New BUG review: Smith & Wesson 642

New BUG review: Smith & Wesson 642

This is a discussion on New BUG review: Smith & Wesson 642 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My search for a S&W 442 Moon Clip hit brick wall after brick wall, since none of the local shops had one or could get ...

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Thread: New BUG review: Smith & Wesson 642

  1. #1
    Member Array skatalite's Avatar
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    New BUG review: Smith & Wesson 642



    My search for a S&W 442 Moon Clip hit brick wall after brick wall, since none of the local shops had one or could get one (despite one telling me they could). I wanted it as my BUG, and the only reason I chose it over a regular 442 or 642 is because it accepts moon clips, which is a feature I was interested in just because.

    But on Friday, a local shop got in a 642 and, after checking it out, I went home with it. After a field strip and cleaning, I picked up some American Eagle 158-grain FMJ (only stuff I could find at the time) and headed to the range.

    Before yesterday I had never shot a snubnose revolver. I've only ever shot full-sized, in almost all calibers. But I think I like shooting my 642 more than my full-sized Rugers. Though, maybe that's just because it's my newest firearm.

    Here are my first five shots at 10 yards with the American Eagle:


    Well, not a horrible first five shots. Throughout the remaining 145 rounds I produced tighter groupings, but definitely had to cut the shooting short because of the recoil. I think I was gripping the gun too tightly because I developed a small pain in the fatty area of my thumb.

    I find the 642 to be incredibly comfortable to hold. I'm also kind of wowed by its weight, unloaded and loaded. It's just so dang light. I'm used to 30-plus-ounce unloaded revolvers (like my Speed Six). Even compared to my Taurus 85 (21 ounces), the 642 is very noticeably lighter, even when loaded (it seems the four-ounce difference is a difference.)

    The grip is nice and does its job. I'm thinking of getting some Pachmayr grips to see what all the fuss is about. I've never changed grips on any of my revolvers, so it'll be a first. But I also think the Talo 642 model looks great with its wood grips, so those are on my mind, too.

    It aims naturally, it's easy to strip down and clean, and it handled the dirty American Eagle like a champ.

    Everything I've said so far has already been said many times before, and in much better ways. In any case, I really, really like this gun. I'm heading back tomorrow to shoot more, this time with some wadcutters.



    I'll be pocket carrying it in a Remora no-clip as a backup to my S&W M&P9c.

    Thanks for reading, everyone.
    blitzburgh and Eric357 like this.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    image.jpg yep gotta lovem
    blitzburgh likes this.

  3. #3
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    If you can crank through 150 rounds of full-power .38 with an ultra-light snub, my hat's off to you. About a box full is all I can tolerate with my 17-oz Taurus 851 before I slip into something more relaxing, like a 1911 with major-power reloads.

    Don't forget to run a couple of cylinders full of +P carry loads through the gun, to check POI.
    Smitty
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  4. #4
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    The 642 is an excellent carry gun. And you are indeed correct, the four or five ounces makes a huge difference.

    These are very comfortable in either pocket carry or IWB in a Remora.

    Funny, it's your BUG, but it (or it's sister, a 637) is my primary carry.
    -PEF, a Framer with a Steelie...
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    1. All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    Can't say I've ever went through 150 round in one sitting with a revolver either.. sounds fun though. I'm going to the range (my side yard) after church tomorrow and may just spend some quality time with my Taurus 85 after I check out my newly returned RIA 1911 (btw, they're customer service was great).

    I've been wanting a 642 for some time now but around here they're either sold out or way overpriced.
    "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God." - Benjamin Franklin
    "Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn." - C.S. Lewis

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy8 View Post
    image.jpg yep gotta lovem
    Man, you sure do post some purdy revolvers. Is this one Gemini as well?
    "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God." - Benjamin Franklin
    "Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn." - C.S. Lewis

  7. #7
    Member Array skatalite's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, all.

    I had 200 rounds with me, but couldn't finish it all. I'm a bit OCD because once I start a box I feel obligated to finish it off. I began getting fatigued shortly after beginning the third box of 50, so I took a break and shot two of my 9mm handguns for a bit. Then I finished what was left of the third box of .38.

    I'll be picking up some +P Golden Sabers next week via trade, so I'll shoot some then. I don't want to shoot too much of it because Sabers are expennnnnsive, and I'm sure the +P is going to hurt.

  8. #8
    Member Array CougarRed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatalite View Post
    I'll be picking up some +P Golden Sabers next week via trade, so I'll shoot some then. I don't want to shoot too much of it because Sabers are expennnnnsive, and I'm sure the +P is going to hurt.
    If you are going to buy expensive ammo, do some research on the Gold Dot 135 gr +p "short barrel" load and the Barnes Copper 110 gr +p "TAC" or "DPX" load from Corbon or Buffalo Bore. In the testing I have seen (from DocGKR and others), these are the most reliable rounds for both penetration and expansion coming from a snub nose barrel.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Yeah they did a nice job on this its my wifes cc

  10. #10
    New Member Array stvan1's Avatar
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    Very nice shooting, I wish I could have shot my 642 that good I would still have it, they are a real pleasure to carry. I could not wrap myself around the VERY HEAVY trigger on mine though, I swear it had to have been 15 lbs. Ironically I tried out a Taurus 444 ultra light 44 mag and the trigger was very light even in DA and as smooth as glass. I probably would have purchased it but even though it is as light as a feather it is a huge gun to try to conceal, probably would work really nice in one of those Lawman Holsters though.

  11. #11
    Member Array skatalite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarRed View Post
    If you are going to buy expensive ammo, do some research on the Gold Dot 135 gr +p "short barrel" load and the Barnes Copper 110 gr +p "TAC" or "DPX" load from Corbon or Buffalo Bore. In the testing I have seen (from DocGKR and others), these are the most reliable rounds for both penetration and expansion coming from a snub nose barrel.
    I've got a friend who is an LEO who has some 135-grain Gold Dot +P short barrels but he told me he recommends the Golden Sabers, when I asked him what he uses. Still, I've read up on the Gold Dots and Sabers moreso than any other brand/load, and want to try those first. Corbon is almost impossible to find locally, as is Buffalo Bore. But Buffalo is easy to find online, from what I've seen the past couple of days.

    This video on the Golden Sabers is what enticed me to try them first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRe6BzIqu6U

    I want to try all of the ammo! I wish I could write all these companies and request a sample of rounds, like how companies send out coupons to you if you ask them to.

  12. #12
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    You're really going to like it with the new grips on it. I put the Hogue grips on mine. Once I covered up that backstrap it was a lot more fun to shoot. You will be able to shoot all day with Pachmyers.
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  13. #13
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    Congrats! Nice review, really good pics. A snubnose is one of the last voids I still need to fill in my collection.
    The stupidity of some people NEVER ceases to amaze me.

    G19 AIWB

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
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    Thats a nice revolver

  15. #15
    Member Array pete362e's Avatar
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    I use the same gun in rotation (depending on style of dress). You will like the gun even more with a set of Pachmyer Grips, really "tames the beast" and 150 rounds will be easier on your hands. Improved grips make the weapon only slightly more difficult to properly conceal. Enjoy

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