What makes a Snubby a Snubby?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Styx, Jul 5, 2022.

?

What the largest barrel a snub nose revolver can have?

This poll will close on Jul 5, 2023 at 8:36 PM.
  1. 2" or less

  2. 2.5" or less

  3. 3" or less

  4. 4" or under 4" or less

  5. Don't Know

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Paul R Zartman
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    Paul R Zartman Contributing Member

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    Did I hear "Snubby" again...
    20220706_165657.jpg
     
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  2. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    What’s a snubby? Well to me it’s not a simple answer. Silly short for what it is seems the most accurate description I can muster. 2” j frame seems to meet the criteria because that makes for a handful in the popular 38spl flavor that dominates the defensive revolver market. Stepping up to K/L frame then proportionally adjusting barrel length to accommodate the more powerful rounds seems sensible. Slightly larger, slightly longer, much more powerful 357mag so 2.5” seems about right. Holy fireball Batman, that things a snubby too. Jumping up another notch to N frame you get to 44 mag. 3 inch is silly enough to qualify and it still proportionally looks like a snubby. I struggle to accept 3” as a snubby but I also struggle to accept an N frame as a defensive carry gun. More of a duty gun or a hunting arm, not so much a concealed carry piece. Now the last jump… X frame. I hold the limit at 3” but for the same reasons as an N frame.

    With single actions, if you can’t shuck a shell out with the ejector, or if the ejector is deleted due to short length then I think it counts.
     
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  3. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    Took the words right out of my mouth!

    2" for 38/357 and smaller and 45 auto sized
    3" for 44M 45C 500 etc.
     
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  4. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    This thread made me think of this ol' website.

    https://snubnose.info/
     
  5. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Historically, I've always felt that a nominal 2" J-frame was a snub nose revolver.

    Historically, I've felt that a "standard" minimum barrel length for a "standard" revolver is 4".

    The manufacturers have issued a variety of revolvers with barrels shorter than 4" and longer than 2".

    In my opinion, a large frame revolver can be carried equally well with a 4" barrel as a less than 4" revolver. There is little advantage for carry purposes of the shorter barrel.

    Also, a 3" J-frame revolver is probably as easy to carry as a 2" J-frame although it does not work as well for pocket carry.

    I guess I feel any revolver with a barrel 3" or less is a snub nose revolver, but it does not mean as it can be carried as concealable as a smaller frame revolver.

    While I have some 2-1/2" to 3" revolvers in frames larger than J-frames, I feel they are some what worthless. I'd rather have the 4" barrels for those revolvers.

    I have a 3" Lew Horton 44 Special S&W M624 and a standard issue S&W M624 44 Special revolver. The 4" barrel version is much more pleasant to shoot and just as easy to carry as the 3" Lew Horton Model.

    I have a 2-3/4" barrel M69 revolver. Nuff said on full power loads.. There is little advantage over the 4" version.

    Just one opinion.
     
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  6. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My favorite short barrel revolvers
     
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  7. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Thanks @chicharrones :D
    I added that one to my “Favorites”. :thumbup:
     
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  8. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    In the heyday of revolvers being used for Service and personal defense, snub nose versions were generally considered by their manufacturers to have barrel lengths of 2", 2 1/2" & 2 3/4" (Ruger Security/Speed-Six series).

    Granted, there were the 3" models offered in both J & K-frames by S&W, and the niche they occupied was generally described as being snub nose models. The 3" K-frames enjoyed popularity among some LE agencies as plainclothes guns, ordered instead of the existing 2" & 2 1/2" models. A little extra barrel length for added velocity and longer extractor rods/extraction wasn't a bad thing to some users.

    When the average service barrel lengths ran 4"- 8 3/4", anything less than 4" was usually described as a 'snub' barrel version, regardless of frame size.

    Now, if you want to really debate what to call a revolver just based upon barrel length, how about the 3 1/2" .357MAG N-frame Model 27's that were so popular many years ago. :)
     
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  9. stanley_white

    stanley_white Member

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    I was raised to say "snub nosed" which to me implies that revolver barrel length is the deciding factor.

    As to what barrel length, anything 2.99" or less fits this category.

    -Stan
     
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  10. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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  11. Styx

    Styx Member

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    3" or 4" max according to all of these sources.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2022
  12. Styx

    Styx Member

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    That is my opinion. Others believe the frame size is a major factor or it has to be small pocket sized. IMHO, it exclusively and explicitly has to do with the barrel length.
     
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  13. stanley_white

    stanley_white Member

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    My Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan is a snub-nosed revolver, and that is a scientific fact.

