The J-Frame Revolver for Deep Cover Concealed Carry…Still

The J-Frame Revolver for Deep Cover Concealed Carry...Still

Smith & Wesson Model 360 .357 (Logan Metesh for TTAG

In today’s world, the semi-auto pistol reigns supreme. Seems people today often turn their noses up at small-frame revolvers. Make no mistake, though, small-frame revolvers still have their place in deep cover applications. Especially in non-permissive environments, for those who choose to carry anyway.

Sure, some will no doubt scoff at the idea of carrying a five-shot revolver. They have a long double-action trigger pull and a short sight radius. Some people might consider them effective in an elevator and not a lot farther away. And besides, they are so 1960s and 70s. Yuck, right?

Guns Magazine John Wayne Smith & Wesson J-Frame

TTAG scan by John Boch

First off, if you can master the double-action trigger of a revolver or double-action semi-automatic, you can shoot any handgun well.  In fact, even in handguns with terrible triggers, those skilled in the art of the double-action trigger can perform at least passably with them. Single action is always an option, too given enough time.

Yes, J-frames like a 642 (or similar-sized guns like the Ruger LCR, Taurus 905, Colt Cobra, Kimber K6s), with their sub-2-inch barrel lengths, have short sight radii. So what? Couple the fundamentals of sight alignment with the art of the double-action trigger and combat-effective hits to 50 feet — the limit of most self-defense situations –should come almost as easy as using your favorite semi-auto.

Years ago, I won a couple of $20 bills at the Urbana Sportsman’s Club from people who didn’t think I could hit a water-filled milk jug at 100 yards even once with my Ruger SP-101. Little did they know that two hits per the five-shot cylinder was my typical performance when warmed up.

Anyone who tells you a snub-nose revolver can’t hit beyond room-length distances doesn’t know of what they speak. Or they’re trying to sandbag you.

Yes, reloads come slowly. You can carry five extras in a speed loader, but deep cover means just that. In pocket carry or IWB holster, people around you have no idea you have a gun secreted away. Frank McGee, of NYPD fame, talks about the “Rule of Threes”: the “average” gunfight involves three shots or less in three seconds or less at three yards or less.

Tom Givens stretches that out to five yards – a car length – but you get the idea. A five-shot revolver in capable hands can easily dispatch even a pair of bad guys if the worst should happen.

And for me, from a draw, the revolver adds about fifteen to twenty one-hundreds of a second to my first shot over a GLOCK. Why the extra time? To control that longer, double-action trigger. After all, for me, only A-zone hits count. With additional practice and skills, I could probably shave a big part of that off, but spare time grows increasingly precious for me as it probably does for most other folks.

Meanwhile, small-frame revolvers excel in many ways, especially in the role of deep cover. Revolver users seldom encounter malfunctions, even if you’re pressing the muzzle into the gut of an attacker (think the Trayvon Martin situation). And contact gunshot wounds usually inflict horrific damage.

The J-Frame Revolver for Deep Cover Concealed Carry...Still

The author’s J-Frame-sized stainless steel Taurus 905 (TTAG/GSL photo by J Boch)

As for concealment, short-barrel snubbies with their small frame size are excellent. Slip one in a jacket or pants pocket and no one will be the wiser.

These little wheel guns perform wonderfully when fired from a coat pocket, too. Especially those with bobbed hammers or the hammerless variety. Ditto for the ladies for discharging from a purse.

No, you won’t get hits out to fifty feet that way, but remember McGee’s Rule of Threes. Let that rapist/mugger get the surprise of his life when you let your little friend do your talking. Five rounds of .38 Special or .357 Magnum from Messrs. Smith and Wesson will get their attention every time. The look on their face: priceless.

The J-Frame Revolver for Deep Cover Concealed Carry...Still

TTAG/GSL Defense Training photo by Boch

We often give the women (and eventually the men too) in our GSL Defense Training Essential Carry class an opportunity to shoot from inside a purse. It brings a lot of smiles and we make a lot of believers. In fact, they eat it up.

The J-Frame Revolver for Deep Cover Concealed Carry...Still

TTAG/GSL Defense Training photo by Boch

Wheel guns don’t leave your brass lying all over the place. For those carrying in non-permissive environments, that can prove extra helpful. Before Illinois had legal concealed carry, more than a few career armed robbers and rapists turned up dead on Cook County Forest Preserve properties over the years.  Obviously their intended victims chose not to notify the authorities.

