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Which of these two only would you rather have for concealed carry defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow, Aug 7, 2008.

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  1. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    1. A snub-nosed, 5-shot, small frame .38 special revolver,

    or

    2. A Makarov in 9x18mm?


    It occurs to me that the Makarov is superior in every way except simplicity, ammo cost, and perhaps terminal ballistics.

    Slimmer? Makarov

    Overall dimensions (H&L)? Makarov

    Capacity? Makarov, 2 more

    Purchase price? Makarov. $25-$75 or so less, used vs. used, typically

    Simplicity? Revolver

    Per-shot performance? About a wash between .38 special and 9mm mak, but arguably the .38 special with semi-jacketed soft lead bullet capability may have the edge in expansion - which caliber would you prefer for defense, all other things being equal?

    Shootability & ergos? Depends on the revolver, but about a wash - edge may go to the revo.

    Ammo cost and availability? Definitely the .38 spec. revolver.

    Reliability? Wash. Ordinarily the revo would have the edge, but not when compared to the tried and true reliability of the Mak.

    Mechanical accuracy? Irrelevant in a short range defensive handgun, but if you had to say, the fixed barrel with no bullet jump of the Mak will probably outperform the fixed bbl with bullet jump of the revolver, with apples to apples factory fare.

    Practical Accuracy? Makarov. Single vs. Double action.

    Rapidity of fire? If you're Miculek or similar, then the revolver is faster. If you're human like most people, then the self-loading, self-cocking Makarov is faster.

    Easier on your eardrums in a self-defense shooting? Makarov - no cylinder gap.


    So, as I have scored it, that's Makarov-7, Revolver-3, Wash-3. Pretty lopsided win, and that's being generous to the revolver, giving it terminal ballistics superiority. :)

    Any other thoughts? Errors in my facts or logic?
     
  2. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I have a FEG PA-63 in 9x18mak, and I'd take a .38 snubbie over it any day for s/d at bad breath range.
     
  3. pistolero6869

    pistolero6869 Member

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    Defence

    The 38 special; with gold dots
     
  4. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    How come, rondog?
     
  5. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Weight? S&W 642 is what 14 oz?
    Mak is what?
    Easy to live with. The revolver is easier for most to do daily function test, clean, check ammo mess with magazine and monthly/weekly shoot rotate ammo.
    Is the MAK available in stainless?
    First round trigger pull, which is easier for the first shot?
     
  6. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Ahhh, weight and finish/corrosion resistance - true, both of those can go to the revo of the right flavor, and the first one is very very important. Forgot about alum/titan. frames for a sec.

    Easy to live with - already put that down as a win for the revolver - Simplicity - see above.
    First round trigger pull - that's a wash, is it not?

    But now it's scored Makarov-7, Revolver-5, Wash-3. Or if the terminal performance is a wash, then it's still Makarov-7, Revolver-4, Wash-4. And arguably, "Safety" goes to the Makarov as well: It's got a combo manual safety/decocker. There is no way to decock a revolver and not fire other than to rely on the human brain and thumb to let the hammer down on a live chamber; whereas the decocker of the Mak uses a mechanical block to lower the hammer safely, not relying on the human brain. However, parts availability and accessory availability (like holsters) will both go to the revolver maker who is still in business and making revolvers. So, arguably when you chalk those 3 up, we have: Makarov-8, Revolver-6, Wash-4 , or if .38 special is the superior man-stopper, then Makarov-8, Revolver-7, Wash-3 ("raw score", before weighting each factor according to your own needs & preferences). This makes it a much tougher call.

    The big one you bring up though, is weight, which is perhaps enough reason in and of itself to go with the revolver, depending on how you "weigh" the factors (no pun intended). Particularly for "pocket gun" carry. I guess in my mind, I was initially comparing solely steel framed snubbies.

    Back to terminal ballistics - all things being equal, which caliber is preferred, do you think? Do you think Reliability is a wash, as I have scored it?
     
  7. JackCrow

    JackCrow Member

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    I would prefer the revolver.

    I am much more proficent with revolvers.
     
  8. Gator

    Gator Member

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    S&W J-frame! It's lighter, more reliable, and .38 Spl is available everywhere. Plus, I wouldn't want people thinking I saw myself as Efim Bondski. ;)
     
  9. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    A J frame, specifically either my S&W 442 or 640. And I'd go with Gold Dots as well as pistolero6869. First, I already have them and I shoot them reasonably well. Second, I prefer the simplicity of the revolver over the Markov. Third, a Markov for me is unknown territory.
     
