Smith snubby question


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Black Adder LXX
September 3, 2007, 06:42 PM
Okay... *takes deep breath*

I'm relatively new to S&W revolvers, although I do own a model 34. I'm looking into a 38spl snubby (+p is... well... a plus), and do not want one of the new ones like the 642. I really like the smith 642, but have a serious issue of principle with purchasing ANYTHING with an internal lock. This would include purchasing a firearm with the lock and having it removed. Therefore, I realize I am looking for a used gun, which is why I need help.

Can I please get some recommendations for a S&W snubby (stainless is a must) that would be close to the size of the 642, but pre-lock. I do realize that there will be a difference in weight due to materials. I also realize that Ruger makes the sp101, and am interested in them as well, but want more information on older S&W's.

In case there are any suggestions that require additional context, I am looking for a daily carry piece, and would be interested in pocket carry (allowing for the same issues as the 642) if possible.

Also, I am fairly ignorant of the 'nomenclature' smith uses; ie letter designations for frame size and series numbers, etc. Any specific model numbers would be greatly appreciated, as well as any information regarding whether a particular suggestion is rated for +p rounds.

Thanks in advance for any helpful advice!

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Sistema1927
September 3, 2007, 06:48 PM
You can probably find a pre-lock 642 if you look around some. I really like mine.

nicholst55
September 3, 2007, 07:04 PM
Take a look at an S&W M60; they come in both .38 and .357, with the .357s bringing a significant premium. Also 2 and 3" barrels with the 3" barrels demanding a BIG premium. This is due to the marginally longer ejector rod which allows .38 brass to be kicked completely clear of the cylinder, unlike with a 2" barrel.

Ala Dan
September 3, 2007, 07:10 PM
As has been stated, an older all stainless 2" barrel S&W model 60 in .38 Spl.
would be ideal. Oh~! The weight difference, is only 4 ozs; with the 642
weighing in at 15 ozs, and the old model 60 weighing in at 19 ozs~! ;):D

welldoya
September 3, 2007, 08:16 PM
Keep in mind that if you plan to pocket carry, the model 60 has a hammer which could snag on your pocket.
I have a model 60 .357 and it seems to weigh quite a bit more than the older .38s and a whole lot more than the 642. I wanted to pocket carry so I recently bought a 642 lock and all.
I would rather it not have a lock but it wasn't a deal-killer for me.
There has to be a reason it's S&Ws biggest seller. And it was by far the biggest seller at the gunshop where I bought it.

glockman19
September 3, 2007, 08:20 PM
an older all stainless 2" barrel S&W model 60 in .38 Spl.
would be ideal.

+1

ArchAngelCD
September 3, 2007, 10:09 PM
There are many M638, M640, M642 and M649's which were produced before the lock was installed. If you go back a little further the M38 & M49 Bodyguard along with the M40 and M42 Centennial were also outstanding snub nose revolvers. I don't think they are rated for +P like the Model 600 Series revolvers are.

YosemiteSam357
September 3, 2007, 11:02 PM
The weight difference, is only 4 ozs; with the 642
weighing in at 15 ozs, and the old model 60 weighing in at 19 ozs~!Actually, the difference is 7.5oz; The 642 is indeed 15oz, but the 2-1/8" model 60 (standard fluted cylinder) is 22.5oz. That's almost a 1/2 pound difference.

I own both. My M60 is pre-lock (pre-MIM, too; I bought it new in '96), but I succumbed to the lure of the light weight of the 642. Makes a great pocket gun.

I would prefer no lock, and no MIM, but in this case the other features it did have outweighed (no pun intended) the negatives.

FWIW, two days after I bought my lock-equipped 642-2 I saw a pre-lock (642 "no dash") on GB for $25 more than I paid for mine, plus shipping, of course. So they're out there, if you're willing to look, wait, be patient, and pay.

(Now I'm looking for a non-lock, pinned & recessed 4" or 6" M25 in .45 Colt, in case you see one...)

-- Sam

Soybomb
September 3, 2007, 11:14 PM
Maybe pick up a 642 and have it modified to have no lock?

Iggy
September 3, 2007, 11:17 PM
Another option if you want to go used is the 640-1 Stainless Steel, Centennial model.. No lock, no MIM, and .357 magnum http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p246/Iggy25/Mdl640-1.jpg

A little heavier than the 642 and 442's but that makes for more pleasant shooting with +p or magnum loads.

sm
September 4, 2007, 12:26 AM
Model 60 is a great gun.

Staying with J frames, also consider a Model 38, this is a "hump-back" that shields the hammer.
Meaning the hammer "can be" assessed if need, but reduces the likelihood of being snagged on the draw.
Some hands, tend to fit with this gun better as it does allow a higher grip.

