Thursday, February 11, 2010



This gun is the gun referred to in a response to my last post MORE CONCEALED CARRY REVOLVERS - SNUBNOSE .44'S by a great blogger named BLACK INK who has a blog called STEALTH where in the below post he (I presume) deals with

BLACK INK is a far more erudite and cutting edge writer than I. We talk about different types of topics on our blogs. His is in my blogroll, because I like to read him regularly.

BLACK INK indicates he owns and is extremely satisfied with the above-pictured pistol. He shows excellent taste in a fine self defense pistol. As an aside, I don't know if BLACK INK is an outdoorsman, but this is also the ideal low profile outdoor activity pistol for snake and critter protection. A couple of rounds of snake shot followed by some solid nose bullets takes care of everything from snakes to small gators or wild hogs.

The 340PD is an amazing weapon. It weighs in at 12 oz empty, and is a five shooter J frame of the Centennial design. Why is this weapon amazing? Well, there are several reasons.

HAMMERLESS DESIGN: This hammerless design (actually it has an internal hammer) is the gold standard for a concealment handgun design. It can be carried and more importantly, drawn from a coat or pant pocket if the need arises, and likewise doesn't snag or print as much as a external hammer gun does for belt or IWB carry. It is ideal for winter carry in a jacket pocket or pants pocket, and that's recommended with a nice pocket holster.

RELIABLE: Smith has been making the firing mechanism of this particular gun for about a half century. This DAO action has stood the test of time.

LIGHT WEIGHT: Obviously, it's amazing. You ARE NOT going to find a more RELIABLE GUN that weighs less than this gun.

SAFETY: The hammerless design and the DAO trigger combine to make a very safe gun and one that you feel comfortable carrying around your loved ones with a high safety factor. Snubnoses with external hammers can accidental discharge upon careless reholstering, particularly in IWB holsters. Or can accidentally discharge when a hammer catches on a pocket. This revolver has no external hammer.

AESTETICS: I like the barrel design, it's flattened and has a nice front sight, particularly the hi-vis models. I question the need for such a tall front sight, absent an actual rear sight of some sort (instead of a groove) and one of the few suggestions I might make for change would be a nice fixed rear sight like the one pictured on the Night Guard series made by Cylinder and Slide. But as it is, it's fine system even with the minimalist rear sight that it has

I would also go with a bit longer of a grip, just enough to provide a purchase for the three fingers of my shooting grip handhold. The model of this gun that I shot was clad in the nice rubber boot grip variety, which left the bottom inch or so of my main shooting hand little finger dangling with no support. Where concealability is paramount, use of these grips is great and recommended. Remember, A GUN is better than NO GUn.

But given my druthers, I'd like just a shade longer grip. No matter there. That's just personal preferance. This gun, and the hammerless ones like it in .38 Special +P, according to a blog post I saw somewhere, either are the biggest or among the biggest selling guns of all time. Reliable. Accurate (at the range intended). Safe. Easy to master. Five almost 100% shots.

As any reader of this blog knows, I'm a big snubnose fan. I own several. This is one I'd like to own, and although it's not on the buy/want list at the present time, if a deal presented itself on one, well, one never knows what might happen when a deal occurs.

I've had a hankering for a gun similar to this, except made out of all steel. The Model 40, which has a grip safety and is chambered for .38 Special +P. I generally only carry and shoot .38 Special +P in revolvers rated for .357 Magnum as far as any defensive carry goes. My LE days showed me in several shoots I saw that the .357 Magnum is a penetrating son of a gun. The .38 Special +P, from all the studies I read back in the day, was doing better at manstopping than all but the .45 ACP caliber. The .38 Special +P had the advantage of some limited increased barricade penetration ability over the .45 Auto, as well as a flatter trajectory over the .45 ACP for longer range shooting.

So to me, if I'm gonna carry a revolver rated at .357 Magnum, I'll likely be carrying 38 Special +P in it. I tend to want a bit heavier revolver if I am going to be shooting heavy .38 Special +P or .357 Magnum ammo. I realize the concept of owning self defense handgun that might be a handful due to it's light weight but carried because it is the largest handgun that will be concealable in hot climes like Texas.

So the more I look at this 340PD, the more I like it. I'm going to have to shoot the one my "friend's wife" owns. He sure seemed to like shooting it a lot for a gun that was his wife's.

And Smith and Wesson began making the "Safety Hammerless" design way back in the 1890's. That's over a hundred years of making hammerless pocket pistols. My father owned a specimen of one of these pistols made in 1893, chambered in .38 caliber (not .38 special). A friend of his loaded him some JHP loads to carry, loaded at standard pressure and the like, and he carried that as his carry weapon for many years. Old schooling it with a top-break Safety Hammerless S&W that was made before my father's father was born.

Here's a review by the folks at the online magazine GUNBLAST about this basic gun, although the model number is different.

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