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Smith & Wesson M&P 340 Revolver: Reason for CCW Advocates to Go Retro

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Article first appeared at Ammoland.com

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Have you noticed the trend? Retro items are on the rise. Sometimes trends are stupid. Often there’s no logic behind a trend, and reasonable people would do well to avoid them.

  • Eating Tide Pods.
  • Flipping up the collar on a polo shirt.
  • Men wearing yoga pants around the city.

You get the idea. Those trends are stupid. Does the trend toward retro revolvers like the M&P 340 fall into the stupid category? Let’s find out.

Smith & Wesson M&P 340 Revolver Trigger
Smith & Wesson M&P 340 Revolver Trigger

A Societal Trend

Some trends have merit. Perhaps you’ve noticed younger people gravitating toward products designed in and for a bygone era. People are wearing classic watches, some people think wing tips are cool again, and most importantly there’s a resurgence of people willing to pay for quality. In the midst of our disposable, instant, build-it-to-replace-it society, people want something— anything that lasts.

Buckle up; this article isn’t about to deny the usefulness, reliability, resilience, or proven longevity of polymer-framed, semi-auto handguns, but it is an open admission— there’s something special about metal guns—particularly revolvers.

Don’t believe me?

James Yeager, of Tactical Response, recently announced a Fighting Revolver class. I unapologetically respect and like James and wish I could make it out to that class. James is a good businessman that trains “good people to kill bad people” to protect and save lives. He’s interested in people knowing how to use the weapons they carry effectively. My guess is he’s noticed this uptick in revolver use.

Trendy shooters need training just like the rest of us—arguably more training than those that choose easier-to-master weapons. There’s a growing resurgence of people in the present connecting with the past through the products they use, and schools like Tactical Response and Clint Smith’s Thunder Ranch are happy to serve them.

Mr. Yeager appears to have noticed the trend, and perhaps you have too. Maybe you’re eyeing a piece of steel in the gun cabinet in your local gun store. If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Smith & Wesson M&P 340 Revolver with Ankle Lite Holsters
Smith & Wesson M&P 340 Revolver with Ankle Lite Holsters

Smith & Wesson M&P 340 Revolver: A Personal Favorite

It’s no secret that I find little J-Frame Smith revolvers handy. So with this old-school trend in mind, I picked up the Smith & Wesson M&P 340 Revolver. The 340 is chambered in .357; though it utilizes the classic 1950s design, it features modern innovations like a scandium frame and an XS 24/7 Tritium front sight paired with a U-Notch rear.

At the time of publishing, the 340 street price is in the low to mid $800s. Years down the road, I bet you’ll consider that money well spent. Let me warn you though, if you choose an ankle rig, you may find yourself conflicted if you attempt to put this classic handgun over a pair of Yeezys. Who are we kidding; why don’t you just skip the Yeezys altogether anyway?

The Smith & Wesson 340 (no lock) may be the best overall back up gun available in production today. That’s not a “best money can buy” claim. Rather, it’s a “best bang for the buck” statement. It’s also not necessarily the best for every given scenario but the best overall — kind of a best for any given scenario backup gun.

Yes, a Smith 442 or Ruger LCR will do just fine, but if you subscribe to the buy once/cry once philosophy, you may want to consider giving yourself the added benefit of .38 and .357 as well as upgrade sights and overall enhanced build quality.

My 340 rides in Galco’s Ankle Lite holster. I have used the Ankle Glove and Ankle Lite models for years. On occasion, it has ridden in Galco’s Tuck-N-Go inside the pant holster. Like Galco’s reputation, both of these holster options are exceptional.

Smith & Wesson M&P 340 Revolver Grips
Smith & Wesson M&P 340 Revolver Grips

An Established Use

For years law enforcement professionals and everyday citizens have adopted the use of a backup gun. This gun can be brought into action in the case of having to arm a teammate, in the case of a primary gun’s failure, or can be utilized instead of a reload. Simply stated, this back up can be brought into action if the primary has been lost or taken or when more than one gun is required. By the way, Mr. Yeager teaches a Back Up Gun class too.

Let’s keep it 100 though; many gun-toting individuals utilize a backup gun type weapon as their primary weapon more often than they’d pretend. This argument could wax on to the end of time. One would say having a gun is better than having no weapon and another would say if you’ve committed to carrying a firearm don’t allow the primary determining factor when choosing what to carry become comfort… ever. This article is not written to settle that debate, though you’re more than welcome to in the comments section.

Let’s be clear though; there’s a reason people refer to handguns like the M&P 340 as get-off-me guns or bad-breath guns. They aren’t designed for extended range target use. Sure, some masters can wow a crowd, but even they could enhance the wow factor with a longer barrel and sight radius.

I will say, whatever you carry, don’t be lulled into a naive sense of security. Test yourself and be honest with yourself about your capabilities with the weapon you choose to have on your person. These little guns have a particular and useful purpose. They have fantastic build quality, incredible simplicity, and they can’t be pressed out of battery when pressed against an assailant’s torso. They are a go-with-you-anywhere gun, and for that, I love the type.

Smith & Wesson M&P 340 Revolver Wood Pile
Smith & Wesson M&P 340 Revolver Wood Pile

A Reasonable Decision

For me, the M&P 340 is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. Not that I need a reason, but if I needed an excuse to buy into this particular trend, the M&P 340 gives me plenty of reason. The 340 is a great place to begin buying classic quality.  Far beyond the hype, this option gives you and me a reason to go retro. Go ahead and go retro for a reason.


About Brian (Rev) Norris:

Brian (Rev) Norris, in addition to writing and talking guns and gear via video, is a pastor (hence the “Rev”) who specializes in mentoring young men in the urban context. If he catches a moment of free time, you’ll likely find him enjoying his family or heading to the range on his motorcycle. Brian has enjoyed the shooting sports since his father introduced them to him as a child. He’s an outdoorsman who enjoys life to the full.

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