.38 special adequate for home defense?

.38 special adequate for home defense?

This is a discussion on .38 special adequate for home defense? within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hello all. Recently there was an attempt to break into my home very early in the morning. I currently own a semiautomatic shotgun and an ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array johndoe's Avatar
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    Angry .38 special adequate for home defense?

    Hello all. Recently there was an attempt to break into my home very early in the morning. I currently own a semiautomatic shotgun and an old S&W snub nose .38 special. The shotgun is mainly for hunting, therefore the barrel is 30 inches. From what I have read it sounds like the general consensus is that a shotgun made for hunting is less than ideal for something like home defense. The snub nose .38 might be fine, but I am willing to make an investment in something else if it could possibly be better for keeping my home safe as a last resort. Does anyone have an opinion on whether something else (a semiautomatic pistol, for example) might be better for home defense? I know a little about handguns, but I am only 21 years old and have never encountered a break in attempt before. That leads me to believe there would be people on this forum that would know a ton more than I do on what would be my best option. On a side note, I have my own house so I don't have to worry about roommates, children, etc. Thank you guys for any help.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    Welcome from So Cal!

    It is adequate. There may be better options. I would prefer a .45. Glock, and M&P are great options. I prefer a shotgun and a shorter one than you hunting one will be less expensive than the handguns I mentioned, but its always nice to have a variety! Good luck, stay safe.
    BigJon


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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...the .38's adequate, if you'll take the time to learn how to use it and practice till you're able to be accurate with it..

    ...I'd recommend the Rem 158grain semiwadcutter lead hollow point... Remington Express Ammo 38 Special +P 158 Grain Lead Hollow Point Box or the CCI Gold Dot Short Barrel round Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel Ammo 38 Special +P 135 Grain Jacketed

    ...either will get you good performance if you shoot accurately...
    ...might look into an 18 or 20" barrel for that shotgun...

    ...I'd also recommend your studying OK deadly force statutes and knowing what you can and cannot legally do to protect your life and your home...don't take unsubstantiated advice by well-meaning folks who don't know their stuff...they won't show up in court beside you...

    ...welcome to the Forum...

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    An assailant could be said to be having a really bad day if fairly struck with any decent .38 Special load. .38 Special revolvers are on duty around here despite having more potent handguns and higher capacity handguns available.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

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  5. #5
    New Member Array johndoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snub44 View Post
    ...I'd also recommend your studying OK deadly force statutes and knowing what you can and cannot legally do to protect your life and your home...don't take unsubstantiated advice by well-meaning folks who don't know their stuff...they won't show up in court beside you...

    ...welcome to the Forum...
    Luckily in Oklahoma I can shoot first and ask questions later if I am in my own home; especially since I know no one else is supposed to be here (especially not at my backdoor with a crowbar like last week). I appreciate the advice though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snub44 View Post
    ...the .38's adequate, if you'll take the time to learn how to use it and practice till you're able to be accurate with it..

    ...I'd recommend the Rem 158grain semiwadcutter lead hollow point... Remington Express Ammo 38 Special +P 158 Grain Lead Hollow Point Box or the CCI Gold Dot Short Barrel round Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel Ammo 38 Special +P 135 Grain Jacketed

    ...either will get you good performance if you shoot accurately...
    ...might look into an 18 or 20" barrel for that shotgun...

    ...I'd also recommend your studying OK deadly force statutes and knowing what you can and cannot legally do to protect your life and your home...don't take unsubstantiated advice by well-meaning folks who don't know their stuff...they won't show up in court beside you...

    ...welcome to the Forum...
    Great suggestions, while on active duty and now as a civilian I have never felt under gunned with a .38. My normal EDC is a 1911 but on a long road trip I switch to either a Colt Detective Special or a S&W Model 15 in a shoulder holster.

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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...gently as I can say it, a prosecutor, judge, grand jury, or jury might take better to something being said about fearing for your life instead of "shoot first and ask questions later..."

    Quote Originally Posted by johndoe View Post
    Luckily in Oklahoma I can shoot first and ask questions later if I am in my own home; especially since I know no one else is supposed to be here (especially not at my backdoor with a crowbar like last week). I appreciate the advice though.
    BigCityChief likes this.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    38 special is just fine..... Just load it with some good defensive ammunition.......
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    New Member Array johndoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snub44 View Post
    ...gently as I can say it, a prosecutor, judge, grand jury, or jury might take better to something being said about fearing for your life instead of "shoot first and ask questions later..."
    I wasn't being literal, but I do believe that I'd be fine if anything happened as long as I didn't shoot the guy in the back or outside the house. I just meant that from the legislation I've read Oklahoma is very supportive of us doing what we need to in order to feel safe at home.
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    YES! Forget about the caliber. Any Weapon you can bring to bear to defend your home (self, family or life) is Good to go!

    A .22 is A-OK as a starter........... get'st the attetion of the individual (Intruder) you just shot = heck, I would not want to be shot by a .22 = effective start. Note: when using a .22, soot them many times in many places,

    When some thug invades your space, and you are legally allowed to defend youself, Overkill is Warranted!
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    Senior Member Array nathanjns's Avatar
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    I think the 38 ( like many others ) will get it done just fine with well placed hits. I have a variety to choose from but a 38 Special revolver is what is on my nightstand. The simple drill and almost nonexistent likelihood of malfunction is the reason for my choice. A shotgun and other guns are nearby if I decide I need something different. A good light for identifying your target is also essential. You don't want to shoot an unarmed drunk who thought he was at his own house.

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    I have a SW 686+ .357 mag loaded with .38 Specials. Just about any .38 defensive load will suffice. The .38 has been getting the job done for decades.

    Curious, being a SW snubbie fan, what is the model No. and dash no. (if any) of your .38? Open the yoke and look inside the frame when the yoke swings down....
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    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

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    Ol' reliable

    Simplicity, reliability, shoot-ability, are the long suits of a good .38 revolver. It will do the job if the shooter will do their job. I carried one until the last 3 years of my career when we switched to GLOCK. Now retired, I carry a 3" S&W most of the time, loaded with 158 grain LHP +P. Buffalo Bore makes a stout version of that recipe. A Smith or Ruger 3" - 4" never needs an apology.
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    The 38 spl is still special. It didn't become the number 1 LE cartridge for over 50 years for nothing.
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    Member Array Todd_Ohio's Avatar
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    One thing I've thought about that I don't think anyone has brought up is what happens if there are three of them?

    I'm in the same boat, having revolvers and a carry 8 shot pistol. If there were 3 bad guys, I think having one of those 15 shot magazines in the gun might come in handy.

    At least consider speedloaders and/or having ready access to ammunition if you need to reload.
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