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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Backup gun debate. For the past fifteen years or so I have carried a handgun almost everyday. Thirteen of those years I have been a police officer, eight as a firearms instructor. I am not an "expert", but I know a fair amount about what works for carring around 12-15 hours a day.
The issue of BUG's comes around in our department about once a year, usually when we hire new officers. The vast majority of our officers don't carry a BUG. :roll: I have carried a Taurus model 85, .38spl. with a bobbed hammer in a ankle rig for years. Recently, I became a K9 officer and do ALOT more running in uniform. I soon discovered the old 85 was heavier than I remembered. Thus the hunt was on for a new BUG. :) (That was the excuse I used with the wife)

I really wanted something lite and wanted to stick with a five shot revolver in .38spl. ( No debates over caliber or rev./semi please) I looked at the offerings from the major manufactures and found some really cool stuff. I narrowed my choice down to Smith & Wesson in the J-frame line between two revolvers. The model 340 PD and the 642. The details of each can be found a Smith's site, but the short version is 340 PD , is .357 cal. and 12 ounces. The 642 , is .38 spl. + p rated and 15 ounces. Both are lite, and they will both handle the +P .38, Gold dot round I like, so how to decide ?

642 $ 309 + tax
340 PD $ 549 + tax

That my friends is a deciding factor :!: The 3 ounces for $250..... jeez.

Now before someone chimes in a says the 340 will take .357's, go find one and shoot a few .357's. You will soon learn why I like the +P .38 so much. We have to shoot one hundred rounds a year in our secondary guns (BUG, off duty gun , etc.) and I have seen officers walk off the line holding their hand trying to qual. with one in .357.

Anyway, for those looking for a really nice, lite carry gun check out the 642 Smith. As I understand from my dealer they are on special right now. Oh, and as for what I did with the old Taurus. Our newest officer carries it on her ankle as we speak. The price ? All she had to do was catch K9 Ranger on a few practice apprehensions. :lol: Trust me :!: she earned that revolver.
 

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Hey There, C.R.

I would most definitely go with the 642.

I shot a 340PD that a "friend" brought in for ballistics testing. Darned thing nearly crippled me and I am notoriously "recoil-resistant". We used some Remington 158 gr JHP .357 mag and some of my favorites - 158 gr Gold Dots in .357 mag.

Muzzle blast and recoil would disable at both ends after the first round. We turned the room lights out and used only the tank light and it was by far the brightest flash from any gun I've ever tested. Not a good thing for a BUG that will probably be used at night in extremely stressful circumstances. 8O

The recoil with the 340PD is so severe that it forces your trigger finger under the trigger and pinches the heck out of things. Had a big purple spot on my finger for several days.

My "friend" told me - after I fired the thing - that his brother bought it on a lark and both of them had been afraid to fire it with .357 mag ammo after trying out some +P .38 spl ammo that really rang their chimes. Some "friend" he turned out to be. :evil:

BTW - I carried the J-frame Model 36 BUG for years without any problems once I got the right holster rig for it - the tighter, the better. But then I didn't have to chase Ranger - just punks in "high-speed/low-drag tenny-runners". :mrgreen:

Just my .02.

db
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DB - I was wondering where you have been. I have a Ken Null ankle rig that is about as good as it gets. The steel framed 85 was not actually that bad... I just wanted a new gun :wink: But hey, half the weight of what I had.
 

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My Magnum Research Lone Eagle 7mm-08.

You want FLASH? Miss with the 7mm-08 round and you'll still blind 'em and scortch off all their hair. Plus, carry this as your bug in a IWB holster and the womenz will notice you.

Dave S
 
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