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642 Cons?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by C-grunt, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. C-grunt

    C-grunt Well-Known Member

    I have my eye on a 642 for a BUG or something to throw in my pocket when I run to the store. It feels nice, is a good size, lots of power for its size, and isnt very expensive. A LOT of people love and swear by these snubs, but I never hear any negative comments about it. What are some of the downsides to this weapon? Im not trying to find a reason to not buy it, I just want to gather as much info on it as possible.
  2. Serpico

    Serpico Well-Known Member

    I don't know any.....scandiums and ti's are so light they are brutal to shoot and the steel frames are a bit heavy for pocket and ankle...the 642 is the baby bear of snubs....just right.
  3. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    I dunno. I wear a 640 (all steel) every day at work in an ankle rig, and most of the time when I'm off-duty, too. I almost forget that it is there. I think all-steel might get old in a pocket gun, but I certainly have no qualms about toting that "extra weight" if it is IWB or ankle-holstered.

    The trade-off is that the extra weight makes it a LOT more pleasant to shoot, and probably more durable as well.

    To me- and this is just me- the ti/scandium/alloy/airweight guns are cases of the cure being worse than the disease. Make mine solid steel, thanks.

  4. resqbubba

    resqbubba New Member


    I have a 642. It is hard to shoot and you need to keep up the practice. It is great on the ankle, and in the pocket with an Uncle Mikes Pocket Holster. The price is almost perfect too usually about $350-$400. I called a police officer friend of mine when I bought my 642. I asked him, do I want a light weight .38 or a light weight .357?? I can shoot both thru a .357. He told me to think about 2 things. One, do you want to spend the extra $250 or so for the gun in .357??? Also, do you want your shots with .357 scattered about if you had to run and fire behind you?? Or would you want those shots to be center mass on an attacker if you had to run and fire at them with the .38. Hence he was trying to explain the recoil differences in a lighter gun. Here are a couple additional thoughts of mine about carrying it. Should you get into a gun fight, you will probably be shooting (should you need to shoot) from you to about seven feet away. As most know, just having the gun visible to an attacker or otherwise is normally enough to scare them off. But be ready to use it, should you need to.

    Sorry for the ramble, but I just wanted to explain some thoughts on the gun. In mine, and yes it is a 642 .38, I carry the 135gr +p gold dots. I just hope after 5 shots in someone they stop, as some else stated after a shooting it alot, your hand does hurt. Invest in a pair of Hogue grips, IMHO they are better than the ones that come with it!!!

    TOADMAN Well-Known Member

    642 Cons: (1) capacity, lots of folks want more than five rounds in a handgun.
    (2) practice, takes a bit more to practice to become proficient..
  6. Technosavant

    Technosavant Well-Known Member

    There really aren't any downsides, so long as you know exactly what you are getting: a reliable gun that can save your bacon when facing 1-2 assailants at close range. 5 shots means you don't want to try taking on a group of sub-legally employed youth, and the miserable sights/DA only trigger pull means that you don't want to take distance shots with it. It's quite accurate for such a small gun though.

    It is a touch big for the pocket- while I carry mine there, it's pretty obvious I have something good-sized in there. That's just how it is with revolvers; a Beretta Tomcat would hide better, but I trust the .38spl far more than the .32ACP.

    I love mine- it fills its particular niche well, and it really is the snubby revolver by which others must be measured.
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    I have a couple of criticisms. First, you can't cock it, but then that's a good thing for a pocket carry BUG, so you can't really consider that a criticism. 2, it has a pretty rough out of the box trigger, but I'm told it'll smooth with time. Other than that, I have been thinking of getting one, actually. It might be heavy up against a titanium gun, but it's what, 19 ounces? That's not really what I call heavy even in a pocket, though it's getting there. It's a strong little gun, plenty stout enough for hot +P handloads or whatever sane .38 you wanna fire in it.

