Looking for something very concealable and reliable, and I dont know much about guns.
I need help brothers!
If you enjoyed reading about "In the market for a good .38 CCW" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 8, 2009, 11:20 PM
Smith and Wesson Model 642 rules the .38 pocket gun market.
July 8, 2009, 11:29 PM
Yep, plenty of S&W j-frames fit your bill. I carry a model 37 airweight a lot of the time.
You might also look a the new Ruger LCR, though I personally find it hideous.
July 8, 2009, 11:32 PM
J Frams sounds like the answer to me. I think it's 642 time.
July 8, 2009, 11:42 PM
hmmm i wouldnt say rules but the 642 is nice
on the other hand the LCR from ruger is not a bad choice
i have the LCR as my daily carry and it is great i dont even notice it and its more acurate than other .38s ive shot (i dont know personaly with the 642)
July 9, 2009, 12:00 AM
442 is my flavor
July 9, 2009, 12:22 AM
Lemon10 - Welcome to THR:
Start Here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=314422)
July 9, 2009, 12:36 AM
Hi Lemon, I just thought you should know that if your a new shooter... or even if you're experienced, the art of shooting .38 snubbies has a HUGE learning curve. While not a snubbie guy (though I would love a 642 or LCR), I did start out with a small auto as my first handgun. Call me a girlie man, but it took me about 500 or 1000 rounds of ammo before I was able to hit a pie plate consistently at 7 yards.
Many snubbies are double action only, meaning that the trigger pull is even heavier than my auto. If its your first small 38, I'd suggest getting a Single / Double action gun. That means it has a hammer you can cock back. The single action trigger pull is MUCH lighter, contributing to accuracy. Not something you'd want to use in a self defense situation, but great for practice and plinking. People frown on this because its possible to snag on your clothes on the hammer as you draw. If you train to keep your thumb on the hammer as you draw, it shouldn't snag... but TRAIN...that is one thing you don't want to think about in a life threatening situation.
My second piece of advice would be to seriously consider something one size up from a J-Frame s&w 642. I've been eying the model 66 which is a K-Frame, the next size up... it would be much easier to shoot well, but something you'd not be able to fit in your pocket.
Also consider ruger's SP-101, which is a bit stouter than the J-frame, but not by much. The out of production Ruger Security Sixes are awesome too.
If you do get one of these small guns, PRACTICE DRYFIRING A LOT. You'll learn a ton about trigger control by watching your sights wiggle when you dryfire. Practice this triple checked that its unloaded in room with NO AMMO.
Also, get a real holster... do some serious research on that topic and be prepared to spend $100 if necessary.
July 9, 2009, 12:53 AM
Give the ruger sp101 a look. Although its rated for 357 I carry mine with 38+P's. Mine happens to be a 3 inch version but it comes in a 2 1/4 inch also.
July 9, 2009, 01:06 AM
July 9, 2009, 01:07 AM
Although I love a 642 Airweight, it's fallen to second place in my carry stable of revolvers, ahead of my Mdl 36 Chief Special, but behind my old and battered Mdl 38 Bodyguard. The older gun isn't rated for +P like the 642, but in my time of life, I don't want to get close to that much recoil in a light 2" pistol. in fact, I'm likely to carry my snubs anymore with 148 grain wadcutters so I can hit without flinching, wuss that i've become. I'm also not crazy about the skinny front sight and the narrow back groove, but the ability to cock the pistol for a better shot carries a lot of weight with me. The 38 will do everything the 642 will and more.
If I could find a steel Bodyguard (Mdl 49?) in bad enough shape, it would actually be worth my time and money to have it rechambered to 9mm (heresy!) I would think a 115 gr HP would generate less recoil than a +P .38. Or maybe not. Fun to try, though.
July 9, 2009, 01:12 AM
Another vote for the 642 if you want to pocket carry, but I agree the SP101 is easier to shoot well. If you decide to pocket carry a 642, you may also want to look at the Mika pocket holsters. Below is a picture of my EDC. The EDC items aren't fancy or tactical, but they are quite functional. Sometimes the 642 is a Glock, though.