Additionally, these small revolvers also conceal well in the hand. Remember, most deadly force encounters take place in low-light or no-light conditions. An attacker usually can’t see any better than you can. Again, let them experience the shock of their lifetime as they experience the bark and flash of your snubbie discharging at bad-breath distances.

You can also hand one off to someone who has never shot before in an emergency and it can save their life. Even rank novices can figure out how to make a revolver work.  As a close friend and retired FBI agent I know loves to say, revolvers are the ultimate point-and-click interface. Old Frank Wright also says that when God shoots recreationally, He uses a revolver. I don’t know about that, but I’m not as old as the retired G-man.

If weight bothers you, Smith and other manufacturers make wheel guns in light, exotic metals such as the Airweight and AirLite S&W models.

The J-Frame Revolver for Deep Cover Concealed Carry...Still

Courtesy Smith & Wesson

These concealed carry revolvers weigh next to nothing – about 11 ounces – but expect stout recoil. You carry these to save your bacon, not to shoot recreationally. Unless you’re God.

Yes, the J-frame revolver very much still has its place in today’s world. Don’t underestimate the man or woman using a small-frame revolver in a pocket holster as their carry gun. Especially in today’s world, they probably know how to use it well.


  1. avatar 22winmag says:


    1. avatar 22winmag says:

      What is up with all the photos of snaggariffic exposed hammers? They defeat the whole purpose of the “coat pocket surprise”.

      Shrouded, bobbed, or HAMMERLESS is the way to go.

      And on the subject of HAMMERLESS, I don’t give a sh*t what you, TTAG, or Smith and Wesson says! Hammerless means hammerless. Not all strikers are linear in operation!

      The mechanism inside the 442 is a rotational STRIKER from any rational mechanical engineering or firearms engineering standpoint. Bells have been rung by ROTATIONAL STRIKERS since at least the Dark Ages! You will not take away my HAMMERLESS 442 by saying it has a hammer. You will not tell me it’s a hammer when it’s really a rotational striker.

      By the way, the 442 and other HAMMERLESS revolvers are not HOAXES, but most mass shooting and school shootings are.

      Look up the definition of hoax. It doesn’t mean something did not occur. It means something occurred in a way MUCH, MUCH differently than is being presented to the gullible public by the BILLIONAIRE OWNED MEDIA.

      Now, happy shooting, get out to the range more, and open your mind up a bit while you are at it!

      1. avatar John Boch says:

        I have never had a hang-up from a hammered snubbie. Fired from pocket, purse, bag or anywhere else. And as you might guess from this story, I’ve got more than one.

      2. avatar Specialist38 says:

        It’s a hammer ….. not a striker.

        1. avatar John in AK says:

          You’re wasting your time. Although S&W, who introduced their first ‘hammerless’ designs in 1886, calls them ‘hammerless’ and not ‘strikerless,’ and the component in a parts catalogue is called a ‘hammer,’ and rotates in an arc around a pivot as does a ‘hammer’ as opposed to running in a straight line without a pivot, very much like a ‘striker,’ CLEARLY S&W and everyone else in the firearms field is wrong, and this guy is correct.

          Therefore, we have a new definition of ‘striker’: “Anything that rotates in an arc around a pivot that you can’t see”. Obviously, if it looks like a hammer, acts like a hammer, and functions as a hammer, is called by the manufacturer a hammer, but is enclosed and therefore ‘invisible’, it MUST be a ‘striker.’

          Case closed.

          I can hardly wait to see what other long-accepted firearms nomenclature needs to be updated.

        2. avatar MyName says:

          @ John in AK

          We could call the rolling block the “rotational falling block” – that seems to track with this new definition of striker.

          Or, we could call striker fired “linear hammer fired.”

        3. avatar Mad Max says:

          Or try a 649 shrouded hammer; the best of both worlds but weird looking.

  2. avatar John Boch says:

    Logan, I’m envious of your J-frame sir.

    1. avatar Rad Man says:

      I’ll never part with my chiefs special stainless model 60 j frame. 5 rounds of 357 is quite comforting!

  3. avatar possum says:

    That model 360 looks like a POS, why Smith why, are you that broke?

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Love my well used S&W model 10.

