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danetheman21
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Posted: 5/15/2013 2:25:18 PM
Hello all,

Ive spent most of my time on the AR side of this website but have been slowly gravitating to the handgun forum for a while. A question arose between myself and some friends at the range, is 5 or 6 rounds of .38 +P in a small frame revolver preferable to 6 or 7 rounds of .380 or 9mm in a semi auto package? I can see an argument in both directions but when an IWB/OWB carry is out of the question due to either, climate, circumstance or just simplicity of carry, would a pocket revolver or a pocket semi auto be favored for both concealability and personal protection?

Thanks!
die-tryin
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Posted: 5/15/2013 2:28:52 PM
[Last Edit: 5/15/2013 2:30:03 PM by die-tryin]
Ive owned both (Keltec .380 and S&W 642 .38spl). I always come back to the revolver, it just makes sense. It always goes bang, no safety or mags to worry about, dont have to worry about whether a round is in the chamber, etc etc. Shooting a micro semi actually sux, even the Keltec .32 was brutal on the hands. The S&W wasnt near as bad. The small semi probably conceals a lil better but Id rather have a gun ill shot and works each time I pull the trigger.

Where I live, I wear cargo shorts 99% of the time. I havent had any issues concealing a .38spl , either on my belt outside the pants or tossed in my pocket for quick trip to stores.
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echo_5
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Posted: 5/15/2013 2:36:51 PM
Pocket carry only, I'll take a KelTec for the concealability.
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Miles_Urbanus
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Posted: 5/15/2013 2:38:39 PM
[Last Edit: 5/15/2013 2:50:45 PM by Miles_Urbanus]
In summary: Neither is adequate in my opinion. They are popular because they are convenient, not because they are effective.

My opinion is that snub nose .38s and .380 and 9mm small pocket autos are hold out guns. They are all the rage these days since people choose them for comfort, very easy concealability and will never fire their weapon in self defense.

These small pistols and revolvers suffer from low ammuntion capacity, woefully inadequate sights, and some are of suspect quality or questionable material choice for a fighting handgun. If I am going to carry a gun I am going to bring a full or mid size duty handgun that is fielded by a military service and/or police force in a 1st world country. I can carry a Glock 23 and a spare mag all day long in a IWB holster with minimal discomfort. But it isn't as comfortable as a mouse gun, nor is it as easy to conceal.

Gun fighting rules:

1. Have a gun. This means don't leave it in your car. It is in a holster you can quickly draw from on your person that you are familiar and comfortable wearing

2. Bring enough gun. This means no mouse guns, derringers and other guns which are hold out guns. Made to be carried as secondary or tertiary BACKUP weapons.

3. Bring enough ammo: Carry a reload.

4. Shoot straighter than your enemy who is trying to kill you. Get training and practice with your carry piece every chance you get. That doesn't mean plinking from a range. It means getting dirty, firing from standing, kneeling, supine (laying on back) and prone from every piece of cover you can think up. It means means practicing dry firing and drawing (w/ snap caps, safety first!). You had better have a real reason to swap between make/models of firearms. Muscle memory is a powerful thing and in a piss your pants lethal force encounter you will revert to your LOWEST level of training. I do not rotate or change my EDC gun for this reason.

5. Have a light. target ID and know your backstop.

6. I always carry pepper spray because I really don't want to shoot someone that could be handled with pepper spray.

As someone who has carried a gun for a living as a combat infantryman and as a police officer that is just like my opinion man.
"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." --Col. Jeff Cooper
cheez
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Posted: 5/15/2013 2:47:10 PM
Mouse guns are for...mice. 38+P is better than the mouse gun but not as good as a mid or full size gun. There are lots of options for carrying the larger weapons concealed. That is unless you are wearing a full spandex body suit.
Losers find excuses. Winners find a way.
Slopes-2-Shores
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Posted: 5/15/2013 2:51:27 PM
[Last Edit: 5/15/2013 4:00:56 PM by Slopes-2-Shores]
In a comparison of small framed guns the revolver wins every time for me.

Far more reliable.
.38+P > .380. 9mm ? - see line above.
A hammerless revolver can be fired multiple times from within a pocket.
There's never a question of whether a revolver is chambered.
If ammo runs out & there's no time for reload, a revolver makes a better brass-knuckles.

I haven't found a small auto that fits me as well as a J-Frame, and I've owned 3 little mouse guns.

