Saturday, January 30, 2010

Search for a .38 snubby leads to 6 revolvers (and no .38 snubby)

Since who flung the chunk, I've always loved pistols. Blame my daddy for letting me shoot his 1911 .45 way back when I was about 10.

Daddy also had a little .32 ACP lemon-squeezer revolver I shot when I was a little fella, but that's another story.

Anyway, I started buying pistols pretty late in life in 2001 with my first being a Smith & Wesson Model 1076, a full-size 10mm that was the FBI's duty handgun from 1990-95.

Credit reading Jeff Cooper about 10mm pistols for that purchase.

Then in 2006 when I applied for my concealed-carry permit, I started looking for carry pistols and have acquired a few since then.

I had no revolvers until March 2008 when I decided to go shopping for a .38 snubby for a backup. But on the way to a .38, I ended up buying a .44 Special. Long story, read it all here.

I tried out a S&W 396 AirLite Scandium Mountain Lite .44 Special which is indeed light, but you can't avoid physics. What goes out one end of a handgun comes back the other way in recoil. I found out why one writer called it the "Mountain Bite." Ouch. So instead I came home with a S&W Model 21-4 .44 Special, a 4" barrel N-frame steel revolver.

And then shortly thereafter I discovered a "Dirty Harry" .44 Magnum S&W 29 in a pawn shop when I was just browsing. The price was so low I just had to buy it.

I love that 4" barrel of the two S&Ws 21 and 29. It's just the right size for handy carry and shooting, or as John Taffin would say, the perfect packin' pistol. Perfect if you don't mind packin' 3+ lbs. of iron.

But like a fool I decided I didn't need two .44 Smiths, so I traded the 21 and kept the 29. But I still kept thinking about a .38 snubby.

And then the gun shop where I work got in the new Charter Arms Patriot .327 Magnum 6-shot stainless revolver model last year. I studied up on .327 Magnum and decided that ballistics nearly matching .357 Magnum with the recoil of .38 Special +P is a pretty good deal, not to mention 6 shots vs. 5 in a typical .38 Snubby. So I got the Charter .327.

Then along came a S&W 14-3 K-38 Target Masterpiece at the shop. It became my first .38 Special, but with a 6" barrel, BoMar Sight Rib and target grips, it's hardly a snubby.

I said it had the best trigger I'd ever pulled, which is why I bought it. And then along came a S&W 65-3 .357 Magnum stainless with a 3" barrel and a trigger job from the S&W Performance Center. It was even slicker than the S&W 14-3 so I just had to buy it. It's sorta kinda a .38 snubby, but not really as an all-stainless K-frame 6-shot. It's most definitely not an Airweight J-frame Smith snubby.

And then along came my second Charter, a stainless Bulldog .44 Special. How could I resist when a .44 is mucho better than a .38? And then I went shopping for a compact S&W 9mm, found a S&W 469 and bought it, but before I could get out of the shop, I bought a Dan Wesson Model 22-6 6" barrel .22LR revolver. That Dan Wesson trigger is just too slick to resist.

So now I got six revolvers and another one in the layaway safe at the shop. (Shhh! Don't tell my wife.) I told her just the other day I probably had enough pistols now. Big mistake.

I have decided to follow the wisdom of Bob Lee Swagger, one of my favorite fictional characters, who told a nice lady, "Pardon me ma'am, but there ain't no such thing as enough guns."

And I realized something sorta shocking about myself today when I headed off to work at the gun shop wearing two revolvers and no pistol. I'm turning into a revolver guy.

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