S&W 642

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Buckeye63, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    The S&W 642 .. seems to be still the king of small frame revolvers for conceal carry ..
    I have had a few over the years ... seems like I traded them off on one thing or another...
    But .. Im in search of a pocket revolver / BUG
    And even though I may have to pay premium at this time for one .. the 642 is on the top of my list at this time.
    I own a 856UL , LCRs in 357 & 327 they are closer to D size frame than the smaller J frame ..
     
  2. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Size wise, any of the revolvers you mentioned should serve you fine. The only way a D frame size revolver might be an issue is if you're trying to fit it in a specific size box. No issues regarding concealability with any of them.
     
  3. stanley_white

    stanley_white Member

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    I like the 640 Pro as I can see the sights.

    -Stan
     
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  4. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    CEB03E05-3F86-42D4-A509-AA6AED6BC84E.jpeg
    Even with the smaller compact grips .. my LCRs don’t ride in my pocket like a J frame
     
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  5. Craig_VA
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    Craig_VA Contributing Member

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  6. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I like the idea of aluminum frame snubs, but I find the sweet spot for me is 16oz. The 13 oz alloy kicks just a tad too hard. Bumping up to a steel frame like a 9mm lcr or my current edc Charter Undercover makes them just a touch more shootable.

    Still, the 642 and 442 are fine revolvers and easily pocketable.
     
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  7. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    Had a 642, but sold it to one of my sisters about 10 years ago when she got her pistol permit. I miss it. She promised that I'd be the first to know if she decides to sell it. Hasn't happened yet. Only bright spot is I qualify for the "family discount". Darn nice little gun.
     
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  8. shoebox1.1

    shoebox1.1 Member

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    I love me some 642 although I don’t own one! If I wasn’t in love with my undercover I’d have me a 638/642 smith Wesson
     
  9. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I got a 442 for my birthday in 97. I still have that revolver. It’s always nearby. I have tried many different CCW guns and options but my 442 always ends up being my “Go To”. Perfect size and weight.
     
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  10. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    Funny I clicked on this thread. I am sitting here looking at my 442 no lock. I love how this 15oz gun just drops in my pocket and is forgotten till needed. I also made a simple leather holster for it so I can belt carry it.

    I just went to Florida last week to see my son’s new house and of all the guns I own this was the one that went with me. I have some Winchester 110gr hollow points I like to carry in it. Those really help with mitigating the recoil in this light weight little gun.
     
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  11. HB

    HB Member

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    I love my hammerless snub. With light handloads its fun to shoot. I usually wear a fingerless leather glove and put 50 rounds through it then shoot a few cylinders with carry loads with no glove.

    It has its place but the prevalence of service type pistols with criminals I usually carry my glock. But the snub comes along when im hunting, around the house, or cant swing a belt gun due to environment.
     
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  12. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    Bought a no-lock 642 about year or 2 ago------it stays close to me most of the time
     
  13. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Never had a Model 642 as I got hooked on the Model 38, probably because I couldn't find a Model 42 at the time! Anyways I have pretty much stuck to the Model 38/49 format all these years, getting an all stainless Model 649 when they first came out, and then an alloy framed Model 638 when I found one on sale a few years back. Both are awesome guns with a lot of quality, usability, and concealability built right into them.
    7l9ZPw2.jpg
    SlSg8OH.jpg
     
  14. contender

    contender Member

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    I have carried a 642 or a model 38 for many years with the old style wood grips and the Tyler T adapter. Biggest gripe was they were too light for recoil management and the sight regulation was not stellar.

    My Ruger LCR magnums in 357 and 327 cured those problems. I carry 38 special or 32 H&R loads. I still miss the smaller size of the J frames and especially that old Tyler T set-up. The size difference is not that great, but noticeable especially if you have carried J frames for years.
     
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  15. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    I'm a terrible Centennial slut, and have owned a bunch. Concur that the 640 Pro is the most shootable of the bunch; it's a lot heavy for a pocket. The Ti cylindered 340 SC works well in a roomy pocket; mine has been a hiking gun, carried with the first two chambers loaded with snakeshot, and the last 3 as last-ditch GTFOM .357s...which are no fun to shoot.
    Grips make a huge difference in perceived recoil; the 340 came from the factory with grippy rubber, which nearly took my hide off. Smooth wood boot grips work better.
    I did put a fiber optic front on the 340, and that helps. Really wish Smith would put replaceable sights on the alloy Centennials.
    Moon
     
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  16. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    I bought my wife the 642 airweight, much against my wishes but she wanted a light gun for her purse. She would not listen and after she shot it, she never touched it again. I find the recoil to be more painful than that of my 686 that I carry.
     
