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Old July 26, 2009, 11:00 AM   #1
headbangerJD
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Best 38 snub nose for the money

I'm going to buy a hammerless snub nose tomorrow that will be used for concealed carry. I already own a Kahr P40, but my new Ruger GP100 has made me fall in love w/ revolvers, and now I want a 38 snub nose. What is the 'hammerless' best snub nose out on the market right now for the money? I will most likely be gatting a laser grip w/ it as well.

Thanks
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Old July 26, 2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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Well, there's going to be a LOT of opinions one way or the other, but I've got one tip that you can take to the bank!

You aren't going to be buying a .38 snub nosed from Vance's tomorrow, that's for damn sure! (they aren't open on Mondays! )
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Old July 26, 2009, 11:10 AM   #3
headbangerJD
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haha, probably Ohio Valley Outdoors in lancaster. They have a couple used w/ lasers for decent prices. I think one is a bodyguard, not sure about the others
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Old July 26, 2009, 11:31 AM   #4
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If you have been so drawn in to revolvers by a GP-100, I'm not sure why you'd look anywhere other than an SP-101 until you find a reason NOT TO.

In the end, there might not be enough tangible difference between your options... but if you are already in love with the overall feel and operation of a double action Ruger, why look somewhere else? The SP-101 will probably make you pretty happy, I'd think.
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Old July 26, 2009, 11:32 AM   #5
melchloboo
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I have stayed in the S&W family because I've come to know their timings. I know some people may think that's crazy.

That said, maybe you'd like the ruger sp101, since you already have gp100?
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Old July 26, 2009, 11:33 AM   #6
headbangerJD
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isnt the 101 medium framed? I want a -2in barrell
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Old July 26, 2009, 11:38 AM   #7
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Shortest barrel on the SP-101 is 2-1/4" and yes, it's quite a bit larger than a J frame but immensely more shootable. Take your pick, something to shoot or something to carry.

And before the J-frame fans jump in, I love the J frames and shoot the heck out of mine, but most people prefer to not shoot them a whole lot, especially the lightweight ones.
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Old July 26, 2009, 02:08 PM   #8
mike45
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I have always preferred the steel frame J frame Smith such as the 640 or 649. I can get better shot placement in rapid fire with the heavier frame when shooting a 100 rounds or more for off duty qualification. I prefer the stainless because I like an in the waistband holster and that can get sweaty in the summer.

I still use a 49 I bought 27 years ago and had a Metal Life finish put on it (this was before the stainless 649 was made). I like the 49/649 because of the ability to cock the hammer when shooting at the 20yard line.
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Old July 26, 2009, 02:09 PM   #9
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have you looked at the Ruger LCR?
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Old July 26, 2009, 02:22 PM   #10
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I purchased my S&W 638 (yes lightweight j-frame) for $400 and absolutely love it...and many can argue the recoil kick, and yes it does kick, but luckily it's a .38 not a .357. However .38 with a standard pressure defense round is 100% manageable (unless your a sissy, whiner or arthritic LOL). I don't really find the +P that bad at all.
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Old July 26, 2009, 02:29 PM   #11
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S & w 442

I like my S & W 442 snubnonse hammerless. +P, aluminum alloy. Very light but rubber grips give mild recoil. Shoots sweet. Also called the Airweight. Hammer less means DAO, of course but that's ok most of the time. SD is the main purpose.
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Old July 26, 2009, 03:30 PM   #12
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Are you carrying in a IWB holster or in your pocket? If in the pocket, I would favor light weight over anything. In an IWB holster, it is not as much of a factor.

You could also look for a used Colt snubbie - 6 shots in lieu of 5 at about the same size - while not "hammerless", it can be bobbed for snag-free use
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Old July 26, 2009, 03:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
If in the pocket, I would favor light weight over anything.
+1 luv my pocket rocket



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Old July 26, 2009, 05:12 PM   #14
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I picked up this Taurus a few months ago. Probably havent fired 50rnds through it though. All 38 so far. I bought some .357 recently Im going to try through it. It will definitely ring your ears.
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Old July 26, 2009, 05:55 PM   #15
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I'm personally a Ruger fan.

Combining both shootability and concealability (pocket carry) it's hard to beat the LCR.

Combining both shootability and concealability (belt carry) it's hard to beat the 2.25" SP101.

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Old July 26, 2009, 06:07 PM   #16
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Your GP is a great revolver and one could argue the GP is the BEST revolver out there. The SP, and I own one, isn't in the same class as the GP. They are good revolvers, but they are not the best out there.

