Need an easy to conceal Smith


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Jabr0ney
March 31, 2011, 08:20 PM
Ive been looking for smaller easier guns to conceal and decided i want a revolver. Derringers and the Naa minis look awesome to me, but don't seem adequate for defense. Maybe eventually ill get one, but this gun im buying now will be my first concealed carry. My mom has an LCR, i like it except i tried putting it in my pocket and the big rubber grip was a hassle to pull out.

Because of this ive been looking at the older J frame Smith .38s with the skinnier wooden grips. Any recommendations for something like this? I would prefer it to be able to shoot P+ but it isn't necessary. Or would a derringer (45 colt) or a NAA pug (22 mag) be worth carrying? I love the size of those, just throw it in your pocket and go.

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skoro
March 31, 2011, 08:23 PM
The S&W 642 is just right in so many ways.

http://www.snubnose.info/images/Model_642_10_450.jpg

Jabr0ney
March 31, 2011, 08:30 PM
i was thinking about that, its a little smaller than the lcr, right? at least thats what ive read

Starter52
March 31, 2011, 09:23 PM
S&W Model 37 with the factory wood grips and a Tyler T-grip.

joeq
March 31, 2011, 09:51 PM
I would go the 642/442 route. I prefer the 442 over the 642 just because I like the black better. I'm not sure if you're proficient with the double action only trigger but with practice these revolvers can be surprisingly accurate. I carry my 442 everyday in a Crossbreed Supertuck and the gun just disappears. I originally got mine to carry in the hot Texas summers but like it so much it's my year round carry. Surprisingly it's become one of my favorite pistols to shoot. I like the centennial models because without the exposed hammer I can get my grip a little higher and that really helps with muzzle flip and general control of the revolver. I have tried different grips but prefer the rubber boot grip that came from the factory.

PRM
March 31, 2011, 09:59 PM
I like the S&W Model 649. Its a SS gun and has the shroud ~ you can still cock it for single action firing. Robertson's Trading Post has some police trade-ins for $389. Great folks to deal with. Mine came with some honest carry marks. Was tight as a brand new gun, I took the side plate off and the insides were pristine. I changed the grips out to factory wood and gave it some TLC with Mother's Mag Polish.

They have one more listed on Guns America.

http://www.gunsamerica.com/998410174/Guns/Pistols/Smith-Wesson-Revolvers/Pocket-Pistols/S_W_38_Special_Model_649_Bodyguard_Stainless_1986_Exc_Matte_Sttainless.htm

Remo223
March 31, 2011, 10:01 PM
The smallest revolver made (not counting the NAA mini) is the charter arms undercover. The cylinder of the charter arms is slightly smaller than that of other 5 shot revolvers.

New charter arms revolvers don't come with small smooth wood grips, however. They come with oversized rubber grips. But what you can do is buy a brand new aluminum frame lightweight charter arms undercover and then buy a set of Barami hip grips for it.

that will be the smallest revolver you can buy...pretty close to the lightest one too. smith&wesson is a little bit ligher...by like half an ounce I think.

Or you can search for an old charter arms undercover. They have the old fashioned small wood grips. THEy aren't aluminum frame though and so they weigh more. I wouldn't recommend an older charter arms though, since some of the older vintage guns are not very good.


http://www.baramihipgrip.com/

joeq
March 31, 2011, 10:08 PM
I've tried the Barami grips and Clipdraw system and I found them neither more comfortable or convenient when compared to a quality holster. I can draw faster out of a holster also. Not saying the grips are bad, just not for everyone.

Remo223
March 31, 2011, 10:22 PM
Well sure, a holster on your hip is the ultimate carry method. Not everyone wants to lug around a holster though.

joeq
March 31, 2011, 10:27 PM
Not trying to argue, each to their own.

