Recoil Comparison Question

Recoil Comparison Question

This is a discussion on Recoil Comparison Question within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I recently bought a Smith and Wesson 442. I've taken it to the range a couple of times now, with the same experience each time ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array mhl6493's Avatar
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    Recoil Comparison Question

    I recently bought a Smith and Wesson 442. I've taken it to the range a couple of times now, with the same experience each time -- with standard, plain old Federal .38 special rounds, it literally hurts me to shoot it. Seriously. The web of my hand between my thumb and index finger is in pain after 1 shot -- won't even say what it feels like after a whole cylinder full.

    I had heard that the airweight snubbies were "snappy," but I wasn't expecting the pain. I have a Ruger LCP, Smith and Wesson 640, Springfield XDs .45, and a Ruger GP100. I can feel the recoil on some of them pretty significantly, but none of them hurt to shoot. Recoil I can handle -- pain I don't want.

    I'm actually considering trading the 442 in on something else -- maybe a "pocket 9" of some sort. I'm wondering, how does the felt recoil of the 442 compare to, say, a Ruger LC9? I know recoil can be a subjective thing and is hard to quantify, but I was hoping to get some ideas from others' experience. Thanks!


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    Senior Member Array Recon1342's Avatar
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    Is the 442 thinner at the grip where it contacts the web of your hand?
    Also, with a lightweight .38 like that, I'd be choking the snot out of that gun... Maybe your grip is too loose?
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    Member Array mhl6493's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recon1342 View Post
    Is the 442 thinner at the grip where it contacts the web of your hand?
    Also, with a lightweight .38 like that, I'd be choking the snot out of that gun... Maybe your grip is too loose?
    I thought the same thing after the first range session. So the second time, I gripped that thing as high and as tightly as I could. Same result. It possibly has to do with the exposed metal backstrap. I just know it hurts...
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    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    I have fired some of the light-weight offerings from Smith, and yes, their lighter construction does transfer recoil energy at a higher level. If you consider trading it, look at an SP101 in its traditional (spurred) or DAO version. Though heavier in weight it dampens recoil much better, is more controlable, and offers an option of bumping things up to the .357 Maggie. You can also find a variety of grips to suit your shooting needs. I much prefer these over the S&W offerings.
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    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    Amazon.com : Pachmayr Decelerator Grips for S and W, J Frame Round Butt : Gun Grips : Sports & Outdoors

    Harder to carry but makes if feed good

    right now I am rocking these Amazon.com : Pachmayr Compact Grips for S and W, J Frame Round Butt : Gun Grips : Sports & Outdoors

    they help a lot

    Most pocket guns unless some of the old all metal jobs will have jump to them


    Try some new grips and go from there


    Also note they make lower recoil ammo Win train I think and Federal too
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    Senior Member Array Dandyone's Avatar
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    My experience has been that the recoil on pocket nines (none of which I own, but I've shot others') isn't that much better than .38 spl

    The recoil, is different, though. This is due to the slide action taking some of the shock.

    If you can find a range that rents pocket nines, take them for a ride. Personally, even though I have strong hands, I found it much more difficult to control the pocket nines than the LCR that I chose for 'deep concealment'. YMMV, so take it for a ride.
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    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    When I first shoot my 638 I said the same thing ( s*** this hurts ) fited new grips and that was good to go

    If all eles fails look at a old model 49 or 640 all metal
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    Member Array hdhnict's Avatar
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    I've noticed many revolvers these days have small grips. Perhaps an aftermarket grip would help.
    Houge makes some nice grips.

    Curiously, their website shows J-frames could have one of three different grip shapes. With the Bodyguard style being the thinnest (front to back). You may need a thicker/wider grip for your hands.
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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    image.jpg nice wood grips help my wife shoots this no problems an she is 67 an 115 lbs

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    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    I would look at the sig 938 or 238 ... Some of the lowest recoil for a pocket carry 9mm out there


    To me the market for pokcet 9s is lacking .. Most are too big to carry that way

    Right now I would say a kahr mk 9 or a nano or sig 938 would be my pocket guns or a xds


    I have fired a pm9 the pocket kahr and it hurt like hell so I stick to metal frames Kahrs for that reason
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    "We're surrounded. That simplifies our problem of getting to these people and killing them."Chesty Puller

