Which Light Weight Revolver Would You Choose Poll?


September 25, 2010, 03:27 PM
If you were going to buy 1 lightweight .38 revolver, which one would you buy?

I had a S&W model 637 with hammer that I traded for a SP101 3" brl. and never looked back, however, I am itching to buy a Ruger LCR 38+P model for a pocket gun.


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September 25, 2010, 03:33 PM
S&W 638, 642, or 442. Take your pick. I'd be happy with either of these.

September 25, 2010, 03:40 PM
I have been wanting the 642 for a while now.

September 25, 2010, 03:49 PM
Get the lcr. You won't be disappointed.

Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk

September 25, 2010, 04:10 PM
although airweights don't happen to make my eyes twinkle (nor does plastic/polymer/whatever), I would be most likely to try a LCP

reason, trigger

September 25, 2010, 06:31 PM

September 25, 2010, 06:45 PM
Regarding pocket-snubs, I'm another 442/642 fan.


Steve 48
September 25, 2010, 07:08 PM
642 for me.

September 25, 2010, 07:12 PM
I just made this decision a few weeks ago...went with the LCR in 38+p. The trigger on the LCR is just far superior out of the box. That said the proven reliability of the 442 almost had me.

September 25, 2010, 07:27 PM
LCR. Better trigger, better sights.

Lucky Derby
September 25, 2010, 07:30 PM
None of the above.
Classic S&W M38. Pre-lock, pre-mim.

Or perhaps a Colt Agent or Cobra.

September 25, 2010, 08:56 PM
M&P 340. Does everything a 442 can do, but it's tighter, lighter, has better sights, and has .357 capability.

September 25, 2010, 09:02 PM
I hesitate to ask this, because I'm honestly not wanting to stir-up trouble, or contribute to poorly-founded rumors.

I have no experience with a LCR beyond holding one at a retail store a couple of times.

Seems to me however, I've seen a fair amount of malfunction-complaints on the LCR while on gun-related internet sites.

For instance:


Is this sort of stuff just over-reported, or a real concern?


Brian Williams
September 25, 2010, 09:43 PM
I would love a real 942 but with a 2.5 inch barrel. I have a 642 with a 940 cylinder installed, AKA 942 bastard. I would also like a S&W model 12 with a 3" barrel.

September 26, 2010, 12:03 AM
My "always" CCW revolver is a vintage 1971 Model 37 Airweight . . . slick, accurate and beautiful. It rides at this moment in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster for a fast, no-snag draw.

I want no other . . . and after many years of getting to this little Roscoe, that's saying something. Forged parts, pinned barrel, classic workmanship . . . and no damn lock or Tupperware . . . to me it is the epitome of what a S&W should be. A quality gun with a great trigger.

I've been carrying this one for nearly three years. Before I got it, it was husband #2's nightstand gun (she survived three husbands) and I don't think it ever got carried . . . or even shot much. Thus, it looked great when I bought it . . . and it still does.

I put the original wood S&W stocks (serial numbered to the gun) in the safe and had Patrick Grashorn make me a set of his wonderful Elk Stag grips to my desired appearance and added a Tyler T-grip for one of the absolutely most comfortable grips one can ever imagine on a J-frame. The Elk stags are very durable and great looking too, IMHO.

Oh yeah . . . my wife has a 1971 Model 37 Airweight too, though her's is the 3" barreled version with a square butt . . . and also wears a Tyler T-grip. She loves it and shoots it quite well too. Here's mine . . .

September 26, 2010, 12:55 AM
S&Wfan - That is one sweet looking gun!!!

September 26, 2010, 02:11 AM
Seems to me however, I've seen a fair amount of malfunction-complaints on the LCR while on gun-related internet sites.

For instance:


Is this sort of stuff just over-reported, or a real concern?

Consensus here and on other boards suggest it was an ammo issue not a design issue or manufacturing defect. To be fair that is from limited information and pictures available.

What other issues are you hearing about? I've only seen the kaboom and the flame cutting issue. The flame cutting seems to be a limited batch that missed a heat treatment step and Ruger is handling those cases but seems to be very limited in number.

September 26, 2010, 02:38 AM
Colt Cobra.

