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Do You Feel "Undergunned" carrying the Snubbie?

Discussion in 'The Snubbie Club' started by badge4436, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. happyguy

    happyguy Man, I'm Pretty

    I acquired a SW 442 about a month ago after not having owned a snub for about 10-11 years.

    Three range trips so far and it seems like I've never been without one.

    I think that it is the rare situation where a snub alone wouldn't be sufficient in competent hands. Unfortunately a lot of people aren't necessarily competent with the snub and the rare situations seem to be becoming less rare.

    I love the way my 442 rides in its Don Hume JIT just in front of my hip. All that's required for concealment is a t-shirt. Not only that, because of it's light weight and short barrel, it is REALLY FAST to bring to bear on target.

    My 442 is going to be my primary simply because of the speed with which it can be employed. Being the first to get a solid hit on target should be priority number two, right after avoiding being shot.

    That said, I'm not going to give up my G19/G26 or P7 as carry guns although in reality they will be backups to the snub. I know that's backwards to how most people envision employing them but that's the way I'm going to roll.

    As to the OP's original question the answer is no I don't feel under gunned with a snub, but then I am not in the middle of a fight against superior numbers at the moment either.

    One last thing, when I bought my 442 I bought a right hand Don Hume JIT and a left hand JIT, just so I would have more options for carry and in case I ever injure my right hand/arm. I'm thinking it might be nice to add a 640 or 642 to the mix and carry two snubs.:supergrin:

    Happyguy :)
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  2. Itchy Finger

    Itchy Finger Junior G Man

    Jan 9, 2012
    How 'bout them Hawks!!
    Well, I tell ya. I really love my G19. That being said I still like the snubbie. It's only 5 shots, yes, but I carry a Mentos gum pak that will hold 15 rounds of .38 Sp. I use .38 Special +P JHPs. The .357's are just too brutal in that little gun. But it is nice to have that capacity.

    I have not tried the pre loaders. I think they would get in the way.

    The situations I face, mostly, gives me time to get prepared. How nice, Huh?

    Anyway I mainly carry on a rural paper route running from about midnite to 5:30 am. There have been times when I wish I had it with me and I didn't, so now it is aways with me.

  3. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    If it comes down to being "No Gunned" because I've left a larger more bulky gun at home VS being "Under Gunned" because I actually will have a 642 Snub on my person then I'll take being Under Gunned any day of the week.

    Rule #1 for a Gun Fight. Have a gun.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2012
  4. fowler


    May 27, 2004
    Its all you hope you never need. Utter reliable at contact distance.
  5. Chup


    Feb 11, 2008
    N. Ohio
    I'll add some life to this Thread. I have been carrying Two Snubs daily for some time. I also carry Speed Loaders and Speed Strips. I have Ten rounds before I need to reload. Now, If someone thinks that is being under gunned, they need to get out of the Recliner, away from the Television, and learn about tactics and cover.
  6. G19aps


    Aug 2, 2009
    I guess one could also say that anyone who feels totally "comfortable" with whatever it is they are carrying is falling into a dangerous rut.
  7. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    Having only five rounds does give me the Heebie-jeebies.
    I mitigate that anxiety with a second Snubbie.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  8. Glockworks

    Glockworks Ready/Aim/Fire

    Presently, when I carry my snubbie, it is a Super Redhawk Alaskan (.44 Mag) in appendix carry. My body type looks like a (now a little pudgy) linebacker and I wear my shirts out. So no, I do not feel undergunned, and I carry at least one speed strip.
  9. dbak


    Jun 22, 2012
    charlotte nc
    never carry it all the time
  10. WT

    WT Millennium Member

    Jan 12, 1999
    I do not feel 'undergunned' carrying a snubby.

    My friends who have had need to use them have no complaints regarding them.

