Uncomfortable, but possible.
July 9th, 2014
Every gun owner should have at least one .38 snubbie of some sort for a backup piece. I currently have a S&W 37 and 38, both finished in Teflon with Uncle Mike's boot grip stocks. I've carried both at the same time in Uncle Mike's vest holsters attached to the straps of my Second Chance vest when I worked in bad areas during my years in patrol, and just one when I was transferred to a nicer neighborhood. The guns are simple to use and powerful enough for close range use.
As far as accuracy, both S&Ws could make head shots at 25 yards, but does take a longer time as the small sights are more difficult to see. I once had a 1970's Colt Cobra which could bounce 12 oz soda cans at 50 yards all day long when fired single action. I have settled on Bianchi speed strips for reloading as they're compact and easy to carry. I can't see packing bulky speedloaders for a backup gun.
Since both of my current S&W are alloy framed guns and the older models (I do not, and would not have) any S&W with the internal/infernal lock, I shoot light loads for practice using 158 grain lead bullets with a light charge of Bullseye powder for a velocity of approx. 750 fps. I keep them loaded with Speer .38+P 125 grain Gold Dot and shoot off the five rounds in the guns at the end of every year and reload them with fresh ammo.
I don't carry my snubbies much nowadays as I prefer my Kimber Solo and Kahr Covert in .40 S&W as they're more powerful and easier to shoot. However, the snubbie is the perfect gun for ankle holster use because of it's shape. It's cylinder fits right behind the ankle bone and it's lower height and rounded corners make it much more concealable than any medium framed handgun. Personally I cannot carry any firearm other than a .25 auto in an ankle holster due to extreme discomfort after awhile.
Massad Ayoob Blog Archive HOW TO SHOOT GREAT WITH SNUB NOSE 38