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Old May 11, 2011, 10:57 AM   #701
Old Bull Lee
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The primary reason I wanted one was that with the factory rubber, a proper/standard revolver handhold leaves a big gap between the top of the backstrap and the web of my hand.

If I choke up my handhold to close the gap, the gun is tilted in my hand. Then the trigger is almost on the inside of my trigger finger knuckle, and during a trigger pull my index finger runs into my thumb, even if it's curled down.

This is the ONLY difficulty I've had shooting the 642 vs. other j-frames, so I'm excited. (Just ordered one from the Hogue site.) I appreciate all the information from the contributors here.

People like to complain about all the BS on the internet, but I've found this and other forums to be 400 times more useful than the gunshop/range know-it-all's out in meatspace.
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Old May 22, 2011, 06:49 PM   #702
BradGad
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New Guy

Hi Folks... I had to sell my handguns a number of years ago when times were very tight (I *really* miss that pinned and recessed model 66!). I've been meaning to get at least one good self defense gun for some time.

Part of the delay was "option paralysis" ... I was having a hard time making up my mind between the 642, the 340 M&P, and the 640-1. Each has aspects I like.

Well, the question settled itself today when I saw a like-new pre-lock 642 at what I consider a fair price: $400. I picked it up and it felt juuuust fine in my hand. So, it came home with me!

Now comes the part of trying out different ammo and pocket holsters! I'll be re-reading the 642 club thread here over the next couple days, but meantime, any recommendations?
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Old May 22, 2011, 07:55 PM   #703
Rob1109
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DeSantis Nemisis....does the job simply.
also good for the LCR.
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Old May 22, 2011, 08:55 PM   #704
rodpumas
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Ejector rod froze

This is a question for fiVe or anyone else living along the coast.

I was getting ready to clean our pair of 642's yesterday and encountered an ejector rod that would not move when I went to unload my wife's carry piece.

I wound up carefully encouraging the ejector rod to move enough to be able to
remove the shells. It had been a few months since I had taken the time to clean them up. Exposure to the coastal atmosphere must have contributed to this condition.

I always am in the habit of opening the cylinder and moving the ejector rod to freeup the shells and reseat them whenever I get ready to strap on. I forgot to tell my wife to get in the habit of doing the same for her 642.

Has anyone else experienced the same thing ?
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Old May 22, 2011, 11:10 PM   #705
41
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I live around the southern coast also, and I have not experienced any kind of problem like that. I've only had mine for about half of a year though.


Also, I've been shooting my 642 fairly frequently, and I was just wondering if anyone has worn out their 642, and how many rounds they are expected to stand up to.
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Old May 23, 2011, 12:21 AM   #706
sixgunner455
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41 - I don't know anyone personally who has worn a 642 out. I also have no particular round count I expect my guns to stand up to.

However, I expect a S&W revolver to last a long, long time. How long? I had one that was a police service revolver from 1930 until sometime in the 1990s. S&W M&P. It is now my father's defense piece. It doesn't get shot an awful lot nowadays, but it is just as accurate and reliable as any other .38 I've had, and I'd carry it tomorrow without concern as to whether or not it was going to do the job.

My 642 is 7 years old. Just a baby compared to that octogenarian antique. Gets shot more, too. But I don't expect to wear it out. If I ever do, I'll get another one.
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Old May 23, 2011, 07:06 AM   #707
Gato MontÚs
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Oops...

I had somewhat of a buildup of fouling on the frame around the forcing cone that bothered me every time I looked at it. Finally it bugged me so much that I busted out all my picks and tools and went to work. No matter how hard I picked, that fouling wasn't coming off, so I grabbed my lead remover cloth.

Man does that lead remover cloth work! Not only did it take away all that fouling, but the frame's finish as well!

Lesson learned kiddies? Don't be so anal about firearm cleanliness, and STAY AWAY FROM THE LEAD REMOVING CLOTH!
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Old May 23, 2011, 12:47 PM   #708
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Nasser....thanks for the reminder.

Quote:
Lesson learned kiddies? Don't be so anal about firearm cleanliness, and STAY AWAY FROM THE LEAD REMOVING CLOTH!
Thanks for the reminder. Those who read all the posts would have known that as it has been advised against since post 234 just kidding but I know I warned against it at least three times. The warning is posted clearly on the package.

Do Not use Kleen Bore Lead Away cloths on anything but stainless steel.
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Old May 23, 2011, 11:59 PM   #709
Gato MontÚs
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You know what the worst part is? I knew the risk, but [xxx] it that fouling had to go! I have OCD when it come to things like that. Oh well, at least I'll have a visible reminder.

