Snubby Tactics

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by kilogulf59, May 9, 2008.

  1. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    A good piece of advice when one has limited rounds whether they are five or six in capacity. Normally I do not hold to the “stop and assess” school. If the attacker(s) is (are) still standing or approaching, you should still be shooting.

    The comment at the bottom is from Steve Wenger and this piece came from his "Morning Mailer" newsletter.

    This article and commentary reminded me that, after the huge switch from revolvers to high capacity automatic pistols by the nation’s law enforcement community, the hits to shots fired ratio declined noticeably, I am not aware if this is still the case. This was also in the heyday of “sights only” training except that is not my point. My point is that, consciously or subconsciously, when there is abundance humans tend to become wasteful creatures. In close combat with firearms that equates to “spray-n-pray”….
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    From John Farnam:

    15 Oct 07

    Snubby Tactics

    Many of us carry five-shot, 38Spl, snubby revolvers, like S&W's excellent 340PD, particularly as a back-up pistol. However, when reverting to the snubby, we often routinely fire all five shots in a single burst. It is bad practice!

    Bad practice, because, once all five shots are simultaneously expended, you are faced with the prospect of a agonizingly slow reload, even with the aid of a speed-loader. Accordingly, once all five shots have been fired, (whatever the result) options dry up quickly!

    Instead, I recommend thinking in terms of "Three-and-Two." When deploying your snubby, fire three rounds. Then, stop, move laterally while accessing, keeping the last two rounds in reserve. This strategy will provide you with flexibility and preserve your options a while longer.

    The snubby's advantage is ease and thoroughness of concealability, extreme retainability, and speed of deployment. On the other slide of the ledger, the snubby lacks power, range, and has an severely limited reserve of ammunition, combined with, as noted above, a slow reload.

    The "Three-and-Two" strategy, when thoroughly practiced, will be helpful in dealing with the latter.

    /John

    (I carry two five-shot revolvers. When I decided to rely on revolvers, I made a conscious decision that I would have to shoot a bit slower and a bit more accurately than with a higher-capacity bottom-feeding pistol. My philosophy is to fire one round at a time, albeit as quickly as needed, rather than in any set pattern. I have found that speedloaders, at least the ones from HKS, do not work all that well with the small space available for them on a five-shot revolver. I carry my first reload in the second revolver. A DeSantis 2+2+2 pouch at the front of the belt allows for tactical reloads [replacing only the fired cases, once one is behind cover]. In the event that I am lying on my stomach, there is a Speed Strip with more rounds in each of my back pockets.)
  2. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting that. I'm seriously considering getting a S&W 637 snubby for carry. :D

    Having never carried a revolver, the info you posted is very helpful.
  3. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    No sweat graehaven, anything I can do to help. :D

    Though not necessarily a “revolver guy”, I do like them and especially where lesser trained family members may have to use them they’re great. My snub nose is an old CA Undercover and albeit not a S&W it has never failed me and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    I am still amazed at how fast 5-shots gets burned up when I practice. Generally I fire in 2-shot bursts. This way even while engaging two “targets” I still have one round left. We are all supposed to carry a reload but many of us don’t especially if one is using a hi-cap. With a revolver I ALWAYS carry at least a speed-strip extra…minimum. Usually it’s a speed loader & a strip.
  4. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I usually carry a tactical reload with me. Although today, I'm not. I just have the 10 rounds.
  5. user

    user Active Member

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    I agree with the more conservative approach. I prefer to aim carefully and shoot one at a time, preferably single action. I carry a couple of HKS speed loaders with me, for a total of fifteen rounds, and I find that the wobble they build in makes it possible to reload just fine, despite the space limitation.
  6. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    graehaven,

    I have a knee jerk reaction to the “T” word, but a reload is a reload I guess.

    User,

    That’s great in theory but when they are a few feet away you need to take your time in a hurry. I’d skip the SA for engagements under 25 yards and, if it makes you feel better try one-N-one…and repeat.

