The 642 club


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May 13, 2005, 09:22 AM
As of Wednesday, I am the proud owner of a S&W 642 snub nose. This thing is a joy to carry.(It is just over 12 oz. lighter than my East German Makarov.)

It appears that the general consensus is that Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P HP is the best ammo. Are there other good choices?

Is it ok to dry fire this revolver without snap caps?

Thanks for the info!



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May 13, 2005, 09:49 AM
Excellent! I really like mine...with Crimson laser grips and in it's Mika pocket holster. Hope you get good service from your new 642.


May 13, 2005, 09:56 AM
Dry fire away. After 500-1000 dry fires you will find that the trigger really smoothes out.

May 13, 2005, 11:22 AM
Congrats on the new gun!!

One of the best pocket carry options available...


May 13, 2005, 11:29 AM
Frandy: Great Pic!

Joe: Who makes your pocket holster?

May 13, 2005, 02:45 PM
Looks like a DeSantis Nemesis...


May 13, 2005, 05:00 PM
Any special considerations for the finish? What do you guys use to clean your 642?

May 13, 2005, 10:40 PM
The holster is an inexpensive "gun show" special. IIRC... the brand is Python, about $9.

It actually works quite well. The square profile makes the gun look very similar to a billfold in your back pocket.

The "clear coat" finish S&W puts on their alloy fames will not take a lot of agressive cleaning. I've had good luck using Hoppe's #9 with a bronze brush in the chambers, and nylon brushes everywhere else. After over 2k rounds, it still looks like new.

Good Luck...


May 13, 2005, 10:55 PM
The dry firing debate has always intrigued me. I have dry fired thousands of rounds in all make of guns. But, really, thats not how the gun was designed to work. It expects a primer under the hammer to act as a cushion. A very old gunsmith once gave me the example, If I gave you a ball peen hammer and a ball bearing and you spent all day banging the two together, eventually, one or the other is going to show signs of wear. Point was taken. I still dry fire when I'm just playing with a gun, but, if I'm working on it and intentionally dry firing it a bunch, I'll use snap caps, fired cases or something in there.

One of my 642's, if I dry fire it a bunch, will tap the bushing out ever so slightly from the breech end. If I fire a round or drop a punch down the barrel and tap it once, it seats itself back down. Since I said "one" of my 642's, you would be right to assume I like them alot.

Navy joe
May 13, 2005, 11:24 PM
Got mine about 3 weeks ago, very happy. I think that since it was about half price of the 340PD there is no way I could justify one of those just for the chance to fire .357 out of an even lighter gun. The 642 has given me all kinds of carry options, but there is no way I'd carry it as a primary. This is my first speedloader gun and I hate them, give me more moonclips!

May 14, 2005, 01:45 PM
Thanks for the info. I think I have found my new carry piece.

P. Plainsman
May 14, 2005, 05:39 PM
Got one coming soon. Plan to use my snap caps to dry fire it.

The hammerless J-frame .38 is a classic of firearms design.

May 14, 2005, 05:40 PM
You guys are gonna tempt me too much. Now I'm wanting one worse than before.
My Det. Special is going to get jealous.

Anyway...very nice pieces

May 14, 2005, 06:42 PM
...the 642's are NICE "Carry Guns"...I have it's poorer, blued cousin, the WIFE gets to carry the 642...poor ME!!!
BTW, I have been dryfiring Smith revo's for about thirty years, NOT using "snapcaps", and haven't had any problems...MY "Carry Load" is the old "FBI Load", the 158-gr. LSWCHP at "Plus-P" pressures, as loaded by either Federal or Winchester...I haven't tried the 135-gr. Speer JHP yet, but it looks like a good 'un, too....mikey357

May 14, 2005, 08:01 PM
Hmm, I, too admire the nylon pocket holster owned by Mr. Hadley. I looked on the Python Holster Company website, and they do not make anything close to what Mr. Hadley owns. I just got back from the WAC gunshow in Puyallup, and did not see anything like that. If Mr. Hadley has any further insights on the manufacturer, or it has a tag on it with any information, I do hope he will post.

May 14, 2005, 08:03 PM
I make little donut shaped plastic discs from Tang lids for use as snap caps in my revolvers.
You need to double them up. They also don't work on P&R Smiths.

Here's the 642's "black" sister

May 16, 2005, 11:22 AM
SnWnMe: Great pic. Who made your clip-on holster?

I'm finding that IWB carry just doesn't work well for me. I use a zippered denim pouch called a "Gun Pack" from Uncle Mike's. Of course, now I can pursue pocket carry (probably a Mika's Pocket Holster ( ), but I am curious as to how others carry their 642. Please post and be as specific as possible (pics, too!).



May 16, 2005, 11:44 AM
One of my carry guns is a nickeled 442 with Crimson Trace. I've not had any bad experience with any pocket holster - they all seem to work just fine. I agree - the lightweight J-frame with no-hammer + laser is a classic SD weapon. Simple, reliable, extremely carryable, easy to present, and with the confidence of the laser, very accurate at SD distances.

May 17, 2005, 10:07 AM
BTT - still curious about how others carry their 642.

May 17, 2005, 10:18 AM
I bought a pocket holster for mine from Mika's. The guy is nice and delivers a high quality product for a reasonable price. Just give him a call.


May 17, 2005, 11:50 AM
fiVe posted:
BTT - still curious about how others carry their 642.

I used to carry my 442 as a primary weapon, using a Galco "Concealable Belt Holster". (
Now I'm carrying a Kimber 45acp using a Milt Sparks Watch Six (, and the 442 has been relegated to "deep cover" days when a cover garment is not possible.
In that instance, I use Thunderwear/Smartcarry.
It seems that a lot of folks aren't comfortable with that method of carry, but it works great for me.
Good luck. :)

May 17, 2005, 02:06 PM
Although I don't own a 642 or 442, (wished I did) I carried my Smith mod 638 and 340SC in an uncle Mike's size 3 fabric holster. I like the Uncle Mike's because it is v-e-r-y lightweight, inexpensive and does a good job of masking the outline of the revolver without adding bulk.

Nice choice; I'm going to get me one when I can find a good quality used one. They're tough to find because most are too good to part with.

May 17, 2005, 02:28 PM
fiVe: The holster is Uncle Mike's. 10 bucks at my LGS. Drops right into a cargo pocket.

May 17, 2005, 05:35 PM
anyone have a 642 for sale in my area?????

May 17, 2005, 06:59 PM
'Academy Sports/Outdoors' chains have new 642's for $349 - as does a local gunstore. The LHPSWC +P 158gr by Remington, #R38S12, is pretty stout with that little boot grip. I keep my 2" 10 and 3" 65 stoked with them. The slightly bigger Hogue's make all the difference. I was considering the black 432PD, a .32 H&R 6-shooter, at the same price. Decisions...


May 17, 2005, 07:06 PM in east Alabama.

May 17, 2005, 08:36 PM
I usually carry my 642 IWB during the summer months. I got a cheapo Highnoon hidden ally for it, seems to work pretty good. Still can't shoot worth a crap with it, but it keeps center mass... ;)

Been a good little companion for me!

Ala Dan
May 17, 2005, 08:59 PM
Greeting's All-

Well, I joined the S&W 642 crowd 'bout a month ago. Picked up a very
slightly used (but not abused) trade-in 642 for $200 + 9% sales tax,
making the total $218. :) I haven't yet retired my old S&W model 60,
but its well on the way! :D

May 18, 2005, 08:56 AM
$200? Man, that's a bargain, iff'n you can find one at all. The 442 and 642 must be a prized model because here in the Atlanta Metro area, one can scarcely find a used one anywhere. Lucky U.....

May 18, 2005, 10:08 AM
Thanks for all the info. I want as many opinions/examples as possible, so keep posting!

When I bought mine last week, it was the only 642 he had. He also had only 1 Model 637, which is the external-hammered cousin to the 642. It would seem that Smith & Wesson has a winner here!


Brian Williams
May 18, 2005, 11:55 AM
Yep I have one with a 940 cylinder installed

Ala Dan
May 18, 2005, 02:13 PM
Hello 22luvr my friend-

That's the benefits of working in a gunshop, and watching the trade-ins
very closely. The original owner complained of the stout trigger pull; so
he made a spur of the moment decision to trade for a Kel-Tec .380. I
wish he had brought the box and doc's in later; but heck I guess thats
the breaks isn't it? :uhoh: :D

May 18, 2005, 02:14 PM
It appears that the general consensus is that Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P HP is the best ammo. Are there other good choices?

I'm using the Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P HP. Its my understanding this ammo is made specifically for 1-7/8" barrels

With a Bulman leather pocket holster

May 18, 2005, 06:19 PM
Ala Dan,
You did NOT just say the 60 was on his way to retirement!?! :eek:
Who are you and what did you do to the real Ala Dan? :scrutiny:

May 18, 2005, 06:31 PM
My 642 is fugly ever since it went swimming the the Gulf of Mexico with me last summer (note to self, salt water eats aluminum!). I normally use the smallest size of the LAW Concealment holsters (with the metal clip removed) as a pocket holster. It gets carried probably 80% of the time that I am armed.


That is a very intresting looking 65. Could we have some details on that? I thought that was a 4-inch skinny barrel 64 at first glance.


May 18, 2005, 06:54 PM
you guys are killing me!!!!!!

somebody in east Alabama or west Georgia sell me one!!!!

damn, the weekend is so far away, and the pawn shop says it takes 7-10 days to get something in after they order it.

Ala Dan
May 18, 2005, 07:08 PM
Greeting's Harbinger My Friend-

No sir, the old S&W model 60 isn't offically retired yet; as a matter of fact,
I still plan on toting it on rainy days and Sunday's! :D

And BTW, it rains a lot in Old Dixie~ :uhoh: :)

May 18, 2005, 11:38 PM
Back to dryfiring. Put your snap caps away, S&W says it's OK to dry fire. From their website FAQ:

Q: Can I dry fire my Smith & Wesson?

A: Yes, except for the .22 caliber pistols which includes models 22A, 22S, 422, 2206, 2214, 2213 and 41.

.22 caliber revolvers such as models 17, 43, 63, 317 and 617 also should not be dry fired.

Q: Why can't I dry fire my .22 pistol or revolver?

A: Dry firing a S&W .22 pistol or revolver will cause damage to the firing pin.

deputy tom
May 19, 2005, 12:53 AM
642 is my EDC.I use Fed/Winch 158gr SWCHP's and dryfire plenty.No problems.tom. ;)

May 20, 2005, 08:16 PM
after all the arm twisting here.........i broke down and put in my order for a 642. there. are ya happy now?! :)

should be here by Wednesday.

going to compare it to my Taurus 850 cia Ti. since they are the same design and weight.

my 850cia Ti. is ported and shoots +p's easily......hows the recoil on the non-ported 642?

May 20, 2005, 11:10 PM
Hey Jerry - you and I seem to be some of the few owners of Taurus Titanium 850 CIAs. I just don't see many comments about these.

I was hesitant to get a Taurus as my 4 other revolvers are all S&W (66, 686, 65LS & 60) but I was intrigued by the idea of a titanium revolver so that's why I got it over the 642.

I had to send it back to the factory before even firing a shot. It was so tight, the cylinder face was scrapping against the forcing cone, causing it to lock up frequently. I have to say though, Taurus fixed it up pretty quickly and it came back with a very nice trigger - smooth and not overly heavy at all. I have no complaints at all but sometimes I find myself wishing I had gotten the 642 for no other reason than it's a S&W.

May 21, 2005, 01:15 AM
Alamo, I have a Taurus titanium 651, with which I have been quite pleased. 19.3 ounces loaded with 5 rounds of Speer Gold Dot .38+p 135 grain GDHPs. Pretty darn interesting to shoot with .357s, though.

May 21, 2005, 01:33 AM
Jerry: Glad to hear your news. The world can always use another 642 owner.

Is there anyone else who needs their arm "twisted"? ;)

I've held a Taurus 850 CIA (the .38 version of the 650). The trigger was nice.

I've been dryfiring my 642 and its trigger is getting smoother. I'm still very pleased with it.

Anymore 642 owners out there? DHart, where are you?


May 21, 2005, 09:07 AM
;) ya know, i had a Taurus 851 Ti./Al. in my hands at the store.......ported barrel, bodyguard style........VERY light, had it been $50.00 cheaper i would have walked out with over the s&w that has to be ordered.

i like the Taurus line up regarding their snubbies.

they are inovative, offer numerous configurations, priced right, and in my experience, reliable.

but this is a 642 thread so i'll leave it at that.

May 21, 2005, 12:01 PM
Congrats on your new gun here is what I've found with mine. I dont recomend the desantis pocket holster it comes right out with the gun and certainly doesnt stick like fly paper. I also wouldnt recomend +p158gr lswchp in it recoil is severe. I can however recomend Corbons new +p Powerballs though . I couldnt believe how much more accurate they were than everthing else I tried. Also for the record the gun weighs 15 ounces not 12 but thats a good thing. You dont want to go any lighter and your sure dont want to go 357 in this weight class. I didnt buy mine because of price I wanted 15 ounces because I consider that ideal. Oh and dryfire the hell out of it, by the time it hurts any thing you'll be ready for a new gun.

May 21, 2005, 09:19 PM
I've got a 642 for pocket carry, great little revolver. I load it with standard pressure Remington 110gr semi jacketed hp's. Very low recoil but it unfortunately has a nasty muzzle flash. I've tried 125 gr +p hp's, and I didn't notice much difference in recoil compared to the 158gr lrn I use for plinking.

I use the Desantis pocket holster while wearing deep pocket jeans, but I haven't run into the problem that Timothy75 reports. The holster is ok but I'd like to get something that breaks up the outline a little more while carrying it.

Lord Bodak
May 22, 2005, 02:33 AM
I don't know much about S&W snubbies, but the 442/642 have the completely enclosed hammer, right? The one that could be fired from a pocket without a snag? That's something Ruger doesn't offer in the SP-101 (the DAO still has an exposed hammer, just not a spur).

On the same note, the 638 is more like the DAO SP-101, right?

May 22, 2005, 03:46 AM
liked my model 38.

Then got a 649. Swapped the model 38

Then got a 638. Swapped the model 649.

Love my 638. In a kramer pocket holster.

My BUG. And often fast 'grabit' gun to the local stop and rob.

How does one spell Bodyguard fan. But as anyone will tell you. Never swap a working gun, you will always wish you had it back.

Use Winchester 158gr LSWCHP +P, and have for years.


May 22, 2005, 06:20 AM
I bought a new 642 a few weeks ago after an "incident" by the house. Not a big deal except it showed me that I've become lax. I usually had my Model 65 with me but it's too heavy to pocket carry in sweatpants or shorts. I added a set of Crimson Trace grips (my first set) and it's in my pocket as I type at 0600. :) Even my Colt D/S is too heavy as a house gun.

We were taught that these little J frames were strictly a last resort "do or die" gun. Small enough to be concealable but at close range they'll do the job. The problem is I've gotten used to carrying it outside instead of the 3" Model 65. Since I don't run to the sound of gunfire anymore it's probably not a big deal but a heavier gun with a longer tube is more comforting.

Most of the detectives I worked with carried a Model 36 while working. I never could understand that as the 4" revolvers didn't need to be deeply concealed. As armed citizens we only need to protect ourselves, not protect and serve so we almost make our own rules for fight or flight.

Anyway, the 642, a great little gun for self defense. :D

May 22, 2005, 03:15 PM
Hey, Dinosaur. Practice with your Crimson Trace - I've become confident with mine out to 15 yards: 5 quick shots in COM. The snub nose is not limited in ballistic accuracy at that distance; it's only the aiming that's limited. Crimson Trace solves that.

May 23, 2005, 05:18 AM
bubbygator, I figured 15 yds. would be optimum with them. Did you have to make any adjustments with yours?

May 23, 2005, 12:15 PM
Is all hamerless snub nose revolvers have a two stage trigger like the Smith 642 ? Or does my Smith 642 have something different added on that is not always on 642's ?

May 24, 2005, 02:36 PM
Is all hamerless snub nose revolvers have a two stage trigger like the Smith 642

Explain more about this two-stage trigger. My 642 trigger was stiff up to and just before the trigger breaks, but dryfiring has smoothed it out a bit. What is a 2-stage trigger?


May 24, 2005, 03:01 PM
fiVe....... pull triger back slowly untill you hear a click. O.K. now slowly pull back some more untill you hear anouther click. Now to me it's like when the hammer is pulled back on a model with a hammer because it don't take much to fire the gun at this point. You have time to aim on the 2nd. click, a friend of mine said it was a two stage trigger. i was at the range and all over my target and he said use the two stage trigger and at the 2nd. stage take your time and aim and then pull the triger the rest of the way.... BOOM in the X ring :D

May 24, 2005, 04:56 PM
Thanks for the info, Glocker.

May 24, 2005, 06:43 PM
called to day to see if my gun came in yet........nope. man the wait is killing me.

May 25, 2005, 12:10 AM
I'm a "newbe" on THR who discovered the 642 several years ago. It's a great little carry piece.

May 25, 2005, 12:31 AM
I love my 642. I've also kept my eyes open for a 638, for years. (I like the option of being able to cock the hammer.) I do like that the 642 is a closed action, though.

May 25, 2005, 10:42 AM
I had a dentist appointment this past Monday and carried my 642. I really like the way this revolver just about disappears in your pocket. I see a Mika's pocket holster in my future. The 642 has got to be one of the best carry guns.


May 27, 2005, 09:07 AM

Lord Bodak
May 27, 2005, 11:34 PM
I joined the 642 club this week. DeSantis Nemesis is on the way, and I might try the Bantam grips, although I want to shoot it with the stock grips first. Any accessories I need besides a few speed strips and maybe grips?

May 28, 2005, 11:11 AM
Do any of you like the 638 better than the 643?

May 28, 2005, 12:04 PM

See my answer on page 3 of this thread.


May 28, 2005, 01:54 PM
Not that I'm an expert, but I've determined that my 642 does not have a 2-stage trigger like described above. The trigger pull has no clicks until the trigger breaks and the internal hammer hits the firing pin. The trigger pull is one smooth (and getting smoother) motion.

Hope to take it to the range tomorrow.


May 28, 2005, 10:27 PM
Well, add me as a member - I just bought one today :) in Cincinnati, OH is running a S&W promotion all weekend - I got a 642 for $329 before tax, and I get 2 free knives as well. I'm a sucker for a good deal.

Lord Bodak
May 28, 2005, 10:29 PM
zaijian, S&W is also doing a promo for a free knife on their website. It's on the front page, you can download a PDF form to mail in.

May 28, 2005, 11:14 PM
I was just dry firing my 642 several moments ago.There are 2 clicks before the hammer drops.

May 28, 2005, 11:45 PM
I made it! Joined the 642 club TODAY. I have always wanted one and reading this thread over the last couple of days gave me the fever. :evil:

Lord Bodak
May 29, 2005, 02:09 AM
I wonder how many people this thread has convinced. At least three just in the last two or three days.

May 29, 2005, 02:53 PM
Lord Bodak: Very good point. I am humbled by the 2280 views to date. I know it is one of the best firearm purchases I've made. I am really enjoying this revolver. The more 642 owners, the better!


May 29, 2005, 03:42 PM
Do any of you like the 638 better than the 643?

I do...Dont know why, I just do :neener:

May 29, 2005, 04:21 PM
Not to mention that based on some PMs and emails that I have gotten, I think some people have also acquired a Taurus 850/650/851/651. Perhaps it should be the shrouded/internal hammer/.38/.357 revolver club!

May 29, 2005, 08:53 PM
Traded my SP-101 for a 642 about two months ago and then upgraded to a Taurus 651 which I really think will be a keeper. I like the light weight and the DA/SA capability. To me there is less recoil as well. Replaced the rubber grips with a set of rose wood grips I had taken off a 605 a long time ago.

June 1, 2005, 10:48 AM
S&W is also doing a promo for a free knife on their website. It's on the front page, you can download a PDF form to mail in.

Lord Bodak: Thanks for this info. I'm sending my "paperwork" off tomorrow. I'm not a knife expert, but this one looks nice. The price is right, for sure!


June 1, 2005, 12:01 PM
"I wonder how many people this thread has convinced."

Well I'd buy one based on all the testimonials, but I bought an almost new, barely used 442 a few years ago. I think I paid $310 for it. Great trigger, too.


June 1, 2005, 03:25 PM
JohnBT: Feel free to consider yourself a member of the 642 Club. :)

June 1, 2005, 04:38 PM
I wonder how many people this thread has convinced. At least three just in the last two or three days.Convinced me... Got me interested in a pocket gun.

Did the research, liked what I saw and headed to the gun store to buy a 642. Got there, looked around and saw the 638 which has a partially enclosed hammer which can be manualy cocked and fired single action.

I've gone from being a full sized auto carry guy to carrying that 638 about 3/4 of the time now.

Ain't THR great!

June 2, 2005, 07:31 AM
"Feel free to consider yourself a member of the 642 Club."

Thank you, thank you very much.


June 2, 2005, 04:19 PM
Bought mine as soon as I moved to Alabama from THR's own Mr. Ala Dan!

And, now that my six month residency wait is over and I have my CCW, its my main carry gun in a simple Uncle Mikes pocket holster. I am very happy with it!

('Course being originally from Maryland it does seem weird to have a carry license! :) )

June 2, 2005, 05:21 PM
For anyone that's still on the fence here are a couple of beauty shots of my 642. :D

The grips are custom and the Pocket Holster is from K&D Holsters (
Drawing from this holster in a pocket is rocket fast and reholstering is effortless.

June 2, 2005, 07:08 PM
congrats, but you didnt have to wait 6 months living in Al. to get your ccw permit here.

June 3, 2005, 02:14 PM
HighVelocity: VERY nice pics. Thanks for posting them!

June 3, 2005, 02:52 PM
My wife and I both carry them. Her all the time, me most of the time. Otherwise I have my S&W 457.

June 3, 2005, 05:51 PM
I joined the club a few months ago. It conceals very well in a pocket holster. The recoil bothered me at first but now it's no problem. My carry ammo is 125 gr +p gold dots. I haven't been able to find the 135 gr

June 5, 2005, 07:25 PM
Anybody carry their 642 in an IWB holster? I think it would help get me used to carrying bigger guns such as my Glock 19 or 1911 if I was used to something "being there". (I have a Bianchi IWB for my 642 as well as an Uncle Mikes Pocket). Thanks.

Ala Dan
June 5, 2005, 09:03 PM
Greyhound my friend, many thanks for the intro-

Yes, I too have a soon too be 30 year old J-frame IWB holster from the
John Bianchi stable of leather goods. It has served me well since 1976.
My S&W models 37, 60 (old model), and 642 all ride well in this quality
leather holster.

June 6, 2005, 09:48 AM
I use a Bob Mika, about $15 for jacket and pants pocket carry. Uncle Mike's works, but you car reholster single handed with Bob's since it has a spring steel reinforcement at the mouth. It also provides the opportunity to get a full grip before removing the 642, or Body Guard.


June 6, 2005, 10:17 AM
I'm trying to find a little longer grip for my 642. I need to be able to get my pinky wraped around it a little better. I'm open to suggestions, I'm thinkin' no wood grips here.

