Brutal, mind-numbing recoil from my 442!

Brutal, mind-numbing recoil from my 442!

This is a discussion on Brutal, mind-numbing recoil from my 442! within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Even though I am a 6' 1" and 155 pound male, I think I may be a wimp (or worse): Today, for the first time ...

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Thread: Brutal, mind-numbing recoil from my 442!

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Will B. Droopy's Avatar
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    Brutal, mind-numbing recoil from my 442!

    Even though I am a 6' 1" and 155 pound male, I think I may be a wimp (or worse): Today, for the first time in a long time (I am embarrassed to admit), I finally went to the range and fired my S&W Airweight Mdl 442 EDC carry gun, with Hogue monogrips.

    My 442 was fed with run-of-the-mill .38SPL 132GR FMJ's by PMC; we are talking non +P's here.

    Now, I shoot my Colt Python regularly, as well as my wife's Stainless Centennial intermittently, both while using .38SPL rounds of all sorts. (The Python is a joy to shoot, while the stainless Centennial is somewhat harsh, but still very "survivable").

    I realize that firing a 15oz .38SPL would not be pleasant, but I didn't quite realize just how unpleasant: it was downright painful, and I was actually in fear that I was about to sustain nerve damage to my hand if I shot more than a few rounds. (I don't even want to think about what would happen if I tried shooting my normal +P Hydro-Shock carry ammo!! )

    Since I'm really concerned about shooting my Airweight again, I have come up with some possible solutions:

    1. Hit my wife over the head and steal her stainless 23oz 640 Centennial snubby (but this might involve the police and a costly divorce).

    2. Begin carrying my 4" blued 42oz Python (may require a suspenders to support the gun's extra weight , and it would also be hard to find IWB holsters for, and it may be hard to conceal properly).

    3. Switch to Hornady's 110gr 'Critical Defense' FTX or Federal's 110gr 'Personal Defense' Hydra-Shock, both being low recoil .38SPL ammo. (Problem: Almost impossible to find in stock , and when found has a heavy shipping charge for even a single box).


    I feel that Choice 3 is probably my best bet (even though Choice 2 is tempting from a macho perspective). Any thoughts on the viability/advantages to either Choice 2 or 3 above? (Or should I just admit that I may simply have the stamina and strength of an average bedridden 95 year old grandmother? Or maybe I should just buy a .32H&R Charter Arms "Pink Lady Undercoverette" model and be done with it? )

    But ending on a serious note, are there other hyper recoil-sensitive shooters out there who are enormously bothered by the recoil of alloy guns? Your solutions? (Now I think I know why so many people have not fallen for the new feather-weight gun "fad", and still go all-steel only!!)

    Best,

    -Bill


  2. #2
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    Dang Bill... I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my cheeks!

    I practice with .38's in my 340 and carry +P Gold Dot Short Barrel ammo. I'm counting on adrenalin if I ever have to use it though!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  3. #3
    Member Array Rayman's Avatar
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    Trade in your airweight for something in the 9mm autoloading variety. Less recoil. Problem solved.

  4. #4
    Member Array Orange Boy's Avatar
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    I have a similar snub and found my first range visit very unpleasant. I found that I was so worried about the recoil, that I was gripping the gun as high as possible. This was ripping up the fold between my thumb and forefinger during recoil and muzzle flip. It caused me to anticipate the shot and flinch like crazy. I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. I sat and thought about it awhile and made some changes. I brought my grip down about 1/4" - 1/2" or so and also made sure I was using a proper revolver grip for a righty (left thumb over right thumb) is what works for me. Lastly, I realized I was staging the trigger so I worked on a long, unbroken pull. After a couple more range sessions I was very comfortable with the recoil, my hand didn't kill me and practicing with +P was not a problem at all. Hope some of this helps you.

  5. #5
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Since we're giving unsolicited advice, here's mine:

    Load your wife's 640 with Federal 357B and shoot a cylinder full.

    Then go shoot your Airweight with 38 Specials. You will think it's a "powderpuff". For what it's worth, I won't shoot .357 Magnum out of anything smaller and lighter than an SP101.

    We are each different, and recoil is subjective. I'd suggest looking at your stance and grip, as well as the loads you are using, as they all may be a factor in how much recoil you are feeling.

    Biker
    Last edited by BikerRN; February 4th, 2010 at 04:41 AM. Reason: more info

  6. #6
    Member Array FknRa's Avatar
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    option #4: send me the airweight......

    in reality though, have you considered hand/wrist strengthening? get a spring gripper thingy and use it while you are driving and tie a rope around a 18 inch bar and the other end to a 10 lb weight, hold it out at arms lenght and roll the weight up with the rope, then go the other way, increase weight and reps over time, you may just build the muscles needed to make it more comfortable.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Lewis128's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Calley View Post
    I feel that Choice 3 is probably my best bet (even though Choice 2 is tempting from a macho perspective). Any thoughts on the viability/advantages to either Choice 2 or 3 above? (Or should I just admit that I may simply have the stamina and strength of an average bedridden 95 year old grandmother? Or maybe I should just buy a .32H&R Charter Arms "Pink Lady Undercoverette" model and be done with it? )

    But ending on a serious note, are there other hyper recoil-sensitive shooters out there who are enormously bothered by the recoil of alloy guns? Your solutions? (Now I think I know why so many people have not fallen for the new feather-weight gun "fad", and still go all-steel only!!)

