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Old 05-14-2012, 23:23   #1
BamaAL24
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Small revolver shopping

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.
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Old 05-14-2012, 23:28   #2
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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.
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Old 05-14-2012, 23:51   #3
Folsom_Prison
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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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 00:09   #4
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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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:24   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rilkil23 View Post
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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:39   #6
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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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:46   #7
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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.

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Old 05-15-2012, 04:03   #8
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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.

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Old 05-15-2012, 04:28   #9
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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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:33   #10
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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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:20   #11
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Originally Posted by CajunBass View Post
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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:31   #12
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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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:37   #13
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Below is the J-Frame .38spl (+p) that I carried for twenty years.

Note the Pachmayr grips...no problems.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:38   #14
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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
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:41   #15
Bruce M
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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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:44   #16
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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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:54   #17
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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.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:04   #18
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Find yourself a Colt snubbie (if you can), and then you will wonder what's all the ruckus about between SW and Taurus.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:38   #19
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My son just bought a ruger 38 spcl snubbie. Tried the S&W and ruger, chose the ruger for the trigger and feel.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:55   #20
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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.
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