J-Frame Primary CCW?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Panzerschwein, Apr 2, 2017.

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  1. bsms

    bsms Member

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    Model 60 is my primary for carry. A small 380 for greater concealment, or a bigger gun for home defense. If I could only own one, it would keep the 60.
     
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  2. Crowman

    Crowman Member

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    Yes. I am a fan of both J-Frames and DAO Century Frame S&W's as primary CCW guns. I differentiate between what I pack when dressing up and going into town vs. what I wear around the property daily, and have on me when I have to run out to the big box store or hardware store for project supplies or groceries (beer, wine, whisky, food) and don't plan on changing clothes.

    I used to carry a model 36 but upgraded to C-Frames.

    My primary dress-up goto town gun is a S&W Century Frame M&P 340. It has a tritium night sight. I replaced the factory boot grips with a set of Pachmayr Diamond Pro grips. My principal load for this gun is HPR 158 grain JHP 38 Specials.

    My late summer EDC gun is a S&W Century Frame 640 Pro Series with front night sight, Novac style rear sight, and cut for moon clips. I also replaced the grips with the Pachmayr Diamond Pro grips. My main load for it is the Buffalo Bore hard cast 158 grain SWC Outdoorsman load, along with a CCI /Speer shotshell.
     
  3. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    That'd be me, much of the time. I consider this category of weapon a fine choice if the gun has to be invisible to all but minute inspection of your attire. It is the smallest kind of gun I'm willing to carry.

    I have considerable confidence that it will perform properly, within the limitations imposed by its size and design. It has a long track record, though not a spotless one: it's a known quantity. It has often been enough gun to get someone out of a bad situation.

    It has some drawbacks, the most important one being that it is challenging to shoot straight. It takes a certain amount of range time to find the solution to the problem posed by a short sight radius and a long stout trigger pull.
     
  4. old fart

    old fart Member

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    i don't carry a s&w j frame but i do carry a gun that's about the same size everyday as its my only carry gun except for my heritage 22. i carry a ruger lcr 9mm everywhere i go, i never leave home without it and have it on at home too.
     
  5. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    I've been carrying one for many years. Presently, it's a Ruger LCR in 327 Fed Mag.
     
  6. Gordon
    • Contributing Member

    Gordon Contributing Member

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    these two get carried CCW , notice the sights on the 7 shot .40 Shield which only weighs 4 .oz heavier than the 442 and is thin and about as small.
    [​IMG][/URL]
    [​IMG][/URL]
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
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  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I started out carrying an S&W 60 many years ago, and have carried a multitude of J-frames and similar small-frame revolvers off and on ever since. My favored S&W models are the 60, 642, and 638, but I have carried an LCR, Sp101, or Taurus 85 far more frequently.

    The disadvantages, among the entire fleet of competition on the market, can be many, but for me, really only boil down to:

    1) Capacity and reload speed

    2) Thickness for conceal-ability, and that of reloads

    I fully expect folks to flame back against those, but I'm carrying revolvers for ~25yrs, the above are real, and difficult to ignore. Sure, a speed strip is easier to conceal than a speed loader, but it takes considerably longer to load as well, so while it partially fixes #2, it worsens #1. It's been easier to carry a Glock 19 than a J-frame of similar size and weight, and I get 3x the capacity with a 3x reload...

    I still carry a revolver at least once a week (on average), and I would typically be considered a "revolver guy," among other "gun guys," but those two challenges have to be acknowledged, as I really can't reconcile either of them. I can easily dispatch weight vs. poly pistols, or the shorter sight radius per overall length issues, and can easily ignore the "defensively DAO" issue compared to striker or DA/SA pistols, but capacity and concealability remain to be challenges for me. I CAN conceal a J-Frame, but it's irrefutably easier to conceal a flatter pistol of similar size.
     
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  8. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I carried an SP101 and later a 642. Never felt under gunned.

    Still carry the SP101 now and then. But my XDs in 45 took over for most occasions. 6-8 rounds of a more potent cartridge in a thinner package. Still wouldn't hesitate to carry a J frame though.
     
  9. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Having started my career carrying a revolver the J-Frame holds a special place in my heart and I carried one frequently.

    However things have changed much for the worse in our country. Mass shootings in the workplace. schools, malls, etc. are becoming to common. Thanks to previous President Open Borders Policy the FBI admits that there are thousands of potential terrorists in the country and they can't keep track of all of them. Then there are folks who just have a grudge and seek to harm as many other as possible.

    I have a J-Frame in my desk drawer for back-up home defense. One of these days when I am thinking about it I will put it away in the gun vault. :(
     
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  10. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    442 Pro Series here, and I feel more confident than ever compared to my previous concealed carry guns. I started off with a 3inch 1911. It was OK, but heavy and bulky. Then tried a few different .380s- great to conceal but accuracy and reliability were not 100%. Enter the J-frame model 36- dead nuts reliable and fairly easy to conceal. Finally I stepped up to the 442 Pro-Series, and I couldn't be happier. Lighter than the steel framed 36, no hammer to fool with, and its cut for moon clips! I put some orange paint on the front sight, and its my trusty companion. Simple and effective.

    I don't mind having only 5 rounds. I would rather have 5 reliable rounds than 7 or 8 in a magazine that might crap out at any time.