    I'm not sure why the gun should be any harder to shoot than any other J frame with a good grip on it. I love the little rubber boot grip my Taurus 85UL came with. An Uncle Mike's boot grip is quite similar. It's concealable, pocketable, yet is comfortable in the hand. The rubber absorbs some of the +P sting, too. My Taurus is the main reason I ain't runnin' out to get a 642. I can buy a 642 at my local gun shop for just over $300. That's a danged bargain for a Smith! I've fired a couple and handle a couple and the trigger is a good bit worse out of the box than my Taurus, though. The Taurus is very smooth, one of the best out of the box triggers I've ever felt this side of a Python. And, I do like the fact I can shoot it SA because I take it outdoors a lot, shot a snake with it just the other day. The sight I have on it is much better than a 642 comes with, I had it installed, black front sight with a gold reference wire for my light loads (Keith style). I'm all set up with that little revolver, so don't feel the need for another for what I use even a pocket revolver for. But, for your duty, the 642 is an excellent choice. Snag free hammerless is better out of a pocket, I do admit. And, the sights ain't THAT bad even stock.
  8. orionengnr

    orionengnr Well-Known Member

    Run and fire behind you? With unaimed fire, .38 is more accurate than .357? Please. :rolleyes:

    Cons: It weighs 15 oz...as does my Kahr PM9. My Kahr is dead reliable, carries 6+1 of 9mm Ranger 127gr+p+ (seven for sure;)) , with another 7 rounds just a mag change away. Better yet, my Kahr is smaller than a j-frame (yes, I own two j-frames, and carry neither). And my Kahr has No Lock. ;)
  9. aguyindallas

    aguyindallas Well-Known Member

    I have had mine for a week now and I have no complaints. I have carried it in two different pocket holsters. One is a Desantis Nemesis and the other is a Galco Pocket Horsehide. Both do very well and represent both ends of the spectrum in material and cost.

    I bought mine NIB from www.sportingarms.com and it was $339.00 plus tax. I talked to them today and they told me all S&W prices were going up between 8 and 11% on Aug. 1st.

    If you are considering one, make a move, and make it quick.

    As for downsides....the topic of this...I can only think of 1 and that is capacity. 5 shots is a little light, but then again, reloads are easy to carry and in 90% of those that CCW, its probably a BUG anyway. For me, it is my primary more than it will be a BUG. 1 other thing that I am not a fan of is the front sight. Its just hard to see. This is not just a 642 problem though, its a snubby problem.

    Good luck, you will love it!
  10. ravencon

    ravencon Well-Known Member

    There is nothing wrong with the 642. Nevertheless, I recently upgraded to the 340Sc for pocket carry.

    For me it is worth the extra cost and heavier recoil to have a very light pocket pistol. YMMV.

    If I want to carry a snubby on my belt I go with a Ruger SP101. Much heavier and much easier to shoot well.
  11. JNewell

    JNewell Well-Known Member


    * Buy a steel J-frame for practice! :D
  12. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Well-Known Member

    Con: It's not a 637. :neener:

    Yes, I know I'm in the minority, but i prefer the 637. I've tried for a week to get the hammer spur to catch on what I'm wearing. It hasn't yet. Slides right out of my pocket, especiall the usual khakis.
  13. jes

    jes Well-Known Member

    Bites My Thumb

    The 642 is my carry gun and I practice with it at least once a week. My only problem is that with "stout" ammo, my right thumb knuckle can get beat up on the cylinder release.:what: I have to be very careful to pull my thumb out of the way.
  14. Sleeping Dog

    Sleeping Dog Well-Known Member

    My 642 is painful on the trigger finger. I think the recoil causes the trigger guard to hit the nail on my trigger finger. Especially bad with +P loads.

    So, on any outing, I only shoot about 20-30 rounds with it, another 20 rounds with the weaker hand, then get out the 686 for more pleasant plinking.

    So if there's any downside to the 642, it's the recoil.
  15. symr00

    symr00 Well-Known Member

    The only cons for me were that all the local dealers around here want $480 to $520 for them :confused:
  16. The Good

    The Good Well-Known Member

    corection on an above post.. it is actually 12 oz. unloaded..

    oh and the recoil aint too bad, so dont worry about that too much.
  17. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

    As a fun or range gun there are several cons as has been previously mentioned. When you consider what it was designed to do, be a lightweight easy to carry reliable gun in a respectable caliber, absolutely nothing is wrong with it. Different guns for different jobs.
  18. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    AMEN Brother! I'm glad I ain't the only one who feels that way.

    I carried all steel J-frames on my ankles for about 15 years. In a good holster you can actually forget they are there. The problem is there are very few good ankle holsters anymore no matter what the weight.
  19. Ichiro

    Ichiro Well-Known Member

    light gun + small grip + heavy trigger + short barrel = difficult for me to shoot accurately.

  20. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam


    Sometimes there is not enough too go around~!:eek: :uhoh: :D

    As we all learned in school, that is called:

    Supply and Demand

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