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J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life #14633774 03/05/20
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https://www.swatmag.com/article/j-frame ... uide-life/

Interesting article in SWAT magazine; Check it out.

Airweight snub is an overwhelming choice of many habitual carriers, however, the J Frame requires adjustments in mindset to offset its limitations.

Lately, against the counsel of many of my more appropriately armed friends, I have taken to carrying a Smith & Wesson Model 642 Airweight .38 revolver. I have my reasons, as undoubtedly do the many legions of permit holders and off duty personnel who slip the snub into a pocket and sally forth. I carry the J Frame having trained with it hard and understanding its limitations.

Carrying the 642 caused me to re-evaluate my personal tactics, training, and attitude. In doing so I had to develop a “J Frame Mindset.” Years ago I made certain assumptions based upon the perceived effectiveness of what I was carrying. Having abandoned many of those notions while carrying the J, I realized that the new mindset was just as applicable to better weaponry. After discussing this with peers who carry service pistols exclusively, it occurred to me that these tenets might apply just as well to them.
Diminutive sights, light weight, and abbreviated grip demand that the shooter train hard with the snubbie to ensure the best possible hits. Realistic training allows the shooter to establish what is—and what isn’t—possible out of the platform.

AVOIDANCE
Having a five-shot .38 on board does not bestow special powers nor equip me to seek trouble and meddle in iffy situations. I can react to trouble that finds me despite my best attempts to escape it. My personal duty requires only that I protect my family and self.

However, it is understood that LE professionals have additional responsibilities. For them, avoidance is likely more geared to not getting overcommitted and gaining back up before getting in too deep. I would submit that a pistol of any caliber and capacity is not the best answer when seeking to purposefully engage predators. They make things for that—rifles, shotguns, several other good guys in tow, and preferably close air support.

IT WON’T WORK!
I do not expect that launching a Gold Dot or five is going to bring hostilities to a screeching halt and send the brigands in full retreat. I fully expect that the introduction of the J will only 1) allow me to break contact and extricate myself from a mess I didn’t see coming and avoid, or 2) soften the threat, who must then be violently dealt with using any and all means. I fully anticipate having to immediately transition to strikes or weapons of opportunity once the fight is joined. Have single round-nosed lead .38 bullets ended fights? You bet. But many more gunfights (even with the latest major caliber bullets launched from the greatest of high capacity pistols) turn into nasty groundfights.

Having a pistol does not mean that the fight gets to be a duel, only that it may start that way. I do not intend to have a pregnant pause after my payload is delivered—I train to either be making tracks or closing with and destroying the threat as the situation warrants. This means incorporating a great deal of aggression into the response and having a passable capability to attack, whether that means ramming the 1 7/8-inch barrel into an eye socket or hammer fisting the throat.

It may get dirty, but mentally I accept that. A good many pistoleros maintain a mental image that the pistol will conduct all hostilities by proxy at a comfortable seven to ten yards and are not mentally prepared for the possibility that it won’t work. Which leads to…

I PROBABLY WON’T GET TO RELOAD
The fight likely began with me on the wrong side of the reaction cycle, so reloading smoothly in the midst of the active violence is not to be expected. The stats just don’t support it. Sure, I train at it. Even using strong and support hand only. But I imagine that the chances to reload in the situations where I would be shooting in the first place are slim.

The Bianchi “Speed” strips I carry—while flat and easy to carry—are anything but speedy, requiring the alignment and stripping off of two rounds/cylinder holes at a time. This is why many J Frame aficionados train to only reload with four rounds, figuring that it is more efficient to be back in the fight with four on tap, than to extend the out of battery time by 33 percent to gain one round. However, even were I carrying an auto, the chances of executing that 1.5-second emergency reload in a real fight just don’t match up to the time/space evaluations of many personal defense environments. I mentally intend to get the job done with what’s in the weapon or go to plan B or C. And since I only have five pills…

MAKE EVERY SHOT COUNT
Wide employment of high-capacity pistols with respectable power has led some to accept weak accuracy and wasteful tactics. The capacity limitations and marginal energy inherent to the J Frame demand that I shoot well. To do this I must train to know exactly what I can and can’t accomplish with the weapon. For me, that equals about 25 yards before hits get into the “get closer or E&E” mode.

