Thoughts on small frame revolvers for new CCW holders

Thoughts on small frame revolvers for new CCW holders

This is a discussion on Thoughts on small frame revolvers for new CCW holders within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have been a member of this forum for a few weeks and have enjoyed the conversations, thoughts and ideas from all here. On several ...

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Thread: Thoughts on small frame revolvers for new CCW holders

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Thoughts on small frame revolvers for new CCW holders

    I have been a member of this forum for a few weeks and have enjoyed the conversations, thoughts and ideas from all here. On several threads that I have participated in, I made recommendations when someone was looking for a concealed carry piece, and pointed them to a small frame revolver. As someone teaches defensive shooting, and has a job that requires me to carry on a daily basis, my recommendations were made from my personal experiance. Having said that, I feel a certain obligation to the readers who may be new to firearms and concealed carry to make sure that I give the best advice, which includes the virtues, AND shortcomings of my recommendations. So, if I may, I would like to qualify my responses about the virtues of choosing small frame revolver with some facts of their shortcomings, as I feel that it is the responsible thing to do. So here we go... While I feel the j-frame revolver is the most practical piece for concealed carry and self defense[not shooting it out with a gang of drug lords], due to its size, weight, caliber, and simplicity to operate, It is probably the hardest hangun to master shooting due to its short sight radius. If one were to choose this type for self defense carry, you should remember that you must be prepared to dicipline yourself to practice time with it. The short sight radius combined with the double action trigger stroke takes more time to master than an auto of similar caliber, especially for beginners. I personally have over 100 firearms, including my duty weapons, but I practice with my j-frame more than any other firearm. I do this because it is my most carried gun, and I want t be able to use it effectivley if needed. Also, you are limited to 5 shots. Now, let me say this, in my job, I am around hard core felons and transport them on a daily basis. I am issued a glock 22 and 3/15rnd mags, for a total of 45 rounds. But even though my glock comes home with me every day, it is the little 5 shot j frame that accompanys me where ever I go, and I don't feel underarmed at all. To off-set the 5 shot cylinder, I carry a speed strip or a speedloader with it. If you choose a small revolver, then you must practice the reload. So, in closing, I would like to offer the extra parting thoughts; regardless of what you may hear or be told as a new comer to the world of ccw, you are far from being underarmed carrying a small revolver. Remember, it is about self protection, not combat. If you choose a small revolver, practice. Carrying a concealed firearm is a comittment to take seriously and with responsibility. Also be realistic in your choice of carry weapons, and choose one you can realistically have on you at all times, because they get expensive to keep trading. A 38 spl is absolutley deadly. Just ask Oswald or Lenon, and they work just as well today as the did 50 years ago. Thank you for your reading, I just wanted to make sure the advice I have given to new ccw holders gave them both sides of my reccomendations. Sometimes when we speak with the benefit of our experiance, we take it for granted that some people are just getting their feet wet, and do not understand the pros and cons. So we give advice based on our opinions developed from our personal experiance....oh well, I feel better now! thanks


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array mojust's Avatar
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    I don't use the sights. I just point the thing. I don't think they're much good at distances. You can be accurate with them at 75 feet but you have to really struggle. In a self defense situation, that is not possible. I've just had a trigger job on my model 60 and I plan to get Crimson Trace grips -- I've been told that's the best way to go.

    I wouldn't recommend a snubbie for a beginner. They have too much recoil, even with plain old 38 special.
    Sig 226, 228. Glock 19, 23. Smith Model 60,and 1911. XD45 Tactical. Mossberg 930 SPX.

    How we behave as gun owners is important. Posturing and threatening does not serve us well in the public eye.

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    My wife started out with a S&W 637. I just made sure she was using light loads and it was no problem. Learn to point shoot, and you won't need the sights to hit targets in WW parking lots.
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    Wife got a Rossi hamerless .357, nice lit'l shooter and hides real good
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    I agree, I still carry my 642 quite a lot...
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    The truth of being a CHL holder and the firearm being for defense and not combat is a truth many forget.

