Ammo for arthritic hands.

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Missouribound, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    I figure that someone here must have arthritis as I do.
    I have a beautiful S & W 637-2 PC revolver that was a gift from my wife.
    The action is perfect, as you would expect, the gun is so very nice.
    But when I shoot it, I can barely shoot a dozen rounds before my hand hurts.
    What would any of you recommend as a good target round so I can get practice in without having to cut it short? I can shoot my heaver guns with no issue, but this one is the issue.
    I did replace the wood grips with Houge and that made a "bit" of difference. It helped the grip more than the recoil.
    I do plan to begin reloading in the near future so I am open to suggestions.
    But if anyone has had some relief with off the shelf loads, please advise.
    I guess my S&W 686 spoiled me for managed recoil.
    That's what an additional pound and a half does.
     
  2. sheepdawg

    sheepdawg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Usually traditional 148 gr. wadcutters are light loads
     
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  3. austin92

    austin92 Well-Known Member

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    The only reduced load ammo I can think of is hornady critical defense lite but I’d imagine that getting expensive. Hand loading is definitely where it’s at for things like this. I’ve done reduced loads for my neighbors 30-06 because of his bad shoulder and made some 38 special for my grandma’s little Taurus.

    Considered having it magna ported?

    https://magnaport.com/hgun.html
     
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  4. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim Well-Known Member

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    I’ve got arthritis in my hands also and I try not to shoot the big guns much anymore but I do love my buddies 44mag with a ported 6” barrel. It kicks straight back and not upwards like non ported guns. I suggest a pair of padded leather gloves to help with the grip.
    I agree with finding some reduced load bullets and get into reloading so you can tailor your loads to suit your comfort.
     
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  5. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Factory wadcutters and rubber grips that fit your hand. Gloves can help with the pain of recoil but you lose fine muscle control essential to good shooting. I ran a knife through my wrist cutting all tendons and nerves while weeding a pepper patch. Left me with five popsicle sticks on my right paw - nothing would close, at all. After surgery to reconnect tendons, my occupational therapist really helped tho' she'd never fired a gun.

    You and I have a disability. Because the strength of your grip is in the pinky and ring finger, when those go south pistol shooting one-handed is quite difficult. Uncle Arthur is a real pain which I have also. But, thanks to the wide assortment of grips and ammo, it can be dealt with. Try all sorts of different stuff. There's something that will work, at least until the disease progresses. Want a challenge ? Dump a hundred small pistol primers on the floor and try to pick 'em up with no feeling in your fingertips. ARGHHHH !
     
  6. Red442joe

    Red442joe New Member

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    You guys with The Arthur....that sucks.
    Missouribound, get into the reloading.
    I cast 158 grain LRNFP out of wheel weight using a Lee micro groove (tumble lube) mold.
    Buy boolits if you can find them to start.
    I load 158's over a starting load of Trail Boss. Makes a very pleasant shooting 38 Special round. I find the heavy for caliber bullets have a softer recoil pulse.

    Joe
     
  7. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Factory loaded 148 grain hollow base wadcutters are probably the softest 38 spl out there. They are also not bad for self defense in the ultra light revolvers. No expansion but good penetration and the design cuts a nasty hole. I load my own but primers and bullets can be hard to find right now. If you are interested in reloading you can get started for under $200. You don't need a fancy press and there are some decent beginners kits out there.
     
  8. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    148 wadcutters over 2.8 of Bullseye. The standard bullseye competition target load for a century of more. very soft shooting.
     
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  9. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    Wadcutter seems like the way to go. My concern is mostly for practice.
    I am a strong believer in practice and getting some of the pain out of the way will make that possible.
    I will carry with personal defense loads. I think that in a "need to" situation the arthritis will be overcome by the adrenaline and I want something effective coming out of the barrel.
     
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  10. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Back in the day, many old time experienced detectives carried wadcutters in their snubbies.
     
  11. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Well-Known Member

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    That is a very nice gift. I shoot 150gr. bullets with light target loads in my K and L frame magnum revolvers. That's not your state of the art light weight +P rated 38 Special handgun. The suggestion is to try some standard plain jane 158 gr. RN factory loads is good. The J frame revolvers are accurate in my experience. With these guns it's well worth reloading for versatility.

    Shooting a standard velocity round in a +P rated fixed sight gun may bring on some Kentucky windage adjustments.

