Is a J frame enough?


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camsdaddy
February 11, 2014, 07:10 PM
I was just thinking this question had never been discussed so I thought I would ask.

I have heard the story of 10 gun guys sitting down at dinner and all have a J frame in their pocket most as their primary if they were carrying at all. Most of the police officers I know carry nothing off duty.

Over the past almost 15 years I have carried from a Keltec P32/NAA mini - Glock 17/4" k frame. Im 5' 7" 140 ish and I am capable of carrying almost anything while maintaining a grey precense. I dont look tactial or operatorish. Recently I have been carrying my Glock 19 because Its awesome at what it does. I shoot it well, it carries lots of ammo, it reloads easy, and is lighter than a K frame. I have been thinking though that maybe its over kill. I live a low threat lifestyle and would like to think my situational awareness is above average. Im begining to wonder if carrying a 19 is overkill. I also have a 26 and I simply shoot the J frame better. I wonder if my J frame would serve me just as well. The only time in all of my years Ive needed my carry gun was to dispatch a water moccasin and the J frame was on task. If I never draw my gun I will be as happy a hound in the sun. I know there are those that say a j frame is a belly gun for contact distances I call BS I say its good for headshots out to 25 if you dont use excuses.

I know its cool to talk about the latest and greatest. I know its cool to have the latest and greatest. Im just wondering how many of you carry a J frame? How many of you did carry a J frame until something happened to change your mind.

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ColtPythonElite
February 11, 2014, 07:18 PM
Been carrying a snub off-duty for over 20 years with confidence.

pokersamurai
February 11, 2014, 07:18 PM
I say carry the biggest gun you that you are willing to carry, and carry that gun all the time. If that's a Glock 19, good for you. If you want to carry a j-frame (or if that's all you're willing to carry), than carry that j-frame and become proficient with it.

All I can get away with carrying at work is a j-frame (I work in an anti-gun environment). However, I feel perfectly comfortable with it because I practice with it a lot.

rswartsell
February 11, 2014, 07:19 PM
Well not a J frame, but I consider myself in the ballpark with my late 4th issue Detective Special. I just like it better (trigger, hand fit, etc.). I like the sixth round, but it isn't a deal breaker.

I feel fully armed and comfortable with a snub nose .38. If I lived in Mogadishu? That would be an entirely different kettle of fish.

bluetopper
February 11, 2014, 07:20 PM
A J frame model 36, old flat latch model made in about 1961 is my primary carry gun. It works like a fine swiss watch and deadly accurate with my cast lead reloads. I can't see me needing anything else.

heycods
February 11, 2014, 07:23 PM
J frame rides with me. It is WAY better than a rock.

Tancred
February 11, 2014, 07:25 PM
I've owned several 9mms that were my carry guns. But ultimately, I gave them up for the extra reliability of a j-frame. I also like the craftsmanship of revolvers.

mboe794
February 11, 2014, 07:32 PM
Model 637 for me. I may end up owning a little .32 auto before too long here. I will try it out to see how it carries, but I think the chances of it replacing the J frame as my primary are remote.

Byrd666
February 11, 2014, 07:44 PM
I would feel fairly comfortable carrying a J-frame. If that were all I had. However, having only the use of one hand, that would only complicate matters further for me if I had to do a stressful re-load. A stressful reload for me with a semi auto is bad enough, but, I've got quite a few more rounds to go through before that problem arises

Skribs
February 11, 2014, 07:52 PM
A thread a while ago (I'll find it when I get home and link here) discussed the amount of ammo you'll want on hand based on hit rate, hits per stop, and number of attackers. The number of rounds you'll want on tap goes up real quick even assuming 30% hit and 2-shot stops on 1 or 2 attackers. I would say if you like your j-frame, carry it. h
However, the old days of "revolver vs auto" were comparing 6x.357 vs 7x.45. Today you're usually looking at 5x.38 vs 10x.45 or 15x9mm. If you want to go small, .380 is roughly comparable to .38 snubbies in smaller autos with faster reloads.

I understand there are pros to revolvers, but I think for most people the auto offers a lot of benefits. In the pocket, a .380 fits better for slightly better capacity. On the hip, a compact is the same size for much better capacity.

If all you plan on carrying is a J-frame, then carry it. It's better than going unarmed, and if you need a gun chances are it would do the job just as well. But I'm a min/maxer, and I dont see a revolver as being as capable as an auto, all else being equal.

MedWheeler
February 11, 2014, 07:55 PM
I was just thinking this question had never been discussed..

Where did that idea come from?

Any gun is enough.. until it isn't. The point is that you'll never know until the encounter is over.
If you pull a Bond Arms derringer on two bad guys and they both flee, you had "enough gun." But, if you pull a Glock 19 and they keep coming before you can hit them enough to disable them, it wasn't "enough gun."

An overwhelming majority of self-defense firearms-uses follow the first scenario. I cannot remember reading of any cases of a law-abiding citizen just going about his low-risk day and suddenly needing more gun than he had (unless he had none.) Well, I do recall one, in December of 1853 (the "Jonathan Davis Incident".)

But, there are potentially hundreds of thousands of defensive-displays of guns that involve no shots being fired each year.

My guess is that, at the end of your life (assuming a low-risk lifestyle), you're gonna find out that a J-frame was more than enough.

Drail
February 11, 2014, 08:15 PM
Gun - not really important. Shot placement - really really important. If you can't place the shot where it needs to go then the type of gun doesn't matter at all.

rcmodel
February 11, 2014, 09:28 PM
Good enough for me.

A Model 36 Chief, or Model 49 Bodyguard since 1960 something when I first had enough money to buy the first one.

Way too late in life to change my mind now.
A 20 oz steel J-Frame is about my upper limit weight-wise for that type of gun.
Anything heavier has to go on a stiff gun belt in a good holster for god and everybody to see it.

If I knew I was going to a gun fight though, I would take a rifle or shotgun instead of a J-Frame 38 Spl.

rc

skoro
February 11, 2014, 10:15 PM
Yep.

Like you, I live a low risk lifestyle. I have a S&W 642 in my carry rotation and feel well armed with it.

browningguy
February 11, 2014, 10:18 PM
I have a 642, but to be honest if I feel comfortable carrying it (mostly out in the suburbs) then I feel just as comfortable carrying the KT P-32, or one of my .380's. Honestly I shoot all the semi auto's better than the S&W so it rarely leaves the house anymore.

But for those that shoot them well they should be just as good as one of the mini semi's, although harder to conceal.

JERRY
February 11, 2014, 10:44 PM
its better than nothing but I'm not delusional to its abilities.

westy39
February 11, 2014, 10:49 PM
I can only speak for myself and all the street cops I worked with for about 22 years, hel yes I carried off duty in the winter I carried my duty weapon. In the summer I carried my J frame. I tend to carry what ever I can best conceal depending on the weather, my attire and the occasion. The J frame is an easy pocket carry for me and most of the time I almost forget I carry it. It fits great in my Sunday go to meeting clothes as well as my day to day cargo pants or levis. Life is short so enjoy and use what works for you, however if you do carry a J frame please go and shoot it (a lot) to become proficient, as being unprepared is as bad as not being prepared at all.

exdetsgt
February 11, 2014, 11:04 PM
A long time ago when I was an LEO uniform my off-duty carry was a Model 36. Then when I made detective it became my on-duty carry, which meant I had to qualify at 25 yards every three months. This was not nearly as easy as with a Model 10 with a 6" barrel. However, about a week before each qualification I would go to the range and shoot at 25 yard targets until I got pretty good with a J-frame.

I guess the moral of this little story is that if you really like the J-frame make sure you can shoot it well; if not, just get a Glock 26 (10+1).

PabloJ
February 11, 2014, 11:27 PM
I now own fine R9 pistol yet still hang on to the S&W 940, therefore, it must be good for something. Bought several boxes of Emcon 147gr loads just for that weapon so it probably isn't going to end up someplace else any time soon.
If more is needed I would extract myself from that environment if I were you.

WestKentucky
February 11, 2014, 11:55 PM
Carrying a gun should be comforting not comfortable. Is a j frame enough? Can you dispatch a threat in 5 shots? Can you hit well enough to make a shot count is more important than weapon choice. Carry what you can hit with whether that's a desert eagle or a naa mini 22. Forget capacity unless your concerned that a greyhound of bad guys are coming your way (if so you might want to change lifestyle) forget power (500sw, 480, 460doesnt matter if you wiff it) and be happy with whatever is in your concealed spot knowing you can hit what needs hit.

Jaymo
February 12, 2014, 12:06 AM
Chief's Special loaded with Buffalo Bore 158 grain +P LSWCHP.
Fits in my pocket.
Very comforting.
Not as comfortable as the Kel Tec .380 I used to carry, but much more comforting.
It NEVER jams.

Shoots better, too.

ArchAngelCD
February 12, 2014, 12:08 AM
I'm guessing there are A LOT of people who feel a J frame is "enough" since the J frame is S&W's best seller!

CoalTrain49
February 12, 2014, 12:11 AM
I carried a J for awhile. Lost confidence when I started shooting it past 7 yards. I moved to a M19 snub. I know everyone says 7 yards is SD range but I'm not buying into it. If I see it coming I'm not waiting for anyone to get close enough so we can talk about it. My J is in my night stand drawer now.

Water-Man
February 12, 2014, 12:14 AM
I've been carrying one for forty six years, had to draw and shoot twice back in the sixties with it, and I'm still walking and talking.

It's been good enough for me.

Skribs
February 12, 2014, 12:38 AM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=665883

This is the thread I referenced earlier: thoughts on multiple assailants, hit rate, and capacity. The thread undertakes some basic assumptions that are typical in this discussion: 30% accuracy, 2 shots to stop the target. It then calculates the likelihood of getting the number of shots required within a certain capacity:

For a single assailant and a 30% hit rate probability.
# of Shots : Probability of achieving 2 or more hits.
5 : 47.2%
6 : 58%
7 : 67.1%
8 : 74.5%
9 : 80.4%
10: 85.1%
11: 88.7%
12: 91.5%

For two assailants and a 30% hit rate probability.
# of Shots : Probability of 4 or more hits (i.e. 2 on each assailant).
5 : 3.1%
6 : 7.1%
7 : 12.6%
8 : 19.4%
9 : 27%
10: 35%
11: 43%
12: 50.8%

As has been said above, if you draw your gun and they flee/cower, then the J-frame is enough. If you draw your gun and they keep coming, and you fire once and they flee/cower (whether from the pain of being hit, or even if you miss and it just scares them that you're willing to pull the trigger), then the J-frame is enough. If you get attacked by 5 determined guys and stop one in his tracks with each pull of the trigger, then the J-frame was enough.

If you need 6 bullets, then that J-frame wasn't enough. But, like anything, it will always eventually be "not enough". The question is where you draw the line between "prepared enough" and "paranoid." For some, carrying a weapon - let alone an evil gun (sarcasm) - is paranoid. For others, if you don't have a couple of BUGs, you're naive and are going to die when you have a swarm of mall ninjas attack.

Twiki357
February 12, 2014, 01:45 AM
To me, a “J” is enough. I carry three different Airweights depending the weather. A 637-2 OWB under a winter jacket; an “all black” 37-2 pocket carry in the summer; and a nickel plated Pre37 when I feel frisky.

Hometeached1
February 12, 2014, 08:34 AM
The j-frame should be good enough, but if you can carry a G19 why not? I carry a 642 as well as a G19 or G30 with two spare mags and a reload for the Smith, so I might be paranoid:what:, but I rather have more than what I need not "just enough". That is what is nice about being able to pick your own handgun, go with what works best for you.

j1
February 12, 2014, 08:38 AM
The j frame is good for all but a home invasion scenario.

camsdaddy
February 12, 2014, 08:40 AM
I think I would rather enjoy my life I have rather than sacrifice for a fight I hope to never encounter.

Old Fuff
February 12, 2014, 12:27 PM
Ultimately “enough” is determined by the courage and mindset of the user, combined with his/her skill that reflects the amount of training and practice they have gone through.

A snub-nosed revolver has obvious limits, but they are relatively easy to carry and conceal. A long history of use has shown that they are more then enough to carry the day in most incidences if the user is able to take full advantage of what they offer.

PRM
February 12, 2014, 12:41 PM
Nope I'd say it isn't!!! I carry one daily just for the bling. It's only good for hoards of foraging mice. I own three just because I like that number. Smith & Wesson has offered them for 64 years only because they needed it to round out their catalog and keep their workers productively employed. Taurus and Rossi have cloned the J Frame only because its chic.

Seriously, is this question being asked again...LOL. I've Been carrying J Frames as both primary and back-up guns in the course of my employment since the 70s. Works for me, maybe not for everyone.

Hanshi
February 12, 2014, 02:02 PM
I've carried my j-frame many times though I prefer my PPK. The little Smith feels good in the hand and is righteously accurate. "Good enough" is whatever one feels confidence in carrying.

ArchAngelCD
February 12, 2014, 02:14 PM
I carried a J for awhile. Lost confidence when I started shooting it past 7 yards. I moved to a M19 snub. I know everyone says 7 yards is SD range but I'm not buying into it. If I see it coming I'm not waiting for anyone to get close enough so we can talk about it. My J is in my night stand drawer now.
A J frame revolver is quite capable of good accuracy out past 7 yards, I shoot them out to 25 yards and sometimes even 50 yards. It only requires more practice. I know I will probably never need to shoot a J frame out to 25 yards in a SD situation but shooting well that far out makes the shorter shots much easier to make!

fastbolt
February 12, 2014, 02:26 PM
Ultimately “enough” is determined by the courage and mindset of the user, combined with his/her skill that reflects the amount of training and practice they have gone through.

A snub-nosed revolver has obvious limits, but they are relatively easy to carry and conceal. A long history of use has shown that they are more then enough to carry the day in most incidences if the user is able to take full advantage of what they offer.

Nicely stated.

I tend to agree with Old Fuff and some others when it comes to carrying a 5-shot snub.

Sure, a short-barreled 5-shot revolver presents its own inherent considerations, but it's still more the mindset, skillset & experience of the user that determines whether it's going to be useful ... and able to be effectively used ... by the person who decides to carry one.

According to a couple different 1-day LE training lectures I attended in the last couple of years, the venerable J-frame snub has saved the lives of cops, on & off-duty, and continues to do so.

Nowadays we have an amazing variety of them from which to choose, too. For those folks who have already developed the skills & experience, or who are willing to invest the time & effort to do so ... and maintain that skillset ... the little 5-shot snubs can be very handy and useful.

Whether or not they're practical for any particular person and their anticipated needs? Depends. ;)

Hondo 60
February 12, 2014, 02:57 PM
Whether a J-frame is enough depends on your proficiency with a firearm.

If you can hit what you're aiming at, then yes.
If you're not such a good shot, then probably no.

No, it not a definitive answer, but I think it's the best answer.

jimbo555
February 12, 2014, 03:30 PM
If you can't hit what your aiming at 15 shots ain't going to help you!

JWH321
February 12, 2014, 04:28 PM
I have had a 637-2 for quite a few years now and a "Chief's Special" before that. I have never had either weapon misfire - ever. I like my little P938, but it has to go a ways to be better overall than the 637.

Monster Zero
February 12, 2014, 06:52 PM
"I call BS I say its good for headshots out to 25 if you dont use excuses. "

BZZZT. Not with someone's life at stake, it isn't. If a BG is 25 yards away from me I'm gonna do the smart thing and run away. 25 yards? Typical BG can't hit me with a handgun because I'm already 50 yards away... Now if he has a shotgun or rifle, why the heck am I going to go popping away at him with any handgun unless I know that I'm about to die anyway?

Best case I'm outta there. Second-best case I'm taking cover or getting in position to ambush him up close, handgun range where I can hit him under stress. I mean 10 yards or less.

Otherwise I'm outta there.

Otherwise as you were saying... yeah, a j-frame oughta be enough unless you have a bulldog you can carry instead.

JMO. YMMV.

Blueduck
February 12, 2014, 08:07 PM
Their are a lot of videos posted online of armed confrontations. Would suggest looking at some if you have not done so to familiarize yourself with how they look as compared to other ideas people have gotten from movies and even most training.

Then make your decision from there.

grimjaw
February 12, 2014, 08:44 PM
If you can carry a G19 concealed with the majority of your wardrobe and get away with it, I'd say stick with it. I can't, and a J-frame (or the equivalent in size) works where the G19 doesn't.

Hometeached1
February 12, 2014, 08:48 PM
Their are a lot of videos posted online of armed confrontations. Would suggest looking at some if you have not done so to familiarize yourself with how they look as compared to other ideas people have gotten from movies and even most training.

Then make your decision from there.
+1 It's not like in the movies at all.

tomrkba
February 12, 2014, 08:53 PM
While it satisfies the first rule of gun fighting, it is not enough. The short barrel makes it difficult to shoot. Actually, small snubbies just stink to shoot overall. I much prefer a revolver with a four inch barrel and six to eight MAGNUM cartridges in the cylinder. If you're going to limit yourself to a revolver, don't choose the worst one with a weak 35 caliber cartridge.

Haywood
February 12, 2014, 09:03 PM
I always carry Two 357 Snubs but, Two J-Frames would work.

AFDavis11
February 12, 2014, 09:12 PM
Enough for what? Until you can finish the sentence you'll never know, and then you still won't know. I think everyone is satisfied with the gun they carry, and no one is ever satisfied with the gun they fight with.

PRM
February 12, 2014, 09:16 PM
The short barrel makes it difficult to shoot. Actually, small snubbies just stink to shoot overall.

That will vary from one shooter to the next. And depends on the skill level of the individual.

I much prefer a revolver with a four inch barrel and six to eight MAGNUM cartridges in the cylinder

Again, preference and intended use. There are times when I do like a larger/longer barreled revolver. I don't care for the magnums, and that is personal preference. If I'm going bigger, I like the .45LC or .44 Special. Problem being a 5.5 SAA is harder to carry and conceal compared to a J Frame. The OP's question, "is a J frame enough?" History and the volume of posts says it is. My favorite J frame is a Model 36-1 (3 inch heavy barrel round butt).

km101
February 12, 2014, 09:29 PM
It's been enough for me for almost 40 years! I carried a model 36 until I got a model 60 and that was my EDC for years. Now I alternate between my model 60 and my pocketsize 9mm.

Whether it is enough for you depends on your ability, training and mindset. I realize that a snubbie is not for everyone but I like them and carry them. YMMV

Gun Master
February 12, 2014, 09:45 PM
Sure, it is to me, for most of the time. My Model 38 is my most often carry, but I plan to see how the CZ82 in a shoulder rig works out.

When I'm feeling kinda lazy, confident, or just rather have something over nothing, I'll take my Kel-Tec P32.:what:

strambo
February 13, 2014, 01:25 AM
I'm not going to talk about guns or capacities as that has been hashed out already ad naseum. However, the OP and many posters are conflating two very separate things when they think along the lines of that since they live in a safe area and practice good avoidance skills then (fill in the blank lesser firearm) is enough.

The odds of being in a violent situation are completely divorced from the severity of a violent situation. Should you find yourself in a violent confrontation, that the odds of it happening were 1/1 million, now have no bearing whatsoever on the best tool with which to handle it.

If you knew you were going to be in a gunfight at some point in your life (100% chance, no way to avoid it), but couldn't predict the day, what gun would you carry?

PRM
February 13, 2014, 06:58 AM
If you knew you were going to be in a gunfight at some point in your life (100% chance, no way to avoid it), but couldn't predict the day, what gun would you carry?
It would most definitely be my rifle - but since carrying it concealed is a bit out of the question. It would still be one of my J frames.

Kleanbore
February 13, 2014, 08:28 AM
An Airweight Centennial was my first concealed carry piece. It was convenient; many others seemed to be carrying them; and after all, I did not really expect trouble.

Two things caused me to retire it from primary carry a few years ago:

Trigger pull--others may be able to do well with it, but I cannot.
Capacity--In Post #25, Skribs outlines the issue quite well; I had never realized just how much better 6 shots might be than 5, or 7 or 8 than 5.


It took a few things to make me realize that higher capacity and a better trigger were a good idea:

I took a high performance defensive pistol course focussed on getting a couple of hits very quiclkly on two or more rapidly moving asssailants, and found a semi-automatic much, much better.
A member here pointed out that my risk assessment, which had been based on the judgment that I was unlikely to need to draw in the first place, was heavily flawed. The question should have been, what would I likely need in the event of trouble. In Post #48, strambo expresses that very clearly indeed:
The odds of being in a violent situation are completely divorced from the severity of a violent situation. Should you find yourself in a violent confrontation, that the odds of it happening were 1/1 million, now have no bearing whatsoever on the best tool with which to handle it.
A little fact- checking indicated that if I were attacked, the likelihood that I would face more than one violent criminal actor would be far from remote.
JohnKSa ran the numbers cited by Skribs; that analyis was a real eyeopener.


