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Old 11-04-2018, 10:31 AM
 
1,813 posts, read 4,607,794 times
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What are the differences between the S&W 640 & 49 revolvers? Will both stop a mountain lion in it's tracks? I'm looking for an easy to carry revolver when I'm hiking on my property. I have small hands and limited hand strength.
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:53 AM
 
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These short barreled lightweights were intended as easily concealed carry personal defense revolvers with a very limited effective range.

I've rarely seen a shooter at the range with one of these have accurate shot placement at distances over 12', maybe 15'.

If you haven't shot one of these smaller frame revolvers, I'd urge you to go to a shop that will allow you to demo one on a range. See for yourself if you can use it accurately in an ideal situation (the range) and consider the differences in your abilities when out hiking to hit a moving target.

While a .357 or .38+P load properly placed on a mountain lion will likely get it's attention, you will not necessarily "stop a mountain lion in it's tracks" in an attack. Consider, too, your reaction time to draw and accurately shoot a wild animal that comes out of concealment to attack you … do you really believe that you've got the reflexes and abilities to do so?

If you were to carry a wild animal defense weapon out on your hikes, I would suggest that you'll need something with a longer barrel for a better sight radius and more accurate shot placement. I'd be looking at least a 4", likely a 6" barrel length … since accuracy will be more important than concealment in your priorities. Again, I'd urge you to "test fire" such firearms on the range and see what you can handle with reasonable expectations of accurately getting a shot or two off under pressure. Don't be surprised if you cannot do so, even with appropriate firearms instruction/classes. It may take a lot of practice with a given firearm on the range and then out on your property to acquire and retain such skills … do you want to commit all the effort to such a venture?


PS: every time I've spotted a mountain lion while horseback riding over the last 5 decades in Colorado mountains, the cat was pretty discreet about staying concealed. Most of the time, I was alerted to the possibility of a predator by the behavior of my horse … and I've no doubt that I've probably missed spotting many more of the cats than I've ever seen while out on the trails. They didn't seem to want to have anything to do with human contact. I've never felt the need for a firearm in such situations, and yes … we do carry when out in the back country, but usually an old .30-.30 lever action rifle in the saddle scabbard. For the most part, it's been used on much smaller varmints … raccoons, skunks, badgers, and the bane of my sheep operation … coyotes.

Last edited by sunsprit; 11-04-2018 at 12:11 PM..
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Old 11-04-2018, 02:05 PM
 
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A .357 magnum coming out of a 2 inch barrel with 158 gr bullet still exceeds 1,100 fps. This is more than adequate to penetrate thin skin games like mountain lion. In fact, I’ve been told this is adequate for Black bears (not grizzlies). What sunsprit trying to ask are: 1) can you spot a mountain lion early enough & detect it is a threat to you to draw your weapon? 2). What distance can you hit your target? Mountain lions are ambush animal and is known to attack from behind. This very moment you’re aware of its presence maybe when you feel its teeth on your neck and its hot breath on your face.

That being said, I understand the desire for a “woods gun” for self defense. For that, I think a 640/ 642 is perfectly adequate as woods gun. You can even put in first round as “snake shot”, a most likely needs in the woods. Alternatively, a .40 S&W is a good choice if you prefer semiautomatic. A 155-165 gr .40S&W matche closely with the snub nose .357 magnum’s muzzle velocity ~1,100 fps from a Glock 27 (3.43 in barrel). A .40S&W is what Alaska State Troopers carry.
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Old 11-04-2018, 02:21 PM
 
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To answer your question on the difference between a 640 vs a 649. Both are J-frame stainless 5 shot .357 magnum revolver. A 640 is hammerless, double action only while the 649 has a shrouded hammer capable of single action. Although if you need to fire in a hurry you may not have time to depress the hammer but personally I still like the option for, say, if I can detect threat ahead of time and need to make an accurate shot (never mind my shaking hands and sweaty palms ).
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Old 11-04-2018, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Rathdrum, ID
4,163 posts, read 3,921,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Townandcountrygal View Post
I have small hands and limited hand strength.
A .357 Mag has a pretty wicked kick, (.38 not so much). I perceive that it just might be too much for you to handle. I second the recommendation that you rent one from a range and try it out before putting your money on the counter.

Cats usually don't want anything to do with people. If you ever encounter one, do NOT run away! Stand tall to make yourself as big as possible, spread out your arms wide, shout, then slowly back away while facing the cat the whole time. I would suggest that bear spray would be more effective if you ever get into a situation where defensive measures are required.
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,979 posts, read 14,681,847 times
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I love my used S&W 13 with a 3” barrel. It’s as accurate as all get out. Great size, it’s got a little weight. .38 is a cream puff to shoot. .357mag is okay for me, but it’s a felt pop, lol.

