Smith & Wesson 940 — “The Beast”

IIRC, it was this month fourteen years ago when I bought my very first gun. I’ve mentioned before my motivations for why I chose a double-action revolver as my first gun.

It’s all the fault of Ross Seyfried’s article “Mastering Double-Action Revolvers,” in the first gun magazine I ever read, the March 1992 issue of G&A.

G&A Cover.jpg On the other hand, my motivation for buying the particular make and model that I did was almost entirely due to an ad on the back cover of that same magazine.

I saw this photo 940.jpg and was smitten.

I still think that with the wood grips, the Centennial is one of the most elegant-looking of modern revolver designs. (Pachmayrs don’t do it any favors, but hey! they do the job better.) Someday I’m going to have that back cover blown up into a poster for the den.

Anyway, here’s my now-teenaged baby, with a pair of moon clips full of Glaser Blues, and a Sharpie for size comparison.

940 Left Side.jpg 940 Right Side.jpg

The 9mm chambering kicks, but with the Pachys it only really starts to sting after about 50 rounds rapid-fire. But it’s quite controllable, which is why I don’t mind the weight. By comparison, even shooting .38 target loads out of one of the ultra-lightweight J-frame .357s would hurt a lot more than the 940 in an extended range session, and be less controllable in recoil. Speedloads are a snap with the moon clips.

Generally she wears the Pachmayrs shown, although I do have a pair of the Craig Spegel “boot grip” design Pachys. But they get little use because as shown, the gun vanishes into the pocket of my dress slacks. I ain’t a big guy, either. I don’t have a pocket holster yet and probably won’t until I move to a CCW-friendly state; for now, on the occasions when I carry, a handkerchief breaks up the outline just fine.

Incidentally, that ugly clip on the right side of the gun is the Clipdraw. It’s great! Secure small-of-back or hipside carry is easy when you’re not wearing a belt, and in California that’s pretty much a given when you’re not at work. It performs better for me on this gun than the Barami HipGrip, which currently resides on the newest member of my Smith & Wesson family. More about that later.

All in all, a very nice, useful piece. My Security-Six has become my favorite now because it’s more versatile, but the little Smith still runs a very very close second. I’ve named her “The Beast,” but it’s a term of great affection.

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15 Responses to Smith & Wesson 940 — “The Beast”

  1. DirtCrashr says:

    The clipdraw attachment looks like a real good idea on a snubbie, I like snubbies.

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  3. OldeForce says:

    Colorado does allow concealed carry I have a Centennial in .38+, and the recent addition of a three-year old S&W 269 in .44 Special. And, yes, .38+ loads do leave your wrist and hand hurting, but I use .38 Shorts (go internet hunting) or just plain .38 Specials for practice. Then back to the .38+ for carrying. The .44 Special is good as it’s less likely to penetrate and take out the neighbor’s babysitter. (I have a 696 in stainless – much heavier – as the house gun).

  4. David says:

    Jeez, I didn’t know anybody still made .38 Shorts. Now I’ll have to go find some to try out….

    At one crazy time I toyed with the idea of loading .380 ACPs in the 940’s moon clips (they fit, loosely) and firing away to see what would happen. I expect the least of my problems would have been the split cases from firing them in the slightly oversize chamber.

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  9. Rivrdog says:

    If’n you wanted to try some shorts, David, couldn’t you just make a few by using your case trimmer to cut them down from Specials? You do reload, right?

  10. Headknocker says:

    I love my two 940 Centennials & plan on having them for a long long time..
    I have a fetish with the S&W 9mm revolvers & have also picked up a 4″ Model 547..
    My 4 Centennials, 940s in the middle of the Airweight & Airlite..

  11. Oooh, a 547! Last I saw one of those was on a policeman’s hip in Paris outside Sacre Coeur in 2006…

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