Ruger LCR or Smith & Wesson 342PD


PDA






Azreael
February 25, 2009, 10:46 PM
Have my sights on a .38 special with a concealed hammer design. I know that the Rugar LCR is scheduled for release in 03/2009 and there are minimum first hand experience reviews, but I am impressed (w/ the exception of the internal lock). The 342PD is out of production, but I can't seem to find a suitable comparison to the LCR. Any insight between the Rugar LCR and S&W 342PD?? Which one would you scoop up?? Is there a better .38 for comparison..........442 maybe?

If you enjoyed reading about "Ruger LCR or Smith & Wesson 342PD" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
351 WINCHESTER
February 25, 2009, 11:29 PM
Since the lcp isn't available I would not consider it until it's "proven". The 442/642's are proven and the internal lock can easily be removed if you wish.

Eustachius234
February 25, 2009, 11:34 PM
the internal lock can easily be removed if you wish.

Huh, never heard that before. Do you just take it to the gunsmith to have them remove it?

hexidismal
February 25, 2009, 11:40 PM
Much as I hate to say it, because I actually like some of the ruger products.... they haven't seemed to be able to put out a handgun that had a major media hype in years without it having some sort of recall. I'd wait about 2 years on any new Ruger product to see how it pans out.

Gardien
February 26, 2009, 12:06 AM
I chose the S&W 642. Its been around forever and seems to be the preferred BUG for LEO. I was even able to find a 642-1 (No ILS) NIB and picked it up last week. God luck finding ammo. I had to buy it online as none of the local gun shop owners had any-NONE whatsoever. To top it of, I just ordered the Crimson Trace LG405 for it.

Dollar An Hour
February 26, 2009, 12:14 AM
I'd go with a 442/642 instead. Should cost less than a 342, and a little more weight just softens up the recoil, which isn't a bad thing. ;)

If you look around, there are new production 442/642's without the lock. They were plentiful 3 months ago, now they're scarce, but they turn up from time to time. Keep an eye on GunBroker and the S&W forum classifieds. Also keep an eye out for the new 37-2's without lock, and firing pin mounted hammer. These are sweet. :)

Marcus84
February 26, 2009, 01:21 AM
Ruger is making internal locks now?

Big Bill
February 26, 2009, 01:26 AM
Buy a S&W 642. Hell of a gun!

Kleanbore
February 26, 2009, 11:39 AM
Much as I hate to say it, because I actually like some of the ruger products.... they haven't seemed to be able to put out a handgun that had a major media hype in years without it having some sort of recall. I'd wait about 2 years on any new Ruger product to see how it pans out.

In my opinion that has gotten out of hand and is gaining the status of an urban myth. Ruger has in fact recalled several guns, but so has S&W. The most recent have been the PPK, the PPKS, the SW1911, the Model 460, and the M&P series. In the past decade, plus or minus a year or two, S&W recalled L-Frames in .357 and over forty different model and caliber combinations of their semiautomatics, in addition to the aforementioned.

The 442/642 haven't been recalled yet, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility on the exotic versions.

The LCR has undergone more endurance testing than anyone I know could afford to pay for over a lifetime. I would have no qualms about it.

I'd go with a 442/642 instead [of the 342PD]. Should cost less than a 342, and a little more weight just softens up the recoil, which isn't a bad thing.

I'll sure second that!

I have a 642 with CT grips. Great gun but a handful in terms of recoil.

If I didn't have it already and the Ruger were available now I would try both before selecting.

Either way, I strongly suggest laser grips.

ArmedBear
February 26, 2009, 11:54 AM
WRT weight...

The 340PD is spec'd at 11 oz. unloaded, the 642 at 15 oz.

I just weighed a 642 on an accurate digital scale and it came in at 15 oz. on the dot. With 5 rounds of snubbie defense ammo (110 grain Cor-Bon .38Sp+P), it weighs 17.2 oz.

I don't think I'd want or need it any lighter, especially for a much higher price.

a-sheepdog
February 26, 2009, 12:24 PM
I would go with the S&W. I am going to go out on a limb and say that they will probably have smoother triggers and also there are already springs and other parts available if you want to customize it to your needs.

