Friday, April 30, 2010

ok, enough

Hooray for more women learning to shoot and wanting to carry a pistol for protection but can we stop with the "give the little lady a .38 revolver" stuff now?


Brian said...

My fiancee wouldn't touch a .38 revolver herself. She's left handed and prefers her Walther PPS.

Tombstone Charlie said...

With due respect...
I thikk LT Johnson was recommending the hammerless .38 due to its "non-snaggy" nature. I carry a Smith M38, my wife prefers her P239-both for that reason. The reporter probably edited the comments to fit length restrictions.

Word "aleweas"-how often I carry

instinct said...

Mine wife wants a .357 S&W. Me, I'm saving for a P229 in Sig .357.

I did notice that they have woman's firearm training, couples training, but no men's training. Are men born with some magical ability to properly handle a firearm from birth? If so, I missed out on that because I've practiced a LOT.

Eric said...

My wife found the .38 revolver too heavy, so she shoots a S&W 351PD revo in .22 WMR.

mdrewrankin said...

can we stop with the "give the little lady a .38 revolver" stuff now?

Couldn't have said it better myself...

that instructor should be recommending a Ruger Alaskan with some hot .454 loads.


Kristopher said...

I carry a .38 Revolver. A S&W M38 Airweight Bodyguard. An expert's revolver ... too light for easy target practice.

I generally recommend beginners ( of either sex ) get a 4" steel framed .357.

Lissa said...

I love my Siguette (P239) . . . but my Kahr PM9 is a shiny, naughty little girl . . .

Have I ever shot a .38? I really have no idea.

Geodkyt said...

I'm with Kristopher -- although I generally round it off to "K-frame .38 OR .357, 3 OR 4 inch barrel."

But I follow up with, "Try everything you can -- you just may find something that better suits you. And it doesn't take much skill at all to learn to effectively manipulate most semiauto."

I've never recommended a .38 snubbie or one of the super-lightweight frame revolvers to a beginner.

I recommend revolvers to newbies for one simple reason.

Regardless of what some people may say, there are simply fewer things you can do WRONG with a revolver. No one ever forgot to rack the slide after loading, take the safety off to shoot, activate the decocker after shooting, or check to make sure the chamber was empty after taking out the magazine on a modern S&W revolver. It doesn't take MUCH practice to be safely competant with a semiauto (I used to teach recruits and second lieutenants how to work a 1911, and none of them shot themselves, someone else, or the wall in doing so), but it does take SOME in excess of that required with a decent revolver.

With a revolver, at minimum, all you have to do is know is:

1. Loaded -- "Are there any bool-lits in it?" (Thumb latch, look at cylinder -- all holes filled, so "Yes". Push cylinder closed.)

2. Pull trigger.

3. Unloaded -- "Are there any bool-lits in it?" (Thumb latch, point gun up, slam the ejector rod, look at cylinder -- all holes empty, so "No".)

Cleaning -- if done at all -- doesn't require actually taking anything apart, except one common sized screw to pull the grips so you can wipe it down underneath. If you can unload and reload teh revolver, and work a flat head screwdriver, you can do more maintenance than most NYPD service revolvers saw.

Whereas a semiauto requires you to take stuff (no matter how easy) apart, and put it back together. You would be AMAZED at the simple reasssmbly errors I saw working at a gunstore -- I mean people who couldn't remember how to reassemble a field stripped Glock, Beretta 92, or a fixed barrel blowback.

Never saw someone who couldn't figure out how to put the grips back on his revolver. The only times I EVER saw a reassembly problem with a revolver is if someone tried to take stuff out.

The revolver is so easy a caveman can do it -- or someone who ISN'T going to do more than load it, chuck it in a bedside drawer, and MAYBE run a box of el cheapo wadcutters through it when they think of it. (Which isn't a great solution compared to proper training and practice, but beats being absolutely unarmed.)

Revolvers are the general best handgun choice for the poorly trained who aren't going to practice.

However, gender has nothing to do with it. Among shooters I've known, knowledgeable males are far more likely to be "revolver fans" than knowledgeable females are. I neither know, nor care, why -- people aren't percentages, so I try to approach each new shooter as {GASP} a new and unique situation.

Zendo Deb said...

The instructor shouldn't be recommending any specific weapon. What he should recommend is that you try something at a gun range, and get the largest caliber you are comfortable with.

Then you should get something that fits your hand and the way you intend to carry.

I wouldn't recommend anyone get a .38 revolver for inside-the-waistband carry.

I would recommned you not keep your carry weapon in the bottom of your purse (where he is worried the hammer will catch on things). Purses get stolen too easily.

While I love revolvers, (see the title of my blog if you are confused) I don't like .38 special, though I do shoot in training occasionally because .357 magnum rounds are getting awful expensive.

Anytime you make judgements about an entire class of people, based on your knowledge of one or two or handfull of members of that class, you are acting like a bigot.

PPPP said...

I took a non-gunnie co-worker shooting this last weekend. He shot nine different guns, from a .22 Ruger Single-Six to a Ruger P90 .45ACP. The one he liked the most? Ruger LCR. W/O the Crimson Trace laser. He's in the process of ordering one with the laser. We've been told that the grip is a harder plastic, compared to the softer rubber grip on the non-laser version. For his purpose (eventual CC) he'll put up with the harsher felt recoil.

PPPP said...

One other thing. That reporter needs to learn English grammer. That article was quite poorly written.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

First gun a revolver? Model 10 (or similar service revolver), maybe. Model 640 snubbie, probably not. Not for anyone's first gun.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Hey Breda, wasn't YOUR first shooting experience with a .38 snubbie? If you could go back in time and talk to yourself before the fateful event, what would you say to you? To Mike?

PPPP said...