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    Member Array mhl6493's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WrongRecroom View Post
    Amazon.com : Pachmayr Decelerator Grips for S and W, J Frame Round Butt : Gun Grips : Sports & Outdoors

    Harder to carry but makes if feed good

    right now I am rocking these Amazon.com : Pachmayr Compact Grips for S and W, J Frame Round Butt : Gun Grips : Sports & Outdoors

    they help a lot

    Most pocket guns unless some of the old all metal jobs will have jump to them


    Try some new grips and go from there


    Also note they make lower recoil ammo Win train I think and Federal too
    Thanks, I'll check those out. I just noticed that Smith and Wesson makes a full-grip for the 442 that covers the backstrap.

    Product: J Synthetic Full Size Grip with S&W Logo

    Anybody have any experience with these? How would these and the other grips mentioned above potentially impact pocket carry?

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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    funny thing. my wife thinks my 642 "isn't that bad". but doesn't like shooting my Glock 21.... ?

    my completely made-up theory is hand size. I have big shreck hands and I think because my big hand swallows that little gun so much, it counter-intuitive and that it's contacting a lower percentage of flesh in my hand so the same amount of energy is put into fewer bones and muscle groups. whereas my wife little hands spread it out into more bones and structure. but the Glock is so big in her hands she can't control it.

    long story short... I just deal with it. my 642 isn't my range-blaster fun plinking toy anyway. I shoot it enough to stay practiced up with it, and that's about it.

    if I want to dump a box of shells thru something it's gonna be one of my 1911's or my glocks or some such.

    I did buy this little Taurus el-cheapo, and it has a slightly bigger grip I can get one more finger on, and it's all steel, and much easier to shoot. it doesn't really have a "purpose" in my collection so it's just for fun, but it is more pleasant to shoot than the little Rocket 642 so...

    revolvers.jpg

    my 642 is *STILL* my favorite pocket gun, and pocket carry is my favorite way to CC so....

    I have a completely irrational, but deeply seated and unchanging distrust of micro pistols. though LimaCharlie brought up the Colt 1908 Vest .25 ACP, which reminded me my dad has one, and I had to check it out, and like it A LOT. I don't think there is a smaller auto pistol in existence. you really can't believe how small they are until you shoot one.

    granted it a "lowly" .25, which is basically a .22 LR, but a .22 LR with a proper primer, which is kind of a big deal reliability-wise....

    I'd put a pachmyer or Hogue grip on my 642, but it's as big as I want for my pocket, if I was IWB with it, maybe, but it my pocket I figure in the adrenaline of a fight-for-life I doubt i'll even notice the recoil.

    but yeah, it hurts me too, I just tell myself "suck it up, buttercup"
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    Member Array mhl6493's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WrongRecroom View Post
    When I first shoot my 638 I said the same thing ( s*** this hurts ) fited new grips and that was good to go

    If all eles fails look at a old model 49 or 640 all metal
    Glad to know I'm not the only one. I have a 640, and I agree -- much better! I find that for me, it's just too heavy for pocket carry. That's why I got the 442.
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    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhl6493 View Post
    Thanks, I'll check those out. I just noticed that Smith and Wesson makes a full-grip for the 442 that covers the backstrap.

    Product: J Synthetic Full Size Grip with S&W Logo

    Anybody have any experience with these? How would these and the other grips mentioned above potentially impact pocket carry?
    The 640 I fired had the above grips they were niced


    For me the Pacymar are great for pocket carry in a remor just for me the prefect size ...

    But they still kick a bit .. The big one I posted it makes the gun feel like a kitty cat but it is a tight fight in most pockets but works great owb

    It was sort of trail and error for me to find the best grips
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    “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” H.L. Mencken
    "Vous ne les laisserez pas passer, mes camarades"
    "We're surrounded. That simplifies our problem of getting to these people and killing them."Chesty Puller

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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy8 View Post
    image.jpg nice wood grips help my wife shoots this no problems an she is 67 an 115 lbs
    wow, that's a beaut right there!! but... do you think it's the wood grips, or more the port job helping it...?
    Easy8 and WrongRecroom like this.
    Beans, Bullets, and Bandages. The only thing better than being ready is not having to use it!

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