ArmedBear
February 26, 2009, 12:52 PM
Much as I love my Rugers, it is true that Ruger hasn't brought out a new gun design in a while without having to recall it.

If I were interested in the Ruger (and I'm not because I like the J Frame), I would wait at least two years from the actual ship date of the first big batch, before even considering it.

Kleanbore
February 26, 2009, 01:16 PM
Much as I love my Rugers, it is true that Ruger hasn't brought out a new gun design in a while without having to [?] recall it.

As I understand it the LCP recall was entirely voluntary.

I'm curious as to why the Kel-Tech P3-AT is said to comprise the same pistol, and it has not been recalled.

Did you see Post #9?

In my opinion that [the idea that Ruger has been having significant problems with recalls] has gotten out of hand and is gaining the status of an urban myth. Ruger has in fact recalled several guns, but so has S&W. The most recent have been the PPK, the PPKS, the SW1911, the Model 460, and the M&P series. In the past decade, plus or minus a year or two, S&W recalled L-Frames in .357 and over forty different model and caliber combinations of their semiautomatics, in addition to the aforementioned.

ArmedBear
February 26, 2009, 01:18 PM
You go ahead and buy whatever you want. It's a free country (at least until Monday).

I would wait a while.

Duke of Doubt
February 26, 2009, 01:37 PM
Any S&W over any Ruger any day of any week.

ugaarguy
February 26, 2009, 03:36 PM
I know that the Rugar LCR is scheduled for release in 03/2009 and there are minimum first hand experience reviews, but I am impressed (w/ the exception of the internal lock).
Ruger reps have told dealers we'll be lucky to see them before June.
The 342PD is out of production, but I can't seem to find a suitable comparison to the LCR. Any insight between the Rugar LCR and S&W 342PD?? Which one would you scoop up?? Is there a better .38 for comparison..........442 maybe?
There was a canceled foreign order for M&P 360s in .38 Special, instead of the normal .357 Magnum. The guns are marked Airweight, and are sold as just the Model 360 (no prefix nor suffix). They're Scandium frame with Diamond Black finish, carbon steel cylinder, flame shield, and lanyard pin just like the M&P 360. At 13.3 oz they weight .2 oz less than the LCR. The guns are now an exclusive being sold through Bill Hicks & Co distributors. Actual retail price is usually in the mid $400s. You could just buy one of those, have it now, and have a gunsmith bob the hammer - which is what I recently did.

Rat Robb
February 26, 2009, 04:32 PM
I have a 442 and love it but am contemplating getting the 340pd and selling the 442, you cant beat the lack of weight of that gun, you seriously forget its on your hip.

-Robb

ArmedBear
February 26, 2009, 04:42 PM
Robb-

Do note that 5 rounds of ammo for the gun weigh between 2.2 oz. for 110 grain .38+P defensive loads and 3 oz. for full-house .357s

I just weighed some rounds.:)

So if you load the 340PD, it weighs close to the same as an empty 442.

Of course, the 442 will also weigh more loaded than empty, I'm just saying that the 340PD, loaded, does weigh a bit more than it does empty.:)

Fat Boy
February 26, 2009, 04:47 PM
I would wait and see how the Ruger pans out...that said, Ruger's have a history of toughness and durability; I would take that over a scandium frame s&w....YMMV

raveneap
February 26, 2009, 05:08 PM
I've got several Rugers and they're excellent guns. Also have a number of Smiths and they,too, are excellent. Having said that, I have to agree with the previous statements about waiting a while before getting the LCR. Ruger's track record on new releases isn't the best. I've got a SW 637 Airweight that I find to be a well made weapon. However it does have the exposed hammer.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v77/raveneap/DSC02115a.jpg[/IMG]

shooter429
February 26, 2009, 09:50 PM
They are well proven with great actions, grips etc. and are very easy to carry and conceal. If you don't mind waiting, you could try the Ruger, but right now, I am sticking with the J frames. I prefer the Airweight to the Sc/Ti guns due to recoil and reliability, especially with the heaviest .38 +p ammo.

Shooter429

biglaw
February 27, 2009, 08:33 PM
I have a 342-1 Airlite PD with the internal lock. Whats the deal with everybody not wanting the internal lock? Has there been malfunctions or something with them?

