Pocket/BUG gun?

This is a discussion on Pocket/BUG gun? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey everyone, I've been thinking of a backup gun to be carried in the pocket, maybe angle and maybe in a small fannypack (gym and ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array ajgranda's Avatar
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    Pocket/BUG gun?

    Hey everyone,

    I've been thinking of a backup gun to be carried in the pocket, maybe angle and maybe in a small fannypack (gym and beach). I've, pretty much down to three choices: Kahr P.380, Sig P238 SAS, S&W M&P 340 (no IL)/360. I feel the Sig has the best trigger (SA only), the J frame would be the most reliable and the Kahr possibly the easiest to carry in the Pocket. What are you opinions? Thanks
    Last edited by ajgranda; January 31st, 2012 at 07:56 PM. Reason: P238
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
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    Kahr CM9 or PM9, smaller than a J-Frame (except barrel width) and fits just as well. I have both styles (Kahr MK9, Kahr PM9 and a S&W 642), there's no difference in pocket carry between the revolver and the small Kahr's in my opinion.

    The advantage of a revolver is that it can be fired from the pocket more than once, no feed issues and no eject issues. That said, I rarely carry my revolver and it's been reassigned as a glove box gun.

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  4. #3
    hbc
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    A 357 J frame is in a wholly different league than the .380s. I'd go J frame.

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    Ex Member Array LSP972's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajgranda View Post
    S&W M&P 340 (no IL)/360.
    No such critter. The only AirLite J frame that was manufactured sans lock was the first run of M-342s, which is .38 Special caliber. The "magnum" versions all came along after the introduction of the lock.

    Given your choices also include .380, maximum cartridge "power" is obviously not a concern... aside from the fact that very folks, once they have done so, will again willingly launch full-power .357s out of these beasts. Anyone who doesn't find that painful has deadened nerves or some other disorder... :D

    Also, consider weight. While that is definitely a factor in pocket carry, the .380 examples you mention are all heavier than a "regular" AirWeight J frame; to wit, the M-642/442/37 genre. IOW, the three ounces less of the AirLite, while indeed noticeable from a carry standpoint, becomes irrelevant when if you are considering some heavier pieces.

    Not trying to be a weisenheimer here; but I've been down this road, and can tell you that the three ounces less of the titanium cylinder J frames is indeed worth the extra cost if heavy stuff in your pockets bothers you. However, in many opinions the bit of extra velocity you get from a full house .357 vs a +P .38 in these short barrels is NOT worth the tremendous increase in flash, blast, and discomfort to the firing hand.

    Reader's Digest version... get a Ti-Scan AirLite M-340 or M-360 if you want the lightest available package, and load it with +P .38s. No-lock M-342s have become somewhat of a cult item, and are very expensive when (if) you can find one. Mine is not for sale, at any price.

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    Ex Member Array LSP972's Avatar
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    I neglected to answer the critical part of your question. While opinions vary, many folks who have carried professionally for a long time favor a snubby revolver over a semi-auto for primary pocket carry or BUG use. The main reason is reliability; the small self-loaders have spotty reliability records. Add to this the fact that odds are good the employment of a BUG will involve very close proximity... and if you have to make a contact shot (gun against your adversary's body) you are just about guaranteed a malfunction with a semi-auto... ANY semi-auto, not just the little ones.

    With a revolver, as long as the cylinder and hammer are not obstructed, you will most likely be able to shoot everything you have... hence the saying "Six (or five) for sure." But if the slide movement on a semi-auto is restricted/retarded in any way (such as pressed against a body), its probably going to choke; i.e., you get ONE shot.

    A slight added bonus is that the revolver will fire pretty much anything that will fit in the cylinder. I'm talking old/grungy/non-defense-type ammunition here; of course you want to use the proper caliber/type cartridge. But if wadcutters or snake shot is all you've got, the revolver will fire them without issue. The semi-auto, OTOH, needs good ammunition of a certain power level to function.

    And while we're on THAT topic, the revolver does not require the shooter to have a proper grip to function, i.e. a panic draw resulting in poor grip form doesn't matter with the snubby. You'll still be able to shoot it multiple times.

    I could go on, but you get the idea...

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    Member Array ajgranda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSP972 View Post
    No such critter.
    .
    Thanks for the responses, but you stand corrected on one thing.

    Product: Model M&P340 - No Internal Lock
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    Sometimes I BUG S&W #103061
    11.4 oz 340PD red ramp front sight no lock DAO 5 shot J frame 357 in a front pocket

    or

    Kahr PM40
    16 oz 5+1 40 cal striker fired semi auto in a back pocket
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    Ex Member Array LSP972's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajgranda View Post
    Thanks for the responses, but you stand corrected on one thing.

    Product: Model M&P340 - No Internal Lock
    Interesting... that's recent. Of course, given that they are doing some M-442s without the lock, it makes sense.

    Thanks for the info.

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  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array GunGeezer's Avatar
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    LSP972 is right. I pocket carry my S&W 342, titanium with .38+p hydroshocks in a galco pocket Pro. It feels as light as my Kel-Tec P3AT and packs more of a punch and I don't worry about it's reliability. I've got a yen for a Barretta Nano but I don't think I'm gonna like the size and weight comparison.

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    It's much heavier but I like the S & w 686 plus..... 7 rounds are better than5
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    Member Array WvHiker's Avatar
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    I have a .380, and I have an SP101. While the SP101 is no airweight j frame, I can't see picking the .380 over a .38. Granted I have a P3AT, but in my limited experience I'd pick the .38 wheel gun ten times out of ten. Yes, a .380 may be easier to carry. Yes, a lot of guys feel just fine with a .380, and I have no problem with that, either. I'd rather see someone with a .380 than no gun, but between the two I'd go with the .38 if I were you. There's no question that the .38 is more powerful than the .380, and (again, in my limited .380 experience) the .380 is just not as reliable. Maybe your experience will be different; this is just an opinion.

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    Ex Member Array pir8fan's Avatar
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    I looked at all of those and went with the Ruger LCP. It has very smooth sides so there's very little to get caught when drawing out of your pocket. Mine's had about 2300 rounds through it with a variety of ammo and I've never had any problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by usmc0311 View Post
    It's much heavier but I like the S & w 686 plus..... 7 rounds are better than5
    So do I, but not as a BUG or in the pocket.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pir8fan View Post
    I looked at all of those and went with the Ruger LCP. It has very smooth sides so there's very little to get caught when drawing out of your pocket. Mine's had about 2300 rounds through it with a variety of ammo and I've never had any problems.
    Thanks, but I hate that trigger and it ergonomics.
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    Distinguished Member Array Knightrider's Avatar
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    I'll go with the J-frame, but in a .38spl
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