Oh. His second preference - the .45ACP Ruger. And he hated the G17 Glock. Go figure.

As stated above - every one is a unique situation. Also, no accounting for taste. (Though I'm not particularly fond of the G17 grip either, but it, like the P90, was a gift.)

Me said...

Uhhh...I'm a guy and I shoot and sometimes carry a .38 revolver. I would be hard-pressed to find a simpler, more reliable firearm/cartridge combination.

If I were a bad guy, a determined lass with a .38 would put me to flight every time.

Joat said...

I picked up a 2" .38 revolver for my wife, and damn it, she likes the gun, I don't get it for pocket carry.

Casey said...

If they're giving out .38's to women, I'd happily put on one of my wife's dresses and stand in line :)

I carry my grandfather's Colt Cobra as much as anything else these days. I have full confidence in it too. If you have any questions about the effectiveness of a .38 lead semi-wadcutter, make friends with a detective, or pathologist, and view a few autopsies where one was used, as apposed to something else.

I've seen enough that I always prefer a heavy, lead, semi-wadcutter to any of the fancy +P++++, etc., ammunition out there for .38s.

Then again, I'm also fine carrying a .380, .25, or even a .22 when I'm out and about. Doesn't matter how big the bullet is, it's all about shot placement, and that comes with practice, regardless of caliber.



be603 said...

Yeah, leave the 38's to me will ya?! Got a 38+P snub under my arm as I type.

Mad Saint Jack said...

My first gun was .177, I tell people to start small and work their way up.

I really tell people to start with the cheapest ammo, so they can practice more.

Don Meaker said...

My only .38 Special is a 2 shot derringer. Really quite a handful, but I have no doubts that it would stop an argument or prevent one if necessary. Revolvers: no worries about what kind of bullet will feed. .36 caliber was good enough for Bill Hickok, and it will do a fine job for you too.

Hecate said...

The implication that a woman can't or won't deal with the so-called complexity of a semiautomatic is what grates. ANYONE who carries ANY gun needs to know their manual of arms inside and out.

If you prefer wheelguns, great. If you believe everyone's first gun should be a .38 revolver, fine. Just don't try to tell me or any other woman that semiautomatics and/or major calibers are unsuitable for a female.

At a Bass Pro one time I just had to speak up when the sales clerk insisted on showing only .22 revolvers to a woman who wanted a 9mm semiauto for personal defense.

No handgun is anywhere near as complicated to operate, disassemble, maintain, and reassemble as a sewing machine, but you'll never find a man claiming those are too difficult for a woman.

Glenn B said...


Are you kidding that you would only remove the grip screws 'if you cleaned a 38 at all'. Wow, what a philosophy on carry of a 38.


Yeah I see your point, well a point tha can be made about what you said even though it probably was not your point. I would not give a "little lady" (you said it) a 38 revolver, at least not a snub nosed version of one. Truth be told, a little lady probably could not handle a snub nosed 38 with plus P rounds as well as she would be able to handle a full sized 45. Then again neither woukld a little man. I have found that most shooters shoot much worse with a 38 snub nose revolver than they do with a larger caliber semi-auto and that goes even more so for little shooters. A larger frame 38 with longer and heavier barrel may be okay, but not those 2" barrel jobs.

I did get your point though and willa dmit there is a lot of sexism out there among he shooting crowd with some guys believing that little ladies should have little guns - especially so called ditz proof revolvers. I just don't quite understand why, in this day and age that this is still a popular idea among some instructors.

All the best,

JC said...

I used to have access to a huge stash of H&R 9 round 22s. When women would ask me what to get (almost invariably as a bedside gun) I would suggest getting one of them and then take them out to the range. (At the time the H&Rs were going for about $25 - that's less thatn a c note with inflation). Most of the women declined to go to the range. Every onbe of the first time shooters I've dealt with freaked when starting with a .38 or major caliber, but every one starting with .22 was comfortable. 9 rounds of DA .22 inthe hands of someone who isn't scared of shooting it is a hell of a lot more effective than 17 rounds of 9MM in a Glock that scares the shooter more that the goblin.
But damn, I wish I could get back some of those H&Rs....

WV: Sentio - I sit, therefore I am

Geodkyt said...


That's not what I would recommend, nor what I do. Even my stainless guns get cleaned thoroughly, and the chambers of my revolvers each get the same attention the barrel does.

It IS, however, adequate maintenance, given the history of the NYPD and their (somewhat extensive) experience with poorly maintained revolvers still firing when someone pulls the trigger.

This was really brought home to me reading an article (ISTR by Ayoob, while he was lauding the Ruger P85 series to the heavens) mentioning a simple statistic -- in the history of the NYPD (right as, or just before they went to Glocks), NO NYPD revolver failed to fire when the trigger was pulled on a loaded chamber -- even long-retired officers with rusted hunks of crap where the cases were stuck in the chambers by verdigris.

THAT is an excellent endorsement of a neglect-proof weapon. One that seems very credible, think of some of the horribly abused (yet showing little signs of actual firing) "cop .38s" I saw when the police were trading in their wheelguns for Wonderguns in the early 1990s.

"Abuse" and "neglect" are NOT the same thing. Modern revolvers are remarkably resistant to "neglect".

lee n. field said...

"Don't give the little lady a little .38 snubby" until she's practiced up, good and ready for it.

"An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age."

AM said...

The "give the lady a 38" isn't going to stop because there are a lot of good reasons for that recommendation.

1. It is simple.
2. It fits most hands.
3. It has plenty of low recoil practice ammo available.
4. It has plenty of +P defense ammo available.

The benefits of a 38 Special are just going to keep people who know guns to recommend them to people.

I am a big guy, and I carry a 38 Special. I love my 1911 but it gets pretty dang uncomfortable to carry all day.

Better five shots on hand than eight in the car.