  10. chipperi

    chipperi Member

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    I have a makarov and a S&W Airweight .38spl.

    I would go with the .38.

    9x18 is what I would consider substandard for defense as it is nearly the same as a 380. I draw the line a 9x19 as the smallest caliber for effective defense. It is also a near obsolete round that ammo is usually surplus not new factory, I wouldn't want to bank my life on it. Fun to shoot yes, suitable for SD no.

    The .38 snubbie is a time tested battle hardened solid as a rock handgun that has a wide variety of ammo available and will never fail you.
     
  11. jhco

    jhco Member

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    j frame smith 38 spl+p loaded with golden sabers
     
  12. enfield

    enfield Member

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    J-frame!

    (a choice I made several years ago).
     
  13. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    I have J frames, no Maks.
     
  14. f4t9r

    f4t9r Member

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    I would go with good ol #1
     
  15. 8830

    8830 Member

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    I'd take a J frame over Mak anyday of the week.
     
  16. Chester32141

    Chester32141 Member

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    I have a variety of both ... I carry a Mak due to better shot placement and quicker reload ... I believe the 38 +P SJHP is a better round for SD but I'm willing to bet my life on 9x18 ....

    Chester

    New_Smyrna_Beach.gif
     
  17. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    I would go with the revolver.

    The ability to jam a handgun into somebody's ribs, pull the trigger and have the gun fire instead of being pushed out of battery is an important feature to me.

    The ability to have a hand in my pocket in a firing grip on my handgun without my potential attacker even knowing it is there, is important to me as well. The Mak has a safety to unsnick, right? The revolver is ready for use as soon as it clears your pocket, or even before if need be.

    When you compare the Mak with a .357 magnum J frame instead of a .38 special, the caliber makes the choice clear. Is that fair? Well, the two J frames are essentially the same size gun with the same action.
     
  18. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    Personally, I'd go with the Makarov (nothing wrong with the .38, though). They're great guns; pretty easy to conceal, very reliable, and for me, handle very well. Slap a heavier recoil spring in there and load it with some heavy rounds (>100gr).

    The Makarov is an extremely simple gun (somewhere around 15-20 parts total IIRC). However, you may have meant "keep pulling trigger if it malfunctions" type of simplicity.

    I'd agree .38 for availability, but 9x18 is within 1-2 cents per round of 9mm from online sources - still pretty cheap. You would have a LOT more choices for rounds in .38, especially if it's +P capable.
     
  19. woodfiend

    woodfiend Member

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    Personally, I would go with the revolver. The simplicity of the design and the ability to get different types of ammo are pluses. In addition, I have seen the slide fall off of a gentleman's East German Makarov while shooting. I don't know if he didn't put it together correctly, but it did not convince me of anything good. Plus, I would rather carry an American made gun over a Rusky or Soviet Bloc weapon.
     
  20. sm

    sm member

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    Revolver
     
  21. Chihuahua Floyd

    Chihuahua Floyd Member

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    Revolver. Its what I have, what I shoot and what I am comfortable with.
     
  22. irishvet

    irishvet Member

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    Cz-82, 2 mags, 24 rounds. Hours at the range. :) It's what I keep in the glove compartment.
     
  23. loneviking

    loneviking Member

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    Well, that's what I have and it jams on me often enough that I won't trust it. I put a heavier recoil spring on it and then had to loc-tite the handgrip screws down to keep from having flyers. It's much tougher for me to coneal the Mak, in large part because almost no one makes a good holster designed for this gun. I can conceal my Colt .357 with a 6" barrel easier than the Mak. Anyone want to buy this POS? PM me and we'll talk...
     
  24. weisse52

    weisse52 Member

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    642 J Frame, disappears in a pocket holster. And five 38 +P for sure.

    Will not jam if shoved into the "soft parts" of a BG, can be fired from the pocket without jamming.

    BUT, to each his own. Carry what you want without justifying to anyone.
     
  25. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    Shot both, only own one...the revolver.

    Ammo for a .38 is more readily available, and premium ammo for the .38 is many times more available.

    FWIW, I don't carry either. My Kahr PM9 is smaller and lighter than either of the above, and fires 9mm +P+... :)
     
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