It does look quite shiny though, maybe I should just polish the rest of the frame.
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Last edited by rbernie; May 24, 2011 at 09:19 PM. Reason: removed profanity
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Old May 24, 2011, 02:51 AM   #710
jpoppafoxtrot
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My 2 Cents Worth on Grips and Holsters

I'm a life-time wheel gunner but newer 642 guy and have been fortunate enough to play around with a few different grips and holsters so here's a report for whatever it's worth-- it really is a comfort zone issue.
Mika makes a great holster but you want to have both a square cut and round cut unless you wear the same britches every day-- it's about the pockets. I also got a real reasonable square cut with the full square on the backhand side from an auction site which works real well in pants with not so deep a pocket.
To keep the the butt under the radar I've stuck to the stock S&W Uncle Mikes and Hogue Bantams, but have switched out to the Hogue Mono grips to practice with it as a hip gun out of an old Bianchi I had around, and as a confidence builder without beating myself up. I'm kind of old school so I'll probably wind up with a set of those nice wood Secret Service grips just because and swapping over to the Mono's when I want to go make noise and hit tight and get my mind right.
Truth is, I want to know it's able but only ever want it out when I'm home and go to put it on the table.
Hell, I'm showing my age--- I sound like Mohammad Ali !!!
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Old May 24, 2011, 04:54 PM   #711
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JPT

Quote:
I'm kind of old school so I'll probably wind up with a set of those nice wood Secret Service grips just because and swapping over to the Mono's when I want to go make noise and hit tight and get my mind right.Truth is, I want to know it's able but only ever want it out when I'm home and go to put it on the table.
Hell, I'm showing my age--- I sound like Mohammad Ali !!!
Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old May 28, 2011, 02:03 PM   #712
BradGad
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Hi Folks,

Got a chance to take my 642 to the range for the first time today, shooting at five yards. Bottom line: better than I expected.

Back in my 20's, I owned a number of nice handguns, but didn't practice regularly. I was -- to put it bluntly -- a pretty lousy shot.

I'm 50 now, and have recently acquired a 642. I plan to practice enough to master the thing. I think I can reasonably commit to range practice at least every two weeks, and laser dry fire practice everyday (I don't have the laser insert yet.)

Today, first live session of that schedule, went OK. First group and a couple others were all over the place, 8" or so, but toward the end I had I couple 3" groups. Point shooting was actually about the same as my worst aimed group. (Well, I say "aimed" ... really hard to pick up these sites without my glasses.) (Plus, they had these powerful fans on the range, and there was a distinct breeze... the target was moving a fair amount.)

Recoil bothered me for the first couple cylinders, but then I stopped noticing it.

Anyway... that's just context... I actually do have a couple questions.

I was shooting mostly Federal American Eagle 130 grain. Those seemed pretty much sighted in at 5 yards, when I was doing my part.

But, I was also trying out a couple potential carry rounds. Specifically, the only two they had in the shop when I picked up my gun: Federal "Low Recoil" 110 grain Hydra-Shoks and Hornady "Critical Defense" 110 grain FTX.

I know that lighter bullets shoot lower, but I was surprised at how much. Something like 8" for the Federal, and maybe 5-6" for the Hornady.

So... my questions. A) Is there something I'm likely to be doing as an untrained shooter that aggravates this problem, and B) Any ammo recommendations? I'm specifically looking for a premium carry round that tends to be sighted in to POA for a 642. (I *am* slogging my way through old posts in the archive, but it's taking a while, and I haven't come across this yet.)

Thanks

Last edited by BradGad; May 28, 2011 at 03:43 PM.
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Old May 28, 2011, 02:17 PM   #713
rdrancher
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BradGrad

I like Buffalo Bore's standard pressure 158gr LSWCHP's, or 135gr Gold Dots myself. For me...the BB's hit to POA. There's a write up on a few choices in my sig if it helps.

rd
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Old May 28, 2011, 02:34 PM   #714
sloman
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Congrats Brad! You've gotten one of the best carry pieces around! Hey, I'm 52 and love them J frames too!
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Old May 28, 2011, 02:52 PM   #715
sixgunner455
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Welcome aboard, Brad! You made a great choice in your gun.

125gr standard velocity HP is what I usually carry in my 642, either Speer Gold Dot, or Federal Nyclad. They seem to hit pretty much POA=POI.

Non-adjustable sights, you have to find a load that works that way for your gun. If the 130gr jacketed ball was hitting POA=POI, then you probably want to look for a load in the 125gr-135gr range.
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Old May 28, 2011, 03:37 PM   #716
fiVe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodpumas
This is a question for fiVe or anyone else living along the coast.

I was getting ready to clean our pair of 642's yesterday and encountered an ejector rod that would not move when I went to unload my wife's carry piece.

I wound up carefully encouraging the ejector rod to move enough to be able to
remove the shells. It had been a few months since I had taken the time to clean them up. Exposure to the coastal atmosphere must have contributed to this condition.

I always am in the habit of opening the cylinder and moving the ejector rod to freeup the shells and reseat them whenever I get ready to strap on. I forgot to tell my wife to get in the habit of doing the same for her 642.