  17. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    Try Hornady 110gr FTX standard pressure... low recoil..
    practice with 148gr LWC ...
     
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  18. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    I prefer a 442 just because a painted front sight pops against the black of the rear better than it does on a 642. At least for my eyes.
     
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  19. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    Thanks
     
  20. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    You're putting it in a specific size pocket.
     
  21. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    For some really low recoil 38 Specials, try this new load made just for plinking with a light revolver:

    https://www.shootingillustrated.com/articles/2020/9/21/review-matts-bullets-comfort-plinker-38-special-ammo/
     
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  22. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    It dropped right into my jeans pocket.

    It was nice and light.

    There was no hammer to snag.

    I was about to start carrying concealed. The 642 seemed ideal.

    Though I had never taken any defensive shooting training, I had been shooting handguns for decades.

    I bought the 642.

    I shot it reasonably well, in slow fire, at the square range.

    But:
    • After fifty rounds, I had to soak my hand in warm water due to the recoil.
    • There was no way for me to draw from a pants pocket while moving off-line fast, as required in the training drills
    • The poor sights, and the heavy trigger pull combined with the light weight of the gun, made the kind of rapid shooting needed in the defensive shooting training drills too difficult for me.
    • Some of the drills required more than five shots.
    I realized that my choice did not represent an informed decision.

    So:
    • I bought a Ruger SR-9c and a good holster.
    • The trigger and the sights were much better.
    • It had a capacity of twelve rounds.
    • It was much more controllable in rapid fire.
    • The training drills were a breeze.
    • My hand did not hurt afterwards.
    I was surprised to see that the Ruger was no larger than the 642.

    I retired the 642.

    I do have a small revolver for CCW. It's a Kimber K6a.
    • Excellent trigger pull and adequate sights.
    • Heavy enough to fire rapidly--and shoot all day.
    • The capacity is six shots.
    And, of course, I know to carry it in a holster.
     
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  23. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    My first j-frame was a 11oz 337. Not knowing any better, I shot it a lot and learned to manage the recoil quite well but I started pocket carrying it far more often than I had it IWB and started to lust for an internal hammer gun. I ended up trading another gun I had for a 442 and haven't looked back. Recoil is much more gentle than that Airlite. I don't pocket carry it as much as I used to anymore, but it rides away locked in my truck's safe for those days I run out and forget to grab my conceal carry gun.
     
  24. AK103K

    AK103K member

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    I had a very similar experience.

    Ive owned a number of 642's over the years, and still have one. Still shoot it a couple of times a month too. Mostly to try and stay on top of it, and to remind me why its usually sitting in the safe.

    Ive always been a fan of S&W snubbies, and have a number of them, .38 and .357, and as much as I like the 642's, they have always been the least pleasant and the one that was always a chore to shoot. And because of that, the one of the lot that actually gets shot the most. 50 rounds is about my limit too.

    I think something that Kleanbore pointed out about running drills with them is, or can be, a big wake up for those who have never tried it, when you actually try. Their shortcomings there are pretty stark and quickly become clear.

    Ive gone through a bunch of smaller, what I call "back up/second/third line guns" over the years, which included the 642, and settled on my 26's for that role. While slightly chunkier, and a tad heavier than the 642, it also carries double the ammo and has good sights and shoots like a full size, even with the ten round mag in the gun. With a 17 reload in it, its basically, and pretty much instantly, a short-barreled 17. And I carry it in the exact same places I carried my 642's.

    I still occasionally use my 642 for that third line role, mostly as an outer coat pocket, under my thigh or maybe on the seat or in the console, etc, while Im driving, or as a hand off to my wife, since she seems to never bother carrying hers anymore.

    At the very least, everyone should have a 642, just to know what it is and what its like the shoot. Ive taken a number of newbies shooting who insisted that was the gun they wanted to get and carry. And almost to a one, after just one cylinder full, handed it back to me and said, "NO!".

    Reality is a bitch I guess. :)
     
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  25. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    I can't find the K6a on the web. How is it different than the K6s? Thanks.
     
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