    Best bet it to CYA and back outta there ASAP. They burp…blast ‘em. Don’t talk, don’t flinch, just look over the gun at ‘em. “They” know when they’re up against someone better…they’re predators and predators know their instincts. They also know you really don’t want to kill them…keep a poker face…let them recat to you.

    Then, when it’s all over, clean your shorts and get loaded…
  7. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, didn't mean to offend with "tactical."

    I've read so much on the subject, and that's what the pros call it, so, that's what I've come to refer to my second mag as. :D
  8. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    Graehaven,

    Please sir, no offence taken and I didn’t mean to be a smart arse either. It is simply a bad case of buzz word & catch phrase overload on my part.
  9. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Oh, come on, KG. If you say buzzwords often enough, people will think you're really smart.

    Change. Change. Change. Change...
  10. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    LOL, nice one Josh.

    It'll be a tactical change for sure. One AGAINST the true American. :eek:
  11. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    I think some of these tactics are good even with limited capacity semi-auto's like little 7 round Kel-Tec's and other deep concealment semi-auto's
  12. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    That’s what I’m afraid of…LOL ;)

    Southernshooter,

    Howdy and you bet sir, rounds is rounds. Actually that is a good observation as well.
  13. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I have one thing to say with a snubby, or any revolver in a self defence role, try not to empty the gun at the target. They may have a friend you havent seen yet?

    I cant speak for others, and there are people on this forum with much more experiance than me, but when I did have a revolver I tried to practice three shot strings, two quick and then the other.

    In a pressure situation training and practice drills should take over, and stop a panic emptying of the cylinder.
  14. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    You bet Tranter and probably do…vermin is pack animals. That’s why I said -
    Even if you’ve successfully engaged two, there may be three. Get behind cover and reload, if at all possible. Getting the heck out of there is always a great option. “Better to fight and run away…”
  15. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Yes Kilogulf, the reload is important. Having one with you is a good first step.

    An experienced shooter can reload a revolver as quick as I can a semi auto (almost). An average shooter with a revolver and under pressure has more chance of ending with his second six on the floor.

    In my opinion you cant beat a magazine for being more 'fumble proof'. Not to mention having more cartridges.

    Any how, if you carry a firearm you also carry a responsibility. You should get proper instruction and practice, both shooting it and reloading it. After all, you may end up discharging the thing near or among innocent members of the public. :(

    By the way, you mention the 'stop and assess' thing. I used to agonise over that one. The thing is training will often kick in, taking away your choice. i.e. Threat is in front of you, you see what looks like a handgun, you grip yours, as you draw a bead his arm rises, it's over. 3/4 seconds topps. Scary? Dont carry.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2008
  16. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    Tranter, agreed and doubtlessly for many shooters the automatic pistol is the way to go, especially if ammunition capacity and rapid reloading ease are the concerns. Nonetheless, there are always pros, cons, and tradeoffs in every selection and I will not go into the revolver vs. automatic issue here.

    I believe that one must assess their day-to-day life, and their world that is around them, to determine what may work optimally for them. This is where the revolver’s long standing popularity comes into play or so it would seem. One, its inherent safety and simplicity, and two, the general conditions of armed encounters really have not changed over the years. However, I need not delve into detail here, as I am sure the members are familiar with that subject matter.

    Tranter, perhaps I am misunderstanding your statement - “By the way, you mention the 'stop and assess' thing. I used to agonise over that one. The thing is training will often kick in, taking away your choice. i.e. Threat is in front of you, you see what looks like a handgun, you grip yours, as you draw a bead his arm rises, it's over. 3/4 seconds topps. Scary? Dont carry.” - as the “stop and assess” option comes in after you have had to fire. Say you have engaged two assailants, put two shots apiece into them, you have one round left; an assessment is in order at this point. Options available are mentioned in previous posts above so I will not delve into them any further. Again, conceivably, I am misunderstanding you; it would not be the first time for me I assure you.

