Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Buckeye63, Nov 8, 2020.
My 642 will be shipping this week ..
and just ordered Wilson Combat spring kit
it's a typo, the 'a' is next to the 's' key
I put the Wilson spring kit in my 642. I couldn't tell much difference. However my 642 came from the factory with a fairly decent trigger. The Wilson kit wasn't too expensive so it all worked out fine.
I had a 640 .38 that I bought back in 1991 as a duty back up. I sat on that gun for 40-plus hours a week for about three years, until it no longer jived with the nerve in my leg and it started “falling asleep” on me. To this day I still can’t carry a wallet or anything else in my rear pockets.
I traded the 640 and two hundred bucks for two Model 19’s, a sort of holster worn 4” and a nice 2.5”. (They were former duty guns a non gun-guy co-worker had laying in his locker for about five years, he wanted the 640 for his wife. The 4” was traded several years later straight up for a 7.5” SRH .454, I still have the 2.5” and the SRH)
About four-five years ago I saw a local police oriented gun store had 642’s on sale for $289.00. I couldn’t go wrong going back to the hammerless J frame, so I bought one. I painted the front sight orange and blacked out the rear so the sight picture is ok... it’s worlds better than my nickel Model 49 Bodyguard.
I LOVE the carry-weight. I HATE the recoil.
To me, even 3.0 Bullseye/148 gr WC loads are snappy in this gun. This and how the factory grips put my hand in a position where the trigger finger gets pinched when i shoot.
I still have the 642, but I rarely shoot it.
Here it is next to my only other airlite S&W, a 317.
Once just for grins I loaded some lead 124gr 9mm bullets I cast from a Lee mold in 38 cases with 3grs of Bullseye and shot those from a Taurus snub and was surprised how nice they were to shoot. I don't know what speed they were going, probably not fast. Maybe 700fps but you could shoot those all day and not have a sore hand. They were close to shooting the 2" model 30-1 I have in 32 long. Even with my hotter 32 long reloads there just isn't much in the way of recoil.
Too bad S&W doesn't make an airweight 32 long or even the airweight 32 mag. I have one of the 32 mag airweights in my nightstand right now. Its been there for several years now. With 32 longs anyone should be able to shoot it. Whether they can hit anything with it is another story. At least it has a hammer you can cock and shoot single action if you want.
642 carrier since 2004. The standard pressure 110gr FTX are great. When I could get them, the standard pressure 124gr Gold Dots were okay, too. +P anything isn’t fun, but does work. I can get through about 10 of them in a sitting. Full power 158gr will remove a patch of skin in about 35-40 rounds, and I have to be stubborn and dumb that day to do it.
What I practice with is 2.7gr BE under a 105gr hollow base moly coated lead bullet. I can shoot those all day. They shoot like a .22 out anything heavier - quite funny to run out of an Nframe .357. I carry the 642 loaded with FGMM 148gr wadcutters or the aforementioned 110gr FTX. 110gr FTX are in the speed strip for the reload regardless of what is in the cylinder.
If I am hiking or hunting, the first two chambers have snake shot in them, and I’m carrying another pistol, or a rifle, or a shotgun.
Front sight is painted Testor’s fluorescent orange, rear is Sharpie black.
The utility and versatility of the 642 is quite a nice thing to have around. My wife has shot it exactly once. “Torture device” is what she calls it.
The 60-9 I got last year is more fun to shoot, but is a bit of a pain to carry because of the hammer hook and added weight. I’ll carry my G26 instead of that one, most days, for 2x the rounds and better sights.
I've been carrying my 642 in a Mika pocket holster for the past dozen years. Never had the urge to go with anything else.
I have a 642, but I've never shot it. One of those guns I got a great deal on. The J frame that I carry (when I do) is an old Model 36 with a 3" bbl and a rounded grip frame. It was a gun that had been terribly stored and neglected so the exterior finish had badly corroded...yet the internals - including the bore - were largely rust free! I bought it for $185.
I experimented with getting the finish rust off, but nothing worked, and the exterior pitting was too severe, so I just sanded it down and I keep it oiled. I love the gun because it shoots great, is very concealable despite it's 3" bbl (due to it's rounded grip) and - best of all - I never have to worry about scratching it or dropping it on the pavement.
642/442....IMO....best pocket gun ever. Snag-free...ultra-reliable....packs a punch....accurate....
I think the 642/442's (or the Airweights in general) main downfall is their finish, which pretty much sucks if youre actually using the guns regularly. The finsh quickly degrades, chips and scratches off.
My buddy has a 442 thats just flat out ugly as hell and all beat up looking at this point. That dark outer finsih really shows the wear when the lighter under color comes through.
My 642's dont/didnt show it near as bad, as the colors are close, but the one I was carrying for a while there quickly got pretty rough looking, and the one I currently have, isnt to bad, but compared to my steel S&W's, that have had a lot more use, looks pretty crappy.
If I were rich I’d be a J frame collector! Snubs scattered all over the house! Lol
I definitely have a no-lock 442 or 340 on the future aquire list. I have an early 638 now and it needs a new buddy.
I bought my 642 as my first EDC gun, and happily carried it for 15 years in a Mika pocket holster. It is probably the best carry gun around. I like it, and shot it at the range regularly, but I will admit the recoil is such I rarely ran through more than four 5-round loads before moving to a different gun at the range.
Then, last year I started actively training in actual self defense use of handguns. I realized a pocket snubbie is not the greatest for rapid draw and presentation, and is not well suited for a multi-attacker scenario with only 5 shots and a not-very-fast reload. I moved to a double-stack 9, and the 642 is now a bedside gun. I may someday get a proper holster for it as a BUG, but for now it is no longer a carry gun for me.
I guess there are those who are satisfied preparing for the 99th percentile encounter, those who are satisfied preparing for the 99.9th percentile encounter and those who are only satisfied preparing for the 99.99th percentile encounter.
I think the question is, do you carry the gun for those times youre not expecting trouble? Or for the (hopefully very rare) times, you really need it?
Every morning you get up, the numbers reset, and the odds start all over. You get what you get, and you never know what that might be.
After reading all the hype on this and other forums I bought a 642, and one without the idiot lock. I remain under whelmed. Since I don't wear baggy pants I can't hide the bloody thing. First time I put it in my jeans front pocket and walked into her office my wife asked if that was the new gun I'd just bought.
Well at least she didn't say "is that a new gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me"? Gotta love Mae West.
So did I.
Same here, 8 or 10 years ago.
According to Micheal Bane, incidents involving two or more attackers outnumber those with one attacker.
That's what Bernard Goetz would say. Except when he fired the first shot into the first attacker the other 3 were doing their best to get the hell out. A 5 shot model 38 worked well for him that day.
Do you have any links discussing this assertion in more detail?
I can't find a link to the video.
It was in an episode of The Best Defense TV
I would also like a link if you can find it.
We used to recommend Centennials to rookies due to their simplicity, and no chance of thumbing the hammer under stress. We discovered that 'double action' and 'rookie' in the same sentence wasn't a good idea.
We concluded that revos were easier to learn to manipulate but autos easier to shoot. Got an Airlight Centennial for my daughter, and the recoil put her off; ended getting her the same gun in .22.
Something milder kicking is a help; I've been loading 'full charge wadcutters', bean can WCs loaded to the old RNL standard. Recoil isn't bad, and it likely would make a fair defense load.
Two other things; a bike glove does make a difference for practice, and there is no need to shoot 50 (or 100!) rounds on one range run. In light guns, less is more.
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