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Thread: Small semi vs. small revolver

  1. #1
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    Small semi vs. small revolver

    I am considering a trade or selling my Ruger LCP and obtaining a smith 637. I like the size only a bit larger than the lcp and it has a much more powerful round.

    I am going to post it up on the local county message board and see what happens. What would be a fair price for almost perfect used lcp. With extra mag and cheap tula 100rds ammo and iwb Galaco holster.

    I would like to have both but I want to limit myself to only 2 pistol calibers and I already have 9mm. So if it were you which would it be? Keep the lcp or take the loss and buy a 637.
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

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    I’ve carried J-frames off and on for 30-odd years. They’re classic deep-cover guns, but there are better choices today. A J-frame may be the same length and height as an LCP, but it’s almost as thick as a G26, which affects concealment more than length and height. The G26 holds twice as many shots, has infinitely better sights, and is far easier to reload under stress, which is no small matter…

    The J-frame is idiot-simple and utterly proven, which are never bad things, and there are a million good holsters for it. It's never wrong as a deep-cover piece, but you could do better. If you get one, consider a shrouded-hammer model like the 442 or 642 over a 637.


    Okie John

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    you are right about the width. I just left the gun shop and tried it with a couple of different holsters to get a feel for it and it was a little unwieldy i think that i will just be stuck with both if the lcp doesnt sell.
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by jc75754 View Post
    I am considering a trade or selling my Ruger LCP and obtaining a smith 637. I like the size only a bit larger than the lcp and it has a much more powerful round.

    I am going to post it up on the local county message board and see what happens. What would be a fair price for almost perfect used lcp. With extra mag and cheap tula 100rds ammo and iwb Galaco holster.

    I would like to have both but I want to limit myself to only 2 pistol calibers and I already have 9mm. So if it were you which would it be? Keep the lcp or take the loss and buy a 637.
    Since you already stock 9mm ammo, why not consider a small single stack 9mm gun instead of the j-frame? There is a variety of them available now. The Walther PPS (at least in 9mm)is a very good proven gun, IMO/IME. My Kahr PM9 finally seems reliable. The PM9 and its less expensive twin, the CM9, are very small, almost as small as an LCP, and smaller in most dimensions than a j-frame.

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    Before I retired I had carried a Mod 36 S&W as a primary (way back) and then a secondary in an Alessi ankle rig, eventually I switched to a semi for a backup, a Walther P99c. Roughly the same size of the "J" frame and carried 11 rounds of 9mm vs the 5 of the 36. Also had a Keltec P3AT as a 3rd gun. While the wheelguns do have a place and serve a valid role, the small semis are IMO the way to go as they can carry more of and better defensive round and are easier to conceal. The 380 serves a purpose but I would never consider using one as my primary weapon.

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    How are you going to carry it? I went to buy a summer pistol a few months ago and considered a 5 shot J frame but realized that, all other things equal, I was so proficient and invested in Glocks that a G26 was a better compromise. I had ruled out pocket carry as it simply is not method that I thought could work for me, so with IWB being the only real way to go, the G26 was an easy choice.

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    Yeah j frames are great, simple, and reliable. However, a single stack 9mm is hard to beat, and there are several good ones on the market. Reloading is an important factor missed by a lot of people in the ccw world. Never overestimate a hand gun round, as history has shown us, even 17+ hits center mass from a .40 may not be enough. That is one reason I prefer the semi auto over a revolver. The pm9 or cheaper cm9 are great guns, and have proven themselves reliable if maintained properly. Or go double stack if you can carry it.

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    This is a tough one. I would like to hear other peoples input on the subject. This is a classic argument.

    For small weapons (jframe size revolvers and Kahr/Keltec size auto in 380 or 9mm):

    Revolvers offer some distinct advantages:
    Contact shots.
    Will not fail to load a new round during physical altercations or limp wristing. (con: Grabbing the weapon around the cylinder will prevent trigger from being pulled)
    Feed all types of ammunition.
    Ammunition does not get seriously damaged from loading/unloading.
    Leaving gun loaded for years will not cause magazine issues.
    Very reliable

    Autos:
    Generally more rounds available.
    Slimmer/flatter profile.
    Faster reloads.
    Lighter DA triggers or SA triggers (pending on design)

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    Quote Originally Posted by warpedcamshaft View Post
    This is a tough one. I would like to hear other peoples input on the subject. This is a classic argument.