Since you specified "very" concealable, I'd have to agree with the 642. Prices have been creeping upward lately, but you should be able to find a good used one within you price cap.
July 9, 2009, 03:09 AM
Look at the S&W Airweight they have the 637 with an exposed hammer, the 638 with a shrouded hammer, and the 642 with no exposed hammer and is double action only.
All can shoot .38spl, and .38spl +P high pressure.
July 9, 2009, 03:18 AM
I would suggest a S&W Airweight which is a 15oz .38 Special.
I like the Bodyguard frame so a M638 (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=11101&storeId=10001&productId=14772&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=15704&isFirearm=Y) is good or if you like a blue gun the M438 (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=11101&storeId=10001&productId=86945&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=15704&isFirearm=Y).
The Centennial frame is most popular which is the M642 (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=11101&storeId=10001&productId=82463&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=15704&isFirearm=Y) but it's blue counterpart is the M442 (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=11101&storeId=10001&productId=82470&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=15704&isFirearm=Y).
July 9, 2009, 09:30 AM
Looking for a
Smith & Wesson Magnum No 0377 Model 16-4 Wooden or Rubber grip
I need this Gun How do i find it
could not find it online :(
July 9, 2009, 09:48 AM
If you want to carry it in the waist band, it will allow you access to the firearm quickly, especially when seated. In the pocket is more difficult. I would go then with a steel J frame or my favorite, the Colt detective 6 shot.This type of revolver is easier to practice with, lessons recoil, better control , and allows for quicker followup shots.
July 9, 2009, 10:07 AM
What holster does everyone use to carry? At present I use a Don Hume JIT slide.
July 9, 2009, 10:37 AM
Larry, I use a Mika "in the waist pants" holster for my Colt detective Special. I can access the gun very quickly. I use Pachmayer grips too, which gives me a "fist full of gun" and easy control. I also have an Uncle Mikes that I use as well.
July 9, 2009, 10:47 AM
For a small .38 carry gun the S&W J frames are hard to beat, either the all steel models like 36 (blue) and 60 (stainless), or the alloy framed 442 and 642. Another possibility is the old Colt Detective Special, a steel 6 shot gun that is out of production but widely available used.
A nicely used Colt Detective Special gives you 6 shots over the S&W J-frame's 5....at about the same size
July 9, 2009, 11:04 AM
I carry the S&W model 49 in nickel, and alternate between it a nickel Colt Det. Special and a P32. Using a Mika pocket holster(excellent holster for pocket carry!) for both the snubbies. Paid $349 for the CDS in good condition and $399 for the M49 in excellent condition. Both well worth the money and fine pieces for carry and shooting.
July 9, 2009, 11:57 AM
Start with a S&W 442 (alloy frame) for carry, harder to shoot, but great to carry. IF you are looking for a holster carry look at a Ruger SP 101 in .357 with the 2+" bbl is hard to beat.
The S&W 442 will be lighter and is a great carry, but they have had some problems the coating on the frame (my flaked) but is doesn't affect function and gives 'character'. LOL The 642 is slightly heavier and the finish should be a little more durable, but again, more wieght. I hate to even bring it up, but find a pre-lock if at all possible. I have not problems with any Smith that has the IL (my 442 doesn't have the IL) but just want you to be imformed.
The SP will be heavier (about the same as a Colt DS) but gives you the option of shooting .357. Practice with .38's and carry .357's is what must do. Shoot enough .357's to get feel of it. If you carry it, you will need a holster as it is a little heavy for a pocket gun.
I know very little about the new Ruger LCR, but I would take a wait and see with this one as it is new to the market.
July 9, 2009, 12:09 PM
Try a Colt Cobra. Light weight, easily concealed, AND 6-shots. Whats not to like?
July 9, 2009, 12:24 PM
in addition to carrying it you have to shoot it well. With this in mind I carry a Detective Special. A little heavier but I shoot it well.
