Thursday, February 28, 2013

S&W Airweight (Model 638)

Caliber:     .38spl +P
Capacity:   5 rounds
Finish:       Matte silver
Weight:     15.1 oz
Length:      6.31"
Sights:       Fixed (serrated front, notch rear)
Grip:          Synthetic
Action:      SA/DA
Barrel Length:     1.875"

They need some nicer rugs at the range
  Despite spending good money on hard to find ammo, I'm just not into this review.
  It's because this firearm is simply boringly reliable, a proven design, and well made.  It's hard to find anything bad to say about it. Finding something new to say about J frames is also difficult.
  So if it seems like I plodded through this review, it's because this is simply a very good gun that does it's job well. It doesn't generate a lot of excitement. It just works.
  One more thing before starting on the pros and cons, this isn't my gun. I've used it during two range sessions, but I do not consider 150 rounds as anything more than being suitable for an initial review. The owner has put another 100 -150 rounds through it at this time.

  They're obvious to anyone looking at the pics above.
Ammo capacity is a pathetic 5 rounds. This is a biggie. If you can deal with the limited capacity (as I do with my LCR) then this gun is a good choice. I'm not going to sugar coat it and pretend that the capacity is somehow OK because this is a revolver. Similar sized semi automatics easily carry 10-13 rounds of 9mm. You could find yourself up against that in a defensive encounter and there are no timeouts because you decided to get a small framed revolver.
  Get a few speed loaders or speed strips. Practice until it's second nature and muscle memory takes over when using them. Know where your reloads are and plan accordingly. Burying a speedloader at the bottom of a pants pocket along with change and car keys is not a wise practice.

Aftermarket Hogue grips
  You won't like the recoil if you're not a regular shooter, or if you only shoot full sized service pistols. It's something that most can get used to with a bit of practice but how much practice can you actually afford with the current ammo shortage? The family member that bought this gun was in for a rude awakening after decades of only shooting full sized 9mm's. Larger grips will help minimize the felt recoil.
  The sighting radius is very short, and the sights are fixed. Again... you knew this after seeing the first picture. It is what it is. This is the price you pay for concealability.

  You will only be able to get two fingers on the original grips. This increases felt recoil,  and will hurt accuracy with some shooters.

  The trigger pull is OK. There's better and worse out there. I would rate it as better than average but not in the same league as the Ruger LCR.

  That's it for the cons. Other than the trigger pull, everything was obvious from the first picture. If you were considering a snub nosed revolver then you already knew what to expect.

  This gun is very concealable. Pocket carry or IWB work well for me. I believe that anyone can find a method of concealed carry with this gun.

  The double action trigger pull is OK, but the single action pull is extremely light. You have the option of cocking this weapon before firing. I kind of miss that on my LCR.
The shroud will help keep the hammer from snagging on clothing. It should also allow you to fire the gun from inside of a coat pocket in a worst case scenario.
  Note: Do not carry this gun with the hammer cocked. The SA trigger pull is simply too light. Others may disagree but I would never carry this weapon cocked.

  The standard grips are very good for CCW. They're small enough that pocket carry works well, and hard enough that they don't cling to clothing as more tacky rubber grips do.

  It's a revolver. It's hard to make a firearm more user friendly. Almost everyone can instinctively figure this gun out. That's a big plus when you're under stress.

  Reliability is generally better with a revolver but Airweight owners shouldn't be complacent.
  Even if the gun is reliable it may not function with bad ammo. I've had two rounds with badly seated primers over the last couple of months. The cylinder would close but would not rotate. This is worth mentioning because I suspect that we'll see more bad ammo make it through quality control as this period of panic buying continues. The same can be said for firearms.
  The shooter should at least be aware of the things that can go wrong with their revolver even if problems are almost nonexistent.
  I've seen ejector rods unscrew and prevent the cylinder from opening on one .357 Magnum that I used to own. The cylinder on a friend's S&W Model 10 would fail to rotate after about 150 rounds if it wasn't cleaned.
  While revolvers usually don't require the same break in period as a semi automatic, you should put enough rounds through it that you're familiar with the weapon and know that it works. A friend bought a new .357 Magnum last year. The cylinder stopped rotating after about shooting half of a box of .38spl. I haven't been able to get the full details. Clearly this is something better learned at the range than in a defensive encounter.

  There is a large aftermarket for J frame revolvers.   As these snubbies have been around for decades, prices are usually pretty fair for aftermarket accessories.
  The sights on almost all of these revolvers are generally mediocre. I recently compared this gun to an earlier version with a black frame. This matte silver model actually had clearer sights. It's in this brief comparison if you're interested.

