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Smith snubby question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Black Adder LXX, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. Black Adder LXX

    Black Adder LXX Well-Known Member

    Okay... *takes deep breath*

    I'm relatively new to S&W revolvers, although I do own a model 34. I'm looking into a 38spl snubby (+p is... well... a plus), and do not want one of the new ones like the 642. I really like the smith 642, but have a serious issue of principle with purchasing ANYTHING with an internal lock. This would include purchasing a firearm with the lock and having it removed. Therefore, I realize I am looking for a used gun, which is why I need help.

    Can I please get some recommendations for a S&W snubby (stainless is a must) that would be close to the size of the 642, but pre-lock. I do realize that there will be a difference in weight due to materials. I also realize that Ruger makes the sp101, and am interested in them as well, but want more information on older S&W's.

    In case there are any suggestions that require additional context, I am looking for a daily carry piece, and would be interested in pocket carry (allowing for the same issues as the 642) if possible.

    Also, I am fairly ignorant of the 'nomenclature' smith uses; ie letter designations for frame size and series numbers, etc. Any specific model numbers would be greatly appreciated, as well as any information regarding whether a particular suggestion is rated for +p rounds.

    Thanks in advance for any helpful advice!
  2. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Well-Known Member

    You can probably find a pre-lock 642 if you look around some. I really like mine.
  3. nicholst55

    nicholst55 Well-Known Member

    Take a look at an S&W M60; they come in both .38 and .357, with the .357s bringing a significant premium. Also 2 and 3" barrels with the 3" barrels demanding a BIG premium. This is due to the marginally longer ejector rod which allows .38 brass to be kicked completely clear of the cylinder, unlike with a 2" barrel.
  4. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    As has been stated, an older all stainless 2" barrel S&W model 60 in .38 Spl.
    would be ideal. Oh~! The weight difference, is only 4 ozs; with the 642
    weighing in at 15 ozs, and the old model 60 weighing in at 19 ozs~! ;):D
  5. welldoya

    welldoya Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind that if you plan to pocket carry, the model 60 has a hammer which could snag on your pocket.
    I have a model 60 .357 and it seems to weigh quite a bit more than the older .38s and a whole lot more than the 642. I wanted to pocket carry so I recently bought a 642 lock and all.
    I would rather it not have a lock but it wasn't a deal-killer for me.
    There has to be a reason it's S&Ws biggest seller. And it was by far the biggest seller at the gunshop where I bought it.
  6. glockman19

    glockman19 Well-Known Member

  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    There are many M638, M640, M642 and M649's which were produced before the lock was installed. If you go back a little further the M38 & M49 Bodyguard along with the M40 and M42 Centennial were also outstanding snub nose revolvers. I don't think they are rated for +P like the Model 600 Series revolvers are.
  8. YosemiteSam357

    YosemiteSam357 Well-Known Member

    Actually, the difference is 7.5oz; The 642 is indeed 15oz, but the 2-1/8" model 60 (standard fluted cylinder) is 22.5oz. That's almost a 1/2 pound difference.

    I own both. My M60 is pre-lock (pre-MIM, too; I bought it new in '96), but I succumbed to the lure of the light weight of the 642. Makes a great pocket gun.

    I would prefer no lock, and no MIM, but in this case the other features it did have outweighed (no pun intended) the negatives.

    FWIW, two days after I bought my lock-equipped 642-2 I saw a pre-lock (642 "no dash") on GB for $25 more than I paid for mine, plus shipping, of course. So they're out there, if you're willing to look, wait, be patient, and pay.

    (Now I'm looking for a non-lock, pinned & recessed 4" or 6" M25 in .45 Colt, in case you see one...)

    -- Sam
  9. Soybomb

    Soybomb Well-Known Member

    Maybe pick up a 642 and have it modified to have no lock?
  10. Iggy

    Iggy Well-Known Member

    Another option if you want to go used is the 640-1 Stainless Steel, Centennial model.. No lock, no MIM, and .357 magnum [​IMG]

    A little heavier than the 642 and 442's but that makes for more pleasant shooting with +p or magnum loads.
  11. sm

    sm member

    Model 60 is a great gun.

    Staying with J frames, also consider a Model 38, this is a "hump-back" that shields the hammer.
    Meaning the hammer "can be" assessed if need, but reduces the likelihood of being snagged on the draw.
    Some hands, tend to fit with this gun better as it does allow a higher grip.

    Yes, the overall size will be bigger, then again it will depend on you, as to how it
    fits your needs.

