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Thinking of carrying a BUG.

5141 Views 38 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Gunfan
I usually carry some type of 45ACP, but at times I'd like something smaller for concealment reasons or as a backup gun.

I'm thinking about a S&W 637, 642, or something along those lines. Something that is easy to conceal IWB without having to buy larger pants yet readily available when I might need it.

Any comments or suggestions?
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I would get the 642. You could carry it in your jacket pocket during the winter and without the hammer to get in the way you can fire it through the jacket while going for your primary.
Had you only said for BUG use, I would have said the J-frame would be fine. But since you also said it might be for times when you need something smaller as an ONLY gun, I hesitate to do so.
They are just so hard to shoot well.
And by "well", I don't mean standing and trying real hard to shoot your best group with. I've shot some pretty groups with them when trying hard, but that's different than your intended use. I mean putting rounds into a small area, as fast as you can, while shooting a gun with small sights, a tough trigger, that squirms in your hand at every shot. Oh yeah, you, and the target, may be moving, ducking, weaving, etc at the time.
While a J-frame beats everything from having nothing, to a sharp stick, to a .32 auto, I still want something easier to hit with.

While a LOT of people stroll around everyday with just a J-frame and are all happy, I'd really rather carry something easier to shoot.

I've carried several J-frame models over the years, settling on the 442 Airweight Centennial, but have gotten away from them after getting a Kahr 9mm a couple of years ago.
It has better sights, a better trigger, holds a couple more rounds, and mostly- I can shoot it a lot better than any J-frame I've had.

I've always felt OK carrying a J-frame as a BUG, but never felt very good about having ONLY a J-frame. And I think we need to look at it from that point of view- what if it IS the only gun you have, since that's basically how things must be if you need to need to use it.
I would feel a lot better carrying only the Kahr than only a J-frame, and all because of how much better I can shoot the Kahr.

If you get one, practice and train with it. They are the hardest guns to shoot well, but if needed- is the one we need to shoot very well.

Not that the small revolvers are worthless.
No way.
Their best feature to me is that they have a better shape for the pocket carry I usually use. The cylinder holds the pocket out a little so I can get my fingers around the grip easily.
The general shape of a Centennial slips out of spaces like pockets easier than a semi-auto too.

I still have my J-frames. I can't give them up that easily.
But I usually only carry one when carrying a third gun (and I usually carry a third gun as an "in case I need to loan my wife a gun" since the revolver is what she likes).

Now, why I like the 442 Airweight Centennial-

Airweight, because I think it's the best weight for me. It feels enough lighter than a steel frame that I can feel the difference in my pocket, but the recoil isn't near as bad as an Airlight or Scandium.

Centennial, because I see little chance of needing a single action shot. Also, on the Centennials, the frame comes up a little higher in the back to spread the recoil a tiny bit better.

If you get one, practice and train with it. They are the hardest guns to shoot well, and are used in the cases we need to shoot best.
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Barry good post. I carry a 1911 with 3 mags (one in and two on the belt) and never thought about carrying a bug until getting in a conversation with a buddy and we talked about if something did happen it would be good to have one if anything to give to a loved one to help. He carries a Kahr as well. My only problem is carrying a bug, I feel like a pack mule already, 1911, mags, phone, wallet, keys, knife, etc, if it keeps going I'm going to need suspenders to hold up my pants.
While I agree that Kahr has some nifty guns, I do have a problem with them being owned by Sun Myung Moon.
While I agree that Kahr has some nifty guns, I do have a problem with them being owned by Sun Myung Moon.
He has nothing to do with the Company. As I understand the company is owned by son and he isn't a member of that group.
Kahr is owned by Sung Myung Moon's son.
At least they were. Things change.
It's not always easy, but I try not to judge people by their relatives. This is fresh on my mind since I went to a Christmas party yesterday for my Mom's side of the family. I couldn't help but notice that some of the, um, "lesser" of my Mom's brothers and sisters had the most upstanding kids...and vice versa. Not that it may mean anything here, but it is fresh on my mind.
I personally like the Ruger SP101. It's really easy to conceal, and I've had one for about 12 years, with absolutely no problems.
An sp101 seems like it would be a little on the heavy side to be a bug up pistol.
I carry a 638 Airwieght as a sometimes bug sometimes primary (like when I work my shop every day). It's as small caliber wise as I am comfortable going. I finally replaced the original grips with a set of Altamontes that made a huge difference in shootability. They are a tad longer but the gun doesn't want to roll up in my hands with every +P round like it did with the originals. Have a belly bad/chest band, IWB and pocket holster for it and an Andrews shoulder rig on the way. One speed loader and two speed strips. They are versatile but they do take a lot of practice to shoot well. Most will benefit from aftermarket grips as well.

Still prefer my 1911's for carry but sometimes it fills the bill as a primary or sometimes a bug is a real comfort.
Okay, the scenario is slightly modified.

I have an opportunity to purchase either a S&W 637 or a Kahr CW9 for $325. I've actually shot both with equal accuracy at 15 yards and both could work for me.

In thinking about this, the primary purpose would be a BUG, but at times it would also be my primary weapon. I'm not paranoid, I live in a good community and live a simple life - seldom out after 11:00 PM. Geez, I sound quite boring, don't I.

Keep it simple folks, which would you choose and why?
I'd take the Kahr, for reasons I outlined earlier.
I can shoot a J-frame fairly well WHEN I can take my time and work at it, but if under pressure or just pushing speed a little, I can shoot my Kahr a lot better.
When I shoot one-handed or weak-handed the difference is a little bigger yet.

Additional advantages of the Kahr like holding more ammo, and quicker/easier reload are just added bonuses.
Since you own a Kahr (Model #?), do you feel the price is fair with the case, two magazines and the manual?
Since you own a Kahr (Model #?), do you feel the price is fair with the case, two magazines and the manual?
Yes, that sounds like a very good price to me.

I've had two Kahrs.
The current one is a PM9 Covert. I don't think they make the Coverts anymore, although the last I looked at their website they listed them in one place, but not in another.
One thing to consider when talking about a bug. If it's down to the bug things are probably a royal mess and closer than we'd like. If it's a contact shot the semi auto just might get pushed out of battery and not fire. As long as the revolver can have it's cylinder rotate it will work no matter haw hard I'm pushing it into something. I refer to my 638 as my "get the heck off me gun".

Not a deal breaker as the Kahr is a sweet gun but it's something I consider in a bug.
J Frame works well for a gun and some of the Airweights you dont know they are in your pocket but recoil is rough
Good thought, and it made me look at my Kahr.
It has a full length guide rod, so it's hard to push the slide back by pressing against something.
I think can still be done, but I'd have to push against something hard enough to resist the guide rod, but soft enough to "flow around" it to press against the slide front, and push it back enough to move the disconnector.
That's a lot to go wrong at once, but I suppose that if things are going to hell, they might all be going to hell.
Barry, why not just use the Auto Mag as my back up gun!!!!:dancingbananna::dancingbananna:If the bullet does not get you the flame and the shock wave will!!!:rofl:

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My vote would be a S&W 340 Airlight. I used to have a 442, sold it to buy a 340. The sights are much better, so are the grips, and also it can pack a .357 magnum punch, instead of only .38's. Also it is a full 3oz's lighter than my old 442. You forget the thing is there. I think it is the perfect light carry/BUG out there. The only problem is the premium price over an airweight. But to me it is worth every penny.
Barry, why not just use the Auto Mag as my back up gun!!!!:dancingbananna::dancingbananna:If the bullet does not get you the flame and the shock wave will!!!:rofl:
Sayyyyy, does anyone make a pocket holster for that?
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