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Thread: Any Opinions/Experiences With Snub Nose Revolvers?

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    Regular Member bebop4one's Avatar
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    Any Opinions/Experiences With Snub Nose Revolvers?

    I already have a few carry guns but I want something a bit more compact. The smallest pistol I have at the moment is a glock 23 but I want something a little smaller for conceal carry as a backup. At first I was considering a Ruger LCP (and I still am) but I've always wanted a smaller J-frame revolver. Specifically, does anyone have an input on the S&W 36, Colt Cobra, or anthing very similar? I don't like hammerless (internal) revolvers because I want the single/double action option.

    Thanks!
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    Regular Member jhfc's Avatar
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    I frequently carry a S&W 637 with +p ammo. I got a pocket holster from Robert Mika (http://www.frontiernet.net/~akim/), and I literally forget I've got it in my front (or coat) pocket.

    I used to hate this gun until I got my mind around the idea that it is not intended to make nice groups at the range. Being lightweight, it does kick quite a bit. Once I changed my mindset, turns out I really like this gun. Ironically, my girlfriend is not intimidated by the recoil at all and shot nice groups at a man sized silhouette. Go figure. I may give her this gun and get something similar in .357, but I REALLY like the light weight, so maybe I'll just get another 637.

    For an all the time carry gun, it's hard to beat. Has the hammer for the single/double choice, as long as you don't mind potential snags.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    I'm a huge fan of the S&W AirWeight series of revolvers, which can be standard, shrouded, or internal hammers, the two former allow the single-action option. Five shots of .38 Special in less than a pound that fits almost anywhere. It doesn't even sag a good cowboy boot.

    I had an AirLite (.357 Magnum titanium cylinder) but the cylinder failed on a standard .38 load from Hornady and I can no longer trust the design until I see another decade or so of no failures.
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    Regular Member bebop4one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhfc View Post
    I frequently carry a S&W 637 with +p ammo. I got a pocket holster from Robert Mika (http://www.frontiernet.net/~akim/), and I literally forget I've got it in my front (or coat) pocket.

    I used to hate this gun until I got my mind around the idea that it is not intended to make nice groups at the range. Being lightweight, it does kick quite a bit. Once I changed my mindset, turns out I really like this gun. Ironically, my girlfriend is not intimidated by the recoil at all and shot nice groups at a man sized silhouette. Go figure. I may give her this gun and get something similar in .357, but I REALLY like the light weight, so maybe I'll just get another 637.

    For an all the time carry gun, it's hard to beat. Has the hammer for the single/double choice, as long as you don't mind potential snags.
    I'm really glad you brought that up because I had glanced at that one as well. I wanted something with the nostalgia factor of the old movies (yes I'm guilty of that) but more importantly I need a tool that will work when it counts. From the pics I found I think it's a 5 cylinder just like the 36. I am going to seriously consider this. Is it a full frame handle or does it just have that tang that runs through the center of the grip? Is yours blued or is it that powdered allow look? Also, how are the rubber grips? Would you change out for wood if you could?
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    Regular Member jhfc's Avatar
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    Mine is just like this:

    http://www.westyorksportinggoods.com...ns/sw637-2.jpg

    It's the silvery color and I like the rubber grips just fine. And yes it is 5 shots.

    It's small enough it will go in a coat pocket and never be noticed. The only place it doesn't work is in more form-fitting jeans.

    Also, the Mika holster is a great deal. Hand made, leather, with your name written inside for something like $30. Hides the outline of the gun in your pocket very well.

    It's an ideal concealed carry for many circumstances.

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    S&W J-frame fan's opinion

    The steel frames are light enough for me and shoot-able. I do not pocket carry but if I did it would be an Airweight Bodyguard at about 15 oz. as a compromise between weight and shoot-ability.

    The Air-Lite Ti is a pain to shoot. Avoid it.

    My preference is S&W, bit the Ruger SP 101 is a fine piece.

    Thumbs down to the "modern" guns of recycled sardine cans and toothbrush handles no matter whose logo they carry.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    This is an OC forum. We should be concentrating on OC.

