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Discussion Starter #1
Ok...this gun thing is getting addicting...seems I want a new gun every other month. Ok...got me a PT145 and I have a Kel-Tek P38T for a pocket gun. I worry about that pocket gun to be honest. I am now considering a pocket pistol. Many have told me to go S&W 642...but I was thinking about the Taurus 850. It is a bit heavier, but then, it is all steel, and I would imagine that it would be just a tad easier to fire and get back on target with the second shot. .357 mag would be nice...but it would not be a pocket gun methinks. If I wanted to carry a .357, I'd get a larger version and wear it belt carry...but then, hey, I already have a .45 I carry that-a-ways. So...38 special is what I'm looking for...much better than the .380 Kel-Tek and certainly the more dependable go to weapon that even the wife could not limp wrist if she fired it. So now...do I go with the steel frame 850 or with these new fangle light weights like the M85UL. Looking for advice here.
 

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All the reasons not to go to a light revolver.1.) light weight.2.) See reason one.

The only reason for going to a lighter revolver is for ease of carry.As the gun gurus put it,"carried a lot, shot little". Since the wife may use it the heavier revolver would soak up some of the recoil and muzzleflip versus a 85UL.

Quicker recovery times between shots would be another one to go to the heavier one.slight advantage, but it is there.Most guys have no trouble with the snap when the gun is fired. Some do. There is more of it with the snub gun than say, a 4 inch barreled revolver.

Does the bounce for a short thirty eight bother you or the wife? If so, go with the 850. Flinch can set in,even for guys or gals, and not even notice it is happening. Had it happen with a .357 magnum and a kind person in the stall nest to me told me he observed it. He was right and took steps for a better technique than was being used. It worked.

One of the reasons I have a steel 85CH is because the heavy revolver sits well in the hand with little percieved wobble while sighting or following through with the shot. Less wobble, better accuracy shot for shot.

Practice to stay proficient is important. The heavier revolver would be easier to shoot well and ones confidence would be high .

On the other hand it is you that get to carry the revolver for great lengths of time.Heavier revolvers can be fatiguing to carry. Pocket sag would be minimized with the 85UL over the 850.
Same for belt carry whether using a IWB or a standard belt holster.

Do you shoot light weight, hard kicking guns well? Does the wife? Learning to shoot well with the lighter gun would be a challange. It can be done with the right shooting techniques and practice.

There are those who swear by their light S&Ws or Taurus revolvers. Have they ever had to hold the gun on some one or more important, had to shoot in self defense? It might be prudent to get the feel and handling characteristics for each type and then decide. Shoot them also if possible and compare. The local gunshop or one that you trust should have a few to rent or to check out.

I put up with the weight because I shoot weighty revolvers better than lighter ones. Would love to carry the lighter models. Not going to happen. Your needs may be different than others here who are trying to guide you through this. Get the one that feels right for you and her if she is part of the equation. Experience says go for the 850 for the reasons stated. Other factors may be more important to you and the 85UL gets the nod.

Stay away from the TI and scandium models IMHO. Have shot those and only one cylinder load or two. That was more than enough. Oh yes. There are women who love to shoot hard kicking guns. The harder the better. Is the wife one of them? You don't have to answer here what has been posed to you. These are just things to consider. There have actually been several documente cases of late where the individual actually forgot where on his body he stored the ultra light weight gun and had major trouble because he got into a defense shooting scenario. Oops, where did I put it is not what one wants to do when their life and others are on the line. In a way it is funny, but only because everyone that had it happen lived and was not shot. All's well that ends well. Keep us updated.Like the National Inquirer, we just have to know. ;D
 

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The only thing I can add to QD's post is the idea to get one of each (if funds permit). Start with the steel frame and then add a lightweight frame as a shoot a little and carry alot gun. This would so permit you both to be carrying at the same time.

The small framed 357's are manageable but I would not recommend then to an inexperienced shooter. Unless they were planning on running 38's primarily for a while. The magnum rounds are stout and good grips are almost a requirement. And I do not put Taurus's two finger rubber/plastic grip in that category, they just don't fit my hands right. But, they might work for you. The three finger rubber grip does work for me.

I will add that I've put a few rounds through a Smith Sc J frame 357 and did classify it as managable. But at that time I still had a nice tolerance for recoil built up. Now, I might change that classification. :evil:

Steelheart
 

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Don't see the need for a .357 if you are only going to shoot 38's. It does you no good to practice with the 38's, and put in .357's when you carry, because they are two different animals. If you can't shoot worth a darn when loaded with .357, all the practice in the world with 38's won't change that. I say practice with what you intend to use it with. Once you establish that you can use the .357, then it would be ok to use 38's. I probably shoot one box of .357 for every two boxes of .38 But I always START with the .357's.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I could not agree with you more. I am thinking of .38 Special...this would be a replacement weapon...a pocket weapon if you will, for my Kel Tek P3AT. I dunno...the little .380 is extremely concealable but I just cannot trust my life to it. Instead, I will focus on the .38 Special. When I get a .357 wheel gun...it will be a large, long barrel affair with huge grips on it. I was thinking about the Corbon DPX for carry. Also...got a question, what do you all prefer in speedloaders? I've read somewhere that the Safariland "push button" scenario was better than the HK "knob twist" scenario.
 

