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You can stick a jframe size revolver in a jacket pocket, hoodie anything you can use cover garment and not have to pull it out to fire it. Think what an advantage that is.
When I used to carry a 649 Bodyguard in a raincoat outer pocket, worn over a sport coat in cold/wet weather, I could easily have my hand on the gun without anyone realizing I was doing something other than keeping my hands warm. Much faster than trying to get at my primary weapon. Fortunately, I never had to perforate my raincoat pocket.

Being able to surreptitiously grasp a pocket-holstered weapon is an advantage not typically available with other carry methods. Obviously, the constraints of the pocket mean even greater attention must be given to avoiding having your trigger finger be caused to enter the trigger guard or touch the trigger while drawing from the pocket, and especially while clearing the pocket mouth. This is also where the weight and length of trigger pull of a DA/DAO revolver's trigger might be an extra bit of prudence if things get fast and fuzzy.
 

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I think this whole thread started out with a misconception. I've never seen any evidence that any majority of people who carry guns for a living, especially those who are active, current professionals (as opposed to those who are now retired and came up with revolvers), have a preference for J-frames. I think the OP needs to quantify this, which he already said he can't.

I've noticed a theme, and perhaps you have too. The more I read about professional shooters and trainers, it seems to me that an overwhelming majority of these professional shooters/gun guys/firearms trainers seem to choose J-frame revolvers as their CCW of choice. I know this is not true in every case (i.e., James Yeager carries 2 G19s), but it holds true in many cases.

I don't have any actual data to support this observation, so perhaps my observations are skewed by some kind of bias.

Anyway, why do all the "pros", or experts, seem to prefer J-frame revolvers?


I've looked at them in gun shops, and I've even briefly owned a 642. I just can't get excited about them for some reason.

Cons for me:
  1. The guns really aren't that small. (I don't see how people really pocket carry these guns in nice looking slacks or jeans)
  2. They only hold 5-shots.
  3. Reloading is a slow process.
  4. The caliber really isn't that powerful. (It's weaker than 9mm NATO)
  5. The trigger is too heavy and gritty.
  6. The sights are usually hard to see and virtually useless.
  7. The fit and finish is less than stellar. (Why can't S&W make a lasting finish on these guns, or make the trigger out of a nice uniform looking metal?)
  8. The newer guns come with the internal locks.

All in all, they are slightly underpowered, hard to shoot, and don't seem that easy to carry. The only positive benefit I see is that they are highly reliable.

Nevertheless, these guns are heralded as the ultimate CCW option by many experts.

What am I not seeing?
 

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I may have already opined this in an earlier posting in this dated thread, but it's not unlikely that today's younger generation of professionally armed folks are likely influenced by the availability of ultra diminutive pistols, much like earlier generations were influenced by the handier 5 & 6-shot snubs of the days of service revolvers. The new "Chief's Special" & "Dick Special" of this part of the 21st century is likely to be the smallest and most convenient of both (either) the single or double stacks, chambered in "duty" calibers.

This was something S&W tried to introduce back at the end of the '90's, when they released their CS9, CS40 & CS45 series of more diminutive, single stack 3rd gen pistols, calling them the Chief's Special of the 21st Century. The CS9 & CS45 sold well right up until the company decided to discontinue their long running metal-framed pistols, although the CS40 version (on the same slightly larger frame/slide as the CS45) was discontinued sooner due to lack of sales.

Their Shield 9/40's broke every sales record ever set by the company for sales of a product line, and were likely what finally pushed Glock to get into the market offering a single stack 9.

Now that the companies have decided to add some double stacks to the hot-selling single stack ultra small pistols, we're probably going to see them sell for the foreseeable future like the S&W J-frames and Colt D frame subs became ubiquitous in previous decades.

That said ... the venerable 5-shot snubs are still seeing strong sales, and will likely continue to do so for many years. There's always going to be that "something" about a very small DA/DAO revolver, and there are still some attributes and inherent advantages to be found in the small revolvers.

Naturally, the younger shooters who have never been introduced or trained to use DA/DAO revolvers are probably going to gravitate to the smaller semiauto pistols which are similar (enough) to what they carry normally.

Newer shooters who try the small revolvers quickly realize that they not only demand more of the shooter (and shooting techniques), but the very attributes that make them so handy for low profile carry roles also make them harder to learn to master and shoot. Mixed bag.

During the 34 years I carried one or another active badge, and the 26 years of that time I served as a LE firearms trainer, I saw the change coming. The older guys & gals of the generation before, during and after my generation, for the most part liked the smaller snub revolvers and little .380/.32 pistols, while the generation of cops who came on in the late 90's and after were more comfortable with the growing number of smallish pistols offered in duty calibers. Times change. Some things always change with them, and but was old can also become new again, too. ;) People can be like that.
 

