Hello. Getting a grip on the brisk-recoiling J-frames is something that several approaches have sought to solve. While some are happy with the smallish wooden grips that used to come on S&W J-frames, others complained of their just being too small for any real control at speed. Other grip manufacturers offered larger grips that certainly helped controlling the gun, but negated its small size. Some used the Tyler grip adapter with success while it just didn't "do it" for others.
Here we see a Model 37-2 with some smooth S&W wooden grips with a Tyler grip adapter in place. Many, including myself find this a satisfactory setup. The only problem with wood grips in my experience is that if worn next to the skin, over time the grip next to it becomes "stained" with perspiration. Though these stocks are smooth, the most common were checkered and it could abrade the skin on some folks.
In recent years, S&W has produced its line of snubs with checkered rubber boot grips and most, including myself, seem to find them a very good compromise with regard to both size, feel, and control, but some just don't like "soft" grips or expouse that the rubber tends to cling to clothing and is more likely to "print."
Here's the rubber grips that have come on S&W J-frames in recent years. They work fine with speedloaders as is and I've found them satisfactory.
A while back I ordered a set of Precision's "Hideout Grips." These inexpensive (under $20) grips do not extend below the bottom of the revolver frame and are uncheckered. They are made of hard nylon. I put them on an S&W Model 042.
These are the Precision Hideout Grips on my Model 042. You can see the area that has been reduced on the top of the grip.
Here is a better picture of the reduction. Mr. Hogue and others have nothing to fear from me as a "grip maker" but I do wish that Precision would offer the grip reduced in this area from the package.
As you can see, the modified grip allows easy use of a speedloader. For those who use speed strips or simply load one or two at a time, the grips work fine as they are.
The grips stayed tight and in place during firing and while not "elegant" in looks, neither do they cling to clothing or abrade the body if pressing tightly against the torso...but they were not perfect.
I found that there was no way to use a speedloader with the Hideout Grips as they came from the plastic bag. (They work fine with speed strips.)
Starting with 180-grit sandpaper, I thinned and dressed down the upper portion of the left grip panel until an HKS speedloader could be easily used. When I saw that enough material had been removed, I cleaned it up with 1000-grit. The job took about 20 minutes.
Yesterday, I received another set and found them identical to the set I bought about a year ago for the Model 042. I gave these the same treatment and with the same results.
There is nothing astounding are particularly "news worthy" in this information, but if you are not happy with the stocks on your J-frame and think this might be a solution, the post might be of use.
It would not be an expensive proposition to find out.
Here's the second set of worked over Hideout Grips on a Model 642.
I'm sure these grips can be purchased elsewhere, but I got mine here:
http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ ... ?p=9924&s=
There are some options available in the grips style itself, but I chose the plain black w/o finger grooves.