Concealed Carry & Home Defense

Why I’m Choosing A Smith & Wesson Wheel Gun For Summer Carry

Barbara Baird Contributor
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After talking to at least 100 women in the industry about their choices for concealed carry, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need more than one carry gun.

For years, I’ve been carrying a Model 22, .40 cal GLOCK that I was given as a gift. As a rule, it’s great for a thigh-holstered mount when I’m on the ranch and working outdoors.

But, let’s face it … thigh rigs would be very hard to conceal in the summer. And my arthritic shoulder screams when I carry it in a purse or bag. A GLOCK of that size and caliber prints big time under a summer tee. Furthermore, when I visited with Sheriff Jim Wilson about carrying concealed, he told me to lose the purse and wear a holster.

He said, “Think about it, Barb. A criminal wants either your purse or … you!”

So, I’ve decided. I’m going to cross over to an industry-standard carry gun, and since it’s a revolver, I’m going to go to one of the finest and most reputable maker of revolvers in the gun world — Smith & Wesson.

But, which one, which one? I narrowed it down to between the 442 and 642. And after a recent trip to Huntsville, Ala., where I visited my favorite gun shop in the world, Larry’s Pistol and Pawn, I decided to buy the 642 Airweight because it has an aluminum frame and stainless steel cylinder, crane and barrel — and we’re talking about the whole barrel. Cost is $449. And when you think of carrying the summer in our humidity, you must be aware of moisture.

For this reason, and for many others that Ralph posted over at the blog The Truth About Guns and his thorough review on the 642, I am ordering one — today.

I’ll take you along with me as I discover the world of wheelin’ and carryin’. It really is like buying shoes. Now I’ll need a holster and a belt and ammo and cleaning supplies for this caliber (.38 Special + P).

About: Writer Barbara Baird publishes The Women’s Outdoor News (The WON), which features news, reviews and stories about women in the outdoors. An online e-zine with frequent updates, it also features the “WON Guns,” women bloggers such as Julie Golob, Sara Ahrens, Shelley Rae, Marti Davis, Nancy Jo Adams, Molly Smith, Barbara Baird and others that write about the shooting sports and/or hunting. RSS Feeds and a free email subscription are available at the site. Visit: