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Thread: Looking for a new short barrel revolver.

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    Looking for a new short barrel revolver.

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    I've got a couple low priced (pot metal) 38 special revolvers that I would like to replace. I want a gun to use for all time concealed carry, I always have a jacket on and am quite used to a shoulder rig. Looked at a Dan Wesson Model 9 pistol pac which seemed pretty nice, however there don't seem to be any of those around. One of my current 'cheap' revolvers is an Argentina made that is very similar to a S&W. I like the grips and style of those. So what do you recommend?
    Last edited by Slowalkintexan; 01-06-2015 at 10:27 AM. Reason: spelling

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    S&W 686 or a Ruger SP101. I would get a .357 and load it with .38 +P.

    Ruger SP101® Double-Action Revolver Models

    Product: Model 686 Plus
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    I would second the choice of the Ruger SP101--if, and only if, you were also going to target shoot with the revolver periodically.

    I have "carry" firearms and "sport" firearms. In the light weight revolver category I use an SW 360PD. Yeah, it's got an alloy frame and snub nose barrel and .357 rounds are brutal.

    But a defensive firearm is useless is you leave it at home, the 360PD is light enough to go everywhere.

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    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    I won't recommend a revolver, because your post makes me believe that you have relatively little experience.
    So what I do recommend instead is that you get some training. Take a couple of good concealed-carry classes that concentrate on carry methods and shooting.

    One thing that a practical carry class may show you is that a shoulder-holster is an inefficient and uncomfortable way to carry a concealed weapon.
    Once you begin having to make quick, effective presentations, you may find that you want to scrap your shoulder holster.

    Also, in a good class run by an experienced instructor, you will probably be able to try out several different carry guns.
    Then you will be better able to make your own choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    I won't recommend a revolver, because your post makes me believe that you have relatively little experience.
    So what I do recommend instead is that you get some training. Take a couple of good concealed-carry classes that concentrate on carry methods and shooting.

    One thing that a practical carry class may show you is that a shoulder-holster is an inefficient and uncomfortable way to carry a concealed weapon.
    Once you begin having to make quick, effective presentations, you may find that you want to scrap your shoulder holster.

    Also, in a good class run by an experienced instructor, you will probably be able to try out several different carry guns.
    Then you will be better able to make your own choice.

    Steve;
    I've had a CCW for over twenty years and have carried for that long...Even had the old concealed carry 40 years ago when they were tough to get. As I said I always wear a jacket or sport coat so a shoulder carry works real well for me. I have carried a Ruger P90 in a shoulder rig. Perhaps you didn't understand my post. I said I wanted to replace my old 'cheap' revolvers and get a different carry gun. I have tried other carry rigs and have always gone back to a shoulder rig. I've worn out at least two of them. So I'm not quite the novice you apparently think I am. I find a shoulder rig very comfortable. I don't know what kind of carry you use, but if I'm standing with my arms crossed, my hand is already on my weapon. Makes it pretty fast.

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    Thank you

    ...TheTourist and GCBHM. Both your suggestions make sense. I like the look of the S&W 686, though the Ruger is nice also...Will do some looking to handle both and see what I like.
    Last edited by Slowalkintexan; 01-06-2015 at 03:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowalkintexan View Post
    Steve;
    I've had a CCW for over twenty years and have carried for that long...Even had the old concealed carry 40 years ago when they were tough to get. As I said I always wear a jacket or sport coat so a shoulder carry works real well for me. I have carried a Ruger P90 in a shoulder rig. Perhaps you didn't understand my post. I said I wanted to replace my old 'cheap' revolvers and get a different carry gun. I have tried other carry rigs and have always gone back to a shoulder rig. I've worn out at least two of them. So I'm not quite the novice you apparently think I am. I find a shoulder rig very comfortable. I don't know what kind of carry you use, but if I'm standing with my arms crossed, my hand is already on my weapon. Makes it pretty fast.
    I must say (well, I don't have to but will anyway) that a 'shoulder rig' shouldn't have to be an uncomfortable way to carry a j-frame stubby. However, seems like a compact 9 would be more practical, as long as you practice finding the grip in a hurry.

    Um, how much of your time is spent standing around with your arms crossed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hillman View Post
    I must say (well, I don't have to but will anyway) that a 'shoulder rig' shouldn't have to be an uncomfortable way to carry a j-frame stubby. However, seems like a compact 9 would be more practical, as long as you practice finding the grip in a hurry.

    Um, how much of your time is spent standing around with your arms crossed?
    Hillman,,, It seems like most of my time these days is standing around with my arms crossed wondering "Why did you, or how did you do that.?????"
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    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowalkintexan View Post
    Steve;
    I've had a CCW for over twenty years and have carried for that long...Even had the old concealed carry 40 years ago when they were tough to get...
    Sorry 'bout that.
    I assumed that you were new to the game because you admitted to carrying "cheap, pot-metal" guns.
    Normally, that's a neophyte's game, and not something that most experienced shooters would do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Slowalkintexan View Post
    ...I always wear a jacket or sport coat so a shoulder carry works real well for me...if I'm standing with my arms crossed, my hand is already on my weapon. Makes it pretty fast.
    My statement about the speed and comfort of shoulder-holster carry was based upon the knowledge that a quick and effective presentation from a shoulder rig depends upon the use of two hands in concert, that a single-hand presentation from a shoulder rig wastes a lot of effort and quickness overcoming the "slack" inherent in the rig, and that my own back and shoulders suffer unpleasantly when I carry that way.
    I'm glad to hear that you are not bothered by these problems.