    But in response to your questions - yes, I have had several experiences with several of the snub-nosed revolvers you express interest in. Most were short.

    You apparently do not understand that the hammerless/shrouded hammer option gives you more and better possibilities for CCing a backup. Among other things, you can shoot while it is still in your jacket/coat pocket. And if you really want the single-action option, a shouded hammer gives you the best of both worlds.

    stay safe.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    This is an OC forum. We should be concentrating on OC...
    Isn't it OC if I wear my cowboy boots (with AirWeight) with shorts on?
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    I have a 637 J frame s&w with a shrouded hammer as my BUG and as others have said its barely noticable in a pocket or IWB holster. I caution you on cocking it though because I swear a fly landing on the trigger would set it off its that light a pull when cocked, at least mine is. I usually carry it at 6:30 - 7 O' clock IWB grip butt facing forward under a shirt. I OC a 9mm Taurus Mil Pro.

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    I sometimes carry a S&W 642 in either a Serpa holster or (for deep cover) a nameless brand ambidextrous IWB/belt holster. Such as today when I had to go to see one of my doctors whose office is in a building that is posted no guns.
    I definitely prefer to OC my XD40.
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    Regular Member skeith5's Avatar
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    Re: Any Opinions/Experiences With Snub Nose Revolvers?

    My bug and sometimes primary gun is a right lcr .357. It does have a shrouded hammer, which I prefer. I pocket carry this one and there is no hammer to get snagged on anything. I normally carry with .38's, .357's are a little stout.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeith5 View Post
    My bug and sometimes primary gun is a right lcr .357. It does have a shrouded hammer, which I prefer. I pocket carry this one and therere is no hammer to get snagged on anything. I normally carry with .38's, .357's are a little stout.
    A "little"?

    If the airweight is "The Snubbie From Hell" what is an lcr?

    stay safe.
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    Small framed revolver are not inaccurate its the shooter that is. Unless something is wrong with them they are way more accurate then the person shooting them. Smiths and Colts for sure.

    They are less for giving of shooting mistakes then their bigger brothers but can be very accurate.

    One of the best shots I made with one of them was shooting a coyote in the head (he was facing me)at 32 steps double action after running a mile.

    When I had younger eyes 4 inch groups with them at 50 yards were common.

    Don't discount them they are a very useful firearm.
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  14. #14
    Regular Member skeith5's Avatar
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    Re: Any Opinions/Experiences With Snub Nose Revolvers?

    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    A "little"?

    If the airweight is "The Snubbie From Hell" what is an lcr?

    stay safe.
    Maybe a little more than a little. With the stock lcr grips they aren't too bad. I've replaced them with the boot grip which is much smaller and harder, easier to conceal though.
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    Just passing along a little bit of info from Mas Ayoob. I owned a snubbie in the past.

    This is in regard to the desirability of the single-action function in a defensive revolver.

    Ayoob recommended against it. He had a couple reasons.

    First, (and what I consider most important) is that if you thumb-cock a revolver during a defensive situation, if the situation ends without you firing that shot, now you've got to decock over a live cartridge--while your adrenalin is pumping, your fine-motor skills are reduced, and maybe your hands are shaking a little bit.

    Plus, (my comments, not Ayoob's) this ain't the movies, you're not going to be thumb-cocking to reinforce your point or intimidate, and you may need that extra couple hundredths of second that would be spent thumb-cocking multiplied by the number of shots you need to make.

    Second, some prosecutors and/or plaintiff attorneys occasionally have tried the argument that the defender cocked his gun and it went off with the "hair trigger" by accidently touching it. This dovetails into a manslaughter charge trial strategy or negligence suit. Self-defense, as far as I know, is considered a deliberate act under the law. It is easier for a prosecutor to go after a defender for manslaughter than murder. If the prosecutor can paint the defender as having cocked the hammer and then accidentally pulling the trigger, he can nullify the defendant's self-defense argument, and push a manslaughter angle.