-JC

Edit to fix a mistake.
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danetheman21
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Posted: 5/15/2013 3:02:05 PM
These are all great opinions! And I 100% agree with y'all about having a larger handgun for daily carry and my P-07 fits that bill well! Just a day at the pool or the gym makes larger guns difficult.
gotuonpaper
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Posted: 5/15/2013 3:09:05 PM
[Last Edit: 5/15/2013 3:09:22 PM by gotuonpaper]
Originally Posted By danetheman21:
Hello all,

Ive spent most of my time on the AR side of this website but have been slowly gravitating to the handgun forum for a while. A question arose between myself and some friends at the range, is 5 or 6 rounds of .38 +P in a small frame revolver preferable to 6 or 7 rounds of .380 or 9mm in a semi auto package? I can see an argument in both directions but when an IWB/OWB carry is out of the question due to either, climate, circumstance or just simplicity of carry, would a pocket revolver or a pocket semi auto be favored for both concealability and personal protection?

Thanks!


I have both for my moods. For dress slacks (I wear them everyday for work) I go with my Kahr PM9.

For other days, its the M&P 340. Both will do the job just fine.
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ken_mays
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Posted: 5/15/2013 3:33:44 PM
Owning both a P3AT and a few S&W 642s, I found the 642 a lot easier to grip and draw from a pocket. These are +P rated and I believe .38 +P is slightly better for penetration than .380.
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Andrewh
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Posted: 5/15/2013 3:35:44 PM
it does depend on your comfort with a semi auto.

I find the semi auto conceal better. they are thinner, and leave less of a bulge in your pocket.

that being said, I also prefer iwb carry even for my pocket gun. p238.

would it be better to carry a full size 45, sure.

but there are days that you can't or wouldn't bother.

it is better to have a gun you will carry, then one you leave at home.

36 oz unloaded, full size 1911.
29 for lightweight commander.
16 oz for a 238.

while a good belt and holster help you forget about it, you can still feel it.
walking around all day carrying an extra pound vs 2 and a half makes a difference.
74novaman
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Posted: 5/15/2013 3:45:05 PM
Both have advantages and disadvantages that have already been mentioned, so I'll only add a couple things:

Semi autos like the LCP conceal a lot better than revolvers in pockets. My J frame creates a bulge. Not a huge deal in cargo shorts...more noticeable in slacks.

Either one is going to take quite a bit of practice to get proficient with. Shooting tiny pocket guns is very different from shooting full sized guns.
Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
what was good about FOPA is outright ignored and unenforced. What is absolutely horrible (complete ban on new MGs) is enforced with great vigor, however.
headless1916
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Posted: 5/15/2013 3:45:24 PM
[Last Edit: 5/15/2013 3:46:45 PM by headless1916]
38+P loaded hot is barely sufficient for a defensive caliber.
.380ACP is a joke.
I'd rather have 5 rounds @ >300ft/lb than 7 rounds @ basically .22lr energies.

Aside from that, the smaller the semiauto the less reliable it is. J frames don't suffer from reliability problems.

Smallest 9mm that i'd trust my life to is NOT small enough for pocket carry. Smallest .38SPL i would trust my life to is. So either go J frame or go 8+1 single stack 9mm (S&W 3913 or other) on your belt directly.
JMHO YMMV
Madcap72
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Posted: 5/15/2013 3:51:58 PM
So much misinformation about revolvers gets spread around.

They really are not that great.


People just think they are because they hear all the shit that gets parroted around about them, or shoot them under ideal conditions.

Not going to waste a bunch of time arguing predisposed opinions. OP, if you want to hear the drawbacks of revolvers let me know. There's a few, and they are pretty important.


For everyone advocating revolvers, I ask this...

What is the immediate action drill, for a revolver?
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74novaman
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Posted: 5/15/2013 3:54:56 PM
Originally Posted By Madcap72:


What is the immediate action drill, for a revolver?


Depends on the revolver.

Lemat? Hit them with it.

J-frame? Throw it and run like a little girl.

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
what was good about FOPA is outright ignored and unenforced. What is absolutely horrible (complete ban on new MGs) is enforced with great vigor, however.
Slopes-2-Shores
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Posted: 5/15/2013 4:02:13 PM
Originally Posted By Madcap72:

For everyone advocating revolvers, I ask this...

What is the immediate action drill, for a revolver?



Draw the second one

-JC
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gogetumnow
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Posted: 5/15/2013 4:34:43 PM
Originally Posted By 74novaman:
Originally Posted By Madcap72:


What is the immediate action drill, for a revolver?


Depends on the revolver.

Lemat? Hit them with it.

