So I never have been a revolver fan until I started to get my wife into shooting. She just simply isn't a semi automatic person. Too many moving parts and complex loading and unloading. With that said there is something to say about the simplicity and reliability of the revolver design. Simply open the cylinder, drop the bullets in, close the cylinder, fire and repeat.
I purchased a Ruger LCR 22lr for her a few months ago with the idea of having her step up to a 38 special revolver after getting comfortable with the smaller caliber. So after a few months of shooting the Ruger I went out and purchased a Smith and Wesson 38 special model 642 airweight. This guy is very light and seemed like it would make a very nice concealed carry option.
From the factory it has a long double action trigger pull so I lightened it up by doing a trigger job and changing the springs giving it a much easier trigger pull. This all before firing the first shots at the range.
At the range I purchased a box of cheap range loads. We went into the lane and after inspecting and loading it I handed it over to my wife to fire the first shots. She took her stance, aimed it down range and fired. Like a trooper she sent all five rounds down range and I noticed that her grouping was horrible with a couple that didn't even hit the paper. Joking I asked what are you aiming at? She said I have no idea because my eyes were closed the last three rounds. She said it's got a lot of kick.
Laughing on the inside and thinking she was being a little dramatic I loaded it again for myself. I fired the first shot and holy cow does this thing have some recoil. I finished the remaining four rounds and put it down. My grouping was horrible. I found myself flinching on the last two rounds because the recoil was so bad.
I had another friend of ours with us so I had him fire a few rounds just to make sure I wasn't being a sissy. He agreed with me that it has one hell of a recoil. I have shot 40 caliber's and 9mm's for years and this little guy by far has the worst recoil of all of them.
I'm not going to go much further on this review. Fit and finish are up to Smith and Wesson standards but I simply can't get passed the recoil on the little guy.
The strange thing is that the majority gun shops recommend this model to females for concealed carry. Please, if you are considering buying one of these, be sure to test fire one before you buy. If I have a hard time shooting this gun then I'm positive the majority of females will not enjoy shooting this revolver. I would recommend looking for a heavier steel frame 38 or do what I am with my wife. She will be carrying the Ruger LCR 22lr. I have always said that carrying something you can shoot accurately and consistantly will serve you much better than a gun that is too aggressive to handle.