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View Poll Results: Is a S&W .38 Special Snub Nose enough for concealed carry?
Yes 297 92.24%
No 25 7.76%
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  #101  
Old 08-30-2018, 11:17 AM
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It would be great to have a compiled list of ALL the self-defense shootings from year to year - including accurate information on how many rounds were fired. That would enable us to calculate percentages and determine "optimal" (and by default, less than optimal) number of rounds to carry. But even then it would STILL depend on what type of situation one found themselves in as to whether they were sufficiently armed, and that is an *unknowable* variable.

Even in quiet, low-crime areas the possibility of a situation that requires more than 5 rounds exist. Conversely, crime ridden areas have many situations that are solved by LESS than 5 rounds. So who can say?

In my opinion what it all comes down to is that personal decision on how much risk one is willing to take on 5 rounds being enough. My hope is that we will never know if we're right or wrong.
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  #102  
Old 08-30-2018, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by max503 View Post
I would love to have a hi cap 9mm but darn it, I just can't buy every thing I want. Next time I go to STL I'm taking my usual S&W 638 AND my Taurus 605.
Why did God give me two front pockets if He didn't want me to carry guns in them?
Or else I could put the S&W in a pocket and the Taurus on my hip.
Someone had the Taurus PT111G2 on sale the other day for right at $200. I won't claim it's the worlds best gun but they hold 12+1, have an acceptable trigger, and decent sights and reasonable combat accuracy. They are pretty light, carry well AIWB, feel good in the hand and seem to have a durable finish. I like them a lot when bought cheap but I essentially consider them disposable. Taurus won't sell many or most parts requiring a return to factory for repair. By the time you add shipping, parts and service you should probably just buy another one instead. It's a great gun if you have to lock it in your car frequently. If it gets stolen it's much less painful than having the nice Kimber, etc. go missing. Plus you don't cry when it gets scratched.

I'm not saying it's the best budget option but IMHO it's a very good budget option.

Last edited by oink; 08-30-2018 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Clarity and intent
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  #103  
Old 08-30-2018, 12:24 PM
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As long as you're confident in your ability and comfortable with it, I don't see the problem. Only you know your ability, not anyone on this forum.
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  #104  
Old 08-30-2018, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Protected One View Post
It would be great to have a compiled list of ALL the self-defense shootings from year to year - including accurate information on how many rounds were fired. That would enable us to calculate percentages and determine "optimal" (and by default, less than optimal) number of rounds to carry. But even then it would STILL depend on what type of situation one found themselves in as to whether they were sufficiently armed, and that is an *unknowable* variable.

Even in quiet, low-crime areas the possibility of a situation that requires more than 5 rounds exist. Conversely, crime ridden areas have many situations that are solved by LESS than 5 rounds. So who can say?

In my opinion what it all comes down to is that personal decision on how much risk one is willing to take on 5 rounds being enough. My hope is that we will never know if we're right or wrong.
I'm very interested in stats, but we also have to be cautious about what they do and don't cover and how they are gathered. Most are severely lacking in providing the details which are important to get a better understanding as to what's actually occuring and is probable.

In the Claude Werner study(5,000 incidents)he states..."The average and median number of shots fired was 2. When more than 2 shots were fired, it generally appeared the defenders initial response was to fire until empty." So, it sounds as if firing those rounds wasn't actually necessary, but the reaction of a panicked shooter. Regardless it was in a very few number of incidents that it occurred.

Werner also says reloading occurred in 3 incidents, but mentioned "one of those involved killing an escaped lion with a .32 caliber revolver." Are the other 2 as irrelevant and ridiculous? And what are his sources?

https://tacticalprofessor.files.word...r-w-tables.pdf

Another thing to keep in mind in regard to the Werner stats is that they only cover incidents where the defender was successful.

I see the potential for needing more than five rounds being there, but it is still extremely improbable, and for me, it doesn't override the advantages that the snub revolver offers in close-quarter scenarios. It's simply a trade-off and one that I think favors the revolver. What trait(s) is more important and likely to be of advantage is the pertinent question. I do own several Glocks, but they are primarily reserved for home and hotel defense where I have more lead time and can't easily escape the situation and have to make a stand. Even so, I still wouldn't really feel inadequately armed with only revolvers.