J-frame? Throw it and run like a little girl.



BAHHH! Beat by 20 minutes.


I may be an statistical abnormality, but out of the many small caliber pocket autos I've shot, I've never been able to trust one 100%. There would always be a jam or stovepipe or something once in a great while that would give me pause on carrying it. I know this is a broad generalization but it's just my personal experience.

I carry a Smith 442 Revolver a lot of the time. Yes, it's less than ideal, but all handguns are a compromise in one way or another. I've been very pleased with it's reliability and how well it carries.

I used to be of the opinion that I would always pack my Glock 17 with me. A real gun, with lots of capacity, and good sights. But I found that life gets in the way, and more often than not I was leaving it at home because I wasn't able to conceal it well or dress around it. Rule 1 after all is "have a gun."

So my recommendation is a Smith Airweight or Airlite J frame.

Here is a story of a potential catastrophe averted by a cop with balls of steel and a lowly J frame. The story doesn't cite it specifically, but I seem to remember at the time that was the info passed around was that he had a 5 shot J frame concealed on him.

Madcap72
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Posted: 5/15/2013 4:41:26 PM

Originally Posted By gogetumnow:
snip
I may be an statistical abnormality,

Nope, just a sample size of one.
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Redbone
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Posted: 5/15/2013 5:45:42 PM
I'd never carry anything less than .38 +P I carry a revolver (M&P340) off duty because its small, but I also have .357 magnum in it with 8 are rounds on my belt. With 9mm handguns getting so small, there's no need to resort to carrying a .380 handgun.
danetheman21
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Posted: 5/15/2013 6:46:38 PM
All great points! I'm siding towards the revolver over the smaller semi auto. Any recommendations of small revolver?
Madcap72
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Posted: 5/15/2013 6:53:35 PM

Originally Posted By danetheman21:
All great points! I'm siding towards the revolver over the smaller semi auto. Any recommendations of small revolver?

So, you'd choose a limited capacity, slow to reload, bulky pistol over a slimmer easier to conceal pistol, that's faster to reload that can even have spare magazines that hold a greater capacity than the concealed one, and have a ballistic advantage when it comes to short barrels?


To each their own.


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die-tryin
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Posted: 5/15/2013 6:56:25 PM
[Last Edit: 5/15/2013 6:58:25 PM by die-tryin]
Originally Posted By danetheman21:
All great points! I'm siding towards the revolver over the smaller semi auto. Any recommendations of small revolver?


S&W airweight. 400 series (black) or 600 series (stainless).

Its up to you if you want....

exposed hammer, (437)

humpback w/ shrouded hammer (438)

no exposed hammer. (442)

I actually prefer model 438. humpback with shrouded hammer.

I also prefer Pre-lock models, less to go wrong.
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danetheman21
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Posted: 5/15/2013 7:11:42 PM
What slim pocket autos would you reccomend then?
danetheman21
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Posted: 5/15/2013 8:42:29 PM
Originally Posted By Madcap72:

Originally Posted By danetheman21:
All great points! I'm siding towards the revolver over the smaller semi auto. Any recommendations of small revolver?

So, you'd choose a limited capacity, slow to reload, bulky pistol over a slimmer easier to conceal pistol, that's faster to reload that can even have spare magazines that hold a greater capacity than the concealed one, and have a ballistic advantage when it comes to short barrels?


To each their own.

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Posted: 5/15/2013 8:53:19 PM
.38 SPL > .380
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Posted: 5/15/2013 9:10:10 PM
I'm torn on this issue as well, I think in arfom fashion I have decided to add both a .380 and a .38 snub nose. That way when my M&P 9 FS is too big, I have my G26. When my G26 is too big I have my .38. When the .38 wont do, I can drop down to my .380. Options are a CCW's best friend .
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Posted: 5/15/2013 9:13:52 PM
here is a simple equation for why an auto is better then a revolver.
if you grab a revolver by the side (like most disarm moves) it cant be fired.....same move on an auto will shoot once.(also should note most people when they have their weapon grabbed pull back which helps keep the slide locked to fire)

it dosnt take much pressure to keep the cylinder on a revolver from rotating..which in turn keeps it from firing.

Slim nines are great, i have a PPS which i love...but i moved to a compact walther P99c so i could carry one reload magazine that will give me full-size capacity, with the PPS 7+1 and backup mag with 8
the P99c is 10+1 and backup mag is 15. very little carry difference, and i carry all the time. should note revolvers are a much slower reload and require far more training.
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