Chris Muir's Day By Day

Friday, January 10, 2014

Poll of the Day

I'm contemplating a handgun purchase next weekend, and I'd like your input. I'm looking at a couple of Smith & Wesson J-Frames for concealed carry (I have to acquire my CCW, of course). Here are the two candidates:

The first contender is a brand-new model 642 Airweight without the internal lock:



The other possibility is a used first-model 49 Bodyguard:



Pro's and con's of each: the 642 is stainless steel and aluminum alloy, so no real issues of rusting/corrosion. It's also an Airweight, which makes it easy to carry and hard to shoot. The 49 is all steel construction, but is blued, so requires more care than the 642 does. It's heavier, also, so a little easier to handle as far as recoil is concerned.

The 642 is new construction - - MIM parts? The 49 is old-fashioned machined parts, with a pinned barrel. Both are available for the same price point, around $400. It's possible I could knock the price of the 49 down to $350 or so with negotiation, or possibly not.

So - - which would you choose? Feel free to make your case in comments.

Which J-Frame To Buy?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

8 comments:

Rev. Paul said...

I infer it's a self-defense weapon (hence the CCW) so I voted for the 642. I have a 442 (blued) in .38Spcl+P, and while it transmits a bit of recoil at the range, it's so light that I can put it in practically any pocket without an issue.

And given the amount of adrenaline flowing in an actual shoot-or-be-killed scenario, I doubt I'd notice the recoil.

Old NFO said...

Personally I prefer the old blue gun... But it IS heavier... I'm not recoil averse, but control is an issue with BUGs...

ZerCool said...

Model 49. 642s are easy to find. No-dash pinned-barrel 49s? Not so much.

Don't get me wrong; I have a 642 and I love it. I actually found that I shoot it rather well because it fits my hand phenomenally and points very naturally. It's snappy with +P loads but I don't shoot many of those. Carry is a snap, just drop it in a pocket holster or tiny IWB.

Damocles said...

I've carried a pre 642 442 in stainles/hard chrome for about 20 yrs now as a BUG and more and more a primary gun. While I just drool over the 49 you specified "carry" not "lust" as the driving force. The 642 wins that argument on weight alone. I'm glad it is not my decision to make because I would probably wind up buying both.

Borepatch said...

How about a Judge?

[ducks]

John Block said...

I like the 49, personally. Got one for my wife cuz she's got tiny paws. Plus, I can keep pretty much minute of paper plate out to 30+ yds. single-action. Its nice to have options, IMO.....

John Block said...

I like the 49, personally. Got one for my wife cuz she's got tiny paws. Plus, I can keep pretty much minute of paper plate out to 30+ yds. single-action. Its nice to have options, IMO.....

greg tag said...

Ill weigh in.

The light guns are easy to carry, but the recoil stroke is noticeably longer, so shot to shot recovery is greater than the heavier gun.

This is important- gunfights are not like TV where one shot causes the guy to stagger and drop in ten seconds before the commercial- while it is possible, it is not usual, and 5 rounds, FAST, may not be enough. Bad guys also run in pairs and trios -multiple targets makes the ability to control the gun and fire quickly of value.

The "hump" on the 49 helps keep it secure in a pocket holster.

"Pinned" barrel means the gun is from an earlier day, I suspect that you will find the action is smoother and the fit and finish better.

So much for the Smiths.

Drum Roll- I have a better idea.
For $350-390 on GB, you can get a Colt Detective Special. If you insist on alloy frame, you can get an Agent (revolver) or a Cobra. These revolvers are only a tiny smidge larger than a J-Frame, but have six rounds, about an inch better sight radius, and a much nicer trigger ( IMHO). The smidge larger grip gives you more to hold on to, and I know several people who were J frame carriers before they handled one of my Colts, and they have started carrying a Colt instead.

At least try on out.

Lastly - always carry spare ammo and carry in a holster- dont just drop the revolver in a pocket. Use a pocket holster.

Regards

GKT