this snubby decision has been bothering me


January 20, 2003, 12:26 AM
I don't know what route to go. For ankle and IWB carry.

On one hand, there's the Ruger SP-101. I love Ruger. There are only two problems with this firearm: grip length and weight.

Then there is the S&W snub .38 line. If I'm going Smith, I want the 638 for the lightness, size, and shrouded hammer.

I carry heavy guns frequently. My baby eagle weighs in at just over 2 pounds loaded plus the spare magazine. Then there is the 41oz unloaded GP-100. So the weight for IWB won't bother me, but ankle carry might be different.

But its a tough call so I'm hoping to hear other's opinions before making the final call.

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January 20, 2003, 12:29 AM
I've been wandering around all day with my nickel Model 38 in my jacket pocket, as happy as a clam...

Mark IV Series 80
January 20, 2003, 12:32 AM
IMO, the Ruger SP101 is too heavy for ankle carry and too heavy and too large for pocket carry.

In these roles, the M638 is my choice.

Dave Williams
January 20, 2003, 12:33 AM
Is hard to beat as an ankle gun. I use a Renegade 500 for a 442.


January 20, 2003, 12:37 AM
Me, I like the model 60 or 640 in a pocket holster or IWB.

Old Fuff
January 20, 2003, 12:38 AM
The Ruger won't present any problems so far as IWB carry is concerned, but I've known very few people who carry large or heavy guns in ankle holsters. That will get to you very quickly. Also, an enclosed hammer is advantageous either way you propose too go.

Kahr carrier
January 20, 2003, 04:35 AM
I like the S&W 640 0r 638 for pocket or ankle holster.;)

January 20, 2003, 05:06 AM
I carry the SP-101 in a Don Hume IWB holster. The littel extra weight and grip length is what makes it easier to shoot full house magnum loads out of.

January 20, 2003, 08:31 AM
Ankle carry is fine, but it takes a lot of practice to deploy it quickly and effectively compared to other modes of carry.

January 20, 2003, 08:36 AM
For a pocket or ankle I wouldn't go any heavier than a 642. The SP101 is a great gun, but I'd have to use a belt holster to carry one. YMMV.

Marko Kloos
January 20, 2003, 08:49 AM
The 442/642 is just about the perfect ankle and pocket gun. Snag-free, enclosed hammer, light enough to be easily carried in a pocket, and just heavy enough to still be comfortable to shoot. Also, the Airweights don't require the use of certain bullet weights to prevent crimp jumping, like the lighter Scandium guns. About the only drawback to the 442 and 642 is that they don't shoot Magnums, although I consider .38 Special +P plenty good enough for a belly gun.

January 20, 2003, 11:13 AM
I've known people who carried J-frames on there ankles for years and they weren't alloy frames. A lot of it has to do with how dedicated you are to carrying in this fashion and the holster that you select. I carried a S&W model 60 in this fashion with a Desante's rig for awhile, found it to be uncomfortable and not all that secure. But like I said, I know a few guys who have done this for years with no problems. I think before I would ever go back to this method I would probably do like your saying and buy a lightweight J-frame and would invest in a better rig with a calf strap for extra support. One system that I have found very useful is Thunderwear, you can easily conceal a J frame and it's quite comfortable with loose pants.

January 20, 2003, 02:26 PM
Hell, I can't keep my socks up.

Gotta be a nice pocket holster for me.

January 20, 2003, 02:28 PM
Is that a 342 in my pocket? Or am I just happy to see you?
I carry pocket guns, the 342 is a great 38+p weapon, as is the 442 and 642. I like them because the hammer is enclosed and it keeps lint out of my guns.

January 20, 2003, 03:41 PM
I second the motion on the 342. I know some don't like the ti guns but I have had no problems with mine with any ammo. It carries great in a pocket or on the ankle in a gould and goodrich ankle rig.......tom

January 20, 2003, 04:37 PM
Ankle rigs just never worked for me. I tried using one for my backup gun while working. I tried a model 60 in a rig that had a calf strap and one that didn't I always felt like ai had a growth on my leg. The only ankle rig that ever felt natural was one for a High Standard 22 maqnum derringer. There was no brand on it,and since it was issued along with the pistol I never thought to find out.

BTW Can anyone tell me how they wear an ankle rig under Levis, My boot cut jeans just don't have the room at the cuff for anything fatter than a knife.



January 20, 2003, 04:58 PM
My name says it, doesn't it?

I have both and care them in pocket holsters. Done it since each came out.

January 20, 2003, 06:49 PM
I like the Smith 649 for pocket carry. I have an M38 which is lighter but doesn't shoot as well as the M649. I tried a Colt Cobra also. I liked the sights better than the Smith sights, but the Colt is just a bit too large for my pockets.

January 20, 2003, 07:18 PM
I routinely carry a 649 or an SP101 on the ankle using a DeSantis Ankle Glove. I've carried a gun in an ankle holster for a long time and even the SP101 does not bother me-however; as stated earlier, it depends upon how dedicated you're going to be to ankle carry. The key is to find a good holster, like the DeSantis, and a good gun, then to wear the gun on the ankle and give yourself time to get used to it. I suggest you use two socks on the gun ankle. Put the holster on over the bottom sock and then pull up the outside sock over it. Works great.

That said, I would strongly recommend against the lightest J-frames such as the titanium or scandium guns for the .357 round. With the mag round, those particular guns are painful to shoot and can induce flinching and increase shot-to-shot recovery time to an unacceptable level. Those who say you won't even feel it when you're in combat forget that you fight like you train and if it hurts when you train, you either won't get enough practice or you'll flinch when the tostadas hit the oscillator. This is JMHO, but I think you need to decide whether you want the mag round or if .38s will do the job. If the .38 will do, any of the J-frames with shrouded or internal hammer will do the job for ankle, IWB or pocket carry. If you want the mag round, the SP101 is much easier to shoot well with the magnums, but bear in mind that even with this gun, it's gonna be LOUD, it's gonna kick HARD, and your shot-to-shot recovery will be slow.

TFL# 8032

January 20, 2003, 07:58 PM
My way to deal with ankle carry is to balance the load - carry one on each ankle! I love the DeSantis rig, too...

With boot-cut, or rodeo-style jeans there's no problem with fit - just go for the "relaxed" cut and go an inch wider in the waist.

I never advocate IWB carry, as the holster ruins the drape of the pants/slacks. If you're going to wear a jacket or blazer, then a hip rig is safer for re-holstering - and gives a much cleaner draw (YMMV, of course...). Why men seem to love IWB remains a complete mystery to me.


January 20, 2003, 08:06 PM
gumshoe4: I'm with you on the super lightweight magnums -- too much recoil for me. Heck, even the 642 is light enough that I don't practice with it nearly enough. Either stick with a lightweight .38 or go for a heavier magnum.

January 22, 2003, 06:58 AM
I am partial to the 649.

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