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American COP Sep/Oct 2011 Digital Edition - Page 46
THE PERENNIAL SNUBBIE Short, medium and long: (L-R) The early S&W J-frame that started it all in basic black. The center is a 3" engraved model, followed by a Gemini Custom’s 2.25" model. The longer barrels are more controllable, but compromise concealability somewhat because of that very fact. TIMELESS — FOR GOOD REASONS RALPH MROZ lassic snubnose revolvers of the 60s and 70s (and even the early 80s) often display craftsmanship and beauty, and have a very high retro-cool factor going for them. The fact they are forever associated with un-watchable cop movies and TV shows of the same period should not be held against them. One night I wore the 1982 vintage, 2" K-frame pictured to our task force’s off-site office where we met a couple of federal agents who were going to be working with us for a few days. These young guys (in their early 30s maybe) kept looking — and looking — at that thing on my hip. I could almost see the little cartoon thought clouds over their heads: “I think I’ve seen pictures of these things before,” and “Grandpa had one of those, I think.” I’m not sure they wanted to work with me. Technically, a snubnose revolver is any revolver with a short barrel. I draw the line at 2.5" but some people go out to 3". To me the overall gun should be reasonably small, too. An N-frame .44 Magnum with a 2" barrel would qualify to some folks, but C not to me. To me, a snubbie is a Colt D-frame (Detective Special type), S&W J-frame or S&W K-frame revolver with a 2" or 2.5" barrel. That is, it’s a small concealable gun meant for self-defense. While the family of Jframe snubbies may be the most popular self-defense guns in existence, while they will do the job, and while they have a following, they are more regarded as the tools that they are rather than as fine works of crafts- Pockets are where most snubbies ride and you need a pocket holster, like this one by DeSantis. Bianchi Speed Strip or one from TuffProducts are classic ways to carry extra ammo. Left to Right: The classic DeSantis #2 for the 2.5" K-frame holds the gun at a slight rake, with the top of the belt crossing the cylinder for a moderate high ride. DeSantis, Bobby Mac's and Galco make 2x2 belt carriers for .38/.357 rounds, and they are a handy way to carry spare ammo for a snubby. Bobby Mac's deBethencourt Belt Slide carries this Colt at a lower height, with the top of the belt even with the top of the cylinder, and with no forward rake. 46 WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011