Why do all the "pros" carry J-frames? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Landmonster
01-06-2012, 02:18
I've noticed a theme, and perhaps you have too. The more I read about professional shooters and trainers, it seems to me that an overwhelming majority of these professional shooters/gun guys/firearms trainers seem to choose J-frame revolvers as their CCW of choice. I know this is not true in every case (i.e., James Yeager carries 2 G19s), but it holds true in many cases.

I don't have any actual data to support this observation, so perhaps my observations are skewed by some kind of bias.

Anyway, why do all the "pros", or experts, seem to prefer J-frame revolvers?


I've looked at them in gun shops, and I've even briefly owned a 642. I just can't get excited about them for some reason.

Cons for me:

The guns really aren't that small. (I don't see how people really pocket carry these guns in nice looking slacks or jeans)
They only hold 5-shots.
Reloading is a slow process.
The caliber really isn't that powerful. (It's weaker than 9mm NATO)
The trigger is too heavy and gritty.
The sights are usually hard to see and virtually useless.
The fit and finish is less than stellar. (Why can't S&W make a lasting finish on these guns, or make the trigger out of a nice uniform looking metal?)
The newer guns come with the internal locks.


All in all, they are slightly underpowered, hard to shoot, and don't seem that easy to carry. The only positive benefit I see is that they are highly reliable.

Nevertheless, these guns are heralded as the ultimate CCW option by many experts.

What am I not seeing?

Landric
01-06-2012, 03:01
I've noticed a theme, and perhaps you have too. The more I read about professional shooters and trainers, it seems to me that an overwhelming majority of these professional shooters/gun guys/firearms trainers seem to choose J-frame revolvers as their CCW of choice. I know this is not true in every case (i.e., James Yeager carries 2 G19s), but it holds true in many cases.

I don't have any actual data to support this observation, so perhaps my observations are skewed by some kind of bias.

Anyway, why do all the "pros", or experts, seem to prefer J-frame revolvers?


I've looked at them in gun shops, and I've even briefly owned a 642. I just can't get excited about them for some reason.

I wouldn't call myself a Pro at all, and actually I changed from J-frames to a Ruger LCR and SP101, both in .357, but the theory is the same.

Cons for me:

The guns really aren't that small. (I don't see how people really pocket carry these guns in nice looking slacks or jeans)

I have never had any problems carrying various J-frames in pants pockets, they are much more natural feeling to me than any of the small "pocket" autos. The right pocket holster goes a long way, as does selecting pants with large pockets.

They only hold 5-shots.

True, but they tend to be more reliable and more powerful than pocket autos

Reloading is a slow process.

True, they make better second guns, or having a second J-frame rather than attempting to reload is an option.

The caliber really isn't that powerful. (It's weaker than 9mm NATO)

That depends on what J-frame you are carrying, no matter what anyone tells you about the .357 Magnum out of short barrels, it does out perform 9x19mm in similar sized guns across the board, especially with heavier bullets. A full-size 9x19mm pistol can't push a factory loaded 158 grain bullet to 1135 fps, but a 2 1/4" SP101 can. Handloading can raise that figure significantly while still being safe, a 9x19 handload might get in the 1100 fps range with that heavy of a bullet out of a 5" barrel, but it would be hard pressed to do any better while maintaining any level of safety.

The trigger is too heavy and gritty.

That depends on the gun, the LCR has a fantastic trigger out of the box. J-frames with bad triggers can be pretty easily solved, and once one gets used to shooting DAO the trigger is easy to handle out of the box anyway.

The sights are usually hard to see and virtually useless.

The same can be said of most of the pocket autos out there, some of which don't have sights at all. Besides, many of the newer J-frames have better sights these days. My LCR has a great front night sight, it is also available on S&W guns.

The fit and finish is less than stellar. (Why can't S&W make a lasting finish on these guns, or make the trigger out of a nice uniform looking metal?)

I have never seen a S&W that looked nearly as bad as a NIB Kel-Tec, and working guns don't have to look nice, they just have to work. I see the finish as a non-issue, fit I have never seen a problem with.

The newer guns come with the internal locks.


Not all of them, S&W is dropping internal locks from many of the J-frame concealed hammer guns, or at least making the lock optional. The S&W lock is both ugly and prone to failure, I wouldn't carry a gun witht he lock intact. Luckily, it is easy to disable if one has a revolver with it.

All in all, they are slightly underpowered, hard to shoot, and don't seem that easy to carry. The only positive benefit I see is that they are highly reliable.

Nevertheless, these guns are heralded as the ultimate CCW option by many experts.

What am I not seeing?

They are not for everyone, but they have a place. I find them to be fantastic pocket and ankle guns, and I often end up carrying one revolver on my ankle and the other in my pocket when a belt or IWB holster isn't right for my carry situation. Generally I carry one revolver as a backup to a compact or subcompact Glock. Despite the similar size of the Glock 26 and LCR/SP101, the 26 doesn't work well as a pocket gun and the revolvers do.

Goldendog Redux
01-06-2012, 03:20
The more I read about professional shooters and trainers, it seems to me that an overwhelming majority of these professional shooters/gun guys/firearms trainers seem to choose J-frame revolvers as their CCW of choice.

I don't know who the "pros" are or what they carry but I imagine a lot of folks carry a J-Frame because they are dead nuts reliable, light, simple to operate, effective at ranges that will likely come into play and the fact that carrying a gun is a pain in the ass so you may as well make it easy on yourself.

MF

WASR10
01-06-2012, 03:48
I am no pro, but I carry a j-frame when not carrying a Glock. I'm a pretty big guy, so to me they are rather small. Drops in my pocket or sits IWB without any intrusion. I like the DOA trigger. The sights on my J are fully functional and help me put that shot on target. The .38 +p isn't all that sheepish, it can really do some work. The finish depends on the model, but I admit the lighter weight models don't hold their pretty. But, its a tool, so that really is an after thought.

The two main draw backs are indeed the low capacity and slow reload. I practice and practice and I can reload pretty fast, but never will I get as fast as reloading a semi-auto. But I do practice shooting it. A lot. And 5 well placed shots is worth more than 15 sprayed and prayed.

I guess snubbies aren't for everyone, though.

Tiro Fijo
01-06-2012, 04:07
REAL pros carry Colt Detective Specials. :whistling:

silversport
01-06-2012, 06:25
REAL pros carry Colt Detective Specials. :whistling:

c'mon...you know you meant Colt Cobras...:supergrin:
Bill

Ahmid
01-06-2012, 06:36
I am finally down to a J frame 99% of the time. So easy to carry in South Florida. I am sure if I still lived in the N.E. during the winter I would carry a more powerful semi.

CajunBass
01-06-2012, 06:40
Once you get to be a REAL pro, we'll let you in on the secret...and the handshake. :whistling: :supergrin:

Seriously, I suppose because they understand they're a lot more likely to not need it than to need it, and a J frame is about as good a compromise between not carrying a gun at all, and carrying something else.

collim1
01-06-2012, 06:43
There is alot of people who claim to carry a 5" 1911 IWB 24/7, but I dont believe very many of them. Making a run to the gas station with your 1911 hardly means it is your primary carry weapon.

Carrying at work is a real problem for a lot of people, because it demands 100% concealment often when wearing dress clothes. When its time to wear dress clothes to work and carry your gun for 12hrs a day the jframe is a good compromise.

I tried a P3AT and got burned, it was a total lemon. I gave up the 2 extra rounds and faster reloads to have 5 shots with reliability. I also find the jframe (especially the concealed hammer models) to be quite comfortable in a pocket or on the ankle.

I open carry at work so concealment is not an issue for me. I carry a P239 OWB when not working, but still count on the jframe on occasion when I need 100% concealment.

BuckyP
01-06-2012, 06:49
There is just something about a J-Frame, mostly the reliability.

While I consider a G26/27 or P2000SK dead nuts reliable, I've yet to find any of the slimmer guns to have the same reputation. Sure some people have some that are, but there are enough that haven't. Also, some people will say my guns reliable, it only jammed twice, and they'll blame something (ammo, limp wrist). My G27 and my P2000SK never jammed on me. My Kahrs, while mostly reliable, do hiccup from time to time.

gsp174
01-06-2012, 06:53
It might be a price thing too, ammo is inexpensive and you could always find a used snubbie not shot often and in good mechanical condition.

BuckyP
01-06-2012, 06:53
I'll add one more thing, with regards to pocket carry. I feel the "hammer-less" revolver draws better from the pocket than an Auto. The tapered back comes out smoother than the squared back of an auto.

M2 Carbine
01-06-2012, 07:06
I don't know any Pros, so I don't know what they carry.

Personally, if the 2 inch J Frame would fit my pockets I'd carry it most of the time instead of the small .380 pistols I normally pocket carry.

The only problem I have with the J Frame is the 5 round capacity. So if I thought my defense situation might involve more than two BG's I wouldn't want to carry the 5 shot gun, or the 7 shot .380 either.

HexHead
01-06-2012, 07:19
Because Colt stopped making DA revolvers years ago.

jwhite75
01-06-2012, 07:26
I have three carry guns right now...a Glock 23 , a Sig P228, and a S&W M&P 340 in .38/.357. It has an Ashley Express night sight on the front and weighs about 12 oz. I carry it in a Desantis Nemesis, or a Galco Summer Special. It disappears in anything I put it in.

It is great in my shorts during summer or in my coat pocket during winter. During summer my G23 comes off my side covered in sweat. My J comes out of my pocket dry and ready for action any time I need it.

My buddy and coworker has a G23, and guess where he carries it....in his door space of his vehicle or at home on his refrigerator. Par tof this is because he isnt as committed to carryign as I am, and the fact that he simply cant carry as well as a small J-frame does.

The "pros" as you call them most likely carry j-frames because they work in most every situation....most all of the time. Thats why they are pros...they know what works.

As far as caliber goes. A relatively "weak" .38 worked for many many years in the holsters of lawmen all across this country and put many a bad guy down. That was with old ammo, the new modern +p stuff is so much better even.

