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Posted: 6/21/2003 8:56:40 PM EDT
...use a 5 round .38 revolver(Ruger SP-101,S&W,or Taurus) or a 6 round auto (springfield ultra compact)? Keep in mind comfort and ease in carrying every day and concealability during the summer when you would be wearing a tshirt and shorts.
Just wanted to see some opinions...
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 9:51:50 PM EDT
There is something to be said for the reliability and simplicity of a revolver. With the small, light snubbies out there, that would be my choice. With that said the compact autos are lovely too, it's all preference.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 11:27:16 PM EDT
The auto has the edge IMHO. Flatter, so it conceals better. Same with your spare ammo. Faster reloads. .45 hits WAY harder than .38.
Far higher hit potential with the ergonomics of a single action single column magazined gun like the Springfield compact over any 5 shot revolver.

Buy both and have the .38 as your back up.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 4:31:48 AM EDT
Opinions?
If there was only one answer, everybody would be packin' exactly the same thing.
Overall, I agree with Lumpy, but wouldn't feel totally "naked" with 5 squirts of .38+Ps either.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 4:43:04 AM EDT
What ever caliber/type you choose is all useless, if you're not carrying it when you need it.


my two main carry pieces are .45 auto's.
I do have my CZ-50 in .32ACP. which is a little bit smaller than my colt.

be effective with what ever you carry. (shot placement)


a .22lr in the pocket is worth a whole factory of .45ACP at home.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 7:28:10 AM EDT
I have pondered this and tried many varieations for the last 18 years years. My duty Pistol is a Colt 1991A1. Off duty I have tried just about everything from Walther PPK, Colt officers model, Glock 23 and 27, Beretta Tomcat, Smith model 60, Back to a Walther ppk/s, and I sold them all to carry the 1991A1 all the time. Problem is it didn't work out that way. You see, the Colt, while the best handgun ever invented, is heavy. Fine in a duty rig or occaisional carry, but over time and with Age I noticed that when I got home from work, it went into the gundrawer only to be taken out for next months reserve stint. As an Active reserve officer I am fully authorized, but no longer required to carry off duty. I had simply stopped doing so. I finally settled on a Taurus 85 Titanium model. It is reasonably compact, it is certainly lighter than all but the beretta Tomcat and thats debateable, and it packs a serious punch with .38+P. It has become my always gun. Now, I no longer ride alone.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 7:44:43 AM EDT
For almost 25 years I've carried just about every day and tried lots of different options, always ending up going back to a 45 ACP 1911-pattern gun of some sort.

I realize that my size makes it easier for me to carry a full-size 1911 than most, and I do carry smaller guns if the attire warrants it (a Keltec P-32 or S&W 317 if all I ahave is a pocket in a pair of shorts for concealment).

But as was pointed out earlier in the thread; whatever you're comfortable carrying and shooting is what you should carry, And just make sure you are carrying something.

Link Posted: 6/22/2003 7:50:22 AM EDT
Lumpy, I really don't think 45 is that much better than 38+p or even 357 (this is the 21st century and pocket magnums made of titanium and scandium are out there) when hurled out of such a short tube. Anyone got some numbers for 45 out of a 3"?
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 9:24:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sk8brdnick:
Lumpy, I really don't think 45 is that much better than 38+p or even 357 (this is the 21st century and pocket magnums made of titanium and scandium are out there) when hurled out of such a short tube. Anyone got some numbers for 45 out of a 3"?



A .38spl +P 158 LSWCHP would be doing about 800fps out of a 2" snubby.

A .45ACP 230gr JHP would be doing about 780-800fps out of a 3" Auto.

Yes the .45 would be better, especially since so many of the modern .45 loads have been developed to allow a low velocity expansion threshold because of the very availability of compact automatic pistols.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 9:37:07 AM EDT
Many of the local cops have the same questions, and a fair percentage of them have "split the difference" between the small revolver and the effective, compact 1911.

They're choosing the various models of the Kahr 40 caliber autos.

They get a pistol that's as concealable (if not actually MORE concealable) as the small revolvers, with near-45 power.

I've carried every day since the early 70's, and finally settled on a S&W "K" frame 357, until the Kahr came out. Now I carry a K9.

I used to carry various 1911 pistols, until I got tired of the evening clear/morning reload drill. When You get home at night, you usually have to unload the gun, and the next morning reload it. Every time you do this, there's a potential of an AD.

Also, even though I was quite comfortable with cocked and locked, I was still always thinking about the safety getting bumped off by moving around. No holster really prevents this from happening. Revolvers and Kahr's don't have external safeties.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 9:49:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By faris:
When You get home at night, you usually have to unload the gun, and the next morning reload it. Every time you do this, there's a potential of an AD.

Also, even though I was quite comfortable with cocked and locked, I was still always thinking about the safety getting bumped off by moving around. No holster really prevents this from happening. Revolvers and Kahr's don't have external safeties.




