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642 Club Part Three

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by fiVe, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. DAdams

    DAdams Well-Known Member

    May you enjoy health, home and hearth for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

  2. Camjr

    Camjr Well-Known Member

    Well, I finally wandered back over to the club. Never let my membership lapse, but haven't been visiting much. I need to change that. The 642 still remains cozy in either a Mika round cut or a Nemesis depending on the pants of the day, and it's diet of 135gr +p Gold Dots still keeps it healthy.

    I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, celebrating what you have to be thankful for. One of the things I'm thankful for is Christmas shopping with a 642 in the pocket...

  3. DAdams

    DAdams Well-Known Member

    Thanks for stopping by camjr.
    Glad to see you are still a X42 carrying member.
    That's a substantial carry combination.
  4. hwmoore

    hwmoore Active Member

    don't go to walmart

    apparently you need a small revolver in your pockets to go shopping at wally world on black Friday
    a pistol is like a visa card, don't leave home with out it
  5. rayban

    rayban Well-Known Member

  6. DAdams

    DAdams Well-Known Member

    rayban, yes, the Hogue Monogrips will work very nicely. Full grip and cover the backstrap. You may find that if you are going to pocket carry they may expose, depending on your pocket, cover etc.

    You might also consider the Pachmyars.


    I have Monogrips on my 686, I liked them better than the stock Pachmayrs.

    If you can find a local gun store that carries both you could probably try them both. They aren't that expensive even at the LGS.

    Here is what they will look like in a Mika Roundcut on a J Frame.


    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  7. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    I'll echo what DA said. I've got full Hogue Monogrips on both my 642 and my 65. Love the additional control they offer. Of course, I don't pocket carry my 642; OWB only. So, YMMV.

    When I finally get a 340M&P, it'll wear a set of them, too.

    (I'm actually considering selling both my 65 and 642 to upgrade to a 340. Oh, the heresy! :eek: )
  8. RetDep310

    RetDep310 Well-Known Member

    Nematocyst: Don't think you'll be run out of town for getting a 340. I have one, but still check out the 642 Club. You will love the 340!!
  9. DAdams

    DAdams Well-Known Member

    Seeing that dirty J Frame is getting me worked up for some time off over the Holidays to get to the range.

  10. Old Bull Lee

    Old Bull Lee Active Member

    Another Hogue Monogrip endorsement here. Improved my shooting 1000%. I could never grip the weapon properly with the stock grips.

    If you pocket carry in a small pocket (like the ones in jeans) and the butt of the gun is visible, the Hogue grip may cause you a problem. If you pocket carry with larger pockets (like the ones in work pants or tactical pants, or even some cargo pants), the Hogue will be fine.
  11. NCyst:

    If you are carrying OWB at all, why not keep the M65 for that application? The additional weight of a 3-4” all SS M65 is a huge aid to controllability with heavy .357 loads. Moreover, to wear out an issue that’s probably been posted here quite a bit, in a 1.9” barrel, the performance difference between the +P .38 and full-house .357 is not that great. The 340 is cool and super-light, though, so I can’t say I don’t appreciate the emotional side.

    Again, I am a very big believer that training with pocket-carried self defense firearms demands a “shoot it like you’ll be using it” focus, mainly because it’s such a challenge to execute that effective FIRST SHOT from concealment. But all of us must maintain our basic sight alignment and trigger control skills. I still shoot all my defensive weapons in a stand-on-your-hind-legs-like-a-man, deliberative fashion at the range just for skills verification. All shooting is done at least at an NRA Rapid-Fire pace (5 shots/10 seconds) dictated by their likely use “in anger”.

    Although I am certainly not an instructor and I don’t pretend to be one, I have given a number of friends and acquaintances some pointers in safe range practices and basic handgun handling and shooting. The first target is typical for me and achievable by any reasonably coordinated person. It is what I have told my “students” they should generally strive to achieve with their carry load before they step into more serious practical training.

    It was fired from the 442 with some old +P Hydra Shocks. As you can see, I used a reversed B2 target. I tell people that they won’t have a nice orange bull or a fat guy silhouette with rings when the SHTF, and shooting from low ready at a blank sheet is a good test of how your eye will naturally find a CoM. Anyhow, if you can’t read the tiny writing, this was at 10 Meters, starting from low ready with a Speed Strip reload, 28 seconds end-to-end. (Yes, the 442 can shoot better. Stacking the trigger -- yes, I do it for recreational shooting -- I can shrink this group by half. Stoke the little fella with my 148Gr WC handloads, and I can carve off some more. But that’s just for showing off.) My normal Rem 158gr +P is about the same ferocity, and groups are similar.

    From here I apply a rule that was espoused by a retired Houston Constable: Take the worst group you shoot in rapid fire on any given day. Now double the maximum spread of your hits. That’s the BEST you’ll do in a gunfight at that range -- probably worse. When you look at this target, you can see that I am at my limit for effective use of a lightweight J Frame with .38 +P.