June 7, 2005, 11:27 PM
rcm... the perfect j-frame grip for shooting pleasure and control (for me, anyway) is Pachmayr Compac. Not the smallest grip on the market, but arguably the nicest. Here are a pair on my 640-1... with the perfect spot made just for the little finger to rest... and these grips make shooting .357 loads moderately comfortably from the all steel J-frame. They absorb recoil very well.

June 13, 2005, 06:43 PM
DHart: As always, GREAT pics.

I just got back from vacation (to Houston & San Antonio). I carried the 642 almost the whole time. It was great--further proof that this is one of the best carrying guns made.


June 18, 2005, 02:49 PM
I have my eye on a pre-lock 642 in the box and w/o a scratch on it. Anyone know if this gun should be priced at a premium v. the newer ones w/the lock? Is the finish any better on the pre-lock version?

This thread got me VERY interested in the 642, thanks to all.

June 18, 2005, 04:17 PM
took my 642 "locked version" out for the first time handles as i expected any other snubby light weight to do.

but one thing that stood out above all the other snubbys i have, this one with wwb 130gr. fmj was bouncing a 2 liter soda bottle around with every shot at 15 yards. the best i could do with my other snubbys was 4 out of 5, and 4 out of 6 with my 64-2, but my 642 did it 5/5 for three full cylinders.

this is a good gun!

i did a side by side with my 642 and my Taurus 850CIA Titanium, the Taurus handled quite a bit quicker due to its ported barrel, i even tried shooting it from the hip with my hand shielding my face in case i got the infamous "blast from the ported barrel", nothing......the cylinder gap blast heated up my lower belly a bit but nothing bad.

not to high-jack the thread, but i really have to give Taurus credit its outstanding 850cia Ti.

June 18, 2005, 04:50 PM
Bought a 642 a couple of years back, got a great deal on it, and put a box of 50 through it and was really unhappy with the action. Wicked bad heavy trigger pull and gritty to boot. Almost impossible to shoot, never mind with any accuracy.

I was going to do 'something' about it but got distracted by a couple of Makarovs - E. German and Bulgarian - so I put the 642 away and sort of forgot about it.

A few months ago, I dug it out and did the following:

1. Reduced power mainspring from Wolff. I left the trigger return spring alone.
2. Lubed the internals with Militec oil/grease where appropriate. (The innerds were dry as a bone.) And thanks to all the posters here and on TFL for advice on how-to remove the side plate, etc.

Result? Fantastic difference - I can actually shoot the thing pretty well and it's 100% reliable with over 250 rounds so far. No problem with +P ammo either.

(I know that many object to reduced power mainsprings but there you have it.)

June 20, 2005, 01:10 PM
I am thinking about sending my new 642 to BC Armory for a Duty Tune. Any Opinions?

June 24, 2005, 09:42 PM
Got my new 642 this week but have yet to shoot it. BTW, is LIMITED use of Federal Hydra-Shok 147gr. +P+ okay in the 642 or no go??

June 24, 2005, 10:12 PM
I have always been a auto guy. As my name implies, I'm partial to the 1911. A few weeks ago I bought a Colt Trooper III from a friend. I enjoyed shooting it. I really enjoyed shooting it. So much that I ran across a 642 yesterday. It was almost new with only like 15 rds through it. I bought it for $300 from it's only owner. Did I do good? I can't wait to fire a few rds through it. :D

June 24, 2005, 10:24 PM
Jmag... in that gun I'd shoot .38 spl. for practice with only a few occasional +P loads for practice, then carry with +P. But NO +P+ at all!

June 24, 2005, 10:43 PM
DHart, thanks for that. It makes sense to me.

June 24, 2005, 11:40 PM
A thought for those who might be having finish problems with their 642... I think the ultimate finish on a 642 would be hard chrome, with NP-3 or hard chrome on the internals... that would be a 642 with a finish to last a lifetime plus and have a super slick action as well. If my 642 ever presented any finish "issues" whatsoever, rather than refinish at S&W, I'd send it off for hard chrome with NP-3 on the internals.

June 25, 2005, 08:32 PM
Good posts as always, and some good care-and-feeding tips.

I sold a Glock 27 last year with the idea of replacing it with a c/c revolver. It's a great little gun, but blocky, and I had reservations about using it as a c/c piece. I was looking at a 65 and a 649 during a show in Richmond ... one of the guys working the booth walked me through the pros and cons of both, and the 642 as well. I bought the 642 ... and haven't looked back. Thankfully I've not been tested, but after several hundred range rounds I'm confident inside 10 yards.

I now use an Uncle Mike's pocket holster, but after seeing the reviews here and on the S&W Forum I will be ordering a Round-cut pocket holster from Robert Mika ... fits OK in my Dockers pockets, though tight in jeans. There is a tiny bit of scuff on the cylinder, but not enough to be disfiguring. The only "customizing" I've done to swap in a set of Pachmayr grips.

Between this and a Model 36 in the bedroom safe (unlocked when I am home), there's something accessible all the time. Not paranoid, just cautious.

If you're thinking about the 642 -- if it fits your criteria for size/weight, capacity, etc. you won't be sorry. r/

June 27, 2005, 10:46 AM
Finally, I have some pictures to post (no, I don't have a digital camera, yet). These were taken while we were on vacation in San Antonio.

June 30, 2005, 01:45 PM
Well, you can count me in the club now. Just bought a 642 this morning, along with an Uncle Mike's in which to carry it. As a matter of fact, it's sitting in the front right pocket of my jeans shorts right now, just to see how it feels. It doesn't seem significantly more noticeable than the P32 that normally resides there.

I haven't shot this one yet, though I did rent one at the range a couple of weeks ago when considering the purchase. I think I'm going to like it. :cool:

July 1, 2005, 12:26 PM
Welcome to the club, Seminole.

July 1, 2005, 12:32 PM
Got my free knife in the mail yesterday. It's not a Spyderco but it was free. It'll probably live in my center console.

July 1, 2005, 02:39 PM
May I join your club? I just bought an unfired prelock electroless nickel plated 442. When I first looked at it I thought it was a 642 but upon closer examination it turned out to be a 442.

July 1, 2005, 03:00 PM
MikeJ: Come on in! You are most welcome here. :)

guy sajer
July 1, 2005, 05:45 PM
Ok , if a 442 can join , how about a 42 ;)
Got the box too . My Dad bought it new in '74 .

July 1, 2005, 05:53 PM
642, 442, 42

There all 42's and hammerless (I think), so I deem all welcome.

HighVelocity: I am really enjoying my Extreme Ops knife.


Sam Adams
July 4, 2005, 12:07 AM
I got a NIB 642 for $310 today at the San Antonio Saxet show ($334.80, incl. tax). A big part of the reason that I got it is the posts on this thread, so thanks very much for all of the advice and information. I know that I'll be checking back onto the thread for holster and ammo choices (I had to rush out of the show for an appointment, so I just got the gun and 100 rounds of .38 +P ammo).

The lock seems to work fine (i.e. it is in the off position and I can dry fire without any hangups). I look forward to putting a few hundred rounds throught the gun to get a feel for it, and to break in the trigger. More than that, I'm looking forward to carrying far more often and in far more places because of the ease of concealment. I'm also looking forward to surprising those who know that I carry when I meet them somewhere in just a tucked-in shirt.

I'll also have a good answer for the question "Is that a gun, or are you just glad to see me?" Depending on who it is, and if the wife is present, the correct answer is "Both."

July 4, 2005, 11:51 AM
I have a 642 with the key lock in the frame. I've seen a lot of posts suggesting that there is something wrong or negative about the locks. From the time I bought the gun, I've just kept the lock off all the time. Is there some weakness or potential problem with how the gun functions that I'm not aware of? (The gun is normally kept in a safe during the day and there are no children in the house.)

I'm not interested in rants about the questionable nature of government regulations - only about the impact of the lock regarding how the gun functions. Why would lock or prelock be a factor in purchasing a handgun if you can just leave it turned off?
Paul G.

July 4, 2005, 02:31 PM
pfgrone: As I understand it, on certain S&W Models, the locks were self-engaging and could not be unlocked until the key was turned to the lock position and then to the unlock position. I think these were autoloaders and not revolvers. Someone in the know, please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm like you. I intend to keep it unlocked and basically forget about it. So far the 642 is the perfect carry gun for me.

There has been much discussion here on THR and on the S&W site. Here are some links:

link1 (

link2 (

link3 (

July 5, 2005, 05:03 PM
One more time...

July 7, 2005, 02:56 PM
Finally got to the range yesterday for my first session with my 642.

Overall, I was pleased. It has a stout recoil with the +P stuff, but not unmanagable. (After 125 rounds, I was feeling it in the web of my hand between my thumb and fore finger) ;)

I had read somewhere that Speer Gold Dots(135 gr. +P) are the best for this model, but I found that I shoot the Remington & Federal 125 gr. +P ammo better. Has anyone else had similar results?

Now, I'm even more convinced this is the better carry piece.


July 7, 2005, 03:01 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling it. I'm used to going to the range and burning a couple hundred rounds through the 1911. I put a 100 through the 642 and my hand is feeling it like yours. Over all, I was very happy with the trigger and feel of the gun. I was shooting mostly 10 yrds or less and it was grouping nicely.

July 7, 2005, 03:21 PM
I was shooting mostly 10 yrds or less and it was grouping nicely.

Same here.

July 7, 2005, 08:47 PM
just got a camera and was trying to post my 642 so i can be in the club...... OH YEA BABY!!

July 9, 2005, 01:37 AM
Navy joe

"Got mine about 3 weeks ago, very happy. I think that since it was about half price of the 340PD there is no way I could justify one of those just for the chance to fire .357 out of an even lighter gun. The 642 has given me all kinds of carry options, but there is no way I'd carry it as a primary. This is my first speedloader gun and I hate them, give me more moonclips!"

Hey Navyjoe, you can have the 5 shooter Smiths set up for moon clips. TK Custom/ can do it. I've seen one he did.

July 12, 2005, 04:35 PM
Glocker: Nice picture.

July 12, 2005, 10:40 PM
since ive gotten my post-lock 642, my sp101 has been in the safe.

ive tried to get rid of it here but no takers. ...........oh well. i'll take it back out for a cooler weather BUG.

July 12, 2005, 11:24 PM
Jerry... my SP-101 hasn't been out of the safe in a very long time either! But my 640-1 and 642-1 get out and play all the time. :rolleyes:

July 15, 2005, 05:18 PM
I joined the club today. Picked it up on the way home from work. Hope to hit the range with it this weekend.

Any recommendations on ankle holsters and pocket holsters for it?

Stephen A. Camp
July 16, 2005, 12:49 AM
Hello. I've used a Model 642-1 as an "always gun" for a few years now. Sometimes it is the "primary" in my rather tame orbits and at other times it is delegated to BUG. I recently picked up an older Model 642 that came with Eagle Secret Service stocks on it at a very good price. Today I got to shoot that particular revolver for thefirst time.
The first order of business was to fire five rounds and check primer strikes. These seem reasonably well centered and impact is sufficient for reliable ignition. As this gun as the original mainspring, light primer strikes were really never a concern.

I then fired 10 shots at a slow pace to get "the feel" of this particular revolver. There was nothing remarkable or different so I began shooting to see how well this example of the Model 642 performed and whether or not it would remain in my collection.

Firing was done no farther than 15 yards today and that was done seated, using a two-hand hold, and in slow-fire. My wrists were supported. It is understood that this genre of revolver is not intended for precise target work but it is important to me that my personal handguns have their sights regulated such that POA is at least close to POI at the ranges that the weapon is envisioned being used at.
The size of this group is due more to human error than either mechanical error or the combination of ammunition and gun.

