We’ve just returned from a new range that opened earlier this year. It is purported to be the largest indoor shooting range in the country.
Mrs. Woodshedder has been interested in a small handgun for some time. Charter Arms makes the Pink Lady, and it appealed to her feminine sensibilities. However, I have been trying to talk her out of these super-small alloy and polymer guns because I felt they would be too light and the recoil would hurt her hand or keep her from hitting her target. At the range I wanted her to try out a similar small gun before committing to buying one. She first tried out the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38. It is a small, aluminum alloy and polymer based (making it lightweight) .38 caliber revolver designed specifically for concealed-carry. It has an integrated laser. She did well shooting it, although it wasn’t sighted in correctly. After 25 rounds it began to make her hand sore. I also shot it, and I was surprised how little recoil there was from a 14 oz. gun shooting a .38 special round. The trigger wasn’t very smooth, and when squeezing it slowly it seemed to take a long time to fire.
She then tried the Smith & Wesson Model 60. It is a .357 caliber all stainless steel beauty that also shoots .38 special rounds. At almost 23 ounces, it is a little less than double the weight of the Bodyguard 38. After shooting the very first .38 round, she said to herself, “This is the one for me.” She is an amazing shot and was quickly getting good grouping. The grip is longer than that of the Bodyguard and didn’t hurt her hand. I had shot this one before, but when comparing it to the Bodyguard, I thought the trigger was smoother and didn’t seem to take forever when squeezing it slowly.
Once back in the retail store portion of the range, the effect of Obama’s rhetoric and the Connecticut tragedy was very evident. One wall that previously had many different assault-style rifles for sale was empty, save for some traditional hunting rifles. The selection of concealed carry handguns was also more sparse than it was when I visited the store shortly after Obama was re-elected. At that visit the salesman told me that $SWHC had a backlog of 4-6 weeks on many of their popular handguns. Based on the fact that there were even fewer Smith & Wesson revolvers now than then, I can only assume that the backlog is probably worse. Honestly, their offering of concealed-carry and small frame handguns was lacking. This is a high-quality range and retail store. With the volume they do, it was apparent the recent discussions on tighter gun-control laws has increased demand for many different guns, not only assault-style rifles and semi-automatic pistols.
I ended up buying her the Model 649, which is very similar to the Model 640 except the hammer is shrouded. A shrouded hammer is designed to not get caught on clothing when drawn from concealment.
I also bought her some pink grips, and she is in love.
I believe the recent sell-off in $SWHC may present a decent buying opportunity. Even with new, tighter regulations, the Obama administration is the gift to gun manufacturers that never stops giving. The Connecticut tragedy will be milked politically for all its worth, but it will eventually become part of our collective pain, like Columbine, and removed from our foremost thoughts. All the while, the threat of chaos and unrest from a ________ (fill in the blank) crisis will remain. Constant uncertainty, fleeting happiness, and the feeling that one is losing his right to live life as he chooses while liberty is sacrificed to the State, will drive gun sales for years to come.