Phydeaux642
March 31, 2011, 10:28 PM
642 in a Mika round cut pocket holster. 'Nuff said.

bcp280z
March 31, 2011, 10:30 PM
I think any airweight J frame will do, The 642 seems to be the most popular, but if you like the DAO design try for a 442, comes in black ;) But I would personally recommend a 438, it's DA/SA, spurred hammer, doesn't snag, gives you the option of SA if you're playing around at the range or need SA accuracy. Many will argue it's not the best in a SD situation with lawyers and all that legal junk, but I figured it's the only revolver I'm going to have for a while so why not be versatile.

I saw a 638 in a local shop the other day with a longer barrel, wasn't sure how much but more than 1.87in would still be easy to conceal...and it was cheaper than what I paid....but it was used.

Also alot will complain about the Hillary hole lock in the new ones but the pre-locks were before my time and it's not so bad if you have younger siblings or so, just keep the key on your keyring.

Paladin38-40
March 31, 2011, 10:43 PM
+1 for a round butt S&W J-frame with a Tyler T-Grip Adapter given your criteria. I have both 2'' and 3". I prefer 3" barrels and steel frames. They conceal and carry just as well as the 2" or Airweight in any conventional type holster and shoot better. Note I do not pocket carry. Find a good used one, the older the better.

J-frame aficionados shoot mostly standard pressure loads even if we carry +P. I have my first model 36 bought in 1967. I have ran a few +P loads through it with no ill effect.

Not to start a brand war but neither a Charter Arms nor an LCR is a pre-lock S&W. I'm not even sure an LCR is a real Ruger. Just sayin'.

Jabr0ney
March 31, 2011, 10:44 PM
Im actually liking the looks of the model 37, would i be able to put a grip like that or the barami hip grip on a 642? And that charter arms undercover looks like what im looking for too, has anyone had experience with it? Reliability? Any issues?

To me the big thing is the grip, because after pocketing the lcr with the big rubber grip, it was a b**** to pull out of my pocket fast

mmitch
March 31, 2011, 10:48 PM
Or you could step-up a little:

http://i730.photobucket.com/albums/ww310/satcong_01/15_3det6_6656.jpg

...to a K frame model 15 snub.

Mike

ArchAngelCD
March 31, 2011, 11:03 PM
I carry a 15oz S&W Airweight daily and would not be without one. The revolver disappears in your front pocket and is light enough you will always carry it instead of leaving it home.

I like the M442 Centennial frame or M438 Bodyguard frame because I like "blue" revolvers but the silver M638 or M642 are just as good.

You might even like the 14oz 38 Bodyguard. It has a built in laser and shoots well too.

Paladin38-40
April 1, 2011, 05:55 AM
"And that charter arms undercover looks like what im looking for too, has anyone had experience with it?"

I do not comment on guns I have no experience with. Not that I necessarily own them, but have had the opportunity to handle and shoot them more than once. There are 3 brands of small revolvers worth carrying home: S&W, Colt, and Ruger.

You seem to be interested in a quality gun. Notice there is a strong consensus for S&W with several posters pointing toward the older models. There is a reason for that.

The traditional S&W's are all good, the differences between them are a matter of personal preference and balancing the features with your primary intended use.

The new S&W Bodyguard is another story. It in no way compares with the original Bodyguard model 49 and its variants. You could say it is a Charter Arms with S&W logo. It is S&W's attempt to compete in the low end of the market. As far as the laser is concerned the S&W switch design is not user friendly. Lasers are overrated in my experience and considered opinion but if you want one go with Crimson Trace.

The Ruger SP101 is a fine gun, but the LCR is not a 101. It is Ruger's marketing strategy to compete in the low end of the spectrum.

You get what you pay for and that includes within the same brand.

Good luck in your quest.

Remo223
April 1, 2011, 09:57 AM
Im actually liking the looks of the model 37, would i be able to put a grip like that or the barami hip grip on a 642? And that charter arms undercover looks like what im looking for too, has anyone had experience with it? Reliability? Any issues?

