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Old 05-17-2018, 11:35 PM
jhnttrpp jhnttrpp is offline
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Is this a gun that would make a good CCW. I have a chance to buy one but I really don't much about one. Yes it has the lock. That I know. Is it reliable.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:55 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised to learn in the past 15 years S&W has sold a quarter million Model 642 Airweight Centennials. That's not for nothin'. It's an excellent CCW choice.

The lock can be a good thing if you have children, have family with children, have friends with children, or if you'd like to do things like leave the gun loaded in your car when you run into a post office or something. The lock does have some practical CCW advantages.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:34 AM
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Negative side is the M642s have finish issues in that the clear coat peels off
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:39 AM
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This is one of the many J frame revolvers made by S&W and one of the best ccw choices available. I’ve been carrying a J frame for about 50 years and have used a Colt Detective Special, about the same size as the 642, to defend myself during my LEO career. They are not the easiest to shoot so regular practice is a must.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:50 AM
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The Model 442 (blued steel finish) and Model 642 (stainless steel finish) are, and have been the best selling guns for S&W for the last several years. They are the ultimate "point and click" handgun - no switches, buttons, or safeties to mess with. Of the J-frames, they have the smoothest and lightest trigger pulls - albeit DAO. My Model 642-2 was my EDC for a long while until I switched to a Model 38-0 with a Model 638-1 as back-up. Both my wife and daughter prefer the simplicity of operation and smooth trigger pull of my Model 642 over any other revolver in my collection including a Model 34, Model 649, Model 38, or Model 638. I think the non-lock versions are a bit more desirable, and as pointed out previously, the Model 642 can experience finish problems - so you might want to consider the Model 442 if this might be a concern.

Good luck,

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Last edited by Double-O-Dave; 05-18-2018 at 12:40 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:35 AM
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I carried one for many years in a pocket holster. The finish still looks good. The only thing is that 2" revolvers take a lot of training to master, especially the double-action ones, like the 642.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:22 PM
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It is my EDC for the past 4 years - I carry in a holster in my right front pocket. Completely invisible. It is wonderful for carry...and (for me) not very enjoyable to shoot. When I retire, and can control my wardrobe better, I will switch away from it every day, and save it for occasions the IWB is not do-able.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:45 PM
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my wife and I both carry the SW642CT. No problem with the finish on either one
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:39 PM
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I carry everyday a 642-2. It's been reliable since day one. Carries very well and even rides in a pocket holster surprisingly well for a revolver. It's a little stiff when new however it loosens up after putting a couple hundred rounds thru it. I carry outside the waist and my holster is a Bianchi Lightnin' 55. I did replace the original stock grip with a Pachmayr presentation compac grip which fills the hand even better and makes shooting more enjoyable and functional.

Some people mention about the finish wearing off. I have not had any issues however I don't use harsh chemicals on any of my guns. I just shoot them down with either Ballistol or Rem oil in a spray can, scrub with a toothbrush and wipe off. I do however have a friend that still carries his 642-1 that the finish is completely worn/flaked off. It's a aluminum alloy frame that's painted & clear coated. His has worn thru and the clear coat is gone. Looks ragged. But the gun still functions beautifully. Just don't use hash gun cleaning solvents such as Casey Gun Scrubber or similar and you'll be fine.
Mine has the internal lock that some people moan about. To me it is a non issue and in no way shape or form affects the function or reliability of the pistol. besides, the 642 is probably still S&W's top selling concealed carry revolver.

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Old 05-18-2018, 02:38 PM
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I have a 642-2 and a 642-1 and they are both excellent shooters, and both are carried (not at the same time) for defensive purposes. I did deactivate the lock on the -2.
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:49 PM
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Yes, an excellent choice. Comments previously made are spot-on. My only add: you can practice with 148 Grain Lead Wadcutters, which are low-power rounds made for target practice. They have a lot less recoil than typical self-defense ammo, and are a lot easier on your hand and wrist when doing range work. And you need some range work with the 642 to get the hang of aiming these small, short-barreled guns.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:00 PM
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These are mainly bad breath distance guns or over 90% of self defense scenarios. Yep super reliable
I carry the 638 and 442.

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Old 05-20-2018, 06:33 AM
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This 642-1 has been carried 6 years, holstered many times, and fired well over 1500 rounds. Not a single negative issue, including the finish ( no wear except for a few tiny scratches). You'll never go wrong with a 642

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Old 05-20-2018, 06:58 AM
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One of the best carry packages there is


I have been carrying this combo since late 2007. Review from 2009 after i had been carrying it for 16 months.