A lot has been said about how choices should differ in high crime areas, but I don't see it that way. I travel to numerous major U.S. cities every year. I head to Atlanta in a few weeks and then onto Miami. After that St.Louis, Chicago, Nashville, Louisville, Memphis, and Cincinnati. I don't think I'm all that likely to encounter different types of crime, simply a greater chance of it compared to lower risk areas. Reactive close-quarter ambushes are still the most likely threats. If I was so unlucky to be involved in an active-shooter scenario, drive-by or get in-between a gang shoot-out, I'm probably somewhere I shouldn't have been in the first place, but regardless, I'm going to get out as quickly as possible, not hang around and engage.

And I would rather carry two airweight snubs than an auto if capacity is a nagging concern, even if that concern is not substantiated.

Considering most violence(assaults, muggings, robberies, carjackings) is perpetuated(with fists, knives, guns, impact weapons)at very close distances, reliability in that environment is paramount to me and I just don't have a lot of trust semi-autos in ECQ scenarios. And it's not a training issue or something that can be overcome IMO. Mitigated yes, but there are still glaring inherent differences between revolver and autoloaders. If someone honestly believes they can hold a #2 position for any length of time against an aggressive assailant(or two) at contact distances, they aren't living in reality. Any retention or compressed shooting position is temporary and transitory to me, but that is not how most instructors are teaching it.

In the first segment of this video, the instructor lets students actively try to disarm him. I don't know him or anything about him, but kudos, because how many instructors do you see doing this? And what I see going on is pretty similar to what I've observed over the years running ECQ force-on-force drills.

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  #105  
Old 08-30-2018, 01:55 PM
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Ever since reading it takes 13 rounds to stop an escaped lion I've carried an 8 round speed strip with my 6 shot 431PD.

That gives me 14 rounds of 32 h&r magnum -- so I have one extra round if I unexpectedly come upon a lion.
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  #106  
Old 08-30-2018, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Cal44 View Post
Ever since reading it takes 13 rounds to stop an escaped lion I've carried an 8 round speed strip with my 6 shot 431PD.

That gives me 14 rounds of 32 h&r magnum -- so I have one extra round if I unexpectedly come upon a lion.
...or in case you miss.
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  #107  
Old 08-30-2018, 04:44 PM
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Like the man at the carnival said..."Ya pays ya money, ya takes ya chances".
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  #108  
Old 08-30-2018, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister X View Post
Care to explain?
Come on X, really? Lets see, easier to be proficient with, faster reloads, more ammo, generally flatter & easier to conceal. In just about ever situation a semi will perform better than a revo. I am a revo guy but reality sets in at some point.
The only place I could say a revo is superior is power. 41mag, 44mag & heavy 45colt, revo is king there. Even the dreaded contact shot, that is only valid if you can create less than zero space between you & the target mat'l & even then, maybe 50-50 chance the semi wont cycle. I have no problem shooting or carrying a revo but superior in today's world for a SD choice, nope.
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  #109  
Old 08-30-2018, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gman51 View Post
This question comes around almost as often as the caliber question.
Whether any gun is enough depends on the situation which we wonder can we really prepare in the best way for.

Any gun you can shoot accurately and comfortably carry should be enough gun. If you are in a shoot out then no matter what handgun you are carrying it probably will not be enough.

In my opinion a 38 spl in a snub is enough for self protection. You possibly will not go deaf shooting a 38 spl but shooting a 357 magnum is another story. Perhaps we need think when is a gun more than enough.
Any caliber gun fired indoors is going to damage your hearing. That should really be the last thing you consider.
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  #110  
Old 08-30-2018, 06:30 PM
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Would you stop attacking if you got shot by one?
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  #111  
Old 08-30-2018, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by GL9CK View Post
Would you stop attacking if you got shot by one?
1) If you killed me, yes.

2) If you scared me, probably.

