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gates
January 09, 2016, 03:20
Thoughts...

Andy the Aussie
January 09, 2016, 03:56
5 shot small frame revolver that will go bang each time you pull the trigger while it has live rounds. S&W still make a quality product, not what they were but still more than workable. A more pertinent question is what purpose you want it for ? You want to hand gun bear, it is not your choice, you want a readily concealable sidearm that fires a reasonable effective round reliably then it will work in that role, more important is how it is in YOUR hand and what is your ability like with a small frame revolver mate.

VALMET
January 09, 2016, 08:48
Excellent CC choice. Very light, easy to carry. Great close-range especially with modern SD ammo. I carry a 442 (same gun but matte blue) often.

FUUN063
January 09, 2016, 09:40
I've had one, I believe, since they came out. I am on my second one since the first one (carried everyday for many years) was "borrowed" by my friend and never given back. He likes and carries it to this day. We both qualify with them, as well as everyone in my office, and they fire every time. Mine is the 442 which, as stated above, is simply the matte blued version.


Leland
:fal:

Timber Wolf
January 09, 2016, 09:48
I have one I carry frequently. Had two, one new in box but when I found an older "no lock" version I sold the newer one. When camping I have the carry loaded with +P 38 Special. In my pack I have a 3" Ruger SP101 loaded with full snot magnums. All my reloads for both guns are .38 +P in speed strips or HK speed loaders (that fit both guns). Also have a speed strip with CCI rat shot.

But, back to the 642, I have carried it and an older S&W Model 38 (humpback concealed hammer) in a front pocket a lot and consider myself well armed wherever 5 shots seem to be adequate (most of the places I go).

D P Six
January 09, 2016, 11:16
A 1911, a Sig 226 are great pistols ... but a S&W J-frame is ALWAYS in your pocket. I even carry one in my bathing suit when sitting at a hotel pool.

FUUN063
January 09, 2016, 17:41
DP, is it in the front of your swimming suit so it prints up nicely? Haha............................:biggrin:


Leland:p

D P Six
January 09, 2016, 19:32
DP, is it in the front of your swimming suit so it prints up nicely? Haha............................:biggrin:


Leland:p

:uhoh::rofl::rofl:

Retired Bum
January 09, 2016, 20:09
Over the years I have owned a bunch of two inch J frame .38 Specials starting with a Model 36 I bought from a fellow soldier in Vietnam who was going home. I have five in my battery at the this time including a no lock Model 642 Airweight. It wears smooth rosewood S&W factory grips and a polished aluminum Tyler T-Grip.

My carry load for years was the Federal +P 129 grain Hydra-Shok JHP but recently I finally managed to snag a few boxes of the Speer +P 135 grain Gold Dot Short Barrel load. An extra five rounds carried in a Bianchi speed strip ride in my left jeans pocket while the 642 rides in an Uncle Mikes #3 inside the pocket holster.

IMHO the 642/442 J frame is the ultimate small frame .38 Special pocket revolver. I have been packing a J frame .38 since the age of 20 when I picked up that Model 36 at Phu Bai in 1966. Almost 50 years now.....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

gates
January 09, 2016, 20:15
Bot a 642 and a couple hundred rds of Speer +P 135 grain Gold Dot SB - larger than my G43 or Kahr PM9 but I like it - a lot.

tdb59
January 09, 2016, 20:22
My second shot is not consistent with a J frame. The gun twists in my hand.

No problem with a K frame.



$.02


.

BUFF
January 09, 2016, 20:23
IMHO, the 642 is the best small revolver ever made. Light, rust resistant construction and finish, about as powerful a cartridge as you can chamber in a gun this size and weight. DAO action makes the proper operation under stress natural, precluding thumb-cocking. Rock-like reliability. Lifetime warranty.

Let me discuss the warranty service. I bought my first 642 when they became available, in 1991. I qualified with it with Plus-P ammo, twice a year and practiced with it frequently, as it was my back-up gun at work and my warm weather off duty gun. I like to have a spare of my work guns and bought a second 642-1 in 2008, qualified it and put it away. In July 2011, after a qualification shoot with the older one, while cleaning it, I found the frame had cracked where the barrel screws into it, on the bottom of the barrel, where the crane or yoke rests. It had cracked sometime during the 60 rounds I had shot that day but was still working fine. This is the most common place aluminum revolver frames fail, as the metal is very thin there. Probably 3,000 Plus-P and a few 1,000 more standard pressure rounds by me through that gun.

I called S&W on their toll-free number. They sent me a pre-paid shipping label for FedEx. A week later I got a letter saying they would examine the gun and call me. They called the next day and said the frame was unrepairable and they would replace the gun. I asked for a no-lock gun, as they make most of their small revolvers with and without. The fellow confirmed my address and said it would be en route. They FedEx'ed it to my house. I wasn't home when they tried to deliver and had to pick it up at their depot that night.

They sent me the up-scale Pro model 642-1, which is cut for moon clips.

Think about that, a 20 year old gun, I shot the dickens out of it with Plus-P ammo, and they replaced it with a more expensive gun, shipping both ways on their dime, within a 2 week period. Didn't cost me a penny.

Can't recommend it higher than I do. I gave my older 642-1 to my brother when he got his CCW and started carrying, to replace his similar but heavier Model 640, the same gun with a stainless steel frame instead of aluminum frame.

