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Old 07-22-2020, 10:15 AM
Collin642 Collin642 is offline
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Default J frame as LE backup

I'm just curious. I've carried a 642 as my bug since 2006. How many other officers on here carry a j frame as their bug?
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:52 AM
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I’m not LEO but, I worked at several gun shops over the years and knew plenty of LEO’s that carried J-Frame backups. Also Retired Officer’s and Sheriff’s that carry J-Frames as EDC. I read enough books by Evan Marshall, Jim Cirillo and Massad Ayoob ,to name a few, to have learned why it is a good idea to carry a backup. I normally carry Two J-Frames but, years back going through a few semi autos I always had a 442 in my pocket. When your behind a gun counter and questionable looking people come in, it was comforting to casually put my hand in my pocket.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:10 AM
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I'm retired but during my uniform years I carried the J framed S&W 940 in a ballistic vest strap holster under my non-dominant arm. Worked very well for me. I still have that little gun.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:28 AM
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I carried a blued 49 from 1975 until 1995. In 1995 I picked up a 649 and carried it until retirement. It's usually with me now almost everyday 15 years later.
I usually carried it in an ankle rig as my 2nd. It was always with me off duty.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:40 AM
18robert 18robert is offline
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back in the 70's, as a deputy in bullhead city,az. carried a charter .44 spec. in my boot and a smith model 66 on my belt.did the same in lake havasu when we carried colt ,1911's in .45 on out belt. with a female cheif, she was kick *** good..............
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:41 AM
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carried my 5 shot chief special in a Bianchi shoulder holster under the jacket in the winter and under the shirt in the summer and used a Bianchi thumb break belt holster for off duty
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:55 AM
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I am retired now, but when working in the field I carried a Model 342ti in an ankle holster. Great carry gun. Pure agony to qualify with as we used +P .38 ammo.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:58 AM
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I have carried a J-frame almost every day of my adult life since 1980.

There is one in a Galco ankle glove right now

It started with a 38 Special Model 60 but changed to a Chiefs Special Target in 1986 when Ashland released them.




When the J-Magnum was introduced in 1996 I switched back to a Model 60 to get the 357 Magnum.



Today, as most days in recent years, it is a Model 340.

I have been waiting for Smith & Wesson to release a J-Magnum Chiefs Special Target but I stopped holding my breath

Over all that time, I did carry a Colt agent for a very short time and even a Colt LW Double Eagle Commander. There have been a couple of 940s and 640s as well, but they were mostly pocket carried





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Old 07-22-2020, 12:32 PM
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I carried a Model 60 as a BUG and also a Walther PP from time to time.
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Old 07-22-2020, 12:33 PM
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I carried a J frame as backup from 1983 to 1995 or 1996 when I made a Glock 26 my backup gun (on ankle).

Now I carry a J frame as my walking around gun from home.
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Old 07-22-2020, 02:37 PM
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I started out carrying a 2in model 64 in an ankle holster, great gun but it got to be too heavy every day. Found a model 49 and thought I had found the holy grail and then Smith came out with the 649. I Carried that 649 as one of my approved backup weapons until I retired. After retiring I sold that 649 as I normally carry a 1911, but now like many, I regret selling it.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:26 PM
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My 642-1 was my brother's BUG from 2008 up until he retired in 2014.
He gave it to me after retiring and replaced it with a new one.

I have no idea what his BUG gun was prior to this one.
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:31 PM
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I have carried a j frame on my ankle my whole career.First a model 38 until my daughter wanted it.Then a 638 I have worn out two ankle holsters over time.I have also been known to carry a three inch model 37 in my offside pocket in a Mika pocket holster.
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:45 PM
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Never carried one as a bug in summer but in cold weather I often carried one in my left hand jacket pocket, I am a lefty so that I could put my hand on it in my pocket and never reveal that I had a weapon on the subject. i often carry one now retired around the place for short walks and occasionally when running to town. M&P 340.
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:11 PM
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442 pro series loaded with Gold Dot 135gr short barrel as my BUG
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:32 PM
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I carried a 442 for a few years and switched to a Kahr PM9 around 1999. Last year I 'retired' the Kahr and replaced it with an M&P Shield in 9mm. I'm debating putting the Kahr back on duty, as it's a little smaller than the Shield.
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:40 PM
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I carried a model 60 as a BUG for the last 20 years I worked. When I was on the street it rode in an ankle holster when I was off duty I had two or three holsters that fit on my belt that it lived in. Now I am retired and a 3"model 36 gets the nod.
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:46 PM
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I have carried, and still do, a j frame as a bug, off-duty, and as primary during undercover ops.
J frame as LE backup-04fc24d7-b3bc-4a33-b77d-c927e6b2c1dd-jpg

