The Problem At Hand

Are small-frame revolvers actually expert’s guns? Absolutely. But, they’re alluring because they’re easy to carry. Few are willing to compromise with comfort, and are drawn to the lightweight and small size of these appealing little shooters. But is that bad?

It’s not — if you take the time to learn to run these tiny terrors. If a gun-store-counter-commando talks you into buying one for your wife or yourself, there’s more to the game than simply loading it and putting it into your pocket. Much more.

Don’t be fooled though — the guns are inherently accurate, and I’ve actually shot old-time PPC courses (a form of police target shooting out to 50 yards) and used a 2.5″ Model 19 .357 K-frame. You’d be stunned at the groups possible at 50 yards, and a tuned gun in good hands can deliver 5″ or 6″ — and better! — easily at that range. The scary thing is so can some J-frames in good hands.

Not long ago at Gunsite, with a crew from S&W, we shot 2″ to 5″ J-frame .38s out to 100 yards, making regular hits on man-sized steel. But these were experienced shooters, and most importantly, everyone knew how to run a double action revolver, staging the trigger to get accuracy at the same level you can get shooting single action. And that’s the biggest secret to these little guns (or any gun) — trigger control.