...haven't carried J frame as primary...but I would with confidence...but only if my backup was another of the same...3" preferred over 2"
...I'm adding an SP101 to my 649...together they would work where I had to go coatless with shirttail in...the snub will do what you tell it to...
The type of firearm isn't as important as the shooter's ability. Whatever you carry, train with it, get to know it.
I love my J-frames but I am going to go against the grain here. When flash mobs and multi-perp crimes began to rise, I questioned whether 5 rounds with a slow (compared to an autoloader for me) reload was my best carry option. I concluded that it was not.
The J-frames carry like a dream and hide easily. That having been said, if I am attacked by an angry mob of more than 5, I may be SOL. That presumes that you have 5 wonder bullets that always find the "1 shot stops the threat" mark.
Also, because I carry at home and don't want to be bothered with changing holsters and gear when I come into the house, and because multi-perp home invasions are not unheard of, I want more firepower on hand. I switched to a G30 for my primary EDC. It has 11 rounds on board with an additional 10 or 13 on tap if I need them - depending on which back up mag I am carrying. Just my $0.02, YMMV.
Do you live in the ghetto, on the edge of the ghetto, in the suburbs, or out in the country, or do you have to head towards town to go hunting?
If you are usually in a relatively low risk area/situation, (relatively) being the operative word), then I wouldn't see much problem. I have my 442 loaded with 135gr +p Speer Gold Dot short barrel and a speed strip when riding the mower, or in the summer sometimes, but I usually still find myself with my M&P .357sig when going out, and I live in a very rural area..
IfI were going to a banquet/reception/wedding I would most likely take the wheelgun.
Do to back and hip problems I've had to go to OWB carry. One of the few guns I have an OWB holster for is a 2" .38 snubby. It has become my EDC for now. I keep her loaded with .38 +P Hydra Shok and don't feel under gunned. If I were going into a sustained fire fight, I would, but the average CC shooting is 2 or 3 rounds fired, I believe.
The 5 shot snub has been getting the job done for decades. Of the dozens of carry guns I have, 4 are snubnose revolvers. My S&W 442 gets a TON of carry time. The Airweight snub is the most versatile carry piece out there. Tons of various loads to choose from, dozens of grips to find what works for you, and a ton of holsters for most any carry application (IWB, OWB, pants pocket, coat pocket, SOB, ankle, shoulder). I would never feel underprotected with any of my snubbie revolvers. There are times I carry 2 snubs, or carry one as a secondary access for my weak hand to something else, but there are plenty of occasions I carry one as my primary or only weapon. Get a couple speed loaders and practice and you can reload a snub from last shot to next shot in virtually the same time as reloading a bottom feeder.
Honestly your worse nightmare would be an out of battery, fail to feed, stove pipe, double feed, weak load with a pistol at 3-4 foot range with a couple of bad guys cornering you in a stairway, hallway etc. And I think the revolver is just a hair faster to draw and defend and 357 makes a lot of sense at those ranges but harder to control at 30 feet for example, in which case you could probably avoid the situation in the first place. I can't say which is better because I like a 20 round 9mm with 147gr hollow points too. I just think the revolver in most situations will serve you better but the problem that kills a revolver is skill. You really have to shoot one about 5000 times before you begin to feel like the accuracy is strapped to a steel rail. Once that feeling begins you dont even need sights to slaughter a 4" circle at 15 feet endlessly without missing. I practice with my LCR22 (22LR) but carry a 357, I also use 38+P ammo every now and then. I carry one or two speed loaders depending on the area. If I plan on close quarters situations I can draw from concealment hitting 2-3 head targets under 1.25-1.5 seconds consistently. I cannot quite do that with my pistol. Something about these little snubbies is lightening fast. And I think they carry wonderfully in many configs. Unfortunately you see people selling revolvers in ads saying "only fired 200 times" and I just laugh. They might as well just bought a knife. The key to these is dry fire practice and thousands of practice draws until perfected. You will have a level of confidence that is hard to beat. My wife hits 10-15 yard steels like clockwork now, and the long shots dont even seem that hard. The natural aim of a revolver is superb. Here are just a few very short videos of my practices, and believe me there are people much much better than I am. When I shoot revolver my frame of mind, method of shooting, counting rounds is completely different than pistol.
