.38 special revolver for self defense - Page 4

.38 special revolver for self defense

This is a discussion on .38 special revolver for self defense within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Both the wife & I carry Taurus® Mdl 85SS2UL revolvers. They are highly accurate and low recoil; and meet our Home/Self Defence needs....

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Thread: .38 special revolver for self defense

  1. #46
    VIP Member Array dawei's Avatar
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    Both the wife & I carry Taurus® Mdl 85SS2UL revolvers. They are highly accurate and low recoil; and meet our Home/Self Defence needs.
    David
    Only two defining forces have ever died for you.....
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    One died for your soul, the other for your freedom!

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  2. #47
    VIP Member Array Doghandler's Avatar
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    Now that she has a gun, maybe it's time to get her a fighting style. That's sounds exactly backwards to me.
    There is a solution but we are not Jedi... not yet.
    Doghandler

  3. #48
    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I had 2 great uncles they were town Marshals they both carried 38sp, each of them carried 2. According to family history between the 2 of them they had 37 shoot outs over there careers one was wounded 4 times and the other 7 times but to the amazement of the family they died of old age and natural causes, one at 89 and the other at 91. I my book that is pretty darn good referances and yes we have a 38sp with some very good loads and both my wife and I know it will not fail when push comes to shove just remember placement
    Snub44, bmcgilvray and wmhawth like this.

  4. #49
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    Love my Model 36, wish I had 2 of them . Pain to reload in a hurry , but at the ranges for which these guns are designed to fight ,those 5 .38 specials should be adequate.
    Mine can't handle +P , it's that old but what it can do is put 5 rounds into reasonably decent shot pattern .
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  5. #50
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    Hi gatorbait;

    It really can handle +P unless you choose to exercise a extra measure of caution and keep +P out of it. And that's OK. There are a number of really good .38 Special loads out there that don't have that "+P" suffix attached to them.

    I have a Chiefs Special that's so old it predates the factory designation of Model 36. It has a serial number just a whisker over 2000 and was shipped in March of 1952. It handles 158 grain +P fine. Just recoils a bit more enthusiastically. I don't make a habit of firing large quantities of +P through it but have shot it enough to verify sights and gain the experience of how it behaves with the load.
    Bad Bob likes this.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

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  6. #51
    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    At wrestling distance, I honestly feel everyone does better with a revolver compared to a semi. Semis do better at all other ranges when nothing can trip up the delicate recoil-powered slide action. Revolvers just keep on shooting even with hands grappling at it or right up against a body or on the ground.
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  7. #52
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    Well, a quick-thinking person with a vise-like grip could seize an uncocked revolver by it's cylinder to prevent it from advancing and tie one up pretty effectively ... for as long as he could hold on. It'd be "Katy, bar the door" if the revolver ever got loose from him though.
    GhostMaker, OD* and Bad Bob like this.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  8. #53
    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    (stolen from another forum)

    I havent seen the news yet, but as far as I know... Everyone ever killed with a .38 is still dead...

  9. #54
    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nontechguy View Post
    In your waistband? In a holster, I hope.
    LOL yeah in a holster. Sort of slipped cuz there is always a holster in my waistband. Sometimes two.
    Snub44 likes this.
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  10. #55
    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    If a .38 Special is somehow inadequate than no 9mm gun and load will suit. You're going to have to go to larger bullet diameter and heavier bullet weight to best the .38 Special. The 9mm cartridge is fully adequate. What it is not though, is meaningfully superior to the .38 Special despite what may be read. The person who claims the 9mm is better is willfully limiting the .38 Special to feeble loadings and tiny short-barreled revolvers. There are some factory loads available for the .38 Special that I'd prefer over any "super-expando-matic" 9mm load. We won't even get into handloading capabilities and the .38 Special.