Ghost Tracker
01-06-2012, 07:41
The small, snag-resistant (hammerless?), shot-barrelled, revolver in a capable caliber has been favored for pocket carry by knowledgable pistoleros since the development of the cartridge. If you're not familiar with the designs of Colt's designer/gunsmith "Mr. John Henry Fitzgerald" and his Fitz Special, it might make for some interesting reading. In time, those revolvers have become smaller, lighter, relatively less expensive, more durable & more reliable. The ammo has similarly become, through powder & bullet technology, more effective. Yet the basic theory still remains sound.
Regardless of the validated self-defense statistics regarding; number of shots fired, number of attackers, at what distance, etc. (most of which show 5 shots to be sufficient) our own mental gymnastics imagine us facing rushing hordes of crazed Scarface-type bad-guys requiring 4 or 5 perfectly executed tactical reloads to effectively subdue.
Well-experienced felon chasers (Pros) use one single criteria for equipment selection. Does this pick tilt the odds of survival in my direction? History says the j-frame revolver does exactly that.

Bruce M
01-06-2012, 08:13
It probably also pays to remember that one or three of the "pros" have a few years under their belts and may have been carrying before there were alot of polymer pistols, smaller pistols in substantial calibers and possibly even before pistols enjoyed wide popularity in some circles. Remember for probably three quarters of the last century Smith and Wesson and Colt probably occupied 97% of police holsters and a substantial number of others' holsters. As much as I enjoy the G26 my model 60 is a bit smaller and has a couple decades on it. And my model 60 is young by comparison as the first Chief's Specials date from the early 1950s.

Add to that that my 60 has a great finish and my model 36 has a finish that is still quite good after a few decades, that the right .38 special round has proven adequate in skilled hands, that five rounds may be four more than is necessary, or possibly even five depending on what the bad guy does compliance-wise, speed loaders can reduce reloading time, some Smith triggers seemed a bit better a decade or three ago and many current ones can be improved as necessary, and if I really really needed it they made a nifty J frame with adjustable sights, not to mention a J frame in .22, and I understand why a J frame is a proven choice over decades.

Agent6-3/8
01-06-2012, 08:32
First of all, I wouldn't call the .38 Special a weak round. There are loadings available that put it on par or exceed the 9mm. As far as finish goes, the issues seem to be lmited to the 642 and guns with similar finish. The black finish of the 442 and its brothers holds up quite well. The j-frame trigger takes practice to get the hang of, but its very shootable. With practice, you can stage it for a near single action let off. The sights are on par or better than other pocket pistols out there. Finally, the dreaded lock. Both the 642 and 442 (and maybe a few other hammerless models) are available without it.

Pros and joes of all sorts like the j-frame be cause of its deadnuts reliability. To each his own, but I'd take 5 for sure of .38 +p over any of the pocket outos any day.

IV Troop
01-06-2012, 08:47
"Why do all the "pros" carry J-frames? "

Because when the chips are down and you have lost your primary gun for whatever reason, more likely than not, your J-Frame will go BANG when you need it most.


http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/IV_Troop/002-6.jpg

ChicagoZman
01-06-2012, 09:17
Think you're getting hung up with the need for firepower in a BUG, which by definition is the gun you use when you've lost your primary, its empty, etc. But let me take them point by point.
1. The J-Frame IS smaller than most SD guns with the exception of the newest generation of single-stack 9mms and .380s. Fits in MY pants or jacket pocket easily and when it doesn't will easily fit into an IWB holster.
2. As a BUG I'm not looking for 9,10,15 rounds of ammo in the gun. This is my BACKUP, not my primary.
3. Can reload in a couple of seconds from speed strips if needed. But at least I've got five rounds in my BUG.
4. .38 +P has been a proven round by major police departments throughout the United States. Certainly better than .380, .32 or .25.
5. My 642 trigger, while heavy, has never been gritty. In fact, I've never shot a S&W revolver with a gritty trigger.
6. Sights are more than adequate for short range work one handed (3'-15') and will allow me to hit center of mass out to 50' with two hands. Its not a target or competition gun, its a BUG!
7. My stainless 649 is almost twenty years old and the finish is great. My 642 is only a couple of years old and looks pretty good for a gun that gets used every day. Besides, who sees it but me. Its a BUG.
8. Five minutes to remove the internal lock if that's your thing. Or buy one without a lock if that's your preference.

Now, why do I carry one daily. Because it meets my needs and it ALWAYS works. I find it draws from a front pocket easier than a pistol and I have no worries about a malfunction caused by it hanging on clothes, a less than perfect grip, etc. I have other guns I carry as primary (Glocks mostly, but also 1911s) but only use J-Frames as BUGs as I've found they work for me.

Bren
01-06-2012, 10:10
James Yeager carries 2 G19s
Reloading is a slow process.
The trigger is too heavy and gritty.
The sights are usually hard to see and virtually useless.
The fit and finish is less than stellar. (Why can't S&W make a lasting finish on these guns, or make the trigger out of a nice uniform looking metal?)

:rofl::rofl::rofl::upeyes:


What am I not seeing?
Plenty, due to a lack of firearms knowledge and experience, would be my guess.


James Yeager? really?

fnfalman
01-06-2012, 10:30
c'mon...you know you meant Colt Cobras...:supergrin:
Bill

You mean Agent. :tongueout:

CAcop
01-06-2012, 12:35
There was a time when I carried my 642 almost 24/7, BUG at work, primary CCW at home. It started getting a little crazy around my house so I upgraded to a compact .45. I really only added 3 more rounds in a potentially less reliable gun.

G-19
01-06-2012, 12:43
I don't have a J frame, but I do have a Ruger LCR .38 that I carry when I don't feel like carrying my G23. Which is getting more and more often. :)

Charlie Fox
01-06-2012, 12:45
They're small, concealable, work 100% of the time and you can contact-shoot a BG without causing a malfunction. Good enough reasoning for me:)

fastbolt
01-06-2012, 13:11
Well, while I can't speak to the broadly defined category of "pro's", I've certainly known a significant number of LE firearms instructors who owned and carried J-frames as both off-duty & secondary/backup weapons. More who did than didn't, over the years.

Granted, more often than not those folks also happened to have started their LE careers carrying service revolvers, and they had some revolver skills.

While I took a "break" from carrying a couple of my 5-shot snubs for a few years during the peak period when small service-caliber pistols were really starting to hit the market in noticeable numbers, I eventually "rediscovered" my interest in J-frames after the +P rated 642-1 was introduced. I'd pretty much started to tire of carrying a service weapon, or even a compact 9 or .45, on my own time.

I wanted an option that was both smaller and lighter. My older 649 Bodyguard & SP101 were still sometimes a bit heavier than I really wanted, especially for pocket-holster carry, but that's when I finally gave the Airweights a chance.

Since then I've come to own half a dozen J-frames, of which only 1 is steel (and I still have my SP101 DAO). My primary off-duty weapon became a DAO J-frame, and it's remained that way in my retirement.

I also do a fair amount of shooting with them, both to maintain my revolver skillset with the little guns, and because I enjoy shooting them. Sure, using +P (or Magnum) loads in the little snubs results in somewhat shorter range time with them than when I'm shooting duty loads in my 9's, .40's & .45's, but that's not unexpected. Standard pressure loads can offer less recoil and lend itself to longer range sessions. (I prefer to shoot more 9 & .45, even +P and +P+ 9mm, than I do .40 in the smaller compact & subcompact guns, too. ;) )

Some other comments addressed in blue ...


Cons for me:

The guns really aren't that small. (I don't see how people really pocket carry these guns in nice looking slacks or jeans) Yes, they are that small, and I have carried them in both dress slacks (while teaching at conferences, attending seminars, meetings ,etc) and even in some styles of my tight jeans (where the pockets are deep enough to accept them, of course). Just depends.
They only hold 5-shots. Not as much of a limitation as some folks might think. Situational context. A balanced and considered compromise for many users.
Reloading is a slow process. Again, not as much of a limitation as some might suspect. Yes, speedstrips are slower than magazines or speedloaders, but a skilled & practiced revolver shooter who has learned & practiced proper loading skills can load a revolver decently quickly enough ... and I've easily reloaded one of my J's faster than some of the pistol user's have reloaded their pistols in courses-of-fire. Depends on the user.
The caliber really isn't that powerful. (It's weaker than 9mm NATO) The .38 Spl, in both standard and +P offerings, is still considered a decently viable defensive caliber, especially when compared to .25's, .32's & .380's. Newer bullet designs and loads have increased the viability of the venerable .38 Spl, too.
The trigger is too heavy and gritty. Yes, DA/DAO revolver triggers are heavy compared to any number of pistols, but I've tried a fair number of "pocketable" pistols, even in 9mm, that had longer, spongier and less predictable trigger strokes, as well as less brisk trigger recovery. I'd take a good J-frame over them most days. Gritty? Ditto. Then again, I've had some really smooth DA/DAO triggers in little revolvers, too. Depends on the sampling.
The sights are usually hard to see and virtually useless. Older sights are harder to see. Narrow notches & sight blades are less easily picked up, especially by older eyes. Sight paint can help. The newer guns with wider notches & blades are better in this regard. The ones using the XS standard dot front night sights are really better, though. I've found I can shoot my pair of M&P 340's a lot faster than I can my other J's, even those with brightly painted front blades. Besides, I've come across a lot of sights on diminutive pocket pistol that were just about as poor as older J sights, and even some that were worse. Again, it depends.
The fit and finish is less than stellar. (Why can't S&W make a lasting finish on these guns, or make the trigger out of a nice uniform looking metal?)Cosmetic issues often relating to personal preference. I have some, and have seen others, that are just fine. Others less so. Trigger color uniformity? Really? Besides, have you really looked at a number of the more popular pocket pistols? Really looked at them? Talk about finishes being "less than stellar" ...
The newer guns come with the internal locks.S&W has released more DAO models without the ILS (internal lock system). One of my M&P 340's has the ILS, and the other one is the newer model variation that doesn't have a lock. (My justification for owning 2 of them. Then again, I bought a second 642-1 just because I liked my first one. ;) ) That said, I actually carry and shoot my 340 with the lock more often than I do my newer one without the lock. Why? Because the lock version has become really smooth with all the use it's seen, and it's reliability with the amount of standard & +P pressure .38's, as well as a few brands of Magnum loads, has been proven to me. Also, as an armorer for the guns, I've stripped, inspected & maintained it and have found it to work just as designed and intended. Just doesn't bother me. I'll be carrying the 340 with the lock later on today, as a matter of fact.



Just my thoughts.

Jack Black
01-06-2012, 13:18
It might be a price thing too, ammo is inexpensive and you could always find a used snubbie not shot often and in good mechanical condition.

I don't consider the ammo to be inexpensive. .38 special is closer to .40 than 9mm.

MrMurphy
01-06-2012, 13:25
Most 'pros' don't just carry a J. They carry it in addition to something more serious.

