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Effective Range of 642

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by fishjar, Apr 1, 2006.

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  1. fishjar

    fishjar Member

    Mar 24, 2006
    Was wondering since I just recently purchased 642.

    For now have elected to carry with GDHP 135's.

    So what is the effective stopping range of this combination (w/o regard to markmanship) that one should consider:

    On two legged creature light clothing?

    Two legged creature heavy clothing?

    Will use this info to also gauge range of 4 legged creatures I might happen upon will scouting land. I'm a land developer so I don't want to frightened the neighbors while walking land. My ruger 357 blackhawk can be kind of obvious.

  2. W Turner

    W Turner Member

    Jun 13, 2003
    Hillsboro, AL
    The effective range of this combo is not determined by the ammo as much as it is the gun it is being fired from. A jframe .38 is not an easy platform to shoot long distances with. Anything beyond 50 yards would be challenging for most shooters with 25 yards being the limit for many people. Fixed sights, a short sight radius, heavy trigger and tiny grips all work against you.

    I have seen people make consistent 100 yards shots with 2" snubbies before, but this was after numerous ranging shots, shooting while stabilized and with practice.

    The 135gr. loading from Speer is a great load for the snub revolvers and could be lethal for hundreds of yards on all of the threats you mentioned IF you can place them in the right areas. If you anticipate having to make longer shots with a 642, you may want to try the older 158gr. LSWCHP+P load. Expansion will be iffy, but you will be assured of more than adequate penetration and most j-frame sights are regulated for the 158gr. loading.

    My effective range is however far I can keep 5 shots on a paper plate while still shooting fairly rapidly (not sighted, deliberate slow fire). Occasionally I will really slow down and concentrate on 50 yard shots with my 642, but it is more for the experience of doing it than anything else. Those small jframes are excellent up-close-and-personal defense weapons, but just aren't suited to longer range shooting.

    I would say to practice enough so that you can hold them on paper plates at 25 yards and hope you never have to use it that far away.

  3. Technosavant

    Technosavant Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    It isn't the easiest thing to shoot accurately. I have good and bad days at the range, myself (today wasn't the best). I wouldn't want to rely on my 642 for a precise aimed shot at over 15 yards, but I feel like point and click within 7 yards is quite doable.

    HSMITH Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    100% dependant on the shooter. The gun and load is probably capable of 6" or so at 100 yards mechanically, the right shooter can take advantage of that while most will be lucky to hit a sheet of plywood at 100 yards.

    I think the load is good well past 50 yards......
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