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Saturday, February 25, 2012

But Ma, it followed me home!

I have some reservations about this one. It may be because I see many new shooters with it. They uniformly do not have fun shooting it. It is NOT a good Revolver to learn with, and I see many walk away after shooting it once:


This is a Smith and Wesson Model 638 Airweight chambered in .38 special. Five shot DA revolver. 

It will do what is required of it. For the novice however I would stay away from it to learn the fundamentals of Handgun operation. I shot it today and it is not fun, but it IS functional. 

Or maybe I am still old school.


I do love my Colt Detective Special!


  1. One of the guys I train with has one of those itty-bitty guns in 357 for his back-up gun. He let me fire it one day.
    I immediately gave it back to him and asked him how he could control it, and if his wrist hurt as bad as mine did.
    He said "That's why it's my back-up/gun of last resort".
    OUCH! That thing kicked like I couldn't believe.

  2. The air-weights to me fall in the category of "lovely to carry around all day, hell on earth to shoot."

    Even what seems like a miniscule amount of weight seems to dramatically affect felt recoil. Sometimes the "old iron" just works better.

  3. I have never really been drawn to revolvers, but reading everyone's posts is piquing my interest.

  4. I like to reload so I load some light loads for practice and carry the hotter stuff for concealed carry. You could use wad cutters for practice, at least that way new shooters can learn the basics without fearing to shoot it.
    Just my two cents worth.
    BTW, I don't carry a lightweight normally

  5. My 442 makes my elbows hurt even with wimpy 148 gr wc target loads. I cannot imagine what a day of firing hot 158's out of it would be like.

  6. Odysseus hit it on the head. People probably get them just to carry. My problem is that I like to shoot the heck out of my carry guns. I'd probably enjoy it, though. I'm weird like that.

  7. I have a version of that gun as a carry. I make myself practice with it every time so my hands don't lose the feel of it. It is not a fun gun, and the teeny short barrel means it's not accurate very far out. I've only run +Ps through it once in practice, although that's what it is kept loaded with. It wasn't pleasant - the jarring eventually made my hand sore.

  8. A Colt Python is still on my gun list... someday...

    Dann in Ohio

  9. Don't shoot +P in them? What's it like to just shoot the 158gr. FBI load??

  10. drjim- It hurts! It does work and will become a training tool.

    Odysseus- Weight is the key as you say. Great Firearm for what it is though. Just not one to learn to shoot with.

    Agirl- Revolvers have some advantages over semi-autos IMHO. I still carry my Colt on occasion.

    Duke- Never got around to reloading .38 SPL. yet. Your plan is sound in my opinion though.

    NFO- Really? An Old Colt? Who would have thunk it, LOL!

    Brooke- Oh, it works!

    TJ- OUCH!

    45er- Yep! It is sad to see someone showing up with a new one and asking to learn how to shoot.

    PH- They do not make for a fun day at the range for sure, but will work!

    Dann- Mine too!

    DirtCrashr- I don't know! Just ran some standard 130GN round nose through it.

  11. I don't know about you guys. My petite little wife loves hers and I mean loves it. I told her to pick a carry gun and after careful consideration she chose a 642. She practices with mild 38 special and that's almost certainly what she'll carry in it. But come on now. Last time we went out she fired 50 rounds and was looking for more and complaining that we were out.

  12. Six- You have a wife beyond treasure! I do not like it. It is not fun to shoot to me.

    Sigh... I guess I am spoiled with the Colt Commander. Or the 9mm bullet hose, or the 32-20, or the S&W 28-1, or the......


  13. This is my carry gun and quite frankly one of my favorites to fire as well as carry. Dead nuts and a nice trigger. Thinking of getting another for my wife. Love the SP101 too, but find it a bit heavier to carry. The SP101 is easier on the hands when shooting +Ps, painful while shooting .357.

  14. I like my 642 (no lock!) and I have a 438 (like your 638, but black, and, durn it...has lock).

    Last outing at the range I did verify that the 642 is what separates man from boy, but I only fired 85 rounds, and 10 were +P.

    That, and I verified that, still, I do better left handed with the smith J frame snubnosed revolvers. I am not sure why. I do better right handed with autos of, well, every type.

    I do kind of wish I had a 638 as well, or at least a second 438. The 642, being gray as opposed to black, blends in better with light clothing, especially with the gray VZ grips aboard. The 438 blends in better with a dark "under" shirt, in the shadows of a covering garment.

    My 642...looked used "once". The 438 was claimed to be, but didn't look fired once at all.

  15. Timbo- I like the Ruger SP101 too. It is heavy as you say.

    Pakkinpoppa- Thanks for the comments and welcome!

  16. I agree with you regarding this firearm. My mom-in-law and my mom got this one, my mom did despite my arguments to the contrary. My mom-in-law shot hers with me and after 25 to 30 rounds her thumb joint was bruised and the trigger pull was too much for her. My mom had the same experience minus the bruise, but a really sore hand and thumb, as well as too much trigger pull. I have suggested rather than buy again they get new grips and the trigger pull adjusted.
    I absolutely love my Ruger LCR. I have put 150 rounds through it in one trip to the range, and was ready to shoot more. My hands always feel good and the trigger pull is perfect...