Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Big20, May 4, 2021.
What power of ammo are you generally running?
Are you left handed?
Need some particulars. In any case, post 2 and 3 nailed your concerns if it's not a greatly used pistol prior to your ownership.
The alloy guns, like the S&W model 37 were basically clones of the steel framed guns ( like the S&W model 36) and not designed from the bottom up as a new design They will function for a long time if you use only standard pressure, standard velocity ammo. That was what the original steel framed guns were designed for. Aluminum is not as strong as steel, but the original steel used by the gun designers in the 1950's was probably not as strong as that available now.
You may have heard of the problems with using +P ammo, in the past. One of the reasons that law enforcement agencies dumped the .38 Special in large numbers were the problems they had with the steel framed S&W K-frame revolvers when using +P ammo. The guns when fired a lot, as they are in law enforcement organizations, tended to go out of time and suffer from frame stretching. Most older aluminum framed revolvers are not recommended for the use of +P ammo by their makers.
The question is can you practice with what you carry?
Using only .38 wad-cutters at the range and carrying +P ammo on the street will not give you a good training regime.
I use standard pressure loads for training. I like the old 130 grain fmj Air Force load, which is made by all the major makers or the 158 grain lrn police load, also made by everyone. They are usually cheaper than .38 wad-cutter ammo.
For carry, I use the WINCHESTER 130 grain Train & Defend jhp load. Recoil is similar to the 130 grain Air Force load. The problem is finding them.
I have also used the HORNADY 110 grain FTX - Critical Defense loads. They work well and seem to be more commonly available, but the point of impact is farther from the point of aim.
Be careful with some of the "boutique brand" ammo. They get higher performance out of the .38 Special and other calibers while claiming to be standard pressure, but even if standard pressure, a higher velocity round will have more recoil that will be harder on the shooter and the gun frame.
I am not a fan.
Yes, they still go bang, even with the crack. Yes, S&W will fix it for free.
Still a hard no for me.
I bought that brand new and carried it for 25 years as a back up in uniform. I only shot it enough to qualify. Back up quals were (I think) 20 rounds, once a year.
It’s just a revolver. I’m way dialed in on revolvers. There’s no need for me to shoot the snot out of that little gun. If I’m good with a revolver, I’m good with that one. And, I’d often go plink and play with this one:
My 642 was more likely to wear out from the outside in than the inside out.
An aiweight is not fun to shoot. It’s made to be carried a lot. Not really shot a lot. I’ve seen several with a crack in the frame parallel to the barrel under the forcing cone and, I have the remains of one that failed completely while a little older lady was firing it. The gun, though 30 years old, looked brand new. I found her a model 10 cheap.
S&W would not warrant it.
Honestly? I would think 1200 rounds a year would be a pretty high round count in a J frame. I’ll bet mine doesn’t have that in 25 years.
I can't walk in his shoes but a hundred rounds per month seems high for the type of service that the platform was intended to perform.
I wonder how much a fella will extend the lifespan by shooting light wadcutters for familiarization?
There's a good call. Cost issues and availability allowing.
A little Taurus or Charter of comparable build might be worth looking into as well.
S&W used to cover then as life time etc. Not on my last alloy J frame.
It is my primary carry gun and I really like it so a couple years ago when an area shop had air weights on sale for $337.90 I decided I had better buy another just in case something happened to the 638. I chose a no lock 442 the second time and now mostly carry the 638 in summer, the 442 in winter since the 638 should hold up better in a warm sweaty pocket
I bought it as a gift for someone who’s birth year is 1974.
VW doesn’t need to tell me that if I actually drive it at 140 MPH, All the time. It may not last as long as if I drove it more sensibly.
Unless people were shooting PPC or some other competition, carry guns, even cop duty guns, weren’t really shot that much. That’s kind of a new thing I feel.
Grandpa had a S&W .38 he kept in the desk drawer. When him and the kids went out shooting, they grabbed a couple .22’s. Grandpa may have had a Colt detective Special he occasionally slipped in his coat pocket. A box of ammo would last years.
That’s why we can still find 30-40-50 year old guns that look new.
My favorite revolver grips.... ever.
Not a bad looking pistol they're stuck to either.
I do not like shooting +P rounds through it, it is just not comfortable to shoot so I stick to 38 Special level loads and many are wadcutter target level loads.
Except for the main spring getting light, the revolver has been trouble free.
I have added a 442 and a 437 in recent years which will take some of the load off the 642.
As an aside, all three of these revolvers are machined to accept moon clips.
Have a 2nd backup gun in a ankle holster.
Most all will need some kind of repair before 10,000 rounds. If I remember the H. P. White test was in 1971.
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