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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,

Dave

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
mr.revolverguy mr.revolverguy is offline
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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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