The addition of Crimson Trace Lasergrips to the Airweight is nearly mandatory, increasing recoil control, adding useful training value in mastering the double-action trigger in dry fire, and adding confidence to shot placement in situations where the marginal sights are difficult to acquire.

The adage that a snubbie is an expert’s weapon means that considerable training effort must be applied for it to be useful. The limited energy means I must train to quickly deliver up to the entire cylinder to the best target areas of a single threat or quickly divide the shots to the very best soft spots available on multiples. The limited capacity encourages me very strongly to avoid multiple threat scenarios, which leads to where this discussion began.

I feel that the J Frame mentality has better prepared me to protect those who depend on me. A frank and honest evaluation of your personal mission role, environment and available weapons may lead to a similar change in mentality and guide appropriate changes in training and behavior.


NRA LIFE MEMBER
GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS
ESPECIALLY THE SNIPERS!
"Suppose you were an idiot And suppose you were a member of Congress... But I repeat myself."
-Mark Twain
BP-B2

Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14633779 03/05/20
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Gibby Offline
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I carry a 640 sometimes .


Life is easy when you tell the truth.
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14633824 03/05/20
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I found replacing original boot grip with S&W Combat grip (slightly larger and longer by about 1,5cm) helped with recoil. Ammunition of choice is Federal Premium HST Micro +P. The recoil is manageable there is little flash and the bullet is completely enclosed in case just like target wadcutter preventing bullet pullout under recoil.

Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14633891 03/05/20
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Target wadcutters and rubber grips.



abusus non tollit usum
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14634066 03/05/20
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SS336 Offline
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I don't often carry a snubby but when I do... grin

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]photo free upload

IC-A

Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14634148 03/05/20
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 99,508
The_Real_Hawkeye Offline
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Originally Posted by Cariboujack
https://www.swatmag.com/article/j-frame ... uide-life/

Interesting article in SWAT magazine; Check it out.

Airweight snub is an overwhelming choice of many habitual carriers, however, the J Frame requires adjustments in mindset to offset its limitations.

Lately, against the counsel of many of my more appropriately armed friends, I have taken to carrying a Smith & Wesson Model 642 Airweight .38 revolver. I have my reasons, as undoubtedly do the many legions of permit holders and off duty personnel who slip the snub into a pocket and sally forth. I carry the J Frame having trained with it hard and understanding its limitations.

Carrying the 642 caused me to re-evaluate my personal tactics, training, and attitude. In doing so I had to develop a “J Frame Mindset.” Years ago I made certain assumptions based upon the perceived effectiveness of what I was carrying. Having abandoned many of those notions while carrying the J, I realized that the new mindset was just as applicable to better weaponry. After discussing this with peers who carry service pistols exclusively, it occurred to me that these tenets might apply just as well to them.
Diminutive sights, light weight, and abbreviated grip demand that the shooter train hard with the snubbie to ensure the best possible hits. Realistic training allows the shooter to establish what is—and what isn’t—possible out of the platform.

AVOIDANCE
Having a five-shot .38 on board does not bestow special powers nor equip me to seek trouble and meddle in iffy situations. I can react to trouble that finds me despite my best attempts to escape it. My personal duty requires only that I protect my family and self.

However, it is understood that LE professionals have additional responsibilities. For them, avoidance is likely more geared to not getting overcommitted and gaining back up before getting in too deep. I would submit that a pistol of any caliber and capacity is not the best answer when seeking to purposefully engage predators. They make things for that—rifles, shotguns, several other good guys in tow, and preferably close air support.

IT WON’T WORK!
I do not expect that launching a Gold Dot or five is going to bring hostilities to a screeching halt and send the brigands in full retreat. I fully expect that the introduction of the J will only 1) allow me to break contact and extricate myself from a mess I didn’t see coming and avoid, or 2) soften the threat, who must then be violently dealt with using any and all means. I fully anticipate having to immediately transition to strikes or weapons of opportunity once the fight is joined. Have single round-nosed lead .38 bullets ended fights? You bet. But many more gunfights (even with the latest major caliber bullets launched from the greatest of high capacity pistols) turn into nasty groundfights.

