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Discussion Starter #1
10 years teaching CCW has convinced me the 642 is by far the most popular for concealed carry, because it is small, light, smooth, simple, and handy.
I am also persuaded that, unless you are law enforcement, and need to shoot in self defense, odds are overwhelming that you will shoot from a range of arms length up to about five feet. The main
concern I hear about 642, is .38
Sp. powerfull enough? I believe it is.
Last Summer I gathered up some ammo to reassure myself. The
3 so-called FBI loads from Winchester, Federal, and Remington. A hollow base 148-Gr wadcutter from Ultra-Max, a hand load 148-Gr. hollow point wadcutter, Remington's 125-Gr. Golden Saber, Federal's 129-Gr. Hydra-Shok, Winchester's +P 130-Gr. SXT, Speer's +P 135-Gr.
Gold Dot HP, Corbon's +P 110-Gr.
DPX, Winchester's +P 130-Gr. JHP
Bonded PDX1, Corbon's +P 100-Gr.
Pow'R Ball, Hornady's +P 110-Gr.FTX Critical Defense, Corbon's +P 110-Gr. JHP, Winchester's +P+ JHP Ranger, and
Remington's 125-Gr. Golden Saber
in .357 Magnum.
Then I built 16 box targets. 3/4"
plywood front and back, with 12"
in between filled with compressed
foam rubber. On the front of
each target a 3" bullseye with a
layer of leather, 2 layers of cotten, and a layer of denim. My thinking was a bullet that penetrates the bullseye, the front wood, the 12" of compressed foam rubber, and the back plywood
would probably penetrate the bad
guys cloths, skin, sternum, heart, and spine.
Then I shot one round into each bullseye at a range of 3 feet.
I used Model 60 to shoot the .357 load and the Winchester Ranger.
I shot the other 14 from the 642.
Which bullet do you think went through all of the barriers and out through the back plywood?
Every one of them! Furthermore
I could not see any significant
difference in the "exit wounds".
My conclusion: Use the ammo
that you shoot the best. Any of it will do the job if you do yours. Hit the center of mass.
Practice! Practice! Practice!
 

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Amen, brother, amen! There is no substitute for training, not in model or caliber. After about 17 years of carrying a medium frame semi with two spare mags off duty, my back informed me that it had enough, and I'm carrying a revolver again, and that's fine with me. Revolvers never stopped being an effective defensive firearm, and 38's killed alot of bad guys before the police world converted to semi autos.
Although my collection is dominated by stainless steel, in an airweight I like the 442 and a big reason is the absence of the internal lock (my stomach churns every time I see a beautiful pistol with one) I draw the line at scandium, I don't trust it and it's not real comfy to shoot.
You're putting out some very valid information. Keep it up!!
 

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I don't have one, but.....I believe that the 442/642 is probably the BEST carry revolver. It is light (15 ozs.)......but not too light, to tame the recoil of +P.38 spl.. I still carry my old M-36. That's what I bought, years ago, so I'm sticking with it. Bob
 

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I have been keeping the 642 as a back-up B.U.G
The small frame, no hammer fits inside front pocket. Pocket carry with holster to cover lines of pistol looks like a wallet. Very concealable weapon. Some times my primary carry. No saftey... not a problem. Won't go off unless trigger is pressed.
Waiting on my new Midsized M&P .45 to come in at dealers.

Have my +p for ccw carry. Winchester rounds for regular shooting at range. My Crimson Trace Laser sights are like putting a scope on a small powerhouse. Or at night or inside house at noon with sun bright outside. This weapon can be carried about any where on the body. If in a pinch fire through coat pocket.

Revolvers are like cameras, point and shoot. Work good for wife if she needed to use. I love it, S&W name says it all.
 

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A great gun and is the one I carry most of the time. It has CT grips and a Mika pocket holster, conceals well in both casual and dress clothes. As far as ammo, it's either the Remington FBI load or Speer gold dot 135+p. When I go to the range it's never more than seven yards, usually one to five. Lately I have been practicing point and one hand shooting, it kicks though manageable. Finally, the best part.......no lock.
 

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I think, although I could be wrong, that he was referring to it being so incredibly light, that practicing with it would seem to be pretty painful... or, maybe he has not found trust in the durability of the material itself...

Again, i could be wrong...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Original post was mine and I said nothing about scandium, but...1. At 15 oz. the
442/642 is plenty light for comfortable
carry. 2. The lighter scandium would
obviously create more recoil. 3. Scandium models cost a couple hundred dollars more
and I don't see the cost/benefit. If you think you would like polymer, look at Ruger's LCR. It's 13.5 ounces. I bought one a couple of months ago, but my 642 is still preferred grab and go gun.
 

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Great report. Thank you. There is no question that the 642 (and 442) has become very popular and a big hit for S&W. Mine is my everyday carry, though the 3 inch 65 does see more carry time in the winter.

Mine is well loved, but the finish takes a beating, especially with the Blackhawk Serpa.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I believe those "plastic" holsters are
harder on the finish. I like the Chic Gaylord style leather speed scabbards
by Price Western USA (Model 320). I've
carried 642 for about 10 years and it
shows practically no holster wear. Just got a Gaylord style speed scabbard from
Thad Rybka for Ruger LCR. It's
a work of art. I wish I had
capability to post pictures.
 
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