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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 09-10-2020, 01:18 AM
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They say the best carry gun is the one you actually carry. I love my Glock 26, I shoot it very well, and doubt I'll ever get rid of it. That said, my 642 has been the gun I carry almost exclusively since the day I picked it up. I shot it almost as well as the 26 from the beginning, and after installing a set of Wolff springs, adding a Hogue Bantam grip, and painting the front sight bright orange, I find it needs nothing else. Most of the time it sets in my pocket in a Sticky holster, but on rare occasions it rides in a Blackhawk CQC #06 with a Bianchi speed strip or two in the other pocket. The 642 is probably the best carry decision I've made in some time. The only dilemma I face now is I found a 638. If I pick it up, deciding which gun to carry will be tough.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:31 AM
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"Two is one, and one is none." I think it's a good idea to have more than one BUG/EDC available. If one of them breaks or needs maintenance/servicing, then you've got the spare handy. If the 638 is to your liking and it's a good deal, buy it. You can probably use the same holster and definitely the same speed strips and ammo. The only thing better would be a spare 642.

The last alloy framed gun I looked at was a Scandium framed .357. It was a consignment piece but the frame was cracked under the barrel stub. Be sure to look over that 638 carefully.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:18 AM
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I totally agree with you gunny. My little 642-1 has been my most frequent
carry companion for about twenty years. That little black holster is by
Chic Gaylord. The old cheezy Uncle Mike belt is because of the little bitty'
belt loops that Gaylord used back in the 1960s.
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:25 AM
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I pocket carry my 642 and if Im not expecting any trouble on a large scale carry my 43c. The Centennial is, in my opinion, one of the best carry gun designs ever made.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:49 AM
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638 definitely. My EDC always.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:58 AM
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I used to carry my 642CT everywhere 24/7, but have slowly drifted toward carrying a full size 9mm 2.0 w/17+1mag most of the time. BTW, I really should go ahead and dye my little paddle holster...
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:34 AM
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I saw this post and had to laugh as I had been talking with a friend recently in a very similar way about my 649. No matter how many guns I have bought, carried, etc. The J frame is just always the most comfortable to carry and with this grip and the weight of stainless I can rattle off all five rounds quickly and accurately in double action, even in comparison to some of the smaller mouse guns like the Sig p238. The J frame is just more comfortable and disappears for me. I carry it in the waistband at 3:00 and it just rides high and tight to my body.

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Old 09-10-2020, 08:56 AM
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J frame best thing since sliced bread !
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:24 AM
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The Airweight J-frames are really a sweet spot for power, weight, and carry-ability. One thing I seldom see mentioned... they have a very low bore axis, relative to most other options. I've always liked that.
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:31 AM
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The sentinel is my favorite J frame. I normally carry Two 442ís. But, I do have others that I carry on occasion. This past couple of days itís a Bobbed 37 and a 442. You canít beet the J frame. I donít believe there is wrong J frame. Pick the Jís you like, shoot and carry them (the top gun in my picture is not a J-Frame.)
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:50 AM
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When I carry a J, it's a 640-4 Pro Series loaded with middle-of-the-road loads in .357 cases. Doesn't have a full length ejector rod but does have its rounds held together by a moon-clip. Practice tells me my clumsy hands are more likely to cleanly dump moon-clipped empties, and the Jet Loader quickly reloads my little J.
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:18 PM
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J-frames make for great carry guns. My current EDC is a Beretta PX4 Compact 9mm with a 642 BUG, but a solo 642 was my EDC for several years. I will still carry a 642 solo from time to time, or a pair of 642s. I went solo 642 today while running some errands. Easy to carry, and disappears under an untucked shirt when carried IWB. As was previously mentioned, it's a good balance between power, size, and weight.

I think it's a good idea to have a duplicate/back-up of your carry gun, or at least something similar, so I think getting a 638 (presuming it's in good condition at a fair price) would be a nice safety net. A few years ago my 642 broke and I had to wait to get it replaced under warranty. I was without a gun of any kind for a couple of months. Not the end of the world, but it would've been a bit more reassuring if I had a gun during that time.

My grail gun still remains a 640ND, but I'd also love to get a DAO 649.
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:32 PM
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My two favorites - a 642 with the internal lock removed, and a 442 that never had one! Both are equipped with Barami HipGrips for effortless no-holster pocket carry.

