Yesterday, Shooting Illustrated's Jay Grazio and I hit the range to shoot the new Smith & Wesson M&P 22C, along with the .380 and .38 Spl. I learned that even though there is less recoil with the .22 Compact, I still need to keep a firm grip on the gun, otherwise it doesn't properly cycle and gets jammed up (also that I am a pro at clearing malfunctions). This compact gun was the perfect fit for my hands. Often times the .380s are just too small in terms of comfort and feeling in control of the firearm, but the .22 Compact is just right. I had no trouble pulling the slide back, and pushing the slide-stop lever up in a matter of seconds, which is always a concern for me since I don't have great hand strength.
I also learned that even though the .38 Spl. has more recoil, I am a much better shot with the revolver. I think it has a lot to do with the heavier trigger pull forcing me to slow down so that I'm not preemptively flinching before the gun has even fired. Either way, I've always been a huge fan of the M&P line, especially as a new female shooter. The first time I shot a handgun I used an M&P 9 mm and loved it. Now with the 22 Compact, and after shooting the .38 Spl. it's going to be more difficult to figure out which to purchase next!