I have owned both a 642 and LCR 357. The 642 and 442 are essentially the same but different color.
I loved the trigger on the LCR, but it's fall from grace for me was how easy it was to short stroke the trigger.
I now own and and carry a 340pd(basically a 442 but shoots .357) daily.
I would have to handle the LCR and the 442 and then make up my mind , though I'm leaning towards the LCR.
The LCR would also be my choice. I would also be interested in the 22lr if they had a 22mag conv. version.
I debated this recently and got the 642, although I liked the trigger on the LCR better. The 642/442 is smaller and lighter and in the end none of them are range guns so the slight trigger difference doesn't matter.
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I carried a 442 as back up until the LCR357 came out. I like shooting and carrying 357 Snubs. The LCR makes shooting 357 easy for me so it took over the back up gun position. I still carry the 442 once in a while but prefer to carry Two 357 Subs.
While Ruger and Smith both make good guns, I personally prefer the S&Ws. I have a 642, which is my summer/cargo shorts/tank-top carry gun. I chose it over the 442 simply because of finish durability. I actually like the looks of the 442 better, but was told by the LGS that the finish would scratch. So, I bought the 642. I've had/have several S&Ws in various calibers, and love every one of them.:yup: Just my .02.:yup:
I have both a 642 and an LCR .357. With .38 Special and plus P ammo, I personally am far more accurate with the Ruger. As a caveat, that could be due in part to the larger Hogue grip. I like the trigger pull better on the Ruger as well as the sights. I carry the LCR in a pancake holster and it works well. If you want to pocket carry, the Smith has an edge due to the smaller grip. As another poster pointed out, one could always put a smaller grip on the Ruger for easier pocket carry. You can't go wrong with either weapon.
I have a 642 and added the Crimson Trace LG 405 laser grips. I find those grips to improve my actual grip on the gun, accuracy, and recoil management. And those improvements have nothing to do with the laser capability.