Defensive Carry banner

1 - 20 of 60 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a chance to get a S&W 642 Airweight series revolver.
With tax it would be just under $500. 5 rd .38 +P shrouded hammer with a 1.87 inch barrel.
well, let ma start by saying that I have never owned one let alone carried one.
My Taurus 605 and 856 are ok but not exactly pocket carry material.

How do they handle? Conceal? Pros and cons please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,596 Posts
I have the 442. It’s surprisingly accurate for a snub DA revolver. I carry mine in a sticky holster in my pocket. It fully drops into most of my pockets. It’s very light also.
I‘ve not found anything wrong with it yet. I guess I could complain about the trigger, but I knew what I was getting into with a DA. There’s nothing wrong, it’s just heavy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,804 Posts
I, too, have a 442 and have for 30+ years. Utterly reliable, shoots reasonably well for a snubbie, carries easily, and has been my wife's car gun for a long time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,039 Posts
My 642 is my most carried gun I use a old detective holster, with CTC grip.

356679
356680
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
344 Posts
Handling-
Pros- five for sure!
The concealed hammer design allows the shooter to get a higher grip and that helps in managing recoil.
The DAO trigger allows for dry firing practice and to get use of the trigger and grip needed to learn it.
DAO trigger means lessen of NDs from trigger happy stresses.
Cons- it’s a DAO trigger pull that many will not take the time to learn and it’s heavy.
You have to put time into it to learn it.
no real good way for a fast reload, besides a second pistol.

Concealing-
Pros-drop it in your pocket with or without a holster.
Clip Draw works great!
Made for a belly band or ankle holster!

Cons- can’t think of any.

I carry two j frames daily, both the 642 (I have three) or the 351c. I use an Alabama Holster for the front pocket. Worth the wait and money! But you can get by with a cheap #4 Blackhawk pocket holster. I use a speed strip, I think they are the best for my situation. You can load two at a time if you need to slam the cylinder shut and fire you got two shots. Speedloaders are all or nothing and so bulky you might as well carry another 642. My speed strips are set up to load two at a time. I am very good with a 642, I went to classes just for the snub nose, and spent my time learning it. It’s not hard to learn, just people are lazy and don’t want to spend time on anything anymore.

I train not only at close range but out to 15 yards. Head shots are not impossible, quickly moving from target to target.

I personally wouldn’t get hung up on ammo for the 642. I have carried everything from WC to SP and prefer the 158gr SPs. But right now I’m carrying my reloads cause there isn’t any ammo to be had! And that is a heavy dose of BE over a hard casted 148gr WC. The Gold Dots 135gr has wonderful reviews. But haven’t seen them or Bigfoot in awhile.

I have carried G17s to 5” 1911s, but I always end back to the 642/637. Just a great weapon that people will carry always.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,609 Posts
If you are willing to put in the time to master it, it is a very reasonable choice, and has many advantages.

But if you are just looking for something to stick in your pocket and think you are prepared, keep walking.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
344 Posts
Another thing about the 642, it’s ready to go. You don’t have to buy other grips, the boots that come on them are pretty hard to beat. I have service panels on mine cause I watched too many 70s detective shoes growing up. Actually swapped out the factory rubber boots on them today after a long over due cleaning.

Some have posted about laser grips, and they are awesome......if you shoot right handed. I’m a lefty and don’t deal with them cause I’m jealous.

I will add something about Clipdraw. They make one for the J Frame, but I like the universal model better. It allows you to adjust the depth of the pistol in your pocket or on the waistline.


356685


Two main EDC for me. Sometimes it’s two 642s, but the 351c rides with me to protect me against ninja rats or cultist snakes that lurk in the barn. Out on the town, it’s usually the two 642s.

621FB2F6-1C02-4607-BCD4-6996E5787E04.jpeg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,078 Posts
Good gun, no issues
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,039 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,250 Posts
Well, I suppose I have spoken highly of the 642 or at least the snub in general to heap glowing praise on it as a concealed carry weapon.
I would add to G-man's comments though to be fair and objective. It's a gun that requires some level of dedication or maybe stubbornness to get to a level that is realistically practical for self defense.
The expectation I have is head shots at 25 yards which I can do about 80% of the time and I started shooting a snub in 1994 and have carried and shot it more than all the other guns I have owned combined.

Pros:
It fills a spot that to me no other gun can if you understand its pros and cons.
I think even if you don't get into the zen of a j frame it can serve a valuable purpose as a deep primary or a backup or second option gun.

I often carry two which covers some of the cons but, certainly not all.
If you have not owned one I say try it out.
If you learn to shoot a j frame well your shooting will improve across the board on any other handgun you shoot. The trigger pull is 12 to 14 times heavier than the gun but, it will smooth out nicely around 8 to 10 pounds with use. You can shortcut that with a spring kit but, the gun will get to the same place with use and you get the added benefit of finger strength training along the way.

