Picking a new DAO snubbie in .38 Special

Which new .38 Special DAO snubbie would you choose?

  • Charter Arms Undercover

    Votes: 2 0.7%
  • Charter Arms Undercover Lite

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • Ruger LCR

    Votes: 79 28.4%
  • Ruger SP101

    Votes: 44 15.8%
  • Smith & Wesson 442/642

    Votes: 115 41.4%
  • Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .38

    Votes: 22 7.9%
  • Taurus 850

    Votes: 8 2.9%
  • None of the above (please specify in your comments)

    Votes: 18 6.5%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
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I rotate carry pieces based on weather and clothing but snubby wise, by preference, I carry:

#1. Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum. Carry this in the cooler months. The weight makes it comfortable to shoot, it's stainless and it's built like a tank so I rarely have to worry about what I feed it!

#2. S&W Mod. 642 .38 Spc. +P. Great in the warmer months. Nothing hides in my pockets like the Centennial. Even my derringers print more than this gun, plus, this one has 3 more rounds and needs no cocking of the hammer, (besides, hammers snag on the draw).

#3. Ruger LCR 9mm. If I venture out with a friend who carries a 9 mill piece, I'll carry this one simply because we could share ammo.
S&W has the fastest trigger return time and most positive!
I just got into D/A shooting and chose a modified S&W Model 36 Chief's Special for it,
The Chief has a hard trigger pull and a serrated trigger. The trigger surface has to be smooth and the heavy pull is a safety factor, I think.
D/Ashooting is hard to learn with a snubbie, face it the gun really moves around! The groups will be larger than a 4" meduim frame but still on the center mass of an attacker.
A smooth draw, carefull target aquisition, andtight grip are the basics. Learn these! Recoil is brisk with +P and it's best to use 158 gr bullets on Steel Frames. ONLY +P in rated revolvers, and light bullet snubbie loads in steel revolvers. That helps with recoil.
Shot plenty and it'll come to you!
I've spent over 1K of rounds of 158 grainers and am still learning to tighten the groups.
It IS worth the effort!
Good luck
Don't just vote, please explain your choice.

I only have 1 that shoots both .38 spl and .357 mag and I chose a fancier Talo engraved SP101 and voted for that. I have only fired it about 60 times with my own middle of the road hand load with 125 gr Sierra JHP and 158 gr SWC and it shoots good groups at 15 yards with a definite 6 o'clock POA. It seems to shoot high but it's just something I need to get used to as I practice more.
I do believe that the SP101 is also made with a bobbed hammer in DAO but the hammer on mine will not get in the way and snag on clothing because it sets pretty low and level. The front site would be nicer with a night site. I wish that they made this with the Novak sites like they do with the Wiley Clapp version. I am thinking about a spring kit to lighten the trigger pull which are easy to find, even though the factory pull is still OK for my hands.
sigsmoker.... I went with the lightest springs I could find at Wolff for my SP101. In MY gun, (others may be different!) they work so very well. I've shot every factory type ammo I've come across, plus every common brand of primers in my reloads w/o a single failure. I'm literally betting my life it will fire! The trigger is so much sweeter. I'll never go back to the original springs. Something the OP may consider for his selection. I've done the same for my other snubs along with polishing and adding shims if needed. The SP101 had the most dramatic change.

I chose the Smith & Wesson 637 Wyatt Deep Cover. It has a bobbed hammer rather than shrouded, so it is not so butt ugly or unloved except for the cult following. It is then smaller in profile too. Nice gun and good shooter.
I have been a S+W stubbie guy all my life. Bought so many over the years I lost count. I still have a no lock 442 that has a very nice trigger pull that is my EDC gun. When Ruger came out with the LCR 9mm and having lots of 9mm ammo on hand for my full Auto Uzi I said what the hell I'll give a shot. Well I ran not walked to to the safe to put the 442 in it. Still the 442 is a great gun but the LCR with that nice smooth trigger pull and a bit more power With the 9mm round I just had to make the switch. Oh yea much cheaper to shoot as well.
I don't care for the super-light revolvers. Too much felt recoil to shoot comfortably for very long. That said, I would (and did) go with a S&W model 60 and a nickel model 36. They have enough weight to cut down felt recoil and allow me to shoot in comfort, but not so much weight that they are uncomfortable to carry. These have been my EDC guns for several years now.

I've owned both of these guns for over 30 years, so I'm kinda' set in my ways.
If you are fine with a bobbed hammer go S&W 638. Double action when you need it, single action when you want it - with a nice little bobbed checkered hammer that won't snag anything and is just big enough to cock manually.

They're awful sturdy too, ran mine over with my car. Left a bit of a bur on the cylinder from a rock in the tire, but lockup and timing are still perfect. Great little pistols.
There is something comforting about the simplicity of a little DAO revolver.

... and rather relaxing and therapeutic putting those rounds into the chamber one by one. As if you are one with the system. I use two small eye glass cases to hold my extra rounds that fit any where on my person I so chose to carry them. Gives me a total of 25 rounds, 5 in the oven and the rest divided into those two cases.
How shall I put this, "as happy and content as a song bird in the morning or a pig in do-do"

My S&W Model 38 makes a great BUG. I typically carry her in a El Paso Saddlery pocket holster.

My other option is my LCR357. But, I carry it with hot .38 Spl loads. Dang, I wish I could shoot my snubbies HALF as good as Hickok.
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My alloy framed Taurus 38 snubbie had such a good trigger that I removed the hammer spur and it is my favorite carry piece.

I've considered cutting the hammer spur off. Mine, too, is so good in DA, I never shoot it SA. BUT, I've been a little paranoid that the loss of weight on the hammer would cause light hammer strikes. Don't really have a problem drawing it from a pocket, anyway.
I've considered cutting the hammer spur off. Mine, too, is so good in DA, I never shoot it SA. BUT, I've been a little paranoid that the loss of weight on the hammer would cause light hammer strikes.

If it ain't misfiring now, it probably won't misfire after cutting a few grams of weight off the hammer by bobbing that spur. Mine has never bobbled after I trimmed the spur off. It just goes bang.

Bob it if you want to. It sure makes it even more slick in the draw from a pocket. :cool:


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MCgunner said:
I've been a little paranoid that the loss of weight on the hammer would cause light hammer strikes.

Assuming the gun's in spec, a lighter hammer doesn't reduce reliability. Matter of fact, it increases it, so you can theoretically lighten the action a tad without loss of reliability.
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