M 642-1...Never had a plan to own one of these

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by NorthBorder, Jul 4, 2022.

  1. NorthBorder

    NorthBorder Member

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    Something like this was never on my radar. But, today I went to the next town a few miles aw/ay and saw that the gunshop/ liquor store was open. So I stopped in for a quick look-see. I've been on the lookout for a Blackhawk .45LC for a few years and am hoping someone will trade one in.
    There is a light turn line on the cylinder; other than that, nary a mark on it. And it came with a 1791 brand holster. The trigger is pretty heavy but actually very smooth. The gutter sight seem to pick up the front sight pretty well, and the rosewood pachmayr grip is comfortable.

    Next thing I need to do is get some brass and work up some loads.
    Hope your 4th is a wonderful day.
     
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  2. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    Cheers!

    A 642 is my EDC – comfortable pocket carry, reliable and effective self-defense.
     
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  3. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    Not sure about that grip. Kind of defeats the purpose of a small revolver. I have a 642-1 with the stock boot grip. Makes it very compact and concealable.
    Nice score.
     
  4. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Do they also sell cigarettes and fireworks in order to be a full service BATFE store?
     
  5. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Nice pick up. They're great for carry. I like mine a lot.
     
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  6. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    Where’s the lock? ;) Nice pistol and excellent find.
     
  7. NorthBorder

    NorthBorder Member

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    No lock, I'm glad to say. I've never shot a handgun with such a short barrel, especially an air weight. I'll pick up some brass this week and load some up. I don't think I am going to load to +P level. Just something to get used to it. The plan is to make this my EDC, so I am thinking about putting a CT laser grip on it but I've never used one of them either.
     
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  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    NorthBorder

    Nice find there!

    Got to agree with member ontarget that the Pachmayr grip would be fine for range work but is a tad bit large if the gun is going to used for CCW. If that's the case you might be better served with a set of factory rubber boot grips for it. I think you can find them for around $20 or so on ebay.
    SlSg8OH.jpg
     
  9. tubeshooter
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    tubeshooter Contributing Member

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    Nice pickup. Both of the times I was in a pretty serious situation this is what I had with me.

    I decided on Pachmayr Compacs awhile ago, which is a happy medium between a boot grip and what is pictured in the original post. I agree that if pocket carry is of utmost importance then go with the boot grip all the way (factory or other).
     
  10. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Congrats on your new 642. :thumbup:

    Since you’re not used to such a short barreled gun I would recommend getting used to firing it with the existing grip on it. I say that because when I bought my 442 back in 97 it came with the factory boot grip and I have to say that until I got used to shooting that gun with its stiff trigger pull it was a while before I had enough confidence in it to even know what ammo was accurate in it.
    Shoot the gun a while, get used to the trigger pull, see what ammo it likes, then switch to a shorter compact grip.
    In my experience, shooting a DAO snubbie can be a humbling and frustrating experience at first until you get used to it.
     
  11. Y-T71

    Y-T71 Member

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    Got bless America!

    Nice revolver.

    I never leave home without it.
     
  12. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    I think S&W has sold a crap load + 1
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  13. jstert

    jstert Member

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    excellent find. i like a s&w 642 also for an outdoors carry piece, as its shrouded hammer keeps gunk out of the action. softer wadcutter ammo and larger grips that cover its backstrop render it a more comfortable shooter.
     
  14. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    The plus side of the Centennial frame guns is the tall back strap. With the proper grips it allows for the shooter to choke up more on the little guy. It doesn’t do much for felt recoil but it does greatly reduce muzzle flip and makes it a more natural pointer. It will move around less in the hand and won’t pound as hard. There is only so much you can do to soften the recoil of .38 +P in a 13 oz revolver. The best grips I have found are Eagle Secret Service style boot B0D48D12-3FE0-41C7-8887-0ADA0788310E.jpeg 8FC3FD00-556B-4711-BD57-66981986C13E.jpeg grips or similar. Compact but hand filing, the gun stays under control. Much better than a regular Chief style. Here is a pick of a set of $35 copies I picked up on FleaBay on my 638 and then a set of Badgers on my 640 (great fit bit a bit smaller). Took some fitting but they are compact and hand filling at the same time. Rubber can help a bit but I just like wood!
     
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  15. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Yeah, keep the big grips until you get some practice in. Snub 38's are hard to shoot accurately at first for most people.

    Once you're used to shooting it, some type of boot grips is what most of us use for CC.

    I have XXL hands and am not going to get my pinky on the grip of a j-frame anyway, so I like how the boot grip is shaped well to tuck it underneath.
     
