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.38 Special Recommendations

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by OCSportsman, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. OCSportsman

    OCSportsman Oregon Member

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    I'm looking to get my wife a .38 Spec for concealed carry. I'm looking for a smooth easy trigger. I'm not very well versed with wheel guns. My wife struggles too much with the slide of autos, so switching it up to a snub .38 revolver seems like the best option.

    Thanks,
    OC
     
  2. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My recommendation is a nice model 10 or 15 s&w snubnose - I sure like my 15 a lot. It has a little more weight but IT simply adds to its controllability for me. It can easily handle a heavy diet of +p's. My wife shoots it well.
     
  3. Mbeef61

    Mbeef61 SW PDX Active Member

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    I like the s&w model 638. Shaved hammer, good for purse but can still shoot single or double action. I like the laser grips too. My girl loves to carry it.
     
  4. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Got my wife a vintage S&W model 36 "Chief Special" with Pachmayr decelerator grips.
    Loaded with .38 spl Hornady Critical Defense loads.
    She keeps it for home defense, so the larger grips aren't an issue.
    The small original wood grips are easy to hold with smaller hands and J frames conceal well.
     
    Screwy likes this.
  5. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    +1 on the S&W 638. Alloy frame won't rust or corrode, smooth crisp trigger, hides out easily; I actually like shooting it- some folks think it's a bit "sting-y" but for some reason I don't.

    With CT laser grips which have a spongy backstrap insert, it's a great little weapon system, and surprisingly accurate, too.

    Shot this at 9 yards:
    BeautyIsAs.jpg
     
  6. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Vancouver Well-Known Member

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    An S&W 649 absorbs some of that recoil, it's stainless. I've carried it IWB and it really wasn't all that different than my LC9.
     
  7. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Get a .357 mag and it will have a much larger range of ammo it could use and will generally have less felt recoil if she decides .38 spl is more her style.
     
  8. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt NE Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Ruger LCR for light weight and the smooth trigger. My wife carries the LCR 38 crossdraw IWB loaded with 110gr Hornady Critical Defense. Heavy or +P rounds have too much kick for her. An alternative would be the LCR 357 with 38 +P loads for lighter recoil.
     
    soberups likes this.
  9. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    642ct.jpg My wife has a S&W 642CT that she likes a lot. It came with the Crimson Trace laser grips which are a little longer than the typical grip. The length helps get a better hold on the gun.
    This is a pic I "borrowed" from the internet, but it's the same thing.
     
    Riot likes this.
  10. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    The 642 has a brutal trigger pull. By the time my wife pressed the 12+ # trigger, the barrel was all over the room.
    Got her an LCR…alot smoother trigger but still too much for her small hands.

    Smith & Wesson 66 or 19, 2 1/2" snubbies. If you're lucky enough to stumble onto a pre-lock, the triggers are very smooth and light.
    Cons: …….I don't know…It's a bit heavier being an all steel "K" frame?
     
  11. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Have her go to the gun store with you and handle (dry fire DA) the Ruger. As much as I love the older K and J frame Smith's, I suggest she try the Ruger for a daily carry piece.
     
    soberups and Nick Burkhardt like this.
  12. OCSportsman

    OCSportsman Oregon Member

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    Thanks for the help everyone. I will definitely take her to handle them more, now I have a direction on which guns to look at and avoid.
     
  13. Whaler

    Whaler Sequim, WA Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend either a Ruger LCR or a LCRX. I went with the LCRX and love it.

    LCRX-1.jpg
     
  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    There's really three ways to go abut this common posit/querry..
    1: you could get a tip up barrel Beretta .380 and a soul won't have to rack it.. until it needs racked..
    beretta-cheetah-380-acp.jpg

    2: and then there's the school of thought of having an 18 shot semi-auto that is already pre-racked (golly!) and is so reliable that chances are zero that it'll not malfunction and need "racking" ever.
    3: and then there's the revolver.. yea.. pretty simple and everything perhaps.. if you can open a mini jar a pickles perhaps and then you have to reload the thing in 5-6 shots. And then the trigger.. though it might be "pulled" by our/your compromised precious, those shots might not land so good.. never really know.
    Either get an eighteen shot (code for large capacity) reliable gat or get a revolver and train her for a couple years how to count, reload and hit with the thing/revolver.. it's really a toss though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
    nitestocker likes this.
  15. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    I wa...NEED that.
     
  16. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    I own 2 Ruger LCR's, they have triggers that are almost as smooth as a Colt Python. They are lightweight and have better grips and ergonomics than any airweight J-frame or Taurus. I highly recommend the LCR for concealed carry and self defense.
     
  17. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Not many people (in this day and age) have felt a smithed/PPC'd Python but it's best when they actually go off/fire. I prefer them to fire though, every time. But with that said, and that really goes for all guns/revolvers, make sure that it'll set off the standard CCI primers and not just the federals.
    The Ruger I think uses some sort of ball bearing shenanigans to realize/effect the goodness.. perhaps lay hand upon the Ruger and then don't f with it.. or you might not like it.. especially if it doesn't go bang.
     
  18. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to carry every day, Buy a light weight alloy or titanium five shot wheel gun with a 2'' bbl. or less. Keep the hammer bobbed or completely covered. This gun type weighs in at thirteen ounces MT and up. It is what most likely will not end up in the trunk or the glove box after the novelty wears off or when you start feeling what Fifteen rounds in the handle feels like in a duty gun.
    Silver Hand
     
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  19. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    With all respect, I think a Beretta 380 would be a terrible choice for a new shooter to rely on for self defense, especially if they intend to carry it concealed. Yes the tip-up barrel is convenient and easy for females and novices to use, but it is offset by the need to be aware of and properly use the safety and/or decocking lever which can be the difference between life and death in a self defense situation. The hammerless snub revolver is the ultimate in simplicity, safety and reliability with its only drawback being limited ammo capacity. I will gladly trade a 5 round limit for the ability to draw, hold and fire the weapon from inside a purse or coat pocket without ever exposing it, and for the ability to shove it into an assailants center-of-mass at contact distance and empty it without any concerns about it jamming up. In an elevator or crowded stairwell, a female with a hammerless sbubbie who is being choked out by a man twice her size can pump 5 hollowpoints into his gut as fast as she can pull the trigger and without ever removing the gun or her hand from her purse. The other advantage that a snub wheelgun holds for a novice female...especially one who is recoil sensitive... is the ability to load it with mild target loads for practice and then work her way up to full-powered loads for self defense as she becomes more proficient. Glasers are also an option for a wheelgun that I wouldn't want to try in a semi-auto due to the expense involved in testing them for reliable function. Safety, reliability, simplicity, ease of operation and proven effectiveness---the .38 snub offers it all.
     
    jim97701 likes this.
  20. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    My wife's purse weighs as much as my hunting pack!

    I doubt most women would care about a 10oz difference moving up to a .357 mag.