J Frame Advice

J Frame Advice

This is a discussion on J Frame Advice within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Went to the range today and found it hard to shoot my 442 well. Iíve shot it before and noticed the issue, but today I ...

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    Member Array pinetree's Avatar
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    J Frame Advice

    Went to the range today and found it hard to shoot my 442 well. Iíve shot it before and noticed the issue, but today I put 50+ rounds through it and really tried to work it out. If I seat the gun in the webbing of my hand I can only get the trigger to break if I use the tip of my finger. With a 12#+ pull it isnít easy. I had to hold the gun a little forward in my grip and shot poorly. First, I need either a Wilson or Apex trigger spring kit. Then I need grips that cover the back-strap, thus giving me more length of pull. Iím thinking Altamont Bateleur.

    I love these little guns. I do not pocket carry it. I appreciate any advice or suggestions.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array 71yancy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinetree View Post
    Went to the range today and found it hard to shoot my 442 well. Iíve shot it before and noticed the issue, but today I put 50+ rounds through it and really tried to work it out. If I seat the gun in the webbing of my hand I can only get the trigger to break if I use the tip of my finger. With a 12#+ pull it isnít easy. I had to hold the gun a little forward in my grip and shot poorly. First, I need either a Wilson or Apex trigger spring kit. Then I need grips that cover the back-strap, thus giving me more length of pull. Iím thinking Altamont Bateleur.

    I love these little guns. I do not pocket carry it. I appreciate any advice or suggestions.

    Thank you
    I think you just came up with the best advice and suggestions on your own. In my case, I didn't get an after market spring kit. A gunsmith worked on the original parts and the trigger pull is as easy and smooth as it can get. Made all the difference in the world on the 642.

  3. #3
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    VIP Member Array sgb's Avatar
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    These J frame revolvers are meant for can't miss distances ............. like 9 to 21 feet point and shoot distances. Small handguns are HARD to shoot well, carrying a handgun you shoot well is going to be more uncomfortable than the mouse gun ............... decisions, decisions.

    Speaking of decisions I need bourbon
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    VIP Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    I will be first to say that J-frames can be tough to shoot well! Some rubber grips that cover the frame may help. I find the 6 shot Detective Special/ Cobra size almost as easy to carry and much easier to shoot well! Plus you get the bonus of a sixth round! Good luck!
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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I shoot a 642, I am most comfortable with the back strap open. I have thick meaty palms and short fingers. I had to change grips to shoot well. My off hand thumb is centered on the web of my shooting hand, and the fingers wrap around . My off hand squeezes like a C clamp. This lets me shoot well out to about 25 yards.
    I got a spring kit and was installing it, I found that most of what I needed was to smooth the trigger return slide and replace its spring. That dropped the trigger weight from off the scale [ way over 12 lbs] to right at 10 lbs. I'm still using the stock hammer spring. I could have gone lower, but I have not had any light strikes, and I'm happy with the trigger now. I also lubed everything that moves with either synthetic grease or synthetic oil. DR
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    Senior Member Array Holmes375's Avatar
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    These modified grips have helped my J frame shooting immensely. They're Uncle Mike's combat grips shortened for concealment carry. The covered backstrap gives me a much better finger-to-trigger relationship and keeps me off the cylinder release during recoil.
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    VIP Member Array G-man*'s Avatar
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    My advice would be to learn to shoot the gun as is, until you have become proficient with it before you start dicking with springs.
    You cannot buy or replace your way to skill.

    THEN, when you have reached a point of proficiency, you will be able to justify modifying it, and also understand better your real needs.
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    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinetree View Post
    Went to the range today and found it hard to shoot my 442 well. Iíve shot it before and noticed the issue, but today I put 50+ rounds through it and really tried to work it out. If I seat the gun in the webbing of my hand I can only get the trigger to break if I use the tip of my finger. With a 12#+ pull it isnít easy. I had to hold the gun a little forward in my grip and shot poorly. First, I need either a Wilson or Apex trigger spring kit. Then I need grips that cover the back-strap, thus giving me more length of pull. Iím thinking Altamont Bateleur.

    I love these little guns. I do not pocket carry it. I appreciate any advice or suggestions.

    Thank you
    The best grips I've found for that situation for a J frame are the old Herrett's Shooting Ace grips. Herrett's is still making grips, but they don't list them any more. Maybe they would do a special order or these show up on Ebay from time to time. There are two sets on Ebay now for 99.99, which I think is a bit high, but the ergos on these are really exceptional.

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    I bought my 649 on consignment, gently used for sure. It came with the Uncle Mikes combat grips. I assumed they were stock, maybe not. Fit my hand perfectly. I did have a gunsmith tune it up, made a great difference. Finally, I put a dab of florescent paint on the front sight and can finally see it! Noticeable group improvement.
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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    Ive only ever once had a J frame when I was a newer shooter, but have since shot a LCR for over a year, nearly exclusively. Id be weary of springs to lighten the trigger, as they will by definition give lighter primer strikes, and therefore make reliability a question. They can be tough to shoot, but people do master them. It just takes time, practice, and plenty of ammo. If you have spent your days shooting mid size semi-autos, going to a J frame isnt going to be an easy swap. Buy a case of ammo, and spend your time doing trigger manipulation drills on the clock. Dont just shoot, actively practice to get better.

    Im feeling pretty comfortable with my LCR nowadays, but thats after 1,000+ rounds and lots of dry fire practice.
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  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array TSKnight's Avatar
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    My S&W 36 has a smooth as glass 7-8# DAO trigger pull. The work was done by S&W Performance Center, DAO, bobbed hammer and trigger work. I couldn't be happier. Think there are target pics in the 25 yard thread if I remember right.

    JMHO, a crummy trigger can make a difficult gun almost impossible to shoot well. If you plan on keeping your J frame, I don't think you will regret getting some quality trigger work done. Throwing different springs at it may help, but there are other things that can be done that would make it better also.
    Last edited by TSKnight; February 18th, 2020 at 08:58 AM. Reason: Stupid auto correct
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    Senior Member Array Gunnie's Avatar
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    I still like the old factory service panels. A Wolfe spring kit can and will improve it immensely as will dry firing to smooth everything out.
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  14. #13
    New Member Array rlggray's Avatar
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    Get some snap caps and dry fire for at least ten minutes every day.

    Concentrate on your grip, trigger pull, and your front sight. You will find the grip that works for you and your 442 when your trigger pull doesn't upset the front sight.

    You will also find the trigger on your 442 getting smoother in the process. And you will also save a lot of money on ammo.

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    One of the things I found that made a difference in my J-frame shooting was shooting DA revolvers and pistols enough so that no matter the gun's action, I don't need to put more finger on the trigger than the first pad. That alone seemed to make more difference than my grip on the gun as far as getting hits where I aimed was concerned.
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  16. #15
    Ex Member Array oldIthink's Avatar
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    I have the M637 (poor choice). I have ham sized hands. My wife shoots it pretty good but she doesn't like the grip size either. It was put away and hasn't been out for about two years now. Might be time to revisit that little peashooter and see what can be done to make it easier to shoot.

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