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Would you carry a 38 Special +P revolver as your primary CCW

This is a discussion on Would you carry a 38 Special +P revolver as your primary CCW within the XDTalk Chatter Box forums, part of the XD Talk category; In thinking about getting my Concealed Carry Permit I was thinking about my carry weapon. At present my two options are my 6.5 inch Ruger ...

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View Poll Results: Is the 38 Special +P enough gun for your primary CCW
Yes 39 70.91%
No 7 12.73%
Only as a backup weapon 9 16.36%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-21-2005, 12:40 PM   #1
mcb
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Would you carry a 38 Special +P revolver as your primary CCW

In thinking about getting my Concealed Carry Permit I was thinking about my carry weapon. At present my two options are my 6.5 inch Ruger Blackhawk in 357 Magnum (not really an option but I do own one) and my XD-40 Service. The XD-40 might be a bit heavy and bulky for carry in all situations so I was thinking about getting a Smith and Wesson AirLite scandium frame snub nose revolver in 38 Special +P (5 shot version). It only weight 12oz unloaded. I have shot one that a friend of mine owns and the recoil is tolerable even with +P rounds but I have some doubt about the 38 Special +P being enough cartridges for every day carry. I know S&W now makes the same revolver in 357 Magnum but the reason I ask is I can get the AirLite from my friend in 38 Special +P at a very attractive price but would have to buy a new or look for a used one to get the 357 Magnum and probably pay quite a bit more money to get the 357 Magnum option. I would love to hear your opinion. Would you spend the extra to get it in 357 magnum or is 38 Special +P enough for personal defense?

Thanks
mcb
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:59 PM   #2
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I have both a colt 38 special and a colt 357 mag snub. I keep the .357 in my desk drawer at work and the 38 in the shop next to the security dislplays. The 357 is a beast when it comes to recoil. I personaly find it more comfortable to carry on my person something with a few more rounds in it and has a more controlable recoil. Anything you carry is going to put a hole in what your shooting at, pick the one you shoot the best and go with that.
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:44 PM   #3
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Buy a .357 mag...you can shoot .38 special through that as well!
and you can carry .357 mag for Personal Defense!
.38 special is cheaper to shoot!
I would carry the .38 special +p as a Back Up!
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:48 PM   #4
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I know I will get flamed for this, but I do NOT think a small snubby with limited capacity is a good thing as a primary carry. The value of a .38 Special even with +P is marginal and the limitations of the usual 5 to 6 shot cylinders is obvious. It may be OK for a back up, but not as a primary carry. My belief is that under stress you will probably need more shots to stop an attacker and also the attacker may have acomplices. With reload speeds of revolvers and limits in capacity I think this is a liability. In my book a good, small, well maintained semi-auto, like CZ-83 is better to have. They are light, small and have 12 shot magazines. To me they are a better option.
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:49 PM   #5
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If I were in to wheelguns, I would not have a prob w/ 38+p. After all that's basically what my 9mm is. I just like the higher capacity of the semiauto. I get 14 shots to your 6 before a reload. Granted, by averages only 4-6 rounds will be fired, but I don't want to end up on the wrong end of that average and not have anything left.
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiformula
If I were in to wheelguns, I would not have a prob w/ 38+p. After all that's basically what my 9mm is. I just like the higher capacity of the semiauto. I get 14 shots to your 6 before a reload. Granted, by averages only 4-6 rounds will be fired, but I don't want to end up on the wrong end of that average and not have anything left.
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manygunner
Quote:
Originally Posted by aiformula
If I were in to wheelguns, I would not have a prob w/ 38+p. After all that's basically what my 9mm is. I just like the higher capacity of the semiauto. I get 14 shots to your 6 before a reload. Granted, by averages only 4-6 rounds will be fired, but I don't want to end up on the wrong end of that average and not have anything left.
+1
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I carry 2 sometimes 3 guns....why not 4....that would be ostentatious.

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Old 03-21-2005, 02:25 PM   #8
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A .38 that you can carry comfortably beats the heck out of anything else that is bigger and bulkier that you are more likely to leave at home because it's hard to carry and conceal. If you feel good about the .38, will carry and practice with it and can shoot it well, it will be a much better gun for you than any high capacity, larger caliber gun. It will be a great gun to start out CCW with.

I carry a S&W J frame .38 frequently. Sometimes my Sig or my HS2000 is just too much gun for my style of dress at the time. Get some speed strips for reloads and a decent holster and get used to carrying. Then use that experience to help you decide what to buy for your next CCW piece.

It doesn't matter what you have for a carry weapon if you don't carry it and can't shoot it well.


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Old 03-21-2005, 02:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bd
A .38 that you can carry comfortably beats the heck out of anything else that is bigger and bulkier that you are more likely to leave at home because it's hard to carry and conceal. If you feel good about the .38, will carry and practice with it and can shoot it well, it will be a much better gun for you than any high capacity, larger caliber gun. It will be a great gun to start out CCW with.

I carry a S&W J frame .38 frequently. Sometimes my Sig or my HS2000 is just too much gun for my style of dress at the time. Get some speed strips for reloads and a decent holster and get used to carrying. Then use that experience to help you decide what to buy for your next CCW piece.

It doesn't matter what you have for a carry weapon if you don't carry it and can't shoot it well.


bd
I guess I was thinking along the same line bd. I want a gun that is as unnoticed as my watch wallet, or the keys in my pocket. In the winter when I am often wearing heavier shirts and often a fleece or leather vest carrying my XD-40 should be OK. I shoot my XD-40 pretty well and am very comfortable with it. But that little S&W 342PD of my friend's is mighty light and I have put less then a box of ammo through it and can keep them on a 8.5 x 11 target at 25 ft. Certainly not as good as my XD-40 but good enough for defensive situation and I think with more practice I would get better. The five round capacity concerns me just a little but not overly.

Has anyone shot one of the scandium frame 5 shot revolvers in 357 Magnum? I have shot a lot of 357 Magnum in my Blackhawk but that is a much different gun then a 1 7/8 snub nose that only weight 12oz. I think the cylinder alone on my Blackhawk weight almost that much.

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Old 03-21-2005, 03:18 PM   #10
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Absolutely. I have, and would again. IMHO the best load going is the +P 158 grain LSWCHP, known for years as the "FBI" load. A good hit or two with these will usually settle accounts quite handily.
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