Guillermo
February 28, 2009, 01:26 AM
I don't buy new guns from Smith because of the IL but I am not buying a LCR either until it is proven.

Were it me, I would go to the used market and buy an old Smith & Wesson Bodyguard (with the shrouded hammer) like the model 38. In addition to not supporting the "lock company" you will get a great quality revolver and have a snag-free gun with an option to shoot single action.

Deanimator
February 28, 2009, 10:18 AM
LCR. That I know of, even if it has an internal lock, there are no reports of it locking by itself. So even if it has one, you don't have to remove it.

Deanimator
February 28, 2009, 10:22 AM
Huh, never heard that before. Do you just take it to the gunsmith to have them remove it?
A gunsmith probably won't do it. I believe there are instructions on the S&W forum on how to remove and or deactivate it. I don't own any S&Ws with locks and never would. I prefer something that either doesn't have a lock or that doesn't need to have it removed.

biglaw
February 28, 2009, 06:51 PM
So what is the deal with the internal lock? Have there been problems with them?

biglaw
February 28, 2009, 06:56 PM
I just read a paragraph from a gunblast article that says the lock does not pose a problem. S&W would not still be putting them in all these guns if they are a saftey risk

ArmedBear
February 28, 2009, 08:10 PM
Mine has not been a problem.

Other people have had problems with them, apparently. I have never witnessed any.

It's really hard to say.

Master Blaster
February 28, 2009, 08:23 PM
I have a 642 with the lock, I fired about 2500 or so fullpower .38+p rounds and a few lswc target rounds through it in the first two years I owned it. It never locked by itself. BUT I decided to remove the lock anyway a year or so and 800 rounds ago. It continues to function flawlessly.

To remove the lock you take off the sideplate and remove the hammer, the lock flag is underneath the hammer. Remove the lock mechanism and replace the other parts.

I particularly dislike the lock on the 642 because the lock flag is not visible as it is on other models.

shooter429
February 28, 2009, 10:53 PM
I just read a paragraph from a gunblast article that says the lock does not pose a problem. S&W would not still be putting them in all these guns if they are a saftey risk

I have had personal experience with both ILIF and crimp-jump problems with the Airlight guns with locks. On the other hand, the Airweights and all steel versions with locks have been perfectly reliable for me even with the hottest loads (including my own).

In short, the locks are fine in the heavier guns, but they can and do fail in the Sc/Ti versions with heavy loads.

I personally think the 686s with the locks, for example have better actions and handling characteristics than the GP100s, for example. All Rugers seem to be a bit rougher and a bit less expensive than the S&W counterparts, but I have yet to actually try the newest Ruger offering. At this time, I will stick with the j-frames as they are well-built, well-proven and currently available.

If you are concerned about it you can get a 442 W/O the lock or any stainless version with them.

Hope this clears things up.

Shooter429

wrs840
February 28, 2009, 10:54 PM
I have one of the recently reissued no-lock 442s and love it, and you can rest assured I'll sure keep it. It is a very fine weapon.

I'll also buy a Ruger LCP as soon as I can find one. Based on the reports of some guys I trust that have one, I believe that it is a very fine weapon too.

Les

hinton03
March 1, 2009, 04:06 AM
Remove the lock and you are asking for trouble if the gun is ever used in a shooting!

Having said that, my binitial impression was that the LCR didn't do anything that the Smith Air-weights didn't already do and the Smith's certainly look better. However, as the LCR makes it way into the hands of some of the gun writers they are tauting the trigger as best ever in a small snubbie and say that the pistol seems to reduce felt recoil. Given that the bad trigger and felt recoil are two negatives with the J Frame I may give the LCR a look.

WardenWolf
March 1, 2009, 04:35 AM
My family has an old S&W Airweight Model 38, similar to some modern incarnations. I'm not a fan of the overall design of S&W's small-frame revolvers. Granted, the newer ones are doubtlessly a lot more comfortable, but the J-frame grip just does not do it. We are looking to replace the old Airweight with a new LCR as soon as they are released. Also motivating this is the fact that we're certain the junky little Airweight would blow up if we accidentally put +P ammo in it.

