CCW revo: smaller than J-frame?


Felonious Monk
January 10, 2003, 03:54 PM
I'm finding a "gap" in revolver sizes.

Is there anything smaller than a J-frame, "potato in your pocket" snubbie?

I know about the NAA 22mag. mini-revo, but to me, with no trigger guard, and barely a grip to hang on to, it's a little bit inadequate.

Is there anything "in between"? Maybe a .32 or .380 sized round, slimmer than a J-frame, but more spicy than a .22?
What are the smallest, lightest revolvers you all know of which aren't "mini-guns"?


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January 10, 2003, 04:11 PM
Well, I think pretty much anything smaller and lighter than a S&W 360 would need to be classified as a mini-revolver.

How light do you want it to be?

Felonious Monk
January 10, 2003, 04:18 PM
Ideally, like a P32.
Realistically, anything that won't pull my sweatpants off when it's in the pocket, and won't print so obviously like a J-frame.

16 oz. or less, I'm guessing?

January 10, 2003, 04:42 PM
There are a few .32's available that are a bit smaller that a j frame but they probably weigh in at close to 16 oz. I have seen a couple of H&R's and maybe even a smaller S&W .32.

But, if light is your goal then look at some of the 10oz j frames in unobtanium or whatever the latest alloy is.

Felonious Monk
January 10, 2003, 04:50 PM
...just got back from, and saw the 85UL and 850CIA's weighing in at 13.7oz. empty. Not bad...
any others?

January 10, 2003, 06:25 PM
I can't think of any. New S&W model 37's weigh 15 ozs according to their website. The older 37's weigh 12 1/2 or 13 ozs with stock grips.

January 10, 2003, 08:19 PM
It's still a j-frame, but *&* 342 might be worth a look/re-look.
11-ounces and can handle up to .38+Ps (if you can :D ). Carried one for over 2 years and loved it. (So does the lady who swindled me out of it for $500. Now refuses to sell it back.)

There is one revolver that I am familiar with that is probably more the size you are seeking. ' Got an old RG (John Hinkley Special) used as an example of what NOT to risk your life on. If it did not blow up with 'em, loaded with the new "Velocitors", it might beat using your fingernails, even if it does go "bang" only about 60% of the time.

Again, I know it does not quite meet your criteria, but also have a * & * 317 that's even a touch smaller and lighter than 342. It has proven to be quite accurate, reliable and a good "warm up" gun. .22 caliber makes for very cheap practice, far less than other "mouse" calibers. (8 rounds of Velocitors tho not anything I'd volunteer to stand in front of.)

BTW, "Friends don't let friends carry mouse guns - unless they would otherwise not carry at all." ;)

Old Fuff
January 10, 2003, 08:24 PM
I see two issues here. One is size, the other is weight. If you are willing to accept a revolver the size of the “J” frame in either a S&W or Taurus you can get one that is very lightweight through the use of Aluminum or Titanium alloys.

If you want a smaller revolver you’ll have to look at all-steel models made by Colt and Smith & Wesson before World War Two, or shortly thereafter. These would include:

S&W 32/38 Terrier (Same as “J” frame, but ¼” shorter in .38 S&W)
Colt Bankers’ Special (Same as Detective Special but ¼” Shorter in .38 S&W)
S&W .32 Safety Hammerless (.32 Top-Break with concealed hammer in .32 S&W)

You will find examples for sale on various Internet auctions, and possibly at the used counter at your local dealer(s).

You can find Colt Police Positive’s for sale at around $200.00 or less in .32 S&W Long or .38 S&W that can be cut down into very neat pocket guns because the barrels can be shortened to as little as 1 ½ inches and about ¾ inches removed from the butt. They are however a bit heavy because of all-steel construction (except for grips).

Jim March
January 10, 2003, 09:18 PM
Many of us have been asking NAA to "scale up" the minirevolvers to a five-shot 32Mag SA, three-finger grip, still a spur-trigger and using the same safety system (notches between rounds).

It should be possible to get something much smaller than a J-frame, and about 13 - 14oz in stainless steel.

If nothing else, the CAS/SASS crowd would eat 'em up, because other than the improved metallurgy and caliber such a thing would be perfectly "period".

January 10, 2003, 10:15 PM
S & W 331 or 332 is a twelve-ounce 6-shot 32 magnum that some folks here have been pretty keen on. I got to shoot one of these, and I have to admit it was considerably easier to handle than my own superlight .357 snubbie.

January 10, 2003, 10:57 PM
Check the used gun market for a Colt Pocket Positive revolver. They chamber the .32 police cartridge.

Felonious Monk
January 11, 2003, 12:20 PM
Greybeard, Jim, Fuff, ChristopherG, six, et al...

Thanks a boatload for all the good alternatives! I've got some searches to do on Gunbroker/A-arms/GunsAmerica etc.

Fuff's right, there's size...and then weight. I'm really more focused on size at this point (smaller than J-frame, at or larger than NAA mini-revo).

FWIW, I think the weight issue has been dealt with successfully with all the scandium/titanium alloys.

I guess I'm looking for a revolver that corresponds to the niche that the P32/P3AT NAA .380 fills among semi-autos. Something that can be considered within a minimum stopping power round (.32 or above), but can ride with you in shorts, sweats, and so on like a mousegun can. You guys have gotten me started with some good options.


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