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S&W 642 Recoil?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by AustinTexas, Jul 31, 2006.

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  1. AustinTexas

    AustinTexas Member

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    My Mother-In-Law recently moved to Texas from a northern state. She always wanted a pistol, but didn’t want to go thru all the hoops required by her previous state of residence. Anyway, she wants something she call also use for concealed carry and has decided that she wants a S&W 642. Myself preferring larger calibers and frames, don't have anything this small for her to try out the recoil on before she purchases one. Before she lays out $550+ for her first gun, I want to make sure that she can handle it ok. Can anyone comment on the recoil for someone who has a weaker hand grip? I checked around the local ranges, but I cannot find one that has a 642 to shoot. Anyone know of a place near Austin that does?

    Thanks,

    Clarence
     
  2. cookekdjr

    cookekdjr Member

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    I highly recommend the 432pd instead (same gun only in .32 H&R magnum). The recoil on the 642 with any kind of defensive ammo is quite severe, although for some folks this gun just fits their hand such that its no so bad.
    I can tell you that for me, shooting the 642 was more painful than any handgun I've ever shot. It made my Ruger .44 Magnum look like a .22 long rifle in terms of reoil. The 432pd is still quite snappy, but nothing like the 642.
    Good luck,

    David
     
  3. mdao

    mdao Member

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    If she's not going to try to pocket carry, I'd recommend the S&W 640 or Ruger SP101 instead. They're ~ 5-7 oz heavier and are a lot better at soaking up recoil when used with .38 spl defensive loads.
     
  4. timothy75

    timothy75 Member

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    With non +P ammo its not that bad or you can try a lighter weight like 110gr. I wouldnt go for the .32 personally, I would go all steel first but thats just me. Good luck
     
  5. m0ntels

    m0ntels Member

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    The 642 recoils less than I expected it to. With standard pressure loads and a proper grip, anyone with practice should be able to handle it.

    I think that price would hurt more than shooting the thing. Do they really go for $550? Mine was NIB at a local shop for $299. I've been hesitant to order guns online, but if I could get a 2-for-1, that'd change my mind fast.

    Randy
     
  6. AustinTexas

    AustinTexas Member

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    Thanks for everyone's input thus far!!!

    $550 is for the 642 w/ Crimson Trace Laser Grips. Standard is about the $299 you paid.

    Now the 432PD is interesting. Its not on S&W's website and I didn't know about it or I would have been looking for it in the shops. Is it new and S&W just hasn't update thier website or it discontinued?

    Clarence
     
  7. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

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    I have the 442, virtually the same gun, and although I find it easy to shoot, it is not fun. For someone with a weaker hand grip and not use to shooting handguns I would not recommend it. I also have the 640 .357 Centennial which is much easier and pleasant to shoot. I keep both guns loaded with Speer Gold Dot 135 Grain .38+P. There is a significant difference in felt recoil between the two. The 442 weighs 15 oz. and the 640 weighs 23 oz. BTW, $550 is way too much for a 642.
     
  8. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Member

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    I don't mind the recoil at all. However, my girlfriend tried it with some light loads and she flatly refuses to even pick it up again.

    I ended up getting her a 317. Not my first choice for a self defense handgun, but it's much better than throwing rocks. Plus, she shoots it pretty well.
     
  9. 1 LT MPC

    1 LT MPC Member

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    Ditto the SP101. In my opinion, stay away from the alloy frames ,as most women will not like the recoil. You didn't mention how MIL was going to carry. The Ruger is not a pocket gun and may be too heavy for her purse as well. (Although my wifes purse sometimes weighs about 53 pounds!).:D If she just wants something for around the house, maybe a good model 10 would do. The 2 inch SP101 has a lot of aftermarket stuff, especially holsters, so that shouldn't be a problem.
    Why pay for the expense of a laser grip? All it does is tell Bubba where you are. I'd invest the extra money in a good trigger job or a sure-fire light.
     
  10. cookekdjr

    cookekdjr Member

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    Thanks for everyone's input thus far!!!

    $550 is for the 642 w/ Crimson Trace Laser Grips. Standard is about the $299 you paid.

    Now the 432PD is interesting. Its not on S&W's website and I didn't know about it or I would have been looking for it in the shops. Is it new and S&W just hasn't update thier website or it discontinued?

    Clarence


    Clarence,

    It was recently discontinued. Here is a review by gunblast.com:
    http://gunblast.com/WBell_SW32s.htm

    I actually have the 431pd, the model with the exposed hammer.
    BTW, re: 642 recoil. I lift weights as a hobby, and can shoot any large-caliber revolver I want. But something about the way that the 642 sits in my hand makes the recoil quite painful. My old shooting buddy was a college athlete, his 642 was the same way. He usually shot steel handguns in calibers that began with "4". But his 642 could make his eyes water.
    -David
     
  11. coltjeeper

    coltjeeper Member

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  12. Dollar An Hour

    Dollar An Hour Member

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    Shooting Airweight J-frame .38's isn't much fun for novice shooters, but you can adapt with practice.

    I'd recommend instead a steel frame Model 36LS - mellower with +P defensive ammo and a slightly smoother trigger.
     
  13. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Member

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    Tonight i shot a Government 1911, a Keltec P3at and a 637 with +p.

