S&W 642 barrel length

This is a discussion on S&W 642 barrel length within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm likely picking up a 642 as my CCW. I was wondering if there was any advantage to the 2 1/2" barrel vs the 1 ...

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Thread: S&W 642 barrel length

  1. #1
    New Member Array North River's Avatar
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    S&W 642 barrel length

    I'm likely picking up a 642 as my CCW. I was wondering if there was any advantage to the 2 1/2" barrel vs the 1 7/8" barrel.

    I'm assuming any difference in velocity would be negligible.

    I do think the shorter barrel looks kind of odd. It looks out of place,like it came off of a different gun.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array orangevol's Avatar
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    Splitting hairs...another 5/8" of barrel is not going to amount to much in velocity.

    I have a 642 and like the 1 7/8" barrel, this has been the standard length on the S&W Chief Special / Bodyguard since they started making them in the '50's.
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    Senior Member Array MichSteve's Avatar
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    I believe the longer barrel is compensated so no difference in ballistics, the shorter barrel is easier to pocket carry and to find holsters for. I have the short barrel and carry most of the time in clip draw appendix position, hardly know it is there.

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    The biggest difference with the longer barrel is that the ejector rod actually clears the empty cases out of the cylinder. My 2" snubs work fine with the ammo I use, but I've seen some where the incomplete ejection stroke due to the short barrel leaves empties behind, that need to be plucked by hand.

    A little extra velocity from the longer barrel won't hurt, either.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    That little bit of extra site radius may may a difference in how accurately you can shoot it, although I cant see it making that much difference. But a little can be alot in a self defense shooting scenario.

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    I have a Mod 60 with the 2.25" barrel, my wife has a 642 with the 1 7/8" barrel. I don't notice any sight picture advantage. I have five J frame holsters and both guns fit all of the holster. The differnce in barrel length does not provide any advantage in carry. Of course one gun is SS and the other airweight, but in the same model gun that would not be an issue.
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    New Member Array Johnmoore4's Avatar
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    I have a model 638 in the 2.5 barrel and love it! I too liked the look over the 1-7/8" model along with the full lug and pinned front sight. I swapped out the factory sight for an XS big dot sight and just need some nice Crimson Trace grips to finish her up.

    The only difficulty is finding holsters can be limited. The pocket holsters and most leather can form to the different shape of the lug but I doubt Kydex would work as well. I want a Crossbreed eventually but am nervous about the fit and the risk of buying holsters without test fitting first. I currently use a Desantis Nemesis for pocket carry and a Don Hume for IWB and both work fine on the longer barrel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    The biggest difference with the longer barrel is that the ejector rod actually clears the empty cases out of the cylinder. My 2" snubs work fine with the ammo I use, but I've seen some where the incomplete ejection stroke due to the short barrel leaves empties behind, that need to be plucked by hand.

    A little extra velocity from the longer barrel won't hurt, either.

    Wise man. You got it!

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