LCR22 draw and shoot two bad guys from conceal
PART 2 of 3 Collateral Drill just Ruger LCR22 - YouTube
LCR357 two bad guys mugging scenario
Ruger LCR357 Range Visit - YouTube
Convenience store robbery scenario with S&W Jframe
Store Robbery Drill with J-FRAME Model 442 - YouTube
People should carry the pistol that they are comfortable with. Remember a bad gun is better than nothing. Just the shock that you are armed will help. I carry a Taurus pt145. I like it. It's dependable. I dont have alot of money and it was pretty cheap. It has always went bang whe I pull the triger.
I live in the burbs, but there are frequently shootings and occassionally home invasions within 2 blocks in 3 of the 4 directions. The cop shop is 3 blocks in the 1 direction that does not have issues - go figure. It is not uncommon to have the sheriff's helicopter up looking for someone on or near our street. That is just where I live. I arm up accordingly.
Originally Posted by oneshot
One thing I have noticed with revolver shooters is a lot of 'em always shoot single action that is cock the hammer for every shot so that's where the hammerless snubbys really shine, one has to shoot double action.
The only thing about wheel guns that make me uneasy is reloading. I have found speedloaders to be bulky & awkward to carry. Yeah speed strips are easy to carry but I can't reload fast with 'em maybe I just need to practice more.
I do rarely carry a snub & when I don't feel unarmed just under reloaded.
A Jframe is almost always with me but it alternates between primary and secondary carry. In the winter it usually resides in a coat pocket and is the primary since my P7 is buried under my coat where it would be slow to get to. When I get where I'm going and take off my coat it becomes a secondary weapon as my P7 is now easily accessible.
When the weather warms up the JFrame takes on secondary duties and I normally wear it weakside OWB in a Don Hume J.I.T. slide .
I am looking to purchase a second Jframe for carry in my weak side coat pocket in the winter as I also like having a weapon available to that hand.
Jframes are nice but I hate the idea of having to reload before I'm done.
I posted earlier about my carry choice of the 642 with Gold Dots. I might add that I also carry one or two speed strip reloads with the Gold Dots. When at the range, I do all my reloads from the speed strips for practice, practice, practice. I carry 5, not 6 rounds in the speed strips for easier manipulation. Many carry 4 rounds (2+2 separated by two holes in the speed strip, sacrificing one round for increased speed of the reload). I've done it that way as well, and it is much quicker. When I carry my reloads that way, I always carry two speed strips. For range work, I always work in one handed shooting with each hand just to keep relatively sharp with it.
Many others carry 158gr +p LWSCHP, the other gold standard from the Gold Dots. I've done that, but always carry the Gold Dots in the speed strips because they don't get dinged up in the pocket like the LSWCHP, and are easier to get into the cylinder under stress reloads.
Just a few points to ponder...
S&W Mod 60 gets the most carry time by me. To me a revolver is just easy to carry. One day I am going to carry the wife's 642 just to see what the light weight is like. When traveling or going to an area that I suspect might be a little rough I carry a G22.
To carry a snubby takes dedication to do it right. Speedloaders are bulky, well a wheelgun in bulky compared to an equivalent auto loader. I shoot my 640 Pro very well, it is what I carry when I do not need a gun, such as mowing the lawn. I always carry at least 2 reloads for anything I carry.
Last summer my neighbor gave me an old S&W Airweight Chiefs Special. I have come to find it is a very early model, first or second year production. Her husband was a Sheriffs deputy, and she carried it in her purse for decades (and it shows). She gave it to me when her son (who's a convicted felon) started showing up more often and asking if he could move back in with her.
I put a Hogue Bantam grip on it and bought a DeSantis Summer Heat holster for it.
At first it was hard to draw from the holster, and the holster is made on the thick side for my liking. I would sometimes carry it in a pocket while walking the dog.
Lately I have carried it around the house a bit and got the holster broken in where the gun is very easy to draw. As such, I have started carrying it more often and I really like the light weight and how unobtrusive the grip is above my pants.
The gun shoots surprisingly well with Hornady Critical Defense loads. I have avoided plus P ammo, as this gun has an alloy cylinder.
A friend at work bought a Ruger LCR last month, and I shot about 75 rounds of regular and plus P through it, and I seriously didn't want to give it back to him. I offered him my LC9, 3 mags and a custom built holster for it which he didn't bite on. There is probably one of these in my future.