One of our readers had a few questions regarding the first posting on Snubs and Girls – I thought you might like to look at the note and my thoughts:


Your post on March 19 addressed the appropriateness of a snubby for females who’ve never shot before. You noted that the double-action-only snub would work well for all shooters with limited experience at realistic distances which you defined as anything from zero to 3, 6, 9, and 12 feet.

Some of the “buts” you alluded to (reasons why the snubby wouldn’t be appropriate for the inexperienced or causal user) include the snub’s short sight radius, heavy trigger (as least in comparison to most semiauto’s’), and light frame. These are the usual reasons why the snubby is described as being difficult to learn to shoot well. I would not say “wouldn’t be appropriate” or “difficult,” but I would say not as “easy” as a single action pistol

The snub is often referred to as an “expert’s gun.” (Not by me!) Even Chic Gaylord, the famous holster maker, in his Handgunner’s Guide, says: “No one should carry a snub-nosed revolver having a barrel of two inches or less without shooting an average of one hundred rounds a week in practice. Anyone unable to practice his shooting to this extent should carry a gun having a barrel three inches or over, preferably one with a four-inch barrel.” [Paladin Press, Boulder, Colorado, p. 36] I love Chic’s work and have used a great deal of it as the starting point for my research – but “100 rounds a week” wouldn’t be my though – Daily draw stroke exercises (because usually the good guy has to start by getting his gun out) – Dry fire exercises against a safe backstop (I think the Academy pad from Safe Aim is excellent) and regular shooting practice with POP (Primer only Propelled) training rounds (Spear, C & R , Saf-T-Shot, Speer, X-Ring, etc) and .22 snub (I have .22 training snubs in J- K- and D-frames – each set up to match my carry snubs) – On an aside – Three inch snub are awesome but uncommon so I try not to push what the “market” isn’t buying

If the expenditure of that many rounds really was necessary to be proficient with the snubby, ammo costs alone would have put the snubby out of business decades ago. So what do you think is a sufficient amount of ammo/practice to:

  1. Be able to protect yourself at the practical distances you referred to in your previous post (i.e., zero to 12 feet).
  2. And, if it’s different from the first point, what is sufficient for the experienced shooter who enjoys shooting and wants to be able to make center-of-mass  hits out to seven, maybe even 10, yards?

Proficient! – Now you hit on the question – proficient is not the same a mastery – Remember that in WWII the OSI would “train” spies on less than 50 rounds (TOTAL!) and send them off “trained” – The trick is not in the number of rounds but the distance, the stance, the grip and body (arm) alignment and the willingness to close on an enemy. But to answer your questions (again – I will expand on this later this week and give you the “long” post:

Rounds to shoot in practice to be self-defense proficient – Well … Every week I shoot 10 to 20 live rounds mixed in with 50 to 100 dummy rounds – carried loose, in speedloaders and speed strips – I practice drawing, moving and shooting drills on the range and it usually take me about 1- to 1-1/2 hours to “shoot” the 10 to 20 rounds – So you tell me … is it the 20 rounds a week or the 1-1/2 hours of training a week?

For the experience shooter who wants fun and training results – Buy a .22 snub and a left handed holster – then shoot your 100 rounds a week in the .22 until you master (equal your right hand shooting skills) with it – Focusing on the draw, sight picture, trigger stroke and manual-of-arms – You can shoot 100 rounds a week, have a lot of fun and improve your right hand shooting by re-discovering the fundamentals of proper shooting mechanics.

Bottom lines:

You can hire some one to shoot – it is not the “shooting” – it is making the time to practice (master) the mechanics involved in shooting – and that requires time over ammo

I hope that helps a little – Get back to me in a few days.

Thank you again for some great questions!