Long barrel .38 for CC ?

Discussion in 'CCW & Open Carry' started by mr_flintstone, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    I don't mean extremely long; but 4 inches or so. Both .38 and .357 lose a lot of velocity out of 2 inch barrels. I would venture a guess that .38 out of a 4 inch barrel would have more velocity and energy than a .357 with the same bullet weight out of a 2 inch barrel. You never hear of anyone (at least I don't) carrying a 4 inch .38 though; longer barrel autos yes, but .38s-not so much. Why not? I've got a .38 snubby, but I don't really like to shoot it. The barrel flips too much. The ones with longer barrels are much more comfortable to shoot.

    Am I missing something? Are there any disadvantages to carrying a 4 inch .38 vs a full size 9mm auto that I'm not seeing?
  2. Dane

    Dane Supporting Member

    You mean other than just capacity? ;)

  3. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    No one I know of carries a "full size" 9mm auto as a concealed gun; the compact and sub-compacts are the usual carry guns; unless they go 1911 because they are skinny and you are too old to change, or they just OC.

    And yes, we know SOME of you insist on carrying the big guns...but the other 90% of us don't.:rolleyes:

    Anyway...the 4" revolver will usually be wider and heavier than a typical CC styled semi gun of the same capacity, and even of those with more capacity in some cases.

    But that doesn't make it "TOO" wide or heavy.;)

    With a good holster, I don't think it would be an issue, especially with shorter grips like my Taurus 605 has.
  4. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Looks like a .38SPL from a 4" bbl will have around a 50-75 FPS advantage over a .357Mag from a 2" bbl. Not much, but something.

    Probably more comfortable to shoot.


    Used to be done back in the 30's up through the 50's or so. Snubs were way more popular for CC by pros but some carried a "Service Length" revolver in the right holster. OWB with a covering garment or a shoulder holster is still just as functional today as it was back then.

    Modern pocket semi-autos give a higher round-count and better concealability.

    About 75 years of advancements. ;)

    Yeah. Capacity and concelability. But a lot of people like wheelies so if you like it, go for it. I got no problem with you doing so.

    Peace favor your sword,
  5. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    Thanks for all the replies guys. I really do appreciate your input. I know everyone has an opinion on CC, so I'll give the reason I asked this question.

    I really love semi-autos. I've got a bunch of em. Some of them I wouldn't think of carrying, and others have been flawless right from the box. I never thought much about a "good" semi-auto failing until last fall. Within about three weeks, I had a stovepipe in one that had never failed before, a failure to feed in another, and one that failed to fire. Now all of these could have been (and probably were) caused by a bad batch of ammo, but the fact remains that when you have a failure like this on a semi-auto, it takes time to clear the jam or eject the round causing the problem. A good wheel gun, on the other hand, is more forgiving. I don't believe I ever heard of a wheel gun having a stovepipe, or failing to feed, and even if you have a failure to fire, you just pull the trigger again.

    Now, I'm not trying to convince or convert anyone, but it got me to thinking that I want to carry something that will go bang when I pull the trigger. I don't think that I'm likely to be in too many situations where I'll need to fire off 15 to 30 rounds, and if I foresee that I can carry one of my 9mm's.
  6. histed

    histed Supporting Member

    I carried a 4" Model 19 for several years in the 90s. I had it, I liked it and I didn't have the funds to buy something else. I still have it, I still like it, but my SD9VE is easier to carry and has almost 3X the firepower in rounds - 16+1 v 6. If necessary, I'd still carry it OWB.
  7. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    I've had wheelies lock, jam, get out of time, and fail to eject. The "machine" part of a wheelie is a lot more complex than that of a semi-auto. Semi-autos have comparatively few moving parts and can experience a relatively great variation in tolerance. But if your tolerances are off, even a smidge, on the lockwork or timing of a wheelie, look out!

    Revolvers are simply much more complex machines than semi-autos. However, semi-autos are much more dependent upon quality ammunition for reliable function. If you have any doubt that your ammunition isn't 99.8% reliable, then you shouldn't carry it for SD in your semi-auto. If NONE of your ammunition is 99.8% reliable, then switch to wheelies.

    Run the statistics. If your chosen firearm can reliably run 499 rounds out of 500, if you do your standard cleaning and maintenance schedule per X number of rounds (whatever your schedule is), then that should be more than adequate. Remember, the 1911's acceptance trial had a 99.5% reliability (depending on how you parse the test).

    Peace favor your sword,
  8. Dane

    Dane Supporting Member

    Forget the .38 and just get a .357 so you have more options!
  9. Dane

    Dane Supporting Member

  10. lsi1

    lsi1 Member

    they have some rounds designed for the shorter snubby barrels that bring their performance up a bit.
  11. Branth

    Branth Member

    Well, also keep in mind that barrel length from an auto is generally measured from the breech face, and barrel length from a revolver is measured from the forcing cone. A 3" revolver is gonna be WAY longer than a 3" auto, mainly because of the length of the cylinder at the rear of the barrel.
  12. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I like a 3 inch 38. I carry one from time to time. Its one of my Goldilocks guns, just right.
  13. Dane

    Dane Supporting Member

    Here are some 4" S&W .38 or .357 used revolvers for around $300ish to $350ish Model 15s and 13s. Allans-Armory