Pocket .380 vs Snub .38

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Mr. Mosin, May 5, 2022.

  1. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    I need help in deciding a pocket gun. Cashier at a local gas station, fixing to start graveyard shifts... Corporate policy is a resounding "no", Manager's policy is "What I don't see, I can't do anything about.". It would be in cargo shorts, but would still need to hide well. Bearing in mind that being made would result in my immediate termination, with absolutely no questions asked; irrelevant of how much my manager adores me.

    My choices have narrowed to an original Ruger LCP or an Airwieght Centennial Smith (or equivalent) in .38 Spl.

    And yes, this is a "buying in the near future" post. And no, "Get another job." is not a sufficient answer. Besides the fact that I like this job, it is the only one I can get to as of now, for personal reasons.
     
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  2. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    By cartridge type and handgun type, I've used/owned both. A Remington RM380 and Taurus 85UL. Plus have had some trigger time with a pair of LCPs.

    Hard to get by the fact that single stack pocket .380s hold more ammo, 6+1 versus 5+0. Also hard to get by the fact that a revolver never had a magazine pop off the magazine catch while in my pocket holster.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2022
  3. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I would do a no-lock 442. Make sure you do a full-checkout on the exact gun you want to buy.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2022
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  4. LeftyRed

    LeftyRed Member

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    Both should be available to shoot at a range near you. I would go with what you shoot better.

    Personally, I would choose a Snubbie ever time. Although the OG LCP is hard to beat, I always have a mag drop out of any pistol I have pocket carried like chicharrones said.
     
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  5. stanley_white

    stanley_white Member

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    The pistol will likely conceal better than the revolver.

    The revolver will work better if you get into a grapple.

    The pistol holds more rounds.

    The revolver can probably incapacitate better with some Buffalo Bore rounds.

    Only knowing what you posted, and taking into account all of the above, I would go with a S&W 640 Pro with Buffalo Bore Anti-Personnel ammunition, which fits into the wallet pocket on my cargo shorts and is undetectable with an untucked shirt.

    -Stan
     
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  6. Ethan Verity

    Ethan Verity Member

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    You've narrowed it down to some stellar choices there, both of those happen to also be what I chose! :D

    If I could only have one, I would take the Ruger LCP. Why? Because 2 more shot capacity over the revolver, and the ability to reload it very quickly with yet another 6 rounds. Also, the LCP is a bit easier to conceal in a pocket. Though, the revolver is still surprisingly easy to conceal due to its shape.
    642 and PPK.jpg
     
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  7. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Between the two I have infinitely more experience with the snub.

    I would recommend it higher because of the availability of heavy bullets in 38 Special. A 158 gr flat out gives me more confidence than a 90 gr.
     
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  8. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    From a concealment standpoint my LCP is smaller than my LCR. Both are more than adequate for defense. Either one you choose, you need to put considerable ammo thru it to become proficient.
     
  9. defjon

    defjon Member

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    Reliability is everything for this gun.

    Small and pocket pistol , not always a good combo. Lint, sweat, heat, potential for grease etc etc.

    I'd go with an LCR or airweight or any decent snub really.

    Concerned about capacity, consider an NAA mini to back up the revolver.

    You want it to work, unlikely to be more than one or two assailants. Doubt the second would stick around when the lead flies.

    Even my sig 238/938/lcp/ lcp Max all have jammed several times. Pocket carry has kicked the mag out on all the autos.

    Imo, pocket carry save your bacon carry is the realm of the revolver.

    An all steel example helps if you're not used to shooting the ultralight snubs and usually will still be 20 ounces or less.

    Also consider some good mace on the key chain and an assisted opening folder. Layers of defense and options are good.
     
  10. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    I'd up my game a little with the LCP and get a 2nd gen LC9 (striker fired). It will be the same size as the Airweight, but flatter and weigh less, and carry 3 more rounds (8+1). It will still fit easily in a cargo pocket, but I'd at least get a soft sleeve to keep it in, so your pocket change and lint don't interfere.

    As for the corporate mentality, I'd rather get fired by them than killed by the meth-head trying to rip you off.
     
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  11. defjon

    defjon Member

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    If you go auto, an ec9 flush fit mag never kicked the magazine out even through strenuous hiking and was a great comfort when a lone 150 lb wolf that dwarfed my 80 lb germ shepherd sudden crashed through the brush a few yards ahead of me (that gsd won the stare off and the ec9 wasn't needed thankfully. Gorgeous animal). Carried a spare back up mag with 10 rounds in it .

    Also a hellcat has yet to eject a mag on pocket carry. It holds so many rounds though it does get a bit heavy for that role...
     
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  12. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Original LCP with extended magazine. Spare mag in pocket.
    20220319_222600.jpg
    Very discreet, very capable.
    I would like the upgrade to LCP Max for the higher capacity and better sights.
     
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  13. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Consider a locked breach pistol instead of a blowback design. Much less recoil and pain. I would suggest a single stack 9MM due to the locked breach designs and larger selection. I carried a J frame for forty plus years and the 38 SPL is now more expensive to buy and the revolver is difficult to shoot as well as a modern pistol. If you have limited access to a range a revolver might be a better firearm. Its easier to practice your draw and dry fire at home.
    For the right person a .22 has much to offer.
     
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  14. Ethan Verity

    Ethan Verity Member

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    The Ruger LCP is a locked breech design.
     
  15. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Revolver.
     
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  16. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Europeans and old American designs had it right for pocket guns ... mag release on the heel...
     
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  17. BBBBB

    BBBBB Member

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    642 in pocket holster
    Ruger LC9S in pocket holster 20220505_212259.jpg
     
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  18. jar
    • Contributing Member

    jar Contributing Member

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    Regardless of what firearm you decide to get, also get a good holster that will secure the positioning and also smooth out any printing. Also have one fast and sure rule that absolutely nothing other than gun and holster go into that pocket.
     
  19. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Member

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    For 380 Id recommend the LCP Max, 10rds in a pretty darn small gun. The revolver is okay but you'll only have 5 shots. That said, why not consider something like a Hellcat 9mm? I get that they're a little heavier but all in all its really a better option than 380 or 38.
     
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  20. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    100% absolutely correct.
     
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  21. unclenunzie
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    unclenunzie Contributing Member

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    Your narrowed down choices are reasonable. Get the one you shoot the best.
     
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  22. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Pardon the cliche, but you are almost guaranteed to have 5rds w/ the snub... you grasp wrong in the fervor of blind panic, you shove the muzzle into something or someone, guess what ? Until you rack the slide, you have a paperweight with an automatic... not so with a revolver.
     
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  23. aaaaa

    aaaaa Member

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    Seacamp pistols have that. A bit small and limited capacity (6+1). One thing about the heel release is that a magazine change is a much slower process.

    Get a J-frame 38 Special and carry the Seacamp 32 or a LCP 380 as a backup gun. If you need more than 5 shots, New York reload.
     
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  24. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    I carry a 642 in cargo shorts – it’s clearly the best option for me.
     
  25. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    Whichever one you shoot best.

    For me small revolvers are much easier to shoot and shoot accurately than small micro .380s. Also I trust small J Frame size revolvers reliability over micro .380s. I also like the .38, more than the .380. For me that's an easy decision but everyone is different.

    I own one small .380(Glock 42) that I have never carried. I own four J Frames and carry one of them every day.
     
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