Of course, a J-Frame is a lot better than nothing. A Colt Cobra with a hammer shroud would be that much better.

I had never thought much about carrying a back-up gun, but it occurs to me that when a driver is belted into an automobile, accessing a a firearm from a right-hand IWB holster might not be sufficiently timely. A revolver in a pocket holster in the left hand pocket of a bomber jacket could be just the solution.

Gun Master
February 13, 2014, 08:31 AM
It would most definitely be my rifle - but since carrying it concealed is a bit out of the question. It would still be one of my J frames.
I second the motion ! Make mine a S&W Model 38 Airweight Bodyguard.:cool:

shooting time
February 13, 2014, 08:46 AM
I carried a J frame(model 60) for over 30 yrs but lately been carrying a kel-tec or ruger LC9 I like the auto's because they conceal better in the summer but the J frame works great in the winter in a jacket pocket if needed you can shoot from inside your jacket pocket without it jamming.

Kleanbore
February 13, 2014, 08:46 AM
Posted by Gun Master: I second the motion [ It would still be one of my J frames.] !I can certainly see opting to stake everything on having two of them, but why one?

With what proportion of your very rapidly fired shots at a charging target do you expect to hit in a quickly unfolding, stressful situation? How many hits do you expect to need to put into each target to stop him before he has run past you? For how many perps do you want to be prepared? Do you want to be left standing with an empty gun? Do you like the idea of a reserve?

Schwing
February 13, 2014, 09:16 AM
I am not an LEO but work for a county LE agency. I personally don't know any officers who don't carry off duty. Just a few miles north of us, it was an Ogden City off-duty officer carrying that stopped the Trolley Square mall massacre a few years back.

When I am in business casual attire, I almost always carry a J frame or my LCR. I am not a tremendous shot but, with it, even I can hit a man sized silhouette on center mass at 100 yards with a ton of effort. At 50 yards it takes a lot of effort and at 25 yards it takes a little effort. At 12-15 yards it is very nearly an autonomic response. At 5 or less feet (which is where most SD situations occur), it is as challenging as pulling the trigger whilst making sure it is pointing in the right direction. In this situation, my greatest concerns are probably going to be more about my mental state, my judgement as to whether it really is a SD situation and how fast I can get the gun in my hands.
I know all of us ponder and try to prepare mentally for these situations but I don't believe you really know how you will react unless the situation actually occurs.

Even so, I shoot it at least 2-3 sessions per month to make sure I can hit with it. When I first bought the thing, I couldn't hit the side of a barn with it unless I was aiming at the target next to it.

snooperman
February 13, 2014, 01:11 PM
For up-close encounters the snub nose 38 special is an excellent choice providing you are proficient with it. It's proven reliability is second to none for conceal carry.

Kleanbore
February 13, 2014, 01:40 PM
Posted by Schwing: I am not a tremendous shot but, with it, even I can hit a man sized silhouette on center mass at 100 yards with a ton of effort. At 50 yards it takes a lot of effort and at 25 yards it takes a little effort. At 12-15 yards it is very nearly an autonomic response. At 5 or less feet (which is where most SD situations occur), it is as challenging as pulling the trigger whilst making sure it is pointing in the right direction. So--how well do you do when the target is moving in changing directions at a speed of 5 to 7 yards per second?

How quickly can you do that...

...while you are attempting to get behind something or out of his way?

If you are shooting him for the first time at 5 feet, how do you expect to stop him before he does you in...

..and how many shots do you think you will have to put into him?

In this situation, my greatest concerns are probably going to be more about my mental state, my judgement as to whether it really is a SD situation and how fast I can get the gun in my hands.Good thinking.

I know all of us ponder and try to prepare mentally for these situations but I don't believe you really know how you will react unless the situation actually occurs.I agree.

Some good FoF training should give you an idea, though.

mavracer
February 13, 2014, 03:00 PM
It's been more than enough up til now, odds are it'll continue that way unless it isn't.

Gun Master
February 13, 2014, 03:29 PM
I can certainly see opting to stake everything on having two of them, but why one?

With what proportion of your very rapidly fired shots at a charging target do you expect to hit in a quickly unfolding, stressful situation? How many hits do you expect to need to put into each target to stop him before he has run past you? For how many perps do you want to be prepared? Do you want to be left standing with an empty gun? Do you like the idea of a reserve?
You certainly ask a lot of questions in rapid succession.

I think the title and # 1 posting of the thread should be re-read. "Is (a) J frame enough?" for starters.

In post #51, I was seconding posting # 49 ....."what gun"...,which was a re-quote of post # 48 ...."100% chance....what gun"... You will notice gun is singular in both. Also in the thread title.

I have no objections to back-up carry, which I have done myself on occasion. In # 47, I also express some of my carry options.

To be clear, "what gun" would be J frame, and "yes" it is enough for me.:D

mugsie
February 13, 2014, 03:41 PM
Depends on where I'm going, time of year, and what I'm wearing. I'm 5'11", 230 lbs, and it varies between a Sig P250, a S&W 642 or a Ruger LCP. It all depends.

.... And I feel safe and comfortable with all of them because if I am ever called upon to pull one of them, and I hope that never happens, I know I will do my part and the round will do it's job.

Doug S
February 13, 2014, 08:18 PM
Lifestyle will dictate much of this. If you are a person who has the freedom to dress however you want, and only go in and out of the places of your choosing, on your decided upon schedule, well then you can carry pretty much anything that you want. If on the other hand, you are an individual whose job, and/or other lifestyle factors dictate that you must wear certain types of clothing, and/or frequent places that are "unfriendly" toward firearms (or places where firearms are illegal), then you will have to make decisions accordingly. For many a small J-Frame in their pocket will have to suffice, regardless of what might be "ideal", and I for one am happy to have one.

Gun Master
February 13, 2014, 08:31 PM
Lifestyle will dictate much of this. If you are a person who has the freedom to dress however you want, and only go in and out of the places of your choosing, on your decided upon schedule, well then you can carry pretty much anything that you want. If on the other hand, you are an individual whose job, and/or other lifestyle factors dictate that you must wear certain types of clothing, and/or frequent places that are "unfriendly" toward firearms (or places where firearms are illegal), then you will have to make decisions accordingly. For many a small J-Frame in their pocket will have to suffice, regardless of what might be "ideal", and I for one am happy to have one.
I'm with you ! Nobody "has to" or "is made to" carry a J frame. Those who do, know and reap the benefits. And I ,for one, am glad to tote one (or more).:)

Barkoff
February 13, 2014, 10:28 PM
.38+p is about perfect for self defense, by "not enough", were you asking about capacity?

kilibreaux
February 14, 2014, 05:21 AM
The thing about small, LIGHT guns is they get dropped into a pocket when the bigger, heavier stuff gets left at home.
I have one of everything...but the gun I carry most is my Beretta Tomcat .32ACP, and second to that is my Kahr P380. I've got an S&W 642 PRO coming and it will almost certainly become part of my everyday carry.
I own bigger guns...which I carry in my car as a "backup" so to speak.
IF I want to get "strapped" I carry my S&W M500 with four spare speed loaders. I have supreme confidence in both my ability to shoot the .500 Magnum VERY WELL, and the ability of a bullet delivering the equivalent of a .308 rifle to provide an immediate cessation of hostilities.

2ndamd
February 14, 2014, 08:51 AM
Gun writer Walt Rauch said it best
"We all preach .45
Shoot 9mm
and carry a .38"
(We refers to gun writers and instructors)

Ed Lovette has a book called the
"The Snubby Revolver"

In the real world situation, you will not be fighting bank robbers with automatic weapons. And if you are in that scenario a 15 shot 9mm vs a 5 shot .38 is not going to make or break you. :-)

Real world looks like 1-2 assailants
You are the law abiding citizen.........so guess what? You have already been hit, shot or stabbed in all likelihood. Because you are the law abiding citizen, in a lethal force fight, you are ALREADY Behind. Some threat has come at you and you need to react quickly. Situational awareness and a .38 are all you need.

One nice thing about a snub nose .38 is that they will shoot through a pocket. So, you can keep your hand on the gun and gun can stay concealed and pointing at any person trying to talk to you or threaten you. If they attack? Just pull the trigger. Saving time of a draw.

I have tried this with an old jacket that did not fit too well any longer. Both pockets were tried and it really does a number on the jacket where the muzzle and where the cylinder gap are located. One forum member was mad that I ruined a jacket. In a deadly force situation you are worried about if the jacket was ruined? Okay? Not me. I'll take my life over the jacket. (if you try this at home be sure to push the jacket straight out, away from your body, as the flame cutting will burn your side)

Just some thoughts

blue32
February 14, 2014, 10:03 AM
delete

Fiv3r
February 14, 2014, 10:44 AM
I would say that in skilled hands, 99.8% of the time a 5 shot .38 special J frame will do the trick if you play statistics.

I carry several guns depending on the time of year and what I am wearing. Today, it's polymer 9mm with a 17 round magazine under an over-shirt. When it warms up, I might only be able to tuck an LCP in my back pocket. Not ideal, but 7 rounds of .380 is better than nothing.

That said, if you absolutely forced me to pick my favorite carry piece and made me forsake all others, it would be my 2.25" SP101 in .357. Now, I know it's bigger than a J-frame, but I don't shoot a J as well as the heavier SP. I generally prefer to wear it on an OWB holster in the winter months when I can throw a sweat shirt over it, but in the fall and spring it slips nicely into the slash pockets on the old light weight barn coat I wear out and about when I go for a walk with my family.

I'd pick it for a few reasons. I can actually hit what I'm aiming out out to 10 yards pretty easily, it packs a good punch, it's there in my pocket ready to go with my hand on the butt most of the time, it doesn't print like a semi, and if I find myself deep in the blood and guts with an empty gun and an assailant within bad breath range it makes a hellova club:evil:

I pack a lot of guns I feel at "better" than the snubbie most of the time. Weight, capacity, etc. But if I'm in a hurry and can't be bothered to thread on a holster or find an outfit that hides the contour of my 9mm or 1911, I feel totally fine with nothing more than that 5 shot snub nose resting quietly in my jacket pocket.

Kleanbore
February 14, 2014, 11:02 AM
Posted by 2ndamd: Ed Lovette has a book called the "The Snubby Revolver"It's a good one. A must for the bookshelf.

Much of what is in the book applies equally to a reliable semi-auto with a decent grip, good sights, and higher capacity, but Lovette does discusses the advantages of the snobby revolver--reliability, small size, and so on.

He does not contend that a snubbly revolver is the ideal defensive weapon; rather, he speaks about how valuable it can be to have one when you have nothing else.

Today, when we say "snubby revolver", many people automatically think "J-Frame". But Lovette laments the demise of the Colt Detective Special and its light alloy variants. Lovette speaks highly of the trigger, the grip, and the sixth shot. He likens the five shot snubby to the modern equivalent of a derringer--a hide-away gun for the last resort.

One nice thing about a snub nose .38 is that they will shoot through a pocket. So, you can keep your hand on the gun and gun can stay concealed and pointing at any person trying to talk to you or threaten you. If they attack? Just pull the trigger. Saving time of a draw.Very true indeed.

In the real world situation, you will not be fighting bank robbers with automatic weapons. ...Real world looks like 1-2 assailants...

There could be one assailant. Two are more are equally likely.

There has been enough discussion here about whether one should bet everything on five shots when facing two attackers to make more repetition valuable. What would be valuable is some careful assessment and critical thinking, and perhaps some training to illustrate the reality,

Some threat has come at you and you need to react quickly. Situational awareness and a .38 are all you need. Along with the skills and enough ammo....

Kleanbore
February 14, 2014, 11:10 AM
Posted by Fiv3r: I would say that in skilled hands, 99.8% of the time a 5 shot .38 special J frame will do the trick if you play statistics. In Post #25, Skibs points out that, with a 30% hit probability and the need to score four hit sin total on however many assailants, five shots will not do the trick 96.9% of the time.

But if you want to challenge that and "play statistics", vary the hit rate and the number of hits required and do the math yourself.

I've done enough of that t cause me to switch to a higher capacity carry piece.

A viable option would be a "New York Reload."

PRM
February 14, 2014, 12:15 PM
"We all preach .45, Shoot 9mm, and carry a .38"
(We refers to gun writers and instructors)

Now that's funny, and probably rings with a great degree of truth.

One nice thing about a snub nose .38 is that they will shoot through a pocket. So, you can keep your hand on the gun and gun can stay concealed and pointing at any person trying to talk to you or threaten you. If they attack? Just pull the trigger. Saving time of a draw.

Hum... bet that plays heck with accuracy, would also make range practice a little pricy. Not too mention all those holey garments are a dead give away.:what: Also, not a reliable tactic if your snubby has an exposed hammer. The hammer can bind-up in the material depending on the the type of clothing/jacket. Shrouded and internal hammered guns will function fine.

camsdaddy
February 14, 2014, 12:25 PM
If I'm not mistaken up until at least a few years ago Mr.Lovette was carrying a SP101. I want to say he was giving an LCR a run but unsure as of late.

jimbo555
February 14, 2014, 01:09 PM
" Five shots will not do the trick". Any links to an average citizen confronted by multiple attackers and 5 shots wasn't enough?

GBExpat
February 14, 2014, 01:29 PM
Is a J frame enough?
IMO, properly applied, yes.

I think that a J frame is a step above Better Than No Gun ... so call that Much Better Than No Gun ;) ... along with other .32s and/or .380s like the Kel-Tec P3AT and PPK.

Unlike many, I do not always step out of the house prepared for extended gun battles. I am usually comfortable for everyday travel toting a pistol in this category ... at other select times, not.

Better to carry a smaller gun than talk yourself out of carrying a larger/heavier one, y'know?

Comrade Mike
February 14, 2014, 01:31 PM
I practice with my 36 out to 25 yards and can score center mass hits all day. For something quick to throw in my pocket for a short trip I don't mind the 36. But I'd rather have something with longer sight radius and a little more capacity.

Kleanbore
February 14, 2014, 02:04 PM
Posted by GBExpat: I think that a J frame is a step above Better Than No Gun ... so call that Much Better Than No Gun Certainly, and that is Mr. Lovette's main point. So is a derringer.

Unlike many, I do not always step out of the house prepared for extended gun battles. Few people do. Your "gun battle" against a couple of really bad people armed with bludgeons, knives, and or handguns will be over in a couple of seconds. The only questions are (1) will you prevail, and (2) would you like some kind of reserve.

I am usually comfortable for everyday travel toting a pistol in this category ... at other select times, not.Fine, but realistically, how "comfortable" one may feel is not likely to influence the outcome at all, should deadly force be needed.

I once thought I was well armed when I carried a Centennial. But I had not objectively analyzed the probabilities.

Some of us remember when Colt emphasized "that all important sixth shot" when advertising their snubby revolvers. That had a major effect on sales.

Better to carry a smaller gun than talk yourself out of carrying a larger/heavier one, y'know?Yes indeed. But my Ruger SR9c is only slightly larger than my Centennial. And it is much smaller than two Centennials, though somewhat less reliable.

One of the main point that Tom Givens makes in Lessons from the Street is "carry a 'real gun' ".

larbear
February 14, 2014, 02:07 PM
J frame is an ok carry. Shot placement and accuracy are paramount. If either is in question carry a higher capacity auto.

Kleanbore
February 14, 2014, 02:18 PM
Posted by larbear: Shot placement and accuracy are paramount. If either is in question carry a higher capacity auto.Anyone who has ever availed himself or herself of any kind of realistic training that simulates a violent attack with any reasonable degree of fidelity knows that both shot placement and accuracy are always in question.

Also always in question is how the attacker will react when hit.

...along with how his accomplice(s) will react to the sound of shots fired.

Fiv3r
February 14, 2014, 02:21 PM
In Post #25, Skibs points out that, with a 30% hit probability and the need to score four hit sin total on however many assailants, five shots will not do the trick 96.9% of the time.

But if you want to challenge that and "play statistics", vary the hit rate and the number of hits required and do the math yourself.

I've done enough of that t cause me to switch to a higher capacity carry piece.

A viable option would be a "New York Reload."
I'm talking about the statistics that on any given day, I am more likely to walk out in front of a bus or choke on a chicken bone than I am to be assaulted and be required to pull my firearm, let alone fire it. I'm not saying that bad things don't happen and that people shouldn't be armed and prepared.

I just don't get into debates on needed shots. They are too clinically academic and hypothetical. They don't factor in a lot of extraneous variables. I think they are interesting tools and valuable in choosing what one feels they need to carry, but in the grand scheme of things, I feel well enough armed with 5 rounds in a stumpy .357 with 5 more in my pocket. What if I need a sixth shot? What if I needed an 18th shot? What if potential attackers don't really find my mostly athletic nearly 200lb frame a soft enough target to mess with anyway? What if they are on PCP? What about if I pull my 5 shot gun and they wet their pants? What if I pull my 17 round gun and I wet MY pants (I've never been in a firefight. who knows?)? What if 6 guys corner me and I blow the brains out of the first one with my snub nose? Do they stick around to do the math or are they birds on a wire?

While I know that none of us have a crystal ball, I think that using even a little bit of logical probability of the potential real threats in the world, being armed with SOMETHING that I know how to use well, bringing the right gun for the job (LCP walking the dog. 9mm high capacity with a couple mags when I go downtown after dark), and keeping my head on a swivel will probably, in the mathematical sense, going to keep me out of most trouble.

I don't really feel warm and fuzzy with 7 shots of .380 as I do with 5 of .357. I PREFER a 17 round 9mm, but there are just some days when I tempt fate and leave the house with less firepower.

Kleanbore
February 14, 2014, 02:39 PM
Posted by Fiv3r: I'm talking about the statistics that on any given day, I am more likely to walk out in front of a bus or choke on a chicken bone than I am to be assaulted and be required to pull my firearm, let alone fire it.Irrelevant.

While I know that none of us have a crystal ball, I think that using even a little bit of logical probability of the potential real threats in the world, being armed with SOMETHING that I know how to use well, bringing the right gun for the job (LCP walking the dog. 9mm high capacity with a couple mags when I go downtown after dark), and keeping my head on a swivel will probably, in the mathematical sense, going to keep me out of most trouble.I used to look at it the same way; I pocketed a J-Frame when I went to the local grocery store during the daytime, and I strapped on a Smith and Wesson M&P 9c when I ventures somewhere I thought less safe.

But my reasoning was flawed, and someone pointed that out in a discussion here on this very subject. The real issue is conditional probability.

As strambo point out in Post #48,

The odds of being in a violent situation are completely divorced from the severity of a violent situation. Should you find yourself in a violent confrontation, that the odds of it happening were 1/1 million, now have no bearing whatsoever on the best tool with which to handle it.

That is a very basic tenet of risk management.

I have to admit that I was more than a little embarrassed. I had a lot of experience in that field in a prior life. And I used to teach the subject.

Old Fuff
February 14, 2014, 03:35 PM
They’re all kinds of gunfights and criminal attacks involving guns. Clearly there is no such thing as a typical one.

But that said, they’re the Hollywood kind (movie and TV), combat game kinds, and last-but-not-least, the real kind.

The link below is an example of the real kind. It actually happened, when a 16 year-old and two buddies tried to pull a stick-up at a filling station. Watch it and learn, but also remember its only one example.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f6e_1392219642

My point? Learn from what actually happens, and you shouldn’t have much trouble finding examples in this day of security video cameras placed almost everywhere.

Gun Master
February 14, 2014, 03:42 PM
The thing about small, LIGHT guns is they get dropped into a pocket when the bigger, heavier stuff gets left at home.
I have one of everything...but the gun I carry most is my Beretta Tomcat .32ACP, and second to that is my Kahr P380. I've got an S&W 642 PRO coming and it will almost certainly become part of my everyday carry.
I own bigger guns...which I carry in my car as a "backup" so to speak.
IF I want to get "strapped" I carry my S&W M500 with four spare speed loaders. I have supreme confidence in both my ability to shoot the .500 Magnum VERY WELL, and the ability of a bullet delivering the equivalent of a .308 rifle to provide an immediate cessation of hostilities.
I like the "pop up" barrel, and wish they made it in a .380. I own a Taurus P22, which has this same curious feature. Some people think .380 is too powerful for this configuration. Maybe this can be tested in the future.:)

boricua9mm
February 14, 2014, 04:21 PM
Having been in a violent encounter armed with nothing more than a 5-shot J-Frame, I can say that for me the answer is NO. When someone threatens my life and there is am imminent chance of something happening, my heart rate increases and adrenaline kicks in. Under those physical conditions, it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, for me to perform 100% the same way I do in practice/training. The software/programming is there, but the hardware (me) is what's glitchy.