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Old 07-22-2020, 08:22 PM
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My 642 rode in a vest holster or ankle glove from about 2000 until my retirement in 2017. At this moment it sits within arms reach.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:28 PM
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When I was in LE, we were issued a 4” K frame, either a Model 19 or Model 10. I also carried a Model 3913 under my shirt in a holster attached to the straps of my vest. It helped me get home on three occassions.

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Old 07-22-2020, 08:41 PM
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Default I just don't get the J frame

I too am not a LEO but I bought this model 37 because (a) I didn't have one, (b) I got a pretty good deal on it and (c), it's never been fired.

That being said, I'm probably going to sell it because of the blasted grips. It's like it was designed for a 5 year old. If I could discover some type of over sized grips, I might feel differently but as is ..... Don't like it at all.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:55 PM
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I too am not a LEO but I bought this model 37 because (a) I didn't have one, (b) I got a pretty good deal on it and (c), it's never been fired.

That being said, I'm probably going to sell it because of the blasted grips. It's like it was designed for a 5 year old. If I could discover some type of over sized grips, I might feel differently but as is ..... Don't like it at all.
There are plenty of aftermarket grips on the market. Some will fill the hand better, but still be concealable. Some are larger and are better for shooting. Chances are, if you look around you'll probably find something that suits you.

At the same time, J-frames, especially the airweights, are not for everybody. J-frames are meant to be concealed carry guns that can be slipped into a pocket, worn on the ankle, or disappear under an untucked shirt in a belt holster. That concealability comes at a price, in that they're not as shootable as larger guns. You just have to decide if the trade-off is worth it to you.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:00 PM
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Been carrying my M49 since the mid-70's as backup, off-duty, and now in retirement. It's old, beat-up, and shows its age.... much like me!!
I've put literally 10's of thousands of wadcutters through it, and it is still tight and shoots where it's pointed.

These guns are usually found in pockets, on ankles, on vests; places not know for "cleanliness". Thus, I trust their reliability over any small auto.
A J-frame is never a bad choice.

Stay safe.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:02 PM
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Not LE, so apologies if I'm posting out of line. But I routinely carry a 642-1 as a BUG to my Beretta PX4 Compact. I use a Wilderness Tactical Renegade ankle holster. It's mostly carried to give me an easier to access gun while driving, when my seat and seat belt may make it difficult to get to my PX4 on my hip. Been carrying this way about a year or so, even when hiking (ankle gun really needs a good cleaning after an hour or so of hiking...).

If it matters, I have had a little bit of LE training, and have had instruction from cops and former cops. Not to mention reading the works of people that haywood mentioned. While definitely not the same as police work, I've also done a lot of security work, though was never allowed to carry a BUG on the job.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:03 PM
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Retired LE. Bobbed hammer, nickel plated Chiefs Special. Left rear hip pocket of uniform pants, or in winter time, carry in Alessie shoulder holster under jacket.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:10 PM
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Default not LEO

The LEO that I asked about it told me he, and most of the guys he knows,
prefers the 442 because the 642 being shiny could be problematic.

I am not LEO, so I prefer the 642-1 shown below with my little
Chic Gaylord speed scabbard.
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:37 PM
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When I started on the job I bought a used Model 36 as back up / off duty gun, loaded with .38 FBI load. I later replaced it with a 640ND, followed by a 442-1, and then a 340 M&P. The 340 is still my current back up, loaded with 135gr Gold Dot. After over 23 years the J frame is still my idea of a ideal back up gun.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:17 PM
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I've known a few guys who carried various J frames as BUGs. I did for the first few years, then switched to a Glock 26 for magazine compatibility. I later traded that for a G33 when compatibility became a non-issue. I worked alone in rural areas and carried 4 spare mags when I carried a 1911, and 3 when I carried a G21, plus a spare for my BUG. I worked with a lateral from LASO who had a bugout bag with similar stuff for the same reasons, so I did not feel too paranoid.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:24 AM
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Long retired now but I carried a model 60 backup my whole career.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougaz View Post
I too am not a LEO but I bought this model 37 because (a) I didn't have one, (b) I got a pretty good deal on it and (c), it's never been fired.

