Don’t Snub the Snub-Nose: Smith & Wesson Review

The 642 is about as thin as revolvers get, at least within the major calibers.

The 642 is about as thin as revolvers get, at least within the major calibers.

Check out the 642: http://www.smith-wesson.com/642

Buy one on GunsAmerica: /642

If you’ve been paying attention to trends in the industry, you will know that revolvers are fashionable again–at least within a certain set. I’m not saying we’re seeing an all-out retro revival, but there are some fundamentally attractive qualities inherent to the design, and this has kept the market for wheel-guns going long enough for them to make a bit of a come-back.

How popular are they? I was at my FFL recently, where I picked up this gun, and he made an off-hand remark. “The Smith 642–our best seller.” Seems he keeps a lot of these dudes on order as the keep moving out the door.

What makes the 642 so popular?

Lets’ check the specs. It is a revolver, so we don’t expect much in the way of a safety. It has the typical key-lock, but nothing manual that can be engaged on the fly. The 642 is a .38 and it can handle the +P rounds, but it isn’t chambered for the .357. This means it can have a lighter frame, and a smaller cylinder. On the whole, this is near the bottom of the weight spectrum. And it is a snub-nosed gun, so it remains compact.

If you don’t like this combination of ingredients, Smith has options. You can get the gun with a hammer, with a partially enclosed hammer, or like this with an internal hammer. If you really want an extra nubbin for grip security, they make an extended grip. And you can get this style of revolver in a variety of materials or finishes. So if you’re leery of the aluminum, or would prefer a darker color, all of these options exist in different models.

So how about that aluminum frame?

I’d shown this one to a friend who wanted to know about recoil. I could see the way he felt about the aluminum by the way one of his eyebrows was cocked up. He was dubious. And he’s not what I’d call recoil sensitive. “Does it hurt to shoot?” he asked.

Nope. Not one bit. I put more than 250 rounds through this on the first afternoon and I had no residual hand pain. It isn’t as pleasant as shooting my beastly 686 with its full-on rubber grips, but it isn’t bad either. I’d compare it to a compact 9mm. The recoil comes in below a .357, and is perfectly manageable. Check the target on the right and you’ll see what I mean. That’s five rounds from 15 yards fired one handed as fast as I could get the gun on target.

The frame is aluminum, which keeps the weight of the 642 down under a pound.

This J-frame is aluminum, which keeps the weight of the 642 down under a pound.

5 as fast as I could get the gun out and on target. #1 went wide left, and the last four were more consistent.

5 as fast as I could get the gun out and on target. #1 went wide left, and the last four were more consistent.

And with +P loads it begins to snap a bit. But, my mantra is again relevant–if you ever need this gun for defensive purposes, you won’t be complaining about the recoil. Hopefully the gun will hurt your assailant more than it hurts you.

Five shots. Choose targets wisely. Notice how close the cylinder is to the frame. This can make ejection of spent brass tricky, as the rim of the shell closest to the frame likes to hang up.

Five shots. Choose targets wisely. Notice how close the cylinder is to the frame. This can make ejection of spent brass tricky, as the rim of the shell closest to the frame likes to hang up.

What about the capacity

Well now we reach the age old argument against all revolvers. Capacity sucks. This gun only holds 5. There’s no sneaking an extra round in the pipe. As most .380s will hold 6+1, you are certainly at a disadvantage. 5 solid shots. Is that enough? I dam well hope so. But the question is impossible to answer ahead of time.

Reloads are also slow. If you have experience loading a six shot revolver, especially one with a medium or large frame, tack on an extra second or two for this little five shot. The compact design makes kicking out brass a challenge. The one hiccup I had with the gun was my habitual desire to throw open the gate and dump the brass in one fluid motion, like I do on my 686. But the crane on a six shot is longer, which rocks the cylinder farther form the frame, making ejection easier. The brass closest to the frame tends to get hung up as it ejects. It isn’t the end of the world, it just necessitates practice and patience.

Speaking of accuracy

These guns point incredibly well, and are easily controlled. That is a win-win in my book for defensive shooting. They also are easy to hold, despite being small. They feel very natural in the hand. Some autos don’t. But most importantly, the trigger allows for a consistent double-action pull that is easy to read. After just a bit of practice, I was able to pull back the internal hammer and hold it at a staged setting that required next to no effort to overcome. There are two clicks-on as the hammer rides back, and one right before it breaks. While the clicks aren’t audible when you are wearing muffs, you can feel them in your trigger finger.