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Not a fan of revolvers for SD. Sure, they will work but they are just not my personal cup of tea. If my friend want's to carry one, I will not diss him..it's his money, his decision of what he considers his own SD. My concern is capacity. I can handle people on GT snickering because I want more rounds..I just don't want some pos thug to snicker at me cause I didn't have more rounds.
Revolvers' indeed have a certain charm to them. If I did decide to carry a wheel gun I'd carry two of them.
 

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Damn kids. You can't teach them anything.

;)

Well, you can try to teach them that extra ammo capacity may be a good thing, but also that you can't miss fast enough to win. Accuracy still trumps lack of accuracy. Sometimes they may just have to learn that lesson on their own, though, with difficulty and at greater cost. ;)

If reviews of OIS incidents start to indicate a higher number of rounds fired, but also an increased number misses at the same time? Back to the drawing board. :p

This is the sort of thing that can cause heartburn for LE trainers who are tasked with training groups of cops, many of whom may not be "gun enthusiasts", or are only showing up at the range on threat of disciplinary action. Commercial trainers may only worry about filling seats in the classroom and then positions out on the firing line. Getting students to return for recurrent refresher classes or more advanced classes is a win, commercially. :)
 

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Well, you can try to teach them that extra ammo capacity may be a good thing, but also that you can't miss fast enough to win. Accuracy still trumps lack of accuracy. Sometimes they may just have to learn that lesson on their own, though, with difficulty and at greater cost. ;)

If reviews of OIS incidents start to indicate a higher number of rounds fired, but also an increased number misses at the same time? Back to the drawing board. :p

This is the sort of thing that can cause heartburn for LE trainers who are tasked with training groups of cops, many of whom may not be "gun enthusiasts", or are only showing up at the range on threat of disciplinary action. Commercial trainers may only worry about filling seats in the classroom and then positions out on the firing line. Getting students to return for recurrent refresher classes or more advanced classes is a win, commercially. :)
Accuracy in a gun fight. Most guys have never been in a gun fight. How to you teach them 'accuracy in a gun fight' ? Can everyone handle that kind of pressure ?
One LEO right on here,,about a month ago,,, described a shoot out he was in,,,fired multiple times,,,never once looked at his sights. Friend in Viet Nam in his first fire fight said he caught himself just pointing his gun and pulling the trigger. Both 'trained' shooters.
Just a couple examples ,,but,,,how do you KNOW that someone even with training can put 5 shots were they need to be ? Even with tons of training they might still go all to hell. The only time you can determine that is when they are amongst flying bullets and you can't pause it to correct mistakes. One can pretend they can carry a revolver and just shoot more accurately with the few rounds they have,,,,but it's exactly that,,pretend. Couldn't they shoot just as accurate with a Glock 26 ?
And, now'a'days you can bet your attacker is going to be much better armed than you are.
Ammo is cheap (relative cheap), life is precious.
People who carry 5 shot micro revolvers do so because they like the company of their revolver. And that's OK,,,,Actually the most important question is not if one will shoot fast,,or if one will shoot accurate,,the question is if one will shoot at all ?
 

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BTDT, Fastbolt. I did LE/FTO for 25 years. Overall, my challenges and observations parallel yours.
 
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There's data showing a tendency for those using automatics to shoot more than those using revolvers, for the same effect. It's not a slam dunk against a semi auto pistol, but an interesting tidbit. This data was brought up in a thread here a couple months ago. The average shooting where someone is injured or killed resolved in 2.5 rounds for the revolver and 3.5 for the auto, something like that. Notably more than 6 rounds fired was a statistical anomaly. I'll see if I can find the older thread.
 

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Accuracy requirements got dumbed-down with the advent of hi-cap duty guns. Scored quals got abandoned for Pass/Fail, qualification ranges went from 50 yards down to 15 and the emphasis went from accuracy to speed/volume of fire. What the hell did they think was going to happen?
 
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I guess if you view everything through the prism of a protracted ranged gunfight being the norm, then a J-frame doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

The problem is that available stats and evidence clearly show that ranged shoot-outs just don’t in civilian self-defense. Or at least are such rare occurrences that the odds are comparable to being struck by lighting on a clear day and I’m just not going to concern myself or devote any significant amount of resources to things that unlikely.

If someone can provide proof to the contrary, I’m open minded and always willing to reevaluate my choices.
 

