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Going to get a J-Frame for pocket carry... Which one?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Macchina, Feb 14, 2013.

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  1. Macchina

    Macchina Member

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    I've had my CPL for 5 years now and I recently got my first revolver (SP101 with 4.2" barrel and target sights) and realize I really like revolvers. Having fired a few rounds through a S&W Scandium .357, I KNOW I am looking for a .38 Special +P revolver that will fit in my pocket. I am not opposed to IWB belt carry either. I only carry one gun at a time and have no problem with carrying something small with few shots.

    I like the features and function of the S&W 638, it's a classic. The Ruger LCR however has crept up on the Smith's territory and many people really like it. It appears slightly larger than the Smith J-Frames and I fear it wouldn't pocket as well. Do the grips that make the LCR such a pleasant shooter also make it harder to carry?

    Any advice on which carries and shoots better?
     
  2. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    I own a S&W 638 that I use for a pocket carry and it works quite well.
    It's shoots well and at 7 yards double action I get about 6" groups on a silhoette target.
     
  3. Indifferent

    Indifferent Member

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    I got a S&W 642 I really like it. I chose the silver over the black as the sights are a little easier to see (for me)
     
  4. j frame

    j frame Member

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    I have a 642 Centennial that I pocket carry often, but in work pants, the butt tends to stick out. Don't like tuckable holsters, so I usually throw my LCP in a pocket when I wear those pants. The Centennial is PERFECT for almost any other clothes though. Sometimes carry on a belt as well, and it works great there as well.
     
  5. David E

    David E Member

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    The 642 is a better choice than the 638 for pocket carry as its totally enclosed.

    One must master the DA trigger, but if you're carrying it for defense, that should be a self-imposed requirement. You won't have time to thumb cock the gun in a defensive situation anyway, so you're not really giving up anything.

    6" at 7 yds isn't all that great, unless that group was fired in 2.5 seconds. The gun can make hits on a 100 yd torso target, so it can hit things closer, too.

    Slowfire, 7 yd groups should be golf ball size. 25 yds, about basketball size.

    And carry a reload, at least in a speed strip.
     
  6. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    642 with CT is the bee's knees in a pocket holster. Mine also holds a speed strip.
     
  7. Macchina

    Macchina Member

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    Do none of you guys own (or want) the Ruger LCR or are S&W J-Frames just that much better?
     
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Another vote for the 642 -mine is a newer one without the lock. The rounded form of the gun hides better in the pocket than my Kahr semi
     
  9. colorado_handgunner

    colorado_handgunner Member

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    642. Excellent gun.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. stiab

    stiab Member

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    I have a 38 and two 442's (the all black versions), and recommend the 442 (or 642) for pocket carry because they are closed. That is even more true if you carry them on an ankle, as lint can be a problem. If you go with the IWB, try it crossdraw for real comfort, no hip hitting. Also if you go ankle, you will really like a Galco ankle glove arrangement, you will literally forget it is there.
     
  11. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

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    michaelmcgo: If you can find one you might give a S&W 640-1. I have had one of these for several years even put a crimson trace lazer sight on it. I pocket carry most of the time but have a fobus owb holster that I use also. This little gun conseals very I think, and does not snag on any thing coming out of my pocket or holster. Being that mine is SS it is a little bit heaver.than some S&W J models. But I shoot my 640-1 quite a bit and have gotten alot better than I ever thought I would. I carry both +P 38spl & 357 and find the recoil on the 357 is not that bad and I favor the 357 mag over the +P 38spl. I carry this gun alot because I find it very easy to use and to me very accurate, and with the Crimson Trace Lazer on it. I like it even more. I also carry a speed loader. Good Luck To You:
    ken
     
  12. bradepb

    bradepb Member

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    I think my 642 is my favorite gun. Its just so darn cool and a true classic. I did add a houge monogrip which improves control but hurts concealment just a little.
     
  13. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    How about making my FIRST shot count?
    I carry Speed Loader in another pocket!
     
  14. g_one

    g_one Member

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    IMHO there are a two things to take into consideration when choosing a J-Frame:
    I don't like using a revolver in SA mode, because I won't be using SA when it counts. This, combined with reduced snag, means that on a J-frame you should probably get a hammerless, or shrouded, model. Personally though, I think a revolver without that hammer sticking out on the back just isn't a revolver - so I would always stick with one.
    And secondly, cartridge: those air-lite scandium revolvers are great if you're just going to be shooting 38spl - they truly do just disappear into your pocket or an IWB - but you're going to end up with a headache and a wristache if you try shooting 357 through them. If you're going to be loading 357, get the heaviest, thickest, all-steel j-frame you can find.
     
  15. Highcaliber

    Highcaliber Member

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    IMHO the j-frame S&W's are superior to the Ruger. Some dealers stock a special model in the j frame series that have what's called the S&W Super Tuned Trigger, I think Davidsons distributes them. They come with a perfromance center tuned trigger and tag in the box, but WITHOUT the Performance Center engraving.
     
  16. David E

    David E Member

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    Where did I say NOT making your first (and every) shot count? Of course you make each shot count. Or are you saying that you cock the hammer on your 638 to ensure a good hit? If so, then more DA practice is indicated.
     
  17. Indifferent

    Indifferent Member

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    I got my 642 over the LCR because it was less expensive, fit in my pocket better and I thought it looked better. So far with thousands of miles in a pocket holster climbing mountains and crawling through tunnels it still functions flawlessly and no one knows its there but me.
     
  18. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    It makes little sense to me to shoot my 638 single action, not much of a hammer spur there anyway.
    This IS my primary carry weapon and I practice shooting double action on a regular, at least weekly,basis.
     
  19. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Another vote for 642, satin silver finish. See if you can find one without the internal lock.
     
  20. weblance

    weblance Member

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    I have the 357 LCR and the 638. I prefer the 638 because I like having the SA option available. I also seem to be more accurate with the 638 in DA. Im not sure why. I had trouble adjusting to the LCR trigger, I think the let off was causing me to shoot low. I do shoot it well now, but still just prefer the 638. They are both excellent snubs, and no, I dont think the J Frames are any better than the LCRs.
     
  21. dsink

    dsink Member

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    I have several Smith J frames but one that is quickly becoming my favorite is the new Bodyguard 38 spl.
    Picked it up around Christmas and have fallen in love with it.
     
  22. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Member

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    I'm gonna throw my hat in for the 642, or a 38 Special Ruger LCR.
     
  23. David E

    David E Member

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    Makes perfect sense to me.
     
  24. U-235

    U-235 Member

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    I carry a 642 in a Robert Mika pocket holster, I don't even notice it in my pocket.
     
  25. KentuckyBlue

    KentuckyBlue Member

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    442 in a Mika in front pocket.
     
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