But you can hide a Jframe when nothing else can be hidden..... and it's still a serious caliber.

It's the gun for when you're not carrying a real gun situations. It's better than a knife.

Landmonster
01-06-2012, 14:46
:upeyes:


James Yeager? really?


James Yeager was probably a bad example as a "pro" in this context, he was just one who came to mind as one trainer who didn't carry a Jframe. He is a firearms trainer who has made his living working with guns his entire adult life. He stood out as being unusual, since he insists on carrying twin G19s.

Masaad Ayoob, many off-duty and retired cops, reputable trainers, and various competitive pistol shooters (Doug Koenig, for example), all carry J-frames.

As for your comment on the trigger finish, this is the J-frame trigger issue I'm talking about:
http://www.centerfireguns.com/images/detailed/handgun-revolver-smith-and-wesson-m642-163810-38-1-78-ss.jpg

It's more of just a minor annoyance than anything. It just seems kind of unacceptable for a new gun, considering S&W can (and used to) do better. Ruger has managed to manufacture nice looking triggers somehow, as has Taurus.
http://cdn1.thefirearmsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/lcr_357-tfb.jpg

Travclem
01-06-2012, 14:50
i carry mine because it is easily pocketable, dead nuts reliable, and plenty accurate out to over 100yds.

Bushflyr
01-06-2012, 15:10
Because, in addition to all the other factors that have been pointed out, they have extensively studied what actually happens on the street in SD scenarios. 99% of the people on these forums have an "armchair commando, going to a firefight" mentality. Study what actually happens in SD situations and you'll quickly realize that that isn't the case. A J frame is easy to carry, reliable, and plenty of gun for about any situation.

acaligunner
01-06-2012, 16:05
I've noticed a theme, and perhaps you have too. The more I read about professional shooters and trainers, it seems to me that an overwhelming majority of these professional shooters/gun guys/firearms trainers seem to choose J-frame revolvers as their CCW of choice. I know this is not true in every case (i.e., James Yeager carries 2 G19s), but it holds true in many cases.

I don't have any actual data to support this observation, so perhaps my observations are skewed by some kind of bias.

Anyway, why do all the "pros", or experts, seem to prefer J-frame revolvers?


I've looked at them in gun shops, and I've even briefly owned a 642. I just can't get excited about them for some reason.

Cons for me:

The guns really aren't that small. (I don't see how people really pocket carry these guns in nice looking slacks or jeans)
They only hold 5-shots.
Reloading is a slow process.
The caliber really isn't that powerful. (It's weaker than 9mm NATO)
The trigger is too heavy and gritty.
The sights are usually hard to see and virtually useless.
The fit and finish is less than stellar. (Why can't S&W make a lasting finish on these guns, or make the trigger out of a nice uniform looking metal?)
The newer guns come with the internal locks.


All in all, they are slightly underpowered, hard to shoot, and don't seem that easy to carry. The only positive benefit I see is that they are highly reliable.

Nevertheless, these guns are heralded as the ultimate CCW option by many experts.

What am I not seeing?

1) the j frame is somewhat small considering other SD weapons. It's the perfect hideaway weapon all things considered. When we choose a SD weapon certain factors come into play, the j frame (overall ) is the perfect companion. Pants, shirts. Can all be tailored to the weapon we choose to carry.

2) Most SD shootings are over by the 3rd - 4th shot. By this time the fight is over or you and bg are behind cover. There was a shooting where the late famous NY stakeout officer JC engaged 3armed men with a j frame revolver. IMO 5shots is not too many rounds but then again it still can get the job done.

3) yes the revolver is slow, but that's why we practice. This is one fact that anyone carrying a revolver has to consider.

4) 38 + P will get the job done. There are many modern loads that are made to work and perform in the snubby.

5) The trigger is heavy, but I'm sure there are many smiths out there that can help you out. The Ruger LCR also comes out with a decent trigger out the box. Also consider that in a SD situation a stout feeling trigger give you a safeguard when emotions, and adrenalin are on the high side. We have all worked along with the little snub to work out this problem. It's called learning and practicing with your SD weapon.

6). While snubby's are very accurate, you have to understand that it's the perfect choice for up and personal shooting. Big sights will catch and only slow down the draw. The j frame offers a good compromise when things go bad at contact distance.

7) this is a good point, as every snubby I had suffered from the paint chipping/wearing off. This is the reason I bought a Ruger LCR. The polymer frame will not wear. So far it's g-t-g. On a side note, the snubby's I had only suffered wear after many years of hard use.

8) Locks, yeah I hate locks. More a mfg'er issue. I do have a Scandium 357 j frame that has not suffered any lock up even tho I have put around 100 Full powered 125 rounds thru her.

Give the j frame another look. Sometimes things will look different the second time around. Take care acaligunner

writwing
01-06-2012, 16:09
[QUOTE=Landmonster;18391833]

Anyway, why do all the "pros", or experts, seem to prefer J-frame revolvers?

[/LIST]


To your point one of the gunraq writers stated on Outdoor Channel show that they all write about the 1911 as THE GUN but carry a J frame in real life. Of course this was before Rugers LCR!!!:cool:

fastbolt
01-06-2012, 16:30
Ruger has managed to manufacture nice looking triggers somehow...

Yeah, I have to grant that the trigger on my SP101 DAO looks nicely polished and has a "pretty" stainless appearance. Never stopped to actually look at one of my triggers before drawing, presentation and using them in drills, quals, etc, though.

On the other hand, as "pretty" as it looks, it's too bad it doesn't have the same nice trigger stroke and brisk recovery of my J-frames.

Not a big deal, though, as good trigger technique can make a Ruger run acceptably decent (and I've owned, used and liked Rugers for longer than I've owned & used S&W's ;) ).

Golddog
01-06-2012, 17:05
I've owned dozens of S&W J (in .38, .357, 9mm, and .22) and K frames. The K's were larger, but their flat mainspring DA triggers were considerably better than the coiled-spring triggers of the J's, so I almost always carried the K's.

The original poster got it right, for all the negative reasons he listed, but the most important to me was the crappy J DA pull. Of course it can be mastered, if you want to spend much of your time and hundreds of dollars worth of ammo on the damned things. (I strongly recommend against customizing the trigger. Good 'smiths worked on mine, but reliability became dubious with the lighter pull.)

Despite two decades of shooting J's, I was faster and more accurate with my Glock 26 and 19 and various CZ within the first magazineful with those guns.

faawrenchbndr
01-06-2012, 17:20
Just picked up a NYPD matte 640. Trigger is the best DAO I've ever tried.
I'm not a "pro" but I plan on carrying a j-frame quite a bit

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c341/faawrenchbndr/SW640pic2.jpg

faawrenchbndr
01-06-2012, 17:21
James Yeager was probably a bad example as a "pro"........


Ya think,........? :whistling:

jhooten
01-06-2012, 17:53
My$.02 FWIW

5 38 specials carry more energy than 7 380 acps
The trigger on my 442 is better than the trigger on the Kel-Tec P3AT it replaced.
The sights on the 442 are better than the sights on the Kel-Tec.
My 2011 vintage 442 does not have a lock
A shiny trigger on a matte finish revolver looks goofy.
Reloading with a speed loader can be done quickly.

deputy tom
01-06-2012, 18:57
I'm not a "pro" but some of them do carry J-frames.Jeff Cooper for one did,who knows who else did/does.I'm old school.I cut my teeth on J-frame revolvers.A few weeks ago I had to fill in for my gunsmith buddy and thought about which gun to wear during those several days at the shop.I went with the J-frame.At the distances I might have to deploy a gun the J-frame was chosen as it is quick and reliable.Sure I have pocket autos,full size duty guns,etc. but when it comes down to a real possibility of getting into a shooting situation my choice is a J-frame.YMMV.tom.:cool:

H&K 4 LIFE
01-06-2012, 19:15
You cannot compare the J-frame to a larger size pistol or revolver. The larger framed handgun will always have a longer sight radius, less felt recoil, and greater capacity.

However, when comparing the J-frame to comparable size pocket pistols, the J-frame fairs quite favorably. It is without question the most reliable, versatile, easy to operate, and powerful firearm within this class.

http://www.snubnose.info/docs/Making_Jframe_work.htm

... this is the J-frame trigger issue I'm talking about:
http://www.centerfireguns.com/images/detailed/handgun-revolver-smith-and-wesson-m642-163810-38-1-78-ss.jpg

Trigger "issue"? :rofl:

http://oi41.tinypic.com/34ifzfc.jpg

Berto
01-06-2012, 19:31
When handguns get pocket-small, I far more trust the revolver to work.
With the right loads, it won't give up anything to 9mm, esp with heavy bullets.
With practice, the snubby can shot and reloaded plenty quick.

Ruger triggers may look nice, but they are also a bit edgy, esp on the bottom edge and generally not as smooth and positive as the Smiths.

Jack Black
01-06-2012, 19:40
I like how the triggers look. It's probably from the heat treating or something. They remind me the oil can type finish on single action revolvers.

bullet1234
01-06-2012, 20:12
J frames are available and they are reliable,,,, the only
disadvantage is the 5 shots,,,, By pros; if you mean
Law officers; I would agree ,,,,, LO used these as
primary and BUG for years while on duty.

SuperSleuth
01-06-2012, 20:45
I'm not a pro. However, I do carry a 642 as my primary self-defense gun. I could give a long-winded list of my reasons, but suffice it to say that for me the snub revolver's positive points outweigh its negative points as well as the negative points of semi-autos.

Michael deBethencourt is a self-defense instructor who's specialty is the snub revolver. He's written that the more he researches what actually happens in gunfights the more confident he is in carrying a snub revolver (IIRC he's a law enforcement officer in MA). This article was the one that started my swing away from my Glock 23 to revolvers in general and snubs in particular: http://www.snubtraining.com/pdfs/WhyRevolversBeatAutos.pdf

Ultimately, the gun is just one tool in the tool box. Whether you choose a snub revolver, a Glock, a 1911, or a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range, what's important is that you know how and when to use it.

GlockFish
01-06-2012, 20:50
Why do all the "pros" carry J-frames?

Because they know how silly they look with a .50 Desert Eagle stuck down their pants.

ithaca_deerslayer
01-06-2012, 22:01
I'm not a pro. However, I do carry a 642 as my primary self-defense gun. I could give a long-winded list of my reasons, but suffice it to say that for me the snub revolver's positive points outweigh its negative points as well as the negative points of semi-autos.