September 26, 2010, 02:38 AM
What other issues are you hearing about? I've only seen the kaboom and the flame cutting issue.

You've probably covered it. Didn't mean to bash. Like I said, I have no personal experience with LCRs. Concern withdrawn.


September 26, 2010, 02:44 AM
If you were going to buy 1 lightweight .38 revolver, which one would you buy?

Well, I do only have 1 lightweight .38 Spl revolver and I went with a S&W 342


September 26, 2010, 05:49 AM
Forgot to add that I personally went with the 442 (loaded with Nyclads).

September 26, 2010, 08:32 AM
442 in left front pocket. Don't even know it's there.

September 26, 2010, 11:24 AM
I couldn't ever win a beauty contest with it, but I'd have to say Ruger LCR with CT laser grips.

The S&W with the Tyler's T and the Elk grips is a VERY nice looking gun, by the way.

September 26, 2010, 11:31 AM
I'll stick with my M&P 340. 13.3 ounces, XS Tritium Standard Dot Night Site, .357 Magnum capable, DLC coating, I put on optional Crimson Trace grips (model 405).

Great all around package for not the lightest carry, but close to it. The tradeoff is the stainless steel cylinder in the M&P series vs the PDs.



I like my 642 also....


Gary A
September 26, 2010, 11:43 AM
I have several pre-lock, pre-MIM S&W model 37s which I dearly love. I like the grip on the new S&W Bodyguard .38 better than any of the grips on the Ruger LCR but like the way the Ruger ILS works much better than the S&W ILS system. I probably don't need one but am just about ready to purchase an LCR. I was going to get either the Trijicon model with the smaller grips or a basic model and replace the grips but after handling one, I find the ultra-compact grip on the LCR to not feel comfortable at all, so I'm leaning toward the larger-gripped version. If I could have the Bodyguard grip on an LCR, that would be perfect. Yeah,...I'm going to get an LCR. I don't want to resurrect old issues but I really don't like the design of Smith's lock. For me, the Ruger design is far superior. (Since we have to get a lock with either purchase.)

September 26, 2010, 11:54 AM
Own both a 642 and a M&P340. Both of them are fine handguns after some trigger work. The J-Frame in my experience does not lend itself to a silky smooth lightweight trigger. On the other hand, with a little work and some springs it does seem to smooth out quite a bit. I don't necessarily want an ultralight trigger in something I'm going to carry in my pocket!

The 642 is the wife's purse gun. The 340 is mine and I carry it in the front pocket of cargo pants/shorts whenever something bigger is not appropriate.

The LCR does have a better trigger out of the box. I cannot fully warm up to the appearance or the clunkiness of it though. I am a Ruger SA fan so I'm not anti-Ruger.

September 26, 2010, 12:51 PM
I recently purchased a Ruger LCR... it's my first gun, if you don't count my Daisy air rifles. ;) I looked at a bunch of snubbies and the Ruger really stood out to me with it's Hogue grips and excellent trigger... and I thought the fluted cylinder looked cool. I rented one before I bought and that settled any concerns I had about small-gun recoil. It felt great and I had no discomfort. It just 'fit'.

Mind you, I would've liked an S&W just fine, but they make an overwhelming number of .38s and frankly, I couldn't find one for less than $550 locally. My LCR was $349... locally. Easy decision.

September 26, 2010, 07:01 PM
642 for me.

September 26, 2010, 07:19 PM
Either a S&W M438, M442, M638 or M642.

I carry a M642 but would like a M438 if and when they make a no ILS version like they do with the M442 and M642.

September 26, 2010, 07:22 PM
I made my choice about 3 years ago: S&W 642 and have no regrets. The LCR wasn't yet on the market at that time, though. If I were buying today, I'd definitely consider the little Ruger, too.

September 26, 2010, 08:28 PM
I have a M38 and am thinking of selling to finance a LCR. I just like the triggers.

September 27, 2010, 01:04 AM
Think I'd look for a vintage Colt Cobra or Agent.

September 27, 2010, 02:43 AM
642 638 proven

Cactus Jack Arizona
September 28, 2010, 02:13 AM
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I prefer a hammer on that revolver. Therefore, my choice would be the S&W 637 Airweight.

September 28, 2010, 07:51 AM
No contest! LCR for me; pick your caliber...

