shot.

In a typical street encounter it will all be over in 3-5 seconds. Weapon capacity doesn't matter. If there are multiple attackers you are most likely screwed if they don't retreat after the first shot."



Happy to see this post. Confirms my choice of a J-frame loaded with LWCs. Thought I'd seen that they were effective, by couldn't remember for sure.

One thing is for sure, my little Chief's Special is lots more comfortable to shoot with LWCs than with anything jacketed.

fredg
September 26, 2013, 09:19 AM
...and a revolver has less moving parts thus less chance of something failing at the worst time

I am a died in the wool revolver guy and have several, the only semi-auto I have is a GI 1911. I either carry my full size 1911 or my SP101 .357 snub and on occasion I carry my 4 inch S&W Model 10 .38.

All that said... in truth a revolver has more moving parts and is more complex than a semi-auto, I have torn into my revolvers many times and while the SP101 is completely different in design than the S&W even it is more complex than my 1911.

Given the choice of tearing down one of my revolvers "in the field" or tearing down my 1911 I would choose my 1911 any day! (I'm talking full detail strip not just a field strip). The same goes for clearing jams, the 1911 is a no brainer.

And remember I'm a revolver guy and loath any semi-auto other than GI 1911's. (especially mouse semi's and especially plastic guns). I even loath the new fancy 1911's with their beaver tails and extended and ambi safeties.

Again, all that said, if I were a LEO or if I carried a gun in some kind of LEO capacity, I would have a full size 16+ round plastic Glock or XD. But as a CCW citizen I am content with my revolvers and 1911.

stinger 327
September 26, 2013, 11:02 AM
I am a died in the wool revolver guy and have several, the only semi-auto I have is a GI 1911. I either carry my full size 1911 or my SP101 .357 snub and on occasion I carry my 4 inch S&W Model 10 .38.

All that said... in truth a revolver has more moving parts and is more complex than a semi-auto, I have torn into my revolvers many times and while the SP101 is completely different in design than the S&W even it is more complex than my 1911.

Given the choice of tearing down one of my revolvers "in the field" or tearing down my 1911 I would choose my 1911 any day! (I'm talking full detail strip not just a field strip). The same goes for clearing jams, the 1911 is a no brainer.

And remember I'm a revolver guy and loath any semi-auto other than GI 1911's. (especially mouse semi's and especially plastic guns). I even loath the new fancy 1911's with their beaver tails and extended and ambi safeties.

Again, all that said, if I were a LEO or if I carried a gun in some kind of LEO capacity, I would have a full size 16+ round plastic Glock or XD. But as a CCW citizen I am content with my revolvers and 1911.
why a full sized 1911?

fredg
September 26, 2013, 11:27 AM
why a full sized 1911?

GI 1911's are the only semi-autos I really like. And if I have a 1911 it will be .45 ACP, GI configuration and full size. I have zero interest in any of the shorter length 1911's or any of the "new" style 1911's.

It's a personal preference thing... just what I like!

This is my Khar Made Auto-Ordnance made in the USA. About as perfect a GI copy you can find. I carry it regularly and with my high ride Bianchi Black Widow holster I can conceal it under a t-shirt. Yeah it might print a little but printing is not an issue where I live.

http://i1065.photobucket.com/albums/u392/model19sw/left.jpg

stinger 327
September 26, 2013, 11:44 AM
GI 1911's are the only semi-autos I really like. And if I have a 1911 it will be .45 ACP, GI configuration and full size. I have zero interest in any of the shorter length 1911's or any of the "new" style 1911's.

It's a personal preference thing... just what I like!

This is my Khar Made Auto-Ordnance made in the USA. About as perfect a GI copy you can find. I carry it regularly and with my high ride Bianchi Black Widow holster I can conceal it under a t-shirt. Yeah it might print a little but printing is not an issue where I live.

http://i1065.photobucket.com/albums/u392/model19sw/left.jpg
very nice. I did read if one gets a 1911 get the 5 inch model.

fredg
September 26, 2013, 12:12 PM
very nice. I did read if one gets a 1911 get the 5 inch model.

Yeah the shorter 1911's seem to be a bit more troublesome, and before there are posts from owners of short barrel 1911's telling me how perfect theirs works, I will say that most of them do work OK from what I have read.

