Smith & Wesson’s M&P 340 CT is a five-shot snub-nosed revolver. It is chambered in both .357 Magnum and .38 Special and has a scandium alloy frame, a Crimson Trace Lasergrip, XS Sights and an enclosed hammer. These very features are the top five reasons I elect to carry it virtually all the time. Allow me to expound on how they all come together to inform my thinking. And then see if you agree.
.357 Magnum and .38 Special
As you know, a .357 Magnum revolver can fire .38 Special rounds. That is a great feature, because I will actually practice with and carry .357 Magnum rounds in it. Firing this gun with .357 Magnums on board is akin to slamming your hand palm-down on a wooden table. It hurts. And sometimes the pain radiates through my arm. I do not share this to prove how tough I am or anything silly like that. But the .357 Magnum is a great self-defense cartridge, and I simply want to be used to it and accurate with it. Over time, you actually start to get used to the recoil. With practice, confidence and competence increase. The fact that I can shoot .38 Special allows for an added measure of flexibility. As with most guns, practicing regularly will help you become combat-effective.
Scandium Alloy Frame
This gun is lightweight and small. It weighs 13.5 ounces and is 6.3 inches long. Technically, that is not supposed to be a good thing in light of reason No. 1, but actually it is. A lightweight and small gun is very easy to carry, which is what I am doing with the gun almost 95 percent of the time. For the 5 percent of the time I am actually shooting, it borders on unpleasant. But that is the tradeoff I have elected to make: It is easier to carry than it is to shoot. This gun carries well IWB, OWB, in a pocket and on an ankle. Since there is no slide, there is nothing digging into my gun on my waist. It clips easily onto running shorts and does not flop around. Plus, it is not too small that it is difficult to hold on to.
Crimson Trace Lasergrip
Activated by merely grasping the stocks, the laser shows where the shots will hit, regardless of whether or not I am holding the gun to my line of sight. For an immediate-need situation where I may not even have time to get a good sight picture, I can still know where the muzzle is aimed. It is important to practice drawing the gun, because the trigger finger can sometimes get in the way of the laser.
XS Sights 24/7 Tritium Front Night Sight
If the laser fails, or if I still need a sight picture, the excellent XS Sights front night sight orients my focus from eye to hand to target. Again, this is a short-range sighting system. Put enough distance between you and the target, and the XS Sight will eclipse the center of the target.
No matter what holster or location on my person from which I draw this gun, there is no exposed hammer to snag on anything. Similarly, the gun is double-action-only. To fire, just draw, aim and squeeze.
Five to stay alive. Five reasons to carry this five-round gun.
Actually, here is reason six, just because it’s worth mentioning: holster selection. Virtually every holster manufacturer on the planet makes a holster for a J-frame revolver.
What are your thoughts?
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