The rest of the shooting was done at 10 yards and was done standing with a two-hand hold. I did not have time to chronograph ammunition from this particular gun today and did not do any one-handed shooting even though that is normally part of my regular "work out" with the J-frame snub.
These shots were fired mostly in controlled pairs with a few "failure to stop" drills thrown in. Distance was ten yards and the little gun did its part when I did mine.

For those interested, here is a related article on practicing with the snub .38 for self-protection:

I only used three different factory loads for this initial run with the Model 641:

Remington 130-gr. FMJ

Federal 125-gr. Nyclad Hollow Point (standard pressure)

Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P
These are the three loads tried in the Model 642. All are factory with one being +P.

Average velocities for these rounds is normally around 800 ft/sec for the first, 850 to about 890 ft/sec for the second, depending upon the ammunition/gun combination in this barrel length, and 800 to about 830 ft/sec for the last load, again depending on how the particular lot of ammo works in a specific snub. In the future I'll obtain chronograph data from this particular snub.

At ten yards I fired several sets of controlled pairs at COM, working on a smooth double-action pull as soon as I could get it without jerking the trigger and as quickly as I could obtain a flash sight picture.

At fifteen yards I fired for group using the Remington 125-gr. FMJ and then fired a group at the same distance using some Federal 125-gr. Nyclads and shot the same target with the 158-gr. LSWCHP +P ammunition to see any divergence in points of impact.
The Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P and the 125-gr. Nyclads hit had roughly the same POI but the former were a bit more spread out than the latter and seemed to hit just a bit higher. For all practical purposes that most snubs will be used for it can be said that the groups overlap.

I also fired a 5 falling plates as fast as I could make the shot and repeated it five times.
A row of 5 falling plates was shot with the little revolver. I believe that reactive targets help us maintain sight picture when we really want to see what the target is doing.

There were no failures to fire and the trigger pull remained constant, first shot to last. It is smooth but just a bit heavy. I will shoot this gun considerably more before having any possible trigger work done. The cylinder did not bind and case ejection was not "sticky." As is the case on any of these shorties, the ejector rod is not long enough to allow for full length ejection but it worked smoothly enough; a quick, sharp press or smack kicked the fired cases out nicely.

It should come as no surprise that it is hot in Texas in the summer. My hands were pretty sweaty within a few minutes but the smooth Eagle Secret Service stocks did not slip. I had really wondered if they might and such concerns are why my "serious" handguns almost always have checkered stocks at the least. I admit being surprised that such was not the case in this instance.

The most pleasant surprise of the day was that the POA almost exactly matches POI at least with the ammo used today out to about 15 yards. In fact, it is closer than on my 24/7 gun, a Model 642-1. (That one hits just a bit to the right.)

In short, the gun worked fine and it will be a keeper.


July 16, 2005, 01:59 AM
Stephen.... nice, thorough report on your new revo. Confirms why so many of us rely on the little 642! How about showing us those Eagle grips when you get a chance? Thanks.

Stephen A. Camp
July 16, 2005, 02:06 AM
Hello, sir. Thank you very much.

Here's about the best picture I have reference the grips.


July 16, 2005, 03:58 AM
Nice looking grips... I like the dark tone... thanks for posting the pics... I've been using Uncle Mike's boot's on my 642-1 and Pachmayr Compacs on my 640-1.... and they work great, but aren't great in the looks department. For wood grips on J-frames, I do like Badgers a lot... they make a boot and an extended boot...

Mongo the Mutterer
July 17, 2005, 07:25 AM
My fiancee and I picked up two 642s yesterday. Both of us love them!

I was putting holes in holes at 7 yrd standing on my second round of 5 rds. :)

July 17, 2005, 01:19 PM
I just bought a S&W 642 !!!!

The 642 is a perfect pocket weapon. I will be carrying it in a pocket holster and a speed strip for my ammo.

It is going to be replacing my Glock 26. I am trying to lighten my carry load.


Mongo the Mutterer
July 17, 2005, 02:22 PM
mquaack -- welcome.

July 17, 2005, 03:51 PM
Thanks Mongo.

I like the S&W 642 so much I have my Glock 26 already for sale.

Glock26 for sale:


July 18, 2005, 09:15 AM
Sorry if this has been posted before:

How do I clean my S&W 642? Just the barrel and outside. Can I use Hoppes on the barrel followed with oil and just clean the outside with oil?

BYW the date on my new 642 is 06-14-2005


July 18, 2005, 10:26 AM
Well I don't have a 642, but I picked up a NIB condition Model 60 .357 snubbie for 250$. I am having the hammer bobbed as I was really looking for the internal or hidden hammer model. So untill I get a 642 is this close enough to get me a temp pass into the 642 club? :uhoh:

July 18, 2005, 12:22 PM
crazyneddie/mquaack/mongo: WELCOME!

Stephen Camp: As always, your reviews are professionally, thoroughly, and accurately done. As the 642 is my favorite, I am glad you took the time to acquire/test one. It just solidifies my preference in this CCW piece. Thanks so much for posting your demo. Question for you: I have found that I am more accurate w/ 125gr ammo. Do you think this is more of a issue with the shooter than the revolver?

It warms my heart to see so how popular this thread is and how many converts we have influenced.

Humbled regards,

July 18, 2005, 12:24 PM
Wow 6 pages of love for the 642. :D I had no idea it was so popular.

Mongo the Mutterer
July 18, 2005, 12:29 PM
HighVelocity -- fiancee and I did a LOT of research and shopping. Looked at NAA, Kel-Tec, Kahr, and so on.

Our opinion -- best bangs for the bucks. Also, never owned a SW. Now we do. :D

Stephen A. Camp
July 18, 2005, 12:46 PM
Hello, fiVe. The accuracy question you pose seems to depend as much on the individual revolver and brand of ammunition than the particular weight of the bullet in my observations. I have not really checked to see but a couple of groups I fired with the older Model 642 essentially wallowed out a hole with the 125-gr. Nyclads while the 158-gr. LSWCHP's were just a bit more spread out. Was this due to slightly heavier recoil from the latter or does this particular revolver "like" the Nyclad load better? IF it is true that the gun shoots the 125-gr. Federal Nyclads better, that does not necessarily mean that it would shoot other makers' ammo in that bullet weight as well. It might, but there is no
absolute on that so far as I can tell.


July 18, 2005, 01:27 PM
Well I'm kind of a tubbo... 6'1", 240 lbs. I just don't get the LW thing. I just traded a lockable 442 for a 60. I guess I'm not LW compatible. I've got a penchiant for totin' around junk. Two different mutitools, one big, one small. A magnifing glass with no handle with a small AAA streamlite tethered to it, a Spyderco emergency knife (flat serrated length of blade), silver dollar money clip, and a + and - 3" screwdriver in my shirt pocket. So carrying my 640 .38 spec. don't seem like much extra weight. I know, how dumb am I?

Oops! Forgot my .042. Thats for when I wear my tuxedo.

July 18, 2005, 11:02 PM
at the beginning of the thread, everyone was talking about a bag holster for your pants... why not just use a crown royal bag?

btw i own a 637 and i like the hammer, why does everyone like hammerless?

July 19, 2005, 01:07 AM
Can I join the club if I end up getting a 637?

I have a Colt Mustang that is just not reliable, and I've been thinking about a snubby for CCW (when I get off my butt and get my CHL, that is!), and the 637 is likely going to be the one. I likely won't carry it on my person much, as I can't carry at work, and am not supposed to keep a firearm in my vehicle. It'll likely stay in the glovebox or center console most of the time, though it will be carried when I'm not going to work. Likely IWB.

Mongo the Mutterer
July 19, 2005, 05:42 AM
hammerless = no way to gum up the hammer with pocket garb like lint.

July 19, 2005, 04:59 PM
I've got to throw my opinion in here as well. I love my 642. I've had it about 4 months and it goes everywhere I go (except work). I usually carry it in a fobus paddle holster under my shirt but sometimes use a Milt Sparks pocket holster when I can't wear it on my hip.

I've also just bought one for my wife. She's been wanting a carry gun so we talked and the 642 was it. I think the combination of light weight, small size, and decent power work great.

July 19, 2005, 08:43 PM
Coming in here kinda late, great thread on a great little piece.

I've had mine for about ten - twelve years, got a Kramer pocket holster which
works very nicely, although a bit spendy compared to some mentioned here.

The lightweight makes it easy to carry in most pockets including jacket pockets
without some big sagging going on. A great little carry piece.


Boss Spearman
July 20, 2005, 01:58 AM
I too just bought a new 642-2. I was told however to not dry fire them without using snap caps.

I carry mine in an Uncle Mike's pocket holster.

I sold a Glock 19 to make way for the 642, because even the 19 was getting too big and heavy for me to carry comfortably.

July 20, 2005, 09:19 AM
I was told however to not dry fire them without using snap caps
Lemme guess--guy at the gunstore told you this, right? :rolleyes: Guess what, he makes money selling those snap caps and it will not hurt your gun to dry fire it without them. You can do a search here and see topic upon topic debating it.


July 20, 2005, 09:38 AM
I've been dry firing mine since I got it with no adverse effects. Doing that has helped smooth out the trigger, too.

July 21, 2005, 11:23 AM
I guess I joined the "club" a couple of weeks ago. Traded a model 10 & 15 for a NIB 642 w/Crimson Trace grips on it. OK, I had to give a little boot :o . Haven't had a chance to shoot it yet but will try some swc target loads I had laying around. Also loaded a few +P 158gr HP too. I have gone from a .380 Sig 230 to a Keltec P3-AT in quest of lighter guns. Methinks that the .380 is also a bit small and wanted the .38 for more power. What ammo do you guys recommend for carry purposes? There is a show this W/E and I want to pick up some to try. The 642 will become my primary carry when I get it shaken out. -Don

July 21, 2005, 04:37 PM
deputydon: I think the general consensus is Speer Gold Dot 135gr hollowpoints, but I am finding that I personnally have better success with the 125gr hollowpoints from Remington and Federal. YMMV.

Safe shooting.


Mongo the Mutterer
July 21, 2005, 04:44 PM
ditto on the gold dots

Boss Spearman
July 22, 2005, 07:06 PM
guy at the gunstore told you this, right?

Yes, but it did him no good, as I already had .38 special snap caps.

It's good to know it won't hurt to dry fire.

I took my 642 to the range last week, and it fired great. In fact, I'm considering trading my Taurus 851 for a 2nd 642, because the weight change between the two has made a big difference for me carrying it.

July 23, 2005, 02:52 AM
The (so far :) ) Page Seven Club! I've been toting a 640 for the past year and have been rationalizing the over-weight dilemma (you know, it's not reallythat heavy; heavier guns are easier to control, etc.). But it really is a mite heavy for pocket/ankle carry (especially for its size-if you're going to carry a 22 oz. pistol, you may as well use one that holds a lot more bullets!), so I've decided to get me one of those 642s! I've seen no reason, by the way, to pay any more for a pocket holster than what Uncle Mike wants. I still like the 640 a lot and have no plans of getting rid of it. The extra weight is of little consequence riding in my wife's purse or in the glovebox of her car.

I do have one question though: does anybody have any idea why S&W wants $131.00 more for their Model 442 over the Model 642 (MSRP for the 442 is $600.00; for the 642 $469.00)? The only differences I can see are the 442 has a blue finish as opposed to the 642's matte finish; the 442 has a carbon steel cylinder as opposed to the 642's s/s one and the 442 has a removable black front sight blade (the one difference I would prefer) as opposed to the 642's fixed matte finished front sight.

May the club continue to grow and prosper!

July 23, 2005, 05:35 AM
EDC in a Nemisis w/ 135gr GDHP. Great minds seem to think alike. :cool:

July 23, 2005, 10:07 AM
I carry mine in a DeSantis Gunhide. Seems to work very well. It stays in your pocket when you pull the gun.
I've got a 640-1 and a 642-2. I carry the 642 almost exclusively in the summer.

