A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Tale of Two Bodyguards

When I titled this article a Tale of Two Bodyguards, I actually ignored two Bodyguards in my possession. I own a Smith & Wesson Model 49, Model 649, and now, two S&W Airweight Model 38's. This article is about the Airweights. The Smith & Wesson Model 38 is a superb carry gun. In my opinion, it is one of the best defensive carry guns, period.

My first Model 38 was a Michigan police supply gun, easily recognizable by the blued frame and stainless cylinder. It is not a pretty gun, it is entirely functional, with a custom grip given to me by a retired State Trooper. It has ridden in my pants pocket for several years.

There is a decided advantage to a J-frame in a pants pocket. You can have your hand on your weapon, in a firing grip, before your adversary even knows it is there. The snubby revolver will fire time and again with the muzzle pressed into a rib cage. If a fight goes to the ground (as most end up doing) this little lightweight power house is the gun to have.

The Model 38 has an aluminum frame, making it substantially lighter than it's steel framed brethren, the Model 49 and 649. The humpback configuration of the Bodyguard frame assists the revolver in staying positioned in a front pants pocket. The exposed nubbin of the hammer allows a single action shot if desired, while the concealed hammer prevents snagging on the draw.

Thus, when I found a pristine nickel Model 38 in a pawn shop, I jumped on it immediately. For $225, it was a steal. Along with the nickel finish, it has a smooth trigger face. Five years ago, there was a line drawn between pinned and unpinned revolvers among collectors. This revolver does not have a pinned barrel. Now, though it seems the dividing line is drawn between Smith & Wesson revolvers with and without locks. This revolver is a lock free dedicated carry gun. That it is a Model 38 is just gravy on the cake.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article- and congrats on the new acquisition. What a great deal!

You mentioned pocket carry with your j frame. Is this your primary, or does it serve as a back-up?


5:22 PM  
Blogger MauserMedic said...

I recall that nickel finishes were common in the blackpowder cartridge era due to the resistance to corrosion. I'm curious why the nickel plate in a later era? Is there a benefit to be gained in reduction of wear? I would think the aluminum frame wouldn't really need any additional protection. Regardless, it's a sharp looking little pistol. I'll have to keep my eyes open at the gunshows.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With several revolvers available, it's almost always my j frame that goes with me. OldeForce

1:30 AM  
Blogger Matt G said...

Nice pistols, and the nickle one was a steal.

But I'll take my cake with frosting rather than gravy, thankyee.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

But I'll take my cake with frosting rather than gravy, thankyee.

yeah, maybe gravy on cake is southern thing. I'll ask my mom. :)

9:09 PM  

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