My wife is Considering Carrying

Discussion in 'Women with Firearms' started by awanatech, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for a S&W 642 Airweight .38 Spec. My wife has finally gotten to the point that she would be ready to carry. We were in the N. GA mountains over the weekend & stopped in a store that had everything, from guns to shoes to furniture. We had talked about many different options and how what works for me might be very different from what works for her. So we went to the gun counter & she held several different ones. There wasn't a semi-auto that she could rack the slide on. But she loved the feel of the 642. It fit her perfectly and was much more comfortable in her petite hands than the LCR. They didn't have an on-site range, so she hasn't fired one yet.

    But if anyone has a 642 they are looking to sale, I might be interested. I'm in Fayetteville & work in McDonough.
     
  2. Archangel

    Archangel Moderator Staff Member

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    I have one question...

    Has your wife ever shot a lightweight 38 Special revolver?
     

  3. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    No she hasn't. I have planned to call around and see if any ranges might have one in their rentals that we could go in and have her try it and compare others also.
     
  4. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

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    Good idea. My wife has used a 442 for nearly 20 years and loves it, but it is a bit of a handful. Not sure if they still make them with and without the internal lock but it would be a good idea to check prior to deciding/buying.
     
  5. GAfirearmsReference

    GAfirearmsReference Weapons Law Booklet

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    Small, alloy-frame .38 snubby revolvers are something most women love when they handle them unloaded in a gun store or dry-fire them toward the wall (although the heavy double action trigger pulls and tiny sights even make good dry firing practice challenging).

    At the range, it's usually a different story.
    Loud, hard-kicking, and with a lot of muzzle flip-up.

    Especially with full power loads.
    Many newbies would be better served with 148 grain wadcutters (factory new match grade ammo) for the first year or dozen range sessions.
     
  6. GAfirearmsReference

    GAfirearmsReference Weapons Law Booklet

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    Not that I'm against double action only (DAO) .38 snubbies for experienced shooters or those newbies who commit to practicing regularly.
    This S&W allow frame DAO bobbed-hammer snub nose is my daily companion.
    (It wears Crimson Trace laser grips to compensate for the tiny little sights).
     

    Attached Files:

  7. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    I do appreciate the replies and the feedback. I want to find something that she will carry and be comfortable in using. I'm helping her pick it out as I know that I can't tell her what should carry. It has to work for her.
     
  8. Archangel

    Archangel Moderator Staff Member

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    You might want to have her do that before buying. I'd also recommend starting her with 148 grain wadcutters (very low recoil). Those airweights can be a shock to those who aren't familiar with them.

    You don't want to turn her off out of the gate. My wife was really gun shy at first, I worked her up slowly. Her EDC 99% of the time is an all steel J frame. Helps cut down on the recoil. Her carry ammo is Federal Nyclads (hard to find but worth it) which are also lighter in the recoil department.
     
  9. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Nothing wrong with a 148 grain wadcutter for a newbie or petite woman for self-defense.
    It's not going expand, but that .36 caliber slug isn't going to shrink, and it will cut a nice clean hole of that diameter pretty deep into a bad guy.
    Ballistic gelatin tests with this round show it regularly penetrates the full 16" to 18" thickness of the gel block, but after that it has pretty much no power left and just stops at the backing wood or paper behind the block.

    148 grains at 650 f.p.s. = 140 foot/ pounds of energy, which is about the same as a .380 round fired from a small autopistol (90 grain bullet at 850 f.p.s., also 140 ft/ lbs.)

    In contrast, a good premium .38 spl hollowpoint round from Cor-Bon or Federal (Hydra Shock) would throw a 125 grain bullet at a real world velocity of 850 f.p.s. (2" barrel), giving 200 ft/ lbs. So yeah, the wadcutter is a downgrade on stopping power, but it's still going to stab deep into the attacker's chest and puncture every vital organ along its path.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  10. mdlott

    mdlott Member

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    My wife has a 642 alloy airweight. She hates shooting it as the recoil is substantial. I do like the very heavy trigger and small size, though. It is a perfect purse gun, but not fun to practice with. As mentioned above, the sights leave much to be desired, and don't expect great accuracy on paper. I think it definitely has its place in a close quarters encounter.
     
