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.38, .38 +P or .357 recoil in a J frame

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  • .38, .38 +P or .357 recoil in a J frame

    My wife wants a "Lady Smith.", That's it, no if's ands or buts, she wants a "Lady Smith."

    The 60LS is a stainless steel 357/.38+P

    She is a small 105 lb. person with small little wrists.

    I was thinking of having her practice with .38 ammo, and then loading it with .357, so in the (God forbid) adrenaline coursing moment, she really isn't going to notice..., but of course well placed .38 is going to work better, than non-placed .357 or .38+P....

    Anyway, my question is if anyone has fired the J frame with the .357, .38 +P, and .38 ammo, and has noticed a significant difference in the felt recoil?

    I'm planning on putting the Crimson Trace LG405 grips on it.

    Thanks in advance for your responses.

    Be safe pulling back into the thread....
    Be safe pulling back into the thread...
    http://infidelswithhonor.com/

  • #2
    my wife has the ladysmith also. can't attest to the recoil of the different calibers, as we keep federal holopoints in ours (i have an older j-frame too) & don't think hers is rated for +p. one thing for sure you will need to do is add a larger grip. my wife has small hands too & we found that with the original grips, her hand kept riding up until the hammer was biting her. i even bobbed it off a considerable amount first, thinking she would be better suited for smaller grips & had to change to a set of pachmeyer grips to solve the problem. they are nice little pistols. after teaching her to use hers, i liked it so much that i bought my old model 36 for a summer pocket gun.
    "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end"

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    • #3
      She should really shoot one. The LS, I believe only comes with the 2" barrel on a Chief style frame. While I never owned an LS, I do have a chiefs special in .38. The short barrel, short sight radius and small frame, in only about 20 or so ounces, can have a pretty good bark with +P or .357 Mag ammo. On the plus side I like the .357 mag weapons as they can shoot .38 so that gives you more options. However as mentioned you want her to be able to hit what she is aiming at, the overall size and weight of the weapon will full load +P or .357 mag rounds combined with a shorter sight radius, can be a recipe for accuracy issues in certain shooters.

      I also agree on the grip issue. A Chiefs special is not the most comfortable shooting with the small, stock wood grips. While the size of the grip might fit a female hand nicely while holding the weapon, firing it can be another story.

      Just some things to think about.
      The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

      Surfs Up on youtube!

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      • #4
        I will add that my wife is much more comfortable with my K-frame .38. It has full size Pachmeyers and a 3" bull barrel. The 3" bull barrel makes the biggest difference IMO. I understand weight and size can be an issue for concealing a weapon, but as mentioned, little matters if she can't hit the target.
        Last edited by Surf; 02-21-2009, 12:29 PM.
        The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

        Surfs Up on youtube!

        Specialized Services Group on Facebook!

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        • #5
          Has she shot the weapon yet with carry ammo?

          Buy a few boxes of .38 Special 135 Grain +p Gold Dot & 110 Grain +p DPX for her to shoot through a LS.

          She may decide she likes it, and she may not. An all stainless gun can get to be a PITA to carry all day, so maybe she really should consider an alloy frame weapon if she can deal with the kick.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dep D
            ... I was thinking of having her practice with .38 ammo, and then loading it with .357, so in the (God forbid) adrenaline coursing moment, she really isn't going to notice..., but of course well placed .38 is going to work better, than non-placed .357 or .38+P....
            Surely you don't really want her ever to be surprised by unanticipated recoil. Obviously she should train on whatever she's going to carry. She can test various combinations and carry something that works for her.

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            • #7
              I've got a SW 340. There is a significant difference in .357 over +Ps.

              Even though it's a belly blaster, I carry +P in mine. Our off-duty qual requires 6 shots at 25 yards. It's much easier to put 6 +p where I want at 25 yards out of that thing that it is .357.

              Not that I would be taking any precision shots with it at 25 yards.

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              • #8
                I would not let her shoot 38's then stoke it with 357s that she has never fired....she may need a follow up...or 2 or 3...she should shoot and carry what she can comfortably shoot a cylinder full with.

