Best S&W revolver

This is a discussion on Best S&W revolver within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ok as I posted in the General forum. I have what we believe to be an old Bodyguard 38. I purchased several boxes of 38 ...

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    Member Array dragon671's Avatar
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    Best S&W revolver

    Ok as I posted in the General forum. I have what we believe to be an old Bodyguard 38. I purchased several boxes of 38 special ammo and some of it is +P. It was strongly advised not to fire that ammo through my revolver. The gun shops around here are...limited at best in selection. I can either sell the ammo or purchase a revolver. So which of the S&W revolvers are the easiest to conceal and best to replace my 38?

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    I donít know if S&W still makes the Model 49 but it is one of my favorites.

    M49_R.jpg M49_L.jpg
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    Member Array oscar1's Avatar
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    I used to really like the 642-1.
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    Mod 60 or 60 pro. I also like the 640 pro or 686 take your pick all great weapons
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    Gosh, there's so many good ones! If you don't mind the weight, a 640 is a great gun. Personally, I went with a M&P340 CT

    small 340_Mika.jpg small desbiens.jpg I carry it as my off hand BUG!
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    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I am really old and I still like the model 10 but I never have and never will shoot +P in any of my weapons unless it happens to be the absolute last resort.
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    I think I would keep the gun I had, shoot regular 38 spec thru it, and for carry, and be happy. I have a S&W J frame snubby that I love, rated +P, and I want no part of +P.

    I train and practice with non +P, and rightly or wrongly think that for generations regular 38 spec has been plenty enough.
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    I'm partial to this one



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    For a snubbie, I've always been fond of the S&W humpbacks...like the 649 in .357. If it's not for concealment and you're not going big bore, had to beat the 686. Both can be concealed with a little doing, but the 686 or similar is sweet for range or HD, and won't mind your spare ammo in the least.
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    Dont get one that has a lock if you can 625lock.jpg

    For pocket gun get a 642 no lock will handle all the plus p you want and is a good pocket gun .. You may want heavier grips ( I like compact pacmayr)
    For non pocket a 640 pro ( you could pocket carry but it is all steel ) 357 mag with night sigts ..

    But smith has mande a myrid of wheel guns in all different frames and calibers over the years ( from 17 to 500) .. For me the J frame guns were made to hide deep and since you got 38 ammo .. There you go ..

    I like the J frames .. Them and the model 60s are classic SURPRISE guns if you ask me ..
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    S&W 586 w/ 4" Chrome
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    Well, if you want to stay in the Bodyguard family, look for a 649 chambered in .357 mag. You can shoot your .38 spcl +P all day with nary a flinch. For staying with the .38 spcl, I'm sure any of the more contemporary J frame models will be +P certified. Even so, a steady diet of +P ammo is probably not recommended.
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    I buck the trend. I don't care if the gun has a lock or not. Sure, the political manure behind the lock stinks, but they really don't hurt the way the guns run. (Unless you're talking about very light guns shooting magnum loads. The only cases I can verify where the lock failed and made a gun not work were 329PD's running 44 magnum.) So, when looking for a gun to run 38 Special, I am not going to worry about a lock on the side. (In fact the only revolver I own with the lock is a 642... and I love the thing!)

    As far as "best" it really just falls to what you like best. I personally believe that the hammerless and humpback guns are ugly as sin. But they do tend to work better for concealment in some situations. Thus, I own the 642 as a pocket gun, because it thrives in that environment. It would be easy to argue that you should pick up a 357 so that you can have that as an option down the road. If you're not looking at a j frame I think that's an excellent idea. But I don't recommend 357 out of a j frame for any but the most experiences revolver shooters. 357 can be a handful in the tiny guns. Since you said concealment is a consideration I am thinking only of j frames... so that leaves me with saying the 637 or 642. The 637 is prettier. The 642 has the internal hammer. And those are $200-$300 cheaper than the Model 60 or 640.
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    That's the way to think! Buying a gun is always the right answer.

    Well, it depends on your price range. The BEST J-frames would probably run over $1000. However, the Airweight 638 and 642 (or 442 if you prefer black) are a very good price, have a great reputation and are a good balance in weight - not too heavy for a pocket holster, not so light that they will beat up your hand badly when you shoot them.

    So it's mostly a question of whether you want the option to shoot single-action.

    Full disclosure, I'm shopping for a new snubby myself so I've been researching them, but I don't own any J-frames yet. Others here have a lot more experience with them than me. I'll throw this out there, though: I wouldn't trade my .357 LCR for any handgun I've come across. It's worth taking a look at LCR's in .38 and .357. Out of the box, the trigger is much better than standard J-frames.
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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    I'm with Echo, I think the lock thing is overblown. I would prefer not to have it, as it creates a pointless risk, but I don't think it creates a substantial risk. They sell a bazillion 642's every year, a lot of them to police who have to shoot qualifications with them. If there were a serious problem with locks spontaneously turning on, everybody would know by now. Just my $0.02.
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