Yes, the overall size will be bigger, then again it will depend on you, as to how it
fits your needs.

I know you want Stainless.

Do not pass up a great buy on a Model 36 , all blue steel , or Model 37, blue steel and alloy, Model 042 , blue steel and alloy and the same gun later referred to as 442, before the lock.


K frames. Yes I know you asked about J frames.
Model 64 is a dedicated .38spl and holds six rounds, the snub nosed is fine, if you can use a 3" for your needs, you will have one of the finest revolvers for CCW.

I mention the blued guns for a reason.
In today's world everyone wants Stainless, and sometimes the blued ones are easier to find, and do not command the price of the "stain" - "less" guns.

Like in used Police trade in guns, and while there is holster wear, the OLDer , better internals are pristine, with the better metallurgy , craftsmanship and QC of yesteryear.

sig226
September 4, 2007, 01:02 AM
Look around and you should be able to get a scratched up Model 36 for $100 - $150. You won't find this gun at a gun store, but they're out there. A competent gunsmith can grind down the hammer spur to round it off or remove it completely, making it operate as a DAO. Send it to Walther Birdsong for the Black T finish, which will cost about $150. A Boot Grip is $20.

For a little effort, you'll have a steel .38 that won't rust for about $400, no internal lock.

S&W numbers: anything with a 6 in front is stainless. 686, 60, 640, 659, etc.

The 2 at the end indicates the alloy frame; 642, stainless + alloy, 442, black + alloy (I think it is not stainless.)

Two digit model numbers began when Smith and Wesson renamed their models in the late 1950s. Three digit model numbers began with the use of stainless steel in the guns in the early 1970s, IIRC. Four digit model numbers began in the 1980s for the semiautomatics. The first two digits were the model number. The third digit indicated the trigger type, 6=DA/SA, 4=DAO. The fourth digit indicates the materials used. 6 is stainless, 4 is alloy, I think 3 was blued or blackened aluminum with blue.

The digit at the end indicates the revision. The original Chief's Special is model 36, then it became 36-1, -2, etc. I have a 36-7. The revision numbers indicate changes in manufacturing, not new materials or redesigns. The original 36 had a pin that locked the barrel in place after it was screwed into the frame. This was removed from later models.

Ala Dan
September 4, 2007, 03:47 AM
Actually, my friend Yosemite Sam 357 is incorrect-:eek:

As the older, 2" barrel S&W model 60 .38 Special was introduced by S&W
in 1965 weighing in at only 19 ozs, or the same is its blued or factory
nickel counterparts. The 22.5 oz model 60 is actually a .357 magnum folks. ;)

YosemiteSam357
September 4, 2007, 02:05 PM
As the older, 2" barrel S&W model 60 .38 Special was introduced by S&W
in 1965 weighing in at only 19 ozs, or the same is its blued or factory
nickel counterparts. The 22.5 oz model 60 is actually a .357 magnum folks.I assume you are correct, but I was looking at current production models. I have no knowledge of the .38-only model 60.

-- Sam

Black Adder LXX
September 5, 2007, 09:19 PM
Thanks to everybody for the replies.

sig226 - thank you for the info on the S&W numbering system. It makes a little more sense to me now.

Rexster
September 5, 2007, 09:47 PM
The new M40 will have NO LOCK, and a grip safety, just like the old M40s. :)

Standing Wolf
September 5, 2007, 11:24 PM
I really like the smith 642, but have a serious issue of principle with purchasing ANYTHING with an internal lock.

I wouldn't have one in the house, still less a holster. Anything that needlessly complicates a gun is a bad idea.

Cocked & Locked
September 6, 2007, 12:23 AM
Find you a 642-1. It is prelock. I bought this one 10 years ago and carry it just about everyday. It is an early one and is not +P rated...gun is not marked for +P. I carry +P ammo in it however.

http://pic14.picturetrail.com/VOL523/3082611/6486409/176636797.jpg

M1 Shooter
September 6, 2007, 01:55 AM
Here is my older M60. I had the hammer bobbed so it's less likely to snag. It can still be cocked, but you have to be very careful, so I just fire it DA most of the time. I have carried and used this revolver a lot. It's my always gun. In fact I carry it more than any other gun.
It weighs 24oz. fully loaded. I have no experience with the alloy or magnum versions, so I don't know what they weigh. The weight doesn't really bother me though, and I've even forgotten I was carrying it on a few occasions. I carry it either in my right front pocket or appendix carry with cheap Uncle Mike's holsters. The weight also makes it more comfortable to shoot, I find it quite comfortable to shoot even with +p loads.

http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h49/762mmFMJ/DSCN0615-1.jpg

BTW, I feel the same way you do about the locks, and I also refuse to buy a new S&W with the lock.

