A solid ccw revolver?


April 11, 2007, 05:43 AM
I am not too familiar with alot of revolver's. Just lately i have been getting into them alot more an enjoying the experiance of a wheel gun. My question is what is a good concealable snub that will not run too much in price but be pretty solid for what I pay? I know I pay for what I get, but what should I get?

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April 11, 2007, 06:09 AM

I have recently switched over to using revolvers almost exclusively. I have tried and own several different guns and at the moment, I prefer the Smith & Wesson J-frames in .38 special/.357 special. They are small, reliable, well-made and you can get one at a decent price (much less than a semi auto).

If you're budget conscious, there are a lot of good used S&W J-frames for sale. Also, the new guns are not too bad (when compared to new semi-autos) either.

the S&W airweights (aluminum frame, steel cylinder, .38 sp +P rating) retail for about $500, but I've seen them for sale (new) at some local shops for a lot less (under $400). The S&W all steel J-frames (like the model 60 that I recently bought) retail for about $675, but I bought one new for about $480 locally).

I also own a Ruger SP101 revolver. It is slightly (but not much noticeably) larger than the S&W and is built like a tank. It is available with a 2" and 3" barrel. In my experience, my SP101 is not as nicely finished as the S&W but it is also a very good revolver. However, it's slightly bulkier than a S&W J frame and there are less accessories available (holsters and grips) than the J-frame guns. I prefer my J-frames to my SP101 because of their lighter weight and slighly better fit and finish.

April 11, 2007, 06:31 AM
My current carry revolver is a Taurus M85SSUL.
I have had it for 10 years. It was purchased new by my wife in 1997 and she found that she did not like it and gave it to me.
Over the years, it has been reliable and is +P rated. It also costs less than the comperable Smith.
I have often though about getting a Smith J-frame, but I always decide to just keep and carry that little Taurus!!

April 11, 2007, 06:57 AM
642 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=138658)

But then, the time stamp of this post
reveals my other choice of caliber for a revolver.


April 11, 2007, 07:22 AM
Type of carry will help narrow your search.

If pocket carry , then I think you will find the airlite's to be a better choice than steel frame guns. If either IWB or OWB weight won't make as much difference + the steel frames ,with their extra weight , will help tame the recoil of +P or .357 mag cartridges.

S&W & Taurus are the top two makers in this field but the Ruger Sp 101 has a strong following for waist band carry. My one brother carries an old Charter arms .38 Spl and that has served him very well. Another brother carries a S&W 60 with a belt clip and I carry a Taurus Ti in .32 mag. for pocket carry.

All have been good choices (IMO) and work well for the particular method used to carry, and all have been 100% reliable.

April 11, 2007, 08:01 AM
Ruger Sp101. Simply the best.

April 11, 2007, 08:08 AM
I've had good luck with my Taurus 650 CIA, which is a 2" barreled steel framed .357 Magnum with an enclosed hammer. I believe it cost me ~$300. I gave a Taurus 85UL to a lady friend, which has also been a good performer (I'm talking about the gun, though the lady friend hasn't been bad either :p ). The 85UL is a 2" barreled aluminum framed .38 special with an exposed hammer, and it cost me a little less than the 650.

S&W 642/442 are probably the definitive carry revolvers. I don't personally own one yet, but I have a 442 on order and it's costing me ~$380. They are both sub 2" barreled aluminum framed .38 specials with enclosed hammers. The difference is the 642 has stainless components and the 442 has blued carbon steel components.

There's probably about a half pound difference in weight between a steel framed and aluminum framed five shot snubby from either S&W or Taurus.

April 11, 2007, 08:26 AM
642 for pocket carry or SP101 for belt carry. Check out our 642 Club thread - it's probably the most definitive source available on small revolver carry.

April 11, 2007, 08:47 AM
There use to be a time when I would criticize the Airweight revolvers, where I wouldn't be caught dead with them. If it wasn't built of steel then I didn't want it because it wouldn't stand up to regular use and recoil would be unpleasent, if not downright painful.

Of course that all changed when I hurt my back, trying to carry my Security Six in a cheap shoulder holster. It was then that I realized just what these lightweight snubnose revolvers were for, what their purpose was.