In my scenario did not have to pull the trigger, but I was haunted with the thoughts of what happened if I had missed 1,2, or 3 times. Would the remaining shots have been enough to deal with the threat? What if his buddy showed up right afterwards with a surprise for me?

This happened to me 10 years ago, and I've been carrying a G26 ever since.

I carry a 3" K-frame .357 when I'm hiking in the woods because I like having the horsepower for dealing with potential problem critters. Ironically, it has been my experience that having a higher capacity is most beneficial for problems with 2-legged vermin.

Old Number 8
February 14, 2014, 05:40 PM
I'm not saying it's enough, but I'll currently take my chances with my 640-1 Pro Series loaded with five moon-clipped 357s of my choice.....There might have been room for debate as to my gun of choice except for the following reasons: 1) S&W chose to install Trijicons on the 640; 2) Since I have no promise that both hands will remain uninjured in the fight, I trust the 640'll fire, regarless of my grip, and I'm accurate with her when firing weak-handed; 3) More-positive ejection of all 5 moon-clipped cases, possibly allowing for a (practiced) re-load.

Elm Creek Smith
February 14, 2014, 05:46 PM
My "all the time" gun is a nickel-plated Model 37. It's either in a pocket or belt holster or (very rarely) in an ankle holster. My elder daughter is now in possession of my Taurus 85SSUL which used to balance the Model 37 when I thought one gun (of whatever type) wasn't enough. If heading out of the neighborhood, I generally carry a 3 inch Model 13 with the Model 37. At work, I pocket carry the Model 37 to back up the Model 686 that rides in my duty holster. :D

On the occasions when I just carry the Model 37, I am not preparing for a firefight; I am prepared for a last ditch effort to save my life. Guess I need to either get my Taurus back from my daughter or buy me another Airweight J.

ECS

Kleanbore
February 14, 2014, 06:14 PM
In my scenario did not have to pull the trigger, but I was haunted with the thoughts of what happened if I had missed 1,2, or 3 times. Would the remaining shots have been enough to deal with the threat? What if his buddy showed up right afterwards with a surprise for me? That brings in two of the variables in the analysis to which strambo linked.

Both are unknowns:

How may hits vs how many misses?
How many attackers, and what will the other ones do?


The third, of course--how many hits will be required to stop an assailant--is also anyone's guess.

JohnKSa's statistical exercise, to which strambo provided a link, was based on the following assumptions:

A thirty persent hit rate; you can vary that and run the numbers yourself.
Two shots per assailant reauired to stop; you could vary that one, too. Or if you uwanted to, you could insert a probablistic assumpion, but that would compicate the analysis considerably.
The nimber of total hits, base on the above and on the assumpion regardign the number of determined attackers not disuaded by gunfire aimed at the others. You can vary that one, too.


With that analysis, John showed, convincingly to some of us, that with those assumptions, five shots is probably not a prudent capacity with which to defend against two determined attackers. Even adding one more round is quite a bit better, as Colt used to advertise. Seven, better still. I happen to like eight.

There was another very key assumption. Of necessity, John also assumed that the defender would immediately stop shooting at the first assailant when the first assailant had been hit twice. Is that realistic? Would you be likely to do that? Would you be reasonably able to do that if you wanted to?

Watch a Tueller drill, and watch the defender fire at the assailant. Can he or she reasonably be expected to stop shooting at a charging attacker after firing just the shots are actually necessary to stop, and no more?

I can visualize firing four or five quick shots as the attacker moves into stabbing distance, and as I try to move out of his way. That's what you see some of the trainers do on Personal Defense TV.

Considering all of that, I concluded some time ago, after having carried a J-Frame for some time, that five shots do not provide the best bet.

There are two ways to have more rounds at hand without having to reload: carry a larger capacity semi-auto, or carry two snubby revolvers.

If I were to opt for the latter, I would probably elect a couple of Colts, for the simple reason that the J-Frame trigger is difficult for me. Others may find otherwise.

Gun Master
February 14, 2014, 07:32 PM
That brings in two of the variables in the analysis to which strambo linked.

Both are unknowns:

How may hits vs how many misses?
How many attackers, and what will the other ones do?


The third, of course--how many hits will be required to stop an assailant--is also anyone's guess.

JohnKSa's statistical exercise, to which strambo provided a link, was based on the following assumptions:

A thirty persent hit rate; you can vary that and run the numbers yourself.
Two shots per assailant reauired to stop; you could vary that one, too. Or if you uwanted to, you could insert a probablistic assumpion, but that would compicate the analysis considerably.
The nimber of total hits, base on the above and on the assumpion regardign the number of determined attackers not disuaded by gunfire aimed at the others. You can vary that one, too.


With that analysis, John showed, convincingly to some of us, that with those assumptions, five shots is probably not a prudent capacity with which to defend against two determined attackers. Even adding one more round is quite a bit better, as Colt used to advertise. Seven, better still. I happen to like eight.

There was another very key assumption. Of necessity, John also assumed that the defender would immediately stop shooting at the first assailant when the first assailant had been hit twice. Is that realistic? Would you be likely to do that? Would you be reasonably able to do that if you wanted to?

Watch a Tueller drill, and watch the defender fire at the assailant. Can he or she reasonably be expected to stop shooting at a charging attacker after firing just the shots are actually necessary to stop, and no more?

I can visualize firing four or five quick shots as the attacker moves into stabbing distance, and as I try to move out of his way. That's what you see some of the trainers do on Personal Defense TV.

Considering all of that, I concluded some time ago, after having carried a J-Frame for some time, that five shots do not provide the best bet.

There are two ways to have more rounds at hand without having to reload: carry a larger capacity semi-auto, or carry two snubby revolvers.

If I were to opt for the latter, I would probably elect a couple of Colts, for the simple reason that the J-Frame trigger is difficult for me. Others may find otherwise.
Point # 1: We cannot predict the future.

Point # 2: We do not know how many assailants there will be (which also refers back to # 1).

Point # 3: Think of as many scenarios possible, and see if you cache is complete. Supplement as necessary (within your budget). Get improvisational .

Point # 4 : To carry beats not carrying.

Point # 5 : Choose the gun, cal./mm, size, etc. that suits "your" needs.

Bona Fortuna !:)

Kleanbore
February 14, 2014, 08:22 PM
^^^^^

Yep

2ndamd
February 15, 2014, 07:57 AM
Statistics do play a role in decision making.
The likelihood you will need more than five shots in a gun fight, is the same that your airplane will crash.
Have there been times people needed more than five shots? YES
Have planes ever crashed? YES
Do you still feel safe flying???
That question is for each of us to answer ourselves.

Kleanbore
February 15, 2014, 08:39 AM
Posted by 2ndamd: The likelihood you will need more than five shots in a gun fight, is the same that your airplane will crash.If you mean that you think the likelihood that you will need more than five shots if you do have to fire your gun, which is of course the only relevant calculation, I would be interested in knowing your assumptions regarding hit rate and the number of hits you would need.

Strambo has already shown that, with a total of four hits required (not unreasonable) and a 30% hit rate (also not unreasonable), the likelihood of needing more that five shots is awfully close to unity--too close for my blood at 97%, anyway.

And if you only need to hit twice, you're still at even-steven.

Do your own calculations. Set the likelihood of success at just under 100%, assume one variable, and solve for the other, and vary the first number a few times.

Otherwise, see this. (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8249303&postcount=1) It's a real eyopener. With a 70% hit rate (on which I would not bet) and a total of four hits required to stop however many assailants, you still have about two out of four chances of needing more than five.

And that assumes that you stop shooting the first assailant immediately after hitting him twice. I don't think I would be very likely to do that.

Do you still feel safe flying???Yes, because I am safe flying.

That question is for each of us to answer ourselves.How safe one feels regarding one's ability to defend oneself is not the question.

I felt OK carrying a five-shot Airweight until a discussion of the subject came up over on The Firing Line, where John first posted his analysis.

Of course, how safe one really is depends on a whole lot more than the number of shots in his firearm.

shafter
February 15, 2014, 10:14 AM
Any gun is enough.. until it isn't. The point is that you'll never know until the encounter is over.


A profound statement that should be enough to answer any gun debate.

couldbeanyone
February 15, 2014, 10:18 AM
Kleanbore, I asure you that you are not "safe" flying. People die doing it on a regular basis. You could totally avoid that risk by not flying, yet you still fly, hmmm. In fact, you are not truly safe doing anything. After all, a meteor could hit your house as you sit in your easy chair.
If some people decide to be only ready for a single attacker, instead of your envisioned multiple attackers, that is their call. If someone wants to count on attackers giving up when the firing starts, that is also their choice of a calculated risk.
I know this is now your holy grail issue since your "epiphany", But everyone gets to decide where to set their own threshold of risk whether you like it or not. Thanks to you everyone is now fully informed. So, perhaps you could just cool your jets just a touch. Just my opinion as of course you are free to do as you wish like everyone else.

Willie Sutton
February 15, 2014, 10:53 AM
"I carried a J for awhile. Lost confidence when I started shooting it past 7 yards."

If your assailant is 7 yards away you are better off running faster than he does than shooting.... Tueller drills notwithstanding.


Willie

.

Gun Master
February 15, 2014, 11:24 AM
Kleanbore, I asure you that you are not "safe" flying. People die doing it on a regular basis. You could totally avoid that risk by not flying, yet you still fly, hmmm. In fact, you are not truly safe doing anything. After all, a meteor could hit your house as you sit in your easy chair.
If some people decide to be only ready for a single attacker, instead of your envisioned multiple attackers, that is their call. If someone wants to count on attackers giving up when the firing starts, that is also their choice of a calculated risk.
I know this is now your holy grail issue since your "epiphany", But everyone gets to decide where to set their own threshold of risk whether you like it or not. Thanks to you everyone is now fully informed. So, perhaps you could just cool your jets just a touch. Just my opinion as of course you are free to do as you wish like everyone else.
I agree. Kleanbore has the right to express his opinion, but participants don't have to accept his conclusions, outright. He appears to be very zealous and presents lengthy possibilities based on a high degree of speculation.

The charts he uses as "documentation" seem to have no factual information, and are based on unfounded assumptions and formulas for number of rounds needed, possibilities of hits, number of assailants, etc., et al, ad infinitum.

Kleanbore is to be commended for his wishing to supply us good info for our self defense.

On the other hand, I could envision being so encumbered by many guns, excessive rounds, and other heavy ordnance, that we wouldn't be able to dodge that Mack Truck approaching us.:uhoh:

MikePGS
February 15, 2014, 11:31 AM
One of the best threads I've read on here in a while.

The link provided to the statistics regarding shot probability is a real eye opener to me.

I think a large issue is that 99% of the time a cap gun would be enough since the odds of being attacked (for the most part) are pretty low. That being said the most comfortable firearm to carry makes complete sense due to the fact that it probably won't ever be fired against an assailant. However if an attack ever does occur, (the thing that carrying is designed to protect against in the first place), I don't have 100% confidence that 5 shots of .38 special would do the trick.

David E
February 15, 2014, 11:57 AM
So--how well do you do when the target is moving in changing directions at a speed of 5 to 7 yards per second?

How quickly can you do that...

...while you are attempting to get behind something or out of his way?

If you are shooting him for the first time at 5 feet, how do you expect to stop him before he does you in...

..and how many shots do you think you will have to put into him?

Keeping in mind that all handgun calibers suck, tell me what practical handgun, caliber and capacity would pass this improbable scenario?

If you only have X amount of time to make telling hits, then where does capacity come into play?

David E
February 15, 2014, 12:11 PM
I like the "pop up" barrel, and wish they made it in a .380. I own a Taurus P22, which has this same curious feature. Some people think .380 is too powerful for this configuration. Maybe this can be tested in the future.:)
It's called the Beretta 86

Skribs
February 15, 2014, 01:15 PM
To sum up the idea Kleanbore, Strambo and I have mentioned, look at this made-up scenario:

In neighborhood A, you have a 25% chance of being attacked.
In order to defend yourself against an attack, you will need 8 rounds of capacity.
Therefore, since you have a 25% chance of being attacked, you should carry a gun with 2 rounds of capacity or greater.

This is where the logic stops making sense. Like I said, if you need 5 shots or less, the J frame is enough. That means that if you weren't attacked, it was enough. If you are attacked and simply having a weapon stops the attack, it was enough. If you are attacked and simply firing the weapon stops the attack, it was enough. If you are attacked and need 5 or less shots to put the BG down, then it was enough. If not...then it's not enough. But, there's also the chance that the bigger duty weapon you choose with 17 rounds isn't enough.

I also know I am less likely to carry a reload with my revolver than I am with my auto. That's a factor as well.

Gun Master
February 15, 2014, 01:31 PM
It's called the Beretta 86
Thanks. It looks like a cool gun and a nice choice. I was hoping for a .380 more the size of a Tom Cat, to slip in my pocket. The 86 is a little longer in the barrel and OA length than I would like, but I might try one someday.:)

Kleanbore
February 15, 2014, 01:53 PM
Posted by David E: Keeping in mind that all handgun calibers suck, tell me what practical handgun, caliber and capacity would pass this improbable scenario?

So--how well do you do when the target is moving in changing directions at a speed of 5 to 7 yards per second?

How quickly can you do that...

...while you are attempting to get behind something or out of his way?

If you are shooting him for the first time at 5 feet, how do you expect to stop him before he does you in...

..and how many shots do you think you will have to put into him?

None, of course!

Someone had observed how well he could hit small stationary targets, and went on to say that at the five foot distance he thought most likely, he couldn't miss.

strambo
February 15, 2014, 01:56 PM
People are also over-emphasizing the effectiveness of perfect hits from a handgun round.

In another thread someone (thank you Strahley) linked a great article about a gunfight a cop was involved in where he had a phenomenal combat hit rate with a high capacity G21 .45 ACP...and it didn't mean squat!

http://www.policeone.com/police-hero...r&nlid=6198334

He connected 14/33, (42%) some of the 33 he was trying to skip them off the pavement...his hit rate when aiming at the perp directly was likely over 50%, outstanding in a run and gun firefight. He was also an instructor, SWAT cop and sniper, shooting a full size gun. Way above the average citizen/LE and soldier in terms of skill.

Most germane to this discussion is he scored 6 lethal torso hits including 1 through the heart and the perp kept on fighting. the fight only ended when he got some head shots in. It lasted 58 seconds or so.

The human body has at least 7-30 seconds of conscious voluntary control after being hit in the heart. Plenty of time to beat/stab/shoot you to death even if you put 2x lethal rounds in them right at the start.

The only way to reliably drop an attacker instantly is with a hit to the CNS (brain, high spine), the odds of that in a gunfight are slim.

So, statistical hit rate/capacity analysis aside, no matter how many times you place lethal hits on them, biologically they are a threat until they collapse. Better have a plan B.

Kleanbore
February 15, 2014, 02:43 PM
Posted by Gun Master: The charts he [Kleanbore] uses as "documentation" seem to have no factual information, and are based on unfounded assumptions and formulas for number of rounds needed, possibilities of hits, number of assailants, etc., et al, ad infinitum.I do not use those charts as "documentation".

They are simply an analysis. You can vary the assumptions to your heart's content and run the numbers yourself.

The charts were developed by JohnKSa, who is on the staff at The Firing Line and who is a member here, for his own purposes during a discussion on TFL similar to this one, and he found them eye opening. So did I.

And that's all they really are. They put things in perspective. They show the range of possibilities.

He assumed a 30% hit ratio. Don't like it? Use another number. John's charts show the effect of varying the assumption, as long as you stick with four hits in total. But you could vary that, too, if you want to. And there are data to support the idea that 30% is at least reasonable.

But one could validate hit rates through some extensive FoF simulation, if one really wanted to have an idea about what one might expect.

He assumed the need to hit each assailant twice. The number may be one, two, three, four...Try any number you like. Frankly, I don't have any idea at all about how to choose a good number. But I should think that two would not represent a worst case assumption. What do you think?

He assumed that the defender would stop shooting after two hits. Personally, I think that that's a best case assumption. Could you stop then? Would you? I can easily imagine firing four shots in rapid succession, as one sees on televised Tueller drill exercises.

He assumed two assailants. The likelihood of that is supported by data that have been provided in other discussions here. But there might be one attacker. John addressed that possibility also.

He also assumed that a second assailant would have to be shot. That may be worst case, because the second one may turn tail. But he may not realize what has happened, or he may have no way to escape without the defender's car, or he may be so close that he feels that pressing the attack represents his best chance, or he may be using meth, and the defender may have to shoot him, too. What would you prepare for?

Another assumption he made was that the defender would survive to be able to use the ammunition in his gun. You could model different assumptions on that count, but it would significantly complicate the analysis. I think it reasonable that the defender's survival chances would decline very significantly before he could get off 17 shots, for example.

All of that was discussed ad nauseum in the thread to which strambo provided the link, and in several other long discussions as well, here and on TFL. This is a perennial subject.

Choose your own assumptions and run the numbers yourself, if you don't like John's charts.

Then make your own conclusions.

I ended up carrying 10+1, but mind you, I did not base that on any expectation of having to fire 11 shots. It's just that I like a margin of safety, and that I do not like the idea of being left with an empty gun or standing around reloading.

Gun Master
February 15, 2014, 02:45 PM
People are also over-emphasizing the effectiveness of perfect hits from a handgun round.

In another thread someone (thank you Strahley) linked a great article about a gunfight a cop was involved in where he had a phenomenal combat hit rate with a high capacity G21 .45 ACP...and it didn't mean squat!

http://www.policeone.com/police-hero...r&nlid=6198334

He connected 14/33, (42%) some of the 33 he was trying to skip them off the pavement...his hit rate when aiming at the perp directly was likely over 50%, outstanding in a run and gun firefight. He was also an instructor, SWAT cop and sniper, shooting a full size gun. Way above the average citizen/LE and soldier in terms of skill.

Most germane to this discussion is he scored 6 lethal torso hits including 1 through the heart and the perp kept on fighting. the fight only ended when he got some head shots in. It lasted 58 seconds or so.

The human body has at least 7-30 seconds of conscious voluntary control after being hit in the heart. Plenty of time to beat/stab/shoot you to death even if you put 2x lethal rounds in them right at the start.

The only way to reliably drop an attacker instantly is with a hit to the CNS (brain, high spine), the odds of that in a gunfight are slim.

So, statistical hit rate/capacity analysis aside, no matter how many times you place lethal hits on them, biologically they are a threat until they collapse. Better have a plan B.
Thanks for the Policeone website, but it was not available (3 times). Perhaps I can pull it up later.

There has been a great deal of info to digest, much based on conjecture. What are we to do in the meantime? Something for sure. Hopefully it will be enough.

I am an older individual whose reflexes, general body movements, and cranial processing have all diminished, due to my parents (Mother Nature & Father Time). No preparation equals no defense.

If I'm packin', I have a chance.
If I have my Model 38, I have a chance, maybe 5.
If I carry a reloader, I have a chance , maybe 10.
If I have to process and practice all the info / advise, etc. on this thread, I have little or no chance.

Thanks for the info, but please keep it as simple and practical as possible.:)

Kleanbore
February 15, 2014, 03:23 PM
Posted by Gun Master: If I'm packin', I have a chance.Absolutely!
If I have my Model 38, I have a chance, maybe 5.
If I carry a reloader, I have a chance , maybe 10.Think for just a moment: if someone is trying to kill you, do you really think you would be able to reload? Before you answer, I think the answer is yes--if you have two Model 38s. They call that a "New York Reload".

If I have to process and practice all the info / advise, etc. on this thread, I have little or no chance.Understood.

Some of us have been wrestling with this issue for some years now.

Some of us have read a lot of posts and links about hit rate and about handgun wounding effectiveness.

Some of us have taken different degrees of relevant training.

JohnKSa put in a great deal of effort to run the numbers based on assumptions that do appear to be reasonable, and he tried to present them in an understandable way.

But there is no denying that this is not a simple subject.

If I could come up with a simpler way to discuss this, I would. Let me sleep on it.

Let me suggest this: first, accept that the number of rounds you will need should be assessed on the basis of the assumption that you will in fact have to shoot.

That's where most people get led astray, and that is not a criticism or their intelligence or level of education. Heck, I had keen thinking the very same way. And my background had been in risk management, which is what this all about.