September 28, 2010, 08:37 AM
I've carried a lot of different revolvers over the past forty years. This 640 is my favorite.


September 28, 2010, 09:32 AM
I'm with 2075 Rami I prefer a hammer and the single action option S&W 637 for me.

September 28, 2010, 09:59 AM
I also prefer a hammer. I like my S&W MD 36 & 37 in a shoulder holster. My SP101 has no hammer, but in my waist band that's what I need.

September 28, 2010, 11:59 AM
I was a Die Hard J frame fan until I bought and shot my Ruger 357 LCR. The grips make 357 Ammo no problem to shoot accurately. There is nothing like carrying a backup 357 in the pocket. I am not giving up on my j frames but, for every day carry the 357 LCR has taken the place as my Backup GUN.

September 28, 2010, 03:40 PM
Colt Cobra

September 28, 2010, 05:16 PM
I chose the Taurus M85SSUL 14 years ago and need nothing else in a snubby. :D

Hondo 60
September 28, 2010, 06:21 PM
I'm ol' school I guess. I love my M36 especially since I put Altamont grips on it. I took my nephew (brother's son) out shooting last Sat & he REALLY liked the way it felt in his hand.
Maybe for his 21st B-day I can hook him up with something from my collection.

I have short fingers, but the rest of my hand is an X-Lg and I HATE having the pinky hanging out with reg J-frame stocks.

These are the same grips that come standard on the M60 Lady Smith.
It just fits perfectly. - almost like they took a cast of my hand to make them.

September 28, 2010, 08:38 PM
I chose the Taurus M85SSUL 14 years ago and need nothing else in a snubby.
You mean this one? I would have probably bought a S&W 649 but they put that ....darned....lock on everything now. The hammer lock on the Taurus is bad enough. And I have a loooong memory. I still haven't forgiven S&W for the Clinton era sellout.

September 28, 2010, 10:19 PM
Naw, that's the concealed hammer 851 (if a .38). Similar. I like that gun a lot for pockets. Mine has the exposed hammer, but pockets and draws well.

I feel the same about the Smith lock. The Taurus is a better design and doesn't bother me.


September 28, 2010, 10:28 PM
S&W all the way. I am just not a fan of the plastic revolver. It is not a selling point unless it is worlds cheaper, and it's not. The plastic is more about limiting cost of maufacture than weight reduction. You'll pay $800+ for a P226, a similar in function 2022 with a plastic frame is half that. That's how it should work.

If it is about really lightweight, search for a 340 scandium. My keys weigh more & it disappears in the pocket. CT laser grips make it the perfect choice IMO. As a .357, it is worthless due to recoil, so I limit it to .38 +P's except for the last round. Under the hammer it gets a full house 158gr thumper. I figure recoil control is mute by the last round anyway.

September 28, 2010, 10:48 PM
Get a S&W or a used Charter an Old 1960's model.

September 28, 2010, 10:50 PM
Guess I'm old school.

I carry a Model 60 .357 Mag via IWB appendix carry or on my hip, depending. I never considered it "not lightweight". When shooting it I actually prefer the extra ounces. An LCP would nice for pocket carry but this Model 60 has never presented me any trouble carrying it either of the two ways I do.



September 28, 2010, 11:28 PM
I have kept my 360PD in my pocket for the past 6 years, with full load 357 158 gr, it sure packs a wallop to my hand, but I am sure that if the time comes when needed I would not feel a thing. My wife keeps a 442 with Ivory grips in her perse and has for the past seven years.

September 28, 2010, 11:40 PM
I prefer solid steel guns like the S&W model 60 bodyguard and the Colt Cobra. I have to admit though I can wear an LCP in scrubs all day without the tug.

September 29, 2010, 12:00 AM
My choice:

S&W 642 Pro No Internal Lock on this one!


September 29, 2010, 05:44 AM
I keep comming back to the 642. IWB at 4:00, or just drop it in your pocket. In Florida, in the summertime, I havn't found anything better.

September 29, 2010, 09:42 AM
I have an LCR and like it but if money were no object would probably go with a 642 because it feels better built than the Ruger and I like smith triggers. If you get a LCR the front sight is hard to see but XS and now Novak make a replacement. The Novak comes in tritrium and also a fiber sight that is designed to resist damage. Novak is emailing prices to me hopefully today.

