Small revolver shopping [Archive] - Glock Talk

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BamaAL24
05-14-2012, 23:23
I'm beginning my research on my next handgun purchase and have decided I want a small wheel gun.

For some reason I've found myself drawn to Smith & Wesson. Particularly the 642 What do I need to know before taking the plunge? Is it really that much more preferable to have one without a lock? And I'm set on stainless with a wood grip if that will change any opinions or advice.

Thanks for your time.

Sheepdog Scout
05-14-2012, 23:28
Smith J frames are excellent little gun. I've shot and own a few. I only like and will buy Smiths that don't have the lock. One, because they look so much better without the lock. And two, it's an ideological thing. Guns like the 642 with the grips they come with can be a bit unpleasant to shoot, especially if you have little experience with them. The bare metal on the back strap is the culprit.

You may also wanna look at the Ruger K/LCR in .38 or .357. I prefer the LCR over the 642 now.

Folsom_Prison
05-14-2012, 23:51
I've owned both, the 642 and LCR. IMO the smith seemed like a more quality revolver but the trigger was better on the LCR IMO. In the end I've concluded I'm not much of a revolver guy. If I was forced to own one of the two it would be the LCR.

rilkil23
05-15-2012, 00:09
I tried to master a model 637 but the DA trigger kicked my butt. I gave up because the time and money I would have spent was too much. I had fun with it but never felt I could use it as my carry gun due to the difficulties I had with accuracy. My semis proved to be a better option for me.

Folsom_Prison
05-15-2012, 01:24
I tried to master a model 637 but the DA trigger kicked my butt. I gave up because the time and money I would have spent was too much. I had fun with it but never felt I could use it as my carry gun due to the difficulties I had with accuracy. My semis proved to be a better option for me.


Same here and in my above post I've said I've owned two revolvers. I spent my fair share of time with them but could never shoot them worth a damn like I can with my Glock.

collim1
05-15-2012, 03:39
I have had a 442 since 2004. It has served as a BUG and discreet carry pocket gun. Occasionally in the summer heat I carry it as a primary OWB.

It has been a great gun. Everyone needs a jframe IMO. It comes in handy when wearing dress clothes and need absolute concealment.

I carry the Gold Dot SB 135g+P, but the old stanby 158g+P LSWCHP has a great reputation also.

Cwlongshot
05-15-2012, 03:46
I agree the S&W "J" frames are the way to go here.

I like the looks of the hammerless models but your stuck with DAO... Take a look at the 38/638 its funky looking yes, BUT allows shrouded hammer for pocket carry yet still allows for a SA aimed shot.

I have had a carried one on and off for more than 20 years, its a good light reliable revolver. My wife also likes to carry this one as its light and dosen't "pound" her hand even with +P 147g loadings.

CW

M2 Carbine
05-15-2012, 04:03
I'm a S&W J Frame fan. Have a number of them.
Shoot them out to 52 yards.

Although I have a couple I do not like DAO revolvers.

The J Frames I consider defense guns are equipped with Crimson Trace laser grips.

Won't buy one with that ugly lock.

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/SWCTJframes.jpg

fowler
05-15-2012, 04:28
The Rugers are not very well made and only a step above a Taurus. The SW is the only player that that is well made and reliable. 642 or 442 no lock.

CajunBass
05-15-2012, 04:33
I've only got one S&W with a lock, and it's never given me any problem. Ugly? well, that's all in how you look at it I suppose. Personally I never pay any more attention to it than I do any other pin or screw on the gun. It's just something that's there. Big deal. I do admit that it's more noticable on a SS gun.

Having said that, I wouldn't let the lock stop me from buying one if I found something I like. I wouldn't pay a lot more for one without.

collim1
05-15-2012, 05:20
I've only got one S&W with a lock, and it's never given me any problem. Ugly? well, that's all in how you look at it I suppose. Personally I never pay any more attention to it than I do any other pin or screw on the gun. It's just something that's there. Big deal. I do admit that it's more noticable on a SS gun.

Having said that, I wouldn't let the lock stop me from buying one if I found something I like. I wouldn't pay a lot more for one without.