Then, see how you can do in a rapid fire exercise with varying numbers of shots. Either shoot at one target and then another and then another very rapidly to simulate a moving target, and see how many times you can hit them, or see if there's somewhere where you can shoot very rapidly at a moving target, maybe with an Airsoft gun. Remember that 'winning' means hitting each target more than once--you choose the number.

I hope this has been helpful.

strambo
February 15, 2014, 03:51 PM
Thanks for the info, but please keep it as simple and practical as possible.
Heh, OK. The instant you know you are in a violent situation: draw and shoot each threat center chest while moving until they drop.

If you run out of ammo before they drop; either run away to cover or close and beat them to death with the empty gun.

Running to cover, reloading, and re-engaging is also appropriate if able.

Sorry about the link not working, looks like that site is temporarily down.

Gun Master
February 15, 2014, 04:51 PM
Absolutely!
Think for just a moment: if someone is trying to kill you, do you really think you would be able to reload? Before you answer, I think the answer is yes--if you have two Model 38s. They call that a "New York Reload".

Understood.

Some of us have been wrestling with this issue for some years now.

Some of us have read a lot of posts and links about hit rate and about handgun wounding effectiveness.

Some of us have taken different degrees of relevant training.

JohnKSa put in a great deal of effort to run the numbers based on assumptions that do appear to be reasonable, and he tried to present them in an understandable way.

But there is no denying that this is not a simple subject.

If I could come up with a simpler way to discuss this, I would. Let me sleep on it.

Let me suggest this: first, accept that the number of rounds you will need should be assessed on the basis of the assumption that you will in fact have to shoot.

That's where most people get led astray, and that is not a criticism or their intelligence or level of education. Heck, I had keen thinking the very same way. And my background had been in risk management, which is what this all about.

Then, see how you can do in a rapid fire exercise with varying numbers of shots. Either shoot at one target and then another and then another very rapidly to simulate a moving target, and see how many times you can hit them, or see if there's somewhere where you can shoot very rapidly at a moving target, maybe with an Airsoft gun. Remember that 'winning' means hitting each target more than once--you choose the number.

I hope this has been helpful.
Thanks.:)

Gun Master
February 15, 2014, 04:56 PM
Heh, OK. The instant you know you are in a violent situation: draw and shoot each threat center chest while moving until they drop.

If you run out of ammo before they drop; either run away to cover or close and beat them to death with the empty gun.

Running to cover, reloading, and re-engaging is also appropriate if able.

Sorry about the link not working, looks like that site is temporarily down.
Thanks.:)

johnnylaw53
February 15, 2014, 05:33 PM
I have really enjoy reading this tread and some make some very good points. I do have a question. Have anyone ever read about an incident where what ever a person was carrying prove to not be enough? I'm not talking about leo's or military type action but just a regular person who was attacked. I have read a story on North American Arms site where a older gentleman defended his home with just a NAA .22 lr. Of course I'm not suggesting that we should all carry a .22 but it seems that what ever we carry there a good chance it will be enough since the people that try to make victims out of us don't expect us to be carrying anything. Just my thoughts.

Be safe

tomrkba
February 15, 2014, 05:34 PM
So--how well do you do when the target is moving in changing directions at a speed of 5 to 7 yards per second?

How quickly can you do that...

...while you are attempting to get behind something or out of his way?

If you are shooting him for the first time at 5 feet, how do you expect to stop him before he does you in...


Craig Douglas' ECQC course (http://shivworks.com/?page_id=881) addresses everything in the example. While the course description states "0 to 5 feet", students engage at longer distances and the live fire portions of the class go to seven yards (as I recall; it may have gone to ten yards). I did take five to seven yard shots with the Simunition guns, but the majority were from zero to twelve inches because the "aggressors" were very, very fast.


Have anyone ever read about an incident where what ever a person was carrying prove to not be enough?

Yes, there are several. John Farnham relates several stories where off duty cops carried their guns, but no reloads. In one instance, the officer's gun ran out of ammunition and he died with a bullet hole through his hand. I cannot remember the case; you'd have to search John Farnham's Quips to find it. I think Ayoob reported on a case where a cop got in a gun fight with a criminal, used all his ammunition, returned to the car to reload and continued the fight. These are edge cases, but there is no reason not to carry at least one full reload or a minimum of 15 rounds...and a knife.

Kleanbore
February 15, 2014, 05:41 PM
Posted by strambo: If you run out of ammo before they drop; either run away to cover or close and beat them to death with the empty gun.I prefer to avoid running out.

Running to cover, reloading, and re-engaging is also appropriate if able.I'm having trouble visualizing when "re-engaging" might be justifiable for someone other than a sworn officer.

I was once pretty quick out to 100 yards, but I cannot run any more at all, so that's not an option.

pezo
February 15, 2014, 05:56 PM
I have to chime in on the running suggestion. I had two acquaintances I knew who were shot to death while running. One actually tried to drive off during a car jacking and was hit 3 bullets through the door ( reported as a .357 magnum revolver). DOA. The other fella ran of and was shot in the back up teen time ( 9mm semi auto). Again DOA. I'm at a belief you would be better off jumping on top of the aggressor than running. That said I carry an lcr .38. And two sometime 4 reloads. Two speed loaders and two speed strips. A mini mag rides on the ankle because why not. Too small not to carry

Gun Master
February 15, 2014, 07:18 PM
Craig Douglas' ECQC course (http://shivworks.com/?page_id=881) addresses everything in the example. While the course description states "0 to 5 feet", students engage at longer distances and the live fire portions of the class go to seven yards (as I recall; it may have gone to ten yards). I did take five to seven yard shots with the Simunition guns, but the majority were from zero to twelve inches because the "aggressors" were very, very fast.




Yes, there are several. John Farnham relates several stories where off duty cops carried their guns, but no reloads. In one instance, the officer's gun ran out of ammunition and he died with a bullet hole through his hand. I cannot remember the case; you'd have to search John Farnham's Quips to find it. I think Ayoob reported on a case where a cop got in a gun fight with a criminal, used all his ammunition, returned to the car to reload and continued the fight. These are edge cases, but there is no reason not to carry at least one full reload or a minimum of 15 rounds...and a knife.
Your last paragraph : Me too. Reloads (at least 5 rds.) and one-handed "sharp" knife>Ugggg.:eek:

David E
February 15, 2014, 07:44 PM
I have to chime in on the running suggestion. I had two acquaintances I knew who were shot to death while running. One actually tried to drive off during a car jacking and was hit 3 bullets through the door ( reported as a .357 magnum revolver). DOA. The other fella ran of and was shot in the back up teen time ( 9mm semi auto). Again DOA. I'm at a belief you would be better off jumping on top of the aggressor than running. That said I carry an lcr .38. And two sometime 4 reloads. Two speed loaders and two speed strips. A mini mag rides on the ankle because why not. Too small not to carry
This is why I get irritated when people say "cover!cover!cover!cover!" Etc

Cover is nice, get it when you can, but it's not the Number One Priority.

strambo
February 15, 2014, 08:07 PM
I agree running can be dangerous. In military history casualties are horrific once once side breaks and runs. I only mentioned it in the context of being out of ammo. Empty hand, surrender, or run, only options left then.

At bad breath range, I personally wouldn't run, but then I have an awful lot of high end H2H training that most don't.

Heck, most gun owners don't even get any formal firearms training as evidenced by the threads we've had on the subject. Here on THR, the "Strategies & Tactics" sub-forum is one of the least viewed and posted in. People want to buy, talk and read about things (guns, gear..."stuff"), not get and read/talk about training.

I'd take high quality H2H training instead of a J frame (or any gun) and no training if that was a choice.

pezo
February 15, 2014, 08:26 PM
Hand to hand training is a great thing. Some people such as females and seniors who lack the strength need to also increase situational awareness the most, then weapons proficiency. The thinking mind is the best weapon. I'll add faith in god to prevail and determination.

ACP
February 15, 2014, 08:56 PM
Yes, a j-frame is enough. Two is even better. And I've carried most everything in nearly 20 years.

tomrkba
February 16, 2014, 09:09 AM
Here is the policeone.com link:

Why one cop carries 145 rounds of ammo on the job (http://www.policeone.com/patrol-issues/articles/6199620-Why-one-cop-carries-145-rounds-of-ammo-on-the-job/)

If that does not work, go to google and paste this in:

site:policeone.com Why one cop carries 145 rounds of ammo on the job


Here is the "lessons learned" follow-up article:

http://www.policeone.com/columnists/charles-remsberg/articles/6199938-lessons-learned-from-facing-an-invincible-assailant/


Also notice that the officer went to the Glock 17 in 9mm. It is not clear to me whether or not that change was voluntary or mandated by the department.

2ndamd
February 16, 2014, 01:16 PM
J-frame was enough for Jim Cirillo and Jerry Usher. Both of who have been in more gun fights than anyone on this board. New York and Chicago police officers that have survived more lethal encounters than any others I have heard about. Both carried and used 5 shot snubbies.

The lawful citizens objective in a lethal force situation is to get removed from the situation or stop the threat.

5 shots is enough.

Kleanbore
February 16, 2014, 02:09 PM
Posted by 2ndamd: J-frame was enough for Jim Cirillo and Jerry Usher. Both of who have been in more gun fights than anyone on this board. New York and Chicago police officers that have survived more lethal encounters than any others I have heard about. Both carried and used 5 shot snubbies. From what I've read, Cirrillo often carried a Model 10 plus a Colt Cobra. That's 12 shots.

He is quoted as later preferring to carry two .40 caliber Glocks.

The lawful citizens objective in a lethal force situation is to get removed from the situation or stop the threat. True fact!

5 shots is enough.Sometimes. Sometimes not.

Here's (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8121799&postcount=1) a link to a very small sample of actual data, of which there are very little available.

It covers 63 civilian shooting incidents; 75% included more than one assailant. The assailant was moving 63% of the time, and the defender, 89%.

The "average" number of shots fired by the defender was 4.7, That's obviously a mean, sinc no one fired 4.7 rounds. We do not have a median or a mode or a distribution.

As I recall, these data are generally consistent with the Rangemaster data in Tom Givens' Lessons from the Street.

fastbolt
February 16, 2014, 02:15 PM
As these thread topics involving diminutive, low capacity handguns versus larger, high capacity handguns tend to run on & on, it occurs to me that some folks may consider themselves "well-armed" simply based upon the capacity of a handgun.

Personally, I never really felt I was "well-armed" on-duty when I carried either a 6-rd .357 Magnum service revolver and a pair of speedloaders or a 15+1 9mm and 2 spare 15-rd magazines. It was still just a handgun I was carrying.

I considered myself armed, but not well-armed. It was what I was able to carry under normal circumstances.

Gun Master
February 16, 2014, 02:18 PM
J-frame was enough for Jim Cirillo and Jerry Usher. Both of who have been in more gun fights than anyone on this board. New York and Chicago police officers that have survived more lethal encounters than any others I have heard about. Both carried and used 5 shot snubbies.

The lawful citizens objective in a lethal force situation is to get removed from the situation or stop the threat.

5 shots is enough.
Well, nice to know.:)

I'd carry a Barrett Rifle, if it were feasible. Those J frames are just so darned convenient.:D

Kleanbore
February 16, 2014, 04:16 PM
Cirillo, from the horse's mouth:

"If you're concerned about concealment, your firearm pick should be reduced in size and bulk but not in power. I would consider the 9mm marginal and would try to use +P or better ammo in it. The Glock 27 in .40 S&W would be my choice.

"In my own case, if I were still on the NYCPD Stakeout Squad, this mini Glock would be my second gun and the Glock 21 in .45 ACP would be my main weapon. My present favorite carry guns are a Smith & Wesson double action only .40 S&W and a Glock 23 in .40 S&W."

Source-- Guns, Bullets and Gunfights: Lessons and tales from a Modern Day Gunfighter by Jim Cirillo

Also in that work, Cirillo relates an incident in which one Stakeout Squad officer fired six shots from his backup Detective Special and another office fired five shots from his backup Chief's Special, and all eleven shots hit the head of an attacker, who was then handcuffed and taken into custody. Cirillo had been contending that the .38 Special loads of the day (158 grain LRN) were inadequate.

Most of the illustrations in the book show Cirillo with a semiautomatic pistol; the revolvers shown are all six shot firearms.
>>>>>>>>

For police work, he preferred shotguns.

When he was with the NYPD, Cirillo carried two Model 10 revolvers, a Colt Cobra, and a PPK. He credits Massad Ayoob with coining the term "New York Reload."

Source-- Jim Cirillo's Tales of the Stakeout Squad by Paul Kirchner.

Combat Engineer
February 16, 2014, 04:49 PM
"...fired six shots from his backup Detective Special and another office fired five shots from his backup Chief's Special, and all eleven shots hit the head of an attacker, who was then handcuffed and taken into custody." [Kleanbore]

I guess in that incident 5 shots were not enough.

Am carrying a j-frame today, but my primary is a Sig 229 in 40SW. Think I'll retire the j-frame BUG and replace it with the PPK.

xXxplosive
February 16, 2014, 04:56 PM
It's all about target acquisition and placement ......those were all head shots without any penetration.

Rexster
February 16, 2014, 08:16 PM
I have only very rarely carried a J-frame as my only weapon, except when doing something such as going on a run, that made anything larger problematic. Partly, this is because I swore an oath that compels me to act in defense of others. I then, of course, started making a portion of the populace rather un-fond of me.

Partly, it is because, early in my gun-toting days, I read an article penned by Evan Marshall, in which he wrote of a five-shot snubby barely being enough to survive being caught in an armed robbery attempt. I do not recall the details of his long-ago shoot-out, but remember that article having an effect on my thought process.

Partly, it is because I came of age, during a time when the nearby large city, in the same county, was vying for murder capital of the USA, during the oil boom of that time. I then became an LEO in that city.

Partly, it is because I did not really learn how to shoot a J-snub well until quite some time later, in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Until that time, I tended to regard a J-frame as close-range nasal spray, to only be used at contact distance, or nearly so. It did not help that my first Model 60 had a tremendously heavy and gritty trigger pull, not an uncommon problem during S&W's Bangor Punta era. My long hands played a part in that, too; a J-frame's trigger reach requires me to do some things quite differently than with a superb-fitting K/L-frame sixgun.

Another factor is that I learned early to dress around larger handguns, often choosing to carry my duty handgun concealed during my own time. Moreover, I came to love the slightly-larger Ruger SP101 in the mid/late 1990s, so for nearly two decades, my snubby choice has been just a bit larger than the J.

Obviously, my LEO status affects how I think about this subject. I could not legally carry until I started wearing a badge, and can only speculate how it will be to wind-down after retirement.

Manny
February 16, 2014, 09:50 PM
I carry a Ruger KLCR loaded w/ .38+p. May not be enough for some extreme situations, but it's what I'm comfortable carrying. Like everyone else, I play the odds. Most likely a gun will never be needed, if it is chances are 5 will be enough. The easy carrying nature of a J frame sized weapon gives the best chance that a weapon will be present when needed. I've not yet found a higher capacity weapon that carrys as easy that I have faith in, so the KLCR will continue as default.

Gun Master
February 17, 2014, 09:45 PM
All the people participating in this thread, represent a wide range of ages, abilities (physical and otherwise), gun acumen or knowledge, etc., and there is no "one size fits all". We, the participants, are responsible for evaluating the information rendered by the experts and others, then making our own decisions.

I particularly liked the LEO who said policemen usually preferred to rely on the shotgun for their mainline defense. Well, I would call that a good choice, and probably be my choice also, in most situations.

But guess what? They don't license an ordinary citizen to carry a shotgun in my state!

In my home, it is a different story. I may defend my home with the weapon of my choice.

For CCW my only option is a handgun. And that is after taking an eight hour gun safety course, ending with a written test, actual firing of a handgun, and overall evaluation (including a background check) to see if I should be licensed.

After being issued my CCW Permit, I may choose the handgun I prefer to carry. I am allowed to change my choice, as I see fit. I am also not limited to the number of handguns I carry. Probably I would choose three or more guns, if it were not for the extra weight of the guns, ammo, and gear, plus being more difficult to conceal.

You and I must be, and should be, the ones to choose the carry.

I usually carry a J frame, considering all the facts (weight, power, # of rds., reliability, etc.). Sometimes it's two or three, and the J is usually part of the group.

So, is a J frame enough ?:)

SFsc616171
February 17, 2014, 10:19 PM
The SandW J-frame, the Colt DS frame, the Taurus '85-ish' frame, the Charter Arms frame, for example, are enough gun, disrespectful of caliber, as long as you have good shot placement, and are knowledgeable of the chosen load that you use.

Would I carry a reload? Yes. Again, of the chosen method, be knowledgeable, whether that be Dade, Bianchi, Tuff, HKS, Safariland, Jetloader, or shiny steel, or loose rounds. It may not be required, but it is better to have and not need, than to need and be SOL!

Please remember, this is NOT "bang-bang, ok, now fall down dead."

There are THUGS, THIEVES, folks who think they own what you have and cannot wait to take it from you by force, folks who take joy in physically harming other folks, and all of these will not stop, until you cannot move, or are dead.

Choose wisely, study well.

GBExpat
February 18, 2014, 07:22 AM
Please remember, this is NOT "bang-bang, ok, now fall down dead."

There are THUGS, THIEVES, folks who think they own what you have and cannot wait to take it from you by force, folks who take joy in physically harming other folks, and all of these will not stop, until you cannot move, or are dead.
:scrutiny:

Well, if I think there is a chance that I will encounter the THUG/THIEF version of The Terminator, I will be sure to carry more than a J Frame.

Vonderek
February 18, 2014, 07:47 AM
A j-frame is enough for a trip to the local supermarket if you live in a safe area. What happens though when you venture out of your neighborhood and for example end up in a broken-down car on the side of the highway, or get off at the wrong exit and find yourself lost in the wrong side of an unfamiliar town, or perhaps the victim of a home invasion which can and does happen in both good neighborhoods and bad? Now you are dealing with multiple assailants all with the advantage of both numbers and surprise and in cases like this the j-frame is far from enough.

Kleanbore
February 18, 2014, 08:45 AM
Post by Vonderek: A j-frame is enough for a trip to the local supermarket if you live in a safe area. What happens though when you venture out of your neighborhood and for example end up in a broken-down car on the side of the highway, or get off at the wrong exit and find yourself lost in the wrong side of an unfamiliar town, or perhaps the victim of a home invasion which can and does happen in both good neighborhoods and bad? Now you are dealing with multiple assailants all with the advantage of both numbers and surprise and in cases like this the j-frame is far from enough.

It is always good idea to read some of the thread before posting. That concept has been mentions several times here before. This from strambo in Post #48 addressed it very well indeed:

The odds of being in a violent situation are completely divorced from the severity of a violent situation. Should you find yourself in a violent confrontation, that the odds of it happening were 1/1 million, now have no bearing whatsoever on the best tool with which to handle it.

I will try to express it as clearly as possible:

One's defensive needs as they relate to tactics, skill set, and tools, including firearm capacity, are dependent entirely upon what happens and how it happens when it happens, and have nothing to do with the likelihood of occurrence.

That is a very basic tenet of risk management, and it is something we should all get through our heads.

Gun Master
February 18, 2014, 11:49 AM
All of us need to be constantly vigilant regarding our security. We should NEVER feel that "we have arrived," and NEVER believe "Now I feel confident and have no need to be cautious."

We need to keep learning from info and experiences of others. This thread is a perfect (well, nothing is perfect) example of that idea, and the moderator and other contributors are to be commended for the manner in which it was done.:)

Even though my J frame will most likely continue to be my main CCW, this thread has stimulated me to realize or remember other ways to improve my security. Only one of several is that I am able to transport additional "back up" in my vehicle (i.e., .45 Autoloader &/or 9mm double stack with extra mags, etc.). I plan to continue to "get inventive and practice unconventionality" in this respect.

Keep learning, be constantly aware of your surroundings, as well equipped as possible, realize your strengths and frailties, and in the spirit of ".......from my cold dead hands.":fire:

sixgunner455
February 18, 2014, 03:54 PM
If you carry a Jframe and want an eye-opening experience, or a laugh, take it to an IDPA-type shoot and run through it with the same round count requirements as everybody else.

Since I usually carry a 642, I have done this several times. I am not, surprisingly enough, at the bottom of the list when I do this, but last among those who seem to be competent with their weapons? yeah, pretty much. Most of the round counts per stage in the shoots I go to require 11-15 rounds. If you are shooting a 10+1 semiauto, you might have to reload once per stage. If you are shooting a standard 6 round service revolver, you have to reload at least once per stage. If you are shooting a 5 round concealment revolver, you have to reload 3 times per stage. If you are a good shot with your Jframe, have practiced reloading it until you are smooth with it, and confident enough in yourself to not worry about whether you're going to place at the bottom of the results list (you probably will), you will have some fun and probably learn from doing this. If you are lacking in any of those three areas, you will potentially learn a lot more.