2" orange target at 7yds
  Accuracy was very good with this gun.
The target to the right shows the first 5 shots that I fired from this weapon. If the gun could somehow fix my inevitable flier it would be perfect.
  This was double action, BTW.

  This S&W Airweight is +P rated.

  The Model 638 was selling locally for $400 as of December, 2012.

  This weapon has the built in key lock that seems to be included on so many new handguns. I don't like them or ever use these locks. The lock is counted on the pro side since it's another feature that some might like.

  At 15.1 oz the Airweight almost lives up to it's name. I cannot see anyone having a carry problem due to the weight of this gun. It's not as light as my LCR but I'll be honest... the weight difference isn't enough to be a deal breaker. I bought my Ruger LCR largely because of the better trigger and because my wife already has an older model S&W Airweight.

  The edges of this gun are nicely rounded. It's aluminum frame provides corrosion resistance as well as cutting a few ounces. The cylinder is still stainless steel.


  I have nothing bad to say about this gun. Just know what you're getting into when you buy it. If you can deal with mediocre sights, limited capacity and a bit of recoil then this is a great carry gun. That doesn't sound like praise but it is.

The owner added these Hogue grips. The gun handles better with them but is harder to carry concealed.
  Do you like the firearms with the larger ammo capacity? You'll pay for it in weight. If you're like me then you'll find yourself leaving a heavier CCW gun at home. I've never left a snubbie behind because of weight.
Old vs New S&W Airweight

  I'd prefer a larger and heavier gun for home defense, but this handgun could get the job done. Given a choice I'd rather have a full sized service pistol or 4" revolver for the home. They're not something that I would use in a CCW role today (if crime gets worse then that may change).
  So... I'd recommend this gun with all of my usual reservations. Buy it knowing the role you intend it for and realize it's weaknesses. Plan accordingly.
  As I said earlier, my wife has an earlier version of this firearm for her CCW gun. I spent an afternoon shopping with another family member before he bought this S&W. This should tell you a little about how much I believe in the Airweight line.

  As always, I'll come back and edit this later. I suspect that I'll be cringing at the spelling and grammar errors when looking over this tonight.

Other Gun Reviews On This Blog

In The News

How To Ban Guns
Police Wonder About Gun Confiscation
Armed Civilians Vs. Mass Killers
Pretending That Shootings Are Worse In Red States
When Assault Weapons Saved Koreatown
Feinstein's New Gun Law List For 2013
Newspaper Publishes Names And Addresses Of Gun Owners
Blogger Turns Tables On Newspaper Employees - Publishes Their Names And Addresses
Kwanzaa Holiday
Stats On Victims And Assailants
3.5 Years Worth Of Magazines Sold In 3 Days
Ex-Marine Released From Mexican Jail
Marines Strict New Alcohol Policy
The State Out To Have A Monopoly On Legitimate Violence
Oathkeepers - Declaration Of Orders We Will Not Obey
Would Banning Guns Make A Difference?
North Korean EMP Weapon
Abandoning Afghanistan
A Non Gun Owners Guide To Guns
Bears Were Used To Test...
Government Poisoned Americans
Why I'm Against Gun Control
Liberal Hypocrisy On Guns
Race Based Discipline Policies In Schools

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Women Take Biden's Shotgun Advice

   It seems that perhaps Joe Biden isn't the person to go to for firearms or self defense advice.  BTW, most of these women could have easily handled the shotguns with a little training or instruction. It's still ridiculous to pretend that they will instinctively do better with a shotgun than an AR or handgun in a defensive encounter. The fact remains that a shotgun isn't the answer to every self defense need despite Uncle Joe's claim. 

No One Really Wants To Ban Your Guns

  No one really wants to ban your guns... except for the politicians that want to ban, confiscate, or make your firearms illegal.
  "Nothing to see here, just move along." This seems to be the opinion of the MSM. I doubt that most Americans have seen the stories listed in the opinion piece below.
  Give it a look, and forward it to friends that are sitting on the fence or sitting out this current fight. We need to keep pushing back against the gun banning politicians at the local, state, and federal level.

No One Wants Your Guns... Except

  While the link above is a good source, it's incomplete. I'll try to add more examples as I run across them.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Some Amusing Old Political Stuff Revisited

  I've had this stuff on my blog for several months. I decided that it was worth combining this into a rogue's gallery of idiots.