3) If you pissed me off, you will be in the gunfight of (and for) your life.
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  #112  
Old 08-31-2018, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayFramer View Post
Have thought about carrying my Smith & Wesson 642 .38 Special 5-shot snub-nose revolver as my primary carry gun in a pocket holster.

How many of you think that setup would be enough for realistic self defense, or should I get a bigger gun with more capacity or a different caliber?

Thanks!

-Jay
Add a speed strip and you’ll be fine.
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  #113  
Old 08-31-2018, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister X View Post
Try finding evidence that it is inadequate. There are numerous stats available as well as thousands of documented individual cases of civilians using firearms in self-defense in print and video where the details are provided. You will be very hard pressed to find even a handful where a 5 shot J-frame was or would have been inadequate.

A lot of people look to police use for guidance as to what is the best handgun choice is for defensive purposes, but I just don't see the two being all that comparable since they have very different objectives and directives. It's kind of like how the self-defense martial arts and unarmed techniques I taught for civilian self-defense are very different from my police defensive-tactics program.

My goal as a civilian is to avoid trouble. I have no intent on intentially engaging terrorists or active-shooters in a long range firefight and even if I did, the current odds of being involved in such an incident are astronomically low. However, I don't see being randomly assaulted, mugged or carjacked and similar types of scenarios as being unrealistic. These events occur at extremely close-quarters, are generally reactive in nature, and I think the (enclosed hammer)snub revolver has some very positive attributes in those types of encounters that no other gun possesses. Even if I was jumped by multiple attackers, I would still want the snub due to the relatively high risk of the auto malfunctioning in that environment, even if most criminals will flee as soon as the gun is deployed or after the first shots are fired. And if they don't, the revolver will almost assuredly go bang all five times as well as offering excellent inherent weapon retention against gun grabs.

If I had to choose one gun for (all) defensive purposes, I would definately choose a small revolver. And if I had nagging underlying worries over capacity, I would simply carry a second one and have absolutely no concerns at all.
MisterX SUMS IT UP, PRETTY WELL......

AFTER RETURNING FROM VIETNAM IN 1969, I CONTINUED TO EDC A FULL SIZE 1911, WITH 2 SPARE 10 ROUND MAGS, FOR 30 YEARS, IN CIVILIAN LIFE. 31 ROUNDS OF JHP IN .45 ACP, SHOULD BE MORE THAN ENOUGH, FOR ANY SERIOUS SHTF SITUATION.......

NOW RETIRED, AND NO LONGER LIVING IN THE INNER CITY, I CARRY A M686+, IN A CROSSDRAW BELT HOLSTER, BACKED UP WITH A M642, IN A MIKA POCKET HOLSTER, DURING COLD WEATHER......

BOTH ARE STUFFED WITH SPEER GOLD DOT, .38 SPL+P, FOR SHORT BARRELS. I ALSO CARRY 12 EXTRA ROUNDS IN 2 BIANCHI SPEED STRIPS. THAT'S A FULL RELOAD FOR BOTH GUNS.....

IMHO, DURING THE HOT WEATHER, THE M642 IS ADEQUATE, WITH THE 2 SPEED STRIPS OF EXTRA AMMO......
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  #114  
Old 08-31-2018, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister X View Post
Try finding evidence that it is inadequate. There are numerous stats available as well as thousands of documented individual cases of civilians using firearms in self-defense in print and video where the details are provided. You will be very hard pressed to find even a handful where a 5 shot J-frame was or would have been inadequate.

A lot of people look to police use for guidance as to what is the best handgun choice is for defensive purposes, but I just don't see the two being all that comparable since they have very different objectives and directives. It's kind of like how the self-defense martial arts and unarmed techniques I taught for civilian self-defense are very different from my police defensive-tactics program.

