A Cheifs Special by any other name... Calibers and Holsters and Moonclips...

A Cheifs Special by any other name... Calibers and Holsters and Moonclips...

This is a discussion on A Cheifs Special by any other name... Calibers and Holsters and Moonclips... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Howdy again folks. I've been picking around here and this seems like a good place to ask questions. I'm going to the range this weekend ...

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Thread: A Cheifs Special by any other name... Calibers and Holsters and Moonclips...

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    A Cheifs Special by any other name... Calibers and Holsters and Moonclips...

    Howdy again folks. I've been picking around here and this seems like a good place to ask questions.

    I'm going to the range this weekend (well maybe next but probably this Saturday unless it's too busy) where I'll decide for sure, but I'm trying to set a budget for a carry piece.

    I have debated numerous guns, and the truth is I really do want a compact auto like a Kahr and a compact revolver, but I must get one before I get the other, and I've read somewhere I must choose one type for carry in my state. Or so I think. More on that here in a second.

    Anyway even after some practice, although I am learning to appreciate autos more, I am still married to the wheelgun. I guess I was born in the wrong century. I have decided to get a compact revolver first.

    I debated and debated because there's lots of fine choices out there, and after lots of (safe) experimentation with my (unloaded) 686, I figured out that although I prefer a medium or large size frame for simple shooting, it well it just doesn't work for me in concealment. I can't draw it quickly nor conceal it well in most of my attire, and I need something that's easy on easy off.

    I CAN make it work with lots of cover garment and a Fobus paddle holster. But even then it is too restrictive, and I can't exactly wear a vest and a sweatshirt everywhere. That's great if you can carry some big honkin' 1911 or S&W 629 around and get away with it, but it doesn't work for me darn it.

    Thus I am seriously looking at pocket carry of a compact revolver. I have a thing for Hogue style grips and stainless finishes. I considered something in .357 but my control is much better with .38 special. I guess I still have lots to learn.

    Research drew me naturally to the S&W 637. It's less than 6.5" long, thin enough, light enough, the factory grips are ideal for me, reasonably priced, and a quality firearm.

    But then again, I see lots of Taurus models available cheaper and I have some experience with them as well and I trust them. I'm also very very tempted by the Ruger SP 101. I have shot several Ruger autos (heck I own one) and I like them a lot, so their revolvers can only be better.

    I've also strongly considered the Taurus 905, because it's really short at 6 inches long and it's chambered in 9x19. I realize it's kind of a weird little animal but I can't shake my fascination with this gun. I have done some more legal research and will soon consult an expert for a more qualified opinion, but I think the source that informed me Texas makes you choose between a revolver and an auto was possibly mistaken. I know there are lots of myths and misconceptions about concealed carry and firearms in general so I take nothing for granted any more. The main thing against this piece is I'm not sure about moonclips in a carry piece as I've been informed of some reasons they're not really good for self defense versus a traditional setup.

    I want two same caliber carry pieces in the two different formats in any eventuality no matter what caliber I go with. You just seem to have so many more options in an auto with 9mm versus .38 Special. Something like one of those Kahrs interests me for the not as immediate future.

    Does anyone have experience with pocket carry, retention, and firing of a snubnose .38 Sp. to relate? I'm not sure I've seen all the pros and cons yet.

    Is there anything I should consider besides the possbility of a bent moonclip if I were to go with a tool chambered in 9x19? Is there something besides the Taurus 905 to consider?

    Do I ask too many silly questions in one post?;)


  2. #2
    Member Array heathen's Avatar
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    You posted: I have debated numerous guns, and the truth is I really do want a compact auto like a Kahr and a compact revolver, but I must get one before I get the other, and I\'ve read somewhere I must choose one type for carry in my state. Or so I think. More on that here in a second.