To me the big thing is the grip, because after pocketing the lcr with the big rubber grip, it was a b**** to pull out of my pocket fast
If you are looking for silky smooth precise actions and craftsmanship to marvel at, charter arms is not for you. They are economical models. But as far as I'm concerned, silky smooth precise actions in a tiny little snubby is kind of a waste. All you really need is something that goes bang every time you pull the trigger.

I carry an older charter arms with tiny wood grips and blued carbon steel frame. They are the most concealable revolver made in the last 50 years at least. But be warned, there's a lot of older charter arms guns that are junk. I have two complete older ones and parts to build a few more. You got to expect to get a few bad ones before you find a good one. You will also probably have to learn to work on them yourself. Or you could just buy a new one and save yourself the trouble. The new ones are reliable but they come with that stupid oversized rubber grip.

Gunsmiths aren't very enthusiastic about working on a charter arms gun.

I could go on and on about my problems with gunsmiths. Most of them I have little respect for. Most of them are pretty pathetic in terms of mechanical aptitude. Smith and wessons are utterly simple to work on. A monkey could figure them out. And guess what? They all love to work on smith&wesson and love to charge you up the wazoo to do something a 15 year old kid could do. But hand them a charter arms to work on and they start acting like they are too superior to touch it. To me, that is a sure sign of an inferior gunsmith.

OldCavSoldier
April 1, 2011, 11:11 AM
I carried a CA UnderCover snub for two years as my tertiary back-up and some, er, special slugged loads, back when in mufti as an Army spook. Never had a lick of trouble with it. Good, solid piece. Although it was made in the late 60's/early 70's. I don't know about today's UC snubbies

oldfool
April 1, 2011, 11:25 AM
the OP said "Smith" real plain
S&W 442/642

"would a derringer (45 colt) or a NAA pug (22 mag) be worth carrying?"
No

older S&Ws with skinny grips -
I own an early model SS model 60 snubbie that pretty much defines that, 38+p no problem
but it's strictly an OWB carry gun for me
I believe you will be happier with a 442/642 per original post as stated
lots and lots of aftermarket grips out there easily found for any of the above

PcolaDawg
April 1, 2011, 11:56 AM
642 in a Mika round cut pocket holster. 'Nuff said.

What this guy ^^^ said.

texas bulldog
April 1, 2011, 12:01 PM
While I don't own one, really like the Model 40 for your purposes:
http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQKMoKwZyTbLtsg1_pIMHdCkG502coVdor8sWlRlpqIDq8HLt7A

sixgunner455
April 1, 2011, 01:57 PM
642. It's stainless, because you're carrying it in a potentially salty bath. It's completely enclosed hammer, because you're carrying it in a pocket or ankle holster, and the less crap that gets in the action the better, and the smoother the gun is on the draw, the better. It's DAO, because it's accurate enough, and because when you shove it some goblin's gut or up his nose and yank the trigger two or three times, you just want it to go bang.

It's an aluminum frame, because 15oz in the pocket carries a lot easier than 20oz+. It's not a lot of fun to shoot more than half a box through in one sitting, and not much fun with +p when my arthritic wrist is acting up, but I can rip off five rounds into a piece of typing paper at 2-5 yards in 2 seconds or so. If I'm careful, I can do headshots out to about 7 yards. It works perfectly, too.

642 prices are amazing right now. I've had my gun for over 7 years - if you shop carefully, you'll only pay about 50 bucks more than I did in 2004 ($329.00+tax). If you don't shop carefully, you'll pay a couple hundred more.

642-1 and -2 are +p rated, if that matters. This is the one to get.

Jabr0ney
April 1, 2011, 03:09 PM
OK thanks for everyones input! Right now it seems like im either going with a 642 or an older model such as a 37. Are both reliable for shooting quite often? I plan to shoot it A LOT because i want to be as familiar with it as possible. And after some research people recommend not to shoot +P out of the older models, is this true?

Paladin38-40
April 1, 2011, 05:53 PM
If you want to shoot a lot of standard pressure the 14 ounce Airweight S&W's (not 11 ounce AirLite's) are comfortable enough with cushy grips. A lot of +P in an Airweight is not so enjoyable for a good number of shooters.

