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  1. #1
    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    Most popular carry gun?

    I was just in Guns & Ammo, Memphis' best known seller of guns, and overheard a couple talking with one of the sales clerks. During the course of their conversation, he remarked that the Smith & Wesson Model 642 was their most popular seller for carry purposes.

    This surprised me a little, as I would have thought one of the lightweight, micro sized .40 caliber autos would have been the most popular. They certainly seem to be the topic of conversation among most gun related conversatioons I overhear.

    And the Memphis Police Department is taken by the .40 caliber, scant recommendation that might be.


    Bob Wright

  2. #2
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I certainly believe that, though I think gun trends may also be regional to a degree. Most people in AZ seem to carry autos, but the "gun culture" in AZ is more fully developed and widespread than probably anywhere else in the US, except possibly Florida and Texas.

    A small revolver is generally safer in semi-trained hands and good enough for the vast majority of situations Joe or Jane Citizen is likely to encounter. Short-barreled DA revolvers are among the most difficult handguns to shoot well, however. Most people shoot very poorly (slowly and inaccurately) with airweight J-frames, but having one does fulfill the First Rule of Gunfighting.

    I would certainly take a small Glock (in .40 or anything else) over a J-frame, but most people aren't willing to commit the training time and money it takes to successfully carry and use a good auto. Thus, they are better off with the safe revolver, which, statistically, they will likely never need to fire anyway.
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  3. #3
    greenjeans is offline Member
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    I have some of them all and carry a Taurus Ultra-lite in .38 spl. more than anything else. Simple and reliable.

  4. #4
    Charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham at Galco View Post
    I certainly believe that, though I think gun trends may also be regional to a degree. Most people in AZ seem to carry autos, but the "gun culture" in AZ is more fully developed and widespread than probably anywhere else in the US, except possibly Florida and Texas.

    A small revolver is generally safer in semi-trained hands and good enough for the vast majority of situations Joe or Jane Citizen is likely to encounter. Short-barreled DA revolvers are among the most difficult handguns to shoot well, however. Most people shoot very poorly (slowly and inaccurately) with airweight J-frames, but having one does fulfill the First Rule of Gunfighting.

    I would certainly take a small Glock (in .40 or anything else) over a J-frame, but most people aren't willing to commit the training time and money it takes to successfully carry and use a good auto. Thus, they are better off with the safe revolver, which, statistically, they will likely never need to fire anyway.
    That well may be the reason a lot of folks have the small revolvers. A safety issue for the inexperienced buyers. Noting that the small revolvers are built for extremely last minute defense.............15 ft. at the most in my opinion..........they fulfill that niche pretty well and safely (especially those with an enclosed hammer). Just my $.02.

  5. #5
    Revolver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
    Noting that the small revolvers are built for extremely last minute defense.............15 ft. at the most in my opinion..........they fulfill that niche pretty well and safely (especially those with an enclosed hammer). Just my $.02.
    I think the same could be said about any compact. Velocity, ease of use, and ability to make quick accurate fire is compromised for size. Even more so than the "full size" pistol which is a severe compromise to the rifle or shotgun.

    The snub-nosed revolver is certainly capable of more than 15 ft in trained hands. Key being trained hands. I have a strong preference for the K-frame for such duty as my hands are larger than average and it makes the J-frame rather unpleasant for me to shoot.

  6. #6
    Charlie's Avatar
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    [quote=Revolver;64102]I think the same could be said about any compact. Velocity, ease of use, and ability to make quick accurate fire is compromised for size. Even more so than the "full size" pistol which is a severe compromise to the rifle or shotgun.

    The snub-nosed revolver is certainly capable of more than 15 ft in trained hands. Key being trained hands. I have a strong preference for the K-frame for such duty as my hands are larger than average and it makes the J-frame rather unpleasant for me to shoot.[/quote]

    Absolutely!! Fortunately, most folks don't use them for plinking, hunting, etc. I've always thought a J frame was the last chance, "Oh S*it!" gun and really wouldn't want to shoot it too much. I had a S&W 640 and shot a cylinder of .357 mags out of it pretty quickly only once.....ouch!