People, including me, are going to continue to carry Jframes, because they are convenient to carry, reliable, and accurate. There are limitations, though, and it would be wise to figure them out before you need to use one in a serious situation.

TestPilot
February 18, 2014, 04:07 PM
It is enough until it isn't.

Some gun fights have more than 5~6 rounds fired.

You never know which one you may find yourself in. It is as simple as that.

2ndamd
February 28, 2014, 12:23 AM
I love that Jim now says he would opt for a G21 or G27 :-)
Walt aleays said
"We preach 45,
Shoot 9mm,
And carry a .38"

Clint Smith said "a handgun is just suppose to get you to the rifle you should not have left behind"

I love the tacticsl advantage a snubby gives you to fire through a pocket

Jerry Usher and Jim Cirillo won gandgun fights we will never know, with snubnose. 38's
They won the fight not thr gun.
A snubnose is enough
OR....maybe a mall ninja would need more or internet commando :-)

2ndamd
February 28, 2014, 12:25 AM
Fat fingers on a cell phone spells misspelling
You get what I meant

DBR
February 28, 2014, 01:25 AM
I like to carry a J frame in my pocket and a more serious gun (Glock 23 40SW) IWB or shoulder holster. If the J is not adequate to solve the problem, at least I have another option.

If circumstances dictate only the J, I still feel adequately armed for the most likely problems - just with less options.

Kleanbore
February 28, 2014, 09:29 AM
Posted by 2ndamd: ...Jim Cirillo won gandgun fights we will never know, with snubnose. 38's.This has been covered here more than once before, but one more time: Cirillo carried two Model 10 revolvers on his hip; he was limited to Model 10s or to Colt Official Police revolvers. He also carried a six-shot snub-nose revolver for backup. Plus a PPK.

The sources for that have been cited.

I do not recall his ever having mentioned the use of the Cobra in the line of duty. He did shoot a rodent with the PPK.

For concealed carry for self defense after he left the SOU, he recommended carrying two semiautomatic pistols.

Kleanbore
February 28, 2014, 09:31 AM
My copy of Ed Lovette's book has cooperated by reappearing. I will summarize the points pertinent to the J Frame shortly.

camsdaddy
February 28, 2014, 10:05 AM
Of course a lot of the modern day gun fighters have fought more battles that many will face. I thank God for that. I do however wonder what those who lost were carrying? I wonder what the greats of the 70's, 80's and 90's would carry or choose today in todays climate with the options that are available today.

SDGlock23
February 28, 2014, 10:08 AM
I used to carry a J-frame .38 Special, and I know a LOT of guys like them and think they're plenty, but I'm not so sure of that.

What bothers me the most with what I see is that quite a few believe the little 38 snub nose is perfectly suited for nearly every situation, many make very matter of fact comments about how a 5 shot 38 is plenty.

I don't believe it is. My main concern is that in reality, it's far far far easier to miss than many think it is. I don't care if you're a good shot, in a real life scenario if you've got bullets flying back at you, or even if you don't, it's much easier to miss than most think.

It's not uncommon to hear of police officers missing the majority of their shots, and even in some of the situations where a CCW holder had to use their gun, it's not uncommon to miss, a LOT, and in some instances even from just a few feet away from the bad guy.

My problem with the snubbie 38 is that you've only got 5 shots to begin with, and even if you do carry a reload, it's going to be a slow process in a situation that's likely to be over very quickly. My issue isn't the "power" of the .38 Special, it's the capacity of the J-frame and the reloads that would seem like an eternity to accomplish if your life is on the line.

The bottom line is that you or I don't know what we will encounter. Sure it's possible a 5 shot J-frame would be enough, but it's entirely possible that it won't be, so why take chances? Truth is we won't know until after it's over and by then it may be too late.

To me, some of the best pocket guns are the 9mm and .40 Kahrs, they're accurate and reliable, lay flat in the pocket, has a good set of sights, the slide locks back on the last round and a reload (single stack mags that lay perfectly flat in the opposite pocket) is very quick. You not only get more ammo, but more "power" as well. The little 380's aren't really bad, and while the 380 takes a back seat to the 38 Special in terms of ballistics, the platform of the 380 is what gives it the advantage.

I don't have a problem with J-frames, but they're not perfect. There are smaller options out there that deliver more power and faster reloads for pocket carry use. Also, I've had a J-frame jam up, and the problem with a revolver than jams up is that it's usually out of the game for good, there usually isn't a quick fix for it, unlike the semi auto.

2ndamd
February 28, 2014, 10:20 AM
Let me repeat it a third time or fourth time ...

Jim Cirillo and JERRY USHER both have won more handgun fights with a .38 (Jerry used j-frames) than anyone on this board will ever know.

What does that mean?
It means that as we sit behind our computers and discuss the merits of weapons the fact remains that, back in the day, police officers were in gunfights (more than any of us will ever know) and won the day with a .38.
These are real world examples and not hyperbole, conjecture, or hypotheticals.

Real gunfights have been won for years with a 38.

Remember Gorilla's in the mist storyline star? Diane???? Shot and killed. She had a 1911 .45 to protect herself. It was not loaded with one in the pipe. Maybe she thought she would have time to chamber a round? She did not have that time.

In a defensive incident the law abiding citizen is already behind because, they are not the aggressor. Situational Awareness buys time to react quicker...so, does a snubby. :-)

To anyone reading this...a snubby .38 is enough and has many tactical advantages over other guns.

That is why gun writers, law enforcement, world class gun competition winners, gun instructors "all preach a .45, shoot a 9mm, and carry a .38"
These are the best at what they do and they still carry a .38.

Please never believe Hollywood when it comes to guns, or the real world shooting statistics.

mgkdrgn
February 28, 2014, 10:33 AM
As they taught us at Front Sight ... "Any gun will do so long as YOU will do."

Kleanbore
February 28, 2014, 10:54 AM
Here's what Ed Lovette has to say about five shot snubby revolvers.

From Chapter 7:

Reloading is necessary in about 10% of the documented gunfights involving revolvers [not substantiated].
…if you have to reload during a gunfight, you are either missing a lot or you have the wrong weapon.
The fastest reload is the second revolver.

From Chapter 14:

To me, the five shot snubby is the equivalent of the riverboat gambler's derringer.
...the word firepower should never be used in the same sentence without including the phrase ‘lack of’.

From Chapter 21:

Much as I love the five shot, it is at its best in a backup role to a bigger gun.
You shouldn’t carry a five shot 2 inch as your primary sidearm.


Ed goes into quite a lot of discussion on the discontinued Colts and on snubby K-Frames, and he contrasts the grip, sights, trigger pull, and capacity with those of the J-frame. Again from Chapter 21: "The real solution is that someone needs to bring back the genuine article… a good place to start would be the Colt Magnum Carry."

Lovette provides no support for his comment about five shots being sufficient in 90% of the occasions, but if it is true it is very telling indeed: I know of no one in his right mind who would have a building designed in such a manner that its roof would be expected to collapse under the weight of snow, or to be destroyed by wind, ten percent of the time.

Today, many of us think "J-Frame" when we think "snubby revolver" because that's what is left on the shelves, but that certainly was not always true by any means.

boricua9mm
February 28, 2014, 11:03 AM
I used to carry a J-frame .38 Special, and I know a LOT of guys like them and think they're plenty, but I'm not so sure of that....


Great post and I agree with you 100%! I don't need to read a long thread about compiled shooting statistics to understand these concepts. I don't care about what certain Police officers accomplished back in the day with a 5-shot .38SPL.

What I do care about is the fact that I have actually found myself in a violent encounter where I was going to have to let bullets fly with a .38 J-frame. What I do care about is that I know how adrenaline affects me during these types of situations and what it does to my accuracy potential. What I do care about is the fact that having one or more missed shots is highly probable, especially when your body is under the influence of adrenaline. What I do care about is the reality than even in contact distances, the remaining shots may still not land where you intended and may fail to immediately neutralize an attacker. What I do care about is the difficulty in performing a speed reload after all of the above has occurred, especially when those rounds may be needed to continue to try and end the conflict.

Personally, I'm glad I was able to figure all of this out without having to had shot somebody. If somene wants to rely on a J-frame, either with or without a reload or two, then that's their choice. I just hope that they don't have to find out the hard way that it may not have been the best decision in the midst of more contemporary technology.

I love revolvers; a .357 S&W is my ideal hiking gun. When I'm worried about defending myself against sub-humans, a higher capacity 9mm semi-auto stocked with PDX-1s and a spare magazine leaves me much better prepared for the task.

Kleanbore
February 28, 2014, 11:10 AM
Posted by 2ndamd: Jim Cirillo and JERRY USHER both have won more handgun fights with a .38 (Jerry used j-frames) than anyone on this board will ever know. What they may have done and what others can do are two different things.

...the fact remains that, back in the day, police officers were in gunfights (more than any of us will ever know) and won the day with a .38....Real gunfights have been won for years with a 38.Well, that's what they had to carry back in the day, but they do not carry them any more.

And the question was about the J-Frame, not the .38 Special.

To anyone reading this...a snubby .38 is enough and has many tactical advantages over other guns. Sure, at least for backup, and particularly if it holds six rounds.

That is why gun writers, law enforcement, world class gun competition winners, gun instructors "all preach a .45, shoot a 9mm, and carry a .38"
These are the best at what they do and they still carry a .38. The question was about whether a five shot revolver is "enough" for primary carry.

I know no instructor who believes that it is.

I bought a seven shot revolver last year. I commented to the salesman that it seemed strange to me; his comment was that seven are better than six, and eight are better than seven. He than uncovered the old Detective Special under his shirt. He carried it when he was a policeman, as a backup for his service revolver.

He still qualifies once a year with it.

David E
February 28, 2014, 11:19 AM
As they taught us at Front Sight ... "Any gun will do so long as YOU will do."
Cute statement, but it's mostly BS

Old Fuff
February 28, 2014, 12:53 PM
If I were expecting that I might be going into a high threat environment where trouble might be expected - or even probable - I wouldn't be carrying a small-frame .38 snubby as a primary weapon.

On the other hand, in my usual environment - that doesn't meet the above description - my small 5-shot revolver is a reasonable precaution.

There, I depend more on situational awareness and evade and escape, as I have no obligation to pursue and apprehend.

So far, over a long lifetime I have only been involved in two instances where shooting might have happened, but didn’t. In one the matter was resolved with a Colt .32 Pocket Pistol, and a .38 Special Detective Special in the other.

Others, for various reasons might face different environments and situations, but I am more then comfortable on depending a pocket revolver most of the time.

I have the feeling that some go loaded for bear, when it’s highly unlikely they’ll ever encounter one, especially if they are wise enough to avoid them. ;)

fastbolt
February 28, 2014, 01:28 PM
Lovette provides no support for his comment about five shots being sufficient in 90% of the occasions, but if it is true it is very telling indeed: I know of no one in his right mind who would have a building designed in such a manner that its roof would be expected to collapse under the weight of snow, or to be destroyed by wind, ten percent of the time.


Well, obviously nobody would intentionally build a roof that would only stand up to the normal weight of snow or winds only 90% of the time.

However, what your statement brought to mind is how people have always routinely built (and rebuilt) homes in parts of the country where tornadoes and hurricanes are historically known to be risks. A calculated risk that doesn't change where they want to live, work & play. ;)

Like Old Fuff, I wouldn't carry one of my J-frames (or LCP) into a known or reasonably suspected high threat environment as my sole weapon.

Also, one of the things that probably needs repeated emphasis is the increased difficulty of shooting the little 5-shot revolvers, even for accomplished shooters of "full-size" DA revolvers. The very attributes that make the diminutive snubs so attractive and useful also makes them harder to shoot.

Considering that a lot of folks nowadays learn their foundation handgunning skills on pistols, the art of mastering a long and heavy DA trigger pull to achieve consistent accuracy doesn't seem as prevalent as it used to be when revolvers were the common handgun of the day.

Kleanbore
February 28, 2014, 02:24 PM
Posted by fastbolt: Also, one of the things that probably needs repeated emphasis is the increased difficulty of shooting the little 5-shot revolvers, even for accomplished shooters of "full-size" DA revolvers. The very attributes that make the diminutive snubs so attractive and useful also make them harder to shoot. Absolutely. For one thing, the trigger of a J-Frame leaves a lot to be desired, particularly for me with my arthritis and tendonitis.

I haven't fired one, but the Ruger LCR seems a lot better to me in that regard.

And then there are what they try to pass of as the sights on the pocket models. The sights on my 3 inch Model 60 are much better.

Ed Lovette speaks of the advantages of the K-10 and the D-Frame over the J-Frame in terms of grip, sights, and trigger, as well as capacity.
Two of them would surely solve the capacity issue.

But shooting fifty rounds in an Airweight .38 Special leaves me wanting to soak my hand in warm water afterward.

The solution for me last year was the Ruger SR 9c. I can shoot it a whole lot better than the J-Frame. With a good grip, good sights, and a reasonable trigger, it fits the bill for me.

For more reliability, I could add a revolver. I have been thinking about Colt D-Frames, but not very seriously.

Ed laments the demise of the D Frame, saying that Colt quit making them just when they got it right with the Magnum Carry. Those bring very high prices now.

Colt's move was a business decision. It is too bad, in my option, that that move left us with only five shot snubby revolvers.

But then the issue was how to meet the needs of the marketplace, which has shifted significantly to semi autos.

I do not like the little ones with small grips, poor sights, six shot capacity, and poor triggers.

Give me a still better trigger, a slide that is easy to operate, and perhaps a lower bore axis, and I'll be even happier. Looks Like Remington may have unlocked the secret.

But as many have pointed out, a revolver in the jacket pocket could prove invaluable. Just not for primary carry, as I see it.

Green Lantern
February 28, 2014, 03:02 PM
I haven't fired one, but the Ruger LCR seems a lot better to me in that regard.

I've limited trigger time on a J-Frame, but lots of it on an LCR. The trigger on the LCR is great, IMO. Also rather mild recoil (even with the tiny boot grips).

I'm pretty well limited to pocket carry (at work), though I don't spend a lot of time lamenting that fact. And I could manage something a little bigger like a G26, but the reliability factor of the revolver makes it mighty hard to swap out.

One of the best replies, IMO:
It is enough until it isn't.

Some gun fights have more than 5~6 rounds fired.

You never know which one you may find yourself in. It is as simple as that.

Hopefully life will continue apace, and pocket lint will be "enough." ;) Otherwise, for now at least, I takes my chances with my faithful Ruger.

As they taught us at Front Sight ... "Any gun will do so long as YOU will do."

Cute statement, but it's mostly BS

Well, to a point. Situational awareness and willingness to fight will only carry you so far if you're badly out-gunned. I think it's more saying that fancy "hardware" (guns) will not make up for lacking "software" (mindset & attitude).

Kleanbore
February 28, 2014, 03:07 PM
Some time back in this thread, one of the posters asked for a very simple explanation of some of the concepts we have been discussing. I promised to sleep on it. I apologize for the delay.

I have been using terms such as "conditional probability" to explain the analysis. But if one is not rather conversant in statistical theory, that is likely not very helpful. Let me try a different approach.

Perhaps if we stop trying to think about crime and handguns we can explain the appropriate analysis process better.

For the sake of illustration, suppose that you have two barns on your property. Their construction is largely identical, and the combustible contents are usually about the same. Therefore, what it would take to extinguish a fire would be abut the same for each barn.

Also the same: the locations are such that in each case, the water with which to fight a fire would have to be kept in a tank on site.

The livestock kept in each of the barns at night are usually comparable.

Thus, the means for mitigating the risk of catastrophic loss by fire are probably going to be roughly the same, and the consequences of a loss, should the risk occur, the same.

Let us now introduce some differences. Let’s say that the first barn is located in a low lying area and that it is not surrounded by flammable vegetation. The second barn is on very high exposed ground, and it is surrounded by grass used for the production of hay. Thus, the likelihood that the first barn would be set on fire by lightning that could not reliably be arrested is much lower than in the cause of the second barn.

But since what it would take to save the barn and its contents would be the same for each, one would not reasonably decide to store less water at one location than at the other just because the likelihood of occurrence is thought to be different.

The same thing applies whether one expects it to be more likely to have to defend against an attacker or one thinks it less likely. What would be required in the event, should it occur, may not differ at all, depending, of course, on what actually transpires.

When someone pointed that out to me in one of these discussions some months ago, I realized the truth in what was said by strambo in Post #48:

The odds of being in a violent situation are completely divorced from the severity of a violent situation. Should you find yourself in a violent confrontation, that the odds of it happening were 1/1 million, now have no bearing whatsoever on the best tool with which to handle it.

I hope this proves helpful.

2ndamd
February 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
Clint Smith says that a handgun (any) is not enough.
We just use sidearms to get us to our rifles we should not have left behind.
Any snubnose will get you out of a fight and back to your rifles.

Some logic here would confirm that any handgun is not enough.

We preach 45
Shoot 9mm
And carry a 38

:-)

Best of the best leave with a 38 each day
:-)

Personally?
I carry a 357....ok two.
;-)

Kleanbore
February 28, 2014, 07:45 PM
Posted by 2ndamd: Any snubnose will get you out of a fight and back to your rifles.On what do you base that assertion?

And by the way, were I to be attacked somewhere by one or more vlolent criminal actors, I see no reason to place getting "back to [my] rifles" high on the priority list. If I can "get out of a fight", it's OVER.

By definition.

Old Fuff
February 28, 2014, 07:48 PM
The Old Fuff would observe that it’s the usual nature of shooting incidents and gunfights to occur quickly and unexpectedly. This being the case it is likely everything will be all over before one can fight his/her way back to better hardware. That said, I suppose it is customary in Texas to carry at least two Magnum six-shooters, and thereby be prepared for any eventuality. Carrying around a rifle all day can be a tremendous burden. :D

Tn Tom
February 28, 2014, 08:13 PM
Im in as low a profile lifestyle possible my profile will only be lower when Im dead and I carry my 1911 10+1 either in a shoulder holster or on my hip when I go to town. I shoot it a lot and if I had a shorter barreled .44mag it would be the one, I shoot it a lot to. Would I take it to a Packers game, why not, movie theater? yep Bar yep anywhere I damn well please.
I really liked the open carry when I lived in Az. No b/s As often as I might have to shoot it a .454 Casull could even be the ticket. The R Bull way to big but the Alaskan with the 2" or 2 1/2" barrel would ideal.
The way I look at it if I had to shoot someone I want to hit them as hard as I can with every intention of killing them or hurting them really bad so the odds of getting off another shot goes up.
I have a detective special that I love dearly but some 300 lb meth head wont even blink even if you shot him in the eye, well you know what I mean.

I dont think Id wear anything (a gun) when Im playing soccer (Oh I dont know how to play soccer). Do you carry a gun at your middle school boys soccer game? Heavens no!

orionengnr
February 28, 2014, 08:40 PM
I'm not saying it is, and I'm not saying it isn't. I will say this:

Kleanbore:
Post #150 hit the nail on the head for me.
Let me repeat it a third time or fourth time ...

Jim Cirillo and JERRY USHER both have won more handgun fights with a .38 (Jerry used j-frames) than anyone on this board will ever know.
You may repeat it as many times as you choose. You may shout it from the rooftop, if you like. It will remain irrelevant and unconvincing. Why?

Jack Brabham and John Surtees used to win F1 races in cars with skinny tires and what, 300 hp? What does that mean? It means that they used the best equipment available at the time.

jimbo555
February 28, 2014, 09:42 PM
So what is the modern equipment to replace the j-frame that is as easy to carry, as reliable and as powerful? Small 380's? Mini 9's? None I've tried are as reliable under adverse conditions. High capacity autos require much more effort to carry.

boricua9mm
March 1, 2014, 12:01 AM
Glock 26. The J-Frame's worst nightmare since 1994.

sixgunner455
March 1, 2014, 01:12 AM
Seriously? You think the best answer of capacity, weight, and concealability that is the answer to the snubby's perceived inadequacies is a Glock 26? I'm sure you like yours, and I guess they're sort of okay to shoot, but that gun is only a partial answer, and a rather unsatisfactory one to me.

The capacity is nice. The weight isn't terrible, and certainly better than an all-steel pistol that size would be. But the feel and concealability issues are not even close.

I already have bigger, heavier guns than my 642. I don't have another that conceals as well.

Kernel
March 1, 2014, 01:16 AM
"... worse nightmare..."

