Miculek’s preferred J-Frame is the hammerless, double-action-only Model 642, with a stainless cylinder and barrel, and an Airweight aluminum frame. “Mine is stock,” he said. “It came with a good trigger. I only had it Mag-Na-Ported to reduce muzzle jump and changed the grips.”
“The barrel on my 642 is only 1.88 inches long, and that doesn’t let much velocity build up,” Miculek said. “So, you want to use ammo designed to expand at that velocity. I load mine with 135-grain Hornady Critical Duty +P .38 Special rounds.”
Miculek’s Model 642 is fitted with Crimson Trace Lasergrips. “I like to practice hip shooting, some from the retention position, some Bill Jordan style,” he said. “When you can’t see the sights, the Lasergrips are so effective, it’s almost like cheating.”
The world champion can likely solve five problems with five shots. The rest of us aren’t him. “Spare ammunition is always a good idea,” he said. “Personally, I decide on flat speed strips or faster but bulkier speedloaders depending on what I’m wearing.”
Miculek appreciates that a revolver is more forgiving of lack of routine maintenance than a semi-automatic pistol, but he still makes sure his safety equipment is clean. “When I see lint building up from pocket carry, I’ll run it through an ultrasonic cleaner and use an air hose to blow out any debris, and then lube it with a light CLP,” he said. “The lighter oil doesn’t seem to attract as much debris as heavy oil. And of course, I change out the carry ammo at least twice a year.”
“Practice shooting your revolver as often as you can,” Miculek said. “The small guns in particular are hard to shoot when you’re really amped up. I see the short-barreled, small-framed revolver as a close-range gun, so most of my practice is at closer ranges.”
Even in your pocket, a holster keeps the gun oriented in the same position for fast, sure access. You should never have anything in your dedicated gun-carrying pocket but the gun and its pocket holster. “I’ve been through a lot of pocket holsters, and the one I use today is from Safariland,” he said. “The pocket gun should always be carried in a pocket holster.”
“I do a lot of shooting with semi-auto pistols today, in demonstrations and competition,” Miculek said. “I still love revolvers, though, and I have to say that I think the double-action revolver is the best choice for new shooters. There is a lot to remember about handling a semi-automatic, particularly under pressure. The simplicity of the double-action revolver is always a great asset with new shooters. It has been a long time since I was a new shooter, but I still appreciate the simplicity of the hammerless double-action J-Frame, and that’s one reason I still carry one so often.”
Jerry Miculek is one of the all-time great shooting stars. Widely considered the best double-action revolver shooter ever—and certainly the best of our time—he has held countless world championships in all of the action shooting sports with his Smith & Wesson revolvers. Who better to ask about carrying that type of handgun for self-defense?
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Nowadays, Miculek alternates between the subcompact S&W Shield semi-automatic pistol and the defining snub-nose revolver, the S&W J-Frame, for personal carry. He likes the comfortable flatness of the Shield inside his waistband in a Comp-Tac holster but will often have the five-shot .38 Special revolver in his front pants pocket on his strong side. Here are his top tips for carrying a wheelgun.
For more about Jerry Miculek, visit miculek.com.
This article was originally published in “The Complete Book of Revolvers” 2017 #199. To order a copy, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
17-year-old Kimber Wood used her father's firearm to defend herself against a home intruder...
by Personal Defense World / Jul 20, 2017