Help me make up my mind...

This is a discussion on Help me make up my mind... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am down to 4 choices and cant decide, give me some opinions. I am looking for a light small revolver. S&W 642 Pros good ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array Jarwood's Avatar
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    Help me make up my mind...

    I am down to 4 choices and cant decide, give me some opinions.

    I am looking for a light small revolver.

    S&W 642 Pros good price, feels good. Cons 38 cal only.
    S&W 642 w/ct grips. Pros same as above Cons do I really need a laser?
    S&W 340 M&P Pros I like everything about this gun. Cons price is this thing really worth $700.00 I can get the 642 with CT grips for $200 less.

    Ruger LCR 357 Pros good trigger, 357 option pinned in sights. Cons feels a bit larger then the J frame.

    All these guns feel good to me. This will be my first Light weight snub minus a 2" SP101. I would like the option to pocket carry and IWB. I am going to purchase something in the next few days.

    Help me decide because I have been to the LGS so many times and handled all these they are not going to let me back in unless I buy something.

    Thanks for the help.

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  3. #2
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    I'd pass on the 340. Even a 16-ounce snubbie gets to be a handful with standard pressure ammo, bordering on annoying with +P. The 340 is around 11-12 ounces, just too light in my book for any sort of regular practice. I can't even fathom what a full-house .357 load would be like in that light a gun.

    That leaves the 640, with or without the laser. I'm not fond of lasers for anything but practice, when the feedback (to compare sight picture with actual point of impact) is invaluable. A snubbie isn't what you're going to use for defensive purposes much beyond room-clearing or bad-breath distances, so in my view the laser sight is of limited utility on a pocket pistol. However, lots of people love 'em and swear by them, so I won't tell you not to buy the laser. I'd suggest investing the $200 you'll save on the laser in training and ammo.
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    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    The 642 is rated .38 special +P. Didn't see the need for a laser on mine, but to each his own.
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    EdC
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    Ok, you've handled the 340, and know how super light it is compared to the others. You don't have to shoot .357 in it, you can go with .38's, and it's a lot lighter than the 642. Is the weight difference worth the price difference, though?
    My recommendation is to get the 642, buy some ammo and practice with it before you get a laser. Laser's are a real individual thing.

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    Member Array MLittle's Avatar
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    Can I ask you a question? Have you shot any of the ultralight pocket revolvers in 357mag?

    I have a quite a few revolvers (SW642, Ruger LCR, Ruger SP101, Ruger GP100, Ruger Vaquero, Colt SAA) and shoot one each week at my local range along with my edc pistol. I like the 357mag round and load my own, but for a small, light pocket carryable revolver my recommendation would be to stick to a 38+p. Why? Because the recoil in a light revolver is just too extreme making accurate follow-up shots difficult to make.

    Now, as far as my favorite pocket revolver, I'd have to say it's the Ruger LCR 38+p. I have the SW642, but I like the Ruger better. Why? Because the Ruger has 1) A better trigger, 2) Better sights (more visible to me), 3) at least 30% less felt recoil due to the standard Hogue Tamer grips. The Hogue grips do make the revolver slightly larger than the 642, but I really don't have any problems concealing it in jeans or cargo shorts pocket.

    My best recommendation would be to go to your local range and rent both the Ruger and one of the SW (442, 642) and shoot them side-by-side. After a couple of boxes of ammo I think you will be able to make your decision pretty easily.

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    New Member Array Jarwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLittle View Post
    Can I ask you a question? Have you shot any of the ultralight pocket revolvers in 357mag?

    I have a quite a few revolvers (SW642, Ruger LCR, Ruger SP101, Ruger GP100, Ruger Vaquero, Colt SAA) and shoot one each week at my local range along with my edc pistol. I like the 357mag round and load my own, but for a small, light pocket carryable revolver my recommendation would be to stick to a 38+p. Why? Because the recoil in a light revolver is just too extreme making accurate follow-up shots difficult to make.

    Now, as far as my favorite pocket revolver, I'd have to say it's the Ruger LCR 38+p. I have the SW642, but I like the Ruger better. Why? Because the Ruger has 1) A better trigger, 2) Better sights (more visible to me), 3) at least 30% less felt recoil due to the standard Hogue Tamer grips. The Hogue grips do make the revolver slightly larger than the 642, but I really don't have any problems concealing it in jeans or cargo shorts pocket.