July 23, 2005, 11:41 AM
dgludwig: A little over a year ago S&W dicounted the 642 and 637 pretty drastically. I think you could get a 642 for around $320 and the 637 for $300 from CDNN. Dealers told me that S&W was trying to drum up some fast cash by discounting the 2 most popular models. Once complaints of pealing finishes started showing up, it occurred to me that S&W might be trying to get rid of defective finished stock. (I certantly can't verify that) Quite a percentage of gun owners buy one gun, may or may not test fire it, load it and throw it in a drawer. Hence the viability of lifetime warranties. Now that prices on 642 are lower how can they justify raising them,

Boss Spearman
July 23, 2005, 06:21 PM
I traded my Taurus 851 today and picked up a 2nd 642 for the same $309 price at K,S, and E in Indy. That was the last one they had.

So I've got two 642s now.

Mongo the Mutterer
July 24, 2005, 08:05 AM
Great price Boss. Lowest I could get for two in STL was $340 each. (One store said they would go to $369 if I bought two, oh boy)

July 24, 2005, 09:58 AM
I may as well join the club. I have a 442 and a 642, both fitted with the compact Crimson Trace laser grips, and one of them is a constant companion. I also bought a 317 to have a training gun available for lots of rounds (firing over 100 at a time through the 442 or 642 is a bit ouchy, as far as I'm concerned!), and I'm about to add a 638 for a little variety... :D

Boss Spearman
July 25, 2005, 01:29 AM
The local range I frequent just a few miles away has a $369 price tag on their 642s.
This was a special sale KS&E were running at wholesale prices, so I was very lucky to get two of them at that same $309 price.

These little suckers are so darned light I can almost forget I'm carrying one.

Mongo the Mutterer
July 25, 2005, 06:40 AM
Great price again Boss.

Hey I bought some CCI shotshell for my 642s yesterday. Now I'm prepared for both kinds of snakes, with legs and without... :evil:

Sam Adams
July 25, 2005, 07:54 PM
How do you like the Crimson Trace grips? First of all, does the laser help a lot with accuracy? Second, is it a bit more comfortable than the factory grips (if you have the rubber ones, that is)? Third, do those grips affect concealability?

I'm sure that the laser helps with accuracy, and that the concealability isn't affected much, but I'd like to hear it from someone who didn't write the CT brochure, or who doesn't make money selling the grips.

I agree with you about the "ouchy" thing when firing quite a number of shots. I had mine out for the first (and, so far, only) time last weekend. You definitely know that you've been shooting the thing, even with light .38s. Maybe rubber grips will help. The trigger is very heavy and rough, and hopefully 30-40 dry-fires per night will help smooth out the trigger a bit and increase the strength of my finger (I'm used to, and spoiled by, the 4.5 pound pull on my .45).

All things considered, I'm very happy with the 642. It goes virtually everywhere with me, including to work (I'm the guy who decides the carry policy, and it is "bring 'em if you hav'em").

Boss Spearman
July 26, 2005, 02:37 AM
Hey Sam, I'm losing my job soon. Any openings down there? I certainly like the carry policy! :cool:

Mongo: I have never fired anything out of my revolvers other than normal .38 rounds. Can you educate me on using shotshell in the 642?

Mongo the Mutterer
July 26, 2005, 05:50 AM

No friggin idea about the shotshell. Number 9 shot. A bit expensive. I plan to cap one off next time I go to the range this week to see how it patterns at 7 yards.

I probably wouldn't shoot a snake that far from me, but I'm just interested.

Mongo the Mutterer
July 27, 2005, 03:33 PM
Just got back from the range. The CCI Shotshell patterned at 7 yrds pretty much like I expected, all over.

The little shotties probably will be effective at about 10 feet max.

July 27, 2005, 03:51 PM
7 yards is about the farthest possible range a shot load would be usable. Try 7 FEET. I've shot several snakes with CCI birdshot loads in a 2" 38, and at about 5 to 10 feet, like you mentioned, they are good. Beyond that, they spread the pattern pretty fast and makes donut shaped patterns with a hole in the middle.

July 29, 2005, 10:27 AM
Well, I took the plunge and purchased my 642 with CT grips today so here I am reporting for duty as a member of the club. I also purchased Federal Low Recoil Hydroshock Personal Defense ammo. The round certainly appears capable. Will advise results after testing it.

This really solves the problem of sixty year old eyes focusing on the front sight.
I am amazed at how quickly and steadily I am able to hold the lazer on target.



July 29, 2005, 10:29 AM

I bought a 642 without the CT grip.

After a first time trip to the range I'm going to have to get a CT grip.

July 29, 2005, 10:36 AM
I also purchased Federal Low Recoil Hydroshock Personal Defense ammo. The round certainly appears capable. Will advise results after testing it.

exgun: Please keep us posted. I would be very interested in your results with the low recoil hydroshocks. Are they 125gr or 135gr?

July 29, 2005, 10:48 AM
How is the recoil with the CT grips? I bought mine and then put the larger Hogue grip on it. Even with the bigger grip, my hands are sore after shooting a 100 rds at the range. I'm used to shooting my 1911 and it's much less the recoil than this little terror! :D

July 29, 2005, 10:52 AM
KS1911 - You want to sell your CT grips?

July 29, 2005, 10:55 AM
I don't have any. I am looking at getting some. When I said "I bought mine", I mean the 642 :D Sorry for the misunderstanding.


August 6, 2005, 04:03 PM
Got to the range with the new 642CT today. The Fed Hydrashocks did well with a recoil of about a third less than standard loaded semiwadcutter ammo.
At 7 yds the Feds had about a 2 " spread and the semi s had about the same but they printed about 4 " beyond the Feds at 10 o'clock.

At 15 yds, everything about doubled.

Although the Feds were more pleasant to shoot, the semi s were well within managable range.

I can't say enough about the laser sights. My accuracy had really fallen due to aging eyes. It isn't a problem with this set up.

In conclusion, I am extremely pleased with the weapon and would recommend it to anyone.



August 6, 2005, 07:44 PM
Present! Have both the 442 and 642! One of them is always with me!

August 6, 2005, 09:40 PM
I joined the club last weekend, found a NIB 642-2 for $299 at a gunshow, couldn't resist.

I took it to the range for the first time yesterday and was surprised at the accuracy I was getting from a 1 7/8" barrel (and I'm not a revolver guy), I had no trouble keeping everything inside a 6" circle @ 7 yds. The trigger was pretty decent for out-of-the-box, but I'm sure it'll get better with use. I did find the front sight a bit hard to see, but a dab of red paint wil fix that. I ran 100 rnds of GA Arms 125 gr LRN 'cowboy' rounds, followed by a sampling of JHP's from GA Arms (Gold Dots), Federal (Hydra-Shoks), and Remington (Golden Sabers). All were +P 125 gr (Fed's were 129 gr). The JHPs were a bit more accurate (grouped tighter) than the LRNs, the Remington's seemed to have the most energy (and muzzle flash) of the JHPs. I was surprised thet the recooil wasn't at all bad for a lightweight, though the +P's were 'snappy'. Still, I fired 150 rnds with no soreness in the hand or wrist. I'll try some of the 135 GD's soon as I can find some.

All in all, it's a sweet little gun, I can see why so many folks like it - it really is a 'go anywhere' gun. I picked up a Bianchi pocket holster that is very stable and stays put well (it's got some sort of tacky weave fabric that grips the inside of the pocket), and a set of Eagle Secret Service grips on order.

August 7, 2005, 02:13 PM
I joined the club this weekend, too, but only by association.. I picked up a 637 at Academy while I was in Houston visiting my buddy who just moved down there. Another buddy of ours was down there, so we decided to go to the range (before I bought the pistol). I had brought my Taurus Tracker in 22lr.

My first impressions are good ones. The pistol feels good in my hand, and the trigger pull is very nice in double action, and very light and crisp when cocked. I only fired 40 rounds of 130gr .38 spl FMJ at 7 yards. Recoil was snappy, but not really unpleasant, and it grouped OK, but was hitting a little high and right.

I'm really liking it so far. Now to get a few speedloaders for it (for keeping in the car), some Speed Strips, and a couple holsters. Oh, then I'll have to get off my butt and get my CHL!

Soon, I'll get to the range and put another box of .38 through it, and try a few of those 158gr .38 +p loads I have sitting around (used them in my .357 for home defense)

Brian Williams
August 7, 2005, 05:17 PM
I got mine back from the Smith on Friday the 5th of Aug with its 940 cylinder installedso it is now a 942. Can I still be in the club because I kept the 38spec cylinder.

August 8, 2005, 04:38 PM
Brian: Absolutely. Once you're in--you're in for life.

Exgun: Thanks for the update.

August 8, 2005, 05:51 PM
And here she is


Mongo the Mutterer
August 8, 2005, 08:06 PM
Okay what is that hammer thingy??? :confused:

My 642s don't have those.... :neener:

August 8, 2005, 10:35 PM
Thus the 'I picked up a 637' in my previous post. ;)

It's the non-fraternal twin of the 642

Mongo the Mutterer
August 9, 2005, 05:48 AM
Yep, hung better... oh well, the story of my life.... :p

August 9, 2005, 07:34 AM

Once you get your 942 out to the range, are you planning on writing a range report? I'm especially interested in what sort of muzzle velocity you see out of it. It seems that 9mm would be a better fit with the short barrel than .38.

Brian Williams
August 9, 2005, 09:11 AM
Here it is. I have shot it with some Speer Gold dot+ps and it is a handful. I do not have a chrono, but others who have shot a 940 have said that vels are very similar to a 4" auto. I plan on shooting light reloads and 38spec in the old cylinder for practice and carrying some gold-dots like I have because they shoot POI.

August 9, 2005, 09:27 AM
Brian Williams, What kind of grips is that on that revolver? I have the standard rubber boot grips that came on my 642 and am thinking about replacing it with something that doesn't grab cloth like the rubber. Those look interesting.

Brian Williams
August 9, 2005, 09:47 AM
They are some Pre 63 grips I got off a guy from S&W forums. probably from a 36 with a Tyler T grip adapter.

August 9, 2005, 03:56 PM
Brian: VERY nice pics. Thanks for posting them.

August 10, 2005, 01:03 PM
Saw a great quote by one of my favorite gun writers today

“…the reduced bulk and weight of the "snubby" may be a definitely good thing, for certain lifestyles. These little pieces do not need sharp sights nor target triggers. They are not "fun guns," but rather strictly business, and should not be put down because we do not win matches with them.”

– Jeff Cooper, Commentaries, Vol. 10, No. 6 15 May 2002


Ex Gun

August 11, 2005, 10:47 AM
Exgun: Thanks for posting...this is further proof for our "cause". (I must admit that I find my 642 to be quite fun)

Matthew_Q: Nice pics. It is always nice when the cousins visit.

August 12, 2005, 02:22 AM
Joined the club today. Traded in my Winchester 94 Trapper plus a little cash for it. I am very pleased with the level of workmanship on this gun. Seems to be a tight little gun with a very predictable trigger pull. Can't wait to take it to the range. I have the GP-100 6" for the extended sessions as I know the lightweight snubs start to get unfun after 50 rnds or so ;)

PS. Owning that rebounding hammer winny was like being on a bad date and waiting for it to end. Not that she was a bad girl....just not my type :D

Boss Spearman
August 12, 2005, 09:01 AM
I had been searching for a perfect ccw gun for over a year. With my 642, I have finally found it. I sometimes forget I have it with me, it's so light and comfortable.

