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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 01-01-2022, 08:21 PM
yugolovr yugolovr is offline
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Default Who else enjoys shooting j frame airweight

I have a model 642 airweight. I have put between 200 to 250 rounds through it. I enjoy shooting it and donít mind the recoil. The only heavy recoil round I have shot through it were the buffalo bore standard pressure wadcutter rounds. Just wanting to know is there anybody else that enjoys these little j frames.
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Old 01-01-2022, 08:32 PM
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When posting the initial post to a thread, there's a "poll function" down at the bottom of "Additional Options"; just an fyi.
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Old 01-01-2022, 08:44 PM
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Although I regularly shoot my M38ís, they are less pleasant than my M49, or any other steel framed 38.

Iím not a fan of the +p or boutique hyper ammo. They donít improve performance enough to be worth the extra $ or the recoil that comes with ammo of that ilk.
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Old 01-01-2022, 08:59 PM
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The 642 PC was my first gun. Absolutely love it since it's easy to carry. Have a friend I go to the local range with who is 88 (I'm only a young 70) who has two.
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:02 PM
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642 was my first J and I like it, but the steelies are way more enjoyable to shoot.
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:03 PM
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I've had a M60, M63, M317, M37 and M442. The .22's to me felt too light. I over compensated my movements with them. The .38's on the other hand were 2" barrels and I tend to be able to control them better, even with a more powerful .38 Special load.
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:06 PM
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I love my 637. I donít shoot it much because of the price of ammo, but I have shot a couple hundred rounds through it before 38 special shot up in price.


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Old 01-01-2022, 09:19 PM
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My wife has a 317 that I really enjoy shooting. I have a recently acquired 37 in nickel thatís fun to shoot a few rounds through. I have arthritis in my hands and wrists so I reload for minimum recoil. Itís manageable to shoot but I can only shoot 20 or so rounds at a time. Sweet gun though.
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:24 PM
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Enjoy might not be the appropriate word.
The heavier larger Frame guns are a lot more fun to shoot.
Shoot a K , L or N with a tuned action and you will know what I mean.
Do I trust my 642? Absolutely!
It out in my RAV4 right now.
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:26 PM
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My 342PD was definitely made for carrying a lot and shooting little; however, shooting my 640-1 with magnums is not too bad. Those 10 ounces make a big difference.
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:29 PM
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M638 with the right grips make a big difference.....
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:36 PM
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I love shooting my 9mm 642-1Ö zero issue with recoil. But I am also far from what people call recoil sensitive.

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Old 01-01-2022, 09:37 PM
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I bought a new 37 in 1972 and enjoyed it even with +P
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:40 PM
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yugolovr ,I too really like shooting my early 90s J 442.Its also a great carry gun and one I used in the detective squad for 5 years.
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Old 01-01-2022, 09:49 PM
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Absolutely love it. Shoot my 642 till the side plate screws are loose. Have over 5000 rounds through it.
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Old 01-01-2022, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STCM(SW) View Post
M638 with the right grips make a big difference.....
I agree that the right grips help a lot, and I shoot my 638 enough to stay well practiced with it, but itís a chore. I donít shoot my 3Ē 37 no dash much.

Small gun range days are chores, though relatively fun chores on the scale of chores. 638, sometimes 37, P365, P365xÖ none are a real joy to shoot, like a steel 32 or 22lr or mag J Frame, or a steel K Frame.

But when itís time to practice with SD guns I need to leave the fun guns behind or I end up shooting them in lieu of the SD guns.
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Old 01-01-2022, 11:06 PM
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Get good with a J frame and you will have improved your performance with all other pistols.
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Old 01-01-2022, 11:26 PM
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Like Screwball (Post #12), I love shooting my 9mm 637-2 Conversion. Also like him, I am not particularly recoil sensitive, but the little rascal does give a painful whack to the thumb when it goes bang.
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Old 01-01-2022, 11:41 PM
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Ever since I purchased the 460sw, the airweights are comfortable and soft to shoot.
Even at 100yds, aim at the top of a steel silhouette target and you will get hits. Very fun.
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Old 01-01-2022, 11:48 PM
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I do. But it is a Model 43 4" 22LR
The 38 specials are pretty fun to shoot too.
The 357s, not so much. I prefer my Taurus M617Ti.
7-round titanium 357 with a ported barrel.
About the same weight as an aluminum frame, but actually shoots more like a steel framed gun due to the porting.
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Old 01-01-2022, 11:56 PM
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I’ve been shooting J Frames for years but never really enjoyed the experience. I’m in my mid 70s, shot my 340PD & Model 60 last week and it took a few days for my hands to stop hurting.
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Old 01-02-2022, 12:12 AM
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The Airweights are a pure pleasure to carry AND to shoot. I shoot a lot of big bore revolvers so even a potent .38 Special round in my 38-2 or 638 no dash seems down right mild to me.
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Old 01-02-2022, 03:03 AM
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I enjoy them.