Having a pistol does not mean that the fight gets to be a duel, only that it may start that way. I do not intend to have a pregnant pause after my payload is delivered—I train to either be making tracks or closing with and destroying the threat as the situation warrants. This means incorporating a great deal of aggression into the response and having a passable capability to attack, whether that means ramming the 1 7/8-inch barrel into an eye socket or hammer fisting the throat.

It may get dirty, but mentally I accept that. A good many pistoleros maintain a mental image that the pistol will conduct all hostilities by proxy at a comfortable seven to ten yards and are not mentally prepared for the possibility that it won’t work. Which leads to…

I PROBABLY WON’T GET TO RELOAD
The fight likely began with me on the wrong side of the reaction cycle, so reloading smoothly in the midst of the active violence is not to be expected. The stats just don’t support it. Sure, I train at it. Even using strong and support hand only. But I imagine that the chances to reload in the situations where I would be shooting in the first place are slim.

The Bianchi “Speed” strips I carry—while flat and easy to carry—are anything but speedy, requiring the alignment and stripping off of two rounds/cylinder holes at a time. This is why many J Frame aficionados train to only reload with four rounds, figuring that it is more efficient to be back in the fight with four on tap, than to extend the out of battery time by 33 percent to gain one round. However, even were I carrying an auto, the chances of executing that 1.5-second emergency reload in a real fight just don’t match up to the time/space evaluations of many personal defense environments. I mentally intend to get the job done with what’s in the weapon or go to plan B or C. And since I only have five pills…

MAKE EVERY SHOT COUNT
Wide employment of high-capacity pistols with respectable power has led some to accept weak accuracy and wasteful tactics. The capacity limitations and marginal energy inherent to the J Frame demand that I shoot well. To do this I must train to know exactly what I can and can’t accomplish with the weapon. For me, that equals about 25 yards before hits get into the “get closer or E&E” mode.

The addition of Crimson Trace Lasergrips to the Airweight is nearly mandatory, increasing recoil control, adding useful training value in mastering the double-action trigger in dry fire, and adding confidence to shot placement in situations where the marginal sights are difficult to acquire.

The adage that a snubbie is an expert’s weapon means that considerable training effort must be applied for it to be useful. The limited energy means I must train to quickly deliver up to the entire cylinder to the best target areas of a single threat or quickly divide the shots to the very best soft spots available on multiples. The limited capacity encourages me very strongly to avoid multiple threat scenarios, which leads to where this discussion began.

I feel that the J Frame mentality has better prepared me to protect those who depend on me. A frank and honest evaluation of your personal mission role, environment and available weapons may lead to a similar change in mentality and guide appropriate changes in training and behavior.

Seems all reasonable. I occasionally carry an Airweight J-Frame .38, but it's usually because it's cold out, and I'm wearing a long winter coat, making access to my IWB Glock slow, so I toss the J-Frame in the coat pocket. The Glock then becomes the backup.

But the author makes good sense.

This is the one that's kept loaded and on standby to stick in a coat pocket.

[Linked Image]


"I want to tell you something very clear, don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."

- Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14634226 03/05/20
Joined: Aug 2007
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winchester70 Online Content
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M&P 340 for me, with 135gr .357 Gold Dots clocked at 1025 fps. Not for tender men, but they sure do expand a lot better than the 38's.

Last edited by winchester70; 03/05/20.
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14634304 03/05/20
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I've had a CCW permit now for 27 years(damn I'm getting old!). During that time, I've carried lots of different guns from big to small. Over the last few years, I've finally stopped lying to myself and just accepted the fact that the gun I'm going to carry 99% of the time is my 642. I can carry it no matter how I'm dressed or what I'm doing. Like the author above, I've accepted that it has limitations and isn't always the best tool for the job. It is the tool I can always have with me though and that's better than the perfect tool left at home.