But the 1911 was designed around the 5" barrel and seems to be what works best. My gun was accurate and reliable out of the box no feed or ejection issues at all. And it is well made in the USA, hard to beat for a $500 gun!

perpster
September 26, 2013, 12:56 PM
Shouldn't a consideration for a pocket pistol be that it can be fired from inside a pocket? Lots of people walk around with their hands in their pockets. It gives you a self-defense tactical advantage if you have the element of surprise. The surprise for the bad guy is that you shoot him or her without having to "draw" your gun out.

The revolver has the advantage when firing from a pocket, because the semi-auto's slide may to snag on clothing during the first cycling. An exposed hammer revolver not so much. A shrouded hammer revolver (eg S&W Bodyguard) even less. An internal hammer revolver (eg S&W Centennial) not at all. Not to mention the possibility that a semi-auto in a pocket could be slightly out of battery in the close confines of a pocket and not fire at all.

All else being equal, the short-barreled revolver is better for shooting from inside a pocket.

PS: I have no idea if clothing could cause a malfunction preventing a first shot from a semi-auto. What happens when the pocket is too small for the extended length of the rearward slide and the barrel?

stinger 327
September 26, 2013, 02:57 PM
Yeah the shorter 1911's seem to be a bit more troublesome, and before there are posts from owners of short barrel 1911's telling me how perfect theirs works, I will say that most of them do work OK from what I have read.

But the 1911 was designed around the 5" barrel and seems to be what works best. My gun was accurate and reliable out of the box no feed or ejection issues at all. And it is well made in the USA, hard to beat for a $500 gun!
How long ago did you purchase this Kahr Auto Ordinance 1911 for $500?

fredg
September 26, 2013, 03:00 PM
How long ago did you purchase this Kahr Auto Ordinance 1911 for $500?

Two week ago!! :D

Actually it was $515.00 I rounded down (not counting shipping $25 and FFl transfer $25). On the 1911 Forum with the AO section, there are guys reporting paying as low as $480 (that might have a year ago though)

stinger 327
September 26, 2013, 03:04 PM
Two week ago!! :D

Actually it was $515.00 I rounded down (not counting shipping $25 and FFl transfer $25). On the 1911 Forum with the AO section, there are guys reporting paying as low as $480 (that might have a year ago though)
Great price. I just got a RIA 1911 Tactical for $599.

HoosierQ
September 26, 2013, 03:54 PM
All that business about calibers intended to wound rather than kill is bunk. The 9mm Parabellum was designed to fight wars and kill the enemy...just like the 5.56x45...or for that matter the .69 caliber Brown Bess.

R.W.Dale
September 26, 2013, 06:35 PM
NO such thing as "limpwristing!" No 9mm is more potent than the 38spl! And that's without silly "+p" branding! Get knowledgable!

Yes get knowelagable


Buy yourself a chronograph a snubby 38 and a snubby 9mm revolver and learn for yourself that bullet weight to bullet weight 9mm has on average 300 fps on 38+p

35,000 psi vs 18,000 it ain't hard to figure out which one will push bullets faster.

And yes limpwristing is by in large excuse making for an unreliable gun in need of repair.

AK103K
September 26, 2013, 08:07 PM
How many armed citizens will actually carry a service size gun and a BUG in everyday life? Carrying at all every waking moment is a commitment few actually make.
DBR, I guess Im one of the "rare" ones. :)

These days, I normally carry a Glock 17, as well as a 26, 18/7/365. I also use a 642, and/or a Seecamp on occasion, depending on my pants (the 26 can be a bit of a chunk at times).

Ive been doing this for almost 40 years now, and things are quite a bit different now than when I started. Lots more options with both guns and holsters.

When I hear someone say the "cant" carry a full sized gun, I usually read that as dont "want" to. Its really more about want than cant. Its hard to convince someone who regularly carries a full sized handgun, that doing so is a problem.



As far as only carrying "now and then", my crystal ball must be busted, and my 8 ball is always so vague. :)

One thing is for sure, my little Chief's Special is lots more comfortable to shoot with LWCs than with anything jacketed.
Try an Airweight loaded with "warm" 158 grain LSWC's. ;)

Given the choice of tearing down one of my revolvers "in the field" or tearing down my 1911 I would choose my 1911 any day! (I'm talking full detail strip not just a field strip). The same goes for clearing jams, the 1911 is a no brainer.
Revolvers are great, as long as you dont have an issue. Most auto malfunctions are quickly solved with a TRB, most revolver issues put you DRT.

