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Smallest, Lightest .38 Special

Discussion in 'The Snubbie Club' started by Ian, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Ian

    Ian Millennium Member

    Dec 16, 1998
    What is the smallest, lightest snub revolver that will handle +p .38 Special please?
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  2. Dalton Wayne

    Dalton Wayne Epic mustache Millennium Member

    Apr 5, 1999
    Central Florida
    I love my S&W airweight no lock 442 with apex trigger kit
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012

  3. The LCR is a small and light choice, but I don't know if there may be a smaller option.
  4. grmnracing


    Oct 10, 2010
    I love my 442 also! [​IMG]
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  5. Mike2x

    Mike2x Enthusiast

    Jan 6, 2008
    Avalon, CA
    Smith 342pd. 10.8oz, 1.8" barrel. Great to carry. Not so great to fire. Have a great day. Mike
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  6. Glockbuster


    Jun 30, 2005
    Middle America
    Currently available model 340PD chambered for 357 mag, so will handle +P just fine. You asked specifically for smallest and lightest that will handle so there it is.
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  7. Lt Scott 14

    Lt Scott 14

    Mar 14, 2006
    N.W. Indiana
    +442, been a great choice for 18yrs. Belt holster, pocket, fanny pack, etc.
    Add a couple speedloaders, and speed strips,you are in, good to go.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  8. GlockRik


    Sep 14, 2001
    I have the 342 airlite pd.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
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  9. 6StringGeek

    6StringGeek full-time n00b

    Apr 5, 2011
    The 642 is ~15oz and I love it.

    The Charter Arms Undercover Lite comes in around 12oz. I don't know anything about that guy except that it's light.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  10. grmnracing


    Oct 10, 2010
    Did you pick out a J-frame yet?

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  11. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    Instead of answering that broad equipment characteristic question, I'd consider you discover for yourself what the lightest .38 short-barreled revolver is that you can safely, accurately & effectively shoot ... with the defensive ammunition that you plan to use in the gun.

    I've seen folks that had to go to heavier J's in order to be able to shoot them with any practical accuracy and effectiveness.
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  12. ChiefWPD


    Dec 25, 2004
    +1 Good points. I have a 342, 642 and a model 60, as well as a Ruger LCR. The lightest S&W J frames, in my case the 342, is a dream to carry, but I can only fire a very few rounds in practice before the pain gets to me. My 642 is a handgun that I can fire significantly more often and without discomfort. None the less, for pocket carry, those extra few ounces make a difference. As for the LCR, I like the handgun, but someone needs to design a grip that is the right size, for me at least. The standard grip is very comfortable, just too hard to conceal in my pocket holster. The "boot grip" is small enough, just way too small for me to comfortably grab hold of.
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  13. Edmo01


    Feb 19, 2010
    Central Arkansas
    Having returned a two month old S&W BG38 "Bodyguard" twice for malfunctions, I suggest you avoid that model.

    The BG38 is the polymer/aluminum/steel 5 shot revolver which looks like a J-frame, but is not. The second time back S&W called and informed me the gun was unrepairable.

    They are sending me a "post-lock" 642 J-frame as a replacement. Hopefully this new gun works.

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  14. DOB January 2000... no lock...
    My "Y2K Special"...
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  15. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    Yep, that whole "finding the best compromise" can be difficult at times.

    The steel J's handle well, are decently accurate and are pretty controllable for most folks (presuming DA revolver skills ;) ).

    The Airlites carry better, though, virtually disappearing in a pocket. I've seen wallets that weighed more.

    The Airweights, however, and the only slightly lighter M&P 340/360's, seem to be a nice compromise.

    Then, there's the easy-to-see XS front sight on the M&P's.

    Getting a practical size grip stock can work against the size advantage of the little wheelguns, too. Just depends.

    I'd rather shoot Magnum loads from my Ruger SP101DAO than my pair of M&P 340's, though ... at least when it comes to range sessions. My older 649 Bodyguard shoots even better than my Airweights, but it doesn't rest as lightly in a pocket holster.

    I finally handled and shot a new Bodyguard 38 snub. I was surprised it's an ounce heavier than the M&P 340, but then I suppose the laser adds its weight. The trigger was decent enough.

    I didn't care for the thinness of the "backstrap" under the recoil, though, even though it's cushioned. Just didn't seem as comfortable as shooting my Airweights & M&P's with their exposed backstraps. Funny. It seemed to do okay in the hands of a couple of us, using an assortment of standard and +P loads.

    I wonder how well it would stand up to the same amount of shooting I do with my other J's, long term? Not interested in finding out (even though it can be bought at a bargain price).

    Of course, it took me some years to accustom myself to buying my first aluminum-framed revolver, and then a plastic-framed pistol. :rofl:
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  16. jwhite75

    jwhite75 Gubmint Worker

    Jan 6, 2009
    Dub V
    This....but I have a 340 M&P to also handle .357 The .357 is brutal.

    But I dont think the .38 is that bad at all. I tend to think the people who dont like .38 in them are just recoil sensitive.

    The 342 is a great gun and probably what I should have bought.:whistling:
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  17. Chup


    Feb 11, 2008
    N. Ohio
    I just bought an older 442. It's not +P rated but I will just shoot a few +Ps to get point of impact and practice with standard loads. I will then carry +P in it. Any way to get to the point, this gun is smaller than the new 442s. The new guns have the Mag. size frame and cylinder and when put side by side they are noticeably bigger than the older guns. I didn't weigh them yet to see any weight difference. I might have to start collecting 442s I think they are the coolest looking Snubs.
  18. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    I also have an older M37.

    After discussing this older production Airweight with some factory folks, and durability considerations when using different ammunition in it, I only use standard pressure loads in mine.

    No reason to abuse a nice older style Airweight. Not even for a few rounds. Not when there are other J's that can be used with the higher pressure loads.

    Just my thoughts, though.
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  19. scccdoc


    Dec 28, 2011
    Kicks like a mule........ DOC
  20. RVER


    Aug 3, 2004
    I really like my Ruger LCR in .38 Spl. Nice compromise between weight, size, and controlability.

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