  7. #7
    Baldy's Avatar
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    I carried J-K framed sized revolvers for over 40yrs and beleive me when I say it takes a lot of practice to get decent with one. I carried all sizes of 5 & 6 shot and my favorite was K-model 19 with 21/2" barrel 6 shot. I also liked the model 37 air weight 5 shot .38 real well. When you can put 5 or 6 shots in a 2" circle at 10yds with consistent fire not rapid fire your getting there. Go have a beer you done well by your shooting.

  8. #8
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    The problem with saying "J-frames are for close range only" is that we defenders don't control the terms of an encounter, our opponents do. So while we may choose our weapons assuming we'll only need them for an unobstructed COM shot at "15 feet and under," our attackers may have different ideas. Maybe they'll be behind cover or a hostage and offer only a head shot, or maybe they'll be wearing armor. Or maybe they'll be her away than statistics would lead us to believe. Or maybe they will be traveling in a wolfpack and we'll need to hit several of them very quickly.

    The other thing is the general principle that the closer your attacker is, the faster you need to shoot. J-frames, because they recoil fairly heavily, are tough to shoot fast with any degree of accuracy. My own split times with J-frame .38s are MUCH longer than with a Glock 26, Kahr K9, and somewhat longer than even a KelTec P3AT. I'd venture to say this is true for most people.

    J-frames have small sights, small grips, heavy triggers, and kick pretty hard. You can remedy some of this by installing Crimson Trace Lasergrips, but they still have heavy triggers and kick hard. Chuck Taylor has repeatedly mentioned that they are really expert's guns, and I tend to concur when it comes to shooting them well. They're safer for the gun carrier, yes, but to a degree they are also safer for the attacker.

    I sold my last J-frame a year or so ago. I stick to a Glock 26 and/or a P3AT.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  9. #9
    Wandering Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham at Galco View Post
    The problem with saying "J-frames are for close range only" is that we defenders don't control the terms of an encounter, our opponents do. So while we may choose our weapons assuming we'll only need them for an unobstructed COM shot at "15 feet and under," our attackers may have different ideas. Maybe they'll be behind cover or a hostage and offer only a head shot, or maybe they'll be wearing armor. Or maybe they'll be her away than statistics would lead us to believe. Or maybe they will be traveling in a wolfpack and we'll need to hit several of them very quickly.

    The other thing is the general principle that the closer your attacker is, the faster you need to shoot. J-frames, because they recoil fairly heavily, are tough to shoot fast with any degree of accuracy. My own split times with J-frame .38s are MUCH longer than with a Glock 26, Kahr K9, and somewhat longer than even a KelTec P3AT. I'd venture to say this is true for most people.

    J-frames have small sights, small grips, heavy triggers, and kick pretty hard. You can remedy some of this by installing Crimson Trace Lasergrips, but they still have heavy triggers and kick hard. Chuck Taylor has repeatedly mentioned that they are really expert's guns, and I tend to concur when it comes to shooting them well. They're safer for the gun carrier, yes, but to a degree they are also safer for the attacker.

    I sold my last J-frame a year or so ago. I stick to a Glock 26 and/or a P3AT.
    I just returned from the range with my new to me S&W 60 (3" barrel). Maybe the previous owner did some trigger work, but it I certainly had no problem with rapid double tap shots (given the limits allowed at the range). Accuracy was very satisfactory at 3 and 7 yards. Recoil was acceptable, too with .38s.
    .357 was a bit heavy, though.

    I like my new gun, and will willingly take her back to the range for fun as well as practice.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  10. #10
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    I just returned from the range with my new to me S&W 60 (3" barrel). Maybe the previous owner did some trigger work, but it I certainly had no problem with rapid double tap shots (given the limits allowed at the range). Accuracy was very satisfactory at 3 and 7 yards. Recoil was acceptable, too with .38s.
    .357 was a bit heavy, though.