    Let's not forget that New York City's premier civilian gunfighter, Bernie Goetz, successfully protected himself against 4 people using a Model 60.
  11. badge4436


    Jul 13, 2005
    Cucamonga, CA
    I have read recently that many active duty cops in the north east carry a snubbie as their off duty weapon. Here in the West the semi auto is off duty king. Interesting when considering they can carry semi autos.
  12. ranger1968


    Mar 23, 2009

    Mas Ayoob wrote a good article about this very thing some years ago, titled "The Small Handgun Attitude" as part of a piece involving the film Catch me if you can ....

    It's a very telling article, and it makes some good points.

    He writes:

    "(Director Steven) Spielberg finds a symbol to express the FBI's essential harmlessness: It's the snub-nose Colt Detective Special all the feds keep pulling, and Spielberg keeps noticing in close-up silhouettes: a tiny little gun that seems to reflect the innocence of a world where nobody really shot anybody very often. It's a gun a man would carry who really did not want to hurt anybody."

    This is not to say that if you carry a more substantial firearm, you do want to hurt someone. Rather, Hunter seems to be commenting on an attitude we've all seen with armed citizens and law dogs alike. "I don't really need a gun, so I'll just carry this little thing to reassure myself, or to satisfy departmental regulations requiring me to be armed."

    Spielberg's characters are by no means the first to be so armed on the screen. TV detectives from Jack Webb (in the earliest episodes of Dragnet., before he switched to a two-inch S&W Model 10) to the title character of Barney Miller carried Detective Specials. So did private eyes ranging from Mannix to the entire mainstay cast of 77 Sunset Strip.

    Television's most famous FBI agent, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., carried a two and a half inch Colt Diamondback, basically a highly polished Detective Special with adjustable sights.

    Famous real-life lawmen who were partial to the Dick Special included master homicide detective Vein Geberth of NYPD
    NYPD ; John Dineen, the Chicago copper who became president of the Fraternal Order of Police ; and Skeeter Skelton, whose first writing, a treatise on snubbies, was published in this magazine.

    For most of its history, the FBI issued service revolvers, not snubbies, starting with four-inch Colt Official Police .38s. These were followed by Military & Police .38s with the same barrel length, a requirement reduced to three inches shortly before the agency adopted the Model 13 .357 Magnum, their last standard issue revolver before their switch to auto pistols.

    The only true snub-nose .38 I'm aware of the Bureau actually issuing was the Smith & Wesson J-frame Bodyguard five-shooter, a small quantity of which were purchased for some of the first female agents hired. While many agents had .38 snubs of their own they wore to work or off duty, most were likely to strap on a .357 Magnum when a tough arrest loomed.

    By the mid-1980s, only the S&W brand was approved as a .38 snub, though the Bureau grandfathered Colts owned by older special agents. (Catch Me If You Can is set in the '60s, when the Detective Special would have been approved but not issued.)

    But let's not nit-pick the particular icon chosen by brother Spielberg, a gun enthusiast himself. What's worth looking into is the mind-set that Hunter hit on. It's genuinely there.

    The Vestigial Gun

    There was a time, not so long ago, when a great many police administrators wore a uniform that consisted of a white shirt and a snub-nose .38. Both accoutrements seemed to make the statement, "I don't have to get out there and get dirty doing dangerous things anymore." The .38 snub in this application was a vestigial gun, more a badge of office than a true duty weapon.

    This type of gun has all but disappeared as a primary weapon for on-duty law enforcement personnel. The little .38s remain popular for off-duty wear, however, and hugely popular as backup guns.

    Surviving the Mind-Set

    An attitude that says, "I'm not really going to need this gun" is a symptom of potentially lethal complacency. The person who carries a small-frame .38 wants lots of practice with it. These little whippers have a disproportionately nasty kick that demands proper technique, which includes a high-hand hold and a very firm grasp. Hand-fitting stocks are imperative. For pure control, it's tough to beat Pachmayr Compacs, which seem to enhance both practical accuracy and speed of fire.

    When worn in a belt or shoulder holster, a three-inch barrel dramatically improves hit potential. So does an action hone. And practice with speedloaders; five shots (or even six with a Detective Special) is not a lot.

