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Thread: S&W Mod 38?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Southeast United States
    Posts
    641
    If the shop owner lets you, check it out, the frame fit, the barrel, cylinder and most important, snap the trigger, checking out both the single and double pull and the action. If they all check out and the price is right, get it.

    If you understand the gun, you will not be sorry.

    I've been a fan of the Bodyguards for decades. I've had one particular Model 38 for a couple of decades. Found it in my local shop, white edges on the alloy frame, the cylinder has a slight patina, but mechanically perfect. Best yet, the trigger pull was slick and light as can be. The price could have been better, but I bought it, took it to the range and found that it hits dead on with Gold Dots.

    Of course, I had to dicker with it: I smoothed out the serrated trigger face until it was polished smooth -- I hate serrated triggers on double action guns! -- and put a Tyler T-grip on it. It's one of my favorite J-frames ever. I used to carry it as a "reload" for my lasergripped 340PD titanium, which was funny because the Model 38 cost less than half the price, has a much slicker trigger and is as accurate if not more so.

    Regarding the hammer slot, this is not my first Bodyguard -- I also have a Model 49 and a 649 -- and I can tell you from experience that I've never had any problems with lint or debris or any of that crap gumming up the action. Then again, I don't carry anything but a weapon in my weapons pockets and I regularly inspect, dry-fire and maintain my carry guns. As far as the utility of shooting these guns single action, it' a nice to have feature. The only time I do it is to check out the zero with my ammo and theoretically it gives you the option to take a longer, precise shot. Is that a bad thing? Well, why not make all guns double action? I've cocked my P226 and CZ75s for the first shot. Whatever.

    I never had any problems with rust when I carried the Model 38, by the way. The frame is alloy, of course, and I slathered car wax on the cylinder and barrel in the old days. In recent years I use Marine Tuf Cloth or Marine Tuf Glide.

    For the record, I like variety for familiarization as well as the fun factor. I've more J-frames than I need and they're all cool. Of course, they get carried less now in lieu of my Glock 43s, but they still have their place. And a S&W Bodyguard, especially a Model 38, is worth your attention.

    Papa's right, by the way; the hump lets you grip it really high, which could be an asset in a struggle and you have to push the muzzle against flesh in a fight.

    And for old time's sake, I'd like to get an ugly worn Model 37, knock off the spur, smooth it up and put some old school wood gunfighter-style grips on it.

    So many wants, so little time and money ....

    20161230_205531 (3).jpg
    Redneck Zen
    "Be careful what you get good at."

  2. #12
    I have been carrying a model 38 as my back up gun for years. Great gun so I have never updated it. The only thing I changed was to smooth out the serrated trigger and I added crimson trace grips. I have carried it in my off hand cargo pocket and never had an issue with anything accumulating in the action. But I do shoot and clean it regularly.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    163
    I have one in the stable, it was my Grandmothers. She never had a CCW but carried it in her purse anyway ...I've thought about putting some lasergrips on there just for grins.
    P1010005.JPG

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    2,579
    Way to go, Grandma!
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

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    "Can I move?...I'm better when I move."

    1, 9, 10. And a wakeup.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    7,051
    Quote Originally Posted by diving dave View Post
    It was my Grandmothers. She never had a CCW but carried it in her purse anyway
    I know that the rules for ladies is different in the south. I'm not sure about the rest of the country.

    Years ago, my wife was driving around in my brother's car. The car was fast, had very dark tinted windows, and was sporting USMC sergeant stripes on the back glass and the accompanying base pass on the front. She drives like she's on a Formula One track, which caught the attention of an Atlanta cop who pulled her over. When he walked up to the driver's door and saw a pretty little redhead, he did a double-take and actually said, "You weren't what I was expecting." As she gave him her license, she also let him know that she had a pistol in the center console. He paused for a moment to mull this over, and finally asked, "Does your father know you've got that?" He never asked if she had a CCW.
    Virtute et Armis

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    7,951
    Quote Originally Posted by LawDog View Post
    I know that the rules for ladies is different in the south. I'm not sure about the rest of the country.

