S&W Model 642CT: Shocked!

This is a discussion on S&W Model 642CT: Shocked! within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Spent half a day at the last SHOT Show letting my girlfriend fondle and examine every manufacturer's small revolvers for her CCW. She has extensive ...

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Thread: S&W Model 642CT: Shocked!

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    S&W Model 642CT: Shocked!

    Spent half a day at the last SHOT Show letting my girlfriend fondle and examine every manufacturer's small revolvers for her CCW. She has extensive left hand damage and cannot rack a slide, so my stock of 1911's is out. She finally settled on a J-frame 642 +P with Crimson Trace laser grips installed. Ordered one from Bud's Online and was surprised how light is was. I was immediately worried about recoil. We went out in the desert yesterday with an assortment of ammo. I ran the first ten rounds of standard hardball through it, and was really happy with how easily it handled. Almost every story I hear on the different forums said +P ammo in a Centennial Airweight is worse than a .44 Mag. I could hardly tell the difference between the ball ammo and Remington 125 grain +P JHP.

    After shooting a bunch of .22's through my Ruger for refresher, she was ready to give the .38 a try. Recoil no problem. Gave her five rounds of +P immediately after, again...no problem. In less than a box, she was bouncing soda cans at 15 yards with a 2" barrel lightweight with only a rear sight trough! Too bright to try out the laser grips, but I'd rather she's good with the open sights first.

    I'd recommend this little wheel gun to anyone for a BUG or a carry piece for the little lady. Don't believe the recoil horror stories you hear!

    To be fair, before I even shot it, I took it to Master Gunsmith Frank Glenn in Phoenix for a checkup. He had a 12# trigger scale, and it was maxed out before the hammer dropped. He had me feel the "crunch" as the cylinder turned. Knowing nothing about revolvers, I never knew what to expect. He recommended his S&W Duty Action Job and said I'd have it back soon. How soon? He called the next day for me to come pick it up. Now the trigger pull is around 8 pounds and the cycle is smooth as ice. He emphasized no one should EVER fool with the mainspring on these minis, he does all the work through smoothing and parts fit. Best $85 I've ever spent with a gunsmith! Holster by Bluegrass Holsters fit her perfectly, and withing a few trys, she was able to reholster with one hand.

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    Member Array LastManOut's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review. I have the same revolver for almost two years and took some training with it on close quarter defense, single handed reloading, strong side and support side use and manual of arms. I'll now have my S&W gunsmith work on the trigger. I didn't realize that would make that much of a difference.

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    Ron
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    I also carry the same revolver, and didn't know about the trigger work to smooth out the pull. Thanks for the review and information on the trigger.

    Ron
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    I bought my wife the same gun and I too had heard about excessive recoil. I didn't say a word to my wife about it having excessive recoil due to the lightweight. I shot it first and the recoil was a non-issue to me. She shot it after me and didn't say a word about the recoil at all. In fact she liked the gun very much.

    I just happened to run across some new CT grips also, (cheap) and added them to it, now all I need is a trigger job for it. They are great guns and do fit my pocket very good, so I'm always tempted.

    IMHO I think the 642 should rate in the "top ten ccw" of all time.
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    Member Array Schwebel's Avatar
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    I think those CTC grips help with the recoil alot. They cover the backstrap of the frame. Before I had Hogues on my 442, it drew blood. It was a major pain to put 50 rounds downrange with a chunk of skin missing. I think that is where most of the "huge" recoil stories come from. With a nice set of grips it shoots much much softer. Great choice for a CCW.

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    Member Array Geezer58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwebel View Post
    I think those CTC grips help with the recoil alot. They cover the backstrap of the frame. Before I had Hogues on my 442, it drew blood. It was a major pain to put 50 rounds downrange with a chunk of skin missing. I think that is where most of the "huge" recoil stories come from. With a nice set of grips it shoots much much softer. Great choice for a CCW.
    +1 on the CTC grips, covering the backstrap makes a huge difference. And +1 on the blood with exposed backstraps, that's with non +P loads. If you have to shoot one of these with grips that leave the backstrap open, don't grip high to try and control recoil. Grip lower, and let the gun rock in your hand - your thumbs will thank you for it!

    Otherwise, great little back-up guns. I try not to go anywhere without one.

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