I shoot revolvers on a regular basis, and have had these issues across the board, with various makes and models...

Bullets that jumped a crimp under recoil...gun tied up

Squibs that drove a bullet into the forcing cone....gun tied up.

Ejector rod backed out....gun tied up.

Cylinder retaining screw backed out, cylinder left gun during reload.

Junk under the extractor star...causes a "tight" to "locked", tied up gun... main reason here is caused by improper reloading, and poor hygiene.

Ive had two S&W 940's (9mm) break parts internally, requiring the gun to be disassembled just to remove the remaining live rounds in the gun to ship them off for repair.

All those things stopped those revolvers cold. If it had been under "bad" cercumstances, it would not have been good, especially if it were the only gun I had.

Revolvers "can" be reliable, but they arent necessarily as reliable as many will have you believe. If youre shooting them on a regular basis, you know they arent perfect, and have probably encountered some of the above in your travels.

why a full sized 1911?
Because, with a properly functioning and reliable 1911, they are easy to shoot well with. Even Government Models really arent a "big" gun, and hide quite nicely and easily. Ive carried 1911's more than anything else so far. I always favored the Commanders. Ive owned a couple of the smaller 1911's, but never trusted them. They just werent reliable enough to trust your life with.

Shouldn't a consideration for a pocket pistol be that it can be fired from inside a pocket? Lots of people walk around with their hands in their pockets. It gives you a self-defense tactical advantage if you have the element of surprise. The surprise for the bad guy is that you shoot him or her without having to "draw" your gun out.
I tried this "once", out of the pocket of an old windbreaker with one of my J frames. At point blank, youll probably get a hit. Beyond that, not good. Shooting from a pocket really isnt "point shooting". It also tends to set your coat on fire and melt nylon.

Personally, if I think theres going to be an issue, the last place I want my hands, is in my pockets. If there is a gun in there, and its needed, its coming out to be shot, even if I have to go back in there to get it. Most likely at that point, I'd be going for something else instead.


Like anything else, if you intend on carrying something in a certain way, you need to practice doing so on the range and in dry fire, as realistically as possible. If you dont, I think you might be surprised at how bad some seemingly good ideas, turn out working when you pull the trigger on a live round.

And yes limpwristing is by in large excuse making for an unreliable gun in need of repair.
I think its more user error than the gun malfunctioning. The people Ive dealt with who were having the issue, didnt have it again, after they were shown what they were doing wrong, and the gun worked fine afterwards.

If you keep mass (your arm) behind the gun, and dont allow it to move rearwards with recoil, they will normally work fine.

R.W.Dale
September 26, 2013, 09:06 PM
The distinction needs to be made between the two types of failures a handgun can experience.

Folks assume that an ammunition induced failure = the same as a mechanical malfunction (broken parts)

But they're not the same.

Revolvers are far far less sensitive to experiencing ammunition related malfunctions and of the rare ones that do they will stop an automatic just as readily.

Either pistol type can experience a hard mechanical malfunction and NEITHER will be repaired in the heat of the moment.

So yes a revolver is more reliable PERIOD end of story since a FTF is just another trigger pull instead of a clearing drill. In other words an automatic can have all the same malfunctions an automatic can PLUS several extras its impossible for a wheel gun to experience.

shadow9
September 26, 2013, 09:47 PM
It's really personal preference, and nothing more.

YES - a 9mm Pocket pistol WILL have better speed and energy than a snub - operating pressure. However, all that pressure exits with the bullet, and 3.3" of barrel doesn't really give a lot of "bleed-off" space. I found my PPS to be VERY blasty (on par with my 3" SP101 running a hot load with Universal) - and this was outside in a clearing in the woods. Likewise, shooting a S&W M40 at the firing range (indoors) resulted in a pert "bang", a 1-1.5" muzzle flame, and barely any discernible blast.

I cite blast because as much as people like to claim "events happen so fast you won't feel it", the reality is most of us who AREN'T trained or used to shooting our weapons without the usual range gear are in for a RUDE awakening if we use them.A really powerful blast WILL disrupt a second shot - whereas something that's perhaps a bit tamer will allow a faster followup.

Also, and PERSONALLY, I find semi-autos to be harder to get a followup shot with than a Revo - especially if said revo is a Centennial (internal hammer) S&W. Semi's have a slide I need to stay beneath, and the teeny things especially tend to want to jump the nose and walk out of my hands...the snubs I shoot with I can really choke-up on and get pretty linear recoil.