    If you have to pick one type over the other, I\'d plan for the future. You want a compact Kahr, then I\'d opt for a pistol. You also state you want a revolver so I guess it\'s time for a choice between either. As I stated, in a few years do you see yourself favoring a pistol over the revolver or vise-versa? The revolver will be a little wider than most compact autos but they don\'t have to worry about mag springs wearing out with extended carry and may be a little more reliable.
    It sucks that you must choose one over the other. Can you get your permit changed later or do you have to retake your training classes over?

  3. #3
    JT
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    Originally posted by Euclidean
    I have done some more legal research and will soon consult an expert for a more qualified opinion, but I think the source that informed me Texas makes you choose between a revolver and an auto was possibly mistaken.
    In Texas you can get a “NSA” designation which means you can carry “Only handguns that are not semi-automatic” or a “SA” designation which means “All Handguns, whether semi-automatic or not”. Obviously, if you think there is ever a chance that you will carry an auto, you want to go with the “SA” designation. The designation you get depends on which type of gun you use when you take your qualifying test. Use a auto and you get a \"SA\" designation, use a revolver and you get a \"NSA\" designation. Even if you are going to carry a revolver, I would suggest using an auto for your test, if possible. If you don’t have one, you can often rent one at the range where you take your test.

    As for the revolvers, the S&W 637 you expressed interest in is a real good gun, and a lot of places have had them on sale for a while. You could probably find them for around $350 or a little less. I paid $350 at Academy for my 642, which is the same thing, except hammerless. I like the hammerless model because it has less chance of snagging and can be fired from a coat pocket easier. My thought is in a carry revolver, the odds are that I’m never going to have time to cock a hammer, so why have it on there. As for range work, I would rather always train in double action mode, since that is how I’m going to do it if I ever have to use it.

  4. #4
    JT
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    One more thing…

    If you don’t already have it, here’s a link where you can download the manual with Texas’ CHL laws. Download it from the “Concealed Handgun Statutes & Related Weapons Laws” link. You’ll get a copy of this with your packet, but just in case you wanted to get a head start on reading it.

    http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/chlsindex.htm

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot heathen, JT.

    I don\'t know why I can\'t find that information JT posted on the official site. I\'ve been all over the TXDPS website and still can\'t find it.

    I\'ve learned to hunt down an attorney when I have questions like this and can\'t seem to find the exact law in question in print. I\'m not that great at legal research. I\'m a mathematician not a paralegal. But that \"test with an auto, carry a revolver\" suggestion sounds like a sound ideal. The best solutions are usually pretty simple like that.

    I\'m thinking since I can rent one before I buy it and practice a bit with it, maybe I should go ahead with a 637. I can always sell it later for less than I paid for it and write off the loss to research.;) Or if I want to try something weird like the Taurus 905, I can try it later when I\'m more experienced.

    I\'ve learned that this is process is almost 60% honing skills and 40% making decisions and doing paperwork. Part of that decision is that I think you can\'t quantitively say one format of pistol is always better than another in any given situation even if you prefer one over the other. I\'d really like to carry both eventually for the same reason I carry both a Swiss Army Knife and a Leatherman multitool; I use my SAK a lot more often but there are some things it just can\'t do.

    Personally, I want a real hammer at this point.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    CDNN has had the 642s in the $300 to 350 area off and on for a while. Carry one for a \'get off of me'gun.

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    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    If you look around, you can find 5 shot .44 special revolvers (Smith, Taurus, Rossi, Charter) that aren\'t any bigger than the .357 counterparts.

    Given a choice of having to shoot one off indoors without hearing protection as I might have to in a self-defense situtation, I\'d much rather deal with the .44. Hell, I\'d rather zip through all 18 rounds in my Sig 226 indoors than a couple shots from my S&W 65 in .357.

    Also, be aware that the recoil in the tiny .357s is punishing. It may say 357, but between barrel length and recoil, consider that you\'re probably not getting much better than .38 anyway.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Yeah I\'ve pretty much decided that I am going with a .38 and not a .357 in any event. Too hard for me to control, and probably the largest caliber I can fit in such a gun.

    Although I do have to admit something like the SW 325PD in .45 ACP could be an interesting possibility, and I\'ve heard .44 Special isn\'t too horrible either. It could be worth considering these calibers.

