Smith N-frame with small hands?


September 7, 2012, 09:50 AM
So, I have small hands - see?



As you can guess, I shoot left-handed. The right hand is like that from a birth defect - no tragic accident.

I had a couple of N-frames in the past, both with the big target-style grips. While they were comfortable to shoot, I had a difficult time reaching the trigger for DA shooting. I could do it, but would have to "side-saddle" the grip. Instead of the backstrap running down the web of the hand between thumb and first finger, I had to let the backstrap run more down the base of the thumb. You can imagine my DA work was less than stellar. SA shooting was OK.

I found a well-used Smith pre-Highway Patrolman for sale with some really crappy Pachmayr grips on the gun. It grabs my attention for two reasons: one, the price is fair; two, it's from the mid -50's, so I can use my C&R for the first time!

But, before I spend the money, I want to know this: are there any N-frame grips that might help me manage that big frame gun? Those Pachmayrs are nasty-ugly and have to go, one way or the other.

If not, it's not the end of the world. I have a GP100 and a Smith 66, plus a couple other K frame .38s, so I'm covered with the .357. I just like the 28 with that half-lug and heavy frame. It just looks serious.

Thanks for any thoughts you might have.

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September 7, 2012, 09:58 AM
look at the Arhends retro target grips. I swapped out the S & W target grips on my 41mag M-57's. they aren't quite as small as the S & W magna grips but they are smaller than the targets.

September 7, 2012, 10:02 AM
First off, if you watch Jerry Miculek's videos on revolver shooting, he has you rotate your strong hand grip until your finger is in the right place on the trigger. So being a bit "side saddle" (:)) is not a problem. Then the majority of the grip strength comes from the support hand. (I could imagine that can be less than ideal.)

For the grips, I'd look at the Ahrend's Retro "Banana" style:

September 7, 2012, 10:11 AM
Altamont grips makes some pretty thin grips for the N frame guns, you might try them.

These are N frame grips from them:

September 7, 2012, 07:50 PM
I also have small hands. I had Cylinder & Slide, , add a narrow, radiused and polished trigger to my N frame Mountain Gun. This slightly reduced the length of pull. They also recontoured the back-strap area of the frame which did more of the same. The combination makes this N feel more like a K frame.

Derry 1946
September 7, 2012, 08:01 PM
My hands aren't that big either. One revolver I have found very comfortable is the 32-20 hand ejector of 1905. Recoil is mild and the grip is very manageable. Not sure this helps, but consider looking in the old used gun case at your local gun store. You may find just the thing. Good luck in your search!

September 7, 2012, 08:44 PM
Those Altimont grips look like the ticket, or Magna's. The Magna grips are much smaller in circumference than the Target N Frame grips.

September 8, 2012, 06:58 AM
The Magna grips are much smaller in circumference than the Target N Frame grips. -- great recommendation!

Elmer Keith had small hands (size 9.5 or 10 gloves) and he invented the magna grip to protect his right thumb from recoil. The grips on the N frame sized revolvers of the day only came up about half way up the butt of the gun.

In his book, Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting, Ed McGivern included a diagram of his hand measurements. I also have short fingers for 6' 1", but my hand and Ed's are almost identical. The problem is, McGivern was 5' 5"! :)

You might be interested in this article written by Tom Givens about fitting a gun to your hand: Short Fingers and Fat Butts (

September 8, 2012, 11:11 AM
Herrett makes a number of grips to fit your hand. You send them a hand tracing when ordering. Had a Redhawk and have 9.5 size hands and their grip (a Roper style) fit my hand exactly for double action shooting. Not inexpensive, though.

September 8, 2012, 01:32 PM
I like your Seiko. Which model is that?

Back on topic, I've always liked banana grips. I wish Taurus still offered them on the model 85, or at least sold them still. I'd love to get a pair for my '95 model 85.
Since you're shooting an N frame .357, not .44 mag, recoil is not a big issue. Magna grips should be fine. I'd like to get one and have it round-butted. I like round butt DA revolvers, especially Smith K frames.
Not saying I prefer K frames over other revolvers (though I like them a lot), just saying I strongly prefer a round butt on a K frame. I keep hoping I can find a 3" round butt 13 or 65.

September 9, 2012, 03:45 PM
Well, the 28 went the way of the pretty girl in high school....with someone else. Oh, well.

I'll keep an eye out; maybe I can find a good, reasonably-priced one in the future.

Out of curiosity - where are prices on 28s these days? GB seems to be starting in the $400 price bracket and going up from there. Model 27s start around $600 or so.

And, by the way Jaymo, the Seiko is the V158. It's not listed on the Seiko website any more, so I guess it's been replaced with something newer. It's nice - good weight, size, and stainless steel. Wife got it for me for our anniversary a couple years ago.

Thanks, all, for the comments.

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