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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. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    I don't think people who carry revolvers see themselves a limiting themselves for no reason. They are counting on the strengths of the revolver, which have been already rehearsed at length in this thread and others.

    I prefer the revolver, in my case mostly a matter of habit, and in decades I have met with only one incident that made me wonder if my choice was somehow the wrong one. I was carrying a six shot revolver, concealed. Three guys popped up on my situational awareness radar as possible problem persons--but the situation evaporated without incident. Perhaps my radar was over-sensitive, and they were really no problem at all. Or perhaps they were a problem, but their own radar pinged that I was not a good target somehow. Awareness is a strange beast.

    The discussion ain't about psychology so I won't dwell on that aspect, but I give full marks to anyone who is ready in skills and mindset to do battle using the gun he carries.
     
  2. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I carried a 2" Smith 36 every day... until the "Aloha Snackbar" types started getting active on this side of the Atlantic.

    Against a meth head in the Giant Eagle parking lot, it seemed perfectly adequate.

    Against Johnny Jihad? Not so much.

    It's reasonable to assume that somebody who wants my HEAD as opposed to my wallet and doesn't care if he survives, is going to take stronger medicine, and likely more of it.

    Now it's a 3 1/2" M1911 or a Glock 19.
     
  3. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Worth Reading and Contemplating

    JohnKSa took the trouble to put this together for us some years ago.

    It's longer than most internet surfers like to read, but the message comes through in a flash.


    Don't quibble with the assumptions. If you don't like them, vary them, and run the numbers yourselves. The statistical concepts are basic indeed.

    Simple as this really is, it sure opened my eyes. That j-frame I carried was really not a very good choice.

    It also told me lot about the real meaning of those old Colt ads about "that all important sixth shot".

    Now, I had felt rather comfortable with the 642. First, I had never really thought it through. Second, I had been relying on the belief that I would be very unlikely to need a firearm in the first place--that, in spite of the fact that in the world of risk management, that idea becomes completely irrelevant once the need presents itself.

    One other thing: I had been shooting at stationary targets and paying attention to group size. The results looked good to me, and in the world of screen fiction, the good guy would not need to worry.

    But that square range practice was really nothing but entertainment. One trip--one trip--to a real training course showed me the material difference in threat of controlled fire rate that one should strive for.

    Of course, I could have stayed home and watched youtube to see the reality, but I would still have needed to develop the necessary skills.

    The take-home message: forget group size, and learn to balance speed and precision.

    And carry enough in the way of capacity.

    The 642 was relegated to a backup role. I now carry a firearm the same size that is more shootable and that carries eight. That should have been a no-brainer.

    Do I "feel comfortable" with it? NO! If I ever do have to reach for it, that will be on a bad, day, and things will get worse.

    But I do know that I am better equipped than I had been with the 642.
     
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I have pointed out before that my experience (albeit in combat, not in the streets) is that you can expect a 90% degradation in performance under extreme pressure. More ammunition, and the ability to shoot it all rapidly, is an advantage that shouldn't be overlooked.
     
  5. meatballs

    meatballs Member

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    I rank it as just fine. I carry one.
     
  6. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    J frame type revolvers are the only DA small combat caliber weapon you can buy anymore.

    Any comparable 9mm single stack automatic has a trigger pull much too light for pocket carry. I'd love a six shot 9mm with a 9 pound DA trigger, but those died with the CS9, as far as I know.
     
  7. springer99

    springer99 Member

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    As a defensive weapon in an everyday civilian environment, I'd have to give a 38Spl Snubby certainly an adequate rating. Are there more powerful handguns, and/or some with more capacity that might be better? Possible for certain individuals.

    The two most important factors in any CC weapon are (1) is it small enough for you to carry it without fail on any occasion and in any environment and (2) can you effectively use it for close quarter contact. The fact remains that for most folks, those J frames carrying 5rounds of 38Spl +P, or better yet 357Mag. are more than adequate. Some might even be happy with a little 32ACP or 380ACP micro.

    One fact remains. Carry the biggest gun, with the highest capacity you can always carry effectively. Oh, and by the way, don't rely on reloads. Stress takes a big toll on that.
    For me,
    - it's a 38Spl 642 in my pocket all the time.
    - 686+ 7shot .357Mag revolver in the truck all the time
    - 1911 45ACP with laser sights on the nightstand.

    One gun doesn't necessarily meet all needs the best.
     
  8. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    How does stress take a big toll on reloads?
     
  9. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Seriously???
    The stress of a gunfight wouldn't slow your reload?

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  10. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    Depends which type of reload you meant. I guess you didn't mean reloading ammunition.;)
     
  11. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I guess there is the NY reload too but I'm not sure how practical that is in real life.

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  12. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    for me, that is the only alternative.

    I have seen people in truing drop and replace a magazine almost instantaneously while never looking at the gun, but I cannot do it.

    Speed strips during an attack? Think about what is going on!
     