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                • #9
                  .357s have also been known to cause issues in small-framed wheel guns. They cause more wear on the gun than .38s, and the lack of absorbed recoil can cause the 5th bullet to loosen from its cartridge and misfire.

                  ...never happened to me, but this is what I hear, partly from Smith and Wesson's own manuals.
                  "Well I'd lock him up for what we know he did, and then throw in a few extra years for what he probably did." ~Hank Hill

                  "Why do you need to carry a gun? There aren't any bad people in this town..."

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                  • #10
                    I own a S&W 340PD and use it as a CCW gun primarily.

                    I practice with .38+P but load it with .357. My theory is that, in the heat of the moment, I am not likely to notice the difference in felt recoil. And at the distances one is most likely to use a snubbie, accuracy isn't too much of an issue.

                    One day I went to the range and wasn't paying a lot of attention when I was loading. I mistakenly loaded .357. The first shot had me going WTF!? Since I neglected to bring my .38 practice ammo, I did my practice with the .357. I only made it half-way through my normal practice routine before the ache in my risk forced me to quit. Definitely a noticeable difference in the calm surroundings of the range. Whether that's much of an issue when the adrenaline's pumping?...I personally don't think so.

                    One last thing. If this gun is for personal defense, I don't really think it makes a difference if you're shooting .38, .38+P or .357. In the vast majority of cases where a person has to defend him/herself with a firearm, the fact that it's out and going BANG! BANG! BANG! is going to deter almost all attackers. Whether that person is being (hopefully) hit with a .38 or .357 bullet is not going to make a great difference. The attack is likely to cease, and the attackee should take that opportunity to disengage (if possible) and get help.
                    Last edited by bajakirch; 02-22-2009, 09:14 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Surf-
                      The LS, I believe only comes with the 2" barrel on a Chief style frame.
                      You are correct sir. However the model 60 which is the base of the LS, comes in 3 & 5 inch barrels as well. If the OP's wife likes the J-frame that may be another way to go, as long as it not saying LS on the side isn't a big issue.

                      The current S&W catalog lists three, 3" barrel and one 5" barrel weapon in the model 60 family.

                      Stay Safe

                      Fyr
                      Forti Fors Bona

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                      • #12
                        There is a significant difference in recoil between .38 target loads and .357 magnum loads. If your wife is not experienced with handguns, start her out with mild .38 target loads at short distances, to build her confidence with the weapon. Snub revolvers have heavy triggers, short sight radius, moderate to heavy recoil and generally crappy sights. It takes some time to learn to shoot them well.

                        If your wife finds that she doesn't care for the revolver, S&W also has a LadySmith 9mm that is a nice little pistol. It's essentially a model 3913...I've owned one in the past, and they are easy to shoot. I'm not sure if they are still in production, but there are nice used ones floating around.



                        Good luck!
                        Did I fire six shots, or only five?

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                        • #13
                          OK, I'm secure enough in my masculinity to say I prefer the look of the 9MM Ladysmith over my 3913...but I'm apparently not secure enough to own and carry a handgun with 'Ladysmith' engraved on the slide. Have they ever released that style as a non-LS version?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bajakirch View Post
                            OK, I'm secure enough in my masculinity to say I prefer the look of the 9MM Ladysmith over my 3913...but I'm apparently not secure enough to own and carry a handgun with 'Ladysmith' engraved on the slide. Have they ever released that style as a non-LS version?
                            Yes, it's the Smith & Wesson 3913NL.

                            http://thegunzone.com/3913nl.html


                            These guns are real gems, probably the best autos that S&W ever made, not counting the new M&Ps.
                            Did I fire six shots, or only five?

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the advice guys. I didn't know S&W made the 3913ls, and it is still on their website.

                              I had the wife look at it, now I just need to find a range that has one to rent...

                              Be safe pulling back into the thread....
                              Be safe pulling back into the thread...
                              http://infidelswithhonor.com/

                              Comment

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