July 9, 2009, 12:27 PM
+1 used Detective Special.
July 9, 2009, 12:30 PM
642 and 442 weigh the same (or if there's a difference, it's not at all perceptible).
I can shoot the 642 just fine, since it's a .38. I wouldn't bother with an alloy .357. They hurt to shoot and cost a lot more; since I'd load the thing with .38 anyway, I'd forego the extra cost.
I just picked up a Model 60 .357 (all stainless), and it's not THAT much heavier than the 642, a half pound or so, but it's "shootable" with .357s.
WRT the used Colts, note that Colt is hardly even a gun manufacturer any more. I'm not sure they even have gunsmiths kicking around, to work on their DA revolvers.
With both Smith and Ruger, I've called about a broken part, and had a new one in my mailbox within a few days, for free. That's worth something.
Pogo2, That is a beautiful Colt detective. Nice big grips and the extra shot is a bonus. My favorite.
July 9, 2009, 04:49 PM
I don't think you can improve on a S&W 642 or 442.
July 9, 2009, 05:21 PM
I have a Taurus Model 85 Ultralight 2" snubbie. It's light, small, and quite accurate for a snubbie. On my first trip to the range, I easily grouped a few inches at 15 yards. I would carry it with a IWB khoslter. And if you have $550 to spare, you would still get a change of about $200. The gun is cheap but definitely not the quality.
July 9, 2009, 05:53 PM
1980's Charter arms undercover!
July 9, 2009, 06:01 PM
I've had lots of J-frame Smiths and D-frame Colts over the years, and in fact they were ALL fine revolvers,,
But if I had to make a "pick of the litter" it would be the 638 Airweight Bodyguard w/Crimson Trace Lasergrips.... The 638 (and perhaps other models too) comes with a super "target" trigger... It's wide, smooth, and sooooo easy to shoot well.
Just personal opinion, no offense two those who might disagree.
I carry a classic S&W Model 36 "Chief's Special" in a Mika pocket holster wherever I go.
I've shot my buddy's 642, and although it is lighter in the pocket (15 oz compared to 20 oz), I find that lighter means more recoil. More recoil equals less fun to shoot and a little harder to get back on target.
The Lone Haranguer
July 9, 2009, 09:37 PM
If it is to be holster carried, Ruger SP101 or (if you don't mind a 25+-year-old gun, and only after it has been checked out) Colt Detective Special.
July 9, 2009, 10:19 PM
Too many folks buy an airweight revolver for the simple reason that they're easy to carry. They don't consider how well they'll be able to shoot them. A few years ago, I bought a 642 because it was light and carried easily in my pocket. When I took it to the range, I found I couldn't make quick follow up shots with any degree of accuracy. I didn't want to invest the time and ammo it would take to learn to shoot it with speed and accuracy, so I traded it for a 640, and the additional weight, for me at least, made all the difference in the world. No doubt you will see lots of guys who claim to shoot the airweights well, but if they truly can, it's because they've invested a lot of time and ammo in practicing. You have to practice with any gun, but in my experience at least, the lightweight snubs are the hardest to become proficient with.
July 10, 2009, 01:14 AM
Tequila Mockingbird took the time to give you outstanding advice.
July 10, 2009, 05:42 AM
Tequila Mockingbird took the time to give you outstanding advice.
Yes he did...but I used less words. :rolleyes:
July 10, 2009, 06:07 AM
1980's Charter arms undercover!
Yes Sir, I go one of them, real good gun. Got a security six also, outstanding weapon
Taurus 85 is an ok budget gun. i have the 605 in 357, really good with 38's
Liike tequlila and rainbowbob said - stay away from airweights
Top of the line would be a vintage colt or smith
Cant go wrong with a ruger either.
July 10, 2009, 08:21 AM
The sweetest J-Frame made IMO, is the S&W Model 649 Bodyguard.
5-shot .357, stainless-steel, concealed hammer with a butter-smooth trigger in DA and a crisp, lght SA pull.