That being said, I'm probably going to sell it because of the blasted grips. It's like it was designed for a 5 year old. If I could discover some type of over sized grips, I might feel differently but as is ..... Don't like it at all.
DON’T Sell IT !!!!! Get a Pachmayr Compact Grip. It fills your hand and will still fit some pockets.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:30 AM
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I’ve been carrying a J Frame in one roll or another since my 1968 rookie year and my EDC is the 340PD.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:51 AM
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I’m not LEO but, I worked at several gun shops over the years and knew plenty of LEO’s that carried J-Frame backups. Also Retired Officer’s and Sheriff’s that carry J-Frames as EDC. I read enough books by Evan Marshall, Jim Cirillo and Massad Ayoob ,to name a few, to have learned why it is a good idea to carry a backup. I normally carry Two J-Frames but, years back going through a few semi autos I always had a 442 in my pocket. When your behind a gun counter and questionable looking people come in, it was comforting to casually put my hand in my pocket.
One of the older detectives who helped me get going in plain clothes work always carried a 2" Model 36 in his jacket pocket. When approaching people or knocking on doors he always had his hand in his pocket and that little .38 Special was pointing right at the object of his attention.

When entering the courthouse we had to lock up our handguns in a bank of lock boxes in the lobby area monitored by a deputy sheriff. The old boy made a show of locking up his holstered Model 19, then proceeded on with the little Chief Special in his pocket.

Knew an old sheriff who kept a Chief Special in a Velcro rig inside the crown of his Stetson hat. That did not strike me as being very comfortable.

I tried a couple of ankle holsters but found those to be uncomfortable and a little awkward. Used a deep-riding IWB belt-clip holster in my right groin area for a long time. With western boots I found that I could carry two Chief Specials, one in each boot in clip-holsters attached at the top of the boot shaft (but this makes it very difficult to run if you have to). In my later working years I wore vests regularly and carried a Model 36 or Model 37 in a vest pocket (which takes some counter-weight at the off-side to keep the vest straight on the body).
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:59 AM
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Knew an old sheriff who kept a Chief Special in a Velcro rig inside the crown of his Stetson hat. That did not strike me as being very comfortable.
Having had a Resistol blow off my head and down the highway a few times in high winds, that doesn't sound like the best idea...
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:09 PM
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I used to carry a 642 in a holster secured by my vest straps. With a reload speed strip on the other side in a pouch.

I always felt a wheelgun will usually work if dirty or somewhat neglected, more so than a semi-auto if not properly maintained (lint, lack of lube, sweat, etc.).

I was never a fan of ankle carry on duty (nor allowed by my Dept.). And a buddy had his fallout during a foot pursuit.
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:22 PM
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I have been on the job since 1990. In 1997 I bought a 640-1 and it became my everyday secondary weapon. The 23 year old 640-1 still goes with me to work everyday.

The "kids" I hire and work with do not seem to appreciate a J frame, but I have exposed a few of them to the world of service revolvers while on the range and they have enjoyed the experience. For a couple of them my revolvers were the first ones they had ever shot.
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
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I used to carry a 642 in a holster secured by my vest straps. With a reload speed strip on the other side in a pouch.

I always felt a wheelgun will usually work if dirty or somewhat neglected, more so than a semi-auto if not properly maintained (lint, lack of lube, sweat, etc.).

I was never a fan of ankle carry on duty (nor allowed by my Dept.). And a buddy had his fallout during a foot pursuit.
My J frame popped out of my ankle holster wrestling a suspect yrs ago & was pocket carried after that.
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:07 PM
JOliver JOliver is offline
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J Mag 60-9 on my ankle
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  #38  
Old 07-23-2020, 11:28 PM
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My Dad invested in my future by giving me a 28-2 “Highway Patrolman” when I returned home after my Army service. I practiced with that revolver every chance I got while I attended college. (Shot “Master” with the 28-2 they issued me in the Academy.)

