J or K?


October 12, 2010, 01:42 AM
I'd like to have more carry options. Right now my only carry gun is a 638. I love this gun and find it easy to carry. I'm going to get another revolver for carry rotation and have been eying some model 10's. Do you think I'm better off with two J frames? I know i want to stick to 38 spec. but would like some input on my options. I also have a GP100 that i use for HD but i think it is to heavy to carry. I don't want to spend more than $500. I don't reload now but it's in the works. Thanks Madwell

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October 12, 2010, 04:37 AM
Is the K a 2.5 inch or a 4 Inch? I think carrying a back up in the same ammo as your primary is the way to go but that is my opinion. The same goes for what my wife carries. We both CCW the same weapon.

October 12, 2010, 04:51 AM
Well, it's hard to say what's best for someome else. All I can really say is that for me, a 2.5" Model 66 (k-frame) loaded with 38+p and with a speedloader full of some mean .357mag for backup, is one of my favorite carry setups.

harmon rabb
October 12, 2010, 06:23 AM
Why get another of the same gun? Get something with a longer barrel that can take hotter ammo than your j-frame, if you want another carry revolver. Go for a k-frame, or a ruger sp101 if you like your gp100.

October 12, 2010, 11:49 AM
I concur with Rabb.

The versatility of another gun would add more than doubling up

October 12, 2010, 12:29 PM
I carry a S&W 12-2 with a 2" barrel as well as a Colt Cobra. They both hold six rounds and are good shooters. I carry them either IWB or OWB with no problems. I think a model 10 would be good to carry also.

October 12, 2010, 01:00 PM
It all depends on how you prefer to carry.

If you're used to a J Frame, a K frame may seem to large and/or heavy for you? A standard 4" Model 10 is 34oz, more than double that of your 638 and more difficult to conceal.

You might consider the Model 60 3" tube? At 24oz it's lighter and smaller framed but gives you a 3" barrel and the ability to shoot .357 Mag and .38sp both. I have a Model 13 4" (.357 Mag version on the model 10), I carry it once in a while, but it's much more difficult and I prefer the smaller, steel J frame.


In a revolver, I prefer to carry a Model 60 with the 2 1/8" barrel in an IWB holster and also in a OWB holster. All steel 22oz and it's a tack driver. I've often thought about the 3" with adjustables to carry OWB.





Model 13HB

October 12, 2010, 03:54 PM
Thanks for the replies
Right now i mainly pocket carry my 638. I have looked at the model 60 and like what i have seen. Would the crimson trace 305's that came with my 638 fit on a model 60? I think I'll probably end up getting a Model 10 HB to carry IWB. I just love the way these guns look. Might not be the best reason to buy a gun, but if it doesn't work out for carry I still have the old 638 on stand by.

October 12, 2010, 04:31 PM
Yes, your CT grips will fit the Model 60.

October 13, 2010, 09:05 AM
I used to be like that and really prefer the looks of the HB models. Then I stumbled into an inexpensive, refinished Victory model. It has the standard or pencil barrel that I used to think looked out of place on these guns. Then I started shooting it and really came to love the balance of that gun.

My point is if you are looking used anyhow, take a look at both barrel profiles and see what shoots and points well for you.

Old Fuff
October 13, 2010, 09:45 AM
The smaller J-frame models are good-to-go for pocket carry, but you give up a lot. If you holster carry, the K-frame models with a 3 to 4 inch barrel are a far more effective weapon, that also offers an additional 6th round, a generally smoother/lighter double-action, and a handle that's large enough to hold on to. All of this results in better accuracy and quicker repeat shots that are still well placed.

So take your choice, but a lot depends on how you will lug it around.

October 14, 2010, 03:23 AM
Many feel a 3" K frame revolver is the perfect packin pistol. I also pocket carry an Airweight J frame but if you don't mind carrying IWB you will really like a 3" K frame. The added barrel length over the 2" J frame adds to the accuracy and you will generate additional velocity too. Also, don't forget it's a real 6 shooter.

If you would rather a 7 shooter there's always a 2.5" or 3" L frame. They are a bit heavier and they are harder to conceal because the cylinder is wider than the K frame.

October 14, 2010, 07:30 AM
I am more partial to the J Frame for CC. Accuracy is great with the little gun. If it is an extended range session, the K Frame for me is more comfortable to shoot.

