Considering that my S&W M637 Airweight J-frame and my Colt Police Positive (like a Detective Special with a 4-inch barrel) are among my favorite handguns, there was no offense intended. They’re just called mouse guns by a lot of people.

My concern is for those who may be new to guns, especially handguns and rely on a clerk or well-intentioned friend for advice.

I have been firing small-frame and lightweight guns since the 1970s. I am a firm believer in practicing with what you carry. But that M637 with full-house +P loads will rock your world — literally. And I wouldn’t even consider one of the Scandium-framed .357 Magnums. Anyone who ever tells you that the recoil of one of those or the Ruger LCR in .357 Magnum isn’t hard to handle is one of two things: The Incredible Hulk or lying.

But I have seen clerks in gun stores recommending the Ruger LCP and S&W M637 to people who are looking for their first gun. Sometimes, if it’s a woman, the clerk even pitches it like it’s a fashion accessory.

“Oh, it’s so small and light, it will easily fit in your purse and you won’t even know it’s there.”

This moron is telling a woman to stake her life on what sounds like a fashion accessory that can be so painful to fire that if she does get into a situation, she might waste a split-second she doesn’t have worrying that the gun will hurt her.

The same clueless clerk might recommend an alloy-frame revolver to a person who has difficulty working a slide because of physical challenges. If a person doesn’t have the grip strength to operate a slide, why would anyone think they have the grip strength to to hang onto a a gun that not only has a lot of recoil but doesn’t have enough of a grip for all fingers?

The actual strength in a hand’s gripping ability comes from the ring and little fingers. If your pinkie is sticking out like you’re drinking tea, you have reduced your hand’s strength. Curling the finger under the grip gives it something to do but doesn’t really add any strength or control.

When I was in the business and when anyone asks my advice, my recommendation for a first centerfire gun is a Smith & Wesson Model 64 revolver in stainless steel. The smaller handguns are an advanced course, after one has leaned the basics.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of

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