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The Snubnose Revolver for Contemporary Carry

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by rickram, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. rickram

    rickram New Member

    Periodically, firearms magazines run articles proclaiming the wheelgun to be "dead" or "obsolete" (or questioning these same proclamations). While it's true that firearms technology (and personal defensive training and theory) have progressed since the revolver was de rigueur, the wheelgun, particularly in its snubnosed package, remains one of the most effective self-defense weapons one may carry. There are multiple reasons for this. While pocket automatics and slightly larger but still compact autoloaders have eclipsed snubby revolvers in the minds of many, thare are compelling reasons to make a snubnosed revolver your daily carry piece.

    First, snubnosed revolvers are very reliable. This is a function of the technology used. A well-maintained, properly timed revolver is objectively less likely to jam than an automatic, because there are fewer moving components involved. The cylinder simply rotates the next round into position; there are no feeding or ejecting issues to consider. This also means that a snubby revolver can be fired repeatedly through a pocket or a coat in an emergency, whereas an autoloader would likely fail to cycle properly after the first shot in similar circumstances.

    Second, a revolver allows the citizen to carry a variety of defensive loads, ranging from hollowpoints to wadcutters to a variety of other specialty ammunition, without worrying that changing ammunition types or bullet shapes might cause the weapon not to cycle. Again, because the rounds need not be fed from a magazine up a ramp into the chamber, the revolver offers much greater versatility. No automatic can be trusted with ammunition that has not been tested in it and cycled repeatedly through it, whereas almost any live round will fire through a revolver with each pull of the trigger.

    Third, a revolver, if it is to be fired in double-action mode, can be carried loaded and ready without any sort of safety mechanism involved (other than the internal hammer block of modern revolver designs, of course). The long double-action trigger stroke provides plenty of resistance to prevent accidental firing of the weapon (vital when the operator is under stress). The cylinder can be carried fully loaded without concern for accidental discharge (unlike some pocket autoloaders, whose operators may be tempted to carry them with the chamber empty for added safety during pocket carry). This means that in a self-defense situation, the snubby revolver can be drawn and immediately fired without the need for disengaging safeties or other delays.

    Fourth, and finally for our purposes, a snubnosed revolver offers considerable power in a relatively compact package. While the run-of-the-mill .38 Special cartridge may not be anything remarkable, it is at least adequate for personal defense. When you upgrade to +P defensive ammuntion, you've got an extremely effective round at your disposal (though it does kick like the proverbial mule when fired in so small and light a gun, particularly in the aluminum-framed snubbies). Five rounds of +P hollowpoint ammunition will be more than sufficient for most self-defense scenarios (though one can always "game out" doomsday confrontations in which five rounds are not enough -- there is no point in such defeatism, for we must prepare for <i>likely</i> scenarios within reasonable parameters).

    Obviously for day to day personal defense, the more compact your handgun, the more able you will be to carry it concealed and to carry it comfortably. While the snubby revolver is a bit chunkier in cross-section than most compact or pocket automatics, the benefits it confers in firepower, reliablity, and versality of ammunition make it worth the extra thickness. To best take advantage of the snubby's draw-and-shoot design, its vital to avoid adding extra delays to your carry strategy. What this means is that the snubby is best carried in a holster, and that holster should be of the friction fit type.

    A friction-fit holster is any holster -- Kydex, leather, even plastic -- that retains the weapon without any sort or retaining strap, snap, or other hinderance. A quality leather inside-the-waistband holster that retains the gun without a retention snap is a great choice, for example. If you can place the (empty) gun in the holster, turn the holster upside down (over your bed, just in case), and shake the holster from the barrel end without causing the gun to fall free, your weapon will be properly retained in daily carry (though you must test it out over a few days to be sure). Such a holster allows you to position the snubby on your belt line for a consistent draw that is free of obstructions. You can thus draw, point, and pull the double-action trigger, yielding the fastest possible response time to a self-defense situation.

    With a snubnosed revolver in a friction-fit holster tucked into your waistband under a shirt, you are well-armed in even hot weather. Spare rounds can be carried in speedloaders or, for a more low-profile alternative, in flat, linear speed-strips. While it may not be as sexy or even as modern as any of several contemporary compact autoloaders or pocket pistols, the snubnosed revolver is a practical, reliable weapon of self-defense. You should consider seriously whether this concealed carry package can work for you. It does for many armed, responsible individuals just like you.

    (Rick R. 07-11-08 at 10:58
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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  2. doc540

    doc540 Well-Known Member

    thanks for posting that

    Point by point, that sums up why it's my carry choice.

