Ridge Runner said:
Opinions of them? Do they hold up well? Gimmick?
How is the recoil on them?
Make a good pocket gun?
I have the 642, and the only reason I have the 642 and not the 637 is that it was only 310 bucks. I feel however I can make a good comparison.
First of all, the only reason I bought this gun was for size factor and the fact it's not super expensive. I don't particularly enjoy shooting it because I don't like the short radius, I don't like the short barrel, and I don't trust the caliber out of such a short barrel.
Shooting it is both fun and not fun. It's fun because it's a challenge and it will improve your skills. It's also "fun" from the perspective that in extreme close quarters where someone may be hacking at you with a knife, it has a lot of advantages in that situation and is probably better than most full size handguns would be in that situation. It also point shoots very well at shorter distances.
It's not fun because I personally find it difficult to use very effectively past 10 yards and even then I normally practice at 10 yards and less. Now there are guys and gals who can cut a neat and pretty hole in a target with one of these but that's not me. I can put it in the black part of a bull's eye target at this range sans sights and that's about as good as I personally get with it. I could qualify for a permit with it if I had to but I sure would not enjoy it and I'd probably shoot not so well.
This is my personal skill level however. There are guys who can hit a soda can 50 yards out with these things.
Now what's funny is that I get about the same accuracy whether I am shooting fast or slow, or using the sights or not, etc. etc. While I'm not what I would consider to be very accurate with it, I am getting better and I am very conistent with it. I know that it's not in vogue for someone to admit they're not 100% ninja black belt with a given self defense tool and need some more work, but there you go.
I can tell you right now my full size revolvers are a blast and my XDs are pretty darn accurate too with a little practice, but the gun I shoot the worst is the 642. I do have a Colt Agent that's much much better in the accuracy department and I can shave an inch off my groupings with it, but this gun isn't +P rated so it's not shot a whole lot.
Throw the idea of quickly reloading it out the window because the short extractor rod just doesn't quite get the casings out.
I still carry it a lot because I have great confidence I could put two in the COM and one in the head with it at typical assholes and elbows distances. The gun does handle well for its size and I much prefer the small revolver over the small semiauto because I hate tiny little controls and tiny little magazines.
Now if you want to do something about the trigger, get the 642 because the internals in the DAO model are a little bit different and can be slicked up more. My gun is bone stock. I actually prefer the somewhat heavier trigger as a passive safety feature.
Firing it still feels like holding an Altoids tin with firecrackers exploding inside of it. I don't sweat .44 Magnum but I don't like this little thing. Switching grips helps greatly.
Now quality wise I can't knock it beyond the sprayed on finish. Mine has finish issues, but the sprayed on finish is almost all peeled off now and it looks fine. I did have to scrub it down with some steel wool to take the rough texture off of it for fear it would snag or drag in a draw.
But mechanically it's been perfect. No timing issues, no cylinder gap problems, nothing like that.
Get a good pocket holster to keep it constantly oriented and also to fluff your pocket out for easy access. You'll have to clean it for lint at least once a week even if you don't shoot it. I use a Q tip with a slightly moistened tip.
Overall, I value it, I practice with it, and I use it when nothing else foots the bill. I feel that with my Gold Dots, it's actually a worthy defense tool if I can do my part to place the shot in the old 5 point zone.
I know the in vogue thing to say is "Spend the $300 on a better holster for a full size gun" but there's times the full size handgun just doesn't work... I do try to use my full size gun as often as possible FYI. I think slicking mine up would make it considerably better. I just have to find some way to justify the expense to myself.
For a guy who actually hates to use a small handgun, it's my pick for a small handgun. I think the Colt .38 snubs are significantly better but they have a longer profile and don't fit in most of my pockets, not +P rated, no longer available from Colt, etc.
I've had about 800 rounds through mine and it hasn't missed a beat.