.38 special too weak for self defense

.38 special too weak for self defense

This is a discussion on .38 special too weak for self defense within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Yes this is what a local gun shop commando told me today,he said and I quote "that little .38 out of that short barrel is ...

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Thread: .38 special too weak for self defense

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array 1911luver's Avatar
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    .38 special too weak for self defense

    Yes this is what a local gun shop commando told me today,he said and I quote "that little .38 out of that short barrel is only gonna piss 'em off and if you gotta shoot through any heavy clothing forget about it".

    Now I was a bit dumb founded at first and my reply to him was to bring up the fact the john Lennon was shot and killed with a "to week" .38 special. I also pointed out that Lennon was killed in December in new york city,which is winter time there. So this means that he was wearing multiple layers of clothing and a heavy winter coat when he was shot.

    At this point the guy looks at me shakes his head and walks away. Where do people get their info from anyways? I mean I know a .38 special isn't the biggest baddest gun but I certainly wouldn't want to be hit with one. what are your thoughts on this guys comments?


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    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Your gun shop commando has probably never seen anyone shot with a 38.

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    .38 special has been killing people for over 100 years.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    Try a +p load...
    Can be a handful on BOTH ends!
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    Senior Member Array Ivan4x4's Avatar
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    he probably wants to sell you a more expensive weapon so he can make more money
    EDC's Colt Defender 45 acp and S&W 442 .38
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    Carry one most everyday. +P. 1 7/8" barrel provides surprising accuracy. I think your guy should be selling something other than firearms. His advice could turn dangerous at some point. Next time, remind him that the 22 has been a favorite of a certain, uh..... family businesses for decades. But then, those folks understand placement and double tap. Never mind.
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    If the 38 Special is so underpowered ask him if he would be willing to stand down range of you and let himself be shot by one.

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    If I absolutely had to choose between being shot in the azz with a .38 or a .45 (with the other option involving complete removal of my head from my shoulders, for instance), sure, I'd pick the .38.

    But if I had to choose between defending myself with a .38 close-at-hand and a .45 over yonder, the .38 would do just fine.

    The whole this caliber-that-caliber argument will never be settled definitively. It is much, much more a matter of shot placement and dumb luck in real life. Would I ever recommend somebody carry something like a .25 or similar gun as their primary defensive weapon? No. But anything from a .38 Spec. on up, when used by a competent shooter, will generally get the job done pretty darn close to equally well.

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    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    The statement may be based on the old "widow maker" stories about cops who found that the .38 revolver was ineffective against a determined attacker. (if the statement was based on facts at all). Now back then, they used FMJ bullets and no +P loads if I remember right. These days, with modern hollow point bullets and +P loads you should be fine. I carry a J-Frame quite a bit as backup or if my Sig229 is just too big.

    As for accuracy: I wouldn't try a 50yd hostage rescue head shot with it. But for standard "street fights", it should work just fine. My J-Frame is painful enough to shoot with +P loads so I can only imagine the pain a BG will feel on the other side of the barrel.
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    Even the .357 is too weak.
    A NY cop got shot in the face at point blank range and not only she survived it, but eventually went back to work (office).

    Jeff Cooper (my guru) always said that handguns didn't have the power to end a confrontation now.
    However, it is uncomfortable to carry a 12 ga. concealed especially in South Florida

    Like other said, shot placement is paramount.

    The only caliber I would not use is the .25. I have seen a guy shot 3 times in the belly in a bar brawl. The shooter was 3 weeks in hospital.
    The victim was back drinking beer an hour later ...
    And maybe a .25 in the eye is better than nothing ??? Who knows.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmhawth View Post
    Your gun shop commando has probably never seen anyone shot with a 38.
    He's probably never even FIRED a .38 before!!
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

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    .38 special to weak for self defense
    Yes this is what a local gun shop commando told me today,he said and I quote "that little .38 out of that short barrel is only gonna piss 'em off and if you gotta shoot through any heavy clothing forget about it"
    You should have ask him, "Then you wouldn't mind if I shoot you with one?" I have a feeling his opinion of this weak little pea shooter would change REAL fast!

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    Senior Member Array 1911luver's Avatar
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    I was gonna ask him is he wanted to take a few to see how ineffective they are for himself,but decided not to waste my time. I guess some people can't be taught over they just know what they know(or think they know) at least.

    I've honestly never felt under gunned or unprotected with either of my .38 snubs on me.

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    He's "clueless"... you can't fix stupid.

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