  5. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Great article on a platform that’s a classic for a reason.
    But there’s no data to back up the Rule of 3s for non-law enforcement civilian DGUs. It’s a myth.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Thank you, I came down here to make sure someone caught that.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Well, most civilian DGUs end with no shots fired at all…

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        And of the ones where shots were fired, about half were in the home.

    3. avatar Kyle says:

      Perhaps, but its a myth im going to subscribe too.

      Stats for almost everything concerning firearms seems to be quite difficult to pin down.

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        IMO if you’re ready for 3+3+3 then you’re better off than most people, so… fair enough.

    4. avatar HuntingtonGuy says:

      Statistics say 74% of all statistics are made up on the spot 😁

      I like the Rule of 3’s. I prefer to train at 3 yards (more realistic I think) but it’s got its place in CQB or DGU just the same.
      Truth is, no one knows when they’ll be in a SHTF or what distances, movements or other conditions will be present. If you carry a gun you should train broadly to be prepared for more than any particular rule, anything less is negligent. IMHO of course.

  6. avatar James J. White says:

    I don’t know why wheel guns ended up with a bad reputation. The obvious advantage is that you don’t have to check the chamber or wonder if you left the safety on. Most people who are unfamiliar with handguns master the revolver faster than the auto. Five or six rounds should be plenty unless you are caught in a war.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      You don’t have to check the chamber or take off the safety with a modern striker fired or DA handgun either. Unless you unload it at night which makes no sense if you’re not unloading your revolver.

      1. avatar Dave M says:

        My guns are only unloaded after being fired, upon which time time they are immediately reloaded.

  7. avatar Anner says:

    I recommend you clarify the remark about encountering a DGU and just walking away. That’s a recipe for a witness you didn’t know was present calling LE and the DA incorrectly charging you with murder.

    It’s probably happened many times, the victim/defender never told a soul, and life went on. But in an article some will read and accept as expert advice, don’t assume anything.

    1. avatar John Boch says:

      Oh, I agree.

      But it would not have ended well for those individuals in Cook County. I don’t recommend walking away after smoking some mope who just tried to sodomize you or shiv you, but I won’t criticize those who did it. They did what they thought best.


      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Assuming those bodies found were due to defensive gun uses and not another criminal murdering them in a robbery or deal gone bad?

        Even mentioning lack of brass in the context of a DGU feels irresponsible to me. Modern forensics and investigation mean usually you’ll not only get found but then will be much worse off, legally.

        1. avatar PWinKY says:

          Yeah but he’s talking about Illinois. Chicago doesn’t even clear 50% of their murders, and I’m assuming those doofuses leave evidence laying around from time to time.

          In this day and age, odds are that if you kill someone in Chicago, you’re going to get away scott free.

      2. avatar Anner says:

        I understand the dilemma. I left IL in 2002 for freer pastures. I still have my FOID card as a bit of dark humor.

  8. avatar enuf says:

    No complaint with wheel guns, just not my primary selection anymore

    Mine is a Charter Arms Off-Duty from back before the Charter 2000 and CHARCO eras. Has an exposed hammer, never a problem with it.

    Many years ago carried a US Revolver Co. With shrouded hammer. Worked fine but that was a .38 made before .38 Special. So kinda wimpy.

  9. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Bought my first J frame in ’84-85. Straight up model 36. Next came a model 60 around ’88 +/-. Finally settled on a 442 in ’93. Never looked back. It went into my pocket (with a pocket holster) this morning when I drove my father to the doctor. Looking at it now with the rest of my pocket dump. Time was a little slower than when I qualified with it as my 1911, but usually scored 100 despite all the handicaps of a snubbie.

    1. avatar HuntingtonGuy says:

      442 is a nice piece

      1. avatar YuGo HuGo says:

        Yes, a nice piece is……….nice!

  10. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    as opposed to my 1911, I meant to say

  11. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    Those Airweight J Frames make excellent ankle carry guns.

  12. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I like snub guns. I differ from the author in that I am much faster with my first shot from a revolver carried in the same place as an auto.

    I too, shoot all handguns as if they are DA revolvers. I don’t ride a reset. I pull and shoot, release and do it again. Even a Sigma can be useful shooting this way.

    None of my Smith’s are modern. My 042, 640, 60 and 12 are all 38 special, although the 640 is rated for +P+.

