.38 snubby question

This is a discussion on .38 snubby question within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Questions for all y'all... of the ultralight .38 snubbies out there, which is most accurate? Are there any with good sights? Are there some mods ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array red13's Avatar
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    .38 snubby question

    Questions for all y'all... of the ultralight .38 snubbies out there, which is most accurate? Are there any with good sights? Are there some mods that increase accuracy?

    I had a GP100 stainless 4" with adjustable sights, modded it with a fiber optic front sight and lighter springs. Smoother trigger really helped DA accuracy. Sadly had to sell that one when I was out of work, but realistically too big for me to carry anyway. Still miss it, though.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array bunker's Avatar
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    Perfect practice produces increased accuracy. I like my crimson trace on my Smith snubbies... its fun to practice in the dark, or at least at dusk and dawn outside when the lights are low. Smoother triggers only help when staging triggers, and in a true defense situation, you wont be staging the trigger. With all my DAO revolvers, i dont stage the trigger... i pull staight through. Just my opinion. There are things you can do to smooth out triggers, and i am sure others will chime in. For me, between practice and dry firing, it has loosened up quite a bit on both my Smith 642/442. Good luck. Bunker
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    For masochist only

    The ultra light snubbies weigh 10-12 ounces and are very snappy with standard loads and downright brutal with heavy loads.

    Laser? You will not be able to approach the same level of accuracy you did with your GP100, laser or not.

    Ultra light's are nitch guns made to carry a lot and shoot a little. Few even claim to enjoy shooting them, and I and wonder if they are just "claiming", or masochist.

    Have you had a shooting session with an ultra light? If not, make it a point to do so before buying one. It may save you a costly mistake.

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    The first two responses really tell you everything that is important. I would just comment that snubbies are not inherently inaccurate. They seem so because of the short sight radius and unfavorable geometry of pointing a short barrel. In a vice, a snubbie will put round after round through the same hole at any reasonable defensive range.
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    Ex Member Array LSP972's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kudzu View Post
    I would just comment that snubbies are not inherently inaccurate. In a vice, a snubbie will put round after round through the same hole at any reasonable defensive range.
    Your last sentence described inherent accuracy.

    What snubbies don't have is PRACTICAL accuracy; i.e., they are difficult to shoot well. But at bad breath range, where they are intended to be used, it doesn't matter.

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Have you had a shooting session with an ultra light? If not, make it a point to do so before buying one. It may save you a costly mistake.
    Good advice quoted above. More so if you are accustomed to practicing with that GP100. I've never placed any premium on lighter and lighter weights for J Frame revolvers. Nevertheless I do own one and it does serve a purpose. It is what it is. Someone on this very forum once commented..."A gun to carry when you can't carry a gun". You can expect reasonable accuracy at the distances the gun is made for and you can't argue with the carry comfort and concealability.
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    Senior Member Array Lewis128's Avatar
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    The ultra light market is probably a good place for the addage "you get what you pay for" in terms of smooth trigger pull. Plus their light weight means more of the recoil energy transfers to your hand. A heavier gun will absorb more of the energy.

    If you are accurate enough to put all rounds into a man sized target at 21' (The CCW testing standard in MO) You're ok.
    If not, you may want to work on grip strength, invest in better grips, or just step up to a heavier model

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    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    Love my S&W 442!! keeps about a 2.5" group between 7-10 yards with me shooting it. with a few others on here I am sure they are capible of MUCH MUCH better.
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    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    Have you checked out the Ruger LCR? By far the smoothest trigger out there in a snub IMO. No gun smithing to be done. The trigger on the LCR is like butter. Check it out and judge for yourself.
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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Ruger LCR in .357 magnum. 17 oz which is light enough, best trigger, and can handle magnum and 38+P with ease.

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    For a different opinion: The Ruger LCR has an inferior trigger that feels like a dime store cap gun and has a mile of over-travel after it breaks. This is not conducive to producing tight groups on paper and does not measure up to the double-action trigger design of the Smith & Wesson J-Frame line. As LSR972 says: "...at bad breath range, where they are intended to be used, it doesn't matter..." but target grade accuracy results just are not to be had with it. With practice one can overcome the LCR's trigger limitations to some extent but why yoke oneself with such a trigger in the first place?

    While we are at it, the J-Frame Smith & Wesson design has the poorest of triggers among among the different frame sizes in the Smith & Wesson line. The combination of the small J-Frame's action's stunted geometry, low cylinder weight, and the coil spring used make it feel rougher and choppy when compared to the larger K, L, and N frame sizes with their flat main springs. For smoothness the larger three can't be beat.

    The diminutive size of the wildly popular small revolvers and automatics represents a larger compromise than most folks think. There is a trade-out when choosing comfort and convenience over beneficial shooting characteristics.

    I'd prefer to carry my Smith & Wesson Model 642 or Kel Tec P3AT. I'd prefer to gun fight with my Smith & Wesson Model 10 or full-sized 1911. I try to contrive a way to be certain the larger models are tagging along, leaving the runts home.
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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Tight groups? target grade accuracy? Show me anyone who can make tight groups when attacked and I will show you someone that thinks IDPA or PP is conducive to self defense. Those are the folks who usually get the biggest wake up calls in FOF classes. I have no issues hitting targets from bad breath range out to 15 feet with the LCR, on the move.

    The LCR trigger is superior to anything smith and walther has put out to date.
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    Any of the reputable brands are going to be far more accurate than the vast majority of shooters will ever be able to take advantage of. My 442 amazes me every range trip. My model 36 is even better. I've not spent a lot of time with an LCR, but everyone that I know who has one loves it.
    Forget the gimmicks, and buy a nice base airweight gun, or if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, the M&P versions are really nice too. The learning curve is fairly steep with the J frames, but I'm one that enjoys shooting them. (With light 38sp loads )
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    There are many available enhancements to improve the handling of a snub, while practice being the most important. Since that’s pretty obvious I’ll add to the mix a fine trigger job and more…

    The addition of specialized sights on a carry-gun may well help on the range; although they may not be of much use in an actual confrontation. Still, I added some go-fast sights to my snub; combined with some carry-cuts (dehorning), a black powder chamfer, moon clips and a trigger job. In the end, it’s still a 2-inch snub but its fun to customize just the same.

    As illustrated, I should have left well enough alone, but oh no; I couldn’t do that! It’s since been tweaked some more, with a few more steps to go.
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    I enjoy shooting my little 642 in limited quantity. 50 rounds of WWB and a cylinder or two of +P carry ammo is about all I care to shoot at one time, then it's time to either switch to something else or call it a day. As far as accuracy goes, dry fire practice is your friend. It gives the shooter familiarity with timing of the gun and smooths the action out a bit as well. Both of those factors improve accuracy.

    I doubt anyone will ever try competitive bullseye shooting with a snubby but that's not what they're designed to do. A good snub carries easily in a pants or coat pocket and if need be, can be fired through the pocket with minimal chance of malfunction. I've never had to draw mine on anyone, thank God, but I've had my hand on it more than once during uneasy situations and was thankful it was there.
    Jack

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