The steel frame 640 and 60 are 50% heavier at around 21 ounces. That's enough to make a noticeable difference in felt recoil but not enough weight to be bothersome in a belt holster. Unless someone is enamored with pocket carry I see no reason for an Airweight.

FWIW the favorite of my 4 J-frame's is a 3" 60 FL with adjustable sights, about 25 ounces. Small enough to conceal and carry well, large enough to shoot well. The least favorite and rarely carried is a 37 Airweight.

As always, try before you buy if at all possible.

Remllez
April 1, 2011, 06:32 PM
Very good advice above for you to mull over. You can still find an original nickel model 49 "Bodyguard" if you look on the different auction sites. They are everything you are looking for and still reasonably priced. They carry well IWB,in a coat pocket or on the belt and are just ugly enough to be beautiful!

If your looking to carry a classic concealed revolver they are worth taking a serious look at. In the end buy what appeals to you although this won't be your last gun purchase I can almost guarantee.

Enjoy Your Gun Son

Bula
April 1, 2011, 06:51 PM
642 is ideal for me. One thing about the finish, it's not real stainless on the frame. The barrel, crane/yoke and cyl are, but the frame is just painted alloy. Mine is pretty beat up now, but would probably be a whole lot more so if it were the 442. I've recently settled on the Hogue bantams, but the bootcut Spegels sure are pretty-too pretty to beat up in my pocket. The DAO takes little while to smooth out and get used to-practice, practice, practice. Just my $.02

Jeb21
April 1, 2011, 10:08 PM
A good hammerless j-frame or concealed hammer j-frame - such as a 638 or a 649.

SAA
April 2, 2011, 12:31 AM
But I would personally recommend a 438, it's DA/SA, spurred hammer, doesn't snag, gives you the option of SA if you're playing around at the range or need SA accuracy. Many will argue it's not the best in a SD situation with lawyers and all that legal junk, but I figured it's the only revolver I'm going to have for a while so why not be versatile.

This!

I always hear about the 638, but the 438 is a much better choice in my opinion. I carry mine all the time.

The biggest selling points for me were:
.38 +P
single action option
no hammer snag
STAINLESS barrel and cylinder, but.....
BLACK!

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c315/lookere/438/DSCF4521-resized600.jpg

You need black if you want optimum concealment. The black frame and stocks make it look like a cell phone in the unlikely event someone gets a peek in my pants pocket. A silver frame with black stocks looks more like a gun, and is more easily seen in the shadows of a pocket.

Some of the other black models are plain steel which are not at all optimal for carrying in a sweaty pocket in the summer. Did I mention the 438 is stainless? I love my 438! It's perfect for me, with all the features I was looking for.

(The ONLY downside is that the cylinder is .357 in length, which could be shortened and the frame as well to reduce the total overall length by about 1/4", but I believe all the little S&W J's are like this. One quarter inch doesn't sound like much, but in some pockets that can make it or break it for concealment. Are you listening, S&W?)

robctwo
April 2, 2011, 12:41 AM
I bought a 638 with CT grips a while ago. Shooting it today. Working with the pocket holster. I've put a Wolff spring kit in it and slicked it up and D/A is nice. The laser wasn't any good in the bright sunlight. No complaints on a warm day!!!

I busted a few clay birds on the bank at 30 yards in single action. Not every shot, but often enough to feel confident taking that shot in the real world.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
April 2, 2011, 12:53 AM
I also have a 642 with a Robert Mika Pocket Holster. I had Robert make me a round-cut bottom and a square-cut bottom. I change them depending on the type of pocket they are in.

S&Wfan
April 2, 2011, 01:01 AM
You need an Airweight (aluminum framed but NOT AirLITE) J-frame. Be it Hammerless (Centennial), Concealed hammer (Bodyguard) or exposed hammer (Chief Special) they all make excellent pocket revolvers.