Mongo the Mutterer
August 12, 2005, 09:51 AM
Me too Boss. Considered a Kel-Tec and an NAA. I love autos but for summer carry the 642 is the one. My fiance loves hers, too. (we bought two together, consecutive serial numbers... true love, folks). :o

August 12, 2005, 11:34 AM
OK, been thinking about one for more than a year.
Need to go looking for a used one...New price local is $360.

August 12, 2005, 12:10 PM
NE tracker $360 isn't that bad around here. Retail on mine was $389 :uhoh:

August 12, 2005, 03:10 PM
I paid $389, too.

August 13, 2005, 12:20 PM
Grady's Sporting Goods in Anderson, SC, is advertising the 642 for $339.00. That is $30.00 off his regular price.

Regards Ex Gun

Boss Spearman
August 13, 2005, 02:13 PM
I mentioned it before, but I lucked out on the two 642s I bought. They were both being offered at a special dealer's rate of $309 brand new.
So I traded for one and bought another.

August 14, 2005, 12:22 AM
You guys want to get on this guys email list. I just got a mail out ten minutes ago . I picked it up from someone on another forum. Chris one of the sales guys at CDNN has a list of new and used guns that are not advertised in the catalog. Hes says most are real low in quantities and dont get advertised. He has a few nice revolvers on that list for cheap. Model 64's , model 10's some mismatched Sig's for under $300.00 . and a few
other guns.

email him and get on the list

I'm calling on monday and buying a revolver and a sig 226 he had listed.

October 28, 2005, 09:33 AM
Got my 642 about two weeks ago. I have a 340PD that I sometimes carry off duty. I plan to use my 642 as a backup gun while on duty in a bullet proof vest holster. This gun presents a nice balance of weight and concealability.

December 1, 2005, 01:55 AM
So, today, I filed my membership application to join the club.

I bought a 642. :D

For the last few weeks, I've been considering a .357 ( to add to my K9. I've mostly been looking at SW 686's & Ruger GP100's.

But somewhere along the way, I decided that wasn't what I really wanted/needed.

Then, last week, I found this thread. Alarms went off. Bells rang. Flags waved. Balls dropped in Time Square.
The 642 sounded like just what I was looking for, even if it was quite different from what I initially thought I wanted .

Late last week, I went to my local gun store to look at/handle one. That was it. I knew immediately I wanted one.

Yes, I know it's going to brutalize me ( the first few times I shoot it with those Speer GoldDot 135 +P's I got with it (in addtion to a box of FMJ's).

But, if I'm doing my homework well (on THR), I know I've got to shoot it differently from the K9.

The latter requires stiff wrist (to avoid jams).

The 642...well, I've got to let it go a bit. Controlled recoil, but more like riding a bull. A bit more relaxation in the wrist joint. Let that recoil sing some.

Anyway, I'm including an image of my growing family. (Please pardon the snapshot; lacks the quality sharpness worthy of a 642, K9 & 870P.)

642, of course. While I was in my gun store getting it, just as the "background check" call was being made, the manager came out and said, "Don't make that call yet. Your shotgun just arrived."

My Rem 870P ( came in via UPS while I was in the store.

Also in the family portrait is my Kahr K9. Sweet steel spitting 124 gr +P JHPs.

(The 642 will be my EDC; K9 is for more serious SHTF work & for carry around the studio. 870, of course, is to greet unwanted guests.)

I've thrown in the EDC knife collection to round out the portrait: a SOG Seal Pup Elite (for SHTF/TEOTWAWKI ( camps) & a BenchMade Osborne (for EDC in a more mundane world).

Ah, life is good.

Hey, can I join the 642 club? I'll buy the next rnd.

;) :cool:


December 1, 2005, 02:04 AM
I have two.

December 1, 2005, 03:09 AM
Welcome to the club, Nema... I'm sure that light, little .38 will accompany you often. The K9 is an awesome little blaster too! And nice 870... do you plan on a mag extension for it? I think that would be a very smart tactical upgrade for the gun.

December 1, 2005, 03:29 AM
Welcome to the club, Nema... Thanks, DHart. :)

And nice 870... do you plan on a mag extension for it? I think that would be a very smart tactical upgrade for the gun. I think first I'm going to add a +1, mainly to take the pressure off the mag spring.

After reading much on THR about mag extensions, it seems that putting those extra shells in makes it a bit front-end heavy. I really, really like it with 3 (2 mag, 1 in the pipe), but would like to give that mag room to 'breathe'. Adding a +1 will allow that, and in SHTF situations, will give me 4.

Also, as my 870 thread indicates, I'd like to add ghost rings, a butt cuff & a sling, probably in reverse order.

On a different note, I gotta say, this 642 is ssswwweeetttt.

I've been dry firing it a lot tonight. (If you knew how hard it's been raining here tonight (note my location), you'd appreciate the irony in that.)

I'm thinking about putting a longer set of grips on it, like those on the 640.

Yeah, I know, that'll make it slightly less concealable, but I'm a smaller guy, and with these 135 gr +P rnds, I'd give up a bit of concealability for a bit more controllability.

Of course, I'll shot it a few times before making any mods.

Suggestions welcomed.

Nem, proud newby of the 642 club.

December 1, 2005, 05:35 AM
Hi there Nematocyst-870,

Welcome to the 642 Club!

Yes, I looked at some of the aftermarket grips including those on the S&W web site and at Eagle's Secret Service Grips.

In the end, I stayed with the original grips.

Here is an article that should provide some interesting points on the subject:

I carry my 642 daily in a Galco Front Pocket Carry Horsehide Holster. It is the first inside the pocket carry holster that I have ever owned that you can reholster the gun with the holster inside of your pocket!

Here's a pic:

Again. Welcome to the Club!!!


Mongo the Mutterer
December 1, 2005, 05:49 AM
Welcome. My fiancee and I have two. Sequential serial numbers... aint' it love??

Try a DeSantis Nemisis. You will love it.


BTW the recoil isn't that bad. Anyway the 642 is not a pistol you will want to burn though 150 rds on a range trip. We do 10 to 15.

Brian Williams
December 1, 2005, 09:03 AM
Welcome to the club, now as they say in the shotgun section BA UU R. Get a good holster it will help break up the outline for pocket carry.
Nice 870 also

December 1, 2005, 12:47 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome, yall. :)

Chris, you're right: that's ( a good essay on J grips. Hmmm.

Well, clearly I've got to get out and shoot it at least a couple of times before making any decisions about grips. We'll see how hard this bull bucks for me.

I reread Massad Ayoob's essay on accurate handgun shooting this morning. Grip hard, he says; grip hard enough to make you tremble, then back off. Adds to the contollability.

It works well with my K9. I'll see if it does with the 642.

Nice looking holster, also, Chris. Does it stay in your pocket well? Seems like horsehide might tend to slip out ... ?

Mongo, that Nemesis looks very interesting. Price is right too, and looks like they keep them in stock. (Claims shipping in 4 days.)

I'll confess, I'm going to hold open the option of putting on some larger grips and getting a little high-ride belt holster for it. Yeah, I know, it's a great pocket carry gun, but I'm a thin guy, and things in my pocket are fairly conspicuous. I've never liked bulky things in my pockets. (I keep my wallet very slim for example.)

In colder/cooler weather, I can probably slip it into my coat/vest pocket, but with my Carhartt vest & parka, the pockets are a bit small, so that the handle sticks out unless I lay the gun upside down & backwards into the pocket. (No, I'm not going to replace those Carhartt's; I love them.) I may have a seamstress sew something inside.

Then again, could go with belt or shoulder holster. Up here, even in summer, it's cool enough (at least at night) that I nearly always wear some kind of outer layer: shell, parka, vest.

I'd enjoy hearing how others carry theirs. (Now that I'm an official club members, I also need to reread the entire thread carefully. First time through, I was scanning a bit to make a decision about purchasing it. Now I'll reread for other info.)

Mongo, does your fiance have a sister into 642's? ;)

Also, your comment about limiting practice rounds to 10-15 is well-taken, even if a bit surprizing. A guy at my gun store said the same (for him it's 20-25).

But is that with FMJ non +P rnds, or with hotter carry rnds?

Can one really become proficient with this gun by shooting so few? Like Brian says, BA UU R.

Would enjoy some perspectives on that.

Hey, do I get a baseball hat with "642" on it with club membership? (Oh wait, that'd give away the concealment. How about just a "6"?:D


Brian Williams
December 1, 2005, 01:08 PM
Get some Wadcutter target loads or some old fashioned LRN loads and shoot them. It will let you shoot quite a few with out hurting then step up to your carry loads for the last few cylinders full.

Mongo the Mutterer
December 1, 2005, 02:06 PM
Mongo, that Nemesis looks very interesting. Price is right too, and looks like they keep them in stock. (Claims shipping in 4 days.)

Mongo, does your fiance have a sister into 642's? ;)

I like the nemesis a lot. Evry day...

Yes she has a sister, but not in to 642s, and kinda married...:D

December 1, 2005, 02:26 PM
Get some Wadcutter target loads or some old fashioned LRN loads and shoot them. It will let you shoot quite a few with out hurting then step up to your carry loads for the last few cylinders full. Excellent idea, Brian. Thanks.

P. Plainsman
December 2, 2005, 12:30 PM
Love the 642.

One caution when you start playing with grip options: make sure the grip you use is cleared for speedloader use. (Probably already mentioned somewhere in this sprawling thread. ;) )

Classic example: the Pachmayr Compac J-frame grip, pictured by DHart up around page 4 supra. This is an uber-comfy checkered rubber grip that lets you get all three lower fingers on the gun, at the cost of some concealability. However, my HKS speedloaders won't work when the Pachmayr's on -- the left side of the grip protrudes too much. I've heard you can abrade away the excess grip material with a tool so that speedloaders will clear and function reliably. For me, though, it was back to the slim, issue boot grip.

December 2, 2005, 03:00 PM
Got my used 642 about a month ago.
I carry it in a pocket Nemesis.
Great revolver! :)

December 2, 2005, 03:57 PM
Hi there Nemo,

No the horsehide does not slip in your pocket and it is big enough to keep in it place without "printing".

Before you spring anywhere from $39.00 to $79.00 for new grips, and yes I have looked at a good many of them, get in some range time and see how the Uncle Mike's Boot Grips work for you.

After shooting semi-auto's for a long time, it took me awhile to get "reaquainted" with the little snubby.

Practice, practice and practice!!! Keep the range close up and "real".


PS: Mail in the 1852 coupon and you get a really cool "faux" copper keychain, CD, sticker, patch and Safety CD from S&W!

December 2, 2005, 06:08 PM
Hey Guys, I'm a cousin too cuz I just picked up my M637-2 (Weeeee!) I haven't gotten to the range yet, but I will report back ASAP. Hope you guys don't mind me hanging around you hammerless guys....

December 2, 2005, 11:18 PM
I got a 649, a stainless shrouded hammer version - the "Bodyguard", back in the late 90's. It was one of the first handguns I bought after I got out of the Marines. I think it mighta been my #2 purchase. I am very glad I got it. It is a bit heavier being all steel, but it fits in the pockets of my slacks just fine.

I'm real happy with Eagle's Secret Service grips. They are small, but have a nice palm swell that gives me as much purchase as I'm gonna be able to get with boot grips. Highly recommended . . . I put 'em on my Model 66, too.

December 4, 2005, 03:43 PM
Just got back from "the Range"! I shot Winchester 130gr FMJ about 65 rounds through it (M637). Muzzle flash and recoil were moderate; no biggie. What took a beating was the soft tissue in the web between thumb and index finger of my firing hand. That again is no biggie... I haven't fired in ages... As far as accuracy it was firing high and right; so I compensated low left and I was getting descent shots to the heart and lungs. All in all I am very happy with my 637 and it wiill serve me well.:)

December 4, 2005, 05:10 PM
Try a DeSantis Nemisis. You will love it.
I loved mine except for one thing...

