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Old 04-23-2017, 05:35 PM
otis24 otis24 is offline
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Default J-frame grip experience

Currently, I own six sets of J frame grips. Four sets are currently on sale on ebay, being sold as a group. I've tried different grips and perhaps all are o.k. or suitable in their own right for a particular purpose. Each gives my 442 a different feel and fit my hand differently. Of the six, the Pachmayrs have been my favorite. I would say my hands are small to medium in size. Additionaly, I had surgery on my second finger and still experience some swelling from fluid build up. That poses a problem in and of itself and different grips help accomodate that "disability". That being said,here are my thoughts on each set of grips.

1) Factory S&W "Hogue" grips. Entirely too small. Just able to get minimal grip and the finger grooves don't help.

2)J frame magnas: Allow for a full grip on the revolver since there is no material filling in behind the trigger guard. Not comfortable for shooting.

3)Delta Egros:I was put off by the looks at first but I like the concept. These would probably work great for someone with larger hands. Just too large for my hands. Perhaps deeper finger grooves, if possible, would make them a better fit for those of us with smaller hands (?).

4)Altamont Franconia w/rosewood inserts: Really liked the feel of these in the hand. Great palm swells filled the hand. Deep finger grooves helped to maintain a good grip on the revolver. Downside: in an IWB holster, the grip was too short to easily get a grip for retrieval from holster.

All of the above grips are being sold.

5)Pachmayr Compac: These are what is currently on my revolver. They fill the hand well with good palm swells, have a comfortable resting spot for the pinky and make for great recoil control on the revolver. These are my favorite overall. The downside is that they do increase the overall size of the revolver limiting the concealablility. While I can comfortable conceal in an IWB holster, I would not want to pocket carry, but could if I had too.

6)Pachmayr Compac Pro: The best overall compromise for control and concealability. Fill the hand well, no finger grooves, long enough to not disappear in the holster, can still pocket carry.

Everyone's experience will be different depending on your hand size and mode of carry. In addition, if your J-frame is a magnum as opposed to a .38 Special, that may influence your choice. This is my experience, and a costly one at that.
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:50 PM
gman51 gman51 is offline
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I really like Hogue Tamers. My LCR came with them stock which was a good thing because shooting 357 mags even with them is more than a handful of recoil. I wouldn't even think of putting wood or hard grips on it.
I put Hogue Tamers on an SP101 327 magnum and they made a world of difference. I shot the 327 magnum rounds three times when I first got it. That's all of that I wanted for bone shaking pain. I put up the gun and ordered the Hogue grips right then. Huge difference in recoil feel and control.

I just put a set of Pachmyr grippers on my Charter Bulldog and they do a really good job. They are a bit big and print much more than the stock grips for sure. I am leaving them on the gun and it is my latest carry piece. I really like the 44 special round. The recoil was nothing like I expected from a 44. But I am not going to expect that from the 44 magnum.

I have decided the Pachs are to big for carry due to size of them. Also the grips have a gap running down the back strap I can put my fingernail in and the grips have a gap on sides of the frame. The grips have a fairly large gap on top just below the hammer. I decided to put the original grips back on. I checked with CTD for a refund and they gave me a first time courtesy refund of the grips price only but said I didn't even have to return the grips. I was a happy camper with CTD.

Last edited by gman51; 04-24-2017 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 04-23-2017, 06:11 PM
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I have tried many grips on J, K, L and N frame guns due to my small hands and short fingers. For J and K/L frame round butts nothing fits my hand like the Pachmayr Compac Pro grips. They are not the best looking, in my opinion, but are the extremely comfortable to hold and shoot.

J Frame 940, my EDC


K Frame 19-5 DSS


K Frame 66-5


L Frame 696


L Frame 986


I just wish they made the Compac Pro for N frames.
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Old 04-23-2017, 06:26 PM
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Thanks for sharing those pics! I love the 940. Have never tried Pahmayr Pros on a K frame.
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Old 04-23-2017, 07:30 PM
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I,like Otis24, have a wide assortment of grips for my J frames. I like the Pacs on my 640 ND and the wife really likes the S&W Bananas on her 642.




I have tried all manner of holsters for my 640 as well and have settled on OWB with either a paddle holster...



or this old Galco SM122...


