Plant Maintenance with a S&W 638 J-Frame: Everyday Carry Pocket Dump of the Day

Chris, who does plant maintenance in the Volunteer State, sends this “A Real Pocket Dump” submission via Everyday Carry.

Chris calls it his American Express of sorts:

I never leave home without this just a good budget edc

It all begins with a S&W Model 638 snubbie.  In .38 Special.  With a reload on a Speed Strip.  I do like the J-frames, as do plenty of other folks.  Even though semi-autos have easily become all the rage today.

Add in an OTF automatic blade, a light and a multi-tool, and he’s got all the high points.

 

comments

  1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    I’d walk out the door with that any day. Except the grips. Too sticky for pocket carry. Smooth Spiegel Boot Grips. Wood of your choice.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      I’d later it a little with stock panels and a TGrip.

      I found the Spegels a little too thick and slick.

      But a nice package for EDC.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    His j frame says ‘airweight’ on the frame. Just like mine. It also looks like he had the FBI load on his speed strip. Just like I had. Until a practice session and the bullet jumped a crimp. Resulting in a jam that took 3 hands to cure.

    Those light weight revolvers develope quite a front and back whip, especially in the +p loads.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      I was kinda afraid of jump crimp when I went with that load. I have put about 70 rounds of that load threw it before I decided to carry it. So far it hasn’t let me down. It does however feel quite painful after a few cylinders ,and as for the wood grips I tried them and the houge g10 they felt like I was hitting myself in the hand with a paddle repeatedly. Didn’t like that at all not that is much better now lol

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I had a variety of +p loads through mine. Maybe 4 boxes of the fbi load amongst them. It does sting a little. No trouble with the jacketed rounds but did get crimp jump on the lead loads. I save those for my k frame now.

    2. avatar Specialist38 says:

      I have fired hundreds of 158 LSWCHPs through my Airweight Centennial…..never jumped a crimp ( that I know of).

      Most of mine have been Winchester but some Remington, Federal, and Georgia Ammo.

      I have never been bothered by their recoil unless i was using over-sized grips. The it made my index finger sore where it meets the hand.

      Stock panels and a TGrip – I can shoot a couple hundred with no issues.

  3. avatar strych9 says:

    Lot’s of sheepsfoot folders these days. Fad? Return to tradition? Discovery of utility? You be the judge.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      I vote Fad. I like to have a sheep foot for certain tasks. It’s why I like a Stockman.

      But sometimes you need a pointy blade…..regardless of what Britain says.

    2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      (sheepsfoot, reverse tanto, wharncliffe). when trimmed down and a little (!) belly added it becomes an evolutionary step, one that i consider progress towards more edc versatility. it’s obvious that a leek, swindle (swayback jack), southard, insingo or 555 should be pointy enough for most [things].

  4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Guys, I’ve got a S&W 442 I bought in ’93. Not +P rated, but I’ve shot plenty in it. No problems. Yeah, these little revolvers jump. What do you expect? The smooth wood grips reference was for pocket carry. Although, I still don’t find the recoil uncomfortable.

  5. avatar S.Crock says:

    The 638 seems to offer the best of both worlds as far as snag free concealability and the option to cock it in single action. However, the aesthetic superiority of the 642 or 637 are just so appealing.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      I’ve always loved the j-frames, but I can’t foresee any legit scenario for cocking a snub-nose .38

      No, not even at the range.

  6. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    S, never mind the ability to thumb cock a J frame. Way overrated. What’s more important is that the hammerless J frames sit lower in the hand. This is beneficial to recoil control, and subsequently, follow up shots. BTW, you’re right. The hump back is butt ugly.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Oh Cmon Flag! Its handsome in its functionality

      If I have to stretch out to 25 yards, i appreciate the SA trigger.

      That said. I dont own a Bodyguard. A Chief and two Centennials. One is the airweight.

      But I would like to have a Bodyguard. Steel or Dural would be fine.

      Looking mainly for a first issue 649.

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Specialist, I always qualified 100% with my 1911. If I remember correctly it included 6 rds reload and 6 rds (left over from when the revolver was king) at 25 yards in 30 seconds. Maybe that drill was at 15, but we did shoot from 25. And we did do the 6 rds, reload, 6 rds. Did the same qual with my 442. Always scored 100%. That whole fire five rounds, reload from an HKS speed loader, five rounds, then loose load two rounds, in thirty seconds was a bitch. Point is, accurate double action shooting can be done at distance even with small revolvers. Before the nay sayers start screaming; provide your contact information. I’ll run down to the office tomorrow and have Ann Marie pull my qualification records from my personel file and send them to you. Of course, certain personal information and serial numbers on F/As will be redacted. Oh, I’ll have Betty (the Sheriff’s secretary) notarize the documents.

        1. avatar Specialist38 says:

          Dont doubt the qualifying. But I’m talking about hitting something the size of a coke can at 25 yards.

          I can do it double action. I feel more confident with single action pull.

          I can hit a silhouette at 100 yards with a Jrame.

          If I HAD to do it, I’d want a single action break.

          Seen plenty of good shots miss the steel at 15 yards at speed.

          YMMV.

  7. avatar LazrBeam says:

    I’m partial to a Ruger LCR in .327 Fed Mag. Shrouded hammer, power approaching .357 Mag, and a 6 round cylinder. If ya wanna go single action get an LCRx with exposed hammer. I’ve got both and with a speed strip feel adequately armed with either one.

  8. avatar Mack The Knife says:

    Had a 637 for about two weeks. Good for nothing Airweight revolvers are just not worth the effort. Punishing to practice with, minimal ammo and too long to reload in a relaxed state of mind. In a fight I doubt you’d hit the target and wind up throwing the gun at the perp because you forgot what pocket you put the strip reloads in, lost half of them after remembering and pulling them out, dropping the rest as you release the cylinder then trying to eject the spent rounds. Count the steps, then tell me how wonderful they are. There is a reason the FBI trashed them after the Miami gun fight. If your unfamiliar with it, look it up.
    Good luck!

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      It was a snub that ended the shootout.

      Poor tactics and bad luck made the Miami shootout a fiasco…..not revolvers.

  9. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Wow Mack! How do you suppose all those guys survived all those gunfights for all those decades with nothing but double action revolvers. No speed loaders. No speed strips. Remember, there were plenty of semiautomatic handguns available since shortly after 1900. You could even buy a Thompson SMG in the Western Auto in those days. Just because you can’t manipulate a double action revolver doesn’t mean no one else can.

  10. avatar Southerner says:

    The velocity attained with a 1 and 7/8 inch barrel is rarely sufficient to reliably initiate hollow point bullet deformation, (colloquially known as “expansion”) even with +P ammunition. Given that, the use of full power, hard lead alloy, wadcutter rounds is an effective alternative ammunition choice. With a maximum meplat diameter and greater penetration, combined with a lower recoil impulse, full power commercial 38spl. wadcutter cartridges are a logical choice for personal defense.

    Of course, for rapid reload purposes, more rounded bullet contours are preferable.

  11. avatar Eric says:

    I have a 442 that I carry when I can’t carry something on my belt. I can just stick it in my pocket and be good to go. There are almost no situations where I’m unable to conceal a J frame. It’s my “better than no gun” gun. I’ve had bad luck with pocket autos and don’t trust them.

    A small tip: if using speed strips, put a space between the second and third rounds. It makes it easier to load in the first two rounds. Some people only put 4 rounds in their speed strips because it’s easier to load 2 and 2 than 2, 2, and 1.

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