5 in one.

5 shots in a pretty good snub-nosed group.

All in.

Almost all of this group of 50 went in the center of the target. Most went through the growing hole in the center of the target.

As you can see form this image above, that staged pull allows for accurate shot placement. I would have no hesitation to use this gun for surgical work within limits. I can reliably hit a 10″ circle form 25 yards, no problem. Within ten yards, I could hit a quarter. The gun shoots to point of aim, and it shoots consistently. That’s all you could ever ask for.

Gate swings out to the left.

Gate swings out to the left.

Controls?

Well, as we’ve already implied, there aren’t many. No safety. No hammer to manually pull back. Trigger pull is clean, and it breaks under 12 pounds. While that may seem heavy, it isn’t a detriment to accuracy. I’m not complaining. You can go a lot lighter, but it will take its toll on the force of the hammer. It is theoretically possible to lighten it to the point that it wouldn’t pop primers reliably. I’m not sure why I’m even entertaining the notion, really. This isn’t a gun anyone will use in competition, or for plinking, so why lighten the pull?

The sights are just as utilitarian. The front blade is wide and the rear is a milled channel. There’s nothing to adjust, nothing to knock loose. Still, they work.

Relevance

Who needs on of these? Well, there’s a sticky wicket. I like the compact design and simplicity. This is a gun I could, in an emergency situation, hand off to someone with very little knowledge about guns and know that they’ll be able to make it function with only the knowledge they’ve gleaned from watching television. Point and shoot.

The aluminum does show grime really nicely. No doubt about what needs to be cleaned.

The aluminum does show grime really nicely. No doubt about what needs to be cleaned.

It is also the type of gun someone with limited hand strength can operate easily. With reduced recoil rounds in the gun, this would be an effective defensive handgun that would be manageable by almost anyone.

But there’s more to that story. With a barrel length under 2″, this gun will sacrifice some of the .38’s power. Speeds should stay right up around 900 fps, give or take. Heavier rounds will be on the 800 fps side, while + P loads could crack 1,000 fps. That puts this better than a .380, and almost exactly as a similarly sized 9mm. As the grain weights on the bullets are close, the speeds will also be close (+- 50fps).

From where I stand, I find it hard to decide. The simplicty is a selling factor. But it isn’t something I typically concern myself with personally. The capacity is an issue, but I really like the control and power it offers. It isn’t as concealable as a .380 mouse gun, but it is so much more than that. More speed, more control, more accuracy….

And then there’s the price. This rocking little gun comes in right at $400. You can find them a bit cheaper, and some models (like those with wooden grips) come in a bit above. But think about what you get for that money.

For me, this is the ultimate coat pocket gun. There are a lot of times that I stage my concealed carry. If I’m getting out at a gas station in a rough part of town, I may slip my gun into my coat pocket first. We just did a big experiment with revolvers and shooting from the pocket. You can see the results here. It was really informative for me. The revolver smoked the autos.

The barrel is clearly marked.

The barrel is clearly marked.

The steel barrel.

Check out that fat blade on the front of the barrel. The rear sight is just a channel in the frame.

The five shot capacity is likely the only shortcoming anyone will find with the gun, and should really be accepted for what it is.

The five shot capacity is likely the only shortcoming anyone will find with the gun, and should really be accepted for what it is.

Even though there are rubber grips, the back-strap is still exposed. This is the only piece of the gun that will bite you during recoil.

Even though there are rubber grips, the back-strap is still exposed. This is the only piece of the gun that will bite you during recoil.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Andy October 29, 2016, 5:07 pm

    My EDC is a Charter Arms Undercover in . 38 Special no problems with said gun , carry load is Standard pressure 110 grain Federal Hydra Shok alternating with 148 grain wadcuttersin every other chamber , I don’t feel undergunned at all , practice loading from a speed strip quite often .

  • aridog August 21, 2015, 12:29 am

    My long time carry and now fall-back sidearm is a S&W Model 49 Nickel Plated shrouded hammer model that allows manual cocking when appropriate. Honestly it is better than my current S&W Shield, which S&W needs to improve trigger reliability over time if it is to be any good…mine after a year a couple thousand rounds sucks. I now carry a bulky FNX-45 .45 ACP due to it’s de-cocker & sear disconnect safety. The S&W 49 is actually a better more concealable choice I may go back to shortly.

    • Bill C. August 21, 2015, 1:14 pm

      That’s my 40+ year old model 60! – except mine has a hammer so I can shoot it single action. It’s still a great friend to have.