Last edited by DevilDog72; 04-23-2017 at 07:31 PM. Reason: grammer
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Old 04-24-2017, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otis24 View Post
...5)Pachmayr Compac: These are what is currently on my revolver. They fill the hand well with good palm swells, have a comfortable resting spot for the pinky and make for great recoil control on the revolver. These are my favorite overall. The downside is that they do increase the overall size of the revolver limiting the concealablility. While I can comfortable conceal in an IWB holster, I would not want to pocket carry, but could if I had too...
I've comfortably pocket carried a 640 with Compacs for quite a number of years. With a good pocket holster it's no problem.
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Old 04-24-2017, 01:28 AM
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Changed the ones on my M638 to the M640.
Handel recoil good except with 357 Magnums!
Just as good as goodyear's as far as I'm concerned and more control.

upload image onlinecertificity.com
Put this on the M638, Shot OK and do work in a pocket better then most.

imagehostingcertificity.com
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Old 04-24-2017, 04:04 PM
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I have The S&W Boot Grips on My Model 60-7 & really like them,I believe S&W discontinued them I think they were made by Uncle Mikes


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Old 04-24-2017, 10:03 PM
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If you're agonizing over the grips to put on your J-Frame, you're probably overthinking what that gun is supposed to be all about in the first place.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:33 PM
deadear dan deadear dan is offline
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I would say grips are very important, especially in a J frame. Short sight radius and big bang in a small, light package necessitates a firm stable grip. In addition you don't want to have to adjust your grip with a scenario that requires a fast draw. It should give you a good purchase with the first joint of your finger engaging the trigger for a pull that will be straight back for you. Everyone has their own answer with their size hands and hx of injuries. Good luck Otis24, seems to take his quest seriously.
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:17 PM
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Pachs are on my Model 36 square butt.

Last edited by 12string; 04-25-2017 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSanch111 View Post
If you're agonizing over the grips to put on your J-Frame, you're probably overthinking what that gun is supposed to be all about in the first place.
How so? One of the great things about a revolver, as opposed to a polymer pistol, is that it can be customized easily with a change of grips. Different grips can easily transform a revolver to fit individuals with different hand sizes or make it better suited for a particular purpose. Those with physical limitations may find a remedy with a different grip.

Pachmayr Compacs are the current grip of choice. They fit my hand well, conceal well in a DeSantis Summer Heat IWB holster, feel great and absorb recoil. Customizing my 442 with grips that fit me in no way diminishes "what the gun is supposed to be about". To the contrary. I carry a j-frame for self-defense. That's what my 442 is supposed to be about. With the proper grips, it excells in that role.

In addition, a fine forum like this allows fellow enthusiasts to learn from the success and failure of others.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:01 PM
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I went with the Pachmyar Diamond Pro for my Model 60 3". Lets me put all fingers on the grip. Also it has a palm swell that feels good in my average sized hands.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:16 PM
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Would love to try the Diamond Pros. If the four sets of grips that I have on ebay don't sell, perhaps I can trade for a set.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:37 PM
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I use the Compacs on my J frames most of the time but i do keep a set of Uncle Mikes for summer pocket carry.
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:01 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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On my 36 and 49 (both are roundbutts) I use the smallest factory wood grip along with a Tyler T-Grip. The Tyler company has been potty in the past in shipping but I bought a gun shop out several years ago and had hundreds (most were sold off).

With the wood grips I don't have the rubber snagging my shirt on CC. An added benefit with original grips, is my 1917 has the lanyard ring, so the T-Grip fills my hand without a grip change out that would involve lanyard removal.

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Old 04-29-2017, 10:16 PM
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+1 on the Tyler T-Grips. I have them on all my Model 60's and Ruger Service/Security Sixes. Keep those beautiful factory grips!
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:09 AM
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Default Pocket Carry Perfection

Ive tried my share of stocks on my 340, really liked the looks of Altamonts on mine but they didn't have enough width near the top where they recoil into the web of your hand, so off they came like the rest. I tried on a set of Hogue Bantams (rubber) for my style of carry(pocket) I need the smallest size, and these Bantams really soak up a lot of recoil pain to the web of the hand. I bought a second set for my other 340 and feel like Ive got the cats meow for pocket carry. YMMV
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:09 PM
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I probably have spent a ton of money on every grip there is and still come back to the factory magnas w/a grip adapter for EDC/pocket. Oversize rubber that cover the backstrap for extended range sessions, but I switch to my EDC mode for a quick 15 to 20 rounds before going home.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:34 PM
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I just took John Farnam's Defensive Handgun course with a steel and an air weight snub. Shot about 200 rounds. Had the magnas and a Tyler T on the 36 no dash and a pachymar compac on the 638. Shot 7 hits on a 5x8 reactive plate with movement and one reload, drawing from pocket and grabbing speedloader from windbreaker pocket in 22 seconds. Made time after ten tries. Used the 638 but the compac grips were a bit too big. Probably would have done better with the 36 and the grips which are a bit too small but nonetheless work better.

Earned the student or second level pin. Might have made the instructor level with an OWB holster and speedloader pouches which probably would have saved me 6 seconds but I was training as I fight not trying to train to the test. I started off using speed strips on the reloads which impressed the instructors but made it impossible to pass the test.

Anyway magnas and the T CAN work but if you want optimal accuracy and speed I would invest in Herrets Detective Stocks or something similar/a touch more concealable. (_No Second Place Winner_ has a photo of old j frame stocks for a round butt designed for concealment for example. ) I find the SP101 with stock grip is about perfect for me, for example.

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Old 05-17-2017, 08:22 PM
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I've tried a few different grips with my 642.

