The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 19, 2013, 03:19 PM   #1
Pipeline
Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2013
Posts: 16
Snubby help...down to these choices.

All right, guys and gals, I need your help. I'm looking for a snubby for CCW and I had narrowed it down to the Ruger LCR 38, 357 or the S&W 442. First off, I'm intending to shoot 38 for practice and carry 38 +P for SD. The 357 is just too big of a load for me. But I had considered the LCR 357 because a more versatile gun would be better for resale, and a heavier gun theoretically would be better for recoil. Well, a while back, I got my hands on both the LCR 38 and the 357. In the hand and in the pocket, the 4 oz. difference was definitely noticeable, more than I thought it would/should. I concluded that between the LCR's, I'd go with the 38. So it was down to the LCR 38 and the S&W 442.

This past weekend, I went to a range that rents the LCR 38 and the S&W 642...wanted to give both guns a try before deciding. Based on online reviews and forum chats, I'd expected for the LCR to be a more comfortable shoot. Much to my surprise, it was the opposite. The muzzle flip on the LCR was more pronounced. It "snapped" back more relative to the S&W. One reason that may explain for this was both guns came equipped with the Crimson Trace. This made the LCR's grip a bit shorter than the standard Hogue grip and the Smithy's grip a bit longer than their standard grip. So did the S&W shoot more comfortably because it had a longer/more comfortable grip? or because it was 2 oz. heavier? or because it's better designed?

I don't know where this leaves me. Frankly, I'm more confused now than before. If it's a matter of grip, than will a standard LCR 38 with better/slightly longer grip feel and shoot better than a standard 442/624 with its slightly smaller/shorter grip? If it's a matter of weight, if the 15 oz. S&W shoots better than the 13.5 oz. LCR 38, maybe I ought to consider the 17 oz. LCR 357? If it's a matter of S&W feeling/shooting better in my hand due to its inherent design, regardless of grip or weight, than I ought to consider the 442. Unfortunately, the range doesn't carry the LCR 357 so there's no way for me to test these theories. For those who have shot these guns, please give me your thoughts.

One last question. Between the LCR 38 and 357, would you say the finish on the 357 is more matte and rough than the 38? (The 38 wasn't shiny per se, but had a bit more of a sheen to it?) It's been a while since I handled them and I'm not sure if I remember it correctly.
Pipeline is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 08:28 PM   #2
sgms
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2010
Location: Arizona or Ohio depending
Posts: 774
All your selections are good pistols so get the one that feels best in your hand. Best fit, best to shoot. If it means changing a grip, do so. That why there are so many different types out there.
sgms is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 08:34 PM   #3
Cowboy_mo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 907
I second what sgms said. To answer you question about the weight of the firearm and the muzzle flip: YES a heavier weapon will exhibit less recoil.

I have an FNP 9 in 9 mm and my brother has a beretta FS in 9mm. The beretta is heavier and has much less muzzle flip than my FNP shooting the exact same ammo.
Cowboy_mo is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 08:42 PM   #4
ClydeFrog
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2010
Posts: 5,798
My input....

From what you posted, I'd lean towards a 442 .38spl but IMO a model 638 DA/SA snub makes more sense. If you are hurt or wounded you could fire SA(single action) if needed & the 638/49 S&W design prevents snags or problems with coat pockets/pocket carry. Pacymer made a J frame grip that shielded the spur but I think it's no longer made in the USA.
The Ruger LCR is a top rated snub revolver but for CC use or add-ons, I'd go with a S&W J frame.

As for the coating, I'd look into www.Bearcoat.com www.Robarguns.com or maybe www.Black-T.com . It will protect the snub revolver, speed cleaning & aid in firing/operation. Bearcoat offers a lifetime service plan & it takes around 10 to 14 days to get from the custom shop. Robar NP3+ is good but costs more.
A CT lasergrip; www.crimsontrace.com may help with training or defense. They now fit both S&W snubs & the Ruger SP101/LCRs.

Clyde
For a pocket holster see; DeSantis Nemnesis or for a J frame belt/paddle, the Blackhawk SERPA; www.Blackhawk.com .
ClydeFrog is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 10:07 PM   #5
Nanuk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2005
Location: Where the deer and the antelope roam.
Posts: 1,702
If you are not going to use magnums get the 38. Either one is a good choice, it comes down to what you like better. The LCR 38 and 357 are made of different materiel hence the different finish.
__________________
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
Nanuk is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 10:14 PM   #6
Nathan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 1,977
I really like the pro series 640.

