317 Lady Smith (Women's opinions stongly needed)


January 3, 2003, 02:38 AM
I am thinking about trading my Taurus 85 on either a 317 Lady Smith, or 317 kit gun. I am considering this so that my wife can shoot, and not be scared of recoil. I have a Walther P22, but semi-autos are a bit too confusing, and scary for her, not to mention unreliable. I am leaning toward the 317LS because it could be "her gun". If she would learn to shoot it, I'd even consider using it as a nightstand gun. At least she would have something to defend herself with. Keep in mind that this pistol would replace the current 669 9mm as the bed side gun. She won't even try to shoot 9mm, so it's basically useless to her when I'm not home to use it. I wouldn't even attempt to get her to shoot my J-frame Airweight.

I would probably keep the .22 loaded with Stingers, or Velocitors and I know that the .22lr is not going to knock an attacker on their butt, however, I keep going back to the "at least she'd have something". I seriously doubt that we will ever be forced to use a gun, but one can't predict the future. I don't want to lose someone I truly love because I didn't take care of her. Concealment is not really an issue, however, she is more likely to shoot and be comforatable if the gun is "cute". I know that she will probably never "carry", so I've given her some FOX OC, and she is religous about taking it out with her.

What do you guys (and gals) think of the S&W 317? If you have any suggestions as to a "cute", larger caliber revolver with 0 recoil, I'm all ears. My wife is a very small woman, and any recoil will turn her off.

Thanks for the help

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Robert inOregon
January 3, 2003, 03:12 AM
Find an older model 10, 14, 36, or 37 and have her shoot .38 Special from one of these heavier steel guns. The recoil is going to be way less than a 9mm, practical and it would really work.

January 3, 2003, 06:04 AM
Model 10 S&W would be an excellent choice IMHO.

January 3, 2003, 06:19 AM
Agree on model 10

Suggest it be HER IDEA. If she tries and makes a choice more likely she practice. 'nuther thought, let someone else help with coaching...she may be afraid of mistake in front of you. When she comfortable...you'll have a great partner to shoot with.

Recoil: hearing protection LESSENS percieved recoil.

rock jock
January 3, 2003, 10:29 AM
Might I suggest that you go with a S&W 331/332. This gun is only one ounce heavier than the 317 and holds 6 rounds of .32 magnum. Now, the nice thing about the 331/332 is that you can load it with .32 S&W longs to start with (which are very mild, produce about 10% more energy than a .22lr, and have added benefit of a much larger hole) and then gradually transition to .32 magnums after your wife gets used to shooting. The magnums have anywhere from 100% to 130% more energy than a .32 S&W long round.

January 3, 2003, 12:11 PM
The Wife tried the LadySmith. Didn't like it. Grips are too small to get a good hold on. But then your wife may be abit more danty. You seldom go wrong if you let her decide.

January 3, 2003, 12:56 PM
Thanks folks. I'll look at those heavier models, especially the .32 mag. She keeps expressing an interest to learn to shoot, but won't shoot anything I have. She says they "kick" too much.

Oleg Volk
January 3, 2003, 01:09 PM
If buying a 317, get one with 3" barrel and adjustable sights. 2" fixed typically doesn't shoot close to point of aim and has severe muzzle blast. The disadvantage of 317 is the HEAVY double action and poorly shaped hammer which makes thumb-cocking painful in short order. I second the recommendation for a 32 mag or a larger (K-frame) .22 revolver such as model 18.

4v50 Gary
January 3, 2003, 01:16 PM
My friend's wife liked mine (2") so he went out and bought her a 3". She loves the size & the weight. However, the trigger pull was a bit heavy for her so I cut a coil & and half off from the rebound spring. She's happier now.

BTW, I couldn't use the old fashion pliers method to clip them. Must be Superman steel or something. Used a dremel with a cutoff bit to cut the darn thing.

rock jock
January 3, 2003, 01:26 PM
Trigger pulls in DA are always heavy for out of the box S&W snubbies, IMO. My wife's 331 had a pull of over nine pounds. It is currently at the gunsmith getting a trigger job.

January 3, 2003, 05:12 PM
Well, I decided against the .22 after holding it. I gave the dealer $40 and my Taurus and took home an old model 67. This thing is good and heavy, and has a nice light trigger. I had to clean it up a bit, but it's in great shape. I can't wait to get the wife out to shoot it. It should be a pussy cat. I do need some new grips though. Anyone know where I can get some?

rock jock
January 3, 2003, 05:14 PM
Nice gun, good choice.