    If we were LEOs on duty it would be different.

    This finally sunk in on me and I change my carry from 9mm to 380acp because according to FBI 80% of gun fights are at less than 6ft range, and 380 at close range with HP ammo is very effective.
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  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    The first revolver I ever fired, and my first true love was Dad's Chief Special. 5 rounds of fun with it was all it took to tell Dad if he ever decided to sell it I was his buyer.
    36 years later, Dad decided a semi-auto 9mm was what he wanted and Lizzie came to live with me. I don't carry her with very often, special occasions and when I really need something that hides well, she's just to special to me to be "just an everyday gun". Her big sister Lucille is my daily carry most days, a S&W 686+ with a 3" barrel.
    They both get to take turns at the range for some fresh air and exercise, and I shoot either of them well enough to be confident carrying them.
    By next week, the new girl will be here, S&W Model 65 with a 3 inch barrel and she will get some time to play as well. If she is like the others, there is a good chance she will become the "everyday gun".
    Now to decide on a nice name for her too? Something starting with an L, of course.
    Nothing better than a wheelie for me, the 1911 will end up spending more time in the safe.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Rugergirl, I am too looking for a three inch k frame. Is the 65 a 357? I wish I could find one of those...It could become my other most carried gun. I love wheelies....

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Rugergirl, I am too looking for a three inch k frame. Is the 65 a 357? I wish I could find one of those...It could become my other most carried gun. I love wheelies....
    Yes she is a .357, quite the bargain too, unfired and only $400, I'm afraid there is no resisting this one.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugergirl View Post
    The first revolver I ever fired, and my first true love was Dad's Chief Special. 5 rounds of fun with it was all it took to tell Dad if he ever decided to sell it I was his buyer.
    36 years later, Dad decided a semi-auto 9mm was what he wanted and Lizzie came to live with me. I don't carry her with very often, special occasions and when I really need something that hides well, she's just to special to me to be "just an everyday gun". Her big sister Lucille is my daily carry most days, a S&W 686+ with a 3" barrel.
    They both get to take turns at the range for some fresh air and exercise, and I shoot either of them well enough to be confident carrying them.
    By next week, the new girl will be here, S&W Model 65 with a 3 inch barrel and she will get some time to play as well. If she is like the others, there is a good chance she will become the "everyday gun".
    Now to decide on a nice name for her too? Something starting with an L, of course.
    Nothing better than a wheelie for me, the 1911 will end up spending more time in the safe.
    Suggestion for L name for new mod 65: Layla. In the classic Eric Clapton song, the lyrics say, "Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind." Isn't that what a defensive weapon is supposed to do?
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.


