Home > Practical Tactics > Carry Issues > Rethinking the Snubbie

Rethinking the Snubbie

  1. So lately I've been carrying the Snubbie. I did think that the P365 was the pinnacle of CCW pistols. But, my AirLite Ti weighs ten ounces less than the Sig. And I find that the rounder shape of the snub is more comfortable both IWB or for pocket carry.

    Of course I'm giving up capacity. But, in several decades of carrying I've never needed any gun. I wonder if I'd ever need more than five rounds? Who knows?

    I've got three snubs (337, 642PC and a 351PD) they all work with the same holsters and all weigh less and carry better than what I previously thought was the"pinnacle".

    Maybe I'm just getting old man syndrome. I'm pretty comfortable with the Snub
  2. I hope it’s not old man syndrome. I’m too young for that

    I’ve found myself carrying either one of my 66’s, 442 or 638 off duty. 442 is always my backup at work. The little j frames ride really well, conceal very easily, and a speed strip in strong side pocket is easy to carry.

    like you said, lots of options using the same holster, ammo and manual of arms. And when I go out, I always have my daughter with me (year and a half). If something ever happened, I would probably have her in my arms and be drawing and shooting one handed. No worry about limp wrist, slide hanging up on something, or malfunction clearing one handed.

    although, if the revolver malfunctions, you’re usually SOL.

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  3. I've owned many different snubby's over the years. One was always my BUG while on duty. Still have one today, its a S&W Model 38 Airweight Bodyguard (the original bodyguard). I like it and shoot it good.

    But nowadays my snubby only sees duty as my "I'm not carrying a gun" gun. Couple of examples - when I go out to mow my lawn, or if I go over to a neighbors for a get together etc...

    Still, I can't really ever see myself not having a snubby in my stable. For a while I had a Glock 42 that was pushing the snubby for that role, but the 42 is gone and the snubby stayed.
  4. OP, You've convinced me to lower my liability insurance coverage limits. I haven't needed it in some time.
  5. Man I like that holster with the belt clip offset to the side. What's the make?
  6. I love me a snubby J-frame. Loaded with either 170-gr hard cast LSWCs or 150-gr hard cast DEWCs at max pressure is pretty good for me.
  7. Or you could save $500 or more with Geico
  8. Pocket carry a lcrx 357 pretty much exclusively. I have found that 5 rounds in my pocket beats 10 on the dresser any day of the week.
  9. I carried snubbies for years and years. As the 9mm subcompact options became more and more viable I couldn't justify 5 rounds of .38+P vs 10 rounds of 9MM HST in a flatter package. My shield with Magguts gives me 20 rounds on board with a quick reload vs 10 rounds on board with a slow reload.
  10. Yep. Have a 637 in my carry rotation. Who can’t not like a snubby?
  11. 20 rounds. Not dissing, but what are the circumstances where that quantity might be needed? Are you LEO?
  12. I recommend the Underwood hardcast 150 grain full wadcutters out of the airweights. They develop an honest 850 fps out of the short barrel, are non-Plus+P, standard pressure and are very controllable and accurate.

    They have a poly coating so you don't have to worry about leading but I never had any problems with leading in my airweight S&W model 38 humpback bodyguard before they started coating them. Buffalo bore makes a similar load and I have chronographed both in my gun and velocities were nearly Identical.

    I like the Underwood the best because they're less expensive and if you order directly from underwood shipping is less money, too and the ammo arrives within a few business days. The ones I got from Buffalo bore I had my local Cabela's order it for me and didn't have to pay shipping.

    When I carry my snubby I carry it with the mental preparedness and determination that I am going to make those 5 shots count.
  13. On the other end of the spectrum sometimes I carry my Beretta 92FS Compact 15+1 and a Ruger KLCR. :2gun:

    But I do wear suspenders. LOL

    Happyguy :)
  14. To me it's going backwards. I like revolvers and have about a dozen .22, .38, .357, one .45 and a 7.62 Nagant I'd rather not talk about. After I fired a high capacity 9MM and a .45 Colt 1911 I gave up on the revolvers for self-defense. My first issue handgun was a .38 S&W M10. When I got a S&W 9mm double stack I never looked back.
  15. I was at the range the other day with a friend. I had planned to mainly shoot my Glock 45 and 26. My friend was shooting his 34. In my first mag in each gun I had a squib. No fault of the guns they were reloads and I've discarded the batch. Thankfully I had brought my 60, 642, SP101. I ran all of the drills and scenarios with a snub. While our scenarios were changed for five shots. I realize that a real life scenario may not be a five shot scenario. I found I was slower than my friend but I also found my shots counted and I had fewer misses. I knew I didn't have spares. I have been carry my snub since surgery a few months ago and this past weekend helped my confidence in those rounds.
  16. I prefer my G42 in the pocket pistol role, but the snubby is a fine choice. I have a 442.
  17. I would never carry a gun with less than 8 rounds and a 3.5” barrel.
  18. Not rethinking mine. I like my Kahr cw380, but its second string to my 442.
  19. I carried a j-frame for a lot of years but recently switched over to a G43. They carry about the same to me but I shoot the G43 much better.
  20. I have had most of the smaller semi autos. I find my j frames draw from the pocket and place shots more naturally than the 43 I still have. I don't think j frames are for everyone but for me anything smaller than a 26 will be a j frame.
  21. I've been quite fond of my S&W 3914DAO lately, but I do still pack an SP101 when deep concealment matters.

