S&W Airweight choice

Discussion in 'Wheelguns!' started by dmarbell, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. dmarbell

    dmarbell Sensei of Humor Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Husband and wife are friends of mine. Wife had a recent close call, and wants a 38 special Airweight with laser. She made this choice after talking with other friends and family members.

    I don't think she would want a 637 with the exposed hammer. Assuming I'm right, it seems the choices are 638 with the bobbed hammer or 642 with internal hammer.

    She has indicated she might want to carry in her purse once her CHP is finalized, which will be soon.

    Any opinions? I don't carry or shoot revolvers, so I'm at a loss.
     
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  2. Jerzsubbie

    Jerzsubbie Senior Member Charter Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    I’m also not a wheel gun guy, but did some research when my mom decided she wanted a pistol and determined she was unable to operate a slide.

    The 642 is tough to beat, internal hammer so no worries getting snagged on something out of a purse, DA so almost dummy proof, good quality, not too heavy.
    The cons would be, smaller guns are tougher to shoot, heavy trigger, silly lock, short sight radius, OE grips suck for recoil.

    I got my mom Hogue grips that cover the exposed metal of the grip and has some cushion between it and your hand, and installed 4-5lb trigger springs, as well as deleting the silly lock. All in it’s under $400.

    This works for her, can’t really speak to other models tho.
     
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  3. BowWow

    BowWow Happy to be here

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    .......rent one or handle one in a store to be sure she is ok with it. There might be a few that cant pull the trigger on a hammerless. Either Smith would be a fine carry piece...... if carrying in purse......a good holster is a must.
     
  4. Jeppo

    Jeppo Very LARGE Member Supporting Member

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    I voted with my wallet on a 442 (black version of the 642). Quick outta the pocket and nasty as Get The F Offa Me gun. I’d strongly suggest finding one without an internal lock (that serves no purpose at all) and changing to a larger rubber grip. I found it no fun at all to shoot with the original grip.
     
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  5. dmarbell

    dmarbell Sensei of Humor Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    My friend seems determined to have a laser, like a Crimson Trace. What are the choices for lasers if she upgrades the grips?
     
  6. Oneofsix

    Oneofsix low speed, high drag Charter Member Supporting Member

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    As a friend, you may want to suggest that she shoot a snub airweight before making a final decision on one. They can be punishing even at 38 spl levels. Unless she's already done that, of course.
    Nothing fun about buying a pistol you don't like to shoot, even for SD reasons.

    Sent from my LG-H820 using Tapatalk
     
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  7. BBD280

    BBD280 God, Guns, and Guts

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    Nowhere near as light as the Airweight but a SP101 will soak up recoil much better.
     
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  8. MacEntyre

    MacEntyre Shoot on Sight! Charter Member Supporting Member

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    she sounds like a noobie gun person... so what purpose does a laser serve?

    she could use it in dry fire exercises, to see what effect her flinch has... I can't think of any other use.
     
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  9. Jeppo

    Jeppo Very LARGE Member Supporting Member

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    That’s why I changed the grips. If she doesn’t enjoy (or at least tolerate) practicing with the gun, I believe she should forget all about it.
     
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  10. Ben Jefferson

    Ben Jefferson Active Member Supporting Member

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    A Ruger LCR in .38+p can be had with a Crimson Trace grip.

    That's what my wife carries.

    Light, reliable, comfortable, good for smaller hands.
     
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  11. KnotRight

    KnotRight Well-Known Member Charter Member Benefactor Life Member

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    642 with a laser in the grip
     
  12. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Well-Known Member Benefactor

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    Has she tried the Airweight or similar, better to visit the range and rent a few to find the right one for her,
    she may be better off with the M&P Sheld .380 EZ or similar.
     
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  13. dmarbell

    dmarbell Sensei of Humor Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    This remark about trying the Airweight, along with the others above, are not wasted on me. I had a 642 and remember how painful it was to shoot, and how I didn't seem to be able to hit targets with it.

    As to the practice, I understand that someone who won't train shouldn't own a gun. However, she was able to chase a home invader out of her home with an older 22lr revolver that had not been fired in about 30 years. Without that pistol, who knows how the incident would have turned out. So she wants a gun she can pick up and start pulling the trigger. That includes various smaller semi-automatics, including Shield, P365, G43 and G26. But I'd feel real bad if she limp wristed it or otherwise had a failure.

    If she left the decision to me, I'd have her get 1) 642 with Crimson Trace for purse carry, 2) K Frame revolver with 38 specials for home defense, and 3) a semi- like G26/19 or M&P 2.0.
     
  14. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Nuts over Lil D and Poll Editor Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member Supporting Member

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    I have a 638 with the bobbed hammer, actually mom has it. Carries it everywhere with her. Loaded with Nyclad hollow points.
    old school death
     
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  15. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Well-Known Member Benefactor

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    PMR30 perhaps? 30 rounds I agree, these smaller .38's can pack a punch, have a Taurus 2".
     
  16. BowWow

    BowWow Happy to be here

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    Smith does make a small revolver in 22 magnum if the recoil is and issue.
     