Leave it loaded. If every time you unload your sidearm "theres a potential of an AD" you should not be carring a weapon at all. Yes theres no external safty on revolvers and Kahr's, but they also don't have grip safeties either. Maybe if your someone that will flick off the thumb safety, grip the pistol and pull the trigger all at the same time while holstering, you might have a problem. But then agian, explain how you would be safer with any other pistol.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 10:57:07 AM EDT
I'm 6'4" 270+, so under popular opinion I could conceal damn near anything. While I own a full sized steel 1911 and could carry it, my always gun is a scandium .357 J-frame. While the law requires me to conceal so it won't be seen through ordinary observation, that is not good enough for me. Between social situations where carry would be looked down upon to situations where detection could put me in further danger, being able to thoroughly conceal my weapon is a must. I spend my day out in the Houston heat and humidity which makes a cover garment usually nothing more than a t-shirt. Often shorts are worn as well. Leaning over to look at plumbing and reaching over my head to get to A/C units is an almost hourly occurrence. Front pocket carry is the only way I have found that keeps it covered and not detectable without close observation. Often I am dripping with sweat and my clothes are sticking to me which would cause me to print further with other carry methods.

While I would like to be able to carry more stopping power with me, I have made the compromise to carry what I can always keep with me. However I don't feel even remotely naked with only 5 rounds of .357 ready to go if I were to need it.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 2:35:18 PM EDT
Out of the two choices you listed, the Springfield would be my first choice handsdown, for me personally.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 5:32:56 AM EDT
J-frame Smith in Airweight configuration will fit on a pocket and makes a good hot weather/light clothing CCW firearm. Newer versions are approved for +P .38, not a bad round.

SP101 is heavy (25 oz or so), really needs a holster, not a pocket gun. This is the most pleasant small .357 to shoot, and 5 rounds of .357 isn't a bad self-defense load in 125 grain hollow point. Easily the equivalent of .45ACP from a short barrel.

45 pistol is a good carry piece, if you're comfortable with the cock-and-locked carry. Definately needs a holster if carried in this manner. Get a 4" barrel with an alloy Officer's ACP length frame, and it makes an excellent CCW pistol for all the above reasons (flat, easily reloadable, effective caliber).

If you're like many, in the end you'll probably have the 45 and the J-frame. Different carry modes require different hardware. Both work well, depending upon what's comfortable for you and your manner of dress.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 11:59:43 AM EDT
I'd go with a 5-shot lightweight snubbie, no question. When it comes to what you can stick in your front pocket, there is no 1911 I have ever seen that will do that.

99.999% of the time I am not engaged in a gunfight with somebody. For that .0001% of the time, I feel that 5 shots of .38 are an adequate compromise. And no worries about function, either.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 8:33:09 PM EDT
Between the snubby .38 and the ultra-compact 1911 .45, I'd take the snubby .38 Special. I have seen lots of these micro 1911's and many times I haven't been very impressed by their reliability. I love the 1911 pistol but I consider one with a barrel shorter than 5" to be a sin!

The .38 snubby is small enough, the titanium and scandium models are certainly light enough and they are basically dummy proof. Many such guns get tucked into a pocket or elsewhere where they get dirty and full of lint, etc. The snubby revolver would be a much more reliable choice IMHO.

But regardless, these small pistols should only be viewed as a means to help you get out of a situation or to a bigger gun. Short pistols with a short sight radius are not the most accurate thing in the world. They are for close up, violent, last ditch efforts. They aren't anywhere near as good as a carbine, shotgun, or even a full size handgun. But they will likely be with you when the big stuff is at home or in the car. That's where it's at. Get the snubby.

-Charging Handle
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 8:40:42 PM EDT
Good points CH...

Ive never owned anything but 5" 1911s, but Ive heard the reliability concerns with the shorter versions.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 8:48:31 PM EDT
I recently went to an Officers ACP {3.5"bbl} and have gone through two range sessions of 150 rounds per session without a bobble so far.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 11:00:31 AM EDT
The Springfield mil-spec micro compact I had was 100% flawless with everything I shot through it. I sure miss that little gun sometimes.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:04:16 PM EDT
"When You get home at night, you usually have to unload the gun, and the next morning reload it."

I'm still trying to understand this, but will let it pass as we all march to a different drum beat.

In 9 years of CCW classes I have seen any number of revolvers "malfunction" and continue to wonder where this myth of their guarenteed reliability comes from.

As for the Titanium, Scandium, Unobtainium wonder guns - boy oh boy have I seen problems with these. And for those of you who think 12 ounce 357 Magnums are fun, chronographed your Magnums out of those 2" barrels. Everybody complains about 45 ACP loosing velocity but some how 38 +Ps and Magnums are still macho no matter how slow they go, as long as you get lots of recoil and muzzle blast.

Sorry - this is a sore point with me. I'll get off the soap box now. Do what you want, you will anyway.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 9:16:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
The auto has the edge IMHO. Flatter, so it conceals better. Same with your spare ammo. Faster reloads. .45 hits WAY harder than .38.
Far higher hit potential with the ergonomics of a single action single column magazined gun like the Springfield compact over any 5 shot revolver.

Buy both and have the .38 as your back up.



Pretty good assesment.

I have manifestations of your argument (a Para C7 and a Taurus .357 snub) and there is no contest... the Para wins out. The auto seats better, presents less of a signature, has a better knock down factor, and when the shit hits the fan I carry a Wilson 10 round magazine as backup. That's 8 in the piece (7 for you) and 10 as the backup, versus 5 in the piece and 5 in a speedloader. The math is simple to me. If you can afford it though I would reccomend one of those 5 shot .357s to go in your pile. It is a handy substitution or backup.
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