Where semi's shine is reloading - it's fast. But, honestly, if you're going for mag #2, reality says you've been in the firefight too long and you have time to escape, or you're likely in over your head.

The "more ammo for multiple assailants" idea is great, in theory. In most states, you need to be threatened with force equal to the force you're using. This means if you're drawing, they've already got their hands on theirs, or the guns are drawn. Here's where reality happens folks: You can only point at one of them at a time, and you'll already be tweaked and inaccurate. It's not like IDPA either, they're living, breathing, THINKING criminals. In many cases, it isn't their first firefight either, and for EVERY shot you take, THEY all get at least ONE as well.

Catch my drift?

Also, realistically - IF you manage to drop one (or two), and the rest scatter, they'll know you. They'll remember you, your face, and every bad sonuvagun they know will know you as well. Hope it doesn't happen in an area you frequent.

So, stick to a good sense of awareness and the weapon you can have on you the most frequently.

goon
September 26, 2013, 09:53 PM
Now is it true that 9mm was created for wounding in war time so that it will tie up soldiers having to contend with the injured?

Actually the 9mm was created because it was felt that the .30 Luger wasn't powerful enough. A more powerful round was requested (by the German army in the Luger pistol) if I recall correctly.
That's right... in it's day, the 9mm was a more powerful round.

On paper, the .38 and .380 show similar ballistics, but I think I'd prefer the heavier bullet of the .38 Special. But you also have to consider that something like a Ruger LCP will go in almost any pocket, almost anywhere, pretty much any time you need to carry a gun. That's a hard thing to beat.

stinger 327
September 27, 2013, 11:40 AM
Actually the 9mm was created because it was felt that the .30 Luger wasn't powerful enough. A more powerful round was requested (by the German army in the Luger pistol) if I recall correctly.
That's right... in it's day, the 9mm was a more powerful round.

On paper, the .38 and .380 show similar ballistics, but I think I'd prefer the heavier bullet of the .38 Special. But you also have to consider that something like a Ruger LCP will go in almost any pocket, almost anywhere, pretty much any time you need to carry a gun. That's a hard thing to beat.
If you want something that is real concealable you could always get one of those NAA mini revolvers. Definitely a step up from pepper spray and does more damage and disable. Those tiny .22 LR or .22 Magnums fit anywhere.
Also remember some time ago in other countries police depts. used .32 as their side arm. Hong Kong used .22 but I don't know if that is current. Probably not

mdauben
September 27, 2013, 12:17 PM
In most states, you need to be threatened with force equal to the force you're using.
A bit OT but AFAIK this is a dangerous misapprehension to operate under. I've heard that this may be true in the UK and other benighted countries but in most areas of the US lethal force is justified if you can reasonably fear you are in danger of death or serious bodily harm. So, in some circumstances even bare fists can be justification for the use of a gun in self defense (IIRC, according to the latest FBI statistics, far more people are beaten to death with bare fists every year than are killed with a so-called "assault weapon") This is especially true if there is a disparity in size/strength/fitness (male versus female, large man versus small man, young man versus old man, or multiple attackers against a single defender).

clance
September 28, 2013, 09:11 AM
A J-Frame .38 +P is far superior to a pocket .380/9mm Kruz.

While not as compact, it does offer you a more effective cartridge with better ballistics then the .380. In addition a revolver is a much more reliable action that isn't effected by ammo quality, unlike a semi-auto which depends on quality ammo for its function.

In addition, with such a small pistol like a pocket .380 there is a tendency to "Limp Wrist" due to the lack of grip to hold on too. When you limp wrist a semi-auto you reduce the energy that it uses to cycle the action and will result with malfunctions like "Stove Piping". This isn't the case with a revolver.

Just my opinion, take it for what it's worth.

goon
September 28, 2013, 02:36 PM
It's hard to make a straight comparison of effectiveness from a good .38 Spl round to a good 9mm Luger round. The .38 can take a heavier bullet with sharp edges (like a SWC-HP) that will punch at least a .358 sized hole and crush things whether it expands or not. The 9mm relies on expansion and is typically pushing a lighter bullet. At the end of the day, I don't think it would make much difference, so you're basically choosing the actual firearm you like best and just using the round it comes chambered in. But on-paper ballistics don't tell the whole story.

