S&W airweight or airlite for pocket, crimson trace ok? something better?

S&W airweight or airlite for pocket, crimson trace ok? something better?

This is a discussion on S&W airweight or airlite for pocket, crimson trace ok? something better? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm thinking about an S&W airweight or airlite capable of 357 magnum for pocket carry. If I put crimson trace grips on either of those, ...

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Thread: S&W airweight or airlite for pocket, crimson trace ok? something better?

  1. #1
    Member Array JimThomas's Avatar
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    S&W airweight or airlite for pocket, crimson trace ok? something better?

    I'm thinking about an S&W airweight or airlite capable of 357 magnum for pocket carry.

    If I put crimson trace grips on either of those, can I expect the rubber to catch on my pockets during a draw?

    What brand of laser might be best for this use?

    Also, what are your opinions on the airweight versus airlite in general for pocket use?

    I have a glock 29 for IWB. So at the moment, I expect this to stay a pocket gun.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array randy7601's Avatar
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    I carry a Smith and Wesson M&P 340 with factory installed Crimson Trace laser grips in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster.

    No, the rubber grips do not catch on my pocket.

    Lightweight J-frames are ideal for pocket carry. But as with every carry weapon, practice, practice, practice! You need to validate the gun as well as yourself to ensure you have the right combination of accuracy and reliability.
    Randy
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  3. #3
    Member Array stickybeatz's Avatar
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    I have an M&P 340 without the CT grips. I was going back and forth on which one to buy and with the way I normally dress, the stock hogue grips barely fit in my pocket and the CTs pushed it into IWB land. So for me.... I stuck with the regular grips.

    I rented a 340PD and a M&P 340 and the PD seems to kick a lot harder. The PD has a titanium/scandium cylinder and the M&P's is stainless. The extra couple of ounces in the stainless cylinder seem to make the difference between a gun that is downright ridiculous to shoot to one that is almost tolerable.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    My girlfriend carries a S&W 642CT (Crimson Trace from the factory). No problem shooting it for her, but not very long! The larger laser grips really help with recoil.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Jim,
    just some food for thought, but out of the 2.5" barrel, you don't get any ballistic advantage with .357. What it will do is create a really nasty contact wound, in addition to the lead injection.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Vaquero 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72 View Post
    Jim,
    just some food for thought, but out of the 2.5" barrel, you don't get any ballistic advantage with .357. What it will do is create a really nasty contact wound, in addition to the lead injection.
    As Doc Holliday would say, "Oh sir, I beg to differ..."

    .38 Snub Vs. .357 Snub

    Ballistic advantage of the .357 over the .38 is generally about 200 - 350 fps in velocity, depending on the load. Here are the figures for Double Tap ammo in 38 and 357, some of the hottest ammo manufactured:

    osCommerce

    Hottest load out of a 1.8" barrel is 125 grains/1100 fps for 336 fpe.

    osCommerce

    Same 125 grain bullet out of a 1.8" barrel is doing 1425 fps/563 fpe. That's awfully close to the old Federal 125 grain "lightning bolt" JHP that was such an awesome performer for LE, before the switch to semi-auto pistols, and this is out of a S&W 1.8" snub! Check out their velocity for 4" barrels!

    A 38 special is a 38 special, and a 357 magnum is a 357 magnum, no matter what the barrel length. Double Tap is some of the hottest ammo, but you're likely to see a similar disparity in velocity and energy across an ammo manufacturers line.
    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Cost-benefit: you aren't gaining with what you can't control. I don't know many (less than 3) people who can put all five from a J frame into 3" at 15 yards or better with +P.357 on demand. That is what its about.

    Poorly phrased on my part: the shooter doesn't receive any appreciable advantage with .357 mag, other than contact blast.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    Been there, done that... all except the crimson trace, but I did put on Pachmayr grips to allow me to shoot it enough to be comfortable... did not like the pocket carry option, until I changed out the grips for some nice looking wood grips, but that kept me from shooting it on a regular basis... kept the gun a little over a one year before selling it... minus a few dollars for holster options, grips, and of course it's a used gun after I was done with it.

    Recommend shooting one at a rental range before you buy, if you can find one.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

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  9. #9
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    I carried a 360 M&P with Crimson Trace 305's. These are the ones that are a little larger. But, they really helped me control the gun. The rubber in the pocket was never a problem.
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    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    May I suggest that you need to actually stay away from the ultra lightweights in .357 magnum as the recoil is horrendous to say the least. I would go with a S&W 642 or similar revolver and use the .38 Special Speer Short Barrel 135 grain +P JHP load and never look back.
    God bless our troops!