Another factor these guns have is no slot in the frame for the hammer spur to stick out. Only way grit and dirt and link get inside to the action is through the trigger slot. If you pocket carry or even belt carry the crud will get inside your gun through any opening. The S&W Centennials, like the 642, stay really clean inside.

D P Six
January 09, 2016, 21:04
Those with arthritis issues in your hands might consider Hornady's 90 gr Critical Defense in their J frames. Potent bullet but more forgiving on the shooters worn out body parts.

SWOHFAL
January 09, 2016, 22:51
It would be one of the few new S&W revolvers that I'd consider buying.

gates
January 09, 2016, 23:21
It's a cool little wheel gun and I'm partial to semi's... there is a trick to shooting this gun half way accurately...

Aeroscout
January 09, 2016, 23:31
It's a cool little wheel gun and I'm partial to semi's... there is a trick to shooting this gun half way accurately...

Great little guns, I find that they hurt my hand to shoot very much (15 full power rounds at the range and I am about done) and I am a rather big fella. Might be the big hands and little bootgrip, I just can't get a hold of it very well.

One trick to shoot it well. Put a crimson trace on it and practice keeping the dot on a light switch plate while running 5 pulls of the trigger. It gets pretty easy.

Did I mention they kick hard?

Will C
January 09, 2016, 23:43
Love the 642. Unfortunately the only gun I've ever had stolen. When we lived in Tampa long ago my wife left it in her car one night and forgot to lock the doors. Next morning it was gone. :sad: Never did recover it. Found another no-lock version a few years ago and grabbed it quick. I prefer to carry my 2" Model 10 these days when I feel the need for a concealed piece, which is very seldom in this part of the world. The 642 fits better in a pocket though. If I still lived in Tampa it would probably get carried a lot, as the other one did.

SWOHFAL
January 10, 2016, 00:28
Great little guns, I find that they hurt my hand to shoot very much (15 full power rounds at the range and I am about done) and I am a rather big fella. Might be the big hands and little bootgrip, I just can't get a hold of it very well.

One trick to shoot it well. Put a crimson trace on it and practice keeping the dot on a light switch plate while running 5 pulls of the trigger. It gets pretty easy.

Did I mention they kick hard?

Trick is to make the guy in front of the gun regret it worse.

SWOHFAL
January 10, 2016, 00:29
It's a cool little wheel gun and I'm partial to semi's... there is a trick to shooting this gun half way accurately...

Stage the trigger to anticipate the break and swap out the trigger rebound spring with one a couple pounds lighter from Wolff.

kev
January 10, 2016, 14:34
The 642 replaced my Kahr CM9 for pocket carry. It's not smaller, but it carries better. The hammerless action has slightly different geometry than the hammered guns and the triggers are generally better. The factory boot grips are good, as are the out of production Uncle Mike's, but the very best grip solution is to fit a small frame Taurus Boot Grip,...........yep, really,..........a TAURUS grip! It fills the gap behind the trigger guard like the others but also has a rubber covered backstrap and also clears speed loaders. It's a comfortable, small grip that shoots soft. The halves snap together with pins molded into the rubber. Fantastic, workmanlike grips and they're available directly from Taurus for $9 a set. All it takes to fit them to the J-frame Smith is to drill a small pocket in each side for the stabilizing pin at the bottom of the frame. I just removed the pin from my back-up 642 and it seems to work just as well.

gates
January 10, 2016, 20:23
The trick is to pull the trigger with the trigger finger joint rather than the pad, yes it stages and it's easier to feel at the joint. YMMV. No need change springs.

nvcdl
January 11, 2016, 18:57
I've had one since early 90s - easy gun to put in a pocket holster and carry wearing shorts.

The current version has MIM parts and comes in 2 versions - one with a lock - one without a lock. I'd get a no lock version. Price seems highly variable but I've seen them selling new for less then $350.

VALMET
January 11, 2016, 20:41
I've had one since early 90s - easy gun to put in a pocket holster and carry wearing shorts.

The current version has MIM parts and comes in 2 versions - one with a lock - one without a lock. I'd get a no lock version. Price seems highly variable but I've seen them selling new for less then $350.

I picked my 442 up about a year ago (no lock) for about $370 from buds.

W.E.G.
January 11, 2016, 20:48
Dead nuts reliable.

Clyde the Pointer
January 11, 2016, 21:22
Love my 638.

Aeroscout
January 12, 2016, 04:39
Probably has the lock, but not too shabby.......

http://www.cdnnsports.com/s-w-642-38-special-p-stainless.html#.VpTJhlJ2E20

SWOHFAL
January 12, 2016, 16:10
The lock is removable and also capable of being disabled in place as well, IIRC. If it does come out, you can just use the hole as an oiling port.

gates
January 13, 2016, 01:15
Or just leave it unlocked and ignore it - mine has no lock, it was an option, I chose the "no-lock" version. IMO not a big deal.

SWOHFAL
January 13, 2016, 09:49
Or just leave it unlocked and ignore it - mine has no lock, it was an option, I chose the "no-lock" version. IMO not a big deal.

Lock has potential to jam the weapon inadvertently.

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/01/robert-farago/revolvers-can-fail-smith-wesson-performance-center-686-locks-up/

nvcdl
January 14, 2016, 19:37
I would seek out the no lock version of the 642-2 - apparently this is one of the few models S&W will sell without a lock - maybe because it is double action only.

The MIM parts are probably ok - they seem to get really decent triggers out of the box with them - I have heard of some frames cracking from barrel being overtorqued but S&W does warrenty them.