Pop-Down “Pinky Perch”


Anything you run out a J-Frame is going to be easier with more fingers on the grip. This GuardianGrip shot was with +P 125-gr. Black Hills .38 Special through a lightweight Smith 340PD. Not too shabby!

A couple of issues ago, I made this somewhat embarrassing observation about concealed-carry J-Frame grips: “If maximum concealment’s your goal, a shorter “2-finger” style is probably going to do it for you. We’re not talking pocket autos here, so an extended magazine “pinky perch” isn’t an option.”

In this era of rapid innovation of CCW anything it was almost inevitable I would come to regret this statement (although I didn’t think it would happen so fast!).

Now a “pop down” pinky perch is a J-Frame option. Pachmayr’s GuardianGrip — available through Lyman Products — is a synthetic, CCW-friendly “2-finger” abbreviated shorty. Until you depress a small button, that is. This positively pops down a springloaded extension “toe” to wrap your little finger around. We found it to be very helpful in managing heavier .38 loads with an alloy J-Frame, since it tamed twisting and muzzle upflip.

What I tried it on was the Scandium/Titanium alloy S&W 340PD — an 11.2 oz. snubbie in the highly desirable “hammerless” Centennial configuration also handling .357 Mags. With +P .38 Specials, that added length really made a positive contribution to controllability.

Combat the concealability/shootability conundrum: Push a button and the pinky perch pops down.

It was, of course, less effective when .357s were in the wheel. Although much better than a shorty grip, recoil was still beastly. But a seriously skewed weight-to-power ratio is pretty final. There’s only so much you can do to tame an alloy snubbie stuffed with 125-gr. SIG Elite V-Crown JHP Magnums. But this begs the question over whether whatever velocity you’re getting out of a 2″ pipe is worth .357 fire and fury.

I then tried the Guardian Grip on a couple of steel J-Frames, again with both standard-pressure and +P .38s and its virtues became even more obvious. And pleasantly so. Pretty good idea this, but Pachmayr is an old hand at dealing with control and recoil issues….


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