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Talk to me a bit about the S&W airweights

ADRidgeADRidge Posts: 173 Member
I'm contemplating picking up a S&W 637 for the girlfriend, primarily as a bedside/occasional carry gun. She loves shooting my mom's old Model 60, and I'd love to find one of those, but they're not nearly as inexpensive. Anyway, I've seen quite a few used 642's (the hammerless model) for sale around here. They all seem to have about fifty rounds through em. I've seen maybe six or seven of them in the past two weeks.

Is this a recoil issue? I know those things are super light, but is it really that much of an issue? Or is it more along the lines of people trying to shoot a whole bunch of +p ammo in a 15oz gun?
In space no one can hear you scream... but if you put a helicopter up there, some jerk would complain about the noise!


  • BPsniperBPsniper Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    I don't know why you are seeing so many for sale.

    I had a 442 for years and as far as the gun goes, it was wonderful. I fell out of love with the .38 Sp cartridge and gave the gun to a friend who wanted it. Now I have a 340 M&P and absolutely LOVE it. Everything the 442 should have been and more.

    Now, the 340 sure ain't cheap but worth every dollar more by a long shot. Better chambering and sights without a shade of doubt. If you must, get the 640. If you can....get the 340 M&P.
  • BullgatorBullgator Posts: 393 Member
    I got my wife a 642 and it's a nice gun. Recoil with tame loads is not bad; +p loads will get your attention but are quite manageable. I wouldn't want to spend much time with the .357 versions myself. My wife didn't want to shoot my 686 with full house .357 loads so there's no way she was going to embrace that round in a sub-pound package.
  • NNNN Posts: 25,236 Senior Member
    I have read a lot of comments that the recoil can be bad. Weigh the mod 60 and compare weights first.
  • bisleybisley Posts: 10,815 Senior Member
    My 642 is not unpleasant with standard SD ammo - never tried +P. I think a good grip and good grip stocks would cure any recoil problems. It's a great little revolver, but I prefer compact semi-autos for a carry gun.
  • wolf049wolf049 Posts: 217 Member
    I've got the 637 and shooting the +P ammo WILL get her attention. My friend's wife carries/shoots the .357 Mag (Ruger SP101, I think) and shoots it VERY well. At the range a while back, she said she wanted to try my S&W 637 loaded with +P ammo. After I had warned her about the nasty recoil, she foo fooed me and shot. She had this face:yikes: and stated, "That's enough of that" and unloaded the gun. Loaded with standard .38 SPL, it's a little kitten.
    "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
    - Richard Henry Lee
  • BigslugBigslug Posts: 9,863 Senior Member
    Tons of my officers have various J-frames as their BUGs and ODs, and I get to inspect and test fire them all before they can deploy them. The alloy guns are kind of a handful with +P's, but with standard velocity there's no issue.

    As an instructor type who doesn't have to carry a duty belt full of cop stuff, I personally prefer the steel frame guns. They're softer on the recoil (especially in .357), give you more durability if it's going to be shot frequently, and aren't obnoxiously heavy for most carry applications.

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • BullgatorBullgator Posts: 393 Member
    Sometimes I don't get the lighter is better idea. I know it makes sense to a point, but if it gets to where it's easy to carry but hard to shoot, you've reached the point of diminishing returns. Reminds me of "noisy cricket" from Men in Black. A good belt and holster makes a "heavy" gun easy to carry. Size in more a factor for carry than weight IMHO.
  • U TU T Posts: 423 Member
    It might be a double action only issue? You probably aren't seeing many used 637 for sale? I have the 637 and like it, and only shoot standard 38, and don't think I've tried +P. Check out the 638 since the hammer is shrouded. Kind of a compromise between the 637 and 642.
  • bruchibruchi Posts: 2,581 Senior Member
    I am still over 300 pounds and 6'1", been hitting the weights steadily for the past months, I shot last week one of those new small plastic revolvers in 357 magnum, regular practice loads, that thing hurt, "flinch city" after that initial shot! I don't want to even think +P defense loads, owner tells me that he tried regular 38spc on it and it was a lot better but I pass, for a bug the S&W 36 with silvertips does just fine.
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • TSchubTSchub Posts: 783 Senior Member
    My only issue with them is being able to practice by shooting a lot of rounds. After a bit, they can get a bit annoying with certain types of ammo. JMHO, your mileage may vary, ect. A nice gun though, and having one in the stable is never a bad thing.
  • WheelgunnerWheelgunner Posts: 11 New Member
    Neither my wife or I have any trouble shooting +P ammo in my S&W 638. She normally carries a .357 and I a .45, and we have more issues with her Kel-Tec P3AT and Ruger LCP than the S&W. Personally, I love the 638. The grips fit your hand so that the gun points like your finger. It's more dependable that the little autos, and shoots very accurately.
    Smokeless powder and automatic pistols are merely passing fads that will simply distract you from the fine art of shooting.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Posts: 14,848 Senior Member
    No women that have shot my 642 like the standard plastic grips and exposed backstrap regardless of the ammo, my wifes Taurus 85 with the longer Crimsontrace grip is much more comfortable, I am taking advantage of the Crimsontrace rebate that ended on the 30th for my 642.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I was given a Colt Trooper as a gift, I had it re-barreled with a 2" snubby HB, and other custom work done, now this was a heavy chunk of steel ! and with the original wood grips and full-house .357 ammo it was quite a handful, I then obtained Pachmayr signature grips, and then the recoil was almost bearable.

    I later played around with the S&W M-12, and with +P ammo, it was a bit stout for Me.

    I personally dislike ultralight handguns, although they sure do have a place if you are some sort of Federal agent or deep cover LEO.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Posts: 8,813 Senior Member
    I have a 642 with CT grips, and love it. .38 spl pleasant, +p's I didn't notice that much difference, except they were more accurate. I not recoil sensitive, I know what to expect, until I get to the .454 then OUCH, buts that's not even the class as SD.
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