Going complete circle with a new S&W 442 5 shot .38 revolver

Going complete circle with a new S&W 442 5 shot .38 revolver

This is a discussion on Going complete circle with a new S&W 442 5 shot .38 revolver within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi gang, Funny thing happened at my local gun shop yesterday. A really neat 5 shot, black, 38 Spec +P, revolver (model 442, non-moon clip ...

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Thread: Going complete circle with a new S&W 442 5 shot .38 revolver

  1. #1
    Member Array Trooper Joe's Avatar
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    Oct 2009

    Going complete circle with a new S&W 442 5 shot .38 revolver

    Hi gang,

    Funny thing happened at my local gun shop yesterday. A really neat 5 shot, black, 38 Spec +P, revolver (model 442, non-moon clip model) followed me home.

    I used to carry wheel guns as a detective and trooper in a State LEA. Just as I retired, 22 years ago, we switched to Sig Sauer 9mm (I actually felt we should have gone to auto loaders many years before that, but we had to wait until to old range officers retired).

    Since retirement, I have had, and still do, many very nice auto loaders. (Sigs- 230, 232, 239/9mm, 239/.357 Sig, 228 9mm/1989 era, EMP 9mm, Rohrbaugh R9s, lots of 1911s, etc, etc.).

    Had a friend who's wife just got her carry permit and I was trying to talk him into a Ruger LC9 or LCP (both excellent guns). However, he was sort of leaning towards a 442 S&W because of it's simplicity and I started to look at them last week.

    As soon as I bought mine yesterday and shot it with Critical Def. non-+P, I was really impressed. It seems as though it has a much better trigger pull than my latest S&W Bodyguard (built in the 60s). Also, for a DAO revolver, it was very accurate it you "staged" the trigger which seemed easy to do. Some of you old timers may remember that we were trained to "stage" our revolver triggers when we switched from "Camp Perry" style single action shooting to double action, "combat style" shooting. Things have really changed over the years.

    I really enjoyed buying an under $400 gun which is well made (maybe better than my old Bodyguard .38 5 shot, shrouded hammer), that didn't need 300 rounds of break in, has a great trigger pull, and could have actually been loaded and carried right out of the box.

    I won't give up my great auto loaders (always keep a Glock 19 in my glove box) but this 5 shot revolver was like coming home to an old friend.

    Trooper Joe
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  2. #2
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    Array ctr's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
    There is just something about those J-Frames. Hard to argue with tradition, reliability, and ergonomics.

    Congratulations on the purchase!

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Under an old Volkswagen somewhere in Florida
    You're gonna love it!!! So easy to carry in so many different manners. Super versatile, from lounge pants pocket around the house to ankle, SOB, or IWB.

    I've got a 442 and an old model 49 Bodyguard from the 60s. I love both of them.

    I put a Wolff shooters pack spring set in my 442, removed the internal lock flag, and polichsed the contact points while I was in there and now it has a super smooth and sweet under 7lb trigger pull. I also put an old set of wooden Chief's Special grips on it. It now fits my hand perfectly and I am able to be very accurate with it without having to stage the trigger. I wouldn't trade it for anything now.

    I love my old 49 too. It's been carried a lot, but still solid and smooth. It has character and is a dream to shoot because of the extra weight of being solid steel. I don't carry it as much as I used to, but I wouldn't get rid of it either.

    The j-frames are just all around good weapons. Everyone should have at least one...if not several.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Going complete circle with a new S&W 442 5 shot .38 revolver-dsc01452.jpg  

    Going complete circle with a new S&W 442 5 shot .38 revolver-dsc00607.jpg  

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  5. #4
    Ex Member Array LSP972's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Greetings from another old retired trooper (Louisiana). I too always had a J frame of one sort or another for a second/back up gun. Still do.

    I believe it was MSP that issued a Model 49 as a back-up, and provided uniform pants with a leather-lined front pocket (on one side, your choice) to carry it in. That was a splendid idea which, after hearing about it, I floated with the brass when I was running our FTU. Alas, I never got any farther than the inevitable question "How much is this going to cost?"

    While I much prefer the pre-95 examples, the new iteration of J frame is still the best thing going for a light, easily concealed personal carry piece that fires a somewhat serious cartridge. And one of the Ti-Scan (titanium cylinder, scandium frame) versions weigh even less than a standard AirWeight. NOT fun to shoot, though... no free lunch.


  6. #5
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    North Georgia
    Like yourself I have plenty of good autos to choose from, but one thing that will never change for me will be one of my Smith J frames will always be on my person where legally permissible. I've carried for most of my adult life and IMO the J frame is by far the easiest firearm to always have on my person; the only thing that even comes remotely close would be one of the ultra small .380's, but most of mine can be somewhat finicky due to ammo choice; that's a variable that I'm not comfortable with. To date I have yet to have a problem with any of my revolvers, and I can't say enough about the simplicity and reliability of the revolver.. Those that don't understand it, have never tried it, or given it enough carry time IMO.

    Congrats on the new revolver, as you very well know, it'll serve you well...

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array Haywood's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    Snub Revolvers are my favorite. I would have no problem carrying 2 J-Frames. I normally carry Two 357 Snubs but when I need to go a little lighter I use one of my J's for a back up.

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array druryj's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Like an old, trusted, good friend, the J-Frame is there for you when you need it!

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Central Kentucky
    Good choice. Here is mine!

    Going complete circle with a new S&W 442 5 shot .38 revolver-442.jpg
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    central florida
    I just love the look of a j frame! For some reason it just looks right!

    I still carry my Model 36 J frame occasionally. It's a square butt with the old style cylinder release. One sweet shooting gun. As much as I love my Glocks the j frame calls to me in a sweet voice!
    Question Everything!

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