Yeah, because the Glock might sit on it and crush it flat as a pancake. ;)

A loaded Glock 26 weighs 50% more than a loaded 638. For that reason (and others) I prefer the Airweight in my front pocket.

2ndamd
March 1, 2014, 01:58 AM
Repeat:
Unlike the car racing world, in the gun world The Best of the Best STILL carry a snubby each day they leave their house.
They even joked about it when there were over 100 of the best in the country arrived in one room. They all looked at what they were carrying.....guess what the best were carrying...a snubby! YIKES! EEK! OMG! Only 5 shots were being carried by these professional gun writers, instructors, and competition winners? But, they all preach carrying a .45? Why were they carrying a snubby?

They all laughed and joked that:
"We all Preach carry a .45
We all Shoot 9mm
And we're all Carrying a .38"

Even with today's modern wonder super guns....the snubnose gets the nod each day by the best of the best.

This happen still pretty recently.

All handguns are NOT ENOUGH by conventional wisdom because a rifle would be better.
j-frame will get you out of a fight.
That tends to be all the law abiding citizen is looking for...or so I thought.
(internet warriors and mall ninjas excluded)

2ndamd
March 1, 2014, 02:04 AM
That said, I suppose it is customary in Texas to carry at least two Magnum six-shooters, and thereby be prepared for any eventuality.

Five shot 357 magnums and I travel the entire border of south Texas, from Brownsville to El Paso.

j1
March 1, 2014, 08:10 AM
It served the detectives of the NYCPD for many years. It serves me very well in a good holster. Self defense is usually a close up situation. 38 jhp is a close up cartridge.

Doug S
March 1, 2014, 08:17 AM
I like what Chuck Taylor said, it went something like this...handguns in civilian CCW are a last ditch, up close and personal, emergency tool used by a person in an attempt to regain some control in an out of control life and death situation.

I think a snubnose revolver is potentially a superb tool for such a job. Also, just a we can come up with all kind of scenarios where the snub might be inadequate, I can likewise think of a few where the snub (especially in the form of a S&W Centennial) would be the best tool for this kind of job. I've finally learned to leave the fantasy games to Internet gun forums, and to live life as it comes, prepared as best I can be, within the context of my personal needs.

Kleanbore
March 1, 2014, 09:06 AM
Posted by 2ndamd: Even with today's modern wonder super guns....the snubnose gets the nod each day by the best of the best.Who among the "best of the best" still makes it a general practice to select a single five shot revolver for primary defensive carry when he or she has a choice?

Do you have a reason to disagree with the opinion of Ed Lovette, author of The Snubby Revolver, The ECQ, Backup, and Concealed Carry Standard?

From Chapter 21:Much as I love the five shot, it is at its best in a backup role to a bigger gun.
You shouldn’t carry a five shot 2 inch as your primary sidearm.

Even a most cursory thumbing through of the book will tell you that Mr. Lovette strongly preferred 6 shot revolvers.

j-frame will get you out of a fight. One more time--what is your basis for that unsubstantiated assertion? Repeating it over and over does not support it.

Just what is it that you would want to have with you "get you out of a fight", if in fact you cannot evade and escape and a "fight" should take place?

That tends to be all the law abiding citizen is looking for...or so I thought. Well, yeah, and most of the time that is in fact the legal obligation of anyone of anyone who is not a sworn officer.

And that really eliminates from consideration the supposed strategy of trying to "get back to your rifles".

But if you cannot prevent a fight from taking place, you will have to do something to prevent the assailants from causing you serious bodily harm. You key be able to dissuade them, or you may have to cause them serious injury. Would you really want to rely upon a single J-Fame revolver for that, considering the stakes?

Reflect upon this: based upon your training and other training and FoF simulation exercises that you have observed, how many shots would you reasonably expect to fire as quickly as you can at the outset at a fast charging violent criminal actor (think Tueller)?

What would you expect do of there were a second attacker who elected to press the attack?

Do you like the idea of having a reserve?

Do the answers to those questions give you any reasonable confidence in the strategy of relying upon a single five shot revolver?

jimbo555
March 1, 2014, 09:07 AM
Well said, DougS!

Kleanbore
March 1, 2014, 09:23 AM
Posted by j1: It served the detectives of the NYCPD for many years. Yeah, but except in screen dramatizations, it (the J-Frame) was generally for back-up.

Here's a post from another board from a NYPD detective:

We have a choice of carrying either a Glock 23 or a Glock 27 (both department issued). I carry a Glock 23. For years, we were allowed to carry our own pistols or revolvers, and I carried a Smith & Wesson Model 65 (.357 revolver) with a three inch barrel. I often carry my little Smith & Wesson 637 (.38 cal) 5 shot revolver as a back up.

In over 30 years as a detective, I have seen a wide variety of firearms carried by detectives in different departments. Almost everyone today carries semi-automatic pistols, with Glocks and Sigs as big favorites. (emphasis added)

There was an article about another NYCPD detective who retired in 2012 who had been "grandfathered" and allowed to continue carrying revolvers. He said he carried a six shot Smith plus a J-Frame in an ankle holster.

But what may have served for many years in the past is not really very relevant, is it. After all, when Theodore Roosevelt was Police Commissioner in New York, the standard police revolver was a .32 Long.

I have one, and I have defended myself with it , but I sure wouldn't choose it if I had a better choice.

Kleanbore
March 1, 2014, 09:28 AM
Posted by Doug S: I like what Chuck Taylor said, it went something like this...handguns in civilian CCW are a last ditch, up close and personal, emergency tool used by a person in an attempt to regain some control in an out of control life and death situation. That is well put. It also applies to a blade or a flashlight or a tactical pen or an improvised weapon, if that's all you have.

I think a snubnose revolver is potentially a superb tool for such a job.Absolutely, and Ed Lovette describes a number of ways to use it effectively.

Also, just a we can come up with all kind of scenarios where the snub might be inadequate, I can likewise think of a few where the snub (especially in the form of a S&W Centennial) would be the best tool for this kind of job.So can I.

I would prefer to have more than one tool, however.

couldbeanyone
March 1, 2014, 10:37 AM
Look folks, more is always better, but will you really carry it? That is what you have to ask yourself. Would i be really comfortable carrying only a j-frame? The answer is no. Would I be comfortable carrying only a 15 shot 9mm? The answer is no. No matter what you carry, you are one squib that lodges a bullet in your barrel away from being out of business. That being said, I carry a five shot revolver. I carry two of them in fact, often with a NAA mini-revolver as a back up. I carry Taurus 85s.
I practice a lot, i have somehow gone through almost 10,000 38 specials in the last year, all through five shot snubs. No, i don't shoot IPSC, but I practice with a guy who does. I always tell him to set up the scenario and I will deal with it. I practice shooting the first gun dry and then dropping it and grabbing the next. I don't mean gently lay it down either, I mean just drop it as your hand moves toward the next gun. I can keep up pretty darn good until I get down to the NAA mini-revolver. Would I give IPSC a try, yes, but they won't let me use more than one gun and drop them as they run dry.:rolleyes:
So in my opinion a j-frame is not enough, but neither is any other one gun. If you haven't ever lodged a bullet in a barrel with a squib, you just haven't shot enough yet. I would always rather have two smaller guns than one big one. But everyone must decide where they want to draw the line.

2ndamd
March 1, 2014, 10:37 AM
I like what Chuck Taylor said, it went something like this...handguns in civilian CCW are a last ditch, up close and personal, emergency tool used by a person in an attempt to regain some control in an out of control life and death situation.

I think a snubnose revolver is potentially a superb tool for such a job. Also, just a we can come up with all kind of scenarios where the snub might be inadequate, I can likewise think of a few where the snub (especially in the form of a S&W Centennial) would be the best tool for this kind of job. I've finally learned to leave the fantasy games to Internet gun forums, and to live life as it comes, prepared as best I can be, within the context of my personal needs.

Well said Doug S.
And, for that reason "I'm out"

Kleanbore
March 1, 2014, 01:20 PM
And expanding a little upon what Doug S said....

....I can likewise think of a few where the snub (especially in the form of a S&W Centennial) would be the best tool for this kind of job.I just went out and got a haircut with those words fresh on my mind.

I was carrying a compact 9MM, IWB on the right side. It conceals very easily and I can shoot it well. I think it would do the trick, if I do mine, and if I can get to it.

But when I am sitting in the driver seat with the harness on, that may not be all that easy. What if someone climbs in with me after my passenger has gotten out?

What better solution is there than also carrying a concealed hammer revolver in a left hand vest or jacket pocket.

That also helps mitigate the risk of a malfunction.

Believe me, I am very seriously considering that strategy.

Just might start today....

Thanks, Doug!
________________________
Update: already doing it. With a low of 4 degrees tonight I am wearing a vest, and I do not have to leave a jacket with anyone.

Overkill? I might have thought so once, but I do not think so now.

Couldbeanyone nailed it:

No matter what you carry, you are one squib that lodges a bullet in your barrel away from being out of business.

So in my opinion a j-frame is not enough, but neither is any other one gun.

Doug S
March 1, 2014, 03:27 PM
I just went out and got a haircut with those words fresh on my mind.

I was carrying a compact 9MM, IWB on the right side. It conceals very easily and I can shoot it well. I think it would do the trick, if I do mine, and if I can get to it.

But when I am sitting in the driver seat with the harness on, that may not be all that easy. What if someone climbs in with me after my passenger has gotten out?

What better solution is there than also carrying a concealed hammer revolver in a left hand vest or jacket pocket.

That also helps mitigate the risk of a malfunction.

Believe me, I am very seriously considering that strategy.

Just might start today....

Thanks, Doug!


In the scenario you describe a J-frame S&W Centennial would not only most likely be enough gun, but quite possibly the perfect one.:)

Gun Master
March 1, 2014, 06:18 PM
I'm reminded of the bread salesman, who came to a gun shop to purchase a CCW. He had recently been robbed, and wanted to get a .45 ACP 1911, "that would blow 'em away", or something to that effect.

The gun dealer showed him a 5 shot J frame, to which he responded, "No, I want a .45." The dealer told him a .45 was heavy, and he'd probably quit carrying it for that reason. The customer insisted on, and purchased, the .45.

A few weeks later, the man came back to buy a gun. You know what happened. He lugged the .45 for several days/weeks, but left it in his truck because "It was too heavy." He was jumped and robbed by thugs.

He walked out the door with a J frame that day.

Moral of story : Your biggest bad gun, does you no good at home (and maybe in your truck), since you can't predict when you need it. Better to be armed than unarmed.

george29
March 1, 2014, 09:19 PM
I actually read the entire thread this time and have to say that most opinions have been represented. Here's mine; when I was in uniform my J frame (60) resided in my front left pocket shirt or front right pocket pants (where my 640 now resides whenever I have pants on). As a civilian I remember a road rage incident at 2am, a gang banger incident at 11pm, and an irate husband at 4 pm(wife ran into my grandmothers house because he was beating her). The road rager apparently understood that I was armed and turned around, the gang bangers (3) didn't know all I had was a P-32, the irate husband saw my 1911 in my waistband and apologized. I know one thing, have a gun. The worst case is you died trying and didn't die cowering. Have a backup gun, always. A gun is a mechanical instrument that will fail you at the worst time. Get a Ruger or Kel Tec 380 or a NAA as a BUG. Throw a Mosin M44 in your trunk, it holds 5 rounds and costs $120 or a single barrel 12 gauge for $80. On trips out of the city my 640 and NAA reside in my pockets, the 13-3 on the floor next to the 4x4 lever, my Marlin 357 on the rear bench. I don't look for trouble, know how to defuse a situation, have a high awareness level and emphatically believe a 5 shot anything by itself is wonderful until you think you need it. I consider it my 7 yard answer to a problem that i hope never arises.

TestPilot
March 2, 2014, 07:09 PM
Posted by Doug S:
I like what Chuck Taylor said, it went something like this...handguns in civilian CCW are a last ditch, up close and personal, emergency tool used by a person in an attempt to regain some control in an out of control life and death situation.

I think a snubnose revolver is potentially a superb tool for such a job.
...

Chuck Taylor does not have a crystal ball that tells him how my deadly force encounter will go, and neither do you have a crystal ball that tells you whether if 5 shots will be all it takes for a last ditch.

Superb tool for the job? Superb compared to what?

It is superb compared to nothing.

But, if you are arguing that it is superb compared to pistols with more capacity and that are easier to shoot more accurately, that would be a weird reasoning.



...
Also, just a we can come up with all kind of scenarios where the snub might be inadequate, I can likewise think of a few where the snub (especially in the form of a S&W Centennial) would be the best tool for this kind of job.
....

Other than cases where larger guns cannot be carried, I can't think of a single scenario where a snub noes will perform better in combat.


...fantasy games ...

Does fighing one or two armed criminals when I cannot avoid it constitute a "fantasy game" to you? That's the scenario I find 5 shot snubby inadequate for.

Of course, ANY GUN would suffice for criminals "who really don't want to fight." But, I carry in preparation for real threats, not a wanna be threat.

TestPilot
March 2, 2014, 07:13 PM
Posted by Gun Master:
I'm reminded of the bread salesman, who came to a gun shop to purchase a CCW. He had recently been robbed, and wanted to get a .45 ACP 1911, "that would blow 'em away", or something to that effect.

The gun dealer showed him a 5 shot J frame, to which he responded, "No, I want a .45." The dealer told him a .45 was heavy, and he'd probably quit carrying it for that reason. The customer insisted on, and purchased, the .45.

A few weeks later, the man came back to buy a gun. You know what happened. He lugged the .45 for several days/weeks, but left it in his truck because "It was too heavy." He was jumped and robbed by thugs.

He walked out the door with a J frame that day.

Moral of story : Your biggest bad gun, does you no good at home (and maybe in your truck), since you can't predict when you need it. Better to be armed than unarmed.

"Better than nothing" and "enough" is a different matter.

Kleanbore
March 2, 2014, 07:56 PM
Posted by TestPilot: Other than cases where larger guns cannot be carried, I can't think of a single scenario where a snub noes will perform better in combat.Consider the example provided by Ed Lovette regarding the specialized troops in Korea who carried their .45 automatics in flap holsters. Their Chief's Specials were easier to access.

TestPilot
March 2, 2014, 08:29 PM
Consider the example provided by Ed Lovette regarding the specialized troops in Korea who carried their .45 automatics in flap holsters. Their Chief's Specials were easier to access.

I belive that is more of an issue of method of carry than merits of the pistol itself.

Doug S
March 2, 2014, 08:41 PM
TestPilot

Quote:
Posted by Doug S:
I like what Chuck Taylor said, it went something like this...handguns in civilian CCW are a last ditch, up close and personal, emergency tool used by a person in an attempt to regain some control in an out of control life and death situation.

I think a snubnose revolver is potentially a superb tool for such a job.
...
Chuck Taylor does not have a crystal ball that tells him how my deadly force encounter will go, and neither do you have a crystal ball that tells you whether if 5 shots will be all it takes for a last ditch.

Superb tool for the job? Superb compared to what?

It is superb compared to nothing.

But, if you are arguing that it is superb compared to pistols with more capacity and that are easier to shoot more accurately, that would be a weird reasoning.

Quote:
...
Also, just a we can come up with all kind of scenarios where the snub might be inadequate, I can likewise think of a few where the snub (especially in the form of a S&W Centennial) would be the best tool for this kind of job.
....

Other than cases where larger guns cannot be carried, I can't think of a single scenario where a snub noes will perform better in combat.

Quote:
...fantasy games ...

Does fighing one or two armed criminals when I cannot avoid it constitute a "fantasy game" to you? That's the scenario I find 5 shot snubby inadequate for.

Of course, ANY GUN would suffice for criminals "who really don't want to fight." But, I carry in preparation for real threats, not a wanna be threat.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last edited by TestPilot; Today at 12:20 AM.

TestPilot -context is everything - and it seems you've attempted to remove my words from their context in order to confidently make a point that has absolutely no relationhip to the sentiment I attempted to share in this thread.

TestPilot
March 2, 2014, 09:05 PM
Posted by Doug S:
TestPilot -context is everything - and it seems you've attempted to remove my words from their context in order to confidently make a point that has absolutely no relationhip to the sentiment I attempted to share in this thread.

Then can you explain exactly in what context snubnose revolvers are supurb, in situations other than it being the only thing that can be carried and accessed?

jimbo555
March 2, 2014, 10:02 PM
Compared to other pocketable pistols the centennial style j-frame presents faster, points better and is more reliable under adverse close combat fight to the death conditions. Carrying 2 gives you a capacity of 10 which should be adequate.

jimbo555
March 2, 2014, 10:17 PM
Let's play fantasy. Your walking to your car late, your shot in your dominant arm from behind you feel the blood with your weak hand. You manage to draw your 15 shot semi and get off one shot before you have a ftf and you can't manage the drill to clear the jam with one hand....

Gun Master
March 2, 2014, 10:25 PM
Context #1: A 35yr. old male who carries a .357 4" or a .45 ACP 1911.
Context #2: A 50yr. old female with a Kel-Tec .32 ACP or .38 Sp. J frame.
Context #3: A 74yr. old male with a Rhom .22 or .22 Derringer.

Personally, I have owned and carried all the handguns in #'s 1 & 2 (and more). I never have owned the two guns named in #3. Yet I find myself in context #3, but usually carry the guns in #2 (mainly J frame, but sometimes both).

Succinctly, I am age 74, usually carry a .32 &/or .38 J frame, sometimes other .38 Sp., etc. The reason I don't carry my .45's, etc., is due to age, health, and inability to support carrying heavier guns. I would like to explore or invent a semi- suspender holster (Sam Brown principle) of HG carry that (don't laugh) keeps my pants from falling down in Kroger. OK, now you may laugh.:D

Now, that is context !:)

TestPilot
March 3, 2014, 03:37 AM
style j-frame presents faster, points better and is more reliable under adverse close combat fight to the death conditions
That is rather subjective. I never felt J-frame pointed better, and neither did it pointed faster for that reason.

Your walking to your car late, your shot in your dominant arm from behind you feel the blood with your weak hand. You manage to draw your 15 shot semi and get off one shot before you have a ftf and you can't manage the drill to clear the jam with one hand....

That is an argument for revolver, not J-frame in particular.

kilibreaux
March 3, 2014, 04:11 AM
NO, a J-frame is NOT "enough!"
However, J-frames allow the user to carry SOMETHING capable of delivering a definitive insult to an attacker which is what it was designed to do!
"Enough" would be 2,000 lb-ft of kinetic energy, but weapons that deliver such power are not concealable.

Kleanbore
March 3, 2014, 08:46 AM
Posted by TestPilot: I belive that [(the example provided by Ed Lovette regarding the specialized troops in Korea who carried their .45 automatics in flap holsters and who had Chief's Specials that were easier to access)] is more of an issue of method of carry than merits of the pistol itself.Think about how the merits of the pistol affect the method of carry.

The Ruger SR 9c and my Centennial are very, very close to the same size in all three dimensions. But the Centennial will readily fit into a pocket, and it can in fact be fired from one if necessary. The Ruger is not a pocket pistol.

Now, one could likely devise a way to carry a comparably small semi-auto for back-up in a manner that would provide ready access in varying circumstances, but I haven't come up with one that meets my needs.

When one puts the Centennial and the Ruger next to each other, it becomes crystal clear that the latter would almost always, if not always, be the better choice for primary carry in a holster due to sights, trigger, and capacity, but the former can certainly have its uses for back-up in a pocket.

Carrying the Centennial that way takes it away from another allocation, and I have to consider getting another one. I am strongly considering a Ruger LCR due to the better trigger design.

sixgunner455
March 3, 2014, 11:18 AM
I think the J frame's greatest virtue is that it fits into the profile of what some call an "always gun" - a gun you can always find a way to carry.

By virtue of size, weight, shape, etc, it will fit in pockets without weighing down the pants, doesn't make dress slacks look funny, won't make a purse feel like a lady is hauling around gym equipment, and so forth.

I have other guns. I enjoy shooting them, and sometimes, I carry them. But I can almost always carry my 642. In fact, if I didn't work where I do, I would carry it 24/7. Something else is added to what I am carrying when I carry a bigger gun, but I don't usually put my 642 away when I do that.

It allows people who can't or won't carry something bigger and heavier to carry something effective and reliable. So, is it enough to enable those people to follow the first rule of a gunfight? Yes, because they are armed. It doesn't guarantee they will win, but it does get them in the game.

Doug S
March 3, 2014, 11:58 AM
I belive that is more of an issue of method of carry than merits of the pistol itself.

in situations other than it being the only thing that can be carried and accessed?

