Weapons and Gear => Handguns => Topic started by: Mikee5star on July 04, 2021, 11:22:06 pm

Title: Snubby
Post by: Mikee5star on July 04, 2021, 11:22:06 pm
I acquired my first snubby this freedom weekend.  I bought a S&W model 38 this Friday after work from a co-worker who wanted some extra cash for the Holiday weekend.   I basically bought it sight unseen to keep it from going to the local Rip Off Pawn Shop.  I have not shot it yet, but I really like the handling on this little gem.  What kind of accuracy can I expect?
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: coelacanth on July 05, 2021, 04:48:19 pm
Well, in my experience, a short barreled revolver with a small concealable grip is not inherently less accurate than a target revolver assuming both are made to the same tolerances.  In actual shooting they give up some ground to the target revolver in terms of range day accuracy because of the shorter sight radius, lighter weight, heavier trigger and a grip designed for concealability rather than controllability. 

In short, its not easy to shoot tiny groups with such a revolver because they were never designed for that to begin with.  What they were designed to do was give reliable protection at close range from a pocket sized revolver.  The fact that they are still in production indicates to me they design was/is a successful one. 

To operate such a gun in the role it was designed for start at close range.  Use standard pressure .38 special ammunition and fire at a common business card pasted to a target board at 3 yards.  This is to make certain you and the gun agree where it is actually pointed when the hammer falls on the primer.  Adjustments to grip, stance and sight alignment will probably be necessary to achieve the desired result but at that range all your shots should fall in a group you could cover with a 3" x 5" index card.  If that isn't happening you and the gun are still getting acquainted and haven't figured out how to work together yet. 
Dry fire drills with snap caps around the house is good practice.  Slow fire drills where you pull the trigger from at rest to fully fired position allow you to see what motion happens when you run the double action stroke.  The faster you go, the more exaggerated the motion will become but the key is to watch the sight alignment and see how it relates to your original point of aim.  Standing, sitting, kneeling, walking, supported, un-supported - all these can be practiced as dry fire drills and should be.  You won't be able to replicate the recoil impulse of firing live ammunition but the practice is good for muscle memory and understanding how best to carry and deploy the gun. 

The idea is to get to the point where you can draw and fire three rounds on target in three seconds at three yards - keeping your shots where you want them to be.  Moving back to five yards puts you in a spot where sight alignment and trigger control become more critical to getting the rounds on target but it can be done with practice.  The same goes for moving back to seven yards.  At that point you are probably nearing the practical limit of how far a snubbie can be used effectively by most folks. 

Way back when ammunition was cheap and plentiful we would occasionally set up steel out at fifty yards and see who could hit a 12"x14" plate with a snubbie at that distance.  Out of a cylinder full most of us would only connect with two or three, slow fired, single action, standing.  A friend who was a real virtuoso with a model 10 2" barrel would routinely embarrass us by hitting four or five out of his six but the bigger frame and extra weight really helped at that game.  At seven yards he could run a pair of back to back Mozambique drills and then reload in about twelve seconds and his rounds were all on target.   :shocked

If you can routinely put five rounds on a 5"x7" index card at seven yards, double action, in five seconds you are a better shot than most who carry such guns.  I hope you enjoy the challenge of live fire with your new arrival.  They are difficult to master but ultimately worth the effort IMO. 
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: cpaspr on July 06, 2021, 03:29:43 pm
C -

A good synopsis and practice plan.

My LCR-357 is double-action only, but I will occasionally use it when shooting at bowling pins at 15 yards (not competition, just fun).  For me at least, at that range, clearing four pins with 4-5 shots is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Now any other snubby?  Mostly ignorant.  A friend had an S&W Bodyguard in .38 Special, and that thing with just practice ammo was brutal.  I'd rather shoot my LCR with full power .357 158gr SD ammo (which, while doable, ain't fun) that that thing with just practice ammo.
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: coelacanth on July 06, 2021, 04:16:11 pm
Yup.  To my way of thinking the best practice ammo is .38 Special 148 grain target wadcutters traveling at about 800 fps.  Doesn't beat up the gun - doesn't beat up the shooter - and makes nice, neat holes in the paper.   :cool   

Lighter weight means easier to carry.  Period.  Easier to shoot is not in the repertoire of small, light weight pocket guns.  My own light weight gun is getting to be a pain after a box of twenty.  After a box of fifty I'm looking for a band-aid and an aspirin.  That said, it rides with me frequently and I have the utmost confidence in the rowdy little bastage should the need arise.   :thumbup1

The aforementioned S&W K frame is was the all steel version with a 2" barrel and a round butt configuration.  A Tyler's T-Grip adapter was the sole aftermarket accessory and it was fed from speed loaders.  I'm calling that one probably the finest snub nosed revolver any of us will commonly encounter.  The Colts, particularly the Cobra and the Detective Special are very nice as well but seldom seen on the used market.  I think an all steel revolver that size really needs a proper holster as even with a bobbed hammer or a hammer shroud they are not really pocket friendly. 

