Improved Sights for S&W 642 Airweight

Improved Sights for S&W 642 Airweight

This is a discussion on Improved Sights for S&W 642 Airweight within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I just bought a S&W 642-2 revolver and was thinking about trying to put some improved sights on it. As far as I can tell, ...

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Thread: Improved Sights for S&W 642 Airweight

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    Improved Sights for S&W 642 Airweight

    I just bought a S&W 642-2 revolver and was thinking about trying to put some improved sights on it. As far as I can tell, this is rarely done and when it is, it ends up costing more than the gun itself. Anyone have any suggestions for night sights?


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    Quote Originally Posted by McPatrickClan View Post
    I just bought a S&W 642-2 revolver and was thinking about trying to put some improved sights on it. As far as I can tell, this is rarely done and when it is, it ends up costing more than the gun itself. Anyone have any suggestions for night sights?
    I once called S&W and spoke to the Custom Shop about this. Each J frame is different, so it varies by model what they will or won't do. A front site such as an XS Big dot or other pin in site could be added to most of them, either by S&W or one of the other reputable shops out there.

    But I have to ask why do this to a 642? J frames are not range guns, and are not good for target shooting. It is an excellent, up close, point blank defensive revolver. Good at contact distances to 10 feet. Instinctivly points well, and shoots to point of aim. Yes, many can and do shoot them well at greater distances, but the snubbie's bread and butter is as a contact distance defensive weapon.

    My recommendation is for the money of installing a new front sight, buy ammo and practice.
    Last edited by ctr; March 25th, 2009 at 04:03 PM.

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    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    Well, good question. I guess I just assumed that I ought to be able to shoot it 25 yards. But now that you mention it, this gun will be just a few things:

    Primarily, it will be an carry gun when I am not able to carry something larger.
    Secondarily, it will be an IDPA gun.
    Finally, once my wife is comfortable using it (maybe next year), it will be her house gun.

    So maybe adding gear to make it shoot over five yards is not necessary.

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    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    Cylinder and Slide has a J-frame night sight package, but as you've noticed it's almost the cost of a new gun. A laser grip is equally expensive but IMO a better option on the J-frame since they have such a short sight radius so enhanced sights don't have as big of an impact on accuracy as they might on a larger gun.
    - Kurt
    “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~Pericles of Athens
    Primary Carry - Colt Commander .45 in a Brommeland Max-Con V

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    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    It would be a big waste of effort and funds to try to install new sight on a J frame IMO. Its a close quarters point and shoot weapon. Thats how you should practice with this type of gun. In a SHTF situation at less than 10' pull the gun, point it and shoot, no need for better sights.
    When I leave the home port:
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    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    I have a set of Crimson Trace LG-105 laser grips on my 360 and love 'em. Got them off of ebay, brand new $165.

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    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by McPatrickClan View Post
    Well, good question. I guess I just assumed that I ought to be able to shoot it 25 yards. But now that you mention it, this gun will be just a few things:

    Primarily, it will be an carry gun when I am not able to carry something larger.
    Secondarily, it will be an IDPA gun.
    Finally, once my wife is comfortable using it (maybe next year), it will be her house gun.

    So maybe adding gear to make it shoot over five yards is not necessary.
    You're going to shoot IDPA with a 5-shot J-Frame Revolver?

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    Senior Member Array usmc3169's Avatar
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    I think that having a front sight that glows is a necessary addition to a defensive weapon. I own a M&P340 with a Crimson Trace LG405 (padded back strap). Comes standard with a tritium night sight up front. I refuse to use a gun for defensive purposes without a night sight on it. Just my opinion.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

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    I would have to agree on that particular gun and its given purpose, you would be better off getting a set of CT grips if anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadrunner View Post
    Cylinder and Slide has a J-frame night sight package, but as you've noticed it's almost the cost of a new gun. A laser grip is equally expensive but IMO a better option on the J-frame since they have such a short sight radius so enhanced sights don't have as big of an impact on accuracy as they might on a larger gun.
    This is what I was going to say.

    Since I can't give a better answer I will just be quiet now.

    Biker

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    Quote Originally Posted by usmc3169 View Post
    I think that having a front sight that glows is a necessary addition to a defensive weapon. I own a M&P340 with a Crimson Trace LG405 (padded back strap). Comes standard with a tritium night sight up front. I refuse to use a gun for defensive purposes without a night sight on it. Just my opinion.
    Absolutely, helps the bad guys to see what to shoot at in the dark.

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    Absolutely, helps the bad guys to see what to shoot at in the dark.
    And the gallery has been heard from.

    Lasers, like flashlights and weapon mounted lights, have their place in the overall scheme of things. I myself am a big advocate of a laser. I wasn't always that way, but learning how to properly and when, to use a laser has helped with that.

    My conversion to lasers was fairly recent, as my training has been. I'm smart enough to see that they don't work for every situation, but for the ones they do work for, nothing beats them, IMHO. For what it's worth, I'm not a fan of weapon mounted lights for carry, but at least I do know how to use one.

    Heck, for what it's worth, I wasn't a fan of Night Sights until about five years ago. Now, I wouldn't have a selfloading pistol without them for defensive use. The only reason my defensive revolvers don't have Night Sights is because of the cost and availability. I will be putting a laser on some of my revolvers though.

    It's all about knowing the "Basics" and then having options. The laser, as with Night Sights, gives you options my Dad and Grand Dad didn't have. Sometimes options get you back home, and sometimes they get in the way. It's up to you to know if the options will help you or hinder you. Only you can make that decision, I've made mine.

    Biker

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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    It's all about knowing the "Basics" and then having options. The laser, as with Night Sights, gives you options my Dad and Grand Dad didn't have. Sometimes options get you back home, and sometimes they get in the way. It's up to you to know if the options will help you or hinder you. Only you can make that decision, I've made mine.
    Biker

    Just having fun. But, the last 2 sentences are spot on.

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    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    If you can, get a better front sight like the XS, etc.

    If not (because it's not pinned or whatever) you can paint the front sight with some high-visibility paint (I prefer blaze orange). The Crimson Trace grips are also a good option.

    If you're only carrying it as a BUG and/or for use at bad-breath range, the addition of good sights is probably not as critical. However, if you're one of those people who will end up carrying as a "summer gun" (i.e. "the gun one carries when he is too lazy to carry a real one") then, IMO, you still need to be able to make the shots you need to make. Just because you chose to carry a sub-optimal weapon doesn't mean the situation is going to accomodate you. In this case, the presence of a sighting system that allows you to make good hits is necessary.

    just my $0.02...
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

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    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    You're going to shoot IDPA with a 5-shot J-Frame Revolver?
    I'll probably place first in SSR each week.

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