CAVEAT: THIS BLOG CONTAINS (albeit often very childish) ADULT-CONTENT. DISCLAIMER: Entries at this blog are akin to good old-fashioned campfire chats; I offer no opinion on what you should or should not purchase, or what you should be using or doing. What does or does not work for me could be long country-miles away from your tastes and your needs. All products, places, and / or whatnots that I review for this blog are purchased at retail price by me. I do not accept payment, gifts, discounts, freebies, products on loan, demon alcohol, drugs, plea-bargains, probation, parole, Presidential Pardons, or sexual favors for doing any review. TRACKING COOKIES: Google et al sticks tracking cookies on everybody. If you are online, you are being spied on; 'nuff said. You may be able to minimize your online footprints by using Tor and Duck Duck Go. Vive la liberté! Vive all y'all! Ante omnia armari. To each of you, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Smith & Wesson Model 640-1 .357 Magnum Pre-Lock


My guess is that the lightly used revolver in the above photo dates back to circa 2000 – 2002, as evidenced by the etched serial number on the frame just below the cylinder window, a location S&W does not commonly use (page 173, 3rd edition, Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson).  I purchased this revolver at a local gun store in mid 2013 during a weak moment.  After anguishing for many years whether to add this model to my small cache of S&W Centennial Revolvers, I finally succumbed.  The price of the used pre-internal-lock revolvers had soared and their market availability had dropped over the years since S&W started making revolvers exclusively with the locks; this revolver was over a couple of hundred dollars less than any price I had seen for a pre-lock 640-1 in a good long time.




Some snub J-Frame holsters are fine for use with the 640-1 while others do not fit well.  Compared to the .38 Special and 9mm snub-nosed J-Frame revolvers, the 640-1 cylinder and window is a bit longer and the barrel is a bit longer and thicker.  Most grips from any round butt J-Frame should fit the 640-1.   I tried smaller boot grips on the 640-1 for only one shooting session.  Mega ouch.  My hands much prefer the larger grips when using magnum loads.  While a J-Frame snub with large grips (yes, I am aware that what most of us call “grips” are correctly called “stocks”) can be pocket carried, it is barely at my limit of being practical. Over the past several months I found that an inside the waistband holster at the small of the back, or just behind either hip, to be more realistic, and quite comfortable, even when changing a tire on a cold snowy night (which included my wiggling under the van, on my back, to place a bottle jack under the axle).  The large grips do make the 640-1 uncomfortable for me to sit with when I carry in the appendix position, although my other J-Frames with boot grips are okay (.38 Special Model 442, 9mm Model 940, and .38 Special Model 640 no dash).  A custom designed holster may provide a solution that allows me to carry the S&W Centennial Models, adorned with large, hand-filling grips, in the appendix position.  Time and experimentation will tell.

The 640-1 weighs in maybe an ounce or two less than does my Ruger SP101, which hardly makes it an airweight.   Perhaps the slightly lower weight is significant; in my hand the S&W does seem a bit flippier with magnum loads than does the Ruger, but that could just be a subconscious bias; the Ruger and I go back many years and several thousand rounds of practice.  Aside from .38 Special loads, the SP101 and the 640-1 are at their most manageable (and most pleasant) for me to shoot with the 110 grain .357 Magnum Winchester semi-jacketed hollowpoint load.  The once famous full power Remington 125 grain scalloped semi-jacketed hollowpoint load, although loud, flashy, and punishing, is manageable and accurate.  With either revolver, my respective degrees of pain and flinch are off the charts when used with the magnum loads ranging from 158 grain through 180 grain; I’ll need more dedication and practice to become proficient with them.  However, heavy slugs chased by heavy charges from small concealed-carry revolvers will not be a priority for me unless we relocate to an area where savage wild hogs compete with the criminals for rule of the neighborhood streets. 

Finally, I cannot speak with authority about the merit(s) (or lack thereof) of the internal lock that S&W put into their line of revolvers.  Simply, I CHOOSE to not purchase one, ever, at any price.  If you prefer that your S&W revolver have an internal lock, your choice is your business and whatever is your business is forever cool with me.  Choice is a good thing. 


Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Remington R-51; finally, a new pistol worth me getting excited over


I am a pro-choice kind of guy.   The guns that we choose should suit our individual tastes; nobody should have to tote a piece that is just “good enough.” Even if I think your gun is an ugly chunk, it is not my business to tell you what to buy for hunting, recreation, or protection.  What gives me a thrill may do nothing for you.   Nobody is forcing you to follow my lead and I should not need to follow yours.

When the Kimber Solo first hit the online-review-pages I was infatuated at first glance with its looks but my lust fell flat when I found it lacked a couple of items that I felt would have made it perfect.  For me, it would have been a much better design if it had a hidden/internal hammer instead of a striker, and if it had a grip safety.  Since it had neither of these features, I chose to not add the pretty but pricey little 9mm to my cache. 

Recently The Firearm Blog ran this piece on the soon to be released new Remington R-51 single stack.  It is a slick 9mm redesign of Remington's old Pedersen Model 51; it has both the grip safety and the internal hammer.  My quest for a “just right for me” carry piece may be over; this pistol may just be what I want.  The size looks right, the features are right, the caliber is right, and it has the looks that I want at a price I can easily afford. 

Choice it a good thing.