Kentucky Rifle
January 3, 2003, 06:23 PM
Remember good ear protecton. It could be the report of the gun putting her off a little. If necessary, have her "double plug" her ears. You can get that silicone stuff PLUS have her wear the "muff" type.


Al Thompson
January 3, 2003, 07:45 PM
BTN, I went through this with my wife. At 4'11 and 100 lbs, she settled on a 3 inch m10, round grip. I put Pachmyer grips on the wheelgun, forget the model, but they had an open backstrap.

Totally agree with KR about the ear protection, as usual. :)

Couple of things:

First rule of a gufight is to have a gun. (IMHO, 75%)

Second rule, have one that works all the time. (IMHO 20%)

Way down the list is cartridge, ammo capacity, etc., etc.

Your lady with a .22 is way ahead of 99% of the sheeple with bare hands.

January 4, 2003, 06:22 PM
agree with the model 10. start out with some MILD .38 rounds, the lightest grain you can find. a heavy gun and light .38's to build confidence. ya never know, couple years she might be picking out her own .45:what:

January 26, 2006, 03:16 PM
I used to have a Lady Smith model # 3913 pistol. I loved it. I let some guy talk me into a hammerless .38; biggest mistake I ever made. I couldn't even target practice because it kicked so much and hurt my hand to the point I had to wear gloves to shoot. I gave that gun to my husband and he loves it. I went back and got a cheaper version of the lady smith; it's all black. It's alright but I still haven't got the site adjusted so I can hit my target.

I would recommend the S&W Lady Smith to any woman. Hope this helps.

January 26, 2006, 06:40 PM
Your asking about a peice in .22lr caliber, I know, but I to have to be in the camp that is suggesting in, well, at least renting and trying a revolver chambered to fire the .38 special round. Fired out of a medium frame revolver this round is quite manageable for the recoil sesitive. She might even prefer loading the larger diameter cartridge over the dinimutive .22lr's into a revolver's cylinder for practice. You can find some more adequate self defense rounds in this caliber as well, and centerfire is inherently more reliable than rimfire in detonation. Try the .38. From user standpointe it makes more sense for the purpose you describe.

January 26, 2006, 06:44 PM
Have to mention that even though the .32 mag sounds sensible. The main problem is ammo cost and availability. This round is a reloader's round not a novice shooter's. For affordable, sensible and effective self defense shooting the .38 is a more reasonable choice.:)

January 27, 2006, 02:28 PM
Federal 110gr 38sp Persal Defense load is a pretty good low recoil round. My wife likes it a lot. Out of my Ruger SP101 3 1/8" it chronographs at 960 fps. If you reload, I can give you a recipe to duplicate it for cheaper practice.

If the 67 doesn't work out, try a ruger 10/22.

January 27, 2006, 03:06 PM
The 317 is a great gun, I have one, fun to shoot at the range, BUT, I would not want to depend on it in a SHTF situation.

Try a K frame S & W with 38spl, see how she likes that.

Stainless Chili
May 9, 2007, 01:58 AM
I Googled 317 Ladysmith to get an idea of value. My wife has a sweet 1.8" BBL 317LS, with the leatherette case and factory trigger lock.

My wife likes it, first off, because I see value in that model, especially when pre-lock guns are long in the past. I like it's fit/finish [she took issue when I tried to keep ownership, when I had in fact got it for her] and the way the grip molds to our hands.

I've been shooting it DA, trying to smooth out a touch of grittiness in the trigger. She's tried it with snap caps, and does not find it too bad.

It's light weight is a plus for her. She doesn't even like my PPK/S because of the weight, but finds the 12 ounce LS acceptable. Ha! Forget about a beautiful 239 9mm, weight wise.

The LS a keeper, and I'm confident she will use it rather than become a victim should a nut decide to jimmy the front door open.

May 9, 2007, 03:44 PM
Blitz, you asked about grips for a Model 67 - I put Hogue grips on my 67 and am very happy with them. The walnut grips were tough on my hands for range shooting; those old cops must have had shoe leather for palms. :D

Anyway, check around on the internet for Hogue grips and make sure you specify K frame and Square grip (vs. rounded). Or your local gun shop may carry them although mine did not last time I was there.

For example:

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