J-Frame carry gear Part 1

Last Tuesday, we talked about some of the accessories you’ll need if you choose to carry a pocket sized .380 ACP pistol. But what if you’re one of the old school guys that carries one of the jillions of S&W J-Frames out there? I still carry a Model 60 when I need to conceal my firearm, and have never felt under armed with 5 shots of .38 Special +P in the chambers. There is plenty of gear that you are going to need though if you do make the decision to tie on a wheelgun as your defensive firearm. The first decision of course being “what kind of holster should I get?” On the blog yesterday we had a great look at inside the waistband holsters, which are probably the best option for concealed carry for a compact revolver. Another option of course are pocket holsters; however these will only work if you have large pockets and choose to carry one of the superlight aluminum framed guns or the polymer framed Ruger LCR.

The J-Frame and Ruger LCR are best carried in an inside the waistband holster like this Bianchi Holster pictured.  The small size and weight of the gun can be concealed even on the hottest of summer days under an untucked t-shirt, and unlike the equivalently sized .380 ACP pistols, the DA revolver offers the option of .38 Special rounds or hot .357 Magnum rounds for personal defense.  Admittedly, a small revolver isn’t the best choice for everyone, as the DA trigger is difficult to master.  They require practice and training to be used to their full potential, but once you do reach that level you’ll find that your little J-frame is an incredibly accurate and powerful defensive firearm.

Next Tuesday, we’ll continuing looking at essential J-Frame gear, with the focus being on methods for getting your little gun back in the fight after you’ve depleted your five rounds.  This is one of the most critical skills to work on if you carry a roundgun, so make sure you check back next week for more!

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Comments (11)

  1. Holsters: I have two like the one in the picture and I have one that goes on the outside of my belt. Which one I use is based upon what clothing I will be wearing.
    There are so many different styles of holsters, one of mine is straight up, one leans forward and the OWB is almost horizontal.

  2. I have a Smith 340 PD and the Ruger LCP, the 340 PD serves me well, I carry 38 +P in it and a strip of 357 Mag. The LCP is a nice little pistol, and I have carried it concealed once. I have more faith in a 357 Mag dropping a perp than the 380. Even the 38 +P do an awesome job. But I have listen and watched other people with all of their tests and all of the different bullets on the market.
    I use the Hydra Shoks and they have always done well for me. I find that at 10 feet the 380 will probably do leathal damage, while the 357 Mag will go thru the perp and rip out his spine if it is the path of the bullets.

  3. I conceal carry a Bersa 380 and never have had any problems when using my behind the back (SOB) I also use a holsters made by Galco called the Royal Guard. The Royal Guard does a great job, but it is the only IWB holster I own. I use my Ruger KP 97 45 cal in the Royal Guard. Hands down, the best holster I have (humble opion) is my leather shoulder holster. I can interchange the Bersa and Ruger by just switching out the holster part of the system. I like the shoulder holster best because it works when riding my cycle. It is invisible to all and I can get at it if the need arises.

  4. The pocket holster I use with my LCR all but prevents any issue with normal fitting jeans. You can tell something’s in the pocket of course, but unless you’re getting felt up, you can’t tell what it is. I also use a kydex IWB with it occasionally, but it’s almost always simpler to just slide in the pocket holster.

  5. The problem that I run in to is that pocket holsters flat don’t work for me and revolvers. I’m only 5’6, and I wear slacks and jeans often which means that a revolver prints right through a pocket holster. But a good IWB holster on the other hand will conceal a j-frame all day long.

  6. Personally, I despise IWB holsters – I think they were designed by a liberal anti-gunner.

    I carry a Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 in a front pocket carry. Weight has never been an issue, although I do usually wear dress slacks with fairly large front pockets. The bulldog will fit in some jeans, but not all of them. When necessary, I also use a belt holster with a shirt or jacket (weather depending) draped over it. I’m switching to a Glock 30 at some point, but I’ll still be carrying in the front pocket.

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