    And now that I have the Jim Badger Colt DS boot grips I really enjoy shooting it at the range. I can shoot over 100 +P rounds with no problems whatsoever and my hands don't know it the day after.

    variety of ammo
  3. stormspotter

    stormspotter Well-Known Member

    Here is my Sunday -go anywhere gun.


    Still not giving up my Glock 17, but I find my Model 19 a little easier to conceal at times.
  4. M&PVolk

    M&PVolk Well-Known Member

    I really, really want a 442 for pocket carry and special attire situations.
  5. glassman

    glassman Well-Known Member

    First and foremost

    Let me say welcome to the forum. Thanks for your concise and well written input. The thing that came home for me was the reliabilty and simplicity aspect of the revolver.
  6. rickram

    rickram New Member

    Thanks glassman!
  7. indie

    indie Well-Known Member

    one heck of a first post. Welcome to THR.
  8. Oro

    Oro Well-Known Member

    You got to dress them a little prettier for "Sunday" carry: ;)

    Seriously though, here's another good sight for snubbie discussions:


    My "Sunday" gun, shockingly similar to stormspotters:

  9. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I still don't think there's a better CCW arm than the Colt DS.
  10. loneviking

    loneviking Well-Known Member

    Kamerer, what is that little snubby of yours? I've found a snubby I'm considering buying but I can't identify it. It's very similar, in profile to yours. It has that odd addition to the grips (which are wood), a satin silver finish, made by Smith and Wesson---but it doesn't have 'airweight', or 'lady-smith', or 'chiefs special', no sort of extra markings on it. It does have adjustable rear sites. I've had no luck identifying the gun. It seems to be just a 38 special as I can't find a +P marking on it anywhere. Any ideas?
  11. skoro

    skoro Well-Known Member

    I like a .38 snubbie as a carry gun.
  12. SAG0282

    SAG0282 Well-Known Member

    The .38 is for me the end-all be-all of versatile carry guns. I haven't carried anything else in ages. It's nice to have a potent CCW gun I don't have to worry about printing, etc. Can be carried comfortably in any climate too.
  13. wnycollector

    wnycollector Well-Known Member

    Excellent post! It pretty much sums up why most time's I carry either a .38 or .357 snub. I'm packing for vacation tomorrow, guess what's coming along??? Snubbie ruger security six with a couple extra speed loaders!
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    XLint post. Yup, if I go IWB, I go .357 most times. Oh, I have a .38 pocket carry, too. My autos works like my revolvers, DAO, so I can keep practice the same. The revolver is FAR from dead. :rolleyes:
  15. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    Ditto on the excellent post.

    Nice job.

    I am buying all the older revolvers I can because there are no new wheelguns that are as good as the oldies. Such is not the case with pistols.

    There is nobody that loves a wheelgun more than me. My favorite carry is a Colt Detective Special. Gave my daughter a S&W 19 for her 15th b day. Carry a 686 in a crossdraw when I hike.

    Revolvers do have their limitations. Mostly it comes from their shape. My next purchase will probably be a Kahr PW9 for inside the waistband carry.

    Of course if I come across a nice smith with a shrouded hammer like the model 49....hmmmm :evil:
  16. doc540

    doc540 Well-Known Member

    My daily beater

  17. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    I dunno, I don't really like snubs for carry. I prefer the 6" barrel. :)
  18. Elvishead

    Elvishead Well-Known Member

    You blew your cover when you wrote that.

    That being said, I like revolvers, and prefer them most of the time.

    Attached Files:

  19. SASD209

    SASD209 Well-Known Member

    S&W 360 PD, my daily carry. I have absolute confidence with and in this weapon.

  20. machinisttx

    machinisttx Well-Known Member

    His gun is a 2.5" S&W M19(.357 magnum). Note that it has an enclosed ejector rod. A very similar, but even more scarce S&W would be a 2" M14(.38 special). The M14 does not have an enclosed ejector rod. The M19 and M14 both had the option of nickel plating.

    Another similar gun would be the 2.5" M66, which is the same gun as the M19, except in stainless. Mine, along with my 4" round butt M66, are pictured below(both have 9 pound DA triggers, the 2.5" has a two and a half pound SA trigger, the 4" is DAO).

    All of the above is assuming it's a 6 shot gun. If it's only a five shot....it's a whole new can of worms, but possibly a M60.

    The grip adapter is a Tyler T Grip, and snaps on or off by loosening the grips.


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