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If you HAD both, which would you carry? 642 or PF-9?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by soonerboomer, Jul 18, 2009.

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  1. soonerboomer

    soonerboomer Member

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    Lets assume you own both of these guns (so the initial cost is not a factor). Which one would you daily carry, and if needed, use in a life or death situation? Please explain your reasons. Please consider only these two firearms.

    For me, these guns are close in weight, size, and "carry-ability" (talking pocket carry). As I see things, here are the deciding pros and cons...

    Smith & Wesson 642 (.38+P)
    Pros: Solid Reliability - it's simple and it just works. Uses any .38 ammo.
    Cons: 3 fewer rounds than Kel-Tec, less powerful cartridge, more difficult to shoot (IMO), ammo is currently harder to find and cost about 50% more

    Kel-Tec PF-9 (9mm)
    Pros: More firepower (higher capacity/hotter round), easier to shoot, less expensive and easier to find ammo
    Cons: Reliability can be spotty. Kel-Tec seems to have its share of breakage and reliability horror stories.
     
  2. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Well it seems you like the 9mm more. If it proves to be reliable Id carry that then.

    Where are you that .38 is more expensive and harder to find than 9mm? Its the opposite here in Phoenix.

    But either one is a good choice.
     
  3. hirundo82

    hirundo82 Member

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    If your PF-9 has proven to be reliable with your chosen self-defense round, I would carry it. If you aren't sure of the reliability of the PF-9 in a self-defense situation, go with the sure thing (the 642).
     
  4. Doug S

    Doug S Member

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    I'd choose the 642 over the PF-9 based on the reliability issue. Right now I'm going back and forth between the 642, and G26. Both are about as reliable as you can get, but the 642 is a great pocket gun. The G26 tops it in just about every other category though.
     
  5. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    The PF9 is so hard for me to shoot well that I'd go with the 642 despite its broader girth.
     
  6. steveracer

    steveracer Member

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    642. Simply because it's so easy to carry, and there are a blue million holsters for them.
     
  7. kanewpadle

    kanewpadle Member

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  8. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    The J Frame without a second thought. (assuming it works, I wouldn't blindly carry ANY gun out of the box without checking it out, function testing it)
     
  9. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    I'd carry the 642.
     
  10. skoro

    skoro Member

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    I have both. Which one I carry depends mostly on what I'm wearing that day. I have a P-3AT that I carry more often than either of these, though.
     
  11. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    Same here. I can get my pinky curled up under the butt of the 642 which really helps with shootability for me; not so the Kel-Tec. I can't shoot small autos worth a crud anyway. I shot a Taurus PT745 once and my group at 5 yards looked like a buckshot pattern at 25 :eek:. Assuming both prove to be reliable, I'd go with the one you shoot best.
     
  12. tbone3

    tbone3 Member

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    I have both and I shoot the 642 better than any of the other guns I own, even fullsize handguns. The PF9 has been reliable but I shoot the 642 better so that is the one I carry. I would say carry the one you shoot better.
     
  13. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    If this is to be your CCW that you're placing your trust in to protect you, that seems to make the decision. Besides, how does a hotter round work out to be easier to shoot?
     
  14. Benzene

    Benzene Member

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    ...with the LOCK???

    I surely don't want it to rain on anyone's parade, but is here referenced the 642 WITH THE LOCK? I seem to recall a NUMBER of (now deleted) web pages dealing with reliability in light/darkness of those ugly "holes".
     
  15. sig40

    sig40 Member

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    bought a pf-9 a few weeks ago and have put 200 rounds of 147 grain through it with no problems. will be my carry weapon when my license comes in hopefully within the next week or two.
     
  16. MikePaiN

    MikePaiN Member

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    Long time PF9 owner here....Its my one and only CCW.
    I decided for myself that 9mm Luger was the min cal. for defensive use. The PF9 is light and slim, the pistol is a breeze to carry in any season. Mine is 100% reliable and shoots well enough in "defensive" range.
    The 642(or any snubby rev.) is too wide for my tastes and expensive vs. the PF9(I don't remember exactly but I believe is was ~$300 w/ the parkerized slide)....and another money saver, you might be interested in. I've recently been converted to a "laser fan" for defensive hand gun use(especially sub-compacts). With some shopping around I was able to snag a NIB CT laser for the PF9 at $160, something for the 642 would cost at least $100 more.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    It seems as though you are saying that the Internal Lock on Smith Revolvers reliability has something to do with light and darkness. Maybe but it probably has more to do with heavy loads in light guns.

    Your point is valid as I have personally witnessed a lock fail using light loads in a 642. Im not exactly hating on Smith and Wesson but I am not buying any gun with any internal locking mechanism ever after seeing that.
     
  18. esq_stu

    esq_stu Member

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    642 hands down.

    I have had 4 Kel-Tecs. They were all reliable until they broke. They are not made for shooting a lot and do not last.

    I have had one 642. I shoot it often. Never had a problem with it.
     
  19. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    I've got the blue version of the 642 --the 442 -- and love it. IMO, it's the perfect pocket gun!
     
  20. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    the lock can be disabled, reliability may or may not be fixable.
     
  21. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    I have had both the PF-9 and the 642, no longer have either. My carry gun is a customized 9mm S&W 360J, it's the best of both worlds.
     
  22. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    9mm from a tiny barrel isn't as hot as you think. .38+P is available in snubbie loads that actually perform as spec'd.

    I have one advantage: I handload. So some of my .38s are 642 practice loads with low recoil. The thing is actually fun to shoot. I can easily shoot the thing well enough to juice a grapefruit with all 5 at 15 yards, which is about as good as the sights on a snubbie could ever allow. That's good enough for me. And it costs me a fraction of the price of 9mm ammo, to say nothing of .38.

    Dry-fire practice helps, and it's free. Once you get the DA trigger wired, it's easy and even fun. I shoot a lot more DA now, even with my guns that have hammers.

    I've thought about getting a little Kel-Tec, but I wouldn't trust it anywhere near as far as I could throw it.

    Also, the 642 works like any other Smith, so if I've got, say, my .44 trail gun with me, I don't have to re-think the controls.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  23. thesecond

    thesecond Member

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  24. texas bulldog

    texas bulldog Member

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    +1. i'm not sure what numbers you're using to state that 9mm is "more powerful" in the OP, but i think a 158gr .38+p would out perform most 9mm out of those barrels.
     
  25. goon

    goon Member

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    I'd carry the revolver, but only because I have found small revolvers with rubber grips are way more comfortable for me to shoot.
     
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