New S&W 642...A Little Bummed


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Phydeaux642
July 26, 2008, 10:30 PM
Well, I picked up my new 642 sans lock Wednesday. I was thinking about selling the other 642 I have with the lock, but I really hate to sell any guns right now. What to do, what to do.

Then it dawned on me. Keep the other 642 and practice with it then carry the no-lock 642, shooting it occasionally. I would keep the same grips on them both so the feel would be the same. Sounds good.

Tonight I went to the range and ran about 55 rounds through it. Uh-oh.This one shoots about four inches high at seven yards, while my older 642 is about right on the money. Now it would be silly to practice with the one and carry the other since they shoot differently. I know this is really a "get off me" gun, but at seven yards they should be closer than that.

Dang it.:banghead:

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loneviking
July 26, 2008, 10:40 PM
Take it to a good gunsmith and get the front site adjusted so it shoots on target. If I remember right (big 'if), I think the front site would need to be filed down a bit to put the gun on target.

38 Super Auto
July 26, 2008, 10:42 PM
If you shorten the front sight, you'll raise the point of impact.

Phydeaux642
July 26, 2008, 10:53 PM
There was a smith at the range and he said he would have to raise the front sight with a little welding and file the rear sight notch out a little. Cost - $45.00. I just hate to have to do that right out of the box. I wonder who test fired this one?

.38 Special
July 26, 2008, 11:38 PM
I have a nickeled Model 21 .44 Special. It would not eject. I traced the problem to nickel build-up in the chamber mouths. A few minutes with a file sorted it, but I do not understand how this gun could have passed inspection. The gun also leaded badly, which was due to .427" ball end diameters with a .431" bore. Also fixed, but also disappointing.

I bought a Model 22 TR in .45 Auto. Case heads drag on the recoil shield to the point that the gun cannot be cycled double action. This will be fixed under warranty -- there is warranty repair shop within driving distance -- but again I do not understand how this gun could have made it out of inspection.

I am still a fan of S&W and intend to buy more, but it seems to me that they need to step up their quality control a bit, especially considering how much they are charging these days.

Old Fuff
July 26, 2008, 11:53 PM
At 7 yards (21 feet) I would expect the trjectory to be going up, as the sights are usually regulated to shoot to point-of-aim at 20 yards. Be that as it may, changing ammunition might bring the shots closer to where you want them without altering the gun. Do some experimenting.

To add: If I did decide to alter the revolver, I wouldn't weld up the sight. A better way would be to remove the front sight and mill a dovetail in the rib. A dovetail-style sight could be installed that had a higher blade, and the base driven in the dovetail to correct for windage (if that was necessary). You could zero any load you wanted to use, at any distance.

The_Shootist
July 27, 2008, 09:27 AM
I took my new 642 to the range on Friday and was all over the target at 7 yds. I was using 130 grn ammo and really wasn't used to the trigger. My groups did tighten towards the end of the session but by then I was out of ammo.

Today I'm going back with 150 rds, this time of 158 gr standard pressure stuff (likely Monarch from Academy - my M85 likes it). I'll concentrate more on trigger pull and sight picture.

I wouldn't panic or consider altering the revolver for awhile - took me 400-500 rounds through my M85 before I had it dialed in to 3-4" grps center of target at 7 yds.

I have alot of respect for how tough it is to master a snubby and this one being smaller and lighter and brand new will take some getting used to. Great excuse for range time and ammo expense tho' :evil:

wuchak
July 27, 2008, 09:38 AM
If the new one is no lock then am I correct in assuming that it's used? If so it's possible that a former owner had the front sight shortened.

What is the difference in the trigger pull between them? If the no lock has a lighter pull than the one with the lock that could explain the difference. That extra trigger weight could be causing the barrel to drop a touch when fired. It only takes a smidge for a 3" difference.

I'd contact S&W to see what options they can offer.

Phydeaux642
July 27, 2008, 03:25 PM
If the new one is no lock then am I correct in assuming that it's used?

No, this is a brand spanking new 642 without the lock. It's part of the run of 4,000 that S&W did for RSR. There are some still available to dealers.

I am going to take both guns to the range next weekend and shoot them side by side with the same ammo and see what they do.

zinj
July 27, 2008, 04:05 PM
I'd send it back to S&W and have them make it right.

351 WINCHESTER
July 27, 2008, 04:09 PM
You were shooting at night. That could be the problem. Low light. Try it in the daytime and maybe different ammo before you do anything drastic.

Phydeaux642
July 27, 2008, 05:21 PM
You were shooting at night. That could be the problem. Low light.


I was shooting at an indoor range that has plenty of light. I shoot at this range pretty much exclusively, so, the conditions are the same year round.

cocojo
July 27, 2008, 06:07 PM
First I would try different types of ammo. Some guns like one weight while other like another. I would NOT file or add anything without first trying different ammo. Some guns need some breaking in on the rifling, when it smooths out, it changes the point of impact. Glock are know for this. Many shoot to the left when new then smooth out and shoot to point of impact. My Colts where made in the 50's and 60's when 158 lead was what they sighted these guns in for, but both my guns shoot 125 Nyclads with tight groups and to point of impact.

Downrange
July 27, 2008, 06:16 PM
I hope we don't start to see lots of QC issues with these no-lock guns. I have read that S/W basically bolted up a bunch of their old stock parts to make them...

Let's hope this is an outlier and not a trend.

The_Shootist
July 28, 2008, 12:16 AM
Yeah - I put another 150 rds of 158 gr standard pressure through mine today. Seems to shoot 2-3 inches to the left and about 3 inches high BUT concentrating can deliver some 4" grps at 7 yrds POA. Takes some concentrating though.