    Google the case of (Frank?) Maglioti. He thumb-cocked, and the attacker rushed him from just across the street with a bludgeon. He fired one shot killing his attacker. His attorney tried the accidental shot strategy, but combined it with an argument of legitimate self-defense. The trial judge shot down the self-defense angle because that required a deliberate act, not accident. The defendant was convicted and sentenced for manslaughter.



    ______

    I believe reasonable defensive accuracy with double-action in a revolver is achievable for most. I was able to do it. It just takes practice to learn how to pull the trigger without joggling the barrel around. In a defensive snubbie, about the only use for single-action is initial sighting-in. Snubbies aren't really designed for varmint hunting or precision target competition.

    The big advantage I can see for a snubbie over an LCP/KelTect P3AT is the grip size and maintaining control. I also owned a KelTec P3AT in the past. The Ruger LCP is almost identical, but has a slide lock that is missing on the KelTect design. That little KelTec would jump all around in my hand, the dadgum grip frame was so small. Even the addition of a rubber "glove" didin't give enough. The durned thing would jump around so much that by the third shot, I'd have to reposition it in my hand. Its not that they have heavy recoil--they don't. Its just that the gun is so light that even the mild .380 cartridge makes it jump around in your hand. The extended magazine helped a lot, but it dramatically reduced the gun's deep concealability.

    A snubbie has enough gripping surface to reduce the control problem. Lots easier to hang onto unless you have large hands, in which case the LCP is going to be even trickier to hold onto while shooting.
    Last edited by Citizen; 09-20-2013 at 09:51 AM.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    And then their is Skeeter Skelton who carried a single action, and swore by them. Massad has his bias, that comes through clearly, I believe he is a concealed carry only expert also. I have used single actions safely for my whole life, my first handgun was a 1849 Colt pocket pistol. The rules are the same for citizens, you do not pull your gun unless you intend to use it. Decocking is simple, pull the trigger while pointing towards the threat, otherwise you already screwed up by pulling your weapon.

    Single action is not for most, but everybody should learn how to take that pinpoint shot, because someday you may have to do it. I have a custom 51 navy conversion with a hair trigger, every shot I let go hits exactly where I aim it. I can easily put a round in a eye if necessary. There is not enough training put into accuracy that is required to be safe and stay alive. Whether double, single, or semi auto. Shooting in a split second and not stopping the threat is not healthy.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    I have carried a S & W mod. 60 as a BUG since before Hector was a pup - had the hammer bobbed the day I bought it. Added a Barami Hip-Grip and a Tyler T-grip -fills my hand better and lends versatility to how it is carried.

    When I was working, I carried it as my primary at about 1:30 position w/shirt bloused over it (CC) and then simply tucked shirt in to transition to OC when leaving the job. Today it serves as my truck gun, resting firmly between the seats (right beside my leg) in a vertical, butt up, position - easily and quickly accessible.

    Love that little gun - surprisingly accurate too.


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    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    I had a Ruger Security Six that was a fine little revolver. Back in those days, I carried concealed because I didn't know it was legal. It had a 2 3/4" barrel, was accurate with either .38 or .357 magnum. I don't remember the recoil as being very bad, even with the magnum loads.

    Took it to the range on Redstone Arsenal (back in the days before Bill Clinton screwed things up). Had a lot of fun shooting the .38 loads. Then I tried the .357 loads. Every head on the range turned in my direction! It was loud and spouted a flame like you wouldn't believe. After that, everyone wanted to give it a try.

    Sold it when I went to Germany in '85. Worst mistake I've ever made with a firearm.
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    A security six is in the same company as a K frame smith or the larger colt models. Yes they might have short barrels but they are a bit larger then the J frame size.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    SNIP I have a custom 51 navy conversion with a hair trigger, every shot I let go hits exactly where I aim it. I can easily put a round in a eye if necessary. There is not enough training put into accuracy that is required to be safe and stay alive. Whether double, single, or semi auto. Shooting in a split second and not stopping the threat is not healthy.
    Single-action isn't necessary to pin-point revolver shooting.