Michael deBethencourt is a self-defense instructor who's specialty is the snub revolver. He's written that the more he researches what actually happens in gunfights the more confident he is in carrying a snub revolver (IIRC he's a law enforcement officer in MA). This article was the one that started my swing away from my Glock 23 to revolvers in general and snubs in particular: http://www.snubtraining.com/pdfs/WhyRevolversBeatAutos.pdf

Ultimately, the gun is just one tool in the tool box. Whether you choose a snub revolver, a Glock, a 1911, or a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range, what's important is that you know how and when to use it.
Good post and good link to that article.

A 15oz snubbie S&W 642 .38 revolver has a lot of good points.
-- light
-- small and carries easy, don't be fooled into thinking the cylinder makes the gun big beause it doesn't when compared to small 9mm.
-- almost the same power as a 9 and can have heavier bullets.
-- reliable
-- not grip nor limpwrist nor contorted shooting postion liable to cause a jam
-- trigger weight generally safe enough for unholstered carry if needed
-- can shoot from within a pocket
-- snag free on the draw from under clothing
-- simple for a newbie to use if you enlist their help in a fight
-- easy to tell if unloaded
-- the gun itself is just as accurate as any other gun
-- even brandnew is still avaiable without a lock
-- can contact fire
-- points naturally

So weigh all of that against the concerns of only 5, you can't shoot accuately, the trigger is too hard for you, you don't know how to do a quick reload, you don't like the recoil, and you mistakenly think 158gr hollow points at 800 fps are not sufficient for self-defense:rofl:

JK-linux
01-06-2012, 23:27
I think their popularity is a combination of relative price efficiency, decent concealability compared to their peers and being as close to 100% reliable as a small mechanical device can be. There are more expensive guns that conceal better and are reliable. There are cheaper guns that are less reliable or are less concealable or are both. I'm not sure you can find too many in the low $300 price range that have all three characteristics and as simple in design and execution. This of course is debatable. Still, if you factor in age of the "pros" or years on the street as part of what makes a "pro" to begin with, most probably stick with what they have lived with and know works - the J-Frame.

barth
01-06-2012, 23:36
With an empty/loaded weight of 11.1/13.5 oz,
firing 5 135 gr +P 38 rounds,
http://www.speer-ammo.com/products/bullet_tests.htm
and having a concealed hammer.
My titanium J-Frame has to be about the smallest, most reliable,
pocket pistol in a reasonable caliber that I can fire through the pocket.
Plus ergonomics and accuracy are outstanding for a 2" barrel 11 oz gun.

I'd rather have my G27 or P239 on me.
But often I'm not dressed to carry compact autos.

Backup gun, deep cover gun, low threat dress cloths gun.
It ends up being the way I'm armed most of the time.

Goldendog Redux
01-07-2012, 04:08
Some pros carry Glock fortys
http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc101/mflagg/glock_forty.jpg

nyycanseco33
01-07-2012, 04:28
Some pros carry Glock fortys
http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc101/mflagg/glock_forty.jpg

LOL!


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faawrenchbndr
01-07-2012, 05:49
Some pros carry Glock fortys
http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc101/mflagg/glock_forty.jpg




:rofl:

2740dmx
01-07-2012, 06:56
A "pro" I am not...

but I do carry a S&W 340 M&P no/lock

Slow to reload and limited capacity....I will agree with that!

However, it does offer: X/S night sight
.357 magnum chambering (I carry with either Speer Gold Dot short barrel 135gr in .357 OR Buffalo Bore 158gr .38+P LSWCHP)
extremely light weight
very durable DLC coating
and hammerless (snag free) design

I shoot my 66 snub much better, due to the better spring design (smoother trigger), but it is too heavy for some applications (dressed up or summertime day trips)

With the right holster, my J-frame disappears under any tight-fitting t-shirt, and can be brought quickly into action.

silversport
01-07-2012, 07:27
You mean Agent. :tongueout:

you got me...:thumbsup:

Bill

rgregoryb
01-07-2012, 08:32
The trigger is "discolored" from heat hardening ya knucklehead, if you took the side plate off you would see the hammer is also discolored......:faint:

It is a tool..not a museum display.

M2 Carbine
01-07-2012, 09:15
I would suggest if you want to carry the 5 shot J Frame you get good enough with it be be able to consistantly do the 5 shot drill.

5 shots, at 5 yards, within a 5 inch circle, within 5 seconds.


I use a 3 3/4 inch circle and I have trouble with the time. I admit it, if I wanted to carry the J Frame I'd need some more practice before I'd feel completely comfortable with the only five shots.
http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/5yardsrapidfire.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/5yardsfastfirelaser2.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/5yardsfastfirelaser1.jpg

pmwglock19
01-07-2012, 09:58
I read the article when it came out in a magazine. I agree with SUPERSLEUTH that these are compelling reasons to carry a snubby. My son is looking at getting a snubby but undecided as to which one. He appears to be leaning towards the LCR. What is the barrel life span on the LCR's? Is it comparable to the j frames?

Bruce M
01-07-2012, 10:35
I read the article when it came out in a magazine. I agree with SUPERSLEUTH that these are compelling reasons to carry a snubby. My son is looking at getting a snubby but undecided as to which one. He appears to be leaning towards the LCR. What is the barrel life span on the LCR's? Is it comparable to the j frames?


I haven't heard of anyone wearing out the barrel in either, but I lead a sheltered life. But I would guess that if someone did wear out a barrel after thousands of dollars worth of ammunition through it that either Ruger or Smith and Wesson will replace the barrel for little or no cost.

Chonny
01-07-2012, 10:41
I get your point. A lot of it is the fact these experts know that if they get down to their backup gun the last thing they are going to think about is how great the trigger, sights, or whatever is. My LCP is 100% but if it ever changes I know my 642 will be 100%.

The negatives about size are true. A LCP in a Nemesis just disappears.

Adam5
01-07-2012, 12:32
My hammerless J-Frame disappears in a pants pocket.

If it's cold out I can carry in a jacket pocket, AND fire it 5 times through a jacket pocket. Show me an auto that will do that without jamming.

JuneyBooney
01-07-2012, 12:40
The little j frame is easy to carry and small. That is why they are carried in such numbers. They are not man stoppers by any means unless you are carrying the 357.

Gregg702
01-07-2012, 12:49
The little j frame is easy to carry and small. That is why they are carried in such numbers. They are not man stoppers by any means unless you are carrying the 357.

.38 +P can kill a man just fine. In what way are they not "man stoppers"?

faawrenchbndr
01-07-2012, 15:17
The little j frame is easy to carry and small. That is why they are carried in such numbers. They are not man stoppers by any means unless you are carrying the 357.


:upeyes:

.38 Special was putting people in the ground before most of
us here were on the planet!

Leigh
01-07-2012, 15:24
I like how the triggers look. It's probably from the heat treating or something. They remind me the oil can type finish on single action revolvers.

S&W has been producing case-hardened tiggers/hammers for many years.

The trigger is not "uniform" in color becasue it isn't supposed to be.

bsg1
01-07-2012, 15:26
.....

bsg1
01-07-2012, 15:27
.....

Magus
01-07-2012, 15:39
The little j frame is easy to carry and small. That is why they are carried in such numbers. They are not man stoppers by any means unless you are carrying the 357.

Go back and ask the thousands of people since 1898 who've dropped dead from 38 Special and get back to us on that theory.

TN.Frank
01-07-2012, 15:51
LOL, a 22 will kill someone with a proper hit. Heck, NO handgun is really a "man stopper", it's all about shot placement and that leads me to another thing. Why do people say that snubs are hard to shoot? I've never found them any harder to shoot than any other handgun. You just line up the sights on the target and squeeze the trigger and the bullet will go where the sights were aimed, same as any other handgun I've ever owned.
All this dang revolver talk, just keep it up and I'll end up selling off my PX4 so I can buy a revolver. :crying:

Fireman1291
01-07-2012, 16:31
Because it just plain works. I carry my .357 magnum 340PD with a clipdraw everyday. No matter the attire, it goes. It has power, its light(the key), and is reliable.

http://i1089.photobucket.com/albums/i356/Firefighter1291/340pd10.jpg

USDefender
01-07-2012, 17:14
*edit*

390ish
01-07-2012, 20:00
The smith trigger looks right. The ruger trigger looks like a piece of bathroom fixture hardware.

cowboy1964
01-07-2012, 20:15
Weak? 12 3/8" penetration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k890Rio2oBY

9mm FMJ is a notoriously poorly performing round. I'd take a good 38 JHP all day every day over 9mm FMJ.

dhoomonyou
01-07-2012, 20:19
I agree with the OP

BUT

different strokes, etc, etc....

with that said I HAD a SW 638 for a SHORT time sold it for a G27, never looked back.

AND I have seen snubbies LOCK UP at the range. NOTHING is 100% reliable.

dooga
01-07-2012, 20:40
That .357 Magnum LCR looks awesome.

hogship
01-07-2012, 21:22
There are plenty of "pros" who do not EDC a J frame...... Of those who do, I'll bet many of them change their mind after an event where they did, or easily could have needed to use it for the purpose for which it was carried. Five shot revolvers are inadequate for many real-life possibilities that can and do happen........every day.

The real advantage to a J frame, LCP, or anything similarly small in size.....is as a back up to something else.

ooc

smokin762
01-07-2012, 21:29
The trigger is "discolored" from heat hardening ya knucklehead, if you took the side plate off you would see the hammer is also discolored......:faint:

It is a tool..not a museum display.

The technical term you are looking for is Case Hardening. Itís used a lot in the firearms and fastener business. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
I work in the fastener business in the Heat Treat Dept. :supergrin: <o:p></o:p>

rgregoryb
01-07-2012, 21:48
The technical term you are looking for is Case Hardening. Itís used a lot in the firearms and fastener business. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
I work in the fastener business in the Heat Treat Dept. :supergrin: <o:p></o:p>

cool, a hot job....:whistling:

NeverMore1701
01-08-2012, 01:31
Good thing I'm not a "pro", cause I don't much care for wheelguns for carry :tongueout:

M&P15T
01-08-2012, 05:08
There seems to be one or two "Pros", or shooting industry "experts" in every specialised forum here. Most have cult of personality followers in their specific forums here on GT. I have never been concerned with their opinions. I'd rather look at my own personal situation, and decide for myself what does and doesn't work for me. In fact, if I really need advice, I search out someone who shares a similar situation to mine (ie live in the same area, work in the same field, drive the same roads).