As for newly manufactured modern guns your Ruger LCR is a standout as is the Ruger SP 101 series.  Kimber has recently released a couple of nice models as well but I have not fired any of them as of this writing. 

Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: ksuguy on July 09, 2021, 02:09:45 pm
I carry an SP101.   It's kind of a brick, but that means it's more comfortable to shoot than the super light ones.    .357s are still a little snappy, but not too bad.   
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: booksmart on July 12, 2021, 10:17:10 am
I would need to put new grips on my wife's Lady Smith to be able to use it with any accuracy (the grip is just so fluffing *small*).

I have been informed that I am banned from doing so, as they fit her just fine.
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: Kaso on July 12, 2021, 12:55:46 pm
It would follow that you should go out and buy yourself a nice, vintage J-frame from the 80s or earlier. One that has the firing pin on the hammer and that does not have the word 'Lady' in the model designation.  Put whichever grips you prefer on it, and leave the Missus' girly gun tell fluff alone.  :cool
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: booksmart on July 12, 2021, 02:03:53 pm
My masculinity is not so delicate that it would be wounded by carrying a LadySmith.  ::)

I'm just not a wheelie gun dude. But if I were, it'd likely be a Chiappa Rhino...
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: coelacanth on July 12, 2021, 06:00:34 pm
Really?   Have you tried the trigger on one of those?     :shocked
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: RMc on July 13, 2021, 11:54:37 pm
Effectively running a DA trigger is fast becoming a lost art.

Perhaps the most often overlooked aspect is using the first distal joint to pull the trigger.   This gives much greater leverage in managing the long, heavier trigger stroke. 

This also means the trigger reach has to closely match the size of the hand.  Indeed, "back in the day," the FBI was forced to approve the smaller Colt D frame revolvers for female agents in order to accomodate their smaller hand size.

Also, forget the now popular "thumbs forward" two handed grip.  Use the stronger "traditional" thumbs down grip - weak hand thumb over strong hand thumb. This also keeps your week hand thumb behind the cylinder gap on small revolvers.
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: booksmart on July 14, 2021, 09:08:38 am
Really?   Have you tried the trigger on one of those?     :shocked

Yeah.  I've found the tininess of the grip to be more of a hindrance than the trigger, which is still a little gritty from the factory, but not overly heavy.
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: coelacanth on July 14, 2021, 04:46:10 pm
I haven't actually fired rounds through one but dry firing through a simulated cylinder full ( approved by the shop owner in advance ) let me get a good feel for what the action was doing.  As a practical matter the lower bore axis and grip design might attenuate enough recoil to offset the trigger pull - so in that case a purely objective opinion could call it a wash.  In the real world my experience with crappy revolver triggers suggests otherwise.   If I were going to drop serious coin on a less common wheel gun I might opt for one of the new Kimber models.   :coffee

Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: booksmart on July 15, 2021, 09:49:39 am
Oh, wait, you were talking about the Chiappa Rhino, weren't you?

Sorry, no, I haven't felt one of those... never seen one in the wild.
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: coelacanth on July 15, 2021, 04:13:21 pm
Understood.  The Chiappa Rhino would hardly qualify as a snubbie in any event.    :coffee
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: Mikee5star on July 15, 2021, 11:45:16 pm
Understood.  The Chiappa Rhino would hardly qualify as a snubbie in any event.    :coffee

The did/do make a 2" barrel version.  Also there was a .38 special 2" version if IRRC.  I thought the trigger was not much worse than some of the super Redhawks.  I have only seen/handled one Rhino, it was in the used case at one of my preferred shops, the price was a bit more than a new performance center Smith. 
Title: Re: Snubby
Post by: booksmart on July 16, 2021, 10:53:27 am
Understood.  The Chiappa Rhino would hardly qualify as a snubbie in any event.    :coffee

Well, not the one I'd get, no... but yeah, as pointed out, they make/made them... Is that thing still current production? *to the Googles*

Yeah, still made. I'd go after the 4-5" barrel, in .357 (or 9mm, if they do one in stainless without the gaudy a$$ graphics on the side)...