Master Blaster
March 1, 2009, 10:12 AM
Also motivating this is the fact that we're certain the junky little Airweight would blow up if we accidentally put +P ammo in it.
__________________


I will take that unsafe piece of junk off your hands sight unseen for $50, just PM me.

Kleanbore
March 1, 2009, 10:27 AM
the J-frame grip just does not do it.

Might I suggest replacing the grips?

We are looking to replace the old Airweight with a new LCR as soon as they are released.

I think it's a good idea to try before you buy. Don't rule out a 442 or 642

Also motivating this is the fact that we're certain the junky little Airweight would blow up if we accidentally put +P ammo in it.

Joke, I take it.

WardenWolf
March 1, 2009, 11:03 AM
No, it's not a joke. The newer lightweights are better.

This isn't ours, but it's the exact gun (and the exact condition):

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x42/Glockholiday/M38L.jpg

The primary complaint is that the hammer has a tendency to pinch you, and the gun is unpleasant in recoil with its grip design. And I really do think it would blow up if we fed it +P. There just isn't enough meat on that cylinder. This gun was made before +P ammo came along. It was designed to be the lightest possible handgun that could safely fire the .38 Special round. It's cut down to the wire. Feeding it +P just wouldn't be safe, and would risk a catastrophic failure.

Kleanbore
March 1, 2009, 12:22 PM
And I really do think it would blow up if we fed it +P. Feeding it +P just wouldn't be safe, and would risk a catastrophic failure.

I wouldn't use +P loads in it, but have you considered the fact that your gun did not suffer a catastophic failure when it was proofed with loads with a pressure almost 50% higher than +P loads?

By the way, +P pressure isn't that much higher than non-+P, and I have read that it's no higher than regular loads sold some decades ago.

There just isn't enough meat on that cylinder.

The new ones look thin, too. Are you sure there's any difference?

This gun was made before +P ammo came along.

Here's a quote from Doug38 on the S&W forum. I wouldn't call it definitive by any stretch but it's worth considering.

It's been pretty well established in most circles of .38 Spl. shooters on and offline that the .38 Spl.+P is safe to shoot in reputable S&W revolvers made past 1956 and Colt revolvers made past 1931 (although the factory today officially considers prewar guns to be off limits to +P). The consensus even among shooters of guns made prior to the above said dates is: "Yes it is SAFE to shoot."
Beyond that there seems to be some disagreement with what is HEALTHY for the gun.
Many say (particularly in prewar guns or 1945 and back)that "yes your gun will handle +P but don't give it a steady diet."
Other's say, with FIRM confidence and even claimed firsthand longterm experience, that +P's are NOT hot loads at all and you can pretty much put as many as you want through the gun and the gun will stay firm and true even for your grandchildren to shoot.
Some even say some +P+ (a relative pressure term I understand)rounds or hot handloads handle fine in even prewar guns......or even airweight guns like the S&W M-37 or the Colt Agent. In fact, I recall in Ed Lovette's book "The Snubby" showing pictures and discussing use of the +P+ LSWCHP .38 round like pass the salt.

There's an article on The Snubnose Files in which it is recommended that +P loads not be used in older Airweights. Sounds like good advice to me and I'd go along with it, but I think it has more to do with the likely effects of extended use than the risk if catastrophic failure.

Personally, I do not shoot +P loads in my new +P rated 642. Nothing to do with the gun--it's the recoil. I don't see the need. Standard .38 Special personal protection loads today are far more effective than the old 158 grain lead round nose loads, and I think it's the reputation of those loads that makes so many people think they need +P loads or .357 Magnums.

The primary complaint is that the hammer has a tendency to pinch you, and the gun is unpleasant in recoil with its grip design.

If that's a round butt gun you can get Hogue grips that will be a lot more comfortable.

PaladinX13
March 1, 2009, 03:53 PM
Any insight between the Rugar LCR and S&W 342PD?? Which one would you scoop up??I have a 340PD and a P3AT. I would never carry the latter without a holster, which makes the revolver better for pocket carry, but the flat auto better in a coat or laptop bag.

Between the two I prefer the 340PD by a large margin. In performing some defense drills (with snap caps, of course), it was much easier to render the auto inoperable by taking it out of battery or torquing it from the hand than it was with the zero-snag snubby.