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  22. I am limited to pocket carry and no auto will clear my pockets like a humpbacked snub will. It flows quickly and smoothly out of my pocket. Therefore my 649 is carried every day all day.

  23. Ok, boomer.

  24. Still have a pair of model 10, and 49 snubbies. While I prefer the carry my 43 in the heat of summer, a 638 stands ready.
  25. That's one of the benefits of a revolver. How often does a well maintained revolver fail ? I don't know the answer but I'm guessing it's something like 1000x less often than a semi, or better.
  26. Nobody knows.

    But I have my opinion. Which is that a gun is needed. The two types of minimum that I set are the mousegun .380 6+1, if reliable, and the lightweight snubby .38 5-shot. Of those two, the .38 is more powerful, but the .380 is smaller, thinner, and lighter with more rounds.

    The snubby revolver has the reliability edge, and can be fired from pocket, as well as deliver contact shots. So even though my Ruger LCP .380 is pretty reliable, I often instead choose my S&W 642 with 5 rounds of .38 +P 158gr.

    The Glock 43 with 6+1 of 9mm was such a big deal for a small semi-auto, because it isn't too much bigger or heavier than a snubby revolver, and is basically just as powerful, with 2 more rounds, and with the famous Glock reliability.

    Here are the fully loaded weights:
    Ruger LCP = 12.0 ounces
    S&W 642 = 17.3 ounces
    G43 = 21.0 ounces

    Each one of those guns is a step up in weight. As often said, there is no free lunch. They are also a step up in size, with regard to how they carry. The roundness of the snubby revolver often carries easier than the squareness of the semi-auto. Particularly with regard to the rear sight area, where the semi-auto slide sticks out and prints so much more, and also gets in the way for some types of pocket carry.

    But then with shooting, as long as reliable, the semi-auto is usually easier to shoot than the snubby revolver. However that phrase "if reliable" keeps popping up. I believe that when considering a variety of shooting body positions, closeness to clothing or pocket, and chances of fighting while suddenly wounded, that the snubby revolver is indeed more reliable.

    So if someone chooses the lightweight snubby revolver as their primary (and only), I think there are a lot of reasons in favor of it. A case can be also made for the small .380 or 9mm, too. But here the OP is picking the revolver.

    The greatest limitation may be the capacity of 5. That's the most mentioned by people who say they wouldn't carry it. Yet, I believe the subway defender put down 4 attackers with 5 shots out of his snubby revolver. There's a lot you can do with 5 shots. A gun with more rounds might be better in some ways, but may either be less powerful or weigh more. For example, I think a fully loaded SIG P365 is around 29 ounces, thus about a 12 ounce increase over the snubby revolver.

    While the revolver isn't better in capacity, if it is lighter, rounder, carries better in some ways, and has close combat advantages, then there's nothing wrong with it. Especially if it is the gun someone prefers to carry and will carry more :)
  27. LOL not sure if serious. P365 made a splash due to capacity. Hellcat made a splash by increasing capacity over P365. More rounds in a smaller package seems to be the grail...
  28. My 442 has been my main off-duty carry weapon since mid 2012. I carry it at 3:00 in a DeSantis Nemesis.

    At times, I may carry a G27, G23, or even G22, but that j-frame has a lot of miles on it.
  29. I will add, I tend to shoot my revolvers better than my semi autos.

    and a j frame with the uncle mikes grips fits my hand like a glove.
  30. Or


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  31. finger off the trigger!!! Geez.

    *edit fingerS
  32. I’ve heard the first rule of a gunfight is to show up with a gun. I’ve long been happy with a G26 but since I picked up a Charter Bulldog I have to admit it’s largely taken over the EDC role.