I'm still gonna try for a Ruger SP101, but I wouldn't be beyond getting and S&W snubnose if the price is reasonable. Whatever the choice it'll likely never see the kind of regular use that I put my other guns through.

Ala Dan
April 11, 2007, 09:04 AM
For a better trigger pull, may I suggest a quality (used but not abused)
Smith & Wesson (old model) 60 in .38 Special only~! 642's are great in
their own right (pocket carry); but the majority of 'em have horrible
triggers~!:uhoh: :scrutiny: ;)

April 11, 2007, 10:20 AM
S&W 642/442 are probably the definitive carry revolvers

Easiest to conceal. Enough stopping power. not all that expensive. As Ala Dan conveys, trigger needs working in. Get some snap caps and pull it a coouple hundred times. Mine started feeling better around pull 600 and by 1,000 was much better.

April 11, 2007, 10:26 AM
About as "solid" as you can get.

April 11, 2007, 10:26 AM
Concealable, solid, low price = Ruger SP101.

I don't have the broad range of experience that some others here do, but in my own experience, there is no other small frame revolver that I trust to be as strong.

April 11, 2007, 10:34 AM
I'm in the same boat as the rest. Model 38 and an sp101. The j-frame is so easily concealed and I reserve the sp101 for when I want magnum capabilities. I saw a great option for you in the guns for sale section on this site, It was a model 36 38 special, blue, with the hammer.

April 11, 2007, 11:24 AM
These all would be good solid choices depending upon what you can find available and your "patience factor" for looking and waiting for a good deal : a lightly used, well maintained S&W J Frame (models 36/60, 37/637, 442/642, 49/649, 38/638) or K frame (models 10/64, 15, 19/66, 13/65); any of the small frame Taurus revolvers ( examples : M85/85UL/851 and the 605 variants); any current Rossi small frame revolver; and Ruger models SP101 and GP100....or a used Ruger Six series revolver (Security Service, Speed).

To get an idea of cost.......a used, well cared for S&W J frame Model 36 should cost you in the neighborhood of about $285, if you look around; a used K frame Model 10 about the same, perhaps a bit less; the new Taurus Model 85's typically sell for around $270; the Rossi's cost about $250; and a new Ruger SP101 sells for about $419. Add tax (local) or transfer/shipping fees on to these prices, which are approximate, and will vary some from region to region.

I would not feel uncomfortable with using any of the above as a concealed carry weapon.

- regards

April 11, 2007, 11:59 AM
Another vote for the 642 (of course, my opinion is somewhat prejudiced) :D

April 11, 2007, 12:09 PM

April 11, 2007, 01:21 PM
I own a S&W M638 which I carry all the time. I also carry a 2.75" Ruger Service-Six .357 Magmun once and a while in a DeSantis Speed Scabbard. http://www.desantisholster.com/002.html

April 11, 2007, 03:08 PM

April 11, 2007, 04:11 PM
Go to a well stocked gunshop and look at S&W, Ruger, and Taurus. Colts are only available used. I've seen and have some Charter Arms that are okay but not as good as the others in my opinion. Don't just look at J frame guns but K & L size frames as well. the larger guns are not that mucj more difficult to conceal and a lot easier to shoot well. Many like the Airweight, Ultra Lite, made from moonmetal guns that can weigh as little as 9 oz. I would avoid them as an aluminum gun had about twice the recoil as a steel gun. That might make them 4 times as hard to learn to shoot well. Beware of anyone who tells you "only the blank revolver is the answer to your situation". If it's a salesman they are trying to unload that model. What works for me may not work for you. I carry S&W K frames (2 1/2 and 4 inch), 2" J frames (I do like the 3" Detective Special I have the extra inch of barrel makes a difference), and a Ruger Speed Six 2 3/4.

As I said these work for me you just have to look and see what works for you

April 11, 2007, 04:32 PM
i like the smith wesson 642 and 638 j frame revolvers. they are light, i think they are affordable, easy to pocket carry, and in my limited experience, reliable. the 642 is hammerless and has a pretty stout trigger when new. the 638 has a shrouded hammer so it reduces the chances of snagging, but still allows for cocking so you could shoot it in single action. i personally like the 642. i think for most up close and personal defensive situations you would not have time to think about cocking the hammer anyway. ruger sp 101 is also a very solid gun, but a little big for me to pocket carry.

