When I underwent training to become one of Mr. Hoover’s disciples, Washington, D.C. had gun stores. Yes, as hard as it is to believe today, a few blocks from the Justice Department building was a well-known gun emporium and “DC” was not the lawless place it is now. I didn’t know much about guns in those days, and thought revolvers and a skilled practitioner could hold their own against just about anything. Since I was going to be a “plainclothes G man” I figured I needed a proper detective type .38 and opted for one of the Smith & Wesson J-framed snubbies. I even considered this to be my primary piece for a while and planed that upon graduation, my cumbersome issue M&P wheelgun would spend most of its time locked in my office desk.
So, with my first government paycheck, I purchased one of S&W’s J-frame variants, the Model 49 Bodyguard. I liked the idea of a shrouded hammer, but also having the spur accessible for thumb cocking. Its fit and finish were excellent.
When I underwent training to become one of Mr. Hoover’s disciples, Washington, D.C. had…
by Massad Ayoob / May 1, 2007