I'd say get both. Since you already have a J Frame go with a K Frame 3 inch round butt. They pop up fairly regularly on GunBroker.

October 14, 2010, 01:27 PM
+1 on post #11
If you are used to pocket carry are you going to be happy belt carrying a K-frame or will it end up in the safe most of the time?
I would rather have a 2nd J-frame...nothing wrong with a j-frame in the front pocket and a NY reload in the back pocket.

October 14, 2010, 03:14 PM
Thanks for the replies I will end up with another J frame before it's all said and done but I think my next gun will be a model 10. The more research I do on the good old model 10 the better it looks.

October 14, 2010, 03:25 PM

October 14, 2010, 03:28 PM
thats a little big for carry but i like that too.

October 14, 2010, 03:35 PM
The 3" K Frame is a great choice, but it will be a lot heavier to carry on a daily basis, so you will need to determine if that is right for you...

It might be best to stick with another J, potentially in 3" so you get the best of both worlds...longer ejector stroke, a little better velocity, etc.

The older Smiths are where I would definitely spend my $$$

October 14, 2010, 03:51 PM


How about these?

David E
October 14, 2010, 04:10 PM
I'd like to have more carry options.

Ok, what options do you want to explore? Double gun carry? IE; one in each pocket?

A revolver that shoots a more powerful round (like .e8 +P+) or handles your current carry load more comfortably?

One that's easier to hit with?

There's a good case to be made for getting an identical gun (two is one, one is none, etc, etc) but there's also a good case to be made having the second gun capable of doing some tasks better than the existing gun. Overlap of function is ok and it sounds like it's desirable in your case.

A S&W Model 60 is a cool gun, but I suspect you'll find it a bit too heavy for pocket carry.

For strictly a carry gun (and since you find your GP-100 "too heavy") consider a K-frame or a Colt .38 with an alloy frame. I have a 4" Model 12 that's very light, but also very easy to shoot well, due to the 4" barrel and bigger parts. (bigger parts provide better leverage for trigger control) It's no pocket gun by any means, but neither is a Model 10 or 19 or 66, regardless of barrel length.

October 14, 2010, 04:24 PM
I don't plan on pocket carrying my new gun I'm thinking IWB. I might still keep the 638 in my pocket when i carry the new gun. I'm just exploring my options. I'd like something between the J frame I have now and my GP100. Maybe a 3 inch J frame probably a K frame. Really the question is two J frames or K and a J for carry. I won't always carry two guns I'd just like the option. I do carry my GP100 in the woods, but the rest of the time it sits in the night stand.

October 14, 2010, 04:34 PM
I like a good J Frame myself.

Model 60-9

High Hand Polished Finish (Mothers Mag Polish) ~ a couple of hours while watching TV

Elephant Ivory Grips

October 14, 2010, 05:07 PM
Both the J & K frames are excellent revolvers, but were developed for two different carry options. The J frames were developed to be carried concealed and the K frames were designed to be carried using a "gunbelt" and holster combo. The K frame can be worn concealed but it is not as easy or comfortable as the J frame. For me the benefits of the K frame out weigh the drawbacks.

Just remember to practice with whatever weapon you carry.

October 14, 2010, 11:30 PM
I know you're looking for a J-frame, but you might want to consider an SP-101.

Here are an SP-101 and a Model 10-7 2" bbl. with shooting samples.

October 15, 2010, 11:48 AM
Unless one has really small hands and/or really short fingers, the K will be more "shootable" than a J due to its handling qualities. Putting oversized grips on a J will make it handle better, but then it will be in the same size envelope as a K, with one less cartridge (if chambered for .38 or .357) and with a less-smooth action.

For those of us without the largest hands or longest fingers, a middle option is the Ruger SP101 or the now-discontinued Colt Detective Special, Cobra, and Agent. My fingers are short enough that the SP101 is very shootable, though I will perform better at longer range with a K/L-frame-sized weapon. It is possible to cherry-pick among SP101s and find one with a remarkably good action, as I have done three times, and I also have a couple that were worked over by Jack Weigand when he was still going custom 'smithing, with his Tame the Beast package.

I have a couple of J-frames, but they rarely leave the safe, as I rarely need anything that small. Your size preference may vary.

October 15, 2010, 11:50 AM
BTW, when I had just two SP101s, I didn't "rotate" them, I carried both of them at the same time.

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