  This is my personal favorite. How does anyone this stupid get elected to Congress? I love how he goes on and on about Guam, and tries so hard to sound intelligent. He reminds me of a couple of guys that always pull me into political discussions.

  This is an old video, but it's still a personal favorite. It should serve as a warning to those that believe our "Leaders" actually know what they're doing. I love the way she attempts to evade the question. CNN and MSNBC would have let her get away with or perhaps stuck to those hard hitting questions like, "What's your favorite color?"

  Okay, this one wants to ban heat seeking bullets. I really have to wonder what the IQ of the average voter in her district is.
  Can you imagine if she had a child with Hank Johnson? Never mind... in this current environment it would be likely to grow up to become President.

   There is no stupidity in these two videos. They just show the sheer hypocrisy in one of our most powerful Senators. This anti gun leader obviously knows what's best for the little people.

                                                              Rusty Shackleford
                                                                  Joe Schoffstall
  I may add some words of wisdom from Joe Biden at a latter date.

In The News

Texas School Teaches That Muslim Terrorists Are Freedom Fighters
20 Of The Greatest Moments Of The Republican Party
20 Of The Most Embarrassing Moments Of The Democratic Party
3 Reasons Why Conservatives Are Losing The Battle For America
Meet Quarterly With Obama, Only $500,000
A Few Facts On The Sequestration
Inflation Charts
FN Manufacturing Wins Contract To Supply M4A1
Texas's Crazy School Curriculum
Christopher Dorner: Man With A Manifesto
Do The Feds Want To "Help" You Manage Your Retirement Accounts?
Massive Gun Ban Introduced
Ford City: You Owe Us All An Explanation
St. Louis "Knock Out" Artist Meets Armed American
America's Most Miserable Cities 2013
20 Million American Women Own Guns
Dial 911 And Die
CNN Accuses MSNBC Of Pushing Propaganda (definition of irony?)
Hispanic Men Warned Of Violent Attacks
Companies Boycott Anti Gun States

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Over 5 Million Letters Sent To Representatives

  I probably shouldn't do it, but I sometimes wear shirts with gun logos. So much for keeping a low profile. Sometimes it works out OK though.

  I met another AR owner today, and got a chance to pass along the link that Ruger provides on their website. While viewing their political action page, I noticed that their numbers jumped from 800,000 (a week or two ago) to over 5 million contacts. Our Representatives have had some full inboxes lately.

  Hell yeah!!!

  If you've used their link to contact your Representatives or passed it onto others then thank you. Keep up the fight.

  I read a recent piece from a staffer at one Representative's office. It was stated that the pro gun vs anti gun contacts were running 8 to 1 in our favor. We need to keep this momentum going. It's an uphill battle. A lot of politicians simply don't care about the will of the people. The media is largely against us. Hollywood is almost entirely at odds with us, and the opposition is well funded. We don't have time to rest.

  Keep forwarding this link and keep up the good work.


  BTW, Remington has something similar on their site.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Few Motivational Posters

Liberal vs Conservative Anti Rape Strategies

How Are We Going To Be Safer?

Call 911 Or Use A 1911

Federal Spending With And Without Sequester Cuts

NY Government

So Proud Of Our Students.......We Treat Them Like Morons

3 Dozen Gun Companies Won't Do Business With New York

  Almost three dozen gun companies have stated that they will no longer do business with the state of New York.  I doubt that this will hurt NY, but I like the gesture and hope others will follow their example.
  One thing that's worth remembering is that privately owned companies can take a stand. I'm not pretending that it doesn't hurt their bottom line, but the decision is often made by one person.
  Publicly owned businesses cannot always do this. The shareholders have high expectations. Turning away orders from one of the largest states in the nation will lead to new company leadership. I don't expect to see Colt, S&W, or Glock to follow the manufacturers listed in the article below.
  Don't be surprised if we see more private companies do the right thing while the large publicly traded gun manufacturers continue to fill every contract.
  It's up to you and I to look at our friends among the firearm manufacturers when making our next big (or not so big) purchase. They are doing what they can for the cause and deserve our support.

Almost 3 Dozen Gun Companies Refuse To Do Business With New York

Stories That Rarely Make The National News

   The mainstream media has a certain narrative that they're pushing (down our throats). I decided to collect articles that reflect what's really happening nationwide in America today. This post will be updated whenever I run across an article that contradicts the MSM myths about crime, and race in this country. The never ending lies during the Zimmerman trial was the catalyst for this collection of articles.

