Light primer strikes on S&W 642

This is a discussion on Light primer strikes on S&W 642 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just shot my 642 for the first time last night and unfortunately it disappointed me. Out of 100 rounds it had 12 light primer strikes. ...

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Thread: Light primer strikes on S&W 642

  1. #1
    Member Array sbebenelli's Avatar
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    Light primer strikes on S&W 642

    Just shot my 642 for the first time last night and unfortunately it disappointed me. Out of 100 rounds it had 12 light primer strikes. This was with Remington & Winchester ammo.

    On the ones that didn't fire the primer didn't have near the dent as all the others.

    The good news is I called S&W and have a label coming to return it for repair. Only question asked was what type ammo I was using. Very simple no hassle procedure.

    It seems like I had read somewhere awhile back about this problem with the J Frame on some of the recent models. Anyone else seeing this problem?

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    Member Array JimH58's Avatar
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    I have a 442 which is a slightly different version of the 642 and I bought it about a year ago. It has been 100% reliable and I have not heard about any problems with light strikes with these guns.
    JimH
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    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    Sometimes the primers can be faulty, but since you experienced this with two different brands of ammunition, I would say that you have a weak main coil spring. S&W can replace that in a jiffy and send your gun back to you in no time.
    God bless our troops!

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    Member Array sbebenelli's Avatar
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    This isn't the thread I was thinking about but it does talk about light primer strikes

    Question for the revolver experts - Topic Powered by Eve For Enterprise

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    Member Array patrol's Avatar
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    Try this before you send it back or blame bad primers in bad ammo. There are two set screws on the right side on the frame near the tigger guard. Make sure they are both screwed in tight. Even the slightest adjustment of those screws will lighten the trigger pull sometimes to the point of causing the firing pin not to enguage all the way. If that does not help,send it to smith.

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    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    I would still let S&W take care of your problem, either the firing pin is too short as the forum you referenced talked about or you have a weak spring. S&W should be made aware of a potential problem down the road for all of their J frame revolvers. Good luck, I know how annoying it can be to have a new handgun not perform up to speed.
    God bless our troops!

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    Member Array oldogy's Avatar
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    I have the 442 airweight with a couple hundred rounds through it and it has been flawless. One trigger pull = one bang.
    oldogy
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrol View Post
    Try this before you send it back or blame bad primers in bad ammo. There are two set screws on the right side on the frame near the tigger guard. Make sure they are both screwed in tight. Even the slightest adjustment of those screws will lighten the trigger pull sometimes to the point of causing the firing pin not to enguage all the way. If that does not help,send it to smith.
    Your two "set screws" are nothing of the sort. They are sideplate screws (and there are three of them) and their purpose is to attach the sideplate to the frame. The screw that's farthest toward the front of the frame is slightly longer than the other two because it does double duty (it also holds the cylinder crane in place.)

    The sideplate screws have nothing to do with trigger pull.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    S&W will take care of you on this, within 10 days of sending it out you'll have it back in good shape.

    Since you tried two types of ammo, that's not the problem.

    I do know that Federal is well known to have the "softest" primers, so I tend to use their ammo for carry just to avoid any potential problems.
    "It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out” – Clint Smith

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
    The sideplate screws have nothing to do with trigger pull.
    Sort of. S&W isn't what it once was. The integral bushings in the frame, for the hammer and trigger, are not infrequently roughly machined- meaning you can indeed lighten the trigger pull by loosening the sideplate.

    The proper fix (if you can still find one) is to use a Power Custom pin reamer to flush-cut the bushings, then take up the difference with the stainless shims.

    If someone has "lightened their trigger" by loosening the sideplate, they need to get their gun in to a smith. Sideplate slop can allow the trigger, cylinder latch, pawl and hammer to move into a permanently locked position.

  12. #11
    Member Array seawolf1956's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbebenelli View Post
    Anyone else seeing this problem?
    Bought a 642 a month ago and have put over 200 rounds through it. No problems whatsoever. Nice firearm.

    -Seawolf
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  13. #12
    Member Array sbebenelli's Avatar
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    I just got my 642 back today from S&W. The work order says they replaced the firing pin. I'll have to find some .38 ammo before I know if it's fixed or not. Nobody has any locally at the moment.

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