Am I Out Gunned

June 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Trail Boss Articles

By Steven L. Doran

The snub-nose .38 revolver has really taken a beating over the last several years. In fact a lot of people who criticize the gun have never taken the time to even shoot one, or have only fired a few rounds. I have heard story after story about what a piece of junk they are and how they do not compare to any semi-auto on the market.

My first statement in response is always ” the piece of equipment does not replace training “so you can have the coolest most popular gun on the planet. That gun is worse than the biggest piece of junk there is if you do not know how to use it. Second if it is not on your person it is less than useless. Third since the person has never really fired a snub or trained with one how do they come to that conclusion?

On the other side of the coin they say a snubby is a “professional’s gun”, or I have been told the only reason you like a snub is because you are an “anomaly”. The average person could never shoot a snubby like that.

Any advice or comments I receive from any person who does not speak from experience, or is just regurgitating what they heard from someone else shows me just how ignorant the person is. If our forefathers had listened to things like this we would never have traveled over 35 Miles per hour because they used to think that it would kill you to do so.

The fact is a snubby is not a piece of junk I and others like me are not anomalies. Anyone can learn to shoot anything. There are some differences in shooting a snubby. But there are differences in shooting semi-autos and full frame revolvers.

I love the snub nose revolver because they are easily concealed on many different areas of the body. I like Smith & Wesson the best and own 4 of them. The ones I own are extremely accurate, and were right out of the box. I can assure you I do not feel out gunned in any situation I approach with one, unless I am going up against a person with a rifle. Then I would feel outgunned with any handgun.

For a personal defense handgun you can not do any better than a snubby if you take the time to learn how to shoot it. I would also go as far as to say that if you can learn to shoot a snubby effectively that it will make you a better shot with any hand gun you pick up.

The only draw back with this firearm is that it will take you a bit longer to reload than a semi auto. If you practice your reload it is not a problem at all. High cap guns do not make you more effective. Hits make you effective. 1 hit is better than 30 misses.

The thing I remember most when I first started in law enforcement is you never ran into another copper that was not armed. He always had his snubby with him. These officers were required to qualify with the snub, and were just as capable with it. Some were even better with the snub then with their duty weapon. The reason than they took the time to practice. The other was a good deal of sportsman carried the Smith & Wesson Kit gun in .22 (Snubby) to take small game. They loved them.

I never heard any competent officer or shooter say I hate the snubby and can not hit anything with it. If I did hear comments like that the person typically hated having to deal with any gun including a full size weapon. They never practiced with that either. And of course their were always those who purchased a new gun each week, and whatever they had at the time was better, cooler and more unique than anything you ever owned. It did not matter that they could not hit anything with it. It was cool, the mere sight of it was going to scare the bad guy away.

When departments made the switch to the semi-auto a lot of officers quit carrying off duty. They dumped their snubby for some new semi-auto they never used or carried, and stuck there duty gun under the seat of their car or in some other location where they could not get to it. The general public typicality follows suit and they begin to purchase what the police are using and wind up doing the same as the officers, not carrying.

Since this article originally came out I have had a chance to talk to some persons I hold in high regard and are very well thought of in the law enforcement and gun community. One of the comments I received was from an individual who pushed that officers be required to carry their duty gun at all times, now he feels it was a mistake, for two reasons. The first is that the officers do not carry their duty gun off duty, and go unarmed. Second if they do carry a different gun off duty they do not make it public because it is against the rules and rarely practice with it because they do not want to hear negative comments from other officers and get in trouble for not complying with policy.

Another trend I saw was and I still see it today is persons carry some little semi auto. They do not carry a spare magazine for it, and they are so small they are a pain to draw and shoot. Most persons who carrying them do little or no preventive maintenance. They have major reliability issues when not properly cared for. So how can they justify the change?

My snubby’s have never failed to fire, I have never had a feeding problem, I do not have to use some special brand or type of ammo to get it to work. I have way more ammo choices, lint or other debris has never caused it to fail to function. I can not say that about the compact semi-autos I have seen other people carry. Every single one of them has had some kind of a failure problem at one time or another.

I have purchased a few small semi-autos my self to play around with to see how they performed. All of them have had some kind of an issue. My snubby’s having worked well and has never had a problem since the day I removed them from the box.

Copyright © 2009 by Steven L. Doran

All rights reserved under international and Pan-American copyright conventions. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without written permission from the author Steven L. Doran.



4 Comments on "Am I Out Gunned"

  1. Milo Hoffman on Sat, 6th Jun 2009 7:17 PM 

    I bought my wife a Rossi snubby in .357 of course she shoots .38′s. She will make anyone that causes her to draw it, sorry that they ever met that snubby, my wife and the gun. I do have a tendance to lean towards wheel guns anyhow, I love my Taurus Judge.

  2. Joe on Tue, 16th Jun 2009 8:57 AM 

    I have downsized my handgun collection from all kinds .380 to 44. And have kept only 357 my wife has a 4″ taurus tracker for the woods and a Smith Snubby the snubby was the first pistol she ever shot and is completely comfortable with it.Since she never shot before she didn’t know snubbies were not as good as autos and can hit anything she needs 2 with her pistol. I have a couple of Rugers and Smiths plus a Bull Pug in the glove box and carry a 4″ GP 100.I know for a fact that my revolver will shoot each and every time I need it 2. The 357 is a man stopper (Deer stopper also ! LOL) and I can shoot 38 all day all lot cheaper then keeping up with all kinds of different cals.

  3. yxefnjfyz on Mon, 22nd Jun 2009 10:38 AM 

    Makes you think, thanks for the info

  4. Ed on Fri, 2nd Oct 2009 7:41 AM 

    I met Harley Shaw in 1974. He is the only Arizona Game & Fish employee ever shot on duty, even though his working title was Research Biologist for his entire career. The culprit wasn’t a game law violator, but an escaped convict who had killed an officer, wounded Harley and a companion and was finally killed by a young highway patrolman on his first duty day in his new district. His experience proves that ”any gun is better than no gun,” when you don’t think you need one, but fate isn’t in your favor and all of a sudden life goes sour. I know many old farts who are never, ever without a snubby, and evil people are the reason why.

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