  • mark r. August 20, 2015, 7:44 am

    Try the kick in .357…my 340pd in scandium is a beast! But for the minimum weight and nearly invisible profile in my pocket, well worth the trade. Also, it’s a lightweight backpacking gun when I’m in bear country.

  • Skyviking August 18, 2015, 11:22 pm

    The snub-nose wheelgun is a formidable close-quarters, weapon, but it takes lots of dedicated practice to make it so. Most are carried/owned much as talismans, like the proverbial rabbit foot. Convenient to carry/conceal, but “too punishing and unpleasant to shoot” to practice with. A novice who puts the equivalent practice time in with a G43, Walther PPS (my favorite), S&W Shield, etc. (none) is far more likely to have a better outcome – Exponentially so if he actually Does go out to the range a few times to practice.

    That being said, I carried and practiced with a snub for many years before switching to a G26, more recently a G43, and now, a PPS. I love those J-frames, though. I keep snapping them up whenever a good deal happens by – like the almost new S&W M38 Bodyguard Airweight I bought at a local shop for $250, original diamond grips and all. (No, not a M38-1, nor a 38-2, etc. A Model 38 first run. Not even a “J” in the serial number. Shades of 1957! Wish it had at least come with the box…
    YMMV.

  • Jay August 18, 2015, 7:24 am

    I for one, have found out through teaching many people in the family to shoot, some people are just revolver people! What I mean by that is, you can give them any kind, brand, caliber, mouse or full size of semi auto in the cabinet and they just cant hit beans with it, but put a revolver in the same persons hands and it’s like magic, tear a target up! My deceased mother was one such person and always carried her snubby 38, my daughter in law is also and she can put us all to shame even using a 500mag1 It’s a kick to see a girl totally beat the boys down on the range! Gotta love it!

  • Lt. Donn August 17, 2015, 10:25 pm

    I have several ideas born from decades of LE and CHL Instructing experience. “In the day” all of us in LE either carried a snubby on-duty or off. mainly because small, dependable self-loading platforms did not exist..but those also were times when the bad guys carried junky RG’s and poor quality snubby’s…in todays’s “armed” world, the bad guys are much better equipped. The next issue I encounter is that most of my CHL people do not realize the amount of training required to become proficient with the snubby platforms… they buy for looks or weight and don’t consider the enhanced recoil and lack of sights…now the sight issue can be remedied by the Lasers offered by Crimson Trace, but you still have the issue of capacity. Although I would not feel undergunned with a 642, I and most of my generation, were raised with revolvers and have thousands and thousands of rounds thru them. All in all, I still feel better about being armed in public with a higher capacity G-19 and the deep penetration the 9mm affords.

  • Chuck Roast August 17, 2015, 9:35 pm

    Mr. Penrod wrote: “…I remember reading a news story a number of years ago in Milwaukee: some guy had ‘unloaded’ his snubby, closed it, pointed it at a friend and pulled the trigger several times. Result: one perforated friend. Of course that was multi levels of stupid gun handling, but it does happen. It could just as easily have been a TV set…”

    I’d say that wasn’t just stupid gun handling. It was also apparently a negligent homicide. And I think I know the cause. These days with zero tolerance in school system, the system administrators (who love to discuss the issue of “tolerance” constantly) ensure that kids cannot be allowed to have gun safety training such as the Eddie Eagle program in school, because “guns are dangerous”. By the example Mr. Penrod cites, it appears much more dangerous to disallow kids to be taught gun safety (such as the number one rule of never pointing a gun at something you don’t want destroyed) at an age which it will do them some good. Instead, due to the “zero tolerance” attitude which disallows any child to even utter the word gun, or draw a picture of one, etc., most young men and women grow up with absolutely no gun safety training, and they wind up doing something so stupid as to point a weapon at a friend, and pull the trigger. What a darn shame. The “tolerant” academics don’t want a child to be taught gun safety, but have no problem being “progressive” enough to support the Iranian nuclear arms gift/treaty. Ignorance kills. All the progressive types who whine about negligent gun discharge incidents can congratulate themselves for making it a predetermined outcome nationwide.

