I’ve been trying to figure out what gun I want to carry as a backup. I first considered getting another Ruger LCP, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted a wheelgun in .38 Spl.
Part of the reason was that .38 Spl. is a better stopping round than the .380 ACP, especially when loaded with Hornady Critical Defense, but the main reason was that I haven’t ever owned a .38. In fact,my only revolver is a Vaquero in .45 Colt, which happened to be my first handgun.
The next step was determining which five-shot .38 best would serve my purpose, as there are numerous gunmakers producing .38s. I knew I wanted to be able to use +P ammunition, I knew I wanted a metal gun and I knew I wanted one from a major manufacturer. This reduced my choices a little, but not much. In the end, I went with a Smith & Wesson Airweight with a matte silver finish.
S&W’s designation for this little gun is the 637, and it comes with a synthetic rubber grip and fixed sights, while weighing a mere 15 ounces. It also comes with a hammer, which not every shooter wants on a carry gun. Now I know that I will probably never use the gun in single-action mode in either a situation or training. However, it’s the "probably" that made me go with the hammer version of this gun. If I ever come across a situation where the hammer would be useful, then I want it.
I have already attached a LaserLyte CK-SWAT laser, sighted it in for 15 yards and run the gun through some of its paces. So far accuracy has been excellent, but I haven’t stepped back from self-defense ranges with it yet. As far as carrying it, I’m bouncing between a Galco ankle holster, when carried as a backup, and a Tuff Products Pocket-Roo for quick errands. However, I recently trusted it as my primary for a trip to the hardware store because I have already determined it to be reliable and accurate enough to trust with my life. I mean hey, it’s a Smith.
Do you carry a backup? And if so, what do you carry?