My goal as a civilian is to avoid trouble. I have no intent on intentially engaging terrorists or active-shooters in a long range firefight and even if I did, the current odds of being involved in such an incident are astronomically low. However, I don't see being randomly assaulted, mugged or carjacked and similar types of scenarios as being unrealistic. These events occur at extremely close-quarters, are generally reactive in nature, and I think the (enclosed hammer)snub revolver has some very positive attributes in those types of encounters that no other gun possesses. Even if I was jumped by multiple attackers, I would still want the snub due to the relatively high risk of the auto malfunctioning in that environment, even if most criminals will flee as soon as the gun is deployed or after the first shots are fired. And if they don't, the revolver will almost assuredly go bang all five times as well as offering excellent inherent weapon retention against gun grabs.

If I had to choose one gun for (all) defensive purposes, I would definately choose a small revolver. And if I had nagging underlying worries over capacity, I would simply carry a second one and have absolutely no concerns at all.
I agree with what is written above, just wanted too add a couple thoughts.

One thing we were taught as Police Officers was to have a partner/backup If a situation developed. As we get older, and are seen by predators to be more vulnerable, not being alone in a situation is important. Even two "Old Coots" are a less predictable target than one.

While as a LEO I was sent in search of trouble I can easily avoid as a civilian, the most rounds I ever fired as an Officer (out of a 5 shot revolver) was 12. As a civilian I have never drawn my EDC.
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  #115  
Old 09-01-2018, 12:44 AM
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A simple yes or no choice doesn't suffice. There are too many variables. A J-Frame may be adequate enough for some people in some circumstances but not enough for others.

Then there is the question of carrying more then one J-Frame which some of us have been known to do. If you ask them if "one" J-Frame is enough they may say no, two J-Frames are enough!
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Old 09-01-2018, 11:50 AM
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Usually carry a 44 special but would not feel a 38 special not up to
a self defense shooting 99.9% of the time.
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Old 09-01-2018, 01:22 PM
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...do you carry the grenade in your pocket?... ;-)
Nah, I'm just happy to see ya....
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Old 09-01-2018, 01:23 PM
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Summer carry, winter carry and BBQ carry.....
Wow, that's a really nice mahogany holster......
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  #119  
Old 09-01-2018, 01:36 PM
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I feel if I can't get it done with my 638 I'm in BIG trouble
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  #120  
Old 09-01-2018, 07:39 PM
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I feel if I can't get it done with my 638 I'm in BIG trouble
Well I might be in "big trouble" because I had to send my 642 back to S&W.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:22 PM
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I have carried a J Frame for several years now and feel confident with it. It wears a laser grip and if I feel like it/want, I carry a second J Frame as backup.

However, I'd rather carry my Kahr P45 in a thumb break and as soon as my custom holster order gets in, I hope to. *I am also carrying my 1911 Commander PC more since I have the Safariland ALS for it as well.

It all comes down to what you can carry and shoot well. For myself, I no longer carry a NAA mini revolver and I think .38 and 9mm NATO are "basement."
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayFramer View Post
Have thought about carrying my Smith & Wesson 642 .38 Special 5-shot snub-nose revolver as my primary carry gun in a pocket holster.

How many of you think that setup would be enough for realistic self defense, or should I get a bigger gun with more capacity or a different caliber?

Thanks!

-Jay
This subject's a well worn path. More capacity's only an advantage if you hit your target. The Kehoe Brothers-Ohio State Patrol shootout for example, (it's on You Tube). The patrolman emptied his hi-cap pistol at close range, zero hits. If a 642's what you've got, practice, get good with it. Not just shooting, practice efficient reloading. Your 642's +P rated. There are several brands of self-defense ammo available that will do the job,,,, if you do your part. Oldest rule of shooting, the gun's only as good as the guy, (or girl), behind it.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:18 PM
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I voted yes, but I carried two today, in addition to a K frame.
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  #124  
Old 09-01-2018, 10:53 PM
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For 30 years I carried a full size pistol or revolver daily and a steel J-frame off duty. When I retired 12 years ago a started carrying a 642 daily. My needs are to protect me and mine. I don't get involved in other people arguments, not my problem.
In addition, I am just no longer willing to try an lug around my Glock 19 or 26 anymore. I do train at least monthly with my 642 in addition to my 26 and a M64 snubby.
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Old 09-02-2018, 01:35 AM
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For the past 27 years, carried a Sig-P220 and a S&W 442 backup on duty. Off duty either the Sig or a G19 and the J except for the 4 months out of the year where the weather is extreme and then J became primary for off duty. One month prior I would tune up with the J. Now retired I still follow the same routine, done several classes with the J and while its not a full size 1911 it's a tool and will work if I do MY PART! Recently my 442 suffered a cracked frame from 27 years of hard use, May, summer starting and I seriously missed the J. Had to put a lot more thought into clothing and printing then I wanted to in these summer months. Missed it so badly that I bought a S&W 940 while waiting for Smith to replace the 442 (which they did but not quickly). Never appreciated the J till I had to do without, told myself I would never be without one again. Modification in daily routine, training and mindset and the J fit the bill, retired, not responsible for family members. Love it! Train, train, and train some more, decent ammo, step up your situational awareness. Oh, and I voted yes!