    Now, switch to the 65, and here is the result:

    I didn’t have Speed Loaders with me so it’s only 5 shots and it’s fired NRA Rapid Fire pace. (I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote “H-S” on the target; it should read HP. Also it's clearly NOT my M64. I think the noisy range distracted me.) You can see I tend to walk my shots to the left in rapid fire with a high-recoiling load. Plus I cheated by having an aiming bull. But it's a pretty typical result and it shows how much the extra weight “tames the beast”, and the additional inch+ of barrel really helps reduce error at impact. I am dead confident in the 65 at ranges beyond arms length with the hottest loads I can purchase. Fired SA, you can drill them into one big hole at that range.

    I have actually fired the 65 “in anger”, successfully stopping a large feral dog that was determined to take charge at our campground. The range was less than 25 feet but both shots (the old Fed .357 125gr HP made famous by Marshall, rightly or not) went exactly where they were aimed in a very frantic situation. I’m sure the J Frame would not have served as well with the same load.

    tl/dr: Although you didn't ask my opinion, I think the 65 is about the minimum .357 piece for me, and I shoot it better than the 442.

    Attached Files:

  12. Well, I was playing hooky at the range today, and after some serious competitive shooting practice, I broke out some of the fun stuff. I had a mixed box of old ammo and decided to try the 442 at 50 feet.

    This was the best target, using the last of some old Remington 158gr LRN, and the last five rounds of some great old (25+ yrs) Federal 148 gr Match ammo. I fired at a slow pace (five shots in about a minute), going to low ready and relaxing breathing between each shot but maintaining grip for all five.

    I must say I have seen others post better slow fire results from a J Frame at this distance. But I'm OK with these, and I think they speak well for the gun. It ain't John McClane cutting the power line in Die Hard 3, but it shows that a barrel under 2 inches long can send bullets to the right place consistently.
    I also relearned a few things today:

    (1) When firing purely for accuracy, slowly and with regard only for sight alignment and trigger control, I am reminded of how fundamentally uncomfortable the Airweight really is (WC rounds excepted). Honestly, when shooting with an eye to speed, the recoil just doesn't seem to smack as hard as when you are slow and deliberate. Ow. Just ow.

    (2) Even though the sights are chunky and square, the 442's sight radius cruelly announces your slightest error to the whole range. So not only does it hurt but you really look silly.

    (3) Grip variance is also very apparent with the 442. Observe the marked lateral difference in POI.

    (4) Excepting my Beretta Jetfire, of all the guns in my safes it's the toughest to shoot well by far. OK, I'm finished with the excuses.

    (5) Old ammo stored properly can still be great ammo. Despite the fact that it was manufactured long before the word "text" became a verb, in my M27 or 28 the Federal wadcutters would have been in a ragged hole.

    (6) I love my 158gr LSWC Rem +Ps for carry, but I would not feel under gunned with a match WC round in a pinch. Look at those clean holes. It doesn't slip through -- it CUTS a hole from the start.

    Attached Files:

  13. Win1892

    Win1892 Well-Known Member

    My 642 trigger pull exceeds the limits of my Lyman scale, which puts it close to 13 lbs. While that is workable for me, several women I know would struggle with that.
    Can I get that down to maybe 9 pounds without sacrificing reliability?
  14. The guy local to me who has done several S&W revolver action jobs managed to get both of mine to the 9-10 lb range. He did the usual deburr and smoothing job as well as install the Apex J Frame Duty/Carry spring kit. It really makes a difference.

    Before anyone rains the Reply of Death on my head for recommending a lighter spring kit, let me say quickly that I run the snot out of ANY action job before I assign that piece to actual carry. I define my “snot” measurement as 100 “hard” primers lit off, zero FTF. Internet lore and personal opinion tend to drive the choice of test primer. For the past couple of years a lot of people claim that prize goes to Wolf. I spent about $20 on 1000 of these in 2010 -- haven’t used them for anything but testing the two 442 action jobs. I still have 800 left; the Apex springs have not proved to be a problem.

    Nonetheless, you should be sure to keep the old springs, should you go this route. If you are skittish about such radical surgery, be assured that smoothing alone makes a big difference.
  15. double tapped post -- apologies to all
  16. DAdams

    DAdams Well-Known Member

    Good stuff there Jake.
  17. Brett Byers AKA Slow

    Brett Byers AKA Slow Well-Known Member

    I just bought a 642 with wood boot grips but I haven't had a chance to shoot it with my work schedule. I bought Remington 158 LHP +P, Federal 129 +P, Winchester WWB 125 +P, WWB 130, Double Tap 110 Barnes +P and Underwood 125 +P to see what it and I like best.
  18. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    Happy new year, 642'ers.

    May 2013 be better than 2012.

    (And the world didn't end on 12.21.12.)
  19. lg&m

    lg&m Well-Known Member

    Happy 2013 all
  20. warrconn

    warrconn Active Member

    642 and 442 availability

    I have a 442 that I love.My question is, why are they not readilly available anymore? Most outlets are sold out of them and 642s. Is S&W limiting/stopping production?

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