New J Frame owner - Questions

New J Frame owner - Questions

This is a discussion on New J Frame owner - Questions within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; For those of you following my other thread, the choice has been made! Called my LGS just to check price on the j frames and ...

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Thread: New J Frame owner - Questions

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    New J Frame owner - Questions

    For those of you following my other thread, the choice has been made! Called my LGS just to check price on the j frames and they told me they had them on sale this week for 349.00. I couldn't resist! I walked out with a j frame and a 50 count box of Winchester 158g +p LSWCHP's. I haven't got to shoot it yet...probably this weekend. So, a few questions from a new j frame owner

    1. I noticed that S&W sells a Uncle Mike's boot grip. It honestly looks pretty similair to the stock grip. Does anyone have the boot grip? Is it worth it? Any other grips (other than crimson trace) that you recommend?

    2. Is it ok to dry fire it?

    3. The trigger is smooth, but stout. Do you think it's worthwhile putting a trigger kit in it?

    4. Holsters. I am partial to the crossbreed style hybrids. I would go with one for this but I was hoping to get something with a bit less "footprint". I wanted a mini tuck but they don't make them for any of the small wheel guns. What do you recommend for IWB? Not interested in Remora.

    5. Did you remove the lock from yours?

    Thanks!

    Oh yeah, the obligatory pic :)

    jframe.jpg
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I like the grips pictured on yours. They are considered boot grips.

    Dry fair occasionally. Recommend snap caps for extensive dry firing.

    Trigger gets better with use. I dont like to dicker with something that works well, especially something as important as the spring responsible for primer strikes. Opinions vary.

    I carry it in a pocket holster.

    Lock still on mine...never had an issue.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Good choice on the S&W 637 i.e. chiefs special. I have one of those and a 638 bodyguard too. I removed the locks on both by disassembling um and grinding off the small notch that does the locking when activated and reinstalling it to plug the hole. Was it necessary, probably not, but I hate any internal locking device added to my handguns. I had a trigger job done on my 638 that rivals my LCR easily and I must say that it made a huge difference in the DAO accuracy. If anyone asked me if the trigger job was worth it I'd say absolutely, highly recommend it. I did my own on my 637 by following a YouTube video done by "nutnfancy" and some gent called Yoda I think it was, pretty easy and I gotta say I can't see much difference between the 638; pretty easy really. Anyway, congrats again and enjoy the new Smith. 158gr is a good round to go along with the snub too.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  4. #4
    Ex Member Array Yankeejib's Avatar
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    I've dry fired my 442 thousands of times. It still works. I think mine has a lock, I dunno. I never use it. Post some pics......

  5. #5
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    The stock boot grips are fine for CC. If you end up carrying IWB and don't like the rubber on your skin, consider boot grips from Altamont or from Ahrend's. The latter are pricey but nice. You can also get larger grips - like the grips that cover the backstrap and have a pinky groove, such as on the SW model 60, but those make pocket carry more difficult.

    Any pocket holster will do. For IWB I use either a Desantis Summer Heat or a Galco Royal Guard. The latter is top notch, but about 2.5x the price of the Desantis.

    For OWB I use a Galco concealable belt holster for the j-frame. You will forget this light little package is there.

    I have several Smiths with locks, and collectively have shot thousands of rounds through them. Never a problem.

    You may be surprised at how snappy this little gun is with +P's. Its not a comfortable shooter for a lot of rounds, but it's not meant to be.

    By the way, my first j-frame was a 637-2, just like yours, I believe. 349 NIB is a darn good price, too. Enjoy!

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array skysoldier29's Avatar
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    I carry my 638 and LCR in a belly band most of the time. I don't have any problems with it digging into my skin as long as I don't tighten my belt against the cylinder. The trigger on mine smoothed out quite a bit with use and dry fire. With that said I don't think it needs a trigger mod. The gun was designed for up close and personal save your bacon when needed. The gun is not designed for that 25 yard no poop I need to make that head shot to stop a crazed gunman. Under true life and death stress, I would find it hard to find someone who can make that shot even with a fine tuned Wilson Combat 1911.

  7. #7
    Member Array Otis2's Avatar
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    Regarding the lock, I would recommend you leave in if you intend to carry for self defense. Range gun only, no problem removing. The lock is well designed, lots of anecdotal chatter of failure, I don't believe a bit of it. Lock still in both my 642 and M&P 340. Don't need to give prosecutor anything to sway a jury with, no matter how misguided, should you need to use for SD.

    I carry IWB in a Tommy Theis horsehide (very similar to Supertuck without the embossed clip emblems). Pocket carry in a Mika Pocket Holster. Both work really well.

    +1 to the snap caps. Load up 5 and you can dry fire indefinitely. Just keep pulling that trigger to your full desire.

    I like the Bianchi Speed Strips for carrying refills. 5 rounds will lay nice and flat in your pocket. Ayoob has a nice YouTube video detailing proper, efficient use.

    You'll want to be careful with your cleaning solvent. S&W recommends NOT using Hoppes #9. They give a thumbs up to Hoppes Elite, however.

    You should check with S&W, find out the minimum service trigger pull and not take any lower than their recommendation. Again, for potential legal wrangling. If you are pretty handy, Apex makes an awesome drop in trigger kit.

    Great shooter, very reliable. Enjoy and be safe!

    Sent from my rotary dial phone using tapatalk.