    Best,

    -Bill
    Charter makes other .38's that weigh just 11 oz and aren't pink. I have an Underdover with stubby grips and it isn't too hard on my hands, even with artheritis.
    I will be getting full sized grips for it eventually, but it's not a bad gun to shoot as-is.

  8. #8
    Ex Member Array maddyfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayman View Post
    Trade in your airweight for something in the 9mm autoloading variety. Less recoil. Problem solved.
    My wife had a little pink Smith and Wesson. It was terrrible. Terrible trigger, too much recoil. It was an unpleasant litte bone breaker. We got rid of it.

  9. #9
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    For every plus there's an equal minus.

    BG 14.3oz - Baby Bear
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Boy View Post
    I have a similar snub and found my first range visit very unpleasant. I found that I was so worried about the recoil, that I was gripping the gun as high as possible. This was ripping up the fold between my thumb and forefinger during recoil and muzzle flip. It caused me to anticipate the shot and flinch like crazy. I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. I sat and thought about it awhile and made some changes. I brought my grip down about 1/4" - 1/2" or so and also made sure I was using a proper revolver grip for a righty (left thumb over right thumb) is what works for me. Lastly, I realized I was staging the trigger so I worked on a long, unbroken pull. After a couple more range sessions I was very comfortable with the recoil, my hand didn't kill me and practicing with +P was not a problem at all. Hope some of this helps you.
    Bingo!!! Excellent post and advice. I have a 442 as well and this will help. Practice also helps. I thought my 442 had a lot of recoil at first shooting just standard rounds, now I shoot +Ps one-handed with no problem. I've also been shooting a subcompact 9mm and subcompact 40 both two-handed and one-handed, so relatively speaking t he 38 doesn't seem to bad anymore.

    If it still seems too snappy, consider a Ruger SP101 in .357 Magnum and shoot 38 Specials out of it. It's a heavier gun that absorbs recoil better.
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  11. #11
    Member Array MountainPacker's Avatar
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    I have a 442 that I carry on occasion. The recoil is sharp. However, it got a lot better after I purchased and practiced with my .454 Casull. In fact, the recoil on all my guns seemed to diminish.

    The 442 is a carry a lot, shoot a little gun. If it isn't for you, you might try a Ruger LCP. Ballistics are similar between .380acp and .38 Special (though .38 Special has a small edge), you get two more rounds and you have the slide to help with the recoil impulse. The LCP is also 1/3 thinner and 1/3 lighter than your 442. You'll want to use the magazines with the little finger hook to get a "full" 2 finger grip.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    recoil is half the fun (*cough* 340PD 120g remington .357 magnum *cough*). But on a serious note think of practicing with low recoil wadcutters. When TSHTF you won't be thinking about recoil the adrenaline will help you out

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array nosights's Avatar
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    I think you are missing something here...like perhaps proper grip, if there is such a thing on a JFrame. I am 6'6" and have large hands, my old 442 is now my wifes because I could not consistently shoot it well due to not being able to grasp it well. My wife however, shoots it VERY well.

    I think you may need to work on your grip ect. and practice with a light load. Don't worry about your carry ammo, I assure you that if you need to use it in self defense...the extra punch won't even be noticed.
    Pray for our nations leaders!

  14. #14
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    Wink Lite ain't right!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Calley View Post
    But ending on a serious note, are there other hyper recoil-sensitive shooters out there who are enormously bothered by the recoil of alloy guns? Your solutions? (Now I think I know why so many people have not fallen for the new feather-weight gun "fad", and still go all-steel only!!)
    On a bit of a different note, I went for the "feather-weight fad years ago with hunting rifles. I followed all the suggestions to "lighten" a rifle on my Rem. 700 ADL in 30-06. When I had finished, it kicked so hard it would shake loose what teeth it didn't knock out outright!

    My first action was to glass in the hollowed-out stock, and add weight back. Now I can spend all day at the range with no trouble!

    Finding the right weight versus recoil is the correct answer. Find a heavier firearm you can shoot comfortable. no sense carrying something you're afraid to pull the trigger on.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Member Array Backroad's Avatar
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    I have an old S&W Chiefs Special (from about 1968)- 5 shot - with a 2" barrel. I love shooting my 1911 45s and my Glock 30, but the Chiefs Spl....I can hit the broad side of a barn, but not much else.

    al
    "gettin' there is half the fun."

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