Should I get a S&W .38 special or a Glock 22 (first gun)?

I like the look and feel of the Glock 22 but it is $150 more than the the .38 special, which I also like. I’ll mainly be using it for home protection and most likely for concealed carry in the future. The Glock will probably be too big for concealed carry but it also has a 15round mag and it is just a really nice gun and it fits my hand perfect.

I’m leaning towards the .38 for money reasons right now.

From what I hear you can’t go wrong with the .38 special and it would be perfect to carry once I get my CHL.

What do you guys think?

14 Answers

  • Those are definitely two very different guns. I almost always recommend a decent .22 as a first gun. It is not what most people want to hear, but in the long run it really is the right decision. While they are not really self defense guns the practice you can get with a good .22 definitely make a difference when shooting later. Should the worst case scenario occur and you are required to use your carry gun for defense against another person the last thing you want is to not be able to hit what you are aiming at. Not only is the .22 good to practice with because it is cheap to shoot (you can easily burn through an entire 500 round box without feeling bad) it is also so much easier to learn shooting without having to deal with recoil.

    If you absolutely must have a self defense gun, either can work. A .38 special is a less effective round than the .40 when it comes to stopping an assailant. While I like my snubbie loaded with .38 special rounds I have been told that in a 2 inch barrel ballistics are closer to a .380 than a 9mm.

    At the end of the day, in a carry gun, the gun you will carry all the time is a better bet than one that may be left at home due to its size. The Glock may be bigger than you are able to comfortably carry on a regular basis, but the cylinder on a compact revolver is wider than a lot of people tend to think and can make them less comfortable to carry than their other dimensions may indicate.

  • I’m with Doc Hudson!

    Neither do I like either one of your caliber choices. 38 Special is far less useful than 357 Magnum. I presently own three 357 Magnum revolvers; I used to own more; but, I’m scaling down. I have never in my entire life owned a 38 Special – What for?

    40 S&W is a terrible caliber choice for a beginning handgunner to attempt to use. The recoil is very sharp; the ammo is expensive; and a 40 does very little better than a 9mm, and nothing better than a 45 ACP.

    Suggest you start with either a 22 LR or a 9mm. A Glock MODEL 22 is a large pistol. Most experienced gunmen with your intentions would go with a G-19 or G-23, instead. I’ve been around guns all of my long life. I often carry a G-19, and absolutely love it. (On my more paranoid days, I carry a huge G-21; but this is, definitely, not something for you to attempt, right now.)

    PS: Stay away from 4th generation Glocks – OK. If you elect to go the, ‘plastic pistol’ route, be sure to verify that new pistol with, at least, 300 rounds of Wal-Mart, ‘range quality’ ammo BEFORE you rely on it for self-defense. (You’ve been warned!)

    Read the owner’s manual, too. Don’t carry that new Glock in C-1, either. Do what the manual tells you to do. Get a good holster, one that covers the triggerguard, as soon as you’re able. Personally, I like Blackhawk, ‘Serpa’ CQC’s and Kydex.

    A new handgun can be a very dangerous thing to own. Suggest you call around and get yourself some professional training, too.

  • 38 Glock

  • I hate the .38 Special round. Even with +P it is an underpowered nugget of lead lallygagging down the flight path to tap its target like the limp-wristed kid you knew from middle school. Get a 357 magnum that does .38 SPCL too, if you really want a revolver. You can load it with whatever you want, they are easy to clean and reliable. Glock is going to have a higher resell value because some morons will pay more for a used glock than MSRP of a new one. The mags are also very nice to use for target practice. Please also take a look at a used hi-point pistol for your first weapon. The .40 cal pistol is abotu $200 new with a lifetime warranty and you can sell it for about a $75 loss. Their C9 (compact 9mm) is also dirt cheap with a lifetime warranty and for C&C.

  • Actually neither is good choice for a first gun.

    if you are not an experienced shooter, you need to start with a .22 either a manual repeater riflee, such as a bolt-action, lever-action, or pump-action rifle, or a revolver.

    The .22 LR is the ideal weapon to learn the basics or marksmanship, gun safety, and good gun handling habits. The recoil is negligible, the report is mild and the ammo is relatively cheap. There is only one way to become a good marksman and that is to send lots of lead down range. You can buy 500 rounds of .22 LR ammo for about half the price of 50 centerfire pistol cartridges.

    In over 40 years of shooting and hanging out with gun cranks, I’ve never met a good shot who started with anything other than a .22. And that goes double for a handgunner.

    With al that aside, of the two handguns you mentioned, you’d be worlds better off with the .38 S&W Special revolver. No magazines to loose, load or damage, very simple manual of arms, and no flying brass or moving slide to distract your aim.

    Doc Hudson

  • If you are new to guns, a revolver is the way to go. They are very low maintainence, load and forget affairs. They dont jam. They dont have springs to get ‘set’ and wear out. they dont care if they arent well lubricated. They dant care if they get dusty and dirty. Pretty much any issue you have when firing can be solved by pulling the trigger again.

    Yes, the high capacity magazine is nice, and .40S&W is a nice powerful round. Glock is a well made gun, i own several. But, overall a revolver is a more reliable and plenty effective defense tool. I carry a S&W 438 on a regular basis, and i have total confidence that it isnt going to fail at the worst possible time.

  • my first gun was a heckler and koch 9mm. I suggest getting an auto then buy a .22lr rifle or pistol for your next purchase if you enjoy shooting because bullets are expensive. My 9mm ammo is about 22 cents a shot while my .22lr is about 3 cents a shot. My 9mm is a compact so its great for concealed carry and you should maybe look at a glock that is abit smaller. I’m not familiar with glocks but I wouldn’t recommend a baby glock. Get something like a glock 23 that is compact for concealed carry but doesn’t sacrifice ergonomics. It’s important for the gun to “feel” good in your hand and i’d you can’t go wrong with a hk or sig. Glocks are alright in 9mm just be sure to get some black talon ammo or ranger SXT because standard hollow points don’t offer enough stoping power. the 9mm is cheap to train with, offers great heavy duty law enforcement rounds, and has managable recoil for follow up shots. I can shoot a 13rd mag in about 3-4 seconds and hit a human size target at least once at 10 yards which is farther then a normal defensive shot is taken. Also retention holsters for autos are a must for CCW.

  • Neither, Smith and Wesson has gone on their quality and I would never own a Glock. The problem with a glock, is that everything is made out of plastic except for the barrel and the slide. Therefore, it is top heavy. I would recommend a Ruger SR9 or maybe a Taurus.

  • Yes but you would be better off by buying it in a 357 Magnum because you can also shoot 38 Special ammo in a 357 Magnum.*.. You get two (2*) handguns for the price of one.*..If your going to spend the $$$$ anyway you will get more for your $$$ by buying it in 357 Magnum.*…

  • If you are worried about recoil, go with the .38, if you are worried about reliability, go with the .38, if you want good all around protection, .357. you can load it with .38s and in the future, use .357 magnums, i would pick a .357 loaded with .38s over a .40 any day.

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