While I was in college, I bought a new 36 “Chief’s Special” and it became my companion. When I entered civilian LE, I carried that 36 in an ankle holster (even though it wasn’t authorized by the department... “better to be tried by twelve than carried by six” is what they taught us in the MP’s.) When Calibre Press introduced the vest holster I started using that instead of the ankle holster.

First time I saw a 649 in a gun shop I thought S&W must have been thinking of me when they created it so I bought it on the spot.

A few years later the department went to 9mm so I bought a 940 and carried it for a few years.

I’m retired now and I don’t go anywhere without my 442. J Frame S&W is the handiest revolver out there and I still have mine.

Last edited by S-W4EVER; 07-25-2020 at 03:55 AM.
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  #39  
Old 07-24-2020, 06:08 AM
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I've carried one or another J frame as a BUG since 1970. Since 1998 to today, the Jack Weigand custom 642 in my avatar has either been backup or primary with a Magnport 342 as BUG. I own a bunch of J frames in calibers from 22 to 357 magnum. An earlier poster is right. They're not for every one but they can be incredible shooters if you practice regularly.
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:54 AM
white cloud white cloud is offline
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This has been an interesting thread for me. I am not LEO but appreciate the experience and wisdom. My 649 is in my pocket as I type this.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:51 AM
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Default Started in LE in 1976 and served..........

....... with three different departments ( and a couple SOs unpaid while took 2 yrs out to finish degree ) and retired in 2017. During those years was never without a backup.

I was guilty of trying a few different platforms and brands in the eternal quest for the perfect secondary weapon ( ran into a lot of non trustworthy sm semis) but kept coming back to the J frame Smith. Always steel because I shoot J frames a lot.

Tried many carry methods over the years but primarily pocket. Loved winter because it rode in my jacket pocket on the advice of an older Officer. I am positive that lots of folks I met on traffic stops thought I was pretty careless for having my gun hand in my pocket, little did they know.

The award for the longest tenure, going on 25 years, goes to an early 649 .38 Special that has been enhanced by Cylinder & Slide.

J frame, never leave home with out one.
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  #42  
Old 07-24-2020, 09:16 AM
KarmannGhia KarmannGhia is offline
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I've been in uniform patrol for over ten years now. I carried my 642 for about six or seven years as my BUG in my uniform left front pants pocket (weak hand side). Never had issues with qualifing with it or carring it on and off duty. My Ruger LCP has replaced it for the last three years due to its flat profile. I still love and shoot revolvers, but the fatter I get, the flatter I like my carry guns. Old age sucks.
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  #43  
Old 07-24-2020, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarmannGhia View Post
I've been in uniform patrol for over ten years now. I carried my 642 for about six or seven years as my BUG in my uniform left front pants pocket (weak hand side). Never had issues with qualifing with it or carring it on and off duty. My Ruger LCP has replaced it for the last three years due to its flat profile. I still love and shoot revolvers, but the fatter I get, the flatter I like my carry guns. Old age sucks.
That's funny, unfortunately you ain't seen nothing yet !!!!
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Old 07-24-2020, 01:00 PM
snowman.45 snowman.45 is offline
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Almost always carried a M60 for back-up. Also for off-duty for many years.
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:25 PM
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I just recently retired after 27 years on the job.

I started my career as a NYC Transit Cop which was merged along with the NYC Housing Police into the NYPD In 1995 (Better known as the Hostile Takeover).

Not being held to the NYPD Stainless DAO Revolver standard which started in 1987 my first off duty/backup was A really nice old flat Latch model 36 that I found in a LGS. A few years later I bought a brand new 1994 “Fourth Series” Colt DS which I carried for about five years until it was replaced by my no dash 640 that I still have and carry.

I always felt it was the best of both worlds having a semi auto service weapon and a revolver as a backup.

Unfortunately off duty revolvers have not been an option in the NYPD since 1997.

Stay safe!
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Last edited by BigBoku; 07-25-2020 at 03:31 PM.
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