Would a professional WRC driver be the right person to look to for advice for purchasing a new family vehicle?

Would a Tour De France winner be the right person to consult when you need to buy a bicycle for riding around where you live?

"Pros"? These are people at the pinnacle of whatever they have chosen to do, and their equipment choices are extremely specialised for their specific needs in what they do. I wouldn't ask Dave Sevigny (sp?) what I should carry, and how I should carry it. Dave doesn't live where I do, have the same carry needs as I do, look at threats like I do. His equipment is very specialised for his competitions, not for carry.

Specific technique type advice? Tips for better driving/biking/shooting? Sure, that's where a "Pro's" advice is great. Equipment choices? I'd rather ask people that share my needs, or just keep my own counsel.

minkis18
01-16-2012, 18:10
I carry a revolver daily now. I don't have a lot of guns yet, but of those I own I am most comfortable with the revolver. Sure my Glock 23 has 9 more rounds but it's a brick. It doesn't hide or shoot as well for me. The Kel-Tec P11still has 8 more rounds and is smaller than my phone, but if you've ever shot a kel-tec you know how awesome their triggers are.

My revolver is easy to shoot, easy to carry, and hugs my body so well that I never have to worry about it printing while bending over or anything. for me, it's the best tool for the job.

Berto
01-16-2012, 20:43
Lugged steel >CF

phonejack
01-17-2012, 05:11
I have a 642. It is quite accurate with "target " ammo. However, with +p's , it is a handfull. Last spring I parked the 642 in favor of a kimber solo. And no, it gas run 100% for me. No issues.

Bluestreakfl
01-17-2012, 12:22
Revolvers definitely have their place as do semis. I don't own a J-frame nor have I shot one yet, although I would like to get one at some point. I do however have a smith model 65-5 K-frame lady smith in .357 that holds 6 shots. In comparison to my glock 27, it only holds 6 rounds versus 11, but I find I shoot it MUCH more accurately. My CCW should be arriving within the next 2 weeks or so, and I'm still debating which of the 2 will be my primary carry.

6 shots may be more than enough, chances are I may not need more than 2 or 3. Unless I'm faced with multiple assailants, which seems to be a growing trend around here, criminals are more and more often traveling in pairs of 2 or more. Say it's me on 3. 6 rounds of .357 = 2 per attacker. I feel that I could place shots much better with the revolver. As man have said I could also make a contact shot if need be. On the flipside, there's always that chance that if there are more than 3, 6 rounds may not be enough. Highly unlikely but not impossible.

I'll be carrying a NAA Mini Master in .22 mag as a backup, probably with a round or 2 of CCI shotshells in the mix, because lets face it, one shot to the face of that, well, a blind attacker is for the most part out of commission. When I took my ccw class the instructor highy reccomended semis over revolvers due to capacity and reload times. He did however say that if you are insistent on carrying a revolver, practice extensively, carry a speedloader, and that a shotshell is good to keep for your first round fired because if someone's charging you head on, not only will it most likely blind them, it will buy you the precious time you need when every split second counts. Also that one shot shell may be all you need to fire, in the sense that if you've blinded your assailant, you have time to retreat, and call the police, and that also in court it may play better in your favor for using a less than lethal round. Granted here in Florida, we have castle doctrine and they firmly back you up on the "stand your ground" thing.

I find myself leaning more towards the revolver personally, because I feel it fits my personal needs. I shoot it better, it's more reliable, and overall more versatile. Just my .02.


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TN.Frank
01-17-2012, 12:26
Better question, why do all the "Pros" carry 1911a1's?:whistling:

faawrenchbndr
01-17-2012, 12:32
Perfection is defined as wood & steel?! :dunno:

TN.Frank
01-17-2012, 12:41
Perfection is defined as wood & steel?! :dunno:

LOL, so Glock lied?:supergrin:

faawrenchbndr
01-17-2012, 13:01
LOL, so Glock lied?:supergrin:

Have ya heard about the Gen 4 9mm models,........?:whistling:

fastbolt
01-17-2012, 13:33
Better question, why do all the "Pros" carry 1911a1's?:whistling:

Ask them. (Whoever it is that you decide to ask will probably have an influence on the variety of answers you receive.)

I know 1911 guys who still own and use Glocks (and now M&P's) upon occasion, and younger Glock guys who have discovered the attributes of the venerable 1911-style pistol ... and even revolver guys who are familiar with a smattering of old & newer pistols, if only just to remain cognizant of the equipment being found in the feld.

Nobody's really come up with an all-inclusive, definitive "answer" as to what exactly constitutes being a "pro", though, either. Competition shooters? Local range "guru"? Favorite magazine article author? Firearms instructor? Favorite gunsmith? Etc, etc?

While the "choice of carry" of the many experienced LE instructors I've known and have worked with ... (or have just met at some training venue, whether on a firing range or within a conference or seminar environment)... is often an interesting topic, it's not something of which I make careful note or retain for study, so to speak. (Anymore than I'm fascinated by their choice of underwear, footwear, hats, cars or trucks. ;) )

I'm more interested in someone's experience and skillset rather than their specific choice of handgun, rifle or shotgun for routine dedicated defensive usage. Their reasoning for their chosen training methods may have interest for me, regardless of their equipment choices.

I've already figured out what works well for me, equipment-wise, and why, so that topic is just one of perhaps occasional shared interest that might come up in a conversation. We're not trying to "sell each other" new guns at training ranges, classes, seminars, etc. (Well, many of us aren't, anyway.)

It does seem safe to observe, though, that the J-frame is still a surprisingly ubiquitous defensive handgun choice for a lot of folks who go armed for a living and take an interest in the selection of the handguns they choose for various circumstances relating to concealed carry roles.

It must have something going for it ...

tuica
01-17-2012, 13:45
Don't know if I would be considered a "pro", but I have been; involved in handguns since 1974; rated as a Gunner's Mate in the US Navy; certified by the NRA as a Firearms Instructor; and have been carrying concealed since 2008 - so perhaps I am. I prefer a Glock G36 or G39 when heavier clothes are in order, and a Ruger LCP in the summer. May find a 9mm auto for carry between those two sized weapons. That said, I would not feel undergunned carrying a small revolver - just tough to equal the firepower of a 45 or 40 with a similar sized wheelgun. Cheers.

Dalton Wayne
01-17-2012, 13:54
I'm not a pro but I carry both a 1911 and a j-frame as a bug
http://i647.photobucket.com/albums/uu192/Daltonlwayne/442100_1894.jpg


http://i647.photobucket.com/albums/uu192/Daltonlwayne/100_1895.jpg

ithaca_deerslayer
01-17-2012, 15:09
Revolvers definitely have their place as do semis. I don't own a J-frame nor have I shot one yet, although I would like to get one at some point. I do however have a smith model 65-5 K-frame lady smith in .357 that holds 6 shots. In comparison to my glock 27, it only holds 6 rounds versus 11, but I find I shoot it MUCH more accurately. My CCW should be arriving within the next 2 weeks or so, and I'm still debating which of the 2 will be my primary carry.

6 shots may be more than enough, chances are I may not need more than 2 or 3. Unless I'm faced with multiple assailants, which seems to be a growing trend around here, criminals are more and more often traveling in pairs of 2 or more. Say it's me on 3. 6 rounds of .357 = 2 per attacker. I feel that I could place shots much better with the revolver. As man have said I could also make a contact shot if need be. On the flipside, there's always that chance that if there are more than 3, 6 rounds may not be enough. Highly unlikely but not impossible.

I'll be carrying a NAA Mini Master in .22 mag as a backup, probably with a round or 2 of CCI shotshells in the mix, because lets face it, one shot to the face of that, well, a blind attacker is for the most part out of commission. When I took my ccw class the instructor highy reccomended semis over revolvers due to capacity and reload times. He did however say that if you are insistent on carrying a revolver, practice extensively, carry a speedloader, and that a shotshell is good to keep for your first round fired because if someone's charging you head on, not only will it most likely blind them, it will buy you the precious time you need when every split second counts. Also that one shot shell may be all you need to fire, in the sense that if you've blinded your assailant, you have time to retreat, and call the police, and that also in court it may play better in your favor for using a less than lethal round. Granted here in Florida, we have castle doctrine and they firmly back you up on the "stand your ground" thing.

I find myself leaning more towards the revolver personally, because I feel it fits my personal needs. I shoot it better, it's more reliable, and overall more versatile. Just my .02.


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I'm no authority, so this is my opinion, but that shotshell stuff sounds like a crazy idea. I do a lot of rat shooting with both 22 and 44 shotshells from pistols. Sometimes the hits don't even stop the rats.

There's no guarentee you are even going to hit the eyes much less blind somebody. And in court I could imagine that being brought back against you as some sort of cruelty you purposely inflicted. You can't even point to a police example of carrying that load.

My 2cents.

Bluestreakfl
01-17-2012, 15:45
I suppose it would all depend on circumstance. I'd think that in .38spl/.357mag and at very close range, between the pellets and the muzzle blast, there's a very high probability of blinding an attacker. When I say very close I mean between point blank and maybe no farther than 8ft.

As far as in court, one could explain it as a less than lethal round, and not intention to kill the assailant, rather to stop the threat of great bodily harm or death. Wether or not I'll actually carry these type of rounds is something I'm still debating, but still an idea.

It also depends what state you live in. I'm in Florida, and we have both castle doctrine and "stand your ground". If it is true justified self defense, you cannot be charged regardless of what type of gun or ammo you use as long as it is legal and used when one is in fear for their life or in fear of great bodily harm.

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SpringerTGO
01-17-2012, 16:45
I suppose it would all depend on circumstance. I'd think that in .38spl/.357mag and at very close range, between the pellets and the muzzle blast, there's a very high probability of blinding an attacker. When I say very close I mean between point blank and maybe no farther than 8ft.

As far as in court, one could explain it as a less than lethal round, and not intention to kill the assailant, rather to stop the threat of great bodily harm or death. Wether or not I'll actually carry these type of rounds is something I'm still debating, but still an idea.

It also depends what state you live in. I'm in Florida, and we have both castle doctrine and "stand your ground". If it is true justified self defense, you cannot be charged regardless of what type of gun or ammo you use as long as it is legal and used when one is in fear for their life or in fear of great bodily harm.