That is rather subjective. I never felt J-frame pointed better, and neither did it pointed faster for that reason.


That is an argument for revolver, not J-frame in particular.

TestPilot, I'm not sure why you ask questions, and then put qualifiers on peoples answers. Many here have provided good rationale for the snub. If you needed one more all encompassing answer to overcome the qualifiers you've inserted into the discussion, well then I think sixgunner455 has summed it up well most recently by saying,

I think the J frame's greatest virtue is that it fits into the profile of what some call an "always gun" - a gun you can always find a way to carry...It allows people who can't or won't carry something bigger and heavier to carry something effective and reliable.

You seem to be trying to argue semantics. No one is saying the snub is the ultimate best CCW firearm ever created. We're just saying that it has a viable place in CCW, and has and will in the future continue, to provide people with a viable means of preserving life, and in many cases (probably moreso than not), "the J-Frame is (not only) enough", but in some cases even excels above other types of defensive firearms) for this purpose.

You asked me for an example. Well, for me personally, I see the snubs greatest role as a "belly gun". When all else has failed, and a person finds themselves in an up close and personal, physical struggle for life and death (and there is an endless variety of variations to this type of scenario). In this kind of scenario, I can honestly think of no better (or more superb) firearm than a S&W Centennial in a persons pocket as a potential tool for attempting to preserve one's own life. Truth be told, I long ago selected a Glock 26 as my ideal CCW firearm, but I will admit that there are times and situations when I'd rather be armed with my Centennial (and many times am). I have no fantasy plan of drawing my gun and shooting it out with the bad guys. If and when I ever have to draw my firearm, it will be for one of these up close and personal, LAST DITCH, absolutely no other choice, point and shoot, the situation has gone south bad and quickly kind of scenarios. I can most certainly think of many tools less ideal for this type of thing than a J-frame.

TestPilot
March 3, 2014, 12:11 PM
Jim Cirillo and JERRY USHER both have won more handgun fights with a .38 (Jerry used j-frames) than anyone on this board will ever know.

What does that mean?

In case of Cirillo, it means he was limited by department policy to carry a 6 shot, and at the time of his stakeout squad days, the choices of higher capacity self-loaders were not as good as now.

In his later days, his choice for carry gun was a Glock.

He never stated he chose a gun specifically for being a revolver, and specially not anything to the effect that 5~6 shots are enough.

Also, if you did research on him, you'd know that he is definitely not a fan of 38 Special.

skoro
March 3, 2014, 12:37 PM
For me it is.

Wouldn't be for anyone dealing with drug gangs.

Everyone has to evaluate their individual situation.

TestPilot
March 3, 2014, 12:37 PM
TestPilot, I'm not sure why you ask questions, and then put qualifiers on peoples answers.
To test the soundness of the reasoning behind the argument.

Many here have provided good rationale for the snub. If you needed one more all encompassing answer to overcome the qualifiers you've inserted into the discussion, well then I think sixgunner455 has summed it up well most recently by saying,

Quote:
I think the J frame's greatest virtue is that it fits into the profile of what some call an "always gun" - a gun you can always find a way to carry...It allows people who can't or won't carry something bigger and heavier to carry something effective and reliable.

Okay, so it is great when guns with higher capacity or guns that are easier to shoot with is not feasible to carry or access. I agree with that.

But, I kept asking the question, because that was not the reason you said it was superb before, even though you state that reason best answers my question.


When all else has failed, and a person finds themselves in an up close and personal, physical struggle for life and death (and there is an endless variety of variations to this type of scenario). In this kind of scenario, I can honestly think of no better (or more superb) firearm than a S&W Centennial in a persons pocket as a potential tool for attempting to preserve one's own life.


This is the part I disagree with.

You just state that the J-Frame would be the most supurb in the situation you stated, which you acknowledge that there is an endless variety of variations to that type of scenarios, which qualifies it as a blanket statement. However, you do not specify a reason why it would be the most superb in that scenario.

Some situations, a J-frame in the pocket may be more accessible. In some situations, a full size pistol in a waist holster may be more accessible. It totally depends on how the physical struggle plays out. Some situations, that up-close-and-personal struggle may only require 5~6 shots. Some situations, it can require more. Like you stated, there are endless varieties of that up-close-and-personal scenarios. So, on what grounds are you making that blanket statement that J-frame is the most superb in what you acknowledge to be an endless variations of a scenario?

You did not specifically say accessibility or concealment is the reason why J-frame is the most superb in the above scenario. But, let's assume that is what you implied. Pocket pistol in a pocket is far from the most accessible method of carry, especially while in a close range physical struggle. If a J-frame is all that can be concealed in certain scenarios, then the concealability which makes J-frame the only pistol available would make it superb in that situation, but that does not prove J-frame would be the most superb tool to do a close range physical fight with.


At one point you are stating that the best reason that sums up the superbness of J-frames is that of when the choice is limited to it because of the situation. Then at the same time, you say it is the most superb for endless variety of up-close-and-personal physical fights. You say you are not claiming that it is the ultimate best CCW firearm created, but you are in fact saying it is for up-close-and-personal situations.

JFrame
March 3, 2014, 12:55 PM
I will preface my comments by saying that if I was ever to be injected into a lethal confrontation, I would likely wish that I was armed with a repeating hand-held 105mm recoilless rifle...

Having said that...

It is hard to discount the popularity of the J-frame revolver. It has been in production in some flavor or another for the past 64 years. And, if anything, its popularity seems to have increased in recent years.

Now, popularity does not have to equate to "practical" or even "good." But given its steady sales success, and the fact that it seems to be staying in peoples' hands versus universally winding up on the consignment shelves -- one sort of has to infer that it is meeting some level of satisfaction for the owners. If the J-frame was found to be completely inadequate for its purpose, evolution would seem to have to take effect, and its sales momentum dwindle over time (rather than increase).

Of course, it can be argued that so few of these J-frames are used in extremely violent confrontations, that its inadequacies are not being adequately perceived by its owners. But in that regard, one could probably say the same of bigger guns which are receiving the same lack of exposure in most hands.

This is not to argue that the J-frame is the "ideal" choice for defense as a primary weapon. But given the parameters that most people need to meet in balancing out their lives, it is perhaps the most "practical" one for many. The sheer magnitude of J-frame (and comparable) purchases would suggest that such reasoning has played out over the marketplace.

.

Doug S
March 3, 2014, 01:05 PM
TestPilot,

Even though I'm tempted to, I don’t think I will add anything to what I’ve written above. You continue to do nothing more than argue semantics. I'm sure you don’t really need me to provide you with examples of a subject, the merits (or lack thereof) of which you’ve obviously already concluded, and I'm just not interested in an anonymous gun forum debate, whose ultimate “winner” will be determined by one’s ability to write the most confidently arrogant and/or condescending rebuttals (if you need an example of this, allow me to refer you to your original post in which you quote me at length).

Kleanbore
March 3, 2014, 02:17 PM
Posted by JFrame: Of course, it can be argued that so few of these J-frames are used in extremely violent confrontations, that its inadequacies are not being adequately perceived by its owners. I would substitute "understood" for "perceived", and clarify that those inadequacies relate to use for primary carry when something else is available and would meet the need at hand.

But one does not need to be engaged in extremely violent confrontations to become aware of the pros and cos of a particular weapon. Realistic FoF simulation will suffice quite nicely, as will other types of training.

But in that regard, one could probably say the same of bigger guns which are receiving the same lack of exposure in most hands.I'm not sure what that is intended to mean.

The sheer magnitude of J-frame (and comparable) purchases would suggest that such reasoning has played out over the marketplace.

I'm not sure about that.

As Ed Lovette points out, when snubbies were commonly carried in the old days, the six shot Colt revolvers were favored very widely over the J-Frame, and for several reasons. Many other people favored snubby K-Frame revolvers, and for the same reasons. I still know retired law enforcement officers who remember the thinking among their peers in those days.

The D-Frame and K-Frame alternatives are no longer available new. And the market now strongly favors semiautomatic pistols for law enforcement and for primary carry for personal defense.

We are no longer limited to Colt Commanders, 1911s, or vest pocket Brownings. There are excellent semiautomatics that are really no larger than J-Frames that have much better sights, better triggers, and much more capacity. I have one on right now.

The demand for concealable firearms is at an all time high in this country, and virtually all of the new entires are semiautomatics. Witness the recent Glock, Ruger and S&W, and entries and the new Remington R51.

The shortcoming of the new semiautomatics, except for a few very small six shot models that are difficult to fire effectively, is that they do not work for pocket carry and draw anywhere near as well as revolvers, and none of them are good for for firing from a pocket. As Lovette opines, a new Colt Magnum Carry (or two) with a shroud would do very nicely. I seriously doubt that we'll ever see that, however. The demand for new revolvers just isn't there.

That is evidenced by the fact that there is no material demand for defensive training with small revolvers. Almost all major trainers tell you to leave them at home.

I know several people who, upon getting their CCW licenses, have armed themselves with five shot revolvers. Not one of them has ever availed himself of any real defensive pistol training.

Full disclosure: a J-Frame was the first carry piece that I bought five years ago.

I later realized that it was far from ideal for primary carry. But as Doug S. points out, there are times when having a snubby revolver would represent the best choice. In some situations, the low capacity and poor sights, and even the inherently poor trigger of the Centennial, would be outweighed by the advantage of "pocket-ability". Lovette points that out, too.

I have been convinced by this discussion that having a pocket revolver for back-up is a good strategy.

And frankly, I would consider carrying a brace of Colt D-Frames or LCRs with CT grips just about any time.

IBEWBULL
March 3, 2014, 02:47 PM
I do love my J frames for EDC close to home.
I live in the country and the crime rate is low. Not that city folks don't travel through.

A while 9/11 happened. I was in Minneapolis at the time. Four hours from home. With my 640 and 10 rounds.
Well, I am nothing happened locally and no weapon was needed.
But I for one felt "under gunned." If things went bad in some unexpected way. Such as riots or anything large scale. I would be lacking in response ability.
So much is determined by our location and what is enough gun.
On a long trip I could choose the Glock 27 plus a back up J frame.
Or possibly a J and my 2 1/2 inch 66. In a double shoulder rig. It is nice to have .357 available and instant choice. Plus a gun for a friend if need be.The shoulder rig is great
while driving too.
My wife's EDC is a 642.
Options are nice.
Well we all have different needs and must think it through.

http://i1247.photobucket.com/albums/gg633/Bull_Parrott/Smith%20and%20Wesson/111003_084101.jpg (http://s1247.photobucket.com/user/Bull_Parrott/media/Smith%20and%20Wesson/111003_084101.jpg.html)

JFrame
March 3, 2014, 02:55 PM
I would substitute "understood" for "perceived", and clarify that those inadequacies relate to use for primary carry when something else is available and would meet the need at hand.

I can live with those edits.

But one does not need to be engaged in extremely violent confrontations to become aware of the pros and cos of a particular weapon. Realistic FoF simulation will suffice quite nicely, as will other types of training.

True dat -- but the only situation in which failure is terminally unforgiving is on the street. If the use of J-frames when called upon -- on the street -- was an abject failure (to the extent that proof-of-concept experiences can be tabulated), it would seem that an experiential feedback loop would lead to their demise. Instead, in the numerous "Armed Citizen" reports (I know, anecdotal at best) that are provided to us, it would appear that the presentation of ANY firearm leads to a happy outcome more often than not (again, to the extent that such data can be even remotely tabulated).

I'm not sure what that is intended to mean.

The point being that for the VAST majority of citizens, practical application in a real-world situation, with ANY firearm, will likely not be experienced.

I'm not sure about that.

As Ed Lovette points out, when snubbies were commonly carried in the old days, the six shot Colt revolvers were favored very widely over the J-Frame, and for several reasons. Many other people favored snubby K-Frame revolvers, and for the same reasons. I still know retired law enforcement officers who remember the thinking among their peers in those days.

The D-Frame and K-Frame alternatives are no longer available new. And the market now strongly favors semiautomatic pistols for law enforcement and for primary carry for personal defense.

We are no longer limited to Colt Commanders, 1911s, or vest pocket Brownings. There are excellent semiautomatics that are really no larger than J-Frames that have much better sights, better triggers, and much more capacity.

The demand for concealable firearms is at an all time high in this country, and virtually all of the new entires are semiautomatics. Witness the recent Glock, Ruger and S&W, and entries and the new Remington R51.

The shortcoming of the new semiautomatics, except for a few very small six shot models that are difficult to fire effectively, is that they do not work for pocket carry and draw anywhere near as well as revolvers, and none of them are good for for firing from a pocket. As Lovette opines, a new Colt Magnum Carry (or two) with a shroud would do very nicely. I seriously doubt that we'll ever see that, however. The demand for new revolvers just isn't there.

That is evidenced by the fact that there is no material demand for defensive training with small revolvers. Almost all major trainers tell you to leave them at home.

I know several people who, upon getting their CCW licenses, have armed themselves with five shot revolvers. Not one of them has ever availed himself of any real defensive pistol training.

Full disclosure: a J-Frame was the first carry piece that I bought five years ago.

I later realized that it was far from ideal for primary carry. But as Doug S. points out, there are times when having a snubby revolver would represent the best choice. In some situations, the low capacity and poor sights, and even the inherently poor trigger of the Centennial, would be outweighed by the advantage of "pocket-ability". Lovette points that out, too.

I have been convinced by this discussion that having a pocket revolver for back-up is a good strategy.

And frankly, I would consider carrying a brace of Colt D-Frames or LCRs with CT grips just about any time.

I'm not sure I'm up to engaging in the breadth of discussion regarding the preceding quote. But just some thoughts... The fact that the 5-shot revolver has established a niche against the bigger revolvers (and evidently led to the demise of some) suggests there IS a place for them -- people of smaller frame (especially women), people with smaller hands, people whose required or preferred dress doesn't accommodate the packing of something bigger, etc.

Certainly, the perfection of small pocket autos of service caliber is a welcome development. But here again, there are people for whom it will personally not work to their satisfaction, for whatever reason -- difficulty racking the slide, not liking the ejected casings (that's something my wife can't abide -- just the way it is), the concerns about an auto jamming, needing to function-test an auto with the ammo of choice for a few hundred rounds to ensure reliability, etc. We are talking about the practical reality of people who may not be willing to invest the time to do that. I know people SHOULD -- but we should all floss a couple of times a day also.

I think the "safety" element of the revolver is also key to a lot of peoples' thinking. Yes, I know -- there are no safe guns, only safe people. But within that context, there is an inherent margin of "safety" in the minds of some with maintaining and carrying a loaded revolver versus a chambered auto. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but just a mental condition that exists.

I'm also not saying that these are necessarily legitimate reasons for preferring the J-frame -- only suggesting that the reality of such thought processes exist. Ideally, everyone would go to Thunder Ranch and become qualified with a 1911 or SIG 229 for carrying -- but that's not going to happen. For many of those people, the principle of K.I.S.S. might be the "best" option -- five shots of whatever they happen to put in it, likely to all come out without mis-feeding, and with no likelihood of limp-wristing.

It's sort of like buying life and health insurance. Everyone has to factor out their purchases based on the totality of their needs.

.

PistolPete45
March 3, 2014, 03:09 PM
Love my snubby I bought a Taurus 331 back when .. 44 special 5 shot revolver 2 in barrel S&W ultra lite is her favorite carry pistol . I love revolvers trust them and the rounds are fine for Self defense.. I reload and can put together a great round in 38 0f 44 special . Whatever you like the best is good practice with whatever you choose to carry get a good holster The best gun in the world is nothing if you can not get it out in time

fastbolt
March 3, 2014, 03:27 PM
Whenever "historical usage" of something becomes the subject, both context, availability of something at different times and then perhaps geographical locations need to be taken into consideration. Even the prevailing biases, prejudices and societal influences of the time.

I remember seeing Colt D's and some Charter Arms appearing in the hands of private citizens and cops on the West Coast after I turned 18 at the beginning of the 70's, but the S&W J-frame was the hands-down favorite when I entered LE in the beginning of the 80's. Saw more of them at my agency than I ever saw Colt snubs (and my agency had issued Pythons for some years, so Colts weren't exactly unknown to the folks), and in other agencies, small, medium & large. Saw them at meetings and conferences on the hips of folks from all over. They filled the gun shop displays of all the stores I enjoyed visiting (although there was always a couple Colts of one model or another).

Although my first DA revolver was a Colt Police, when it came time to start buying my own snub revolvers for off-duty, they were S&W J's and Ruger Security/Speed-Sixes.

Fast-forward to modern times, and even in the last couple of Street Tactics and FBI LEOKA classes I attended not quite 2 years ago, the venerable 5-shot S&W .38 was mentioned more than I expected as having saved the lives of cops as back-up weapons. They're still serving in the role of secondary?back-up and even off-duty weapons, although larger duty-size, compact and even subcompact pistols are considered a better choice for many of today's shooters ... and one of the reasons for that is that today's shooters in LE just aren't revolver shooters.

Shooting a DA revolver is usually harder for many folks than shooting a similar size pistol. The flip side of that, however, is that folks who developed and mastered their handgun shooting skills using DA revolvers are often better rounded shooters when it comes to handguns.

Awkward grip frames, bulky not-exactly-anatomically-shaped wooden grip stocks, long/heavy DA trigger strokes, limited capacity, old-style blade sights ... and probably the recoil of a .357 Magnum cartridge. Mastering a Magnum revolver can seem daunting to today's shooters ... although granted, there wasn't a shortage of cops restricted to the "Non-Magnum" .38 Spl and .38 Spl +P loads of earlier years, often due to the political considerations of not being seen to arm the cops with MAGNUM handguns. :what:

Is a J-frame (or other 5-shot snub) something any particular cop or private citizen should consider carrying as a lawful concealed weapon? Depends on the person.

Are there arguably "better" choices for everyone? Sure.

Are there "better" choices which may be left at home in a safe due to size, weight and necessary carry method? Yep.

My generation of cop is rapidly aging into and beyond retirement, and the numbers of the previous generation are dwindling faster. Funny thing I've noticed in recent years, though. Of the many firearms instructors of my acquaintance of my generation, and those remaining of the generation who taught me (in retirement, although some still teaching), the venerable J-frame is still found in the pockets of a significant number of them. Sure, there's lighter weight models, and even lasers to be found, but the little 5-shot .38's are still seeing service.

I've noticed a number of older J's being brought to the range for the first time in many years, too. A few of them have required some service and repair, both from a couple decades of neglect (cop neglect is often abuse :uhoh: ), as well as some problems resulting from the hit or miss assembly & fitting of the 60's & 70's vintage S&W's (BTDT), but more of the older J's are seeing the light of day for the first time in years.

Why? It seems that while some aging shooters may normally prefer a larger (size, weight & caliber) handgun for off-duty or retirement, they've realized that in today's world (with news of today's events) they may not always be ready or willing to lug around larger handguns (after a career of having had to do so) ... and they're once again remembering the advantages of the snubs from back when they were originally chosen as an alternative to carrying around their Python or K-frame on their own time. I'm not going to question their choices to dust off the little snubs ... and dust off their previous revolver skills ... to pick something with which they can routinely arm themselves when the big guns stay at home.

The last older shooter I saw following this trend has been carrying a 6906 for many years, but he apparently realized that he was increasingly leaving it at home when he didn't want to wear a belt holster. He asked one of the other instructors for some advice about choosing a lighter weight aluminum model, and after trying one, he picked up a 642-2. He brought to the range and spent some time using it and refreshing his many years of earlier service revolver years. Now he can pocket-holster an Airweight, which he found to virtually disappear in his pocket, and he was very pleased with how he experienced the return of his revolver shooting skills on a normal course-of-fire.

Will they work for everyone? Of course not. No gun usually will.

A younger (early 40's) instructor who's never carried a service revolver tried an Airweight for a couple years, but being a long time S&W 3rd gen and Glock shooter, as well as a M&P pistol shooter for a few years, he finally returned to carrying one or another little .380, G26, M&P 9c, and now a Shield 9. Likes them all and shoots them well enough (and he's just acquired his first 1911, and is discovering that venue ;) ).

Different strokes.

Denigrating the choices of others, or arguing about "logical" advantages & disadvantages of one type of small handgun or another often doesn't take into consideration the "human" part of the whole equation.

At the end of the day, and when actually being forced to use a handgun, it's what's at hand that's going to be present to be used, and even then ... it's just a handgun.

It's the mindset, skillset, experience & training of the guy/gal using the handgun that's probably going to determine how things turn out. That, and luck.

Not worth arguing about or trying to proselytize and "convert" other folks to someone's favorite idea.