My wife’s 640 5 shot kicks WICKEDLY with .357 mag.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:41 PM
 
4,779 posts, read 8,421,360 times
Reputation: 3450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
I love my used S&W 13 with a 3” barrel. It’s as accurate as all get out. Great size, it’s got a little weight. .38 is a cream puff to shoot. .357mag is okay for me, but it’s a felt pop, lol.

My wife’s 640 5 shot kicks WICKEDLY with .357 mag.
Same here. I have a 2.5 inch model 19 from a retired undercover LEO. I think it’s a couple of oz heavier than model 13. It’s a keeper & a shooter.

But I shot a snub nosed SP 101 and it was not fun, not only it kicks but it was LOUD. I see flames comes out not just at the muzzle but also come out of cylinder gaps. Careful where you place your supporting hand! My ears still ring at the end of night.
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:19 AM
 
1,813 posts, read 4,607,794 times
Reputation: 1529
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
These short barreled lightweights were intended as easily concealed carry personal defense revolvers with a very limited effective range.

I've rarely seen a shooter at the range with one of these have accurate shot placement at distances over 12', maybe 15'.

If you haven't shot one of these smaller frame revolvers, I'd urge you to go to a shop that will allow you to demo one on a range. See for yourself if you can use it accurately in an ideal situation (the range) and consider the differences in your abilities when out hiking to hit a moving target.

While a .357 or .38+P load properly placed on a mountain lion will likely get it's attention, you will not necessarily "stop a mountain lion in it's tracks" in an attack. Consider, too, your reaction time to draw and accurately shoot a wild animal that comes out of concealment to attack you … do you really believe that you've got the reflexes and abilities to do so?

If you were to carry a wild animal defense weapon out on your hikes, I would suggest that you'll need something with a longer barrel for a better sight radius and more accurate shot placement. I'd be looking at least a 4", likely a 6" barrel length … since accuracy will be more important than concealment in your priorities. Again, I'd urge you to "test fire" such firearms on the range and see what you can handle with reasonable expectations of accurately getting a shot or two off under pressure. Don't be surprised if you cannot do so, even with appropriate firearms instruction/classes. It may take a lot of practice with a given firearm on the range and then out on your property to acquire and retain such skills … do you want to commit all the effort to such a venture?


PS: every time I've spotted a mountain lion while horseback riding over the last 5 decades in Colorado mountains, the cat was pretty discreet about staying concealed. Most of the time, I was alerted to the possibility of a predator by the behavior of my horse … and I've no doubt that I've probably missed spotting many more of the cats than I've ever seen while out on the trails. They didn't seem to want to have anything to do with human contact. I've never felt the need for a firearm in such situations, and yes … we do carry when out in the back country, but usually an old .30-.30 lever action rifle in the saddle scabbard. For the most part, it's been used on much smaller varmints … raccoons, skunks, badgers, and the bane of my sheep operation … coyotes.
Great response, thank you. What I'm hearing out here in my area is that these mountain lions are NOT backing off. While I've never seen on my land, it's still possible. No gun shops with shooting ranges in this area but will go chat with the local gun shop owner who knows me and see what he has to say, too. Hope I'm not looking at being house bound and having to buy a treadmill for me and the dog . Maybe it's time for this city gal to think again about moving back to civilization....
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:45 AM
 
1,813 posts, read 4,607,794 times
Reputation: 1529
Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
A .357 Mag has a pretty wicked kick, (.38 not so much). I perceive that it just might be too much for you to handle. I second the recommendation that you rent one from a range and try it out before putting your money on the counter.

Cats usually don't want anything to do with people. If you ever encounter one, do NOT run away! Stand tall to make yourself as big as possible, spread out your arms wide, shout, then slowly back away while facing the cat the whole time. I would suggest that bear spray would be more effective if you ever get into a situation where defensive measures are required.
Yes, will look into the bear spray, thanks. These cats are becoming more aggressive according to my hunting-guide neighbor and not backing off. I know not to run but make one's self to look large, back away, etc--is that possible while peeing in your pants?
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:49 AM
 
1,813 posts, read 4,607,794 times
Reputation: 1529
Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
I love my used S&W 13 with a 3” barrel. It’s as accurate as all get out. Great size, it’s got a little weight. .38 is a cream puff to shoot. .357mag is okay for me, but it’s a felt pop, lol.

My wife’s 640 5 shot kicks WICKEDLY with .357 mag.
S&W 13 with 3" barrel, eh? Another one for me to check out, thanks.
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