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Rossi .38 special

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by thinblueline90, May 23, 2012.

  1. thinblueline90

    thinblueline90 Always Watching

    May 22, 2012
    So I bought my soon to be wife a Rossi revolver the other day and was under the false impression that is was a .357 the saleswoman selling me the weapon didn't offer up any objection. I did feel duked, but all in all it is an accurate weapon. Is it a weapon I can be comfortable with my lady carying as her CCW? It only holds 5 rounds and it is only a .38 which does bother me. What should i do, trust it or should i sell it and get something more depenable like a .380 or a .9?
  2. Go back to the store and tell them you were duped and get what you want.tom.
    Last edited: May 23, 2012

  3. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    How is a 380 more dependable than a 38 Special revolver?

    BTW, I like Rossi revolvers.
  4. thinblueline90

    thinblueline90 Always Watching

    May 22, 2012
    Being honet I don't know the difference between a .38 and a .380. I originally thought it was the same round, but I had a couple guys around my home town tell me there's a difference,even though they could not specify. I just want to feel comfortable knowing that if worst come to worst she will be able to protect herself against a dope head high on pcp. I only carry .40 or bigger for the personal satisfaction of KNOWING if or when i ever have to pull the trigger It'll be lights out.
  5. M&P15T

    M&P15T Beard One

    Apr 7, 2011
    Arlington, VA.
    Some thoughts on pistols as SD/CCW pieces;

    .40 does not, in any manner, equal "lights out". Pistols are notoriously inefficient for stopping people, especially those on drugs such as PCP. Pistols are not shotguns or rifles, but they're able to be carried concealed, so they're what we use.

    .38SPCL and .380ACP are two entirely different rounds, but in their basic loadings are similar in effectiveness. Will .38SPCL work on a doped-up PCP freak? Someone else might be able to answer better than I, but the long and the short of it is, it depends on where the BG gets hit, shot placement. However, my other short answer is "no". Both rounds (in their standard loadings) are not that great, although they've killed many, many people. 9MM would be a better choice, but the die is cast at this point.

    As far as buying a .38SPCL only revolver, instead of a .357MAG that can shoot both......I doubt your wife would enjoy shooting full-house .357MAG loads out of a small, 5 shot snubbie.
  6. ZombieJoe


    May 7, 2012
    Great Laker
    I had a Rossi revolver, no complaints. It was accurate and reliable. The triggers not bad either. But if it is not what you or your wife want, get some thing else.

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  7. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    There are any number of police shootings in which a subject took multiple hits from .40 or .45 that did not instantly stop the bad guy. I do not think I would ever totally count on a .40 or another handgun round to stop an incident. That said a couple of generations of guys somehow managed quite fine carrying a five shot .38 special revolver. Given a choice I would opt for a Smith and Wesson over the Rossi but that is essentially nothing more than personal preference. While any of several of the more common 9mm loads develop a bit more energy than .38 special rounds, there are some .38 special loadings that surpass nearly all of the 9mm loadings. I would certainly be more comfortable with a five shot .38 special than with a .380.
  8. Most would say the .38 special is better than the .380. The .38 generally has much heavier bullets. And most would say the 9mm is better than .38, in short barreled guns with standard loadings, but they would also typically say the .38 is good enough. With the .380, because the bullets are so light, and velocity not especially high, there is a little less agreement as to whether it is good enough, but most will say it is the minimum they would consider for self-defense.

    The .380 and 9mm are both made for semi-autos (or autos). The .380 has a shorter case than the 9mm. The .380 is often chosen because of the small and thin lightweight guns that use it. The 9mm doesn't usually come in guns that are quite as small. The .38 special has a longer case, and typically has heavier bullets than either of the other two. The .38 special is a revolver round, and is used in some small revolvers. The .38 special case could be loaded hot, but typically isn't. For those wanting something hotter (faster) than the .38 special, the .357 magnum was developed. It has just a little bit longer case.

    In .38 special, the soft shooting, low velocity rounds are the 148 gr wadcutters. Good for a newbie to try in a new gun, so recoil is less. The next step up in recoil can be a 158gr, typically a semi-wadcutter for defensive use (people have decided the round nose are not very effective). Then for more velocity, there are the +P that typically have hollow points and might come in lighter bullets of 135gr or the heavier 158gr. There are also lighter weight FMJ for plinking (but not typically self-defense) in 125gr.

    I'm just trying to give you an idea of what's out there :)

    If she likes the revolver, it should be a good self-defense gun. She'll have to practise shooting. Start with the 148gr wadcutters. See how it goes. They can be used for self-defense, but consider moving up to the 158gr semi-wadcutters (heavier and faster, and load more easily into the cylinder), or any of the premium +P defensive loads.
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  9. thinblueline90

    thinblueline90 Always Watching

    May 22, 2012
    I love this website. I am just getting schooled right and left on things I "thought" I knew. Which is good to me. I would rather learn here than Have to learn elsewhere. I've only been fooling with handguns for a year new, literally one year. You are right .40 doesn't nessacarily equal lights out. I do like to think it does though. The revovler is very accurate i'm really just unsure about the round if it's reliable...but at the end of the day it's whatever SHE is comfortable with right? I mean I did buy it FOR her. I never realized there was such a huge difference in all these rounds. I always thought that .380 was smallest the .9 then .38 a .357 is just a supped up .38. Man calibers are confusing. Is there like a cailbers for dummies book anywhere?
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  10. Bring_it!