    I like the .38 Special and carry .38 Special revolvers most of the time, even though similar revolvers chambered for .357 Magnum are on hand. I'm personally not so keen on full-powered magnum cartridges for self-defense purposes. Non-magnum straight-walled revolver cartridges will do just fine as will similar cartridges for the semi-auto pistols.
    Agreed.....as I have said here before, many a criminal career was cut short when a 38 Special was interjected into the conversation. Before many other cartridges and shooting platforms were introduced to the shooting public the "humble" 38 Special was carving headstones for some of the nastiest criminals this country has seen. Properly loaded it is equally (if not more so) able today to defend home and person from those intending ill will.
    DetChris and Secret Spuk like this.
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  11. #56
    Member Array Taurus85UL's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I am reassured that a .38 snub nose is a valid seld defense gun. The revolvers that my wife and I have are probably the last guns we will ever buy. We are lucky that we can shoot in the back yard and practice as often as we like. At 21 to 30 feet we can both hit center mass. I have bought speed strips for both of us and we practice with them. Still a little slow to reload but if I really need more than 5 shots I probably need to go get my shotgun. My original concern was that I see so many guys, and gals, that have high capacity semi-auto's and AR 15's and more guns than you can count. I am satified now that our .38's will do what we want them to. And as far as an AR 15 goes, well, I have a Marlin 30-30 and a Mossburg 12 gauge pump shotgun. I guess that's all I need to satify my paranoia of bad guys and government agents coming to get me. Again, thanks for all your replies.
    DetChris and chanroc like this.

  12. #57
    Member Array xrmattaz's Avatar
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    Colonel Jeff Cooper actually suggested a lever action 30-30 over the AR15.

    I carry my S&W 442 daily, and have for 20 years. It's my most often fired firearm, and an extension of my hand!

    Speer Gold Dot Short barrel 135 gr. or Buffalo Bore Heavy 158 gr. LSWCHP (the old "FBI Load") are my two favorites.

    Shoot often, shoot safe!
    Snub44 and Pistology like this.

  13. #58
    Member Array Fortion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chessman View Post


    Above is the SW 10-5 all original made some time ago. It is my only loaded handgun in the house aside from an assault rifle. It is loaded with .38 Special Wadcutters from Winchester (148gr). I figure it is enough as a handgun in the home.

    I don't carry it because it is a bit larger having the 4" barrel. I carry the Walther PP series (my choice from my signature line below) instead of any other gun if I feel I want to carry concealed.
    However, in the revolver the .38 Special is quite fine to deal with anything from the Miami FBI debacle to Newhall HP who had .357s in 28 SW.

    There is no need for power especially when thinking power is better. Those who need power to feel safe are missing the point. A .38 Special is powerful enough if you know how to shoot it. So is a .32. Like the one I cherish below in .32 New Police (.32 SW Long) in the Colt Cobra (mine was made in 1966):



    I generally do not trust semi auto pistols but I have a slew of them and I've fired them to rely upon them. No jams in any of my semi autos of all calibers that I own today but it took me a lot longer to find a reliable semi auto (aside from the Walther PP or PPK or PPK/S in .32) that worked EVERY TIME over years of use.

    The revolver is simple just rotates and locks for the next round. The auto depends on a recoil spring along with a lot of other things. You don't want to spend money on a semi auto unless it is above the rest and that means Browning Hi Power or M9 Beretta or SIG P210 or CZ-75 or the world of 1911s some of which work and most do not.



    The above Colt 1911 is a Colt WWI Reproduction and it works all the time. I've had slews of 1911s and most of them failed. I think the design and the luck to find a working 1911 is priceless. I found mine in COLT and the gun it replicates sells for 3K or more in today's gun shops original and all beat up with ugly scars.

    I like my reproduction Colt WWI more than any other 1911 I've owned. The point is you get lucky with a gun used or new and then you bond with it despite what others say. You love it and feel it is a part of your self and you feel comfortable, safe, and familiar with that gun.

    Baer and Wilson and Kimber and Springfield and Remington and all copiers of 1911 they make made their points and I just went Colt and found it back in WWI. For concealed carry I found it from WWII in the .32 PPK.
    boy you got nice gun...what cost you this?

  14. #59
    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    I agree that the 38 should be fine.
    My EDC is currently a 357 magnum. Not a lightweight it's a stainless steel S&W 640 snubby. Very easy to shoot 357 rounds through it (due to it's weight) and I almost always "Pocket Carry" it and I DO notice it pulling my pants - not down but I know it's there.
    I'm considering the 642 Airweight 38 for my next purchase. If/When I get it - it'll start off as a backup Ankle carry (Galco Ankle Glove) and the 640 in pocket.
    Not sure at the moment but it's possible that in some situations when I can only carry ONE it might be the 642 and who knows - one day I might buy a second 642 for one in pocket and other on ankle. Time will tell...
    For God, Family and Country!

  15. #60
    Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    I am reading a good book that relates to this: Defensive Revolver Fundamentals by Grant Cunningham. He makes a great case for the use of revolvers and the effectiveness of revolver calibers.

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