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define snubby

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Im283, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Im283

    Im283 Well-Known Member

    What is the maximum length of a barrel for it to be considered a snubby?
  2. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Well-Known Member

    I don't think there is a real number but most folks think of 2 1/2 inches or less as a snubby. I have a 3" barrel Ruger SP-101 and do not think of it as a snubby.
  3. BillinNH

    BillinNH Well-Known Member

    Up to 2 1/2 snubby
    3 or more not a snubby

    Between 2 1/2 and 3, you call it.

    Just my opinion.

  4. rbmcmjr

    rbmcmjr Well-Known Member

    You're saying these aren't "snubbies"?


    3" is a snubby for calibers >0.41", but not smaller.
  5. L-Frame

    L-Frame Well-Known Member

    3" is the gray area. For whatever reason, I consider my 3" model 60 a snubby, while can't really classify my 2 681 3"ers as snubby's, even though they conceal like snubbies. Maybe they just perform so well I think of them as service revolvers, (and that's why I think they are the perfect combat handguns).
  6. DAdams

    DAdams Well-Known Member

  7. fastbolt

    fastbolt Well-Known Member

    I expect that to some extent it might depend on your age group, and what you consider to be a 'standard' or 'service-size' revolver.

    In my case, I consider a standard service revolver to have a barrel within the range of 4-6 1/2", and anything under that to be a 'short-barreled' revolver, or a snub revolver.

    Then, to add to that consideration, I look at the size & overall profile of the revolver, as well. A K-frame with a 2, 2 1/2 or 3" barrel may still reasonably seem to be a snub revolver to me, especially if it has a rounded grip profile. A J-frame would be at the smaller end of a snubbie, and a Colt D-frame short-barreled revolver somewhere in the middle.

    Just depends on your perspective and experiences, I suppose.

    I think of a K/N-frame short-barreled gun being the at the upper range of what might be considered a snub revolver ... with a S&W M19/66 2 1/2", Colt DS/Agent or a Ruger Speed-Six 2 3/4" as the 'middle range' ... and the S&W J-frames & Ruger SP-101 being the smaller end of the range.

    A mix of frame size and cylinder capacity, in other words, with a shorter barrel length thrown into the mix. ;)

    I must admit that the first image that comes to my mind when the term 'snubnose' is used is either a S&W 'Chief's Special' (M36) or a Colt 'Dick Special', but that's because of my age group (50's).

    Nowadays I generally use the term 'short-barreled revolver' because it seems to be better understood by many folks of different age & experience levels. Not exactly definitive, but unfortunately it seems to be increasingly common for some folks to take exception or umbrage at the use of certain words, phrases, terms, etc. nowadays ...
  8. PointOneSeven

    PointOneSeven Well-Known Member

    Great article DAdams, I enjoyed the read.

    I have a hard time calling anything bigger than .357 in a short barrel a snubnose. If the magic in the snubnose is the ability to conceal, a revolver in .41 magnum or bigger with a 2" barrel is kind of counter-productive.
  9. Iggy

    Iggy Well-Known Member

  10. kle

    kle Well-Known Member

    my definition of "snubby/snubbie": any revolver whose barrel-length forward of the frame (i.e. not including the forcing cone) is <= length of the cylinder.

    How's that?
  11. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Revolvers with barrels that have an overall length not to exceed 2.5"~! ;):D
  12. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Well-Known Member

    I think 2.75" qualifies, especially since the "extra" 1/4" is inside the cylinder frame window.


  13. pinkymingeo

    pinkymingeo Well-Known Member

    Here's how I define "snubbie".

    Attached Files:

  14. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Well-Known Member

  15. mballai

    mballai Well-Known Member

    3 inch is still snubby land. One doesn't define a gun type strictly with a ruler and some personal preconceived notion of what barrel length must apply.

    The snubby is defined as a short-barreled revolver. The standard barrel on a revolver is 4 inches. Do the math. It's not limited by caliber or whether it's comfortable to carry. Technically those new huge Rugers and Smiths out there now qualify even if we might want to refer to them as snubbies on steroids.
  16. kle

    kle Well-Known Member

    My "definition" is more of a personal feeling, and attempts to rationalize it in terms of proportions; the grip and triggers will be basically the same size, but the length/girth of the barrel in relation to the cylinder, to me, determines whether a revolver is a "snub-nose" or not...I suppose, by my definition, a Taurus 4510 "The Judge" would be a "snub-nose", even though it has a 3-inch barrel (http://taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?id=199&category=Revolver)

    Although this Taurus 415 (http://taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?id=192&category=Revolver) looks kinda "snub-nosed" as well, even though its barrel forward of the frame looks longer than the cylinder (by my eyeball estimation)...so I suppose there isn't any hard/fast rule.
  17. zinj

    zinj Well-Known Member

    IMO a snub barrel has a shortened ejector rod.
  18. kle

    kle Well-Known Member

    An excellent observation: most of the "snub-nosed" revolvers seem to have shorter ejector rods. I suppose that applies to the modern style of fully-shrouded ejector rods, though the ejector rod on my Ruger SP101 is only a hair too short to fully eject empty .38 SPL cases with anything other than an authoritative push. Weren't there non-shrouded .38 Special Colt snubbies that had full-length ejector-rods, though?
  19. tipoc

    tipoc Well-Known Member

    pics of a few snubbys

    In general a wheelgun is considered a snub nose when the barrel is shorter than the standard service revolver length of 4-6". That's it, nothing more. The word snub means shortened, it actually comes from a Scandanavian word meaning a sharp rebuke. What we also might say as "I cut him off short" or "I snubbed him". It was transferred to anything cut short and from there to short barreled revolvers well over a century ago.

    So among most shooters any gun with a barrel less than four inches qualifies as a snubby. From there folks can have their personal opinions on what is a "true" snubby but be aware that it's personal. If three inches don't make it for you, than that's you. But in general 3 1/2" would still qualify.

    The point of a snubby was to make it easier and lighter for concealed carry. So this is also a qualifier.

    Although some snubby's have shortened ejector rods, S&Ws in particular, not all do. The early Colt Dick Specials used their full length ejector rods as a selling point against the S&W snubbys as they allowed for more positive ejection of the spent cases.

    A 3" M13-3 as it came from the factory, well almost. Note the ejector rod.


    Top 3 1/4" M&P from (cut down from a 4" and round butted), left 2" M&P, Colt Cobra . Note the ejector rods. All from the late 40s or so.


    M629 and M624


  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Guy that wrote that snubbie site is a bit off on some of his "facts" He states...."The 38 is somewhat superior to the 9 mm,"...uh, well, I gotta disagree with THAT one. We're talkin' about 285 ft lbs out of a snub for a typical +P .38 load and over 400 ft lbs out of a 3" barrel 9mm +P.

    Then, he says all the TV and movie types only used snubs, revolvers, and .45s back in the day with the occasional rare exotic P38 or something. Well, how about Bond, James Bond. I was a PPK freak when bond was around. Then, there was dirty Harry's not so typical .44 and the .44 automag he carried in "Sudden Impact". He never mentions the SAA, the staple of westerns, but of course he's talking about modern cops and bad guys. However, he mentions detectives of the 40s.

    Oh, well, just nit picking. The site was an interesting read.

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