    Apr 9, 2012
    I have a Rossi M88 (stainless) and consider it very "reliable" for function.
  11. I've always liked "Cartridges of the World" by Frank Barnes.

    Your basic description I quoted seems right. The .380 is shorter than the 9, thus less powder and lower velocity. They also seat a shorter and lighterweight bullet in the case.

    The .357 is a supped up .38 special (which is itself a supped up .38 from older loadings). But to keep from blowing up guns, when they developed the .357 they lengthened the case a little so it wouldn't fit in the .38 guns. But you can shoot the .38's in a .357 gun.

    While it is often debated on GT, the basic "problem" with a .357 magnum in a small lightweight revolver is that it has a lot of recoil, and doesn't seem to increase the velocity enough to be worth the extra BOOM and NOISE. So many people prefer the .38 special in small lightweight revolvers. But in larger revolvers with a longer barrel, the .357 magnum is popular, such as for hunting. The recoil isn't bad in the heavier guns, and the longer barrel allows the powder to more efficiently drive the bullet faster out the barrel.

    I've got a 6" .357 magnum for hunting. But for a 2" carry revolver, I chose a .38 special. While I'd have nothing against the smaller gun being a .357, I was only going to shoot .38's in it anyway. Some guys get the .357 just to have the option, and that's fine, but the .357 gun typically costs a lot more than the .38 special gun, so why bother? But with the longer barreled larger revolvers, the .357 magnum makes sense because you know you are going to shoot magnums for hunting :) .44 magnum also makes sense for hunting revolvers :)

    I doubt there is anyone on GT who's wife carries a lightweight small revolver with .357 magnums in it. And there are very few guys who do, either (some do, and more power to them). Most people have .38spl +P in their small carry revolvers.
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  12. As to dependible, that is something people like about revolvers. It gets into a huge internet debate, but most people would agree that a revolver is more simple and dependible for the average shooter to use.

    The semi-auto is more prone to jams. This is an over generalization, of course. But the semi-auto can be more finicky to different kinds of ammo, and how the gun is held by the shooter, and how the gun is cleaned and lubricated, and stuff like that.

    It also generally seems to be true that larger semi-autos are more reliable than smaller semi-autos. I believe it is both a design issue, and a physics issue, affecting the smaller guns. This is one of the reason why small revolvers continue to be popular.

    The semi-autos enjoy a quicker reload, and the larger ones can have a much higher capacity. Many people also shoot semi-autos more accurately than revolvers. Especially if the sight radius is longer, or if the trigger requires less pressure to fire.

    There is no real right or wong. It is a matter of sorting through the various plusses an and minuses and picking whatever best meets your preferences and priorities :)
  13. hoghunter82

    hoghunter82 FL Glocker #182

    Jan 21, 2011
    Central Florida
    She will be fine with the .38 caliber. Throw some +p in the cylinder. As far as being duped, don't most if not all guns have the caliber stamped right on the barrel or frame in plain sight? Anyway, based on my bad luck with small .380s I would chose the .38+p revolver over the .380 auto any day. In fact I did. Sold the .380 and picked up the Ruger LCR .38+p and never looked back.

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  14. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Sep 15, 2003
    Nothing wrong with what you have. Load it with a proven load like the Rem FBI load (+p 158gr lead semi wadcutter hollowpoint) or 135 gr Speer Gold Dot and you will have a good balance of power and controllability.
    .357mag is a step up in power, but in a smaller revolver it can be a case of diminishing returns with the increased blast and recoil, and there are are hotter .38sp loads that can give you similar performance (like 9mm +P) if you really want it....but you probably won't.
  15. diamondd2


    Apr 23, 2010
    Just have her keep out of areas overrun with doped up pcp crackheads and you won't have a problem.

    Just saying.
  16. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    .38 Special snubnose revolvers make great defensive tools...for a very experienced shooter.

    It's not something that you just buy and give to the old lady.

    Return the gun and buy her a .22LR pistol so that she can get trained on how to shoot a gun properly, much less a snubnose.
  17. No need to sell the gun, but do look for instruction, and either borrow or buy a .22lr to learn on.

    And as I'll say again, make sure to get 148gr wadcutters to learn on. Makes a huge difference, even if you have to go to 5 stores or order them off the internet to find them. Doesn't matter the specific brand.
  18. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    Why would anybody make a novice learn how to shoot with a snubbie revolver? Might as well pistol whip her across the face so that she'd be pissed off and never bother to shoot any more.

    A snubbie is probably about the worst weapon to learn on.
  19. You are half right, but just a tad dramatic about this.

    I agree it is not the best to learn on, but it doesn't have to be sold. I bet in 2 lessons, I could get her shooting it ok.

    The first lesson I would start her on my S&W 63 .22lr and Ruger GP100. Working on grip, stance, aim, and surprise break with dryfire. Then shots in single action in the 63, and single and double action, with 148gr wadcutters .38 special in the GP100. Both of those sitting at a bench, blank sheet of paper 10 feet away :) Then move to standing up with those 2 guns. Switch to a bullseye target at out to 7 yards if all goes well.

    The next lesson, test recoil in 9mm, moving from my Beretta 92, to Glock 26. Then her Rossi with 148gr wadcutters. See where it goes from there. Probably go back and forth with my 63, working on various things as needed, such as an empty chamber and surprise break.
  20. cowboywannabe

    cowboywannabe you savvy?

    Jan 26, 2001
    I have a rossi .44spl. Its a better copy of the s&w than taurus.
    Last edited: May 23, 2012