Used 642, 442, 638 a safe buy?


Lucky Strike
July 24, 2008, 10:22 PM
Looking to get a pocket carry revolver for warmer month carry and when i'm too lazy to put on the IWB holster (normal carry is an XD).

I'd like to not pay new gun prices though. I've got two revolvers, both bought used (Single Six and GP100).....can i feel as safe buying these S&W snubbies used as I did with the Rugers? Are they known to hold up with usage?

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July 24, 2008, 10:57 PM
I have a M-38 pre 638 that I bought used in 1982, I carried it for about ten years and gave it to my Dad. Now its a car gun. Still works fine.
My current everyday carry is a 642 I bought used 7 years ago. Touched off five round today and it still goes bang jsut fine.
The alloy guns won't hold up as well as a Ruger. But you will find you carry them more due to the lighter weight. S&W service will take care of any problems.

Lucky Strike
July 25, 2008, 12:07 AM
Does S&W's warranty follow the gun or does it just apply to the original owner? If it follows the gun that'd ease most of my concerns since I know S&W has a reputation for having a great service department.

Yeah the alloy frame is one of the reasons I thought i'd ask. I'm not expecting it to be as tough as my big heavy rugers but just wanna know if these little guys were known for having issues after a moderate amount of use.

July 25, 2008, 04:25 PM
I called S&W and was informed the warranty was for the original owner. However, I have encountered numerous instances (on the net) where second, third, or whatever owners sending their guns back and S&W fixing them without cost.

July 25, 2008, 05:01 PM
Lucky, take a look at Jim March's revolver checkout thread, stickied at the top of this (the revolvers) sub forum. If the piece in question passes it's a safe buy. Shopping at a local gun store with a 30 or even 60 day used gun warranty is a little extra insurance. If the gun hasn't been shot with excessive amounts of hot +P ammo it'll be tight & pass the checkout. Some of us even look for used J frames because we like the ones that were made before a certain ...feature... was added.

July 25, 2008, 05:21 PM
I picked up a used 442 about a year ago at this time. It met Jim March's checklist standards, and IMO it had been carried some (finish wear on the rear sight ears) and shot little--probably less than fifty rounds.

I called S&W to get the manufacture date, and inquired about the warranty covering me--the CS rep said that, with a firearm like this, they would warranty it.

Jim H.

July 25, 2008, 07:27 PM
you might have a helluva time finding a used 642, those with them seem to hold on to them. I can't explain it but out of all my revolvers (gp100, python, 629, vaquero, colt saa) im the most accurate with that snubby. That's why that gun stays in the glove box of the truck. If I ever need a weapon as an absolute last resort I want the one that sends the bullets where im aiming.

July 25, 2008, 08:13 PM
Revolver checkout: how to tell if a particular specimen is any good (, The Firing Line Forum

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