    For small weapons (jframe size revolvers and Kahr/Keltec size auto in 380 or 9mm):

    Revolvers offer some distinct advantages:
    Contact shots.
    Will not fail to load a new round during physical altercations or limp wristing. (con: Grabbing the weapon around the cylinder will prevent trigger from being pulled)
    Feed all types of ammunition.
    Ammunition does not get seriously damaged from loading/unloading.
    Leaving gun loaded for years will not cause magazine issues.
    Very reliable

    Autos:
    Generally more rounds available.
    Slimmer/flatter profile.
    Faster reloads.
    Lighter DA triggers or SA triggers (pending on design)
    That is kinda what my predicament is now. my local gun shop has the smith 637 on sale for $329 but if i run across a good used smith36 or 38 for the same price it would be hard to turn up.

    I know that I will make a compromise either way. I do not own a revolver so becoming proficient will take practice but so did my Glock and the Ruger.
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

    Thomas Jefferson

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    the j-frame is just over half the weight of a g26. this has a huge effect on comfort. It's also an easier to conceal shape. The 26 is basically a no go in a pocket, the j-frame is a great pocket gun.

    that said, the g26 is a hell of a lot easier to shoot and holds twice as many (more potent) rounds. However, it still requires a traditional IWB or OWB holster, and is basically as big as a glock 19 when it really comes down to it.

    So you have to ask yourself how important concealability/comfort is vs firepower. if your answer is on the side of firepower get a g19, if it's comfort/concealability, get a j-frame.

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    I agree with the previous posts. Personally I will not go with a round less effective than 9mm for any use. What ever you do, even if you go with a revolver, use the 9 as a benchmark.
    "Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master." Dwight D. Eisenhower

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    If you don't already have a revolver, get one. The J-frame is a great gun.
    -VERITAS VINCIT-

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    I already have the 19 but have to carry it sob. I can appendix carry the lcp and that is what i would plan to do with the 637.
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

    Thomas Jefferson

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    If you pocket carry, the JFrame is the clear winner.

    If I'm awake, I have my 642 in my pocket in either a Mika or Desantis Nemesis holster. It's usually a BUG to my regular IWB handgun when I leave the house. But for those few places where a gun on my hip is not desirable and I want deeper concealment, the 642 becomes the primary in my pocket.

    Years ago I carried a proven reliable KelTec PF-9 in that role, but I grew very concerned very fast of all the lint and gunk that coated the gun. I realized I didn't want to have to clean it every two days, so I switched to the JFrame and haven't looked back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc75754 View Post
    That is kinda what my predicament is now. my local gun shop has the smith 637 on sale for $329 but if i run across a good used smith36 or 38 for the same price it would be hard to turn up.

    I know that I will make a compromise either way. I do not own a revolver so becoming proficient will take practice but so did my Glock and the Ruger.
    I would consider the J-frame/sub-compact auto (LC9/PF9 or smaller sized auto) to be a "*rule-1" gun or a backup gun.

    *Rule 1 of a fight against an escalated criminal: have a gun.

    Meaning, if you find that you constantly leave your Glock 19 or similarly sized pistol at home. A rule 1 gun is a gun on your person, instead of at home because your larger pistol was uncomfortable.

    I wouldn't want to take on a determined attacker who is armed with a full sized high capacity pistol with a "Rule 1" gun in my hand unless there was no other way out or my family was about to be harmed. However, a knife armed thug would likely scurry after seeing a glimpse of a firearm. There are many situations where a couple of hits from a J-frame has saved peoples lives against unsuspecting and well armed assailants.

    That is why I think it is important to recognize the differences between a Rule-1 gun and a true combat handgun. As the saying goes: "a gun on your person is better than a gun at home."