    Guns are like sex and air...its no big deal until YOU can't get any.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I have been a member of this forum for a few weeks and have enjoyed the conversations, thoughts and ideas from all here. On several threads that I have participated in, I made recommendations when someone was looking for a concealed carry piece, and pointed them to a small frame revolver. As someone teaches defensive shooting, and has a job that requires me to carry on a daily basis, my recommendations were made from my personal experiance. Having said that, I feel a certain obligation to the readers who may be new to firearms and concealed carry to make sure that I give the best advice, which includes the virtues, AND shortcomings of my recommendations. So, if I may, I would like to qualify my responses about the virtues of choosing small frame revolver with some facts of their shortcomings, as I feel that it is the responsible thing to do. So here we go... While I feel the j-frame revolver is the most practical piece for concealed carry and self defense[not shooting it out with a gang of drug lords], due to its size, weight, caliber, and simplicity to operate, It is probably the hardest hangun to master shooting due to its short sight radius. If one were to choose this type for self defense carry, you should remember that you must be prepared to dicipline yourself to practice time with it. The short sight radius combined with the double action trigger stroke takes more time to master than an auto of similar caliber, especially for beginners. I personally have over 100 firearms, including my duty weapons, but I practice with my j-frame more than any other firearm. I do this because it is my most carried gun, and I want t be able to use it effectivley if needed. Also, you are limited to 5 shots. Now, let me say this, in my job, I am around hard core felons and transport them on a daily basis. I am issued a glock 22 and 3/15rnd mags, for a total of 45 rounds. But even though my glock comes home with me every day, it is the little 5 shot j frame that accompanys me where ever I go, and I don't feel underarmed at all. To off-set the 5 shot cylinder, I carry a speed strip or a speedloader with it. If you choose a small revolver, then you must practice the reload. So, in closing, I would like to offer the extra parting thoughts; regardless of what you may hear or be told as a new comer to the world of ccw, you are far from being underarmed carrying a small revolver. Remember, it is about self protection, not combat. If you choose a small revolver, practice. Carrying a concealed firearm is a comittment to take seriously and with responsibility. Also be realistic in your choice of carry weapons, and choose one you can realistically have on you at all times, because they get expensive to keep trading. A 38 spl is absolutley deadly. Just ask Oswald or Lenon, and they work just as well today as the did 50 years ago. Thank you for your reading, I just wanted to make sure the advice I have given to new ccw holders gave them both sides of my reccomendations. Sometimes when we speak with the benefit of our experiance, we take it for granted that some people are just getting their feet wet, and do not understand the pros and cons. So we give advice based on our opinions developed from our personal experiance....oh well, I feel better now! thanks
    +1. Excellent post!!! Great assessment of the pros and cons. While it is true that accuracy at distances is certainly diminished, the design and purpose is self defense. One would have a difficult time justifying self defense from 75 feet. The design relative to the purpose is fine.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.


    Guns are like sex and air...its no big deal until YOU can't get any.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    Suggestion for L name for new mod 65: Layla. In the classic Eric Clapton song, the lyrics say, "Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind." Isn't that what a defensive weapon is supposed to do?
    I like it!!!
    I confess I remember that song well.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugergirl View Post
    I like it!!!
    I confess I remember that song well.
    Glad I could offer an idea. The first name that hit me when I read your post. It seemed like a good fit with Lucille and Lizzie. I hope it gets consideration.

    My personal opinion, the accoustic version of that song is one of his best songs ever. I enjoy playing it on my vintage 1972 accoustic electric guitar. I'm a 60s and 70s rock fan. His work with The Yard Birds and Cream are also some of my favorites.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.


    Guns are like sex and air...its no big deal until YOU can't get any.

  14. #14
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    One other advantage to the revolver, and to me it's biggest and best selling point as a SD weapon, is the fact that it can be used when you are physically engaged by an attacker.

    Sure, you might be able to use your auto loader, but you have to be very conscious of where the slide is and what it'll run into. During a life and death struggle can anyone here be certain that they'll be calm enough to to remember that?

    To me, during a life and death struggle, it's most important that I have a simple SD mechanism. I don't want to rely on muscle memory or skill. Those two factors take practice. How much practice will it take to hone those skills? I don't know and neither do you. The only way you'll know the answer to those questions is at the very moment you need them. I hope for all of the people with auto loaders out there that have normal jobs and can only afford the time and money to shoot 200 rnds of ammo a month that that's enough, but you can't guarantee it. Can you?

    Look, I don't know what the likelihood of you ever having to pull your gun out when someone is on top of you trying to cave your skull in with their fist is, but there's probably about as good a chance of that happening as you needing to fire more than five rounds.

    I don't know. It just seems to me like people are taking a much bigger risk with most auto loaders than I am with my revolver. Do we really want a gun that's more complex when we're fighting for our life?
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither' -Ben Franklin

  15. #15
    Member Array lws380's Avatar
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    Great post. I love my S&W 442. Everyone needs a snubby!

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