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Where do you rank the 38 snubby as far as a defensive weapon

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by george burns, Aug 21, 2016.

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  1. Bo

    Bo Member

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    Nothing wrong with a 5 shot snubbie, as long as you practice with it.

    That being said, since I bought a Springfield XD SubCompact 9 mm, I normally have it handy.

    Considering it's about the same size as a snubbie but, has a 13 + 1 capacity, or a 16 + 1 if you choose, what's not to like?

    Plus, I'm much more accurate with the XD than I am with a snubnose. ( I replaced the trigger with a PowderRiver Precision Trigger, as I have with all of my XD's.)

    Still, nothing beats a good 1911!
     
  2. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Member

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    If it's something you'll practice with and carry, it's a good choice.

    I like my Model 37 Airweight in a pocket holster. We're good friends and traveling companions.
     
  3. stoky

    stoky Member

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    well put
    I'd rank it somewhere around Staff Sergent to Master Sergent. :rolleyes:
    yep
     
  4. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, if it is something with which you can train, it may be an adequate choice.

    I learned early on that I could not train effectively with one.

    Crude Werner has from time time offered courses for them, but I have not seen one listed for several years.
     
  5. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Another way to look at it. How many years did police plain clothes men carry a colt or S&W snubnosed revolver?
     
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    That is a whole nother discussion! We are talking about civilian SD, not police work. We can run the other way, the police go to the gunshots. A snub nose revolver would be a good BUG for them but when the bad guys are carrying 17+1 the police need plenty of firepower too. The police carried revolvers when there was nothing else, now there is.
     
  7. Snyper

    Snyper Member

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    That's simply not the case.

    I've seen lots of women who had problems manipulating a slide who could easily pull a trigger.
     
  8. azrocks

    azrocks Member

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    Think... harder...
    You've seen lots of women who couldn't manipulate the slide on a Glock 43 but had no problems with the DA trigger pull on a j-frame revolver?

    Sorry, but that's not even in the realm of believability.
     
  9. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    When I carry one, it's largely out of nostalgia. I'll carry one of three Undercover .38 revolvers I own. Lately, it's been a stainless model I recently got, about 1985 vintage, I think. It's a solid and handsome shooter. The other one I'll sometimes tote is one I bought the day I was sworn in onto the job in 1987 (the third one, made in 1966, was my dad's, and I won't carry that one.)

    I usually don't feel "less-armed" than when I'm carrying my 8-round semi-auto, a PF9 and, with that one anyway, I'm usually not carrying a reload (I know, I should.) But, in either case, there's usually a NAA .22 in a pocket also.

    Absolutely I believe they are still a viable self-defense tool for the average LAC.
     
  10. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    azrocks writes:


    Actually, he said he'd seen lots of women "have problems" doing so, not completely unable to. I believe him, as I am married to one. But she handles the trigger on a Taurus PT-22, a rimfire DAO pistol known for a heavy spring, consistently every time. A J-frame revolver's trigger really isn't the big deal "Glock-only" guys make it to be, and it takes less training than effective and consistent slide manipulation usually does.

    I don't doubt she could be taught to rack a G43, but I wouldn't want her betting her life on it until well after she'd mastered it.
     
  11. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think ranking is useful as it implies a linear or continuous continuum which does not exist.

    However, my view of the snubby. I've trained with it and taken a great class from Claude Werner on snubby uses.

    It is a quite viable gun. You can deploy it quickly from a pocket and shoot accurately in reasonably close distances.

    It's a really a single mugger gun for its core purpose. If you were in an intensive or complex gun fight (rare but possible in today's terrorist world), they are very slow to reload as compared to training with a semi. Yes, Jerry can - but YOU are not him and not wearing his gear.

    Great BUG for when all goes wrong.

    I suggest that those who opine shoot the gun in a match of some sort to see how it actually works under stress.

    I don't feel unarmed with one but would prefer a semi on my belt as the EDC main gun.

    Here is an evaluation of shooting a snubby in a close in match by me:

    Here's a report on Claude's class:

    https://blog.hsoi.com/2010/03/01/aar-snub-training-with-claude-werner/
     
  12. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    I personally think that the .38 Special cartridge is grossly underrated.
    With proper bullets, it's both a great carry cartridge and the small revolvers fit the night stand well.
     
  13. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    I used to carry a .38 snubby exclusively. I now have another CCWs that suit me a bit better. That being said, I would not feel under-gunned if that's all I had on me. After much practice and many rounds, my 642 trigger smoothed out considerably. I can shoot it quite accurately.
     
  14. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    My wife can operate a snubby revolver trigger but it is quite difficult for her and she has to use both index fingers at once to get it to pull all the way through.

    She also has trouble operating slides on some autopistols. She has tried the G43 and was able to operate it although it wasn't easy for her.

    What's the difference between difficulty racking a slide and difficulty pulling a trigger?

    1. It's unlikely one would have to operate the slide even once during a self-defense shooting but one must operate the trigger for every shot.

    2. Difficulty operating the slide doesn't affect accuracy. Having to use both fingers and strain to get the trigger pulled definitely does affect accuracy.

    3. Difficulty operating the slide doesn't slow down follow-up shots. Having to use both fingers and strain to get the trigger pulled definitely slows down follow-up shots.