    Years ago, my wife was driving around in my brother's car. The car was fast, had very dark tinted windows, and was sporting USMC sergeant stripes on the back glass and the accompanying base pass on the front. She drives like she's on a Formula One track, which caught the attention of an Atlanta cop who pulled her over. When he walked up to the driver's door and saw a pretty little redhead, he did a double-take and actually said, "You weren't what I was expecting." As she gave him her license, she also let him know that she had a pistol in the center console. He paused for a moment to mull this over, and finally asked, "Does your father know you've got that?" He never asked if she had a CCW.
    Guns in general are different in at least Georgia, especially 10-15 years ago. You do need a permit, they only cost 75.00(fingerprints included) and are good for 4 years. If you get your permit no background checks are required for purchases through an Ffl. Kinda cool info I found out. I’m sure other states are similar but Georgia is Still good for now.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    SE Louisiana
    Posts
    89
    Quote Originally Posted by chad newton View Post
    Guns in general are different in at least Georgia, especially 10-15 years ago. You do need a permit, they only cost 75.00(fingerprints included) and are good for 4 years. If you get your permit no background checks are required for purchases through an Ffl. Kinda cool info I found out. Iím sure other states are similar but Georgia is Still good for now.
    Louisiana here... CCW is $100 for 5 years, allows skipping background checks on purchase, and your vehicle is considered an extension of your home so anyone can carry anything in there regardless of CCW or not. You are however required to notify the officer if you are carrying.
    It's basically the same thing in Mississippi.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Southeast United States
    Posts
    641
    I want to emphasize my admiration for the alloy guns. My all steel guns -- a blued Model 49, a 649 and a 640 "Professional" (both chambered in .357) -- are nice enough and I'm glad I have them, but I've rarely if ever carried them. They're just too heavy for pocket carry and if I'm carrying in a holster nowadays it's a plastic fantastic with better sights, trigger and capacity. ;) I've contemplated selling off the steel guns, but they are interesting and fun relics and I do enjoy shooting them on occasion.

    I also have a Colt Detective Special in nickel that's a heavy booger. In keeping with my obsessive Rule of Twos, I found a Colt Agent that has some cosmetic wear. Oddly enough, while the Dick Special is prettier, I like the Agent better. Like the Model 38, it is mechanically sound and has a very nice trigger. The Agent also has better sights than any of the older Smiths and it holds one more round; even better, it fits in all of my J-frame holsters, which is nice. I put a Tyler T-grip on it so it fits my hand better and still looks true to its heritage. Of my Colts I've only carried the Agent a few times. I just wish I'd gotten one sooner in life, like about forty years ago.

    Are there better alloy guns now? Sure, the newer 642, 340, etc. But the Model 38 and the Agent are great guns with a great legacy; you can still get parts for both and as long as you don't abuse them they'll do you well.

    20181203_162006 (2a)_1.jpg

    FULL DISCLOSURE: While we all strive for the best tool for the job, we sometimes are influenced by pop culture. In my case it was Donald Hamilton's secret agent/counterassassin, Matt Helm. His favorite weapons were the knife, a bolt action rifle and either a .22 Woodsman or a Model 38. James Bond had his moments, but as a young man I saw Matt Helm as my Cold War secret agent hero. ;)

    20180227_214904.jpg
    Last edited by Redneck Zen; 01-21-2019 at 01:06 PM.
    Redneck Zen
    "Be careful what you get good at."

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    758
    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Zen View Post
    I want to emphasize my admiration for the alloy guns. My all steel guns -- a blued Model 49, a 649 and a 640 "Professional" (both chambered in .357) -- are nice enough and I'm glad I have them, but I've rarely if ever carried them. They're just too heavy for pocket carry and if I'm carrying in a holster nowadays it's a plastic fantastic with better sights, trigger and capacity. ;) I've contemplated selling off the steel guns, but they are interesting and fun relics and I do enjoy shooting them on occasion.

    I also have a Colt Detective Special in nickel that's a heavy booger. In keeping with my obsessive Rule of Twos, I found a Colt Agent that has some cosmetic wear. Oddly enough, while the Dick Special is prettier, I like the Agent better. Like the Model 38, it is mechanically sound and has a very nice trigger. The Agent also has better sights than any of the older Smiths and it holds one more round; even better, it fits in all of my J-frame holsters, which is nice. I put a Tyler T-grip on it so it fits my hand better and still looks true to its heritage. Of my Colts I've only carried the Agent a few times. I just wish I'd gotten one sooner in life, like about forty years ago.

    Are there better alloy guns now? Sure, the newer 642, 340, etc. But the Model 38 and the Agent are great guns with a great legacy; you can still get parts for both and as long as you don't abuse them they'll do you well.

    20181203_162006 (2a)_1.jpg

    FULL DISCLOSURE: While we all strive for the best tool for the job, we sometimes are influenced by pop culture. In my case it was Donald Hamilton's secret agent/counterassassin, Matt Helm. His favorite weapons were the knife, a bolt action rifle and either a .22 Woodsman or a Model 38. James Bond had his moments, but as a young man I saw Matt Helm as my Cold War secret agent hero. ;)

    20180227_214904.jpg
    Gorgeous!

  10. #20
    Ok, clearly I need to head back to that shop!

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