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38 special question


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The vast majority of .38 carriers go for the small frame snubbies due to concealability and/or light weight.  Larger revolvers have more or less fallen out of favor. There's just too many small semi-autos these days plus the current focus is on ammo capacity.  🙄

I rarely carry a 4". However, my favorite carry revolvers are 3" S&W K-frame (medium frame) guns. I have 3" Models 10 & 13 that a carry at times. Although the Model 13 is actually a .357, its usually loaded with .38 Special +P ammo. 

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Edited by Grayfox54
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I carry a 38 spl and 357 most times. If I IWB carry it is an MP 9MM C 2.0. My primary is a 2" 357, 7 shot revolver. Most shootings are 3 rounds or less, if average.  Have no problem feeling I am not prepared if forced into a confrontation. When I am on my daughters horse farm, located in Eagleville TN,  I carry the 38 with snake shot. I am doing a lot of woods and brush removal right now. Glad snakes are, for the most part, asleep. 

Got a Hunt X hunting ape on my phone and it is great for finding property lines in wooded areas. We are marking and cutting horse trails on 90 acers. Just finished marking 61 acers yesterday and still have 28 acers left to mark. It is very thick with underbrush and trees. Want to get it marked before snakes come out. I always take snake medicine (38 Spl) with me even now. Just never know. 

The 38 Spl has been doing self defense duty, mostly successfully, for years. I have learned it isn't the arrow, as much as it is the Indian, that brings a satisfactory conclusion to deadly threats. One must be able to put them where they need to be for a satisfactory conclusion.  At soon to be 74 (2 weeks) my want to ability is slowly waning. I am needing to practice more and more, but pray often I will never be forced to call on my waning skills.

My mother used a pre model, SW model 10 4" 38Spl revolver, when I was 4(1952), that had a lifelong effect on my life.

You younger "whipper snappers", enjoy your youthful abilities. Agent Orange, and age has had a detrimental effect on my later years, however I have found "Jesus Christ" so I got the dying taken care of.  Listen up guys! IMO, it ain't bull hocky. Peace with death in life, belief in Jesus Christ is the answer.  Bible says He is the only way, and "I believe it." 

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If I had a "carryable" 38/357, I'd have it loaded down with a hot 38 JHP most likely. My 686 6" is a handful at with 357mag JHP's at the range much less under a self defense situation.

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For some reason, these days I feel like a .357 is my “woods and field” gun, because I can load CCI Heavy snake shot, followed by a couple 158 jsps, or on those rare occasions, a .44 full of solids for bigger woods critters. Auto and spare mags for urban carry. 
 

I should at least say I carried a 4” M15 and later a 4” M586 when I worked at a gun shop back in the late 80’s. There is nothing wrong with a quality wheel gun in a looong proven caliber carried by a guy who can use it…

Edited by OMCHamlin
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As much as I love my old 4” 686, I rarely carry it except to hunt with. 
I carry this on me a whole lot of the time, if I’m not toting my 1911. Smith and Wesson Model 66 .357. It’s the later model with the 2.75” barrel. I’m always skeptical of Smith’s guns with that stupid heritage-ruining lock, but I bought this one from a gentleman on here several years ago and it’s been my nearly constant companion ever since. 
I usually keep it stoked with Underwood .38 +P 158 grain. This one paired with my beloved little pre-lock 640 makes a superb combo.9ACAD92E-7E6A-41DD-B88B-27FBC2DEE50D.thumb.jpeg.7e3798dd27ce60d49144391484f132a1.jpeg

Edited by res308
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2 hours ago, pop pop said:

Want to get it marked before snakes come out. I always take snake medicine (38 Spl) with me even now. Just never know. 

I have found "Jesus Christ" so I got the dying taken care of.  Listen up guys! IMO, it ain't bull hocky. Peace with death in life, belief in Jesus Christ is the answer.  Bible says He is the only way, and "I believe it." 

I have found that the Lord does an excellent job of removing "snakes" from your path, too!  😇

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I just wondered if the 38 special was worth carrying in a 4 inch full size anymore. I picked up a Taurus 669 and it is heavy for just 6 rounds to carry. I wish it was a 3 inch which might be easier to carry. I like the 110 grain 357 though.

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2 hours ago, loadedp3at said:

I just wondered if the 38 special was worth carrying in a 4 inch full size anymore.

Absolutely. They're great guns. But there are just so many other options these days.  Besides, younger folks don't even consider revolvers these days.  Only us dinosaurs still believe in wheel guns. 🙄 

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On 2/12/2022 at 7:47 AM, pop pop said:

I We are marking and cutting horse trails on 90 acers. Just finished marking 61 acers yesterday and still have 28 acers left to mark. 

Are these trails going to be open to the public or just for their personal use? If it's going to be public I'd like more info please. 