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I'm not a "Pro", but I do own 1911's, Glocks, and a J frame. The J frame is the easiest to conceal and most reliable of the bunch. I also trust the 357 magnum for stopping power, and to penetrate winter cloths.The Glock (26) has been bomb proof, but not as comfortable to carry. Both of my current 1911's are relatively expensive ($3000), and while I do carry them, I don't consider them as reliable as the Glock.
I carry all of these (and some others) at various times, for various reasons.

As far as shooting someone goes......
If it ever comes down to having to shoot someone, I sure as hell don't want to have to count on a shot to the face as my first option. And I want to use a cartridge with stopping power, if possible. If I have to shoot someone, they will be armed and attacking me. I doubt I will be calm, and I might not have the time and opportunity to aim for the head.

Bluestreakfl
01-17-2012, 17:06
Im starting to see what your saying. As much as I love my glock, my K-frame has a more natural shape to it and carries much more comfortably, and I'd imagine a J-frame would be even more comfortable and easy to conceal. You also made a good point, under stress, aiming for the head for the first shot is not going to be feasible. You also don't want to have to be within handshake distance for your first shot to be effective, and the .357 magnum cartridge has proven itself time and time again as more than effective. Do you find that you carry your J-frame more often than anything else?


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SpringerTGO
01-17-2012, 17:19
Im starting to see what your saying. As much as I love my glock, my K-frame has a more natural shape to it and carries much more comfortably, and I'd imagine a J-frame would be even more comfortable and easy to conceal. You also made a good point, under stress, aiming for the head for the first shot is not going to be feasible. You also don't want to have to be within handshake distance for your first shot to be effective, and the .357 magnum cartridge has proven itself time and time again as more than effective. Do you find that you carry your J-frame more often than anything else?


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I do find that I carry the J frame more often than the others. It's a LOT easier to carry. It fits in pockets (with a pocket holster) as well as IWB. I have a lightweight model (340), and a IWB tuckable holster (Galco), and it really disappears. Also, I don't have to worry about a hammer snagging. And because it is so light, I don't have to worry about what belt to wear. I've read about people complaining about recoil in such a small light handgun, but I doubt I'll even feel it, should the need arise to use it.

Six4Sure
01-17-2012, 21:37
Cons for me:

The guns really aren't that small. (I don't see how people really pocket carry these guns in nice looking slacks or jeans)
They only hold 5-shots.
Reloading is a slow process.
The caliber really isn't that powerful. (It's weaker than 9mm NATO)
The trigger is too heavy and gritty.
The sights are usually hard to see and virtually useless.
The fit and finish is less than stellar. (Why can't S&W make a lasting finish on these guns, or make the trigger out of a nice uniform looking metal?)
The newer guns come with the internal locks.

I carry a model 442-1 99.9999% of the time for my concealed carry.

1. With a pocket holster, I practically forget its in there. Aside from the bulge for cylinder, it is as slim as your keltecs or other small guns.

2. Yep, it is only 5, but considering the intended purpose, you have 3 shots for a FBI drill and two extras. If you are attacked by 6 guys and are wondering about what to do with the extra guy, the gun you choose to carry is probably the least of your concerns! You can get a Colt which will have 6. But you are getting a bit bigger cylinder

3. With speedloaders, or even better moonclips(you can order the 442 pro), reloading becomes quicker. I really really wish I had ordered the pro. It does make you practice a lot more; which of course is not a bad thing.

4. A 38 is still a viable option, kind of between a 380ACP and a 9MM. Plus there are snub specific loads, Speer gold dot, that take into account the short barrel.

5. DAO triggers on revolvers are heavy, by design. In a sd situation, you are not gonna realize the heavy pull. These are not target guns, infact they pretty much suck to shoot hot loads out of, so staging a trigger is not as important. They are a tool to save your life, not something you shoot for fun. With a lot of pulls, they do smooth out. Or you can do a spring kit to aid trigger pull.

6. On base j-frames, the sights are rudimentary. They cant be target sights because you dont want them to be getting caught on anything. I added a dot of white out to the front sight of mine to help. The higher end ones do come with fiber optics and what not.

7. Again these are utility guns, they are not BBQ guns. I will agree the new PVD on black Smiths is not as good as the old blueing. But in order to keep the guns inexpensive, 360 dollars or so, somethings have to be sacrificed. Gives it character!

8. It is optional on most new j-frames:

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_39_922/products_id/70712/S%26W+M442+38+1+78+NL+BL

I ordered mine sans-lock. Philosophically, I think the IL does not agree with revolvers. Anything which makes a gun more complicated is a bad thing. That is why the Glock is a wonderful thing.

The best gun for concealed carry, is the one you are always gonna carry. If my 4 inch 42 oz 686 357 mag was as easy to carry, I would carry it. Unfortunately I live in New Mexico, I was in shorts today, in January, its hard to hide big guns!

jdeere_man
01-17-2012, 21:54
I'm not a professional but my Smith 340pd is my 2nd favorite gun right behind my Glock 26.

gunsmoke92
01-17-2012, 22:00
I don't know who the "pros" are or what they carry but I imagine a lot of folks carry a J-Frame because they are dead nuts reliable, light, simple to operate, effective at ranges that will likely come into play and the fact that carrying a gun is a pain in the ass so you may as well make it easy on yourself.

MF

This!!!!

And this

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g125/gunsmoke92/guns/snubby2.jpg

becomes this with just a T-shirt and a good holster.

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g125/gunsmoke92/guns/snubby3.jpg

EL COLONEL
01-18-2012, 11:00
The answer is weight....:tongueout:

diamondd2
01-18-2012, 19:15
i carry mine because it is easily pocketable, dead nuts reliable, and plenty accurate out to over 100yds.

J frame out to "over" 100yds........your ass

Nalapombu
01-18-2012, 19:47
J frame out to "over" 100yds........your ass

He could be Bob Munden....

Nalajr

ithaca_deerslayer
01-18-2012, 20:33
J frame out to "over" 100yds........your ass

I don't what the heck the 100 yard stuff was about, but since we now have that as a topic of discussion. . . Sure, the snubbie is actually just as accurate at 100 yards as the Glock 34. Problem is, who the heck can shoot that good? ? ?

sulaco
01-19-2012, 11:34
I used to carry a 442 and like it just fine. But now that the ultra compact semi-autos are available, things like the Kahr CM9 and the like, I'd rather have the added benefit of quicker reloads and a little better performing caliber so that's what I opt for. They are also slimmer (no cylinder bulge) and weigh the same or so close it doesn't matter. Plus, spare mags are easier to carry on the off-side because they are nice and slim compared to the golf ball dimensions of speed loaders for snubbies.

fastbolt
01-19-2012, 13:14
You know, while we're on the subject of loading (or reloading, as some folks might prefer to think of it) ...

While the mechanical basics of inserting a magazine into a pistol grip might be simpler for many folks - (compared to loading cylinder charge holes in a revolver after releasing and swinging out the cylinder to empty the fired cases) - it's not surprising to me to see people have trouble loading their pistols during courses-of-fire where their pistols were fired dry.

I've seen more than my fair share of folks (LE & non-LE alike) experience difficulty trying to load their pistols under just the minimal stress involved in slow-paced range shooting drills, and things have really become problematic for a lot of folks when some rather demanding courses-of-fire have been involved.

Fine motor skills are affected first by elevated heart rates resulting from the hormonal fear reaction (meaning not just some simple physical exertion or the stress of range quals, competition, etc), followed by a degradation of complex motor skills as the heart rate increases when fear is present. Cognitive functioning is compromised with further increased heart rates. It gets worse, not better.

Training can help mitigate some of the ill effects, but that means training done properly, reinforced by sufficiently frequent proper practice ... not "practicing" any existing bad habits, or counter-productive "instinctive" reactions. (Want to learn which "instinctive" reactions may be good or bad? Ask an experienced instructor to help out.)

Trying to get folks to spend the money on buying Dummy rounds for their own practice (so it can be done safely) isn't always an easy task. (Properly sized dummy rounds of durable construction can be expensive, but think of them as an investment in being able to practice some techniques, drills and manipulations with maximum safety.)

Trying to get folks to practice loading/reloading at the range is often difficult, just by itself. It's understandable to some degree, since it's not uncommon for folks to avoid doing those things that make them feel uncomfortable or awkward, or may cause them some embarrassment if they think other folks are watching and judging them. Hey, we're human.

Now, think about your relative skills in loading either a revolver or a pistol, with both of them being small.

Which one can you do best under conditions of heightened stress?

Which one do you feel confident using if you're trying to make a curb into an embankment large enough to provide cover against incoming rounds, while reloading your handgun?

Which one is less "fumble-prone" for you - not me, or anyone else, just you - when it's your life that may be on the line (or the lives of your loved ones)?

This is a different question than one of sheer capacity, to some extent, anyway. A magazine-related stoppage (or failure) can occur with low or hi-cap magazines, and may require a magazine change to resolve the problem. This requires additional manipulation skills beyond those of "simple loading", and probably isn't the time to be adding unwelcome complexity of having to be mentally walking your way through the basics of loading the weapon.

Some folks seem to prefer, and do better with, one or the other type of handgun, meaning revolver or pistol.

Not as many folks around, maybe, who grew up learning their handgun foundation skillset on revolvers, though. Not as many as when they were the most commonly seen defensive handguns, maybe.

jhooten
01-20-2012, 08:23
This explains the it fairly well:
http://www.tacticalgearmag.com/page/choosing-a-backup-gun

100 yard snubbie:
Amazing 100 Yrd Shots with a Snub Nose Revolver - Video

How about 200:
Bob Munden -- Impossible 200 Yard Shot - YouTube

Indy_Guy_77
01-20-2012, 08:36
If I'm going to carry a gun...I put on my M&P9c.

If I don't want to carry a gun, I put the J-frame + Mika holster in my pocket.

-J-

M2 Carbine
01-20-2012, 09:08
J frame out to "over" 100yds........your ass
I don't know about "over" 100 yards, my range is only 100 yards, but at 100 yards the 2 inch S&W J Frame will easily shoot minute of bad guy with no misses.
(the white pasters are a Beretta 21A 22LR, there were several misses)

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/SWmod60100yards-1.jpg

TN.Frank
01-20-2012, 10:51
So is a Model 60-12 worth owning? Stainless, 5 shot and from what I understand 38spl +P rated. So, what do they go for these days in decent, used condition? Thanks.