    I often carry an LCR these days even though they are a tad larger than the old Jframes. The trigger is just a little smoother and lighter, but easier to short stroke because of it.

    The snub revolver may not be the best defensive option but there are plenty used for that.

    For me, they are easier to carry and conceal than anything except 380 pocket pistols like the LCP.

    I just wish Ruger would extend the ejector rod on their 3in models and offer with higher profile fixed sights. I would add at least one more to the stable.

    1. avatar LazrBeam says:

      I like the Rugers. Have an LCR and LCRx, as well as an SP 101 w/3 in barrel, all in .327 Federal Magnum. Powerful cartridge AND six shots instead of five. I don’t feel undergunned carrying any of them. Also have a Taurus 327 with a 3 in ported barrel and it is an absolute tack driver.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        The 327 is scooting along pretty good even out of a 2 inch barrel.

        I would consider an LCR in 327 but have never seen one in the wild.

  13. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    It is so nice to see a photo of John’s Smith without a Hillary-hole!

    Why can’t S&W eliminate it now that Clinton is no longer president?

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Because they are idiots?

    2. avatar Specialist38 says:

      And that’s actually a taurus.

    3. avatar rtw1951 says:

      The lock can be disabled easily enough. I have two j-frames. A 442 that has the lock disabled and an Apex spring and hammer kit added. The other was my Dads and his Dads before that, a Model 36 that just came back from cerakote today

      1. avatar Ed says:

        Disabling the lock voids the warranty.

        1. avatar rtw1951 says:

          If I need the warranty, 15 minutes will have the lock working again.

  14. avatar OldProf49 says:

    My better half was brought up in a liberal, non-gun-owning home. When she moved out on her own and idly mentioned possibly getting a handgun to keep in her apartment, her father begged her not to because an assailant “will take it away from you and shoot you” (the standard Newsweek/CNN/MSN rhetoric at the time). It took me years to convince her of the error of that. When she finally agreed to touch, and eventually fire, a gun, the only type she would touch was (and still is) a revolver. She’s very intimidated by semiautomatic firearms, even though most of mine are very simple DAO’s. If she carries (Yes, she got her CCW a few years ago, and even shot a qualifier!), it’s a 32 H&R snub revolver or nothing. Don’t waste your or her time extolling the virtues of DAO 32 or 380 acp pistols.

  15. avatar raptor jesus says:

    You’re preaching the choir.

    I always back up my IWB/OWB compact with a snubby in the pocket, suit jacket, or coat.

    LCR – yes.
    Taurus 605 – yes.
    Kimber K6S – yes.

    J-Frame? Not until they get rid of that horrendous lock.

    1. avatar binder says:

      SKU: 150544

    2. avatar PWinKY says:

      Lol at your suggestion. You won’t carry one because of the lock, but you’ll carry a Taurus despite their reputation for cutting corners and poor quality. Makes perfect sense.

      1. avatar John in AK says:

        Although it pains me to say this, unless Taurus has also sold its very soul to Satan and His Wife as did S&W, which company although replaced by AOBC and 18 years on still insists on bearing the Mark of The Beast proudly for all to see on the left side of virtually every new revolver that it manufactures, I would buy a new Taurus before I’d buy a new S&W with a Hillary Hole.

        It’s just that simple.

        Of course, so long as there are still those hideously unsafe pre-Hole S&Ws left to buy, e’en though each one is likely to single-handedly wipe out entire families of babies, toddlers, teens, and minorities due to NOT having a Hillary Hole, I shall not want for ‘new’ S&Ws to the point of needing to purchase a Taurus.

      2. avatar raptor jesus says:

        I have two Taurus firearms that are both exceptional.

    3. avatar walt says:

      But you can buy a new S&W J frame with no lock. It is the only revolver they make with a no-lock option. I own one and love it!

      1. avatar OldProf49 says:

        There are also at least two ways to disable the lock. Google “disable Smith & Wesson lock” and both methods will pop up. I have no experience with either method since my snubs are all lock-free. I can imagine what a lawyer would say if you “break” one of his toys, though.

  16. avatar Jonndoe says:

    The 2″ 38spl has always had a place In my carry rotation along with the Beretta92 and Glock 17&19 depends what I’m wearing that day.

  17. avatar Kyle says:

    J-Frame for the win….every time!