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Boatman, my daughter is going to open a trail ride business for her own horses. The trails will not be open to the public. Her farm is around Rockvale/ Eagleville TN area here in Middle TN. My daughter boarded a horse, Jax, and its owner recently purchased a farm in Bell Buckle. Are you Jax owner?  

Moped, we are headed to Mt Pleasant/Charleston S Carolina this week. Will be packing my Taurus Md 617 357/38 7 shooter revolver snubbie and an SW MP 9C 2.0 in console. Our youngest daughter lives in M P. Going to visit our 2 youngest grandbabies. Taking them some guns I am going to give away before I pass. They are into hunting, and dad is taking them turkey hunting next month. 

Edited by pop pop
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Have several revolvers in 38 and have had a fair amount of experience with the 38/357 cartridge.

If it is just personal defense, either will do but the 38 loaded with +P ammo (only way to go) is much easier to shoot.  357 causes a lot of recoil, particularly in those 14 oz titanium frame guns.  It is definitely more powerful though,  In either case, hold out for a six rounder if you can.

As to barrel length, I would not consider carrying over a 3" barrel.  It just gets to big to conceal properly, on me.

If you are carrying for protection from Bear, etc then go for a longer barrel length and ONLY 357 rather than 38 spl.  In fact I would opt for a 44 mag or 10mm semi auto if that were my concern.

 

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36 minutes ago, pop pop said:

Boatman, my daughter is going to open a trail ride business for her own horses. The trails will not be open to the public. Her farm is around Rockvale/ Eagleville TN area here in Middle TN. My daughter boarded a horse, Jax, and its owner recently purchased a farm in Bell Buckle. Are you Jax owner?  

 

No I am not.

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Biggest barrel I carry is my 3" Colt King Cobra. The rest are J-frame Smiths & my 2-1/2" Model 19. 

4" isn't terribly viable anymore due to the multiple offerings, IMO. IWB holsters are a bugger to draw a 4" from & the OWB models are hard to hide unless one is 6' 5" or so. 

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4 hours ago, pop pop said:

Moped, we are headed to Mt Pleasant/Charleston S Carolina this week. Will be packing my Taurus Md 617 357/38 7 shooter revolver snubbie and an SW MP 9C 2.0 in console. Our youngest daughter lives in M P. Going to visit our 2 youngest grandbabies. Taking them some guns I am going to give away before I pass. They are into hunting, and dad is taking them turkey hunting next month. 

We stayed in Mt. Pleasant.  Really nice place, though the street lighting or lack of street lighting takes some getting use too.

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Moped I really don't like no visible street signage for businesses. They are all behind greenery and hard to see. Not accustomed to not seeing signage from the driver seat. Makes it hard for me to find my way around. Old school I suppose? Well wife can use her phone to get us around. 

Put Hunt X app on my phone to get horse trails marked. That thing is great to use in finding unmarked property lines in the woods.  

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6 hours ago, pop pop said:

Moped I really don't like no visible street signage for businesses. They are all behind greenery and hard to see. Not accustomed to not seeing signage from the driver seat. Makes it hard for me to find my way around. Old school I suppose? Well wife can use her phone to get us around. 

Put Hunt X app on my phone to get horse trails marked. That thing is great to use in finding unmarked property lines in the woods.  

Signage can be a problem down there too, but it's not as disconcerting as the lack of street lights.  

Back on topic.  I said that I carried a S&W 442 down there, but I didn't call out the load.  I carried my favorite .38 SD load, which is a bit out of the norm.  I still have a box of the old Federal Nyclad 125gr HP.  I'd love to find some more of it, but it's nonobtainium since Federal stopped making it some years ago.

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I normally carry a 442 once or twice a week. I used to have a 3 inch barrel J frame, but I just didn’t see an advantage to it. 
 

For ammo, I carry run of the mill wad cutters. I’ve studied the .38 special loads. And I mean seriously studies them. Most of the bullets are designed for a .357 mag out of a 6 inch barrel. No way a .38 special is going to generate velocities for reliable expansion, regardless of barrel length. There are very few, and I’m mean few, bullets that can expand from a .38 special, the only one I can recall is the Federal HST, which is an oddly loaded and very specific bullet designed for a snub nose .38. 
 

So, why wad cutters? Well bullets do to the body what they do on paper. A wad cutter punches a nice clean hole, breaking and cutting tissue and bone, and if they hit bone, they dramatically tumble. Any sort of conical bullet hits tissue and pushes it aside, or glances off bone. If the bullet pushes tissue aside, the the tissue just returns to where it was after the bullet leaves. Think of your paper target, if you see that sort of shot hole, you can actually push the paper back in place, that is exactly what happens to tissue. Most people don’t realize how elastic the human body is. 
 

Anyway, long story short, carry wad cutters in your .38 special! 

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