Concealed Carry Advice

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by dkgva1, May 13, 2008.

  1. dkgva1

    dkgva1 New Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    I have been thinking about buying a Smith & Wesson 340 which weighs about 12oz or the Smith & Wesson Model 642 which is 15oz. Aside from the fact that the 340 is chambered for .357 and the 642 for .38 Special is the weight difference significant enough to warrant the difference in price between the two. The 340 is about twice as expensive.
  2. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    Is your life worth the difference in price ?? I'd take the .357 any day over the .38 spl.

    With a good holster and gun belt, you will never notice the weight difference.

    Lightweight revolvers are great to carry but can be a handfull during a range session so I prefer a steel frame revolver. But that's just me as I practice with my carry pistol a lot.

  3. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    South Carolina
    I agree with Shooter. The light-weight .357 would be a DEFINITE handful. The 642 with .38 +P ammo is a handful; so much so that my wife will only shoot light-weight, non +P ammo in her 642. I find the 642 with +P ammo a bit too much for pleasure shooting in the winter, as it hurts the web of my hand as well...
  4. magusjinx

    magusjinx New Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    You can always shoot .38 in a .357 ...
  5. patrol

    patrol Member

    May 19, 2007
    The truth of the matter, no it's not worth the price difference, only because the barrel is too short for the 357 to reach it's true potential to make that much of a difference for self defense. If it was a four inch barrel then oh yeah, 357 mag anyday over any 38spl round. :cool:
  6. True that
  7. UncleFudd

    UncleFudd Active Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Phoenix, Az

    May I make a suggestion.
    I have been an active instructor for the past 20 plus years full-time.
    It does not make me the know all but It gives me some background to answer questions such as yours as I also operate a retail gun store and indoor shooting range. So I help people with these and other questions all day, every day.
    So for my .02.

    If you have not done so, before you put your money down, go to a range who has a rental program and shoot a bunch of different models. If there are none in your area, see if your friends have different models as almost every shooter I have ever met will go out of their way to help a fellow shooter to make good decisions on their choice of guns and are only too eager or willing to let you try theirs.
    Failing that, spend a lot of time in the gun store fitting different models to your personal grip.
    This will be the best time spent in anything you do having to do with your choice.

    As for the 340 or any other small frame handgun, it has to fit your hand and be comfortable in every way or you will NOT shoot it enough to become as good as you absolutely must be to carry or to even attempt to use in self defense. And yes I could go into a whole training scenario as to how bad things are and what your body is going to do to keep you from deploying your firearm and even more so being able to hit your threat under duress.
    Be that as it may, the only solution is to spend more time with your gun than yu do with your wife or girlfriend or both.

    I mean exactly what I say about comfort. and the small frame guns many times allow your pinky to be out in the breeze so to speak and for most men that is not acceptable. Also, many of the small frame guns such as the Smiths will to hold up to thousands of rounds of ammo you must put through them to get good and then all you must put through them to stay good.

    the scandium frames or other lightweight frames most certainly will not and especially if you put a lot of .357 rounds through them. Smith even has a disclaimer or caveate NOT to put a steady diet of 357 through their guns, so it kinda speaks for its self.

    My personal choice in a small frame rev. would be the Ruger Sp101. Although heavier, it will handle anything you put in it and as much as you want and need to shoot it and then pass it on to your kin and they will be able to do the same.

    How do I know tis about the Smith revolvers vs the rugers, I have a rental program at my range for the last 20 years and have never had a S&W revolver after the mod 19 and 66 ever stay on the shelf long enough to rent. They breal regularly under heavy use.

    Anyway some things to think about and even if you go with the S&W. others have given good advice, go with the heaviest frame they make in their snubbies and don't use a lot of .357. You won't anyway as they are expensive and they are very uncomfortable to shoot in any gun let alone a small frame one.

    Good luck and I sincerely hope you take some valuable time to try before you put your money down.

  8. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I think UNCLEFUDD has given good, sound advice, especially the bit about going to a range and trying an assortment of typical carry handguns. I recently spent time at one such range in Scottsdale, AZ and there were several on offer plus training courses. An ideal type of place to start.

    Speaking for myself, I always preferred semi autos. They are flat for low profile/ comfort carry and offer a more fumble proof reload for the less trained. Preferably 9mm P, minimum .380".

    Oh, and re the pinky. If it is flying, I suggest getting used to locking it under the mag or bottom of the frame, but its not ideal.
  9. Echo that (all of it). I'd recommend the .357 (oh, and the price difference is because the .357 J frames are stronger because they have to be able to hold the increased pressure, as well as the fact that there's greater demand for the things). It'll easily handle a .38 special +P, and the mass of the steel ones (my 649 weighs 22 oz) will absorb a lot of recoil.
  10. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    I have an SP101 in 357 mag and it carries easily and shoots well. I don't find the recoil of hot 357's unpleasant and the weight at 24 oz is light enough for me to pocket carry in summer attire and is unnoticable when carried on a belt holster with a covering garment.

    The 340 is a great revolver but the recoil with 357's will be painful for practice. You could practice with 38's and carry 357's. For my nickel though I'd go with the SP.
    Last edited: May 16, 2008
  11. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 New Member

    Aug 23, 2003
    The only advice I can give is carry something.
  12. dkgva1

    dkgva1 New Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Thanks for all the great input.
  13. redrick

    redrick New Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    I have the 340 , yes it is hard on your hand with 38+p and 357 but I didn't get it to target shoot every week. I got it because it is easy to conceal , it is very comfortable to carry , and it packs a big punch with the 357'S , even with the short barrel. It has a front night sight that is easy to pick up in low light conditions. I was very happy with the my accuracy with this light , short barreled , double action revolver the first time I shot it. The only draw back to me is the price , it is price like a Sig or HK. Would I buy it again ? You bet I would.
  14. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I think the case for .357 needing a long barrel is overstated.
    This website shows a comparison of the two rounds from a 2 1/2" barrel (which is longer than the 1 7/8" on the Smiths discussed here, but still). Clearly the .357, even from a short barrel, packs a significantly greater punch.
  15. Sorry, I didn't understand that last bit.
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