Last edited by RETDOE; 09-02-2018 at 01:37 AM. Reason: vote
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RGVshooter View Post
Well I might be in "big trouble" because I had to send my 642 back to S&W.
That's a bummer My 638 was a *** when it was new until I took her down and cleaned all the aluminium shaving out of it and added a small amount of lube. Work flawless now
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:58 PM
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Default is the J frame enough?

Been shooting the S&W 940 this weekend, 200rds, loving it, can't believe they discontinued it. "Do your part!"
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Old 09-04-2018, 01:11 PM
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I've got some Colt and S&W .38 snubs but I'd rather carry this if I'm doing the small revolver thing.

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Old 09-04-2018, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by petepeterson View Post
Is it enough?

So far.
Same here - so far no problem. Who knows about tomorrow!
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Old 09-04-2018, 03:38 PM
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There is simply more skills to learn and practice with a semi-auto compared with a revolver and it is beneficial for instructors to convince you that you need to get a high capacity autoloader and then take their classes to learn the "necessary" skills.

I would not be at all surprised to learn a great number of the same instructors who promote the advantages of semi-autos actually carry a light-weight snub most of the time.


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Old 09-04-2018, 03:41 PM
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Stephen Camp made a lot of good sense about the subject:

Making the J
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Old 09-04-2018, 04:32 PM
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At times this is in my pocket but then I feel like I could do better...perhaps.

Or I could do worse for sure.



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Old 09-04-2018, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Mister X View Post
There is simply more skills to learn and practice with a semi-auto compared with a revolver and it is beneficial for instructors to convince you that you need to get a high capacity autoloader and then take their classes to learn the "necessary" skills.

I would not be at all surprised to learn a great number of the same instructors who promote the advantages of semi-autos actually carry a light-weight snub most of the time.

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This is great. I took a defensive pistol course here. Both instructors were wearing Glocks. I asked what they carried on the street. One carried a Ruger SP101 and the other a 642. One wonders.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:41 PM
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This is great. I took a defensive pistol course here. Both instructors were wearing Glocks. I asked what they carried on the street. One carried a Ruger SP101 and the other a 642. One wonders.
This is the best thing I’ve read all year, and your post and Mister X’s post ought to be the mic drop at the end of every “pistol or revolver/is five enough” thread.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:04 PM
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This is a bit bigger, close to K frame size, but 5 rounds of 45 Colt in a full titanium build and is not any heavier than my model 60.

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Old 09-04-2018, 11:32 PM
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Personally, I'd go with this: PERFORMANCE CENTER(R) SW1911 PRO SERIES(R) 9mm | Smith & Wesson
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:36 PM
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. K View Post
This is the best thing I’ve read all year, and your post and Mister X’s post ought to be the mic drop at the end of every “pistol or revolver/is five enough” thread.
I am all in favor of pistol practice. Go to any indoor range and take a look. People need to practice. But do you ever wonder how much of this "defensive training" is simply churn? "Oh no, your five shot J Frame is totally worthless. You are endangering your family....blah blah". Or my favorite: "The 12 gauge shotgun is a crappy home defense gun". Really? I have hunted with a 12 gauge most of my life. I have a grasp of what a load of 00 will do at 5 yards. I wonder if some of these people have even fired a 12 gauge. Rant over. My apologies in advance.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:24 AM
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In looking at the posts by oink and X something occurred to me...defensive vs. offensive use of the self-defense handgun...

