What I’m Carrying Now: A Smith & Wesson 649 and a Benchmade Mini Barrage

EDC everyday carry smith & wesson 649

Courtesy Scott E.

Scott E. writes . . .

This Smith & Wesson Model 649 has been a nearly constant companion since the 80s. When I don’t just put it in a jacket pocket, I use an old Strong holster or a Sparks Summer Special.

I’m still carrying 125 grain +P Nyclads. The knife is a Benchmade Mini Barrage which has performed very well for me.

My favorite light is the little Fenix E05 that is always with me on my keyring. I also have a larger Fenix or a Surefire depending on the circumstances.

The Buddha is reminding me to ‘be here now’, mindfully present, and is just another way of following Jeff Cooper’s suggestion to ‘live in yellow’.

[This post is part of our series, What I’m Carrying Now. If you’d like to submit a photo and description of the gun, holster and gear you’re carrying in the new world in which we live, send it to us at [email protected] with WICN in the subject field.]

comments

  1. avatar Bloving says:

    Wheelguns FTW!
    🤠

  2. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    I love my Mini-Barrage.

    I didn’t know that Nyclads were still available. I used those back when I carried a Chief’s Special.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I haven’t seen nyclads for years. If they’re still for sale I haven’t seen it.

      My gun for edc is a 442 S&W. In an uncle mikes pocket holster.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        I’ve still got a few boxes of those. It’s hot stuff!

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          jwm, Tom, you can tell us old guys. I prefer a 442 to the humpback. Sits lower in the hand. Nyclad is a good round. Still have a few. Always preferred the 158 grain. SWC/HP +P. Just me.

        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          “…you can tell us old guys.”
          yeah, just not much.

      2. avatar Fun Gunner says:

        I’ve owned at least four J-frames that I can remember. Three were 442s, the last one a pro model, the first two were before trigger locks, and one 637. Loved to carry them and I was pretty accurate in slow fire, but was awful in fast double action beyond bad breath distance. Never tried a trigger job. I might still have one if I had done that.

        Only reason I’m back in the wheel gun business is I finally scratched the itch on a Charter Bulldog in .44 special. It took some site filing and hammer shims to get me to trust it for carry, but it’s my current COVID carry. I’m most accurate with the Silver Tips, but I carry the Critical Defense because I trust them to actually expand, based on gel tests I’ve seen.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          always wanted that pug version. and then it was old charter, new charter, charco and whatevs. i never went there not being sure which was worth a damn.

      3. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

        One wonders why someone doesn’t offer them again. I’ve still got some from the early 1990s, but they’re seeming a bit old to rely on for self-defense.

        1. avatar Specialist38 says:

          The step to coat them with nylon polymer was probably more costly

        2. avatar Jeremy B. says:

          There is a similar(ish) product available through the Syntech line (at least for 9mm). But it’s a fracturing design. Breaks into 3 petals and a shank (squat cylinder).

    2. avatar enuf says:

      Not too uncommon really for some of us guys who have carried the same gun or same caliber for decades. I still have a good supply of Speer Lawman 9mm 115gr JHP. Some of those boxes have faded old price tags of $5 or $6 a box.

  3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    BTW, us old guys have survived. The youngsters have a while to go.

    1. avatar Shorty says:

      True.

    2. avatar Setarip says:

      Hey! Im not really old (30’s) but a wheelgun is my preferred carry gun. Carried a 642 for years before I sadly sold it. Now I carry a Colt King Cobra. A little heavy so another Airweight is in my future.

  4. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    Solid revolver, good ammo and excellent holster. You could do a lot worse.

  5. avatar EricB says:

    I always like to see other guys with J-frames. I like hammers, and lately the 60 in .357 has usurped the 637 but for general slip it in in the pocket and go service, the little Smiths get it done.

  6. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    I was quite happy with my 638 in the ’90s. I only switched to an auto after I thought three gang-banger looking fellows were going to try to harm a lot me for running a green light and making it inconvenient for them to run their red light in Indianapolis late one evening (well early morning). Luckily I made it to a police station which they followed me into until they realized where they were, so I didn’t find out precisely what their intentions were. It made me question if 5 .38 was enough though. I am back to a revolver again, but bigger ’cause I live in the woods now.

    1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      A 1911 or HiPower would do you well there, from experience those Indy boys are punk ass bitches.

      1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        These guys got close enough for me to see their faces and what scared me most was the lack of apparent emotion. I was probably imagining it but it looked like they had what I call “dead eyes” – an empty look. When I see that in a person it causes me much apprehension.

  7. avatar rudukai13 says:

    All looks basically good, but how old is that ammo…? Don’t people know to cycle their carry ammo once or twice a year?

    1. avatar Scott Estes says:

      the ammo was purchased about 20 years ago on a discontinued special. i had been carrying it for years and shooting the carry and reload every range visit. still do, and it’s still going bang 100%. short of a stand off with the crips, i’ve got a 20+ year supply left…

    2. avatar Shorty says:

      That’s a myth.

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      I love when someone says “don’t people know to…” and then repeats an old wives’ tail.

