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anyone shoot a snub gun ?

am wanting one in 38 , probably S & W
Well yeah, I do, my wife does, and I suspect there's a lot of other "old school" folks on this forum that carry snubbies. My EDC gun is a Smith 38 snubby, but I have a Taurus 32 H&R snubby that I carry when I'm working outside around the place. My wife's EDC gun (purse carry) is a Smith 38 snubby.
Did you have any specific questions about "snub" guns?
anyone shoot a snub gun ?

am wanting one in 38 , probably S & W
My personal favorite is the Ruger SP101, but you can't go wrong with any of the current S&W snubbies, or, if the budget allows, the Colt Cobra or Kimber K6.

All .357 Magnum chambered revolvers will also fire .38spl. ammunition, so don't rule these out. These will also give you the option of using the more powerful rounds at some point if you wish.

If money is tight, Charter Arms makes serviceable revolvers- I can't recommend the newer Taurus wheel guns, but 10-15 years ago they were pretty good. No personal experience with the new Armscor/Rock Island .38.
Big fan of the S&W J frame snubbies. Have always had one in some version or another for over 35 years. Have had others, like a Colt Detective Special and Agent, and a Charter Arms Undercover over the years but like the little J frame the best. Currently I have two: a Model 649 (all stainless steel), and a Model 638 (stainless barrel and cylinder with an aluminum alloy frame).


My summertime EDC is a Ruger LCR. Mine's chambered in .357, but I carry .38s in it. Great little gun. I suspect you'll find a lot of us on here that have at least one snub.

Welcome to THR!
Why yes, it's my favorite type when the gun has to stay out of sight. These guns are challenging to shoot straight, but range time and close attention to DA shooting fundamentals will tame them.
I have been known to carry a snub and not feel undergunned. But, they do take more practice than an average size semi-auto or a large frame revolver. You also need to know techniques to reload them with either speed strips or speed loaders. Grant Cunningham has a couple of books on revolvers and specific snubbie techniques. Ed Lovette also has a book concentrating on use of the snubbie.

If you can master the double action pull and short sight radius on a snubbie to shoot it accurately, you may find yourself a better shooter overall on long guns. Recoil can be a challenge with heavier loads, especially in a lightweight snubbie, so start with powder puff loads as you do not want to develop a flinch. These are also firearms that benefit from a set of laser grips. These can help diagnose shooting issues when you are moving the revolver around by not operating your trigger smoothly.

One last thing, you want your double action trigger to be smooth and for defensive use, avoid excessive lightening of the trigger as it can compromise operation. FWIW, most gunsmiths can tune a S&W trigger but many will not work or are unfamiliar with other brands. Older Colts are particularly problematic as gunsmiths for them are getting few and far between. Have never seen their new Cobra revolver or a new Kimber and thus have no opinion on these. Grant Cunningham was supposedly involved in designing the new Kimber revolver. Ultra light weight such as scandium revolvers or lightweight .357 snubbies (and firing .357 loads) are really specialist weapons that take painful practice to maintain proficiency.
After a lifetime of avoiding revolvers because "military automatics are superior" I bought a Taurus 85 light weight. It's a perfectly ok gun. In fact the entire snub nose genre is expanding. Colt reintroduced their Cobra model because it will sell, S&W has a significant portion of their inventory in revolvers, Taurus is a significant competitor. They are opening a new plant in GA for more production.

Snubs are retro, the 5-6 shots fit the self defense working envelope, a .357 can shoot .38 for practice. They have some interesting features - you can see the ammo, it's not concealed in a hidden magazine, the grips can be altered to suit with no compromise to fit a stick shaped insert. You can get SA or DA or both, sights are either combat or target oriented, you can go hammerless (really, spurless) in two or three ways and yet not a striker design. They clean pretty easy, too.

What's not to like?

They are typically larger in defensive calibers we consider as minimum. Simple as that, the cylinder protrudes more than a single stack. In most other dimensions they are somewhat easier to conceal, they tend to conform to the human body somewhat more readily. They have a long history of use which means you can find accessories with little difficulty, as opposed to a newer mag fed gun with $45 inserts. You don't with a revolver. Few feeding issues in comparison, either, however, slower and more complicated to reload. Under use they are no more or less reliable than autos these days - autos have gotten that much better. You do need to clean the barrel/cylinder gap to keep it from jamming the gun.

Older guns were built when labor was cheaper and therefore had more hand fitting operations, but that also means replacement parts require more handfitting operations. They are not a design that promotes drop in parts. The snub is also one of the first handguns purposely modified for carry and use in close combat under civilian conditions - the Fitz variants were some of the first in the 1920's and drove demand to the point all the manufacturers copied the design features and included them in their lines, some even inventing different sized frames for them. They also included alloy frames once the manufacture was understood in the mid 1950s.

On the other hand, few recommend the continual shooting of a lightweight .357 at the range, either.

