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Old 03-23-2012, 14:19   #1
Ian
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Smallest, Lightest .38 Special

What is the smallest, lightest snub revolver that will handle +p .38 Special please?
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Old 03-23-2012, 14:39   #2
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I love my S&W airweight no lock 442 with apex trigger kit
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Old 03-23-2012, 16:42   #3
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The LCR is a small and light choice, but I don't know if there may be a smaller option.
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Old 03-23-2012, 16:48   #4
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I love my 442 also! The Snubbie Club
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:24   #5
Mike2x
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Smith 342pd. 10.8oz, 1.8" barrel. Great to carry. Not so great to fire. Have a great day. Mike
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Old 03-24-2012, 18:13   #6
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Currently available model 340PD chambered for 357 mag, so will handle +P just fine. You asked specifically for smallest and lightest that will handle so there it is.
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Old 03-24-2012, 23:55   #7
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+442, been a great choice for 18yrs. Belt holster, pocket, fanny pack, etc.
Add a couple speedloaders, and speed strips,you are in, good to go.
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:58   #8
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I have the 342 airlite pd.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:22   #9
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The 642 is ~15oz and I love it.

The Charter Arms Undercover Lite comes in around 12oz. I don't know anything about that guy except that it's light.
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Old 03-28-2012, 13:14   #10
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Quote:
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What is the smallest, lightest snub revolver that will handle +p .38 Special please?
Did you pick out a J-frame yet?


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Old 03-28-2012, 13:20   #11
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Instead of answering that broad equipment characteristic question, I'd consider you discover for yourself what the lightest .38 short-barreled revolver is that you can safely, accurately & effectively shoot ... with the defensive ammunition that you plan to use in the gun.

I've seen folks that had to go to heavier J's in order to be able to shoot them with any practical accuracy and effectiveness.
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Old 03-28-2012, 18:52   #12
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Instead of answering that broad equipment characteristic question, I'd consider you discover for yourself what the lightest .38 short-barreled revolver is that you can safely, accurately & effectively shoot ... with the defensive ammunition that you plan to use in the gun.

I've seen folks that had to go to heavier J's in order to be able to shoot them with any practical accuracy and effectiveness.
+1 Good points. I have a 342, 642 and a model 60, as well as a Ruger LCR. The lightest S&W J frames, in my case the 342, is a dream to carry, but I can only fire a very few rounds in practice before the pain gets to me. My 642 is a handgun that I can fire significantly more often and without discomfort. None the less, for pocket carry, those extra few ounces make a difference. As for the LCR, I like the handgun, but someone needs to design a grip that is the right size, for me at least. The standard grip is very comfortable, just too hard to conceal in my pocket holster. The "boot grip" is small enough, just way too small for me to comfortably grab hold of.
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Old 03-28-2012, 19:07   #13
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Having returned a two month old S&W BG38 "Bodyguard" twice for malfunctions, I suggest you avoid that model.

The BG38 is the polymer/aluminum/steel 5 shot revolver which looks like a J-frame, but is not. The second time back S&W called and informed me the gun was unrepairable.

They are sending me a "post-lock" 642 J-frame as a replacement. Hopefully this new gun works.

Edmo

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Old 03-28-2012, 19:28   #14
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Originally Posted by Mike2x View Post
Smith 342pd. 10.8oz, 1.8" barrel. Great to carry. Not so great to fire...
DOB January 2000... no lock...
My "Y2K Special"...
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Old 03-28-2012, 19:30   #15
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Yep, that whole "finding the best compromise" can be difficult at times.

The steel J's handle well, are decently accurate and are pretty controllable for most folks (presuming DA revolver skills ).

The Airlites carry better, though, virtually disappearing in a pocket. I've seen wallets that weighed more.

The Airweights, however, and the only slightly lighter M&P 340/360's, seem to be a nice compromise.

Then, there's the easy-to-see XS front sight on the M&P's.