  11. #11
    Member Array JimThomas's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by randy7601 View Post
    But as with every carry weapon, practice, practice, practice! You need to validate the gun as well as yourself to ensure you have the right combination of accuracy and reliability.
    Surely. :)


    Quote Originally Posted by crzy4guns View Post
    May I suggest that you need to actually stay away from the ultra lightweights in .357 magnum as the recoil is horrendous to say the least.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72 View Post
    Cost-benefit: you aren't gaining with what you can't control. I don't know many (less than 3) people who can put all five from a J frame into 3" at 15 yards or better with +P.357 on demand. That is what its about.
    I can appreciate the underlying point. (and thanks for the info, Metro.) That's actually why I said "capable" of 357. I only wish to use ammo up to the point I can control well, but I don't want to limit myself to .38 right out of the box. Although, if I'm willing to concede that 357 is completely out of the question, I may have to start considering flatter guns for this need.


    Quote Originally Posted by stickybeatz View Post
    The extra couple of ounces in the stainless cylinder seem to make the difference between a gun that is downright ridiculous to shoot to one that is almost tolerable.
    I'm seeing the same thing all over the place.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy97 View Post
    Been there, done that... all except the crimson trace, but I did put on Pachmayr grips to allow me to shoot it enough to be comfortable... did not like the pocket carry option, until I changed out the grips for some nice looking wood grips, but that kept me from shooting it on a regular basis...
    That's what I keep hearing.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Vaquero 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72 View Post
    Cost-benefit: you aren't gaining with what you can't control. I don't know many (less than 3) people who can put all five from a J frame into 3" at 15 yards or better with +P.357 on demand. That is what its about.

    Poorly phrased on my part: the shooter doesn't receive any appreciable advantage with .357 mag, other than contact blast.
    Agree with you there...I've owned Airweights, and just decided that I don't like the darn things. I know, I know....easy to carry, but if I don't like a gun, then that's that. Used to have a 638, and didn't like shooting even standard .38's out of it. I put Pachymar compac grips on it in an attempt to lessen the pain of shooting, and they helped, but I still couldn't shoot it very well.

    My Airweights are gone, and I ankle carry a sweet Ruger SP-101 .357 stoked with full-house Federal 125 grain JHPs. I just had a set of reduced power Wolff springs installed, had the action smoothed, and had an XS night sight installed. The little tank is a BLAST to shoot, even with full power magnums. ESPECIALLY with full power magnums. I can pocket carry it, just need to tighten up the old belt a notch, and I'm good to go. No way I could group with a hurtyourhandium airlite the way I do with the Ruger.
    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

  13. #13
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    I'm pretty well known as a huge anti laser guy, but if I had to buy one for some reason, it would be the CT models. As far as lasers, I think the have the best product.

    Now that I've said that, spend your money on ammo instead and become proficient instead of buying a laser.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  14. #14
    Member Array Marvin Knox's Avatar
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    It gets better with practice

    My only gun is the 340 M&P. I bought it specifically for carry. I liked the SS cylinder and theTritium sight. It was the lightest I could find with those .38 or .357.

    I read all of the horror stories also and never intended to carry .357. After a few month of practice I found that the .38's were getting easier and decided to try .357. After some hand conditioning, I'm shooting strictly .357 rounds for carry. After I shoot up the .38 practice ammo I have on hand, I'll only practice with magnums.

    They are now no big deal.

    [QUOTE=Rob72;766873] "Cost-benefit: you aren't gaining with what you can't control. I don't know many (less than 3) people who can put all five from a J frame into 3" at 15 yards or better with +P.357 on demand. That is what its about."

    I wish I could say that there are now 4 of us who can do that. But I CAN put all five into a 4" circle at 7 yards with full house .357's. I haven't even fired at 15 yards and don't know of any snubbie packers who would - except perhaps on a lark.

    In my opionion one would have a tough time justifying firing a full cylinder at an assailant at 15 yards and claiming self defense - except in the rarest of instances. (If one wanted to absolutely be ready for the "rarest" instance, he wouldn't be packing a snubbie IMO.)

    IMO, being able to throw five yards down range to 15 yards and put them into a 3" circle "on demand" is NOT what it's all about.

    MARV

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array bluelineman's Avatar
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    SW 442 with Crimson Trace LG 405 laser. No snags, padded back strap too.

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