Hello. Having been a fan of snub revolvers for decades and having carried one as a back up gun for most of my police career, my strong appreciation for the gun did not temper my belief that frequent practice is essential if one is to effectively use it in a life-or-death situation; I still believe that.
Most of the time I have been happy as the proverbial clam with the standard checkered service stocks common in the decades before S&W went to subcontracted checkered wood grips or synthetics. I almost always added a grip adaptor to the service stocks.
Other times, I might add someone's aftermarket grip if it seemed to feel better than the factory ones or I thought it might be helping my shooting and so forth.
In short, my snubs usually had pretty "usual" stocks on them but I never went with anything that added length to the gun's butt or was what I called "large". After all, the purpose of the snub was that of the BUG, the "Bellygun", that last little unseen surprise
one had in store for the antagonist...and I didn't want that compromised by having too large of grips on my gun. I truly wanted his last "surprise" to be just that...and final
These days, I almost always have a J-frame on my person, usually a well-worn S&W Model 642 and it has either the factory rubber boot grips that came on it or a set of the inexpensive nylon "HideOut Grips" I bought at Brownells and modified to work with HKS speedloaders.Way back when, my most usual BUG was a Model 37 similar to this relatively new one. Standard grips were used along with a grip adaptor. I still find the combination quite satisfactory for enhancing my ability to shoot the gun accurately at speed w/o adding bulk that would decrease its ability to be easily hidden from view.I've used both the factory rubber stocks along with the earlier S&W service stocks and a grip adaptor. I have no real preference between the two although I think that the S&W grips w/adaptor look better. Speaking only for myself, both have worked very well.Always looking for that "magic" (but inexpensive set of grips), I bought a few of the Precision HideOut Grips and dressed them down in the appropriate place to work with speedloaders. This set is on an old and often-carried S&W Model 042.
All of the grips/stocks shown have worked satisfactorily for me. I found myself having adequate control of the revolver for various range drills and qualifications. They seemed to manage the inevitiable discomfort from shooting such lightweight revolvers well. (It seems that some folks shoot but a few rounds through the lightweight snub and then put it away despite its possibly being designated as an actual defensive arm! I suspect that this is at least partially due to the "snap" in the little lightweight's recoil.)
A few months ago, my primary shooting hand was injured and the recovery is not yet complete. Once the hand was stable enough to shoot, I did but noticed that the practice sessions with my Airweights were not very pleasant, no, sir, not nary a tall!
At the same time, my "always" gun had remained the Model 642, so I felt that practice sessions were indeed necessary as defensive situations don't "care" whether or not their popping up is convenient or not.
Rather than change weapon platforms, I looked around for another solution, one that while maybe not
perfect would suffice and w/o spending too much money.
Cutting to the chase, I bought a set of Sile checkered wood stocks for my J-frame. These are what I consider "oversized" for the gun and figured that they would really degrade my attempts to use them (if necessary) on a (legally) concealed snub.I bought these Sile's from CDNN (www.cdnnsports.com) for the unholy sum of $9.99 a pair.
Well, these stocks fit the gun pretty nicely and fit snugly with zero "wiggle" when secured by the grip screw, which has not
needed to be excessively tightened on either pair of the stocks I bought.They do cover the backstrap and thus make the gun's butt a tiny bit larger and they do extend below the bottom of the butt as well. They are wider at the top and I find that this helps tame or spread out the relatively sharp recoil of "just the .38" when firing my usual 150 to 200 shots at practice sessions.
A nice surprise was that when used with an IWB holster with a somewhat loose-fitting pullover shirt, the gun was not easy to spot and it worked to varying degrees in a pocket holster. In shorter pockets, these stocks were more visible than more compact forms.
The primary downside to them (for me) is that they do not work with speedloaders at all. I suspect that they could be sanded down to work and if they really "trip your trigger", the cost isn't so high as to preclude buying two or three pair to learn on.
Certainly, loading singles or doubles by hand or using speed strips is not
impeded in the least.
I will use these Sile's on my "range snubs" for the next several range sessions or until my hand gets better. If it doesn't, I may find myself ordering another
set or two.
I am in no way associated with either CDNN or Sile but I do think that this grip or perhaps others similar to them might be of use for those people wanting to practice more with their lightweight snub revolvers. While these will never be any real threat to the master stock makers like Mr. Spegel or D.C. Collins, I do think that they're pretty useful indeed for the price.
If one has and depends upon a snub, particularly the lightweight versions, I strongly suggest practice. For folks suffering from the seemingly-always-growing aches and pains of getting older, this might offer a solution, not a perfect one but maybe a workable one and my purpose was to pass along that the idea works for me and that these inexpensive stocks did as well. If you opt to order, I'd look at a couple of pair or maybe other products as CDNN's lowest shipping cost (that I've seen) is about $15.00.