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Old October 13th, 2009, 08:28 PM
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Default Snub Nose Revolvers

I know this has been probably been hashed out a couple million times, but I am interested in people's opinions and experiences.

I will be eligible for a LCTC permit in a couple of months and have been looking at possible concealed carry guns.

I own a Ruger SR-9 but it's too heavy and big, especially in the summertime when I wear shorts and t-shirts.

I have narrowed my choice down too a snub nose revolver as opposed to a semi-auto as no semi-auto is 100% free of jamming whereas revolvers are. I want something as 100% reliable as possible + revolvers have a lot less moving parts, safety devices, you don't have to worry about chambering a round, etc, etc. These are things I don't want to have to deal with if I have to use it or everytime I make the weapon safe.

To that end, the logical choice seems to be a s&w j-frame or a Ruger LCR.

Can someone explain to me what the difference is between all the j-frames?
360, 337, 342, 640, etc.

Is the LCR any good?

I have had a look around the net wanting to know the opinion of the LCR vs a j-frame but there doesn't seem much too cut it except that the LCR is newer so hasn't really been tested yet.

Any ideas and (especially) experiences will be helpful!!
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Old October 13th, 2009, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Snub Nose Revolvers

Targetmaster has an LCR in their rental guns. I shot it back-to-back with a Smith airweight and liked it better. A little less recoil and for me follow up shots were quicker.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Snub Nose Revolvers

The differences in the J frames are caliber (.357 mag or .38 +P), weight (steel, aluminum or scandium frames) and exposed or concealed hammer. Most folks choose an alloy frame and a concealed hammer and shoot .38 +P. .357 magnum from a light snubnose revolver is a real experts combination and not fun to shoot enough to get proficient.

I can't say as I have much experience with the Ruger, but it is a .38 +P concealed hammer revolver about the same weight as aluminum framed Smiths. The trigger is reported to be very good.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Snub Nose Revolvers

Quote:
Originally Posted by donm View Post
Targetmaster has an LCR in their rental guns. I shot it back-to-back with a Smith airweight and liked it better. A little less recoil and for me follow up shots were quicker.
You liked the LCR better?
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Old October 13th, 2009, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Snub Nose Revolvers

I use a S&W model 60, loaded with .38 Special Federal Hydrashock, daily and love it.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Snub Nose Revolvers

HI ! I have both a glock 26 (small 10 round 9mm) and a Smith and Wesson 638 airweight snubbie (small 5 shot "humpback" -shrouded hammer - which allows single action if I want or need it) Both are flawless performers, and great pistols. The Smith is lighter loaded, the Glock holds twice as many rounds. Neither is a small pocket pistol (compared to something like a kel-tec 3AT ) I find myself carrying the SW638 more lately. I really like both. Cb
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Old October 13th, 2009, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Snub Nose Revolvers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corn Flake View Post
I use a S&W model 60, loaded with .38 Special Federal Hydrashock, daily and love it.
At 23oz though, it's only a few ounce lighter than my SR9 and 10 oz heavier than either the 342 or LCR.

That's just too heavy for carrying in the front pocket of my jeans or shorts.

I want something that will be virtually unnoticeable to carry but has adequate stopping power.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Snub Nose Revolvers

I favor small sized revolvers (like the J frame) myself and perhaps I can help you with a few of your questions.

With Smith and Wesson Revolvers the first number of the model number designates what material the frame is made out of.
3 = lightweight Scandium alloy
4 = lightweight aluminum in black
5 = carbon steel blued
6 = stainless (or aluminum and stainless, varies)

For example the 642 has a stainless cylinder, aluminum frame and is of a silver color. BTW, I highly recommend the Smith 642 as it is my personal favorite deep concealment revolver.

The LCR is ok. I handled on recently and the fit and finish was not what I expected from Ruger. This LCR has not stood the test of time and I would not quite yet get one. However, the Ruger SP-101 is a very fine revolver. However, it is heavy at approximately 25 ounces, where as a Smith 642 is about 15 ounces.

The J frame in its various forms has been around for decades and is battle proven. I have seen 642's go for about 425 or so at local shops, a used one could be 50-100 less. As far as custom work goes, I have had my 642 slightly worked over by my local gun smith with an action job and chamfered charge holes. She shoots about 1.5 inch groups at 15 yards in my hands.

As for ammo, this is a very hot topic. I like both the Hornady Critical Defense standard pressure .38 special (not +P) and the Federal Premium Defense low recoil .38 110 grain hydra shok load. These are both solid performers.

If I did not address a question, let me know.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Snub Nose Revolvers

Thanks for that explanation Steve - I never knew that about the numbers.

Buster I highly recommend carrying a snubby for all the reasons you mentioned. My daily carry is a 342 PD which is the lightest one they ever made. They don't make them any more though but the next best thing is the 442. It is hammerless, black and only weighs 15 ounces (the 342 weighs 10.5)

You can get one new for less than $450, but I suggest you buy a used one. They are pretty hardy, and it is highly unlikely someone would even want to put many rounds through a lightweight snubby because they do punish the hand. If you go the used route you are almost assured that if you don't like the gun you can sell it for close to what you bought it for. The market for these guns is pretty stable.

Another reason to choose the Smith is the plethora of grips and accessories available, as well as qualified gunsmiths and parts - they are so popular you will benefit from having all these in large supply. I carry with a Barami Hip-Grip and that light gun combined with not having to worry about a holster makes it so very easy to carry everywhere every day.

Good luck.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Snub Nose Revolvers

What Steve said!
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