Airweight Snubbies Durability?

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by ninjatoth, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    I been thinking of getting a little .38 pocket gun for around the house and have been going back and forth between whether to get a sturdy steel frame revolver like a Ruger sp101 or a S&W 637,638,642 etc or a Ruger LCR. I don't carry except for around the house, but I am still in the market for a lightweight pocket gun. The main concern I have is that I want something that I can actually shoot a lot, like if I run 500 rounds of standard pressure .38's in a weekend through an LCR or S&W airweight, will they hold up for years to come, or is it best to go with the sp101 and deal with the extra 10oz or so since I don't carry off the property anyways?
     
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    they are not designed to be high use range guns. they are for firing a few rounds now and then and carrying for protection.

    they will NOT hold up under the sort of shooting your planning.

    none of the small guns will whether they are made of steel or other materials. they just are not big enough to with stand those stresses for the long haul.
     

  3. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    See, that's why I ask. I figured i'd get a "oh, go ahead, they will be fine", but I got what I didn't expect, I just don't know a lot about small framed .38's. I wouldn't actually fire 500 round in a weekend more than likely, but maybe 100 rounds every other weekend, or something like that. I might just have to go with a medium frame .357 or something like that then, I still want something small, but still durable.
     
  4. Okie_6Shooter

    Okie_6Shooter New Member

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    I had a S&W 638 malfunction inoperable on the first trip to the range. I brought it to a gunsmith and got it fixed and sold it at a loss before range trip #2.
     
  5. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    The use of a light weight for carry is a good idea, but the range is not.

    I have two Smith's, one a model 15-2, the other is a 12-2. They use the same speed loaders and are chambered for .38 Special.

    I practice with the 15, and rarely shoot the 12.

    What I'm trying to say is have you thought of getting more than one gun? You do own more than one pair of shoes, no?
     
  6. hiwall

    hiwall Active Member

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    I really enjoy my S&W model 37 as my EDC. But listen to JonM above.
     
  7. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    I'd recommend spending the extra $100 - $150 to get a +P rated or .357 mag. revolver.
     
  8. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    That's my new plan. I want a little snubbie, but I also been wanting a .357 with a 4" barrel, not so much pocketable, but shootable on the cheap.
     
  9. Mercator

    Mercator New Member

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    Truth is, if you want the best for CCW and to have fun at the range, you end up with two handguns. For a snubnose check out the 642 Gunsmoke Edition. The grip has a hook for IWB, eliminates the holster nicely.
     
  10. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    But I still wonder about the sp101's? Wouldn't they be better for more range use? Even the .357 snub version? Like a few hundred rounds of .38 now and again?
     
  11. SRK97

    SRK97 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I dont think you will wear out an sp101, I have one and the they are built lije tanks.
     
  12. Mercator

    Mercator New Member

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    Yes. Better a steel 101 than an alloy 642, if that's whT you want. It will also have better sights for targets.
     
  13. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I have a S&W 642. It is rated for +P. But +P is not fun to shoot.

    If you are shooting standard pressure 38 special in a gun that is rated for +p I would not be worried about it. There is a guy that shoots IDPA in the club that I shoot in. He usually shoots a 5 shot snubby. I think it is an LCR. But he puts 100+ rounds through it each time we meet. I have shot with him maybe 15 to 20 times. His seems to be holding up well.
     
  14. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    Now if you were to go with a .38spl only version of the sp101, is there really a difference in that vs. the .357 version, or are they both the same gun more or less, able to handle the same use(abuse) with .38 or .38+p ammo? I am not really concerned with having more options with a .357 since i'd only shoot .38's in it anyways, so if either caliber comes up at the right price i'd buy one.
     
  15. Mercator

    Mercator New Member

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    The 357 is built up to endure the higher combustion pressures of that round. I've never seen a 101 worn out to death, anyway. If you are recoil sensitive (which is not an insult at all), get a 357. Otherwise, a 38 will be quicker to clean after shooting 38Sp, if you hate the cylinder fouling rings as much as I do.
     
  16. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    The currently available SP101 in .38 +p & .357 mag. appear to be the same gun, except for the length of the cylinder. I would recommend calling Ruger to find out if there is any difference in the frame and barrel. They are priced the same, so buying the .357 may get you a better resale price, if that ever becomes necessary.

    Ruger revolver CS - 603-865-2442
     
  17. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    If the cylinder is not the same length, then it can not be the same frame.
     
  18. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    Unless someone steps up and says that the sp101 won't handle moderate range use, than that's what I think I will get.
     
  19. mahall

    mahall New Member

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    500 rounds in one range trip is a lot of shooting for a small gun! Wear on the gun and the body! Most super light guns that are pocket friendly, are pretty harsh on the body! Your going to end up with two guns if you like shooting that much! I would get me a little LCR To throw in my pocket and an inexpensive 22 as a range gun!! I suppose the sp101 would work for both needs. I wouldn't want to try to pocket that gun on a regular bases! Plus, 38 ammo is about twice the cost of 22!
     
  20. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    Actually, the forcing cone looks slightly longer on the .38.