    My best recommendation would be to go to your local range and rent both the Ruger and one of the SW (442, 642) and shoot them side-by-side. After a couple of boxes of ammo I think you will be able to make your decision pretty easily.
    I used to own a 2" SP101 and shot it all the time in 357 that is the lightest revolver in 357. Unfortunately I do not have a range close by where I can rent both fire arms, which is why I am asking for so many opinions. I also like the SP101 but kind of defeats the purpose of light weight. What I really like about the M&P is the sight picture and the feel. Maybe an LCR with a boot grip with a night sight would be my best option.

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    New Member Array Jarwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I'd pass on the 340. Even a 16-ounce snubbie gets to be a handful with standard pressure ammo, bordering on annoying with +P. The 340 is around 11-12 ounces, just too light in my book for any sort of regular practice. I can't even fathom what a full-house .357 load would be like in that light a gun.

    That leaves the 640, with or without the laser. I'm not fond of lasers for anything but practice, when the feedback (to compare sight picture with actual point of impact) is invaluable. A snubbie isn't what you're going to use for defensive purposes much beyond room-clearing or bad-breath distances, so in my view the laser sight is of limited utility on a pocket pistol. However, lots of people love 'em and swear by them, so I won't tell you not to buy the laser. I'd suggest investing the $200 you'll save on the laser in training and ammo.
    Never owned a firearm with a laser but for the price of the M&P I would still have money left over. I agree about the weight of the M&P I have some reservations regarding the recoil. I really like the sight picture of the M&P but I could put a night sight on the LCR.

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    New Member Array Jarwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdC View Post
    Ok, you've handled the 340, and know how super light it is compared to the others. You don't have to shoot .357 in it, you can go with .38's, and it's a lot lighter than the 642. Is the weight difference worth the price difference, though?
    My recommendation is to get the 642, buy some ammo and practice with it before you get a laser. Laser's are a real individual thing.
    That is kind of what I was thinking I am not really concerned with price, but why pay more for something that is not needed. Never had a laser, just thought it maybe an option.

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    Distinguished Member Array deadguy's Avatar
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    If you like the 340, but not the price, look at the 360 (non PD or M&P version). It has an exposed hammer but costs significantly less. Load with 38+P if you don't like 357 mag
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    Member Array Rangel's Avatar
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    On a light weight revolver, 357 is a real bear to shoot. It's about as loud as any revolver too, so if you miss a bad guy--the sound alone should start him running.

    On a new gun, I'd lean towards something that shoots 38p and while I like S&W, unless you get a trigger job, I have to give a slight nod to the Rugers.

    Have you looked at well cared for used S&W or Colt snubbie? The Detective Special and a few others are actually superior IMO to the newer revolvers. If you go that route, research on-line about what to look for and what to look out for on these guns. Of course heat damage, poor reblueing of the finish, worn out springs and trigger actions are things to look out for, but a lot of these guns have sat in bedside drawers for 20-30 years. I almost bought a Colt Python for $275 a while back, but it had been poorly reblued--actually I'd like a chrome finished S.S. 38 sp., with nice wood grips--a classic.

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    642 revolver

    I would recommend the plain, unlasered version of the 642 revolver. At the range you'd be using this you don't really need a laser, in my opinion. You mentioned IWB belt carry, which I like for this small gun. You might look into the Comp-Tac IWB holster at appendix position, which is a fast draw, even while seated.



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    Member Array kmagnuss's Avatar
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    642 w/o laser

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    Senior Member Array sonnycrocket's Avatar
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    get you a no lock 624/442 and you have some +P38s and you have IMO the best carry pocket gun u can get
    kmagnuss likes this.

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    Senior Member Array sonnycrocket's Avatar
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    get you a no lock 624/442 and you have some +P38s and you have IMO the best carry pocket gun u can get

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    Member Array Rxdoc's Avatar
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    Get the Ruger KLCR 357/38. I have one that I just love to shoot. You can pick from 3 different cateidges, 357, 38, 38+P. I can handle the 357 easily with the Hogue Tamer Grips that come standard. If it's too much for some, go down to the 38+P. Just the option alone makes it a winner. Good lick and be safe.
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