Which is my "always" CCW revolver? An Airweight Chief Special (Model 37). Why the Chief over the other choices? Simply that the nice vintage one I found was a Chief Special. Drawn quickly from my Uncle Mikes #3 or DeSantis Nemesis pocket holsters it is totally snag proof once you learn the draw. Others feel better not having the hammer but I like the single action (thumb cocking option).

Clad in the original wood S&W magna stocks + a Tyler T-grip aids comfort, conceal ability AND speed. Ditto if you put your original Smith stocks up for safekeeping as I have and have replaced them with durable Elk stags as I have.

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/415/415871/folders/305997/2454596IMG1153pcropped10.004t.jpg

Pictured below is my vintage (1964) steel framed Model 36, with original S&W magna stocks in the Uncle Mikes #3, and the above Model 37 in the DeSantis Nemesis. Both revolvers have Tyler T-grips. Both are round butt versions . . . easier to conceal than the square butt ones of the same model numbers. S&W only makes these J frames in round butt today.

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/415/415871/folders/305997/2456564IMG2613copy2-c-web.jpg

Jabr0ney
April 2, 2011, 01:46 AM
Ive been looking at the 37s and i like the grips with the t grips on them. They seem easier to conceal. Can someone explain to me why its worse in a court having a SA over a DA? I keep seeing people say this but i dont understand why thats the case

sixgunner455
April 2, 2011, 02:08 AM
Jabr, that's an entirely different kettle of fish. Suffice it to say that there are unscrupulous lawyers in the world who will try to make anything you do with a gun look bad.

If you have a justifiable reason to shoot someone, the gun you used to do so becomes a bit of trivia to anyone but one of those lawyers looking to demonize you for daring to stand up for yourself.

There's a case in AZ of a man who spent several years in prison after killing a man who attacked him on a hiking trail. The prosecution made a big deal out of the fact that he used a super-awesomely powerful 10mm ray of death, but he wasn't convicted for using a 10mm. He was convicted under the laws of that time for shooting an unarmed man. The fact that he was being attacked by someone who said he was going to kill him was not considered a positive defense.

The state legislature spent over three years rewriting that part of the Arizona Revised Statutes to get that guy out of jail and get his record cleared. Every time they passed a new version of it, the governor either refused to sign it, or the courts said it still didn't mean they had to release the guy.

Point is, anything you use is ancillary to why you did it, and if what you did was legal and moral. I would hate to spend 3-5 years in prison for any reason, especially if it wasn't my fault to begin with, but if the other option is to let some crazy homeless guy beat or stab me to death, I'll take prison for 3-5 with the option of playing with my grandkids when I get out, thanks.

PRM
April 2, 2011, 10:01 AM
Lots of good J frame options. I still weigh in heavily on the SS guns. I own several and love the look of a blued gun, but SS is easy to keep for a working gun.

I have carried the Model 60 since 1997 ~ A little Mothers Mag Polish from time to time keeps it looking better than the day I bought it. I just got the Model 649, 1985 issue (police trade in), a good cleaning and about a hour with a terri cloth towel and a little MMP and the finish turned out nice. Still plan on working it (M649) a little more when I have the time.

Looks may not matter ~ but the SS is a great option if that matters.

earlthegoat2
April 5, 2011, 05:41 AM
I carry an older charter arms with tiny wood grips and blued carbon steel frame. They are the most concealable revolver made in the last 50 years at least. But be warned, there's a lot of older charter arms guns that are junk. I have two complete older ones and parts to build a few more. You got to expect to get a few bad ones before you find a good one. You will also probably have to learn to work on them yourself. Or you could just buy a new one and save yourself the trouble. The new ones are reliable but they come with that stupid oversized rubber grip.

Gunsmiths aren't very enthusiastic about working on a charter arms gun.


Based on this, I dont think I would ever buy a Charter Arms gun. Are you actually suggesting these to people and giving these reasons for doing so?

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