Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 2 months ago

Are .38 Specials obsolete?  As a small, (five foot four, 106lb) man with only one arm that works, .38's are the only handgun I can really ?

Use. I have tried the "rack the semi-automatic pistol one handed by pushing the muzzle onto a hard surface" technique. Thank God it was a coffee table the bullet could go thru and into the floor. (Accidental discharge with S & W Mod. 39) If I had used the radiator, the bullet might have bounced off and killed me. I can hold a S & W Mod. 15 and hold it in the crook of my left armpit while I load with with HKS speedloaders. 

12 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    I love my 38spl. and its not even close to becoming obsolete. I also prefer the revolvers over the semi-autos. I've never had it jam.

  • Kurt
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    They're not obsolete. Still good short range protection.

  • 2 months ago

    Revolvers might be declining a bit in popularity as people come to trust the reliability of semi-autos a bit more. But no, the .38 special is not obsolete. Without looking it up, my guess is that it's probably the most popular revolver round in terms of number of rounds of ammunition sold. And revolvers as a whole aren't going away anytime soon either.

    Sale of the actual firearms is probably some split of .38 special and.357 Magnum simply because people like the idea of backwards compatibility which allows you to use the more affordable .38 special rounds for practice & target shooting with the option to buy more powerful ammo when needed.

    If you have limited function in one arm and can't rack the slide on a semi-auto then a revolver in either 38 special or .357 magnum is a great choice. You won't have to worry about it becoming obsolete anytime soon. If ammo is hard to find right now its not because its going obsolete, its because more people are buying guns and ammo in response to what they see on the news.

  • 2 months ago

    No, .38SPL is popular as ever. Getting pushed aside a bit for the 9MM popularity.

    no, you wont rack a semi auto pistol pushing it into a surface as the barrel doesn't slide, it only unlocks from the slide.

    No, a semi auto cannot discharge out of battery. The slide has to be full locked towar the muzzle for the hammer to release and strike the firing pin.

    Good part is you only need to 'rack the slide' once to shoot all day.

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  • 2 months ago

    The .38 Special is by no means obsolete - just look at how many models are available in the display cases at firearms stores.

    At 13.5 ounces, my +P .38 Spl. Ruger LCR (a DAO concealed-hammer revolver)  is my first choice for EDC. It has plenty of stopping power, a wide variety of ammunition to choose from, and is easy to reload with speed loaders.

  • 2 months ago

    38's still kill, because if they didn't I would feel silly carrying them in a 3in sp101.

    I will suggest getting a stiff belt and quality rear sights.

    While keeping your finger off the trigger, simply place the front of the rear sight on the top edge of your belt and push either straight down or down and away. 

    Do it to softly and you pistol will jam, do it to hard and you can pull your pants down. Takes about 10-15min to figure out the right amount of force and angle to get this technique to work. Takes a little while to make that habit.

    Good luck!

  • Robin
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    at my local club there is a veteran who lost an arm and he uses a modified lee enfield and turns tha bolt incredibly fat. take your gun of choice to a decent gunsmith who can modify it for your specific requirements

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    nah, they will still kill. 

  • BBean
    Lv 7
    2 months ago


    If you really wanted to use a semi-auto you could if you have the will to do so. There may or may not be devices that are sold to hook on your belt and hang the slide while pushing down. There are gunsmiths that can weld a spur on the slide that will catch in a device mounted on a waist belt or even a shoulder sling. One rack of the slide will last as many times as you need it...the ammo will do it from then on, however, you must use a semi-auto with a hammer block safety/decocker such as example;  Ruger "P" series. It`s up to you to decide whether or not....loading a revolver the way you described actually is a bad idea and the way you tried to rack a slide will not ever work.

    .38 special is not obsolete...just not the current style. There are many "obsolete" firearms that work just as well as the latest tricks. Maybe not as lightweight nor have the capacity but work great in old time situations that never seem to cease. I have an old S&W .32 that shoots just as good as any revolver and ammo is still available. .38 spl will always be here for self defense because there hasn`t been a major evolutionary change in humans for quite some time and the .38 spl is proven.

  • 2 months ago

    My weapon is a .38 special.  It is fool-proof and jam-proof.   It I can do it in six shots, then anyone can. 

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