My lock hasn't killed my yet after almost 9yrs. I dont agree with it, but it hasn't hurt anything.

deputy tom
05-15-2012, 05:31
I've been shooting S&W J-frames for forty years. Any other trigger feels foreign to me. The 642 is my go to gun. No locks are needed and they insult my intelligence. Get the gun you like the best.tom.:cool:

Lowjiber
05-15-2012, 05:37
Below is the J-Frame .38spl (+p) that I carried for twenty years.

Note the Pachmayr grips...no problems.

ithaca_deerslayer
05-15-2012, 05:38
I have a 642 no lock and a 637 lock. They are both great.

Newbies might want to start with 148gr wadcutters. They are much softer shooting than any other factory loads :)

Bruce M
05-15-2012, 06:41
My belief is that most everyone needs a J frame. My Model 36 dates back to about 1983 and still works fine. My most recent one is a M&P 360 which is very light and uncomfortable to me with .357 rounds but ok with .38+p. For a while now some of the J frames have been selling at several places around here for ~350 which I think is good deal compared to other handguns.

JBL13
05-15-2012, 06:44
The Rugers are not very well made and only a step above a Taurus. The SW is the only player that that is well made and reliable. 642 or 442 no lock.

A lot of folks "in the know" would say, model for model, that a Ruger revolver is typically more ruggedly built than a S&W. Key words: Model for model.

ricklee4570
05-15-2012, 06:54
The LCR has been thoroughly tested. One torture test had the little revolver at over 5,000 rounds of .38 +P with no appreciable wear. I have one with close to 2500 rounds (mostly standard pressure loads) and I feel it is a very well made revolver. I would put it up against and similar sized S&W anyday.

You cant go wrong with either one really.

fnfalman
05-15-2012, 07:04
Find yourself a Colt snubbie (if you can), and then you will wonder what's all the ruckus about between SW and Taurus.

pmwglock19
05-15-2012, 07:38
My son just bought a ruger 38 spcl snubbie. Tried the S&W and ruger, chose the ruger for the trigger and feel.

Sheepdog Scout
05-15-2012, 10:55
The Rugers are not very well made and only a step above a Taurus. The SW is the only player that that is well made and reliable. 642 or 442 no lock.

Somebody really loves his SW.:faint:

ithaca_deerslayer
05-15-2012, 10:59
Find yourself a Colt snubbie (if you can), and then you will wonder what's all the ruckus about between SW and Taurus.

Why doesn't Colt still make double action revolvers?

As good as they are supposed to be, and with all the money we have laying around to buy each latest new gun, and with used Colts holding premium prices, you'd think there'd be lots of sales to be made with factory new Colts.

countrygun
05-15-2012, 11:19
I started with a Smith "J" and have a bit of experience with the Rugers as well. I babysat a pair for a buddy while he was deployed to the sandbox a couple of times. His instructions were "take 'em out and exercise them often I don't want to come back to lazy guns" :supergrin:. For all the theoretical talk about "ruggedness" I have never seen a Smith "J" fail because it wasn't "Rugged enough". I concluded that the Smiths have done all I asked of them so I will stick with them for what little I carry a gun of that type. (I prefer a 3" 65 myself) but I have to admit that if a Colt Detective Special ever came around (like they used to when I was young and too stupid to try one) I would have to give it a whirl.

BamaAL24
05-15-2012, 11:35
Thanks for all the replies. I'll look into the Rugers as well. I have a little experience with them as I own a super redhawk .44. I don't shoot it much because of ammo cost but I do enjoy it.

What's some of the differences between the Smith models( besides obvious caliber/barrel length choices)? Is there something I'm missing? From their website many of them look very similar when looking at similar calipers and barrel lengths.

Sheepdog Scout
05-15-2012, 11:51
Barrel lengths can be a little different. Can also vary with metal used for the frame/cylinder. Differences in the hammer mechanisms. DAO, shrouded, full hammer, etc.

ithaca_deerslayer
05-15-2012, 11:55
Thanks for all the replies. I'll look into the Rugers as well. I have a little experience with them as I own a super redhawk .44. I don't shoot it much because of ammo cost but I do enjoy it.