    It's actually moot, as far as she's concerned. The same issue that causes her to have low hand strength also causes her to have low recoil tolerance. She absolutely refuses to shoot small centerfire revolvers any more because she finds the recoil unacceptable.

    My sister has similar issue with snubby recoil. Her home defense gun used to be a Model 60 in .38spl. She can still shoot it but her upper body strength is limited after her cancer surgeries. She finally decided that she was unable to control it properly and felt like it might actually recoil out of her hands. She switched to a 9mm semi-auto as a result of the problems and has no issues shooting it.
     
  15. TRX

    TRX Member

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    Rate?

    I dunno. But the shape of a snubby suits me, and it's my everyday carry piece unless the weather is cold enough to make it practical to cover a larger gun.

    If funds supported it, I *would* upgrade... but it'd be to a .44 snubby, not to an autoloader.
     
  16. azrocks

    azrocks Member

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    Think... harder...
    There's no comparison between a PT-22 trigger and a stock j-frame. None.

    I'm a 220lb man who works with his hands, either shoots or engages in dry-fire practice daily, competes here & there, and can easily rack anything I've ever shot... and I find the stock j-frame's DA trigger a significant impediment to accuracy. Are you seriously suggesting that a woman half my size who doesn't have the minimal hand strength necessary to rack the slide of a G43 can effectively use a j-frame trigger in a life or death situation with any reasonable hope of success? Not forgetting, of course, that even if it had a 1911's trigger the rest of the platform still makes achieving accuracy a challenging endeavor.

    It appears that in your attempt to make everyone feel good about their choice in handguns, you've left logic at the door. All the wishing in the world isn't going to change the fact that a long heavy DA trigger pull, strong recoil, and weak hands are a poor combination if you're attempting to do anything other than develop carpal tunnel.

    Weak women and heavy triggers isn't a training issue. It's a physical limitation issue. And carrying a gun isn't about just carrying it... it's about actually being able to use it effectively should the need arise. It seems to many people mistake the ability to shoot a gun with the ability to shoot someone (whos shooting back at you) with it.

    Finally, it's not just the trigger. It's the recoil as well. Lightweight j-frames have significant recoil, even with non-plus-p loads. That's another thing that usually doesn't mix well with limited hand strength.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  17. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Applies also to men with tendonitis and arthritis.

    And to the need to remain proficient.

    Ninety rounds through a 642--standard loads-put my hand in a soak after every session. And then I was advised that the damage is cumulative and rreversible.

    My XD-S does not give me that problem.
     
  18. Bama Drifter

    Bama Drifter Member

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    Heavy snub trigger vs Glock 19

    FWIW,
    Had my mom out visiting her newest grand baby last week and wanted her to try some pistol options since she has VERY weak hands (arthritis & loss of cartilage in both hands). She had totally failed to bond with my step-dad's Sig 938 so we did some dry fire practice on the couch using my Colt DS and G19.

    The revolver option is busted... no way could she squeeze the trigger in DA mode and not enough strength to pull back the hammer using either thumb. On to the Glock...

    While racking the slide is impossible, holding the pistol steady with both hands and working the trigger cleanly was fine. Off we go to the Bass Pro range.
    She was able to make fairly decent shots on a B27 target (first one was in L shoulder, next two were a little low center) set up at 4 yards. We talked about the need to practice wearing shooting gloves and take some pain meds/ ice pack afterwards, plus the importance dry-fire practice.

    But the critical point is that if she had a Glock in a quick access pistol safe in Condition 1 she would be much better off than having a LCR .22mag or Smith 642. If anyone has better ideas for her I'd really love to hear them. Thanks!
     
  19. azrocks

    azrocks Member

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    Think... harder...
    Absolutely. I don't have any of those problems and I find shooting anything more than 50 rounds uncomfortable, which as you suggest does not bode well for maintaining proficiency.
     
  20. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    A small revolver doesn't have to have a trigger that's terribly long or impossibly hard to pull. Put down the J-frames and pick up an LCR.
     
  21. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Ever take one to a defensive shooting class?
     
  22. jdh

    jdh Member

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    A J is not a bullseye or PPC gun. It is a last ditch, put the barrel against the threat, get off me gun. It can be shot from inside the coat pocket or purse without worry of jams. The long heavy trigger pull is part of the safety.

    If the 642/442 is to light for you find a 640.

    If the stock trigger of the 643/442 is to heavy for you order a Lady Smith spring kit. Lightens the pull, does not sacrifice reliability.

    If you want to fully experience J flash and recoil forget the 642/442. Come to the range with me and I'll let you try my 340 M&P with full power 357 mags. And yes I do know what arthritis of the fingers and wrist feels like. Live with it everyday.

    Yes there is still a place for the J. Like the Model O Colt it is not a beginner's gun but once mastered it is a very viable tool when used within its limitations.
     
  23. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    I regret to say I haven't taken any such classes outside of the basic CHL class, where I qualified with a 1911. I didn't own anything smaller at the time.

    The LCR is still difficult to shoot well at speed, but it's not as hard as a J-frame S&W, and I think part of the reason is the better trigger pull.
     
  24. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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  25. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    Does it have to be a handgun? A pump shotgun in .410 or 28 gauge relies more upon gross-motor arm movement than hand strength. The little youth models are convenient for household use.

    Between the two I would pick the .410 because factory buckshot loads are available, and I do not think birdshot is suitable for defence. On the other hand, Brenneke offers a 28 gauge slug. :what:
     
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