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S&W 642 or 638??

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by BBsteel, Aug 4, 2008.

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  1. BBsteel

    BBsteel Member

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    I'm set on one of the 2 and will have one relatively soon. I need something smaller than my P2000sk for summer carry. I often don't want to carry the P2000sk for the sake of not being able to conceal it completely. I want a gun to pocket carry in a holster and these seem like the ticket. Obvisouly the best advice is to shoot both and then decide and I will most likely do that.

    I've heard guys having their trigger finger slammed against the trigger gaurd when firing their 638 in SA mode.

    Just looking for kind adice/tips on guys that have had one or the other or better both.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Shade00

    Shade00 Member

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    BBsteel, I can't attest to either personally; I have a Model 37 Airweight and enjoy it, but the SA function is more or less pointless. I always shoot it DA.

    One thing to consider is that right now you can get a Model 642 new without the silly internal lock. If I had to choose between the two, I would definitely go for the 642; not having SA is not a big deal for me, and I would be excited to get a new S&W without a lock.
     
  3. PAPACHUCK

    PAPACHUCK Member

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    I have and love a 642, but the 638 keeps popping up in my thoughts......should I have gotten a 638 instead??...or should I just go ahead and get a 638 in addition to my 642?......Hmmmm.....
     
  4. XDShooter07

    XDShooter07 Member

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    642...... you won't have time to use SA when you really need to use the gun....aside from that I think it would be dangerous to do so; the trigger break on those is very short when the hammer is cocked. The first time I shot one in SA it caught me by surprise; wasn't even trying to shoot it yet; thank god it was pointed in the right direction. My point is if you cock it back in SA when your adrenalin is pumping you might do something you hadn't intended to. Also if you buy a gun with SA capability that will be used in DA as a defense weapon you might be tempted to use it at the range in SA and not get enough practice with the long trigger of DA.
     
  5. TyRip

    TyRip Member

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    I own a 638 and love it.

    Everyone seems to bring up that the SA is useless, but the 638 makes the hammer a non issue, and who doesn't mind the option of SA when plinking and trying to hit something small any further than 15 yards? For me it was just, why not?
     
  6. Katana8869

    Katana8869 Member

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    XDShooter07 makes some good points, but I am just an "options" kind of guy. Even if I were never to use the SA mode on my 638, I just like having the choice. I do however agree that practice with a snubby should consist mostly of shooting the gun in DA. Train like you plan to fight. (But I do get a kick out of shooting SA groups inside of a 2" circle at 7 yards with the little booger every now and then :D )

    I have seen people post about it, but I have not had this problem with my gun.
     
  7. jaydubya

    jaydubya Member

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    Shade00 said: I have a Model 37 Airweight and enjoy it, but the SA function is more or less pointless. I always shoot it DA.

    Concur. I have a 637, the visible hammer version of the 642 and 638. If I had known five years ago (when I bought the 637) what I know now, I would have bought the 642 instead. If I were to shoot it in a SD/HD situation (1 -10 yards), it certainly would be double action, so that is what I practice weekly.
    Cordially, Jack
     
  8. thesecond

    thesecond Member

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    Both. If you have confidence in the strength/consistency/endurance of your trigger finger(s), get the 642. draws superbly. But no problems here with any trigger-guard slap on SA in 'humpbacks' (whether 38, 638, 649). SA option is nice, be sure to begin distinguishing the squeeze of the 2 to 3-fingers hanging on the grip (for stability) from the trigger-finger squeeze (learn to work it independently), it's a muscle-memory thing. Have fun.
     
  9. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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  10. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    My choice would be and was the S&W 442/642.
     
  11. sophijo

    sophijo Member

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    649 this one really grows on you!
     
  12. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    IMO, the only rationale for the shrouded, SA-capable hammer on the M38 and its kin is slower, more accurate fire...but in 99% of cases where these guns will be used, either there is no time and distance, or if there is the SA capability is mostly or completely defeated by the nature of the sights and the short radius.

    For plinking or kit gun use, etc., buy a 3" exposed hammer gun (they are excellent in that role).

    JMHO...
     
  13. NCBeagle

    NCBeagle Member

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    The 442 is one of my all time favorites. This little gun goes almost everywhere with me, even when I am also carrying something else.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I have both the M642 Centennial and M638 Bodyguard. There is really no difference between the two except for the frames. Both weigh 15oz, both are Aluminum Alloy, both have the same sights and sight picture, both have the same felt recoil when firing the same ammo and both are great pocket carry J frames.

    Since they are so similar if you fired each without knowing which model it was you couldn't tell one from the other. I happen to like the Bodyguard frame better just because I like the looks but that's a personal choice, not a function of the revolver. I also like the ability to fire it SA when testing the accuracy of different loads I develop.

    Buy the one you think looks best because each will feel the same when you fire them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Elvishead

    Elvishead Member

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    642 for sale

    I'd like to say you couldn't give me a 462, but I can't because I'd sell the 642, and buy a 638.

    Ahhhh, the freedom to cock the hammer.

    Never happened to me!
     
  16. Seven For Sure

    Seven For Sure Member

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    I had a 638, sold it. Now I have a 642. The main reason for me, like the guy in the article up there is less crap gets in there. I live on the beach and there is sand in all my pockets even after they come out of the dryer. I really prefer to pocket carry a revolver in a handkerchief but went to a pocket holster for the same reason. It seems less stuff would get in on a regular DA revolver with the hammer bobbed.
     
  17. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    There is a slight advantage, IMO, to the 342/642/442 family: the higher backstrap allows a higher hold that effectively lowers the bore axis and creates a more straight-back recoil mechanic, allowing slightly faster follow-up shots. Works even better with "high horn" grips.
     
  18. tblt

    tblt member

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    Ruger SP101 357 mag
     
  19. David E

    David E Member

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    the 642 can, with practice, be fired just as accurately double action as the 638 can be fired single action.

    Plus, there is no bulky shroud to collect pocket lint, coins, etc.

    .
     
  20. BBsteel

    BBsteel Member

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    Great feedback guys. I'm suprised I didn't get a "use the search feature" reply. Maybe I shouldn't be though and need to get myself a wheel gun other than the hertitage .22 6 shooter I have and hang out in this revolver forum more often.

    Thanks again, decisions, decisions yet to make!
     
  21. Downrange

    Downrange Member

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    I got both. First purchased a brand spankin' new 642CT, then added a sweet little 38-2 in nickel, that I think I like better than the 642. Had to get the Crimson Traces for that one as well...

    Once you get used to the CTs it's very hard to accept the smaller grips and no laser!
     
  22. DB

    DB Member

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    I have both 642 and 638. I personally favor the 638 by a slight margin. I know it's irrational, but I just feel more comfortable having a hammer available and single action capability if desired. I like the "humpback" look better too. However, my 642 for some reason actually seems to print through my clothes slightly less like a "gun" when carried in my pocket holster.
     
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