John

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Old 09-10-2020, 12:35 PM
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Agree. Mine is out in my SUV right now in a pocket carry holster.
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:55 PM
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I have a PC 642 Talo, an Elite Survival Systems pocket holster and Bianchi speed strips that occasionally are in my pocket(s). However it's a hard decision between it and my micro 380 to see which gets pocket time. I prefer the revolver, but it's hard to ignore 7+1 vs 5 rounds and 3/4 of an inch thick.
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Old 09-10-2020, 01:17 PM
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I won't carry any gun I'm not proficient with. Hence, I got rid of the Smith 638 because I didn't like practicing with it. Couldn't shoot more than a few cylinders at a session...the recoil really aggravated my arthritic wrist.
Yeah it concealed well. That was the only thing I liked about it.
Subsequently a got Ruger Security 9 Compact for carry. I enjoy practicing with it and appreciate the lower cost of the ammo versus the 38 Spl.
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Old 09-10-2020, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HorizontalMike View Post
I used to carry my 642CT everywhere 24/7, but have slowly drifted toward carrying a full size 9mm 2.0 w/17+1mag most of the time. BTW, I really should go ahead and dye my little paddle holster...
I've always thought about a paddle holster, but never used one with the J frame. What brand is that one and how does it carry?
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:33 PM
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I carried my 640-1 for six years and then my 642-1 for the next six years.

Back in June of this year I purchased a new M&P 45 Shield M2.0 and have been carrying it ever since.

I think the 642-1 is an ideal EDC.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:30 PM
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I have posted previously, I carried my 640-1 as a second gun for several years. It was retired, as was I August 2019. It was located in my weak side, front pocket, with two (2) speed loaders in the cargo pocket.

It served me well.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:40 PM
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Carry my 442 every day....shoot it better than most anything else.

Probably because I shoot it MORE than anything else.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:49 PM
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+1 for the form factor, but I like the extra round in my 632, which has been the daily carry for several years now. Most times I forget it's there, in its Lobo Enhanced Pancake holster. (Which also works perfectly for a 442, 638 and 640, and even the old bright blue 49 which I never actually carried, should the need ever arise.)

The Buffalo Bore 100g +P rounds in 32H&R actually have a bit more energy than Remington's 158g +P 38 Specials, so I don't feel like I'm giving up anything with the smaller caliber. Sadly, physics being physics, they kick just as hard as the 38s, but light 32H&R, or even hot 32 Longs, are more tolerable practice rounds (in my old hands) than anything I ever made up in 38 Special.
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Old 09-11-2020, 09:22 AM
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I’ve been carrying/shooting a J Frame since my 1968 rookie year, & my current EDC is a 340PD w/a speed strip in my off pocket.
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Old 09-11-2020, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunny4053 View Post
I've always thought about a paddle holster, but never used one with the J frame. What brand is that one and how does it carry?
Galco... Very light weight and easy to remove/mount. I also have one for my J-Frame equivalent 2in Kimber K6s (six rd). The only issue is to occasionally re-tighten the paddle screws, as they occasionally work loose.
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Old 09-11-2020, 10:01 AM
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I do not have an airweight, but I do have a Model 640-1. I use it when I need deep concealment. These days, I stoke mine with Speer's 135 grain Gold Dot 38 Special +P Short Barrel loads.
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Old 09-11-2020, 05:00 PM
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Like putting on a glove......
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:20 PM
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Any J frame S&W make a great carry gun. I have carried a lot of them such Models 32, 36, 042, 638, 640 . I might have missed one or two
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Old 09-11-2020, 10:21 PM
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Well the 638 is gone, but there's another 642-2 in it's place. At $450 they want too much for it in my opinion. The hunt is on, 638, 38, or another 49 will be just fine.
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Old 09-12-2020, 07:10 AM
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I’ve ccw’d Glocks for a long time and still do, but sometimes in the warmer months I go with my 442. While they aren’t as “tactical” as many of the new polymer guns out there, it’s still hard to beat a classic J-frame when it comes to cc.
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
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I used to carry my 642CT everywhere 24/7, but have slowly drifted toward carrying a full size 9mm 2.0 w/17+1mag most of the time. BTW, I really should go ahead and dye my little paddle holster...
I would leave it as is, it shows a lot of character plus you don't need to worry about it getting a scratch.
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:45 AM
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No argument out of me about this. I carried a model 640 as second weapon while still gainfully employed, then the 642 because of the lighter weight. After retirement, the 642 continued to be carried. I have other J-Frames, and an SP101, but consider the 642 to just be about as simple and practical as it gets for small concealed carry revolvers.
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Old 09-14-2020, 06:51 PM
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I've been carrying my 642 for a dozen years. For my purposes, it's just about perfect.
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:59 PM
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I just thought i would add this, The Ultimate Carry Package | Day At The Range
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