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Thursday, August 23, 2018

REVIEW: Smith & Wesson branded J Frame "Boot Grips" sold at the S&W website may not be as speed-loader friendly as the erstwhile Uncle Mike's version


The new S&W branded stocks (grips) sold by Smith & Wesson look good and they handle decent enough, even when firing heavy loads.  For shooting and for concealed carry, they are quite all right.





The problem is (IMHO) with the thumb-rest area; it is a gradual contour that (IMHO) does not go deep enough soon enough.   The scuff marks are from the Safariland loader.






The thumb-rest area on the Uncle Mike's stocks (grips) once sold by Smith & Wesson (IIRC, for over a couple of decades) looks to be thinner, flatter, and more defined.  





The Safariland loader aligned wonderfully with the old Uncle Mike's stocks (grips).





The loader alignment is not so pretty good with the newer stocks (grips)





The Safariland loaders are not totally unusable with the new stocks (grips), but what once was a simple, quick, and sure reload maneuver evolved into a more complex, slower, "wiggle-spin, try stabbing it agin, dammit dammit dammit" kinda thing.  Maybe it all will smooth out with extended use; in the meantime I'll not be switching any more J frames away from the old Uncle Mike's stocks.





ADDENDUM 2/4/2019:  I had many range sessions with these grips and just could NOT force the Safariland Comp I speedloaders to work reliably until I butchered the grips.  IMHO S&W should have considered speedloader use during the design phase.





ADDENDUM 2/11/2019
I suspected that the S&W branded grips (stocks) would be okay for the 940 moon clips due to the short length of the 9mm cartridges.  I swapped the original (still pristine) Uncle Mike's grips from the 940 with the S&W grips that I had put on the 640-0 (.38 special).    Crimson Trace 405 laser grips now adorn the newer of my two Model 442 revolvers; those Uncle Mike's grips replaced the S&W brand grips that I butchered on the 640-1 revolver.  The universe is again in balance.






4 comments:

M. Silvius said...

For J frames in general I've found the Bianchi speed strips to be more practical than the speed-loaders.

"Zack" said...

I agree! Oh yeah! Amen! I had long given up on speedloaders for J frames in favor of speed-strips ... until a gunslinging blogger (Earthbound Misfit) turned me on to the Safariland Comp ... I bought a couple, used them, and it was winner ... so I bought a bunch more ... loved them ... until I switched a couple of J frames to the newer grips and found a problem.



Thanks man!

Old 1811 said...

I'm not a big fan of boot grips in general. I always used Pachmayr Comppacs on my J-frames. They're a little bit bigger, and some people think they compromise concealability, but I don't think so. In addition to a covered backstrap (which both protects my tender paws and makes the gun more controllable), they're also a little longer and have a notch that's just right for my little finger (which makes the gun even more controllable). And they seem to work well with speedloaders.
But it's America. You can go to your church and I'll go to mine.

"Zack" said...

If I remember correctly, your church was a real world occupational requisite; I'm mostly a "gun enthusiast" type of guy ... pro's have insights that are treasurable.

My 442 was my first experience with boot stocks ... the magazines were full of articles raving about comfort, accuracy, etc; boots were the rave of the gun writers. After the first 5-rounds sprayed downrange my exact words were "OUCH! These things suck!" After the many years since I kinda guess my hand grew around them.

But I am a shamelessly fickle believer ... I loves me Pachmayrs on the Colt Detective and the Agent ... on the S&W 66 ... and my square butt S&W .22 J frame (I forget the model # ... it's a 4'' stainless kit gun)

Take care man. Thanks.