  13. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    I have a S&W M640-38Spl. Serial number prefix CEN**** marked TESTED FOR +P+. Twenty plus years never-ever in the primary rule. Secondary backup when and if carried. Of recent for several years now a S&W MP9c, before that Glock 19 and before that a Colt 1911 series Government Model 45ACP.

    For those that use as an example The S&W J frame revolvers as a primary that's your choice. Each one of us as our rationalization and circumstance for our weapon selection. There is the right way, the wrong way and the way we do things. My choice would not be another's choice thus I won't be argumentative of what others employ.
     
  14. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    I feel plenty comfortable with a Kahr PM9 in a holster that covers the trigger guard. Probably not quite 9 lb., but the trigger pull reminds me of my revolvers. 6+1 with an additional 7 rd. on me.

    I used to carry a S&W 642, but after getting the Kahr I never looked back. I still love my revolvers, shoot them often, but it is the PM9 that is on me 99% of the time.
     
  15. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Kleanbore, my question as to the practicality is based on having both be 5 shot guns as well as the timing of the switch and what happens if you decide to switch before the gun is run dry. I can somewhat see it making sense if the primary has 9-10 + capacity but 2, 5 Rd guns doesn't.
    I want the higher number of rounds up front and early when they count the most.
    I also don't see reverting to a revolver as a second gun when a second could be a more compatible match to the primary in terms of ammo and magazines.

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  16. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    Just to re-clarify the discussion: The OP question isn't really whether a 5-shooter is a good primary carry gun, or whether it is ideal for counter-terrorism, but whether it has a place.

    Its place is in my pocket! Whether or not I can have a bigger and better gun with me, I like this one in the deep concealment role. My reasons are above-stated. Lots more reasons are stated by others. Good enough! Though I am an old timer of the sort the first post was talking about, the snubnosed revolver has a beachhead at least among younger shooters, some of whom may have needed to mail back certain recent small auto pistols that were not quite up to snuff. :cuss:


     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
  17. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Mr Black, not sure if I fit into the old-timer classification yet but I'm knocking on the door.
    I have revolvers with barrels under 3" in just about every configuration available in 22LR-454Casull so I do not make my decision without having options to choose from.
    I continue to hold onto these guns for a variety of reasons but there really isn't a place in my day to day life in which any of them have a place.

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  18. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    Mr. Rap, you have arrived when you ask for the senior discount and get it without question. :) It happens sort of like that magical moment when you are no longer carded when you ask for a drink.

    Let us consider those automatic options. If the choice is between my 642 or Colt Detective and fully comparable autos, the Remington R51 is about the same weight as the Colt and anyone who bought it mailed it back pronto.

    Glock was sensible. They kept their little 42 and 43 in-house until they had time to fix things. They lost first-to-market advantage but their guns work.Yet there is still a blocky shape to conceal. The more irregular shape of a revolver--perhaps? --makes an easier outline to break up.

    I like my .38 snubs better than mini-Glocks. I am used to them. If I switched I would likely try to flip the Glock on its side and shove a speedloader into it.
     
  19. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

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    I like my 2.25" SP 101 And my LC9S and LCP. The LCP is always in a pocket and the other two trade off being accessible. I do Not feel under armed with the 101.
    That aside, if I am to venture into a known dangerous place I assure you that an appropriate firearm of sufficient caliber and capacity will be with me.:)
     
  20. PUPP86

    PUPP86 Member

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    Not an old timer but knocking on the door of half a century in a couple years. Currently carrying a 649-2 almost exclusively. Not so much by choice but rather necessity. Suffered a significant back injury requiring two surgeries which lead to a disability. Spent almost 18 months in a back brace and was always able to tuck it under my left arm between brace and body. Now that I'm out of the brace, usually carry it in pocket of sweats / shorts / or pants. Anything IWB / OWB on a belt is just not tolerated.

    Sue there might be some lighter options out there with similar or greater ballistic performance but I'm actually pretty decent with the little J. However if I know I'm traveling in a bad area that's unavoidable, a 1911 or Glock 30 is not far from reach in the car.
     
  21. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    The G43 is having all sorts of trigger problems.
     
  22. Zendude
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    Zendude Contributing Member

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    I think a 38 snub works fine for a concealed carry self defense weapon. Simple and reliable.


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  23. rdrancher

    rdrancher Member

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  24. Screwball

    Screwball Member

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    Just under my 9mm snub...

    D37BDB77-AC1D-421D-ADD3-DAF9541F05D3_zpspr5kyb4w.jpg

    F1F1A079-1667-4044-90F3-E53A3D610E0D_zpsq3enji7e.jpg

    I do have the original .38 cylinder, as well. [emoji41]
     
  25. skoro

    skoro Member

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    I rank it as my everyday carry piece and have for 8 years now.

    It's definitely viable, as shown by the sales of 38 snubs in recent years. They're not the ideal choice for many, but for me, nothing fits my needs better. I'm an unlikely target with a low risk lifestyle, so the 5 round capacity isn't a concern for me.

    Others have different risk profiles and should equip themselves accordingly.
     
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