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Well, the show will be in town tomorrow. Sigh.

Gun shows are expensive.

So I'm thinking of getting a j frame. But I cannot abide the lock. Hideous. That narrows it down.

A guy can get a 442 and a 642 without an IL, but are there any other models? I wouldn't mind a 640 Pro, but 700 bones would be a bit much for a pocket gun. The scandium frames sound like misery to shoot.

A standard 640 no lock would be perfect, but there isn't one. Likewise with the 60. And the 649.

So is it a 442, 642, or 640 Pro and that's it?
 

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For me the no lock 442 has become my favorite. If I'm going to shoot it a lot at the Range or in the woods when camping I shoot the one with a Hogue Tamer Grip. I carry it AIWB. The one with the Boot Grip is in my off hand pocket. 50 to 100 rounds are about it for the boot grips. They aren't Target Guns but, I like to shoot them out to 30' at paper. plates.
 

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Look at the older models generally lower cost and they do not have that silly useless lock.

Model-31 32S&W Long
M_31_R.JPG

Model-60 38SPL
M60-7_R.JPG

Model-36 38SPL
N_M36_R.JPG

Model-49 38SPL This one has a shrouded hammer allowing DA/SA.
M49_R.jpg
 

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My understanding is that the lock is easy to remove, and the hole can be plugged.

Or, get yourself a Ruger.
 

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Don't be so dang pessimistic! I chanced upon a non-lock 642, at a gunshow, late on Sunday afternoon, told the dealer I'd "save him the trouble of taking it home" for $350 out-the-door. He hemmed & hawed, scratched his chin, then shook my hand. My CCW saved a little paperwork time & I was home by supper. Good deals DON'T just happen...to OTHER PEOPLE. You can find 'em too! :biggrin2:
 

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Last I looked s&w makes the 22lr and 22 mag as a no lock J frame the 642 and the 340 ..The 340 is nice with the NS on it just shoot 38 in my book

Frankly online or used at shopes is your best bet

I have seen some good deals on LEO 640 in the last days oh 400-500 bucks for cop turn in I guess BUG guns
 

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There's other guns without locks besides the specific models mentioned. Shown here is an unfired M36 in nickle I acquired in 1984 with a Hogue grip and a Rossi M88 (1994, post Bangor-Punta, pre-Taurus/Braztech) with a Pachmayr grip. The Rossi is slightly more robust than the S&W and, frankly, I prefer carrying the '88 when I opt to go with a 5 round wheel gun. The Rossi's (88 stainless, 68 blue) generally go for $200+.
Rossi 88 S&W 36.jpg

For those who don't know, there was a period when S&W and Rossi were both owned by Bangor-Punta. S&W engineers were sent to their Rossi counterparts to assisted in making revolvers similar to the S&W models. Parts are not interchangeable but the looks are near identical.

Rossi "Bangor-Punta" vintage 1960-70's (top), S&W 36 (bottom):
DSCN1366.jpg
 

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I carry a no lock 642 Pro Series most of the time. Also have a 638 and a 637, both of which have had their locks removed and an older, pre-lock Model 36. Each has it's pros and cons. 642 can't snag when drawing from the pocket and has the least places for gunk to enter its frame, but is DAO. 638 can't snag and can be used SA, but there's the off chance something may get into the frame and jam the hammer. 637 can be used SA, but can snag when drawn from pocket or shoulder holster. Model 36 has same pros and cons as the 637, but is heavier, not stainless, and not rated for +P ammo.

Whatever you get, replace the factory grips with something more hand filling. I like birdshead grips myself, but any grip you can get three fingers on is better than a two finger "boot grip".
 

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There's other guns without locks besides the specific models mentioned. Shown here is an unfired M36 in nickle I acquired in 1984 with a Hogue grip and a Rossi M88 (1994, post Bangor-Punta, pre-Taurus/Braztech) with a Pachmayr grip. The Rossi is slightly more robust than the S&W and, frankly, I prefer carrying the '88 when I opt to go with a 5 round wheel gun. The Rossi's (88 stainless, 68 blue) generally go for $200+.
View attachment 149881

For those who don't know, there was a period when S&W and Rossi were both owned by Bangor-Punta. S&W engineers were sent to their Rossi counterparts to assisted in making revolvers similar to the S&W models. Parts are not interchangeable but the looks are near identical.

Rossi "Bangor-Punta" vintage 1960-70's (top), S&W 36 (bottom):
View attachment 149889
The gun I carried for 16+ years was a Rossi M88 (bought new in 1994 for $ 200), still carry it OWB on occasion. It has had thousands of rounds fired including a healthy dose of +P. It is still my favorite carry gun to shoot and I am still more accurate with it than any of my other handguns. Still tight and very smooth, I would put it up against any S&W J frame ever built. Mine is the "Lady Rossi" with the rounded grip (avatar) very easy to conceal.
 

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Like the others said you can get a Ruger (LCR has a better trigger IMO) or... look for a used Colt D frame which never has locks and has one of the best snubby triggers in the industry! BTW, the "D" frame is a 6 shot vs 5 shot:danceban:
 

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J-Frames are my least favorite Smith & Wesson products. The revolvers are cramped to shoot and the actions are too dimensionally cramped to deliver the fine Smith & Wesson double-action trigger and action feel that is present in the company's larger-framed revolvers. They are handy though and have their place. After many years of owning and shooting J-Frames made with both steel frames and with aluminum alloy frames I would say the Airweight models are a bust and better avoided. I consider the lightweight ones with their aluminum alloy frames to be less fun to shoot and less sturdy over the long haul. The light Airweight models are hugely popular though so I'm out of style.

Steel's better.

I gotta disagree with 5liima30ret on the Ruger LCR trigger which has a distinctly inferior trigger to any J-Frame in my opinion. It possess all the "action feel" of my Arrow staple gun that I use to put up targets.

But, that's just a difference in opinions.

I gotta agree with 5lima30ret on the suitability of the Colt D Frame in the form of the Detective Special as the very best snub .38 Special revolver ever produced.
 

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I carry a 442 with the lock removed and the hole plugged. My wife carries a 642 no lock. I have put roughly 1500 maybe more rounds through mine. About 300 +p and the trigger is very smooth I believe. Wife's only has maybe 100 through it because it's brand new but her trigger isn't near as smooth.


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My personal opinion is to grab a 442 and don't look back. It does everything a CCW should, its everything you need and nothing you don't at a reasonable price. The only downside is the front sight could use a little help and the only practical option is sight paint.

I also wouldn't get hung up on the lock/no lock thing. The connector bar is super easy to remove. I wouldn't pay a premium for a no lock, but if I happened on one at the same price as a lock gun, then by all means.
 

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A Chief's Special M36 without a lock would be cool, if you could find one. Unfortunately, I sold mine about 5 years ago.
 
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I carried a 642 for a BUG on duty, and sometimes just it for off duty......I got no complaints. Switched a few years ago to the SP101 the 4 years ago to the KLCR for magnum capability, but still love my old 642.
 
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