||09-21-2013 12:14 AM
*disclaimer, this is not a caliber argument thread. I am simply looking for a discussion of a round that i believe is looked over by many young shooters today. Please chime in with input but please don't start a caliber d*** measuring contest. There are plenty of other threads where that is going on.*
With all of the modern high performance ammo choices that we have today, I guess I can see why there are a lot of guys (especially in my generation) who thumb their nose at the .38 special. Sure, it doesn't move at 600000 f/sec and doesn't detonate on impact, but this cartridge still has it's place on the shooting bench and even in the holsters of many Americans.
With the constant advancement in ammunition technology, there are several great commercial loads in 38 special especially if your gun happens to be of the +p rated variety. Sure, you might think you can do better than an antiquated gun design that is bulky and sometimes heavy, but I am here to tell you that you can do worse.
Some of the hottest selling handguns on the market are small, light weight snubs in 38 and 357. The reason is the simplicity and function of these guns. There is nothing complex and no confusion when the fecal matter hits the revolving blades. These guns are also not going to intimidate a new shooter who wants to get into firearms.
If you happen to hand load, you can shoot a different gun every day, a light load in 38 special is very comfortable to shoot. With recoil not being a factor in the function of the gun, you can really load up some great plinking ammo that may not work so well in an auto loader. You can also play Elmer Kieth if your gun is up for the task. For a young person, a lady friend, or your buddy from down the street who hasn't shot much. There is nothing better IMO to make them confident with a center fire handgun than being able to hit what they are aiming at without being punished by recoil and fumbling with controls.
Although I love guns of all shapes and sizes, when I hit the range, there is usually a couple of boxes of 38 special involved. And the majority of the time when I am not at the range, I have a 38 snub nosed revolver with good +p ammo somewhere on my body. Carrying a 38 is not for everybody, I am completely aware of that. But if you have never shot or owned one, I believe you are missing out on a great corner of the world of handgunning. I am not trying to discredit any caliber for any purpose, I honestly can not stand the "my caliber is better than yours" argument that is spread across the Internet and gun shops like the plague. I just see so many people here and in my daily life who treat the old 38 special like it belongs next to a prehistoric cave painting. If you are one of those guys who walks past the revolvers at the gun shop with out batting an eye, I suggest that you try one out, you may be surprised what you have been missing out on.