    I know you want Stainless.

    Do not pass up a great buy on a Model 36 , all blue steel , or Model 37, blue steel and alloy, Model 042 , blue steel and alloy and the same gun later referred to as 442, before the lock.

    K frames. Yes I know you asked about J frames.
    Model 64 is a dedicated .38spl and holds six rounds, the snub nosed is fine, if you can use a 3" for your needs, you will have one of the finest revolvers for CCW.

    I mention the blued guns for a reason.
    In today's world everyone wants Stainless, and sometimes the blued ones are easier to find, and do not command the price of the "stain" - "less" guns.

    Like in used Police trade in guns, and while there is holster wear, the OLDer , better internals are pristine, with the better metallurgy , craftsmanship and QC of yesteryear.
  12. sig226

    sig226 Well-Known Member

    Look around and you should be able to get a scratched up Model 36 for $100 - $150. You won't find this gun at a gun store, but they're out there. A competent gunsmith can grind down the hammer spur to round it off or remove it completely, making it operate as a DAO. Send it to Walther Birdsong for the Black T finish, which will cost about $150. A Boot Grip is $20.

    For a little effort, you'll have a steel .38 that won't rust for about $400, no internal lock.

    S&W numbers: anything with a 6 in front is stainless. 686, 60, 640, 659, etc.

    The 2 at the end indicates the alloy frame; 642, stainless + alloy, 442, black + alloy (I think it is not stainless.)

    Two digit model numbers began when Smith and Wesson renamed their models in the late 1950s. Three digit model numbers began with the use of stainless steel in the guns in the early 1970s, IIRC. Four digit model numbers began in the 1980s for the semiautomatics. The first two digits were the model number. The third digit indicated the trigger type, 6=DA/SA, 4=DAO. The fourth digit indicates the materials used. 6 is stainless, 4 is alloy, I think 3 was blued or blackened aluminum with blue.

    The digit at the end indicates the revision. The original Chief's Special is model 36, then it became 36-1, -2, etc. I have a 36-7. The revision numbers indicate changes in manufacturing, not new materials or redesigns. The original 36 had a pin that locked the barrel in place after it was screwed into the frame. This was removed from later models.
  13. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Actually, my friend Yosemite Sam 357 is incorrect-:eek:

    As the older, 2" barrel S&W model 60 .38 Special was introduced by S&W
    in 1965 weighing in at only 19 ozs, or the same is its blued or factory
    nickel counterparts. The 22.5 oz model 60 is actually a .357 magnum folks. ;)
  14. YosemiteSam357

    YosemiteSam357 Well-Known Member

    I assume you are correct, but I was looking at current production models. I have no knowledge of the .38-only model 60.

    -- Sam
  15. Black Adder LXX

    Black Adder LXX Well-Known Member

    Thanks to everybody for the replies.

    sig226 - thank you for the info on the S&W numbering system. It makes a little more sense to me now.
  16. Rexster

    Rexster Well-Known Member

    The new M40 will have NO LOCK, and a grip safety, just like the old M40s. :)
  17. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I wouldn't have one in the house, still less a holster. Anything that needlessly complicates a gun is a bad idea.
  18. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Well-Known Member

    Find you a 642-1. It is prelock. I bought this one 10 years ago and carry it just about everyday. It is an early one and is not +P rated...gun is not marked for +P. I carry +P ammo in it however.

  19. M1 Shooter

    M1 Shooter Well-Known Member

    Here is my older M60. I had the hammer bobbed so it's less likely to snag. It can still be cocked, but you have to be very careful, so I just fire it DA most of the time. I have carried and used this revolver a lot. It's my always gun. In fact I carry it more than any other gun.
    It weighs 24oz. fully loaded. I have no experience with the alloy or magnum versions, so I don't know what they weigh. The weight doesn't really bother me though, and I've even forgotten I was carrying it on a few occasions. I carry it either in my right front pocket or appendix carry with cheap Uncle Mike's holsters. The weight also makes it more comfortable to shoot, I find it quite comfortable to shoot even with +p loads.


    BTW, I feel the same way you do about the locks, and I also refuse to buy a new S&W with the lock.
  20. Black Adder LXX

    Black Adder LXX Well-Known Member

    M1 Shooter - thanks for the pic - that, sir looks like a fine carry piece. What kind of grip is that?
    Yeah, I guess I call it 'moral outrage'... :)

    Rexster - I looked for the M40 on the S&W website and couldn't find. Any place to get more info?

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