  • KDP August 17, 2015, 6:35 pm

    I am a CCW instructor, spent a few days in the military and a few more in big city L.E.,(35 yrs. total), students take the class with anything and everything. Glock,Beretta and 1911s are common with the male folks. I notice that within two weeks to six months I get a call and it’s the same conversation. “What do you think about a snub ?” Answer, do you remember when we spoke about rule one ” If you get in a gun fight you will need to have a gun ?” Do you recall when we spoke about not carrying because of size,weight etc.? The light goes on and they remember the training and are now ready to drop the 92fs with 5 mags in a shoulder holster song and face reality. Don’t get me wrong,Love me some John Moses slab side, own Glocks,Sigs etc. and think they are great, but also like to have a pistola on my person at all times. The older J frames and Colts are with you when something else might be in the sock drawer at the house. Smith made a 3 inch 36/37 that you can still find in the $400 range and it’s a great J frame. Colt detectives and cobras are also out there for a few more bucks. My wife, two sons and daughter have been shooting for at least 20 years ( the kids were about 5 lol ) and I have a fair amount of handguns in the safe,guess what they pull more then anything ? The Smith 60s (two) nickel 36s (two) 637 (one) and Colt detective and cobra (one each) are on their person more then anything else with Gold dot 135 and 6 more in speed strips.If I’m going to a gun fight I’m taking a rifle and all my friends with rifles but for every day and at all times you can’t beat a snubby! Tis better to have and not need then to need and not have. PRACTICE,PRACTICE,PRACTICE !!!!!

  • Penrod August 17, 2015, 4:37 pm

    “This can make ejection of spent brass tricky, as the rim of the shell closest to the frame likes to hang up.”

    It also makes ejection of a live shell iffy: You NEED to pay attention to what you are doing. You can drop four rounds and then close the gun with a live round still chambered, even if the gun was muzzle up when hitting the ejector rod.

    I remember reading a news story a number of years ago in Milwaukee: some guy had ‘unloaded’ his snubby, closed it, pointed it at a friend and pulled the trigger several times. Result: one perforated friend.

    Of course that was multi levels of stupid gun handling, but it does happen. It could just as easily have been a TV set.

    I love the J-frames. They fit my hand far better than bigger models, are easy to shoot and accurate in .22 (Model 63), easy to carry in various models in .38, and the same in .357 (Model 60) if not so pleasant to shoot with mags. My wife loves shooting the 60 3″ with .38 rounds, and she is on the recoil shy side.

    The snubbies are good pocket guns, and I say that as someone who has a number of 1911s. As the old saw goes, “The adequate tool you have with you is far superior to the great tool you left at home because it was too big and heavy.”

  • les jones August 17, 2015, 2:42 pm

    Sept 1979 I took the NRA police fire arms instructors course I used a 6 in K38 combat master piece with target grips . I shot 298 , 298 , 300 . did not get the trophy . Had a female deputy from another dept. beat me . She shot 300 ,300 , 298 and did it with a Smith 2in snub, so don’t put them down . I still carry one or my charter arms snub all the time.

  • David Smith August 17, 2015, 2:05 pm

    S&W 600 series revolvers are so hard to come by, must of my friends buy whatever they can find. They report good results with all of them. I found a 638 and like the shrouded hammer; with Pachmayr Gripper grips (they fit my large hand nicely) and +P loads, it is accurate and my hand feels fine at the end of every practice session. I like a little sight black on the front sight because in bright sunlight it can be a bit difficult for my eyes to align quickly. Regarding the abomination on the left side of the frame, I just ignore it and it ignores me. Excellent article, thanks.

  • James Tibbetts August 17, 2015, 2:01 pm

    I’ve been a wheel gun lover for a long as I’ve been shooting. I carry a Taurus “J” frame (Really a Model 85) chambered in 9mm. It is a little more potent than .38 special and it uses moon clips so the reloads are really fast. The down side is that the moon clips are hard to find. If you chose an exposed hammer snuby you can expect a heavy trigger. First thing I do when I get a new wheel gun is order the Wolfe spring kit, take it apart and polish all of the parts and install the kit. Make sure that you have enough mainspring to set off primers. My wheel guns run about 7lbs in double action and just under 2lbs in single. So that is two down sides resolved.

  • Doc August 17, 2015, 12:57 pm

    I have carried a S&W 642 for years. I carried it first as an-on-duty backup gun and later for concealed carry. It is reliable, accurate, and light weight. Plus, it packs a lot of stopping power. Anyone that has trouble with it doesn’t know how to use it. It is one fine weapon.