  11. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    I haven't found a local range that has much in the way of small revolvers in the rental case. Would the LCR have a comparable feel in shooting (recoil, etc)? My BIL has an LCR that she could try. If nothing else, it could give her a feel for a small revolver & recoil. What do ya'll think about a .380 for carrying? She couldn't rack the slide on any of the .380s or small 9s that she tried though.
     
  12. Archangel

    Archangel Moderator Staff Member

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    If I recall, the LCR is lighter than the 642. It would definitely give her an idea of what she is looking at.

    The LCR in 22 Magnum... Now that is a nice, lighter recoiling, lightweight piece and at close range 22MAG is pretty nifty on soft targets.

    I have one and love it.
     
  13. Wegahe

    Wegahe NRA Instructor

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    Most small autos do have a hefty pull on the slide. You might try to find something a little larger such as a Ruger P93 or P95 in 9mm. These are full size but my wife likes my (her) P93 because of the ease of the slide. The LCR does have about the felt recoil as the 642. Like others have suggested use the wad cutters at least at the start.
     
  14. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    The .380s should be easier to work the slide on, since the recoil spring doesn't have to be as strong as what a 9mm needs.

    Have you tried the Glock 42 and the Walther PK380 pistols?
     
  15. DonT

    DonT Deplorable bitter clinger.

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    It might be a drive for you, but our range at Adventure Outdoors has these for rent: the 642, the LCR in .38, the Taurus 85, and .380s like the S&W Bodyguard and Ruger LCP. The slide on the Bodyguard is pretty easy, on the LCP it's tougher to pull, and both have double action like triggers, ie, long pulls. Also, have her try an LCR trigger, they are a better than average double action trigger, smooth pull, not too long, and easier for most.
     
  16. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all of the feedback from everyone. It's given me a good bit to think about. DonT, I had thought about you up there. We may try to get up that way and try some out. I don't when we'll work that out, but if it looks like we'll be able to, I'll PM you and get in touch with you. I appreciate it.

    Tonight, for about the first time ever, we both got off a little early & were in Fayetteville shortly after 5pm. I called her & we met at the LGS here to try a few different guns. We actually found a few different 9s that she could rack the slide reasonably well (sort of). They were tough for her, but even after just a few times, she was getting better. Some of them she still had a hard time with. After handling a few 9s, the .380s were a little easier. So that was good that she had a chance to put her hands on several more guns. We went into the range & since time was limited, we stuck with one caliber for comparison sake. Tonight we went through a box of 9mm, she shot about 20 rounds, I shot up the rest of the box as we tried different rentals. We'll go back another time & try some of the .380 rentals, as well as their S&W 442 & LCR.

    She said she was actually ok with the recoil, but worse for her was the noise (even with earmuffs of course). I think next time, I'll take foam earplugs to go under her earmuffs. She's caught me off guard by even considering getting and carrying a firearm.
     
  17. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    Saturday, she had a really hard time with the Bodyguard slide. She couldn't do anything with the LCP slide then. Tonight, we tried a few different techniques and how to get her hands to cooperate and made some progress. It's taking baby steps, but this is all brand new to her. She really liked the simplicity of the revolver and the size/ feel of the 642. But she hasn't shot it yet either. We will try the .38s on another range trip.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  18. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    We haven't tried the G42. She tried the PK380, and could work it without too much trouble. She actually did pretty well working the slide on the Walther CCP also. It was much easier than most. She said it was pretty comfortable to hold also. We didn't have a chance to shoot the Walthers though.
     
  19. Archangel

    Archangel Moderator Staff Member

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    I was going to suggest the Walther PK380.

    The PPS is nice as well.

    The Sig P938 is nice as well.
     
  20. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    She shot with the Sig P938 tonight. She had a hard time with the slide and didn't like the idea of carrying it cocked & locked. But she shot really well with it. It is also priced higher than we were looking for.