Need a holster recommend

Smith & Wesson Featherweight 38 split.

Am considering buying one, but thus far clinger has no holster, neither does aliengear. I’m looking for a concealable OWB and an ankle holster. If I cant locate a proper holster, I’ve no reason to buy the revolver except that I very much like it, fits my hand ok, and 38spl is fairly inexpensive to shoot.

Now, I am within a 25 minute drive from a custom holster place that could undoubtedly build a holster for it, just that they tend to be pricy…they sell online too but I’ll be danged if I recall the shop name, I just know where it is…


I’ve never heard of a S&W Featherweight, and a web search doesn’t turn one up. Do you mean Airweight?

Yep, airweight, my bad. Model 642.

I located The Holster Shop - Stoner Holsters not far from me…they do online sales too BTW, and I can personally attest to their goods being very high quality.

Iwb or owb see if you can find one with the features you like before you commit to a custom job because there’s nothing like buyers remorse I spent xyz dollars on such and such and can’t use it! it’s uncomfortable so when ever possible try before you buy

I frequently carry a 442 (non-stainless, but otherwise identical to 642) and have never had trouble finding a holster. Clinger only has an IWB version, they generically call it being for the “J-Frame”. But for the most part any holster maker with OWB holsters will have a 442/642 version. And as for ankle holster, the J-Frame basically defines the category.

That said, I don’t have specific recommendations for you. For the 442 I go for pocket carry or IWB, though I probably have cheap OWB and ankle holsters that I haven’t tried using since the 90s. When I bought my holsters Kydex wasn’t a thing, so they are leather. And they were pricey. I went for Kramer, Milt Sparks, and Mitch Rosen in those days. I looked up a Kramer ankle holster just now and it probably costs as much as what you are paying for the gun. They are works of art, but there are so many excellent holsters at reasonable prices these days that these custom leather guys only occasionally make sense. For example Hidden Hybrid gets a lot of rave reviews these days and they have a J-Frame OWB for $55

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I second what he☝🏿Said

I’ve been pleasantly suprised with my Galco holsters. I have the Fletch for my K9, and there seems to be a lot of positive reviews for Galco’s ankle holster (at least as far as ankle holster reviews go). Galco’s website list the Ankle Glove and multiple OWB holsters for your 642.

You might also check the S&W accessories page for a compatible holster.

Ok gents, appreciate the input and links :slight_smile:

Glad to know this J frame type “defines” ankle carry. I very much liked the revolver I saw, and since its rated for +P, it may be a good swap out option for a BUG.

Frankly, though I LOVE my 5" Kimber 1911, I’ve actually pondered making my current P65XL - the BUG - into my primary, OWB-RH, then using the Smith IWB for the BUG. IF i did such a crazy thing (removing my 1911 from EDC), It would surely lighten up the load on my belt.

That is something I need to buy for a backup - another Buffalo belt.

THE question with all that is: would I be comfortable using a P365xl as a primary sidearm or not? I honestly just imagined such a thing today. I’ll not likely take the Kimber off for a 9mm honestly. I’m simply wayyyy too used to it, hit too well with it, etc.
Been my CC primary for bout 7-8 years now, plus I’ve shot the 1911 nearly exclusively since 1990…
Odds are, I’ll add an ankle gun, this S&W, well before changing my primary CC weapon, so reckon I best be looking at those ankle holsters :slight_smile:

ANOTHER QUESTION: For specifying LH or RH on an ankle holster, let’s say I want the holster on my left leg for a RH draw - do i specify RH holster or LH? Itd be easier if they used Left Keg or Right Leg IMO.

The Galco looks solid, but $130 is about twice what I’m looking to go… fixin to check the other links.

Thx again ya all,

You may have to look at the holster website to see how they want you to specify it. The way the Sneaky Pete site describes it is “A right handed BUGBite holster is used on the left leg, the holster is made with a pocket for your gun that sits on the inside of your left leg for a cross draw.”

Your other question belongs in another section of the site, so I won’t send this thread into totally different territory. Lots of discussion on that topic though.

A pic of the gun I decided to purchase tomorrow.

