Love my 442, but...

This is a discussion on Love my 442, but... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; ...my hands are just too big. I can't get a good enough grip to be consistently accurate and over time (no more than 25 rounds) ...

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Thread: Love my 442, but...

  1. #1
    Member Array Aelbric's Avatar
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    Love my 442, but...

    ...my hands are just too big. I can't get a good enough grip to be consistently accurate and over time (no more than 25 rounds) the recoil is uncomfortable. My hand ends up sore and many times I'm bruised and bloody. This leaves me in a quandary. The 442 is easy to conceal and would probably work in an emergency. The problem is that I can't comply with the first rule of a defensive firearm: practice often. This leaves me with a couple questions:

    1) Is there anything I can do with grips to make it more comfortable for someone with very large hands yet not compromise the ability to conceal it?

    2) Is there any way to manage the loads so that I can practice frequently with range ammo, yet be proficient with my chosen self-defense load (Speer GD 135gr +P SB)?

    3) Last resort: If I have to replace my 442, what would the nearest size up of revolver be? GP-100? SP-101? Other? Going from .38 to .357 would be acceptable.

    4) If I need to "trade in" my 442, will any gun shop repurchase it? Is there a better way to swap hardware?

    I may hang on to it as a BUG, but I really need to have greater confidence in my defensive firearm.

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  3. #2
    Member Array rj112275's Avatar
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    the 442 is a great BUG. it carries in the pocket well. the SP101 would be a slightly larger, much heavier pistol. it will handle .357 just fine. i don't think the SP101 is a good pocket pistol. too heavy. i traded mine off and now carry a j-frame.

    i don't have any problems with j-frames, but you might look into getting a larger grip. i'm not sure if pachmayr, hogue or someone else will make a larger grip that will fit. worth a try. you have a good gun.
    Last edited by rj112275; November 14th, 2007 at 03:02 PM.

  4. #3
    BJC
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    Swap out the grips

    I bought my wife a 637 (.38 special with exposed hammer) back in April for when she is home alone. She enjoys shooting her gun and is accurate with it; but like your situation, after about 25 rounds she would feel the effects of the recoil. We bought her a single piece Hogue grip that is a bit larger than the original J frame boot grip and she likes that a lot better. I frequently carry her pistol in an ankle holster when we take trips, to leave with her at hotels and as a backup to my XD-40 SC, and it doesn't print with the larger handle with either blue jeans or casual slacks. Hope this helps and good hunting!

    BJC

  5. #4
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    Rats, I thought you were talking about my favorite muscle car

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    EW3
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    You may want to think about practicing with a larger grip, like an Uncle Mike's, and putting the smaller stock grip on for carry.

    I noticed it made a bit of a difference and gave you more to hold onto.



    http://www.snubnose.info/docs/grips.htm
    "Naked and Starving as They are We Cannot Enough Admire the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity of the Soldiery" George Washington, Valley Forge, 1777.

  7. #6
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    I'd go with the Pachmayr Decelerator Grips (around $30.00)
    - Low recoil ammo & do hand exercises.
    Buy a Medium Gripmaster. Search Ebay for one.
    That should really tame it for you.

    Then there is always the Mag-Na-Port option if you want to really go a bit further and shave another 15% off the felt recoil.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  8. #7
    Member Array broknindarkagain's Avatar
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    You could always get smaller hands...Or a bigger gun
    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

    Smith & Wesson M&P9c

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    Member Array crankshop1000's Avatar
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    You can always practice with light loads and end the session with 5 of what you carry. The Airweights are what they are, which is not a comfortable target pistol.I believe that laser grips will get you to be a better shooter than you thought possible with a snub.They really shorten the learning curve.Life is full of choices and compromises.I love my 1911's, but carry a 642.