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gandog56 said:
Don't see the need for a .357 if you are only going to shoot 38's. It does you no good to practice with the 38's, and put in .357's when you carry, because they are two different animals. If you can't shoot worth a darn when loaded with .357, all the practice in the world with 38's won't change that. I say practice with what you intend to use it with. Once you establish that you can use the .357, then it would be ok to use 38's. I probably shoot one box of .357 for every two boxes of .38 But I always START with the .357's.
I agree that if you are going to put in .357's for carry you ought to use them. I disagree that you can't gain anything from practicing with .38's. Heck, most of my practice and warmup is with .22, then I go to centerfire. If you are going to start mastering the revolver, then .38's are lighter on recoil, the wrist and the wallet. About the only difference I've seen between .38 and .357 is most of my .357 POI's are a bit higher. When I'm satisfied with what me and the pistol are doing with .38's, I finish off with .357 to make sure that I know where we are shooting.

PS. "I think I need a wheel gun" Of course you do!
 

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Yes, you should practice with what you carry. But you can physically shoot more 38's during a session without having to stop from fatigue than with 357's. And the 38's are cheaper to boot.

And don't forget there are medium velocity loads in 357 that can be used for carry until one gets ready for full power manums, and in a small frame some may never be that comfortable. Off hand there is Winchester 110gr JHP, Corbon's DPX and I think there is a Golden Saber but don't quote me on that. Plus anything someone could scrounge up in 38 +P+.

Another reason to get the 357 first is to you have something to work towards without having to buy another gun. I could handle 357's with my right hand but not my left. If I was going to be carrying the gun in my left pocket that day I'm load it with 38's that I could handle (right hand would have something to keep it occupied).

I shouldn't be reading/responding to this thread. It makes me remember that I'm currently without a 357 and the 605/650/651's are tempting.... :guns:

Steelheart
 

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hey,Dawg, why dont you trust your Kel-Tec?? I carry mine alot, and have shot thousands thru it. Its 2 years old, and went back to the factory once (6 months ago) for a FTE problem. MIne I trust as much as my taurii and S&W,,,,,
 

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One last thought. Snubbie shooting may take place with one hand only. A majority of defense shootings fall into that category. There may be a need to ward off an attacker or a weapon with one hand during the altercation. Also possible, is that your dominate hand or arm could be incapacitated due to injury or other reason, making it necessary to shoot with the other. Have to practice with both hands on the gun. Then some right and left handed only shooting. This keeps you current. That's why I am against ports on handguns for defense. Holding a short barreled revolver close in means that blowtorch gasses are likely to come in contact somewhere on the body. There are scenarios where keeping the gun close to the body will keep a disarm from happening or you do not have time to extend the arm or arms fully to an outward shooting position.Criminals will catch most people by surprise or be close in to you during the attack. There is also the school of thought that the snubbie is quicker out of the pocket and easier to grab a hold of during the draw.Fractions of second difference perhaps, but it is there. It's been documented many times in the police journals and tactical magazines ans books. As one draws the snub, if it has a hammer spur, slip the thumb over the back of the hammer spur. This will allow the gun to come smoothly come put of the pocket or holster with less chance of anything being snagged by the hammer on the way out.
 

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On the general subject of snubbies... here's a book on them that I used to have a copy of (it got lent to my brother while home on leave from Iraq, yes he's home safe, no I don't know if I'll ever get it back) and will again.

The Snubby Revolver by Ed Lovette

WARNING:
This book has been know to cost over a few hundered dollars, by the time you get a snubbie revolver to go with the book. I know mine cost over $250! The book is on Amazon.com.

Steelheart
 

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I've carried a KT P3AT since I discoverd that the Rossi 462 SS 357 I bought for pocket carry was weighting me down. I sold the Rossi and bought the KT and couldn't be happier. The KT and the Rossi are pretty equal in range as far as one handed shooting goes, at 15yds I can keep all rounds on the target. But with the KT I've got 8rds vs 6 with the Rossi. And if you think the P3AT isn't a good get off me round, just let me empty my mag into your chest and see if you don't move away. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh..I like my P3AT...carry one frequently. I carry it because it is so "easy" to carry. I dislike the idea of having to change springs after every 200-500 rounds. Look, this is a nice little gun but I do not know of anybody who actually used one of these in self-defense...I have not found any statistics, articles or even stories of humans being shot with them. The weapon itself is a bit, well, chintzy and, lets face it, the .380 is miniscule. Sure, I'd use it in self-defense at last resort. I just want a larger, faster round in a similar package if possible. Thus, I thought I'd try the .38 snubby...and use Corbon DPX bullets. I think this would be a more dependable platform...the wheel gun and all. I dunno...maybe I've been watching too many Humphry Bogart movies of late...but darn it, wheel guns are just fun. I love the heft and the snickity-click of the action before the boom. If I do not feel safe with it...well, guess I could always get those baggy pants and carry my PT145.
 

