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Troutburger

LC9S vs 638 bodyguard air weight

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Alright TGO, 

I am weighing the pros & cons on a new carry piece. 

 

Top contenders are:

 

Smith and Wesson: 638 bodyguard air weight  6.31" $469 list

Ruger LC9S 6" $449 list

 

Thoughts?

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I carry a 638. I love the concept of a small single stack striker fired 9MM. My problem is that I just do not have confidence in the reliability of any of the small autos. I realize that some of them are 99% reliable but I am always afraid if I ever needed one, I would find myself with the 1% of the time that it did not work. If I ever need to use a gun, I will be so stressed out that I certainly will not want the extra stress of wondering if my gun might not work.I have a Ruger LCP that I carry when I have to have something truly concealable. So far it has been flawless. I still do not trust it nearly as much as the 638.

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I'd go with the LC9... more capacity, easier reloads, better sights, thinner, lighter trigger...    

 

Airweights are perfectly good guns, I just don't like them.  The few I've shot have been awful from a recoil, muzzle blast, and accuracy perspective.

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I've owned a S&W 638 and Ruger LC9  and currently own/carry a SA XDs9 so I'd consider the S&W Shield or SA XDs instead of the LC9s and a S&W 442 instead of the S&W 638 for purely personal reasons.

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The one that feels the best to ya is the one to have... I love my j frame smiths; but i carry a Sig 238... It feels right...

 

leroy

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I'd go with the S&W Shield more capacity, easier reloads, better sights, thinner, lighter trigger....

I fixed it for you!

If you are recoil sensitive at all I would stay clear of Airweights and LC9's. You pay a price for light and powerful.

Seriously, I love S&W revolvers but I do not necessarily love Airweights. A 640/36/60 or the like models that weigh 20oz shoot so much better. I have not shot a LC9 of any version so I can't say anything about them. I have heard they handle about the same as a Pf9 which is almost painful. My Shield however is Remarkably easy to shoot without costing more.


Something else, if you go the j frame route I would caution you that shrouded hammer revolvers have all the bad aspects of the hammer models and enclosed models without much to gain. Dirt, moisture, coins, and everything else finds its way into the funnel created by the shroud. My grandfather told me stories of cops with them that stood out in he rain at a crime scene in the 70's and didn't clean the inside of their Bodyguards. The following month they went to shoot them and they had seized up and didn't work until soaked in oil. It is also believed that a hard fall can be enough to close the shroud onto the hammer to where it will lock up. If you drop an enclosed hammer model like a 642 you will just dent it. If you drop a chief special like a 637 you will just nick or break off the hammer spur, but it will probably still work. You will never have a justifiable self defense situation to where you will be able to use a single action trigger and that is all an airweight is for is carry and self defense. Edited by Patton
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I fixed it for you!

If you are recoil sensitive at all I would stay clear of Airweights and LC9's. You pay a price for light and powerful.

Seriously, I love S&W revolvers but I do not necessarily love Airweights. A 640/36/60 or the like models that weigh 20oz shoot so much better. I have not shot a LC9 of any version so I can't say anything about them. I have heard they handle about the same as a Pf9 which is almost painful. My Shield however is Remarkably easy to shoot without costing more.

 

 

Got a Shield9 for the wife, it's a very good choice was well. 

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Something else, if you go the j frame route I would caution you that shrouded hammer revolvers have all the bad aspects of the hammer models and enclosed models without much to gain. Dirt, moisture, coins, and everything else finds its way into the funnel created by the shroud. My grandfather told me stories of cops with them that stood out in he rain at a crime scene in the 70's and didn't clean the inside of their Bodyguards. The following month they went to shoot them and they had seized up and didn't work until soaked in oil. It is also believed that a hard fall can be enough to close the shroud onto the hammer to where it will lock up. If you drop an enclosed hammer model like a 642 you will just dent it. If you drop a chief special like a 637 you will just nick or break off the hammer spur, but it will probably still work. You will never have a justifiable self defense situation to where you will be able to use a single action trigger and that is all an airweight is for is carry and self defense.

 

Jamming up from pocket lint etc is something I never considered. Good to know. Thanks for the advise!

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Jamming up from pocket lint etc is something I never considered. Good to know. Thanks for the advise!


The shroud is a funnel and a coin accidentally dropped into the wrong pocket is far more of a concern than lint.
To be honest it may not be any worse than some of the holes and crevices on an auto but the centennial models like the 642/442 do not have that issue.

You may want to read this from a couple of months ago:
http://www.tngunowners.com/forums/topic/75544-opinions-on-sw-airweights/

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I second what Patton said about the all-steel j-frames like the 640, and how much better they feel to shoot than the airweights.  I love my 640, but I had to part company with my 442.  It literally hurt the webbing of my hand to shoot it (I think it was the exposed backstrap more than anything).  You do have a bit more weight in the 640 and like models if you want to pocket-carry them, so there is that consideration too.  I personally chose to take my chances with the weight... Good luck on your choice!

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I have a 638 air weight, and a Shield in 9mm. You're welcome to shoot one or both if you want to try before you buy. Just let me know and I'll drop them by. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - [URL=http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1]now Free[/URL]
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I have a LC9, and had S&W Bodyguard .38 A buddy of mine had the 638, and I was able to shoot it on occasion. He sold it and got a SW Shield and I sold my Bodyguard. 

 

I prefer the LC9 to a revolver

 

1.) Capacity 7+1 rounds vs 5 Rounds

2.) Reloading the speed strip is roughly the size of a spare LC9 mag, but it is much easier to shove a 7 round mag in to the LC9 vs 2 rounds at a time with a "speed strip".

3.) Recoil, 9mm semi auto seemed less then a .38+p. But regardless they both suck. 

4.) Size the LC9 is thinner thus easier to put in your waistline. 

5.) Sights. XS big dots on the LC9 makes the gun much easier to shoot vs (as far as i know) no after market sights for 638 and only a front site for the Bodyguard .38

 

With all that said... Id rather have a Shield then the LC9

Edited by jmevis

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I've shot the shield and I've shot the lc9. I liked the shield too, but the striker fired lc9s has sparked my curiosity.

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The Bodyguard is very concealable.  Hitting the center of a target, however, is NOT easy.   It is not my favorite carry gun but it does get used some.  It is also not easy to field strip without tools which is important to me.  Glocks are king here, I suppose.

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The striker fired LC9s is a huge improvement over the original LC9. I own both and after carrying my LC9 for over a year, it's now sitting in the gun cabinet and the 9s goes with me daily. Love the new trigger in the LC9s. A few other often overlooked (in the ads) changes are the removal of the big red pop-up loaded chamber indicator and a minor redo of the manual safety. The LC9 safety always seemed stiff to me and not simmering I'd ever consider actually using because I didn't want to fiddle with it in a stressful situation. I never used it because I figured the LC9's trigger was enough to keep me from firing accidentally during unholstering. The LC9s safety is easier to move with the thumb and smoother. I still don't use it, but if I did, I'd feel better about it. Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 using Tapatalk 4 Edited by SamZzz

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I ended up getting an lc9s. Still sitting in the safe waiting on a range day. Other than the long trigger reset I really like it.

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