My usual mode of pocket carry:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

When I belt carry, it rides in a Milt Sparks PMK:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

To date, the only blood I've spilled with it has been on 4 legged critters. Lord willing, it'll remain that way.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by jds44; 03/05/20.
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: SS336] #14634315 03/05/20
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Originally Posted by SS336
I don't often carry a snubby but when I do... grin

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]photo free upload


I like that holster! What make/model is it?

Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14634370 03/05/20
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Friend of mine in Co. made it, think it was the second one he made. His web site is www.sweetwatersaddlery.com. He's a good guy and makes a great product. He's getting ready to retire, or at least threatens to lately. Tell him Skip sent you and he'll only charge you double. grin

IC-B

Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14634502 03/05/20
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TBREW401 Online Content
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My 442 in a Nemesis with a speed strip is a carry favorite, lite, easy, comfortable

Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: TBREW401] #14634545 03/05/20
Joined: Jun 2002
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Originally Posted by TBREW401
My 442 in a Nemesis with a speed strip is a carry favorite, lite, easy, comfortable

I've got a 442, also. Ideal for certain applications. The J-Frames are likely the best selling S&W revolver at this point.

[Linked Image]


"I want to tell you something very clear, don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."

- Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14634549 03/05/20
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Bob338 Offline
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Great post Cariboujack!!!

I carry the same firearm and have exactly your mindset!! Thanks for the post!


Used to be bobski, member since '01
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14634593 03/05/20
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colodog Offline
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My 38 snubbie is great but I prefer the 432PD, I shoot it better.
The Crimson Trace grip is nice but I don't expect I'll have time to switch it on in a crisis.. I practice without it mostly.


"Camping places fix themselves in your mind as if you had spent long periods of your life in them.
You will remember a curve of your wagon track in the grass of the plain like the features of a friend."
Isak Dinesen
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: colodog] #14634653 03/05/20
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The_Real_Hawkeye Offline
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Originally Posted by colodog
My 38 snubbie is great but I prefer the 432PD, I shoot it better.
The Crimson Trace grip is nice but I don't expect I'll have time to switch it on in a crisis.. I practice without it mostly.

Does S&W still make those? A six shot .32 Magnum J-Frame makes a lot of sense.


"I want to tell you something very clear, don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."

- Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: The_Real_Hawkeye] #14634691 03/05/20
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I haven't seen another one for several years and suspect they may have been pushed out by the 327Fed?
I like the performance level of the 32H&R and the 327 is too much of a good thing for me.
The only way I'd let this one go is if my sweetheart wanted to carry it, she shoots it well too.


"Camping places fix themselves in your mind as if you had spent long periods of your life in them.
You will remember a curve of your wagon track in the grass of the plain like the features of a friend."
Isak Dinesen
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: colodog] #14634695 03/05/20
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lvmiker Online Content
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My 1st gun fight,in this country, occurred in a vehicle against 2 very bad guys. I was working deep UC and was carrying a S&W mod 36 in a rib belt, no reloads. I walked [ran] away w/ temporary deafness and an empty gun not knowing if there were more BGs in the area. I have never carried a revolver for self defense since that day. Obviously that little 36 saved my life but I know that being pumped, scared and out of ammo is worse than the discomfort of carrying a real fighting gun.

One person's reality. YMMV



mike r


Don't wish it were easier
Wish you were better

Stab them in the taint, you can't put a tourniquet on that.
Craig Douglas ECQC
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14634732 03/05/20
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When working in uniform patrol my old M38 Bodyguard Airweight was in service for a very long time. It rode in an ankle holster as a backup. It was there when I needed it, one night especially so. I carried it when I worked dope on a narcotics task force. The issued gun was the Walther PPK .380. I hated that little boat anchor. It had a terrible trigger and jammed way more than I could get comfortable with. Against regulations I carried the snubbie. That old gun is pretty beat up and I've retired it. A M642, no lock, gets the call now. I don't feel naked when I have my snubbie.


Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14634859 03/05/20
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S&W 442 in a Sam Andrews pocket holster. My hand loads. Two speed strips in the other front pocket, in a custom made leather pouch. Many years of practice.


Sam......

Re: J-frame of mind: The Snubby's guide to life [Re: Cariboujack] #14634971 03/05/20
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Good stuff. Tag


"Put none but Americans on guard tonight."
-George Washington
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