S&W 642

This is a discussion on S&W 642 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Can anyone tell me the difference between the 642 and the 642SL? I shot the 642 today and fell in love with it. But after ...

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Thread: S&W 642

  1. #1
    Member Array Shotgun Willie's Avatar
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    S&W 642

    Can anyone tell me the difference between the 642 and the 642SL? I shot the 642 today and fell in love with it. But after getting on S&W website, they listed the two models with no apparent difference bisides the price. Did I miss something in the specs?
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    You Missed Something In The Gender

    The S&W Model 642 LS is the Lady Smith AKA the Female Version



    Get them both & you can breed them.
    (requires candlelight and soft music piped into your gun safe)

  4. #3
    Member Array Shotgun Willie's Avatar
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    After shooting the S&W 642, S&W .357 (dont know the model), Beretta 9mm, Colt CC ( I remember the Colt being a lot bigger as a kid), my favorite was the 642.

    I think I would have liked the Colt a lot better but, it hasn't been fired in about 13 years and another 10 previous to that, so it did not shoot well. It shot about 14" above target with sights on target. I know not good.
    My dad said that he is going to take it to a gunsmith to have it worked on. Anyway, I liked the feel of the colt. Felt good in hand and the recoil wasn't bad. For first time firing a .45 it felt really good. It made me change my mind abou the need for a compact model. This gun did not feel large at all. In fact, I think that a compact model might be too small for my hands, at least in the 1911 A1 frame.

    However I shot best with the 642 despite the recoil and small size. First shot I flinched bad (the owner told me the recoil was really bad, so I was hesitant on first shot) but all following shots were dead on.

    I am still grinning ear to ear! I have never had so much fun. I might have to change my name from shotgun willie to handgun willie. We shot the handguns listed above as well as some plincking with rifles and some trap to round off the evening, but the highlight was that little 642. Sweet gun!!
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    Member Array Shotgun Willie's Avatar
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    Why does it cost so much more than the 642?
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    Question You Stumped Me...I don't know.

    GREAT FIREARM By The Way
    As Is The S&W Centennial.
    Here Are The specs for both.
    The grips are different & the empty weight is shown as slightly different probably due to the different grips. I don't know.

    SKU: 163808
    Caliber: .38 S&W Special +P
    Capacity: 5 Rounds
    Barrel Length: 1-7/8"
    Front Sight: Serrated Ramp
    Rear Sight: Fixed Notch
    Firing System: N/A
    Grip: Dymondwood®
    Trigger: .312" Smooth Target
    Hammer: Internal
    External Safety: N/A
    Frame: Small - J Frame Rd
    Finish: Glassbead
    Overall length: 6-5/16"
    Material: Aluminum Alloy / Stainless Steel
    Weight Empty: 14.5 ounces

    SKU: 163810
    Caliber: .38 S&W Special +P
    Capacity: 5 Rounds
    Barrel Length: 1-7/8"
    Front Sight: Serrated Ramp
    Rear Sight: Fixed Notch
    Firing System: N/A
    Grip: Uncle Mike's Boot
    Trigger: .312" Smooth Target
    Hammer: Internal
    External Safety: N/A
    Frame: Small - J Frame Rd
    Finish: Glassbead
    Overall length: 6-5/16"
    Material: Aluminum Alloy / Stainless Steel
    Weight Empty: 15 ounces
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    Member Array Shotgun Willie's Avatar
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    That is quite a price increase for .5 ounce loss in weight. Besides I dont mind if my wife were to carry a gun that said Lady Special on the frame (if I could get her to carry ), but I am not secure enough in my masculinity to do that. I will just go with the 642 with CT grips and feel manly about it.
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    One comment I will make - ladies - DON'T go for the Ladysmith! Why?

    A lady doing the last personal protection course I was teaching on suffered and bad - from using hers. Biggest reason IMO was the stupid skinny (if pretty) rosewood grips.

    I reckon even a female with smaller hands will have way better control with the larger grips as well as less''punishment'' to the hand.

    Have to say tho - even as a recoil junkie I do not enjoy shooting stiff loads thru these things in any quantity! I'll stick to the SP-101.
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    I think Willie's thinking of the Lady Smith, which is a bit smaller in the grips, and other very slight refinements (different hammer, different trigger) Otherwise they're exactly the same
    Oooooo "buy two and breed em in the gun safe" I like that idea!!

  10. #9
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    The light weight snubbies are great to carry due to the weight. If ya can stand the recoil of multiple shots go for it. I have 2 friends who carry lite Smiths. They seem to work real well for ankle carry due to the weight.

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    Shotgun: Have you ever fired a Ruger SP101? Much more of a handfilling grip, accurate and doesn't beat you to death in the recoil. I think the Ruger has a substantially stronger frame. If you really like the hammerless feature of the 642, I'm sure the SP101 can be had DAO. My 24 year old daughter has the one I gave her (well I kept actual possession until she turned 21 and graduated college) when she got to be real good with it by age 14. When she said "DAD , I like this one." I said: "Honey, it's YOURS now."

    Anyway have a look at the Ruger SP101.
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  12. #11
    XD9
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    I own the 642 with the CT grips and carry it on my ankle. I recommend it highly and don't think you will be at all disappointed.
    There are 2 sounds in the world that strike more fear than any others. A click when you should hear a bang and a bang when you should hear a click.

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    Member Array Shotgun Willie's Avatar
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    XD9, I know there is a lot of debate concerning .38 special and .357. Is there any wisdom to go with an airlite model, thus giving me the option for either caliber? The 642 is less expensive but only shoots the .38 special, right? Curious what you think. For me it would be a BUG most of the time.

    Because I new to tactics of carry, I have what might be a silly question for you. Wouldn't the 642 used as a pocket carry be more advantageous(sp?) than an ankle holster? Please enlighten me.
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  14. #13
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    yes pocket carry would be better. I think the point is the airweight is lite enough to carry on the ankle as well. Most guns feel heavy on the ankle after a short time.

    As for .38 vs. .357 , the .357 has more power, but how much power vs. recoil do you need/can you stand?

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    Good choice would probably be a Smith in the Scandium frames, chambered for the .357 mag.
    This way, you'll have the option of carrying the +p 38s in gold dots, or a 357 mag Gold Dot when you want, or need a heavier load. Ankle holsters are ok, but to have the weapon at the ready in your pocket is much better. Everybody has their own carry methods, and you should probably explore every option, as your carry method may change on a daily basis.

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    XD9
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    Great questions. I have a pocket holster for my 642 also and I use it when the occasion calls for it, like when I am wearing shorts and an ankle holster with my sock pulled over it would look a little silly. So, if I am wearing shorts, it's my XD9 on the hip, strong side, about 4 o'clock IWB hoster, and my pocket holster in my left pocket.

    Jeans or slacks, same on the hip but I move my 642 to the ankle because it is more comfortable there with the tighter clothing.

    .38 special vs. .357? They both make big holes in things and I enjoy shooting the 38 more. My buddy has a .357 snubby and my hand will bruise after a while shooting that.

    Just my .02 and you probably owe me some change.
    There are 2 sounds in the world that strike more fear than any others. A click when you should hear a bang and a bang when you should hear a click.

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