It is like a regular 640, but with better sights. The M&P 340 would also be a super snubby.

IMO, 357 is a good option to have in a J frame.
Nathan is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 10:33 PM   #7
Cousin Pat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Posts: 109
CCW - lasers

you don't discuss lasers, available both on ruger and 642. This might impact balance and other considerations... SD gun writers seem to have moved pretty strongly in last few years to recommending lasers on CCW guns because of (1) frequency of encounters under low-light conditions and (2) the ability to shoot accurately under stress and from ackward positions without the need to lining up the sights...
Cousin Pat is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 12:16 AM   #8
Hook686
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2005
Location: USA The Great State of California
Posts: 1,945
Good luck finding either of those. I been looking for a 442 since before christmas. No luck yet. If you find a source, let us know.
__________________
Hook686

When the number of people in institutions reaches 51%, we change sides.
Hook686 is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 01:15 PM   #9
tomrkba
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2011
Posts: 613
The Gun Digest Book of the Revolver

Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights

No Second Place Winner

Grips are essential. There has been much discussion over the years on this topic and it's difficult to cover the entire topic in one forum post. The Gun Digest Book of the Revolver covers this topic in detail. If you buy only one book, buy that one. However, you really should read Cirillo and Jordans' books.

The LG-305's from Crimson Trace are the way to go for J-Frames.

Revolvers require quite a bit of practice in order to achieve proficiency.

The lighter guns are tough to shoot. They are not beginner guns and you will not have a positive learning experience with one. If you are a new shooter, then buy a revolver with four inch or longer barrel. The grip should be large enough to support all fingers and the palm. Otherwise, you're going to be fighting too many variables while you learn (short sight radius, heavy trigger, small grip, recoil and tiny sights) and you will not get good results.

This thread needs pictures. 357 Magnum is too wimpy and 38 Special is only good for small dogs.

44 caliber motivation:

Ruger Alaskan










S&W Model 24




Last edited by tomrkba; February 20, 2013 at 01:39 PM.
tomrkba is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 12:10 AM   #10
Roger Beach
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 21, 2013
Posts: 2
Snubby choices

Pipeline,

Check out the Pachmyar Compac grip for the 642. It is hand filling but still very concealable.

"It was the best selling firearm offered by Smith & Wesson in 2006."
-from http://www.snubnose.info/docs/m642.htm

You might like to reading THE SNUBBY REVOLVER by Ed Lovette, a former law enforcement and CIA guy. He writes for (or did) Combat Handguns magazine It is loaded with good info from a guy who has been there and back.

Good luck on your decision.
Roger Beach is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 02:48 AM   #11
Redhawk5.5+P+
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2012
Location: NV
Posts: 743
Why didn't you use the pole option?
Redhawk5.5+P+ is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 03:26 PM   #12
dgludwig
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 5,182
Quote:
If you are not going to use magnums get the 38.
Me, I'd still get the magnum. No real downside to it and, well, you never know if someday in the future you might want to shoot some .357s. Too, if you ever decide to sell it, my guess is that the magnum might appeal to a wider market.
__________________
ONLY AN ARMED PEOPLE CAN BE TRULY FREE ; ONLY AN UNARMED PEOPLE CAN EVER BE ENSLAVED
...Aristotle
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 03:28 PM   #13
dgludwig
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 5,182
Quote:
Why didn't you use the pole option?
Maybe because poles are mostly used for fishing, jumping high or being first in line at Daytona.
__________________
ONLY AN ARMED PEOPLE CAN BE TRULY FREE ; ONLY AN UNARMED PEOPLE CAN EVER BE ENSLAVED
...Aristotle
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 07:46 PM   #14
jad0110
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2007
Posts: 610
Quote:
Me, I'd still get the magnum. No real downside to it and, well, you never know if someday in the future you might want to shoot some .357s. Too, if you ever decide to sell it, my guess is that the magnum might appeal to a wider market.
They might bring more upon selling, buy you typically pay more up front to begin with. As for magnums in a J Frame, most people are NOT going to like it. Try before you buy a J Frame magnum, or if you can't, just find an old pickup and slam your hand in the door jam. If it doesn't hurt, you'll probably be fine with magnums .

