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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

With this new five shot snub, I'm feelin' a bit undergunned. I'm used to having at least 8 rounds at my disposal, and usually at least 15 without a reload.

I either read or was related the following story:

A lady cop was off duty and in line in a convenience store when three guys held it up. Things turned ugly and she drew her five shot snubby. She hit BG#1 twice, putting him out of action, hit BG#2 twice, and he's out of action. BG#3 takes one and then her gun goes "click." BG#3 didn't appreciate being shot, and before he went down, he severely beat the lady officer, fracturing her skull.

Now, with the Taurus, I'd have no problem putting the rounds on target. I am still learning with the snub, and until I get it figured out, it's in a backup role. The capacity thing does bug me a bit though. Even with a speedloader or a speed strip, I am a lefty and it would take a bit to reload compared to my hi-cap 9mm.

So... I'll be a bit handicapped if I just carry the snub.

Any tips, tricks, and wisdom from those who have carried these things for a while? How about excercises to run through?

Thanks,

Josh <><
 

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Hello, Josh. That is one of the downsides to the convenient-to-carry snub. The main suggestions I can give is that IF these are being carried as a primary that lots of practice be given to:

1. Accurate shooting
2. Quick ejection of hulls
3. Being as quick as possible with reloads
4. Trying to find a way out if at all possible

Much as I like and use the snub in my usual tame orbits, when practically anywhere else I have something more substantial and the J-frame is relegated to BUG status.

Best.
 

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Mr. Josh,

I have to agree with Mr. Steve, they are very handy, but they do have some downsides.

I guess my first suggestion would be a good set of grips that fit your hand reasonably well. It is sort of a trade off, using more handfilling grips as they tend to defeat the concealment advantage. But somewhere you will find a happy middle ground.

I don't know how familar you are with the insides of your new revolver. I know you got it used and it does certainly appear to be in good shape. I have been smoothing up the inside of a Smith revolver ever since I figured out how to get the sideplate off one, lol. It is not really rocket science or I could not be doing it, but it is a new experience at first too.

You might want to check the status of the internal parts for any obvious signs of wear, rust, etc, and make sure they are properly lubed. Stoning the rough spots if any off the rebound slide would help your action too - assuming the internals are basically the same as a Smith. But just proper cleaing and lubing the internal parts would help your action quite a bit probably. I never suggest cutting or shortening any springs. Yes they do make the trigger pull easier, but they also reduce its reliability to detonate a primer too. The more you work the action the smoother it will become over time too. So dryfiring has its advantages too.

Then it comes down to a matter of practice and more practice. Along with a lot of reload drills, especially as a left hand favored gentleman with a revolver. But with some practice you will be please with how quickly you can reload it too.

If you are going to reload from loose rounds, I suggest you try to load two at a time, for 3 movements, rather than 5 separate ones. It will be a bit awkward initially, but again with practice you will be amazed at how easily you can do that. Several companies use to offer what they called two by ammo pouches. These placed two rounds together so they could be drawn at the same time. Do a search on the Strong Leathergoods site, as they used to supply most of the leathergoods for Uncle Sugar back in the days when we were carrying revolvers. I know they make a two by ammo pouch that worked very well. These are basically a six round pouch with three divisions stitched into the interior, to keep two rounds in their own separate interior compartment. When you released the flap the pouch moved down to give you easy access to the rounds without letting them fall out.

If you are going to carry a speed strip or strips, practice your reloads using the strips. Same if you will be carrying a speedloader. That will offer the fastest reload, but it is also a bit harder to conceal than either a strip or loose rounds are too.

If you are going to carry it in an ankle holster, when it serves as a backup, then I also suggest your practice with it from your ankle holster. What I trained my co-workers to do with ankle holsters - step back with their plain leg while basically kneeling at the same time, pulling up their pants with both hands while moving. Once you are kneeling draw your weapon and fire from kneeling. There is no sense in taking the time to stand back up in a gunfight, and the badguy may well expect you to (everyone does in the movies and tv) so they may well shoot high initially.

Our longest stage with a J-frame (in recent years) was 25 yds, and simulated firing using cover. I also advocated they fire those rounds in single action as their accuracy would be increased. I told them to consider these 5 their last rounds in the gunfight, and they needed to make each one count.

If you wish to fire single action at distances (which I personally advocate with a J-frame), I suggest your maintain your grip with your shooting hand (your left I reckon). Then use your right thumb (or support thumb) to cock the hammer for each shot. That way you do not have to stop and reacquire your proper grip before each shot. It will also allow you to fire accurately single action at a bit faster pace as well.

As Mr. Steve suggested - primarily it is about practice, followed by more practice. Not only your actual shooting, but your reloads too. I am going to be sending you a box sooner than later (still looking for some things). So I will make you up some dummy rounds you can practice reloads with. They will be deprimed brass with just a bullet seated. No primers or powder, so you can readily tell them from live rounds by checking for the empty primer pocket.

