Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Libourel and the 38 Colt

In the June Gun World Jan Libourel tackles one of the most famous stories in handgun lore and says it ain't so. In his telling the 45 Colt did not perform much better than the 38 Long Colt against the Moros in the Philippines during the fighting there after the Spanish-American War.

I think Libourel has too much fun being a debunker and overstates his case. But then we big bore lovers probably overstated the effectiveness of the 45 Colt in our telling as well. I'll grant that the 45 is not the Hammer of Thor. And I'm on record as liking 38 caliber revolvers. But all else being equal i think i'd rather tag a goblin with a 45.

That said, the Brits, who learned alot about CQC in Ulster, Flanders, and the colonies, eventually dropped the .455 Webley for the 38 S&W (not the 38 Special) with a slow (610 fps), heavy (200 grains) bullet.

I think this is an interesting concept for a snubby-- high SD, low muzzle blast. It is sort of the anti-magnum and contra-Glaser since it substitutes penetration for hydrostatic shock.

The key point is that all else isn't usually equal. There are times that a smaller. lighter, or more controllable handgun is required even if it lacks the bore size or kinetic energy of "better" options.