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Old July 22, 2014, 10:02 PM   #1
g_one
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My First J-Frame

Although my first firearm was a full-sized Taurus revolver, and I currently own a Dan Wesson 5" .357, most of my guns have all been semi-autos. My search for the perfect CCW has led me from one semi-auto to another: my first CCW was a Glock 26. Great gun - reliable, accurate, and the perfect gun for an IWB holster. Problem is, my job/dress code/body shape meant that IWB didn't really work, so I moved to a front pocket gun: a Ruger LCP. It felt great in my hand, but I just wasn't accurate with it at all and as a matter of personal preference I didn't particularly care for .380 as an SD round. Then I came upon what I thought was going to be the last CCW I would ever own: the Beretta Nano. I was very accurate with it, it felt good in my hand, and it was small enough for front pocket carry - or so I thought. After about a month I started getting self-conscious of the bulge it left in my slacks, and the weight it was pulling down on me, so I decided I would give a J-frame a try.
Today, I couldn't be happier with it. A set of Hogue bantam grips and it slips right into my hand like it was made for it, and the recoil with standard pressure .38 loads is easily manageable. Plus, it's an early 70's model which means a well broken-in action that is just as smooth as silk.

Fellow wheel gunners: you've got yourself a CCW convert.
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Old July 22, 2014, 10:28 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard brother!
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Old July 22, 2014, 10:45 PM   #3
Deaf Smith
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Well.. what KIND of J frame?

Chiefs, Centennial, Bodyguard, or what? Airweight or all steel? Blue or stainless?

There is a Centennial and Chief's 60 in this photo of mine:



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Old July 23, 2014, 01:00 AM   #4
Twiki357
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You will never be sorry for having a J frame. But like Deaf asked: What kind? Need Pic’s.
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Old July 23, 2014, 01:55 AM   #5
ArchAngelCD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g_one View Post
Although my first firearm was a full-sized Taurus revolver, and I currently own a Dan Wesson 5" .357, most of my guns have all been semi-autos. My search for the perfect CCW has led me from one semi-auto to another: my first CCW was a Glock 26. Great gun - reliable, accurate, and the perfect gun for an IWB holster. Problem is, my job/dress code/body shape meant that IWB didn't really work, so I moved to a front pocket gun: a Ruger LCP. It felt great in my hand, but I just wasn't accurate with it at all and as a matter of personal preference I didn't particularly care for .380 as an SD round. Then I came upon what I thought was going to be the last CCW I would ever own: the Beretta Nano. I was very accurate with it, it felt good in my hand, and it was small enough for front pocket carry - or so I thought. After about a month I started getting self-conscious of the bulge it left in my slacks, and the weight it was pulling down on me, so I decided I would give a J-frame a try.
Today, I couldn't be happier with it. A set of Hogue bantam grips and it slips right into my hand like it was made for it, and the recoil with standard pressure .38 loads is easily manageable. Plus, it's an early 70's model which means a well broken-in action that is just as smooth as silk.

Fellow wheel gunners: you've got yourself a CCW convert.
I have 3 J frames I like to carry although I mostly carry a 15oz S&W M442. The other 2 are a M36 and a M640 in .357 Mag.

I carry Speer Gold Dot 135gr .38 Special +P ammo in the M442.
I carry Remington R38S12 ammo, The FBI Load in the M36.
I carry Winchester 145gr Silvertip .357 Magnum ammo in the M640.

I'm a big fan of the J frame for every day carry and they serves me well.
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Old July 23, 2014, 06:30 AM   #6
bannockburn
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g_one

I have had a number of J frames over the years (especially fond of the 3" barrel, round butt configuration), and have always had a couple of them in my collection. Currently I have two: a Model 649 and a Model 638 and both are very capable performers.
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Old July 23, 2014, 09:59 AM   #7
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Welcome to the club!
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Old July 23, 2014, 11:35 AM   #8
g_one
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Thanks everyone - I thought I mentioned in the original post that it's a Model 36, but it looks like I forgot to.
Here's a pic, Uncle Mike's pocket holster (which is just a hair too small for the gun) and hogue grips:

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Old July 23, 2014, 11:41 AM   #9
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Very nice.

I'm looking at getting a used but not abused M36.
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Old July 23, 2014, 11:51 AM   #10
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My first J-Frame was also a M-36 (early '80s vintage). While I do have a rubber boot grip for it, I prefer the traditional look with the wooden stocks. It draws easier from the pocket without rubber causing a drag on the pocket material. A Tyler T-Grip makes all the difference in shooting too.
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Old July 23, 2014, 01:45 PM   #11
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Stick with the medium power medium weight loads.
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Old July 23, 2014, 01:55 PM   #12
Deaf Smith
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Good gun G!

Pinned in barrel 36, bit of fingernail polish to make the front sight seeable (commonly done and it does the deed.)

Simple Uncle Mikes holster.

May I suggest you add a Bianchi Speed Strip in a Uncle Mikes speed strip pouch? I use that for my reload for my J .38.



Notice the speed strip in the photo above.. The Uncle Mike's pouch is very good and concealable.

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Old July 23, 2014, 08:49 PM   #13
flyguy958
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J frames are the bug!
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Old July 23, 2014, 08:51 PM   #14
Haywood
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Is your pocket holster a #3? I went with a # 4. The gun slides out easier.
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Old July 23, 2014, 09:24 PM   #15
g_one
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Yes, despite what I read online I opted for the Size 3 and I do wish I had trusted in the reviews and gotten the 4. If it had a spurless hammer it might fit better but I do think a #4 is in my future.
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Old July 24, 2014, 01:00 AM   #16
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I’ve been using the #3 pocket holster for a couple of years now with no problem. A J frame slides in far enough that the hammer spur is about a half inch inside and draws easy.
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Old July 24, 2014, 06:59 AM   #17
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Hogue grips...

I debated about adding Hogue Bantam grips to my S&W 36 until I found a LGS selling a set for fifteen bucks. They fit perfectly to my surprise and give the gun a great feel in my hand.

Quote:
I'm looking at getting a used but not abused M36.
Consider the Rossi 38 Spl (no model number) made when S&W was owned by Bangor Punta. This gun is a knock off the S&W 36 and can be acquired on GB for a fraction of the price of a M36. The parts are not necessarily interchangeable but the fit and finish is near identical to the S&W 36. I have one that is super clean and is a great shooter.

Last edited by Scarpia; July 24, 2014 at 07:20 AM.
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Old July 24, 2014, 07:13 AM   #18
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Congrats. Hardly a better carry gun ever made than the good ol' J frame.
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Old July 24, 2014, 07:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g_one View Post
Yes, despite what I read online I opted for the Size 3 and I do wish I had trusted in the reviews and gotten the 4. If it had a spurless hammer it might fit better but I do think a #4 is in my future.
Forget the Uncle Mike holsters and get a Mika pocket holster. None better.
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Old July 24, 2014, 07:38 AM   #20
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The Chief's Special : THE quintessential snub nose revolver!

Way to go.
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarpia View Post
I debated about adding Hogue Bantam grips to my S&W 36 until I found a LGS selling a set for fifteen bucks. They fit perfectly to my surprise and give the gun a great feel in my hand.
I'm not a fan of the Hogue Bantam grips but then again, that's why there are so many different grips on the market.

It's too bad S&W doesn't sell the Uncle Mike's boot grips any longer. Those grips were rubber clones of Craig Spegel grips and IMO are extremely comfortable to shoot with. When they were selling out I bought an extra set for future use. (and I did use them)
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