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  1. #1
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    Dec 1969
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    2,709

    Default S&W mod 642-2 "hammerless" revolver, Opinions?

    I found this at a local shop for rather less than I would have expected so it came home with me. I normally prefer the self loading pistol over the revolver but had been thinking that a
    revolver with shielded hammer might be good for pocket. I been sort of keeping an eye out
    for a S&W "Bodyguard" type with one of these as a second choice. This one although not cosmeticly perfect appears quite usable and at around $250 seemed too cheap to refuse.....
    Does anyone have experience with these? My S&W hammerless revolver experience consists
    of shooting some of the "New Departure" topbreak types with their wonderful trigger actions.
    Last edited by royke; 03-25-2009 at 02:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2008
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    Default

    Based on my experience, the S&W 642 is one of the best choices for concealed carry. Its weight and dimensions allow many to carry it in a pants pocket (a pocket holster is recommended). I prefer a belt holster or jacket pocket. It is rated for +P ammo, so it does represent a reasonable power level for self-defense. It will take some practice to be comfortable shooting it with any degree of accuracy, and I would recommend some light .38 loads for that not unpleasant chore. Your 642 will probably become one of your favorite handguns.
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  3. #3
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    Dec 1969
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    Default ...

    Agreed. I think you'll be reaching for this revolver more often than a slab sided auto loader.
    First rule of gun fighting is have a gun. And you will want to start with light target loads as the recoil is severe. I carry a 649 in .357 and it is stout. The recoil in the 342 in .38 is more stiff than in the 649 in .357, due to the weight differential. Good guns.
    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
    George Orwell

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Ohio
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    380

    Default

    The only thing I would add to the above comments is to consider a Wolf reduced power spring kit, helped the trigger pull on mine considerably and still reliably fires all the brands of ammo I've run through it. Lightweight J frames spoiled me - they are so very easy to carry.

  5. #5

    Default

    i stake my life on one daily. it's perfect for pocket carry, but do try to get in some range time,... the double action trigger can take some getting use to and the recoil can be somewhat unpleasant. i put some crimson trace grips which is a nice addition to the gun since the sights are minimal. nevertheless, it's one of the best snubbies out there.

    ~waruironin

  6. #6
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    Dec 1969
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by limpetmine View Post
    Agreed. I think you'll be reaching for this revolver more often than a slab sided auto loader.
    First rule of gun fighting is have a gun. And you will want to start with light target loads as the recoil is severe. I carry a 649 in .357 and it is stout. The recoil in the 342 in .38 is more stiff than in the 649 in .357, due to the weight differential. Good guns.
    My Kahrs carry nicely and are pleasant to shoot, but if I ever needed to shoot through a pocket the concealed hammer revolver would be most useful. I consider this to be a secondary arm compared to my Sig 229 .357/.40 or the Kahr .40 but in the instance of gun in pocket it would be hard to beat.......I would have preferred the "Bodyguard" type but couldn't
    find one for this kind of price......

  7. #7

    Default

    Miscellaneous comments~

    (1) The last handgun training I attended was conducted by a fellow whose experience was obvious by what he _didn't_ say about himself. One of the things he did say was. "why would anyone _not_ fire their revolver double action in a confrontation?"

    (2) Something I've never seen written up by gun magazine hacks is how hammerless S&Ws provide additional support to the web between thumb and trigger finger. Even though I have petite hands, exposed hammer J frame S&Ws bite me in this area.

    (3) Legions of S&W affectionados would slobber on themselves to buy your weapon for $250.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    2,709

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by El Bibliotecario View Post
    Miscellaneous comments~

    (1) The last handgun training I attended was conducted by a fellow whose experience was obvious by what he _didn't_ say about himself. One of the things he did say was. "why would anyone _not_ fire their revolver double action in a confrontation?"

    (2) Something I've never seen written up by gun magazine hacks is how hammerless S&Ws provide additional support to the web between thumb and trigger finger. Even though I have petite hands, exposed hammer J frame S&Ws bite me in this area.

    (3) Legions of S&W affectionados would slobber on themselves to buy your weapon for $250.


    I do like the early S&W hammerless revolvers and this one seems to be a continuation of this line. I haven't shot this little gun yet but I expect that I'll own it for a long time.......

