Smith & Wesson M&P 340 .357 Mag Snub Nose Revolver Review

A super-light magnum snubbie, the Smith & Wesson M&P 340 .357 Mag revolver is your littlest and lightest backup!

I started carrying a backup gun as soon as I could; as a young cop with a family, quality handguns were just a little out of financial reach. I knew that a second gun was the way to go. I read Skeeter Skelton’s stories relating how a backup gun could have saved him a thumping. I read Mas Ayoob’s reports on the Stakeout Unit’s “New York Reload.” Not having one was a matter of money, not desire.

While the security industries had a “J-ish” 5-shot .357 Magnum, they didn’t see wide issue. The first that had any legs, and it’s still around now, was the Ruger SP101. Originally in .38 Special, some intrepid souls punched them out for short overall length .357 Magnum rounds. Ruger came out with a short version in .357 Magnum. It was marked to use only 125-grain .357 loads, as the magnums with 158-grain bullets were too long for the cylinder.

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    Good Afternoon Mr. Barnes,

    I was forward your e-mail for reply. Having a Taurus .38-caliber snub nose seems like a good compliment to your NC Concealed Carry permit but it is one of those handguns that requires the appropriate holster or clothing to wear it properly. If you’re trying to carry a pistol in your pants pocket, it sounds like you’re in need of the preverbal “pocket pistol.” Lucky for you, there are plenty of options available on today’s market (too many to list) and your son-in-law’s Ruger LCP certainly falls into that category. However, because no two people’s preferences are alike, it’s very difficult to say, “Go out and by this pistol…”

    Smith & Wesson, Taurus, and many other quality manufacturers produce many high quality, small and lightweight handguns, including revolvers that you apparently enjoy. I recently tested a new .38 SPL Ruger LCR (revolver) that shaves weight, is pleasant to fire with Hogue grips and is offered with an optional Crimson Trace lasergrip (if laser targeting is something you’re interested in).

    Three big things about carrying any handgun for concealed carry in a pocket: 1) Make sure you can control and be effective with it. 2) Use modern defense ammunition (ammunition older than 5 years may suffer from environmental storage), and 3) Get a good holster that you will actually use every day. A pocket holster will allow you to carry an equally small handgun in a front pocket, trouser pocket, or jacket pocket in a safe manner while providing quick access. DeSantis makes a very good pocket holster that sticks to the material within the pocket and enables a draw that won’t bring the holster with the gun. It also removes the obvious print of the gun in your pocket. If you put weight in your weak-handed pocket (like keys, change, etc), you can balance the appearance and weight of a pocket pistol so it is even on your waist. If you wear pants often, a Desantis ankle holster will also conceal a pistol well and make you less apt to notice the weight of the gun that can pull down on your pants (most people don’t stair at your feet also). Galco and Bianchi offer a number of waistband options that can tuck most of the gun inside the pant and support the weight so a concealed handgun can be carried comfortably. The list could go on and on.

    I would suggest that you heavily weigh your options regarding the purchase of a new firearm doing as much research and visiting a range to learn what you can comfortably control. Something like +P loads might have more potential for power but it may also make the revolver you carry difficult to handle in a critical situation. The Taurus you already own might be the right carry gun for you and all you really need is a different location to carry it (hip holster, ankle holster, etc.). If you go out to purchase a new handguns, seriously consider factoring in a good safe holster into the budget that is practical for everyday carry.

    Thank you for visiting! Team

  • Jim Barnes

    I am a 73 year old senior with a concealed weapon permit issued in NC. Carrying my Taurus 38 snub nose revolver seems heavy in my pants pocket and definitely shows a outline in my pants. My son-in-law just bought a Ruger 380 semi-automatic and is trying to influence me into buying the smaller gun to carry in my pants pocket.

    Do you have any good advice for me? Is there a reliable smaller and user friendly revolver that either my wife or I could carry for individual protection. I greatly appreciate your answer.