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New 642 finally arrives-what next

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Jeb Stuart, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    Ok, my 642 finally arrived. (as per last thread about Gunsmith going out of business and my bad for not checking).
    I bought this gun to had to my collection of small 380 and Micro guns. Something for adversity to my LCR9mm which I love. So until I start reloading 38.cal, I will need to purchase some ammo and 38, compared to 9mm is not cheap.

    Ordered 500 rounds of LaX ammo which see how that does.What Over the Counter works well in this gun. I never shoot aluminum cased ammo, but may try some as it is cheap, any one shoot it?

    TRIGGER is stronger pull than the LCR, but not as bad as I expected. Was going to get a trigger job, but may wait. Any one just Polish the the Trigger? If I do get a trigger job, any recommendations on which trigger kit? Don't want to take a chance of getting light strikes.

    Any Ideas or suggestion on how to maintain the stainless steel/Matt finish?

    I like the gun so far. Nice light weight design, feels good in the hand for me. I have Batam Boot grips on my LCR's and really like the smaller Rubber grip on the Smith, (although I have not shot it yes),

    I have to say, I like the feel of the 642. Actually slips.out of the Mitch Rosen holster I have for the LCR

    I really like the smaller grip on the Smith..

    PS I know the tread was closed about the Gunsmith FFL fees. Many speculated that he went out of of business because he was a poor business man. Well, FYI, he was shut down by the ATF. Something about a ex wife.


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  2. George P

    George P Member

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    Maintenance, just wipe the gun down on the outside
    There are many you tube videos on how to smooth a J frame trigger; it is complicated but can be done.

    Ammo? I shoot the same 158 SWC ammo I shoot in my K frames
     
  3. blue32

    blue32 Member

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    I put the lightest springs I could find in mine. I think they came from Wilson Combat. Also stoned a few places and cleaned up the frame where the rebound spring slide sits. I run nothing but CCI primers and have never had a light strike with those or factory. It will shoot anything I can crimp into a 38 spl case.
     
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  4. RugRev

    RugRev Member

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  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Jeb Stuart

    Your new Model 642 looks right at home between your two Rugers! I like the S&W factory rubber boot grip versus the Bantam boot grip of the LCR. As to care for the outside of the gun I just clean it and then wipe it down with a silicone cloth. My Model 638 (a not-so-distant cousin to your Model 642), carries really well with a DeSantis SOF-TUCK holster I have for it. As for ammo I typically practice with factory or hand loaded target wadcutter ammo and carry Hornady Critical Defense 110 gr. +P ammo.

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  6. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    I'll second the Apex Duty kit. It brings the trigger weight down to a reasonable weight while still maintaining a good, safe DA pull weight without sacrificing reliability.

    I would also recommend stoning the trigger. If you stone anything that moves except the mating surfaces of the trigger/hammer/sear, you should be able to make the trigger pull significantly smoother without messing with anything that could affect the safety of the trigger. All it really does is clean up the rough edges (that probably should have been cleaned up before it left the factory).

    It isn't difficult to do either of these things yourself. Apex has some good videos and there should be some good ones on YouTube as well.
     
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  7. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    What is a good stone to use for this little gun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  8. L-2

    L-2 Member

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    I've also used the Apex Tactical J-frame Duty/Carry kit with positive results in my 642-1 and 442-1 models:
    https://store.apextactical.com/WebDirect/Products/Details/192058

    While I was in there, I polished/smoothed the rebound slide a bit. I don't know if I could feel any difference as It likely depends on one's individual J-frame and its rebound slide. I didn't use the firing pin in these guns, but later used it in a 627 Pro I've got.

    I've also used a Wilson-Combat spring kit:
    https://shopwilsoncombat.com/Custom-Tune-Spring-Kit-SW-J-Frame/productinfo/321/

    I used this kit in a model 640-1. I started with the lightest rebound slide spring. It was good until it wasn't as the lightest rebound slide spring later resulted in the trigger not returning. I went to a heavier spring, but kept the lighter main/hammer spring in place (I'm unsure of S&W's exact parts-name-terminology, forgive my laziness right now as I'm just back from a 5 hour road trip after leaving at 0200).