Ahrend's non-finger-grooved boot grips didn't work well for me. They kept feeling like the gun was going to slip out of my out, which was the opposite of my experience with their K-frame grips.

Altamont boot grips were just uncomfortable with their deep finger grooves, though I've seen some with much shallower looking grooves that may be worth trying in the future.

I have a set of ebony Eagle Secret Service grips that worked well for me as far as shooting and carrying are concerned, but they interfere with my Comp I loaders.

Magnas with a T-grip adapter didn't feel right in my hand. I didn't like the Barami Hip Grip with the adapter. I even tried the Werner carry system (Hip Grip, grip adapter, and Hogue Handall) and that didn't work for me, either.

The best grips I've tried, and are currently on my EDC gun, are Spegel boot grips. I have the Centennial model, with the extended "ears," in cocobolo. They fit my hand really well, are compact, and don't grab on my cover garment. They have finger grooves, but they're not particularly deep or sharp so I can work with it. And they don't intefere with my Comp I speedloaders. Unfortunately, the wait for new ones is about a year, unless you can find them for sale somewhere. I got mine back when Novak's stocked a bunch of them, but they were expensive.

I have another 642, a no-dash, with a set of PGS Hideout grips. Overall, I like them. I think I would like them better if they were a little more rounded (I may try reshaping them with sandpaper at some point) and maybe a little more hand-filling. I also had to modify them to allow for speedloader use. But, they have a nice texture that's grippy without being too grippy and only cost around $20 from Brownells. It would be nice to outfit both my 642s with the same grip to maintain consistency, something I can't do with Spegel boot grips right now but may try with the PGS Hideouts.

I was never really interested in rubber grips as I carry IWB and rubber grips can grab cover garments.

Everybody has different needs. One of the nice things about revolvers is how easy it is to change how they handle with a change of grips.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:54 PM
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I did talk to Herrets about their old round butt grips featured in _No Second Place Winner _ and they asked me to send them a copy of the photo in the book. Never got around to it as I wasn't up for spending $100+ on grips but I'll bet Herrets would work with you if you were determined to get the perfect set of grips.

Seems that the problem nowadays is that most want single stack autos or pocket 380s. The smith j frames were always third to Colt D frames and Smith K frames for more serious use and tended to fill the role of backup, hideout, bellygun and pocket pistol rather than as a revolver for serious accuracy and carry.

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Old 05-17-2017, 09:26 PM
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Most ccw will never be in a shootout and a j-frame will serve fine. It has served fine in L.E. since the depression. Small autos are the rave among young web gun slingers. Beware of the man that has a j-frame and knows how to use it. He is very well armed in harms way.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:03 PM
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You can get good with it but it takes some practice. Even then I'm pulling shots to the left with my 638 airweight. I get a sub 2 inch group maybe one and a half inch at 21 feet but it's maybe an inch or two off center. I'm going to test out my Model 36 this weekend 2 inch and 3 inch. I have an old lady NYPD 36-1 3 inch. I'll bet I get a more accurate group with that but all the same most people carry airweights and better wood grips would definitely be a help.

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Old 05-18-2017, 08:37 AM
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I tried a set of Hogue Bantams on a J, liked them, and put them on two more. I don't care for the size or characteristics of J-frame boot grips in general, but the material Hogue uses actually provides me with the grip and control I find lacking in other boot grip designs. While I still tend to not care for boot grips in general, it's hard to argue that they're the best grips for concealing a J-frame.

I have a set of Pachmeyer Compact grips. They fit my hand the best. They are what I shoot a J-frame most accurately, but they are the worst for concealment- at least for me. Great grips for taming J-frame magnums, however. I have used the Compact Pros, but they were too slender.




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Old 05-18-2017, 09:22 AM
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I was fortunate to win a grip karma for a set of Mustang grips for my 36. It was the equivalent of putting a $40 saddle on a $10 horse appearance wise but turned it into a very good shooter. While that did come at the expense of conceal-ability it is OK in the rural area I live in.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:15 PM
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I must be old and soft in the head. I must have a dozen different types of stocks for J Frames but prefer magnas without adaptors. My draw is faster and more secure. The gun is easier to conceal. I feel I have a better chance of keeping possession of the revolver in a struggle. I use magnas on my M649 .38 & M60 .357 and could not be more pleased.

I wear a size extra large glove. :-)
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:50 PM
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Some very nice looking guns. I bought mine over 10 years ago...a 642. It came with Crimson Trace grips installed at S&W, which still work perfectly today. It's my daily carry when I am not carrying my 45c or SA 1911. The guns shows a lot of holster wear, and the grips are worn as well, but then I didn't buy it to look nice.

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Old 05-18-2017, 08:26 PM
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I love my Desantis clip grips on my 649-5! I started off looking for some Barami's and was suggested to try the Desantis'. And they only cost about $20 a set. I pocket carry with a Tagua sticky holster or just put it inside my pants.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:39 PM
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Pach Compacs on my Model 49, Stock furniture with a Tyler T-Grip on my 36.
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