Cons:
My particular 642 would always shake itself loose after only 10 to 15 rounds. I have had to Loctite the ejector rod, the cylinder release and one side plate screw.
The finish wore off within the first year and a half which I don't care about. The bare alloy has never discolored or shown corrosion in any way. I had to grind and polish down the sharp lower edges on the cylinder release because it tore my thumb up under recoil. I literally have blood, sweat and tears into this gun.

It is like any other revolver and requires OCD type cleaning after shooting in my opinion for a carry gun. I cycle all my carry rounds in my hammered snub for carry in the 642 because I had factory high dollar ammo with 2 rounds in the box with high primers that stopped my gun, luckily at the range.

Overall:
The j frame is the king of the "floating gun" system of carry which is what I find fits my wants/needs for self defense the best overall. If restricted to one concealed carry gun my 642 would get the nod.
Go into it eyes wide open and it might surprise you. Then again you might wonder about my sanity after shooting one. Could go either way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Should have posted the pic.
As with any purchase, would have to learn it well. But if I can master the old LC9 and even the 605 as my first centerfire pistol. I am sure I am willing to put in the time. I might have to take the plunge and try one.
D5A70A02-7554-4850-BC22-D3B3817BF090.jpeg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,809 Posts
I have a chance to get a S&W 642 Airweight series revolver.
With tax it would be just under $500. 5 rd .38 +P shrouded hammer with a 1.87 inch barrel.
well, let ma start by saying that I have never owned one let alone carried one.
My Taurus 605 and 856 are ok but not exactly pocket carry material.

How do they handle? Conceal? Pros and cons please.
I have a M642 with a set of CT Laser Grips. It was a tip from a wealthy client when I was an active instructor for the Florida permit. It’s got a decent but somewhat heavy trigger pull, but I also found that it was easy to “stack the trigger” if you wanted to make a more precise aimed shot. Like all revolvers, it takes some practice to get good at reloads using a speed loader. The sights on mine are primitive and fixed but I never had any problems with the gun, except for a weak hammer spring. Or it wouldn’t fire MagTech ammunition because maybe they use a very hard primer. But it fired all other ammunition besides MagTech. I still have it. But I prefer my Sig P365 for pocket carry nowadays.
356693
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,474 Posts
The J makes a good deep concealment pistol. I prefer the full weight models personally though one of my favorite bugs is a 351C. Others have pointed out both pros and cons so no need to. I will however give you the formula to determine if you need one. The number of Guns a person needs is simple algebra A(current number)+B(one more)=C(how many needed) to determine if you need a J frame open the safe if you don’t have one you need one and if you have one it needs a friend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
if that is a new 642, then i would say in todays climate that is a good price....

snag-free design
as an airweight she is comfortable for pocket carry
plenty of holster options
plenty of grip options
no hillary hole on that series.....which i like....
proven design
the centennial series is probably the most popular selling model of the entire line of smith revolvers.

on the minus side for me........................................
the finish is not the best over time on the silver model.....
the trigger will probably need some work.....or a heck of a lot of dry firing to smooth out....
as she is an airweight....she is going to transmit more recoil.....
the front sight......no changing out as she is integral.....nail polish is your friend....

final thoughts........check it over and make sure the barrel is clocked correctly....have seen some questionable ones that frankly shocked me that they left the factory as such.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,825 Posts
If you are willing to put in the time to master it, it is a very reasonable choice, and has many advantages.

But if you are just looking for something to stick in your pocket and think you are prepared, keep walking.
+1. These little airweight jframes are nice carry guns, but you do need to practice with them. These are light guns, and you may be surprised with how difficult a follow up shot is the first time you shoot this gun. Get familar, practice, and you will be able to make the gun fulfill its role.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,287 Posts
If you are willing to put in the time to master it, it is a very reasonable choice, and has many advantages.

But if you are just looking for something to stick in your pocket and think you are prepared, keep walking.
Amen. Practice is gonna be needed to shoot the gun with any accuracy. For me, this is the most difficult gun I shoot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,377 Posts
5 rd

cons please.


In addition to that ...
They have more recoil than a 9mm pistol of comparable size.
Try accurately/quickly shooting a DA revolver with non-dominant hand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,064 Posts
I have an old Taurus 85SS since '90 or '91 and it has a very light pull wight but its sorta heavier for a small snubby at 22oz . How my wife and talked about how she should have a small revolver too just in case and she comes home with a s&w M360 EDC kit for 469 dollars + tax new at our local general store . Great buy on a 14.5oz s&w snubby in 357mag and comes with a little zipper case folder and light .. but the trigger pull !! I added a mcabo spring kit and its better time but still not great . Wife likes it and is fine with shooting it .


356697
 
1 - 20 of 60 Posts
Top