My first Airweight!


bdb benzino
March 20, 2010, 12:42 AM
I saw a model 10 4'' at my local gunsmiths like the one I already have but nicer. That was the last time I was there, I went back to see if it was still there. My plan was to chop the older one to a 3'' and bob the hammer for a sweet conceal carry and still have one 4'' stock for nightstand duty. But just as I thought, it was too nice and someone had obviously snagged it.:cuss:

I looked for something different I might have missed the time before. What caught my eye was something I have always had on the want list. So I put money down on a S&W 638-3 NIB wit 2 sets of grips!:cool: I have always wanted an Airweight and also a 442 ora 642, but I decided to keep the maual cocking feature and went with a 638. I am really loving revolvers as of lately, and now I am exited to pick this badboy up on the first of next month. I think this will be a great addition to my CC line up as a BUG or even as a primary with a few speedloaders. I think the speedloaders I have for my wifes Taurus 605 should work for the new S&W, so we will see.

How do any of you who own a S&W 638 like them, and how and where do you conceal them?? Thanks for the responses.:D

Now the only problem left is, I still want to chop my old model 10 so I will still need a nice one to leave stock!:evil:

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March 20, 2010, 09:50 AM
I have an old Smith--looks like a 637--chrome plated alum,--no + P---I tried a +P once & the frame bent---bummer. I carried in a hoster on my belt--it was very light & easy
on the bod. Very heavy in double action.
It is a good weapon....................................:)

March 20, 2010, 10:12 AM
This is one of the best values in firearms today. Excellent decision. I've been torn between autos and revolvers for EDC, but all the reasons my HD handguns are revolvers has sent me back to wheelguns. The SP101 and similar get good reviews, but the airweights are just so much lighter and have superb hand-feel. The 649s are also compelling for similar reasons. One point often overlooked is the intimation factor - these look like business.

March 20, 2010, 10:27 AM
My preference in a concealed J frame has always been the Bodyguard frame. The reason is the way it stays put in my pocket. My usual hot weather carry is an old Model 38 in a Uncle Mike's #3 pocket holster, but I recently brought home a 649 from Clark Custom (

I had purchased the 649 as a training weapon to reduce wear on my beloved Model 38's frame. After a while, the pin hole in the recoil plate of the old aluminum framed guns will become elongated, especially when shooting defensive ammunition. I had bought the 649 as a trainer, but then one day at Clarks, I said "Why not?" and left it to their devices. You can read about it here (

IMHO, the lightweight Bodyguard is the epitome of a dedicated civilian CCW piece. The only thing better than having one is having two....... or three......

bdb benzino
March 20, 2010, 05:55 PM

Thanks for the link to the write up, I really enjoyed your story. Sounds like Clark Customs does great work for a great price. What kind of life can I expect out of my alloy framed revolver? I ask as in your write up you were saying how you bought the 649 to take some of the load off your Airweight that you liked for CC. I was wondering if I should be thinking along the same lines as well.

Thanks to all for the replies and experiences and I hope to hear more!

March 20, 2010, 10:05 PM
bdb benzino: the 638 is NOT scandium-framed; it is aluminum-framed. The aluminum-alloy frame is not as strong as a scandium-framed gun--but I know of no good anecdotal history. Typically, any airweight damaged or worn out has had it done with really excessive overpressure rounds.

Jim H.

bdb benzino
March 20, 2010, 10:50 PM
Thanks for pointing that out. Correction made.

March 21, 2010, 10:41 AM
bdb, as I said, the only problem I have seen in the aluminum framed revolvers (both J and K frames) is elongation of the pin hole in the recoil plate. This eventually makes the cylinder more loosey goosey, but the gun is still shootable. I have not seen a revolver lose time due to this. The only reasonable repair would involve boring out the hole and fitting a steel insert. The cost would make such a repair unreasonable when the gun could be replaced with a scandium framed revolver for a similar price.

I suspect the hole elongation is the result of high pressure loads, high volume shooting and perhaps a bit of abuse (although I saw no other signs, such as warped yokes from Bogarting).

The 638-3 is a much newer gun than the old Model 38 that I carry. The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson lists it's frame as "alloy" meaning aluminum. I suspect the alloy is much improved from back when the old Model 38 was built.

March 21, 2010, 11:48 AM
hey XavierBreath, no dope talk on THR. [/yoke]

Jim H.

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