With practice you will be surprised at how accurately and quickly you can fire 5 rounds. Several of our stages of fire with the J-frame required reload drills, and I would preach to shoot slow and smooth and reload quickly. You are at a bit of a disadvantage with only 5 rounds, so I suggest folks make each round count with every trigger pull. Once they have their accuracy then they can work on picking up their pace a bit. Always working to maintain your accuracy while increasing your pace - but again, that is simply practice, practice, practice.

Good luck. If I can help you at all, just yell sir. Btw, there will be a few things in your box that will help you a bit with some of my suggestions above.

Sorry if some of my suggestions sound a bit basic. But alot of it really is just working on the basics Mr. Josh. They are not the easiest weapon to learn to master, but once learned they are very effective in my opinion.

twoguns
 

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Hi Josh,

+1 on everything that has been said by Mr. Camp and Mr. twoguns.

I would admit that when I first started carrying the .38 5 shot S&W 642-2 that I own, I felt pretty much the same way.

However, I kept practicing, practicing and practicing and then reloading to keep up with my practicing, practicing and practicing. I practiced at 3, 7 and 15 yards with rapid and slow fire. Reloading drills and weak hand shooting as well.

Pretty soon, I didn't feel "undergunned" at all! Actually, I started to feel a bit "smug" that I could hit the target with very reasonable accuracy.

I've been told many, many times that the .38 snub is an "experts" handgun and that I would have to practice to become proficient in its use.

Mr. Camp has written this excellent article on the subject:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Making%20J%20Frame%20Work.htm

I just wish I'd started earlier......

Chris
 

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Josh;
The same thing happened to a friend of mine except that neither of the bad guys he shot went down and both of them were hunting him after he ran to the back of the store. Fortunately the "calvary" arrived in time to handle the situation.

Another acquaintence shot one robber (armed with a sawed off shotgun) 5 times and fled...he got shot in the back with the shotgun. Fortunately it was loaded with birdshot...neither he nor the robber were wounded fatally though the robber was in critical condition for a good while as all 5 rounds hit the upper chest - range was arms length on those, 18 feet for the shotgun blast.

Once upon a time I might have considered packing a single 5-shooter - there is something I like about them - but these days I would not consider less than 2 and I have not ventured out my door without at least one major caliber handgun for 30 years. I cannot think of many days when I did not have a J-frame also though.

Good luck!
Jim
 

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Josh,

I've been thinking about this and I don't see how the use of one HG should be different from another. Aside from the specific operational characteristics of the weapon in question, that is.

Unless I'm looking at this from the wrong perspective (wouldn't be the first time, wont be the last) to treat a hi-capacity automatic differently than a 5-shot revolver must be advocating "spray-n-pray"...no?

As Steve Camp stated:

1. Accurate shooting
2. Quick ejection of hulls
3. Being as quick as possible with reloads
4. Trying to find a way out if at all possible

Isn't this the way it's always done regardless of the gun used?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you.

I almost wonder if this isn't a case to perhaps just load up the .38 S&W (I believe that was the direct parent of the Special.

However, I do not have any trouble whatever with ejection: I turn the revolver over and most times all empties fall out. I've had one or two stick when I let it get dirty. It's almost as if the chambers were polished at the factory.

Thanks again,

Josh <><
 

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Strike that; make that .38 Colt.

Josh <><
Correct Josh. But if you are handloading and have good sturdy carbide dies you can probably do .38 S&W.

The factory S&W case are often too big to enter .38 Spl chambers and the factory reloading dies in the caliber dont help, but you can swage them down enough i .38 Spl dies.

Yet I fail to see the point. You learn in handling a J-frame to turn the barrel up and just WHACK the ejector rod...the brass comes out fine.

Not that I notice, I can get another gun out before I can get out a speed loader or a speed strip (there's an oxymoron for you).

Jim H.
 
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I have the Crimson Trace laser LG-305 on my sunb. The grips are somewhat larger than the originals but do not add much weight. When I carry it, it's in my front pocket in a pocket holster. I notice I have a different mind set when I only have 5 rounds rather than 14. I keep my gun hand in my pocket in a casual non threatening posture which gives me a gun in hand advantage if trouble starts. But I am more likely to think ahead to avoid trouble and to look for cover or safe escape routes if feasible rather than to be more aggressive and confrontational even if I'm in a legitimate self defense situation. I probably should do the same even if I'm loaded for bear. So I think carrying only 5 rounds occasionally can force us to sharpen our focus to recognize problems before they become unavoidable.
20 years as a Public Defender representing thousands of felons has given me a pretty good radar to recognized certain fact patterns that spell trouble to be avoided. I'd rather use my cell phone to call 911 than to have to present a firearm to prevent a crime.
 
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