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

Discussion in 'XDTalk Chatter Box' started by mcb, Mar 21, 2005.

?

Is the 38 Special +P enough gun for your primary CCW

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Only as a backup weapon

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  1. mcb

    mcb XDTalk 2K Member

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    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
     
  2. Nickle1

    Nickle1 XDTalk 100 Member

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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.
     
  3. XD BACKUP GUN

    XD BACKUP GUN XDTalk 1K Member

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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!
     
  4. manygunner

    manygunner XDTalk 2K Member

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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.
     
  5. aiformula

    aiformula XDTalk 3K Member

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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.
     
  6. manygunner

    manygunner XDTalk 2K Member

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    +1
     
  7. XD BACKUP GUN

    XD BACKUP GUN XDTalk 1K Member

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  8. bd

    bd XDTalk 3K Member

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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.


    bd
     
  9. mcb

    mcb XDTalk 2K Member

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    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.

    mcb
     
  10. invssgt

    invssgt XDTalk 1K Member

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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.
     
  11. retired

    retired XDTalk 5K Member

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    I carried a S&W Model 60 5 shot 38cal for 27 yrs. both as a backup on duty and off duty. I also carried a speed loader. But, having said that, I never really felt comfortable doing so. Though I never had to fire it (except for qual.), I would have preferred a compact semi auto.

    Unfortunately, my former dept. didn't allow for anything really concealable. The Beretta Cougar, not the mini Cougar was allowed and that was the smallest available. Once I retired and discovered the XD last year, I bought it.

    Even tho I never had to use mine, with the probablility of multiple suspects, I would agree with those who have mentioned the efficacy of a semi auto. I know FBI stats refer to the 3 shots, 3 yards, 3 seconds rule; I would prefer to have more ammo available. To those who believe 5 or 6 is sufficient and more won't really help, I will have to go with the old standby, "The more the merrier." I know, it doesn't quite apply, but you know what I mean. Just my .02.
     
  12. Son of Norway

    Son of Norway XDTalk 3K Member

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    I own a Ruger SP101 .38 and it is a fantastic gun. I don't carry at all, but if I did I would be very comfortable with the capabilities of it. I can actually get better groups with it than I do with my XD-40, and it is built to last forever.
     
  13. msidner

    msidner XDTalk 100 Member

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    My primary CCW is a Taurus CIA650 stainless in .357Mag. My next investment will probably be in Taurus' airweight model of this gun, as it is definitely a bit heavy for carrying during the summer. All in all, its hammerless, I can shoot .38 if I want, but if I really feel the need, I can step up to .357 with no issues. When I chose the Taurus, my decision was between that and a S&W. The reasons I didn't go with the Smith? I own another Taurus revolver, its 100% reliable, it's never failed me, and I'm familiar with the internals of it. The difference in price was reasonably hefty as well, and I've always been more comfortable with Taurus' warranty policy. Anyway, I figure if I can't do the task with 5 rounds of .357, I'm in over my head anyway. ;)

    Matthew
     
  14. mullanman

    mullanman XDTalk 2K Member

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    The airweights are excellent carry guns.

    When you carry, you have to have a few things in mind: Concealibility, clothing, temperature, and where you are going.


    Seems to me a small revolver is perfect for summertime, or when you can't wear bulkier clothing.

    I carry a small L-frame 686. There are days i would like something smaller.

    Being armed is better than nothing at all.
     
  15. txpete

    txpete XDTalk 500 Member

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    I carry a 41 mag taurus most of the time.never had a problem excellent accuracy.enough power to handle anything I would run into home or in the field.
    on long trips I keep the XD in the truck with hi-caps but the taurus is close by.
    pete
     

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