J-frame fanboys Please step in: list your 3 biggest pro & cons for this as a back-up

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by 41mag, Jul 16, 2017.

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  1. ikemay

    ikemay
    Just call me Mike
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    My wife carries a 442 loaded with Hornady Critical Defense .38, 110gr (not +P).
    Pros:
    She can shoot it well at 7 yards.
    Simple to operate.
    Both practice and self defense ammunition (that she likes) is easy to find and relatively affordable.
    It's light, so she can carry it even wearing summer attire.
    Because it's light, she will always have a firearm with her no matter what.
    Cons:
    The most obvious is limited capacity and slower reloading.
    It's a little punishing for her even with standard pressure .38 ammo. Though she would shoot heavier grain bullets or even +P if she had to. But her follow-ups would be slower, and accuracy would suffer some.

    All that said, she really likes her Ruger SP101 2.25 inch barrel in a holster at 3 o'clock. But, depending on what she's doing, the lighter, smaller 442 is a nice option for her.
     
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  2. Deavis

    Deavis
    Mid Willamette Valley
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    M38 Bodyguard Airweight

    Pro:

    14 oz
    Hides easy
    Great reliability

    Con:

    Limited capacity
    Barely meets my personal power floor for defensive handgun use
    (My) sights are diminutive
     
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  3. Larrabee

    Larrabee
    Oregon
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    I regularly carry only a M642 in either the front pocket or strong side IWB. 17oz loaded is hard to beat, good enough for trips to the grocery store IMO.
     
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  4. Tomahawk67

    Tomahawk67
    SW Idaho
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    My little J frame is always part of my PPE
    IMG_20151228_181643_zpsrludzliv.jpg
     
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  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
    SE Portland
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    I've got a hammerless 6-shot J-frame .327 Magnum in Scandium/titanium.














    not really. I'm happy with my little 5-shooter .38's
     
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  6. teflon97239

    teflon97239
    Portland, OR
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    638 with shrouded hammer. I fully endorse it as a backup (or a primary if being more heavily armed is not required).

    Yanks cleanly from any pocket, backpack or purse (if Mrs. Teflon is using it instead of her own 9mm). It has a cock-able hammer for those rare occasions when I want to enjoy the really crisp, light trigger break. It's super light, reliable, rugged as hell, and easy to conceal even in the summer. Well-placed .38+P hollow points can put a dent in the kharma of most bad players, at least long enough to get away from them.

    Let's face it, though, the 1" barrel and 2" fixed sight radius conspire effectively against this being any kind of a target pistol. But since emergency survival gunfights statistically occur within just a few yards/feet, medium-long range accuracy is not a huge concern, for me anyway.

    Downside? Capacity. I wish it would shoot forever without reloading (like they do in the movies) but it doesn't.

    As opposed to carrying something cocked and locked (or not) with extra magazines in every pocket, I'm the harmless looking guy people tend to ignore and leave alone. In addition to drilling quick point and shoot techniques and fast reloads (with and without reloading gadgetry), I also practice assessing situations and staying the hell away from scenarios that might require pulling a weapon in order to escape.

    I hope my little J-frame is something I never, ever have to use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
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  7. 41mag

    41mag
    sunny Orygun
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    nice write up teflon 97239.....

    and that 'harmless' look....
    years ago I became acquainted with a fellow 22 fan, who was tall enough at 6'8" he had to duck thru most doorways. After a couple years of club target matches we were practicing one day & his J frame became exposed.

    I was rather surprised by learning this (in the old pre-"concealed-means-CONCEALED") era and we talked about his choice of carry gun....which given his extraordinary size, was also rather unusual.

    His point was much the same as yours, and his notion was to walk away from anything possible. He had an interesting argument something on the order of "Look at me....my very size could make me a target for no other reason....you'd have to be irrational to think my actions were somehow threatening, yet it's the irrational who is the exact individual who is likely to come after me with deadly force....which is why I carry this (J-frame) at all times....etc etc.

    He was a delightful and humble person. I was sorry to learn his employment required moving across the country.
     
  8. cookie

    cookie
    Idaho.
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    Since most self defense is up close and in personal range there is nothing better than a j Frame. Going to war or a real nasty time in history a hi cap semi would be better. I carry a Jframe.
     
  9. pioneer461

    pioneer461
    Columbia County, Oregon
    Active Member

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    CON: J-frame, 5 shot limit / short barrel = poor ammo performance / ____________.

    PRO: Ease of concealment / +P modern self defense ammo / speed loaders.

    Saw a news article on Fox News.com this morning, from Alabama (I think), which reports that a guy put down an 800 pound wild hog with 3 shots from his .38 cal. revolver. Wonder what kind of ammo he used.

    My snubby (S&W 642 stainless/alloy) is strictly a summertime carry, but with proper ammo, is a viable self defense option.
     
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  10. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
    SE Portland
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    Ha, I saw that too.. good for the .38!
    You do know that you can get J-frames in 9mm, .357 and .327.. to address your "poor ammo performance" posit.
    And there's some good .38 ammo out there too.. I'd pop a pig with regular 158gr SWC's.
     
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  11. teflon97239

    teflon97239
    Portland, OR
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    Last century, one of my bigger friends (6'5"/275) became a deputy sheriff and moonlighted as such for the remainder of his military career, wherever he happened to be stationed. I was already LEO (military) at the time, and decidedly medium for a cop (6'1"/200). I figured his extra height and muscle mass would be a big plus when handcuffing bad actors. But we were soon surprised at the number of fights that literally found him. And invariably small guys!