It is also not fair to lump the .380 in with these two. It has been offered in guns about the same size, but it can also get smaller and lighter than almost anything else in a P3AT or LCP. It's lighter than a set of brass knuckles, about the same size, legal, and more effective. And it's likely to be there when you just can't conceal a larger gun.

DBR
September 29, 2013, 12:21 AM
Just to clear up a few things:

A LSWC or LSWCHP is not the same as a FWC (full wadcutter). The nose of the LSWC tends to push matter in the wound channel out of the way of the edge of the shoulder rather than cutting it and as such is no better than a round nose bullet. This has been proven.

The use of deadly force is usually justified by:
Imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm to you or anyone you have a legal right to defend. It is also usually justified to stop a violent felony in progress (arson, rape, robbery, battery, etc). The threat can be a deadly weapon, disparity of force, disparity of numbers or anything else a reasonable person, knowing what you knew at the time constituted a potentially deadly threat.

"self defense" is an affirmative defense for a willful act. You usually have the right to use force that might result in death or serious injury to the assailant to defend yourself. You do not have the right to "kill" intentionally. Once the threat is neutralized the right to use force stops. To claim self defense you must first state that your actions were intentional and not accidental.

In many jurisdictions there is a duty to retreat if you are the one threatened, if it can be done without further endangering yourself or increasing the advantage of the assailant.

I am not a lawyer and I am not attempting to offer legal advice. I was a law enforcement officer for a number of years and what I have stated is what I was taught.

earplug
September 29, 2013, 12:46 AM
I'm to old and sore to pick up brass from practicing with a pistol. I practice more with a revolver that won't toss brass all over the place.
Having a J frame in the pocket just fine. A high pressure rounds blast is more of a hinderance to me then the recoil from a heavy bullet low pressure round. Loading and checking magazines gets old when your not being paid to save the world. A 16 ounce revolver does not drag your shorts past your knees if your jump.

stinger 327
September 29, 2013, 02:45 AM
Buffalo Bore has some mean loads across the caliber board.

AK103K
September 29, 2013, 08:44 AM
I'm to old and sore to pick up brass from practicing with a pistol. I practice more with a revolver that won't toss brass all over the place.
Ahhh, the downfall of the "older" (and actually, not just older) American shooter, and older American in general.

The longer you keep active, the longer youll be able to be active. You wont be near as stiff and sore either, be it bending over to tie your shoes (youre not at velcro already, are you? :)) or picking up brass and accessories.

On another note.... If youre reloading your revolver right, you still have to pick up the brass (and speed loaders) off the ground. ;)

stinger 327
September 30, 2013, 11:31 AM
Ahhh, the downfall of the "older" (and actually, not just older) American shooter, and older American in general.

The longer you keep active, the longer youll be able to be active. You wont be near as stiff and sore either, be it bending over to tie your shoes (youre not at velcro already, are you? :)) or picking up brass and accessories.

On another note.... If youre reloading your revolver right, you still have to pick up the brass (and speed loaders) off the ground. ;)
He can control where he empties his brass like into a can. With the auto you have no choice of where your brass ends up. Must be difficult for people with bad backs.

Spade5
September 30, 2013, 01:32 PM
To each his own but killer loads are not for me either. I do pick up my brass but don't try to account for each piece. If I find it, fine, if i don't, it can stay on the ground.

I like the part about jumping up and down and your pants not falling down.

I used to do a lot of things that I don't do much if at all any more and yes, I still wear shoes with laces and can bend down and tie them with no problem. Being able to look down and see that they need to be tied, well that is something else.

AK103K
September 30, 2013, 06:14 PM
He can control where he empties his brass like into a can. With the auto you have no choice of where your brass ends up. Must be difficult for people with bad backs.
I think you misunderstand. If you reload a revolver "realistically", all the empties end up on the ground, just like the autos.

Practicing reloads any other way tends to be counterproductive, and actually, can be dangerous. Under stress, you tend to do what you do in practice. That goes for unloading and reloading. Really no different than an auto.

R.W.Dale
September 30, 2013, 06:24 PM
I think you misunderstand. If you reload a revolver "realistically", all the empties end up on the ground, just like the autos.

Practicing reloads any other way tends to be counterproductive, and actually, can be dangerous. Under stress, you tend to do what you do in practice. That goes for unloading and reloading. Really no different than an auto.

Can we please dispense with all the goofy YOU'LL DIE if you EVER shoot your handgun recreationally bit.

