Questions about CCWing a Revolver


August 26, 2007, 07:06 PM
The more i learn about guns, the more inclined I am to want to carry a revolver for self-defense purposes. However there are a few questions that i need to know the answer to before i actually make a firm decision on this.

1. Can you carry a revolver IWB?
2. Whats the largest revolver that can be carried without printing? by this i don't mean that i want to carry something like say a 6 inch 629 or anything, but more along the lines of say a .357 with a four inch barrel or something. I know that the 642 would be the solution to many of my problems, but i also want a large gun that i could use for HD purposes and i can only get one at this time.

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August 26, 2007, 07:14 PM
1. Yep, either with a holster or hip-grip.
2. What you can carry is heavily dependent on your size and the way you dress, so it's hard to say what you'll be able to carry without printing.

About anyone can conceal a 3 inch SP101 or Smith 65/66, which sound like they'd be about right for what you want them to do.

August 26, 2007, 07:25 PM
You know I never even thought of CCWing a wheelgun until i found out that EVERYONE who works at my local gunshop carries a I followed suit after some convicing arguments...Been very happy with my decision.

August 26, 2007, 07:38 PM
1) Yes, absolutely. I CCW an all steel J-frame IWB every day. Even with shorts and a t-shirt it doesn't print. I recommend the Pachmayr Compac-Pro grips.

2) A 4" is too long for CCW if you plan to sit down, I think. I have a 2.5" L frame that works well for OWB, but its too thick for me to carry IWB.

August 26, 2007, 07:40 PM
Huh well i'm 6 3 and about 255 lbs, but i'm currently in the process of shaving off a good amount of those lb's. I'm looking at the SP101, GP 100 and S&W 686. Is there a significant difference velocity wise with a 3 inch vs a 4 inch barrel?

August 26, 2007, 08:28 PM
I normally carry a revolver concealed. I am your height and 20 lbs lighter.

I carry either a (all S&W) model 65 or 66 3", model 27-2 3 1/2", or a model 22-4 4". All conceal easily with an oversized,untucked polo shirt or Hawaiian print type shirt.

I use a CABO (carry a big one) holster for the N frames and either a HBE or CABO fir the K frame. It's pretty easy to do.

Have fun,


August 26, 2007, 08:31 PM
I have concealed up to a 4" N-frame IWB, my S&W M58. Printing is a matter of build and clothing. A guy with wide shoulders and narrow hips can conceal just about anything, whereas a guy with narrow shoulders and love handles may have a problem concealing anything. A 3" sixgun with a tight barrel-cylinder gap may give better velocities than a 4" with a big gap.

August 26, 2007, 08:51 PM
Get the 642 now. You will never regret having bought it. It will serve you well for CCW and home defense. The 642 is going to be the most comfortable to carry. I carry a 640 about half the time and a Glock 23 the rest of the time. The J frames have the advantage of being able to be carried comfortably IWB or in the pocket or in a SmartCarry. The concealed hammer versions can also be fired from inside a coat pocket. It is the most versatile revolver for CCW.

My two CCW handguns are also used for home defense. Both are kept loaded but the 640 is kept a little closer in the bedroom. Once you get some practice with the little gun you will develop quite a bit of confidence in it.


Tom Servo
August 26, 2007, 09:14 PM
1. Can you carry a revolver IWB?
Yes, if that's your thing. The smaller J-Frames lend themselves to it, but the larger frames can be a bit long. If it's a 4" or so, you can use a high-ride holster, which will situate the cylinder above the hip. Bear in mind, longer barrels will (quite literally) bite you in the butt when you sit down.
2. Whats the largest revolver that can be carried without printing?
Consider OWB with a cover garment. I'm fairly indifferent to concealment, but I carry a 4" K-Frame with an overshirt, and I've yet to be made. It's all relative.

August 26, 2007, 10:49 PM
I am inclined to agree with "dot_mdb": The 442 / 642 is very carry-friendly. Myself, I would not choose a 442 /642 for the range, however. I don't find them enjoyable to shoot for more than let's say, 5 rounds. :rolleyes: For carry, though: supreme. :) If I had to choose one firearm (handgun) forever and ever: 1911 or a S&W686 plus,or a S&W625, or.... :p

August 26, 2007, 11:02 PM
Certainly you can "CCW" a revolver!