      Do you also unload your magazines when you get home to prevent some imaginary spring wear?

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        +1 !

        1. avatar Ed says:

          I inherited a M1 carbine and Ruger 10/22. Both had mags loaded since 1967 during the Detroit riots. The ammo and mags worked flawlessly, even though the ammo was stored for 50 years in an non insulated attic with temps from the 100+ to below zero.

      2. avatar S.Crock says:

        Wait you think it is an old wives tail to say its important to rotate carry ammo every so often?

    4. avatar jwm says:

      I have shot ammo I knew was 60 years old. No problems.

      When I was a kid we cruised yard sales looking for guns, knives and ammo. Bought a mixed case of paper hulled 12 ga. from an oldtimer who was an avid waterfowler. He had no idea how old that ammo was. All the stuff we were used to getting had plastic hulls. The only problem I had with that ammo is I got careless and got a few shells wet on a hunt. The paper swelled a little causing problems getting them into the chamber.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Yup. I have some old Combloc ammo from the ’30s that still work just the way they did when new. If ammo isn’t exposed bad stuff, it can last for generations.

  8. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

    I used to love benchmade. I mean, they are really an awesome brand. I was on the verge of buying one to accompany my Spyderco PM2 and Gerber Mini Covert Auto, but their assistance in cutting up guns for tyrants will, and should, never get the business of this or any gun owner. They had no excuses. They could have said no. The guns could have been sold.

    So I bought a Zero Tolerance 0357BW.

    Suck it, bitchmade.

    1. avatar Shorty says:

      Nobody cares, you’re the new James Campbell on TTAG.

      1. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

        Wut? Ok Fudd. And who the fuck is that? Was that an attempt at an insult? What are you, 80 years old? I have a joke for you. Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food. No atmosphere.

      2. avatar George Washington says:

        I care you LOW IQ mfer….. go suck your mother’s tit…

    2. avatar Dick Hurtz says:

      Please go blow yourself.

      1. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

        You tellin me you wouldn’t if you could?

    3. avatar Pwrturd says:

      Agree, spyderco all the way. ZT makes great knives also, 0770cf.

  9. avatar Mad Max says:

    I carry a 649 in a Mika pocket holster in my weak side pocket. I carry a P225A1, OWB in a DeSantis mini-scabbard on my strong side.

  10. avatar conrad says:

    Nyclads good. Black Talons bad.
    Marketing, go figure.

  11. avatar strych9 says:

    Solid.

  12. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Nice! A real 649. One of my “need to add” guns. (Have a model 60 and 640).

    Ran through the last of my Nyclads years ago. Both 158 and 125 grain.

    The 125 had a better bullet profile and got the nod from Marshall, Sanow, and Ayoob. Although many discount their findings, they had criteria for evaluating shootings. Not just gel test.

    Nice to a good old, chunk-o-steel Smith. Carey on.

  13. avatar Jon in CO says:

    I was definitely going to say that most of that is older than I am, then I read “carrying since the 80’s”, so it’s probably accurate.

  14. avatar KAG says:

    You probably wear yoga pants too

  15. avatar sunshinerevans55 says:

    This is the best and most financially rewarding job I’ve ever had. I actually started this few Weeks ago and almost immediately started to bring home minimum 74BUCKS p/h. I use details from this Address…. ­6.gp/a72HQ

  16. avatar LifeSavor says:

    Author’s statue of Buddha and “Be Here Now” comment.

    Be Here Now
    Baba Ram Das (aka Richard Alpert)

    Good book; probably read it 20 times (takes only an hour to read).

    Theme: mindfulness

    1. avatar Dave G. says:

      I’m another old guy who likes wheel guns. Love my 642 with enhanced trigger. However, the factory grips make it somewhat uncomfortable to shoot. When the Kung Flu abates, I’ll probably be out looking for some rubber grips. But discomfort is a range issue, not a shtf issue.

    2. avatar Scott E. says:

      I was beginning to wonder if anyone noticed that…If you enjoyed be here now, ramdass.org has a lot of dharma talks and podcasts you’ll find interesting.

  17. avatar Ralph says:

    I had a M649. That model used to be called the Bodyguard, before S&W switched to numerical designations for their firearms. Gave it to an ex before she became an ex.

    Pro tip: Never give a gun to a crazy woman.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      agreed, although slightly redundant.

  18. avatar sound awake says:

    riggs: what are you carrying
    murtaugh: a 4 inch smith
    riggs: a six shooter huh…a lot of old timers carry those…

  19. avatar Sol Rosenburg says:

    Does the Budda statue fit in your pocket at well?

  20. avatar Matt says:

    I also carry a 649! Wonderful gun though 10 years on I now think a slimmer auto would be better suited for pocket carry for my needs. I shoot that gun the best out of anything I own. I’ve downgraded to 135gr Gold Dot Short Barrel 38+P, I just didn’t see 357 mag giving me any advantage in the 2″ barrel and I can shoot those Gold Dots very rapidly and maintain baseball sized groupings at 15′.

    Sadly mine has a Hillary hole but luckily has never presented itself to be a problem for hot and zippy light bullets to very hot 180gr hard casts.

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