Hope I''m still (at 270 yds total) in the dial in phase of this revolver. I've got two boxes of my carry load (BB Standard pressure .38's - a VERY accurate load) arriving for testing and 1000 rds of Ga Arms 158 gr +P round on order. As well by next weekend, I'll probably be shooting with some Secret Service grips I ordered from Eagle Grips.

If improvement in minimal then I might even try some Pachmayer Concealment Grips, which I have on both my SP 101 and my M85, with excellent results. If those don't work, then i'll be bummed out. :uhoh:

This revolver is just too easy to carry not to give a rigorous dial in period, but eventually you have to face reality. It would be ironic if I went back to my M85 or SP 101 for carry - those two revolvers I have absolute confidence in my ability to be accurate with.

woodsltc
July 28, 2008, 09:49 AM
Old Fuff said :changing ammunition might bring the shots closer to where you want them without altering the gun. Do some experimenting.


cocojo said: First I would try different types of ammo. Some guns like one weight while other like another.

IMO, "Old Fuff" and "cocojo" gave you the correct advise before you do anything else. Look for the simple solution first!!

Don

HB
July 28, 2008, 11:29 AM
At 7 yards (21 feet) I would expect the trjectory to be going up, as the sights are usually regulated to shoot to point-of-aim at 20 yards. Be that as it may, changing ammunition might bring the shots closer to where you want them without altering the gun. Do some experimenting.


I don't think that trajectory would be that extreme, but different ammo might help. It seems like you are on the right track.

HB

Ala Dan
July 28, 2008, 11:47 AM
STOP~!

My suggestion is- DO NOT SELL ANY PERSONAL FIREARMS RIGHT NOW~!

The political race is "up in the air" at best; and NO ONE can clearly see
the outcome of the November Presidential election. If anything, we need
to be buying more firearms and stockpiling plenty of ammunition~! ;) :D

weisse52
July 28, 2008, 12:44 PM
There is NO excuse for a brand new Smith to be shooting like that. If I was you I would dump that POS ASAP!






Just send it to me and I will get rid of it for you.....:evil:


I would have loved to have gotten my hands on one of those. I would do what I needed to do to get it shooting to POA. Your idea of shooting one and carrying the other sounds perfect.

Phydeaux642
July 28, 2008, 01:00 PM
If anything, we need
to be buying more firearms and stockpiling plenty of ammunition~!

Not to worry. I picked up two yesterday.:D

See here:
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=380988

Rugerlvr
July 28, 2008, 01:25 PM
weisse52, run, do not walk, to FBMG in Draper. As of this morning, they had 2 of the no-lock 642's available.

Rugerlvr
July 28, 2008, 01:26 PM
btw Phydeaux, Crimson Trace grips would solve your aiming problem... :D

weisse52
July 28, 2008, 01:53 PM
Thanks. On my way to FBMG! I was looking for an excuse anyway.

Turk
July 28, 2008, 02:19 PM
I recently purchased a 642 for my wife's CCW (when I can finally convince her to take the classes). Shooting GD 125 LEO ammo it shoots on once you get used to the trigger which is very heavy. I have A CT sight on it and it really helped in dry firing this heavy trigger. I plan to send it off to lessen the the trigger pull. I wanted the DAO but this puppy has heavy trigger pull.

Turk

Rugerlvr
July 28, 2008, 09:20 PM
So, wiesse, did you get one?

SAWBONES
July 30, 2008, 06:55 PM
I've had a similar experience with examples of both Smith and Ruger snubbies.
Some are spot-on, while others are off by a fair bit, and this with 158gr factory premium loads which the guns are ostensibly set up to shoot right to point of aim.
If they merely hit low and centered, the fix is easy. Trouble is, many hit high and either left or right of center.

For a gun costing $400-$800, that just ain't right, and unfortunately you can't tell until you actually purchase and shoot the gun if it will hit to POA!

Too bad that quality control is so bad that guns get out of the factory like this.

cocojo
July 31, 2008, 08:10 AM
Turk, how do you like the Gold Dot 125LE (53722) load? What's nice is, it's a standard velocity load with plenty of power and a very large hollow point. I just picked up another box at my loacal gun shot. $20.00 bucks a box for 50 rounds is not bad today for gold dots.

wjh2657
July 31, 2008, 09:21 AM
My 642 and 640 (EDC) shoot low with almost all ammo at 5 yards (my practice range)
No, it isn't my inexperience with the revolver or a bad trigger squeeze. I shoot dead on with all my other guns and shot match in USMC for a good part of my 30 years career. The fact is that this particular series just fires a little low for me. it isn't critical (about 3-4") and groups are consistent. I have fired 148gr, 110gr, 125 gr,130 gr, and 158 gr. All low but consistent small groups, which indicate correct shooting habits. I simply practice (at least 50 rds )every two weeks with the current carry and use the center of the chest just below the neck as an aiming point. I am now getting heart shots out to 7 yards on a consistent basis, and have acquired the habit (motor-mind skill) of aiming at the right point. I have adjusted the rear sight on my house gun (686 w/2 1/4" Barrel) to hit deadcenter with same holding point, so habit can be consistent.

Works for me!

weisse52
July 31, 2008, 12:15 PM
Rugerlrv:

My work schedule has not lined up with FBMG's hours till todayl I know they still have them and I am heading down today to pick one up.

Lets hope my luck holds out till then.

weisse52
July 31, 2008, 08:16 PM
I am a happy camper! I picked up my non-lock 642. I just have to find time to shoot.

This working is getting in the way of my playing!

I sure hope Smith and Wesson takes the hint and produces more models without the lock. A nice N frame would be great.

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