I'll ask the question first before anybody gets bored with my range report - this gun has the black SW finish, and I've heard of people messing it up cleaning it. Does anyone with an S&W in the black finish have any tips or warnings about cleaning it. One thing I read was no ammonia - problem is none of the cleaners list their ingredients, that I can find... I haven't looked into it much, just thought I'd throw it out there... Thanks.
For those unfamiliar, this is one of those "scandium" alloy DAO 12oz .357s that everyone claims hurts like crazy to shoot. I don't know what they are talking about, I couldn't feel my hand at all after the first shot - I mean at all!!:what:
No, I'm exaggerating. Started with UMC .38s, peppy recoil, of course, but very controllable, and not at all "painful." Moved up to WWB Personal Protection +Ps, I think they are 125gr. Um, very snappy! But again, I really found it manageable, although it would be a stretch to call it fun. The fireball on both was pretty large - I have to say that firing one of these in a dark room would be the END of night vision for a while.
I didn't buy any .357s, and I didn't want to buy a whole box at the range, but when I told the guy at the counter what I was shooting, he gave me a wry smile and gave me three free rounds of .357 - CCI Blazers, nothing fancy. I asked him if he'd shot one of these before in .357, and he said "yeah, why do you think I'm smiling!" :uhoh:
I've read a few other reviews about instant blood - be it split webbing by your thumb, or the recoil taking a bite out of your trigger finger, etc. So, I was gripping this mother like nobody's business! I think I was so afraid of it, the actual recoil was much more tolerable than I expected. I've read some macho reviews that said it didn't hurt at all. Dang - those guys must have some tough paws! I absolutely found it painful, but not drop-the-gun-and-run-to-mama painful, and there wasn't any blood.
I would not want to shoot a box of 50, but for actual SD carry, I might consider .357. The adrenaline dump in a real SD situation would take care of any recoil issues, I think. Especially in a snub, I think extensively practicing with your carry load is not that necessary. I will either put a glove on or 99% of the time shoot .38 in practice (ending with maybe 10 of carry load). I feel perfectly safe carrying +P for SD (or frankly even a good .38), but I might look into some of the new .357 designed for these guns - supposedly lower flash, and lighter load.
So I ran through 50 .38s, 40 +Ps (the other 10 are for a load plus reload), and 3 .357s (oh, and a box and a half through my Glock27).
My hand felt fine when I left. But, as some of the numbness started to wear off... it did start to ache pretty good. Even as I type this, it's pretty dang sore! This doesn't worry me a bit carrying it for SD, but I can tell you, if I had to shoot it right now I might shed a few tears - it's sore!
The stock grips expose a strip of the frame in the back, so that doesn't help AT ALL. I pocket carry this gun, so I don't want to add much bulk, but I'm thinking of adding LG-405 Crimson Trace grips, which have some extra backstrap padding. Won't render big loads comfortable, but should ease it up somewhat.
All in all, I love it - it's the perfect pocket gun for me. I doubt the 3oz. savings was worth the extra couple hundred bucks (there are non-scandium models that are cheaper and weigh 15oz instead of 12), but I don't turn over guns, I'll pass this down to my kids in 30 years, so I wasn't too worried about a few bucks. Thanks for reading - if you have any questions or comments - hit me!
FranklyTodd, with a FranklySore hand...