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The glory of the .38 special snub nose revolver

I make no secret of my love of snubbies. I carry a .38 special sometimes, and a .357 mag sometimes. The .357 can stop a bear, but weighs 24 ounces empty and kicks like a shotgun. The .38 special can stop most things, weighs only 12 ounces empty and has a manageable kick, which makes accurate follow-up shots easier.

My .38 is a Charter Arms Undercover Lite. Was 350 bucks new. I carry it all the time, even at home. Outside the house, I carry it, and often carry the .357 Taurus model 605 also.

Below the pix are some good links with excellent snubbie info. (added later: also check out the comments, there’s some great info there, especially on speedloaders, holsters and carry options.)

–Michael W. Dean

Making the snubbie work:

.38 snubbie ballistics:
The Snubnose files:
Awesome revolver re-post:

89-year-old woman foils home invasion

Don’t go bashing through Granny’s door when she has that gun in her hand. Click here for the AP story.

Seriously, old folks do not need to be easy prey. It is heart warming to hear of them fighting back, and winning.

Posted in Cool stuff we like!, damn liberals, guns, liberty, punk rock, man!, take action NOW!, The road to serfdom, Uncategorized.

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18 Responses

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  1. BigDnTN says

    I just bought a .38 snub made by Rossi (Taurus). Just shot it the other day and really like it. Good weight and easy to conceal!

  2. Bluesluver says

    Nice article, really like your site and views. Good to hear someone else likes Charter Arms. My current snubbie is the Charter Arms .357 Pug. I prefer the .357 to the .38 as it can fire either round. I’d hate to grab it and a speed loader in the dark and then discover I had a .38 and reloads of .357. I do carry .38 +P’s for ccw, thought. My field gun is .357 Taurus Tracker (7 shot), so it could happen. Or I could just be out of the .38’s. I like choices. Another thing about the snub is that recently my left arm was broken and I was unable to rack the slide on my 9mm or my .380. The snub was instantly my favorite again. Just need a hammerless one now. The 24oz snub isn’t noticeable in IWB carry. I paid $350 for the Charter about 4 yrs ago btw. It has about 1000 rounds through it, is as tight as when new, and is just as accurate as the S&W’s at the range.

  3. MichaelWDean says

    Here’s another .308 pistol:

    It’s a Wichita Arms Silhouette model. THAT’s the one I picked up in the store. I was mistaken on that first link.

    By the way, I sold my .380 Ruger LCP mouse gun today and ordered a SECOND Charter Arms .38 snubbie, exactly like the other one. I’m gonna carry two of them, since my .357 Taurus snubbie weighs more. I’ll only carry that in bear country.


  4. Nunzio X says

    Michael, WTF?!?!

    A .308 pistol? Jesus Excessive Fucking Recoil Christ, man!

    I’d rather stick a cattle prod up my ass than fire that thing!

  5. Freedom Outlaw says

    The shape reminds me of a pellet pistol I used to have.

  6. MichaelWDean says

    I saw one today in a store I want, just don’t have 900 bucks handy.

    It’s the Magnum Research lone eagle. It’s a single-shot pistol in Winchester .308!!!!

    The one I saw was baby blue. Looked like a sci-fi raygun.


  7. Freedom Outlaw says

    Oh yeah, not just snubbies. I have quite a varied and high-speed shopping list for when I start making money…all manner of firearms and sharpened steel and nylon… *maniacal laugh*

  8. MichaelWDean says

    Amassing snubbies…I like it.


  9. Freedom Outlaw says

    No, I’m in NC. It’s a lot worse than Texas by a longshot….

    To own a handgun in this state you actually have to go to the sherrifs office for a $25 tax/background check to get an unconstitutional “pistol permit”. This is before you even buy said pistol….you have to have the permit or an FFL won’t sell to you, and as far as I know even private sale is verbotten without said permission slip. And my favorite part, you have to get one of these for every single handgun you buy!

    We also have the highest and most numerous taxes of any Southern state…where I live you have to pay out the ass for living in our podunk town, another tax for living in the county, another quite large one for living NEAR Greensboro, and then theres all the taxes for living in NC period…all that’s BEFORE you even get to paying federal taxes.

    It’s a bunch of bullshit of course, and I will not be doing it. I’ll wait till I move to a free state probably after my military service…even if it’s just Virginia…to start ammasing sidearms…which is why my post on snubbies was just idle curiosity.

  10. Justin West says

    Our laws in Texas are a pain in the ass for concealed carry.

    This post makes me jealous!! My only snubbie is a Windicator .357, and its a steel frame, 6 shot… and HEAVY!! I really need to get a 5 shot .38 lightweight, but I’m sure my wife will steal it from me as soon as I do. :)
    .38 snubbies are her favorite.

  11. MichaelWDean says

    Are you in Texas? I think you can lose your permit there for printing.

    If you carry a revolver, get a speedloader, get one of those little belt pouches for it, and practice quick reloads it at the range.
    Here’s a double one:

    Here’s a single one:

    (You can also pay more and get leather ones, but I like nylon for pouches and holsters.)

    Uncle Mike’s sells those pouches, and I use the HKS 36A speedloader (five-shot, small frame.)


  12. Freedom Outlaw says


    And yeah +1 on holsters. They make holsters just for inside the pocket…in addition to saftey it prevents printing. In my state, we don’t have open carry and if you CCW and someone calls you out for printing, it’s pretty much treated the same as if you whipped it out.