  9. #9
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    Jan 2008
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    1,259

    Default

    I have the 442 hammerless air wieght with the nickel finish. I love it it is acurate enough esp at 7yds or less and its virtually rust proff for active carry.

  10. #10
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    Dec 1969
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by mauser202 View Post
    I have the 442 hammerless air wieght with the nickel finish. I love it it is acurate enough esp at 7yds or less and its virtually rust proff for active carry.
    Mine is stainless, but nickel is nice too. One of my topbreaks still has almost of the original nickel and no rust.

  11. #11
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    Dec 2008
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    I carried a nickel plated bodyguard for twenty+ years. Eventually had to go to 9mm but prferred the bodyguard. It was the best gun in more situations that I ever had.

  12. #12
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    Dec 1969
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    Florida, USA
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    Default

    I have carried a S&W 640 as one of my daily carry pieces for the better part of 20 years now. I tend to pocket carry mine; often in a pocket scabbard by Andrews Custom Leather. Sometimes I just jam it in my pocket without any holster at all. I carry at least one of the Bianchi Speed Strips in my back pocket as a reload; albeit slow and cumbersome. These little J frames are not for everyone but I think their functional value is so high to the citizen packer of heat that they deserve a try by anyone seriously considering concealing a sidearm on the mean streets of our country. These certainly have their limitations but are so well thought out for defensive purposes that they demand consideration. Don't consider using these revolvers beyond their limited range and ammo selection was often problematic but not now. The recoil and blast can be fiercesome but the use of the Houge grips, now standard on J frames as they come from S&W, are highly recommended to allow for recoil management. In 1960s-80s you had two ammo choices for these revolvers. First choice for snubby defensive loads was the so-called FBI or Metro load of a 158 grain lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoint bullet in the increased pressure or +P loading. This is still a primary choice for snubby packers but has its problems. It is smoky, dirty and, frankly kicks like a mule shifting the piece around in the hand and inhibiting the less seasoned shooter. The other load was the regular old wad-cutter. These tended to cut nice clean holes in targets be they paper or flesh and had the advantage of being mild shooting with little blast or kick. These days any number of advanced ammo in this caliber; some made just for snubbys, have made these revolvers contenders into well beyond the point where they should have been eclipsed.

  13. #13
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    Dec 1969
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    Default

    I carry my 642 every time I go out. It is light weight and conceals good in my DeSantis pocket holster. Very accurate at a reasonable range.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    575

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    That is a great little carry piece and you got it at a super price. I bought one of these for my wife's carry pistol. The Crimson Trace grips really are a nice addition. My wife's first carry gun was a SP101, but it was so heavy, she didn't carry it all the time. This 642-2 is so light, it is her constant companion.
    As they say, a 22 in your pocket, is a better defense pistol, than a 45 left at home.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Nice little gun, but hell of a recoil!

    I have owned a .38 caliber 642-2 for 3 years and after shooting it the first couple of times found that the web of my shooting hand (right) hurt a lot. It fact it was painful to shoot after only five rounds. If you can't shoot the gun more than that it makes it no fun, and hard to get out and shoot it as often as one should to keep up your skill level for self defense. I bought softer grips, Pacmeyer, and this makes a huge difference. The grips are longer for the full hand, and thus make the gun itself larger and this is the only drawback. If you decide to buy a 642-2 .38 caliber be sure to shoot one first, you will see what I mean. For women, the original grips also come in pink, but this is a marketing gimmick, as I can't see most women who have more delicate hands than men shooting this or carrying it. I would not let my wife fire it, as I knew her hand would hurt after only a couple of rounds. When I carry it, I use a belt holster, small leather, on my right hip and usually wear a casual jacket or vest to hide it. I tried some of the pocket holsters but they all showed, as I am a small bodied, thiner guy, with a 34 inch waist. In case some of you younger fellows wonder about older guys on the street, I am a vet, have used firearms extensively, and still keep up both my rifle and side arm skills at age 74 by firing them frequently.

  16. #16
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    Default

    good gun good + price...........most who carries these don't tell or show people, because its not a bragging type gun.....but a seriously carried gun......with no regrets.
    GOD<><SAVE THE CONSTITUTION / STATES RIGHTS><>NRA

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