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Old March 20, 2013, 07:57 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Just realized I don't have anything chambered specifically for 38 Special...

& my "modern" double action snubbies have a gap between my 32 Mag J frame, & my 44 Special L frame... thought about another 357 Mag, but I have several, just no snubbie, so I'm thinking I need a good, reasonably priced, shootable ( reads no Colts ) 38 Special snubbie... I'm not sure if I should get a steel / stainless gun, as my J & L are an "Air Weight, & an Air Lite" or if I should get an alloy frame, because the one on each side of it on the rack would be alloy ??? BTW... other snubs are a Dan Wesson 44 Magnum, & a Ruger Alaskan in 454 Casull

I think I'm most likely to spend $500.00 or less, & would like to have the gun actually chambered for 38, rather than 357, would prefer Vintage if talking S&W... thinking S&W as a possible 1st choice... model 60 ??? ( sorry, I can't keep up with S&W's model numbers ) or possibly an SP-101 if Ruger chambers them in 38 Special ???

I don't think I want a plastic gun for this choice...

in that criteria, what would your choices be ???
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Old March 20, 2013, 09:32 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Older Smith Model 10, or a Colt Official Police or Police Positive Special.
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Old March 20, 2013, 09:41 AM   #3
RedBowTies88
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I would reccomend a smith model 37.

mine was built in 56 and it's still a great shooter.
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Old March 20, 2013, 09:50 AM   #4
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A police trade-in Military & Police, or more prosaicly known as the Model 10.

To me, it is the quentissential service revovler.
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Old March 20, 2013, 10:40 AM   #5
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Find a nice S&W 36-1 with a three inch barrel. All steel J-frame with great balance with the 3 in. barrel.



Not my best picture, but you get the ideal.
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Old March 20, 2013, 11:02 AM   #6
alex0535
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The S&W Model 36 is a classic .38 snub

We have one that was built in 57 and still works well, shoots fine, accuracy is more up to the shooter's ability than the gun.

The Model 10 is considerably more in the vintage area 38 special but it isn't a snub.
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Old March 20, 2013, 01:35 PM   #7
Grant D
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I have a model 36 and 37 j frames and model 12 and 64 in K frames
They are all 38spl only.
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Old March 20, 2013, 01:47 PM   #8
Magnum Wheel Man
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thanks for all the suggestions guys... most of those are just what I'm looking for...

I just realized I lost my local FFL ( largest privately owned FFL in MN surrendered his license to the BATF, over minor paperwork infractions )...

... so Gun Broker will be a lot tougher... will have to see about someone else doing the transfer, or I'll be limited to what I can find locally, which I'm not looking forward to... I've used Gun Broker quite heavily over the years, getting some guns that I would have never seen without the internet...
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Old March 20, 2013, 04:39 PM   #9
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I love the Smith Centennials in .38 Special +P. My EDC for over twelve years has been a 1990-built 640 etched in the frame "Tested For +P+". Weighs 21 ounces, and is a lot more pleasant to shoot with +P than an Airweight.

It's DAO, but that's what I wanted when I bought it for self-defense.
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Old March 20, 2013, 06:07 PM   #10
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38

Hey Magnum, I'd say a S&W mdl 36 ot the mdl 60. Cant beat em!!
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Old March 20, 2013, 06:50 PM   #11
Winchester_73
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how about a N frame?

MWM

A lot of great options in this thread, but they're also the guns everyone has. How about something different? Don't forget if you go back far enough, S&W even made N frame 38 specials. They were made for the 38/44 round, the predecessor to the 357 magnum. There were two basic models, the fixed sight heavy duty (later the model 20), and the adj sight Outdoorsman (later the model 23).

Here is a post war transitional Outdoorsman which shipped in 1946 to Cleveland, OH.



Here is my post war transitional Heavy Duty which shipped also in 1946 to Denver, CO.



So N frame 38 specials are few and far between. What is a more practical alternative for one seeking that old world quality? Well a model 14, a K-38 target masterpiece, or a perhaps a M&P target. The M&P target was the grandfather to the modern day model 14.

Here is a 1905 4th change M&P target from probably the early to middle 1930s. SN 623XXX. Excellent fit and finish, and trigger. The sights are nice but the post war ones are better, I must admit. Also these service grips aren't the best in the hand, but the later K frame magnas work great for me. Of course K frame target grips are also compatible since M&Ps are K frame.



In this photo we have two 1905 1st change targets (top and middle - scarce) SN 106XXX and 115XXX followed by a K-38 from the early 1950s, K111XXX. S&W made great target 38s.



Just so I don't get labeled as S&W biased, here is an awesome Colt 38 special 1912 Officers model - second issue. Its not in the best shape, but its nice and original. And truthfully, for $350 - how could I lose? It actually has a 7.5in barrel which Colt still made in those days.

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Old March 20, 2013, 06:57 PM   #12
Garycw
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Just realized I don't have anything chambered specifically for 38 Special...

I second or third the model 10. Rock solid and +p no problem
Second choice



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Old March 21, 2013, 04:43 AM   #13
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Another vote for the S&W model 10 they are great shooting revolvers.
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Old March 21, 2013, 07:30 AM   #14
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Something different in a snubbie?

How about a Model 12-2? Six shots, aluminum frame.