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Slow944. Glad the Kel-tec works for you. For others it may not. Have you ever tried to draw and fire under great duress in an actual fight? You might not have time for emptying the gun into the attackers chest,even if you are in Orange condition, and aware that an attack may be coming knows for sure how the fight will progress. Like preparing for battle in military, all plans never survive a first contact with the enemy.Too many variables to figure in. And action beats reaction every time. This has been fully documented by the pros in many periodicals and books. The person is still behind the eight ball where reaction time in concerned. We are not Jerry Miculeks or Ed Mcgiverns who could draw and shoot dead center with all shots in 2 seconds or less. Have had to do this for real. Knew what was going to transpire and still had problems, though I did not have to shoot, by the Grace of God. Fine motor skill was the first to go. It does in any fight. Adrenaline rush and narrow focus also happen. Then there is the fear factor to deal with and this is all at the same time. Do not want to ever go through it again, but will if necessary. All that others and I have posted happens in the real world and there are some real advantages to a snubbie over the semi-auto. There are other advantages that go to the semi-auto. Snubbies are still selling like hotcakes at an IHOP because of their users know what works for them. Since we are talking about very short barreled guns, we could go back and forth all day about ballistics and other such criterea. What matter is that the person wanting what works for him take precedence. Simple use and operation are some of the reasons that some like the snubbie. Others will always like the semi-auto. Theoritical advantages,pros, and cons can be bantied about all day.I was glad to have the 85CH when things went from bad to worse. Then practice of the draw many times till it sticks helped. Was helping a neighborhood sheriff's deputy with a problem a few times when the 85CH was needed. Te criminals involved had no idea we were armed and that was a slight advantage. Luckily we also had several similar armed neighbors who were police also. Military and civilian.
 

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Dawgfvr, You make good points. But if nothing else this thread has started lively spirited debates and brought out useful info. There is a lot to consider when picking a gun to bet one's life and others on. There are slight advantages to using the .38 Special over the .380ACP ballistically and in the physics.In the world of short barrels, are the attackers going to notice the difference? Most scenarios, yes. But not by much. We can go back and forth citing different loads, bullet weights,velocities, and such and still get nowhere and prove little. Some .380ACP rounds have a ballisitic advantage on paper over the .38 Special and vice versa. Up to the user or owner to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
QD...you mean there is an actual advantage...even on paper....in certain instances where a .380 has an advantage over the .38 special? I did not know that. I'm not much of a stats guy...not even sure I understand more than the basic physics really. Me...I just look at the .380 and it is a tiny little cartridge. I look at the .38 special and I see the same bullet on a much bigger case. So...thinking that this is the same bullet...only the .38 special having much more gunpowder...I only thought it was reasonable that: Bigger was better. Honestly...I thought that the 38 special had it all over the .380...much as the 357 mag has it all over on the .38 special. Hmmm. Well...I could always carry te P3AT as a backup to my .38...kind of a bug for a bug.
 

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There are many variables and trying to compare most .38 Special loads can be an apple vs.oranges proposition. For the most part the bullets in the .38 Special are heavier than the ones in .380ACP. Same with velocity.Corbon and other ammo companies make high pressure or +P loads that are in, or just about in the .38 Specials domain in foot pounds of energy.The revolver cases were made long because black powder was used first before the advent of smokeless powder and more black powder was needed to reach smokeless powder velocities and energy. When the auto pistols came out, less powder was needed for the semi-autos using smokeless powder. Thus a smaller and more efficent case than for revolvers.Pistol actions need the shorter case to be viable. Oh yes. Foot pounds of energy is not the only indicator of the so called "stopping power". The load with the most does not mean that the target will react to it when hit, though it can help. A balance between velocity, bullet weight, and accuracy needs to be reached for optimal performance. You are really going to make me go into all this detail aren't you? :D ;D Many of the yearly periodicals that are actually catalogs can be purchased with the bullet velocity, foot pounds of energy, at what yardage, as well as the company who makes it, for every load the ammo companies put out. Wal-mart carries several of these catalogs for the year 2007. American Handgunner magazine puts out a Tactical and a Combat Annual that has all this information in each.Pick one up. These are in the magazine kiosk. Gun Digest Books puts out a book called "Cartridges of the World" written and edited by Frank Barnes. I suggest that everyone pick up copy. This contains and explains all the catridges that have ever existed. It has priceless info on ballsitics in a way the layamn can understand. Statistics on each cartridge are also included. This is a very good source to have. Everyone needs to start and keep a small reference library. Buy a few books no the firearms you want to know about as well as weapons and tactics. Every two years or so update the library.Gun Digest Books,Paladin Press, and the Police Bookshelf(run by Mas Ayoob) are excellent places to start and maintain the library on any firearm subject. There are other sources, but will list only these for know.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
thankye...that was very informative...I love learning new things.
 
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