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.



 


Galco KingTuk Inside the Pant Right Hand Black 2 J Frame Kydex and KT158B
Galco KingTuk Inside the Pant Right Hand Black 2 J Frame Kydex and KT158B
$57.27
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FLASHBANG Bra Holster J Frame RH Item 9220 LFRM 10
FLASHBANG Bra Holster J Frame RH Item 9220 LFRM 10
$49.99
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Bulldog Cases Pro Ankle Holster Right Hand Black SW J Frame Ruger WANK 2R
Bulldog Cases Pro Ankle Holster Right Hand Black SW J Frame Ruger WANK 2R
$22.64
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SHADO 102R LEATHER HOLSTERS SW SMITH  WESSON J FRAME 2 REVOLVER RH BELT BROWN
SHADO 102R LEATHER HOLSTERS SW SMITH WESSON J FRAME 2 REVOLVER RH BELT BROWN
$39.95
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Desantis 001 Thumb Break Scabbard Belt Holster Right Hand Tan SW J Frame
Desantis 001 Thumb Break Scabbard Belt Holster Right Hand Tan SW J Frame
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SMITH  WESSON J FRAME PADDLE HOLSTER 38 357 ROSSI 88 REVOLVER CONCEAL CARRY
SMITH WESSON J FRAME PADDLE HOLSTER 38 357 ROSSI 88 REVOLVER CONCEAL CARRY
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HOUSTON POLYMER PLASTIC ANKLE HOLSTER for SW J FRAME REVOLVER 357 640 638
HOUSTON POLYMER PLASTIC ANKLE HOLSTER for SW J FRAME REVOLVER 357 640 638
$24.95
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Barsony OWB Belt Loop Gun Holster for 22 38 357 41 44 SmithWesson 6 Revolvers
Barsony OWB Belt Loop Gun Holster for 22 38 357 41 44 SmithWesson 6 Revolvers
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Custom Mahogany RH Lil Tuleta Holster Fits Smith  Wesson J Frame
Custom Mahogany RH Lil Tuleta Holster Fits Smith Wesson J Frame
$55.00
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QUEST 49002BLK 2 INCH BARREL REVOLVER HOLSTER RUGER LCPSP101 SMALL J FRAME
QUEST 49002BLK 2 INCH BARREL REVOLVER HOLSTER RUGER LCPSP101 SMALL J FRAME
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Bed  Couch Gun Holster 380 9mm 40 45Judge J Frame Revolvers 357  44 Mag
Bed Couch Gun Holster 380 9mm 40 45Judge J Frame Revolvers 357 44 Mag
$15.99
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J Frame Left hand IWB Dual Snaps Holster
J Frame Left hand IWB Dual Snaps Holster
$55.00
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Faux Gator with red trim leather Gun Sleeve for S  W J Frame
Faux Gator with red trim leather Gun Sleeve for S W J Frame
$45.50
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Safariland Inside the Waistband Holster Smith  Wesson SW J Frame 18 01 61 New
Safariland Inside the Waistband Holster Smith Wesson SW J Frame 18 01 61 New
$43.99
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Blackhawk Serpa CQC Belt  Paddle Holster Right Hand Black
Blackhawk Serpa CQC Belt Paddle Holster Right Hand Black
$45.00
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Blackhawk Serpa CQC Belt  Paddle Holster Left Hand Black
Blackhawk Serpa CQC Belt Paddle Holster Left Hand Black
$45.00
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Barsony Gun Concealment Horizontal Shoulder Holster for SmithWesson 2 Revolver
Barsony Gun Concealment Horizontal Shoulder Holster for SmithWesson 2 Revolver
$32.99
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Blade Tech Looper RH IWB Belt holster for SW J frame Retail 75+
Blade Tech Looper RH IWB Belt holster for SW J frame Retail 75+
$25.00
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