Should I trade a Model 38 for a 642


March 8, 2010, 04:57 PM
I recently purchased a S&W Model 38 bodyguard. I am trying to figure out if I should try to trade it for a 642. The lock doesnt concern me and it would allow me shoot +p rounds. Im just thinking outloud would this be smart or dumb and should I expect or expect to pay or what.

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March 8, 2010, 05:20 PM
I'm a fan of the model 38. I wouldn't trade if I had to pay extra $ too. The 38 should shoot standard 38 spl fine and if push come to shove for SD load it with +p. +p are not fun in 642 and most likely be shooting std 38's anyway. IMHO anyway.

March 8, 2010, 05:23 PM
It's just my personal opinion, but I would never again allow an older model J-frame in good condition to slip through my hands. I'd keep the older one and save up for the newer one.

I let an outstanding nickel 3" heavy barrel pinned & recessed M36 slip through my hands just because I was in a hurry to get something else and another cop wanted to buy it.

I let another even older M36 slip away, too.

I'm glad I kept my older M649 Bodyguard and didn't get rid of it when I wanted a SP101. Nowadays the SP101 stays in the safe.

Granted, I'm one of those guys who thinks that owning just one J-frame isn't enough. ;)

I presently have 5 of them and have been thinking of picking up another one or two of them to round out my 'retirement CCW' collection.

I own a pair of 642-1's, one of which I picked up when they released that special run of them made with pre-ILS frames. I happen to like the 642-1 quite a bit. I also happen to like my M&P 340 (in which I carry .38 Spl +P, although I'll mix in some Magnum loads for training & qualification from time to time).

I guess it just depends what you want, what you expect and how well you can use the little 5-shot wheelguns.

I have it in the back of my mind to eventually find a 638 rated for +P someday, made back before the ILS, but that's because I happen to like the little Bodyguard configuration and wouldn't mind adding one in an Airweight model.

One nice thing about S&W is that they offer an amazing variety of J-frames.

The M40 & M42 look pretty interesting to me, too ... as does the new 640 with the dovetailed frame for night sights front & rear.

At this rate I'll probably end up with more J-frames than .45's ...

March 8, 2010, 05:26 PM
Should you save up some cash and get a 642 as a carry gun? Hell yes! IMO if I had to pick one CCW gun as the best overall, that would be it. (I've even used the lock on one, when NPS still had the gun ban.)

But should you let a 38 out of your sight or trade it away? Hell no! You'll likely regret that.

March 8, 2010, 05:51 PM
See I was thinking about that. I dont know what the model 38 weighs Im sure its close to what the 442/642 weighs. I guess the only difference really is the fact that the 38 had wooden grips the 442/642 would come with rubber. I guess one of my biggest issues is the lack of a availabitly of non +p rounds. Just a random thought hoping it goes away. I think:banghead:

March 8, 2010, 06:05 PM
If you decide that you need +P, then yeah. Otherwise, no.

I had a 642, and I carried standard-pressure .38s in it because actually shooting +P was out of the question when shooting one-handed with stock grips. If I were posed with this trade-in proposition, I would consider it a complete waste of time and money.

Monster Zero
March 8, 2010, 09:50 PM
No. Just go buy a 642. That way you'll have both.

March 9, 2010, 01:32 AM
I wouldn't!

March 9, 2010, 04:17 AM
I guess one of my biggest issues is the lack of a availabitly of non +p rounds. Just a random thought hoping it goes away.
You can always practice with standard pressure .38 ball ammo and carry the +P stuff. I'm sure a cylinder of +P ammo in a SD situation won't hurt your revolver in the least. If you really want good standard pressure .38 Special ammo buy some of the newly re-releases Federal Nyclad ammo. (Part #P38MA) It works extremely well because it's constructed of very soft lead which expands reliable at the lower velocities associated with standard pressure ammo but doesn't lead your barrel because of the nylon coating used on the bullet.

Either way I wouldn't sell that Model 38. BTW, S&W just came out with the Model 438 which is a blue version of the Alloy M638. Both are rated for +P ammo as is the M442/624. All including your M38 weight the same.

March 9, 2010, 06:38 AM
I had a bad habit of selling guns to buy other guns. Carried a older mod. 60 for a long time then got rid of it for a small auto. Several years ago I went back to the j-frame this time it was a 642 which I think is a very good ccw. I do wish I still had the 60. Save up and just buy it outright. Then if the need come up you can have a new york reload if you want.

be safe

March 9, 2010, 07:11 PM
Take a look around, what can you find plenty of 38's or 642s? You can wait a while till you can afford to buy the 642 outright and they will sill be there. When you decide you should not have sold the 38 then you will not be able to find one.
You should not sell the 38 (...unless you wan to sell it to me ;) )

March 9, 2010, 08:20 PM
Wow havent shot it yet but have had a change of heart. I tried a cheap Blackhawk pocket holster and a set of Houge Bantam grips and man it just feels good. I was using a pricier pocket holster and it just wasnt concealing well. I guess I will stay where I am. I will eventually replace the hammer and trigger. The original owner replaced the originals with gold. Gold is just not my thing but hey its in my pocket guess it doesnt matter.

March 9, 2010, 08:31 PM
I kind of retired my thirty year old M-38. Its now a house gun.
The 642 is the pocket gun.

March 9, 2010, 08:40 PM
Earplug how do the two compare? Shooting wise, carry wise? Do you prefer one over the other?

March 9, 2010, 08:40 PM
There's no reason the 38 can't shoot +P. Modern "+p" ammo is loaded to a lower maximum pressure than standard .38 Special rounds from when the Model 38 was introduced. There is no WWII or later S&W revolver I would not shoot modern "+p" ammunition through.

March 9, 2010, 08:46 PM
Here it is as it sits in my pocket. Well of course its in a holster.

March 10, 2010, 12:25 PM
There is no way I would make that trade. Pre locks are not made anymore and neither is the Model 38. Stick with a S&W from when then were actually made right.

Here is mine I recently bought for 300 OTD. Kind of beat but this is a great gun.

March 10, 2010, 01:37 PM
I only wish my didnt have the pimped out trigger but other than that I think I made a wise choice. It came with the same grips as the wood ones pictured above.

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