today's best carry revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Catpop, May 17, 2016.

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  1. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    What is today's best .38 special carry revolver in these respects
    1. Quality, going to shoot regularly
    2. Lightest, pocket carry
    3. Most compact, again pocket carry
    4. Most Economical, but doesn't have to be.

    I've been carrying a Ruger LCP, but getting tired of little auto hard rack back and .380 ammo. I also have a 1973 .38 spc M60 smith, but a little heavy and somewhat bulky. Is there something else I might need to look at in a carry revolver? I reload .38 regularly.

    Thanks, catpop
     
  2. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    Given the criteria, I think it's gonna be tough to beat the ubiquitous S&W 642 Airweight .38. Sure, there are "nicer" and "cooler" guns, but given the OP's critera (which I agree are the most relevant factors), then the quality, customer service, low weight and volume, and economy of the humble Airweight makes it about as ideal as it gets for dragging around day in and day out.
    It admitedly ain't the sexiest girl on the block, but I can carry this thing in elastic-banded gym shorts, so it's nearly ALWAYS gonna be there, which is THE most important criteria. And, being +P rated, I got mine loaded with five +P Gold-Dots, which should be plenty sufficient for nearly any realistic SD need.
    As a matter fo fact, I'm toting mine as we speak !


    By the way, OP, is "catpop" a new variation of the "desk pop"? :D
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Since you seem to place an emphasis on light weight I would suggest that Ruger's LCR has the Smith & Wesson's beat, largely because they offer a better trigger pull and recoil control. The basic design of the S&W J-frames in both conventional as well as enclosed or shrouded hammer designs haven't been really changed or improved since they were introduced following World War Two. While the LCR won't win any points for looks, it is a very affective weapon in it's class.
     
  4. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    Second vote!

    Smith Airweight/Airlights.

    I was on the fence till getting one and now marvel at the weight of my other 5&6 shot "lightweights".


    Todd.

    Reading the above... Of course, there's the hideous little Ruger too. great pistol, readily available, outstanding customer service and a good price... But oh those looks. Makes the uglier end of a bulldog look good!:evil:

    Damn, then speaking of bulldogs... There's Charter Arms lightweights too.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  5. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    +1

    Came to post the same.

    The out-of-the-box triggers on Ruger's are a touch better.
     
  6. Steve51

    Steve51 Member

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    Another vote for Ruger LCR38
     
  7. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    While I must confess that I like the triggers on the Smith Airweights better, I prefer the LCR to carry.

    As far as quality. I would give the edge slightly to the Smiths but only by a hair. Like I said, the triggers are a bit smoother IMO.

    For weight, the LCR wins hands down.

    Most compact really depends on the grips. Even though slightly larger, I prefer the factory grips on the LCR.

    Last time I looked, both are within about $20 of each other in cost.

    EDIT: I over-exaggerated the weight difference but the LCR still fits in my pocket better:)
     
  8. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    Ruger's little LCR is about as good as it gets, from a practical standpoint.
     
  9. verdun59

    verdun59 Member

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    Having tried the LCR38 and found it unpleasant to practice with I moved on to the LCR357. It weighs a little more, is the same size, same gooood trigger , and is pleasant to practice with .38spl. Try one, it may be the answer.
     
  10. Gun Master

    Gun Master Member

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    Best Wheel Gun Carry ?

    I vote for S&W 638 (which I carry). It is an AirWeight version of the original BodyGuard .38 Special. It has all steel barrel and cylinder, plus airplane grade aluminum frame, making it lighter than your current carry. Also, it retains your SA/DA choice, and decreases hammer snag in pocket carry mode, with the shrouded hammer.

    If you prefer DA only, S&W 642 would be another option.
     
  11. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I shot a friend's LCR for the first time the other day. I am buying myself one this weekend.
     
  12. ChiefTJS

    ChiefTJS Member

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    I'm staying with the J Frame Smith. I carry a 640 Pro Series but have had the 442 for a lightweight as well. You want stupid light, I have a 431C in .22mag but truthfully inside the waistband I can't tell a lot of difference but I imagine pocket carry would be different. An all steel gun makes shooting .357's bearable and eats 38's like candy.

    I used to carry an LCP as well but find I can actually shoot the J frame.
     
  13. midland man

    midland man Member

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    my uncle has a lightweight Taurus and its very nice to hold and so I am looking forward to shooting it someday!
     
  14. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    The other day I saw a man walking a pig, y'know I thought it was a pot-bellied pig, some people keep them as pets, so - whatever.

    Then when it got closer I realized it was a bulldog. :eek:
     
  15. ChiefTJS

    ChiefTJS Member

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    Double Post
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  16. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    S&W Centennial, be it the 640, 642, 442, or 340PD, hands down IS the best.

    Deaf
     
  17. gbran

    gbran Member

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    Bottom pic is an S&W 638, .38, 15oz. Real easy to carry.

    SampWs_zpsqaq9gug5.jpg
     
  18. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Member

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    I’m perfectly happy with my old S&W pre-model 37 from 1957.
     
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    IMO the 15oz S&W Airweight is a good carry revolver.
    It's not heavy and can shoot any .38 Special +P ammo on the market.

    I carry a M442 daily.
     
  20. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    For me it would be a S&W Model 638. I could also make a strong case for going with a Ruger LCR. Whichever one one feels and works the best for you.
     
  21. Manny

    Manny Member

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    I spent my money on a Ruger KLCR w/ the Crimson Trace laser grip. The only shortcoming I found is I can't see standard front sight worth a darn. Easily rectified as it's removable and a tritium or fiber optic replacement can take it's place with a few minutes work.

    I shoot +p 125gr .38's and with the excellent trigger and sights the little gun is very accurate easy to shot well. It's wonderfully dehorned from the factory and with the slight extra weight of the .357 mag KLCR it's a pleasure to shoot even with the +p's. Simply the best to be had IMO.
     
  22. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    I am a big fan of S&W revolvers and have owned some for 30+ years. Over that period I've never encountered a Ruger revolver that I preferred over its S&W counterpart. That was until I compared the LCR .38 Spl. +P and the similar S&Ws when looking for a light, compact CCW. The Smiths are great, and with a trigger job would be even better, but the Ruger LCR is an outstanding little gun. It's worth a look and a side-by-side comparison against its competition. I love mine. Well, my wife's, actually. :)
     
  23. entropy

    entropy Member

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    S&W Bodyguard 38. 14.4 oz., already has a laser, ambidextrious, +P rated, tons of holsters fit it, meets and exceeds all four of your criteria.

    642 &442 are a close second.

    Honorable mention to the LCR and Taurus 850UL.
     
  24. cal44mag

    cal44mag Member

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    I'd go with the M&P 340.

    It's about the weight of the 642/442, but will also shoot 357 Mag if you want to. Also has better sights.

    The 340PD is another good one but even lighter, but the Titanium cylinder needs more care when cleaning -- plus it costs more.
     
  25. Armybrat

    Armybrat Member

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    Another vote for the J-Frame Airweights:

    SWrevolver002.jpg
     
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