After a couple years' use, lubricant from the gun (P32) caused the inner lining of the holster to become sticky, transfering that stickiness to the sides of the gun. Whatever they used to line the holster wasn't impervious to petroleum products.

No, I didn't overlube the gun, this took a couple years to occur.

Just an FYI. Otherwise, I loved the holster.


December 4, 2005, 05:14 PM
Hi there all,

Remember. The 642 and other snubs are "expert" guns and require a good deal of practice to be proficient in shooting.


December 4, 2005, 06:34 PM
I loved mine except for one thing...

After a couple years' use, lubricant from the gun (P32) caused the inner lining of the holster to become sticky, transfering that stickiness to the sides of the gun. Hmmm. :uhoh:

Yesterday, I looked at a Galco leather pocket holster, but it is so stiff (& me so thin) as to cause an abnormal set of creases in my trouser legs. The salesguy at the store said it'd loosen up after time, but until then, I would feel odd.

So, I'm still considering the nemesis, but I'm wondering if I really want to go with a pocket carry, since I have a feeling that I would miss my pocket space for keys, change & stuff. (Vest or coat pocket is different story, but would I really need a holster for that? {Not a rhetorical question; do others use a holster in a coat pocket?})

So, I'm increasingly leaning towards a small OWB holster.

The one I liked yesterday (well, everything but the price @ $90) was a Galco side snap.

I'm going to look around for an alternative, but something like that seems reasonable for my use.

Remember. The 642 and other snubs are "expert" guns and require a good deal of practice to be proficient in shooting. Chris, I guess we snubby newbies can't be reminded enough about that.

Any tips or training techniques that you experts would like to pass along would be cool and appreciated.


December 4, 2005, 06:51 PM
Only problem with IWB/OWB carry is that if you're wearing a holster anyway, it's often easier to just carry a larger gun than to go with the 642. I'd suggest a Barami Hip Grip as an alternative to carry with a holster.

As for practice, my only advice (speaking as a novice 642 user myself) is to practice rapid fire. I started "target shooting" with the revolver and got good groups at 15 yards, but only in slow-fire. A more realistic exercise is close range rapid fire. If you can consistently make controlled pairs into a decent group at 7 yards from concealment, that's a good start. If you can do it on the move, that's even better.

December 4, 2005, 07:37 PM
As an alternative, look at the Uncle Mike pocket holster. It's very similar to the Nemisis. For OWB carry, check out the Don Hume JIT slide. I carried a j-frame in one of these for a few years.


December 5, 2005, 12:23 AM
Ok, count me in.

My 642 loaded with Speer 135gr +p is my EDC CCW (pocket carry / Nemesis).
Great set-up.

December 5, 2005, 04:39 AM
Hi there,

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I also own the DeSantis Nemesis as well for the 642.

It just got bumped to the bottom of the holster box when I got the Galco.

It is a great holster and very inexpensive.


Mongo the Mutterer
December 5, 2005, 05:52 AM
I'd suggest a Barami Hip Grip as an alternative to carry with a holster. Mulliga, I googled the Hip Grip. Looks cool. Do you use one and, if so where do you carry?

Also, any problem with the finish of the 642 after awhile?

I have a nemisis, but the Hip Grip looks like a good alternate for me.


December 5, 2005, 10:23 PM
Actually, I had two. I sold both today.

December 9, 2005, 05:34 PM
Bought mine this afternoon. $329+tax OTD at Buckeye Outdoors. Can't wait to shoot it. It has already found a home in my pocket; don't even know it's there it's so light. Now I need to find a pocket holster and work up some loads for the little darling.

December 9, 2005, 05:56 PM
My wife has a 642 with the factory installed CT laser grips. She likes it a lot and so do I.

December 10, 2005, 10:55 PM
I just made my first post on the site to a Kahr thread. Thought I'd add it here too for what it's worth:

New member here. As a matter of fact, this is my 1st post. I've been shooting since I was a young kid growing up in rural Mississippi. Served in the U.S. Army & Coast Guard. I've had my CCW permit for 5+ years but have never felt need to carry outside of the home or automobile.

A recent incident convinced me to carry ALL THE TIME. (See rule #1 of a gunfight - HAVE A GUN)

I wanted something that I would carry without excuse. Holsters and changing the way I dress was just not an option as I knew it could get old, fast. I wanted a gun I could put in my pocket, period.

After a ton of research, mainly on this site, I narrowed it down between a Kahr PM9 and S&W J Frame. I've always been a revolver fan but I do own several semi-autos and count on a "Plastic" gun for HD (HK USP 45 Full Size). After over a thousand rounds with little cleaning, I really trust the HK to do it's job.

Anyway, back on topic, I wanted a Kahr but chose a S&W after shooting a Kahr PM at my local gun range recently. A stranger walked in while I was in the midst of my dilemma and he was carrying a Kahr PM9. I asked if I could shoot it and he said no problem.

He told me that if I did decide to buy one, to expect problems during the first 200 or so rounds but that after that, it should be fine (like his was supposed to be). What a jam-o-matic. He blamed it on the ammo. After shooting his PM9, I borrowed a range rental that was filthy. Probably had not been cleaned in well over a thousand rounds. (S&W / Walther 99 I think)

Same ammo. 50 rounds. Not a hiccup. Made up my mind right away. Told the range to order me a S&W 638 that night. Got it. Put a set of Crimson Trace laser grips on it and couldn't be more tickled!

Never used lasers before. First trip to the range, thought they may be more of a hindrance than a help. Found out later that aiming at a bullseye vs. a point on a silhouette is two totally different things. Must be mental. When aiming the bullseye, you want to hit dead center. When aiming at a part of the body, you just want to get close.

At 21 feet, 5 rounds, rapid fire as fast as I could pull the IMO heavy S&W trigger, all double action...5 out of 5 in the head. Same for center mass. Same for the gut region.

Nothing against the Kahr. Pined over them again at a local gun show today as a matter of fact but, when it's truly a matter of life or death for me and / or others, it's gotta go bang EVERY time PERIOD.

Although I can shoot very well, after all my time in the service I am very aware that when the SHTF everything changes and I'll take any advantage I can get. Besides the reliability, the laser option and actual proving of the concept sealed the deal for me.

Still want a Kahr PM9 and to be a member of yall's club but, just couldn't choose it first over the S&W J Frame and glad I didn't.

Only one humble man's opinion. Take it with a pound of salt as you have no way of knowing what it's worth since you don't know ME. :)

December 11, 2005, 12:20 AM
Hey Shaneo, let me be the first to say, welcome to THR (AND the 642 club). :) You'll like it here, as you already know.

As you know since you've been reading for a while, newbies by the drinks. Blue Moon Ale for me, please. Since it's Saturday night (and I've been blowing fiberglass insulation all day {scratches the itchy places}, I'd like a shot of tequila also, por favor.

Good choice IMO on the 638 over the PM9. Don't get me wrong: my other handgun is my beloved K9, but it's a different beast than the PM. I didn't like the PM when I handled it. They may be fine guns, but it wasn't for me.

My 642, OTOH, is great. (Based entirely on handling it so far. I bought it during a major move/build out for my business, so I haven't even shot it yet. :( Ah, business before pleaure. If I don't devote 24/7 to this business project now, I won't eat in January... Worse, when I got the bill from the carpenter & electrician, I realized that my 642 is in jeopardy. Both were considerably more than I expected, so I thought I'd have to sell my new baby to pay them. I think I've figured another way...holding my breath...)

But I digress.

How do we pronounce 'Shaneo'?

Sha Neo or Shan-eo?


December 11, 2005, 11:58 AM
Thanks for the warm welcome. I ordered you the drinks you requested. Should be there in a few days :)

My name is Shane. An old neighbor pegged me with the nickname Shane-O. Not sure why but it just stuck. Because I own an IT Consulting Business, other nicknames include ShaneBrain and Hi-Tek Redneck. Nicknames can be as goofy as the folks that give them to you but hey, as least it shows you've been noticed.

Thanks Again.

December 11, 2005, 03:23 PM
I pocket-carry mine as much as possible. The more I carry it, the more I am convinced the 642 is the best carry piece.


Mongo the Mutterer
December 11, 2005, 04:00 PM
I pocket-carry mine as much as possible. The more I carry it, the more I am convinced the 642 is the best carry piece.R/fiiVe+1 Every day.

Mongo the Mutterer
December 11, 2005, 04:06 PM
After a ton of research, mainly on this site, I narrowed it down between a Kahr PM9 and S&W J Frame. Anyway, back on topic, I wanted a Kahr but chose a S&W after shooting a Kahr PM(Flash to "Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail" ... "You chose wisely"

Welcome to THR and the 642 club.

December 11, 2005, 09:01 PM
I have to agree that the proper, safe, controllable and accurate use of the J-frames ... especially the Airweights & Airlites ... requires a higher level of revolver skills than many folks may realize. More frequent practice, too.

I've owned a fair number of S&W J-frames, but up until several years ago they were all steel-framed. Great guns, especially a very nice nickeled 3" Heavy Barreled M36. Just too heavy for me to really consider carrying them without belt holsters. I finally decided that my older M649 Bodyguard was still just too much enough heavier than my Ruger SP-101 2.25" DAO to satisfy my personal desire for a 'pocket gun' for off-duty. If I was going to wear a gun heavy enough to be a "belt gun", I generally reached for something else.

That changed when I finally convinced myself that I really needed a 642, and finally ordered a 642-1. I actually had started to regret ordering the 642 while waiting for it to arrive. Although it was supposedly rated for +P ammunition, I was a bit concerned about an aluminum framed revolver for everyday carry and a lot of shooting.

Once I received it and compared it to my 649, however, I started kicking myself for not having bought an Airweight earlier. It was enough lighter to make it a viable choice over the 649 for a pocket gun, and definitely the SP-101, but not so light that I couldn't use the all-lead 158gr LSWCHP/LHP +P loads I'd favored for years while carrying other J-frames. I preferred the stainless steel cylinder and barrel to the titanium cylinder and sleeved barrel of the early Ti guns, as well as the later Sc/Ti guns, too.

I've taken to carrying the new Speer SB 135gr +P GD in recent months, after seeing it tested in some limited 4-layer denim covered gel testing, and doing some shooting with it through my personal 642-1. It seems, so far, as though it'll become a viable load for the little 5-shot snubguns, although I'm not going to be getting rid of my supply of Remington and Winchester LHP +P ammunition any time soon.

I know of several other instructors at my agency, current and retired, who also have chosen one of the many S&W Airweights and Airlite J-frames. It's a lot easier to have with you under off-duty circumstances when you may not be able to easily conceal a larger weapon, or simply may not prefer to carry a larger, heavier weapon.

My 642-1 can go with me in places where even my CS9/45's and G26/27's simply aren't as easy to conceal with some of my preferred carry methods. A 642-1 and a couple of either speedloaders or speedstrips has proven to be practical and easy to carry in many circumstances where I dress so that I don't have an outer cover garment, or else I want to be able to remove my outer cover garment. There are just those times when I find it more convenient to wear jeans and a T-shirt during hot weather, while enjoying the scenery at a coastal 'beach' town, and still be armed with my 642 and 5 speedloaders, compared to walking around with a lightweight shirt or jacket that I can't remove without scaring folks.