  18. avatar MouseGun says:

    I’ve slowly started to move away from “service revolvers”. Guns like the gp100 and smith 357s.
    The 357 is a bit expensive for my taste to shoot for recreation, and out of a standard-ish service revolver, 38 special recoils like a 9mm, but in that case, why not just shoot 9mm? It’s cheaper than most commercial 38 special?
    Most micro revolvers with alloy and polymer frames are way too painful to shoot more than a few cylinders through with regular ammo, let alone +P. I’m of the mind that if you’re going to carry gun, you shouldn’t have to dread shooting it for practice.
    Now, The point of this long, poorly written rant with horrible grammar (forgive me, I had to get a GED because I failed high school English four years in a row), is I think there’s still a place for small steel frame revolvers. I carry my s&w model 60 and Ruger SP101 327 as my almost daily carries. I can keep 38 hollow points on a pie plate at 20 yards with the model 60, and same goes for the SP101, and while the recoil is snappy, it is still more than manageable.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      Kudos for writing in excellent English! I saw no glaring grammar nor spelling errors.

      Perhaps most importantly, I was able to read and understand your comment easily. After all, that is the point of writing a comment: easy and effective communication.

      (Of course you need decent grammar and spelling to communicate easily and effectively. At the same time, what good is perfect grammar and spelling if readers struggle to understand your message?)

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I cannot find fault with your English.

      Your idea of “keeping [your shots] on a pie plate at 20 yards” is a excellent goal for a shooter.

    3. avatar OldProf49 says:

      I recently bought a LCR in 357 and I’ll probably only shoot 5 or fewer 357’s through it. Even with 38 +P or +P+ (Is that still made/sold? I haven’t seen any for a long time.) it will still be a (double) handful. With a LOT of PRACTICE, I can put 5 +P 38’s through a paper plate at 10 yards and 3/5 at 15. That’s double action from my 642 as fast as I can reaquire the front sight. I can do the same more easily with my Kahr PM9. So why do I still carry the revolver more than the semiauto? Just old and stubborn, I guess.

      1. avatar Dave M says:

        Myself & a petite female friend of mine enjoy (actually like) shooting full house .357’s from an LCR. The polymer frame & Houge grips make recoil not bad at all.

        1. avatar Ed says:

          I shoot .357 mag in my LCR and 640 Pro all day. Usually Golden Saber which are a medium mag load. As the the Smith Hillary hole, I will never buy one. My 442 and 640 Pro are my last Smith revolvers. My latest is my LCR 357.

  19. avatar Aven says:

    I have semi-autos from a tiny TCP at 10.8 ounces, one compact, one mid-size to a full size 1911 but my go to carry gun is my Taurus 605 “hammerless” (really a bobbed hammer). I am disappointed that the 605 is no longer available without an exposed hammer so I had to buy used to get that and a polished stainless finish. It is J frame size and will handle 357 magnum (if you can handle it). I normally use 38 Special +p. I know I can depend on it and I don’t worry about an accidental or negligent discharge due to a problem of me doing something stupid. A 357 Magnum in a small 5 shot revolver gets your attention. On the plus side, you won’t find a used one with many rounds through it because of the recoil.

  20. avatar C.S. says:

    Jerry Miculek isn’t God… he’s just a demigod.

  21. avatar Warren Neville says:

    Have carried a J-Frame for years. Only had to draw it once and it worked perfectly.

  22. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I am going to quibble with the author about the deep-concealment claim for a j-frame revolver: that fat cylinder negates deep concealment for many/most people.

    Don’t get me wrong — I think j-frame revolvers are very nice.

  23. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    Laser grips are a good addition to a snubby as well as most any gun.

    1. avatar Robert Fory says:

      The rubber switch in laze r grips make them a very high dollar disposable option. But I’m just a poor with 3 year old useless lazer grips.

  24. avatar Frank M. says:

    I just put in my paperwork to buy a used S&W J frame in .38. I’m pretty excited to be getting a new gun but I need to work on my double action trigger skills.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Snap caps. I bought my current j frame new. Hours of sitting in front of the tv and snapping away gave me a good feel for the revolver and smoothed the action some.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        This. This, this, this.

        Get some snap caps, and work on your dry firing.

      2. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Or …..just dry fire. I have never owned a snap cap and have dry fired every gun I have ever owned.