  8. #8
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    Excellent purchase Rollo, congrats! There are tons of instructions floating around for removing the lock, even on DC. Same as Gottabkiddin! I removed the locks on all my j frames including the 637.

    Boot grip vs regular is a Chevy Ford thing. Both are great, is is just what you prefer. I would be reluctant to mess with the trigger, just shoot it a lot and it will break in nicely. Can't help you with the holster, I mostly pocket carry.

    Dry fire away and enjoy. Btw, speed strips are an excellent way to carry reloads.
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  9. #9
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    Is it ok to dry fire it? ~~~~>

    3. The trigger is smooth, but stout. Do you think it's worthwhile putting a trigger kit in it?

    You really just need a lighter trigger rebound slide spring.
    Compressing that spring as you pull the trigger is what is making your trigger pull seem "stout" - I would leave the hammer spring alone or just go very slightly lighter.

    Can you see it peeking out of the little slot in the rebound slide behind the trigger? - Many folks think that little spring is too stiff as it comes from the factory.
    If you can't or don't want to change it out yourself take your firearm to any decent local gun smith and they can install a lighter one for the cost of the spring plus some labor time.
    It shouldn't be much more than $20.00 over the cost of the spring in labor.

    Not my gun so...don't say Hey QK - Your S&W is RUSTY!
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I carry mine in a Mika pocket holster, or IWB in a Mr. Softy



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  11. #11
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    Disclaimer: My J-frames are a Taurus steel M85 and an "ultralight" variant, a Bodyguard clone. Same design innards as the S&W (minus the lock), although perhaps of more questionable quality. Each has probably close to 2K rounds through the gun with zero hiccups.

    Grips are a highly personal thing... I'd see how the OEM grips work for you with both practice and carry ammo before considering a change. FWIW - wood grips on my first one were painful!

    Dry fire to your heart's content. The gun will be fine.

    The trigger has to wear in a bit. According to a S&W specialist I talked to, J frames are tough to tweak because what you gain in trigger pull reduction you potentially give up in reliability (lighter hammer strikes) and trigger reset. A trigger kit is something else I'd hold off on until you have a thousand rounds through the gun.

    Can't help with a belt-level holster. I have a Simply Rugged Silver Dollar for the rare trail use, the rest of the time the gun rides in my pocket, in a Wild Bill's Perfect Packer Premium.

    I would remove the lock, yes. There are some crafty aftermarket 'solutions' to plugging the hole, too.

    Along with your carry ammo, I'd lay in a supply of practice ammo. With my J-frame, a few cylinders of +P rounds through that light gun is about all the fun I can stand. Before I started reloading, I used the pretty common 130 grain FMJ and found I could handle about 50 rounds in a practice session before I was ready for something more relaxing, like my .45s...
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Haywood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
    For those of you following my other thread, the choice has been made! Called my LGS just to check price on the j frames and they told me they had them on sale this week for 349.00. I couldn't resist! I walked out with a j frame and a 50 count box of Winchester 158g +p LSWCHP's. I haven't got to shoot it yet...probably this weekend. So, a few questions from a new j frame owner

    1. I noticed that S&W sells a Uncle Mike's boot grip. It honestly looks pretty similair to the stock grip. Does anyone have the boot grip? Is it worth it? Any other grips (other than crimson trace) that you recomme
    2. Is it ok to dry fire it?

    3. The trigger is smooth, but stout. Do you think it's worthwhile putting a trigger kit in it?

    4. Holsters. I am partial to the crossbreed style hybrids. I would go with one for this but I was hoping to get something with a bit less "footprint". I wanted a mini tuck but they don't make them for any of the small wheel guns. What do you recommend for IWB? Not interested in Remora.

    5. Did you remove the lock from yours?

    Thanks!

    Oh yeah, the obligatory pic :)

    jframe.jpg
    The Stock Grips don't work well with Speed Loaders. The Grips on sale are the old ones and work well with Speed Loaders. The Combat Grips are Longer and handle recoil better. I went with the older Boot Grips like the ones on sale. S&W Web Sight and Owners Manual say it's OK to dry fire. I dry fire all my Revolvers at least 2000 times before I shoot them. It smooths up the action.I never lighten the trigger. I only pocket carry my J-Frames, can't help with a Holster. My bobbed 37 and Two of the 442s have no lock. The One 442 has a lock. I put Thread Locker on it and it won't move now. Good Luck with your J-Frame. They are great little guns.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new gun. I've been toying with the idea of getting a J-frame myself. Let us know how you like it compared to your Glock after you've carried it for a while.
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  14. #14
    Member Array NCMedic8617's Avatar
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    Congrats on the J-Frame
    1. Grip are subjective, I'm preferential to the CT Laser Grips, but that is me, I also like the VZ Grips.
    2 . Yep
    3. Trigger will improve with dry firing, I installed the Apex Tactical J Frame kit in my 442, also polished the rebound slide which fixed the grittieness.
    4. I pocket carry more of the time, but also have a SKD Claw IWB.
    5. I did remove the IL and put a "plug" from the S&W forum member who makes them.

    Welcome to the club......

    Sent from this... Using that...
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Rollo, nice purchase! Plain and simple, I think that I would be inclined to just take it out and shoot it a few times to see if it was something I could to get used to or to find out specifically what it needs to suit you better. You never know, you may love it the way it is but you might not find out until you shoot it a round or two.
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