Makes it easier to be armed on long motorcycle trips during hot weather, too. I remember taking a weekend trip to the hills with a friend one time, and taking a "full size fighting pistol" with me. I carried a couple of spare magazines on my belt, as well as carrying several spare magazines in a small case in my back pack, strapped down to my bike's rear seat. (What? Me paranoid? :scrutiny: ) ;)

Well, what a royal pain in the butt that was throughout the hot summer heat. I ended up leaving the belt holster, full size pistol, belt carrier for the spare magazines and all of the extra spare magazines at the cabin during our trips from the cabin base. :eek:

Next trip? I took along my new 642-1, and was able to wear it, along with 5 speedloaders and a couple of speedstrips, stashed on my body without noticeable discomfort, and still be able to peel off my leather and denim when we stopped anywhere to eat, rehydrate and generally relax and enjoy the scenery. An extra box of ammunition in the luggage at the cabin made for more ammunition than I really "needed", too, but it took up much less space than the several magazines I'd taken along on the previous trip.

Now, I may still opt for one of my subcompact pistols when the winter weather and heavier clothing permits one of them to be carried almost as easily as my 642-1 ... (The 'allure' of 7-10+1 magazine capacity and the ease and speed of magazine reloading is always a factor, don't you know?) ... but it's really hard to beat the versatility and practical ease of lawfully carrying one of the S&W J-frames and a couple of speedloaders/speedstrips. (I'm still looking at different pocket holsters, having bought a couple of the UM cloth pocket holsters for the time being.)

My personal favorite J-frame just happens to be a 642-1.

I replaced the stock grips with the Bantam grips (no grip screw, and it shaves a tad off the weight) and keep the front sight serrations painted with some of the Birchwood Casey red sight paint (which actually dries to more of a bright, neon orange color).

Now, if S&W ever makes a Scandium alloy J-frame with a stainless steel cylinder ... I'll buy one. I'd prefer the stainless barrel, too, but I've been given to understand that the sleeved barrels are here to stay on the little guns.

Does this mean I can visit the 642 Club from time to time? :cool:

December 11, 2005, 10:58 PM
5 speedloaders? That's amazing. :) I find that since the 642 occupies my entire right pocket, the other pocket is quickly swallowed up by wallet/keys/etc. if I only wear pants and a shirt. I usually only have room for one or two speedloaders at the most.

December 11, 2005, 11:08 PM
Nah, not so amazing.

When pocket carried (in a holster) in one of my lightweight jackets, I can easily slip 2-5 speedloaders inside another pocket.

When carried in my little belt-mounted camera case the smaller outside 'film pocket' will easily carry 5-6 speedloaders. Here's a couple of clickable pictures of the case containing the 642 and several speedloaders, next to a holstered 3913, and then alongside a digital camera. ( (

The extra speedstrips can be slipped into a pant's pocket easily enough.

December 12, 2005, 01:47 AM
but it's really hard to beat the versatility and practical ease of lawfully carrying one of the S&W J-frames and a couple of speedloaders/speedstrips.
I totally agree.

Does this mean I can visit the 642 Club from time to time?
Fastbolt, ANY time you like.

December 12, 2005, 01:49 AM
Fastbolt, ANY time you like. Especially if you bring more stories. ;)


December 12, 2005, 05:33 AM
Hi there fastbolt,

Yes, anytime. That was a really good story and reminded me why I generally don't carry a full size auto everywhere I go.

Sorry guys, I'd rather have a handgun I carry all of the time rather than having to go and spend 15-30 minutes "arming up".

Besides, I am getting old and already have enough problems with my lower back due a lifetime of abuse and work. And I really don't like the hammer spur digging in my side while I am driving with my 1911 or BHP cocked and locked and don't have the money to shell out on a different holster system everytime I decide I am going somewhere.


Well, you all see where this is going.:)

BTW. My favorite J-frame carry holster is the Galco Inside the Front Pocket Horsehide holster. It is the first pocket holster that I have used that I can actually reholster the revolver while the holster is still in my front pocket. I also have the De Santis Nemesis. Great holster and inexpensive!

Again and thanks fastbolt.


Mongo the Mutterer
December 12, 2005, 05:45 AM
Thanks Fastbolt.

Try the DiSantis Nemisis when you pick up a pocket holster.

Love mine.

December 12, 2005, 01:11 PM
Thanks guys.;)

My 642 quickly became my most commonly selected off-duty weapon for the ease and convenience with which it can be carried when I don't particularly "feel like carrying a gun", as it were ...

Since I'm not really a big guy (509/170) I can't always slip it into my front pants pockets. It fits in my dress slacks front pockets, but not in my jeans. That's why it often gets stashed in a pocket holster in one of my lightweight jackets/coats, or the camera case. It was hard to find a camera case with a securely stitched belt tunnel loop, though, and not a loop that was just secured with a snap.

I appreciate the suggestions on the other pocket holsters, too. I've been considered the DeSantis Nemesis, after someone else suggested it, since a couple of the jacket pockets I use are deep & wide enough to allow for the wider based holster. A couple barely permit the Uncle Mike's cloth holster to be slipped down in them, though. A couple of the other instructors opted for the Kramer's pocket holster.

Whenever I don't fel like cleaning my 642, I use one of the other J-frame training guns in our inventory.:) I find I don't mind so much getting someone else's gun dirty.

I go through phases where I spend a bit of extra range time with the little 5-shot revolvers, keeping my trigger control skills sharp enough to feel comfortable carrying the 642. Making 'precision' shots (silhouette head shots) at 20-25 yards with the little guns isn't as easy as when using even a compact pistol, especially with the rudimentary iron sights on most J-frames. At least the newer sights are wider and easier to see, compared to the really thin and difficult-to-see 'dime'-thick front sight blades of the older J-frames.

If I didn't mind sending my 642 off for a while, I'd seriously consider having one of the Big Dot front sights installed. Maybe when I get another one ...

For now, the bright orange sight paint does the trick well enough, even in the diminished/indirect light of the last night time qualification in which I qualified with the 642, and even with my aging eyes.;)

Matter of fact, the other instructor watching me run through a multiple target course of fire that night is a revolver guy himself (still prefers to carry a M19 2 1/2" as an off-duty weapon), and he was intrigued enough with the speed and accuracy of the little 642 (when I was making rapid head shots on multiple targets moving through some simulated 'rooms') that he was curious enough to try it afterward. I may convert him, yet.

I'd sort of like to add one of the newer .357 rated stainless steel 649 Bodyguards to my collection before I retire, or perhaps one of the 3" barreled M60's. I miss my earlier nickeled 3" HB model 36. The cop I traded it to many years ago won't consider selling it back to me. He keeps giving me some nonsense about it being his wife's gun. :scrutiny: That little 3" 36 shot almost as well for me as my then-issued M66 & later M686 service revolvers. It might be a bit too large and heavy to serve me as a 'pocket gun', but it slipped inside a IWB holster and carried like it wasn't even there. I carried it quite a bit when I didn't feel like lugging around either of my issued 4" service revolvers on my own time, or even my steel (Combat) Commander. I still have a couple of Hume belt slides for my 649 and SP-101, and while I wouldn't feel comfortably secure enough to use either of them while riding through the hills on my motorcycle, they were fine for 'about-town' use back when I carried them a lot.

Remind me sometime to tell you guys about the impromptu gentlemen's wager when I used a beat-up, training 442 to outshoot a SWAT instructor during some friendly competition one night ... after I did the same thing to him with my 3913. ;)

Later gents ...

December 14, 2005, 11:13 AM
Remind me sometime to tell you guys about the impromptu gentlemen's wager when I used a beat-up, training 442 to outshoot a SWAT instructor during some friendly competition one night

fastbolt: you are hereby, officially and hereto forthwith reminded.

December 14, 2005, 11:26 AM
fastbolt: you are hereby, officially and hereto forthwith reminded. Let the record reflect that the party of the first part has notified, in triplicate written form, the party of the second part that this august panel of 642 'experts' <ahem> desires to hear tall tales of the efficacy of said gun in the face of dire challenges by a master of weaponry.


OK, ok, it's early, I'm bored.


Jacob Staff
December 14, 2005, 06:22 PM
Can I join too.:cool: This thread is what convinced me I needed one.

I bought a NIB 642 for $300, out the door for less than $325 this weekend.

This is my first post, I have been lurking for a while.:scrutiny:

Sleeping Dog
December 14, 2005, 07:00 PM
642 Club? I like mine. But with +P loads, I think the trigger guard recoils and hits my trigger finger. It gets sore after a couple of dozen rounds. Normal 38 loads are a lot easier.


Mongo the Mutterer
December 14, 2005, 09:02 PM
642 Club? I like mine. But with +P loads, I think the trigger guard recoils and hits my trigger finger. It gets sore after a couple of dozen rounds. Normal 38 loads are a lot easier.
Regards.Yes I agree, nice pic btw. Carry the +P for SD. I shoot up the +P every six months, and refill, but until then its wwb.


December 14, 2005, 10:10 PM
I said to myself "the day I sell my 642 will be the day I stop carrying". Well guess what? I sold it almost a year ago and, I've regretted it pretty much ever since:banghead: . There is one sitting at my local gunstore and have some money comming to me though working extra hours on my day off. I might just have to put it on layaway. There are just times when it is easier to put the 642 in the pocket for a short trip to the store than to drag out the G19.


December 14, 2005, 10:16 PM
Can I join too.:cool: This thread is what convinced me I needed one.

I bought a NIB 642 for $300, out the door for less than $325 this weekend.

This is my first post, I have been lurking for a while.:scrutiny: Welcome, Jacob. AFAIK, you're welcome in this club.

Hey, you guys are killing me with the prices you're paying. I paid $389 for mine. :(

OK, I'm over it. A 642 at any price is worth the price, bruised knuckles or not. :D

Sleeping Dog, nice photo, dude.

Nem {who is SICK TO DEATH of the chaos created by a building project in my studio for the last 1.5 mo, but attempting to endure for brighter days ahead once it's done, and I have time to go shooting again....}

December 15, 2005, 12:39 AM
Jacob Staff: Come on in!

Sleeping Dog: GREAT picture.

I'm glad to see some fresh posts here.

Still lovin' my 642,


December 15, 2005, 10:30 PM
Hey, you guys are killing me with the prices you're paying. I paid $389 for mine. :(

OK, I'm over it. A 642 at any price is worth the price, bruised knuckles or not. :D

Well if it makes you feel just a little bit better I paid more than they did.

Just got a 642 on Tuesday for $379. Also picked up an Uncle Mikes pocket holster. Fun little gun and I am really enjoying reading through these pages of 642 praise.

Glad I stumbled upon this fine club and look forward to learning more about my new pocket partner.

December 16, 2005, 12:59 AM
Welcome to the 642 club, Gargoyle, and to THR.

You still paid $10 less than me. But I've paid less for other guns than THR members, so I'm OK with it.

Pocket partner. I like the term.

Mines been in my vest pocket since I went out tonight to dump the, construction debris from this day's work.

(Dang; if this build out don't kill me, it'll make me stronger. For the first time in my life, in the last week, in an unheated studio that I'm also living in, I've participated in my own framing, insulation & sheet rocking. I've breathed saw dust, fiber glass dust {not to mention having it down my shirt}, and sheet rock dust {AKA gypsum}. I've put in about 500 dry wall screws. To all of you sitting in your warm, comfortable, insulated, drywalled house, I'm envious, and hope to be there soon. But for now, I'm going to go shower for the first time in my new shower which got installed yesterday. I just finished putting up the sheet rock....

...but I digress. The topic is 642.)


December 16, 2005, 01:03 AM
642 is my daily carry.

The weight and corrosion resistance are it's best qualities.

I don't like to shoot it much but I do keep in practice.

December 17, 2005, 12:17 PM
Here is an article that should provide some interesting points on the subject:

Wow, great article. Saved me having to ponder the effectiveness of the stock grips.

Thanks for the welcome Nemat, and good luck with your construction project.

Mongo the Mutterer
December 18, 2005, 10:20 AM
Welcome Gargoyle...

Thanks Carolinaman, very astute article... Keeping my Uncle Mikes!

If you enjoyed reading about "The 642 club" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!