Argue less. Train & practice more. ;)

Stainz
March 3, 2014, 04:05 PM
Count me in the J-frame CC 24/7 lately with my <11 oz 351PD 7-shot .22 WMR. Before that, it was my 642 or 632 Pro (.32 - .327 Fed Magnum). All were deemed 'enough' for me - yet are easily CC-ed. I am a retired college instructor and ex USN. I'd rather have a .45 revolver on my hip - but I am a realist!

Stainz

460Kodiak
March 3, 2014, 04:17 PM
I used to carry a jframe in the pocket in summer when clothing dictates carrying something small. I personally never felt like I wouldn't be able to defend myself with it in a bad situation. I shot it well, but didn't enjoy it. I think for an every day Joe, walking around gun, it is fine. I still carry my Ruger SP101, but there is more in question here than just the ammo capacity. Shootability is part of it too. IMO a 3" SP101 is easier to shoot well than an airweight jframe with a boot grip, though different variants of the jframe exist.

I then discovered the SA XDs in .45acp. IMO it is a better carry option, but obviously a totally different beast than a jframe.

My personal feeling is that if you feel a jframe isn't "enough" then maybe moving is really the solution you need. I realize that isn't an option for everyone though. Carry what feels like "enough" to you. The reality is that in an extreme situation, or if caught off guard, an AK47 may not be enough.

Kleanbore
March 3, 2014, 04:55 PM
Around four years ago, I bought a Smith &Wesson M&P 9c, a 9MM with a capacity of 12+1. I had been carrying a J-Frame Airweight Centennial, and frankly, I continued to do so most of the time until a couple of good discussions here and a defensive pistol shooting course caused me to change my ways.

The size comparisons in this review (http://www.gunblast.com/SW_MPCompact.htm) were eye-opening. Take a look at the pics.

This shows that the choice is not one of leaving a .45 at home or having a revolver with you.

Of course the M&P compact does not lend itself to pocket use anywhere near as well.

The Ruger SR 9c (10+1) is almost exactly the same size. Which to choose is a matter of personal preference.

And the world continues to turn. After this lengthy discussion, the Centennial is back in my pocket--for back-up.

boricua9mm
March 3, 2014, 07:18 PM
Seriously? You think the best answer of capacity, weight, and concealability that is the answer to the snubby's perceived inadequacies is a Glock 26? I'm sure you like yours, and I guess they're sort of okay to shoot, but that gun is only a partial answer, and a rather unsatisfactory one to me.

Yes! Heck YES! Let's not fool ourselves. A 12 lb trigger pull, the heavy slamming recoil of a .38+P Hollow Point in a 12 oz. revolver, crummy sights you can't see and a tiny sight radius are very REAL inadequacies for a primary carry weapon.

The capacity is nice. The weight isn't terrible, and certainly better than an all-steel pistol that size would be. But the feel and concealability issues are not even close.

Lots of people fall into the mistake of choosing weapons based on the sole fact that they feel they have more "soul" than another offering which may actually make more sense, one that may even be a better tool for the job. After all, a daily CCW gun is just a tool, right? I don't need to smile when I look at it, or show it off to friends. It's a tool; a common and soul-less one, which is ideal considering the job it has to do.

I already have bigger, heavier guns than my 642. I don't have another that conceals as well.

If you can't conceal a baby Glock, you're not trying very hard. Hell, I've been pocket carrying one since 2004. I use a gun belt to support the weight, I buy pants & shorts with large pockets, and I use a DeSantis pocket holster.

This choice was made after my having to deal with an aggressor in a violent confrontation with an Airweight J-frame. It is, without a doubt, a better tool for the preservation of life, if one is willing to accommodate it. It offers a more effective cartridge than the .38 J-frames, a much more user-friendly trigger, much better sight options, a longer sight radius, and the ability to accept a wide range of magazines.

In sum, yes, I'd say the Glock 26 and its younger brothers have greatly hurt the J-frame market since their inception in 1994. Law Enforcement seems to agree.

TestPilot
March 3, 2014, 08:17 PM
I do not see why this is such a complicated issue.

J-frame MAY be best for SOME people in SOME situations for primary reason of concealability or accessibility in specific circumstances. So, in that specific case, it would be best for those specific people, and it is certainly not because it is the easiest pistol to fight effectively with once the gun is drawn, which is more relevant to the question of "enough?"

No one knows whether if it is going to be enough.

And, it is certainly not the most concealable or accessible firearm in all situations as some people would like to have others belive. I have a 642. I don't carry it. I have a non-J-frame that is more concealable and easier to hit with that I do not find more or less difficult to operate from a pocket holster.

fastbolt
March 3, 2014, 09:57 PM
I do not see why this is such a complicated issue.

It's not. However, choice-of-tool issues often become complicated when folks like to inject personal bias, preference, individual worldview/perspectives and otherwise try to make it complicated. ;)



... and it is certainly not because it is the easiest pistol to fight effectively with once the gun is drawn, which is more relevant to the question of "enough?"

No one knows whether if it is going to be enough.

Well, "easiest pistol to fight effectively" is bordering on being somewhat of an oxymoron, as it's still just a handgun. Kind of like asking which Chevy Corvair was the "best to race with" because of the differences in horsepower. It's still just a Corvair. :neener: (Even so, it's usually unwise to discount the training, skill & experience of different drivers in racing. ;) )

I think I may have said this before in this thread (not sure without going back to look), but whenever I hear serious, intense and enthusiastic supporters of one make/model of handgun, caliber, ammunition, holster style or whatever being elevated (or denigrated) when folks get together for qual ranges & training, it's usually a fairly easy matter to wander downrange and have someone demonstrate whether or not their choice of equipment necessarily makes them able to use it easier, better, effectively, quickly, accurately and controllably ... and able to do so consistently.

I've carried a lot of different handguns on & off-duty over more than 30 years of being able to do so with a badge.

I've never felt "well armed" with a handgun, regardless of caliber, capacity or make/model ... just armed. ("Better armed" started to be achieved at the level of the 12 ga shotgun in the rack or trunk when I was on-duty.)

Equipment selection is such a small part of the equation and range of criteria to be considered ... if someone even has the option of choosing for themselves ... and it's not something that requires agreement. Now, being able to use it well? That is easy enough to demonstrate.

I've seen my fair share of barely marginal shooters who were very enthusiastic owners of the big name high dollar and/or currently popular "fighting pistols" or "fighting handguns" ... and it often imbued them with a false & unjustified sense of confidence.

Handguns - as dedicated defensive weapons - are the very definition of COMPROMISE. Pretty much everything that makes for an effective "fighting firearm", except the ability to conveniently carry it on our person, is traded away to achieve that portability & convenience. Add concealment to the priorities, and it becomes mostly a matter of how poor of a comprise remains to be chosen.

It just remains to be seen where any particular person feels justified in drawing their personal line among the many ways that handguns are a compromise.

TestPilot
March 4, 2014, 03:01 AM
Well, "easiest pistol to fight effectively" is bordering on being somewhat of an oxymoron, as it's still just a handgun. Kind of like asking which Chevy Corvair was the "best to race with" because of the differences in horsepower. It's still just a Corvair.


Some pistols are more easier to fight with than others.

The fact of the matter is that since none of us gets a calling card from criminals before getting attacked, we are limited to pistols in regards to CCW.

heyjoe
March 4, 2014, 04:07 PM
Kleanbore wrote:Yeah, but except in screen dramatizations, it (the J-Frame) was generally for back-up.

Here's a post from another board from a NYPD detective:

Quote:
We have a choice of carrying either a Glock 23 or a Glock 27 (both department issued). I carry a Glock 23. For years, we were allowed to carry our own pistols or revolvers, and I carried a Smith & Wesson Model 65 (.357 revolver) with a three inch barrel. I often carry my little Smith & Wesson 637 (.38 cal) 5 shot revolver as a back up.

In over 30 years as a detective, I have seen a wide variety of firearms carried by detectives in different departments. Almost everyone today carries semi-automatic pistols, with Glocks and Sigs as big favorites.
(emphasis added)

There was an article about another NYCPD detective who retired in 2012 who had been "grandfathered" and allowed to continue carrying revolvers. He said he carried a six shot Smith plus a J-Frame in an ankle holster.

But what may have served for many years in the past is not really very relevant, is it. After all, when Theodore Roosevelt was Police Commissioner in New York, the standard police revolver was a .32 Long.


I worked in law enforcement in new york city from the early nineties until 2003. I conducted investigations on a city wide basis with rotating hours, so had expereince in all of the worst neighborhoods in the city at all hours. I worked with one other person. For the first three years i carried a model 10, then a few more with an sp101, then a 640-1 and finally a 638 airweight. I came into frequent contact with NYPD detectives, used their facilities for arrests, worked cooperatively on some investigations, and during that time period the overwhelming majority carried nothing more than a model 36 andno backup.
this began changing in the late nineties as the newer detectives continues to carry the 9mm they had been carrying on patrol.

fastbolt
March 4, 2014, 04:13 PM
Some pistols are more easier to fight with than others.

Situational & user context still required. ;)

I've seen not-so-skilled folks who were the proud owners of one or another of the gee-whiz, hi-tech wonder pistols not be able to use them any better than the bone-stock, everyday common pistols they claim are inferior. The felt they were doing better when using them, but their confidence was a bit misplaced when it came down to results. This can be addressed with training & recurrent practice, of course, as long as the owner/user recognizes that perceived comfort & confidence don't replace actual ease of manipulation, handling & proper usage under less-than-ideal conditions.

Then again, I've seen above average skilled shooters run anything they picked up and perform as well as anyone could hope for in whatever demanding set of circumstances they were given.

Any of us could point out any range of handguns and identify them as unsuitable for serious dedicated defensive application, justifying our choices due to our own likes, dislikes & experiences. Those are personal choices which require no outside justification or validation, but ought not to be used to judge the choices of others.

Obviously, most of us who have carried, used and trained with various firearms professionally (as both students and teachers) would probably agree upon a general area of common ground.

For example, probably not a lot of trainers are routinely recommending the use of .22's, .25's or even .32's for serious application as secondary/back-up weapons, although even the still-popular "minimum" calibers of .380 ACP & .38 S&W Spl can create some interesting discussions and potential for disagreement, as this thread topic has demonstrated. ;)

The use of even the best quality .380's & .38's as lawful concealed weapons routinely carried as primary weapons is often a bit contentious. Many folks find a more acceptable level of comfort in justifying their use only as secondary & back-up weapons, and that's fine.

It arguably doesn't lessen the real world importance of being able to quickly, properly & effectively use that little "not a real fighting handgun" .38 or .380 when the situation may suddenly make that gun your now-primary fighting handgun.

The little 5-shot snubs have long filled this secondary role, but then, as much as some folks may dislike it, they've also continued to serve many folks ... even skilled, experienced and knowledgeable folks ... as off-duty, retirement & CCW-type weapons when anticipated situations and circumstances may not allow (or compel) someone to carry a "full-sized fighting handgun".

In other words, they still have a valuable place within the grater scheme of things, for whatever reason(s) someone may feel it prudent to include them in their equipment selection.

Lives have been saved by their presence and effective usage when full-size duty weapons have been rendered inoperative, inaccessible or simply not available for continued use. Lives have also been saved by their usage as "primary" off-duty weapons.

Sure, lives have also been lost when they were being used as "primary" weapons, but the same can be said when full-size handguns have been involved.

Risk assessment. Informed decision-making when selecting a handgun to employ as a dedicated defensive weapon.

FWIW, if the diminutive J-frame weren't still considered an effective option for some users, so many LE agencies wouldn't still be both approving personal purchase of them and even issuing them. Consider why Speer developed their first short-barrel load, the 135gr GDHP +P, at the request of NYPD for approved .38 Spl snubs.

While this thread topic has been more enjoyable (and polite) than others that have been created to discuss it, it's not like we're going to arrive at a definitive one-size-fits-all answer that pleases everyone, or is even "right" for everyone, for all circumstances.

That's why I try to shy away from shilling specific guns/caliber/ammunition choices for the folks with whom I still work in classroom & range settings. I may help guide them in understanding and prioritizing what they might ought to consider when making choices for their needs ... but I'm much more interested in how well they can learn to safely & effectively employ their choices.

benzy2
March 4, 2014, 04:38 PM
Is the J-frame enough? For my concerns, yes its enough. Its not my first choice most of the time as others seem to equal or better the design in most settings. I still find comfort in what it provides. Comfort is all the bulk of us will take from a SD weapon. Draw your comfort line where you will.

As with all handguns, if you can handle more gun, use more gun. If not, be as proficient as possible with what you can handle.

Doug S
March 4, 2014, 05:40 PM
Fastbolt,

I just wanted to say that I've enjoyed reading your thoughtful, and reasonable comments in this thread.

Doug

harrygunner
March 4, 2014, 05:50 PM
Capacity is lower, but performance can be consistent with service pistols.

If I carry my S&W 640-1 in .357 Mag, it's usually in an ankle holster or in my jacket pocket. But on rare occasions, when concealment is paramount, I carry it in a Comp-TAC CTAC IWB holster as my primary.

I chronographed Buffalo Bore 158gr JHC from that gun.

Altitude: 3221 ft, Temperature: 48 degrees, Barometric pressure: 26.9 inHg
1242, 1231, 1226, 1260, 1255 : avg 1243 ft/s and 540 ft-lb energy

That's comparable to a warm .40 S&W 155gr round from a service pistol.

For me, given the weight of the steel 640 Centennial, recoil is not an issue.

fastbolt
March 4, 2014, 05:57 PM
Fastbolt,

I just wanted to say that I've enjoyed reading your thoughtful, and reasonable comments in this thread.

Doug

Thanks.

De nada.

Gun Master
March 4, 2014, 07:28 PM
I wanted to say "ditto" to what DougS said, and to thank fastbolt for his insightful contributions to this thread.

Although I have previously stated my J frame model 38 is usually my main CCW, I have other options that I also use.

The .380 ACP has always been considered borderline, as far as minimal defensive weapons. I believe the 9x18mm Makarov exceeds this debatable borderline, since it is more powerful. Two opposite ends of the Makarov spectrum are some of my optional choices (P-64 & CZ-82). The 64 is smaller (with a 6 rd. mag) and more concealable, but has more recoil bite and reduced power, due to a shorter barrel. The larger 82 has a 12 rd. mag with more power and less felt recoil, due to the longer barrel (and a more user friendly grip).

One of my other potential choices is a Colt Police Positive 4" .38Spl. It has a small frame somewhat similar to the J frame of the S&W. I carry this in a larger pocket, etc. The 6 rd. cylinder and longer barrel appeal to me more, when feasible . This is essentially the same gun as the Colt Cobra, except for the shorter 2" barrel.

Please feel free to share your options to the J frame (which I still believe is a great option, in many cases). :)

Deaf Smith
March 4, 2014, 07:35 PM
If you can shoot, and shoot well, sure a J .38 can save the day.

And if you can't shoot, then even a 20 shot 12 gauge might not cut it.

Skill is number one as for using a weapon.

But street skills trump even that.

Deaf

sixgunner455
March 5, 2014, 10:16 AM
The Police Positive is a great gun. It is basically a Detective Special with a 4" barrel.

Kleanbore
March 5, 2014, 11:43 AM
Posted by Gun Master: Please feel free to share your options to the J frame (which I still believe is a great option, in many cases).I have several:

Two J-frames (the only viably rapid reload, not much more to carry than one revolver pus a reload, provides redundancy in case of a squib)
Two Ruger LCR revolvers (notably better trigger than the J-Frame)
Two shrouded D-Frames (six shots each, better triggers, better grips, better sights)
One of any of the above and one M&P 9c or Ruger SR 9c (same size as a J-frame, much better trigger, much better grip, much better sights, more capacity)


For one firearm? I had been carrying a well-broken-in semi auto. Less chance of missing, much less chance of running dry at a most inopportune moment.

Two disadvantages have been nagging at me: Accessibility in the driver's seat, and the possibility of a malfunction. Hence, the addition.

I do know a retired detective who did carry a J-frame for primary carry. He never, ever worked alone, and when he was actually going out to apprehend someone, he usually switched to a K-frame.

Agsalaska
March 5, 2014, 12:17 PM
It is all I carry. Its actually a Taurus 85 that is freakeshly accurate for what it is. It is the only gun/holster combination that fits IWB comfortably for me. I like the long trigger pull. The holster is so tight it keeps the cylinder in place even if I try to get my hand in there and pull the trigger. I do occasionaly carry a speed holster in a pocket but it usually stays in the console.

I get that there are situations where it may not be enough. If three guys are attacking me and not retreating after I shoot one, then I would probably rather have a high cap pistol. But there is a better chance I have a heart attack than get in that situation and I do not carry a difibrillator around either. So I guess I am willing to take a few chances.

TestPilot
March 5, 2014, 03:08 PM
Some people mention Clint Smith's words to the effect of using s pistol to fight one's way to a rifle which is a moot point if there is no rifle available in the situation. I also think the argument is not sound because people who got in gun fights came to a grim realization that what they had to end the fight with was whatever they had on them when the fight broke out.

However, I do carry a 6 shot 380ACP pistol, and plan to use it to buy time to draw my M&P40, in situations where that 380 pistol is more accessible.

Nearly every type of pistol has a nishe. It is not a question of whether if you should or should not carry it. It is a question of whether if you are aware of its limitations.

Sergei Mosin
March 5, 2014, 03:11 PM
The 5-shot revolver is less gun than I'd like to carry, but much of the time it's all I can carry. On those occasions, it's better than nothing - but I'm very much aware of its limitations, and I'd still rather have something more.

Gun Master
March 5, 2014, 03:37 PM
The 5-shot revolver is less gun than I'd like to carry, but much of the time it's all I can carry. On those occasions, it's better than nothing - but I'm very much aware of its limitations, and I'd still rather have something more.
Agreed ! That sums it up for me .

Better armed than not. Especially if it is in a gun and caliber that you trust.

Carry bigger and heavier when you can.:)

SC Shooter
March 5, 2014, 03:59 PM
My very first carry weapon was a S&W chiefs special J frame. I would just drop in a jacket pocket or in loose fitting pants. I don't carry often, and like you I consider my life a low risk life. Over the years I have gone to other types for carry, such as small autos, but if I feel the need to carry, I often go back to my j frame. I find IWB holsters uncomfortable, and I refuse to think it is because of this roll over my belt. That's just additional concealment.

CoalTrain49
March 5, 2014, 08:38 PM
S&W still sells truck loads of those things. I have one and carry it. Bottom line is I don't trust an auto loader and I've had plenty. I'm not sure how many times the aggressor is going to be shot but I know it's going to be at least once.:D

Sergei Mosin
March 5, 2014, 09:40 PM
I want to address one of Kleanbore's concerns - accessibility in the driver's seat.

This is something that's bothered me for a long time too. The jacket pocket solution is a good one, but for me it only works in the winter. Summers around these parts are hot. That means the only places I can carry a gun on my person are going to be essentially inaccessible while seated in the car.

Now, there are car-mounted holsters available. They have the advantage of easy access in the car; they also mean you can carry any gun you can conceal. The disadvantage is that you have to transfer the gun between holsters when you get in or out of the car, which can negate the concealment you're trying to maintain. The other disadvantage is that they don't suit every car. Good luck getting my wife to let me mount one in her minivan, or finding a place to mount one in my convertible. The console or glove compartment is a poor second, although it can be made to work.

So I don't know if there's a good answer to the problem when you can't wear a jacket.

Gun Master
March 5, 2014, 10:03 PM
Kleanbore, two is always better than one, but one J frame is better than zero ! No es verdad ?:D

Kleanbore
March 5, 2014, 11:05 PM
Posted by Gun Master: ...one J frame is better than zero ! No es verdad ?Sure, but in most cases, one good pistol of the same size with a better trigger and better sights and more capacity would be even better.

In 2014 there are Glock, Ruger, and Smith Semi-autos that meet that description.

Three score years ago there were new Colt revolvers. One can still buy older ones today..

Gun Master
March 5, 2014, 11:20 PM
Sure, but in most cases, one good pistol of the same size with a better trigger and better sights and more capacity would be even better.

In 2014 there are Glock, Ruger, and Smith Semi-autos that meet that description.

Three score years ago there were new Colt revolvers. One can still buy older ones today..
I own one of those Colts, which I sometimes use for CCW. Please see post #211, next to the last paragraph. It's in "like new" (99.51%) condition.

I support your "backup" gun advocacy, whenever possible. But,......one is better than none.

Thanks for your input and being moderator.

Kleanbore
March 6, 2014, 09:10 AM
On that nice note, and after nine pages and 224 posts, I think we can close this one.

Should anyone have a worthwhile idea that has not yet been touched upon, send a PM.

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