Smith and Wesson J Frame Holsters

The Smith and Wesson J-frame revolver is probably the most popular “everyday” concealed carry handgun in America.  Celebrating its 60th year, the J-frame out numbers all other handguns as the backup gun of choice for America’s police.  The J-frame is also one of the most common pistols for “newbies” to bring to their introductory CCW classes.

Introduced in 1950, the Smith and Wesson J frame was an instant hit with America’s police officers and Police Chiefs.  The Chief’s Special became the new paradigm for  5 shot .38 Special short barreled revolvers.

J-Frame-Chief-Special-holster

There are three primary configurations of J-frames.  Each one has its advantages and disadvantages during carry and while firing. The first configuration is the Chief’s Special. It features and exposed hammer, and can be fired in single action (by first cocking the hammer) or in double action.

The Centennial model features a “humpback” design that features a completely concealed hammer.  The lack of an exposed hammer makes the gun much easier to draw from tight places (like front pockets) due to the completely snag free nature of the backstrap. Without an exposed hammer to snag on clothing, the gun pulls out of places much smoother and easier.

J-Frame-642-holster

The Bodyguard configuration is like a combination of the Chief’s Special and the Centennial. It features a shrouded hammer that still leaves a small “cocking-button” exposed so the user can thumb cock the hammer if they want to.   It also has the hump back styling that, combined with the shrouded hammer, allows for a smooth draw from tight places.

J-Frame-Bodyguard-holster

The three configurations also feature other options within the respective product lines, such as caliber choices, barrel lengths, and frame materials. The typical J frame (if there is such a thing) is usually one of the Airweight models, with a 1 7/8 inch barrel chambered in .38 Special.  This is the configuration I have seen (and used) the most as well. (I believe Smith and Wesson’s best selling model is called the 642, it is a Centennial style, Aluminum Airweight frame finished in a “stainless-look” with a stainless 1 and 7/8 inch barrel and cylinder chambered in .38 Special.)

Choosing a J-frame may seem like a difficult task at first.  There are many variations to choose from, so deciding on one to carry will require a trip to the local gun store or range where you can look at the variations and maybe even try a few out.

Many people gravitate towards the J-frame because of its small size and light weight. While this combination surely is appealing and is a big reason for the J-frames popularity, inexperienced shooters may need to exercise some caution during the selection process. A lightweight pistol in .38 Special recoils...a lot. With serious self defense ammo (.38 Special +P), it is mean, in .357 magnum, the recoil is punishing.  These are a bad combination for beginners trying to learn the fundamentals of handgun shooting, as painful recoil will quickly shorten a practice session and may take the fun out of shooting.  New shooters may want to look at the steel framed versions of the J frame, as these heavier guns soak up the recoil better and make the guns much more pleasant to shoot with .38 Special ammunition.

There is an abundance of options for ways to carry your chosen J-frame.  J-frame holsters are available from many manufacturers in leather, kydex, and nylon.  The compact, lightweight J-frame makes concealment very easy for most people. It easily slips in a front or rear pants pocket.  Many people keep a J-frame in the side pocket of their jacket during the fall and winter. The gun is small enough where it will not print while in the jacket pocket, and its owner can casually walk around with his or her hands in their pockets, all the while having a firing grip on the revolver and not drawing any attention to themselves.

A belt holster is also a very popular option for the J-frame, especially the steel framed or three inch barreled variations.  Most manufactures offer a few different styles of belt holsters for the J-frame, so each individual can pick the style and features they like the best.

Many folks opt for inside the waistband carry.  The J-frame is a short barreled gun, so it is not obtrusive when carried in a good IWB holster. This style holster is very concealable; it works well in warm and cold climates, and allows for a fast presentation if the gun is needed.  I find it much easier to draw from an IWB holster than from a pocket holster.

There are many great holster choices from a variety of very good holster manufacturers. Finding a holster to work with your J-frame will not be difficult; it will just take some experimentation to find which holster or holsters will work for you.


 



Paddle Holster Black Smith  Wesson SW Kydex OWB Gun Holster
Paddle Holster Black Smith Wesson SW Kydex OWB Gun Holster
$49.99
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Fobus J357 Polymer Self Locking Paddle Holster For Smith  Wesson J Frame 38 357
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J357A Fobus Ankle Holster SW 2 J Frame Revolvers Rossi 88 Non Shrouded Right
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Bulldog Cases DIP 2 24 Deluxe ITP Holster Ambi Black Nylon for S
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Caldwell 110062 Tac Ops Holster RH Black Polymer for SW J Frame Revolver
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44800 Allen Cortez Thumbsnap Holster Size 00 2 to 3 J and K Frame Revolvers Ny
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Blackhawk 420800BN R Leather Speed Classic Holster RH J Frame Taurus 85 SP 101
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Smith  Wesson 4 inch J Frame Holster
Smith Wesson 4 inch J Frame Holster
$39.00
Time Remaining: 8h 7m
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IMI Defenses Retention Holster for Smith  Wesson SW J Frame 38 IMI Z1240
IMI Defenses Retention Holster for Smith Wesson SW J Frame 38 IMI Z1240
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Desantis Insider  031BA02Z0 R SW J Frame See List
Desantis Insider 031BA02Z0 R SW J Frame See List
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Tagua Nylon Shoulder Holster NSH4 030 Smith  Wesson J Frames Right Hand
Tagua Nylon Shoulder Holster NSH4 030 Smith Wesson J Frames Right Hand
$24.00
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Galco Tuck  Go Inside The Pant Holster S W J Frame
Galco Tuck Go Inside The Pant Holster S W J Frame
$26.50
Time Remaining: 13h 11m
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Fobus Paddle  J357 SW J Frame  Rossi 88
Fobus Paddle J357 SW J Frame Rossi 88
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Desantis Insider 031BB02Z0 Left SW J Frames Taurus 85 CA Undercover
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Brand X Front Pocket Holster FPH 3 Ambidextrous fits fits J Frame 2 revolvers
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Galco Inside the Pants Holster For Colt Detective Special 2 Inch and J Frame SW
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GALCO FLETCH HOLSTER for S  W J FRAME RIGHT HAND Model FL160
GALCO FLETCH HOLSTER for S W J FRAME RIGHT HAND Model FL160
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Flashbang Womens Holster  Smith  Wesson J Frame 38  Left Draw
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