I say J-frame like many say
This is a discussion on Rookie at Revolvers within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Do consider the posts of those guys above who suggest the K-Frame Smith & Wessons or the Ruger GP 100. I love double action revolvers, ...
Do consider the posts of those guys above who suggest the K-Frame Smith & Wessons or the Ruger GP 100.
I love double action revolvers, large and small, but am a huge fan of the medium sized revolvers, especially the ones in .38 Special. If you're not absolutely convinced that your revolver selection has to serve as your primary concealed carry handgun then by all means give a good used but high quality medium framed revolver a chance. Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Ruger have made some of the very finest handling revolvers that a discriminating person could want. I have little experience with Ruger but the Colt and Smith & Wesson models are so well made, have fine triggers, and are of a size and weight that promotes accuracy and more gratifying practice. They nearly shoot themselves and range time with any of them is a pleasant experience. Use such a revolver at the range to become accomplished with the breed and then tackle the smaller, more specialized concealed carry revolvers with your skills firmly established.
The snub revolvers with their small size and occasionally found with the light alloy frames have their place but are much more difficult to master than something less shrunken. I can shoot 'em and find them entertaining but am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a lot more time behind my favorite S&W Model 10 or other similar revolver.
There's a whole world of great shooting revolvers in .38 Special and even some .357 Magnum models for less than $500. Some outstanding used revolvers may still be found for less than $300 that exhibit better materials and workmanship than most current production handguns. They never wear out and believe me I've tried.
A 4-inch double action revolver isn't really difficult to conceal with the proper holster. My primary carry gun is a 4-inch S&W Model 10 Heavy Barrel concealed in an off-brand IWB holster that an English friend sent me years ago. Of course I spent my working career in a business suit so could get away with more than some folks.
The 4-inch Smith & Wesson Model 10 is a revolver that armed American law enforcement agencies for many years. It's out of style now but still offers "six fo' shor" and there's some really effective .38 Special ammo out there these days. A Model 10 can handle any +P load you want to throw at it and for longer than you can afford to pay for shooting the stuff. It soaks up recoil well too. The Model 10 is very accurate and pleasant to fire with mild target loads.
Within the past year I've picked up a couple more spare Model 10s, one for $150 in a local pawn shop and more recently a bang-up good 'un for $125, off of GunBroker no less! It's the tapered barrel model shown below (top), pictured with my favorite old Model 10 Heavy Barrel (bottom). Either style barrel shoots and handles well for me. Some folks have more of a preference for one or the other.
The Smith & Wesson Model 15 is an elegant way to enjoy .38 Special revolver shooting and is still to be had for under $300 with diligent shopping and bargaining. It was also a mainstay of agencies and also the Air Force. It has adjustable sights and was Smith & Wesson's 4-inch barreled belt model of the famous K-38 Masterpiece (Model 14) and shares all the same shooting attributes.
The Model 14 itself in 6-inch and 8 3/8-inch barrel lengths was an excellent target gun. It can be found for less than $500 and is a premium revolver for range use.
Model 15 (top), Model 14 (bottom)
A couple of Colt models deserve mention. The Official Police was also greatly esteemed for decades by America's law enforcement agencies. I recall seeing a Fort Worth P.D. officer friend of our family with his Official Police holstered at his side when I was a kid in the early 60s. The Official Police is a very slightly larger revolver than the Smith & Wesson Model 10 but is still a most manageable size. It also will digest a diet of +P .38 loads with less disturbance from recoil. A little secret: the Official Police shares the same lock work as the vaunted Python and realistically is just as smooth when broken in nicely.
It'd be tough but a good usable Colt Officer's Model could still be found for less than $500 in good, serviceable condition. The Officer's Model was the "Cadillac" target revolver of it's day and is premium in every respect. Pythons have nothing on a Officer's Model in my view. They came with really good adjustable sights and target stocks. An Officer's Model is a real value these days considering their quality.
Colt Official Police (top), Colt Officer's Model (bottom)
There's several Smith & Wesson K-Frames that chamber the .357 Magnum. Also some older Colt guns such as the Trooper represent a great choice for .357 shooting. The Ruger Security Six, Service Six, and GP 100 shouldn't be overlooked. The .357 Magnum revolvers give a shooter the flexibility to shoot .38 Special for practice and economy.
It's a crying shame that the American gun buying public shunned so many of these fantastic models so that they are now discontinued. We could do with some good Colt Detective Special, Official Police, Trooper, and Officer's Model revolvers along with Smith & Wesson Models 10 (the discontinued 2-inch variation), 13, 14, 15, and 19.
It's OK to own a handgun for purposes other than concealed carry. I'd hate to think I had to only shoot tiny handguns. Personally, I'd lose all the runt pistols in my collection before I'd get rid of my favorite decently sized models.
I say J-frame like many say
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Sorry for the ramble, my point is that the newest LEGAL J frame in Canada is about 18 years old. The older ones, especially those with aluminum frames, are not as forgiving as current Scandium models. J's like mine can only see limited service with +P rounds as a result. If you get a newer Scandium chambered in .357, give em hell. Just be careful what you feed the older ones.
CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.
Hi I too really like revolvers a lot my current stable includes a Ruger SP101,a colt cobra,colt agent,a S&W model 42(this is the old airweight j-frame with grip safety)often called a lemon squeezer and a S&W model 15 K-frame 2inch with adjustable sights. I'm eyeballing an N-frame in .357 but the one at my local shop was sold,so I'm looking for another one.
If your going to CCW I'd say like the other go with a J-frame. With a fiar amount of practice an experienced shooter can easily make good hit with one at self defense distances and even further believe it or not.
I have a Smith model 36 with a 3 inch barrel. I love the gun and carry it often.
If it is going to be a shooter, then I would suggest a K-frame size gun but a carry gun then a J-frame is a good choice. A Model 10, 12, 15, 19, 64, 65, 66 and more models.
Here are a couple I have a Model 66 2.5, Model 15-4 and Model 60 (j-frame).
"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.
I would like to thank everyone for your valuable info. I think I have a great idea of what type and size revolver I will purchase.
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S&W 642 Airweight (no-lock) J-Frame with Uncle Mike's pocket holster loaded with .38 Spl +P 135 GR Gold GDHP front pocket every day.
Can't go wrong carry at a good price IMHO.
Use a different round to practice with. You could also reloads .38 spls (they are not a difficult of a round to reload).
Go for the J fame.I have one on me almost 24-7.
Have Fun and Shoot Straight !!
Yep, S&W J-frame 642 (no-lock), Mika pocket holster loaded with Buffalo Bore .38SPCL+P 158LSWCHP.
Hey SemperFi...nice roscoe. HADa 640 with the same grips. I MISS it like an old dog!! Now I have to decide between an Sp101 and a Model 40. I'd love an Airweight, but it looks like the run on LOCK-LESS Smiths might be done and I HATE THAT LOCK ON PRINCIPLE!! If I could remove the lock without the implications etc. I would. Probably will avoid the issue. Good Luck with that 442 !!
"We deal in lead friend">Steve McQueen The Magnificent Seven
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Glock 19&26/ Colt Gov't & OM/Ruger SP101
Retired NYS LEO / NRA Life Member
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