Any of you guys in the 642 Club have light strikes with reloads only?


Bruce H.
July 9, 2008, 11:36 PM
I have a 642-2 which I have had for four years now. In the past I have normally shot 38 Special factory ammo in this gun when I go to the range. I have exhausted all of my 38 fmj factory ammo and am now only shooting reloads at the range. Today I shot the gun and experienced light strikes on approx. one-third of the rounds. I have been shooting rounds from this same batch of reloads in my Blackhawk for the past month and have had no problems whatsoever. Upon examination, I can see that the firing pin in the Blackhawk and in my Taurus 85 extends much further out from the frame when I pull the trigger and hold it back than does the firing pin in the 642. I am wondering if this is normal or whether my 642 has an unusually short firing pin? Have any of you experienced the same problem with reloads. I know that the primers are fully seated in my reloads. So that is not an issue. I see that Cylinder and Slide sells a longer firing pin for Smith and Wesson revolvers. Have any of you replaced the factory firing pin with one of the C and S longer firing pins? Is it difficult to replace? I know that you have to remove the side plate, hammer, etc. to get at the firing pin. But I cannot tell from pictures I have seen how the firing pin is held in the frame. What must be done to remove the firing pin from the frame?

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July 10, 2008, 11:32 AM
You don't need to remove anything except the side-plate.

Here is a current thread about the same question you ask in "gunsmithing".


July 10, 2008, 03:38 PM
I think you're overanalyzing this.

Are these your own reloads or range reloads?

If you are rolling your own try switching primers. Federal followed by probably Winchester have the lightest cup. Federal Match Grade are even lighter yet.

The least expensive thing to do is change the hammer spring. less than $10 to do it and a very minor project. 4 years from a gun gun that's shot a lot is not unreasonable.

Final thought, the Blackhawk is Single Action while the 642 is DAO. The hammer is going to drop on a SA with more force than a DAO.

It's unlikely that all of a sudden your gun would stop firing ammunition so it's most likely the spring or the primers in the reload.

July 10, 2008, 03:40 PM
I had a Rossi 971 that wouldn't cap CCI (very hard), so I switched to Winchester primers and never had a problem. Also, check for high primers. If it's not all they way to the base of the primer pocket, it will absorb the blow and part of the hammer energy goes into seating the primer.

Bruce H.
July 10, 2008, 05:13 PM
I had a higher power Wolff mainspring for the 642 laying around, so I installed it last night. I will go to the range in a couple of days and try shooting the same batch of ammo.
I only use Winchester SP primers. After I load my rounds with my Square Deal B, I place them primer up in one of the 100 round plastic boxes reloaders use. I do this so that I can scan across all of my rounds and ensure that the primers are fully seated. They always are.

July 10, 2008, 05:32 PM
I'll bet a beer the spring does the trick, let us know.

July 10, 2008, 05:58 PM
I don't shoot reloads in my SD Carry gun.

July 10, 2008, 06:15 PM
Nope never had a problem with any ammo.

July 10, 2008, 11:12 PM
shot 100 reloads through mine last weekend with no lite strikes.


Bruce H.
July 16, 2008, 01:16 PM
Hello everyone. I wanted to update you on how my S&W 642 worked with the extra power Wolff mainspring. I went to the range today and shot the same batch of reloads in the 642 that gave me 30% misfires last week. The gun worked flawlessly, every round fired the first time today. So now I am happy again with the gun and have renewed confidence in my reloads. I only use reloads for target shooting. I keep factory JHP's in the gun for self-defence. Thanks for your input.

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