Expanded Homicide Data Table 6
FBI Crime Stats: Table 49
FBI Crime Stats: Table 43
Backpack, Stolen Jewelry, Cover Up
Another Cover Up Story In The Martin Shooting
A "Cut The Numbers" Policy Let To Martin's Death
Ten Post Zimmerman Lessons
Is This A One Sided Race War?
DOJ: Violent Attacks On Whites Increased 18%
The Next Zimmerman Case? Not Likely
Brought A Knife To A Gun Fight
National Mall Looks Like A Trash Dump After Rally
93 Yr Old Woman Raped
A Few More People Attacked For Trayvon
Why Is Chellew Less Important Than Martin
Beaten By A Mob Of 50
Chris Lane Murdered
Teen Set On Fire - Story Barely Covered Nationally
Senseless Murder In Memphis
Mob Beats Man On His Front Porch For St. Skittles
WWII Vet Slain
Pregnant Woman Attacked By Mob Of 8
5 Charged With Attacking 77 Year Old Man
Autumn Pasquale's Killer Faces 17 Years
Who Kills Who
Girl Stabbed 11 Times
Obstruction In The Baby Stroller Shooting
Georgia Baby Brutally Killed
Brutal Home Invasion
Brutal School Bus Beat Down
Girl Stabbed
Assault, Robbery, The Usual
Teen Mob Attack In Little Italy
The New St. Skittles?
Nah... Not Quite Worthy Of The Title
The Myth Of St. Martin
Destroyed Evidence In The Zimmerman Trial
Another Flash Mob Robbery
Kidnapping In Texas

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Taurus PT22


    This is a tough one. I shouldn't like this gun. The PT22 is chambered in what is a pipsqueak caliber for self defense. This Taurus is not a target gun. It's mediocre as a home defense weapon. So what about concealed carry... it's a little chunky and a .22lr.
  So I shouldn't like this handgun. It doesn't really do anything all that well. Oddly enough, I still like this little pistol.

Caliber:              22lr
Capacity:           8+1
Sights:               Fixed
Width:               1 1/8"
Height:              4 1/4"
Action:              DOA
Weight:             12.3 oz
Finish:               Nickel
Safety:               Manual safety & magazine safety
Barrel Length:   2 3/4"

  Where to begin? Let's talk about why you might want THIS handgun for self defense. You're probably buying it because you are recoil sensitive, and have a hard time shooting anything larger than a .22lr. OK... I can see that and it's a valid reason.    
  Perhaps you don't have the time, money or access to larger calibers, and cannot train to get over it. It happens. If this is the case then I don't have anything to say. This wasn't meant to be condescending. There are reasons why .22lr handguns are picked for self defense, and it's not stopping power.

  Perhaps you're buying it for the price. I've seen this gun selling for about $220 prior to the current panic buying. That's not much of a bargain however when considering that you can add $30 more dollars and get a Kel-tec PF9. I've also seen pretty good used .38's for the price of a new PT22.
  You can do a lot better for your money if this is intended as a home defense gun.

  Let's talk about concealed carry. You can get more gun and stopping power for the size.

  Target shooting? For brief periods, it is a fun shooting little gun. That's probably why I like it in spite of it's faults. I'll throw it in a bag to go with something else on range day. I don't however find myself going out just to shoot this gun. It is not really a target pistol and I find it kind of boring after about 100rnds.

  Maybe you have hand injuries, or medical issues such as arthritis in your hands. This may seem like a good choice due to the tip up barrel and easy loading. Looks may be deceiving. Let's discuss why that is.

  How do you load this pistol? It's not rocket science and most semi auto owners will find it easy to figure out. Load your mag, insert it into the magazine well and rack the slide. Put the safety on. Nothing new there.
  An alternate method is to load the magazine, insert it into the magazine well and then push on the barrel catch. The barrel will flip open. Insert a bullet into the chamber and snap the barrel closed. Put the safety on. This is easier than racking the slide if time is not a factor.

    So let's get back to my earlier point about this gun being suitable for those with hand injuries or arthritis. There's a few issues with this pistol that might make it less than perfect for those individuals.

  The trigger pull is supposed to be 7lbs but feels heavier. If you have an issue with the normal double action trigger on a revolver, then you won't like this gun.

  This is the biggie. The slide is hard to rack. The serrations are not very grippy, and there's little to hold onto. They're really bad in my opinion. Most of us will be able to rack the slide with dry hands, but add a little oil or perspiration to the mix and it becomes an iffy proposal. Many people will not be able to chamber a round by racking the slide. My wife and daughter can't, and I believe that a lot of these guns will be sold to women.
  BTW, when I talk about the slide serrations I am only referring to this model.

