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Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Lineside, Jun 12, 2020.
I have several, my steel 649 w/357 is my fav, primary or BUG to my .45's.
I agree with you completely that one needs to know how to use the sights on a handgun and I'm not recommending the grips as a replacement for the sights, I'm recommending them as a supplement. You believe they are a gimmick, I believe they can offer advantages. Could they fail? Yes, they could but the 12 year old set on my 642 has been bounced around and beat up pretty hard and has still never even needed readjusting. @4896worker was asking about sight options for a J-frame and I threw and option out there, one that a lot of CCWer's (and a lot of professional trainers) use.
You're new here so you may not have come across any yet but track down some of @M2 Carbine posts on lasers. I don't think that guy has a gun without a laser and he does a lot of low light and longer range shooting with pictures an his posts on lasers are always interesting and informative.
I got my first J in the early 90's. It was used as a BUG and sometimes as a primary, mainly when I needed to deeply conceal. But I picked up my first LCP a couple years ago and the J has been somewhat retired.
My PM9 replaced my J Frame. I've never gone back.
Just because I'm new here that don't mean squat. You said Lasers are a must-have and I disagree. But you just keep doing what you do and I'll do the same.
I put a Crimson Trace laser on my 642. Sighted it in at 10 yards and I’m good to go.
Great holster for pocket carry.
As a young cop I wanted something that would let me carry a lighter weapon for court appearances, attending meetings, etc. J-frames were hot sellers in the gun stores in the early 80's (being popular choices for a lot of folks, but especially cops), so I had to make do with buying a nickel 3" M36 heavy barrel when I found it in a display case. Worked great with an older Bianchi Pistol Pocket (before they added the adjustable cant version), and the extra weight and inch of barrel made it shoot about as well as my 4" duty revolver. Didn't work well for pocket carry, though, so I finally picked up an earlier M649 Bodyguard .38SPL for that role.
There were a couple of original CA 3" Bulldogs mixed in there, but my experience with them was less than satisfactory, even shooting the mild .44SPL loads of the time. The CA factory was unable to address the functioning problems in the stainless BD I really wanted to like, even after repeated trips back for warranty repair attempts.
Fast forward to the end of the 90's, and I ordered my first Airweight, a 642-1 rated for +P. I really, really liked the lighter weight, but the sharper felt recoil of the handy Airweight (especially with 158gr LSWCHP +P) prompted me to invest some extra hours on our range running some cases of ammo through it. I alternated using the 642-1 with using an original M640 (marked as rated for +P+), burning through some W-W 110gr +P+ duty loads we'd received from another agency. Made the all-steel 640 feel rather like shooting +P through the Airweight, so it helped with my transition to the Airweight's brisker felt recoil (and helped spare my wallet the hit from buying so much +P all the time ).
That 642 reawakened my interest and appreciation of the venerable 5-shot snub. I ended up adding more J's to my carry collection in the ensuing years, including a 60's production M36, another 642-1, a somewhat unique M37-2DAO (factory modification for an offshore order that was canceled) and a couple of M&P 340's (with & w/o the ILS). Someday I'd not mind adding a M638 to my carry collection, to complement my older M649.
I’ve had a centennial stainless, that I put an uncle Mike’s boot grip on forever .I’ve been thinking about trading it for an air weight, as it is just for an emergency situation that hasn’t happened yet. I’ve been lazy about doing it, but think it would be a lot more comfortable to carry. I’m not sure if I would have to put some money out to do it.
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The last couple years I’ve mainly found myself carrying the no lock 442. Lately I went back to the Glock 30 and carrying a handful of reloads because recent issues. Always wanted one and grabbed a 638 recently. What I’ve learned that’s a game changer for a J Frame is the larger Hogue grips. They look kinda goofy/not proportioned, but it’s night and day difference.
I originally swapped out the factory ones for the smaller Hogue grips, which imo is a improvement. I always pocket carry when I’ve got the 442. What I discovered is the larger Hogue grips don’t make that much of a difference in my pocket, in your hand a different story. Guess it depends on what kind of shorts you wear but I just buy cheap wranglers from Walmart. Ordered a half dozen HKS speedloader’s and I’m going to start throwing a few of those in my cargo pocket. Still need to go try out the 638, but I’ve got another set of larger Hogue’s I’m gonna put on that as well.
Here’s a link if anybody wanted to try a set.
I have a 638 with CT 405’s and I like it a lot, though carry my Glock 42 90% of the time. I did just get a Smith 340pd though a few months back and have yet to shoot it. It’S VERY light and I love the feel of it. Kinda excited to shoot a few 357’s out of it, knowing full well I will most likely be sore after.
If ever a gun was the definition of point and pull, this close quarters gun is it. Not saying you can’t hit something at 25 yds, but at <5yd.... you should be able to point like you’re pointing your finger.
Do you like it because:
1- It adds a spot for the pinkie,
2- is bigger in circumference
3- is tackier and sticks in your hand
4- adds distance in back strap area
5- adds padding in back strap area.
I’ve always found Hogues to be tackier and harder to adjust in my hand. I prefer an open back strap but that is usually on a K frame or larger.
As my only J frame is a lightweight 357, I can see the benefit of more hand on the gun. A friend of mine just bought a set of Pachmayr Guardians but I haven’t had a chance to try them out. They’re the ones with the extendable pinkie extension.
Don't have one and probably wouldn't carry one as my primary, but I am thinking about getting one for a BUG. I figure if I need a BUG, it will probably be at contact distances and a J frame is a good choice for that scenario. I've got two Colt D frames, but I'm really looking for an excuse to buy something new.
Not arguing with a word you typed. It sounds like you have found the perfect addition for your hands.
I will say that J-frames fit everyone differently. For my hands, the Bantam grips are perfect. The pinky tuck is natural and they make getting on target fast and easy. I can actually take quite a while away from shooting J-frames and still keep them combat accurate. I don't know why. Maybe they just fit my hands like the proverbial glove with that shorter/smaller grip? Getting better scores takes more trigger time as always.
All that to say, anyone that wants to learn the J-frame, prepare to spend a few dollars trying different grips. It can really make a difference.
Keep the all-stainless centennial and add a 642 to it.
If you become serious about including the option of a snub for your personal defensive carry roles, having both an all-steel and an aluminum (or scandium aluminum) framed snub can provide further options.
I regularly carry my S&W 37 or 442, but not exclusively. I like them when I'm using a shoulder rig.
I don’t do the carry rotation thing. My preferred year round carry is a G19. However, we moved to Texas a few years ago and I need a little relief during the hot summer months. The past few summers I have carried a G43 in a pocket holster. This summer though, I’m going with a S&W 442 no-lock in a Kramer pocket holster. I’m retired now so most my trips outside the house are pretty short. I shoot the J frame well and like the simplicity of no levers or buttons on the gun - KISS. It’s easier for me to pocket carry than the G43. Who knows, the 442 might carry over into fall and winter.