Many concealed carriers choose a .38 special revolver for their first self-defense gun because they are simple to use, easy to maintain, can carry large calibers in small or medium frames and are reliable and fairly easy to conceal. Most .38’s are fairly trim, not being much heavier than they need to be.
While it is true that they are not considered “state-of-the-art” weapons, they are easy to train with and master. Loading the chambers is not difficult as it consists of no more than pressing a button, swinging the cylinder out, loading the cartridges into the one direction chambers, and pushing the cylinder closed.
Firing is extremely easy because there is no safety or moving slide to work around, just press the trigger and fire.
As an added bonus, they are relatively inexpensive compared to other models of handguns.
Three .38 Specials to consider are:
1. Smith & Wesson 642 Handgun 38 Special Revolver
This J-Frame model Revolver has been around awhile and has a tried and true design in a lightweight aluminum alloy revolver with a steel cylinder that weighs about 15 ounces. The standard 642 comes with a 1 7/8-inch barrel and the Professional model comes in a 2 1/8-inch barrel. Constructed with a stainless steel barrel and cylinder, it is a 5 shot revolver rated for .38 Special + P ammunition. This is one of the easiest revolvers to carry and a reliable everyday concealed carry. It costs about $649.00.
2. Ruger LCRx Double Action .38 Special + P 3”
The Ruger LCR (Lightweight Compact Revolver) boasts an aircraft-grade aluminum gun frame with a polymer fire control housing and a stainless steel cylinder, which makes it a lightweight gun at 15.7 ounces. It is very concealable with a 3” barrel and holds 5 rounds. The versatile trigger system can be either double action or single action when the external hammer is used. The fire control system has a unique patented friction reducing cam that ensures smooth, quick shots. A nice versatile concealed carry revolver that runs about $465.00.
3. Charter Arms 73820 Undercover
The Charter Arms 73820 undercover is a 5 shot stainless steel revolver. The Standard undercover model weighs 16 ounces and is a traditional double-action, 2” barrel snub-nose revolver chambered for .38 Special + P rounds with an exposed hammer. This is a nice, lightweight .38 special that is compact and ideal for concealed carry. It runs around $358.00.
The .38 Special is a great choice for an easy to use, lightweight, compact and reliable weapon for self-defense.