    Which is why current new agents of the real world FBI are issued .40 caliber Glock semiautomatics, the fourteen-shot G23 or the sixteen-shot G22.
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  13. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    I'm comfortable with a 6 round .357 Magnum 2" snubby.

    However this gun is only temporary while the 4" .357 Magnum is being modified. it's due this week. Then back to carry a power pistol.

    I never load .38 Special (except for the Wife's 642). It's a good round, but as long as the Magnum shoots so comfortable, it's the choice.
  14. LApm9

    LApm9 Silver Member

    Apr 3, 2006
    South Louisiana
    Concerning capacity, consider a few words spoken to me from a lawman of the '30s: "The first aimed shot wins."

    I like five certain shots, even if the grip is short and the trigger pull is stiff. I would hate to be at the mercy of a manufacturer's change in bullet shape.

    My little PM9 is nice too, but proving out a new load with 100 rounds hurts my wallet.
  15. Gunboat1

    Gunboat1 A.F.A.M.

    Amen, and amen. QFT.
  16. Lt Scott 14

    Lt Scott 14

    Mar 14, 2006
    N.W. Indiana
    Even though this thread goes back to 2008, lots of info here is still important to the CCW world.
    My first experience with a snubbie began when my new wife was in a "forced" accident, late at night, on a dark road. A vehicle eased up and tapped her rear bumper, and 3 large men appeared at her passenger window. She put her car in gear, and drove to the closest Police Station, to make a report. She was nervous, scared, and alone.

    The Police Officer on duty advised her that her actions probably saved her in the fact that 3 to one outnumbers anyone. They had previous reports of assault in that area, and patrolled it heavy.

    Next morning we went to a local Gun shop, and purchased 2 handguns. Beretta 25 auto, and M36 S&W 38 spec.

    We applied for LTCHs, and signed up for a Safety/Handgun course. We both fired both guns, and afterwords decided the 25 ACP would be traded for a 4in 38 spec. We did and she carried the snubbie for years, I carried the M10 S&W.

    I entered Law Enforcement, and the M36 rode on my ankle for several years, backing up the M10. Wifey now owned a M38 Bodyguard, which we never felt undearmed.
    We kept the pair of snubs together for a long time, and they shared speedloaders, holsters, and grips.

    In 1994, my home was broken into, my snubs both stolen, and the Bodyguard was recovered in 2001. M36 never showed up. Traded the "beat to death" Bodyguard for a 442 in a "Frosted" Nickel, and still carry the 442. Fine weapons all.

    For a short time also owned a Ruger SP 101, 357 mag, a little heavier, but a great shooter. Sold off for a G19, still owned and carried daily.

    You do need to practice shooting and in my opinion, 7 yds is plenty to practice. Law Enforcement pushes much longer distance, and situations differ greatly from CCW.
    It can become a "milk and bread" trip that you are needing the firepower.
    Good luck, carry 2 if you can. Cheat, win, go home.
  17. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    Having owned a several of them over the years I never felt they weren't up to the task, but with that said I just think there are better options today. There are 7 shot 9mm's an 6 shot .40's out there that take up less room in the pocket than a .38/.357 snubbie and pack more punch, not to mention reloads (magazines) are easier to carry and allow for considerably faster reloads as well.
  18. Chup


    Feb 11, 2008
    N. Ohio
    My last post was Two years ago. I'm still carrying Two Five shot Snubs daily. I'm still carrying Ten to Twenty rounds of reloads. From Ohio to Florida, camping in PA. I still don't feel under guned.
  19. bikerdog


    Feb 11, 2009
    In 2008 no not at all. However in recent years I have found myself moving away from the ole snubby a lot for my primary. I feel the snubby is sufficient for about 95% of what might be encountered. Its the 5% that worries me though.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Ohub Campfire mobile app
  20. GJHIII


    Oct 20, 2012
    I cannot say that I've ever felt under gunned with my snubby or any other firearm. Just incredible responsibility and sadness for the need.