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Old February 15, 2013, 05:14 PM   #26
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My normal CCW is a full sized 1911 but sometimes I carry a revolver. I use a 2" Colt Lawman in Lobo Leather's version of an Askin's Avenger. The weapon runs about 36 ounces so it soaks up recoil and it is plenty accurate.
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Old February 15, 2013, 06:00 PM   #27
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If it's good enough for Clint...

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Old February 15, 2013, 06:52 PM   #28
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SP101 is easier to shoot. LCR is easier to carry. If you are going the .44 Mag route I suggest the S&W 629 8 3/8". An LCR will melt when facing a 629.
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Old February 16, 2013, 12:17 AM   #29
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I find I carry my CCW everyday, but have yet to fire it in self defense. Thus I went with the S&W M&P340 (.357 magnum). I carry 4 .38+P and the 5th chamber has a .357 magnum. I know when to reload. I practice with reloads loaded to the .38+P level and periodically shoot a cylinder of .357 magnum short Barrel loads. As someone said the snub nose J-Frame is not an enjoyable handgun to shoot in .357 magnum, but it can be a piece of cake to always have with you.

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Old February 17, 2013, 04:49 AM   #30
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If the greatest virtue is ease of carry, that makes sense.

My take on it is that I carry in case I actually have to use it, not for the sake of carrying.

So, I give controllability more weight than portability, within reason, which is why you will not find me carrying a .357 J frame.
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:55 AM   #31
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I went that route with a M&P 340 and sold it because of the recoil. When I do carry a revolver it is a 642. If the LCR .38 had been out then I would have chosen it. It has a better trigger and front sight than the 642.

If I was going to carry a 357 again it would be all steel, with a full rubber grip and a 3" barrel.
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Old February 17, 2013, 08:32 AM   #32
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:33 AM   #33
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Even with flash-retardant powder a .357 Magnum round fired in a short-barreled piece is going to emit a hellacious fireball from muzzle and cylinder gap. I can no longer shoot magnums because my hands are crippled up with arthritis; but if I could I'd still worry that if I had to fire the weapon in the dark I might be temporarily blinded to the tactical situation, maybe failing to see a second assailant or get a good second shot. Thats why I carry +P .38 Special ammo only.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:44 AM   #34
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Ruger SP101 or Smith & Wesson J frame
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Old February 18, 2013, 06:30 PM   #35
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My only snubbie is my Model 640. The stainless steel helps with the recoil, which I think is significant with 38+p and painful with 357mag. At 23 oz empty it is not light and in my opinion, too heavy for pants pocket carry (just fine in a coat pocket). In an IWB holster it is very easy to carry. Like all S&W's, it is extremely well made and durable and after I had the internal lock removed I have 100% confidence in it firing when I pull the trigger. Double action only is not ideal for controlled shots at the range, but I assume that in a real self defense situation I would be firing double action anyway, so why have an external hammer to snag when you are pulling it out or possibly be grabbed by the BG when grappling and trying to get off a shot (of course he could grab the cylinder but that it not likely to be too easy for him to do). And despite all the negatives I have read about the power of a 38 in a 2 inch barrel, generations of detectives relied on a similar gun for their safety. And despite really liking my 640, I am less than confident if I had to fire it from more than 3-4 yards distance from my target.
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Old February 18, 2013, 07:02 PM   #36
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Carried a S&W model 60 for years. Great little gun, but got tired of the hammer digging into my side. Picked up a Ruger SP101 hammerless a lot of years ago. Love it. Won't go back.
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Old February 19, 2013, 12:33 AM   #37
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The "hammer snag" issue can be easily overcome by technique. Put your thumb over the hammer as you draw the gun.

I almost never take gun advice from cops since most of them consider it "that thing" on their belt, though there are exceptions. But, the idea that "generations of detectives" did something, most of whom were never gun afficionados, does not convince me of anything regarding guns. Likely, their choice was dictated by convenience, bureaucrats, and budgets. Jim Cirillo, Bill Jordan, and Ed McGivern spent quite a bit of ink and energy combating the bureaucratic mindset.

I choose 44 Special because its performance in personal defense is well known. Heavy 357 Magnum revolvers are good too, and you can buy an eight shot snubby from S&W.

Last edited by tomrkba; February 19, 2013 at 12:44 AM.
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