1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Lightweight snubbies

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Godsgunman, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Well-Known Member

    So this past weekend I took my mother (64) to the shooting range since she has requested my help with her buying her first ever handgun. She grew up around guns but has never owned one herself. The range I am a member at has rental guns so I figured we could rent a couple and see how they fit her. I brought along my 3" Taurus 65 .357 and my Glock 26 so she could shoot those also. Anyways I rented this light weight 2" Ruger .38 snubby for her to try also (sorry dont recall the exact model) but boy did that thing kick like a mule! Far worse than any mag load out of my Taurus and even worse then shooting 00 buck out of my Judge when I used to have one. I was just using 130gr target .38 sp loads, not even +P. I am not usually recoil sensitive but I was truly shocked at how unpleasant this little snubby was to shoot. I didn't even let my mother try it out because it even bothered my palm after 5 shots. She did enjoy shooting the Taurus and even the Glock and shot them fairly well.
    I guess what I'm getting at is I found these "airweight" snubs to be unpleasant shooters, at least that one. I know they fit the niche for light weight carry options but I myself prefer something with a little more heft in the revolver arena and more manageable recoil. After shooting that snubby I find my Taurus to be a great compromise between concealability and manageable recoil for follow up shots even with full load magnums.
    And the search is still on for the right gun for my mom, good excuse for more range time :p.
  2. Bikewer

    Bikewer Well-Known Member

    I have to say that other than a S&W M29 with full-house loads, one of the most unpleasant handguns I've ever fired was an "airweight" Chief's Special with fairly hot loads and stock grips.
    However, my little Taurus stainless "Chief's" knockoff, equipped with Pachmayr grips, is quite pleasant to shoot.
  3. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Well-Known Member

    Easiest light weight snubby I ever shot; a CharterArms Bulldog Pug in .44 special

    The worst snubby I've ever shot; my Ruger Alaskan in .454 and it's not light.

    My Chiefs Special in .38 special was somewhere in the middle of those two...
  4. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    I have two 5 shot 2" snubbies, a Smith 642 (all lightweight alloy) and an SP101 (all stainless steel).

    38 specials in the 642 are more unpleasant to shoot than 357 mags in the SP101.
  5. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Well-Known Member

    Good point DMK, my favorite snubby is my Ruger SP101 with any load!
  6. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you need to find the right load more than finding the right gun.

    Go back and shoot that "lightweight Ruger" (must be the LCR) with 148 grain (not 158, but 148) FULL wadcutters used for bullseye shooting. She will like it much better.

    Finding the right gun is only part of the equation. Finding the right load, in this case, is far more important.
  7. mj246

    mj246 Well-Known Member

    I'm betting the Ruger snubby was an LCR (OP; was it all black and gray or stainless steel?). Given that the 38+p version only weighs 13.5 ounces unloaded, I would definitely imagine the recoil being a bit stiff. I personally have never seen a huge draw to the super lightweight snubbies. I don't find a revolver weighing 20-25 ounces to be very heavy for carrying, and definitely helps for actually shooting.

    Granted, I have only carried around the house for a few hours at a time because I'm still saving up to get my CCW, so I could maybe understand getting one that's 16-18 ounces or so. However, I just feel that something much lighter than a pound would recoil too sharply for fast follow-up shots whether the recoil bothers your hand or not. JMO and YMMV. If you like it and are comfortable with an airweight, more power to ya.

    EDIT to ADD: If she likes the overall feel of the LCR, you could always try to find a 357 one to rent, but shoot 38s in it. The 357 version weighs a few ounces more and likely would tame the recoil of standard pressure or +P 38s much better than the 13.5 ounce 38+p only version.
  8. easyg

    easyg Well-Known Member

    I would not recommed a snub-nose revolver for any female.
    They are not easy guns to master.
    They have a short sight radius and a heavy double-action trigger pull.
    And they are very slow to reload.

    I would recommend something like an XDS in 9mm, or a Ruger SR9c.
  9. mdauben

    mdauben Well-Known Member

    IMO "snubbies" are generally poor choices for beginning shooters. They may seem good because they are so small and light, but those are actually flaws for anything except concealed carry. Light weight guns recoil badly even with normal .38spl rounds, let alone +P or .357 ammo. The short sight radius and often rudimentary sights make them hard to shoot accuratly.