In the automatic world, small concealed guns aren't as appreciated.
.38 Sp isn't a lightweight round, and newer ammo has improved it's ballistics. .357 is considered formidable for self defense, but owners are less inclined to shoot much of it substituting .38. Another choice is - of all things - 9mm Parabellum. It's another same sized bullet, the ballistics however are improved, and the use of retainers to hold them facilitates reloading.

Stainless 9mm's with moon clips are getting more interest. With all the ammo development intended to improve them to the point some consider them interchangeable with the slow moving .45 ACP, results are a lot more comparable. In the smaller J frames with 5 shot cylinders, they are more compact than the .40's, too. Win win for finding ammo nearly everywhere now.

A duty grade 9mm double stack would be bigger and weigh more, yet that design is really a holster gun for field use. For personal carry it's got a lot to conceal, weighs more, and could arguably have more ammo than you need considering the bulk of reported confrontations involve three shots or less, if the gun is discharged at all. Narrowing down those likelihoods is where we each assess risk. How many gunfights do we get into with reloading? Most of us don't even pull the trigger the first time.

This is why snubs are a growing field of ownership. They are seen as an effective choice while appreciating their tradition and history.
Snub guns are fine pocket pistols. They do take some effort to master if you want to go beyond the 3 foot away, one mugger paradigm. While it costs some money, folks like Claude Werner and others teach great snubby classes (here's a post by him on the topic - Also check out his site for an in depth analysis of snubbies and drills.

I also shoot the gun in IDPA matches or short range matches designed to simulate close in encounters with limited ammo.

Too many folks just buy them and stuff them in their pocket or purse, with no practice. Do they carry the day - sure, many times. However, it's better to be up on your game.

I wrote a detailed article on the class for the Concealed Carry magazine but it's vanished into the Internet void or behind some pay wall, I assume. Here's the reference:

Meyer, G.E. (2010). Closed Encounters of the Snubby Kind. Concealed Carry Magazine, 7, 22-25.
As mentioned, handle a Kimber K6S and a Ruger LCR as well. They both have better triggers than the S&W j frames. Given that the snub nose revolver is a challenging platform to shoot well, the better trigger can be a big help.
7C08922B-A50D-4005-A362-9B09FCA398A0.jpeg I like Snubs. That’s all I carry and shoot. I pick Two of these every day. The 442 with boot grips is always in my pocket. One of the others is in the waist. This week it has been the 36.
A couple of Model 85's. Two CA, a 44 and a 32 magnum. An Astra 38 special. A 2" S&W Model 10-5. A NEF 32 magnum. An LCR 38 special.

They all go bang every time. I like carrying 44 special. The LCR has a great trigger. The 10-5 is very accurate.

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I have a S&W 442 I carry quite often. I carry 2 speed strips loaded with .38+p Hydro-shock.

It is a little stout, but with some practice it is a very useful defense handgun.
I own three Undercover revolvers by Charter Arms, the newest being from 1987. I bought that one the day I was sworn in onto "the job", and carried it as an OD/BU piece for some time after that.

My dad had one for many years. We didn't know each other much until I was thirty, and he already had it, so I don't know for how long. I do know he didn't get it new. It was made in 1966, and became mine when he passed in 2010. It's smaller, slicker (due to the thinner and smoother stocks), and has some wear to it. I carry it whenever he's on my mind.

The third one I've only had a couple of years, maybe three tops. It was made in or around 1985, and is of stainless steel. I hadn't even known they made then in SS back then when I saw it. I'm amazed at how tightly it's fit and locks up. I carry this one from time to time.

I find all of them to be solid and reliable little shooters. I'd trust any of them to do anything I'd need it to do, when I need it to do it.

The current crop of Charter Arms guns seems to get more mixed reviews. Between them and the current Taurus M85, I think I'd lean to the bull. Incidentally, I do own an 85, made of stainless steel in 1995, but it's a sample of their less-common three-inch-barreled units. I really like this one, too.
Snub guns are the best. I have quite a few revolvers and virtually all of them are snubbies. All of my favorites are snubbies. The last three guns I bought were all snubbies revolvers...Colt Cobra 38, Smith PC 986 9mm, and Smith PC 629 44. All great guns.

My preference for the short barreled guns is not limited to revolvers, though. I am equally enamoured with snubbies semi's as well....
I assume you mean 38spl. I would highly recommend a chiefs special. I would also strongly consider a 9mm snub if you run across such a critter. They are an oddity and they sometimes don’t sell well, but 9mm in a wheel gun is like the happy medium between a 38 and a 357 but without the kick of the magnums. I also would look pretty seriously at Taurus 85s. I have had a couple and they were really nice, traded them off after I had my fun and got “better” revolvers. Regretted parting with all of them except the 85ch.
I love shooting Pocketguns, Micro 9mm's. I shoot at least once a week. But my favorite gun to take to the range is the Ruger LCR9MM. I could shoot this gun all day. Usually load up about 40 moon clips the night before range day. Could not shoot it worth a hoot, now three years later and can nail head shots at 10yds with fast shooting. They can be as accurate as the shooter wants to make them. Just frequent training.
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