    Overall, the point of the thread starter was for folks to keep in mind the limitations of the 5-shot revolver so you are not inadvertently caught bare arsed at the worst possible moment.

    I should add one more comment, confrontational situations are not set in stone therefore neither should your training. Scenarios have unfolded where the attacker must be “shot to the ground” and others where the presentation of the weapon and a stop command solves the problem. Your instruction and practice must be adaptable thereby so are you.
    Last edited: May 25, 2008
  17. Chuck B

    Chuck B New Member

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    I've enjoyed the discussion...good points all around.

    I've got two questions: (1) does anyone know the statistical percentage of having to reload? I guess I would have thought it to be a very rare occurrence under most of the circumstances civilians face. I think it would also be interesting to know how many policemen have had to do a reload in the field. Or maybe another way of asking this would be: "what is the average number of shots fired in self-defense"? Just curious. I know when I start thinking about having extra mags, I'm usually thinking about scenarios from the last action movie I've seen where reloading is something of an art-form (like Lara Croft). And don't get me wrong...even if it's a 1 percent chance (or less) it is always best to be prepared for the worst. It's just a question I've had.

    And more importantly, (2): is there a classic or standard concealed carry text or manual that discusses a variety of possible scenarios and provides training instruction (suggested drills, etc. at the range)?

    Thanks...and God bless our troops and those who have given their lives for our freedom.

    Chuck
  18. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    “I've enjoyed the discussion...good points all around.” I have as well Chuck and yes, admirable points have been made.

    In essence, the general scenario of an armed encounter is close range (room distance or less), low light, and few shots fired (usually less than five however the statistics vary slightly). This information is widely available and compiled my more than a few major police departments and the FBI. Additionally, many individuals have privately researched the subject and fundamentally, all have come to like conclusions.

    There are countless “how to” books available today. As usual, some good, some not so good and everyone has their way of doing things. By the way Chuck, there are many books available on-line in PDF version. In addition, much of this information is available on various websites. Contrary to what many would preach, “it ain’t rocket science”.

    In my opinion, some of the best information going is on sites geared towards women. An excellent site is called The Cornered Cat (and I have nothing to do with or any connections to the place). Talk about good, clean, and precise explanations…I keep meaning to write Mrs. Jackson with my compliments as I have recommended her site to my own wife and (grown) children amongst many others.

    As well Chuck, do not ignore the older classics. Remember people like Fairbairn & Sykes, Applegate, Brice, Jordan, Askins, Grant-Taylor, et al, wrote from practical experience NOT THEORY. As an example, even Ed McGivern’s book, “Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting”, has some combat merit. Aside from his speed shooting, which is phenomenal, look at what he was teaching policemen in the 1930’s?

    Remember we are talking the technical aspects. The real key to close combat survival is in your head, man’s brain IS the ultimate weapon.

    OK, I think I’ll jump down from my soapbox and grab a cup of Joe…have a safe and reflective Memorial Day all and to all the Vets; Thank you very much, may God bless you, and may you find peace…what more can one say?
  19. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest



    Well I'm screwed. :(
  20. Choice of a self-defense weapon always involves trade-offs. I daresay most of us, if we knew we were going into a confrontation and assuming a handgun was the only weapon we could use, would opt for a larger-caliber, more powerful, higher capacity pistol or revolver. The problem is, obviously, that factors such as weight, concealability, and comfort do come into pragmatic application in everyday life. The J-frame snubbie is such a compromise. Essentially, one gives up the advantage of ammunition capacity for the advantages of concealability and comfort of carry. It all comes down to statistical probabilities. How many opponents is one likely to face at any one time? I certainly do agree that a "spray and pray" mentality with a J-frame is not the best tactic to apply. Against one, or even two opponents, five rounds should be at least sufficient.
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