    Personally, I might suggest you consider a "K-Frame" like the S&W Model 10. A not too big and heavy but much easier and more comfortable to shoot than a light weight small frame. If you want something a little smaller for conceled carry, look at a steel frame gun like the S&W Model 60 or the Ruger SP101, either with a 3-4 inch barrel.
  10. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    She proved she could shoot them, but they weren't loaded with the proper ammo.

    It's not hard to shoot "minute of badguy" at five to ten feet.

    The LCR has a fairly smooth and light pull.

    It's over, one way or another, by the time the gun is empty. She's not trying out for the SWAT team or Action Pistol team.

    Where chambering the first round might be extremely difficult? Where a weak wrist or improper hold would induce a malfunction?

    This isn't a gun for US, guys, it's a gun for a 64 yr old woman who has never owned a gun before.

    Revolvers are easy to understand, easy to shoot (point and pull) and won't jam due to weak wrists. Load it properly (for her) with the aforementioned 148 grain wadcutters and she will be fine.
  11. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Well-Known Member

    It was all black and gray so yeah it was the lcr. We will definitely stick to the stainless steel models and I think at least a 3" barrel. As i said she shot my 65 pretty well once she got the hang of the sights. I was just not expecting the lcr to be that bad but I guess thats a compromise some people are willing to make to carry something all day. Not for me though, don't mind a little more weight. I like to know its there, not have something so light I could forget and not shoot accurately because of recoil.
  12. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    You are still overlooking the importance of load selection.
  13. premier1

    premier1 Well-Known Member

    I'm sure your mother isn't going to be spending countless hours on the range.So giventhat fact she might have her longest shot ever across a room,with that being said I don't see anything wrong with a snub.If she does wish to do range shooting I would suggest like others here to use 148gr. wadcutters and since she's not going to be carrying this daily why not go with a standard weight snub like a Taures model 85.
  14. Mosbyranger

    Mosbyranger Well-Known Member

    Ruger SP 101's are hard to beat imho. If you can find one with a 3 inch barrel, have her try it. My son bought one and it is a real soft shooter even with .357's compared to my 2" in 38 Sp. Ruger also makes them with a 4 inch barrel, but that is a rara avis, at least around here.
  15. jimbo555

    jimbo555 Well-Known Member

    I gave my daughter a s&w model 60,the original stainless version of the model36. She shoots it just fine with standard pressure hollow points. She loves to shoot that snubby and refuses to give it back no matter how hard I try! -
  16. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Well-Known Member

    I've lost two Ruger SP101's with 3" barrels to my daughter and my wife. They love shooting them and are quite accurate with them.
  17. IllinoisGun

    IllinoisGun Member

    Myself, I've never had an issue with me wife shooting my S&W 442. No lock, of course.
  18. Water-Man

    Water-Man Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the OP is the one who is recoil sensitive.

    If the OP has a problem with the LCR, he'll have a problem with all the Smith J frames as well.
  19. mauiglide

    mauiglide Well-Known Member

    I bought a Model 638 Airweight last fall which is my first J frame revolver and the first thing my FFL dealer said to me was that I should expect a bit of recoil. I don't consider myself to be recoil sensitive but shooting this revolver with the stock two finger grip was uncomfortable to say the least. I was shooting American Eagle standard pressure ammo and some Remington +P ammo. I decided to mount a set of Nill grips which are larger than the factory scales. I've not shot it since I've installed the new grips but just holding the revolver with the new grips makes the gun feel much more comfortable and controllable. I'll see how it is next time at the range.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR MAXX using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  20. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    I've never seen an SP-101 with a trigger as light and smooth as the LCR. It'll be more difficult to master the hard DA pull on the SP-101

    I've observed over the years that people who claim to be "good with a revolver" are firing it single action; a technique not suitable for fast and furious close range defense encounters.

    Only one other poster seems to agree that LOAD SELECTION MATTERS.

Share This Page