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This cant be a fun gun to shoot. Although I know its a carry a lot, shoot a little type weapon.

 

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No, it's not "pleasant". You can learn to control it and shoot fairly well, but it does take practice. They have a stiff trigger, and keeping the sight on the target UNTIL it goes bang can be a challenge. I am looking to get a new set of grips for mine so I can get my pinky finger on there for more control. It is sharp-recoiling, but not painful with standard pressure loads. With +P, it hurts. There is a sharp frame vibration with every shot with that stuff, and I can't imagine shooting the .357 version. I still carry it almost exclusively in the summer, and I feel confident with it, but this gun moreso than any other requires REGULAR PRACTICE. It is quick to get rusty with!

Jim
 

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I honestly never thought it was that bad. I would put 50 rounds through it at a time and didn't have sore hands. And I am by no means a big guy. +p wasn't really much fun though.
 

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First, there should NEVER...I MEAN NEVER...by a "carry a lot shoot a little" conceal carry weapon. The name of the game is practice, practice, practice and when you think you've got it down to a science with shooting the pistol and you are accurate with it...SHOOT IT SOME MORE. I tell people all the time that if you are looking at a CCW that you are going to carry all the time, but don't want to shoot a lot because of "recoil shyness" or because it is "tough to shoot"...BUY SOMETHING ELSE!!

That said...+P rounds are brutal on the 442 and 642. Much more than a two or three cylinders worth and I was done with handgun shooting for the day. With standard ammo, the gun was not bad at all. I have shot up to 100 rounds in a setting and not felt sore or "beat up" by it.
 

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its more pleasant to shoot than my EG Makarov.(the mak is fun to shoot dont get me wrong but has some really nice recoil lol) It has less recoil with WWB ammo than my XD 45 GAP.

Ive shot more rounds threw my 642 in a single sitting than i have any of my other hand guns with the exception of the 22LR. main reason its my primary carry gun and practice makes perfect.

the 642 is not a novice carry weapon, it would not make a good firearm for your wife to carry in her purse. the tiny barrel, combined with a short sight radius, bad sights and heavy trigger pull make it tough gun to be proficent with. add that PLUS being under pressure! ha you need to practice ALOT with the little snub nose to be very profecent with it.

+P ammo its alot more noticable not unbarable though. i wouldnt hesitate to shoot 100+ rounds of +p threw it in a single sitting (if i could afford it lol) but shooting the gun with +P and non +P is not bad at all the hogue grips help out alot. Ive had both Hardwood and rubber on mine and i like the rubber the best.
 

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I've got a 442.

I put some CT grips on it and the unexpected benefit I noticed wasn't the laser (though I like it and that's why I got the grips) but the padded backstrap. It really helps quite a bit with recoil management. I haven't checked but I'm sure there must be non-laser grips out there with a padded backstrap.

I'll shoot a box of standard .38sp WWB, 130 gr FMJ at the range and then finish off with 2-3 cylinders of .38sp +P, 125gr SJHP. There's a big difference to me. Even with the CT grips if I shoot 50 +P then I'm done for the day. Not painful but sore enough that I don't want any more. Standard .38 I could shoot all day through it. I thought about a 340PD but a couple of guys whom I respect and have shot many more guns than I have both used the word "pain" when describing it with .357 loads. Figured it wasn't worth the extra $ if I was only going to use +P in it. Others feel differently and if it works for them, more power to 'em.

And as a previous poster mentioned, the trigger pull is long and hard so keeping on target can be a challenge with the small grip.
 

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I agree with being painful with +P loads. With standard load 158 gr SWC it is not that bad. I usually shoot 50 rounds of this load every time I go to the range. I find that using a high grip helps reduce the recoil.
 

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I put the custom extended rosewood grips on mine and it made a world of difference.
 

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I carry a 638 and have always been amazed at how friendly it is. With standard loads it's fine, it's actually quite fun to shoot, surprisingly accurate and the recoil isnt bad at all. +p isnt all too bad, but do you really need to be shooting dozens of +p rounds at a time? This is my favorite carry gun and the quality/accuracy have always amazed me. I love the trigger too, very clean break.
 

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I carry a 638 and have always been amazed at how friendly it is. With standard loads it's fine, it's actually quite fun to shoot, surprisingly accurate and the recoil isnt bad at all. +p isnt all too bad, but do you really need to be shooting dozens of +p rounds at a time? This is my favorite carry gun and the quality/accuracy have always amazed me. I love the trigger too, very clean break.
I agree with this, I summer carry a 638 and practice 1-2 x month with it. I usually run 50 .38 special and 10 +P rounds (at the end) per session. You'll know you've shot it after but it's not too bad at all.
 

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Maybe it's the shape of the 638 that helps. I just know that my 642 with +P loads is the most unpleasant handling gun I own. I don't really consider myself a recoil wimp, either. I shoot .357's, .44 mag (3 different models), .45ACP, etc. and none of these bother me in the least. Oh well.
 
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