The dirty reality is What you do with your empties when training for ccw doesn't matter in the slightest. The fact is as a civilian ccw you will live or die with what ammunition is in your gun. A ccw holder using a reload in a self defense situation is such an exceedingly rare occurrence only ONE (1)! Such instance has EVER been cited and that man was targeted multiple times due to his profession.

tommy.duncan
September 30, 2013, 09:28 PM
I have never shot +p out of smaller pistols. I never thought you got any benefit out of +p rounds due to the short barrel. I have shot +p and +p+ out of my H&K's and Sigs, but the recoil and flash out of a smallie would outweigh any possible benefit in my opinion. I could be wrong but I don't see any benefit.

clance
September 30, 2013, 11:01 PM
I have never shot +p out of smaller pistols. I never thought you got any benefit out of +p rounds due to the short barrel. I have shot +p and +p+ out of my H&K's and Sigs, but the recoil and flash out of a smallie would outweigh any possible benefit in my opinion. I could be wrong but I don't see any benefit.
Your point would beg the question: Why would anyone then buy a stubby in .357mag or any other caliber?

There has to be some advantage to the +P over a standard .38 Spl even if it's nothing more then just when pressing it into a bad guy's chest, your filling that cavity with rapidly expanding super heated gases.

stinger 327
September 30, 2013, 11:06 PM
Alot more recoil in +P loadings.

bubba in ca
October 12, 2013, 04:18 PM
The British 200 gr .38 s&w load of ww2 fame is no longer available, so even if it were a good idea it isn`t real practical. I will say the revolvers they came in had the best ergonomics of just about any gun I have ever fired.

I have evolved back to revolvers for SD because they are simpler to use and not as prone to ammo problems. My perceived risk is 1 to 3 lightly armed moderately motivated (possibly alcohol powered) perps. I have no illusions of raiding crack houses or holding off mobs of rioters with a handgun.

I currently carry a lightweight .38 snubby because it is the biggest bullet in the smallest package of the guns i own. If I were starting, out, I would buy a .357 snubby, break in in with .38s, load it with plus Ps, and keep some .357 around for car trips or camping.

I got rid of all my .380s as a useless round. I kept my 9 maks because the guns themselves were worth having. If I felt I needed more firepower, I`d leave the .38 at home and carry both of the Maks, a New York reload!

If I thought I were going to war and were lucky enough to be allowed to carry a handgun backup, I would want a large frame auto and wouldn`t care the slightest if it were .45 or 9mm.

Archie
October 12, 2013, 07:12 PM
Powerful? That depends on the definition of 'power'. One can calculate 'kinetic energy' or 'momentum'. Both qualities are based on mass and velocity; the difference is 'kinetic energy' is more dependent on motion (speed) and 'momentum' is more dependent on the mass of the object. (I'm not going to explain further, look them up.)

The bullet weight, velocity and energy calculations are from Ammo & Ballistics for Hunters, Shooters, and Collectors, third edition by Bob Forker. (The momentum calculation is simply weight of bullet in pounds multiplied by velocity; that's a simplified version of the formula used in formal physics, but it is suitable for comparison purposes.)

Standard .380 ACP is a 95 grain FMJ bullet at about 950 feet/second; test barrel 3.75 inches.
Kinetic energy is 190 foot pounds of energy.
Momentum is 12.89 pounds (of force).

Sellier & Bellot 9x19 NATO (9mm Luger and so on) claims a 115 grain JHP at 1237; test barrel 4 inches.
Kinetic energy: 395 foot-pounds.
Momentum: 20.32 pounds.

Aguila .38 Special (standard pressure) claims 158 grain Semi-Jacketed SP at 925 ft/sec; test barrel 4 inches, vented.
Kinetic energy: 300 foot-pounds.
Momentum: 20.88 pounds.

So the .380 ACP (at least in the original loading) is clearly the weak sister here. The 9x19 seems to have a clear advantage in kinetic energy, while the .38 Special has a marginal lead in momentum.

However, kinetic energy depends on the velocity of the bullet at point of impact, not the muzzle. Since bullets tend to lose velocity in flight, the kinetic energy drops by the square of the lost velocity, while momentum drops directly proportional to velocity loss.

Since the testing (9x19 and .38 Special) was done with four inch barrels, one might suspect lower velocities in concealment guns with shorter barrels.

See why 'power' is the subject of so many arguments?

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