  So simply use the tip up barrel... right? That's what it's there for. Taurus has two different PT22's, and the slide serrations on the other version kind of resemble those found on a M1911. I have no experience with the other version, and they may be a lot better (or they could be equally bad).
  If the gun is used in a defensive encounter, you will find this adds a lot of time when trying to get the weapon loaded. While the capacity is a decent 8+1 rounds you may need a reload at some point.
  Pretend that you just ran your handgun dry. How do you know it's empty? It's not because you counted to 9, since that most likely will not happen. It is not because the slide locked open on the last round because the gun doesn't have that feature. You know that the weapon is now empty because it went click, click, click when you needed a bang, bang, bang.
  Let's say that you did however successfully count your shots (some can't even count to 5 when shooting snubbies). Your gun is now empty, so you drop the magazine and insert a fresh one. You now tip up the barrel and dig a loose bullet from the depths of your pocket or wherever you keep it. The barrel is closed and the gun is brought back into action. This seems like a slow process to me.

How about misfires? If you have a dud (which is common with .22lr), then you'll have to unlatch the barrel, remove the round, pull another round from wherever you carry it, insert the bullet and then close the barrel. Good luck finding that loose bullet when it's needed.
  I won't even go into this screwing up your muscle memory with other semi autos and malfunction drills.
  Yes, if you have weak hands you can use the tip up barrel, but it's not the best method for speedy reloads during defensive encounters. It's more of a cool feature than a fast option for a CCW gun. It does work, but be aware of the limitations inherent is such a design when carrying a gun for self defense.

  You do have a second strike capability if you find yourself with a round that doesn't go bang.

  The magazines have a few rough edges but load easily enough. There are a couple of protrusions on the magazine follower that you pull down on when loading the mag. It's not really any different from the setup on some other .22lr handgun magazines. I have 4 mags for this gun. All load easily, will take the full 8 rnds, and are reliable. The are available on the Taurus website for $22.
  I have not found any flush mounting floor plates for the magazines. That would be a plus for some.

  The magazine release button works OK, and is in the proper position (at least for me). I've never accidental dropped a mag while shooting or had one pop out while carrying concealed. This will happen with some guns.
  Magazines do not drop free, and must be pulled out with the off hand. The gun must be shifted in my grip when I wish to press the mag release.

  The barrel latch is easy to operate. I have to shift my grip when I wish to use it. The barrel is easy to relatch.

  The front sight is serrated to reduce glare, but it's a lost cause as it has a shiny nickel plating. The rear sight is the usual groove cut into the slide. The sights are tiny. How can I best describe them... they suck. I can see them at the outdoor range, but really have a hard time picking them up in the dim lighting of my local indoor range. It is what it is. This is a close range weapon. Some have described it as more of a backup weapon than a primary pistol.

  The trigger is a little heavy. This is not unusual in .22lr handguns, CCW guns, or DOA pistols. Taurus doesn't list the trigger pull on their website but the all knowing internet tells me that it's 6-7lbs. It feels heavier.
  There's no take up in the trigger and it's very consistent throughout the entire pull. The reset is long.

  This weapon has a magazine safety. I hate magazine safeties. They're useless and if you have a problem with someone getting access to your firearm then hiding the mag isn't a solution. Lock it up.
  This version is old enough that it doesn't have the built in key lock that so many new handguns come with today. Don't even get me started on how I feel about key locks on pistols.
  The manual safety is in a good position for most people. It engages and disengages easily yet still has a very positive feel to it. There's no slop in the lever, and you get a nice loud click when moving it. Some will like that and others will hate it. That loud click could be an intimidation factor that may help defuse an encounter (although the gun is far from intimidating). I wouldn't count on that however.
  You can take the safety off silently using an off hand and slow movement.

  Accuracy is decent considering that the sights and trigger are mediocre. Like all internet gun reviewers and shooters, my groups are under 1" with all guns and at all distances. You'll note that no targets are included so it must be true.
  My groups are actually in about the 3" range at 7yds with this gun. I'll edit in some pics over the next week or two. Apparently I need to edit my "Putting Together A Range Bag" post, and add camera batteries to the list.

  Reliability is OK... again. I've had this firearm for well over 12 years. I'm guessing that the round count is somewhere around 1,500 or so. That's not really a lot for the age of this firearm, but then again this is not exactly my only firearm. I've been shooting this now and then over the years and reliability was very good right up to the point when it wasn't. I'll let you read about the malfunctioning issue that occurred, and Taurus's customer service.
  Long story short, it now seems reliable after returning from the factory.

