Question for S&W J-frame Airweight owners

Question for S&W J-frame Airweight owners

This is a discussion on Question for S&W J-frame Airweight owners within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been doing some research on the J-frames (I'm looking at a model 442) and I'm trying to get a feel for how one would ...

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 42
  1. #1
    VIP Member
    Array TX expat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    3,787

    Question Question for S&W J-frame Airweight owners

    I've been doing some research on the J-frames (I'm looking at a model 442) and I'm trying to get a feel for how one would work for a novice shooter. I have seen some posts warning the novice away from the airweights because of the recoil being a bit much to deal with.

    So my question is this... If I started said novice (wife) with some low recoiling hand loads, would that be sufficient enough to allow her to learn how to shoot it or is this just a bad gun for a novice to start with period?

    I could teach her on my GP100, but that sucker is heavy and I think one that heavy is going to have some learning issues too.


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,974
    Does she have problems with her hands? Frail or arthritic? Really as long as she is okay with the long heavy trigger, she will be okay shooting it. My mother carries a 442 she is proud of it and can shoot it without issues. She doesn't like certain +p loads though...
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Costa Rica
    Posts
    1,232
    If she has frail or arthritic hands, then perhaps it is best if you get her a Ruger SP-101 with a 2.25" barrel. The heavier frame will help tame recoil better than the S&W 442. I recently bought a 442 and I was surprised of the recoil and after shooting about 50 rounds on my first day of .38+P, my right hand was very sore. That little pocket rocket is very snappy!
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    7,682
    Some of the issues that J-frames cause for novice shooters include the recoil, but also the short sight radius, as well as the inability to get a full grip.

    If she is really new to shooting, I would not start her off with a j-frame. I have found that novice shooters tend to like full size, steel .38s for revolvers, and full size, steel 9mms to learn on, because recoil is manageable, and the longer sight radius makes it easier to get good hits.

    I would also recommend finding a NRA basic pistol course for her, and have her go through that with an instructor.

    Once she get's the basics of using a pistol down, then move her on to the j-frame, or whatever weapon she may choose for herself.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Lafayette, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,168
    I carry a S&W 642. I stoke it with Hornady 125gr Standard Pressure XTP/JHP and have no problem with recoil. I practice with WWB 135 gr FMJ ( same point of impact for point of aim) and again have no problem with recoil. The 642 is built to take +P but I just shoot better with standard pressure, it also seems to be more accurate.
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

  6. #6
    VIP Member
    Array TX expat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    3,787
    Sorry, I guess I could have been a little more specific about the novice in question... She isn't frail and doesn't have any arthritis. She is very athletic (runs in half marathons and does triathlons) so I wouldn't think that the weight of the trigger pull will be an issue, I was more concerned about how much the recoil is going to affect her.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Freedomofchoice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Wesley Chapel, Florida
    Posts
    1,028
    I think a smith snubbie is very good for a beginner. I brought my wife to range several times; started with a Ruger .22 and graduated to my S&W 642 using wadcutters. She did good, but I'm guessing she would have done even better if the gun could be cocked for single action.
    .

    Too light for heavy work, too heavy for light work!

    pb

  8. #8
    Member Array GMArthur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    17
    The first time I took my wife shooting she wanted to shoot my 642 because of the small size and cuteness factor I guess. She fired three rounds and then placed the gun of the bench. She looked at me and shook her head and said "that's no fun". She then proceeded to put about 50-100 rounds of 230 gr .45 ammo down range with my XD 45 service. Which turned out to be her favorite gun to shoot.

    I guess this goes to show that sometimes the cute little gun loses out to the big scary gun that she was at first scared to shoot. I think a nice full sized pistol or revolver no matter what caliber is the best for first time shooters regardless of gender. They allow for a full comfortable grip, soak up a good amount of recoil, and generally have better sights allowing newbies to feel competent quicker.

    And just to add my wife does not run marathons but she is athletic and not dusty like the crypt keeper.

    Hope this helps you.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    1,771
    I too think it's fine. It's not easy to shoot becasue of it's size, lightweight and terrible trigger pull but it's hard for anyone. You mentioned hand loads, so you can really tame it down. Regular pressure wadcutter's are very easy on the hand too. You'll always hear "try before you buy" but for many that's not possible.

    I do like shooting an all stainless J frame better but for pocket carry the airweights are nice.

    Gideon

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    3,413
    My wife loves her S&W 642 CT Airweight and is not bothered by the recoil of 148g wad cutters one bit. I can not imagine a light load bothering anyone with an Airweight. The J frame was not a hard gun for to shoot well. I kept steering her away from Airweight 38 spl for the same reasons that you mentioned but she kept insisting that was what she wanted. I based my assumptions from stuff I had heard rather than experience. I was wrong. She finally got what she wanted and is happy with it and shoots it regularly. Getting about time to load up some more 38 spl.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

  11. #11
    Member Array mj40p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    138
    My wife loves her 642. It came with laser grips. I tried to talk her out of it but she didn't want anything else. I also got her some snap caps to practice loading it and had her dryfire it a lot while trying to keep the laser as steady as possible. Shooting gloves are a good thing when shooting a lot.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array itschuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    728
    Have you considered a 327 magnum?? Start out with 32 long and work her up to the 327 mag load.
    Current collection: Too many according to the wife...

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wyoming, DE
    Posts
    11,084
    Put a pair of Houge grips on it and it will tame it down considerably!
    Hiram25
    You can educate ignorance, you can't fix stupid
    Retired DE Trooper, SA XD40 SC, S&W 2" Airweight
    dukalmighty & Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro "Trooper" Holsters, DE CCDW and LEOSA Permits, Vietnam Vet 68-69 Pleiku

  14. #14
    Member Array Angry Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    235
    my wife doesn't mind the 638. She prefers the model 60 pro in 357 mag which is slightly heavier, slightly longer and almost as easy to conceal.
    Whitestone Castle Armory, Austin TX
    http://www.wcarmory.com/
    Stuff For Sale http://forsale.wcptexas.com

  15. #15
    VIP Member
    Array ksholder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,938
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram25 View Post
    Put a pair of Houge grips on it and it will tame it down considerably!
    ^^^ This.

    I have a 642 and I was about to get rid of it. I figured trying out a set of Houge grips could not hurt. They turned the gun from no fun to shoot to a blast to shoot. I frequently shoot 100-200 rounds through it in a range session.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

    "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

    You are only paranoid until you are right - then you are a visionary.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Question for Sig owners
    By ks kid in forum Firearm Cleaning & Maintenance
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: October 3rd, 2010, 09:59 PM
  2. S&W Airweight frame composition
    By semperfi.45 in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 25th, 2009, 10:04 AM
  3. Question for Sig owners
    By Bunny in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: April 19th, 2009, 05:55 PM
  4. J frame owners.....wood boot grips?
    By Rmart30 in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: August 21st, 2008, 09:57 PM
  5. I finally found my airweight J-Frame!
    By jamz in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: March 19th, 2006, 11:22 PM

Search tags for this page

442 airweight review
,
s&w 442 airweight review
,

s&w 442 review

,
s&w 637 airweight review
,
s&w 637 review
,

s&w 638 airweight review

,

smith and wesson 442 airweight review

,

smith and wesson 442 review

,
smith and wesson 637 airweight review
,
smith and wesson 637 review
,
smith and wesson 638 review
,
smith wesson 442 airweight review
Click on a term to search for related topics.

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!

» DefensiveCarry Sponsors