    I like my new gun, and will willingly take her back to the range for fun as well as practice.
    A steel-framed 3" J-frame is a much easier gun to shoot well than a 2" 642 (which has a "airweight" alloy frame). The sights are bigger, the sight radius longer, and the gun heavier. 3" J-frames are great guns, but I'd venture to guess they aren't among the top 50 commonly-carried guns, whereas 2" airweights are super-common. In fact, the three guns Galco sells the most holsters for are, in order, (1) Glock, (2) 1911, (3) 2" J-frames.

    Do you have any idea what your split times are like, or does the range limit you to one shot per second or half-second? I find I can shoot a Glock 26 about three times faster than a J-frame .38, accuracy level being equal. I can shoot my P3AT about half again as fast as a J-frame .38. Forget .357s; they are so slow on follow-up shots that I find the gun almost useless.
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  11. #11
    Wandering Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham at Galco View Post
    A steel-framed 3" J-frame is a much easier gun to shoot well than a 2" 642 (which has a "airweight" alloy frame). The sights are bigger, the sight radius longer, and the gun heavier. 3" J-frames are great guns, but I'd venture to guess they aren't among the top 50 commonly-carried guns, whereas 2" airweights are super-common. In fact, the three guns Galco sells the most holsters for are, in order, (1) Glock, (2) 1911, (3) 2" J-frames.

    Do you have any idea what your split times are like, or does the range limit you to one shot per second or half-second? I find I can shoot a Glock 26 about three times faster than a J-frame .38, accuracy level being equal. I can shoot my P3AT about half again as fast as a J-frame .38. Forget .357s; they are so slow on follow-up shots that I find the gun almost useless.
    You're right about the airweights and 2" revolvers. I do not care much for them. The range does not specify 1" per shot, but does warn against rapid fire. Anyway, I do not own a timer.

    In single action mode, you barely have to breathe on the trigger and it will fire.


    WM
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  12. #12
    SuckLead's Avatar
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    The model 642 is a big seller at our shop, too, as is the Ruger SP101 and the S&W model 60. I think price is a big deal in our area as far as that goes. I think it also helps that a lot of our sales people are revolver people. I won't be one to poo-poo a semi-auto since I have two of them, but my next attempt at a concealed carry gun will be a 642, I think. The downside for most is the amount of rounds ("I would rather have 17 9mms than 5 .357 mags." "Sure, you won't need all five .357 mags, but you may need all 17 9mms." I can hear the boos already! LOL!) We tend to demonstrate to people how to clear a jam in a semi-auto, then show them what to do with a revolver when you hear click instead of bang. That is usually a deal sealer right there. LOL!

  13. #13
    sheepdog is offline Banned
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    snubbys

    I carried a bobbed M60 as a backup for years, now carry a M649 2" as backup-I wouldn't want any but SS...airweights are brutal...I can hit a small soupcan 4 out of 5 times at 20 steps...so can my 12-year-old...I've had the trigger smoothed and double-action is slick but springs are standard...option for a cocked shot if I ever need to...the weight is worth it...when I carry the M65 primary, same speed strips feed both...it took years to get good for me...3 sessions for my boy...he shoots it better than his own Rossi SS 3"...649 has a sweet trigger and Rossi's....well, Rossi. IWB on the belly, I can carry my P90 as easily as my snub....strictly a backup.

  14. #14
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    i carry a ruger sp101 daily. i go through a minimum of 100 rounds each week in practice. i can honestly say that i put all five rounds in a paper plate at 15 yards almost every time firing in quick taps. i carry this revolver because of the rugged reliability of a wheel gun. i have had many semi autos jam on me under various conditions to include 3 glocks, an xd, 2 kahrs, and even my sig(ammo problem, but still a problem). i never have to wonder if the snubby is going to fire. my beretta 92 is the only semi auto i have that hasn't had some sort of jam for whatever reason, and it doesn't conceal near as easy. that's why i carry a revolver.

  15. #15
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    I carry a hammerless Ruger SP101, in .357 caliber, it fits me like a glove!

  16. #16
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    Talking

    I just bought a mint condition Smith & Wesson model 649-2 Bodyguard

    I plan on carrying it too

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