5" M1911 for size comparison
  Disassembly is easier than almost everything else that I've owned. Ensure the weapon is unloaded. Unlatch the barrel. Pull the slide up and forwarded. You're done.

  The grip is actually reasonably comfortable for the size. I have medium sized hands, and can just barely get all of my fingers on the grip. It's usually easier however to let the magazine extension rest in between my pinkie and ring finger. The checkering on the grips is pretty good.
  Taurus offers one different version of grip for this pistol, and they are more attractive than these but appear to offer less traction.

The PT22 carries OK. It's light enough that it's not a bother. You won't leave it at home because of the weight. Aftermarket holsters may be hard to find.
  BTW, the neoprene IWB holster shown to the right is absolutely awful. The inside is slick and doesn't keep the gun from sliding out. I know, belt tension (and a possible love handle) is supposed to lock the gun in place. The problem is that the gun is too short, too fat and the holster is too slick. Retention is not at all good IMO.
 The belt clip also doesn't have enough tension on it to lock down on a belt. I know, I know... you get what you pay for.

  You wouldn't guess it when reading this review, but I really like this little gun. It was a gift given to me many years ago and I've gotten a lot of use out of it.
  This gun however has the same problem as the NAA Mini Revolver that I reviewed last month. It just doesn't do anything that well except serve as a backup gun. I suppose for the price point you could keep one in a glove box (for those that can't carry at work and don't want to risk losing a more expensive handgun). You could keep one in a BOB if that's your thing (although I wouldn't really want this for a SHTF gun).

J frame .38spl for size comparison

  I wouldn't just recommend this gun for any situation. Know what you're looking for when you buy it. If this is going to be your primary defensive tool then good luck to you. If you like cool little guns, have a safe full of firearms, and are adding to the collection, then this is a great choice.
  That's just my .2 cents on this topic and obviously you should decide what works for your self defense plan.

  I think that this handgun could serve OK as a deep carry or backup gun. It could fill that role very well.
   Maybe you absolutely need to carry (stalker, abusive ex, or just dangerous job) but your employer is against CCW at work. This could be the gun for you.
There are reasons why this might be a good weapon in the right situations. It's small, lightweight, reasonably inexpensive, has low recoil, and is still available in stores at this time (unlike so many other guns). 22lr ammo is still available despite the ammo drought and you can shoot this pistol all day for just a few dollars. There is also a lifetime warranty on this gun, and I was pretty happy with the job Taurus did with my return.

  As I said in the beginning, I like this gun in spite of it's faults. You just need to know what you're getting into when you buy it and plan accordingly. It's a niche gun instead of something that fills multiple roles.

Monday, February 18, 2013


I cannot imagine having to deal with people like this. When you consider that these men cannot even do jumping jacks it makes you wonder how the firearms training goes. There are some very patient men and women in our military.

Can you imagine trying to train one of them as a medic? I realize that these vids are a few years old, but I cannot see how we can pull out without there being a total collapse.

S&W Airweights, Old Vs New

  This will be a short post. I had the opportunity to try out a family member's S&W Airweight (model 638) last week. My wife has had a model 38-2 S&W Airweight for at least 14 years. It was interesting comparing the two revolvers, but nothing Earth shaking was learned.

  Let's talk about price. My wife's gun cost $300 over a decade ago. The modern Airweight cost $400 a few months ago. Despite 14 years having passed, the S&W Airweight has only increased $100 (in my area at least). That's not a lot. Kudos to Smith and Wesson for holding the line on costs.
  Of course the longer a model is in production, the cheaper it can be made. While there are changes in the current version, I would suspect that there are many common parts that have been in use for decades. I would also expect there to be a few MIM parts in the Model 638, but that is merely conjecture. Manufacturing methods in 2013 are no doubt another factor. Regardless of where the costs were saved, both guns look and feel like they have similar quality levels.

  I only put 100 rnds through these two guns in testing. Most of it was in the matte silver handgun.  Reliability was perfect. That's expected with two clean revolvers and a low round count test. My wife's gun probably has less than 2,000 rounds total on it. The borrowed S&W has less than 300. I'd be surprised if there were any issues in this brief test.

  The older version has a much better double action trigger. Is this due to being shot a lot more or is it because they were made better in the 1990's? I have no idea. We'll see when the new version gets a few hundred more rounds through it.
  The Model 638 doesn't have a bad trigger but the Model 38-2 is a bit lighter. Even a novice would be able to tell the difference. The single action trigger pull was roughly about the same (freakin light as hell) on both guns.