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Accuracy in a gun fight. Most guys have never been in a gun fight. How to you teach them 'accuracy in a gun fight' ? Can everyone handle that kind of pressure ?
One LEO right on here,,about a month ago,,, described a shoot out he was in,,,fired multiple times,,,never once looked at his sights. Friend in Viet Nam in his first fire fight said he caught himself just pointing his gun and pulling the trigger. Both 'trained' shooters.
Just a couple examples ,,but,,,how do you KNOW that someone even with training can put 5 shots were they need to be ? Even with tons of training they might still go all to hell. The only time you can determine that is when they are amongst flying bullets and you can't pause it to correct mistakes. One can pretend they can carry a revolver and just shoot more accurately with the few rounds they have,,,,but it's exactly that,,pretend. Couldn't they shoot just as accurate with a Glock 26 ?
And, now'a'days you can bet your attacker is going to be much better armed than you are.
Ammo is cheap (relative cheap), life is precious.
People who carry 5 shot micro revolvers do so because they like the company of their revolver. And that's OK,,,,Actually the most important question is not if one will shoot fast,,or if one will shoot accurate,,the question is if one will shoot at all ?
Relevant and excellent questions. The things that good trainers ought to be constantly asking themselves (and each other, to try and gain an extra perspective ;) ).

First of all, not all training is the same.

Also, not everyone attending/undergoing the same training is going to walk away having understood and acquired the same benefits from the same training.

One of the best advancements in professional training during the last couple of decades has been Force-on-Force training, using dye-marking cartridges and evolving scenarios and conditions. It's given trainers and students the opportunities to experience dynamic and rapidly evolving conditions, and evaluate how relevant and sufficiently ingrained their awareness, tactics and shooting skills have become during their other training conditions. It's about as close as you can get to experiencing "live action" conditions, and see how well your mindset, skillset and ability to make good decisions has developed to that point.

As far as not seeing/using handgun sights? Well, that's a bit less easy to determine than some might think. Some people may not realize they're even seeing their sights, as their primary awareness may be "threat focused" under duress ... but ... their ingrained level of training may have risen to the "unconscious competence" level and they may have utilized either a sight picture (even if a flash sight picture), or sight alignment, or have otherwise indexed their sights in their vision without being aware of it.

The first time that illustrated itself to me - outside the range - was when I came close to shooting someone I thought was about to shoot my partner. Tunnel vision and Tachypsychia kicked in without warning. I was yelling at the suspect to stop his movements, but part of my mind was wondering why my vision was being partially obstructed by 3 white dots floating and centered over the suspect's face. I wasn't aware of even having made the conscious decision to deliberately draw my weapon, and suddenly I became of aware of it being out in front of my vision ... and the white dots were the aligned white 3-dot sights. Fortunately, the suspect froze, and I was able to stop from completing a trigger trigger press.

Moral of the story? If you ingrain the draw and presentation, the "muscle memory" control of a good technique ought to hopefully work itself out to your advantage.

It worked similarly for my first Simunition session. I didn't realize I was seeing the sights of my weapon until I was seeing the bright orange/oink dye splotches appear on the "attackers" clothing, and realizing that my pistols sights were crowding the "hits" from the dye-marking shots as they occurred. Ditto as I shifted and engaged the second "ambush attacker", and watched the dye hits clustered on the edge of the light cover he was trying to hide behind, and they were right where his head was bobbing up and down ... and exactly where I was trying to "see past" my sights. Hell, I barely remembered "seeing" the double feed stoppage that occurred in the Sim pistol during the beginning of the scenario. Again, muscle memory kicked in, and it was almost like watching another part of my awareness being involved in resolving the stoppage and putting rounds on the first attacker.

It wasn't until afterward, and debriefing it with the head instructor back at my own agency, that I'd even been able to better remember and realize what had been happening at the time. Lacking that debrief, I might've not remembered the longer it became from the training exercise.

Now, a good question would be to ask how much each participant of newer FoF training will be able to take away from their FoF training experience ... and ... if it might induce them to revisit their live-fire training and drills/practice to resolve any deficiencies that might have been identified in the FoF session. Probably depends where any deficiencies might lie, too. Some may be able to be addressed better, and more easily, than some others. If gun handling, manipulation and effective shooting skills aren't brought to the FoF experience, then some remedial time at a range may be needed before trying FoF again. Dunno.

Another potential consideration involves the type of student. When it comes to cops, some of them may enjoy being paid to attend the FoF training, yet others may be doing it grudgingly, because they must attend it. Guess who may derive more benefit from it?

For the private non-LE student? Well, they're probably paying a significant amount of their own money to buy a place in the class, and that's not counting the time invested in traveling, lodging, meals and their own personal time (away from family and job?).

Lots of other factors and influences, of course, but those are some of the obvious ones.

