Opinions on S&W 342PD

This is a discussion on Opinions on S&W 342PD within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A friend of mine is offering his S&W 342PD .38 Special for $300. I've read Jeff Quinn's excellent review of the gun on the website, ...

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Thread: Opinions on S&W 342PD

  1. #1
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    Opinions on S&W 342PD

    A friend of mine is offering his S&W 342PD .38 Special for $300.

    I've read Jeff Quinn's excellent review of the gun on the website, Gun Blast: http://www.gunblast.com/SW_342PD.htm

    What I'd like to hear is people's opinions on the gun; particular those folks that fired/own/owned one.

    Thanks much.
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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array fed_wif_a_sig's Avatar
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    Cant speak specifically for the 342 (38spl) but I had a 340 (357) and it was very nice to carry. That said I sold it and carry my model 36 until I pick up a 442 which is a little heavier. I have to say the 340 (and 342) are light and easy to pack all day and barely noticable but I had to shoot mine in a 30 round course every three months and it was a ache in my had once that was done, even when using 38 spl loads. Prob the hardest recoil of any handgun short of the 500 S&W.

    Sodepends on what you plan on doing with it. For $300 that is real cheap for one of the Scathium models and a 442 new is running $350.
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  4. #3
    kpw
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    If it's in good shape, I'd grab it in a heartbeat.

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    If I were you I'd pass...The recoil from +p is very unpleasant in the 342 With that said, could you please send me your friends contact info? I feel it is my duty to buy this light weight hand abuser to save others from anguish In all seriousness go for it sir!! that's a great deal!! luteai

  6. #5
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    Sounds like a great deal. I have a 340PD which is the same weight and it is not bad with .38 +P. I use 135gr GDs.

    Does it have an internal lock?
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    I thought about a 340, but knew I would need practice to become reliably accurate with it. I didn't feel--for me--I wanted to do that with 357s, and I thought (and still do) that if I shot 38s at the range, I should carry with 38s. That pointed toward the 342pd, which I knew was going out of production. It was a little less expensive and lighter. I think mine's around 10.5oz unloaded and the 340 is 12oz(?) Anyhow, I'm really thankful that I was still able to find a new one locally--one of two remaining at the shop I like. I agree that the price is exceptional for one in good condition.

  8. #7
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    I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Great gun, and a great price.
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    342

    I have one I carry in my pocket in the winter and love it.Great price I would buy it.

  10. #9
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    My wife carries one. She swears by it. It is light, accurate (as a snubnose can be), and reliable. I'd jump at it for that price.
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  11. #10
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    SRFL! ya best scoop that up ASAP..........NICE little gun he's selling.......GREAT price as well......
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    That is a great price! A couple friends of mine bought one each. One of them sold after about a year. He complained about qualifying with it. The other friend still has it, but I don't think he carries it much, because of the recoil when shooting it.

    Personally, I thought it was pretty harsh, recoilwise. But I'd buy one at that price. Probably wouldn't shoot it much, either. But it is a great pocket gun. The darn thing's about a 1/4 lb. lighter than my 442!
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  13. #12
    Member Array orangehole's Avatar
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    You better buy it asap because those things are selling for double the $300 asking price. Of course that if it is pre-lock. The 342 is awesome. Feels like you are carrying a cap gun because it is so light. Every ounce makes a difference!

  14. #13
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    I have owned and carried a 342 for several years now. It is a constant. I typically pocket carry it at work every day. Sometimes I carry my 1911PD, but no matter what I have my 342. The 342 is as light and concealable as any gun out there and with considerably more punch then a Seecamp or P3AT or PPK etc. It is ultra light and ultra reliable. You can stick it in your pocket and forget about it. On a hot summer day with cargo shorts on you can mow the lawn without carry discomfort. For deep cover you can carry it all day on your ankle. Sometimes I wear a Don Hume JIT slide belt holster with just a loose T shirt over it, very hidden and very comfy. In cooler weather you can transfer it to your jacket pocket and even shoot through the pocket if necessary. I find this to be a great feature when walking though an empty parking garage in downtown Boston in the wee hours. Much of the year I wear a Cabelas barn coat (great value) which has 2 vertical pockets at chest level with velcro closures. I am on the road a lot, I am in sales and I drive all day every day. I stick the 342 (with a cheap Uncle Mike's pocket holster) in the left side chest pocket and it rides like a shoulder hloster, but MUCH more accessible. In fact very accessible, when driving. I have not found any other method of carry that is as accessible in a car as compared to my chest pocket method. Also note that these Cabela's barn coats are a fraction of the price of the fancy concealed carry jackets and coats. It is the 342 that makes this possible as my S&W 60 or Ruger SP101 pulls down too heavily on the pocket to make it practical.

    Personally I do not find the recoil prohibitive. Usually when I practice I will shoot 50 - 100rds of regular .38's and then 10 - 15 rds. of +p's. All handgun skills are perishable, but I think it is even more so with snubby's, especially the ultra light models. I practice with mine a fair amount, usually once a week. I have put thousands of rounds through mine without issue and it is as tight as the day I bought it. I have also taken some snubby specific training classes and this has been my gun of choice. I am taking another snubby class at Sigarms next weekend.

    Any snubby, but particularly a light one like the 342 is a trade off. However, I have simply accepted that this was, is and (in all liklihood) will be my main carry gun. So I accept the limitations and train to maximize the strengths.

  15. #14
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    The 342 is a great gun. Buy it
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  16. #15
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    Great gun!!! Buy it!!!! Steve48

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