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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife's a traveling nurse who does travel alone, stays in hotels, in multiple states often at night, and all the nurses carry. I bought her a SW 642 Airweight as the most practical for her needs, I put a Hogue grip on it. My question is about ammo, not that there’s much around but .38 specials are about impossible to come by locally. But I did find that Midway had some 110 gr + P Hornady Critical Defense in stock, it was the only ammo they did have in stock. My question concerns recoil and shoot ability in such a lightweight pistol, I’m not really concerned about the terminal ballistics, not that I had a choice here, but she’s certainly not an experienced shooter. Frustrating that the stores are mostly empty.

Thanks, Dale
 

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Does your wife like that gun? Most women I know do not as fast or heavy loads are uncomfortable to shoot, even for us big macho guys...................;):p
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does your wife like that gun? Most women I know do not as fast or heavy loads are uncomfortable to shoot, even for us big macho guys...................;):p
It’s brand new, never been fired, I would have jumped on any low recoil load I could find, but that is the only .38 Special loading that I could find in any configuration. She did want something light and concealable, I wanted something absolutely simple and hammerless so it won’t hang up. I’m not thinking of all day range comfort, it strictly to save her life if it comes down to it. As with ammo, finding pistols isn’t very easy either, so choices are limited, but a J frame seems to fit the bill. Another reason I put the Hogue grips on, they’re a bit bigger and fits the hand better, and she’s not a super petite woman with tiny hands.
 

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I have shot the little Airweights a little bit with no real trouble, but not a weight I would do extensive shooting, but since it is one that if needing to be used recoil is likely the least concern. A lot will depend on the first time she tries it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have shot the little Airweights a little bit with no real trouble, but not a weight I would do extensive shooting, but since it is one that if needing to be used recoil is likely the least concern. A lot will depend on the first time she tries it out.
My first thought as well, if she needs it she needs it, I agree. I’ll look for lighter loads to use at the range, I don’t want her to be afraid of it. Then when she’s traveling she can use the Plus loads. Frustrating that it so hard to find basically anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think a J-frame is a very good choice but I would prefer a steel one. Lacking that, 700 fps wadcutters would be my choice for ammo. I've got some. If you're interested, PM me and we'll figure out if we're close enough for me to give you some.
I live in central NC.

It’s just hard to believe there’s such a scarcity of pistols and ammo available, I even looked thru a dealer about ordering one, and there wasn’t a site he checked had anything I wanted. I lucked into the 642, it’s alloy, so it’s lighter but that was the only thing close to workable I could find. I think she’d be more intimidated by a much larger gun to be honest. Most everything else on the shelf here are semis, and absolute simplicity, hammerless, and reliability was number one. Everyone I ask blames it on Covid, supply lines for most things were compromised, and Im sure the election timing doesn’t help either. Thanks.
 

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I urge you to sign up together for a NRA Basic Pistol Class from a teaching team that will also coach shooters.

Having zero experience and a handgun can be much more dangerous than being unarmed because many attackers will quickly sense discomfort in a victim, and take the gun away from you. You are also at risk for hitting an innocent bystander in a self defense situation.

A very lightweight revolver with +P ammunition and a light projectile can be difficult to control, especially for follow-up shots. It takes practice and training with a good coach observing to develop good skill shooting such firearms.

Self defense is much more than just having the tools available. It's like any skill. Imagine a carpenter trying to build cabinetry with tools they are unfamiliar with...
 

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It’s brand new, never been fired, I would have jumped on any low recoil load I could find, but that is the only .38 Special loading that I could find in any configuration. She did want something light and concealable, I wanted something absolutely simple and hammerless so it won’t hang up. I’m not thinking of all day range comfort, it strictly to save her life if it comes down to it. As with ammo, finding pistols isn’t very easy either, so choices are limited, but a J frame seems to fit the bill. Another reason I put the Hogue grips on, they’re a bit bigger and fits the hand better, and she’s not a super petite woman with tiny hands.
If it is a purse gun, look into the ugly - but effective - Delta ERGO grip

486747
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I certainly agree and that’s exactly my thoughts as well. There’s a few local places here that have NRA certified instructors, and that’s the way to go, starting out with a .22 and going from there. Your right tools are meaningless without a basic understanding of how to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I urge you to sign up together for a NRA Basic Pistol Class from a teaching team that will also coach shooters.

Having zero experience and a handgun can be much more dangerous than being unarmed because many attackers will quickly sense discomfort in a victim, and take the gun away from you. You are also at risk for hitting an innocent bystander in a self defense situation.

A very lightweight revolver with +P ammunition and a light projectile can be difficult to control, especially for follow-up shots. It takes practice and training with a good coach observing to develop good skill shooting such firearms.

Self defense is much more than just having the tools available. It's like any skill. Imagine a carpenter trying to build cabinetry with tools they are unfamiliar with...
Sorry, forgot to tag you see above.
 

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I live in central NC.

It’s just hard to believe there’s such a scarcity of pistols and ammo available, I even looked thru a dealer about ordering one, and there wasn’t a site he checked had anything I wanted. I lucked into the 642, it’s alloy, so it’s lighter but that was the only thing close to workable I could find. I think she’d be more intimidated by a much larger gun to be honest. Most everything else on the shelf here are semis, and absolute simplicity, hammerless, and reliability was number one. Everyone I ask blames it on Covid, supply lines for most things were compromised, and Im sure the election timing doesn’t help either. Thanks.
Central NC...that's gonna be a problem since I live about 1200 miles west of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The moulded Hogue grips are nice, they’re about 3/4 in longer so no dangling pinky, they’re also slightly beefier to be more comfortable in the hand. Your right that Delta is a bit homely looking. Lol.
 

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Not an S&W, but I recently bought a Ruger LCR in .38 Special. I think the weight of the two handguns is very similar. Tho I have not put any +P’s thru it yet, I was surprised at how tame the recoil is. I expected more from such a light gun that only weighs 13.5 ounces. Definitely have her shoot it before she carries it.
 

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Buy steel.

Also buy a three-inch barrel.

That's what I've found works well for women.........and men, for that matter.

Very comfortable even with heavy loads.


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Not an S&W, but I recently bought a Ruger LCR in .38 Special. I think the weight of the two handguns is very similar. Tho I have not put any +P’s thru it yet, I was surprised at how tame the recoil is. I expected more from such a light gun that only weighs 13.5 ounces. Definitely have her shoot it before she carries it.
I’m going tomorrow to check on a NRA shooting classes and let her shoot on Saturdays until she’s comfortable. We’ll start with a .22, and the very basics, and I’ll look for low recoil loads for her gun, probably easier said than done, we’ll see. Perhaps with familiarity what she carries concealed might be irrelevant, as the young lady mentioned above if you need it you need it and training will be more important than what she’s shooting. I’d still prefer different loads, but it’s a tough find.
 
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