Jorg Nysgerrig
April 11, 2007, 05:18 PM
But then, the time stamp of this post reveals my other choice of caliber for a revolver.

A .457? I'm sure the people on the east coast are wondering about your .657 as well.

Time stamps are relative. ;)

April 11, 2007, 07:37 PM
pablo45 - You just can't go wrong with a X42. Go to a well stocked gun store and spend some time comparing side by side. You will find something that suits you.

A .457? I'm sure the people on the east coast are wondering about your .657 as well.

.357--.657, I'll have one of each please.

Doug Add
April 11, 2007, 09:35 PM
Personally, I am not comfortable shooting the lighter frame revolvers, and pocket carry will never work for me for ergonomic reasons.

When I am not carrying my SIG P228, I have a 2.25" Ruger SP101 in a belt holster. It easily handles .357, and shooting .38 +P through it is quite easy on the hand, even after many, many rounds.

Holsters may be harder to come by for it, but a 2.75" Ruger Security/Speed/Police Service Six would be a solid, reliable carry gun for not a lot of cash.

My father-in-law has a 4" Police Service Six and it is an excellent revolver.

April 11, 2007, 11:44 PM
Around here the 642/442 goes for a little under 350 and the Taurus 85 goes for around 300. I cant remember the price on the sp101 but I believe they were under 400.

April 12, 2007, 04:30 AM
Ruger Security Six

More durable than a Smith K-frame, and you can work the action to almost the same smoothness as a worked Smith. Cheaper than a Smith as well.

I'm surprised the K-frame Smith got so much popularity compared to the Security Six.

April 12, 2007, 12:11 PM
Geister: Actually, the J frame was the most proffered/popular S&W on this thread. The 642 to be precise...which really is the "perfect" pocket carry revolver ever made IMHO, albeit, only in .38 special compared to your Ruger Security Six' .357 mag. My first revolver was a Security Six...loved it, however, it really is an anchor. I love my revolvers, but if I really must pack something on my belt, it will surely be a high capacity Auto in a very large caliber...or why bother?;)

April 12, 2007, 01:21 PM

Ruger Security Six.

Love my Colt DS. Adore my SP101. Have been known to pray to my super accurate TacFour Para and my Kimber Classic Uno.

But when I want to carry, I want to carry a snubby, and my 2.75" Security Six with 158gr LSWCs is first choice.

Done a 642 and 442 each. OK guns. Easy to carry. Never inspired confidence with me. And that's the whole point. try them all at the range if you can. Then pick what you are comfortable with, and practice with it.

April 12, 2007, 01:39 PM
Earlier in this thread one poster stated that your prefered mode of carry will largely dictate your choice of revolver. I agree. Determine your mode of carry first, then start looking for the revolver that best accomodates.

April 12, 2007, 01:45 PM
OLDER Police Trade ins .

Model 10, Model 19, Model 36, 37, Ruger Six Series...

deputy tom
April 12, 2007, 05:56 PM
Another vote for the S&W 642.tom.:cool:

April 12, 2007, 07:37 PM
Well I did some looking again and saw a few that I thought were good.
Ruger SP101-I felt that this gun really fit me well.It is a very strong and well built small frame revolver. My only problem with it is that it was 459.99 and for Ruger I thought that was a little strange. Why is the revolver 459.99 and a brand new P95 going for 299.99. I could not understand that.
Taurus 617- Not too bad a little bulky I thought it did not feel very natural in my hand. I had one before and I only shot it a few times and did not remember why I sold it until I held it again. But the 7 shots of .357mag is always good and you can't go wrong with an extra round or two.
S&W 642- This was a very nice gun for the buck 359.99 and seemed to be a good choice. I can see why alot of you like it so much. For the money and the feel, it looks like S&W did a good job on this gun. I liked the DAO because I am such a huge Glock fan. So this will not take much to get use to. For liability purposes I always hear DAO is the way to go. I also hear that running and hiding help to but I choose not to do that one. I think that is why we are all here.

April 12, 2007, 09:27 PM
I'm gonna have to say 642 or, my preferred, 638, or maybe 637, or possibly 442

April 12, 2007, 09:29 PM
Granted I'm a Colt kinda-guy, but I really prefer my 6-shooter Cobra, or a Detective Special would work well if a little more weight isn't an issue.

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