I've had several, ranging from the model 37, to the model 60 in stainless steel. I think you'll do well to get the stainless steel model if you're inro a J Frame 357 mag. The 38 plus Ps are ok in that frame. The older models (37 etc) will lossten up a bit, atfer putting some stout loads thru them.
The 637 seems to have a "painted" finish on it. (it seems to flake off with the used ones that come on trades into the store. Not too sure about the Titainium guns yet. They seem to come in on trades. Maybe because of the recoil they have, using the 357 loads in them
I carry a 642 Airweight Centennial (.38spl. +P). I really like it but some folks find the recoil a bit to sharp for comfort. The small boot grips that come on it help with concealment but there isn't much to hold onto.
I wouldn't want to use a .357 in the Airweight format but for .38spl it rocks! I even used mine to qualify for my carry permit, shot 96% on only the second range trip with the new gun. I can now keep all rounds in at least the 9 ring at 21 feet, a bit looser grouping at greater distances but still inside the silhouette. It'll shoot tighter than that of course but "pilot error" takes its toll.
Wife carries a 638 .38spl with the shrouded hammer. Tried to convince her to go the route of the 642 but she liked the 638 better. Trigger is a bit heavy but very smooth. Very easy to conceal. No problems yet.
May seem odd seeing as love hand cannons and am somewhat of a recoil junkie. Well, at the high end. Thing is for me with a carry piece is max stability and controllability - this why I go heavy, even large and heavy now.
I would not personally go lighter than my SP with a snub, tho did manage fine with the venerable M85 earlier on. I am even influenced too by some of folks I teach on courses who seem to choose a lightweight as their first gun almost - and can't then shoot even usefully because of the bite.
However - from a comfort POV sure, they are excellent with so much weight saved, and I know many people get on with them fine, but I certainly would not suggest them as a first gun and despite my years of shooting and still fortunately strong grip - they ain't for me.
+1 What P95 said granted i have been carrying my 38 cobra which is real light but its not rated +P so it gets std 38's and is tame to shoot though this is a odd carry for me i might carry it a total of 3 weeks out of the year
My wife carries a Model 340 Sc. Recoil is a bit sharp, but she manages to qualify with it every time so far.She likes it because it is so light to carry. She picked it out and bought it herself, even though I warned her about the recoil.
She has never shot 357 mags in it and I doubt she ever will, she carries 38 +P's and practices with regular 38's. She has shot some +P's, just to make sure the POA is the same.
I resisted buying one for a long, long time as I thought the cost was too much for only a five shooter in return, but dang if I haven't enjoyed it. It sure is handy. I carry it my pocket when just nocking about and it works well as a BUG.
637 as primary, 1911 for serious work I have not done any serious work in a while, so the 637 is fine. I have not had a finish problem. I bought mine new, no internal lock. I guess it was from an earlier production run. I have it all the time when I carry (can't at work, mental health counselor in school system) I also carried while doing brake work on my wifes car did not notice it. Don't let people tell you its a too small because once those little 38 +P's start coming out of the business end the end they'll move.
They make a nice pocket carry option. I carry mine as a BUG or if a cover garmet isn't appropriate, as a primary. The finish on mine is pretty good so far. I know S&W had some finish problems with these.
I might be the only one with this thought, but I wish S&W made an Airweight 9mm revolver. Cheap ammo, fast reloads with moonclips and slightly better ballistics over a .38 Spl....oh yeah, I'd be all over that.
(...as SRFL goes online to search for a decent S&W 940.)
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