If you want "the snub" look at the S&W Airweight series. Great trigger and light weight. In my opinion, they are a much better option than Ruger's SP and the best snub going.

As a side note, I've heard nothing but great things regarding the Ruger LCR. Never shot or seen one, but they are supposed to pretty similiar to the S&W Airweight series.
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Old July 26, 2009, 06:33 PM   #17
dosjoel
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Taurus Ultralite with laser

Bought my wife a little Taurus Ultra-lite which comes with a laser grip. Five shots of +P, inexpensive, 15 oz or so and never had a problem with it. You can go with Smith but I am not sure what exactly you get for the extra 100-200 bucks. I don't mean to be a wise guy, maybe for certain uses the Smith is well worth it. But for our use - 100 rounds every couple of years - it works just great.

BTW - I think you can get it hamerless.

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Old July 26, 2009, 07:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
headbangerJD
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Your choices are pretty slim, use common sense's and you will find the right gun.
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Old July 27, 2009, 01:18 PM   #19
headbangerJD
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S&W Bodyguard

I found my gun today, a black S&W Bodyguard. I bought it because the hammer is shrouded, which makes it snag-proof yet still able to be shot in single action. I plan on carrying this in a pocket holster.
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Old July 27, 2009, 02:23 PM   #20
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Nice find. I think you'll be very happy with the S&W.
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Old July 27, 2009, 08:00 PM   #21
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This is my .38 snub - great for pocket carry

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Old July 27, 2009, 08:24 PM   #22
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LCR

mid- $400 range;

.38+P;

13.5 oz;

really nice DAO trigger.
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Old July 27, 2009, 09:07 PM   #23
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+1 for the LCR

Liked the first one so much I bought a second one, even though I have several J frame S&W Centennials in the gun safe.
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Old July 27, 2009, 09:26 PM   #24
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If you're going to get a really small .38 revolver with a big, fat, cushy grip to make it shootable, you may as well just get an SP-101 with a normal grip to begin with. An extra 10 ounces on a belt (which is where you will carry either) is a small price to pay for a far superior gun.

I hate J-frames. The SP-101 is between the J-frame and K-frame, but much closer to the J-frame than the K-frame. It is, by far, in my opinion, the best snub-nosed .38 on the market for easy shooting in an easily concealed revolver on one's belt. And it's also a .357.
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Old July 27, 2009, 10:19 PM   #25
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I have both the SP101 and the LCR, thanks, Ichiro...

... and the SP101 isn't necessarily better, although it is in certain circumstances.

By this, I mean I've pocket carried the SP101; it can be done, but only in really big and sturdy pockets, and it isn't comfortable. The LCR is very light, and even with the Hogue Tamer grip, it fits in a pocket better than the SP101 does, without pulling down so much on the pocket. Pocket carry is my primary (actually, only - haven't bothered getting a belt holster for it) mode of carry for the LCR.

In fact, the LCR even fits in the cargo pockets on the legs of my Quicksilver board shorts. Put the LCR on one side, and my wallet and a speed strip on the other. My lady can't tell which pocket has the gun, so I guess this method works well enough.

The SP101 is nicer to shoot with .38+P than the LCR, and it gives the option of shooting .357mag, though in a snubby there's not that much gain over the .38+P in velocity, and there's a lot more recoil, noise, and flash. I pretty much only loaded magnums in the SP101 when hiking, and otherwise went with .38+P.

(I used past tense because I loaned my SP101 to my mom; she likes the CTC grip; I haven't seen it in months)

The LCR is snappier than the SP101, but at about half the weight, it has to be. The LCR trigger is nicer than the stock SP101 trigger; my SP101 is modified, so the DA's are comparable.

The SP101 has slightly better iron sights, and with the CTC it will put all rounds in the vital areas of a silhouette at 25yds; with effort, it will do the same with the iron sights.

The LCR can be had with CTC grips, but I didn't bother. I bought the LCR as a shorts and t-shirt, too hot to wear cover garments gun - at night, I just about always carry something bigger.

So, if you want pocketability, the LCR wins.

If you want a smooth stock trigger, the LCR wins.

With any given power loading, the SP101 is more pleasant to shoot; the SP101 can also go up a step in power from the LCR.

You can get CTC on either gun, if you want.

I wouldn't call either revolver superior to the other, as a blanket statement. It really depends on what you want to use them for.
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