Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Recoil Reduction: Interlude At The Range, Part I

About a week ago, after picking out a desk for our daughters, I told my wife that I wanted to stop by a nearby pawn store. There selection of handguns had continued to grow, since I was last in there. And my wife is interested in getting a concealed-carry permit, so guns for her were our main focus.

We looked at a variety of semiautos that I thought might be appropriate for her - and some revolvers. Her favorite was a Smith & Wesson 642 442 in black with a pink grip.

Credit: TheShootingWarehouse.com
And she said that she wanted an opportunity to shoot it, especially after the suggestion of the sales clerk. So as quick as we could (two days), we hightailed it over to a range and rented the closest thing they had. A S&W 637.
Credit: Smith-Wesson.com
 In the mean time, I had quickly research lower-recoil loads for the little .38, and I came to the conclusion that 130-gr range ammo from multiple manufacturers would be perfect for this exercise. 

My wife shot the 637 very well for a first try. She all five rounds of the first cylinder within a 4x6" area on a silhouette target at about 12 feet. On the other hand, I kept all of the rounds from my first cylinder with the equivalent of a pie plate. I've come to realize that the glasses I wear for distance makes the sights quite difficult to make out.

But she didn't like the little gun. The trigger guard rapped her middle finger with every shot. On the other hand, I loved it. I could see carrying one of those little guns in my front pants pocket (642 442 without the external hammer, of course) everyday. But we were there to see what my wife wanted to get, so we moved on.

Next we tried a Ruger SR9c. I've always wanted to try one, but I had been suspicious that the full-size SR9 was a better fit for my hand. I was proven right.
Credit: Ruger.com
My wife liked the compact Ruger SR, and she shot it well, too.

At the conclusion of our range session, she concluded that she liked shooting the Ruger SR9c and my Ruger P95. She was disappointed in the S&W 637, because she really liked the S&W 642 442. I wasn't sure that it was the best concealed-carry gun for her, because of the width of the cylinder (and her most-likely mode of carry) and the five-shot capacity.

I saw the Ruger SR9c as a non-starter, because she really wanted to get a slim gun. For me, I did not like how the slide felt when you pulled it back, but my wife was not phased by it.

We looked at some guns in the showroom before leaving, and she expressed further interest in Berettas (she had a Beretta 92 years ago) AND small, cute, colorful pistols.

The way my wife handle the recoil of the two guns that we tried gave me a moment of pause. Her desire to carry a gun with enough cartridge and her ability to handle what we shot (though with the .38 we used light recoiling rounds), has made me lean toward 9mm for my advice for her.

Once away from the range, I did further research into small, cute Berettas, grip solutions for the S&W 642 442, single-stack 9mms and .380s. I was intrigued by Tyler Manufacturings T-Grip Adapter, but I held my knowledge from my wife until a later date.
Credit: T-Grips.com
In the end, this is her choice. I can only advise. I later apologize for trying to steer her away from the truly diminutive guns, like the .380ACP Ruger LCP in Lady Lilac. 

Though from our range session, I have a feeling what her criteria really are:
1. Decent sights.
2. "Service" caliber.
3. Decent capacity.
4. Slim.
5. Girly color.
In that order.

PRIOR: Recoil Reduction, Cartridges .22 LR
NEXT: Recoil Reduction: Interlude At The Range, Part II

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