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K-38 Masterpiece - ouch - what am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by jmace57, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. jmace57

    jmace57 Well-Known Member

    I recently acquired on of my dream guns, a 1947 Masterpiece (target) and went to the range to shoot it for the first time yeserday. Ouch! It has the standard diamond grips, a 6" barrel and I was shooting standard loads.

    Every time I shot the gun, it (the trigger guard) whacked me on the middle knuckle of the middle finger on my shooting hand.

    I already have a S&W model 19 and 2 model 28s - all with target grips. I have a model 10 with rubber pachmeyer grips. I have never had any problem like this before with these or any other (of 25) handguns.

    I guess I have fairly large hands. I notice when I am gripping the gun, that knuckle is almost resting against the back of the trigger guard. Am I doing something wrong? Holding it wrong? Not gripping I tight enough? It is just a mis-match between the gun design and the size of my hands?

    I shot 3 cylinders through it yesterday before I had to quit. It was not enjoyable. Has anyone else ever experienced this? Thanks all.


    I am attaching a shot of me holding the gun. I am holding it funny so that I could take the picture, but wanted to show the size of my hands versus the size of the gun.

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  2. Manny

    Manny Well-Known Member

    I'm not an S&W guy, but I can recall a whole lot of pictures of vintage ones wearing Tyler T grip adapters, so I don't think your experiance is unique. I believe they're available in repro and bet the addition would make shooting that old timer a lot more pleasurable.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  4. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

    large k frame wood grips or pachmeyers,tyler t grip also
  5. steveno

    steveno Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised that you could put any safe load in a K-38 and get hurt even a little bit
  6. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    I second trying target-style grips for it first. I found my 1950 K38 felt better with standard k-frame targets. They didn't "look" quite right on the gun to my eyes but sure shot better.
  7. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    The grips do not fit your hand. Try the Tyler T grips that others have mentioned or buy larger wood grips that will fill your hand adequately.
  8. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Well-Known Member

    Common problem with the Magna, and earlier Service style grips. The Tyler T grip added to the Magnas you have lets you keep the look and solve the problem. Larger Target grips, factory or aftermarket, that fill the area between the trigger guard and grip frame will also solve it.
  9. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Or just use a 2 handed grip.
    That's what I do & I don't get whacked.
  10. Iggy

    Iggy Well-Known Member

    Factory Target grips will improve things.

    Tyler T grip adapter will be the least expensive thing to try first.

    There are a myriad of grip options that will work on K frame S&Ws.
  11. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Well-Known Member

    Not "legal" when competing in the game the K-38 Masterpiece was originally intended for: Bullseye matches. Follow the advice of some posters and fit your revolver with some "target" grips. It will make all the difference in the world.
  12. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Well-Known Member

    Your 38 and model 19 are both K frame. Put the grips from the model 19 on the 38 and see if that solves the problem.
  13. jmace57

    jmace57 Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all for your suggestions.
  14. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Well-Known Member


    As you have discovered, the problem is the proximity of the trigger guard to your knuckle. Yes, a Tyler T grip will help, so will more modern grips that lower the position of your hand.

    But the cheapest thing of all for you to try is to stop trying to cram your entire hand onto the grip. Take a look at what adding a Tyler T grip or modern target grips actually does. It repositions your hand so that your knuckle is further down on the grip. That way, it is impossible for the trigger guard to whack your knuckle, your finger ain't there when the trigger guard recoils back.

    You can accomplish the exact same thing by simply re-gripping lower on the grip. If you grip lower, and allow your pinky to fall off the bottom of the grip, you will create a space between the rear of the trigger guard and your knuckle. I know, this is anathema to most pistol shooters who have been taught to grip as high as possible, particularly with a 1911, but there is no physical way to get your knuckle behind the trigger guard of a 1911.

    Your photo illustrates this beautifully. If you shift your grip down a little bit, your pinky will fall off the grip. This will allow a gap of about 1/4" to open up between your knuckle and the trigger guard. A 38 Special is not going to recoil enough to hit your knuckle if you leave a 1/4" gap.

    I shoot all my single action revolvers this way, and it has migrated over to my double action revolvers too. I have lots of old K frame and N frame revolvers with service grips. Like this one.


    Here is my K-38, and its predecessor, the M&P Target Model. Look at the grips. Those are the grips these guns were issued with, and they were the most highly prized target pistols of their day. Do you think everybody was shooting them with special target grips in their day? If so, how come mine still have their service grips on them? Shooters learned how to shoot these guns without getting their knuckles whacked. I can shoot any of these guns all day long with standard 38 Special loads without getting my knuckle whacked.

    Try it, you may like it.

  15. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I agree, the Tyler T-Grips will solve that problem of trigger guard bite and so will the older Pachmayr grip adapter too.


    Pachmayr adapter:

    Or you can replace the grips with larger combat style grips which will take away the bite too.


  17. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    it is defective

    send it to me for disposal

    (I know...I know...but no one said it yet. And it HAD to be said)
  18. Bikewer

    Bikewer Well-Known Member

    As Archangel says... Back when everyone in police work was carrying revolvers, you saw a lot of T-Grips and upgrades to the stock "target" grips on these weapons.

    I went with the Herret's "Jordan Trooper" grips, which were designed by Bill Jordan and looked somewhat similar to the grips pictured above but without the finger grooves.
    Jordan preferred a totally smooth grip that allowed for what he called "micro adjustments" in the grip under fast-draw combat shooting conditions.
    Naturally, if you're just plinking, not necessary.
  19. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    Like Bikewer, I also like the Jordan trooper grips. I have never cared for finger grooves at all on any revolver.
  20. pendennis

    pendennis Well-Known Member

    The only problem with Bill Jordan, was that he had "gorilla" hands! :D :D :D

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