So it is a model 642 Airweight I gotta remember that now I reckon.

Of course the thing will be ammunition next.
38 spl is available in abundance online, and theres no real shortage locally until u starting at +P loads. Whatever, to me finding the ammo a gun likes best is fun…and of course I’ll save brass so I can develop my own as well.

Thus far I’m leaning towards a Galco ankle glove holster I found via
@Scotty 's link above - thx :slight_smile:

Lastly, on the topic of ammo, I saw this stuff on the Bx site and just HAD to order some. Judging from what the round does on youtube, I think itd be a fine self-defense round for my P65xl.

Of course I remember when RIP came out there was a lot of chatter about how using it for CC was like handing a prosecutor in a defense shooting ones own conviction of being illegal somehow.
IMO, I should carry what will stop a threat the fastest if the dark day comes. I’ll pray it does not. But I’ll carry what I think will be most likely to save MY life. The name of it be da**ed, that shouldnt matter. Seriously, if I’m in a lethal force situation, is my goal not to bring that situation to an end as quickly as I may??

K that’s all I have…tomorrow is 38 spl day, yeeha.

I always look for ammo that very consistently stays in the FBI’s 12-18" penetration range and shows excellent expansion. As unfortunate as I find G2 Research’s name for this round, I more question the effectiveness. In the Lucky Gunner tests very few of the fragments even made it to 6". The main body of the bullet does have adequate penetration, but is not designed to expand. So only half the weight of this already very light bullet has adequate penetration. In other words, better for blowing up watermelons than saving your life.

On the .38 Special, I don’t use +Ps. Again the ballistic tests don’t show any real benefit, I can get solidly and consistently in the 12-18" penetration sweet spot with excellent expansion using non +P. Given such a small light gun the added recoil of the +P detracts too much from accurate and adequately rapid fire.

From a legal perspective the best bet may be to contact your local law enforcement department(s) and see what they use. As one of my friends likes to say, when the prosecutor asks why you picked that round you can respond with “why don’t you ask your Sheriff/Chief of Police”. I don’t know if that really helps (or why on earth you would agree to testify against yourself), but does seem a defensible choice. And in most departments they are choosing excellent defensive rounds.

But of course YMMV and a lot of people are going to disagree with me on what is the best choice :joy:

BTW, I’m not totally against fragmenting ammo for self-defense. When I have lived in denser housing situations where the path of an invader places someone in an apartment/home directly behind them I have chosen fragmenting ammo to reduce the chance of overpenetration. Yes I am taking more risk to my own safety to reduce risk to my neighbors. Calculated risks is what life is all about!

I’ll just mention that you can probably find the Galco holsters from online retailers for less than buying from them directly. I just suggest cross referencing the holster model number from the Galco website for your model gun with whatever you purchase online.


You make some very good points.

My local PD uses a custom Federal 9mm round, the name of which the officer to whom I spoke did not know. “9mm HP” is enough info for me on that. My primary round is Critical Duty, 220gr, polymer tip JHP. I’m fine with shooting as if my round may over-penetrate - I train to vector shots for such things. That is, unless I’m very close and shooting downward into an attacker’s hip girdle, I’m going to try to get enough upward angle on all other shots to not have to worry. Easily accomplished by taking a knee after getting off the x. Confuses the crap outta trainers too :slight_smile:

That said, the G2 round certainly did enough damage to a whole chicken to show me at least 8" penetration plus the fragments.
Now, I intend to either alternate these in my mag with traditional HP’'s, or put them in the backup mag of my backup gun.

That backup gun will only ever be pulled if my dominant hand is damaged, or i have multiple armed attackers, in which case I doubt it gets very far into the BUG’s magazine regardless. I’ll count on my 45 till 17 rounds are spent. I have difficulty imagining that not being enough in a civilian situation.

The G2 is, btw, for my current 9mm BUG, not the 38 spl I’m buying…I’m not 100% on how and when I’ll carry the 38 honestly. Maybe ankle, maybe swap it for current backup but probly not…

Since I can go to some family property to shoot, I’ll likely get a few boxes of 38 to play with…

Thx again for replying,

@Scotty I wondered about that because Amazon seems to stock Galco holsters. Thx for that tip!

