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Firepower!
December 9, 2008, 08:55 AM
I want to know what are disadvantages of a 2'' barrel when shooting a .38 special bullet. How much of power and accuracy is compromised when chosing a short barrel?
Whats the maximum effective range of a .38spl. fired out of 2'' barrel?

FieldShunt
December 10, 2008, 04:44 PM
There's no measurable accuracy difference.
The velocity difference will vary widely between specific loadings. Certain personal protection loads are formulated for 2" barrels and the difference in barrel lengths sometimes falls under normal variation. (See: Buffalo Bore.)
The big, huge difference is sighting and sight radius. Anyone, but especially someone with older eyes, will see the sight picture far better with a four-incher than a two. All of us will get better hits faster with the longer gun.
The difference is considerable, and if you were able to test side-by-side two otherwise equal guns, shooting at paper and under a timer, you'd be surprised.
I did and I was.
Meanwhile, I still pop away at the plate rack at 40 yards anyway with my Detective Special, just to sharpen my focus.

Tom2
December 10, 2008, 05:27 PM
Ummm, don't I see a clone of this thread down the page a-ways:confused:

BigJimP
December 10, 2008, 05:32 PM
deleted

MADISON
December 11, 2008, 02:39 PM
The disadvantages of a .38 Special 2 inch barrel:
Velocity
Muzzle Energy
The ammo. manufacturers use either 4 or 6 inch barrels to obtain their velocities. Figure on losing 30 feet velocity per inch you do not have.
If they figure a 4 inch barrel and you have a 2 inch barrel you lose 60 feet per second.

Get a 2 inch .357 Magnum!

hudsonvalley
December 12, 2008, 03:21 PM
Place your shots and keep pulling the trigger until situation (God forbid) is resolved.....38's worked for a lot of people for a lot of years. Many people carry only their little snubby.

waudcutter
December 13, 2008, 03:35 PM
The accuracy of a 2 inch snub can be quite good. I can regularly hit a five gallon bucket at 100 yards with my J-frame Smith and Wesson. A man sized target can be in real danger at that distance.

Some great information on snub nose handguns can be found at www.hipowersandhandguns.com

BillCA
December 13, 2008, 04:14 PM
Firepower,

The primary disadvantage to a 2-inch .38 Special revolver is that they are much more difficult to shoot accurately over about 7m. Up to 7m, you will likely rely on "point shooting" for speed, surprise and getting yourself out of harm's way.

The short sight radius means the smallest error in sight alignment is magnified greatly at 15m-25m. The guns themselves are accurate and can hold a good group out to 50m. Tests with guns in fixed positions prove that. It's the skill of the shooter that determines accuracy out of these "snub-nosed" guns.

The shorter barrel means less time for powder to be completely burned. The excess burns as a large flash at the muzzle. This means lower velocities in most ammuntion types. As mentioned above, some ammo companies in the U.S. make loads for "Short Barrel" revolvers (3-inch or shorter). These use very fast burning powders to maximize the velocity out of the short tube.

The .38 Special itself is not a great performer. Velocities from a 4-inch barrel with 158gr bullets are usually limited to 850 fps or less. The use of .38 Special +P (extra pressure) ammo can push the velocity by about 100~150fps, but it is still far short of the .357 Magnum.

When you lop off 2-inches of barrel, even a 900fps .38 +P load can drop to 840 fps (or less). Using +P loads in a 2-inch will, essentially, give you the performance of a standard .38 Special in a 4 or 6 inch barrel.

Disadvantages:
Short sight radius - more difficult to aim & shoot accurately
Short Barrel - lowers bullet velocity, increases muzzle flash
Compact frame - Limits capacity to 5 shots (6 in some models)
Lighter weight - increases felt recoil, increases recovery time between shots

Advantages:
Small size - means you're more likely to be armed
Surprise - Producing a gun by surprise gives you momentary advantage
Effective - At close range the .38 Special can still be effective.
Reliable - Revolvers almost never jam
Fire from pocket - Some models can be fired from inside a pocket repeatedly (most autos can't).

lwc003
December 13, 2008, 11:22 PM
Hello,
I am a new user so hopefully I am doing this correctly...

I have an old Smith and Wesson Model 629 with the wooden grips and was wondering about what it is worth. It is in good condition. I've read several articles about these .44 mags but can't pin point which one I have. Can anyone help me here?

Would the -1, -2 follow the 629 part if I had a, for instance, M 629-1. Would this be correct?

madcratebuilder
December 14, 2008, 10:23 AM
Would the -1, -2 follow the 629 part if I had a, for instance, M 629-1. Would this be correct?

Yes it is correct. value? $500 +/- depending on condition and location. Check www.gunbroker.com for current market values. You need to look at what guns are getting bids and the final bid price. Many are listed with a crazy opening price that would not sell at that price.

Normal etiquette would be to start a new topic, not posting in an existing thread. Welcome to the forum, you get the hang of it real quick.

Elvishead
December 15, 2008, 04:39 PM
Advantages:
Small size - means you're more likely to be armed
Surprise - Producing a gun by surprise gives you momentary advantage
Effective - At close range the .38 Special can still be effective.
Reliable - Revolvers almost never jam
Fire from pocket - Some models can be fired from inside a pocket repeatedly (most autos can't).

Another is, it's harder to disarm a shorter handgun with good grips (Hogue rubber, Pachmayr...ect)

kraigwy
December 15, 2008, 04:43 PM
Any disavantages can be offset with lots of practice. Practice enough where you have confidence in the gun and there will be no disavantages.