    Not that bad, SA I could put it where I wanted. DA and I'm pulling to the right bad. Trigger pull is pretty hard DA, SA is light.
     
  14. cookekdjr

    cookekdjr Member

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    I think alot of the recoil pain for some folks is the size of the grips. The grips on these j-frames are really small. I can't get as firm a purchase as I can on, say, a Ruger Redhawk, Ruger blackhawk, or a 1911. Its like trying to get a firm grip around a chopstick.
    Maybe I'm just making excuses but its the only reason I can see for my easy shooting of full-house heavy magnums and then struggling on shooting the airweight .38. Btw, my hand hurt alot less (none at all, actually) shooting heavy .45 colts out of a Taurus Titanium snub-nose. The grips were alot bigger.
    -David
     
  15. NMGlocker

    NMGlocker Member

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    For a house gun or purse carry, she would be better served by a Ruger Sp101.
    The 642 is nice, but more suited to pocket or ankle carry.
     
  16. fiVe

    fiVe Member

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    While I'm no expert (and, in fact, quite prejudiced), I would think the bigger CT grips would make recoil managable.
     
  17. The Good

    The Good Member

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    find it for 350 or less and use the rest of the money on CT grips and youll be all set. have her practice with light loads
     
  18. BsChoy

    BsChoy Member

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    My 642 stings a bit with the factory grips which are open backed so the backstrap metal is contacting you. It only stings with +p stuff though, 148 grain wadcutters are pussy cats... I might get killed for this in the revolver forum but I found that my friends new Keltec P-32 is perfect for the pocket and weighs about 8 oz. less and recoil is nil. I don't know about you guys but I don't want to get shot with anything and a quick 8 32 acp rounds in the center mass sounds pretty bad to me. Just my .02
     
  19. mick470

    mick470 Member

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    I put 125 rounds of Remington UMC 130 grain/.38 special on my first time out.I knew it was pretty snappy and I had alot of fun.People asked me if my hand hurt.I said no.The next day,no again.Then the day after,I woke up with my hand in a pistol holding position;yes it hurt then.Think I won't shoot as many loads next time...Ha!
     
  20. jaydubya

    jaydubya Member

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    Someone above said, "my girlfriend tried it with some light loads and she flatly refuses to even pick it up again.

    I believe your mother would have the same response. If I don't put a thumb bandaid over the web between my thumb and hand before firing my 637 snubby Airweight, I will create, and pop, a blister by the time I fire twenty 158gr standard pressure LSWC range loads. When I first bought the 637, I got a box of Cor Bon +p 115gr Sierra hollow points. After firing five rounds, I swore on the spot that I would never do that again. That ammo now resides in my 686+.

    I'm no wimp. Got six battles stars on my Vietnam Service Ribbon. I just have lost my taste for pain since then.

    I hope you find a range in Austin that has rentals, because that is your best solution.

    Cordially, Jack
     
  21. creativetownsman

    creativetownsman Member

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    442/642 is great for pocket carry. Lousy for practice-does a 'number' on me re recoil.

    Yesterday I shot mine for the first time in about a month or more...shot reloads equivalent to the Speer GD +P and one round of the Speer GD +P factory. Started to get a blister between my shooting thumb and forefinger after only ten rounds or so with Hogue Bantam Grips, which are great for concealment but not so great for practice unless you build your hand up and shoot with it frequently.

    I would never recommend a x42 for a woman or for anyone else. I am not generally recoil-sensitive but, let's face it, it HURTS! Better to carry it and not shoot much, if you want one.

    Because the recoil is much better and the gun is more accurate, I prefer a Kahr CW9 overall for concealed carry.

    I still like (not love) my J-frame, but I think if I could own a PM9 that was reliable, I'd consider selling the J-frame.
     
  22. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    My wife wanted a 442 and after a couple cylinders full, I got it. The little thing didnt have a whole lot of jump out of your hand recoil. But it has a whole lot of make your hand sting recoil.

    It felt like I was letting my friends practice boxing by punching my open hands. It was a great little gun, but I got rid of it and got a Ruger SP101.
     
  23. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    My wife has a 642 with the Crimson Trace laser grips. She wears a shooting glove when she practices with it. I don't find the recoil that bad with 125 grains standard loads. However, if she isn't going to carry it regularly, I'd opt for a steel framed gun like the SP101 or similar S&W.
     
  24. MattB

    MattB Member

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    Hogue model # 60000 grips make the 642 a totally different gun. I hated shooting mine for more than 50 rounds until I got these grips.
     
  25. M1911

    M1911 Member

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    I agree completely. I've got a 642. After putting 25 rounds through it during a range session, I'm done. It hurts. The 642 sights are very, very hard to use. It needs a trigger job out of the box as well.

    I've got 200 hours of firearms training (LFI, Sigarms Academy, S&W Academy, etc.). I compete in IDPA. My usual carry gun is a Kimber Compact with an aluminum frame, and I load it with 230gr +P ammo.

    I think I have a reasonable amount of practice. But, quite frankly, my S&W 642 hurts to shoot. I would never recommend it to a novice shooter, particularly one with a weak grip. A S&W 60 or Ruger SP101 would be a much, much better choice.

    For me, the only purpose of a 642 is pocket carry. Large grips like that certainly reduce the felt recoil, but then it won't fit in my pocket any more. Which defeats the purpose. YMMV.
     
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