    I could do it with my snubbie. You just "stage" the trigger. That is, you learn where in the trigger travel the double-action sear is going to release, pull the trigger to just short of that, re-align the sights if needed, then finish the pull.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    SNIP you do not pull your gun unless you intend to use it. Decocking is simple, pull the trigger while pointing towards the threat, otherwise you already screwed up by pulling your weapon.
    Rubbish. Show me the state law that forbids defensively drawing to low ready in order to not get caught behind OODA loop?

    I'd love to see this psuedo-samurai code point demolished in my lifetime. "Don't pull your gun unless you intend to use it!" Phffft. If I've got a potential assailant 25' away making verbal threats and holding a contact weapon, my gun is coming outa the holster to low ready.
    Last edited by Citizen; 09-20-2013 at 04:01 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Rubbish. Show me the state law that forbids defensively drawing to low ready in order to not get caught behind OODA loop?

    I'd love to see this psuedo-samurai code point demolished in my lifetime. "Don't pull your gun unless you intend to use it!" Phffft. If I've got a potential assailant 25' away making verbal threats and holding a contact weapon, my gun is coming outa the holster to low ready.
    I agree. And I am not stating opinion. I am stating historical fact. I have responded to many many incidents where average citizens "drew down" on car thieves, prowlers, etc. and there is no problem whatosever with doing it. ESPECIALLY if they just draw to low ready, but I've even had incidents where they drew and pointed it at the person and no arrest was made, no charges filed, no gun seized etc. If Joe Homeowner approaches Mr Car Prowler outside his house with gun drawn, and even with gun pointed at prowler, no cop in my jurisdiction will bat an eye. If the guy runs away, of course Joe cannot shoot, but it gives him the benefit of having the drop if the guy turns on him and attacks him. Perfectly acceptable and again, I am not speaking opinion, I am talking actual experience in many incidents where people DID draw their gun without legal consequence in such circ's

  23. #23
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Rubbish. Show me the state law that forbids defensively drawing to low ready in order to not get caught behind OODA loop?

    I'd love to see this psuedo-samurai code point demolished in my lifetime. "Don't pull your gun unless you intend to use it!" Phffft. If I've got a potential assailant 25' away making verbal threats and holding a contact weapon, my gun is coming outa the holster to low ready.
    Maybe what we are doing is running up against different terminologies.

    If there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury the use of lethal force is allowed. Pulling the handgun to low ready or pointing from 1/4 hip to full isoceles to actually shooting are all the same use of lethal force. What we in Virginia have to watch out for is the dread brandishing charge if we do not shoot- maybe one day we will see a defense strategy based on the fact that the presentation of the handgun in response to the imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury caused the assailant to stop short of carrying out that imminent threat. Maybe.

    In other words, Citizen, I fully intended to use it but the sucker backed down before I had the chance to get my sights on him.

    stay safe.
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  24. #24
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    As User has explained many times, you are either justified in using deadly force or you are not. Anybody who makes the mistake of pointing or low ready a gun at me will get drilled with out giving any opportunity to say ooooops. Unless a person is a LEO drawing a firearm is considered imminent threat of serious injury or death.
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  25. #25
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Maybe what we are doing is running up against different terminologies.

    If there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury the use of lethal force is allowed. Pulling the handgun to low ready or pointing from 1/4 hip to full isoceles to actually shooting are all the same use of lethal force. What we in Virginia have to watch out for is the dread brandishing charge if we do not shoot- maybe one day we will see a defense strategy based on the fact that the presentation of the handgun in response to the imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury caused the assailant to stop short of carrying out that imminent threat. Maybe.

    In other words, Citizen, I fully intended to use it but the sucker backed down before I had the chance to get my sights on him.

    stay safe.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    As User has explained many times, you are either justified in using deadly force or you are not. Anybody who makes the mistake of pointing or low ready a gun at me will get drilled with out giving any opportunity to say ooooops. Unless a person is a LEO drawing a firearm is considered imminent threat of serious injury or death.
    I pray that none of us will ever have to make that decision; nevertheless, it something that we must all consider.

    Someone whose opinion I value very highly once said, "It will be the BG's choice."
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