  • Thomas Fowler August 17, 2015, 11:57 am

    With just a tad more effort…this fine little piece could have SIX [count ’em, 6] rounds in its wee cylinder. Bad guys often come in three’s…and six rounds are not too many to have ready for them. After the expense of purchase, the practice, and the discomfort of packing quite often, one should not come one round short.

    So…meanwhile, although I love the S&W pieces, I carry a Colt Detective Special. ‘Nuff said. No offense, please, S&W…

    • james Bays July 14, 2016, 11:40 am

      Also carry the 642 with an ankle holster. great weapon only 5 shots but this weapon you have to practice not really my op for those starting out, again it takes practice and the stock grips are okay with me great off duty and lot of guys still use this jewel for back up. have a safe watch !!!

  • jstert August 17, 2015, 10:44 am

    i really want to like a snubbie airweight 38 for a ccw because i really like revolvers, but as petru sova described above, missing with 2 or 3 out of five rounds (without shrapnel or concussive shock wave to compensate) doesnt count at all in self defense. to put rounds reliably on target i prefer a full weight, heavier, steel 38 taurus 85 snubbie that better absorbs recoil or 8 rounds of 22lr yellow jackets from a ruger lcr. consider also the compact, slim, robust, though heavy, bond arms derringer in 410/45lc in extended grip loaded with hornady defense rounds. the bond is surprisingly a more pleasant shooting experience than the airweight snubbie.

  • Norm Fishler August 17, 2015, 10:12 am

    The S&W 642 has been my constant companion for almost 25 years. There has been nothing else like it in my lifetime of shooting experience. I quickly abandoned the rubber grips and replaced them with Eagle wood grips. If I am wearing anything more than my skivvies,, you may safely assume that somewhere on my person is lurking a ‘642’. A speed-strip in the back pocket completes the package.

  • Kim August 17, 2015, 9:54 am

    One significant flaw in my opinion is the internal key lock. That’s a deal killer for me.

    • Les August 17, 2015, 4:51 pm

      What the author failed to mention is that all versions of these concealed hammer j frames, such as the M&P 340, the 340 PD as well as the 640 shown in the article, are available without the internal lock. A little harder to find, but smith is making them. I have one of each. I personally agree that the lock is a deal killer, and spent the time to find the no lock versions. Mine are chambered for the .357 mag, and with full loads, and light weight are a ‘handful’, but with speer’s short barrel loads and 135 gr gold dot bullet, are both controllable and effective.

  • John Whitworth August 17, 2015, 9:20 am

    I concur with you on all points. The 642 is my favorite carry .

  • Alan August 17, 2015, 9:13 am

    A full size .357 easier than a snub to control? Depends on the person AND load!
    Perhaps in your opinion, but I have trained many petite Ladies on snubs who shot exceedingly well with them.
    Some of them were steered to autos they couldn’t even manipulate the slides on due to what I like to call, ‘the machismo factor’.
    DA revolvers are the epitome of the K.I.S.S. principle when compared to autos, and are especially desirable for those who wish to defend themselves but not physically compatible with autos or who don’t wish to invest all the time and training some over zealous “experts” tell them they need.

  • Chuck August 17, 2015, 9:12 am

    You forgot one very important factor in choosing a J frame revolver. In the case of a misfire, you only need to pull the trigger again. Not so with a semi-auto. A time consuming procedure is required to make the semi-auto ready to fire again. And depending on the cause of the misfire, even more time can be required. Lightweight, compact, highly reliable and the ability to work with any .38 special ammo . For EDC a J frame makes sense. When I feel I may need more, I just carry an additional handgun.

  • Dana August 17, 2015, 8:28 am

    I have owned this gun, as well as its cousin the Mod. 637 (with hammer spur), plus numerous classic snub-nose S&W .38 revolvers of heavier steel construction. They are great CCW choices, especially for pocket carry with or without a $10 holster to break up the outline for better concealment.

    Do yourself a favor and practice primarily with light 148g target wadcutters to improve your confidence with this weapon when you first try it, if new to this type of gun. Also, “staging the trigger” for 25-yard groups is proof of two things: the weapon’s inherent accuracy, and the shooter’s skill!! As the article’s illustrations show, it CAN be done–bravo!, by the way. Realistically, however, this is a weapon designed primarily for 5 fast shots in close-range encounters, and that’s how you should practice with it if it’s your carry, backup, or home defense piece. Think of it as a pocket-sized auto with more power, and learn to shoot it with a flash sight picture, point shoot it without sights, with one hand, and with weak hand. These are its intended roles and strengths, and if the material in the article is news to you (because you’re new to shooting or to revolvers), you’ll probably have a tough & disappointing time shooting 25-yard groups that look like the author’s. Don’t worry, that’s not this gun’s role. Dry fire plenty–it doesn’t hurt the gun–or use snap caps to practice at home; along with live fire, it will smooth your trigger up nicely and also develop the finger strength you need.