Getting a practical size grip stock can work against the size advantage of the little wheelguns, too. Just depends.

I'd rather shoot Magnum loads from my Ruger SP101DAO than my pair of M&P 340's, though ... at least when it comes to range sessions. My older 649 Bodyguard shoots even better than my Airweights, but it doesn't rest as lightly in a pocket holster.

I finally handled and shot a new Bodyguard 38 snub. I was surprised it's an ounce heavier than the M&P 340, but then I suppose the laser adds its weight. The trigger was decent enough.

I didn't care for the thinness of the "backstrap" under the recoil, though, even though it's cushioned. Just didn't seem as comfortable as shooting my Airweights & M&P's with their exposed backstraps. Funny. It seemed to do okay in the hands of a couple of us, using an assortment of standard and +P loads.

I wonder how well it would stand up to the same amount of shooting I do with my other J's, long term? Not interested in finding out (even though it can be bought at a bargain price).

Of course, it took me some years to accustom myself to buying my first aluminum-framed revolver, and then a plastic-framed pistol.
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Old 03-28-2012, 19:32   #16
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Originally Posted by Mike2x View Post
Smith 342pd. 10.8oz, 1.8" barrel. Great to carry. Not so great to fire. Have a great day. Mike
This....but I have a 340 M&P to also handle .357 The .357 is brutal.

But I dont think the .38 is that bad at all. I tend to think the people who dont like .38 in them are just recoil sensitive.

The 342 is a great gun and probably what I should have bought.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:35   #17
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I just bought an older 442. It's not +P rated but I will just shoot a few +Ps to get point of impact and practice with standard loads. I will then carry +P in it. Any way to get to the point, this gun is smaller than the new 442s. The new guns have the Mag. size frame and cylinder and when put side by side they are noticeably bigger than the older guns. I didn't weigh them yet to see any weight difference. I might have to start collecting 442s I think they are the coolest looking Snubs.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:55   #18
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I also have an older M37.

After discussing this older production Airweight with some factory folks, and durability considerations when using different ammunition in it, I only use standard pressure loads in mine.

No reason to abuse a nice older style Airweight. Not even for a few rounds. Not when there are other J's that can be used with the higher pressure loads.

Just my thoughts, though.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:03   #19
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I love my S&W airweight no lock 442 with apex trigger kit
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:27   #20
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I really like my Ruger LCR in .38 Spl. Nice compromise between weight, size, and controlability.

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Old 05-12-2012, 07:33   #21
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The only small 38 I have experience with is my 642. For me it's perfect. One speed strip and the gun in my pocket in a Tuff holster is really quite comfortable. I still carry my G27 sometimes instead, though.

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Old 08-03-2012, 12:30   #22
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I really like my Ruger LCR in .38 Spl. Nice compromise between weight, size, and controlability.

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I think Im gonna pick one up in the next few days...My buddy recommended the 442 but from everything Ive read the trigger pull is a lot better on the LCR
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Old 08-04-2012, 13:01   #23
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S&W 342 ti 38 +P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
What is the smallest, lightest snub revolver that will handle +p .38 Special please?
S&W 342 ti 38 +P - 11.1 oz on a digital scale.
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Old 08-04-2012, 20:16   #24
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Old 08-04-2012, 20:28   #25
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Hmmm. Thought I responded to this thread, but the post never appeared. Strange. Anyway...

I believe the now-discontinued S&W model 337PD is the lightest +P-rated revolver ever made in .38 Special, edging the other competitors out by weighing-in at 10.7 ounces. I owned one of these for several years, and while it worked like a dream for drop-in-the-pocket carry duties, it was NOT very pleasant to shoot, even using low-powered target ammo.

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You can see the "+P Jacketed" warning on the barrel; apparently, lead bullets wouldn't stay put in the cases during recoil, so using jacketed bullets was required to prevent bullets from creeping forward and jamming the cylinder. I never had any problems with mine, but I usually default to jacketed bullets for defensive use anyway.


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