But, given the greater capacity, and excellent ammo available for compact 9mm pistols - not to mention comparable or cheaper prices, I want to know why would you choose a revolver over a semi-auto.

August 26, 2007, 11:03 PM
I agree with all the above. My S&W 642 in a Mika pocket holster is my most carried weapon. In the autumn/winter/spring months of Washington, I am now pushing the envelope to my 3 inch barrel .357 Ruger which I just made into a carry weapon. I can carry it in an El Passo IWB or FIST pancake OWB; both with a Jacket or sport coat.

August 27, 2007, 12:27 AM
Anybody can carry a J fram/snubby type in a decent sized short pocket with a t-shirt. I carry my Model 85 Taurus that way . It easy to IWB a 3" bbl SP 101.

Got a larger 4" bbl revolver - 686/GP 100 - its a little trickier but dowable. I've arried my 686+ in shorts and a t-shirt but I have a thin nicely compact holster for it from Kamer Gunleather. I like that company so much I have IWB's for my SP 101 and 1911 from them.

long shot117
August 27, 2007, 12:35 AM
:uhoh::barf:how would you go about getting a ccw in CA

August 27, 2007, 09:08 AM
Glad to read this I also am in the 3" SP vs 4" GP debate I am a smaller guy 5'7" 130lbs I know the 3" would be easier to conceal and carry but have been told that in order to use it as a woods gun where there may be an oportunity to take whitetail in season within 0-30 yds that I would need the 4" I think this is one of those things I am just over analyzing and should prob buy both money just aint right at the moment.

August 27, 2007, 10:00 AM
I have no problems at all with an IWB and a 4" Colt Official Police. Just a hair bigger than a K frame Smith. I'm 5'10" 160 lbs. and find this slightly more comfortable, and no harder to conceal than my 2 1/2" Model 19. I place the holster at the 3 o'clock position. I tend to wear either revolver for 12+ hours a day, with lots of time sitting down, and standing as well. Just an untucked T shirt for cover. I'm not a particularly big guy, and trust me, this is NO problem at all. Never had anyone even notice I was carrying. Unless you insist on pocket carry, there is no reason not to move up to a mid sized, six shot revolver. Once you put it in a good IWB belt hoster, the difference between a K and J frame becomes prety negligable. I also find the 4" barrel rides next to my hip and butt, where my 2 1/2" Model 19 will dig into my butt a little when seated.

August 27, 2007, 11:18 AM
I carry a 4" Taurus Tracker and is not a problem at all for concealment. It all depends on how you like to dress. But is not difficult at all. By the way I'm 6' 1" 212, nice and easy to conceal. Have fun and happy hunting

August 27, 2007, 11:20 AM
I'm 5' 11"/180lbs and carry a late issue (short frame & under lug) Colt Cobra in a Bianchi Minimalist. It stays well hidden under a polo or t-shirt. It came with walnut grips that had to go; they interfered with my speed loader and didn't fit my and right. I replaced them with Colt compact grips. The later alloy framed guns are rated for 1500 rounds of +P before you have to send it back for inspection. I currently carry Buffalo Bore's std. pressure 158gr LSWCHP. The BB stuff is gas checked and clean shooting.

August 27, 2007, 11:42 AM
I carry a 4" Smith model 29 in .44MAG IWB pretty often. Also a 13-2 in 4", a 686+ in 3" and 1911s, HiPowers, M9s, whatever.
If you get the right holster, anything is possible.

August 27, 2007, 03:25 PM
I carry the Ruger 357 DAO SP101 in my jeans front pocket every day. I'm vertical all day so easy access is not a problem.
If I was sitting most of the time IWB or OWB would be a better choice.
When driving my truck I have a concealed holster set-up adjacent to the drivers seat.
As far as HD is concerned, a revolver is OK for back-up while you're on your way to fetch your 12ga pump. However, the SP101 would do for the time being for HD while you're shopping for a shotgun.