  13. MichaelWDean says

    Snubbies are so light, you have no excuse to not carry it 100% of the time. I carry it even to go out in the front yard and get the paper. I have other guns I carry also when I feel like it, but that’s on top of the 12 ounce snubbie.

    Carrying two guns is good too. Any gun can fail at some point, and you’ll always have *A* gun if you have two.

    Many cops carry two guns. A main semi-auto sidearm in .40 or .45, and a snubbie .38 as backup, often in an ankle holster. (I haven’t yet tried that, and only carry my big hog leg revolver in a shoulder holster. I carry my snubbies either in a pocket holster, or in a holster on my belt.)


  14. MichaelWDean says

    Don’t get the airweight .357s, the recoil is heavy on the hand, and the recoil can unseat the bullet from the case in the other bullets in the chamber! And the airweight .357s weigh more (about 15 ounces empty) than this .38 (which weighs 12 ounces empty.)

    My .357 snubbie (Taurus 605) weighs 24 ounces empty, and still kicks like a shotgun. I can’t imagine what the kick would be if it weighted only 15 ounces. (the weight absorbs kick, my 3 1/2 pound hogleg barely kicks with .357, and almost not at all with .38). (Anyone who doesn’t know, all .357 revolvers can also fire .38, but .38s can’t fire .357. And .357 is one of the most powerful handgun cartridges. .38 with +P is just under the power of 9mm, but an adequate self-defense bullet, especially if you’re a good shot and hit a critical area.)

    I got my Charter .38 for $350 new in a store, they retail for $450,

    but are cheaper some places, and you can get them in all kinds of fruity colors, even “lady” colors

    The pink one actually had a prototype that said “Pink Bitch” on it, but it didn’t test well with women:

    Anyway, regardless of the color, it’s a great gun. Get some Buffalo Bore +P ammo (the gun is rated for it) and make sure you have a holster, even if you carry it in a pocket. Holster keeps dirt out, prevents accidental discharge, and makes sure it’s in the right position every time you go to grab it.

    Make sure you practice with it. Snubbies are hard to hit accurately with without practice.

    I’ve gotten really good with them, I can hit a four-inch circle at 30 feet every time.


  15. Freedom Outlaw says

    You’ve got me really wanting a snubbie nowadays. Much as I like a full size 9mm or .45, a snubbie is something you can quickly just pick up and put in your front pocket when you need it. That’s a great ability to have and you just can’t do that with a 1911 or G17.

    The Charter Arms is good to go? I don’t know that I can bring myself to buy one of those “Airweight” S&Ws that go for like $6-800 because the frame is like 4 .oz lighter.

  16. MichaelWDean says

    .44 is good, if you carry it 100% of the time. The 12 ounce gun I’ll carry 100% of the time. Plus an additional gun when in the mood.

    Good analogy on the weed.

    Check out that link from the Euro guy, and his other comments, maybe you can talk some sense into him. He probably likes weed.


  17. Nunzio X says

    Saying “Fuck guns” is kind of like saying “Fuck weed.” Both have been demonized. Unfairly.

    Thanks for the snubby links. I kind of kick myself now for selling my Charter Arms .38 and my S&W M36 (especially the Smith) but I’m looking now at Charter Bulldogs.

    Nunzio is a big fan of big holes and he thinks the .44 Special is good at making them.

    Nunzio also occasionally slips into the annoying habit of referring himself in the 3rd person. Maybe it’s the weed to blame.

  18. MichaelWDean says

    p.s. here’s some European who loves my art (especially the DIY or DIE movie) but says of me “I lost touch with his stuff when he converted to a gun-fanatic. Maybe that is living in America. But I’m European. Fuck guns, fuck all violence.”

    I replied to him on his blog:
    I agree with you that violence (initiating aggression) is evil. But saying “fuck violence” will not keep it from ever coming to you.

    Self-defense is not violence, it is not initiating aggression, it’s STOPPING AGGRESSION.

    I know it’s hard for Europeans to understand this, because your laws make you helpless. But put it this way: if some thug (or a couple of thugs) with knives tried to kill you to take your wallet, or tried to break into your house to rape someone you loved, what would you do? You’d try to get to a phone and call the police.

    In other words, YOU’D CALL A MAN WITH A GUN and hope he gets to you in time to save you. But he would likely only get there in time to take pictures of your dead body.

    I do not want to leave my life up to chance, I’d rather be my own “man with a gun.” Last time I had to call the police, they took 20 minutes to show up. Someone can kill you in seconds with a knife or a baseball bat or a gun.

    Places in America where carrying a gun is legal have LOW violent crime. Places where it is illegal, there is HIGH violent crime.

    England’s violent crime has gone WAY up since they outlawed guns.

    My gun is not a threat to any honest man. My guns sleeps, safely on my hip in a holster. I’m well practiced in using it, and trained in safety (you have to be to get a concealed carry permit). I really think you should do more research before saying “fuck guns.” And my gun is no danger to you. It wouldn’t be a danger to you if you lived next door to me, but it is really no danger to you over in Europe. So why should you care, or judge me, if I carry a gun?

    A gun is part of how I “survive as an independent artist.” And as a free human.

    Michael W. Dean
    Director, “D.I.Y. or DIE: How to Survive as an Independent Artist.”