I'm getting interested in a different type of carry gun, and am considering the 642 -- am I correct in saying that the 642 shoots only .38 and that the 686 shoots both .38 and .357mag? It's hard to tell from the pictures, and I've only held the 642, but are these guns essentially the same size (snub barrels only)? Are there any other s&w snubs the size of the 642 that will shoot the .357's?
I'm also confused on all these different "special releases". As I understand it (and have read), one
has an exposed hammer, one has a shrouded hammer and one has the enclosed hammer. Only that the enclosed hammer version is currently being produced without the internal lock (ughh). I've read several places that a lot of folks don't like this internal lock, thus the reason Smith making these new one's without it. Thoughts on the internal lock? I'm not familiar with it at all, and really only understand that it's a safety feature you lock/unlock with a key....
Sorry about all the questions. I'm just not sure about all the hammer types, and was hoping for some guidance and reasons why one might be better than the other.
One more question when it comes to revolvers, what is ported/unported?