    Fast & smooth trigger pull up close. 9mm-size and style JHP bullets at velocities a bit slower than a pocket 9mm, or select heavier bullets for a different approach to terminal ballistics. Look HARD at Speer 135g Gold Dot Hollow Point-Short Barrel ammo, the best carry ammo for this gun in the opinion of many. Highly concealable, but consider a set of Pachmayr Compac Pro grips to make it a more effective shooter, albeit slightly less concealable in snug clothing. Carry a couple of speed-strips or speedloaders for backup ammo; unlikely to use reloads in a close-range encounter, but possible. VERY helpful for reload immediately after an encounter, because you should consider the possibility that an opponent’s accomplices, friends, or family may arrive before the police do! When reloading, turn muzzle straight up and pop the ejector rod firmly to dump the empties straight down; handle it gingerly or tentatively, and you’ll wind up having to pick out brass that’s hung up in the short ejector stroke.

    Keep it *very* lightly lubricated–almost dry–with chambers clean and well-dried, and dry, clean ammo. Clean out lint if you carry w/o holster. Do these things, and you have a fine close-combat weapon–which is precisely what this is designed to be.

  • Jay August 17, 2015, 8:16 am

    Wife carries this gun. She loves it. Accurate close in, light weight, simple and easy to use. The simplicity and size is what drew her to the gun.
    She now wants lazer sights so she can practice on the hogs in the yard at night.

    • RedGreen August 17, 2015, 5:36 pm

      I hope she has a tree handy if she’s going to shoot a wild hog. Down here in Texas they get a bit perturbed if you shoot them and don’t kill em.

  • petru sova August 17, 2015, 8:10 am

    Double Action only guns especially small ones are exceedingly difficult to hit anything with even at close range when under the stress of a deadly encounter. I remover reading of a very sad case where a felon broke into a woman’s home and she used a full size Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum which is much easier to control than a little belly gun. She made the mistake of shooting double action and only succeeded in hitting the felon in the hand. He took the gun away from her, raped her and later murdered her. I feel certain if she would have cocked the hammer back first she probably would have hit him at that short a range. I personally have never had any luck hitting much with small auto pistols like the Seecamp even though the Seecamp .has a very smooth double action pull but trying to control such a small pistol in double action only just does not work for me.

    I once had a 1970’s Smith Nickel Plated Body Guard which was back in the day when Smith Actually made quality handguns, no junk MIM Cast parts and the workmanship was a lot better to boot. I wish I had never sold it but I am not about to buy any of the junk Smith is making today.

    • Al August 18, 2015, 8:08 pm

      It devolves to what can you shoot best. For me a model 340PD .357 is a tack driver out to 15 yds. You don’t need a woodpecker for bad breath distance. But your gun has to match your fitness level and dexterity. I think the woman you described would have done better with a small Berretta pistol with a tip-up barrel.

  • Preston August 17, 2015, 7:55 am

    You would need to lessen the trigger pull to compensate for old ladies that lack the hand strength of a 45 year old man. I don’t care for a 12 lb pull myself. Non of mine pistols break over 4 lbs.

  • MAgic Rooster August 17, 2015, 7:02 am

    My choice for carry is a model 36 J frame that I picked up in a pawn shop for $250. It looked rough as a cobb until I gave it a thorough cleaning. I added a nice set of wood grips, different rebound and trigger springs, and now it is a reliable easy shooting beauty. Most of the women I have helped learn to shoot choose a J frame over an auto. It is simple and it works well. However, you MUST practice, practice, practice with whatever you carry.

  • Steve K August 17, 2015, 6:56 am

    How bout a revolver on your right hip and a Glock on your left? That’ll give you a feeling of security that your first 5 will go BANG, and the Glock will cover you for capacity. And you might even feel better balanced.

  • Will Drider August 16, 2015, 11:57 pm

    Good review. Did you try to use speed loaders with it? Is clearence a problem when using them? On the case and frame bind, was it just a casual cyclinder dump (slow) or proper revolver combat reload (forceful, muzzle up, slap)?

  • Terril Hebert August 15, 2015, 8:42 pm

    First class!

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