The S&W Ultimate Carry J Frames

My 2024 bingo card never had a slot that would end with me carrying a revolver. With guns like the P365, I never thought I’d carry a wheel gun. Yet, as I type this, an S&W 432 UC is sitting happily in my pocket, and it has been my go-to carry gun for over a month now. This specific model is one of two guns that make up S&W and Lipsey’s Ultimate Carry Lineup. If you’re a revolver fan, then buckle up; if not, then pay attention because these two guns might have you heeled with a revolver before you know it.

What does ‘Ultimate Carry’ really mean?

S&W and Lipsey’s teamed up with revolver experts to design these guns. The two main brains in the head shed of defensive snub noses are Daryl Bolke and Bryan Eastridge. These guys offer some of the best revolver classes on the planet and if you want to learn the art of the revolver they are the guys to go to. That’s why S&W and Lipseys went to them.

The Sights

This partnership resulted in two semi-custom Ultimate Carry revolvers with features I would have never thought of. One of the features that first caught my eye was the addition of a proper rear sight. That’s what excited me about these guns. I have never been able to shoot a revolver with a rear trench sight very well. The blacked-out, rear dovetailed sight and high visibility front sight were a welcome addition to the Ultimate Carry series.

The Grips

The guns go beyond just a nice set of sights. The next most obvious addition is the grips. These grips were produced by VZ Grips, a very reputable grip company. The grips are boot cut, which means they stop where the frame stops. The grips also offer what they call a high horn design. This means the grips go higher on the frame and allow for a higher grip on the gun. The grips are heavily rounded and hand-filling. They’ve been relieved on the left side to allow the use of speed loaders, a rarity on J-frames.

The Cylinder

The Ultimate Carry cylinder has two unique cuts. First, the front of the cylinder is slightly beveled, which allows for a smooth holstering experience—the gun will glide right into your holster. Second, the charge holes are chamfered. These cuts relieve the sharp edges of a cylinder, making it easy to load cartridges into the gun, especially wadcutters.

The Rest of the Gun

The Ultimate Carry models weigh 16 ounces and feature a no-lock frame. The guns use an upgraded endurance package that uses titanium pins to increase the longevity of the little gun. Smith and Wesson refined the double action only triggers to be smoother and lighter than a stock trigger. The end result is a semi-custom pair of revolvers designed for deep carry.

Smith and Wesson and Lipseys have produced two Ultimate Carry models. We have the aforementioned 432 UC as well as the 442, the 642, and 632. The guns with six as the first initial are stainless models, and the guns with the four intial are black models. The 642 and 442 are .38 Specials, and the 632 and the 432 are .32 H&R Magnum options.

While the .38 Special option is going to be the more popular gun, I think people sleep on the .32 H&R Magnum. It’s a very capable round that offers many additional benefits, including less recoil, higher capacity, and excellent ballistic performance. The .32 H&R Magnum options give you six rounds in the chamber, and the .38 Special guns give you five.

The Future Of The Ultimate Carry

The Ultimate Carry series will likely expand in the near future. I’d love to see a 3-inch barreled gun, or even a .22 Magnum or LR variant of the Ultimate Carry guns. Who knows what’s next? What’s for certain is that these guns aren’t your normal snub-nose revolvers. They push the boundaries of what a small revolver can do, and do so at a fair price point. At $759, they might not be budget-friendly, but they aren’t expensive either.

Check them out here, and be on the lookout if you want to get your hands on the latest and greatest concealed carry revolvers. We even have a few good ways to carry these guns concealed if you’re interested. Check here, here, and here for my favorite J-Frame holsters.

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Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.

He serves as an NRA-certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms-based hobbies.


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