    Grip-wise, I'll switch back & forth from the nice, small, stock grip and a much larger Pachmayr "Compac" grip:
    https://www.lymanproducts.com/brands/pachmayr/handgun-grips/revolver-grips/compac-grips.html

    Right now, I'm down to just my S&W Models 640 Pro and 642-1, but have thought about other J-frame models and the Ruger LCR models...so many guns to buy, so little budget.
     
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  9. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Dry fire it a lot and shoot at least 1000 rounds through it. Just doing that will slick it up plenty. The Aluminum frame probably smooths with less than that, but there's steel parts that will take a bit more.

    I don't care for lighter springs because they will either lighten the primer strike or lighten the trigger reset. Smooth and heavy is how I like a trigger and the stock 642 trigger is perfect if you just smooth it and that can be done simply by firing it. Also, I would never buy a gun that someone took a stone to on the advice of an internet forum.

    I don't like the short boot grips, but I understand that they conceal easily. I learned to conceal much larger revolvers, so I only care for a grip that's best for performance when shooting and not just when carrying. I do like the Pachmayr Compac, but found the factory is producing them with defects in every one of them - big holes on the bottom of the grip. For .38 level recoil, I like the Hogue wood grips with no finger grooves, but there are whole threads on the many dozens of j frame grips available.
     
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  10. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    the 642 is a gun i want to love. I bought one and found i shoot it as well as the .38 lcr...poorly. It's not a snub thing as I shot my 9mm lcr and sp101 just fine. I think it's a weight thing. Even powderpuff .38 loads buck the gun. It's weird but even the extra few ounces of the steel 9mm lcr made a big difference shooting the snappier 9mm compared to the .38. I know it's in my head, but I just can't seem to rectify it.

    I have slowly started to move back to wheel guns again. I'm thinking a lighter j-frame size gun is on my list after I pay off my Blackhawk. I'm sure a .357 lcr would make more sense, but I'm thinking a 442 or 638 will win out due to price. It would be a close up gun as is. Hopefully, I'll be able to get into reloading this holiday season. I've been meaning to start for years. I have literally a thousand once fired .38/.357 brass cases stashed around. I never threw them away because as a shooting friend of mine who doesn't reload says, "I can't bring myself to throw them away. It's like throwing away nickles." Maybe I'll be able to practice with the little .38s more and actually be able to hit something past 10 yards;)

    Congrats on your new 642.
     
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  11. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    I've got a 442, basically the same gun. When I got it I noticed immediately that the trigger wasn't nearly as smooth as the S&W 337 that I had, which was a DA/DA j-frame. So I dry-fired it about 1,000 times over the course of a few months, and that alone slicked up the trigger considerably.
     
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  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Warning, MIM parts are only hardened on the very outside of the part. If you stone the parts and break through the hardened exterior the parts will fail within days.

    IMO since you are a semi-auto shooter you think the trigger on the J frame is poor, it's normal. All you need to do is but a set of snap caps and practice your trigger control. It won't take very long if you practice a few days in a row with 500 to 1000 trigger pulls.
     
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  13. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    Actually I have been shooting the LCR's steady for about three years and prefer the double action. As I mentioned above, I did not find the trigger as heavy as some on the internet have posted. I did see a video of honing certain parts. I all ready have snap caps and performed a number of pulls through the gun. If I do get a set of springs, that will not be determined until later. Have not even shot the gun yet, that will happen this week end.The trigger is not as smooth as the LCR9mm at this point, does feel similar to the LCR22 which is about 2lbs of pull heavier. But thanks for the tip on the coasting of the MM parts.
    By the way, My two Pico's and my Carry Miro 9mm are double actions as well as a few others and or single/double. I prefer them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  14. Thomas Mayberry

    Thomas Mayberry Member

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    I have a 642 that I've carried as a back-up/off duty side arm for 18-19 years. They are capable of far better accuracy than most give them credit for.

    I recently installed the apex kit in it and it gave it a much lighter DA trigger. Unfortunately it also gave light primer strikes, even with the more pointed apex firing pin. I only had one misfire out of 100 rounds (a variety of ammo) but all primers evidenced lighter strikes. If this were only a paper punching gun I wouldn't care but since I still rely on it for occasional carry, it's unacceptable. Other members above seem to have had good results with their apex kits and you may also but if it's to be a defensive weapon, test it thoroughly before putting it into service.
     