  Extraction was equal in both guns. The cylinder release also felt the same in both weapons.

First 5 shots from the 638
  I think that accuracy is equal between the two guns in spite of the clearly lighter double action trigger pull on the 38-2.
  The testing was done on a bright sunny day last week. The sights on the blued snubbie could be seen OK, but surprisingly the sights on the matte silver model were much more clear. I would have expected a better contrast with the black sights against the white/orange targets. That was not the case. The matte silver sights were just easier to see. It made a big difference in how quickly I could line the sights up against the target.
638 target at bottom. 38-2 target at top right
      While the targets don't always show this, I could get about the same accuracy from both guns. I just had to work a little harder at it with the older Airweight. Advantage... Model 638.
  BTW, the black sights on the Model 38-2 are VERY hard to see when shooting at my local indoor range. You should consider that it's very likely that a defensive encounter may happen at night or in low light conditions. The newer Airweight is a better choice in less than perfect lighting. Of course both guns (and almost all snub nosed revolvers) have mediocre sights, and they'll be hard to quickly find in a defensive encounter. That's the nature of the beast when dealing with these little revolvers. The 638's sights are a little better though. I wouldn't have thought that a mere color difference would matter that much.

  You'll note that there are a few cosmetic differences between the two guns, but you would never notice them if they were not side by side.
  The current version of the S&W Airweight is rated for +P ammo. The better sights and +P rating make this version the winner in spite of the older gun's better trigger pull. Will the trigger smooth out on the 638 as it's shot more? I'll probably never find out as the owner only shoots about three times per year. It may be less than that if the ammo drought continues.
  Both guns wear the same Hogue grips. I did a review of the Model 38-2 with the factory grips in place and a review is coming soon of the Model 638 with the original grips shown. As both guns have the same grips, I didn't feel the need to swap them out to compare the guns. I have to say that both revolvers are much more fun to shoot with the aftermarket grips. If you're not a shooter then you'll hate firing these guns with the boot grips in place. Naturally you're sacrificing some concealability when using the larger grips. Everything is a trade off, and you have to judge what is most important.
  Before I talk about the porting on the older S&W, I'll go ahead and summarize the findings so far.
  Accuracy is about the same with both guns as long as you stage the triggers. While the trigger pull is clearly lighter on the older model, the better sight picture on the newer model makes up for it. If given a choice between the two guns, I would take the Model 638 over the Model 38-2. The +P rating plays a large part in that choice. I would however feel well armed with either gun.
  My wife's .38spl is ported. When the gun was purchased, she wasn't really a shooter. The DaywalkersMom hated the recoil of the S&W, and would rarely put an entire box of ammo through it. Swapping out the boot grips helped a lot and the larger grips don't effect how she carries most of the time.
  The revolver was sent off to Magnaport for the porting, and they did a beautiful job. Porting was becoming more widespread when this gun was purchased and my wife and I hoped that it would cut the recoil a bit and make this more enjoyable for her.
The recoil reduction is mostly in her mind rather than in the gun. This is my opinion after putting the two guns side by side.
  I think that the reduction in felt recoil would be greater if the barrel length was  longer but I just can't feel a difference in these two weapons. Maybe someone that is more recoil sensitive could tell but I cannot. The price at the time was under $100 and it was well worth it since she believes that it made a difference in how hard the gun kicks. It also made the gun more unique and "Hers." She'll never read this so I can say whatever I want. Her cooking sucks. See?
  The ported model is a bit louder than the non ported S&W. It's not obscenely loud but you will hear the difference in the two when shooting them back to back. I wouldn't have noticed it at an outdoor range if I hadn't been comparing snubbies.
So that's it. I hope this helps if you're shopping for a CCW gun. The vast majority of my traffic seems to be from those looking for concealed carry weapons, and most of the gun questions from friends and co workers seem to be about Assault Weapons (hate that term) and the little guns. Two more reviews are coming soon. Hopefully I'll get them up early this week.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Past Gun Reviews

Below is a list of my past gun reviews. I intend to keep this updated and post it again every few months.