    :)

    -Stan
     
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  14. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I think it’s funny that in the gun world there never seems to be a definitive answer to some things. ;)

    Honestly, if anyone seriously told me that a 4” barreled revolver, regardless of frame size, was a “Snub Nose” I am pretty sure I would wonder what they were smoking or maybe I would wonder who influenced them to think that.

    I decided to do a search…a tedious search for gun writers or famous gun people regarding “snub nosed revolvers”. I was surprised at how few I actually found, but then it’s late and I am tired so I didn’t get too fancy in my searches.

    We have Wiley Clapp…he says 2” or less.
    https://www.shootingillustrated.com/content/snub-nosed-revolvers/

    Revolverguy…3” or less. (Not famous…maybe)
    https://revolverguy.com/what-is-a-snub/

    Mike Venturino…3” for big bore
    https://americanhandgunner.com/handguns/big-bore-snubbies/

    Mike Venturino…2” on S&W’s
    https://americanhandgunner.com/our-experts/shooting-iron/snub-nosed-sws/

    Sheriff Jim Wilson…2.5”
    http://sheriffjimwilson.com/2012/03/31/the-cadillac-of-snub-nosed-revolvers/

    John Fitzgerald…2” for his Fitz Specials
    https://www.guns.com/news/2015/09/02/fitz-colt-snub-nosed-revolver-benchmark

    Massad Ayoob writes about “Snubbies” but doesn’t define barrel length.
    https://www.personaldefenseworld.com/2016/11/revolvers-semi-autos-comparison/

    https://www.personaldefenseworld.com/2014/11/concealed-carry-pocket-pistols-revolvers/

    Something that I did find interesting is how many bloggers have opinions on Snubbies. I didn’t list any here as I find most bloggers really don’t know what they’re talking about snd most parrot info they have gleaned from others that may or may not know what they are talking about…like whoever edited that Wikipedia article on snub nosed revolvers. Yes, the one I copied and pasted. 4 inches. No. Not a snubby. ;)
     
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  15. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Over the web with firearm publications and even with YouTube influencers, the 3" length seems to be in the majority. On another forum poll, it 52.4% to 47.5% in favor of 3" and 4" with 82 votes in, so it's almost tied. Here, It's 66.6% to 30.8% overwhelmingly for 2.5" or less. Guess it's all up to whatever made up criteria one decides to apply on their own.
     
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  16. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    3 inch or shorter barrel on a revolver
     
  17. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    2" or less for conventional revolvers. more than 2" you just have a short bbl version of that particular gun.
     
  18. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    This snubbie makes a snubbie not look like a snubbie ;-)
    B457DADE-8CDD-4747-8938-9D1182CE05B3.jpeg
     
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  19. Boarhunter

    Boarhunter Member

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    Snubbies are much like porn...difficult to define, but I know it when I see it....

    BOARHUNTER
     
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  20. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Funny little side story.
    I was at my LGS recently when a guy and a girl were there buying CCW handguns.
    The clerk showed them a selection of snub nosed revolvers. There were Ruger LCRs, S&W 642s, 442s and 2 versions of model 36’s and a couple Taurus 856’s.
    The guy said “We’re not interested in Snubbies. We want semiauto. The barrels are too short.”
    The girl gave him a funny look and commented on how big the semiautos were.
    The store displays all the full size SA pistols I’m a wall.
    The clerk proceeded to show them an S&W M&P Shield 9mm. Which they seemed to like.
    I couldn’t help myself. I said “The barrel on that Shield is a tad over 3 inches which includes the chamber so technically it’s the same length as a Snubbie revolver.”
    The clerk agreed. The guy looked befuddled. The girl smiled. I left.

    I found out later the girl bought a Taurus 856. :thumbup:
    The guy bought the Shield.

    Edit: The girl didn’t seem all that keen to be there and appeared to be attracted to the revolvers. I highly doubt “tactical thinking” was on her mind. I think she was there due to the insistence of her boyfriend/husband.
     
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  21. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Ignorance is bliss..
     
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  22. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    That's why "not gun people" should stick to revolvers, if they insist on having something.

    20 years from now when he's long gone and she's fired a total of 30 rounds out of that revolver ever, she will still know how to load it and unload it and make it go bang.

    Just MHO.
     
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  23. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    I wish someone (besides Taurus) would make this gun again:

    Tv.jpg
     
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  24. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    What’s the model of this Taurus?
     
  25. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Member

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    Snubby?

    D8BF4944-2FEF-4AD9-9F22-5BB437FE4F00.jpeg
     
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