    Hope you enjoy reloading. You have many choices reloading 38 Special. Reloading allow one to mate rounds to shooting needs and wants. Experimenting with +P level loads may bring on some alternatives with the maxi-blasters.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
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  12. G66enigma

    G66enigma Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's the Airweight sub-15oz model, yes?

    Not a lot you can do with that one. Even the slowest, least-recoil .38sp cartridges you can find will still be "snappy" in that thing. (Had a S&W 442 Airweight @ 15.8oz years ago. Sharp recoil was all I could think of, when firing the thing.)

    About the least recoil I could ever manage on the ol' 442 was: the Glaser (now Corbon) Blue or Silver "safety slug" loads. IIRC, it used 80grs of #12 shot inside the round. Less penetration, less felt recoil, less "snappy."

    Haven't seen them on the shelves for years. On MidwayUSA, they're listed as "discontinued." So perhaps they're not available. Brutally expensive for any sort of training or range use. But, it might be an option if you're set on carrying this revolver. If you can find them.

    Had a set of Pachmayr grips for range practice. (Pachmayr "Gripper" model, I think.) Huge padding on the thing. To the point it got in the way of ejection of the cartridges, so it wasn't practical for defensive use. But it probably cut the recoil in half, just with that. Wouldn't surprise me if the big Pachmayr grips were still made, and would have a fit any of the J-frame revolvers.

    One alternative, if set on the J-frame format: a Model 60 in 3" bbl. It'll be north of 23oz, noticeably heavier than the ~14.5oz Model 637. And with the added inch of barrel length, it'll help tame the recoil even further.

    If you can't find the Glaser stuff, or balk at its cost, look for any of the "major" factory-built low-recoil rounds. Federal makes their HydraShok in a low-recoil version for .38sp. Federal also makes their #RTP38130 Range Target Practice lower-recoil range rounds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
  13. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Well-Known Member

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    Also, when you reload it's possible to go with a 125gr. cast bullet with minimum load. Point being is there are many ways to get low recoil loads for your handgun
     
  14. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a Ruger LCR in 38 spl that weighs 16 oz loaded. I carry wadcutters that I load myself. I keep +P rounds on a strip as a reload. At close range where the gun would be used I have not found a significant shift in POI and it is a lot faster for follow up. I also have a Ruger SP101 snub that I keep loaded with +P but it weighs 25 oz and the extra weight tames the recoil.
    I have a matching LCR in 22lr that I use for practice. Trigger is better on the 38. I have quite a bit of 22lr on hand. 22lr requires a harder hammer strike for reliability.
     
  15. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A big problem with the snubbies is low velocity and lack of expansion. There are a few rounds that work but they have higher recoil. The flat face and sharp edge of the wadcutter is a better choice than a hollow point that performs poorly. The sharp edge cuts while a round nose pushes. That is why I went to them. Locutus mentioned back in the day. I remember in the 50's a lot of the Los Angeles police were carrying reversed wadcutters. One of their instructors loaded them with a gas check. I was a kid but his son and I were friends. Recent tests have shown they expand but don't penetrate as well.
     
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  16. Notrighty

    Notrighty Well-Known Member

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    5C72D73A-E0FC-4AC7-A2BE-9D8B9A8B1767.jpeg As Locutus said. That is as light as I have ever loaded 38 special. You barely feel any recoil with my sp 101. The sp101 is a bit heavier though.
     
  17. Notrighty

    Notrighty Well-Known Member

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    1CEFD262-D44E-43ED-8813-53D1AF16E3E8.jpeg This Hogue grip really soaks up the recoil when I shoot 357.
     
  18. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Missouri
    There are several Companies as the others have advised that make reduced recoil loads. And the Wad Cutters are always a good choice.
    When I competed while on the Sheriff's Department in my younger days we shot thousands of them. I did find a Company being Matt's Bullets Comfort Plinker .38 Special Ammo. With 110gr Bullets. They should have much lower recoil.
    I do not know anything about the Company but that might be something else to check in on.

    03
     
  19. TelstaR

    TelstaR Well-Known Member

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    If it were me, I would listen to my body. Monkeying around with the flavor of ammo is not likely to change much. My general health and well being is far more important than sentimentality or the simple desire to shoot a particular gun.
     
  20. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You beat me to it, and they work just fine for SD!;)
     
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