Black Adder LXX
September 6, 2007, 10:49 PM
M1 Shooter - thanks for the pic - that, sir looks like a fine carry piece. What kind of grip is that?
BTW, I feel the same way you do about the locks, and I also refuse to buy a new S&W with the lock.
Yeah, I guess I call it 'moral outrage'... :)

The new M40 will have NO LOCK, and a grip safety, just like the old M40s.
Rexster - I looked for the M40 on the S&W website and couldn't find. Any place to get more info?

M1 Shooter
September 7, 2007, 12:19 AM
M1 Shooter - thanks for the pic - that, sir looks like a fine carry piece. What kind of grip is that?

You're welcome. It is a great carry gun. It goes just about everywhere with me.

The grips are Uncle Mike's Boot grips, based on Craig Spegel's designs. I love these grips, they increase control yet they are not bulky, and I find them very comfortable to shoot with. My only problem is the blued grip screw rusts easily when carried in the summer next to my sweaty skin. I need to try and find a stainless screw that will work.

S&Wfan
September 12, 2007, 10:56 PM
Hi,

Reading your original post, I'll try to give some input to your questions


I'm relatively new to S&W revolvers, although I do own a model 34. I'm looking into a 38spl snubby (+p is... well... a plus), and do not want one of the new ones like the 642. I really like the smith 642, but have a serious issue of principle with purchasing ANYTHING with an internal lock. This would include purchasing a firearm with the lock and having it removed. Therefore, I realize I am looking for a used gun, which is why I need help.

Used is best! Used J-frame snubbies seem to be commanding just about the same price as the new MIM (metal injected moulded) guns with the hated locks. S&W hopefully will realize that they have forced up the prices of the used guns due to the locks. Prices are like water . . . each automatically seeks it's proper "level."

Can I please get some recommendations for a S&W snubby (stainless is a must) that would be close to the size of the 642, but pre-lock. I do realize that there will be a difference in weight due to materials.

IMHO, do NOT rule out a nice blued or nickled steel models if the slight additional weight is no concern. Especially, if you can find a nickle specimen. They are GORGEOUS and the finish wears well too.

For pocket carry any of the three versions will work, although bobbing the hammer on the Chief's models (36, 37, etc.) would make 'em more snagproof.

I recently saw a campus policeman (retired cop) at a small college toting a BRAND NEW, NEVER FIRED Model 49 Bodyguard in bright nickle. WHAT A GORGEOUS PIECE! The hump on the Bodyguard models allows the hammer to remain useful . . . yet not allow it to snag. The best of both worlds.

Here's a Model 36 I picked up last Friday from 1964 . . . with the rectangular cylinder lock last used in 1966 on the J-frames. It is gorgeous and shoots incredibly well:

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/363/363373/folders/277718/2216018IMG2411.JPG
http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/363/363373/folders/277718/2216021M36at10yds.b.jpg
Any snubbie that shoots this well, standing and unsupported is a KEEPER!

I also realize that Ruger makes the sp101, and am interested in them as well, but want more information on older S&W's.

I looked at a Ruger 101 myself today! It was in a case in an old gunshop along with a couple of new Airweights (including a 642), and was, of course, much cheaper. Then, a first generation 640 Centennial stainless caught my eye. It was more expensive than the Ruger too . . . and nearly the price of the new Centennial. No brainer . . . the stainless 640, in .38 spl., was the winner for me!

You get what you pay for, and I like S&W wheelguns best, especially the older ones.

In case there are any suggestions that require additional context, I am looking for a daily carry piece, and would be interested in pocket carry (allowing for the same issues as the 642) if possible.

The steel J-frames are a little heavier, so they work best in inside the waist holsters, although pocket carry is possible. The additonal weight makes 'em really fun and easy to shoot.

The airweights are so light you literally forget they are in your pocket . . . but the recoil wakes you up real fast.

BOTH are very valid guns for your defense . . . and BOTH are very worthy of your consideration.

Tom

skeeter1
September 12, 2007, 11:54 PM
My Smith M60 is about 20 years old, .38Spl-only, and no lock. Personally I have no issue with the lock (I've owned one, and it worked fine for me, as it does for its new owner), but I know some people are dead-set against it.

Black Adder LXX
September 12, 2007, 11:58 PM
Wow skeeter- what a beauty!

S&Wfan- thanks for all the time you put into that reply. Very helpful. I will keep my eyes open...

scbair
September 13, 2007, 09:04 AM
Cocked & Locked,

Nice 642-1; I have its twin! While it's not marked "+P," the "dash 1" IS rated by S&W as acceptable. In addition to the "J-Magnum" frame (as evidenced by the configutation of the cylinder stop on its left side), I have seen published confirmation of this.

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