OK, it's time for another gun post, mainly because I got another gun.
This one is a Smith and Wesson Model 642, a five-shot .38 Special. Made of aluminum alloy with a stainless steel cylinder and barrel, it's designed for concealed carry and is one of Smith and Wesson's best sellers.
I like the size of my little Ruger LCP, but I'm not a fan of it's sight picture and/or trigger pull and I'm less than impressed with the .380 round in general. It's still a nice pistol to have in one's pocket as a back-up, but by sacrificing just a bit of it's concealability, I can have five rounds of Corbon or Winchester Ranger .38 Special on tap in a pistol that's more accurate and more comfortable to shoot.
I used to have a Smith and Wesson J-frame revolver that I bought on Massad Ayoob's recommendation when we were in a gun shop together. That pistol was not rated for +P rounds, and it has a small butt and wood grips that made it very uncomfortable to shoot, even with standard rounds. I eventually needed money so I sold it but I've always regretted that. Now I have another one, and while it came used, I got it for the same price that I sold that old one for years ago, so I'm not complaining about a few scratches.
Here it is, side-by-side with my Model 66. As you can see, it's much smaller and more concealable, and the shrouded hammer means that it can be drawn from a pocket--or fired through a pocket--without snagging.
So how does it work, you ask?
Wonderfully. The soft grips absorb a lot of the recoil, and it's much less painful to fire than my old Bodyguard with it's tiny butt and wood grips. Once I got the feel for it's heavy but crisp trigger, I was able to put 32 out of 35 rounds in the black from seven and ten yards, and the flyers were the result of me doing a rapid-fire string from the supine position, lying on the ground as if knocked down. I need to work on that one a bit more. But then who doesn't? My only complaint is that the small ejector rod needs to be hit forcefully to ensure reliable extraction and ejection, but that's common to these J-frames with 1&7/8" barrels and can be dealt with as a training issue.