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Old 01-02-2022, 07:10 AM
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Airweight J-frame .38 Specials are OK if they are square-butted and have Tylers. There are also many Goodyears and other large grips that work well, both SB and RB, but they kind of negate the advantages of a small gun.

Airweight Kit Gun in .22LR is great, of course. Glad I have one.
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Old 01-02-2022, 08:17 AM
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The only Airweight I still own is a old 642. If I'm in a masochistic mood, I'll shoot a couple cylinders through it. Even plain .38 sp. 158 gr lead beats me up.

My CA Undercover is much more comfortable to shoot
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Old 01-02-2022, 09:33 AM
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After reading thru I have to amend my post. The 22 Airlites are definitely fun.

Of course, they just shift the pain, from your hand to your trigger finger. But IMO they are unequaled as a snub practice platform.
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Old 01-02-2022, 10:12 AM
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I've never had an issue shooting my 360 AirWeight but stick to shooting 125 grain HPs. I did put a Hogue grip on it and that made a world of difference in recoil and it is still very concealable.

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Old 01-02-2022, 10:27 AM
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I like J Frames and shoot them more than my few other handguns. I need soft grips because after 70 years of abuse to my hands. I donít think you can pick a wrong J Frame. There is something for everyone.
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Old 01-02-2022, 12:14 PM
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Default Enjoy? Not me.

No, I donít particularly enjoy shooting my 442 Airweight.

It came with these little rubber boot grips.





Not enough grip for me, so I put a nice looking set of laminate grips on it.





Took it to the range and the top rear of that grip chewed up my hand after only 10 rounds of wimpy 130 gr. range ammo.







Replaced those grips with full size rubbers.





Itís now much easier for me to shoot, but itís still unpleasant with 146 gr. WCs or 158 gr. SWCs.

Itís my occasional ďpocket carryĒ gun and is loaded with Remington 125 gr. semi-jacketed HP ammo.
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Old 01-02-2022, 12:33 PM
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I enjoy shooting my 642 and rotate it as a CCW.
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Old 01-02-2022, 12:48 PM
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I do very much.



Thousands of rounds
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Old 01-02-2022, 01:47 PM
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I think the grips on the gun make the biggest difference. The first time I shot the 642 I had a set of Pachmayr compacts on it. I couldn’t stand the recoil. I put Magnas with a BK grip adapter, and the gun shot much better.
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Old 01-02-2022, 02:05 PM
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I am a proud owner of a model 37-3. IT is extremely accurate.Goes everywhere with me. Was a department of correction trade in and probably has had internal work done to it. It's half worn out .I shoot it a lot and thinking about another before I shoot it loose. Good stuff
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Old 01-02-2022, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeezix View Post
No, I donít particularly enjoy shooting my 442 Airweight.

It came with these little rubber boot grips.





Not enough grip for me, so I put a nice looking set of laminate grips on it.





Took it to the range and the top rear of that grip chewed up my hand after only 10 rounds of wimpy 130 gr. range ammo.







Replaced those grips with full size rubbers.





Itís now much easier for me to shoot, but itís still unpleasant with 146 gr. WCs or 158 gr. SWCs.

Itís my occasional ďpocket carryĒ gun and is loaded with Remington 125 gr. semi-jacketed HP ammo.

Lorin,

When the 340 pd first came out, I had to have one (2006 IIRC). Grips were the Hogue Bantams. Took it out with some factory .357 mags. Shot 5 rounds (stung like crazy), looked at the web of my hand and saw a big gaping hole at the base of my thumb. Sheeplishly went to the local walk in clinic where they stitched it up.

That gun now has Hogue Tamers that cover the back of the frame all the way to the top. The load has also been tamed down.

Bought a 360 PD for $300 from a guy in the southeast. Cosmetically it is a mess, but has always been accurate and functions flawlessly. Recently put a set of Crimson Trace green laser grips on it. Developed some 125gr XTP loads at 925 fps. It has become my foul weather jacket pocket gun with 3 of the 125s and two Buffalo Bore 180s. (it's fun to shoot with the 125s, the BB 180s, not so much.



Found a picture of the 340 w/Hogue Tamers (Gun on right)




Hope you and your family are well. Happy New Year

Paul

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Old 01-02-2022, 03:18 PM
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About 10 years ago I was able to find a 442 Weigand custom.
2 1/2", heavy full lug barrel, hydroported. With hot loads, it's a relatively soft shooter with the barrel set up. It wears CT grips and is my EDC.
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Old 01-02-2022, 03:51 PM
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I love that 3 inch haywood and paul105.