    What I am trying to say is: If we look at the most likely scenarios, capacity and reload speed may take a back seat to reliability/firing flexibility (contact shots, odd hand grips, etc).

    Just food for thought. Let me know what you think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skyugo View Post
    that said, the g26 is a hell of a lot easier to shoot and holds twice as many (more potent) rounds. However, it still requires a traditional IWB or OWB holster, and is basically as big as a glock 19 when it really comes down to it.
    Disagree. Everyone keeps saying this online, but when it comes down to it, there was a LOT I could not do with a G19 IWB in the summer time. The g26 allowed me to wear t-shirts with no worries at all. I am a slim guy, so YMMV, but I find the difference between the g19 and g26 to be night and day when it gets to be above 80 degrees F. Below that, the 19 is the better choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skyugo View Post
    that said, the g26 is a hell of a lot easier to shoot and holds twice as many (more potent) rounds. However, it still requires a traditional IWB or OWB holster, and is basically as big as a glock 19 when it really comes down to it.
    Disagree. Everyone keeps saying this online, but when it comes down to it, there was a LOT I could not do with a G19 IWB in the summer time. The g26 allowed me to wear t-shirts with no worries at all. I am a slim guy, so YMMV, but I find the difference between the g19 and g26 to be night and day when it gets to be above 80 degrees F. Below that, the 19 is the better choice.

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    I had a S&W 340PD for my front pocket carry and / or BUG gun for six years. Great gun but I replaced it with a Rohrbaugh R9 and never looked back. 6+1 of (non +P) 9MM with a faster reload in a very accurate and reliable gun. The R9 doesn't annoy my leg like the revolver's bulging cylinder did. The Smith was a great gun. The R9 suited my needs substantially better.

    My next chioce was the Kahr PM9. I like the gun and it shoots great but the tiny size difference between the R9 and the PM9 was well worth the much larger price tag of the R9 for me.

    I also bought the LCP right before I purchased the R9. Once I had the R9, I never took the LCP out of the safe again. The LCP never had a hick-up, either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by okie john View Post
    I’ve carried J-frames off and on for 30-odd years. They’re classic deep-cover guns, but there are better choices today. A J-frame may be the same length and height as an LCP, but it’s almost as thick as a G26, which affects concealment more than length and height. The G26 holds twice as many shots, has infinitely better sights, and is far easier to reload under stress, which is no small matter…


    Okie John
    The J-frame is idiot-simple and utterly proven, which are never bad things, and there are a million good holsters for it. It's never wrong as a deep-cover piece, but you could do better. If you get one, consider a shrouded-hammer model like the 442 or 642 over a 637.
    At only its widest point is the J frame nearly as thick at the 26. I have the 26 and its my BUG at work and my off duty gun. My new 340 M&P is my gun for those times when the 26 is too big. The 26 does not lend itself to pocket carry while J frames do. You can put them in a pocket holster and they look just like a wallet in your pants.

    In my opinion the Scandium J frames are much better than the various .380 and .32 auto pocket guns. As these guns at least the ones I have had are generally not that reliable and hit with far less authority. I won't go smaller than a J frame.
    Pat
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nephrology View Post
    Disagree. Everyone keeps saying this online, but when it comes down to it, there was a LOT I could not do with a G19 IWB in the summer time. The g26 allowed me to wear t-shirts with no worries at all. I am a slim guy, so YMMV, but I find the difference between the g19 and g26 to be night and day when it gets to be above 80 degrees F. Below that, the 19 is the better choice.
    i used to own a g26 as well as my g19. I didn't carry my g19 much at all until i got an atomic dog holster custom made. it sits the grip about a finger above my belt. works in a fitted t-shirt...

    so... ok, i will admit the g26 is a little better for concealment. it's also quite a bit slower to draw, especially if you have it riding as low as my 19 holster. obviously a full grip is always welcome on a handgun, especially when bad things happen.

    Honestly if money were no issue i'd have a 19, a 26 and a j-frame. I just feel like the 19 and the j-frame occupy a wider spectrum than a 19 and a 26.

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