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What is a J-Frame's recoil like?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by MikePGS, Mar 10, 2009.

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  1. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    When I look at recoil charts (like chuck hawks handgun recoil chart) a j-frame's recoil doesn't LOOK like it would be that bad. However I consistently see people talking about not wanting to shoot their j-frames a lot due to the sharp recoil. I haven't shot one (obviously) so was curious as to what the recoil was like. Is it comparable to any other handgun so that I can get a better idea? Or is the harshness due to the size of the gun and where it impacts on the hand? Any insight would be appreciated, thanks in advance.
     
  2. GUNKWAZY

    GUNKWAZY Member

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    It would of course depend on what loads and what grips you're little J frame is wearing.
    If you're shooting some strong loads with short little boot cut grips, it's gonna sting.
    Light loads with full sized grips you can get your hands on, not bad at all.

    Jeff (GUNKWAZY)
     
  3. mr2guru

    mr2guru Member

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    This is on a 12oz 360pd:

    .38's are a breeze and my 63yr old mom shoots them.

    .38 +p are little more stout and let you know they are there... My mom doesn't shoot these. My g/f does.

    .357 "short barrel" loads are stout and good carry load. These will surprise you and your hand will be red but not hurting after a cyl. full.

    .357 "heavy" from Buffalo Bore or Double Tap will get your attention right now. You will not like it, and neither will the guy in the lane next to you. But it's an attention getter.
     
  4. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    As long as it's .38 +P, very easy. I don't really believe in .357 snubs. Had a SP101, but it was quite heavy. It was easy to shoot even with magnums. The scandium stuff would get only .38 if I had one in MY pocket. I ain't got that much testosterone anymore. :D
     
  5. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I have an airweight 37 and 38s hurt me. 158-grains in particular. I haven't cartridge that's "pleasant" to shoot, at least with the stock grips. wadcutters aren't bad but they're not particularly fun, either.

    Guess I'm a wuss. :D
     
  6. fishdog52

    fishdog52 Member

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    I consider my mod 60 the most un-fun gun I own. However, as a carry piece, it is practical, and reasonably capable. I wish mine were DA only as it is the only way I will use it.
    On the other hand, I have a J frame 22 that is all around well balanced and great fun! So I use that for most practice.
     
  7. Commander Crusty

    Commander Crusty Member

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    My S&W Airweight 637 makes my hand sore for a week after firing just 30 rounds. On the other hand, I shoot it pretty well and have every confidence I get good hits with it under stress. I carry this gun a lot!

    I'd like to try a steel frame 5-shot with a 3" heavy barrel and see how it feels. My 6 shot K-A frame Airweight kicks a lot less and weighs 24 ounces loaded--about the same as a steel J-frame.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  8. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Chuck Hawks is pretty old school so he is probably using either a Colt Diamondback snub, or Python snub, or steel framed gun of some kind which will not recoil to bad with any load. Or a longer barrelled revolver at that. I havent looked at his site in some time.
     
  9. jc650

    jc650 Member

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    I have an MP340 and 38's arent bad at all. My carry rounds the Speer GDSB 38 +p's and they arent bad either. I can shoot any 38's with no discomfort. Like previously stated the 357's will get your attention.

    I use the stock grips and usually shooot about 60 rounds at a time at the range.
     
  10. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Snappy.

    I bought a .38 Special +P myself, after shooting .357s. I can do it, with surprising accuracy, until the web of my hand throbs anyway. But I didn't think I'd ever carry .357s in it, so I opted to get the significantly less-expensive gun.

    Light .38 "cowboy loads" can be fun to shoot in it, though.

    3 grains of Trail Boss and it doesn't feel bad at all.:)
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Load 158 grain @ 850 FPS .38 Spl..

    1 pound J-Frame
    Velocity of gun = 22.04 FPS
    Recoil energy = 7.35 F/P.

    3 pound gun
    Velocity of gun = 7.54 FPS
    Recoil energy = 2.51 F/P.

    1 pound gun with .357 mag 158 @ 1250 FPS
    Velocity of gun = 35.64 FPS
    Recoil energy = 19.73 F/P.

    3 pound gun with .357 mag 158 @ 1250 FPS
    Velocity of gun = 11.88 FPS
    Recoil energy = 6.58 F/P.

    As you can see, it's all about the weight of the gun.

    A J-frame .38 kicks harder & sharper then a .357 in a heavier gun.

    Or three times a fast & hard as a heavier gun with the same .38 Spl ammo.

