First handgun purchase s&w 649


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Jake Benson
August 19, 2011, 11:42 PM
I just purchased a s&w 649. I originally was going to get a Glock 19 but my wife has some arthritis in her hands and could not adequately work the slide. It will arrive next week and the gunsmith where I bought it is doing a trigger job on it for easier firing.

I have seen some posts saying firing .357 rounds through it will have a very tough recoil but others have said its not that bad. I bought it because it felt great in my hand and my wife liked it also. I went with the .357 for maximum defense but like the fact it also fires .38 rounds. We will be shooting it at the range. I also like the conceal capability. My son-in-law has a compact .45 Tarus auto and I have fired it and my wife has also. The gunsmith who ordered this gun for me said if I had no problem with the recoil from that gun, I would be fine.

Anyone have this gun? Would like feedback.

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oldfool
August 20, 2011, 09:42 AM
welcome to THR

No, but it is extreme similar to the 442/642 S&Ws, and there are a ton of folks on THR who do have 'em. Surprised you have not had more responses.

Expect stiffer recoil with 357 than with the typical 45 acp (even a compact 45 acp); it's simply a different sort of recoil, feels different. But lots of folks like 38+P loadings in them, and 357 mag yields very little gain in a snubbie anyway, other than excess noise and muzzle flash.

BossHogg
August 20, 2011, 10:14 AM
If your wife has arthritis I wouldn't let her shoot anything in .357. Also start off with standard 38 spl and not the 38+p.

A lot of people buy the .357 because they hear it's a great SD round and it is. But it also kicks like a mule. The S&W 649 is a great gun and if you have to shoot .357 try Remington Golden Sabors for a milder load. Have fun and be safe.

JohnBT
August 20, 2011, 10:17 AM
I have a 649-1 in .357 and a 442-1. There is a noticeable difference shooting the same .38 Sp. +P (or plain old .38 Sp.) in both of them. While my 442 weighs almost 16 ounces, the 649 weighs almost 24 ounces - 50% more. It's nearly a full-size gun and the weight really helps with the recoil.

I suggest trying some wadcutters, some plain .38 round nose, some +P and then the .357. Or start big and work down, but either way you'll know what you like to shoot. I like +P lead semiwadcutters. The .357 ammo is noisy. :)

Just be careful cocking it for single action because the hammer slips quite easily. The SA pull on mine is 2.25 pounds and clean and crisp. It's a miracle, straight from the factory, and almost too light the way it feels.

ArchAngelCD
August 20, 2011, 10:52 PM
I have seen some posts saying firing .357 rounds through it will have a very tough recoil but others have said its not that bad.
I think you might be confusing the reports of heavy recoil given on the 12oz Airlite revolvers in .357 Magnum. The M649 is an all Steel revolver that weighs twice that which aids in recoil management. (actually, it weighs 23oz)

GRIZ22
August 21, 2011, 01:49 AM
If this is your first handgun I suggest sticking with 38s for all purposes. 357s in a J frame gun are brutal in recoil to an experienced shooter regardless of frame material and even moreso to a novice.

Using a lot of 357 will also mean your gun will be going in for a tuneup more often.

Even if you work your way up to 357 ammo you will find your recovery time is faster with 38s.

357Shooter
August 21, 2011, 07:40 AM
I have a Model 60, 2⅛" @ 25oz. I believe, it shoots 357 very well although my wife prefers 38 and 38+P loads for it. The one thing I never see mentioned in regard to a 60 or 649 vs it's lighter weight cousins is, it is build to take 357 loads so you can shoot boatloads of 38 & 38+P with virtually no wear & tear on the gun. Good luck with your purchase, I'm sure you & your wife will really enjoy it.

Dogguy
August 23, 2011, 11:08 AM
If your wife has arthritis in her hands, avoid shooting Magnums in the 649. I don't have that particular gun but I do have a 2.25" Ruger SP101 in .357 Magnum--I think it's about 28 oz. The kick with heavy magnum loads is pretty brutal despite the extra weight of the all steel construction. I don't mind the recoil but I cannot imagine the pain it would cause to someone with arthritic joints in the hands.

I'd stick with .38 Specials. Use the 130 gr. FMJ for practice. For defense, a couple of good standard loads come to mind--Federal 125 gr. Nyclads and Hornady 110 gr. FTX Critical Defense.

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