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Posted: 9/9/2013 2:59:54 PM EDT
What caliber would be best for a j frame used as a back up gun?  Do they come in .45 acp, that is currently the only pistol caliber I own

Eta
Or would .22 mag be a better caliber for a j frame?
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 3:08:48 PM EDT
J frames only come in .32, .38 special, .22 lr and .327 Federal (I think?) .45 acp is way too big for that frame would be a 3 shot tops!
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 3:15:17 PM EDT
Would .22lr j frame be adequate?
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 3:21:50 PM EDT
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Would .22lr j frame be adequate?
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I'd take 5 rounds of .38+P over 8 rounds of .22lr.  Thats just me though....
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 3:27:51 PM EDT
Rim fire has become much more reliable and while a 22 will kill, I would not trust my life to it if I had other options.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 3:46:39 PM EDT
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J frames only come in .32, .38 special, .22 lr and .327 Federal (I think?) .45 acp is way too big for that frame would be a 3 shot tops!
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Also .357 Magnum as in the three inch model 60.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 4:07:09 PM EDT
38 Special is the answer.

The current production guns are rated for 38+P.  
Stepping up to .357 gets you a lot more flash and bang, but not much more power as a 2" barrel isn't harnessing the rounds full potential, it's shooting out a fireball instead.

Stepping down in caliber to a .22 is, well, not such a great idea.
The .327 mag has merit but I believe it's only offered in a 3" barrel which diminshes the J-Frames' greatest attribute - small size.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 4:16:27 PM EDT
What are some good models and prices to look out for at the fun shop? I want a no frills wheel gun, .38spcl sounds like the ticket
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 4:35:15 PM EDT
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Quoted:
38 Special is the answer.

The current production guns are rated for 38+P.  
Stepping up to .357 gets you a lot more flash and bang, but not much more power as a 2" barrel isn't harnessing the rounds full potential, it's shooting out a fireball instead.

Stepping down in caliber to a .22 is, well, not such a great idea.
The .327 mag has merit but I believe it's only offered in a 3" barrel which diminshes the J-Frames' greatest attribute - small size.
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I'd be concerned about .327 ammo availability.  That train clearly did not get very far past the station and I'd hate to be stuck with a BUG that ammo is scarce for.

As stated, .38+P for the win.

As to prices for 442/642s, I'd look for $400 and under for a decent price.  The LEO/Mil pricing on 442s/642s is actually really good if you qualify.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 4:50:20 PM EDT
Probably not the best, but I think the 43c is cool. Only 11 oz. I picked up one recently and it is just a blast to shoot!
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 5:11:13 PM EDT
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What are some good models and prices to look out for at the fun shop? I want a no frills wheel gun, .38spcl sounds like the ticket
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442, 642, 438, 638.

All 4 are Aluminum framed, hammerless or shrouded hammer.
They're some of the "Airweights"

They make a lighter version called "AirLite" but they cost quite a bit more.
They also make steel frames but personally, for a Bug, weight matters.

I haven't bought one in a while but I would think you're talking $4-500
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 5:22:24 PM EDT
Thanks fellas
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 7:53:23 PM EDT
Love my 642- alloy frame and stainless barrel and cylinder.  Everyone I know who has one likes it.  It's not a gun you want to shoot a lot, especially +Ps, but it's very accurate and quite comfortable to carry.  I carry it loaded with Speer's 135gr +Ps.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 7:57:44 PM EDT
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Would .22lr j frame be adequate?
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The one on the left is my S&W 351PD.  7 Shot .22 WMR.  I got it to carry during the summer because it's super light and fits in my pocket really well with a minimal holster.  I end up carrying it all the time for the same reasons.  Hornady amkes this 45 grain round that's optimized for short barrel pistols.  I think during their testing it got 13 inches of penetration in ballistic gelatin.  Two speed loaders from 5starfirearms.com in case I need more.

This is about as small as I would go and feel safe, but it's a darn good wheelgun.  If work required me to go back to slacks, this would most certainly be my BUG. Since I'm normally in cargo shorts and a tshirt it ends up as my primary.

Link Posted: 9/9/2013 8:03:44 PM EDT
Got rid of my J Frame a while back but I carried a handload 38 spl 125gr round that gave an honest 1050fps or so from its 2" barrel.
Would never trust my life to a 22lr.
Let me put on my flame suit over the handloads for defense now...
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 4:08:14 AM EDT
I have a 2" model 940 (9mm - full moon clips).....would like another in 3"...but hard to find.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 7:08:57 AM EDT
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What are some good models and prices to look out for at the fun shop? I want a no frills wheel gun, .38spcl sounds like the ticket
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S&W 442/642 without the fucking lawyer lock is my choice.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 8:50:56 AM EDT
M-60 .357 3" barrel.
The Smith Pro-Series has adj. sights, is exceptionally accurate, etc., but it's a BUG so accuracy takes a big back seat to realibilty and being able to deploy the weapon in a hi stress situation.
Typically BUG guns are seldom used by very few. I'd be concerned more about reliability than anything else including caliber options.
That being the case I'd opt for a Smith.
I'd also opt for the .38 Spl. caliber.
I might consider a .22 magnum using Hornady Critical Defense ammo.
I own a Pro Serie M-6 3" in .357 mag and it's utterly depenadable and I shoot Remington 125 grain bullets from the .357 caliber.
I practice with .38 Spl loads then some with .357 carry rounds.
Smith Pro-Series revolvers are expensive but worth the price in my opinion.
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