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^^^ Exactly! This is what you need to be able to articulate when you have to legally defend your physical self-defense, @Smiddy. Why did you choose the ammo? “Because I’ve researched it in XYZ places and in tests it performs well. It doesn’t over-penetrate, it will stop the threat.” Being able to articulate why you used what you used will be important. The question may never come up or it may be asked over and over…

@Harold26 I do often suggest talking with your local law enforcement to see what they carry because if they’re trusting their lives with it, it’s got to be reliable. I wouldn’t say it flippantly on the stand when I’ve been asked why I use a certain type of ammo. A flippant attitude on the stand will also be called into question.

Being able to articulate why you did/carried/used what you did in your self-defense will go a long way toward your legal defense.

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Yes ma’am, understood :slight_smile: I was forced by this thread to consider it yet more, and to ‘articulate’ it in more detail:

“Mr Smiddy, why were you carrying RIP ammunition? It seems you wanted to kill someone, put them in their grave with your gun. You were just waiting for an opportunity.”

My reply would involve details about stopping a threat is what "the prosecuting attorney who taught my Ohio legal refresher course told us is the goal if we mustfire our weapon for the defense against death or severe bodily harm… And, because THE fastest way to cause hypovolemic shock is rapid blood loss, I researched the available ammunition and believe what I carry to be most capable of causing massive blood loss quickly, thus stopping an imminent threat to my life, or severe bodily harm to which I am at increased risk due to disability.

Further, because the injury I incurred while serving honorably and with valor in line of duty in the US Air Force requires me to have a pump full of morphine implanted inside my abdominal cavity to control pain, I can NOT risk being in a tussle with an attacker. Due to this, even someone much smaller and weaker than I can readily cause a disparity of force in their favor, hence putting my life in imminent danger if they were to knock a connection loose in my implanted Medtronic medicine delivery system, dumping a lethal dose of morphine into my blood stream that is otherwise dropped at less than 1mg per 24 hour period, enabling pain management that doesn’t impair my cognitive function or depress my CNS, as would oral opiate pain medications. This allows me to eat, drink, breathe and with myriad physical limitations, function like a regular person, you for instance counsel, the relevant caveats having already been stated."
<End Reply to prosecution here>

Now, does it seem I’ve scientifically examined “,why” RIP on the packaging is not the reason I purchased it, or do I sound like some Yahoo who just wants to kill? I can show by how I live and articulate with my speech, why I am no such yahoo :slight_smile:

Ok, how did I do there??? Was it articulated well enough u think?

Comments welcome…

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Ok, now, this is the 38 spl I wanted. Got up went to gun store 1st thing today for it.

Just finished lunch so I’m going to take it outside where solvent wont permeate our living space, and clean + lube this sucker.

I got 150 rounds of field ammo for practice, 20 rounds of Sig self defense ammo so I could run a cylinder to see how +P shoots.
Figure I’ll gather some cans, jugs, whatever, and do some live fire tomorrow in the country area I’ve access to nearby :slight_smile:
There wont be a target to post so I’ll just report results.

And to be clear about the carry ammo, it’s not G2 RIP, its Sig…for now. Dont even have a holster just yet. Maybe I should go get 1 before I start the cleaning stuff…

Add: while cleaning, I ordered a Galco ankle glove. Total was a bit over $100 cause they have a 20% off day today…

Peace ya all,

I’ve found in the past few days during test firing, I get better accuracy with +P ammo.

I looked all over for info on this…a retired FBI dude using FBI gel got good penetration from the base, and solid from trocars as well…I’m thinking I’m comfy carrying it.

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Try FIST holsters in Brooklyn, NY. Think it’s fist Be sure to put the word holsters or you get a much different site. I have one and it’s a great holster. All are made to fit your gun. Go online to see, then you can even call to talk to Jim. Great guy, we visited the shop once, years ago. Very nice shop, Jim very personable. Holster made any way you want it. You decide.

The correct link would be as takes you to Safariland (one of the greatest names in holsters, though not so much in the concealed carry realm).