Guillermo
March 1, 2009, 06:46 PM
Remove the lock and you are asking for trouble if the gun is ever used in a shooting!

Why would removing a storage device (a poorly conceived, stupidly designed, ugly storage device) be a factor in a shooting?

Master Blaster
March 1, 2009, 07:17 PM
OK its unsafe my offer dropped to 47.50.

I will even pay shipping.

hinton03
March 2, 2009, 03:14 AM
Guillermo, here is a direct answer on this very question by Mas Ayoob, from the firing line forum, 2005-12-01.


"Anyone with a three-digit IQ knows that unscrupulous attorneys may come after them with unmeritorious arguments in the wake of a justified shooting. Telling them "Aw, don't worry about it" is kinda like Sarah Brady telling people, "Aw, criminals won't come after you. You don't need a gun."

People know the crap load of trouble they can get into after the most justified shooting. It can make people hesitate long enough to be killed. That's why I make a point of educating folks how to deal with the aftermath, so they'll know they can get through it and not die from fatal hesitation in the moment of truth.

Why do you think you won't find a reputable gunsmith who will remove a safety device from a firearm? Did you think I scared them? They know what is likely to happen in a litigious society when a money-hungry plaintiff's lawyer or a politically-motivated prosecutor goes after someone who was in a "clean shoot" and tries to make them appear reckless and irresponsible.

The jury will have been cleared of knowledgeable gun folks during voir dire, the jury selection process. When opposing counsel presents their "theory of the case", they will need to establish recklessness. Removing a safety device from a lethal weapon plays right into their hands.

You, the shooter, now have to convince the jury that you know more about the gun than its designer and manufacturer. Pretty high mountain to climb.

In a manslaughter case in Miami some years ago, famed defense attorney Mark Seiden did a case in which the prosecutor made a big deal about the deactivated magazine disconnecter safety on the defendant's Browning Hi-Power, which was in his car at the scene but was not even the death weapon. The case was plea-bargained, and Mark prefers that his client's name not be used to spare him further humiliation, but Mark himself will confirm that it happened.

Haven't personally seen a case involving the S&W lock, but the same principles would undoubtedly apply. Personally, I just make a point of using pre-lock models for my J-frame carry needs.

Decision is yours, folks. It's your life and your future. But get all the information and make a fully informed decision."

SwampWolf
March 2, 2009, 07:00 PM
Another option is the Colt Cobra, a snubbie that weighs no more than a Smith Airweight (though a trifle larger) but carries 20 % more ammunition (six rounds as opposed to five) and no lock. The only drawbacks that I'm aware of is that it's getting harder and harder to locate a nice Cobra that is somewhat affordable (you can still find them in excellent condition from four to five hundred dollars) and extended use of +P .38s is not advisable.

Guillermo
March 3, 2009, 01:04 AM
Hinton,

Trust me...I will never own a Smith with a lock. In fact, as long as they put this poorly designed lock on their revolvers I will not buy anything from them. (I didn't even look at the M&P when I was buying a striker fire 45...love my XD!)

Still, the only senario that I can see there being liability is if a kid were to get the gun and shoot it when it could be locked. THe removal of a lock in a shooting where the owner controls the gun has nothing to do with the presence of the lock.

Of course I live in Texas where justifiable homicide can be justified with "but your honor...he needed killin'!"

biglaw
March 13, 2009, 08:46 PM
I just removed the lock from my 342PD. I didn't want to take any chances of it locking on its own. I'm sure the chances were slim but I just kept seeing it lock up during a gun fight in my head. I carried my Kahr PM40 around untill I got the chance to do the surgery.

Rodentman
March 13, 2009, 09:53 PM
I met a guy at the range today who had just bought a Taurus snub .357. I think it was all SS. He let me fire it and the recoil was not an issue.

I fired 15 rounds of 158g .38 Rem from my 638 which has CT 405 grips that cushion the backstrap and I have a blister at the base of my thumb. I was franky surprised.

I can handle the recoil. But the blister shocked me.

IMHO I would not want anything lighter than the 638 and I think the 329pd I had considered is now out of the picture.

Added: I have a PM40 also and it's one of my favorite carry guns.

If you enjoyed reading about "Ruger LCR or Smith & Wesson 342PD" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!