Snub Nose Revolvers

Snub Nose Revolvers- Also called “snub-nosed revolvers,” snub nose revolvers are, by some accounts, those with a barrel-length of less than 3 inches. This article provides an overview of snub revolvers and what snub nosed revolvers are used for, as well as some Smith & Wesson snub nose models.

Introduction to Snub Revolvers

Snub-nosed revolvers got their start in 1927 with the Colt Detective Special. Although there are now many models, there are certain characteristics that are strongly associated with them. First, they fire full-sized cartridges, and the recoil feels particularly strong in a small gun, which can affect accuracy. They have decreased muzzle velocity, on account of the shortened barrels, resulting in less accuracy and increased muzzle flash unless a fast burning powder is used. All of this could make shooting, say, .357 Mag. rounds with a very small snub revolver a chancy enterprise for those without experience.

It can hold 6 rounds at most, and possibly only 5, but the situations for which people purchase them, often self defense, often don’t require a lot of shots. Short barrel also means a short sighting distance, which means difficulty aiming the snub-nosed models. Also, people put snub-nosed revolvers in places that they wouldn’t necessarily put revolvers without a holster, pockets and purses, for example and the hammer can snag, but there are shrouded hammer and hammerless models.

Who Makes Snub Revolvers Today?

Snub revolvers are in production at Ruger, Taurus, Colt, and Smith & Wesson. Here is a run-down of some of Smith & Wesson’s offerings for .38 Special:

  • The Model 36 is one of Smith & Wesson’s Classic Line. It shoots .38 S&W Special +P and holds 5 rounds. It has a small exposed hammer, a blue or nickel finish, and a wood grip. It has a Single/Double Action and a 1.875 inch barrel.
  • The Model 40 is another of Smith & Wesson’s Classic Line shooting .38 S&W Special +P, and holding 5 rounds. It comes in the same finishes, but is Double Action Only has a small internal hammer.
  • The Model 42 is similar to Model 40 with Double Action Only, a small, internal hammer, a wood grip and a matte black finish.
  • Bodyguard 38 takes the same ammunition, but is a different line. It has a synthetic grip, a matte black finish, is Double Action Only, has a 1.9 inch barrel, and features a laser sight.

Smith & Wesson also makes snub revolvers for other cartridges, such as:

  • The Model 340PD for .357 Mag. as well as .38 S&W Special +P.
  • The Model M&P340 CT which also takes .357 Mag. as well as .38 S&W Special +P.
  • The Model 351PD for .22 Mag. (it holds 7 rounds).
  • The Model 43 C for .22 LR (it holds 8 rounds).
  • The Model 632 for .327 Federal Mag. (it holds 6 rounds).

It you go to the Smith & Wesson site to look for snub revolvers, you will find then in the section called “Small Frame”- they don’t use the word “snub” or call them snub nosed revolvers.