TN.Frank
01-21-2012, 17:03
Well, I guess I'm a "Pro" now. I've got a Smith and Wesson 642, J-Frame in my back pocket, LOL:rofl:

diamondd2
01-21-2012, 18:57
I don't know about "over" 100 yards, my range is only 100 yards, but at 100 yards the 2 inch S&W J Frame will easily shoot minute of bad guy with no misses.
(the white pasters are a Beretta 21A 22LR, there were several misses)

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/SWmod60100yards-1.jpg


Well my 642-2 must be broken then.......:dunno:

Dogbite
01-21-2012, 20:58
I carried a J-frame 638 in my right front pocket for years. They are totally reliable, light, and in a decent caliber. In the end, they just plain work. I still use one as a back up in the pocket to my strong side carried G32. Mine worked even when coated with all kinds of pocket lint and stuff, which is saying something. These little revolvers are just tough little work horses.

Berto
01-21-2012, 21:02
Well my 642-2 must be broken then.......:dunno:


No, you just need to learn how to shoot better.

Fox
01-21-2012, 23:28
The caliber really isn't that powerful. (It's weaker than 9mm NATO)

You are wrong on that one. The .38 Special has greater case capacity than the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. The .38 is usually loaded with heavier bullets than the 9mm.

The .38 Special really shines when you handload. I have a Lyman mold for the 173 grain Keith bullet, but I only use that load in my Official Police revolver. The J frame S&W is too light for the Keith loads, but you get the point that the .38 has more potential than the 9mm.

Javelin
01-21-2012, 23:35
Not all do. But many do because of the previously mentioned posts.

Berto
01-22-2012, 00:04
You are wrong on that one. The .38 Special has greater case capacity than the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. The .38 is usually loaded with heavier bullets than the 9mm.

The .38 Special really shines when you handload. I have a Lyman mold for the 173 grain Keith bullet, but I only use that load in my Official Police revolver. The J frame S&W is too light for the Keith loads, but you get the point that the .38 has more potential than the 9mm.


On top of that, you can buy factory loads that will drive a heavier bullet to higher velocities than any 9mmP. I love my nines, but I can find .38sp that has the same performance if I wish.

TN.Frank
01-22-2012, 08:34
You are wrong on that one. The .38 Special has greater case capacity than the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. The .38 is usually loaded with heavier bullets than the 9mm.


The reason why the 38 spl has a larger case capacity is because it started out life as a black powder round. The "power" of a ctg. has nothing to do with case capacity at all and has EVERYTHING to do with working pressure. The 9x19mm has a much higher working pressure then even the +P 38 Spl. so the 9x19mm will give a given bullet weight more velociety then the 38spl.
Yes, the 38 can be much improved with handloading but it'll never be in the same league as the 9x19mm.

DonGlock26
01-22-2012, 09:38
I've noticed a theme, and perhaps you have too. The more I read about professional shooters and trainers, it seems to me that an overwhelming majority of these professional shooters/gun guys/firearms trainers seem to choose J-frame revolvers as their CCW of choice. I know this is not true in every case (i.e., James Yeager carries 2 G19s), but it holds true in many cases.

I don't have any actual data to support this observation, so perhaps my observations are skewed by some kind of bias.

Anyway, why do all the "pros", or experts, seem to prefer J-frame revolvers?


I've looked at them in gun shops, and I've even briefly owned a 642. I just can't get excited about them for some reason.

Cons for me:

The guns really aren't that small. (I don't see how people really pocket carry these guns in nice looking slacks or jeans)
They only hold 5-shots.
Reloading is a slow process.
The caliber really isn't that powerful. (It's weaker than 9mm NATO)
The trigger is too heavy and gritty.
The sights are usually hard to see and virtually useless.
The fit and finish is less than stellar. (Why can't S&W make a lasting finish on these guns, or make the trigger out of a nice uniform looking metal?)
The newer guns come with the internal locks.


All in all, they are slightly underpowered, hard to shoot, and don't seem that easy to carry. The only positive benefit I see is that they are highly reliable.

Nevertheless, these guns are heralded as the ultimate CCW option by many experts.

What am I not seeing?

Bottom line: they always go bang and they are powerful for a pocket pistol. Trainers tend to work in rural settings and wear baggie tactical pants. They seem to be warming up to the LCP & S&W BG on TV and in print anyway. Is that because they like them or it's just business? Who knows?

I have a LCP now because it is easier to pocket carry in a business environment and has more punch than my P-32.


_


_

Deaf Smith
01-22-2012, 09:51
I guess you can call me a 'pro', as in professional geek.

Now my main carry piece is a Glock subcompact (26,27, 33) but I most certainly use a J .38 quite often.

Hard to shoot well? Yea if you don't practice often.

Slow to reload? Yea, but as I council people, if you pack a revolver as your main carry gun, pack two!

Concealable? Oh, the J 38 is one of the easiest to conceal short of a P32 Keltec!

If you are good at shooting the J will easily make COM shots at 25 yards. If you shoot your carry gun once a year with a box of shells and only slow fire practice, I bet you can't hit COM a 7 yards on a sunny windless day.

They take time and practice to get skill with, more so than most guns, but they have so many advantages that I doubt they will ever go out of style as long as cartridge weapons are the prevalent means of self defense.

So, as Jeff Cooper said, the snub .38s are EXPERTS guns,, not novices or 'ladies' guns.

If you want the advantages of the J, become an 'pro' with them, cause a 'pro' is an expert.

Deaf

45caldan
01-22-2012, 10:36
I have tried to replace my 640 with various .380 and 9mm pocket guns but have found NONE that have been 100% or pack as much punch as my J-frame loaded with premium JHPs.
Mine is all SS so its a little heavier than a 642 but I can shoot it MUCH better than an air-weight.

45caldan
01-22-2012, 10:40
The reason why the 38 spl has a larger case capacity is because it started out life as a black powder round. The "power" of a ctg. has nothing to do with case capacity at all and has EVERYTHING to do with working pressure. The 9x19mm has a much higher working pressure then even the +P 38 Spl. so the 9x19mm will give a given bullet weight more velociety then the 38spl.
Yes, the 38 can be much improved with handloading but it'll never be in the same league as the 9x19mm.

Actually they are pretty damn close but as pointed out, you can shoot heavier bullets in .38 (more penetration NORMALLY).

TN.Frank
01-22-2012, 10:54
In Chuck Karwan's book "Combat Handgunnery" he does a comparison of the 38spl +P and the 9x19mm+P both from a 2.75" revolver. Here's the numbers.
38spl +P, 110gr= 1018fps/253ft/lbs the 9x19mm+P is 115gr and 1117fps/318ft/lbs. 9x19mm wins that one.
Next we move up to 38spl +P, 125gr for 923fps/236ft/lbs vs 9x19mm+P 124gr at 1038fps/296ft/lbs, 9x19mm wins that one too.
Finally we go with the heavy weights, 38spl +P 158gr at 878fps/229ft/lbs and the 9x19mm+P, 147gr at 1025fps/343ft/lbs, the 9x19mm+P wins that one by 105ft/lbs, that's a lot IMHO.
So, while some may say they're close the numbers show that the 9x19mm+P out of the same barrel length revolver is actually a much better ctg. then the 38spl +P.
Still, I carry the 38spl+P and feel fine with it. It's all about bullet placement more then raw power.

Berto
01-22-2012, 11:50
In Chuck Karwan's book "Combat Handgunnery" he does a comparison of the 38spl +P and the 9x19mm+P both from a 2.75" revolver. Here's the numbers.
38spl +P, 110gr= 1018fps/253ft/lbs the 9x19mm+P is 115gr and 1117fps/318ft/lbs. 9x19mm wins that one.
Next we move up to 38spl +P, 125gr for 923fps/236ft/lbs vs 9x19mm+P 124gr at 1038fps/296ft/lbs, 9x19mm wins that one too.
Finally we go with the heavy weights, 38spl +P 158gr at 878fps/229ft/lbs and the 9x19mm+P, 147gr at 1025fps/343ft/lbs, the 9x19mm+P wins that one by 105ft/lbs, that's a lot IMHO.
So, while some may say they're close the numbers show that the 9x19mm+P out of the same barrel length revolver is actually a much better ctg. then the 38spl +P.
Still, I carry the 38spl+P and feel fine with it. It's all about bullet placement more then raw power.

That is the general truth when comparing the two with common store bought ammo, but with the best loads in each they are within 50fps of each other with .38sp having the edge with heavy bullets and 9mm having the edge with light bullets.
For example, Buffalo Bore loads +p in both rounds and would do over 1100fps in a 2.75" revolver with the 158gr .38sp or 147gr 9mm+P+.

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=108

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=120

(chrono's 1125 in a G26....should be about the same in 2.75" revolver)

Old supervel or the new Barnes 110gr .38sp +P both would do over 1100fps from a 2" snubby as well. But I'd expect 115gr 9mm +P to edge it out.

Bottom line: you can load .38spBB 158gr in your 642 and there isn't a 9mm 158gr or 147gr that will match it in a hypothetical 9mm 642. You can load 110gr .38sp in your 642 that will match most 115gr 9mm in the same gun, but not all.

fastbolt
01-22-2012, 11:59
Here's another thing you can often find the "pro's" doing ...

Not getting distracted by comparing muzzle energy figures for cartridges.

TN.Frank
01-22-2012, 12:02
Like I said, with either gun shot placement will be key. Neither the 38spl +P or the 9x19mm will blow off limbs and make grown men explode,LOL. Got to hit em' where it'll do the most damage and pray that you only need 5 shots to get the job done. :supergrin:

Berto
01-22-2012, 12:05
Like I said, with either gun shot placement will be key. Neither the 38spl +P or the 9x19mm will blow off limbs and make grown men explode,LOL. Got to hit em' where it'll do the most damage and pray that you only need 5 shots to get the job done. :supergrin:

Absolutely.:wavey:

HiVel
01-22-2012, 13:18
Snubby comes in handy-can shoot through your pocket if need be (watch out for fire) and can shoot accurately if practiced or using a Crimson Trace with practice-also very hard for
opponent to wrest a short barrel compact out of your hand if you have a close up encounter (fight). Plus , I just like the little buggers-small and deadly!!
That new Ruger is a nice shooting piece. FEAR NO RECOIL!

TN.Frank
01-22-2012, 15:19
Let me put it this way. Over the last couple months I've carried the PX4 that I had maybe twice. I've only had the 642 for one day and I carried it today and if I go somewhere tomorrow I'll carry it tomorrow and the next day and the day after, ect, ect,. You get the picture. Larger(and probably more effective) guns get left at home, the little J-Frame, especially the Airweight models, get taken along all the time.
Rule #1 of a gun fight, Have a gun. That's an easy rule to keep with a J-Frame.

