442 or 642- Opinions - Page 2 - MP-Pistol Forum

442 or 642- Opinions

This is a discussion on 442 or 642- Opinions within the Wheelguns forums, part of the Armory category; Originally Posted by Telecomtodd' post='249511' date='Mar 26 2010, 06:24 AM Just got my 442, and it's a wonderful little gun. Len - what do you ...

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Old April 4th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Telecomtodd' post='249511' date='Mar 26 2010, 06:24 AM
Just got my 442, and it's a wonderful little gun. Len - what do you suggest for the trigger job? Goodness, it takes two men and a boy to motivate the DA. We put it on a Lyman pull measurement device and it exceed the 15 pound limit! My tiny little wife would never be able to do much with it other than pull it out and throw it at a bad guy.

I had a gunsmith local to me work on it, smoothing it out. I think it's now at ~8-9# (I forget) but smooth as butter. I used Greg Derr Precision Guns but he's driving distance for me and it cost me $45 for the work! I also had him do my Wife's S&W 64, she couldn't shoot it double action before it was done, now she can shoot it double action. She couldn't even dry fire my 642 before the work was done, now she can w/o pain (she has carpal tunnel . . . it was operated on and is better than before, but not great about 6 years post-op). I'm an NRA Instructor and since Boston requires a range test with a revolver to get your gun permit (needed for mere possession in MA), I use the smith'd S&W 64 for training purposes . . . every student has enjoyed shooting that gun post-trigger job.

Due to extortion by UPS/FedEx wrt shipping handguns, I'd check with local bullseye shooters (they tend to get custom work done on their guns) for the names of some good smiths in your area.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 01:32 PM   #17
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Morrisville, NC
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Why spend all that money...

I ordered a couple of Wolff springs for my 442. Before installing, I had my 'lil wifey try to pull the trigger (dry firing), and she couldn't. Put in the 8 lb hammer spring and 13 pound rebound spring. When she came home for lunch, I had her try it again. Her comment was "that's more like it". Total cost less than $10.

I took it to the range right after that and put 15 rounds through it for testing. Doggone it has one hell of a recoil bite, so much for airlights. After the 3rd reload I figured I'd had enough of that! Gives new meaning to the phrase, "it's going to hurt me just as bad as it's going to hurt you". Well, maybe not quite as bad as a Gold Dot!

If I need to carry very discretely, it will be the 442. If I really feel uncomfortable, it's the Kimber UCC II.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #18
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Location: SW Louisiana
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My wife carries a 442 with a CT lasergrip.

I've conceal-carried and shot it a few times myself. Its lightweight, easy to carry and very accurate with a little bit of practice.

We've had it for over a year now and there doesn't appear to be much, if any, appreciable wear on it. It does have about 200 rounds thru it though. She did ask me to remove the lock. I bought the little plug that fills the hole once the lock is removed and did it myself. She felt the revolver was a lot more reliable with it removed and not having to worry about it going "locked" with a hot load in the middle of a crisis.

She goes to the range a couple of times/month with me and she always puts at least one cylinder load of her defense ammo downrange to "keep her eye" and to make sure the CT stays right on target. So far, it hasn't budged.

She is not opposed to auto loaders; she just doesn't care much for racking slides, loading magazines, fumbling with safeties etc. especially if she's put in a stressed situation. She calls the 442 her original "point & click" device.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 03:49 PM   #19
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I've carried a 442 via pocket carry with & without a pocket holster nearly everyday for the past 3 years. It has virtually no signs of wear at all. This is my "everywhere, everyday" carry piece. I really like the looks of the little black J frame. I picked up a used 642 for my wife this past CHRISTmas & she really likes it. Either one is a winner in my book !!
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Old April 4th, 2010, 06:59 PM   #20
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The cylinder, barrel and yoke on the 442/642 J-frames are steel of the appropriate alloy (carbon or stainless).

