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The Correct Snubnose Caliber

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Uncle Mike, Sep 12, 2009.


Best caliber/cartridge for Defense from a Snubnose Revolver

  1. 10mm Auto

    1 vote(s)
  2. 38 Spl. +P

    153 vote(s)
  3. 40 S&W

    1 vote(s)
  4. 45 acp

    6 vote(s)
  5. 357 Mag.

    43 vote(s)
  6. 44 Mag.

    3 vote(s)
  7. 41 Mag.

    1 vote(s)
  8. 44 Spl.

    25 vote(s)
  9. 9mm/38super/

    4 vote(s)
  10. other

    2 vote(s)
  1. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Well-Known Member

    What, in your opinion, is the best self defense caliber/cartridge from the poll list that you would use in a snub nosed revolver such as the Smith and Wesson 'Night Guard' snubby revolver.

    What is the basis of your decision to use this cartridge? :D

    What make and model of snub nosed revolver do you prefer...S&W, Charter, Ruger.....
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  2. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Well-Known Member

    I'll vote for either 38 special or, if you can find one, 9mm.

    I have read (no link, sorry) that .357 mag out of a 2 inch revolver barrel produces no better ballistics than a 9mm out of the same type of gun; most of the power is wasted as noise and flash. 40s, 44s, and 45s are nice but generally not available in a small package.
  3. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Well-Known Member

    +1 on the 9mm revolver. but since there was no choice for one i voted for 38 spec +
  4. kdstrick

    kdstrick Well-Known Member

    J frame... Corbon 110grn +P @ 1050 fps is a great load even in a 1.875" bbl. It ain't your grandpaw's 38 special. ;)

    In my 3" bbl SP101 I go with 357 mag, Corbon DPX 125 grn @ about 1350 fps. The extra bbl length and heft of the Ruger makes it worthwhile to carry in the Magnum caliber. I wouldn't shoot 357 mag in a J frame. You don't get that much more performance relative to the recoil...
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    .38 Spl.

    "Best self defense caliber/cartridge in a snubnose" seems to indicate CCW or pocket carry.

    None of the larger calibers you listed qualify because they are universally L or N frame size and are just too big.

    The full-charge .357 Mag kicks too much in J-Frame guns for most people to handle them with any accuracy.

  6. RetDep310

    RetDep310 Well-Known Member

    .38Spl +P 135 gr Speer Gold Dot, Short Barrel, out of a Ruger LCR.
    Shoots point of aim with minimal recoil. Very light as far as carry.
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Any of those would work. I am fond of .44 Spl myself. ;)
  8. bobbytm

    bobbytm Well-Known Member

    For snub ...38SPL
  9. smee781

    smee781 member

    I voted 38 because of size, but I to like a 44spl S&W 296.
  10. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Well-Known Member

    that you would use in a snub nosed revolver such as the Smith and Wesson 'Night Guard' snubby revolver.

    Outside of a short barrel the Nughtguard is not much of a snubby in my book. It's a L frame which is a bit chunky and generally the cylinder, frame, and grip size dictate concealabilty. I think of a J frame or Detective Special size gun when I think of snubs. I might stretch that to a K frame.

    I voted 38 special.

    The full-charge .357 Mag kicks too much in J-Frame guns for most people to handle them with any accuracy.

    I also agree with rc.
  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    My experience is the .38 Special is the hottest cartridge you can comfortably shoot from a snubbie. I have shot many different snubbies in .357, and they range from spicy to downright painful. The only snubbie I've found really workable in .357 is the Ruger SP 101 (and I advise the 3" barrel version.)

    If shooting is painful, you will either not practice (and lose when the chips are down) or you will practice and develop bad habits (and lose when the chips are down.)
  12. doc540

    doc540 Well-Known Member

    D frame Colt

    135gn Speer Gold Dot's or
    110gn CorBon DPX Barnes Bullets

    fits my hands, fits my carry, close quarters effective

  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    When I carry a revolver, that's what I carry -- a Colt Detective Special.
  14. SalchaketJoe

    SalchaketJoe Well-Known Member

    357, can fire 38s and +Ps as well.
  15. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I'm ruling out my nearly 3" Speed Six as a true snub. I would think an under 2" barrel is really "snub nose." A Colt DS, Ruger LCR or J frame smith. With that in mind the .38 Special is the ideal choice even after a century. The best round is the 158 grain LSWCHP.
  16. 420Stainless

    420Stainless Well-Known Member

    I rarely carry a revolver, and even then sometimes not a snubnose. When I do, its a standard pressure .38 Special or a .357 Magnum. Almost had a S&W in .32 Long last year, but someone bought it just before I got back with the cash. Oh well, wasn't looking forward to ordering new dies and brass anyway I guess:(.
  17. Dollar An Hour

    Dollar An Hour Well-Known Member

    Since .357's can fire less powerful .38's it's a win-win.

    IMO if you can accurately fire .357's with quick follow-ups then that trumps the .38. It took some practice with .357 Medium loads like Remington Golden Sabre, but I'm comfortable with it.
  18. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Well-Known Member

    Get it in 44 Mag, and then you have the option of carying 44 special and if you ever want a snubbie 44 mag later you've got one.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  19. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    When you cited a Night Guard, I assume you do mean

    1. A Scandium / lightweight--

    2. and a compact / J frame.

    IOW, a revolver that weighs nominally 13-15 oz. With those parameters, I recommend 38+P. If you include the heavier guns--from about 20 oz on up--then I'd recommend 357 Mag.

    Jim H.
  20. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    when the OP cited the "Night Guard", i understood he was refering to an L-frame wheelgun

    if you're going to an L-frame anyway, you mind as well get the biggest controlable round in that frame size...so my choice is the .44 spl

    my S&W M-696 handles very well with it's 3" barrel and is more controlable than any .357mag...it might have something to do with it being Mag-Na-Ported.

    loaded with the CCI Blaser 200gr Gold Dot, it's like shooting a 158gr non +P .38 spl out of a lighter K-frame

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