Has anyone else experienced the same thing ?
I realize I'm late with this reply, but I have had no problems like you've described. It's a good question and something to keep it mind as humidity is almost always with us down here.
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═══════════════════════
The 642 Club part 1 The 642 Club part 2
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Old May 28, 2011, 03:54 PM   #717
BradGad
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Thanks Guys

Thanks guys... just the kinda suggestions I need. And, I really like your blog, RD!
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Old May 29, 2011, 07:30 PM   #718
ugaarguy
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So I leave THR for a few months, and this thing grows into part three? Awesome! After piddling with a few. 380 pocket pistols, I returned today to the Air weight J Frame. A trade of one lightly used Diamondback DB 380 and $75 OTD netted me satin nickel, no dash, 442. From a distance it looks like a 642, until you get up close and realize it's nickel rather than the 642's matte silver finish. I'm glad I kept my old holsters, and it feels good to have a Centennial again.
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Old May 30, 2011, 01:05 PM   #719
rdrancher
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Quote:
Thanks guys... just the kinda suggestions I need. And, I really like your blog, RD!
Glad you enjoyed it. It could use a few dozen updates, but you know how life is.

rd
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Old May 30, 2011, 03:57 PM   #720
Stainz
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Never have had the stuck ejector rod - yet! Despite my basement ammo factory, I bought some Zero brand reloads locally Saturday. A local yuppee sporting goods dealer carries the 158gr LSWC and, my choice, the 148gr LWCHB reloads for $8/50 - hard to beat. The 148gr LWCHB's leave a constant .357" diameter hole - pretty decent stoppers - for mild target rounds. Great practice ammo - hard to beat the price. My .38 Spcl +P carry load - also used in my .357 Magnum HD firearms - will remain the Remington R38S12 +P 158gr LHPSWC's. Gotta admit, however, I can stack those 148gr LWCHB's one on top the other when shot from the 642. Now, shot from something with more mass - like my 2" 10, 2 5/8" PC627 UDR, or 3" 60 Pro - and the +P's recoil is less significant, while the repeatability improves greatly.

For years I have suggested the 148gr full wadcutters, lead or clad, as excellent alternative ammo for the recoil shy. Finally, I can demonstrate that to others with 'affordable' commercial ammo. You likely won't shatter a pelvis in anything larger than a ferret, but the .357" wound channel won't close back as a similar mass & velocity LSWC or, especially, a LRN. Practice may not make perfect - but it helps - unless you avoid it due to recoil!

Stainz
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Old May 30, 2011, 04:45 PM   #721
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During my daily routine, I'm more likely to be putting a four-leg, or slime belly out of it's misery. Both my 642 pocket carry and above the fridge Charter Arms Undercover are loaded with locally available (and inexpensive) LSWC reloads. Handy for impromptu behind the barn and in the field plinking, and would (as the saying goes) "do the job if i do mine" for sd too. An abundance of speedloaders and strips are always on hand for trips to town, stocked with standard pressure Buffalo Bore LSWCHP's and short barrel Gold Dots.

Truth be told...around the house, or in the truck, I'm more likely to grab a handy 12 ga shotgun, load #1 being birdshot, followed by several rounds of 00 buck.
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Old June 3, 2011, 02:53 PM   #722
StoneMill
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Wow, one heck of a thread (or rather 3)! I joined THR just because of it. I was searching on pafoa.org for 642 info and a member suggested checking it out.

My father in law bought an airweight a few months ago at an auction. I was really impressed by the size and weight. This past Monday/Memorial Day my bro in law shows up at my in laws and lays his gun where we put our carry weapons. Lo and behold he's got a shiny new 642. Amazing how the thing disappears in a pair if shorts with a pocket holster. I told my wife "that's gonna be my next purchase". That night I was perusing the pafoa classifieds and I see a guy in the next town over is selling a 642 with 15 rounds through it (along with a nice SA XD .45). Since both guns are on my short list, I couldn't resist.
I bought both guns, a nemesis pocket holster, nemesis IWB leather holster, 2 speed strips, 2 boxes of Hornady Critical Defense, a box of Winchester Supreme, 180 .45 rounds, a leather holster for the XD, a range bag, boxes, and some other misc stuff for $750. I think I did good. I usually buy a gun a year, but these were number 3 and 4 for 2011. It's been a good year.

I see the 642 finding a daily home in my front pocket.

Thanks for all the info contained in these threads and I'm proud to be a member of the 642 club.
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Old June 3, 2011, 03:35 PM   #723
sixgunner455
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Welcome aboard, StoneMill!
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If you can't hit a snake at 20 feet with a 12 gauge, you ain't gonna hit a dove, either. -McGunner
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Old June 3, 2011, 11:15 PM   #724
DAdams
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Thanks for joining us StoneMill.

It appears you did get a good bundle buy.
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After a bad opening, there is hope for the middle game. After a bad middle game there is hope for the end game. But once you are in the endgame, the moment of truth has arrived - Edmar Mednis
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Old June 4, 2011, 12:25 AM   #725
Gato MontÚs
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My OCD is kicking in again.

After researching I'm getting mixed reports on the durability of the alloy frame WITHOUT the clear coat finish. The part where I removed the clear coat is just around the forcing cone, which concerns me because of it's location in relation to the barrel (hot gasses and such hitting it with every shot). I tried putting some clear nail polish there, but after shooting it a few times the polish became soft and started chipping away. I tried contacting S&W but every time I do they give me the catch all response of "send it in, we'll look at it".

So, should I just leave it be or should I be concerned???
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