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  17. matttahoe53

    matttahoe53 Happy to be here

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  18. Grits

    Grits I'm a Dirt Bag. Charter Life Member

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    If you can find a Colt Detective Special, that would be my choice. That is what my wife has as a house gun. That all steel revolver soaks up the recoil.

    Sent from my SM-J320V using Tapatalk
     
  19. Scsmith42

    Scsmith42 Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    If funds are not an object the Airlite 360PD is a really nice gun. Titanium and Scandium .357. It’s cushioned grips help absorb a lot of recoil.

    I too would not recommend a laser. If she needs to use the pistol, the less complicated the better (and fumbling to turn a laser on and off is a distraction in a high Adrenalin situation.
     
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  20. CarolinaColtCollector

    CarolinaColtCollector Member Supporting Member

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    S&W makes a M&P .38 revolver with a laser on it, trigger pull feels smoother and lighter than a 442/642, also has a cylinder release on the “back strap” so it might be easier for her to open.

    97E66F4D-1519-48CD-9C20-63FD4B317BE7.jpeg
     
  21. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    I like my 637-2, and it's generally my EDC in a Remora. No clips or black magic, just stuff it in your pants front or back, jogging pants, jeggings(!) or jeans and it stays there. I also shoot it pretty damn well at 7 yards which is no small feat for a 1 7/8ths in barrel snubbie.

    As far as recoil, I generally practice with 158gr lead RN loads and carry the Gold Dot short barrel 135 +P. They have similar recoil. I put a set of Pachmayr Diamond Pros on the gun the day I bought it and they really help soak up the recoil on a 13oz heater.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
  22. Charlie

    Charlie Member

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    Try to talk her out of the laser. One might make her hesitate to pull the trigger if she sees the dot wiggling around all over the target. I have a bunch of small pistols and revolvers. A 442 is generally what stays in my pocket. Use light loads for practice if she is recoil shy. A target load should even be adequate for discouraging evil people. I would rather have a handgun that is comfortable for her to carry than a handgun that is comfortable for her to shoot a lot.

    edit: She needs to be able to operate whatever she carries but does not need to be able to shoot it comfortably for hundreds of rounds in a range session.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
  23. Red Marley

    Red Marley Authorized person Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I was going to suggest this too. I have several J-frames (both airweight and stainless) and have experience with others - but the .38 Bodyguard has the best trigger and doesn't twitch as much as the regular J-frames. I'd ask her to try a 380 Shield EZ also, if a semi is an option.
     
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  24. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    That's what I was gonna say^^^^^^^^^ and a Much better trigger!
     
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  25. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Times like this I wish you were closer. We have here J Frames from .22, .22 mag. all .32s including the mag, .38s and .357. With all manner of grips and steel and alloy with 2 in, 3 in and 4 inch. If you will bring her she can shoot them all.

    ETA...In my opinion, J Frames are for Expert gun handlers. People always lead the ladies to them but I am not of that opinion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
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  26. ronn47

    ronn47 Where's the Scotch? Charter Member Benefactor Life Member

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    Let her find out what she shoots well and will practice with.
    My oldest daughter has a 2" S&W 36 and will shoot a 100 round box thru it if she has one with her.
    She out shoots her husband on any day of the week.
     
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  27. CDR_Glock

    CDR_Glock Active Member

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    She should try them out before committing to one. There are so many options these days.

    I have a few revolvers. I have been more in revolvers since I started in 91.

    [​IMG]

    I prefer the 442/642, in 38, or 640 357 Magnum. I don’t like exposed hammers in a pocket carry revolver. Hammers could snag, though I’ve never had that happen. Trigger weight is around 12 lbs but you can get a Wilson spring kit to cut it down to a little over 10lbs. The 442 is 15 ounces and the 640 is about 24 ounces. Heavier revolvers have less recoil but they are “heavy”. To me, they do point most naturally because of the shape. I can point shoot out to 10 yards with it.

    Is she doing a purse carry? Pocket? Inside the waist?

    You didn’t mention a budget. But the S&W 640 Pro has a better trigger and sights. The issue with a snub nosed revolver is the trigger weight in double action. It is heavy for most people, particularly beginners. There is a big liability of cocking a hammer in single action since it can easily be touched off in times of stress/adrenaline.

    I am not a fan of lasers. It makes a person too deliberate and slower when they realize how much drift they have.

    The lightest double action revolvers are a Ruger LCR and Kimber K6S. Add to that a Colt as a distant 3rd.

    Depending upon her budget, she should also look at the Taurus line of revolvers. I own four and I have been very happy each.

    Any chance she has the dexterity for a semiautomatic? Their triggers are much more manageable, though, she’d have to practice failure drills. Keeping it in one’s purse can be an issue for some models.

    The HD Sig P238 is a 380 ACP that has a light slide, but it has an external safety. Recoil is manageable.

    The Bond Arms Bullpup is more like a revolver and has a lighter slide, too. It’s in 9 mm, though, and it doesn’t have last round hold open.

    The S&W shield is a nice combination of size, decent trigger and capacity. The trigger is lighter than the above.


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