What's some of the differences between the Smith models( besides obvious caliber/barrel length choices)? Is there something I'm missing? From their website many of them look very similar when looking at similar calipers and barrel lengths.

I'm not expert, but here's my understanding of some of the reasons you'll see so many model revolvers.

--blue or stainless.
--Steel or steel/alumuminum or scadnium.
--.357/.38 or .38 only
--small frame size (j) or larger frame size (k or l), or larger yet
--5 shot or 6 shot or more (depends on frame and caliber and options).
-- standard sights or adjustable or high visibility or other
-- cut for moon clips to hold the ammo or not
-- lock or no lock
-- exposed hammer, or shrouded hammer, or internal hammer.

Magus
05-15-2012, 12:20
642 or 442 are a great place to start. Very usable and easy to carry little wheelguns. Lots of aftermarket options out there for them too if there's something you'd like to tweak.

I own a no lock 642, personally I won't own a lock model for my own ideological reasons. I also don't like it because I'm a firm believer in Murphy's Law.

If it's all you can find though, the lock can be removed if it bothers you. But there are still some no lock models out there, but the price is going up on those from what I've seen.

Creatism
05-15-2012, 12:28
Started my small gun search with 380, hated hated hated it. Then went with a small revolver! A 642 air weight with a lock fell into my lap at a price I just couldn't say no too! Loved it, lost the key to it do the lock is pretty much pointless as I never use it. The trigger is amazing on it, double action or single! Fits so well in a pocket.


Typed from my iPhone.

Berto
05-15-2012, 12:40
It's been my no.1 gun for many years now, you can go wrong with the 442 or 642.
The secret to success is learning DA revolver shooting.

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/3541/6265442and64123.jpg

ithaca_deerslayer
05-15-2012, 13:02
Started my small gun search with 380, hated hated hated it. Then went with a small revolver! A 642 air weight with a lock fell into my lap at a price I just couldn't say no too! Loved it, lost the key to it do the lock is pretty much pointless as I never use it. The trigger is amazing on it, double action or single! Fits so well in a pocket.


How do you get double action or single with a 642?

Or are you just talking about staging the trigger so the cylinder has turned and the internal hammer is back, and then pausing at the last moment to align the sights once more, then pressing on the trigger the last bit until the internal hammer falls?

Creatism
05-15-2012, 13:35
I may have gotten the model confused. I have one with an exposed hammer, smith has so many models I can't keep up with them.


Typed from my iPhone.

ithaca_deerslayer
05-15-2012, 13:54
I may have gotten the model confused. I have one with an exposed hammer, smith has so many models I can't keep up with them.
.

Oh, then maybe the model 637. Pretty accurate gun in single action :)

Bruce M
05-15-2012, 16:05
The Rugers are not very well made and only a step above a Taurus. The SW is the only player that that is well made and reliable. 642 or 442 no lock.

I don't suppose you would care to share how you have concluded that the Rugers are not very well made - for instance which models have you owned and shot? What problems have you had with any specific Rugers you have owned and/or shot?

2740dmx
05-15-2012, 19:29
Love J-frames...
Have a 340 M&P, no lock version.
chambered in .357 mag, but I usually carry with "short barrel" loads, or .38+P loadings...
nice night sight on the 340, and a tougher "DLC" coating.
http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/041.jpg
http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/043.jpg
http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/IMG_0667.jpg
http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t497/spec4towle/IMG_0668.jpg

MLittle
05-15-2012, 20:03
I have several Ruger revolvers (LCR 38+p, SP101 357 mag, Vaquero 45 Colt, GP100 357mag) and I can attest that they make quality, rugged firearms. I also own one Smith and Wesson revolver.....a no-lock 642. The Ruger LCR has best da trigger of all my revolvers. Now, if you don't like polymer handguns (even if you are browsing on Glock Talk), you probably won't like the LCR. It is very unconventional in that it is manufactured from 3 materials.....polymer, aluminum and stainless steel. If you like all metal......get a Smith. To recap, the Ruger has a better trigger, better standards sights, is lighter and less felt recoil than the Smith. I have over 3,000 rounds through my LCR with no apparent wear. I still shoot my Smith, but when I want to pocket carry a revolver.....it's the Ruger.

fnfalman
05-16-2012, 07:41
While I have yet to shoot a J-frame of any kind, I find it hard to believe that the LCR has better trigger pull than a J-frame much less than most other revolvers. I've rented the LCR on two different occassions: a .38 and a .357 Magnum. Yes, the trigger pull is light; relatively speaking. HOWEVER, it's an uneven pull that stacks at the end but not in a good way like the Colt's DA pull.