BFN
01-22-2012, 15:34
Why do all the "pros" carry J-frames?

Near 100% reliability, highly accurate in the right hands, can shoot 158gr, proven. All of which the pocket auto's can't claim. The pros don't need 20 shots to get the job done. Whats not to like?

2740dmx
01-23-2012, 22:35
because....because....they are pretty?
http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/IMG_0667.jpg
(pros carry k-frames too...at the same time!)

HiVel
01-24-2012, 09:25
because....because....they are pretty?
http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/img_0667.jpg
(pros carry k-frames too...at the same time!)
nice!

Fox
01-24-2012, 12:13
The reason why the 38 spl has a larger case capacity is because it started out life as a black powder round. The "power" of a ctg. has nothing to do with case capacity at all and has EVERYTHING to do with working pressure. The 9x19mm has a much higher working pressure then even the +P 38 Spl. so the 9x19mm will give a given bullet weight more velociety then the 38spl.
Yes, the 38 can be much improved with handloading but it'll never be in the same league as the 9x19mm.



Most manufacturers do not load the .38 Special to it's potential because of the very old blackpowder frame guns out there chambered in that caliber. Again, look up the Keith load, also check out the .38/44.

TN.Frank
01-24-2012, 12:22
Again, look up the Keith load, also check out the .38/44.

Don't have to check it out, I owned one, a nickel, 4" Heavy Duty. There was a reason why S&W went with an N-Frame to shoot the 38/44 HV load in, because it was tearing up the K-Frame revolvers that it was being shot in. The old 38/44 HV was basically a 357Mag load in a 38spl case, way too hot for a J-Frame unless it's one of the new modern 357Mag J-Frame guns.
Bullet weight for Bullet weight, velociety for velociety the 9x19mm will still have a slight edge over the 38spl. Still, I like both rounds and don't feel under gunned with either.

TN.Frank
01-24-2012, 13:33
First 5 shots out of my new(to me) 642, off hand at 3 yards, Remington UMC, 158gr LRN. Put the 1st one in the bull, 2 and 3 pulled low, 4 and 5 hit the bull. Not a bad start for my first 5, once the Wolff spring kit and Hip Grips are on it I should be able to do a bit better. Looks like this will be a sweet little carry gun.
http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/1422/6421st.jpg

Berto
01-24-2012, 19:17
Don't have to check it out, I owned one, a nickel, 4" Heavy Duty. There was a reason why S&W went with an N-Frame to shoot the 38/44 HV load in, because it was tearing up the K-Frame revolvers that it was being shot in. The old 38/44 HV was basically a 357Mag load in a 38spl case, way too hot for a J-Frame unless it's one of the new modern 357Mag J-Frame guns.
Bullet weight for Bullet weight, velociety for velociety the 9x19mm will still have a slight edge over the 38spl. Still, I like both rounds and don't feel under gunned with either.


THe .38/44 never 'tore up' K frames, in fact at the time S&W advertised their use for the K frame:

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i263/bryanmcgilvray/Album%20II/38-4402c.jpg

So did Colt

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i263/bryanmcgilvray/Album%20II/standard.jpg

There's no question this stuff was well beyond +P as we know it today, too....but it would accelerate wear quickly in older mid frame revolvers like the PP Colt or K frame, but they were used with this ammo.

Also, for every load you can find in 9mm (+P +P+ etc) there was or is a .38sp load that matches it in comparable bbl lenths. Again, it doesn't mean one better than the other, it's just a simple fact that case volume can enable one round to match a higher pressure smaller case just as .45 Colt does with .44mag.

ithaca_deerslayer
01-24-2012, 19:32
Let me put it this way. Over the last couple months I've carried the PX4 that I had maybe twice. I've only had the 642 for one day and I carried it today and if I go somewhere tomorrow I'll carry it tomorrow and the next day and the day after, ect, ect,. You get the picture. Larger(and probably more effective) guns get left at home, the little J-Frame, especially the Airweight models, get taken along all the time.
Rule #1 of a gun fight, Have a gun. That's an easy rule to keep with a J-Frame.

This.

TN.Frank
01-24-2012, 21:02
THe .38/44 never 'tore up' K frames, in fact at the time S&W advertised their use for the K frame:


I beg to differ:
"Smith & Wesson soon realized during testing that this round was too hot for their standard Military and Police .38 Specials. A new model gun was needed to handle the increased pressure and recoil brought by the new round."
http://www.38-44heavyduty.com/38-44_HEAVY_DUTY_HISTORY.php
The 38/44 HV WAS too much for the M&P(what we'd call a K-Frame today) that's why they came out with the 38/44 Heavy Duty and 38/44 Outdoorsman revolvers on the heavier N-Frame.

Deaf Smith
01-24-2012, 21:20
because....because....they are pretty?
http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/IMG_0667.jpg
(pros carry k-frames too...at the same time!)

Dang good 2740!

http://glocktalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=222331&d=1327461558

The gun on the left above as the Speed Six I used to make Expert, IDPA. The S&W on the right was my second carry gun (I started of with a J Centennial when CHL first started.)

Deaf

Berto
01-24-2012, 22:01
I beg to differ:
"Smith & Wesson soon realized during testing that this round was too hot for their standard Military and Police .38 Specials. A new model gun was needed to handle the increased pressure and recoil brought by the new round."
http://www.38-44heavyduty.com/38-44_HEAVY_DUTY_HISTORY.php
The 38/44 HV WAS too much for the M&P(what we'd call a K-Frame today) that's why they came out with the 38/44 Heavy Duty and 38/44 Outdoorsman revolvers on the heavier N-Frame.


The fact remains, it was approved for use and was used in the K frames for along period of time, in addition to the High Speed and super vel loads that came later.
Even the Buffalo Bore +P 158gr matches the .38/44 numbers (well beyond 9mm) and is safe in any +P rated revolver, small or large.
THose ads are well after the introduction of the HD and Outdoorsman.
I agree the .38/44 was hard on the guns, but not catastrophic.

iluv2viddyfilms
01-24-2012, 22:10
I wouldn't carry a J-frame - my 640 - simply because I suck with it. I practice with my Glock 27 (summer carry) and 1911 (winter carry) from about 15-20 yards out and can hit the target easily. With the double action only 640, I can't hit the broad side of a barn. I don't feel comfortable in my abilities with the 640, and ultimately that is what so much comes down to.

Of course I realize that 99.9999% of us will never need our carry gun so statistically this is all irrelevant, but that's a different argument.

HiVel
01-25-2012, 08:57
I wouldn't carry a J-frame - my 640 - simply because I suck with it. I practice with my Glock 27 (summer carry) and 1911 (winter carry) from about 15-20 yards out and can hit the target easily. With the double action only 640, I can't hit the broad side of a barn. I don't feel comfortable in my abilities with the 640, and ultimately that is what so much comes down to.

Of course I realize that 99.9999% of us will never need our carry gun so statistically this is all irrelevant, but that's a different argument.

Try a Ruger LCR-trigger pull from above!

PEC-Memphis
01-25-2012, 09:56
The guns really aren't that small. (I don't see how people really pocket carry these guns in nice looking slacks or jeans)
They only hold 5-shots.
Reloading is a slow process.
The caliber really isn't that powerful. (It's weaker than 9mm NATO)
The trigger is too heavy and gritty.
The sights are usually hard to see and virtually useless.
The fit and finish is less than stellar. (Why can't S&W make a lasting finish on these guns, or make the trigger out of a nice uniform looking metal?)
The newer guns come with the internal locks.




1. I know several people who pocket carry a J-frame. I use a 4:00 holster.

2. True.

3. I know folks who can reload a J-Frame as fast, or faster, than an average shooter can reload a semi auto. Yes, an "equally praciticed" person can usually reload a semi-auto faster. Most "civilian" gunfights don't last five (5) shots - but there are cases.....

4. J-frames are available in .357 S&W Magnum - pretty potent in my book.

5. My J-frame trigger is silky smooth.

6.a Yes - the traditional fixed sights are bad, but there are models with better sights, and CT/LM make pretty nice laser sight grips.

6.b And they are challenging to shoot well. I still managed to qualify twice with a perfect score of 100 twice (Shelby County Sheriff's Dept qualification) - and a 96 once (indoor low light - Millington PD). (Note that I am not LEO - when permits were issued by the Sheriff's department - there was an annual qualification for permit holders utilizing the same CoF as LEO).

7. The fit & finish on my model 60 is very nice, much nicer than any Glock I own.

8. Internal locks get bashed a lot around here - but I've never had a problem with one. I only have one S&W with an internal lock.


J-Frames are a viable choice for SD - particularly as a back-up. But it is one of many viable choices.

SiberianErik
01-25-2012, 17:03
I have hard chrome 642 and carry 38+p. It is my go everywhere gun if I dont want to strap on my 1911 or HKc. Just running to the store or a day at the beach it is perfect. I wear those A&E cargo shorts w/the long pockets and it fits great in those. Same thing w/ a beach bag..just toss it in w/the towels and lotions ..

It is known as a GTFO me weapon :) not some long range sniper piece.

Berto
01-25-2012, 21:58
I've seen Jim Rockford take down a copter with one.

Fox
01-26-2012, 00:22
D
Bullet weight for Bullet weight, velociety for velociety the 9x19mm will still have a slight edge over the 38spl. Still, I like both rounds and don't feel under gunned with either.



.38 Special normally has heavier bullets than the 9mm Luger. The 9mm factory ammo is usually faster than .38 factory ammo. But handloads bring out the full potential of the .38 special.

BTW, the Colt Official Police revolver chambered in .38 special can handle the .38/44 loads just fine.

runcible68
01-26-2012, 00:53
J-Frames are harder to shoot than other guns, without a doubt. But it’s worth the effort to become proficient with them. When I first shot a snubbie I missed the target even though it was seven yards away. When I left the range I said, “I’ll never buy one of those things! But, after a while, I just decided I had to have a J-Frame like Bogie and bought a S&W 442.

With lots of practice, I improved dramatically. Now I can shoot tight groups at seven yards and make respectable hits at 25. (I keep most of my practice under seven yards.) The J-Frame is very unforgiving with regards to poor trigger control. Shooting a snub makes you very conscious of how you work that trigger. And, once you master it, I think that skill translates to shooting other guns. If you can shoot a snub well, you can shoot anything well. My two cents.