This is a discussion on S&W 642 and 686 within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; 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 ...
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?
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I own the 642. It has a harsh recoil with 38 +P, believe me shooting a 357 in the 686 will not be a fun thing to do. My 642 is the gun I carry more than any other, although I have several Sigs, I have been spoiled by pocket carry, drop it in and go. Always covered, and always there.....
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They are notoriously difficult to shoot with .357 ammo because of their huge recoil. I personally would just go with the .38 special model 642 which weighs 15 ounces and is the same size. It recoils enough, but at least it won't hurt your hand. Here is my 642, which is a great pocket or ankle gun for close in defense.
With regard to internal locks, I have no use for them and my 8 S&W revolvers are all prelock.
If you want to shoot .357 magnum in a defensive revolver, I recommend a steel gun that weighs about 25 ounces, like the S&W 640 or the Ruger SP101. Personally I also use even heavier .357s, the steel S&W model 66 (stainless) or model 19 (blued) snubbies which weigh 32 ounces but conceal easily. A used one costs about $500 and it easily handles .357 recoil so you can fire several fast shots and hit your target at some distance.
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington
The Model 686 is an L-Frame, listed at 40 ozs. weight in a 4-inch barrel, so I'm guessing the 2 1/2-inch barrel model weighs in at about 37 ozs. give or take. It will be slightly larger than the Models 66-3 and 19-5 that pogo2 posted (they are both K-Frames). .357 recoil will seem to be much less in the L-Frame than in a J-Frame. Plus, you can still drop to .38 Special +P if you wish. For years, the FBI carried 158-grain .38 Special +P lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoints in their 3 1/2-inch N-Frame Smiths (Model 27 .357 Magnum). Like these: http://www.remington.com/products/am.../remington.asp product number R38S12
You are certainly not going to be able to conceal an L-Frame as readily as a J-Frame, but it can be done. People do it all the time. I carry a K-Frame Model 15 snubnose on occasion, and it conceals very readily IWB (but the speedloaders don't).
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