The Snub Nose 38 Special
By Dan S. Defense
snub nose 38 Special is a popular handgun cartridge. The 38
special is known for mild recoil which aids with bullet
placement. The right 38 special ammo, can provide good
stopping power, even from a short barrel (snub)
The 38 special comes in two flavors, the
regular pressure 38 special and the extra power +P 38
special. Both types of 38 special ammo are easier too
shoot than a 357 magnum, and are far easier to control
in small, light weight revolver.
The 38 special is a
fairly cheap cartridge and the same will apply to the
small frame revolvers that chamber the 38 special. When
I carry a 38 special revolver, I hardly feel its weight
and can easily carry it in a pocket holster. In that
package, I much prefer the 38 special and keep my 38
special +p ammo to heavier, 4" revolvers.
article we'll look at the 38 special in an old fashioned
Smith and Wesson revolver as well as the 38 special in
the new Ruger LCR. Both handguns hold five cartridges of
38 special in a cylinder than can be reloaded from a
speed loader or speed strip. In this article we'll look
at the pros and cons of the 38 special in a small frame
revolver. We'll see if the 38 special in such a package
is the right choice for you.
The positive points for the 38 special:1. The 38 special has mild recoil.
2. The 38 special is a fairly cheap cartridge, and even
cheaper, when bought in bulk.
3. The 38 special is available in many sports stores and
Internet on-line stores.
4. The 38 special has been around for a long time and
has been proven to work well in real shootings.
5. The 38 special in a small frame revolver (J frame for
S&W) is easy to conceal.
The negative points for the 38 special:1. The 38 special revolver only carries five rounds.
2. The 38 special revolver kicks quite a bit in light
3. The 38 special revolvers have heavy triggers that
make trigger control challenging.
4. The 38 special revolver usually has poor sights (tiny
front sight and a notch in the frame for rear sights)
5. The 38 special revolver has a somewhat uncomfortable
grip for folks with larger hands.
Some mitigations for the 38 special:1. Carry two speed loader with extra ammunition and
2. Get a good grip which will minimize the affect of the
3. The new Ruger LCR has a great trigger--much better
than you'd ever expect from a DA revolver.
4. A set of Crimson Trace laser sights will help a great
5. You can get after market grips from Houge or other
fine vendors that will make this better.
I like the 38 special as a backup gun. I only carry
hammerless, DA (double action) only 38 special
revolvers. I prefer the Ruger LCR, a new addition to my
collection, but I also carry S&W, since I'm a big S&W
revolver fan. I sometime carry the 38 special when it
isn't practical to carry larger handgun. With a laser
sight from Crimson trace and good self defense
ammunition (I prefer the Speer 135 gr JHP), the 38
special is a fine self defense weapon. I hope that this
information will help you see, if it is worth additional
research, to see if the 38 special is right for you.
Until next time, stay safe by staying alert
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© Rational Self Defense, 2010