Kahr CW9
Springfield XDM (4.5")
Kimber Stainless Target II
S&W Airweight (Model 38-2)
Ruger LCR
Taurus 24/7 OSS
Springfield Loaded
Taurus Model 85
Springfield XDM (5.25" Competition)
4.5" XDM vs 5.25" XDM
S&W Shield vs Springfield XDs vs Kahr CW9
Kel-tec P11
S&W M&P 15
NAA Mini Revolver
Taurus PT22
S&W Airweights, Old vs New
S&W Airweight (Model 638)
Beretta 92FS "Centurion"
Beretta 92FS Centurion vs Taurus 24/7 OSS
Taurus PT92
Kel-Tec SUB-2000

Knife reviews:

Kershaw Skyline
SOG Aegis
Kershaw OSO Sweet
Kershaw Volt II
CRKT M16-13Z
Cold Steel Mini AK-47
Benchmade Mini Griptilian
Buck Vantage
Spyderco Manix2
Kershaw Leek
Kershaw Clash

These aren't reviews, but they've gotten a decent amount of page views so I decided to include them anyway.

Voter Fraud
Smart Gun Foolishness
Training Mistakes
Women And Guns
Crossbreed Holster Review
Putting Together A Range Bag
AR Ammo Comparison
"The Shoulder Thing That Goes Up"
Gotta Luv That Feinstein Hypocrisy
The Shoulder Thing That Goes Up
Boobs And Hot Brass
3-D Printed Firearms
You Just Called 911 And Armed Yourself Against An Intruder
Smart Guns
The 11 Types Of Anti Gunners
"Just Shoot Em On The Front Porch And Then Drag Them Inside"
TruGlo Sights On The XDM
Tests, Info, Reviews, And Videos
Looking For The Tea Party Terrorists
Ammo Shortages And Serialized Bullets
Holsters And Handgun Safety

In The News

Obama Gun Grab Based On False Assumptions
West Point Cadets Taught That Patriots Are Terrorists
Missouri Dems Introduce Legislation To Confiscate Firearms
Interesting Civil Rights Column
We're Even More Hated In Pakistan
Seen At The Gunsmithing Shop: Everyone Makes Mistakes
Magpul Threatens To Leave Colorado
10 Rounds Is Not Enough
Security Guard Defends Himself And Others With AR15
Homeland Security Has Enough Ammo For 2yr War... Against Citizens?
Obama Fiddled
The .46cal Semi Auto That Changed The World
Flash Mob Violence Ignored By The Media
Climate Change Will Destroy Maryland
Police Allowed To Enter Homes To Inspect AR's In Washington?
Why Does Homeland Security Need 1.4 Billion Rounds Of Ammo
Libya Arrests Christians
Egyptian Christians Run Over By Tanks
Obama Gives More Tanks To Egyptians
Cop Accidently Shoots Partner, 3rd Cop Panic Fires
The Forgotten Victims Of Christopher Dorner
Liberal's Letter To The Editor
Don't Buy A Scope Without Reading This

Friday, February 15, 2013

Another WTF Video With A Twist

Yeah, it's kind of funny and you may have to watch the first video a few times to get the whole story. The gentleman in the bandanna is a bit annoying and let's be honest... most likely an Obama supporter. He's probably not someone that most people would want to spend a lot of time around, but guess what?
When a madman began attacking people, the annoying hippie stepped up. Not everyone would do that. It just goes to show that you can't always judge a book by it's cover. I hope that when we have another VA Tech, or Sandy Hook shooting there is a guy like Kai around with a hatchet or better yet... a Glock.

Taurus Customer Service

  That is my Taurus PT22, and this is the brief write up of my experience with Taurus's customer service and repair facility. Don't expect anything too sensible in this initial post. I'm working nights and it's already past my bedtime. If this turns into total gibberish, that's my excuse.

  I've probably had this little .22lr for over 12 years. It's been a great gun (for what it is). Unfortunately it began malfunctioning constantly. After each shot the rear of the slide would rise up and lock open. I would have to slap the back of the slide in a downward motion in order to get it to go back into battery.
  The round count was probably somewhere over 1500. That's merely a guess but it should be in the ballpark.

  The gun was shipped off to Taurus after I filled out the online form on their website.
  The confirmation e-mail that I received stated that it would take approximately 6 weeks to repair and return my firearm. The repair was completed, but no documentation was provided regarding what the problem was (kind of annoying).
  It was returned in under 2 weeks, and the gun now functions perfectly. That's hard to beat. The PT22 was fixed right the first time. I've had experiences with highly regarded gun manufacturers that couldn't do that.
  If you're impatient like me then you'll appreciate the Status Page.
  The repair was free (other than shipping) as Taurus has a lifetime warranty on their handguns.
  So kudos to them. Perhaps the internet horror stories regarding their customer service are overblown, or maybe the new CEO is making a difference.
  I don't know. What I do know is that I appreciate good customer service and a job done right the first time.