  15. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    I bought a 442 in ‘97. I never touched the springs or the internal parts. The trigger had a “hitch” in it. At least that is what I told myself as I couldn’t hit a thing with it. Not being one to dry fire a gun I just kept shooting reloads in it and one day the “hitch” was gone, I could hit targets and the trigger pull was really nice.

    Try shooting it for a while. See what happens. :)
     
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  16. Rock185

    Rock185 Member

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    Glad you were finally able to receive your gun. I have 642, 640 and 940 J-Frames, and have owned a few others myself. Very practical little guns. FWIW, I would shoot the 642 for a while before doing modifications. Within my experience, the newer Smiths with the MIM internals are smoother in trigger pull right from the factory than most of the S&Ws I've owned, manufactured as early as the 1960s. Not lighter, but smoother. As labnoti mentioned, using lighter springs, more often than not part of "trigger jobs", will lighten hammer strike and/or trigger reset. While this may help accuracy at the range, in an actual lethal force situation, I wonder if this is an advantage? Jerry Miculek has commented that he prefers the full strength trigger return springs in his S&Ws. Doesn't seem to impair Mr. Miculek's speed or accuracy. I've had some J-Frames with boot grips. Fine for carry, not so fine when actually shooting the gun IMHO. Much prefer grips that give my little finger purchase..........ymmv
     
  17. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I just repaired an in-op 642 by replacing the light hammer and trigger return springs; it was FtF 2/5 primers and sluggish on return. I suggest running stock springs.

    It's a J frame defensive; not a bullseye pistol; learn to run the trigger.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  18. Bo

    Bo Member

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    I have a S&W 642 PC. It has a absolutely fabulous trigger from the PC. bought some Hogue grips to give me a little more purchase.
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  19. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I've shot a lot of 38 specials over the years, as well as 357 mag. To be honest, if you already load and have a press and other equipment, I wouldn't spend another dime on factory ammo. Get your dies and other bits and load your own. 38ammo costs add up fast.

    Mine liked American Eagle 132 gr ammo if I recall. (I got rid of mine several years ago.) I carried 135 gr Speer Short Barrel ammo in mine, which worked great because the 132 gr practice ammo had about the same POI. Yours may prefer something different. 158 gr ammo worked fine to with a little higher point of impact, but were considerably less pleasant to shoot than lighter bullets.

    I actually chose the 642 over the LCR because in dry firing both guns I found I short stroked the LCR. I could have overcome that though. However my point is that with a lot of dry fire, my 642's trigger smoothed out a bit, but became lighter as well. I'd wait until you've dry fired it a lot before you mess with it.

    The cylinder is stainless and can be touched up with Mother's Mag polish. Of course you'll want to do the entire cylinder if doing it at all, and it will lead to a considerably different finish than the rest of the gun. Speaking of the rest of the gun, it's an aluminum alloy frame, so if you scratch it up, it's going to be harder to improve it. But it's meant to be a carry gun, and will show wear over time no matter what you do if you carry it.

    Reserve judgement on the grips until you shoot it. The factory grip on my gun beat the living hell out of my hands because my hands are somewhat large, but boney.
     
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  20. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    The frame is alloy that is painted to match the stainless cylinder and barrel. It has a clear coat on it to protect it. Polishing will only deteriorate the finish. Same goes for using harsh solvents on it. Odds are, after a few years, you will see chipping and flaking of the clear coat, much like holster wear on blued guns. Some say S&W will refinish the gun once under it's lifetime warranty.......me I don't worry about how pretty my 637 looks.
     
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  21. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Correct, that's why I didn't recommend polishing the frame.

    Personally I didn't care for the painted frame, and was one of the small contributing factors to me getting rid of the 642. But that's just me. I find my XDs 45 to be a better shooter for me.
     
  22. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    When I picked mine up from my new LGS/gun smith, They showed me on that they had Cherakoted.And of course even that can be chipped or scratched, in fact they showed me a gun that had some. Still not very expensive to do. I love the Pocket guns, love shooting them. I do like the light weight feel, and size of the Smith. Love the LCR9mm which will get most of the range time, but this will most likely get more Carry time.
    I was really after a PC 638 bit got such a nice deal on this one, I could not pass up. Has The Commie trigger lock. I did see where you can delete the commie, and plug it up. May do that down the road.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
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  23. earplug

    earplug Member

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  24. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Any new S&W revolver could use a bit of loctite on the ejector rod and the side plate screws.
     
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  25. earplug

    earplug Member

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