My 642's have given me really good service, although a 642 of similar vintage to my older one, in the hands of a friend of mine (former bureau partner & fellow firearms instructor) has suffered really nasty peeling and discoloration. I've met other folks whose body chemistry & sweat were caustic to gun finishes, though. The finish on mine (carried pocket holstered), aside from some marring indicative of carry, handling and usage is fine and hasn't exhibited any peeling/discoloration.

FWIW, I've seen a lot of discoloration and finish wear on many issued alloy-framed S&W pistols (which are also clear coated) over the years.

Another fellow has been carrying a 442 around for the last 3-4 years. The blue/black finish is pretty worn and scratched (he's shoots a lot and doesn't pamper carry weapons) but no rust and no peeling.

Now, the 442 will look 'cleaner, sooner' than the light finish 642.

On another subject, I once tried a reduced power rebound slide spring in my 642 several years ago. By trial and error I found one of the 'reduced power' springs in an assortment pack which would reliably cycle my 642 and allow trigger recovery. The lightest in the assortment wouldn't allow for consistent trigger recovery, and the next heaviest one had a bit of a sluggish recovery, so I went with the yet heavier one in the package. This was in combination with an inspection and general 'deburring' by a very experienced S&W LE armorer. The mainspring was left stock for reliable ignition, especially in the event of a heavy primer or unexpected fouling or exposure to harsh conditions.

It wasn't long, however, before I found my trigger finger was outrunning the trigger's recovery during fast-paced qualification drills. Not good. I replaced the reduced power spring with the stock spring and I found the trigger was able to keep up with my trigger finger again. I decided right then that I had no further use for a lightened rebound slide spring in a dedicated defensive revolver. There's no way to predict when unexpected conditions might result in circumstances which might interfere with the ability of the rebound slide to allow trigger recovery in a serious situation, if powered by a lighter spring.

Back on the main topic, the 642 is one of my most commonly carried off-duty, and now retirement, weapons. I liked the 642-1 I originally bought so much, that I took the opportunity to buy another one when that last production run was released using old-stock 642-1 frames to make new guns. I have some other J-frames, including a M&P 340 which I shoot a lot and enjoy carrying, but the 642 is simply an Airweight which I've really come to appreciate over the years since I bought my first one.

I think both the carbon steel & stainless basic Airweights are excellent models for a reasonable price.

The front sight ramps are a bit hard to pick up quickly (I use sight paint), and if they offered one with the same XS sight setup as is on my M&P 340, I might consider buying a 3rd 642.

Of course, not everyone can easily, accurately and effectively shoot the small Airweights. Even some folks who regularly shoot larger framed revolvers can experience a bit of difficulty in shooting the little J-frames. The very attributes which make them so practical and useful can also make them harder to shoot well.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 10:38 AM   #21
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Old thread, but what the heck...I have always owned 638's, but recently bought my first 642 (w/out the internal lock)...LE price was $339.00. I really like the 642, it shoots well, accurate, and seems to carry in my front pocket better that the 638 (might simply be a perception only thing)...

If the aluminum frame starts to wear I'll simply send it back to S&W or consider the other options out there today... S&W airweights, as someone said, is a great balance of fire-power, concealment, and ease of carry...I like them...
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Old May 25th, 2015, 11:34 AM   #22
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In my experience, the dark ones frame finish holds up better than the "stainless" ones with the clear coat frame finish.

I owned two in the past, and both went back to S&W for refinishing within a couple of years. It wasn't wearing off, it was flaking off at the edges and along seams.

I like the J-Frames, and can shoot them very well DA (it takes practice).

Even the all steel ones carry (and of course, shoot) very well.

This is my favorite, and cost me all of $300.00 used:

When I got home, I found that it even had my name engraved on the back strap. I guess I was supposed to find it that day:

It's an early polished stainless model 60, with a wide smooth trigger and bobbed, serrated-top hammer. The action is great, and the gun is still tight.

It was onviously someone's top-shelf carry piece "back in the day."

Last edited by Rick M; May 26th, 2015 at 05:54 AM.
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