August 27, 2007, 04:36 PM
Comfort and concealability depend alot on your holster; maybe even more than the weapon you're carrying. 90% of the time I carry a 5" all steel 1911 in a Milt Sparks VM II IWB holster, sometimes a lightweight commander in the same holster. Even though the commander is 10 ounces lighter I don't notice the difference. Both are extremely comfortable all day, sitting, standing, driving in the car. !0% of the time I carry a 642 in my pants pocket inside a Ross pocket holster. Comfortable, yes, but it tends to bounce around when walking/running. I don't have that problem with the VM II holster. Sparks makes the VM II for revolvers and I'll bet you can carry a 4" comfortablly with it.

August 27, 2007, 04:51 PM
Is there a significant difference velocity wise with a 3 inch vs a 4 inch barrel?

While I can't speak to the velocity difference, if you're shooting at realistic self defense ranges, i.e. inside of 10 yds, I don't think there would be any real disadvantage using the shorter barrel and it would be more comfortable to carry. The terminal results are going to pretty much be the same on the BG!;)

August 27, 2007, 09:53 PM
Comfort and concealability depend alot on your holster; maybe even more than the weapon you're carrying.

I would add that a good belt will make a good holster work even better. The best holster in the world can't do it's job with a cheap, flimsy belt from K-Mart. I have a 5" 1911 that I plan on carrying IWB in the winter months. In addition to an IWB holster (Brommeland Max Con V), I ordered a 1.5" bullhide belt from A strong belt will hold a heavy gun like a 686 or 1911 firmly in place and will help distribute the weight of the gun more evenly. It probably won't aid in concealment, but it can make IWB/OWB carry a lot more comfortable. I did try my Beltman belt with the 1911 riding in a halfway decent leather OWB holster. After only a few minutes, the weight of the big Government Model nearly disappeared. Very cool.

August 28, 2007, 12:38 AM
I carry my 3" SP101 every day. I love it, it is both comfy, and comforting.

August 28, 2007, 03:52 AM
Don't just assume a shorter barrel will aid comfort with IWB carry. I found 4" of barrel to be MORE comfy than 3", as the longer barrel would lay flay across a certain spot on my hip, where a 3" would poke me in that spot. This was with N-frames, back in the 80's or very early 90's, so exact details elude me, such as holster(s) and exact position, but the guns were my 4" M58 and my 3" M657; that is certain. I do know that today, a 4" to 5.5" sixgun is still comfortable enough in either an Eagle Industries nylon holster or a leather Milt Sparks Summer Special. (The Eagle holster is a long-discontinued model.)

August 28, 2007, 04:45 AM
1) Yes, it's my preferred method of carry.

2) It depends upon your build, clothing and quality of the belt and holster you choose.

I have a Del Fatti and another on order. I also have a Sparks on order. My daily carry is a 4" N-Frame, and I'm not a big guy. 5'06" and 150 pounds soaking wet. I also carry a J-Frame at the same time, both are well concealed in the desert southwest during the hottest summers. I also carry a reload for each gun. :)
When you order a holster, order the belt to go with it.


August 28, 2007, 07:59 AM
+1 to BikerRN,

A belt goes a long way in the comfort, concealment and reliable draw departments..

I hate to point you elsewhere, but you might want to check out for clothing choice, holster recommendations, etc.

They are a rather serious bunch over there, but that is because their main focus is about carrying weapons all day. Good stuff to be found there RE: CCW.

August 28, 2007, 08:40 AM
check out

I remember the good old days when they were

I carry two Js or a J and an N-frame. The 4" N-frame goes IWB. The extra inch of barrel vs. a 3" goes a long way towards stabilizing the rig.

August 28, 2007, 04:30 PM
That wasn't so very long ago either!!! I still like the site a lot.

CCWing a revolver is not difficult at all. Here is my Ruger SP-101 IWB & OWB.
IWB in a Tucker Heritage

OWB in a Don Hume 721 OT

I also OWB my 4" Ruger Redhawk in a Desantis Scabbard

August 28, 2007, 04:34 PM
I carry my Dan Wesson 357 in an IWB pancake.
I carry crossdraw at 9 o clock with the grip facing forward. No problems sitting standing or drawing.

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