The classic Model 10/M&P is always a good choice. This one is a M&P from 1955.



Everybody wants to know about shooting P+ in a 38, like P+ is a thunderbolt from Thor. Never understood it. I have fired P+ in both. The Model 12 is everyday carry gun, and is loaded with P+, but for general shooting at the range, I stick to wadcutters, or 158 gr RNL plinking loads. You can't ask for guns more fun to shoot.
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Old March 21, 2013, 07:46 AM   #15
micromontenegro
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The sweetest action in a .38 snub ever, IMHO: the Colt Cobra. Light, six shots, and what a trigger pull!

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Old March 21, 2013, 08:29 AM   #16
aarondhgraham
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I can't believe no one has mentioned the Model 15,,,

I can't believe no one has mentioned the Model 15,,,
There is a strong argument that this is the finest .38 ever made.



Essentially it's a Model 10 but with adjustable rear sight and ramp front sights,,,
There might be a few more differences like trigger or hammer style,,,
But there is a reason it was named the Combat Masterpiece.

It's by far my favorite revolver of all times.

Aarond

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Old March 21, 2013, 09:04 AM   #17
Viper225
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You said SHOOTABLE 38 SNUB.

That to me would first be the 2" Model 10, 2" Model 15, and 2" Model 64. The all steel K frames are way more shootable than a J Frame. Also way more pleasant to shoot.
Another K Frame option would be a 2" Model 12, and the now discontinued 315 Night Guard with a 2.5" Barrel.

In a J Frame Shootable to me means STEEL. The Model 60, 36, 49, 649, and 640 come to mind. I would probably put the 640 on the toip of my list. As a matter of fact it is, because I do not own a steel J Frame at the moment either.

In an airweight J Frame I like the PRO Model 442's the best in a current production model. I could live with a 438 also. After owning the SS Looking Airweight J, an sell as the Black version, I am of the opinion the finish is more durable on the current production Black J Frame Airweights.

My all purpose 38 Load is a 158 Round Nose Lead over 5.0 off Unique. This is my Defensive Pistol/Steel Challange Load.
I do not shoot this load in my 442 at all.

My 442 load is a 125 Round Nose lead over a Minimum Book Load (2.7 grains) of Clays. This is my BUG Match Load. It shoots close enough to point of aim in a Defensive Pistol Match to get the job done.

Shooting the BUG Match has brought it to my attention that I need a more shootable J Frame, or an SP101 (STEEL). I guess I could also go the Snub K Route also. I have J Frame Jet Loaders, as well as K Frame Safariland Comp III Speed Loaders, so I can make either option work. I also make Kydex Speed Loader carriers for the J Jet Loader, as well as K and L Safariland Comp III's. So J Frame Carriers are not an issue either.

In My Opiniom:
So either a J or K Frame Steel Snub should work for you. In a good holster either will carry very well. The real issue is what are you going to use it for? As a Range Gun the K Snub is way ahead. If Concealed Carry is a big priority the J Frame is ahead by a little.

Good Hunting

Bob
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:06 AM   #18
Waspinator
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I came across this Ruger Speed Six .38 spl model a few days ago while browsing around. I have to say I like the lines of this revolver.. more of a rounded look. Unfortunatly, it is not a snub and outside of your price range..... it sure is pretty though (to me at least).

http://www.gunsinternational.com/-Ru...n_id=100324773
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:13 AM   #19
Magnum Wheel Man
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thanks again... lots, & lots of good info...

use would be 1st ( fill the spot on the wall between the 32 & 44 ) I do shoot a lot of 38 special though, but it's in single action for CAS ( the guns my wife shoots in competition... my CAS guns are all in 45 )

so I guess just plinking ( though I don't mind practicing with a snubbie )

BTW... 2-3" is fine for what I'm looking for ( my 44 special is a 3", & if I put the barrel nut compensator on the Dan Wesson 44 magnum, that one measures at 3" as well )
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Old March 21, 2013, 01:35 PM   #20
Garycw
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Just realized I don't have anything chambered specifically for 38 Special...

The model 15 is nice graham , but I want to know where to get one of those soap dishes?


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Old March 21, 2013, 01:55 PM   #21
aarondhgraham
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Hello Garycw,,,

The dish is just a generic Frankoma Pottery serving dish,,,
You can probably find one just like it for $20.00.

The figurine is a rare Frankoma Pottery piece,,,
The name of it is the "Fan Dancer",,,
It's worth as much as the gun.

Back in 1997 I worked there for a short while,,,
The plant is permanently closed now.

Aarond

.
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Old March 21, 2013, 05:57 PM   #22
shafter
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Sounds like you need a Smith and Wesson Model 10. Inexpensive and a certain classic.
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Old March 21, 2013, 07:27 PM   #23
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A model 15, a ziplock bag full of cast lead wadcutter reloads sure makes for a great afternoon.


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Old March 21, 2013, 07:51 PM   #24
oldgunsmith
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I never did like little guns, but when concealed carry became a reality I decided I was just going to have to get used to them. The Ruger SP101 is the most comfortable for me to hold and shoot.
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Old March 22, 2013, 12:43 AM   #25
Redhawk5.5+P+
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Quote:
I would reccomend a smith model 37.
I have the same gun from the early 80s and thought the same thing.
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