    Sean and some of his "plus size" fellow deputies finally surmised that angry little men often regard big guys (even cops) as a target/challenge/bucket list item, especially when sporting a snootful of brewskis. Which never seemed to work out well for them - surprise!!!

    But I digress. His primary holstered weapon was a Glock of some sort in .40SW per County policy. But the backup piece of choice for everyone we both knew was either a small S&W or Colt revolver, mostly for their relatively light weight, compact size and +P capabilities.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
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  12. pioneer461

    pioneer461
    Columbia County, Oregon
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    I'm aware of the above, and thanks. I have other snubbys, (another .38 / a .357 2" seven shot, but that one's too heavy and bulky for pocket carry). My .38 carry ammo is Hornady Critical Defense, +P.

    I'm currently evaluating .380 pocket pistols for another summer option. During jacket weather my carry guns, semi-autos, begin with the number "4."
     
  13. RVTECH

    RVTECH
    Wickiup Junction
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    Put a set of Diamond Pro grips on it and it will feel like a .22! (close anyway) I put a set on my 2" mod 60 and it is a dream to shoot. - Anyway:
    Pro - concealable, very accurate and controllable
    Con - NONE! it is a Mod 60 no dash - that in itself is enough....
     
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  14. James Hedman

    James Hedman
    Here and there
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    My constant companion is a model 640 no-dash in .38 Special with some really nice custom fitted and hand filling uber smooth Roy Fishpaw fancy walnut grips and a de-horned trigger. I carry it in a Milt Sparks rough out holster in my right front pocket and a set of braces for my jeans. It's loaded with soft Buffalo Bore 158 grain LSWCHP +Ps that clock at over 1000 fps out of the 2-inch barrel. Fully loaded this gun weighs in at just under 24 ounces.

    For practice rounds I use bulk 158 grain cartridges from Georgia Arms that come in 500 round ammo cans and shoot pretty much to the same point of aim at the distances this weapon is useful for.

    This is obviously not a tool for an extended firefight. I practice shooting this weapon quickly drawn one handed at fairly close targets using a flash sight picture aimed at the center of a theoretical bad guys chest. Often those targets are clay pigeons propped up in the brush and slash on a logging road.

    I used to carry 1911 Commanders or Colt Officer .45s holstered outside the waistband on a my belt behind my right hip but I had to dress for and around the gun and I got sick and tired of all the levers, gun oil, and sharp edges that tear up my clothes.

    An alternative would be one of the really short barreled plastic nines also carried in my front pocket but they don't deliver the same amount of oomph as the 158 grain hollow points I use.

    640.jpg

    I don't carry it as a "backup" and the pros and cons will be specific to the eyes of each individual beholder.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
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  15. Alex V

    Alex V
    Portland, OR
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    I just started using one, I plan on using it as a back up to my normal set up. But I made some observations so far.
    Pros:
    - I find that i appreciate it's compact size. It fits in my pocket just fine, though between my keys, wallet, and phone, they are becoming a bit crowded.
    - The .38 special seems like a decent self defense round.
    - It's well built and simple to use.

    Cons:
    - My hand is not accustomed to shooting the revolver, so it will take some getting used to.
    - That double action is a bit stout. Wilson combat makes a spring upgrade kit and I'm thinking about getting that.
    - Only 5 rounds provided I don't get a reloader or one of those stripper like clips. Realistically though in a emergency as a back up, that's not that bad.
     
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  16. cookie

    cookie
    Idaho.
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    The snubbies are small, light quick to use, don't scatter brass and the most important for self defense or back up is they do well at personal contact ranges. A standard size pistolwould be better for self protection like the cops use their pistols for.
     
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  17. Argonaut

    Argonaut
    Weiser
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    My wife’s 357 Mag M60 with 3” barrel and adjustable sights is a serious handgun. Very accurate and an ideal size. We also bought her an identical model in 22LR. It has paid for its self in practice ammo cost savings. The titanium versions can be painful to shoot but if you carry it more than use it on the range.......it can be advantageous.
     
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  18. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu
    PDX OR
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    Adding a photo. The bottom triplet is the one. AAA8AA3B-9A4C-4D86-88F1-50C3CCD66AFE.jpeg
     
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  19. djharteloo

    djharteloo
    Camas Washington
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    I carried a 642 as a summer carry and edc for about a year and a half. My pros were that I could conceal it in pretty much anything (including athletic shorts), I knew it would always be reliable, and it would be fairly cheap to replace if it ended up in an evidence locker.

    My cons were the recoil with standard and +P ammo, was not easy to control or accurate for me to shoot as a dao. The reload time was slow for me even with speed loaders, and the 5 round capacity made me feel slightly under gunned.

    That being said I regret selling it greatly and will probably buy another one for a summer carry. I has a Smith 43C now which is the same thing as the 442 but as a 8 shot 22lr and its my all time favorite handgun that I own.
     
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  20. orygun

    orygun
    West Linn
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    My wife's first gun was a 642 just like the one here.
    Airweight.jpg
    She bought it herself after I pointed one out to her. After watching her shoot I have a few observations.
    Pros;
    Gun is small and fairly light.
    Easy to conceal.
    Pull trigger, guns goes bang.
    Pull trigger again, gun goes bang.

    Cons;
    Limited rounds before reloading.
    Very slow reloading compared to magazine fed pistol.
    Long heavy trigger pull can disrupt accurate aiming.
    38 Special not known as a "stopper".


    My wife quit carrying it when she bought a Glock 43 in Tiffany blue...
     
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