  10. #10
    Senior Member denner's Avatar
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    Here you go, a S&W performance center 686 plus. It's a huge step up from the pot metal revolvers, but you only live once.


    Product: Model 686

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    Senior Member Bisley's Avatar
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    If you are accustomed to and like light-weight revolvers in .38 Special, I would recommend either the S&W Model 642 Airweight, or the Ruger LCR in .38 Special. The S&W 642 is a proven platform in .38 Special and is light and comfortable to carry (although I would prefer it on the belt, personally). The Ruger LCR is a new technology polymer frame revolver, whose main selling point is a nice, smooth trigger (the 642 has a decent trigger, as well).

    Beyond that, I would also recommend a .357 magnum in a 3" barrel, if you can stand a little more weight, and for that you need a larger framed revolver. The Ruger SP-101 would be a great choice, if it has a good trigger, or there are several S&W's that you might find appropriate. Be advised that a .357 Magnum with self-defense loads will have a considerable 'buck' in a small revolver, and you may find it uncomfortable in extended practice sessions, which you probably already understand that you need plenty of, with small handguns. The good thing is that you can do the bulk of your practice with .38 Specials or reduced load .357s. Just be careful to clean each chamber of the cylinder carefully, after shooting a lot of 'cheap' .38 Special ammo in a .357 chamber.

    I agree with the others about shoulder carry being less desirable, but you apparently have more experience with that than most folks, so I'll defer to your judgment on that.

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    Thank you, Steve. The two 'cheapies' that I have, have each more than 1,000 round through them over the years. Really can't believe it. One of them, the Argentine, I've taken the rear sight off and ground the front sight down. That gun is so old the hammer drops right on the cartridge, no transfer bar. The best thing about a revolver is that it always goes 'bang', never goes 'click'. I 'point' shoot them both, at a distance of 5 yards. I think I'm pretty good with them. Can put 6 shots in a cigarette pack at that distance. If I need to shoot at a longer distance I'll go home and get a rifle or shotgun, lol.
    What I like about a shoulder rig is the weight is all carried on my shoulders on wide leather straps, so after this long I don't even notice the weight,, I've tried belt carry and it just isn't comfortable or easy for me.

    Bisley, Thanks for your imput, Now I have two more revolvers to check out.
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    I like S&W revolvers, but to tell you the truth, the Ruger is a really good feeling and reliable piece. I think you'll like it, but you can't miss either way. As you can see, the Ruger is quite a bit less, but I don't think you're skimping on quality at all.

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    Junior Member Smithy's Avatar
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    S&W J Frame model 60 in most all of its configurations using a short barrel. This truly is a pocket gun. Bianchi makes an excellent pocket holster to keep the lint out and both gun and holster drop right into the front pocket. Also there's a fellow on Amazon making what I consider the perfect carry holster. It uses the stiffest piece of leather folded in half and stiffened to that shape. There then is a plastic/resin sort of block shaped to the gun's trigger guard and such to lock the gun into position and not allow the gun to slip past the edges. This holster wallet is then placed in the back weak hand side, pocket. The draw is with the weak hand and when out, you simply release pressure on the side of the wallet and out drops the gun into the strong side hand and then you are set to go. I currently have two. One for my Sig P238 and another for my Bond Arms 3" 45LC. Both work like a champ. I carry the P238 most all of the time and I forget it's even there. I made a complementary magazine holster for the other back pocket using again, stiff leather and this time a piece of .080 Kydex. No printing possible. Well the guy now makes them for the S&W J Frame as well. Just type in wallet holster on the Amazon site and you'll see what I'm talking about. Great stuff. Smithy.

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    Just shot a S&W Model 19. What a sweet gun!!. It had a 6" barrel so it's too big for concealed carry. however a very nice gun. Machined very well, assembled perfectly. I like that S&W keep improving their guns as time goes on. This was a 19-6.

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    Junior Member badge851's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowalkintexan View Post
    I've got a couple low priced (pot metal) 38 special revolvers that I would like to replace. I want a gun to use for all time concealed carry, I always have a jacket on and am quite used to a shoulder rig. Looked at a Dan Wesson Model 9 pistol pac which seemed pretty nice, however there don't seem to be any of those around. One of my current 'cheap' revolvers is an Argentina made that is very similar to a S&W. I like the grips and style of those. So what do you recommend?
    I carry these four and am very pleased with their performance, accuracy, and price; just click them...
    Taurus® Mdl 85SS2UL
    Taurus® Mdl 605SS2
    Taurus® Mdl 617SS2
    S&W® BG38

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    Senior Member Bisley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowalkintexan View Post
    Just shot a S&W Model 19. What a sweet gun!!. It had a 6" barrel so it's too big for concealed carry. however a very nice gun. Machined very well, assembled perfectly. I like that S&W keep improving their guns as time goes on. This was a 19-6.
    The Model 10 is another S&W, in .38 Spl. that is usually a sweet shooter and looks good. They can often be found in the $300-$400 range, and carry pretty well, concealed, with a 4" barrel. The grip size is more of a factor for concealment than barrel length, up to about 4".

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    S&W "Chief's Special" in .38 SPL. You'll forget it's there...until you need it.

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    Can't go wrong with an SP-101 for social work and you'll NEVER wear it out.

    Ruger has another that it just released the LCR with the 3" barrel. It's extremely light and the action is well proven.

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    Another vote for the Mod.10 I have one with a 2" bbl and it is indeed a sweet shooter.It is heavy enough that +P ammo is not really unpleasant other than flash and muzzle blast. I usually carry standard pressure rounds in it.

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