    Considering it was made for an autoloader, 45 ACP can\'t have too much recoil even in a small revolver. Relatively speaking of course. I\'m used to 45 ACP coming out of a big old full frame gun. It may be too much for a pocket gun. I know 38 special in my full size gun is nothing in terms of recoil but it\'s easier to feel its effects in a snubby.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    you could also look into a S&W 60 in 357 Mag 5 shot J Frame, they're small and should you desire to carry +p 38's instead of the 357's you have that option. Taurus has a good line of J Frame copies and they have a lifetime warranty. I've got a 60 in 357 mag and it's pretty hard to beat in the hide-a-way department. Lotsa choices out there, that make you want to buy em all up. Good Luck on your quest

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    I think the Taurus 905 is a fine choice. Especially if you want a caliber for both revolver and semi-auto. Personally I would probably get the 905CHSS for carry, because of the concealed hammer and stainless steel finish. For pocket firing it may or may not work, because it is a concealed hammer not a shrouded hammer. So there is still a hammer that comes back, it's just concealed for snag free draws.

    As for moon clips, if you practice a bit you can be very fast with reloads. In a defensive revolver I would prefer a moon clip setup, because with the short ejector rods the 38 Specials won't always drop free without a little help. With the moon clip you are pushing all the cases out at once and they should have enough combined weight to drop free. The 9mm case being a bit shorter than the 38 Special should help as well. I shoot moon clip guns and have not had a problem with a reload due to a moon clip malfunction. Human error, most definitely.

    Good luck,
    -Scott-

  11. #11
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    This Would Be My Choice


    Smith & Wesson
    You're still able to thumb **** the hammer. It's very light weight. Totally snag free for pocket carry & there is no real practical reason to have "caliber compatibility" between two different handguns (unless you reload)
    Ammo: ~ You buy a box of one & a box of the other...no problem.
    I am not too hot on "moon clips" in revolvers AKA they are one more thing to "go wrong."
    ALSO Please...don't anybody take this personally but I also don't like Taurus firearms. They do really purdy & impressive full page gun magazine ads but their quality control has always been the luck of the draw per individual firearm. Don't buy one "sight unseen" please "function check" it first & before you pay for it. If you happen to get a good one then they're great & reliable guns - but, if you get a "Taurus Dog" you'll be sending back for repairs...probably more than once.
    On the plus side of that...Taurus will keep "Fixing It" for FREE ~ FOREVER ~ EVERY TIME it breaks but, who wants that??
    Their critical malfunction rate still remains leaps & bounds higher than any other gun maker. Search the web & you'll find that out for yourself.
    On the bright side ~ their newer production guns are much better than the older, earlier ones which were mostly total garbage copies of higher quality firearms. If you decide to buy or own a Taurus ~ I'll still like you ~ and we're still on the same side of the firearm fence. This is just my opinion.
    An earlyTaurus is the only firearm that ever blew up on me. Through no fault of my own.
    11 stitches in my right hand & numb fingers for over a month.
    So...I admit that I am extremely biased against them.
    Last edited by QKShooter; January 26th, 2005 at 10:47 AM.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice here guys. I decided I needed to make some compromises and took everyone's advice into account. I've arrived at a carry piece, which I found a good deal on here at a gunshow, and I'm waiting for some stuff for it to arrive.

    There was a certain kind of ammo I wanted that I could not find locally, and had to have it shipped to me. Naturally I wasn't here to sign for it so what will probably happen is the genius who drives the truck will show up at the same exact time tomorrow so I won't be here again. :p

    At any rate I'm quite pleased with my new gun even if it's going to take some practice to use it better, and I'll try to take a decent picture of the new setup as soon as I get my mitts on everything.

    Edit: Oh and I went with the Smith. I think Taurus is OK, but it's not a Smith or a Ruger. They're all right by me, and for a lot of people they're a great option. I fear I may turn some day into a genuine collector of Smith and Wesson revolvers.

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