My new J frame

I have a safe full of 1911s and Sigs. I have examples from Kimber and Colt. There are Sigs in every major caliber residing there. Multiple Glocks as well. I have the major calibers well covered: 9mm, .45 ACP, .357 Sig, .40 S&W. The problem here is that it is hot here in Florida, and it is difficult to conceal many handguns. My most easily concealed handgun is a Kimber Ultra Carry II,which is a Commander-sized 1911, or perhaps a Sig 229 in either 9mm or .357 Sig. 

I decided that I needed a more concealable pistol, so I bought a Beretta 3032. Although I like the easy concealability of the pistol, I haven’t been completely happy with this choice, mostly because the .32 ACP cartridge is a little underpowered (in the neighborhood of 125 foot pounds). I wanted more.

So this weekend, I went out and bought a J Frame Smith and Wesson, namely a model 642 +P with the “Centennial” hammerless frame. The 5 shot hammerless revolver should be ideal for pocket carry, and with the .38 SPL +P loads coming in at about 200 foot-pounds, I think that this will be a better choice for defense. (Speer GDHP 125gr +P leaves a 1 7/8″ barrel at 875 fps, giving a muzzle energy of 212 foot pounds) This will give me more options when it comes to carrying in Florida’s hot climate and casual dress styles.

I took the revolver to the range, and I noticed a few things:
One, the sights suck. I don’t think that will be a problem, since this is a pocket pistol with a 1 7/8 inch barrel, I am not planning on engaging anything past shooting distances of 7-10 yards.
Two: It shoots about 6 inches high at 10 yards. This is actually related to problem one, I think. Now I am nowhere near being a great shooter, but I can generally shoot a seven shot 4 inch group in 5 seconds with my Ultra Carry at 10 yards. I don’t think this is a shooter problem, but I could be wrong.
Three: Recoil is rather snappy. I think this is mostly due to the 15 ounce weight of the weapon, combined with full power loads. Law of physics, there.

Now all I have to do is find some carry options and leather. I know pocket carry is in this little pistol’s future. What about ankle carry? OWB? Anyone have any suggestions for good holsters?

4 replies on “My new J frame”

I have a 442 in Satin Nickle that I carry when I want something very concealable, but with some punch. It won't fire +P rounds but with hollow point rounds it should be OK.

It's a lot easy to fire with Hogue Monogrips on it.

As to holsters, I use a Mika IWB holster. Very comfortable, very concealable, price is very reasonable. He does have a bit of a backlog on orders.

The POI/POA issue is due to the ammo. If you'll try some 158 grain bullets, suspect the POI & POA will coincide. Speer's 135 grain Gold Dots are supposed to cure that issue. I use a cheap Uncle Mike's for pocket carry.

Al T.

I have a suggerstion for you. Since it is an "airweight", why not try what are called "standard pressure loads"? The Federal Nyclad 125-grain load, the Hornady Critical Defense non-plus-P 110-grain FTX (red tipped) load, or the winchester 110-grain Silvertip load. there are two ther loads, with a lot of history behind them. One is the "FBI Load", available through Remington, Winchester, or Federal. It is a 158-grain lead semi-wadcutter hollow point, plus-P from those three, or non-plus-P from Buffalo Bore. There is a simple wadcutter, available from BB, or HSM Ammunition, non-plus-P, but zipping at 940 fps. No hole to clog, does go through, instead of around obstacles, flattens out, and does not give plus-p recoil. I have S&W Model 15's, a Taurus Model 82, a Taurus Model 905IB 9mm snubbie, and have on-order a Taurus Model 850 (S&W Centennial type design). I'm am 'elder guy', with recoil problems. I wish you well.

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