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Old 01-02-2022, 04:22 PM
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Airweight J frame would probably be my last choice for a recreational range/target revolver. Not discounting occasional testing for reliability and accuracy I'd be keeping the round count low with standard pressure ammo, no +P. Airweights considered for backup or when limited by clothing and concealability as the primary weapon to pocket, IWB, ankle and shoulder holster carry. Other slightly larger choices in airweights revolvers S&W M-12, Colt Cobra and Agent.
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Old 01-02-2022, 04:44 PM
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Sure do like the looks of the 442 and thanks for pics. Heard in the past they got some kick to em but what a great pocket carry gun! Been packing a CS-9 in stainless but something awesome about that snub revolver.
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Old 01-02-2022, 04:52 PM
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I have a 340 M&P. I like carrying it more than shooting it.
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:03 PM
John Patrick John Patrick is online now
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The Hogues really tame recoil, but they are large and sticky.

I ended up living with a set of slick wood grips that barely land my pinky.

I had to sand down the upper rear corner, which sat proud of the 638’s hump.

They are easy to carry and easy to conceal.
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:51 PM
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I enjoy shooting any gun. The air weights are OK and nice to carry but the steel models like my 649 are much nicer to shoot and the added weight is not much of an issue with a good holster.
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:55 PM
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I like shooting my S&W 638 because it is very accurate. Much more so than my Taurus 605. I'll cut the powder down to about 3.X grains of Unique under a 148 grain cast bullet. Works great for practicing double-action shooting. Then I'll load up with full-power carry loads. Got to where I really like those stock wooden grips.
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Old 01-03-2022, 08:33 PM
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I enjoy shooting this M637 just as it came form the factory. A little snappy with +Ps but .38 special target ammo is fun at the range.

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Old 01-03-2022, 09:20 PM
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Yes, I enjoy shooting them because I must: I carry them daily. I practice by slinging rounds into multiple 1/2 sheets of typing paper taped to a silhouette. 30 rounds is usually enough to maintain proficiency. I'm not a fan of simply putting bullets against the backstop w/o purpose.

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Old 01-03-2022, 09:27 PM
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I fired my 37 for years until it developed a frame crack. Now I practice with a 49 and carry a model 38. The airweights are certainly fun to shoot, but the steel frame guns are more comfortable.
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Old 01-03-2022, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Model46 View Post
I fired my 37 for years until it developed a frame crack. Now I practice with a 49 and carry a model 38. The airweights are certainly fun to shoot, but the steel frame guns are more comfortable.
Everyone used to do that, or at least it seemed so. Donít hear anyone talk about that these days. Every round fired has to be magnums or Buffalo bores in the same gun you carry. I still have my light/heavy pair of Model 37 and 36. I canít recall the last time the 37 was fired. I used to shoot the 36 with full-wadcutters to practice for ďusingĒ the Model 37 with regular .38s.

I donít enjoy shooting Airweights and never have. They are nice to carry in a jacket pocket, and thatís about as far as it goes. If Iím going to wear a J-frame in a belt holster, I prefer a steel gun. I donít use large grips unless the gun is on desk drawer duty. Big grips defeat the purpose of the little gun. Iíve always found J-frame .38s very hard to shoot well, and the lightweight guns just magnify the problem.
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Old 01-03-2022, 10:18 PM
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I have to say that I enjoy shooting my 442 ( a gift gun ) . I reload and I don't reload " wimpy " for it . My std load is a 158 gr cast bullet on top of a max charge of various powders , Bullseye , Titegroup , WSt , WSF , Unique etc . I find it enjoyable to put at least 50 rounds through . I go to a private range , tape up a silhouette target , stand back at close ranges , draw and fire for effect . I don't even notice the recoil . Yes , I'm shooting one handed , strong side --- weak side . I wore out my first one . They are great guns , once you know how to really use and enjoy them . They retain the std grips and I don't wear a shooting glove , not necessary . Regards Paul

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Old 01-03-2022, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadVirus View Post
Get good with a J frame and you will have improved your performance with all other pistols.
WHAT HE SAID!!!!

There was a time, many years ago, when I had a Chiefs Special Target----2", square butt, J frame target grips---------carried it to all the matches---and spent as much time as possible bad mouthing all the posted scores I knew (or at least figured) I could "beat with my snub nose". I had a good size line of pretenders with money in their hands waiting to take me on---on a good day. And I took that money home---on a good day.

Alas, the word got out fairly quickly; and that little sideline didn't last too long--------but it was fun while it lasted. What was more fun was seeing all the converts shooting "short guns".

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 01-03-2022, 11:35 PM
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I am not generally a fan of heavy-recoiling guns, but I donít put Airweights in that category; I enjoy shooting them. The only problem I sometimes have is the cylinder latch will occasionally dig into my thumb; this was the result after firing a box of +P defensive rounds. Perhaps I should soften the sharp corner with a little judicious filing.


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Old 01-04-2022, 12:05 AM
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Exclamation Little Canons

I have a S&W 637 .38S&W Spl. I formalize myself with it
once in while. It is dead on at 10 yards.

Recently reloaded some 38s with different bullet/powder
combination. That little 637 quickly reminded me why
I donít shoot it often.

I do like it for itís; simplicity of operation, single or double
action, well made, light weight, ease of concealment,
accuracy, always goes bang, and safe. Cost of reloads
about $7.00/50 rds.
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