    The ONLY time I feel like I might need something else is when I'm out on my farm and a coyote might pop up at 50 or more yards away. That hasn't happened yet though.
     
  11. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    I carried one of five J-frames on a daily basis until I bought this,
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    The opinions in this thread are biased, because those who carried a J-Frame into a gunfight and found it inadequate are dead, and therefore cannot log into The High Road. The only people who are alive and can post an opinion here are those who carried a J-Frame and survived a fight, or those who carry a J-Frame but have not been in a fight, or those who base their opinion on something other than firsthand experience. To his credit, Griz22 provided a secondhand story of an off duty officer who used one in self defense.

    I carry a Model 60, never been in a fight, and will do everything I can to maintain that status. I hope it's enough if and when that time ever comes.
     
  13. mbok1947

    mbok1947 Member

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    Back in my days and nights around law enforcement I saw many suspects confronted and cuffed by detectives who back then commonly carried J frames. Never saw a suspect laugh or say "go ahead and shoot." Those little two inch barrel revolvers were and are plenty intimidating. The modern version LCR .357 is my sole pocket and SUV console defense weapon, and I feel quite confident that if Mr. Thug ever comes calling it will have the same positive impact on him.
     
  14. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    For me, it would be adequate.
     
  15. CZ9shooter

    CZ9shooter Member

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    My 637 is enough for me.
     
  16. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    People who choose this sort of gun do so not because it is the optimum fighting pistol, but because it is small. For my tastes, it is the best choice among the disappearing guns.

    It is powerful for its size and weight, simple and straightforward to operate, and though it can fail, its failure modes are few, well known and can generally be caught beforehand by inspecting your revolver. All but a few models are indifferent to ammo variations such as brand, bullet type, bullet weight, etc. None are prone to magazine-related failures. ;)

    Revolvers seem to me inherently more resistant than small auto pistols to problems caused by pocket lint, but I really haven't done an in-depth analysis of that.
     
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  17. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    <chuckle> Y'think? :)
     
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  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Yes, but that's true no matter what gun we are discussing.
     
  19. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Safariland makes a nice cover 'case' for their J-frame comp 1 speedloaders that is easily concealable. Although I've heard for years that they 'auto -eject" when on the belt, I've never had one do it, and I wear them a lot.
     
  20. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Bingo!
     
  21. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    I had carried a P3AT .380 acp for four years but wasn't happy with the sights or my ability to shoot it past 15 yds. I shoot my old S&W 36's much better than the KelTec but their weight made pocket carry less comfortable. Rented a S&W 637 to give it a try and found it to be as good as the old steel frame 36's, The light 15 oz alloy frame is easy to pocket carry without dragging the pants down or bulging in the pocket. The 637 recoil with +P was manageable with the factory supplied boot grips using a 2 finger hold and the little finger wrapped below the bottom of the stock. It shot Remington Golden Saber 125gr +P to point of aim. I carry 2 Safariland speed loaders in case I need a reload. The 637 is now my EDC.

    Never was an LEO but got my first CCW in 1974 and have carried various handguns over the last 43 years. Over all those years I have never had to draw, point or fire my weapon to defend my self, my family or friends even though I now live in a neighborhood that has progressed into a higher crime neighborhood in the 31 years I've lived here. For my circumstances I feel that the snub nose 36 and other J frame pistols to be adequate for my defense due to the ease of carry and it does go with me every day.

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. 38riverrat

    38riverrat Member

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    Now you will need to change your username:)

    Best,
    Rick
     
  23. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    The story I related earlier in this thread was intended to illustrate one of the downsides of a J frame. Capacity. That incident was in the days NYPD issued the "inadequate", to many, the 158 grain std velocity SWC.

    I could relate more incidents I have personal knowledge of where a J frame worked fine. I could also relate incidents where a "more appropriate" combat handgun failed.

    It's more about knowing the limitations of you and your equipment. If you can shoot a J frame well it will take care almost all SD scenarios. Good guys losing gunfights is more often the operator and not the equipment.
     
  24. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    I've been carrying a variety of J framed sized revolvers in .38 special for defense. The only real drawback is hammer spur snag, IMO. I have a pretty good pocket holster that takes care of that problem, though. Sorry, I can't remember the make or model of the holster and the mfg tag has fallen off. A shrouded or DAO revolver would take care of the problem, too. I don't want a gun with a real light double action pull. The stiff DA pull of a standard revolver is one of the things I like about revolver carry.

    I usually don't have a back up gun on my person, but usually have one in the car if I'm driving around. And it's usually bigger and more powerful than my .38, not smaller. I guess my car gun is really more my primary when I'm driving.
     
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  25. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I kind of like the "stiff DA pull of a standard revolver" for concealed carry too. But I went to one of our favorite LGSs a couple of months back and could hardly believe what I found out - the pull on the DAO revolver I tried (a 2" Smith) was actually stiffer than the DA/SA, 2" Smith I've been carrying for years. The shop owner explained to me why that is, but I don't remember what he said. I just know the pull on that DAO revolver was stiffer than what I like.
    I carried one of those ugly (IMO) "humpback" shrouded 2" Smith revolvers for a long time. I'm sorry I sold it. Like you said, I didn't have to worry about a hammer spur snag, and the DA pull was the same as on the DA/SA 2" Smith I carry now.
     
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