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Anyone switch their carry from j-frame to compact Glock?

2425 Views 54 Replies 50 Participants Last post by  Punkkin
I've been carrying my smith 642 for a year now, and I love it until I go to the range to practice. Withing 7 yards I can do pretty well, but my "groups" open up considerably at distance or at speed. When I shoot my friend's G19s or G22s, they feel like lasers after shooting the j-frame. My trigger control (from shooting the long DAO revolver) is such that I can make cloverleafs with the glocks at distances that I can barely keep the 642 on paper. The sights are better and I like the addditional rounds, but I keep wondering if trading for a G19 is the right decision.
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I never had to switch, I was already carrying glocks, but the 26/27/33 are cleare winners over revolvers. There's something sexy and nostalgic about a stainless snubby, but they are slightly larger, often heavier, and more difficult to shoot well than a small glock. I can conceal a 22 or 23 easily, but I still like my 33 from time to time.
 

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I go through a cycle. I carry the Glock for a while, get tired of carrying it and switch to the snubbie. Then I have an experience such as yours, or an experience where I think "would I be happy with the snubbie if X happened?" and go back to the Glock. I can't carry IWB very long because of back problems.

I have installed crimson trace laser grips on my snubbie, and they help with the little gun.
 

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This is really an "apples to oranges" comparison. A J-frame Airweight is in no way comparable to a "compact" Glock (i.e. G19, G23). The J-Frame is significantly lighter, has half the barrel length/sight radius, a much smaller grip, and a heavier trigger pull weight. I carry a J-Frame as an occasional "off-duty" when I don't feel like toting my G17 or G26. By comparison, the G26/27 ("sub-compact") is a closer match to the J-frame, size-wise. Still, the J-Frame is far easier to conceal in a pocket or ankle holster, and far more comfortable as well (carry it in an ankle holster for eight hours. Then carry a G26/27 in an ankle holster. You'll see my point). The Glock is a far-superior weapon for a defensive scenario, but much less easy to conceal by comparison. Remember that a concealed weapon should not be a distraction to you while it is being carried. That's why Kel-Tec sells so many P32's and P3-AT's, and S&W sells so many J-Frames.

One interesting thing about a J-Frame/Glock comparison - if you add a larger grip (i.e. Pachmayr) to a "J" to make it more shootable/controllable, you will increase the size/weight to the point where a G26/27 becomes a better choice. That still will not make up for the defecit in cartridge capacity or barrel length, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Those are good points. I never pocket carry the 642 though, so it being the "best pocket pistol" ever doesn't help me much. I much prefer IWB carry and I'm 6"2 so a G19 shouldn't burden me too much. That wide cylinder is what got me thinking about carrying an auto...
 

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I have both. I like my 642, but it is hard to shoot consistanly. Shot a G26 and was amazed at how easy it was to shoot for such a small gun. In the end, I kept the 642 and bought a G26, so now I have the best of both worlds.
 

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Those are good points. I never pocket carry the 642 though, so it being the "best pocket pistol" ever doesn't help me much. I much prefer IWB carry and I'm 6"2 so a G19 shouldn't burden me too much. That wide cylinder is what got me thinking about carrying an auto...
In that case I'd definately go with the 19 then...I carry (depending on day) a 26, 19, and 642. The 642 really excells in the pocket carry dept. and I rarely carry it IWB since I can conceal the 19 just as easilly. I carry the 26 the least of all since a) it's my wife's gun and b) I can conceal the 19 with just about as much ease and I find it easier to obtain a firing grip quickly.
 

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My advice,

Carry BOTH I don't consider a snub a distance gun. If I resort to my snub it's because my assailant is to close and I'm gonna shove it in his or her gut or face and blast all five rounds and then grab something else (19 or 23) for any other threats. If the threat is outside of 10 yards I'm going for my Glock.

Just something to consider. I also pocket carry my snub so I can put my hands in my pockets and be ready for anything that may happen without anyone knowing.
 

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I'm proud to say I switched. The j-frame is a great little gun, but I don't enjoy shooting it, so I didnt practice with it. The G19, G23, G26 and G27 offer shootability (if that's a word), 9mm and 40sw cal's and alot more than 5rds. For me the Glocks are easy to conceal and the best choice for ccw.
 

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I'm 6'1" and have to say I can carry a compact Glock easier than my S&W Model 60 .357/.38+P. Could be the holsters I'm using, they really bulge at the cylinder, either too deep to grab securely or too high causing it to print. Too heavy for pocket carry. It mostly stays at home now serving as my always ready to go home defense gun. Don't even take it to the range much anymore because it takes so much time to clean afterwards. The snubby is forever reliable, but so has my G23 also. Glock carry for me most always.
 

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I went from G26 to S&W 642. Much easier to conceal and a lighter smaller package. Although there are times when I carry a larger gun, but for everyday the 642 goes with me.
 

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I don't have a snubby yet, and I don't see much of a need for one because of how wonderfully concealable my 27 is, even when wearing a tshirt. I do want one just for nostalgia sake, but that's really all. Plus I like revolvers, but I don't know if I would ever "replace" my 27 with anything.
 

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I never had to switch, I was already carrying glocks, but the 26/27/33 are clear winners over revolvers. There's something sexy and nostalgic about a stainless snubby, but they are slightly larger, often heavier, and more difficult to shoot well than a small glock. I can conceal a 22 or 23 easily, but I still like my 33 from time to time.

I don't know, Bill. A lot of guys switch from a compact or subcompact Glock to a .38 on the grounds the snub is easier to conceal, especially for pocket carry. You could also argue that a DA .38 is a little bit safer than a Glock pistol for pocket carry.
 
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