In the Hendrix case I cited above, a civilian armed with a snubby just to protect himself would have been well armed...he was at the back to the store when the hostiles broke out and as eb07 said...just run out the back door. When Hendrix decided he had to intervene he went from the defensive use of the handgun to the offensive...and that is where he ended up not having enough gun.

So maybe it is just going to depend on ones mindset... If you plan on only using the gun as a last ditch defensive weapon the snubby is probably enough. If on the other hand you think like oink and can't walk away if someone else is in trouble, probably better to bring a little more to the fight....

Bob

Last edited by SuperMan; 09-17-2018 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:08 AM
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^^^ really well said, and a point not often brought into this type of conversation. It’s something I personally need to think about more carefully from time to time: “what am I willing to use this tool for, and is it enough tool for that purpose.” Much more individualized than “how many bullets is enough?”

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Old 09-19-2018, 07:10 PM
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Its not the gun or the caliber its "How well you can sgoot it".
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:11 PM
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oops "How well you can Shoot it"
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by labworm View Post
I hope so, otherwise I am in big trouble.


You would be.
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocked & Locked View Post
At times this is in my pocket but then I feel like I could do better...perhaps.

Or I could do worse for sure.



Make no mistake, I love J-Frames; especially the Model 36 & Model 60. But they are poor choices for saving my life. I'm much rather have a Performance center 1911 9MM 3".
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim lock View Post
Its not the gun or the caliber its "How well you can sgoot it".
I disagree. Caliber and gun can define going home to your family or a coroner's officer for postmortem examination.
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubone View Post
This is a bit bigger, close to K frame size, but 5 rounds of 45 Colt in a full titanium build and is not any heavier than my model 60.


Now you're talkin'.

But I rather have this:



Springfield Armory Professional Model 1911 .45 Auto
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  #147  
Old 09-20-2018, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister X View Post
There is simply more skills to learn and practice with a semi-auto compared with a revolver and it is beneficial for instructors to convince you that you need to get a high capacity autoloader and then take their classes to learn the "necessary" skills.

I would not be at all surprised to learn a great number of the same instructors who promote the advantages of semi-autos actually carry a light-weight snub most of the time.
S&W 442 AIWB (well, where my appendix would be if it were left handed)
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:45 PM
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It is better to have a gun and not need it than to need it and not have it. They same can be said of ammo. There are plenty of compact 9mm autos out there that will give you increased ammo capacity and that can be carried comfortably with a spare magazine. I used to be all about revolvers. Still love them and have a couple. But I have gone from absolutely hating polymer pistols to loving my 9MM Shield. In my area, a new Shield can be had for $350 plus tax. But, alas, much depends on your situation (where you live, work, travel), the probability of being involved in an encounter, and how likely you are to be involved in an encounter with multiple assailants. If you feel that you are at low risk, carry a J frame. If you feel that you are at increased risk, go with a compact auto 9mm.
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Old 09-20-2018, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otis24 View Post
It is better to have a gun and not need it than to need it and not have it. They same can be said of ammo. There are plenty of compact 9mm autos out there that will give you increased ammo capacity and that can be carried comfortably with a spare magazine. I used to be all about revolvers. Still love them and have a couple. But I have gone from absolutely hating polymer pistols to loving my 9MM Shield. In my area, a new Shield can be had for $350 plus tax. But, alas, much depends on your situation (where you live, work, travel), the probability of being involved in an encounter, and how likely you are to be involved in an encounter with multiple assailants. If you feel that you are at low risk, carry a J frame. If you feel that you are at increased risk, go with a compact auto 9mm.
Excellent post.

I've yet to read a negative word about Shield.

I love revolvers, but they're poor performers for life saving.

If CA would allow, I'd buy a Performance Center 1911 9MM 3" in a New York second.
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:55 PM
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EMP3-- Not if you can't shoot it!!!!!!!!!!!
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