Has anyone tried one of the new redesigned .38 Bodyguards with integrated laser? I see them on gunbroker for about $500.

September 29, 2010, 09:51 AM
I wouldn't trade my Taurus for a 642. I'd have to do 300 bucks worth of smithing on the 642 to get as good a trigger, frankly. I've not found another gun out of the box as good, but then, I've not tried the new Ruger LCR, either. I hear it's awesome. It's kinda fugly, but then, I don't buy guns for beauty pageants.

The 642 is affordable at under 500 bucks where I've seen 'em in Academys, though, and pretty much the standard in light weight pocket .38s. I consider getting one. It's plenty shootable out of the box as is. I'd get the pro, no lock.

September 30, 2010, 01:44 AM
I'm with MCgunner. I carry my 642 just for the weight advantage but shoot my M85 better. So much so I've been giving the M856 (ie the 6 shot version, blued +P) a hard look recently.

September 30, 2010, 12:58 PM
I second the colt cobra I've had mine for 5 years now and it has had its hammer spur bobbed. I've added pachmayr compac grips and it rides in a Kramer pocket holster in my pocket every day.

I love this gun it is a great no nonsense pocket snubbie with better build quality than many of the newer guns. Plus it gives me an extra round as well.

September 30, 2010, 03:27 PM
One of the best selling and long-lived production Smith & Wesson has my vote....Model 10 snubby. Natural aim, excellent close range and very good follow-ups.

September 30, 2010, 03:31 PM
S&W 442, with Crimson Trace Laser Grips.
(the picture is the gun before the laser grips were installed)


September 30, 2010, 03:44 PM
Welcome VirginiaDude!

I had a 442.

Now I have an LCR.

I don't regret it. That pretty much sums it up. I pay (too much) attention to detail, and the LCR doesn't disappoint. The S&W design is a century old, and it shows.

Old John
September 30, 2010, 04:58 PM
I handled them all & snapped them all at the LGS's. The Taurus, the S&W's and the Ruger LCR. I liked the trigger on the Ruger LCR, the best. That's what I bought.
After 4 boxes of various shells through it, I love it. I carry it in SS front pocket,
in a cheap Uncle Mike's pocket holster.
I'm happy.

October 1, 2010, 10:20 AM
I have a M38-1. I got the chance to hold and dryfire an LCR and a 442 last night. I would trade for either in a new york min if they both had honest holster wear. I mean I hear folks talk of the old pre lock pre mim S&W J frames but man there is some awesome new stuff out there. I dont which I would choose between the 442 and LCR,

October 1, 2010, 10:30 AM
Yeah, the new LCR is nice. It ain't pretty, but it's nice. If I didn't already have a great little M85SSUL that fills the niche well, I'd be thinkin' LCR. The little Taurus fills the bill well, though, and there are far too many other guns I'd get before I'd get another light weight .38 snub. :D

October 1, 2010, 10:37 AM
+1 on the M&P340. easy to carry in front pocket and great capability extending from 38 WC's to 357's.

October 1, 2010, 10:53 AM
S&W 340 would be my top choice and is my EDC. For the budget conscious a 442 would be the ticket. Going bargan basement, it would be a Charter Arms .38 snub.

Proton Lenny
October 1, 2010, 11:20 AM
Didn't take the time to read the thread, but if you want a 642 or 442, but think you can't afford it, you need to just look around. I just bought (like two days ago) a brand new, limited run, NO-LOCK 642 for $400 after the current $50 mail in rebate from smith. Just my 2 cents.

October 1, 2010, 11:48 AM
A 642 for a pocket revolver.

October 1, 2010, 05:11 PM
I think I said it somewhere, but Academy has 642s for under 500 bucks new in box, full warranty, or did a few weeks ago.

October 1, 2010, 07:48 PM
+1 for the Colt Cobra.

Mine is extremely accurate considering it's purpose, and has a sweet trigger pull. It holds 1 more round than a j-frame or an LCR. Plus it's a Colt ;)


Second choice would be a pre-lock j-frame.

October 2, 2010, 10:20 AM
Another vote for the 642/442.

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