It's light, but not much lighter if at all over the lightweight J-frame model. The rubber grip sucks because it's too fat and doesn't allow your fingers to ride up higher under the trigger guard for better control.

Color me unimpressed on the LCR. I'll need to try out a couple of J-frames to see how they both compare to each other.

bac1023
05-16-2012, 08:05
The Rugers are not very well made and only a step above a Taurus. The SW is the only player that that is well made and reliable. 642 or 442 no lock.

I prefer Smith as well, but that's just an idiotic statement.

ChuteTheMall
05-16-2012, 08:28
S&W's been at this for quite a while............




http://i47.tinypic.com/34evpu9.jpg

http://i47.tinypic.com/2pt8cis.jpg

But a beginner shouldn't consider these lemon-squeezer geezers without research & advice....:fred:

bac1023
05-16-2012, 15:43
Why doesn't Colt still make double action revolvers?



They were not cost effective to produce.

tomklra14
05-16-2012, 17:09
Carried a 442 for a bit but sold it to finance another purchase. It had a lock which never gave me any problems, I just didn't like the way it looked. I recently bought a no-lock 642 and am glad to be a j frame owner again. I like the grip that came with the 642 but they do look great with wood grips. If you get the classic small wood grips you might also want to consider a grip adapter from Tyler T-Grips or BK Grip Adapter. Check out the S&W Forum for lots of j frame info.

bsg1
05-16-2012, 19:37
The Rugers are not very well made and only a step above a Taurus. The SW is the only player that that is well made and reliable. 642 or 442 no lock.


with no disrespect intended... i prefer S&W pre locks despite the good quality of the Ruger revolvers.

Stover918
05-16-2012, 19:46
Buy a better gun. If you want a good gun...don't buy stainless or aluminum. My 2

My pistols, however, I always kept by me

easyg
05-17-2012, 04:34
The Rugers are not very well made and only a step above a Taurus. The SW is the only player that that is well made and reliable. 642 or 442 no lock.
This is not true.
S&W revolvers are no better than Ruger revolvers.
In fact, I believe S&W's are rather over rated.

I had this 637...

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n165/allenXdog/HPIM6334.jpg

I traded it away without regret.


I now have this LCR, and I is the best snubbie that I have ever owned...

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n165/allenXdog/photobucket-1946-1331253546956.jpg

NMPOPS
05-17-2012, 04:52
The Rugers are not very well made and only a step above a Taurus. The SW is the only player that that is well made and reliable. 642 or 442 no lock.

As others have said this is a stupid statement. I have owned several Ruger revolvers and all have been top quality. I own an old Security Six that shoots as tight a group as any M19 I've owned. I've also owned one J frame or another since 1977 and currently have a 642 and a 638. Both are great shooters with Uncle Mike's Boot Grips.

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk 2

Fox
05-17-2012, 09:54
Check the used gun market for a Colt Detective Special. They're great guns!

GEN3
05-17-2012, 10:45
Picked up a 642 for summer carry and it was a great decision. Got a mika holster and I can pocket carry it in pretty much everything. I don't see the big deal with the DAO trigger. I originally had a PF-9 and hated the trigger on it. It's hard to tell when it was about to break. The trigger on the 642 is heavy but you can feel when it's about to break.

Bruce M
05-17-2012, 16:47
The Rugers are not very well made and only a step above a Taurus. The SW is the only player that that is well made and reliable. 642 or 442 no lock.

I don't suppose you would care to share how you have concluded that the Rugers are not very well made - for instance which models have you owned and shot? What problems have you had with any specific Rugers you have owned and/or shot?

Still waiting for any actual experience, not that I am holding my breath though.