        The only broken firing pin (hammer nose) i have ever experienced was a Lend Lease 38 S&W k frame that had been arsenal refinished. I replaced the nose and found the one they put in was from a different generation k frame.

        If a revolver (or any handgun) can stand the detonation and back thrust of a cartidge but cant take the pressure of slamming forward on an empty chamber… is a POS that I don’t need.

        Back in the early 80s I read lots about not dry firing Raven 25s as the pot metal firing pin would break. They also broke when firing with live ammunition. It was a POS.

  25. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Shooting through a coat pocket or purse?

    Now that’s real-world training.

    NB the instructors in the photos above: No tactical tats, no 5.11 shirts; they’re non-operators not operating operationally.

    1. avatar John Boch says:

      My lovely wife, a marketing person, put us all in uniforms.

      Red, being the universal color of range officers world-wide. Our summer shirts are Adidas (sorry 5.11) and the oxfords? Don’t recall. We encourage khakis of some form because they’re a lot dressier than jeans. Most of our team wear 5.11s or similar just because cargo pockets make great places to stow things like Israeli battle dressings, phones, props, radios and whatever else is needed.

      All embroidered with our logo and “instructor”. Staff get blue shirts tagged “staff”.

      Our professional appearance has grown night and day over what it was before she came along. Worth every bit of the ~$300 per person to outfit them in shirts and a (branded) red jacket. Then again, so has our cadre of instructors, now at about 26.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Please pass along a “well done” from a fellow old guy. You guys look sharp and very professional.

      2. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

        John, where is the training done? Chicago suburbs or Peoria area? Do you have to be a GSL member to take the training?

        1. avatar John Boch says:

          Currently, we’re doing most of our work out of the DeWitt County Sportsman’s Club near Clinton, right smack in the middle of the state.


  26. avatar Clark Kent says:

    Fugggitttaboudt carrying ANY handgun in a purse or a pocket. You need a secure, stable, repeatable platform to draw from every time (which does not include fishing around in a pocket or purse for your handgun).

  27. avatar Kendahl says:

    Having shot an LCR with standard pressure 158 grain cartridges, I’d prefer a .327 and shoot .32 H&R magnum or .32 S&W Long in it. With eight shots, instead of five or six, a .22 LR model is attractive including for carry.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      Wow yes 22lr from a 1.5-2″ snubbie with those 35-40gr .22″ diameter bullets barely going 600-700fps from super short barrels are going to really tear thing up. . Not yo mention that because of the way rim fired cases are ignited by the firing pin in snubbie hammer geometry it requires a grossly heavier trigger pull than a centerfire. We are talking some in the 17lb da range. Litetally many weaker women and elderly can not effectively pull the trigger on one and not with even the most basic combat accuracy.

      Consider it takes 4 35-40gr 22 lr bullets to equal the mass of a standard 158gr 38/357. All 8 shots to a double tap. Ill take 5 rd where 2 shots of those 5 equal the bullet mass and sd of all 8 of a 22.

      At least in a striker fired semi trigger pull can be light and not prohibituve like in small snubbie revolvers like a j frame.

  28. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

    I think an underrated gun is the ORIGINAL Charter Arms Undercover. I have no idea what the new ones are like but I have thousands of rounds through an early seventies model and it’s still as tight as dick’s hat band and can still put all 5 into a 5 inch circle at 13 yards. Doesn’t weigh hardly anything and fits in a pocket.

  29. avatar glenn sammon says:

    I have never had a problem carrying a j frame in deep concealment. I do not find the cylinder in any way “fat”, and I am only 5’5″ .once the cylinder goes beneath the waistline it just disappears. and I have done this with 5 and 6 shot snubbies. I even conceal my Taurus 817, 7 sot with ease.

    1. avatar OldProf49 says:

      I’m sure there’s a depression in the flab at my belt line at 8-8:30 (I’m left handed) from carrying a j-frame IWB for many years. I’ve tried holstering semiautos there and they just don’t fit as well. Go figure…

  30. avatar Mad Max says:

    I always keep one handy….

    1. avatar Bill in AK says:

      I thought it was 8, 9 or 14…

  31. avatar Bill In AK says:

    I’m sympathetic with this article. I have a 3″ Chief’s Special that I wouldn’t trade for anything else. Many times I carry either a 9mm or .40 auto, but for close in situations, the Chief loaded with 148 gr semis reversed, making them a gigantic hollow point is a real attention getter and putter downer.