Though now it has been trading duty with this setup.
The Kimber K6 which has one additional round. In this setup I use the Federal Premium Personal Defense Micro Ammunition 38 Special +P 130 Grain Hydra-Shok Jacketed Hollow Point, which looks more like a wad cutter.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:39 AM
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I've used the 642-2 for about 17 years. It shows its age (some finish peeling) but its been a working gun. Totally reliable and more accurate than many credit it for. I regard the wear as proof of its service.
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Old 05-24-2018, 02:00 PM
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A few years back, I was carrying a nickel-plated 1982 vintage Model 37 in a pocket holster as a back up to my duty revolver. I happened on a sale at my LGS and got a Model 642-2. It replaced the Model 37 and has become my constant companion. The lock isn't an issue because I don't use it. This year I noticed that the original rubber grips are showing some cargo pocket wear and the clear finish is showing wear along the top right edge behind the rear sight. Neither of these are an issue, either. I put an Apex Duty Spring kit in it right after I got it, and it has performed flawlessly.

I don't think you can go wrong with one.


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Old 05-24-2018, 04:13 PM
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Of all my handguns, a 642-2, with lock, is the one that I carry most often. I live in a very rural area and spend a lot of time outdoors around my place. I made a cross draw holster for this gun utilizing a steel spring belt clip. The package is so light and goes on/off so easily, it is the first gun I grab before going out the door. It's not my conceal carry gun, but it sure gets carried a lot.

Got the gun new in 2010, and there is some definite finish wear present. Don't really care. It shoots very well and I have shot a number of armadillos around the place with it, at ranges of 5 to 15 yards. Does a good job on the dillies. Put a set of Hogue Tamers on it which really helps the fit and the recoil of warmer +P loads. Could not stand the dinky rubber boot grips that it came with.
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Old 05-24-2018, 05:22 PM
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It's darker twin, the 442, is my EDC. I had been carrying a Shield 9 until my wife determined that the 442 I bought for her was too snappy for her to shoot. I believe her exact words were "it felt like an explosion" in her hand. I haven't carried the Shield since. Whether it's in the front pocket of my cargo shorts while I'm home or even the front pocket of my slack at church, it's with me. I use a DeSantis pocket holster. And I like the stock rubber boot grips, a lot.
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricR View Post
my wife determined that the 442 I bought for her was too snappy for her to shoot. I believe her exact words were "it felt like an explosion" in her hand.
Was she shooting +P defense rounds? Both my wife and elderly mother(in her 70's) have no real issues with the recoil of the 642/442 when using standard pressure ammo.
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:41 PM
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My 57 year old wife, three weeks older than myself, is about as girly as they come. Beautiful and full-figured, but no upper body strength to speak of. It was either 158 grain LDRN or 130 grain FMJ. There was no way she was going to tame that alloy frame. She now carries a LCR in 22 mag. It's something she is comfortable and fearless with.
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:50 PM
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I prefer the 442 myself but you will have no problems with the 642. Snap Caps and practice are your friend with small DAO revolvers.


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Old 05-26-2018, 06:58 PM
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Why not get the 642-1, without the lock? The - 2 has all the advantages of a revolver with a bike lock with the added excitement of possibly locking up on you when you need it......?
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Old 05-26-2018, 08:33 PM
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I’ve been carrying the 642 Talo edition from the Performance Center for the last several years Model 642 | Smith & Wesson . It has no
lock. I’ll admit it isn’t my favorite range gun but I love carrying it. It’s super small, perfect for front pocket carry and light. I have plenty of other options but it’s almost always the one I reach for to head out with me.
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:04 PM
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I like the no lock 442 but if your getting a good price, you don’t care about the lock the 442/642 is a great carry gun.
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:10 PM
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I have a 642 on my CCW list. I added the Altamont grips that gives me a little more to hold on to.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:33 AM
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I want to thank everyone for their comments. I did purchase the gun after all. It sounds like a good gun for me. I carry a Model 60 no dash currently and see no problem in transitioning to the 642. I'm going to try and find better grips for it. I think I can alternate between the two guns at the range if I find the 642 recoil too objectionable. I would hope the similarities in them would help me to get on target with the lighter gun.
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Old 05-29-2018, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhnttrpp View Post
I'm going to try and find better grips for it. I think I can alternate between the two guns at the range if I find the 642 recoil too objectionable. I would hope the similarities in them would help me to get on target with the lighter gun.
Hi jhnttrpp:

I use Crimson Trace LG-405 laser grips on all of my Airweight J-frames. These grips are the "boot cut" type, and work with pocket carry. They also have an air chamber along the backstrap that compresses under recoil. To me, they are the best grips for J-frame revolvers carried for SD.

Regards,

Dave

PS - I added photos of my Model 638-1 (top) with CT LG-405 laser grips and my Model 649-0 with CT-LG-105 laser grips.

Regards,

Dave
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