This is a discussion on Ammo Suggestions for S&W 442/642 within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Try many different weights and loads. My 60 and 686 shoot best with the 158 grain bullets but the 64Xs do better with 125 grain ...
Try many different weights and loads. My 60 and 686 shoot best with the 158 grain bullets but the 64Xs do better with 125 grain bullets. since the 642 and 640 are my main EDCs, my carry ammo is the Hornady 125 grain XTPs ( at the chrono'd velocity we get out of our 2" barrels, I don't expect much expansion). The Hornady is on the cusp bewteen .38 and .38 +P and seems to be the fastest round I can handle without excessive recoil. Could be completely different for you. BTW the reason for the use of the .38 Standard pressure is not the guns. We know they can handle the pressure. Some of us don't buy into the "1 shot-1 kill" .357 Magnum school. I've also read all of the books and articles about 1 shot stops. As a graduate degreed Science Teacher I can tell you that the use of data in the research really sucks. It was not scientific, too much picking and choosing to match the conclusions.
I'm pretty sure that if you had all of the data you would find that the .22 has the highest number of 1 stop shots. That is because it is the most used and usually in an altercation where the victim had no idea they were going to be shot and went into shock.
I'm not going to start carrying a .22 because of that.
A lot of us are of the "shoot until they drop" school. We need follow-up shots and that means controllable recoil. When I am practicing, I never shoot less that 5 shots in the string. So yeah, I shoot .38 standard pressure! If you can handle .357 Mags or .38 +Ps in rapid fire, than by all means use them. I'm sure it will give you somewhat of an edge.
Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.
No, I don't agree.From browsing forums, it appears that an all-around favorite is Federal Premium, Hydra-Shok® JHP. Do you agree, and I'd also be happy to hear suggestions about Grains/Weight.
My 442 is loaded with Gold Dot 135 Grain +P JHP's.