    1. avatar OldProf49 says:

      Oh, how I wish this old wives’ tale (tail?) would go away. 148 grain hollow base wadcutters were designed to “bump up” to engage the rifling in revolvers with slightly oversized bores, NOT reversed, loaded hot (sometimes) and fired from snub revolvers. Quoting Petrol & Powder on the Cast Boolits forum: “They are terribly inaccurate at any distance beyond a few yards. They typically didn’t expand as expected. The skirt either folds back on itself or separates from the body and reduces the mass of the main projectile. In short, don’t bother.”
      This was a fad in the 1960’s through early 80’s when hollow point technology was in its infancy (and the big ammo corporations put Super Vel out of business). It didn’t work and was occasionally dangerous to the shooter. The best defensive use of a wadcutter is as a properly loaded low recoil round that will reliably and accurately punch caliber-sized holes in the target.

  32. avatar FlamencoD says:

    I have a S&W model 638. I hate shooting the gun and have never carried it. My wife wanted a gun and that is what she chose. Anyway, look at the size of that grip of the S&W 360 at the beginning of this story. That thing is massive. How is that good for deep pocket concealment?? That’s like stuffing a giant over sized banana in your pocket, with a large cylinder in the middle. No thanks. Even when I have put my S&W in my pocket just to see how it feels, it obviously looks like a gun in my pocket.

  33. avatar mac says:

    I have a S&W model 638..It’s the only gun I have which I regret buying. It is almost as poor in quality as a “Saturday Night Special,” but it cost ~430 dollars. Also, it originally had an internal lock, which damaged the firing mechanism when I used it. Finally, if you plan to buy a five shot revolver for the purpose of firing .38 Special+P rounds I recommend that you buy a Ruger SP 101instead. Thanks.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      You obviouly never have held or shot one of the slew of cheap cast import revolvers of the 70s as there is No not a single model from anycmanf of modren day revolvers in this country that come remotely close.

  34. avatar Dexter Winslett says:

    Have not bought a Smith since the Clinton lock was installed.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      I guess no springfield armory 1911 as they have trigger lock mech in many. Oh wait I think Tauras also has locks on their revolvers offered as well. I would say its worse as they did it all on thier own no threat from the gov at all. You guys need to get over yourselves with your chest thumping bs about trigger lock SW stuff. You just look like insecure weenies trying to posture up tough. Nothing but heel nipper bs. Really man up and move on to whinning about how you won”t own a gun from manf that uses mim parts. Then you would not buy from any of them lol

  35. avatar Wes says:

    I just rediscovered my Taurus 651 Titanium 357 Mag. and love it! Only 17 oz. so I only carry 38+P though.

  36. avatar Sam says:

    I recently purchased my first revolver, a 442. I purchased it as a pocket / deep concealment gun and BUG. And for me, it’s just that. Taking my dog out to the bathroom, running over to the grocery store, etc. It’s for when I don’t necessarily want to put a belt on and jam my G17 into my pants. Even if I’m going to carry it IWB, I still am finding my little 442 to be much more comfortable, especially AIWB. My only regret is not giving a J-frame revolver a chance sooner.

    I actually love the trigger on my 442. I’ve never been one to obsess over triggers. I spend as much time as I can at the range to learn each of my triggers and their respective nuances. I can keep far tighter groups with my 442 as I can my LCP, and nearly as good groups as my G26 (inside 3 yd). I also like that the trigger is extremely predictable.

    I wish that they made a J-frame in .327 Federal.

    1. avatar OldProf49 says:

      “They” do, if you’re willing to consider a Ruger LCR. Obviously, S&W could chamber any of their j-frame magnums for 327 Federal if they so chose. Perhaps they don’t believe the market is big enough to bother.

  37. avatar Patrick Price says:

    Good article information wise,but the Trayvon Martin comment was low and unnecessary.

  38. avatar Old Cop says:

    Decided to spend the money on a no-lock 340PD for EDC a few yrs ago and I’ve never regretted it. I’ve been carrying a J frame since my 1968 rookie yr. My issued .38 saved my butt in three gun fights over 30 yrs. This is an experts gun that requires regular range time.

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