    Lightweight, easily concealable in a high-ride holster and an effective round makes it appealing to me. My chances of ever needing it approach zero, so 5 rounds will have to do. I’m comfortable with that.
  33. Think the biggest problem for most ccw, they dont ever get into a fight so they keep downsizing until they are basically carrying a rabbits foot. I love my tevolvers & snubs have always had a certain warm spot for me but I know I am better armed with any decent semi & I shoot a tevo prrety damn well.
  34. I tend to carry Kimber K6s and Ruger SP101 whenever I've neglected to lube an auto pursuant to my fortnightly schedule for such chores. In fact, at this moment my K6s is fulfilling such a role. Please keep in mind that the K6s and SP101 are more comparable to K frame snubs; my J frame snubs fulfill solely a backup role.
  35. My SP101 is going back to Ruger for some issues. Had it for a while. It rides nicely in a Simply Rugged silver dollar holster
  36. I love the snub 38. I have a P365, G43, etc... but 9 times out of 10, I slide out of the house with a snub. I practice with one often and feel confident shooting them. They conceal more naturally in the front pocket and draw easily.

    I have two carry loads; one hollow point, and the other for woods carry:

    The +p hollow point is HST: https://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/tested-federal-hst-38-special-p/

    Woods carry: https://www.underwoodammo.com/products/38-special-p-158-grain-hard-cast-keith - this round is no joke ballistics wise. Read the reviews.

    Neither of those rounds are rounds you want to shoot a lot of, but then again, the only 38sp I shoot a lot of are my watered down handloaded wadcutters. On the very rare occasion I carry the M38, I have some standard pressure wadcutters from doubletap that are pretty stout: http://www.doubletapammo.net/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=555

    Here are a couple of my J snubs, an M38 and an M442. I don't shoot +p out of the M38. I have a 438 de-locked that I use for woods carry and it stays loaded with the aforementioned underwood ammo.

    FWIW, I'm a fan of the desantis nemesis pocket holster for J frames as well.

  37. I carry my J-frame often. It was good enough for Jack Ruby.
  38. Wiley Clapp wrote a book about which is the best CCW. He ended up with the J-Frame.
  39. That’s why I got rid of my 638. Cylinder actually locked up from some weird corrosion, pocket lint, and neglect. I carried a paperweight for at least a month.

    OTOH, my P32 has been subjected to similar neglect. Yes it has a little surface rust here and there, but never fails to go bang.
  40. My 442 drops right into the pocket of my jeans and I never feel under gunned. Although, if I'm on a road trip I'll still have my 442 in my pocket but a 1911 in my counsel.
  41. Whoa. That's some hard truth right there.
  42. Difference between a rabbit's foot and a .38 snubby:
    -- rabbit's foot is what is leftover after being killed by a coyote
    -- .38 snubby is what kills the coyote.

    If rabbits carried .38 snubbies, there'd be fewer coyotes.
  43. Pat Rogers (Rest In Peace) advocated carrying a full size, multi-round firearm, citing skells travel in packs (Maybe its a new york thing.) I’m going with Pat on this. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
  44. Lots of good choices out there for personal protection. For me a 442 in a pocket holster works the best on most days. I sometimes carry a 26 or original Walther PPS. Love all 3 of those guns. I bought an LCP II but can’t get confidence enough in it for carry. I agree with the guy above that said the only thing I need smaller than a 26 is the j-frame.
  45. Well here's the thing. . . you don't want to shoot somebody and have them still willing and able to come after you.

    Once you've shot somebody, you've now altered that situation from a "they are threatening you and might be willing to kill you" to "they are going to do everything in their power to kill you if its the last thing they do."

    That's the absolute worst time to be out of ammo. Always make sure you bring enough to finish things out - without reloading.
  46. great easy effective guns. but i just did not enjoy shooting my 438 as my hand would start shaking from the recoil after a couple of cylinders. Sold it and have not looked back.
  47. I carried a 442 or 640 a lot in the past. Seems like once I got my hands on a G43 I didn't so much anymore. However, I do carry the 640 from time to time, usually when I'm in a hurry and just want to throw something in a pocket. It's great to have the option, and I love my wheel guns - probably more than my pistols.
  48. I don't think to carry a Snub Nose Revolver is going as you say backwards but that is just my opinion. Like you, my first issue carry weapon was a S&W model 10 and I carried that weapon for 10 years with 2 speed loaders with confidence. After switching to the semi autos, I carried a Glock 19 with 2 spare mags as my duty weapon until I retired but having said this, I still love the Revolvers and I now carry a S&W model 638 in my daily rotation, along with my G 43 and Ruger LCP II. I carry these guns with confidence for self defense and I will be looking to purchase another Revolver in the near future!
  49. No more J frames for me. I don't like shooting them and I don't shoot them well. My snubbie replacement is a Glock 42 with Ameriglo Agent sights and Lehigh Xtreme Penetrators. I view it as being at least as effective as a J frame loaded with wadcutters, accurate (including at distance), and FUN to shoot a lot. Loaded with 7 rounds, it weighs 16.2 ounces, or 17.8 in an Alabama pocket holster. I usually carry something larger as a primary, but I can make-do in a pinch with the 42. Here is a minimalist pocket dump without the 2 spare magazines.