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  16. Haywood

    Haywood Member

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    If you are around the Parma Ohio area I’ll give you once fired brass. The J-Frames were my favorite carry and shooters for a lot of years. For around Five years I carried a pair of them and that’s all I shot. I need rubber grips for my 70 year old beat up hands to shoot comfortably at the Range. They all fit my pocket except the 3” 0458DB40-F2D4-4ACD-B8A8-175C96A038CF.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2022
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  17. NorthBorder

    NorthBorder Member

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    Nice collection.
     
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  18. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Haywood

    Great looking J frame family of snubbies you've got there! I like them all especially the 3" heavy barrel Model 36. Use to have quite a few of them around back in the day.
     
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  19. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Nice buy. The Airweight S&W .38’s are great carry pieces; lightweight, portable, reliable. The compct size is easy to conceal and there are plenty of holster options. :thumbup:

    The two biggest issues for new Airweight owners are the palm-slappy recoil with even lighter powered loads and the fixed sights/limited sight radius/fairly stout trigger pull making shooting them well a skill that takes significant practice.

    As the guys said, larger or more hand-filling grips will give you a better hold and can help mitigate recoil and aid shot recovery. The larger grips do hinder concealment, is a trade-off I find necessary. Compared to my SP 101, new Colt Cobra and 3” S&W Model 36, with factory grips my 442 and 642 revolvers are, in all honesty, are my least favorite revolvers to shoot no matter what .38 load I have.

    Let us know how your 642 shoots for you when you get a chance. :)

    Stay safe.
     
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  20. Rubone

    Rubone Member

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    Great score on a nice useful revolver. I like J frames....:D
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  21. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    I have a 638 and a 442 and carry one or the other daily.
    If you load with Titegroup, a charge weight of 3.5 grains makes a nice, less than full power, but accurate load using a 125,130 or a 158 grain plated, lead or coated lead bullet
     
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  22. Y-T71

    Y-T71 Member

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    I carry a 642 every single day.

    I carry hydro shocks but I'm currently on the lookout for the Speer 135gr short barrel load.
    I'd like to "roll my own" but wouldn't be opposed to picking up a box or two of factory loaded.

    For practice (and I practice with this revolver a lot because it can be a difficult one to master) I use Titegroup over a cast and PC'd 125 RNFP or sometims a more standard lubed, hardcast 158gr LSWC using either Unique, Bullseye or 231 (personally prefer the 231; cleaner than the first 2, although not by much and i happen to have 12 lbs of it)

    I'm not a fan of Titegroup; IMO, it burns way too hot in auto pistol rounds such as 9mm, .40S&W, .45acp etc (although, admittedly it's not as big a deal in a 5 shot revolver) and it's hard to see a double charge.

    When I run out I won't be buying anymore, although at the miniscule charges involved, I'll probably end up leaving it to my children and/or grandchildren!!
     
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  23. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    Nice looking gun. My 442 no lock is the gun I carry the most. Its been my carry gun for several years now. I mostly carry 148gr wadcutter loads. Mine are cast from a Lee TL mold and loaded past target power. Enough to get around 750fps or a little more from the short barrel.

    If you are going to reload for it try some 110gr or there abouts bullets. It really makes a difference in recoil from using heavier bullets. Try some lightweight lead bullets. If you don't cast places like Matts Bullets has a good selection of lighter lead bullets. A box of 500 will last a long time and will allow you to get in a hundred rounds without hand fatigue. I like the 115gr wadcutter bullet.

    https://www.mattsbullets.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=65
     
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  24. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    When S&W brought back the Centennial format J-frames, I was interested. I got my M642 in 1999. It is a good pocket carry but one has to be comfortable with the DAO format.

    I finally decided to get comfortable with the DAO format and practice regularly for about a year with my M642.

    Since then, I've added a M442 and a M437. The M437 came machined for moon clips from the factory so I've had the M442 and M642 machined for moon clips.

    I use the M642 and M442 for pocket carry while I use the M437 for practice, The exposed hammer of the M437 makes pocket carry a but more difficult.

    The OP should enjoy his new M642 acquisition.
     
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  25. NorthBorder

    NorthBorder Member

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    Well, I foundr some boolits at a not to hideous price and also some brass. So I took the revolver out for a try.
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    First 5 shots at 15 yards. These rounds are Federal American round nose (jackteted) 158 gr. Two handed, the gun was pleasant too shoot. Recoil was actually pretty mild. I've never shot a snubby that I can remember and was a bit surprised I grouped the rounds as well as I did. I tried 5 rounds single handed and the gun felt like it wanted to tear the nail off my trigger finger. I'm not sure why that was happening. After another 20 rounds I called it a day because the angle of the sun was putting a glare on my front sight and I couldn't see the target clearly. Over all, I am pleased with this little Smith.
     
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