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Which backup gun?

  • 642 .38 snubbie

    Votes: 47 62.7%
  • Shield .45

    Votes: 28 37.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I'm looking at carrying a backup gun, and torn between two choices... A S&W 642 or Shield 45.

I carry a g19 aiwb and have pocket carried a 642 before, and I really liked it. I was about to pull the trigger on a 642 (pun intended), but I saw the Shield 45 for a little bit cheaper. Because of my pros and cons, I'm having a hard time choosing.

642
can be safely carried in coat pocket with no holster (by itself). I could have my hands in my coat pocket and shoot right thru my coat if need be. I would probably load it with buffalo bore wadcutters.

Shield .45
bigger caliber, more rounds... maybe a little easier to shoot and better choice for arming another good guy in a crisis? but have to keep it in a holster because of the light trigger, so shooting through the pocket is not an option. Also might be hard to fit in a pocket, so it might have to go in a shoulder holster or something.

I'm still leaning towards the 642, but it's a few dollars more expensive and I can't help but feel like I'm getting less gun... however there is the utility of shooting through a coat pocket...
 

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I have a Model 642 and a .40 Shield, but no .45 Shield so can't speak on the model. I love revolvers generally, but don't love the Model 642 so much. I detest plastic pistols generally, but the Shield is pretty good for the breed.

I'd pick the Shield if one of those two was going to be my only handgun.

I'm just grateful that isn't the case.
 

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Let me make it easy for you. I pocket carry a Kahr P380 bug in my pocket in warmer weather, and a S&W 940 J-frame in a jacket/coat pocket the rest of the time.
 

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I like having a revolver S&W mod 36 for a backup my main gun Kimber or Springfield 45acp.

Now for shooting threw a coat not a fan about that. JMO
 

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Your line of thinking is like mine, decent primary with a decent 2nd option.
A Kahr PM9 or Glock 43 will fit in my cargo pants pocket, my wife's Shield 9mm not very well (too big).
I strongly prefer the Kahr PM9 or Glock 43 over my 38 snub as a 2nd option.
Having 2nd option in pocket allows one to put a hand on it without revealing they are carrying, can be handy in some situations.
 
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Get the custom shop 642 ...The best of the 642 you can get now ..Has custom grip so you can just slip it in your waist ..And the trigger is so nice !
 

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Can't beat a 642/442 in the pocket. You can always pass it on to someone who is not carrying. In my case my wife never carries but has a permit. She can't handle a semi-auto but is comfortable with a snub. The 442 works in any pants pocket that I have.
 

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Don't forget that the purpose of a BUG is two fold. One is if your primary goes down or is taken from you,knocked out of your grasp,etc. The other is a ground fight without the primary available. Most of these situations are bad breath distances and this is where the snubby shines. Press shot and grappling for the gun, the snub wins again. I would not look for a BUG to have similar capabilities as your primary, that is not its role most times but, rather complimenting capabilities. I would get a BUG that shines in a BUG role. Every cop I still know carries a snub BUG for all the reasons I cited. Its hard to pay 400+ for a 5 shot revo when you can get a lot more rounds for the same or less money but, the role of the gun should come first in my mind.
 

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Those who mention the difficulties of pocket carrying the Shield are making good points if pocket carry is on your menu.

I tried a nice Sticky holster for this .40 Shield. Withdrawing the pistol in a timely manner from the pocket of Levis is near impossible. There are some dress trousers here that work better, but I've determined that pocket-carrying the Shield is a bust.





 

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For a backup gun, and especially for pocket carry, I personally would probably go with the 642. The Shield (45 or otherwise) is kind of big for that purpose.
 
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I'm thinking the snub nose. :yup:
 

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I pocket carry a pocket sized pistol in the Sig P238, especially if I was carrying a BUG. I feel my XDsc or Shield is good enough!
 

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I alternate between a Shield 45 and a SW 637 38 both in a Simply Rugged OWB pancake holster. I've never felt that I've needed a backup when carrying these guns....Enough is enough I figure.
 

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So serious question. Why do you carry a back up gun? Unless you're a police officer, do you feel that you are in that much risk?

Serious question from a fellow carrier...
I agree with why carry a backup gun? Now, when I was working in a part of Nashville I used to work in occasionally, I did have a bug, which at the time was a 642. If I were to carry a bug now days, it would be a Sig P938. But, my P99 nor 642 was ever needed as almost everyone I met was friendly, and those who weren't didn't seem to be a threat.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks guys, I have decided to pick up the 642 today.

Now for shooting threw a coat not a fan about that. JMO
Why is that? If a BG pulls a gun on you, wouldn't it be nice to have the ability to take him by total surprise?

So serious question. Why do you carry a back up gun? Unless you're a police officer, do you feel that you are in that much risk?

Serious question from a fellow carrier...
I could spin up all kinds of scenarios for you that could make a backup gun handy, but to be honest... I just like to carry, and it is easy for me to carry a bug, so why not? Is having options a bad thing? I also carry spare mags, two knives, o/c spray, and a high lumen flashlight. It's all completely concealed in cargo shorts and a tshirt, and rides comfortably all day. Does that make me a paranoid nutjob, or am I just enjoying the preparedness hobby/lifestyle and trying to give myself options?
 
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