    And then there is .357 Mags!

    rc
     
  12. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    125 grains at 700 fps and it's not too bad, subjectively and mathematically equivalent to the 3 lb. .357 above. That's what I've been using.

    .357s generally don't weigh 48 ounces, and a load like 158@1250 isn't bad in any full-size .357. That's really not bad recoil. It's noticeable, but not at all painful.:)

    Where do you get my J-frame practice loads? Unfortunately, I've had to make them myself.

    There might be a market for J-frame practice loads, given the immense popularity of the things and their similar competition.
     
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The are selling a metric ton of Cowboy Action light load .38 Specials.

    And theres always 148 grain Wadcutter target ammo.

    rc
     
  14. MDG1976

    MDG1976 Member

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    i used to have an airweight 38 spl. it was not pleasant to shoot with +p loads. but then again, it wasn't meant to be
     
  15. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Yes, but AFAIK the steel knockdown targets they use for CAS limits just how light they can be.

    The J-frame practice load can be lighter and still work perfectly.
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  17. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    700 or less is even nicer.

    I want to do 90@650 or so. Maybe 700.

    That should feel like a .22.
     
  18. FireInCairo

    FireInCairo member

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    It's not that bad, especially if you have a larger grip. I'm using the the Pachmeyer combat grip on my S&W 642 J frame, and it's made of the harder plastic-like stuff. It's not that bad. I imagine the rubber Hogue ones may be even more comfortable, too. With the extra pinky support, you have a lot more leverage to handle the small frame.

    I would say it was a bit less recoil than the Ruger SP-101 .357 I tried (with regular .357 loads).

    Is this Mike from Pro Guitar Shop, by any chance? :rolleyes:
     
  19. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    J-frames are just unpleasant. Bad design. There's a lot better compact revolver grips out there. Worse, because they're considered low-end guns, there's a serious lack of good replacement grips for them. We have a S&W Model 38 Airweight Bodyguard that's my mother's pistol. We're looking to replace it because it's painful to shoot, even for a grown man. As soon as the LCR comes out, the Airweight's going on Gunbroker.
     
  20. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    I have a Model 60-15 3" bbl. Adj. rear sight, which weighs in at
    24 oz. empty. It has the stock S&W rubber grip that is 1-piece &
    larger than the snubbies which conform to the frame shape. It has a
    llittle longer length with enough for a good purchase for my little finger.

    To give you a comparison, shooting 158 gr. RNL as well as 38 Spcl +P
    125 gr. speer Gold Dot Jhps at the range I've fired up to 70 rds in a session
    where it was in quick enough succession that the cylinder and barrel were
    getting pretty hot to touch reloading. It wasn't abusive. Another time
    I shot 10 rds of the .38 Spcl +p as before just to baseline for
    comparison to a cylinder of .357 Mag 140 gr. Hornady XTP JHPS.
    I stopped after the 5 shots of the magnum rounds. I'll stick with the +P for
    HD but if I took it hiking/camping and weight was a consideration
    I'd take it with some of each. I wouldn't want a snubbie LtWt in a
    magnum with so much velocity loss due to the short barrel and recoil
    I think a compact single stack 9mmx19 +P would offer more with
    higher cap than the 5 shot J-frame.

    Randall
     
  21. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    What do you mean, a serious lack of replacement grips?

    I've seen a bunch of them.
     
  22. brin747

    brin747 Member

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    I have a 642 Airweight with stock grips on it. I regularly run 38+p through it and don't find the recoil to be a problem at all. In fact, I love that little kick and usually end up running through a full box of ammo on each range trip.
     
  23. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    I said GOOD replacement grips. Nothing can really change the fact that the grip angle and overall girth is simply poor.
     
  24. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    If you want a K-frame, you can buy one.

    That's hardly the point of the J-frame or its competitors.

    This grip provides a modicum of extra girth.
    [​IMG]
     
  25. JJE

    JJE Member

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    I handload 125 gr plated bullets that are max standard pressure (bottom end of +P) for a S&W 642 with Pachmayr Compac Pro grips (all fingers fit on grip -barely- but backstrap is uncovered). Shooting these rounds doesn't hurt, but the recoil and small grips make it very difficult to maintain a proper 2-handed grip for follow-up shots. If you are shooting genuine +P rounds out of a gun like this, you would have to be a very skilled shooter to maintain combat accuracy at speed (or else put gigantic grips on the gun).

    Bottom line: Long before recoil actually becomes painful, shooting accurately and quickly becomes very, very difficult.
     
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