This is also rather like martial arts training in some ways. Someone might become a real dojo tiger, or a controlled conditions MMA participant where there are rules and they know nobody is trying to intentionally cripple or kill them. However, put them outside the dojo or the ring, and have someone surprise them by threatening them and/or trying to cause them serious bodily or death, and their "training & formal experience" may not be something they can access and apply. It may not take long for the Freeze part of the Freeze, Flight or Fight reaction to make the Flight or Fight parts moot. ;)

Most trainers tend to agree that the best way to try and inoculate ourselves from the worst aspects of the sensory deficit issues that can occur is to get as close as safely possible to simulating them during training. Modern FoF is about as good as we've come up with, so far. Of course, successful experience can further reinforce training experience, and become experiential knowledge. The old nothing succeeds like success. :)

Hey, if I had the answers I'd have been writing books and articles for pay. I was just a guy trained and paid to help train others for some time. I had to learn the answers from others who came before me, and hope I'd learned how to ask the better, or best, questions. :ROFLMAO:

Well, the martial arts part has been going on much longer than the shooting part. I started martial arts 50 years ago (last month, I believe). The formal shooting training didn't start until '82, and the formal trainer training didn't start until '90. It's all still very much a work in-progress. ;)
 

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Accuracy requirements got dumbed-down with the advent of hi-cap duty guns. Scored quals got abandoned for Pass/Fail, qualification ranges went from 50 yards down to 15 and the emphasis went from accuracy to speed/volume of fire. What the hell did they think was going to happen?
Abso-freaking-lutely. :)

I missed the old shooting medal program at my former agency, which disappeared as revolvers were transitioning to hi-cap pistols about '89/'90. People took pride in being able to accumulate sufficient scores so they could qualify for one of the 4 levels of shooting medals (it took 2 years of qualifying scores to achieve, and then they had to be maintained to keep it).

While emphasis on proficiency at close range is important (meaning 3-15yds), since that's where the bulk of OIS incidents typically occur, it makes much sense to include 25-50yds again. That helps everyone see how well shooters have acquired acceptable skills in the "basics", and it also gives them confidence to use those skills at virtually any reasonable handgun distances. (Which might be out to 100+/- yds for cops, as has been demonstrated now and again.)

If LE firearms trainers, both candidates and experienced instructors, are required to pass scored shooting courses-of-fire that go out to 50yds, why not require it of line staff? Strengthen any "weak links" and raise everyone to higher standards.

I suspect that looking up a lot of the 50's-70's police and FBI firearms training courses, especially in academies, might really surprise a lot of people. And keep in mind they were shooting all-steel Double Action revolvers, not lightweight plastic pistols with light 5/6lb triggers. ;)
 
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Fastbolt,,I think that is the essence of what I meant to get across,,,,is that ,,,,people just don't KNOW how things might go,,how they might react ,etc., in a red zone situation. It's not the same every time.
I will agree that training,,,is much better than not training.
I'm a huge believer in Murphy's Law,,,I'd best keep totin' them extra rounds ;)
 

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A 642 is great as a backup pistol that will work even if fired again from an awkward position where you might not have a firm grip that would cause an auto to malfunction. It's a great last resort get off me pistol at bad breath range.
 

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A 642 is great as a backup pistol that will work even if fired again from an awkward position where you might not have a firm grip that would cause an auto to malfunction. It's a great last resort get off me pistol at bad breath range.
Yes, that's pretty much my view. Other advantages:

It doesn't require a holster to be safely carried. Certainly a good idea, but not mandatory as with a striker fired auto in condition 1. Its also relatively safe to throw in a glove box or vehicle console without a holster.

Can be carried AIWB without the same concern for demasculation.

A small revolver can be emptied from inside a jacket pocket; it can fire repeatedly while in constricted physical spaces, including contact with the target or while being grappled over.

Due to the grip being behind the action, rather than underneath, it is the quickest and easiest to retrieve from concealment relative to a similarly sized auto. For me at least.
 

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I guess if you view everything through the prism of a protracted ranged gunfight being the norm, then a J-frame doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

The problem is that available stats and evidence clearly show that ranged shoot-outs just don’t in civilian self-defense. Or at least are such rare occurrences that the odds are comparable to being struck by lighting on a clear day and I’m just not going to concern myself or devote any significant amount of resources to things that unlikely.

If someone can provide proof to the contrary, I’m open minded and always willing to reevaluate my choices.

Youtube. Shootouts and random gang violence are at an all time high, and are changing well outside the realm of the Olde statistics. Much of it is recorded now.

Expect 25y ranges and more than 10 rounds.

The people training at a static range at just 7 yards are really handicapping themselves. Consider USPSA to hone your accuracy, and movements. Even hardcore tac training doesn't give you as much chance to draw, shoot, and move, as competition. At least it's value added.
 

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I guess if you view everything through the prism of a protracted ranged gunfight being the norm, then a J-frame doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.




If someone can provide proof to the contrary, I’m open minded and always willing to reevaluate my choices.
Do we normally use the same gun for prairie dogging as elk hunting? Normally not. It’s easily varying choices depending on location, job/occupation then intended travels. Yes, that J-frame is much better than no gun, dirt simple is good too.

Nothing wrong with some variety.
 
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