  10. #9
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    Hogue Bantam Grips

    I presume you have the "2 finger" boot grips on your S&W 442. I have some of these on a similar model 642, and they are very small for concealment but don't give your little finger a place to rest on the grip. So it can feel like you don't have complete control of the gun while firing it.

    Hogue makes a grip for J frame and K frame S&W revolvers called the "Bantam" grip. This is a rubber one piece grip that clamps onto the frame without a screw, and has a small piece at the bottom of the grip that accomodates your little finger. But in the back of the grip it is only the length of the frame. Here is what it looks like on the Hogue website:



    I have these on a K frame model 66 snubby, and really like them as a compromise between concealability and control of the gun with all my fingers.


  11. #10
    ckd
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    I have XL hands and can't stand the standard grips on the 442/642s. I would strongly reccomend Hogue Bantam grips that have a nice palm swell for larger hands and the one used on the 340's (357 alloy), reduce recoil, and though slighty tacky feeling, don't snag on clothing. They also offer a three finger version which I have on my 649, but the longer grip length isn't great for pocket or ankle carrry. For under $20, it is worth experimenting.

    I wouldn't worry too much about obtaining the same level of recoil from your training rounds, since if you have the proper gun control with training rounds, in the stress of a real defense situtation it is unlikely you notice recoil. The Speer GD HP SBs are good choice.

    The Ruger's are very nice but quite a bit heavier, and unless you're going to shoot 357 I can't see the logic, and recoil will be stiffer than the 38s in a 442. Many find the stock Ruger grips much like the 442s, some like them others can't stand them.

    Just about any S&W j-frame in good shape is an easy to sell, though gun shops generally will give you less than a private in state buyer would. If you decide to sell privately don't forget FFL and shipping fees.

    Most people I know carry a j-frame as a BUG/second gun.

  12. #11
    Member Array fsilber's Avatar
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    I have long fingers. When I carried a J-frame I bought some cheap used wooden "splinter" grips (the gun came with rubber boot grips), and I used epoxy paste to customize them to give me the desired trigger reach with a high hold, and filled in behind the trigger guard, without adding to the length or width (I don't mind curling my pinky beneath the grip). Because the grip fit my hands precisely, the recoil was spread over a large patch of skin -- so shooting it was comfortable. But when a friend tried it, the hard ill-fitting (for him) grip smacked his hand painfully!

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsilber View Post
    I have long fingers. When I carried a J-frame I bought some cheap used wooden "splinter" grips (the gun came with rubber boot grips), and I used epoxy paste to customize them to give me the desired trigger reach with a high hold, and filled in behind the trigger guard, without adding to the length or width (I don't mind curling my pinky beneath the grip). Because the grip fit my hands precisely, the recoil was spread over a large patch of skin -- so shooting it was comfortable. But when a friend tried it, the hard ill-fitting (for him) grip smacked his hand painfully!
    Whoa! Excellent idea!

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array DirtDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aznav View Post
    Rats, I thought you were talking about my favorite muscle car
    W-2?
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    Because when you find something-you stop looking-Mooch

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    Swap out the stocks, or as the revolver uneducated would say, "the grips".

    Biker

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    I'd go with the Pachmayr Decelerator Grips (around $30.00)
    - Low recoil ammo & do hand exercises.
    Buy a Medium Gripmaster. Search Ebay for one.
    That should really tame it for you.

    Then there is always the Mag-Na-Port option if you want to really go a bit further and shave another 15% off the felt recoil.
    I also use and recommend the Pachmayr Decelerator Grips. They really make the difference in a J-frame .357.
    Try them, and you might find that the smaller model will work OK for carry. I don't have them on my 642, but do on my 640 and use them for carry also.

    For practice a reduced load is very useful in the light guns. If you handload it is just a matter of trying until you find a suitable load. The practice will be more useful than shooting the harder kicking loads and developing a flinch. Light loads do not prevent the draw and shooting techniques. Sure recovery time will change, but personally I do not consider that a big factor.

    Best,
    Jerry

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