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  1. #1
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    Default Is .38 Special Enough For Self Defense?

    I am looking at getting a .38 Special 7 shot revolver (rated +P) and want to know if you think it's a solid choice for self defense in most situations?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is .38 Special Enough For Self Defense?

    Are you talking a Taurus 817, maybe? They also make the 617 in .357 magnum, which gives you more options. .357 kick like a mule in my steel 617, and I've heard they're worse in ultralight alloy guns. Hard to control. Many differing opinions out there.

    My avatar is a Ruger SP101. Only 5 shots in .38 special, but a very solid piece.

    Here's a thread: Why buy a .38 snub

    and a search on the topic .38:
    Google ".38 siteafoa.org"

    that should be google the term ".38 site[colon]pafoa.org"
    Last edited by novice; October 19th, 2007 at 12:17 AM. Reason: pesky smiley

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is .38 Special Enough For Self Defense?

    I imagine in most circumstances people aren't wearing body armor. Most criminals are quite chicken when they no longer have the edge. A .38SP+ will go through most people.

    Will it have the stopping power, perhaps not as much as some larger caliber. Though, you can probably find a more concealable .38SP then .45 Magnum.

    On the flip side, a .45 Magnum may have a lot more stopping power. But how controlled are you with it. You may find yourself in a situation where you aren't in a position to hold your handgun properly to fire a heavy caliber accurately. Where as you might be able to handle the .38SP even from an awkward position.

    I think there are pluses and minus' to all ammunition types.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is .38 Special Enough For Self Defense?

    I just purchased a taurus 605, in .357 mag, this also takes .38 special. While at the range i was surprised how little to no recoil i felt with the 38 specials. I found it extremely easy to shoot and get back on target quickly. Now once i fired the 357 rounds, it was a different story. MUCH MUCH more recoil and plenty more difficult to control than the 38, BUT not impossible. After about 10 rounds i quickly got the hang of it and found a very comforting grip, i wasnt able to get back on target as fast as with the 38 round, but thats to be expected. There is no comparison in stopping power between these two obviously, and this pistol is easy to conceal. I recommend you try shooting the 357's and if its a bit much, try another caliber. Granted any caliber will do damage within a few feet, its just how comfortable you feel with it and how accurate you can shoot it. As it makes no sense having a .357 MAGNUM that you are going to flinch at or be scared of when pulling the trigger.

    P.S. My brother had a friend/co-worker tell him his 9mm wasnt worth sh**, had no stopping power (co-worker carried a .45 acp), blah blah blah. So my brother politely asked him that if he was that confident in his statement, he should be willing to prove it to him by standing 20 feet away and allowing my brother to double tap him in the chest with his "piece of sh**." Of course the "ignorant" shut his mouth and told him he was crazy. My brother told him he was crazy for thinking such a thing..LOL i thought it was kind of funny.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is .38 Special Enough For Self Defense?

    YES its enough

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is .38 Special Enough For Self Defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by ca2pa View Post

    P.S. My brother had a friend/co-worker tell him his 9mm wasnt worth sh**, had no stopping power (co-worker carried a .45 acp), blah blah blah. So my brother politely asked him that if he was that confident in his statement, he should be willing to prove it to him by standing 20 feet away and allowing my brother to double tap him in the chest with his "piece of sh**." Of course the "ignorant" shut his mouth and told him he was crazy. My brother told him he was crazy for thinking such a thing..LOL i thought it was kind of funny.

    lol yes you always hear that crap out of people

    myself i have a colt .45 i carry now and then it holds 6 in the mag

    My main carry gun is a S&W MnP 9mm compact it holds 12 in the mag

    in the winter ill carry the full size M&P 9mm which holds 17 in the mag


    to me i rather have the extra ammo. 6 rounds even without the stress of the situation goes quick!

    my colt with 2 mags is 13 rounds
    my M&P either one with 2 mags is 35 rounds or 25 with the compact mags


    ......The compact will take the full size mags and i have a mag sleeve for when i use 17s in the compact

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is .38 Special Enough For Self Defense?

    i've always tell people when they wonder if 45acp is better then 38.

    38 projectile enbedded in Mr. Badguy's chest does hell of a lot more damage then 45 projectile flying by him

    38's are much more easier to shoot. caliber thats best for defence is one you can hit target with.
    Audemus jura nostra defendere

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is .38 Special Enough For Self Defense?

    The .38spl will work as well as any other cartridge so long as good shot placement and a good HP bullet design is used. Are there better choices? Yes.
    Tony
    412.310.7838
    http://www.fireinstitute.org

    "... there's trained and untrained" (Denzel Washington -- Man on Fire)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is .38 Special Enough For Self Defense?

    I read info on a website (I can't find it now) from the FBI ballistics and gun shot wounding.
    Basically "stopping power" is somewhat a myth, anyone ever in combat can attest to this. Being hit with a 7.62mm, .223, .45 or .38 caliber will not knock a person off his feet like in the movies. (Maybe a .50 cal?) If a person drops after being shot, it is normally psychological ("Oh crap! I've been shot!") not physiological. Even a shot directly through the heart won't drop someone for a few minutes/seconds. (Time enough for them to finish their attack.) Only if the hit "turns off the switch" severs the nervous system, i.e. brain stem, spinal cord will they physically be sure to drop.
    The study was about tissue destroyed, tissue pushed out of the way and bouncing back into position and impact shock waves effect on surrounding tissues.
    I carry a 5 shot .38 snubby that I have trained with using a simple wadcutter or jacketed ball projectile.
    Veritas Vos Liberat

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is .38 Special Enough For Self Defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by fultonCoShooter View Post
    YES its enough
    ...Ditto
    Leave the gun....take the cannoli.

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