To the OP, it sounds like the x42 is your gun. Since the two are so close in size and weight, fitment in your hand is what matter most in the area of felt recoil. Some prefer the LCR, others prefer the S&W, still others prefer roughly equivalent guns from Taurus. Both are good guns, but I prefer the x42 myself. Both feel good in my hand, but I don't much care for the LCR's mushy, weak trigger return.
jad0110 is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 08:55 PM   #15
shouldazagged
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2013
Location: Louisville, KY, USA
Posts: 273
You might want to try firing a 640, the all-steel daddy of the current Centennial family. Not too heavy, but more heft gives more control and less punishment from recoil.

I second the suggestion of Pachmayr Compac grips. I first encountered them on a Colt DSII, and they felt great. When I bought my 640 (.38 Special +P-rated) I put them on it and I like them a lot.
__________________
"Don't let macho be your epitaph."
---Ed Lovette
shouldazagged is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 08:58 PM   #16
9mm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2011
Location: Land of the Free
Posts: 2,711
I am no fan of poly revolvers, I have the lcr-22 but for range use only. I had a few times where I couldn't fire it because I did not let the trigger reset all the way, even though the cylinder turn/clicked.
__________________
See user title
9mm is offline  
Old February 22, 2013, 11:44 PM   #17
LewSchiller
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 21, 2013
Location: Metro Denver Colorado
Posts: 227
I went with a 642 and then installed Hogue Monogrip. Fits my ham of a hand like a glove. A good glove..not O.J.'s glove.
My other .38 snub is a Charter Arms Undercover which is the first snub I found that was truly the perfect bowl of porridge. Grip, weight, balance...just right for me and, interestingly, my wife.
LewSchiller is offline  
Old February 23, 2013, 12:08 AM   #18
edfrompa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 1999
Posts: 304
642 is a very good choice. Great little revolver.
edfrompa is offline  
Old February 23, 2013, 01:12 AM   #19
WildBill45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2011
Location: Western PA.
Posts: 1,520
THE 442 Has a carbon cylinder, a 638 has a stainless cylinder, and is single and double action! Same price!!!
__________________


.........................................................
"If Ands and Buts were Candy and Nuts, everyday would be like Christmas"
WildBill45 is offline  
Old February 23, 2013, 02:05 AM   #20
Water-Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 23, 2008
Location: N. Georgia
Posts: 1,574
I fired both guns but without the CT grips. I came away with opposite results than you.

The .38 LCR had less felt recoil and a better trigger.
__________________
PROUD TO BE A VETERAN
Water-Man is offline  
Old February 23, 2013, 07:22 PM   #21
dgludwig
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 5,182
Quote:
As for magnums in a J Frame, most people are NOT going to like it. Try before you buy a J Frame magnum, or if you can't, just find an old pickup and slam your hand in the door jam. If it doesn't hurt, you'll probably be fine with magnums .
My point remains-you don't have to shoot magnums in a .357 Magnum revolver; you can shoot mild .38 Special wadcutters for the rest of your life if you so choose. But, if you so choose, you can always shoot magnums. Which is why a .357 Magnum revolver is so much more versatile than an identical revolver chambered in .38 Special.
__________________
ONLY AN ARMED PEOPLE CAN BE TRULY FREE ; ONLY AN UNARMED PEOPLE CAN EVER BE ENSLAVED
...Aristotle
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old February 23, 2013, 08:33 PM   #22
LewSchiller
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 21, 2013
Location: Metro Denver Colorado
Posts: 227
As far as I can tell the OP didn't include .357 in the mix. While the rationale regarding the option to use magnum loads is valid - the model 60 weighs a heck of a lot more than a 642. Since the OP cites CCW as the motivation for the purchase I'd think the magnum would be a difficult choice to make.

JMO
Lew
LewSchiller is offline  
Old February 23, 2013, 09:13 PM   #23
kutz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 24, 2012
Location: New Mexico USA
Posts: 330
I have both LCRs .38 & .38/.357 both are great, get the .357.
kutz is offline  
Old February 23, 2013, 09:52 PM   #24
redrick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 834
If you like the trigger on the S&W and were more accurate with it, I would get it. I don't think that 2 oz. difference would make a difference in muzzle rise. I couldn't tell the difference between my 340 and 642 unless I shot 357's in the 340.
redrick is offline  
Old February 23, 2013, 11:10 PM   #25
Deaf Smith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 31, 2000
Location: Texican!
Posts: 3,248
Plenty of good choices out there!



And lots more than just these.

Deaf
__________________
"The government has confiscated all of our rights and is selling them back to us in the form of permits."
Deaf Smith is offline  
Reply

Tags
lcr , s&w

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12745 seconds with 7 queries