This is a discussion on Recoil on Lady Smith within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I think my wife is leaning towards a small J frame. what kind of recoil do Lady Smith's have?...
I think my wife is leaning towards a small J frame.
what kind of recoil do Lady Smith's have?
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"Carrying a gun is a social responsibility."
In a word, snappy, just like any other .38 J-frame. Not punishing, and about the same with regular or +P.
"It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out” – Clint Smith
with +p+ and/or +p ammo it will be snappy. but she will only have to shoot it five time when things go bad. and she want even know it. for the range she needs to shoot 148gr wad cutter. with 148gr wads the 38sp feels like something between a 22lr and a 9mm. not hard, and she will feel good about a gun and she will enjoys shooting it.
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Some people say the J-Frames are "snappy" in regards to recoil.
I beg to differ. I find that my 442 is very pleasant to shoot after shooting magnum .357 loads in a J-Frame. It's all relative. Have your wife try something like a 640 in .357 Magnum with Magnum loads and then give her the 38 SPL J-Frame. I bet she will enjoy shooting the 38 SPL after that.
Or, go shoot 44 Mag 300 Grain Hunting Loads first. That will really knock her socks off.
The light J-frames are great. A heavy gun will be left at home or in the car more often.
You don't have to shoot +P ammo at the range except to learn the point of impact. Use reduced loads, and at the ranges normally shot the difference in impact will be minimal.
My daughter started out with 640 .357 but used .38 Spl ammo. She now has a Ladysmith airweight ane much prefers it.
Although I have several good carry guns, I tend to grab my 642 because of the ease of loading and unloading. Maybe not a good reason, but that is the case.
If I intend to keep it on most of the day I might carry either a Kahr P9 or a SA LW .45. However, the 642 gets the most carry time.
For a guy to shoot the ladysmith 36ls it tends to be snappier than it would be for a woman because at the very most a guy can fit 2 fingers on the grip. My girlfriend recently bought one as her carry weapon, and shoots it quite well because she is able to get a full grip. It is a great gun, with a great finish, and is completely reliable. And it is best to get one now because a couple of gunshops told me that smith and wesson stopped making them. So your window to purchase one NIB is getting smaller.
My wife (5'2", 130 lbs and doesn't care who knows) has owned a Lady Smith 38 for 20 years and loves it. However, I recently gave her a Bersa 380 Concealed Carry model after she tried mine and it has become her new carry pistol of choice. According to her, the two guns have similar recoil and are approx the same size, but the Bersa is easier to grip and holds 8 rds vs. 5rds for the S&W. FWIW, I've shot both guns and the S&W's .38 has a bit more "bark" to it than the .380, but the felt recoil seems about the same.
"... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane
I just ordered a Smith & Wesson M&P 340 today after taking a 340Sc for a test run at the range today. I put standard pressure and +P rounds of .38 special through it as well as a couple of .357 Magnum rounds and found that the recoil was very manageable. To put it in perspective, I rented a Kahr MK9 yesterday and shot it with 9mm range ammo and found the 340Sc to be easier to control despite the fact that the MK9 weighs twice as much. However, recoil is highly subjective and it is best to shoot the pistol for yourself to see how it handles. I'm not much bigger than some women I know as I stand 5'7" tall and tip the scales at +/- 145 pounds. With my small hands, the grip on the J-frame was very secure and I preferred it over the cheap plastic grip on the Kahr.