S&W 442 Airweight

S&W 442 Airweight

This is a discussion on S&W 442 Airweight within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am strongly considering buying one of these. Anyone have any comments positive or negative about these? The deal seems too good to pass up. ...

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Thread: S&W 442 Airweight

  1. #1
    Member Array paper killer's Avatar
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    S&W 442 Airweight

    I am strongly considering buying one of these. Anyone have any comments positive or negative about these? The deal seems too good to pass up. It is on sale at Cabelas for $379 (normally $449). And from Oct. 18-28 they are having club card days again. With this event, I can take another $85 off a $400 purchase. So if I buy the gun and $20 worth of other stuff--which won't be too hard--I can take $85 off the gun for a net price of $295.
    The MSRP--which I realize no one usually pays--is $529. Best price I can find anywhere is $379. So I think I am crazy to pass up a new 442 for $295.
    I have SIG 229 and some Glocks and H&Ks for OWB carry. I don't own any S&W yet. Seems like I should do this.
    Due to arthritis issues, I do not care for a lot of recoil--sold a Ruger Super Redhawk .44 mag due to this. Am thinking about .38+P for pocket carry with the 442. What is your opinion of the recoil of the 442 with +P?
    Thanks for any comments left!

  2. #2
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    There is a boat load of threads about the 642/442. I doubt think there is anyone who does not like them. There is also a huge thread about the on THR.
    "Just blame Sixto"

    I reserve the right to make fun, point and laugh etc.

  3. #3
    Member Array Bowie's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Jacksonville, Fl
    Definitely go for it. I have the 642 and it is a great pocket gun. Looks like you are getting a good deal too! Very easy to carry and shoots well for such a small gun.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Land of 10k Lakes
    First, welcome to the forum!!!

    It is a great pocket carry weapon.... my only issue is that it is not a good practice gun. If you can live with that, then buy this gun.

    Recommendation: Shoot one before you buy it.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

    Current: DW V-Bob 1911, S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9,
    and Glock G26, G19, G23C, and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
    Former: Taurus 92SS, SIG P220 TT, S&W 360, SIG P239-40, Ruger 22/45 MKII

  5. #5
    EW3 is offline
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    I have a 642, and as of next week will have a 442, which are virtually the same gun, the 642 is silver and the 442 is black. They are small and light enough for pocket carry with a good holster. I would recommend using a shooting glove when firing this, as the recoil can be a bit stiff. Also not a gun you'd go to the range and put 150 rounds through- 50 at a time is plenty.

    "Naked and Starving as They are We Cannot Enough Admire the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity of the Soldiery" – George Washington, Valley Forge, 1777.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    go for it, it is a great carry gun.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

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  7. #7
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    Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paper killer View Post
    Am thinking about .38+P for pocket carry with the 442. What is your opinion of the recoil of the 442 with +P?
    Fairly brutal. It's a 15oz gun, and stout loads go right through the web between your thumb and forefinger. Yeah, 30-50rds about does it, for a range session. Hard to control, relatively speaking, as, say, compared to a Ruger SP101 or similarly hefty snubbie. Had one and carried it for 10yrs, shooting occasionally to keep the cobwebs out and competency up. Never could get very accurate beyond 5-7yds or so, given how hard it slapped my hand. I prefer hot .357's in the SP101, actually.

    That said, if light and concealable is what you're looking for, it's great. It isn't much larger than a thick wallet, though longer certainly. If you've got deep pockets, you can conceal it well in a well-made pocket holster. Mitch Rosen's Pocket Softy is a good one, IMO.

    Pricewise, a sub-$300 442 Airweight is a deal.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
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  8. #8
    HTT is offline
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    I have a 642 and a 649 in 38 special. If I could find a 442 for under $300 I'd surely bring it home. They are really nice revolvers.

  9. #9
    Member Array samtechlan's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Excellent gun, I carry the 642. I strongly recommend that you pair it with the crimson trace laser grips. It takes the J frame airweights to a whole different level.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    Over here now!
    One of these...

    You will hate yourself for passing up that deal. I paid $325 for mine direct from S&W.

    My 442 is my 24/7 gun and I love it. Contrary to what others say it is not a beast, the recoil is quite stout but fun and very manageable.

    The gun is very accurate with it's stock sights, it is always the shooter that is not quite so. A set of Crimson Trace grips rounds out the package nicely.

    I carry at work on ballistic vest in a 5.11 and off duty in a Kramer Pocket holster or a Galco Ankle Glove. IMO two of the best holsters to carry this gun. I pipe it with Speer Gold Dots in 135 grain.

    I can't think of any reason not to have a J frame in the stable.

    Catch the BUG...buy it and don't look back.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Freedomofchoice's Avatar
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    I have an airweight, and I agree with those who are saying the recoil is kind of stiff. If you shoot p+ rounds through it, recoil is conciderable enough that you don't want to shoot a bunch of them. Even standard loads may hurt arthritic hands.

    If a small, concealable gun is what you're looking for, you might concider the Glock G-26. it's light, potent, very accurate, very relible, holds 10 + 1 rounds, and I believe the 9mm is a better man-stopper than the 38.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    +1 Recoil is a little pop - gun jerks a bit but by no means painful. I've only shot mine with Winchester 130 grain +Ps so maybe I'm missing something here. Its a pop gun - a blast to shoot. Hard to be accurate with - I think I could shoot about a 3-4" group at 15 yards IIRC. I paid $440 for mine after all the taxes and fees etc... I say go for it! You won't regret it. I found it on the big side for pocket carry, but I've got an appendix IWB (Comp-Tac 2 o'clock) that works great.


  13. #13
    Member Array Aelbric's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Have to mirror the opinions so far. The 442 is a great little gun. Effective cartridge in a platform that simply disappears when concealed.

    The comments, however, about recoil are right on the mark. Firing standard whitebox ammo through it is a vastly different experience than firing a semi or a heftier wheel gun. If you have large hands, like I do, you will need to adjust your firing technique somewhat. I found at first that I was pulling my groups consistently to the left of target until I got used to it.

    Surprisingly though, the heftier ammo seems to give me better accuracy. I have been making sure to go through a box of my chosen carry ammo during every range trip. The Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P (Short Barrel) is an outstanding round for this gun. My shot groups seem to be much more accurate with this round. The tradeoff is that they kick like a mule. For more than a cylinder or two, be sure to have a glove or wrap your thumb webbing in a bandaid or you WILL have a blister.

    Best testimony I can give, I suppose, is that if I have a pistol on me, it's a 442.

  14. #14
    New Member Array Prosecutor's Avatar
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    I'll give another "thumbs-up" to the 442. I have one a back-up / under the front seat gun. It disappears into a pocket with a holster. I use a cheap Galco pocket holster with jeans when I don't feel like lugging a Kimber or Glock.

  15. #15
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    I carry a 442 as my Off-Duty BUG and love the little thing.

    It's a great little gun that carries well in a front pocket. You may want to search around and try different ammo for it because recoil is a subjective thing. I shoot a lot of Remington 125 Grain +P's out of mine, accuracy is not a problem.


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