Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Snub-nose Pistols

Recently a student of mine sent me a copy of “The Snubby Revolver,” by Ed Lovette. Readying through this book reminded me why I carry and practice with the short barrel revolvers.

I’ve carried snub-nose revolvers for over thirty years now. I grew up shooting Colt and S&W .38 specials, but grew to prefer the S&W’s since they are consistent with my other larger frame wheel guns. I carry the snub-nose because often it’s the perfect weapon. For example I regularly have a .38 on my ankle as a back-up weapon, and of course you never know when your “back-up” pistol becomes your primary due to location. When crunched up on the ground in the fetal position the pistol on your ankle may be a lot easier to get to than the larger weapon on your side.

Revolvers are good for extreme close quarters conflicts, distances so close the muzzle is jammed into the chest of the threat. This doesn’t work well with a semi-auto because once the slide is pushed out of battery it ain’t gonna go bang when you press the trigger. I also like the smaller pistol because there’s less sticking out there for the threat to take hold of. The five inch 1911 I carry on my side has a lot of slide for someone to grab during a disarm attempt.

With any pistol, especially revolvers, you want to make sure the pistol fits your hand, has a set of sights that work for your eyes, and a smooth, crisp, trigger. The beauty of revolvers is that you can install the grip size that fits your hand. As Lovette mentions in his book, when gripping the pistol – I grip mine fairly high up on the backstrap – the finger should be positioned on the trigger almost into the first joint of the finger, allowing you to press the trigger smoothly without having to reposition your hand.

Most revolvers will need work done on the trigger to get a smooth and crisp double action, just make sure to have an expert perform the work. I’ve seen a lot of lightweight trigger jobs that didn’t strike the primer hard enough to fire the cartridge. For years getting a good front sight on the snub-nose was hard to do, but now the guys at XS Sights have that covered. Plus Crimson Trace has plenty of grips with lasers, which I think is a good addition to a weapon being carried for close distance fighting. Obtaining an ideal fighting position and the accompanying sight-picture may not be an option, and this is where lasers truly shine.

If you decide to carry a small pistol, then practice with it. Carrying a snub-nose in a pocket holster but practicing with a full size semi-auto on the belt isn’t going to translate well when it comes to fighting for your life. Carry, practice, and fight accordingly.

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November 16, 2010 - Posted by | Concealed Carry

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